As Adam led Kris to his old nanny's room, he wondered what it was that seemed so familiar. He had never seen this man in his life, but he felt like he knew those eyes. Maybe they had met in a dream.
His intentions for Kris to stay in the room next to his were not entirely pure. The man was very cute, but it wasn't his looks that drew Adam in. It was those oh so familiar eyes. He wanted to get to know Kris better. Maybe something would come from him being so near, friendship or something more. “Here we are!” Adam said brightly, opening the door to Kris's new bedroom.
“Oh, wow,” Kris replied upon seeing the luxurious room. It may have only been his nanny's, but Adam's parents had spared nothing in furnishing her room. They felt nannies were an important part of the family and should be treated as such. The room had a four-poster bed, comfortable chairs spread throughout the room, a massive wardrobe, glinting mirrors, a large fireplace, and was painted in the warmest shade of brown. “It's too much, Prince Adam,” Kris said as he looked around in wonder.
“Nonsense,” Adam assured. “And don't call me Prince Adam. It's just Adam from now on, alright?”
“Your kindness really knows no bounds. I'm sure you're gonna be the best king Dosser has ever had.”
Adam beamed with pride. “Get settled in. I have lessons to attend to and I'll be back tonight.”
“What kind of lessons?” Kris asked curiously.
“Just writing lessons tonight. Would you like to join me?”
“You would let me come with you?” Kris seemed incredulous.
“Why not? Come along then. We can get you settled in later.” Adam held out his hand and Kris took it. They walked the whole way without letting go.
* * *
Later that night, Adam and Kris were sitting on Adam's bed talking. When Kris had seen Adam's room, he had nearly fainted. “I thought my room was incredible. This is as big as my whole house!” The room was massive. There was an ornate fireplace on one wall. Above it was a circular protrusion for the chimney decorated with a beautiful high relief sculpture of Adam and Eve with the apple and the snake. On either side of the fireplace was two windows that reached to the ceiling with chairs in the window sills to read a book on a rainy day. Along another wall was a wardrobe and a changing screen. Adam's parents had gotten the screen from China, so it was covered in gold dragons and red flowers. There was a cushioned bench along a third wall. Also on the third wall was his bed. It was surrounded on each side by giant columns. The sheets and the canopy fabric were made of a light blue silk with gold embellishments.
After Kris had gotten over his initial shock, Adam motioned him onto the bed, where they sat and talked about anything and everything. They started with talking about the writing lesson. “That was the first time I've ever written anything!” Kris exclaimed. “In the village we only learn the very basics. Writing definitely is not a needed skill.” Next they moved on to their families. “Dan's a pain, but he's my brother. I don't know what I would if he died.”
“My brother's a pain too. He's just so cynical all the time. Just be glad he's not gonna be king. He'd rule the kingdom into the ground!”
Kris laughed. “You must have gotten all the charm.”
“Dang straight!” After that they moved onto hopes and dreams. “When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was live in a village. All there was in the castle was school and training. Boring! I wanted to be out there doing something. Running around with my friends, swimming in the river, even working in the fields would have been better!”
“Nonsense! It's not all it's cracked up to be out there. By the time I was five, I was helping out my dad every day. I would have done anything to have your childhood. You got to learn everything! I've always loved learning new things when strangers travel through the village.”
“Well, now that you're in the castle, you can learn whatever you want.” Then the conversation had turned to Kris's stay. “So Kris, you never said much about your situation. Tell me about the baby's dad. Do you love him?”
Kris's eyes brightened. “Oh, he's wonderful. He's the kindest person I've ever met. I wasn't very nice to him, but he didn't care. He helped me when I needed, comforted me when I was sad, and loved me when I asked him to. I was only with him a couple of days, so I don't know if I love him, but I think it's very possible that I could. He would never be with me though.”
“But you said he was the kindest person you've ever met. Why wouldn't he want to be with you?”
“He's a very important person. I'm just some peasant from a small village. He deserves someone better than me.” Kris began to play dejectedly with the bedspread.
“Who is he? Maybe I could put in a good word for you.” Adam wanted Kris, but if Kris wanted another, Adam would do anything to help. He just wanted Kris to be happy.
“It doesn't matter who he is.” Kris looked out the window. “It's getting late. I should probably get to bed. The baby's tired.”
