I wake up slowly. My pups! My eyes snap open, and I place my hand over my stomach. They’re fine.
That’s when I notice I’m in a hospital room. My arm and stomach feels sore. My arm is wrapped in gauze. I spot Ves sleeping in a chair next to me.
My body feels heavy as I lift my hand and poke my cousin. She jolts awake and looks at me. She lets out a sigh of relief.
“Where’s Zeke,” I croak out, my throat feeling sore. What the hell? How long was I out?
“He’s at my place,” she answers. I narrow my eyes at her. Something’s wrong. She’s talking slowly and and refuses to meet my eyes.
“What happened? Is something wrong with him?”
“He’s fine…. Physically. Listen Amay, you’re pregnant and stress isn’t good for the babies.” I grip her biceps.
“How the hell am suppose to stay calm when I don’t know what is going on with my mate, Vespasiana?”
“Let’swaitforthedoctortocheckonyou.” She averts her eyes. I sigh heavily and lie back in the bed. I’m going to kill this girl. I say nothing as we wait for the doctor to arrive.
I must’ve fallen asleep because the next thing I know, I’m being woken up by Ves. I stare blankly at her for a moment.
I look away from her and gaze into the green eyes of earth phoenix. Her black hair is pulled back into a ponytail. It’s strange to see a earth phoenix as doctor. They tend to go into field of justice. The doctor give me a pleasant smile.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Hellian,” she says as she opens her folder. “You’re a very lucky phoenix. Your cousin’s invention and your quick reflexes kept the bullet from completely piercing your womb. The bullet was coated with wolfsbane as well as other poisons. We’ve managed to find the antidote for all of them which is why you might be feeling a little fatigued.”
I place my hand over my stomach.
“Your…pups are fine,” she continues. “The fact that you’re a different species from them is the very thing that saved them. Your and their conditions are stable, so there isn’t anything we can do for you in the hospital. The wolfsbane didn’t cause any permanent damage to them. You are free to go. You’ll be discharged as soon as we have all the paperwork sorted out.
However, I recommend complete bed rest. You know the drill, avoid any extreme emotions and using any powers that causes stress to your body. The nurse will help you schedule a follow up appointment with your gynecologist. Do you have any questions?”
“Alright, I let the nurse know I spoke with you, and we’ll move on from there.”
The discharge process took longer than expected. I fell asleep several times before the nurse spoke to me. I sit the backseat of the hover car as Ves drives to her home. I tap my fingers against the car door.
“Talk,” I tell her.
“Mymotherhasalteredhismemoriesandnowhethinksyouabusehim,” she says quickly. My heart drops as what she said sink in. No.
“How is that possible?”
“She must’ve gained her memories back after one of her deaths and gained a new ability in the process.” She pauses. “It’s really bad, Amay. He’s utterly petrified of you. Any time we even mention your name, he almost faints. And anytime we try to make him remember, he goes into an absent seizure and start bleeding.”
I say nothing and take a deep breath. If I start freaking out, Azula might take over. Pissed couldn’t even describe what I feel right now. My aunt is dead when I get my hands on her.
We make it to Ves’s house. As soon as I enter, I come across Zeke. As soon as he spots me, his body tenses as he come to a complete stop. His face pales and he gets a faraway look in his eyes. I feel his fear, no, his terror through our bond.
It pisses me off. It’s too much like how we first met. He does nothing as I walk towards him. I cup his neck and press my aura against his. His body relaxes, but his fear doesn’t go away. I keep pressing until he’s out of his zombie like state.
Suddenly, my exhaustion vanishes like it wasn’t even there, and my wounds heal. I gaze at my terrified mate. Even while he’s scared of me, he’s still taking care of me.
It pisses me off. It feels like I’m taking advantage of him. I’m his abuser in his mind. I don’t deserve his kindness.
“I-I-I’m s-s-sorry,” he says as tears run down his face. “P-p-p-please d-d-don’t kill t-them.”
“Who, Mate,” I ask. He stares straight at the ground, refusing to meet my eyes.
“My, o-ou-your p-pups.”
Just what did I do to him in his false memories? Hesitantly, I nuzzle the mark on his neck. It’s a little awkward because of my pregnant belly, but I make do. He tenses for a moment before completely relaxing. His memories might be altered, but a mate bond is still a mate bond.
“Ok, I won’t kill them.” I feel his relief at my words. The fact that he trusts my words tell me that the me in his memories didn’t lie to him either which in a way makes things worse. “What else do you want?” I run my fingers up and down his arm and caress his neck with my other hand, calming him.
“Tell me want you want, and I’ll do it.” He tenses briefly before relaxing again.
“I-I w-w-want to g-g-go home. W-w-with my f-f-family.”
“Ori will take you.” For the first time, he looks me in the eyes.
“R-r-really?” He looks away.
“Yes.” I’d rather try to convince him I’m not the same person in his memories but I don’t want to risk triggering anything. My instincts tell me to protect him, even if it’s from me. I step away from him and turn to Ves. “Take him home and let Kate know what happened. She’s his little sister, blond hair, green eyes.”
Ves nods. Zeke scurries towards my cousin. Azula pushes forward as Ves opens a portal.
“Zeke,” I call out. He looks back at me. “We’re sorry.” He says nothing as looks away and walks through the portal with Ves. I feel Azula retreat to the back of my mind and fall asleep. What happened must’ve really drained her.
“You’re going to just let him leave,” Ori asks.
“What am I supposed to do? He wouldn’t be happy with me anyways. If he’s happier with them, then as his mate, I will do my best to keep him that way.” I place my hand on my round stomach. “He deserves that much.”
I walk over to sofa and sit. I take a deep breath. