Lord John Richard Roxton woke up in the middle of the night. At first he didn´t know where he was, but then his hand touched a soft skin. He opened his eyes and found his beloved laying next to him. He smiled. Now he knew. He was in the Treehouse, in their bedroom, in their bed. Everything was alright. Or wasn´t it? Why did he wake up? No answer came to his mind.

He looked again at Marguerite. She lay on her back, arms under her pillow, eyes shut. Her naked chest moved up and down. For a little while Roxton carefully listened to her breathing. Then he saw, that Marguerite´s long white night dress laid on the wooden floor. Without any loud sound he got up and picked up that piece of Marguerite´s garderobe, then placed it on a nighttable. He knew Marguerite maybe threw it on the floor half-asleep in the night, but she wouldn´t be happy, if she would see it there in the morning. She was very careful about her clothes.

Roxton recognized, what made Marguerite to sleep naked. It was very hot in the room. Roxton almost couldn´t breath. He made his way to the window but no breeze entered the bedroom. Roxton sighned deeply.

He turned and went to a little craddle in another corner of the room. His heart was touched and he felt overhelmed with love, like everytime, when his eyes lingered on that little baby, who now was sleeping in the crib. Their child. His blood and Marguerite´s of course.

With a little smile he remembered that morning, when Chalenger had said to him Marguerite is pregnant. Then he saw in his mind that day, when his Love gave a birth to this baby. Until the last minute he had thought, it would be „he" – William, after his poor brother. But it was „she". He had never seen such a tiny girl till that day.

What will be her name?" he heard myself again. And then Marguerite´s exhausted voice.

Anne Juliette. After my favorite dolls."

Anne Juliette Marguerite," he decided.

Now he watched his daughter. She looked so sweet. And also vulnerable.

„I´ll never let anyone to hurt you, Annie" Roxton whispered. „Nobody will lay his finger on you till me and mummy are here. I promise," he added then.

Marguerite sighned and tossed her head restlessly. With one last look to the baby´s face Roxton walked to the bed and bent over his wife, who murmured something in her sleep. With gentle fingers he removed a lock of hair, that had fallen to her face. Moonlight gave him the oportunity to watch that face, which haunted his dreams for so long. Sometimes he still couldn´t believe they were together, that she was his. And she truly was. He had whispered that to her, after they made love for the first time. He remembered how moved he was, when she then pressed herself to him, clung at him as for dear life, repeating „I am" all over again, crying and sobbing uncontrolably.

Tears were the part of their lovemaking. Everytime. In the moments of the greatest happiness, she always cried. It scared him for the first time. The thought of hurting her in any way was unbearable. But with the most wonderful smile she told him, those were the tears of joy and thanks.

„You are the one I should thank every minute of my life," he said silently to his sleeping wife. „For everything you gave me. Not least, for our child in the craddle." And with those words he lowered his head and kissed her porcelain skin in the place, where her heart was beating steadily.

Her eyelids shivered gently.

„John?" she sighned, not fully awaken. He placed another kiss to her eyes, closing them once again.

„Sleep, my love. Who knows what you´ll need your strengh for tommorow?"

„You hold me?" she asked, slipping fast into the realm of dreams.

Without another word, Roxton carefuly laid next to her and took her slender form into his arms, encircling her with security and love and they stayed like that till the morning.