1.29: Building A Life

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Over the ensuing weeks, life began to settle for the newlyweds.  Shane managed to get the nectar maker assembled and set up, and even produced a few batches of nectar with the grapes he had onhand.

He proudly bottled the first batch to show Lilith, and she insisted they taste it right away. “I like this!” she exclaimed.

“Well, it’s really not much more than grape juice yet, it needs to ferment longer.” Shane looked dubious at her enthusiasm.

“But I do like this. It’s like…grape juice, with a kick.” And I don’t need much of a kick anyway, if I’m pregnant, she thought.

This got him thinking more seriously about adding onto the shelter and expanding the cellar. They needed more room with Lilith’s belongings here now, and he wanted a work area for making nectar. And, he thought, more room for children.

 

 

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He set aside a few bottles to take down to the cellar for extended fermentation, and at Lilith’s urging, took the rest to the consignment store.

 

 

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When those bottles were well-received and bought up quickly, Shane was sold–this was something he could do. Vague dreams and ideas of a vineyard became a more concrete reality. When they went to pick up his first commission, his first thought was how Lilith’s help through every step had made this profit possible. First with the planters, then with the nectar maker, then her encouragement.  They were truly building a life together.

Before they left the Community Center, Shane registered as a nectar maker.

 

 

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Lilith took on more responsibility for household chores–after all, it was her house now too. So morning chores were spent doing the little mundane things that make life life. Shane tended his plants, and collected laundry into the basket. Lilith cleaned the toilet and bathing area when it needed it. They both contributed to washing and drying the laundry.

 

 

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Of course, drying laundry in the snow posed some issues. Shane added another item to his mental list of expansions to make to the shelter, to include an overhang for the laundry area.

 

 

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To Lilith’s amazed delight, when they had unpacked everything from her camp, she’d found her father’s guitar. Now they could play guitar together–she on his mother’s guitar, and he on her father’s guitar.

“Just think, Shane, we can play music for our babies and have nectar around the fire at nights. I can’t wait!”

 

 

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Shane’s first building project was to expand the bedroom, which they promptly broke in.

After beginning work on an additional project area for the nectar maker, he then expanded the bathing area.

 

 

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Elsewhere in the village, Maru was in love.

Kaila had given birth to a daughter, Bronwyn Swift. Looking down at her, Maru could see wisps of red hair on Bronwyn’s head, inherited from Kaila. But he was pretty sure she had his eyes. And maybe his nose, too.

He’d been surprised when Kaila gave the baby her surname; he’d expected her to carry his name. “Children usually carry the name of their mother, or one of the mother’s choosing,” Kaila had said gently. “I am not your wife, and my name is Swift.”

There wasn’t much argument he could give to that. She was right.

Oh, it had crossed his mind to ask, but the last time he’d asked a woman to make a serious commitment, it….well, it did bring me to Kaila. The thought of his cousin with Lilith still brought an acid taste to his mouth, but Kaila made him happy. They were comfortable. And whether her name was Swift or Glen, Bronwyn was his daughter and there was nothing to regret about that. Maybe I should just ask Kaila, he thought. “Besides, I’m not going anywhere now, am I?” he asked of Bronwyn, in that high-pitched, goofy voice that adults use shamelessly when talking to adorable babies.

 

 

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Lilith was now 99% positive she was pregnant.  She hadn’t had her cycle in a few months now, and had had to start wearing more comfortable clothing.

 

 

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The sickness came frequently for a few weeks, then abated somewhat. She managed to hide that from Shane for the time being–she didn’t want to tell him until she was 100% positive.

 

 

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One evening after they ate, Lilith went inside and changed into her nightwear, waiting for Shane to come in. She ran her hands slowly over her stomach. It was subtle, but her belly was fuller.

Her mother was long gone, and she’d been an only child; and Daniela was the only pregnant woman she’d ever been friendly with, so she didn’t know much about pregnancy. But it was clear that her absence of cycles wasn’t an occasional aberration–or at least, not one that wasn’t going away for a few more months. She touched her belly again, almost reverently, smiling. The idea of having created a baby, a child, was a spectacular feeling.

 

 

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Shane came in after banking the cook fire, and stood warming himself at the fireplace he’d built in their bedroom.

Lilith studied his back, watching the fire and candle light play across the well-defined muscles. The labor and exertion he’d put into expanding their home certainly showed.

“Shane,” she said. He turned from the fire, smiling to see her out of her heavy outerwear.

“Hey girl,” he smiled. The greeting was one he’d often used since their return from France. Stepping to her, Shane ran his warmed hands down her arms. He wondered about the expression on her face. It reminded him of when she’d first told him she loved him, but more excited than nervous.

 

 

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Lilith just came out and said it. “I’m pregnant. We made a baby!”

 

 

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Shane blinked. Then his jaw dropped and his eyes grew wide. His mouth spread into a huge grin. “A baby?”

She nodded, amused at the sequence of shock and emotions that crossed his face.

“A baby!” He grabbed her into a tight embrace.

 

 

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“A family. Oh, Lilith, I don’t even know what to say!” he babbled, then hugged her again, lifting her off her feet.

 

 

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He dropped to his knees and laid his cheek against her belly. “A baby,” he whispered. His hands reached up to cradle her stomach.

 

 

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Laying her on the bed, he cuddled her close and laid his head on her abdomen. He felt a little awed. He was going to be a father!

Raising his head to look at her, he said, “3 boys and a girl, remember.”

Lilith giggled. “One thing at a time, silly man.”

He suddenly sat up on the bed. “I need to build a cradle! And a swing! I can make a swing.”

Laughing, she pulled him back down to her.

 

 

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Hope you enjoyed 🙂

It’ll be a few days before the next update…unfortunately I have the first exams of the semester coming up and need to put in some hardcore study hours.