This comes after Viewing The Moon Rises and is pretty much concurrent with The New Guy. It comes in at 416 words.
Rensa was staring grumpily at her breakfast tea. She had just about had enough of being pregnant. It was eight days past her due date and, although she’d had an afternoon of false contractions a few days earlier, the baby showed no signs that Rensa could discern of leaving its current lodgings. Her lower back ached, she couldn’t get comfortable in bed unless she lay on her side using multiple supporting pillows, and people were clucking over her.
Mirren, her assigned companion, cousin by marriage and now friend, had been pregnant right alongside her, although a few weeks in front, and her son had arrived neatly on time to the day, even deigning to emerge into the world during the timeslot that had been scheduled for his mother’s next check-up. He had wispy blond hair, looked like a chubby-cheeked version of his father, and was adorable.
Even if he was making his parents redefine sleeping through the night.
Naturally, Mirren didn’t want company all the time, even if sometimes she desperately needed it, and consequently part of Rensa’s problem was that she had nothing to occupy herself with. The palace had a domestic staff who took care of everything, Rensa wasn’t allowed near a working ledger no matter how interested she was in the new accounts system, and for the first time in her life she saw the need for a hobby. Just when she had zero oomph to learn something new and couldn’t get comfortable to learn anything anyway. This morning she couldn’t even get comfortable in her chair at the breakfast table.
Yannic looked up from the reader he’d been handed by one of his staff when he’d come in to breakfast from the gym, because apparently Emperors weren’t allowed to wait until after they ate to start their working day, and remarked, “You do realise that you’ve been fidgeting about once every three minutes, don’t you?”
Rensa looked at him. “I have? I just can’t get comfortable in my chair this morning….” She trailed off and felt ridiculous for not noticing the timing herself. “Perhaps I should go off to the hospital wing, in case.”
“I’ll come with you,” said Yannic, turning off the reader and putting it down.
“You’re working,” protested Rensa. “I can do this on my own.”
“I’m sure you can,” Yannic smiled at her, “but you shouldn’t have to, and I want to be there.” He smiled wryly, “I may not be any use, but I want to try.”