So much to do. So much to consider.
Darkness had settled hours ago and the house was finally quiet. Though weary from a long day, Diana knew that sleep would be a difficult prize to claim, especially with everything in her mind that vied for her attention. She lay on her back, right in the middle of her spacious bed as she stared at the ceiling with troubled blue eyes. With one hand laying on her belly and the other arm curled around her head, she did her best to relax her body, hoping that her mind would soon follow. Her long black hair was pulled to one side and was flailed out on her pillow and bed. Her spacious bedroom was dimly lit in the warm blue glow offered by the full moon. There were not many furnishings, only the bed, desk across the room under the window and a wardrobe that was made of some dark wood. Two other pieces had joined them in recent weeks, though, and one was beside her bed, between it and the wall, and from here a sound came that had not been heard on this island for more than a thousand years, and the Princess of the Amazons sprang up from her bed in quick response to it.
"Shh," she soothed as she gently took the fussy newborn from her white and red bassinette. Cradling the baby gently in her arms, she backed up and sat on the edge of her bed, her full attention on the squirming little girl she held. With a big smile, Diana wrapped the baby in her pink blanket and whispered, "I thought you were asleep, Little One. Are you hungry yet again?"
The baby did not cry, but she stared back at the Amazon Princess with trusting blue eyes. Not quite a month old, she knew her mother well on sight and by the sound of her voice, and being in her mother's arms always calmed her.
Raising her brow as she stared down at the baby, Diana insisted, "We need to sleep. That means both of us." When the baby smiled at her, she could not help but smile back. "You are going to be a horrible little scamp, aren't you?"
"Much like her mother," another woman said softly as she approached.
Diana looked over her shoulder to see her own mother, Queen Hippolyta striding silently around the bed, but her attention did not remain there long as it was reclaimed quickly by the child she held.
With her long black hair pulled over one shoulder and bound with three white ribbons, Hippolyta sat gingerly beside Diana, slipping an arm around her shoulders as she asked in a low voice, "Is she fussy again tonight?"
"Afraid so," Diana confirmed. "Sometimes she sleeps well, sometimes she wants to be up all night."
Hippolyta smiled as she stared down at the baby in her daughter's arms. "Just like you were long ago. I'll bet she is just anxious for a name."
The Princess looked away and grumbled, "I know."
"You've had half a year to think about it," Hippolyta pointed out. "Is it so hard a decision?"
Looking back to the baby, Diana declared, "I want her name to be perfect, one that will suit her well and have meaning for who she will be when she grows up."
"And who will she be? Another great hero like her mother?"
Diana loosed a deep breath and shook her head. "I hope not. I pray that her life will be full and rewarding, but not fraught with conflict as mine has been."
Gently stroking her daughter's hair, the Queen pointed out, "That may be a matter of destiny. Both of her parents are heroes, after all, and both stubbornly defend what is just and good."
Closing her eyes, Diana grimly said, "I know, and I don't want that life for her." Looking back to the little girl she held with despair in her eyes and clenched teeth, she shook her head and continued, "She should only know about the best of this world. She should know how loved she is, how
Mother, I just could not bear the thought of what would happen if my enemies ever found out about her."
"Or her father's enemies?" Hippolyta added.
"Or his," Diana confirmed just over a whisper.
"So you will never tell him about his daughter," the Queen concluded.
Her mouth tightening to a thin slit, the Amazon Princess hesitantly shook her head, tears welling up in her eyes. "I want to. Hera knows how I want to, but
Mother, I am just so afraid of what could happen, what our enemies would do to her if they found out." She ran her fingers through the baby's soft, black hair. "She is so innocent, so
so sweet and perfect. It must be my vow to protect her first and always, my vow to her, to our people and to the Gods to keep her safe."
"Your vow to the Gods," Hippolyta said softly, absently. A sparkle lit her eyes as they cut to Diana, and she simply said, "Elissa."
Diana's eyes snapped to her.
"It is from the old language," the Queen explained, "Greek, from the land we came from."
"Elissa?" Diana breathed.
"It is an ancient name, one that means a commitment to the Gods. If that is your vow to her and to the Gods
" She raised her brow.
A little smile found Diana's mouth and she looked back down to the girl, to her daughter. "Elissa. Mother, it is beautiful, and it suits her so well!"
Hippolyta pulled the Princess to her, hugging her tightly. "Then my granddaughter is finally named?"
With a nod, Diana confirmed, "Yes. That shall be her name. It is perfect. She shall be my commitment to the Gods, to the world, to peace, and she shall have my absolute commitment. I will protect her with all I am, teach her all I know, and I shall give her as wonderful a life as you gave me."
Something solemn took the Queen's face as she stared at the innocent baby her daughter held. "And her father can never know about her? You will never tell him of his daughter?"
"I want to," Diana assured, "but I don't dare. She can never be like me, or like him. No, she will see beauty in the world, not its ugliness. She shall be warrior trained but she shall know compassion and mercy." She kissed the baby's forehead, then stroked her hair and smiled. "Warrior trained, yes, but the world will see her as the beautiful and sweet angel she is now."