The pain was intense, I had never in my short life experience anything like it and I never wanted to again. I screamed with all my might as the pain overcame me, my mother and my sister both clung to my hands as I cried. My mother stroked my forehead with a cool cloth as my sister whispered encouragement to me and Aristocles paced outside the bedroom with Leonidas at his side, coming from nagging of my sister.
"I cannot...I cannot do this..." I shook my head looking to my sister and she smiled, merely smiled at me as she held fast to my hand.
"You must, your child depends on you most in this moment, Danae." She did not need speak more, my child had become my life in those months and I would die for it, this I was sure of.
The sun had begun to set as a second scream came into the room, Aristocles stopped his pacing and looked to the door, staring for moments. The scream came again and tears burst to his eyes, he smiled.
"I am a father!" Leonidas embraced him and the pair rejoiced. Within the room, I breathed deeply and looked to the midwife as she held my child, cleaning him of unneeded filth. She finished with the procedure, wrapping him in a blanket and brought the child to me, placing it in my arms.
"You have a son, my lady." She smiled at me, my mother and sister fawned over the new born. I could only cry as I looked into his now calm face, so content he seemed to merely be in my arms and I looked to my sister.
"Can you get Aristocles?" I smiled at her, she nodded immediatley and went out to the hall, ushering him in. He came to the bed slowly, his eyes upon myself and the swaddle of blankets. As he neared the bed, I pushed his son into his arms and smiled.
"He is yours completely, my lord." I looked to him and saw a tear finally fall as he looked into his son's face, he shook his head.
"There is no doubt in my heart any longer, he is mine and mine alone." There seemed to be a exchanged of looks around the room, none knew of my misdeed and we had no plans on informing them. Aristocles looked up to me and shook his head. "You have done well, my wife." He kissed my forehead and placed our son back into my arms, a smile still on his face.
"Come on Aristocles! I'll take you down for a drink!" Leonidas wrapped an arm around Aristocles shoulders and he went along jovially, I was content to be in my son's presence.
"He is a very beautiful child, Danae." My sister sat at my side, gazing into his face and I smiled up at her, beamed is more like it.
"He is, he is." I sighed, there had never been more love in my heart then in those moments and those long months of agnony, they were more then worth it.
Not long after we had the naming ceremony, Aristocles chose Antipater which meant "like the father" and seemed a statement to any who questioned his son's paternity.
Although it seemed nothing could damage our mood, nothing could interrupt these happy days, war came along and parted us. I stood on the doorstep once more, our son in my arms and Aristocles could only stare at us for a moment.
"My love, I do not want to leave you two now." He stroked his son's face and I smiled.
"You must, for your country." I reached out and cupped his cheek in my hand, Aristocles pushed his face against my palm.
"I will return to you." He kissed my palm and sighed, turning around. He departed down the street, shield and spear at his side, I watched him fearing I would never again see him.