They were in bed, her husband’s arms wrapped around her. She had been crying, she knew. Crying, and bleeding. Crying because of the bleeding, because of what it meant they had lost.
He had been assuring her that it was okay, so long as she was alive, that was all that mattered. They could try again once she was healthy enough. Once she was ready.
“I…I can’t. I can’t do this again. This was the third time, love. The third time in three years. I can’t give you an heir” She choked a bit as the words came out, as she finally gave voice to the silent fears.
She let herself mourn that fact, mourn the loss, mourn all the losses her body had failed to carry.
He tried to shush her, to console her, brushing through her hair. Repeating a mantra of “it’s okay,” to drown out her tears.
“It’s not okay. There needs to be an heir. Civil war erupts without one,” She insisted, finding some strength in service.
Finding the strength to do what needed to be done, in duty and responsibility to their people. “We must take another wife. A wife that can produce an heir."
He tried to protest, to proclaim his love and devotion to her, and her alone, but it was her turn to shush him now. “It is not a matter of love, my caliph. It is a matter of peace and stability. Our people depend on us, and we have a duty to them.”