The Two Sides Of Royalty

It is the year 1910, and Jane May has been arranged to be married to the Duke of Dorset on her 16th birthday. She understands that this experience will change her life forever, changing her status from a normal teenager in the 19th century to the Duchess of Dorset, but she wants the best of both worlds: to keep her 2 year relationship with her lover, Edward, but at the same time, to marry William. She has wanted royalty from a young age, but knows that by marrying the Duke, she will not be able to see Edward.
Unfortunately, she does not have the choice to decide the path of her life, and so life of a Duchess begins. She adores the privacy, William, and the expensive dresses she receives, but she also has to keep her secret: sneaking out to see Edward. As her life as the Duchess of Dorset goes on, she finds that William is not the perfect Duke, or the prince of her dreams. He has some dark secrets too...

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6. The Birth

I wake up in the middle of the night, not understanding why I did. I am now 9 full months pregnant, and it will not be long until the baby comes.  I scan the room as I sit up slowly, but see nothing but darkness surrounding me.

William is sound asleep next to me, looking so innocent and peaceful. 

Suddenly, I feel a sharp pain spiking through my body coming from deep down inside my stomach. After a few seconds, I feel another sharp pain coming from my back. I gasp and clutch my stomach as I feel warm liquid slowly oozing out of me and onto the silken bed sheets.

My water just broke. 

All of a sudden, I realise why I was woken up, and I freeze, panicking.  With one hand, I shake William's shoulder hard and frantically, whilst my other hand remains on my swollen belly. 

"William! William!" I hiss at him, trying to wake him up. He stirs slightly and his eyelids flutter quickly in daze and confusion.

"What is going on?" he mumbles, still half asleep.

"William! Wake up! The baby's coming!" I whisper hurriedly, the words tumbling out of my mouth, luckily in the right order. These words make him wide awake, and he jolts forward into a sitting position and looks at me in disbelief.

"Oh my, in the middle of the night?" he asks, but before I have a chance to reply, he has already shouted the names of the two maids, and the midwife.

"Margaret, Ursula, Beatrice! Hurry, the Duchess is in labour!" he yelled.

I gasp and wince as the pain spreads through my whole body as I clutch my stomach and concentrate on my breathing. 

William automatically fixes his attention completely onto me, and starts comforting me in every way possible. He rubs my back and my belly, and kisses me on the neck, trying to soothe the pain. The pain of the contraction soon ebbs away slowly, and my breathing calms. Just as another begins, the maids and midwife run in with towels and hot water and blankets. William holds my hand as the pain radiates through my body again, and I grip onto him as hard as I can.

"Soak the towels in hot water, lay a couple underneath her and a couple on her. Lets get this baby out." I hear the midwife, Beatrice shout instructions at my two maids, Margaret and Ursula, who are already circling around me and laying warm towels onto me.

"Sir, will you wait outside while we deliver the Duchess' baby?" John, our servant asks William who is staring at me, with a worried expression on his face. He no longer looks care-free or excited like he did just 2 months ago, now, he looks terrified, but nods meekly and turns and walks stiffly out of the door that John is holding open. John nods at the Beatrice once, and then walks out of the door, following William.

The last thing I remember before the screams and panic is peace and quiet of the maids rushing around covering me in many sheets and towels, and the midwife asking me to push, and then everything went out of control.

But success, minutes later, a small cry comes from the end of the bed - where Beatrice is- and I know that my baby has been born. 

"Your beautiful baby boy, Duchess." the midwife says as she hands over the bundle of blue blankets to me. The moment that I hear the word 'boy', I automatically feel relieved, sighing a sigh of pure joy, and smile. I have fulfilled my role. I have given William an heir. 

I receive the bundle of blankets with great precaution, and stare into the sparkling big round eyes of my beautiful chubby baby boy.  He gurgles and his small hand reaches out to me, and I reach my index finger out to stroke his cheeks. Instead, he grabs my finger and clasps it tight. I smile, and laugh, and tears well up in my eyes.

I hear William walk in and look up to see him walking towards me, his facial expression somewhat calmer.  He kneels down beside me and stares at our baby.

"He's...he's beautiful." he whispers an bends to kiss him on the cheek.

"I know. Here, hold him." I gently drop our baby into William's expecting arms, and he smiles as he holds him, and sways him gently.

"Do the Duke or Duchess have any names in mind for the baby boy?" Beatrice asks

I look at William, who looks at me, and suggests a name to me.

"How about Charles?" he asks me gently.

"That sounds perfect." I smile at him and turn towards Beatrice.

"It is decided. Charles." I say firmly to Beatrice, who nods in acknowledgment. 

 "Charles. Charles." I say to myself again twice, as if I was tasting the name, testing it out.

"It sounds perfect." I say again, looking William directly in the eyes, who now looks calm, enthusiastic and excited again. I bend down to kiss Charles, before meeting William's eyes again, and kissing him softly on the lips.

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