Chapter 115 - Loss
Rowan did the one thing she hoped never to do again; she woke to the incessant sound of something in pain. It took her only a second to realize that she was naked, shivering, and lying in a pool of yellow bile, but her concern was not for herself. She searched the room with her eyes until she found Alena.
Robert knelt beside Alena on the stone floor, and for a second, Rowan thought he was hurting Alena, but the images in her head showed her something more painful and disturbing.
Alena was having a miscarriage. Rowan had seen it often enough among the humans, and her heart ached for her sister. She knew exactly how much this child meant to Alena.
An image of Marcus flashed in her mind, but she shut it down. She could feel his absence like a void inside her. No one had to tell her that he paid the price for their lives. She’d known for months now that if his path ever crossed with that of Belvare, Marcus would die. The pain she felt almost overwhelmed her, but Alena screeched in pain.
She was paler than Rowan had ever seen her. Alena had sores on her body that were only starting to heal. She had wounds caused by their struggle with Belvare that still bled, despite the passage of hours. Alena was sweating, and her perspiration carried that same sickly tinge that was so destinctly Belvare, and Rowan realized that his blood still ravaged her body.
Rowan flinched when a spasm of pain shafted through her, but it wasn’t in her abdomen, and with relief, she realized she could still feel her baby. It was weak, hurting, but alive. Her moment of joy made her feel guilty. Alena would not be so lucky.
Robert ducked his hands between Alena’s legs and pulled something loose. Alena wanted to look, but Robert prevented her from doing so.
“No,” Robert ordered, and his voice sounded less cold. Rowan might even have credited it with a hint of compassion.
“You don’t want to remember her like this,” Robert murmured. Quietly Alena nodded and closed her eyes.
Rowan cried soundless tears along with Alena. Somehow she’d thought Alena’s baby would be a boy, maybe because Marcus would have wanted a boy. She knew her own baby was a girl with a certainty that defied reason. Every thought of Marcus hurt in a way she never imagined anything could hurt.
Robert turned from Alena toward Rowan, and the child in his hands was no larger than his palm but perfect in every possible way, like a small wax figure. Alena sobbed when he rose to his feet and left them.
Rowan’s sorrow rose to the surface and erupted like a puss-filled wound, but she couldn’t allow it, Alena needed her. Rowan crawled over to where Alena lay, and she comforted her as if she were a baby.
Robert quickly returned, and as he did once before for Rowan, he picked Alena up in his arms and carried her.
“Don’t move; I’ll be back,” Robert ordered Rowan, and she nodded as she scanned the room for Marcus, but Robert had removed the bodies.
Sorrow rent at Rowan’s control until she could no longer keep the pain at bay. Unchecked tears streamed from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks as she stared sightlessly at the wall. Marcus was gone, Alena's baby was dead, but they were alive, and soon she would have his child. The thought of his baby both comforted Rowan and made her feel even more desolate.