“Very well. I'll see you in the morning.” Adam led Kris to the door connecting their rooms. “Goodnight, Kristopher.”
* * *
Over the next few weeks, Adam and Kris fell into a routine. Kris would wake up in the morning with Adam already by his bedside holding the chamber pot for Kris to puke into. Then they would both get dressed properly and go down to breakfast. They usually ate alone, though Adam's brother, Neil, joined them every once in a while. Next, Adam had combat training, which Kris watched, before they had lunch. After lunch, they went to their lessons. They learned a different subject every day: mathematics, reading and writing, religion, languages, history, geography, and philosophy. Kris learned more in a month then he had learned in his entire life. After that, they would eat dinner before heading up to Adam's room where they would talk before going to bed. Some days the routine was interrupted by Adam having to practice being King by listening to requests in the throne room. During these times, Kris would wander the halls or visit with his brother for awhile. Daniel was doing much better, though he still needed to stay at the castle until he regained his strength.
In the second week of the fourth month of his pregnancy, everything changed. Kris woke up to Adam holding the pot, but he didn't have to use it. “The morning sickness is gone Adam!” he said excitedly.
Adam put the pot down and embraced Kris. “Thank God!” he said. “No offense, but that was not my favorite time of the day.”
“For me either!”
When Kris got out of bed, Adam noticed his belly. “Oh wow, Kris. You're getting bigger!”
Kris slapped him playfully. “Did you just call me fat?”
Adam laughed. “Of course not.” He put his hand over Kris's protruding stomach. “Hey beautiful baby,” he said to it. “I can't wait to finally meet you. It seems so far away. You're gonna be so pretty, just like your daddy.”
Kris looked lovingly up at Adam. “Did you just call me pretty?”
Adam smiled down at him. “Of course I did. You're the prettiest.” As the weeks had gone by, Adam's feelings for Kris had grown more and more. He still thought Kris was in love with someone else, so he hadn't said anything, but this morning he was feeling bold.
“I think you're prettier,” Kris replied shyly. He moved closer to Adam and wrapped his arms around his middle.
“Kris, I thought you were in love with someone.”
“Yeah, I'm in love with you.” Kris hadn't been sure at first if he loved Adam. The stuff in the cabin had happened so fast that he hadn't had time to analyze his feelings. Over the month he had been at the castle, he had discovered that it was love that he felt. Spending every day with Adam was the second best thing that had ever happened to him, after their baby of course. He was still scared that Adam would want someone better than him, but he didn't want to waste his time with Adam by being just friends. If Adam felt the same, he wanted to enjoy love while he could.
“Are you sure?” Adam asked. He needed to be sure Kris felt the same way he did. He had been in love with Kris for a couple weeks now. He thought Kris was in love with his baby's father, so he didn't think Kris could love him.
“Very sure.” Kris took the initiative and reached up to kiss Adam. Adam was shocked at first, so he didn't respond. This had Kris drawing away. “If you don't feel the same...” He was cut off by Adam's mouth pressing against his. Adam's tongue prodded the crack between Kris's lips, so he parted them slightly. The kiss was even better than the ones they had shared in the cabin. This one was full of love. They parted gently. Kris lay his head against Adam's chest and Adam hugged him back. “I love you, Adam.”
“I love you too, Kris.”
The rest of the day, they couldn't keep their hands off of each other. They held hands wherever they went. When they were sitting at their meals, their legs were tangled together. When they were sitting during their lessons, Adam's hand rested against Kris's back. When they talked that night, it was while they were lying down wrapped in each other. Parting that night was difficult. “I don't want to say goodnight yet,” Kris whined.
Adam chuckled and kissed the top of Kris's head. “I know sweetie. But you have to get some sleep for the baby. You can see me in the morning.”
“Oh, alright,” Kris groaned. He got up from the bed and leaned over to give Adam one last goodnight kiss. “Goodnight Adam.”
“Goodnight my love,” Adam replied.
* * *
The next couple of months flew by. The baby grew more and more every day, and so did Kris's stomach. He felt more energized and was now the one getting Adam up in the morning. He felt like he could do anything, including take part in Adam's combat training. Much to Kris's chagrin, Adam refused to let him. “You mustn't hurt the baby,” he reasoned.
“Fine, mom,” Kris complained.
