A month later
“You cannot sack me!!! That is impossible.” Akka screams at Salem as he follows her on his wheel chair who is pushed by Aster.
Salem sighs… “It is a compulsory vacation. There is no brewing war at the moment, I am pregnant, the nation is stabilizing and I can finally breathe without some iron restricting me. You are resting.”
“What am I supposed to do? I can’t drink because of this one that refuses to leave my sight… what am I supposed to do now?” Akka frowns.
“Sightseeing, discover a new hobby… I don’t know.” Salem shrugs as she munches on an apple.
“The kingdom is barely united, what if new enemies arise… you need me.” Akka continues.
“I have you… Just in a more advisory role. If I can’t fight, you aren’t either.” Salem glares at me and I wink.
“You are pregnant, I am not!!! Which is why you need me out there.” Akka pouts.
“I have Paula and other men. Sanda is also useful and Elena is taking her apprenticeship with Ladda to another level. The kingdom will be fine. I am well protected plus think of it this way, if you hadn’t disobeyed my order… you wouldn’t have nearly died.” Salem glares at him.
“If I hadn’t, Erin would have died.” Akka concludes.
I raise my head from the book I was pretending to read.
“Don’t drag me into your mess.” I say to Akka.
“He would have been fine; he had an armor and you didn’t!!!” Salem says wuith reproach but I know that she is grateful to him.
“How are you feeling now?” I ask Salem and she ignores me.
“You are going to have to talk to me at some point.” I tell her.
“Why won’t you let me lead the battle against Sormens? I am pregnant and not disabled.” She flares up again.
“The hypocrisy!!!” Akka laments as Aster takes him away from the library.
“We were successful with the unification, that is good but there are still people out there who would try to hurt you. You have another life inside of you, our child. There is no need to take unnecessary risks.” I hold her close to me.
“I know that you are right, I do… it’s just, what am I supposed to do?” She hugs me tight.
“Sightseeing, pick a hobby… I don’t know.” I mimic her and she chuckles.
“You can create policies that will make Roelum more than just two halves of a coin.” I suggest.
Enoch clears his throat. “I don’t know why you chose Roelum as the name, I suggested Roale as a combination of both names but what I did I get in return?”
“Do you also want an extended break?” Salem threatens and he leaves us alone in a huff.
“For an old man, he is really childish. How he lasted under your father baffles me.”
“Do you miss him?” Salem asks.
I lead her to a chair and sit beside her.
“I don’t know honestly; I never really had a relationship in the first place. When we buried them… I felt lighter. I don’t want to live like him, which was why I wanted our kingdom named Roelum. A sign of a new beginning… I’m not erasing his legacy; I will not just do anything about it.”
I know that he feels deep sadness over their death and probably doesn’t want to make me worry, so I let it die.
“Whenever you are ready Erin, I’ll be here.” I peck his lips.
“Yes, my Queen.”
Christiana’s children run into the library, they see us and run back out.
“Do I look like a monster?” I make a face and ask Erin.
He chuckles… “Yes… but I love you anyways, I am a generous man.”
Shem swaggers into the library, he bows when he sees us.
“Varcasa has sent an ambassador with the notice of the death of their king, the new one pledges his loyalty.”
“Hmmmm… okayyyy… I guess.” I stutter.
“You do not know anything apart from fighting, do you?” Erin teases me.
“I can cook now.” I gloat.
“Please don’t call what you did cooking… never again!!!” Shem laments and leaves the place.
“Duty calls… I have an idea, why don’t you train the soldiers. It is safer and you get the needed exercise.” Erin suggests.
It is not a bad idea; I admit to myself. I don’t know when I sleep on the chair, I only wake to feel Erin lifting me to our chambers.
“This must be what peace feels like.” I say and snuggle into him.
“You feel like my home.” His chest vibrates with his words.
An alarm goes through the palace as it is under attack. Erin tenses and moves to stand.
“Don’t bother, Akka has been aching for a fight… you can relax. The night guards all reside here.” We had moved the palace to Rale which was enough to placate Enoch. We maintain Erin’s chambers and expand it while we leave Queen Nuke and King Rale’s place empty for now.
Some moments later.
“How could the both of you not even move?” Paula sits on the bed completely disregarding the fact that Erin has his arms around me.
“I knew you would handle it.” I reply.
“You have become so lazy” Roark shakes his head as he also enters the room. Erin laughs at the picture we paint as more people get into the room.
“Okay… I think we need to set up some boundaries, you cannot just come into my chambers when you feel like it.” Erin mumbles.
“What was the alarm about?” I ask and Akka looks on guiltily.
“He tried to sneak out to the Pallaire.” Aster responds with a frustrated groan.
“I am a grown man and if I want some companion, I should not have to report myself to you, do I?”
“Except for the fact that you are trying to drink again. It is bad for your health, why don’t you understand that?” Aster scolds him.
“Do you have to do this here?” I say to them.
“It’s good… Everyone is here. I might as well make an announcement.” Paula says and we wait.
“I am getting married.” She says, there is a pause before we laugh… none of us take her seriously.
“She is right, we are getting married.” Victor’s voice resonates in the chamber and we stare at them confused.
I nod in acceptance. “Congratulations to you both.”
Elena stares at them suspiciously… “It makes no sense that you would get married before me.”
“Do you want me to smack you into agreement because I will.” Paula answers and they start to banter again.
Erin holds me tighter as I take a good look around the room, everyone I know and love is here and alive which I take as a blessing. My heart sighs in contentment, I don’t know what might happen tomorrow but I will cherish this moment forever.