Your Highness, we need to talk. Can you call me? Savannah’s text concerned Eli. He wondered if she’d heard whisperings about his involvement in the murder plot and secret society her brother had mentioned. He needed to set her mind at ease.
Let me discreetly excuse myself from my audience with the king and I’ll call you when I’m back in my suite. Eli paused and backspaced to change that last phrase. … in our suite. Eli sent his text message and rose from his seat, not waiting for permission.
“Your Majesty, I have urgent business I must attend to.”
“What business, Your Highness?” Suspicion laced through King Sayid’s question. Eli had been the one to request and audience and leaving in the middle of meeting was insulting and disrespecting the king.
“Her Highness, the Princess Savannah would like a word with me.” Eli held up his cell phone.
“There is nothing more important than your wife,” the king said. “Go with haste, my son.”
Eli loved it when his great-grandfather called him his son. He bowed briefly to the king and quickly left his office, hiding a tiny smile until he was no longer within view.
He hurried to his suite, excited to talk to Savannah. They usually spoke each evening, talking late into the night, and sometimes falling asleep while still on the line. Eli would awaken in the morning with a dead battery.
Having had a one-week honeymoon was not enough. He wanted her in his arms every night. Falling asleep with the phone to his ear, listening to her breathe as she drifted into her dreams satisfied an emotional need for closeness. Physically, he was aching for his wife.
Five weeks apart was five weeks too long. He’d been thinking of flying over to Jerusalem for a long weekend, steal her away from her dorms, take her to a resort for a couple of days, and order room service.
When he was still a few doors down from his suite, he couldn’t wait any longer and tapped his screen to start a video chat with Savannah. What he saw broke his heart.
Tears streamed down Savannah’s cheeks and she was choking back sobs. “Eli? I’m so glad to see you.”
“Darling, what is the matter?”
“I can’t stop throwing up. This is horrible.”
“What did you eat? Do you need me to call for an ambulance?”
“I think I’m pregnant.”
“Pregnant?” Eli stopped short, aware that if anyone was in this hallway, or near the door to their room, he had just announced his wife’s condition to the entire palace. “We’re gonna have a baby? Are you sure?” He kept walking and reached into his pocket for his key when he arrived outside his suite.
“No, I’m not sure. I don’t have a test. I just woke up this morning sick and I’m lying here on the bathroom floor crying.”
“Where is your roommate?”
“In class, I think.”
“Can you ask her to buy a test on her way home?”
“Will you just bring me one when you come here?”
“How do you know I’m coming there?” Eli tried to hide a grin but failed.
“You’re packing as we’re talking. You’re in your closet right now.”
“Guilty. I’ll be there in a few hours. I’ll take you to the Villa and hold you in my arms for days until you feel better.”
“You’re going to hold me for nine months?”
“If my calculations are correct, we only have seven and a half months to go.”
“Ugh… not again.” Savannah tossed her phone aside and all Eli could hear was her retching into the toilet. He almost gagged from the sound. How was he going to handle holding her head sitting next to her? In sickness and in health as the old saying goes. She was bringing him an heir. How could he complain? Finally, she picked her phone back up. “You did this to me.”
“I’d apologize but you’d know I’d be disingenuous,” Eli said. “I am sorry you’re sick though. I’m going to get off the phone now so I can call for a helicopter to take me to the airport, and order the jet to get fueled, and make all the other arrangements. Try to get a little rest, okay?”
“Okay… I can’t wait to see you.”
“You too. I love you.”
“I’ll love you more when I’m holding your son in my arms and he’s no longer gagging me every ten minutes.”
“See you in a few hours.”
Eli disconnected the call and selected the second name on his contact list.
“Your Highness?” Kadin answered. “How can I be of service?”
“Call for a helicopter, order the private jet to be waiting on the tarmac, make arrangements for a few week’s stay at the Villa Ba’Moshava, and send someone to the market for a pregnancy test. Oh, and get packed. We’re going to visit your sister in Jerusalem.”
“Whoo hoo!” Kadin called out in excitement. “I’m gonna be an uncle!”
Eli had to pull the phone away from his ear.
“I’ll get right on that, Your Highness.” Kadin disconnected the call before Eli could even say goodbye.
Eli opened a search window and found a deli near Savannah’s college that offered delivery service. He tapped his screen to make the international call. “Greetings, do you have a vegetable soup you could deliver to my wife’s dorm room? Along with some saltine crackers and sparkling water?”
By the time Eli provided instructions for delivery and his credit card information, his suitcase was packed, and he was locking his suite. That night he would fall asleep without a phone to his ear.