Their love grew during that time as well. Every night, it was getting harder and harder for them to separate, but they had to. It wasn't proper for them to sleep in the same bed, even though they had done it once before. But Adam didn't know they had already slept together, so he was only concerned with saving Kris's reputation. He didn't want people to start thinking Kris was just his most recent boy-toy. Kris was much more than that. Adam was even considering asking Kris to marry him someday, his parents expectations of him marrying a Lord or Lady be damned.
The night Kris entered his seventh month of pregnancy, him and Adam were lying face to face on Adam's bed like they did every night. They were talking about some random thing when all of a sudden they both went quiet. “Was that...?”
“Yeah.” Kris smiled at Adam. “Our baby just kicked!”
“Of course our baby. I love you stupid,” Kris teased gently.
“Oh.” Adam kissed Kris lightly before feeling another kick. He moved down to be level with Kris's belly. “Hey baby,” he said. “Thanks for saying hello.” He covered Kris's stomach with his hand and felt another kick. “That's a good girl.” He started crying silently, overwhelmed by being chosen by Kris as the father. He had always wanted kids, but he wasn't preparing to have any of his own. Liking boys meant that he would never be able to have a baby. The kingdom was relying on Neil's offspring to be the heirs to the throne. Maybe now, he could experience the joy of fatherhood.
“What's wrong Adam?” Kris asked concerned.
“It's just...thank you so much, Kris.”
“For letting me be a daddy. I've always wanted to be one.”
Kris smiled lovingly down at the man of his dreams. “You're gonna be such a wonderful father.”
Adam kissed Kris right above his bellybutton. “I love you both so much.”
“And we love you.”
That night, they fell asleep together.
* * *
Throughout the last few months of his pregnancy, Kris was exhausted. His stomach was enormous and was putting such a strain on his back. But Adam had been the perfect gentleman. Whenever Kris complained or slowed down Adam wouldn't whine. They were sharing Adam's room now, so Adam would carry Kris to bed every night. He would stop and sit when Kris needed a rest. He would watch over his two favorite people when they needed to sleep for so long. Kris couldn't have been happier.
His happiness was further increased by his brother's health. Daniel had finally regained his strength and was his old self again. He was the one visiting Kris now, instead of the other way around. The plan had originally been for Daniel to return home when he got better, but he wanted to stay in the castle to watch over his older brother. “You can't get rid of me that easily bro,” he teased.
“Not for lack of trying,” Kris teased right back.
“Man, this is so weird seeing you like this, no offense or anything.”
“None taken. How do you think it feels to be me right now?”
They laughed together before Daniel had to leave for his own lessons. Since he was in the castle, they figured he might as well learn something too.
The last couple weeks of his pregnancy, Kris was confined to bed. “It's for the best, the midwife said you need your rest,” Adam scolded a complaining Kris.
“But I hate being stuck here. It's so boring. You're not here to cheer me up all the time either.” Kris crossed his arms and pouted up at Adam.
Adam laughed and leaned down to kiss Kris. “Sweetie, you're so cute when you pout.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kris continued to pout.
“Alright, enough of that now. Show me that beautiful smile.” Adam lay his head on Kris's giant belly.
Kris tried to resist smiling. He was upset, dang it! The cuteness of Adam cooing at his belly won, however, and Kris smiled down at his baby and his lover. “I can't wait until she's here.”
“Have you picked out a name yet?”
“I've been thinking, but I'm not too sure.”
“What have you got?”
“Well, if it's a girl, I like Elizabeth.”
“That's a beautiful name,” Adam said. He kissed Kris's stomach gently. “Lizzie. What if it's a boy?”
Kris ran his hand through Adam's hair. “If it's a boy, I wanted you to name him.”
“Why me?” Adam asked incredulously. “It's your baby, Kris. You should name him.”
“I've already told you, it's our baby. You should have a hand in name picking too.”
“Well, I've always liked William.”
“It's settled then. If it's a girl, she'll be Elizabeth Wilhelmina Allen-Lambert. If it's a boy, he'll be William Eli Allen-Lambert.”
“So presumptuous, Mr. Allen. I haven't even asked you to marry me yet,” Adam teased lightly. He moved up the bed and kissed Kris.
Kris kissed him back. “Not yet.”
* * *
His day started out normal. Kris woke up snuggled next to Adam. He watched as Adam began to stir and wake up himself. Watching Adam come to life before his very eyes was always the highlight of Kris's day. Those blue eyes fluttered open, accompanied by Adam's loving smile. “Good morning, love,” Kris whispered.
