The Cooper’s Son update, 17 Aug 2019

I am currently roughing in some expanded/new scenes to close some minor plot and story gaps in The Cooper’s Son.

Here’s the first draft of a fairly pivotal moment I just added this evening:



It was early April when Rebekka brought their son into the world, as the snows fought to keep the last few inches of ground they had conquered over the winter. Gweneviere had been by her side from the moment the labor pains began: over a day and a half, and all Blaen could do was wait, pacing endlessly, as Gareth watched him and laughed.

“Blaen, you’re wearing out the floor.”

He stopped pacing and looked at his oldest friend. He was so tired, so frightened: moreso than before any battle he had ever fought.

“Gareth,” he finally choked out, his throat raw, as he realized he had neither ate nor drank for some time, “what if—?”

“Blaen,” Gareth stood and took him by the shoulders, shaking him gently. “Everything will be fine. Rebekka is strong, and that old midwife has probably birthed half the knights running around Camelot right now. She could not be in better hands, my friend.”

It was at that moment Arthur entered the small sitting room outside Blaen and Rebekka’s bedchamber. Though he had stayed with Blaen as much as possible, he was still the High King, and had other duties to address.

“And you will make a wonderful father, Blaen,” Gareth finished, releasing him and turning to Arthur, bowing slightly.

“Your Majesty.”

Arthur appeared about to speak when the door to the bedchamber opened and the midwife emerged, wiping her hands on a rag.

“Well?” Blaen asked, forgetting for a moment the High King’s presence.

“It is a boy, Sir Blaen. You have a healthy son,” the midwife answered.

“A son,” he repeated in disbelief. “I have a son.” His hand reached out and found Gareth’s arm, gripping it tight. “Can I go in?”

“Of course, you can, Blaen,” came the queen’s voice from inside. “Come and meet your son.”

Blaen needed no further prompting, moving past the midwife and into the room. He vaguely realized the queen had stood up from sitting on the bed; his eyes were locked on Rebekka. He reached the bedside opposite the queen and sat down quickly beside his wife.

She smiled wide with joy, but the exhaustion of childbirth was clear on her face. Her eyes flicked down, and Blaen’s followed and he saw a small face peeking out from the bundle nestled in her arms. He let out a breath that was at once a sigh of relief and laugh of fear released.

He reached out with his hand and swept aside the thin tuft of red hair. So like Rebekka’s own… and his mother’s.

“He’s beautiful, Rebekka,” he whispered. No other word would suffice to describe the feeling in his chest at this moment. “You both are.”

A long moment passed which ended when the king coughed. Blaen dropped his head and smiled, eyes closed, but only for a moment before he kissed Rebekka gently on the lips and stood.

“Your Majesties, may I present my son.” He bowed slightly and swept his arm in the direction of the bed.

“We welcome your son and share in your joy, Sir Blaen,” Arthur said, as Gweneviere’s face was wet with tears, of joy and sadness.

“Will the child have a name, Blaen,” Gareth asked, already tired of the formalities, “or will we simply refer to the child as your son forever?”

A quick guffaw escaped Blaen’s lips. “I suppose the boy must have a name, my friend.” He turned back to Rebekka and asked softly, “What shall we call him?”

She looked from Blaen to the king and back again. “Benjamin, I think. After your father.” Blaen heart lept in his chest at the thought.

Benjamin…

“Benjamin Arthur,” she added, returning her eyes to the king. “If it pleases Your Majesty?”

Arthur found it was now his own face wet with tears, though his bearing never faltered.

“I can think of no greater honor I could ever receive. You cannot begin to know how much such a thing would mean to know that… my name will live on.”

He finally broke down and wiped the tears from his face.

Blaen turned again to his wife and newborn son, and he placed his hand gently atop her head into the beautiful tangle of red curls, before gently moving it down to cup her cheek as their son slept in her arms.

He knew there would never—could never—exist such a perfect moment again.

“Benjamin Arthur Cooper,” he said to his son. “Welcome to Camelot.”



Comments welcome.

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