Tere nodded and headed in to change. She dropped the curtain. Sev followed her. ST, Ashan and Oln went to join their wives for a nap. Tere took one of the dresses that Meid gave her into the bathroom and changed into it. When she walked out of the bathroom, Sev was listening quietly to Alaric’s conversation with Rhina. Rhina laughed when Alaric told her about getting wet when Tere splashed him with the land jet.
“Sam told me that Tere’s nanos should keep me alive long enough for the baby to be born at full term. I don’t want you to come back, dearest. I’m fine and I’m happy that you’re enjoying your trip. Ian and Tani are taking good care of me, as if I was their daughter,” Rhina said. “Alaric, I asked Cal about doing a swearing off. He told me that none of you would want that and that Tere would not be happy. I’m so sorry that I’m leaving you and the baby but I know that Tere and Sev will take good care of both of you.” Tere and Sev heard Rhina sniffle. “Sam will tell you if you need to come back. Please, enjoy your trip. I will always love you, Alaric. I’m so happy to have you in my life. Tere was right. You are very special.”
Tere sat on Sev’s lap, put her head on his shoulder and listened quietly.
“I love you, Rhina,” Alaric said.
“I know, Alaric,” Rhina replied. “Tere and Sev will make a good family for you and baby Theo. I know that Tere loves you deeply. She always has and Sev loves you closer than a brother. Never forget how deeply I care about you and I’ll always watch over you. Dearest, you know that death is a new beginning, not an end. I’m anxious to see my parents again and to meet Theodopholis. I dreamed about the ancient warrior princess. She came to me and told me that my journey would be an easy one and that there will be no pain. She told me that when the warrior princesses choose to leave this world, they have no pain and has blessed me with that.” Rhina cried. Tears fell down Tere’s cheeks. She didn’t bother to wipe them. She closed her eyes and listened. “I told Sam that she needs to keep me on life support until the baby can be born.”
Alaric spoke gently to his wife. “I don’t want a swearing off,” he said.
“I know that you're in love with Tere but I’m thankful to have you in my life. You’ve made these last few months full of love and happiness,” Rhina said. “I’m happy that I’m joining Arisable and the ancient warrior princesses, but I’m sad that I have to leave you and my son. I’m happy that Arisable accepted you because you need a wife and Tere is the only woman that I want you with even if you have to share with Sev,” she said. She laughed. Tere and Sev couldn’t hear what Alaric said. Tere kissed Sev and put her arm around his neck. “Don’t worry about me, dearest. I’m at peace. Ian and Tani are treating me with love and kindness as are Sien and Cal. Sien is spending most of her time here and Cal is over often.” She laughed again. “I think that Cal spends most of his time here because Ian’s here but they have all been very good to me. Continue with the negotiations. It’s important for the Terran people and for the good of everyone in the system. Don’t cry for me, dearest,” Rhina said. “I wasn’t meant to live a mortal life forever but it was always meant for you. You were always meant to be married to Tere even if she was stubborn. I had a dream right after I got pregnant. I didn’t tell you about it because I didn’t want you to worry. I know you and Tere well. Please don’t be sad for me and take care of Tere. She is going to need you. I’ll talk to you soon, my love.” Sev wiped the tears from Tere’s eyes.
Alaric turned off the viewer and walked into Tere and Sev’s room. “Damn,” he said, “she wouldn’t abort the baby. I knew that she was sick when I met her. She told me that she knew that I was in love with you, Tere, but that she wanted whatever time she had left to be filled with as much happiness as you have with Sev. When she told me that she loved me, she said she didn’t mind that I didn’t love her. I told her that I did love her. She smiled happily and hugged me tightly. Nothing was hidden. We were prepared for this from the day I met her but I didn’t know it would be this hard. Ian told me that Sam doesn’t think she’ll make it until we get back. She’s getting weaker every day but Sam says that they can keep her on life support in the medical bay until the baby can be born safely.”
“Alaric,” Sev asked, “Do you want to go back. Everyone would understand.”
Alaric smiled at them. “Rhina wouldn’t understand. She says that I’m supposed to use this time to become the true prince. I don’t think she wants any of us there when it happens. She told me that I’m not to go into the medical bay if she goes on life support and that Sam will bring the baby to us,” he said quietly.