16: Under the Valley, Over The Willow Trees

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Not knowing where Sophie was, Biana dressed in her nightgown alone, but she didn't mind. Aside from getting help from a maid with the buttons, Biana got to spend the time completely alone with her unborn baby. For a time, she sat at her vanity, brushing her hair and staring into the mirror, fantasizing what it would be like when her son was born. She imagined rocking him in the rocking chair she used to play in when she was little, softly singing lullabies. She imagined dressing up in cute little outfits and making him giggle sweetly as babies do as she made funny faces so he'd sit still. She imagined him taking his first steps and saying "Mama" for the first time. She imagined looking into his face and seeing Tam, knowing that he was still with them. Sure, she was swollen and uncomfortable now, but soon, she'd have the last living piece of her late husband who she'd get to see grow up to be a better person than his parents. Who could ask for anything more?

She was so lost in thought that she hardly noticed Dex knocking on the door, "Princess? Are you ready?"

"Yes, come in," she called, setting down the hairbrush, smiling as her bodyguard walked in. Seeing him only in a tunic and slacks at the end of the day was always a comforting sight for Biana, as it meant the day was over and everyone was safe because if even Dex was letting his guard down, the Neverseen were at bay.

"Where is Sophie? No one has seen her?" he frowned.

"No, but she and Fitz have been working all day, they needed rest anyways. Besides, I got time alone with Phillip."

Dex closed the door behind him as his exhale stuttered with a gentle laugh, "And how is the little bugger?"

"Squirmy," she sighed. "I don't think I'll get much sleep tonight."

"Have you ever tried singing to him? That's what my mother used to do to try and keep the triplets from wiggling around so much," he suggested.

"I'm not sure if I know any," Biana admitted, feeling a little worried. "Why don't I know any?"

"You've had a lot on your mind, Princess," he reminded her softly. "You can learn some tomorrow, but for now, if you would like, I could sing one? I used to sing to the triplets when they were small."

Her mood switched instantly. "You can sing?!" she asked eagerly with bright eyes.

Shyly, Dex blushed, "I... um... I mean, I'm not the best, but, uh, if it would help-"

"Yes!" she cut him off, tugging him by his hand over to her bed. "Sing to us, please?"

"Okay, okay," he laughed. "I didn't know you'd be so excited." He helped her slide onto the mattress before kneeling next to her so he was looking at her large, rounded stomach, looking up at her with a smile.

"I never took you for a singer, so of course this is exciting. Now go, go, go!" she playfully shoved his shoulder, and when he regained his composure from laughing, he slowly began to sing to Phillip.

"Under the valleys and over the willow trees

My love for you as strong as love can be

Hmm hmmm hmm hmmm hmm hmmm hm hmmm mmmmm

Through the mountains, far out to the sea

I never knew you could feel the same for me

Take my hand, we'll run with birds' melodies

Hmm hmmm hmm hmmm hmm hmmm hm hmmm mmmmm."

As Dex sang such a smooth, warm voice that made even Biana want to close her eyes, he lost somewhere in the words as if he were singing them to his siblings, making Biana feel completely and totally special. She'd seen him when he was vulnerable before, but only when he was breaking down. Here, his heart was on his sleeve and his love leaked into his voice, something that made the moment feel very intimate and homely.

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