“Good morning, sweetheart,” Adam answered. He leaned in to kiss Kris. That's when things turned from perfectly perfect to terrifying.
A sudden pain lurched throughout Kris's body. He screamed and clutched his stomach. Adam tried to calm him down and was asking what was wrong, but Kris couldn't even reply through the pain. “Oh God, what's happening baby, talk to me please!” Adam was in full out panic mode. He couldn't even think.
Finally, Daniel, who had a room not far from theirs, burst in to see what the screaming was about. “Adam, what's going on?”
Adam was crying. “I...I don't know what's wrong. He won't answer me.”
With a clear head, Daniel knew exactly what to do. “We need to take him to the midwife right now. I saw this happen to my aunt before my cousin was born. The baby's coming!”
Adam helped Daniel lift a screaming Kris and they carried him to the midwife's quarters. The noise woke her up, and she was with them before they were even halfway down the hall that lead to her room. “It's time, I see,” she observed. “Quick, get him into the surgery room.”
Because Kris was a man, he didn't have the proper anatomy to give birth to a baby. This meant that the midwife would have to perform emergency surgery. She would cut his belly open and deliver the baby that way. This form of birth was rarely practiced. It was reserved mainly for dead or dying mothers in the hopes that the child could be saved. There were only a few cases of it being used on normal women who didn't need it because the mortality rate was very high. However, the mortality rate usually came when medical professionals were involved. The infections passed to the woman from the physicians would almost certainly kill her. The successful cases were performed in homes away from dangerous infections. Being in the castle with little contact from the outside world, the midwife wasn't worried about Kris dying. She was just worried about the pain she would have to inflict on him. She hadn't restocked her anesthetic, so he would have to have the surgery without any numbing.
They set Kris on a table for the midwife to begin the surgery. “A-adam,” Kris weakly croaked, searching for Adam's hand. Adam quickly took it. “If I die from this, I n-need you to know something.”
“You're not gonna die, love,” Adam said through his tears. “You're gonna be just fine, and so is our baby.”
“But if I...do, then I need you to know,” Kris insisted.
“Alright, love. What is it that you need me to know?”
Kris weakly raised Adam's hand to his mouth and kissed it. “I love you so much.”
“I already know that.”
“It's not that. Remember when you were kidnapped nine months ago?”
“It was me. I kidnapped you to save Daniel's life. And this baby...it really is yours.”
Adam dropped Kris's hand. “You kidnapped me?”
“I'm so sorry. I was so concerned for Dan. I thought he was gonna die.”
“I don't care about that part. Did you ever think to tell me throughout the whole time you were here who you actually were? Or who the baby really belonged to? I thought I could trust you, but you've been hiding this from me!” Adam stormed out of the room. He was hurt. The man he loved more than anything had been lying to him. How could you do that to someone you loved?
Just then, Adam's silent brooding was interrupted by a loud scream and “Adam!” coming from the surgery room. He hated to hear his beloved in pain, but he was mad! Wasn't he? He thought through Kris's actions and realized they really weren't meant to hurt him. Kris had been scared of Adam's father since the cabin, so it was no surprise that he would keep information to himself that could potentially earn the King's wrath. Another scream pierced the air and pulled at Adam's heartstrings. He couldn't leave Kris all alone now. Adam loved him. He had to be there for the birth of their baby. Their baby! His dream to be an actual father with the person he loved was really coming true! He rushed back into the surgery room.
The midwife had already begun cutting into Kris's belly, which was the cause of the awful screams. Adam hurried to Kris's side and grasped his hand tight. “Kris, I'm sorry I ran out like that. It was just a little overwhelming. Please forgive me. I love you so much!”
Kris smiled weakly. “I love you too. Sorry for...keeping everything from you.”
“That's alright. I understand why you did it. Now let's focus on something even more exciting: the birth of our baby!”
Kris smiled once more before grimacing from the pain. The surgery went on for what seemed like days. Adam clutched Kris's hand the entire time, even though Kris was squeezing it so hard it felt broken. Adam also managed to calm Kris a little by looking into his eyes. They just stared at each other and Kris could get away from the pain somewhat. Finally, Kris felt a release of pressure right before hearing the first sobs of his baby. “Congratulations, you two,” the midwife said as she handed Kris the baby so that she could begin stitching him up. “It's a little girl.”
