Maria whined softly as she was once again woken by Analiese's sharp cries of discomfort and her eyes gently fluttered open as she lay in Georg's arms, her attention being drawn towards the small cot in the corner of their bedroom as the screams came louder. She was about to gently unwrap Georg's arm from around her waist when she felt a slow kiss being pressed to the back of her head, turning slowly onto her back to look up at him as he stroked her hair slowly with his fingertips. 'You stay here and get some sleep, my darling. I'll take care of her; if you keep doing all the night shifts then you're going to make yourself ill from the lack of sleep,' She nodded slowly as she gave him a smile of gratitude, and he dipped his head to kiss the softness of his wife's lips before she turned back over and sighed as she nuzzled into her pillow. He then gently rubbed her shoulder before slipping out of bed and making his way over to the cot that his daughter lay in. 'Oh ho ho, my princess,' He chuckled softly as Analiese's cheeks were red from her cries and tears were streaming slowly down her cheeks. He leaned in and slowly cradled her in his arms as her tiny chest rose and fell sharply with each gasp, and he stroked her soft blonde hair slowly until she finally began to quieten against his chest. After a few moments she placed her hand upon his shirt and looked up at him with deep blue eyes, making him fall even more in love with the eighth miracle that he'd been blessed enough to create. He slowly turned back around to face his beautiful wife, who was, unsurprisingly, watching him with slight concern in her eyes from where she lay with the oil lamp flickering next to her. 'Maria,' His tone was loving as he slowly made his way over to her, and sat down on the bed next to her whilst cradling their whimpering little girl. 'She's absolutely fine my lovely, all she needs is a bottle and then she'll nod off again, alright?' Maria nodded slowly as she propped herself up on one arm and stroked her index finger along Analiese's cheek which made her coo softly.
'My baby girl,' She sighed with a smile when she removed her hand and kept her loving gaze fixed on the baby that was the spitting image of her. 'Do you think she knows how much love she's brought with her since she joined our lives three months ago?' She looked up at Georg as she lay back down once more, feeling him take her hand and brush his thumb slowly over the back of it.
'Probably not, darling,' He chuckled softly as he smiled lovingly down at her and his eyes were gentle and warm, his fingers slowly lacing with hers as her hand lay by her head. 'Now, I'm going to take this little one down to the kitchens and warm her up some milk, and them I'm going to take her into my study and feed her for you. I'll stay with her in there until she nods back off, considering it's the warmest room in the house, and then I'll bring her back up here and come back to bed myself. I expect you to be long asleep by the time I return, young lady. Do you understand me?' She giggled softly with a nod as he began to slowly caress her cheek. 'Come here and kiss me before I go down,' She sat up and placed a hand gently on the side of his neck before kissing him slowly a few times, her tongue brushing against his as he ran his hand slowly up and down her back. 'Alright, lay down now and I'll see you in the morning, sweetheart. I love you,' She settled back down against the pillow and pulled the covers closer as she wore a soft smile.
'I love you too,' She whispered softly before letting her eyes fall closed when she felt him stand up from the bed.
'Come on then, my little one,' Georg whispered gently to their daughter as he crossed the bedroom towards the door, his little finger now caught in Analiese's grasp as she inspected it curiously, her eyes occasionally flicking up to his and making him fall all the more in love with her. Since she was born Georg had felt an immediate change within himself, feeling more protective and loving over his daughters than he had been before. The older ones were a little less grateful for the over-protectiveness, but Gretl and Marta were all for it. As he continued to slowly walk down the long hallway towards the stairs, Gretl met with him and she wore a sheepish smile as he looked down at her with a raised eyebrow and a smirk. 'Now, what are you doing up, Gretl?' She clasped her hands in front of herself and giggled softly as she looked up at him, her hair over her shoulders.
'I need a drink of water, father,' She admitted softly as a beautiful smile lit up her small features, her eyes sparkling in the moonlight shining in through the window. 'Please may I have one?'
