New Kingdom: European Court Ch. 04byMicKay©
Just as Edward walked in, his mate entered the library from the hall entry doors.
"Hey guys, what's up?" she asked looking at the two men and the bundles in their arms. "Edward, do you need someone to hold?"
As she walked to her mate she stopped when she saw Joshua cuddled in his father's arms.
"Hey Josh," she said looking at the scratches on his face. "Did you get in a fight at school today young man?"
"Nothing," she laughed. "It's a human thing. Seriously though, whose ass did you whoop?"
"You should have seen him, Iona," Edward answered while pulling her to him. "The kid fought four rogues as they were jumping at Emma. He's some fighter."
Seeing his son smile at the compliment, Gabriel said, "Your mother is back. Do us all a favor and don't let her find you on my lap."
"Because I look like a baby?" Joshua asked standing on his feet.
"No, because I look like a scared, old woman," he father answered.
As Joshua ran to the door, he met his mother and watched as her face changed from a smile to a look of horror.
"Baby," Gabriel said rushing to his mate's side, "it's not as bad as it looks. Our little man was some hero today. He saved Emma life."
Hearing Gabe's voice in her head, she smiled and said, "Well, good. That's really good, Joshua."
"I think your sister is upstairs," Gabriel said. "Go on up and see how badly they have you dressed for the next two weeks."
As Joshua left the room, his mother walked out through the balcony doors. Gabriel stood at the doorway thrilled to hear the sound of her voice in his head. Apparently, seeing her child injured had knocked down the wall she had built around her mind. Seeing her shoulders shudder, he walked to her and pulled her back close to his body. She quickly turned in his arms and clutched his shirt sobbing against his chest.
"Oh god, Gabe," she said through her tears. "I can't do this. I can't watch the children be hurt. What are we doing here? Why can't we just go back to the cabin and hide?" After a few moments of crying, she said, "I'm so sorry."
"For what baby?"
"That I can't be strong for you. I want so much to be strong so you don't have to worry about me, but I can't."
"Is this why you've shut me out?"
"When I was human, I felt so protected, maybe I was just blind, but I was afraid of nothing. Now, when I should be strong, when I should be the strongest woman that ever lived because I have your blood, I'm scared of everything. I can't be the woman that I should be for you," she confessed.
Cupping her face in his strong hand, he pulled her head close against his chest while he rested his cheek against her hair.
"The only person I need you to be is the woman whom I've always loved," he declared. "And, I want that woman to live with me forever."
As Emma became more aware of her surroundings, she soon realized that she was resting against very warm, masculine flesh. Glancing up, she found Antony's golden flecked eyes staring back at her.
"So this is Emma," a woman's voice said. "Welcome to the party!"
Looking up, Emma saw another beautiful brunette smiling at her. She returned the smile but made no attempt to move out of Antony's hold.
"You must be Iona," she said with a horse voice. Looking over her shoulder she acknowledged the man with the gorgeous deep blue eyes, "and he must be Edward."
"Well you apparently didn't suffer brain damage," Iona said. "You should be good to fight another day."
"Just not today, ok?" Emma whispered and turned her face back to Antony's chest.
"Is everybody alright?"
"Yes," Antony answered.
"Does his mother hate me?"
"Knowing my sister," Iona interrupted, "she's ready to take on whatever master is leading this little rebellion. She's got this really weird thing when it comes to those kids. She used to dish it out on me and Tony when she was our legal caretaker. Thank God those days are over."
"I think she purchased some clothes for you," Antony said quietly. "Would you like to go upstairs, have a hot bath and get dressed?"
"Yes. Please," she answered. "Thank you, Antony."
When Antony stood, Emma made no attempt to get out of his arms. Instead, she snuggled closer to him and allowed him to climb the steps and carry her to his private suite in less time than she could have ever accomplished. When he sat her on her feet, she looked around and found that he had brought her back to his bedroom.
The sight of various bags, boxes and garment bags made her speechless.
"Apparently," Antony said from behind her, "my sister- in- law found some things she thought appropriate."
Succumbing to her inner child, Emma gave him a beautiful smile and jumped onto the bed squealing in delight as a kid would on Christmas morning.
"I know this is such a waste and I can never pay her back but I've always wanted to just ....,"
"There's no payback," he interrupted. "I bought them. I asked her to not tell you because I didn't think you would accept them but I'm glad it makes you happy."
As she opened the bags, she found shirts, skirts, pants, panties, bras and nightgowns. All of which she would never have been able to afford and none of which she would have ever been as courageous as to buy for herself. With a blush she smiled at Antony and was relieved to see him return her grin. She continued to open the boxes finding a variety of shoes, more than she had ever owned in her life. When she reached for the garment bags, she unzipped them and discovered several cocktail and formal dresses. Everything was so beautiful. She felt like a princess.
Grabbing one of the gowns with a matching robe, she moved to climb off the bed with the intention of taking a shower. Moving her foot under the mountain of clothes, she discovered a plastic bag that she had missed. Picking it up, she pulled the plastic away and gasped at the sight of the item in her hand.
Seeing the emotions cross Emma's face, Antony sat on the bed and touched her arm.
"What is it?"
"A Barbie," she said with tears in her eyes. "The kid bought me a real Barbie."