“Seo Jun, “ Min’s breath shuddered, her teeth chattering. “I… need to see… a doctor… I’m freezing…I’m worried … about… the baby, it’s … almost time.”
“Let’s try a fire.” I picked her up. I could feel her shivering. She leaned her head against my chest. I sat her down right next to the fireplace. I clicked some flint and steel. Sparks caught on to tinder as a fire roared up. I grabbed a blanket and laid it over her.
She still shivered violently. She grabbed my hand. “Please go, get one with magic.”
I kissed her briefly. “Alright.”
Outside it was lightly snowing and the stone streets had a thin layer of white over them. I ran to the door of the doctor. At least it’s winter…they might not notice her chills aren’t ordinary.
A week later…
It was almost time to open the cafe. I glanced over at my wife getting ready for the day. Maybe I still have a little longer… She made her tea, adding milk and extract to make it sweet. I sat at the table, reading a book from the cafe. I couldn’t take in what I was reading. I could feel my hands shaking. The book dropped from my fingers.
“I’m just worried about the child. If they’re born sick, if they’re born different. Will you still love the child?”
Min laughed, her back still turned as she finished her tea. “The child will still be human and if they’re autistic like you. I’ll love them too.”
“Yeah. Human…” I muttered I pulled out the eye color shifting potion out of my pocket from under the table.
A few minutes later I heard her soft footsteps and chair creaking as she sat down. Then the sound of the cup clinking and breaking on the floor. She gasped, then made a noise of pain.
“I’ll get you to the bed right away.” I supported her, making sure to guide her to the bed. She’s going to find out.
“The-baby…is- almost… here..” Min breathed heavily, pain and exhaustion clearly showing on her face.
After hours of labor, I delivered my child. The baby is a boy. I wrapped him a towel carefully. The blood covering him barely bothered me as I looked at his face. He cried and squirmed in my arms.
“It’s a boy. We’ll name him Jin, like we agreed.”
“Can I see him?”
“…” His eyes started fluttering before he opened them. Despite knowing better, I hoped they wouldn’t be blood red. I could feel my heart beating faster. “I’ll clean him up first for you.”
It felt like my head was in a daze. I carried him to the basin; a rag and soap ready. I wrapped a clean blanket around him when I was done. I couldn’t stall forever. Still, these moments are so peaceful it was almost like it never happened. Why couldn’t it stay like this forever? I walked back with Jin in my arms back to Min.
“Are you alright?” she asked.
“I- I’m- fine… just nervous about being a father, that’s all…”
“Can I see our son?”
I walked to her side slowly and my arms froze. I fought myself just to set Jin in her arms. He cooed. While I could feel my chest tightening harder, his eyes fluttered again. The color drained from her face.
“He’s- a- vampire-” her breath shook. Min looked to her nightstand where a book and letter opener she forgot to put away lay. She grabbed a letter opener from the bedside table and stabbed him in the chest. I yanked him out of her arms and the blade cut him up to just above the mouth. Blood spread from his long wound. Jin wailed in my arms.
“You were turned, weren't you! It’s the only way this could be my child!”
“Min, I love you, that hasn’t changed since it happened- and he’s just a baby, not a monster!”
I stared at her face in shock. This couldn’t be happening. My own wife tried to kill her newly born child. Her eyes became glassy and dull.
“My child isn’t human…” her voice a whisper, Min’s breath shook, one hand holding the bloodied blade so tight her knuckles were white. “…he should’ve been…I hate vampires…”
“Min, please, I didn’t want to be a vampire…but if I can remain a good person so can our child ” I took a step toward her. She threw the letter opener toward me, her exhaustion making it fall short, clattering to the ground.
“You're both monsters! Get away from me!”
I paused after one step looking at her. I couldn’t leave, not like this. I forced myself to move, my heart numbing. I held back tears as I ran. The streets were empty. I held Jin close to my chest. If anyone saw me run past the normal limit for humans and elves I don’t care. I made it to the town I get supplies for the cafe at, slowing down at the outskirts.
“It’s going to be okay, Jin, I promise.”
His blood bothered me, but I tried to push it out of my mind. I needed to stop the bleeding. I tore pieces of his blanket and wrapped it around his chest and neck. I took off my coat and covered him in it to avoid suspicion.
Where are we going to go now? I walked the streets with Jin in my arms. His cries never lessened, he must have been in pain. I wasn’t sure I could afford a healing potion with what I had on me, but the bleeding wasn’t stopping. The makeshift bandages were already soaked through.
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