As Elenie's pregnancy progressed, she and Ieaun spent a great deal of time reading about parenthood. Unfortunately, although there were a great number of books available very few of them seemed to agree on anything! Nonetheless, both of them wanted to be as prepared as they could, so they continued to read everything they could.
Putting the latest book down with a sigh, Elenie turned to her husband; "So, this book says that we need to let our babies cry, unless they're hungry or in need of changing, while the last said that we should get up and reassure them every time they cry... It's so confusing."
Ieaun laughed, "Well, if Mam's stories of when my brother and I were babies are anything to go by, we won't have much choice about whether to let them cry or not - she said she'd do almost anything to shut us up for the sake of her own sanity!"
Elenie sighed "Ah well, at least it should be soon now. You said you saw we'd have twin girls, did you see anything else about them?"
"Bits and pieces, they'll be as thick as thieves and drive us up the wall..." Leaning over he kissed her lightly "Don't fret cariad, all will be well."
Elenie went to pull a face at him, intending to object to his suggestion that she was worrying, when she felt a sudden spasm. Jumping to her feet she put her hands to her tummy and gasped "I think we'd better head to the hospital..."
Fortunately, the hospital was only just across the road from their home and they were there within minutes.
After a lengthy labour, Elenie eventually gave birth to the first of twins, a healthy baby girl with sparkling lights floating around her. Moments later, their second daughter simply phased out of the womb, a tiny golden spirit with darker sparkles who seemed just as healthy as her twin, despite her incorporeal state.
Taking their daughters home, Elenie and Ieaun settled them into the newly decorated nursery. They had discussed names while the healers were checking the two babies and on the short walk home, and after some thought, decided to name them them Bronwyn and Rhonwyn. Bronwyn was the elder of the two and Rhonwyn the younger.
Once the two babies were settled in their nursery, Elenie decided to have a quick nap. While she was doing that, Dory introduced herself to her granddaughters, cuddling the two of them in turn, she promised them quietly that she would be a better grandma than she had been a mother.
Later on, after Elenie had awoked refreshed from her nap, she joined her mother tending the plants in the greenhouse.
While they were doing that, Ieaun gave each of the babies a bath and settled them down to sleep, leaving a baby monitor in the room with them.
He regretted that slightly when they were both awoken early in the morning by their daughters' cries echoing through the monitor...
Stumbling downstairs, not even getting changed first, he and Elenie each picked up a daughter and began to cuddle and feed them.
Once the twins had been fed, changed and cuddled, Elenie and Ieaun placed them in a couple of baby swings and left them in the care of their grandmother.
Ieaun had to head off to work, while Elenie was keen to make at least some with her alchemy and science experiments.
When the twins began to fuss again, Dory carefully got them out of the swings, fed them and settled them down for a nap.
Meanwhile, Elenie had finished a batch of elixirs and rode over to the alchemy store to sell the spares off and pick up some more notes for her research.
After passing the elixirs over, she spotted Evie browsing the displays in the shop and headed over to talk to her, calling her name.
Evie turned to greet her "Elenie, I was hoping to see you, how are the babies?"
"They're doing well, although I'm a little concerned about Rhonwyn being a spirit, what will that mean for her?"
"To be honest with you, I don't know. It's a rare thing for anyone to be born a living spirit and I've never come across it before. However, I have some important news for you. I've received confirmation that Nicodur is dead, slain by his Queen for his failures. You don't want to know the details; I understand it was a particularly painful and gruesome death, even by Morgana's standards..."
"He's dead? Is it wrong that part of me feels cheated and the other part glad? I know I shouldn't rejoice in the death of another, but he's caused me so much pain that I rather wanted to kill him myself..."
"Oh, I don't blame you for that, but he was never the ultimate villain, just the henchman sent to do his queen's dirty work. Then again, he was only too happy to carry out her orders, or attempt to, and ultimately he chose to follow her knowing what she was like, what sort of thing she would order him to do, and what her penalties for failure were... I won't be mourning him either."
"So, if he was only the henchman and she's killed him for his failure to kill me, does that mean she's given up on her plans, or just on his ability to carry them out?"
"Likely the latter I'm afraid; Morgana is a queen of the fae, she won't give up on her aims although she may change her plans for how to achieve them. The real question is not whether she's given up, it is how long it will take her to make new plans to achieve her aims - it could be a year, it could be a century... I suspect though that her next set of plans will involve your children rather than you.
"I just wish I knew what changed to make her decide to kill you rather than try to corrupt you, I know she wants the power of the prophecy, but if we knew why she changed her tactics then we might be able to predict what sort of plans she will come up with next. I will keep alert for any information coming out of her realm. In the meantime, you get back to your babies and bring them over for a visit soon!"