'I'm headed downstairs myself, so I don't see why you can't join me for a few moments,' He admitted before allowing Gretl to tiptoe down the stairs in front of him, Analiese cooing softly in his arms as she nuzzled herself into his silk pyjama shirt. One of the things that Georg found most endearing about his new addition was that she was the spitting image of his beautiful wife, and she reminded him more of her every day. She had gained the soft, blonde hair that Maria had, she had gained the beautiful blue eyes that he couldn't help but melt into, and she had also been blessed with the same rosebud lips. Analiese was also a very affectionate baby, and several times he had found his two girls together in the small rocking chair in the study, Maria sleeping softly with Analiese safely upon her chest. That had led to Georg having to carry both of them up the stairs in turn, but he wouldn't change either of them for the world. When he reached the kitchen with Analiese and Gretl, he filled a small glass with water and told Gretl to head back up to bed considering she had a day of schoolwork ahead of her. She'd bid him goodnight and slowly kissed his and Analiese's cheek when he had gotten down to her level, before taking her water back to bed. 'It's just you and I now, my little love,' He smiled down at his precious little girl who was now yawning softly in his arms, and chuckled softly as he nuzzled his nose against her tiny forehead.
When they were both sat in his rocking chair later that evening, Georg rocking slowly back and forth as Analiese sucked gently on her bottle, he began to think of everything that he'd been blessed with over the last three years of his life. Three years ago a beautiful, yet nervous young woman had entered his home, had her head bitten off multiple times, and yet fallen in love with him and agreed to become his wife. That was one of the best days of his entire life and he knew that the children had been overwhelmed with the fact that Maria would remain with them, the majority of them crying for days with excitement over the wedding that had been quickly approaching. Then, just a few weeks after they had gotten back from their honeymoon, Maria had announced to them all at dinner that she was pregnant. That had resulted in a silence falling over the table as he and the children had looked at her with wide eyes and smiles on their faces, Georg dropping his spoon in the process and causing his soup to splash onto his shirt. Maria had been a hell of a large blessing to them all since she had arrived, and Georg knew that if she hadn't had accepted the mission of becoming a governess to seven very lonely and confused children, then he and his children would have no contact at all by this point. Either that or they would have had the Baroness as a mother, someone who would have treated them with a hand of iron, instead of a hand of love and kindness that Maria used. It wasn't long until Analiese turned over in his arms and gripped his shirt in her tiny hand, her head nuzzling into his chest as she sighed softly and closed her eyes as her belly was full. He set the empty bottle down on the table next to him and continued to rock slowly in the chair, an idea slowly coming into his mind. He cleared his throat softly and patted her lower back gently before smiling with pride at the little angel in his arms. 'Edelweiss, Edelweiss, every morning you greet me. Small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to meet me,' By the end of the first verse Analiese was sleeping soundly in his embrace and he shushed her softly as he began to carry her slowly back up to his bedroom. He slipped into the room slowly as he quietly opened and closed the door, a soft sigh of relief leaving him when all Maria did was turn over with a soft murmur. She had been throwing up from the lack of sleep recently, and he hated seeing her ill, so he had been offering to care for Analiese in the night. He lay his little girl down gently in her cot and drew his knuckles slowly down the side of her face before kissing her tiny temple, smiling in satisfaction when he pulled away and pulled the small blanket over her tiny body. He then made his way slowly over to the bed and turned out the oil lamp next to his wife, leaning down and kissing her cheek lingeringly as he caressed her slim waist slowly. Once he was sure that she was still asleep, he made his way around to his own side of the bed and got beneath the covers, Maria moving slowly closer to him before she lay her head down on his chest and gripped his shirt. She then slowly tangled her leg with his before sighing in contentment and kissing his cheek sleepily as she stirred.
'Goodnight Georg,' She whispered softly into the darkness. 'And thank you, my darling,'
He kissed the top of her head slowly and put his arm around her waist, his hand upon her hip as he slowly began to fall asleep next to her. 'Goodnight my love,' He hummed into her hair as she had once again drifted off. 'And you're so welcome,'
A/N: Please Review! x