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First Child

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He held the baby at arms length, as if it were a piece of soiled piece of laundry. You had just bathed him so you knew that wasn't why his father was holding him that way.

"Altair, that's your son. He won't bite you. Please hold him properly before you drop him."

Altair thought for a moment before finally holding his son, just like you demonstrated earlier.

This was the first time he had ever laid eyes on him. He had been away on a mission when you gave birth a few weeks ago. He had come straight home when he heard the news. He was more concerned for you and your well, being, momentarily forgetting you had borne him a son.

And now there he was by your bedside, his son in his arms, still at a loss of what to do with him. You studied Altair, the way he looked at his son. There was both wonder and terror on his face. He was a Master Assassin. His hands were used to kill people. He was not sure he trusted himself with the baby, so small and frail in his arms. He was glad you had insisted on him taking his hidden blade off before entering your chamber.

You patted the bed and he sat beside you.

"He is so small," he said. He traced the baby's cheek with a tentative finger. His touch was timid, unsure.

You wrap your arms around your husband. "And he will grow up to be big and strong, just like his walidi."

He smiled as you nuzzled his neck.

The baby started to stir in his arms, and began to cry. You felt Altair stiffen beneath your arms. You smiled and kissed him once more.

"Relax, Altair. He's just hungry."

You took the baby from him and you could see relief come over his face. He really had no clue what to do with him.

Sitting up on the pallet, you bared your breast from your tunic and proceeded to feed your infant. Altair watched you, full of curiosity. You had to remind yourself Altair didn't grow up in a normal household. He had no younger brothers or sisters nor his mother when he was growing up.

"Have you thought of a name for our son?"

Altair grew pensive as he thought about it. He touched his son's head as he breastfed.

"I would like to name him Salil."

"That is a nice name, habibi. He shall be named so."

"Salil Ibn-la'Ahad." Altair smiled at the sound of the name. It was perfect.

Soon, you noticed Altair had started getting drowsy. You urged him to lie down so he could get some rest. He lay down on his side behind you so you could lean on him while you breastfed.

"Sing us a song, ya hayati," he said, hands stroking your back.

You smile at him and start singing a lullaby. Soon thereafter both your companions are asleep, and for the first time in a very long time, Altair has fallen asleep peacefully.