A Christmas Rose:A Dusk Gate Chronicles Novella(25)

By: Breeana Puttroff

The fuzzy little tuft of hair on his head was the same nearly black color as William’s, and his eyes were already the same gray as both of theirs.

As was tradition in this world, as soon as Nathaniel and William were sure that the baby was healthy, and Quinn was doing well, everyone disappeared, leaving the new parents alone to get to know the little one.

William was snuggled up next to Quinn on the bed, one arm around her, and the other hand on the baby as she held him.

“Good work, Mama,” he whispered in her ear. “You were amazing.”

With her finger, she traced her son’s face, lingering on his soft eyebrows and impossibly perfect pink lips. “You do some pretty good work yourself.”

“We’ll have to try this again sometime,” he said.

She chuckled. “Let’s enjoy this one for a little while first.”

“Agreed.” He yawned widely.

Surprisingly, she didn’t feel tired at all. Instead of the exhaustion she expected, there was happiness and peace. She’d never imagined it would really be this wonderful to hold her child, never would have believed the connection she’d feel so immediately with this new little person. Lifting him up to her face, she kissed his forehead, and he stirred, stretching his hand out. It was probably an accident, but his little palm landed on her cheek, fingers splayed out, as if he was telling her he loved her, too. It was the most amazing thing she’d ever felt.

“I’m not sure about this not knowing his name until we get back to Philotheum,” she said, cuddling him against her chest again. “I need something to call him, to know who he is.”

“Well, just because we can’t have the Naming Ceremony yet doesn’t mean we can’t pick out a name. We’re still the ones who get to choose it, you know – it’s just not announced until the ceremony.”

“You tell me this now? We could have been thinking about names the whole time.” She had thought of a few – but not too seriously, not wanting to get attached to anything in particular.

He shrugged. “People don’t usually do that here. Most believe that you need to see the baby first – that somehow seeing the baby’s face, and knowing who he is helps with choosing a name. That’s why Naming Ceremonies aren’t immediately after birth.”

“Usually…” she frowned at him. “You have been thinking about names!”

He held his hands up. “Not names. I didn’t have any real ideas about a name for a girl. And I did think I should wait and see him first if he was a boy, but yes, I did have an idea for a name in mind. And now that I see him … I think it suits him perfectly.”

“All right then. What’s your idea?”

“I was thinking maybe … Samuel … Samuel Owen.”

Oh. Tears welled now in the corners of her eyes, threatening to overflow. He wanted to name their firstborn son after her father and her brother.

“The first Samuel never got to take the throne the way he should have,” he continued. “And this one will…”

“It’s perfect. Just like him. Just like you.”

He reached and wiped her tears with his thumb. “I’m not perfect, Quinn, but I do love you. Both of you.” He took the baby from her, and held him close to his chest, looking down into his sweet little face. “What do you think, little one? Would you like to be named after two other people we love almost as much as you?”

The baby gave a little sigh and blinked up at him.

William chuckled. “I think that’s a yes. Welcome to the world, Samuel Owen Rose.”

“Our Christmas baby.”

“I guess he is … our little Christmas Rose.”