Zarabethe paced back and forth outside the small cottage. She could hear Elforen putting Brekke back to bed inside. The 4 yr old night elf was crying: she had had another night terror. Zarabethe kicked the dirt in frustration as she marched: she imagined him scooping the anxious little girl up in his arms without a second thought. She would bury her tear-streaked face into her father's shoulder, wetting his shirt, and throwing her arms around his neck. He would talk patiently and soothingly to her as he carried her to her bed, and by the time he tucked her in with her loveys and her blanket, kissing her forehead, she would be calm and curling up to go to sleep. Zarabethe paused at one edge of the yard and leaned her forehead wearily against the tree there. The summer was so hot this year: the humidity was oppressive, and even a brief foray outside was enough for rivulets of sweat to run down her back, the sides of her forehead, and between her breasts. It aggravated her usual aversion to touch to an almost unbearable degree. How she longed to be in Elforen's place, lovingly tucking their daughter in without flinching from her clutching arms. She had tried today, she really had: but Brekke was especially needy lately. Everything was scary, everything was a danger. Spook had gotten a small splinter in her paw, and although Zarabethe had patiently let the child help clean and bandage the wound, she was beside herself with worry. What if it got infected? What if Spook got sick and died? What if she died? How would Spook take care of herself if she was not there to wash her paw? And then the tears; great big sad tears that only being held would cure. So she did. She tried to pace it, seeing if she could distract the 4 yr old with games and badly sung songs, but that only worked so long before she had been toting her around the house and gardens on her hip. Which, at full-term pregnant, was very hard to do, touch aversion or no. By the end of the day her back ached and she was completely exhausted. When Elforen walked in the door after being at the smith all day, he found both night elves in tears: Zarabethe trying to scrape a burnt supper out of a pan, and Brekke sitting at the table hungry. He had brought home a large basket of fruit, which he sat on the table in front of the hungry child, and ordered his wife to sit down and rest while he took the pan outside to dump the ruined meal and then opened the windows to let the house air out. She had never been more happy to see him home, covered in sweat and grime from work or not. But while usually she would be content to put her feet up and tune out the world for a bit, recharging so she could face it again, she found herself too restless to sit still. After only a few minutes of sitting, changing positions, closing her eyes and opening them, she was up again. The bookshelf was out of order. Her husband returned from bathing to find her up to her ears in stacks of books, obsessively rearranging them by date, then alphabetizing them, then starting over and sorting them by colour. He had gently tried to discourage her, she'd snapped at him, and he threw up his hands and left the room. Finally, she got them placed how she wanted, heaved herself off of the floor, and sought him out to apologize. But the task had done little to soothe her mind and she had flitted about all evening straightening and cleaning things. She even sat down and sorted the basket of little things that was sitting in their room almost out of sight. As tiny shirts, hats, diapers, and blankets were placed in neat piles, she remembered Brekke in her earliest days, which made her simultaneously wistful and nervous.
When she first felt the stirrings deep in her belly last year, she had been anxious, and her first thought was to ignore it or hide. But instead she had confided in her husband, and they had spent many late nights talking about the possibilities. In the end, it was the yearning in his eyes that had convinced her: he had missed so much of the beginning of Brekke; the pregnancy, her birth, even her first few days, and it felt cruel to deny him a chance at that. It had only taken a few months for the nausea and dizziness to assault her again, and she knew that she was carrying their second child. It had been so much easier this time around; Elforen was ecstatic every step of the way, doting on her to the point of ridiculousness, and her body seemed to know better what it was doing this time, and she was able to pace herself more. Brekke required so much work though, so much patience, time and energy, and she found herself frequently running short on all three. When the baby got here she knew it would be worse as breastfeeding would require her every last effort; she only hoped it would be easier this time, as she was prepared for it. Even so, the upcoming addition to their family constantly weighed on her mind and distracted her. Finally as she and Elf took turns tucking Brekke into bed (which of course took multiple trips) she sat down and started stitching again around the fabric she had traded for to make a baby blanket. It was very similar to Brekke's, only little blue flowers edged it instead of soft green leaves. Even that couldn't hold her concentration tonight, and she kept stabbing the tips of her fingers while sewing. When Brekke had cried out yet again, Zarabethe threw her stitching into the basket beside her and stalked outside. There she was now, only her pacing had quickly turned to an awkward waddle. By Elune was she uncomfortable. Giving up on her walking, she carefully eased herself down on the wooden bench in the garden. Their house was an anomaly in Elwynn forest. While it was mostly human in architecture from the outside, the inside was completely furnished in Night Elf furniture. Bit by bit, she and Elforen had worked to add little bits of home to the garden areas: lanterns to light the path, swooping archways that led to the animal area in the back. Enlarging the windows to let in more light and air. Native Kalimdor plants in the garden. She and Elf sometimes jokingly called it, “Ashenvale-by-the-Waterfall”, but it still fell far from the silence and peace of the trees in Nightsong Forest. It was for the most part secluded though, and they didn't get many visitors.
She was grateful for this fact as she attempted to stretch her aching legs. Her belly made everything awkward, and she didn't bother much with modesty the last few weeks. She was wearing a plain cotton sleeveless dress; it was too hot to wear much else. In a temperature less than that of the Burning Legion homeworld, it would probably be attractive: it was low cut, with thin straps holding the top up. Soft white cotton gathered under her breasts and stretched across her belly, feathering out at mid-thigh. As with most of her clothes, it had fallen victim to her embroidery habit, and a row of tiny leaves adorned the bottom hem. It was a garment that, under normal circumstances, she would have only laughed at, but today, it was too much fabric. It damply clung to her back and sides and she lifted her violet hair off of her neck to let what little breeze there was to her skin. Like everything else, even braiding her hair and pinning it up was becoming a challenge, and today she had not had the patience for it. She stayed there, head back, eyes closed, legs outstretched in front of her, trying to relax, until she heard Elforen's footsteps on the path in the garden. When the sound stopped, she opened her eyes and saw her husband crouched in front of her. His eyes held only concern as he held out a damp cloth to lay on her neck to cool her down. Her defenses and aggravation melted, and as she took the cloth she was not surprised to feel tears well up in her eyes again.
“I'm sorry,” she whispered as she pressed the cool cloth to her face. It felt like heaven. “It's just too hot today, and I can't get my mind to settle.”
Elforen reached to brush her hair back from her face, and she instinctively jerked away, regretting it even though she couldn't stop it. He pretended to only be brushing an errant leaf off the back of the bench. Tears spilled out of her eyes again and she looked away, trying to get control of her voice. Elforen diplomatically changed the subject.
“How are you and the baby feeling today?” he asked lightly. Zarabethe swallowed her tears away and couldn't help but smile. He asked her every day.
“Uncomfortable, but fine,” she said. “Still in there.” She sat up straighter, smoothing her dress down the best she could.
aaaaaaand that is about all I'm comfortable sharing :D. If you are confused, feel free to visit my deviantArt to see their beginnings.