With child

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Within the next few weeks, I felt slight changes. My sense of smell suddenly grew strongly unable to tolerate a strong whiff of food or anything for that matter. Especially in the morning, overwhelming nausea in the morning was the worst kind possible. I thought I was simply getting sick and all this shall pass, but auntie Ling, the main housekeeper had something else in mind.

She's so certain about her hunch that she'd been adamant about me seeing a doctor immediately. She must let Hooney know as soon as possible, dispatching an urgent telegram to his main manor.

I told her repeatedly that I'm fine and there's no reason to get Hooney involved in all of this. However, my morning sickness did not get better and my daily routine of hurling my guts out didn't ease. It worsened as the days progressed.

"You're with child, Hui." She moaned tenderly as she rubbed my back one morning, soothing me.

I wiped my mouth with the sleeve of my dress, my face sticky from my saliva. I had not been able to keep anything down in my stomach much less eat. I was losing weight. My appetite is down, and far too sensitive to any kind of smell that everything made me sick.

I stared at her in confusion. At twenty, I'm well ripe for having a child, most women my age have numerous children by this age, but this is my first time getting pregnant and I have not a clue what to do or expect. I heaved a breath. "What am I supposed to do?"

She smiled and cupped her hand on my sticky cheek. Her touch is motherly even though she's only a little over a decade older than me. "Don't worry about anything, we already sent the telegram to Lord Hooney. He should be sending a doctor to check up on you. You know a baby would be a nice addition to the manor. It'll definitely lively up this place." She looked towards the manor, it's an elegant building, well built, though weathered down and not as well kept as Hooney's manor where he resides and carries out his official business.

My eyes closed, and my hand found my soft belly, caressing it, aware of the life growing inside me. It made me wonder whether Hooney would leave me here without going back on his words. It's been almost a year since my move. He had not mentioned anything and I had not pressed him on anything, afraid upon starting an argument. But I can't help feeling this notion of being neglected.

Within the next couple of days, I expected a doctor to come. I was surprised when Hooney came back along with Li He with him - just the two of them.

He had a look on his face that was hard for me to decipher. His solid face showed no emotion, much like when I first met him after he purchased me from Li He's wife. He looked exhausted and so does Li He. Typically, Hooney brimmed with so much energy that I don't know what to do with him. How to get him to calm down, wear out his energy. However, this time, as he guided his mare nearer, I sensed a different type of aura.

He seemed dejected and I don't know how to greet him - afraid of what he'll say or do. My chest collapsed, and my knees wanted to cave in. I felt sick to my stomach and this is not from my usual morning sickness.

"Hooney." I murmured as I force upon issuing a step forward greeting him, my glance glided over to Li He who gave me the same pathetic look.

"What?" I mouthed soundlessly.

Li He slipped his hand on a small bag by his side, and pulled at the tiny baby outfit, grinning at me. The pressure in my chest eased, and I smiled at him. Li He made me feel better, at least I knew my brother is excited to be an uncle.

My eyes glided over to Hooney, searching for that approval that's going to release me from this cage of anxiety.

Hooney dismounted, and walked over, eating the distance away from both of us. He pulled me into a hug and the sudden whiff of his scent made me gagged. His smell was the strongest, making me instantly dizzy. My eyes rolled on the back of my head while he howled in laughter.

"That's how you know it's mine!" He cracked, and pulled me back to him, rubbing his cheeks on mine, his chest on mine, like a dog marking his scent on his claim. My stomach churned, my palm cupped his face, pushing him, his scent away from me.

"You stink! You jerk!" I grunted and twisted around, catching myself spitting my guts out where we stood. Hooney held me, wearing his usual grin, gathering my hair away from my face carefully.

"How long has she been like this?" He inquired auntie Ling who came out of the house greeting Hooney behind me.

"A few weeks, master Hooney." She responded.

Hooney gave it a thought. Perhaps calculating the weeks since his visit. "About eight weeks pregnant, then?"

Aunt Ling nodded. "Just about." She looked at me and cringed as I kept hurling my guts out even though there's nothing else left in my stomach. I was doing it so bad that I could only imagine how toned my abs are getting.

"We should get her inside, so she can get cleaned up." Auntie Ling suggested.

"Oh, don't worry about her." Said Hooney flippantly. "I'll lick her clean myself in a minute." Then roared in another riotous laughter.

In agony, as I may be, I was glad he's more than happy and energetic right now, aside from my initial assumption of him. Hooney was happy and he didn't mind this child I'm carrying.

Li He stepped forward. "She needs her rest, she's with child, stop annoying her!"

Hooney turned his back on Li He, hiding me from my brother's view as well. "Who's annoying who?"

Li He loosened an extended sigh. "I could use some rest as well, it's been a very long horseback ride. My back is killing me."

"You're getting old, Li He." Murmured Hooney. "Your back is giving up on you, no wonder you couldn't get your wife pregnant."

Li He scowled, offended. He sneered, "what's that got to do with anything!?"

"All that sitting around is making your seeds weak, brother." He grinned. "You gotta ram into her like...."

"Okay, stop!" Li He interrupted urgently. "I really don't want to talk to you about my sex life and I most definitely don't want to hear how you RAMMED it in my sister!"

Like a bull with a grudge, Li He sauntered over inside the house with heavy footing, wanting nothing more than to get away from his Lord.

Hooney chuckled as he watched Li He disappeared out of sight. He turned his attention back to me. I had since recovered from my sudden dizziness, despite still overwhelmed by his scent. "A bath together?"

"Yes." I smiled while he swept me up in his arms and carried me back inside.

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