N I N E T E E N
*WARNING: BLOOD, GUTS, AND SURGERY RELATED TO PREGNANCY INVOLVED IN THIS CHAPTER. IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH, I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU SKIP ANYTHING IN-BETWEEN THE DASHED LINES (----)*
Everything was happening too fast.
As soon as I arrived at the hospital, the staff whisked me away and my nurse stuck an IV into me before I knew what was happening.
She also hooked me up to the monitor and used the ultrasound machine on me for a few minutes before frowning and excusing herself quickly.
“What’s happening?” I asked my husband, my panic setting in just thinking about any complications or horrible outcomes.
“I don’t know” he murmured, kissing my forehead “But I’m going to find out.”
Before he even had a chance to exit our room, two Doctors came in, their faces serious but pale.
“Mrs. Scott,” the woman physician said softly “I’m Doctor Annabelle and this is my colleague, Dr. Ren. Do you mind if we take a quick look at your baby?”
“Go ahead” I said, just as the nurse slipped in with her hair up in a surgical cap and shoe covers on her feet “Is everything alright with my baby?”
Both Doctors gave me a slight smile.
“We’re just making sure” Dr. Annabelle said softly before gloving up “You can never be too sure.”
She nodded at the Ultrasound machine “Sometimes, when we try to determine the position of the baby, the little buggers act up to the point where us Doctors have to check our patients.”
Dr. Ren squirted more ultrasound jelly on me and began moving the wand around the surface of my stomach.
“Nuchal” he muttered to Dr. Annabelle.
“Breeched too” she said soft “Nine centimeters dilated.”
Now my panic was at full force.
“Breech?” I squeaked “That’s bad? Isn’t it?”
My blood pressure cuff inflated again and this time, the machine went off, alerting us about my high heart rate.
“It could be” Dr. Annabelle said soothingly, “But luckily your nurse caught it before you actually began pushing.”
“So what does this mean?” Rhys asked, looking nervous.
“It means she’ll most likely have to have a C-Section” Dr. Annabelle answered calmly “Instead of the little guy facing head first, ready to face the world, he’s facing legs first with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. If she tried to pushing naturally, the cord might tighten further and decrease the baby’s oxygen.”
Rhys swallowed thickly, his face paling.
“Do you know what this is cause from?” He asked “Because with our first son, my wife was able to push naturally without any complications.”
“No two pregnancies are the same” Dr. Ren answered this time “But since your wife is delivering earlier than expected, this could be the potential factor on why you little guy wasn’t in the right position.”
Dr. Annabelle clasped my hands in her cold ones “Everything’s going to be fine. The team will get you prepped and ready for surgery and your little one will be here before you know it.”
I nodded, not knowing what to say.
“Baby...” Rhys murmured, kissing my forehead “Everything’s going to be alright”
“I just want him safe and healthy” I said, tears streaming down my face “Is that so much to ask for?”
“He will be” Rhys said, rubbing my tummy for what could possibly be the last time “He’s a fighter. Just like his Mommy.”
“I love you” I murmured.
“I love you too.”
Within forty-five minutes, both Rhys and I were prepped and ready to go.
The nurse started wheeling me towards the surgery rooms and I nearly burst out in tears.
“WAIT!” I stopped her “My husband’s not coming with me?”
She gave me a sympathetic smile “We’re just going to help you onto the table and prep you. Before the actually surgery begins, I’ll grab him and he can sit beside you during the procedure.”
She squeezed my hand “I promise sweetie”
True to her word, as soon as I got to the surgery room, the nurses and anesthesiologist prepped me for my C-Section.
“Hi Kassi,” the kind anesthesiologist said “I’m Dr. Kyo and I’ll be giving you your anesthesia now in your IV.”
“Will it hurt the baby?”
She smiled “No, it won’t hurt the baby”
I nodded “Do what you have to do”
She smiled again but said nothing more until it was time to actually administer the medication to me. “Okay Kassi, after I administer this med to you, you might feel a little dizzy and drowsy. That’s completely normal. Any other feeling besides that, I need to know about that. Okay?”
I nodded and took a deep breath.
Within a few minutes, I was feeling much more calm.
When Rhys was escorted in, the nurse ushered him to sit in the chair next to my head and advised him that, under no circumstances, was he allowed to move from his spot besides me. If he did, he would have to wait in the room we just came from.
He kissed my lips and nuzzled my face with his “You got this baby”
The time was called out, a buzzing sound filled the room, and suddenly, something loud splashed against the blue curtain shield that was places in from of us.
