“What?” His eyes flew open and his whole body tensed. “What did you say?”
“That I’m carrying your child again—at last.” Despite Guy’s unquestionable virility, Sibylla had not conceived until they had been married three years. She had then given birth to a daughter who had died before her second birthday.
“Are you sure?” Guy demanded, slipping out of Sibylla’s embrace to look down at her from a sitting position. His expression was not exactly overjoyed.
“Of course I’m sure,” Sibylla answered, annoyed by his lack of delight. She looked up at him with a frown hovering on her brow. Sibylla was big-breasted, round-bellied, and an eager and creative bedmate, but her face had never been her best feature, and it was turning round and flabby. “I had my last flux three weeks before I came to join you. I was worried that it would come right after we were reunited and you would be angry, but it never came. Now we’ve been together ten weeks and still it hasn’t come. There are other signs, too,” she added, thinking he might have noticed her swelling breasts on his own. “Aren’t you pleased?”
“Pleased? How can I be pleased?” Guy demanded, unable to fathom her stupidity. “What if you’re carrying a son at last?”
“But that’s what I want and pray for,” Sibylla told him blankly. “I thought you wanted a son, too.”
“Of course I want a son!” Guy retorted furiously, flinging back the covers and swinging his feet over the edge of the bed to stand up, his back to her.
“I don’t understand!” Sibylla wailed. “I’m with child and it may well be the son we’ve hoped and prayed for. Why are you angry with me?” She was near to tears.
“You stupid goose!” Guy snapped, reaching for his braies and stepping into them in obvious haste. As he drew the drawstring tight he reminded her, “Have you forgotten we’re prisoners? What do you think Salah ad-Din will do when he learns you are with child?”
Sibylla gazed up at Guy with an open mouth that expressed her utter lack of imagination. “But what should he do?”
“Seize the child, for a start, and then either kill him or—more probably—raise him with his own sons, make him a Muslim, and then send him back to us and say: ‘Behold your king!’ Jesus God, woman! It’s bad enough that you insisted on putting yourself in his hands, but now—” He threw up his own hands in helpless frustration and reached for his shirt.
Sibylla pointed out petulantly, “It takes two to make a child. If you didn’t want me to become pregnant here in Aleppo, then you shouldn’t have been trying so hard.”
“I didn’t think—never mind!” Guy pulled a shirt over his head and shouted in the direction of the door to the adjacent chamber, “Henri! Henri! Come help me dress!”
Sibylla rolled herself into the sheets to cover her nakedness and lay with her back to her husband, swallowing down tears of self-pity. She loved Guy more than anything in the world. All she wanted to do was please him. She’d abandoned Jerusalem to be with him in captivity, and what thanks did she get? Her subjects had hissed and jeered at her as she left Jerusalem, and her barons had received her here with stony hostility. Guy had been the only one to welcome her. That had been enough at the time, but now he was snarling, too. She just didn’t understand.
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