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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“Shit!” Cynthia breathed. She looked over at Decebel who was on his knees and barely holding back his panic and then looked at the baby again. The baby was breathing, alive, and vibrant. Decebel was alive and on the verge of freaking out. She pushed the thoughts aside and focused on the here and now. She set Cosmina, she remembered them saying that was what they wanted to call her, down gently on more blankets and then turned to check on Jen. She was breathing, but it was labored and shallow. Her pulse was weak and slow from lack of blood to circulate through her body. She had lost too much and Cynthia had no way to give her a transfusion. She felt warmth at her back and saw a soft glow begin to fill the cave with light. She stopped her exam to turn and see what it was. The transfusion was no longer an issue, because she was also out of time.
Decebel felt as though his lungs were on fire. He couldn’t get enough air as he watched his mate and his child. Jen had passed out, or at least he hoped that was all, but he didn’t know for sure. He just knew there was so much blood, too much blood. He watched as Cynthia placed their baby next to her and then began to check on Jen, but before she could do more than check her pulse, there was a soft glow emitting from behind her and then three entities, the Fates, were standing behind her.
Decebel’s heart began to pound as he realized that it was time. They were here to collect him as the sacrifice for Jen’s death. He wished he could hold his mate and child once before he went, but then he had gotten to see Cosmina be born and had gotten to see his amazing mate give birth to their little miracle. He didn’t want to die, but he could now with a small amount of peace.
His ears perked up as he heard them begin to speak―to Cynthia, not to him.
“The child is born, the debt is now due. You have proven yourself honorable and through your silence deemed yourself worthy. We accept your sacrifice in place of the child.” The forms moved forward and seemed to reach out and touch Cynthia. She turned slightly and her eyes met his; she gave him a small bow of her head. Decebel watched in utter astonishment as Cynthia’s body seemed to deflate and was slowly lowered to the ground. Her chest was not moving. There wasn’t the slightest movement. Cynthia’s life was over, and she had given it willingly.
The Fates turned and looked at him, at least he felt like they were looking at him. And then they spoke to him.
“The magic that lives here has been given what it requires, a sacrifice. It is null and void of its power.”
Decebel nearly fell on his face as the barrier disappeared and the Fates along with it. He didn’t hesitate as he stood up and ran to his mate. He picked up Cosmina in his arms and held her close to his body and then knelt down next to Jen. She was barely breathing and she was pale, so very pale.
“Jennifer, baby, please stay with me, stay with us. We need you,” Decebel whispered as he leaned close to her, careful not to crush his daughter. He heard voices and running footsteps and looked up when the commotion grew louder. Vasile, Adam, Cypher, and the others came rushing in. They took in the scene before them and then jumped into action.
“Decebel,” Vasile said as he moved quickly to his side.
“She needs a healer now, Vasile.”
Vasile looked up at Adam. “Please get Rachel.”
Adam didn’t wait for any other instruction but immediately flashed. He was back in less than two minutes with a very frazzled looking Rachel.
She rushed to Jen’s side and laid her hands on her She pushed her spirit into Jen and began to seek out the damage her body had sustained. She saw the tear in the uterus and pushed her power there and mended the tissue. She took care of the destruction the birthing had wrought on Jen’s body and the aftermath of labor. She was careful to check for any other problems, but the only thing left was the blood loss. Rachel moved her spirit to Jen’s heart and pulsed power deep into it. She helped her body’s blood cells multiply rapidly, replacing the blood loss and sending it to her starving organs. As her heartbeat gained strength and her breathing evened out, Rachel pulled back from Jen and then pulled her hands away. She opened her eyes and stared at her waiting.
Slowly Jen’s eyes began to flutter and then blink slowly. They opened and landed on Decebel.
“Dec,” she whispered.
He smiled as tears welled up in his eyes. “Hey baby,” He leaned down and kissed her gently and then held up their baby girl. “She’s perfect.”
Jen’s eyes lit up at the sight of their child and her lips trembled as the tears came. “Of course she’s perfect, I’m her mother.” Decebel chuckled as he handed Jen their baby and then helped her sit up, propping her against him. He wrapped his arm around her waist and tucked her into his side. His face buried in her neck and he breathed deep. She was here, with him and their child, it was a miracle. He looked up then and saw Rachel hovering over Cynthia’s prone form. Vasile knelt next to her. Rachel looked up then and met his eyes and he nodded. He realized what she would have seen in the last of Cynthia’s memories. Cynthia had asked the Fates to take her life in place of his child. She had willingly given herself so that their baby could live and have both her parents with her.
“Cynthia,” Jen said realizing for the first time that the doctor was not moving. “She’s... is she, Dec?” she stumbled around her words as he heard her pulse increase.
“Shh, baby,” he told her. “Cynthia has gone on to the next life. She gave herself in place of our child and the Fates accepted her sacrifice.”
Jen’s free hand came up to cover her mouth as she suppressed the sob that was there. Her heart was divided, part of it broken over losing her friend and part of it rejoicing over the life of her little girl.
“Thia Cosmina,” She looked up at him through her tears. “That’s what we will name her, in memory of the one who gave her life, in memory of our friend.”
Vasile looked down at the doctor and he felt pride and pain at the same time. She had been brave and loyal and given of herself until there was nothing left. He knew she felt that she could never be forgiven for her part in Jacque’s kidnapping, and she had found a way that she felt she could atone for it. As he stared at her still form, his mind wandered to all the death, pain, and torment that the day had brought and his heart broke all over again.
“I hate to interrupt this joyous, and at the same time, depressing, moment,” Reyaz sneered as he walked into the cave, “but I have business to attend to.” He pointed at Lilly and she fell to her knees grabbing at her throat. She attempted to suck in air but none would come and she began to struggle even harder.