Rhys winced and I immediately knew that it was my blood.
“You still feeling alright Kassi?” Dr. Kyo asked, her face filling my vision field.
“As okay for a woman whose stomach is being cut open” I joked slightly.
“You’re doing great baby” Rhys said just as another squirt of my blood flashed against the curtain.
There was commotion on the other side of the curtain and suddenly a loud wail sounded out.
Rhys released his bated breath with a ‘whoosh’.
“Five pounds, five ounces!” someone called out.
“Six out of ten on Apgar!” another person called “Reassessing now!”
Suddenly, as if I had no control over my body, my eyes closed and I got extremely tired.
Voices were talking around me, trying to rouse me awake (one of them I knew to be my husband’s frantic voice) but for the life of me, I just couldn’t open my eyes.
“Blood pressure dropping!” I managed to hear “Heart rate increasing!”
“Need the hemorrhage kit now!” Someone yelled “Increase fluids! Patient crashing!”
Since I was so tired, I did the only thing I could do.
“Where am I?” I asked as I took in the dark marble room.
It was vaguely familiar but I couldn’t place exactly where I saw it before.
“Oh how the mighty have fallen” An amused voice sounded from behind me.
I gasped, suddenly remembering why this place looked so familiar.
I was in Hell.
I whirled on Hades “WHAT DID YOU DO?”
“Me?” He raised an eyebrow “I didn’t do anything”
“Then why am I here?” I snarled.
“You’re dying” he said bluntly “That’s why you’re here”
I reeled back in shock “I can’t be dying!”
He looked amused at my outburst “Oh, how I missed this!”
“I’m not dying!” I snapped “Everything went fine!”
“Don’t believe me?” He nodded towards the image behind me “Look for yourself”
I turned hesitantly and watched as the Doctors scrambled all around my body. The nurses were deathly pale and Rhys, oh God, Rhys looked like he was going to break down and die.
My baby boy was wailing in the background and I longed to reach out and hold him.
Hot tears were coming rapidly now.
“If you’re going to take my soul” I said numbly “Then do it already. Don’t make my family, and those poor people suffer.”
“Never one to hold back your punches” He chuckled “That’s what I like about you”
He cocked his head to the side “Might be the reason why I like that girl too”
I whirled on him, Mama Bear mode on “You better not touch her!”
“Or what?” he smirked “You going to hit me?”
I tried to hit him but instead of making contact, my fist went right threw him.
“Ah” he smiled “Looks like your body is giving up”
I glared at him.
“But lucky for you,” he continued “I’m not ready for you to come and interrupt us just yet.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means” he stepped forward “That I’m sending your soul back to your precious little body”
My eyes widened in surprise “Why would you do that?”
“Like I said,” He shrugged “I’m not ready for you yet”
I narrowed my eyes “What’s the catch?”
He grinned “I’m feeling generous today”
“You’re never feeling generous” I said “Even when my friends were dying, you made a deal that benefited you.”
“I needed the girl”
“Why here?” I asked “Why now? Why collect the debt seventeen years later?”
“That’s on a need to know basis” he winked at me “And you, my gorgeous girl, don’t need to know.”
He raised his hand to send me away but I stopped him.
“Answer me this” I asked “Why Serenity? The least you could do is answer why you would pick a, barely legal, child to help you with whatever you’re planning? Why not take me? or Kaden? or any other experienced Wolf?”
“Tell me,” he murmured “Would your Mate do anything for you?”
“Yes,” I answered automatically, not really understanding where he was going with this.
“And would you do anything for your Mate?”
“Even if the bond you two shared was being repressed?” he asked carefully “Would you still do anything for each other?”
I frowned “I’d like to think so, yes”
“So, you would do anything and everything someone asked of you. Just to get that bond back? Just to feel a semblance of unadulterated and everlasting love from the one person made truly for you? To feel whole again? To be apart of a real family?”
“Impossible!” My eyes widened at his implication “Are you Serenity’s...”
He smiled and flicked his hand.
My body started to fade out.
“WAIT!” I cried out “Please tell...”
“Be a dear and tell Papa Bear Kaden that if he plans anything stupid, I’ll kill his daughter and send him her bloody corpse” Hades smiled “Congratulations by the way. Hope you’ll name him something beautiful, preferably something after his favorite Uncle Hades.”
“One wrong move and the girl dies” His eyes flashed “You’ve been warned. Anything happens and the girl’s blood is on you hands.”