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Riverina Romantics writing challenge:  http://riverinaromantics.blogspot.com/2012/05/music-for-muse-writing-challenge-1.html#comment-form

SONG:  Walk Me Down the Middle

“I waited for you for fifteen years.  So long I thought you didn’t exist.  Then when you did reappear, again you lied.  About so many things.  Why didn’t you tell me this baby is yours?”  Isabeau smiled down at the pink blanket in her arms.  A tiny fist appeared, grasping her thumb.

I loved that baby girl and her beautiful mother with all my vampire heart.  Emotion overcame me, and I peeled back the blanket.  Hair as blond and eyes as blue, my daughter cooed at me, and my heart broke for the lost months.

The woman I’d groomed to become my wife pinned me with her lovely amethyst gaze.  “Why did you let me believe vampires were sterile?”

I fled from the accusation in her eyes, paced to the mullioned windows.  It was May in Devonshire, and the formal gardens at my ancestral home—the home I’d hoped Isabeau would share with me—were in full, spectacular bloom.  A peacock strode across the manicured lawn.  The sun drew a thin line across the horizon.  Not the most opportune time for this conversation.

The silence lasted too long, and Isabeau prompted, “Morgan?”

“I was afraid you’d think my child was a monster and abort…”  I raked a hand through my hair and spun to face her.  The accusation this time was mine.  “You left me, Isabeau.  Robbed me of my daughter.  Royal Oak is her birthright.  She belongs here.”

Isabeau rotated her shoulders, rocking the child.  “How many women have you had in the interim?  No more lies.”

“I waited for you.”  I shrugged out of my blazer, tossed it on a Carolean chair and loosened the tie choking me.

Doubt shaded Isabeau’s voice.  “And the pretty blonde who opened the door?”

“Alethea?”  I arched a brow.  “She’s the chatelaine of Royal Oak.  Bloody hell, Isabeau, she’s my housekeeper.”

“Eroica,” she stroked our little girl’s cheek, “and I are here now, and if you want me to stay, I expect you to announce that you’re mine.  To the whole world.  Including your housekeeper.”

Annoyed that she didn’t trust me, I captured her gaze. “You named her for Beethoven’s Eroica?  I’m surprised…and pleased.”

Isabeau tried but could not break eye contact.  As if it were an accusation, she said, “Her father is a classical pianist.”

Holding her gaze, I strode across the room, my feet silently skimming the silk rug.  I halted in front of her and extended my arms.  “I want to hold my daughter.”

My heart stuttered when she laid the precious bundle in my arms.  “My Lady Eroica, I’m your father.”  I lifted my gaze to my beloved.  “Isabeau, I want to marry you.  I always have.”

She shook her head.  “You never asked me.”

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