isn’t she lovely?
“She’s beautiful,” he informed them as if it were a fact rather than opinion – which it was, in his mind.
He was a grandfather.
At just over fifty, Perseus Swayfield had expected that this day would come sooner or later. All his children were already grown up, with the youngest being married, but still nothing could have prepared him for this moment.
He stood very still, the young girl wrapped carefully in a yellow blanket in his arms. She was sleeping presently, her chest rising and falling evenly as her peaceful face conveyed that she had not a care in the world.
That wouldn’t always be the case. Even at merely a few days old, Eliza Charlotte Swayfield had quite a large destiny. She had her name to live up to, with all of their family’s past actions, as well as a future ahead of her that would be filled with equal parts joy and sorrow. It was a burden that Percy had always wished he could carry for his children (and now, his grandchildren), but he had learned to let them live their own lives. Nothing was truly as bittersweet as knowing that these innocent children had been thrust out into the world without their armor, but as long as Perseus Swayfield was alive, he’d teach them how to build it up themselves.
It was then his wife appeared, her slim frame leaning against him as she stood on her toes to peek over the tall man’s shoulder. “Who does she look like?” The blonde witch murmured.
Percy’s ice-blue eyes flicked to her briefly, taking in her light hair which was now graying with age (as his own dark hair was now), her warm brown eyes, and her lithe frame. “Not like either of us,” he laughed quietly, but it was enough to wake the sleeping child in his arms.
For one terrifyingly dazzling moment, she stared up at her grandfather placidly as he stared back. Her eyes, while they weren’t the icy blue that had been characteristics of the Swayfields for generations, were blue nonetheless, but a different sort of blue, familiar in a way that he wasn’t able to pinpoint until his wife whispered it in his ear.
“She looks like Bellona.”
“That she does,” Percy agreed, still staring down at the child and waiting for her to scream or cry. She didn’t and instead blinked, continuing to stare her grandfather down. For a few moments, they remained like that, perfectly still, until the child turned her gaze to her grandmother standing just beside the tall man.
Percy felt his throat constrict slightly, the way it had a tendency to do so before he began to cry. He was suddenly hit with a wave of memory; of holding his own children when they were young.
Eliza wasn’t quite one of his own children in any manner entirely. She stared unblinkingly like Violet had; she was just as quick of a sleeper as Tristan was; she had wispy blonde hair that recalled Jason’s hair to Percy’s mind. But she was different. Eliza wasn’t Percy’s child, no, but she was his grandchild, a title that was just as equally deserving. For every bit that she was like Jason, she was like Bellona as well, and in that fact itself he could see a whole new blossoming of hope.
Carefully keeping her head supported, he reached one of his hands out toward her, extending a finger. She grasped it without looking, tiny fingers curling around her grandfather’s index finger and tightening subconsciously.
“You take her,” Percy told his wife suddenly, his voice low and gravelly.
Sienna, standing across from him, glanced up at him in alarm, but noticing that his blue eyes were getting misty, she nodded in understanding and gently enveloped her arms around her goddaughter and took her. Eliza blinked now, glancing back at her grandfather as if inquiring why he’d let go of her, and Percy turned abruptly and stepped toward his son and daughter-in-law.
“She’s beautiful,” he informed them as if it were a fact rather than opinion – which it was, in his mind, “Just like her mother. And she’s strong like her father. You two should be very proud right now.”
The dark-haired man glanced back once more at the child in his wife’s arms, suddenly remembering the feeling of holding his own baby girl in his arms. His throat constricted more, and he hurriedly glanced back up at Jason and Bellona.
“Excuse me,” he murmured, stepping away from them and exiting the house, shutting the Swayfield Villa’s doors behind him before he breathed in the starlight and thought about how lucky he truly was.