Ali and Vanel are pretty much an established thing by now. Everyone knows they’re in love, and love, sweet love, is what makes the world go round – or so the writers of romances would have us believe. So maybe it shouldn’t be so much of a surprise…

But Ali? Of all people, Ali expecting a child?

How could you? I explode when she tells me. How could you be so careless? Even you Whites know what causes babies – at least I hope so.

I wasn’t careless.

Perfect composure again. I wish I could do that.

You don’t mean your protection failed, do you?

She shakes her head. I shake mine too – in wonder.

You mean you planned it this way. You really did want a baby. Correct me if I’m wrong, Ali, but interrupting your studies or meditation or whatever it is you do for a few years of changing diapers and soothing temper tantrums strikes me as incredibly illogical. And I’m not even a White.

That’s probably why, she says coolly.

C’mon, Ali. Just tell me why.

She shrugs. 

Vanel always wanted children. He’s not young, Kitiana. This is his last chance to be a father. Any later, and he may not live long enough to see his child grow up. – It’s perfectly logical when you think it through.

Sure, Ali. Sure.


Vanel is ecstatic – and to my surprise, so am I. A girl, the Yellows tell me is what I’m carrying, and although I never really expected to care, the idea of a daughter is strangely very appealing.

My daughter, Vanel’s and mine. My little Star.

Star? Kitiana demands, rolling her eyes. What kind of a name is that? Why Star, for the Light’s sake?

Because we walked on the shores of Tar Valon when the stars were strewn like diamonds across the sky. Because we kissed in the gardens on a night starlight lit as bright as day. Because the evening star shimmered just above the horizon when I knew for sure I was with child. I try to tell that to Kitiana. I should have expected her response.

I swear, Ali, you’re becoming positively sentimental!

Raina's Hold / Raina's Library / Raina's Library - Stories