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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“Well, I’ll be honest, that’s not what I was hoping to hear. But at least you were honest with me.”
“It could be worse,” Elle admitted.
Lilly looked hopeful. “It could?”
Elle nodded. “We could be in the hands of a revenge crazed warlock, hell bent on killing his brother’s mate, and you could be his brother’s mate, oh wait…” she paused and looked at Lilly with a sly smile.
“Ha, ha,” Lilly said dryly.
“You have to make your mind believe that what you’re seeing isn’t real,” Elle said suddenly serious. “That’s how we are going to survive this.”
Lilly nodded, now every bit as sober as the fae. “Okay, it isn’t real, it isn’t real,” she began repeating over and over.
“Huh, what?” Lilly asked absently as she continued to repeat her mantra.
“Does it help to tell yourself out loud that it isn’t real?” Elle looked at her quizzically.
Lilly let out a huff of laughter. “Yeah, don’t you know that trick? Tell yourself something enough times and it makes it true.”
“If it gets us off this cliff then I’m all for it.”
Lilly frowned. “What do you mean if it gets us off here? You know it isn’t real.”
“Yes, but Lorelle is smart, and the only way we are going to get off this cliff alive is for anyone seeing it to believe it to be false.”
“Son of a… Crap!”
“Did she seriously just drop us in a cave?” Jen asked as she stood at the mouth of the cave.
“Looks that way,” Cynthia’s words faded off and Jen turned to look at her to see what had caught her attention.
“What is all of that?” Jen asked.
Cynthia began opening the boxes. The first contained blankets, the next water, and the next surgical instruments. There was one box left and it was smaller than the others. Cynthia’s hand hovered over it and something inside her did not want to open it. In fact, it was screaming at her to run the other direction, but there was nowhere to run. Cynthia knew with a certainty that she couldn’t explain that they could not leave. The opening of the cave may look like they could walk away at any second but she knew better. They were stuck in this cave until someone came for them. She just hoped they made it until the right someone came.
She finally lifted the lid on the final box and found a birth announcement. The paper shook in her hand as she held it and her mouth suddenly felt as dry as a barren desert.
“Doc?” Jen’s voice was in the back of her mind, but all she could focus on was that folded piece of paper. She gingerly unfolded it and stared at the print on the inside. She read it several times, hoping that it would change and that the words on it would suddenly be wiped clean.
“The date, Jen, what’s the date?” Cynthia asked.
“Crap I don’t know. If we’re talking dark kingdom of fae then I’m thinking late August or early September, but human realm, it’s like June. Why?”
Cynthia swore under her breath as she read the paper again. Congratulations Jennifer and Decebel, on the birth of your baby girl on this 30th day of August.
“Um, Cynthia what the hell?” Jen said from over her shoulder. She plucked the paper from her hand and stood up, reading it with eyes that were as wide and worried as the doctor’s. “What does this mean?”
Jen looked over at Cynthia only to see that she was holding another piece of paper. “Crap, what does that one say, that he’s throwing me a baby shower?”
Cynthia’s eyes rose slowly from the paper to meet Jens. She shook her head. “No, it…,” she stopped and tried to look away from Jen.
“No,” Jen snapped her fingers, “You look at me when you tell me horrific news; now spit it out.”
“It says that, it…”
“Read it doc,” Jen growled.
Cynthia cleared her throat before starting, dread building in her stomach over the words she was about to force out. “Dr. Cynthia Steele, Once you see the hunting party in your line of site out of the mouth of the cave, you are to perform a Cesarean section on Jennifer, mate to Decebel. I have given you all of the necessary medical supplies to perform this safely, though perhaps not painlessly. You are to have Jennifer lie on the X marked on the ground. Once the child is born, you are to turn sixty degrees and take two steps with the child held out in front of you. You are to make sure your body is parallel with the wall so that Decebel has a clear view of his child.”
Jen stood speechless staring at Cynthia, unsure of what to say. She had just been told she was going to be gutted like a fish and have her child handed over to a mad man while she and Decebel watch helplessly.
“Can’t we try to escape?” Jen asked, suddenly very desperate. She pointed to the opening of the cave.
Cynthia shook her head, “If I were a betting doctor, I would say it’s spelled to look as though we can walk out or anyone can walk in. I’ll double check though, just so that we aren’t the idiots who trapped themselves because they didn’t bother to attempt to run away.”
“Please do, because of all the blonde idiots on T.V., I don’t want to be the one in the horror shows who gets killed first because she’s too stupid to run,” Jen told her as she tried to shake off the terror that was threatening to suffocate her. She wasn’t ready for her child to be born. It was too soon. They hadn’t found a way to save her and now she was going to be brought cruelly into the world only to be taken out of it before Decebel could even hold her.
“ARRRRRRGGGGHHH!” Jen screamed. “She’s just a baby! I just need to kill something! But there’s only you,” Jen pointed wildly at Cynthia, “and dammit I need you to deliver Cosmina.”
“Glad to know that I’m unavailable for your hit list based on my credentials,” Cynthia said as she returned back from her unsuccessful attempt to leave the cave.
“Yeah, well just be glad that I’m, for all intents and purposes, a nice person who usually doesn’t just kill people because she’s ticked off.”
“Oh believe me, I’m glad,” Cynthia pointed to her face. “See, this is me being glad.”
Jen flipped her off as she pulled up a box to sit on, lowering her aching pregnant body to it slowly. “I’m just saying.”