Kris took the baby and cuddled her close to his chest. He looked into her beautiful brown eyes. “Hey, Lizzie. You're so beautiful.”
Adam leaned in and stroked his daughter's cheek. “Hello, my love. I'm your daddy and this is your other daddy. You're gonna be such a good little princess.”
“Why does she have red hair?” Daniel asked curiously.
Kris looked befuddled up at Adam. “I love it, but I don't have any redheads in my family. Do you?”
Adam blushed. “Um, I'm actually a, um, redhead,” he said, embarrassed. “I just dye it black because I like how it looks.”
Kris chuckled. “I think you'd look fine either way.”
All of a sudden, two older people Kris had never seen before burst into the room. “What is going on?” the man asked in a commanding voice.
Adam stood and approached his parents. “Father, Mother, I'd like you to meet a few people. You remember that family I helped all those months ago? Well, this is Daniel feeling much better.” He motioned to Daniel, who was making funny faces at his niece. “And this is his brother Kris. The pregnant man everyone's talking about. He's just had our baby.”
“Your baby?” the Queen asked.
“Yeah, um, me and Kris are in love and I intend to marry him someday.”
“But he is from a peasant family,” the King protested. “A future king needs to marry someone of status.”
“But I'm in love with Kris. He will rule the kingdom by my side when I am King. Nothing you say will change that.”
The Queen smiled and embraced her son. “If this is who you want, then you shall have him.”
“Thank you, mama,” Adam whispered before straightening up. Now to tell them the hardest thing.
Before he could, Neil burst into the room. “Is Kris having the baby?” he asked.
Adam chuckled. “Always late to the party, Neil.” He ushered him over to Kris before turning back to his parents. “The baby isn't only mine because I love her father. I'm her other father. She's really my daughter.”
“What? But you met him when he was already pregnant. How can she be yours?”
“We had met once before actually, though I hadn't know it.”
“And when was that?” the King asked sternly.
Adam braced himself and saw Daniel move to a protective position in front of Kris in case the King wasn't pleased with the news. “Well, Kris is K, the man who kidnapped me.”
“He's who?” the King roared. “The awful vermin that tried to take my son away from me and extort my money?”
“Yes father, and I forgive him. He was only trying to get the money to save his brother. You can not fault him for that.”
Father and son faced each other with stubbornness. Adam was not going to let his father hurt the man he loved. The King was not going to let some peasant take advantage of his son. Finally, the Queen stepped in. “Boys, calm down. Adam, introduce me to my granddaughter. Eber, you cool off outside until you can act civilized.
“Yes Leila,” Eber relented before storming out of the room. The Queen was definitely in charge of her boys.
Adam took his mother's hand and led her over to Kris. “Mom, I would like you to meet the love of my life, Kristopher Allen and our baby, Elizabeth Wilhelmina Allen-Lambert.”
Kris reached out his hand. “Nice to finally meet you, ma'am,” he said politely.
She disregarded his hand and drew him in for a hug, baby and all. “Call me mom from now on.”
“Okay, mom,” Kris beamed. “Would you like to hold her?”
“I think Adam should hold his baby before the rest of us,” Leila offered.
Adam reached over and took his daughter from Kris's arms. “Hello sweetheart,” he said while gently rocking her against his chest.
Kris looked up at his beloved holding their baby. The look of pure joy on Adam's face warmed Kris's heart. “Oh, Elizabeth,” he said softly. “You're gonna be so loved.”
And he was right. Everyone loved little Lizzy. Even Eber. After he had a chance to cool down, he realized his son was as stubborn as him and would never give up on someone he loved. He would just have to accept Kris into the family.
Kris's family rushed to the castle when they heard the news. The whole kingdom was abuzz about the pretty new princess that had been born, and people came from all around to see her.
Adam and Kris got married soon after Kris's stitches had healed and he could actually walk down the aisle. Kris's family was forever taken care of and were never peasants again.
Kris and Adam took over the rule of the kingdom when Adam's parents stepped down. They were ready to retire, so they decided to let their sons take over. Adam and Kris made fine Kings. They ruled the kingdom with pure compassion and taught their daughter to do the same someday.
When Lizzy took over for her parents, she was the first Queen to ever sit on the throne without a King. Her rule was just as compassionate as her father's.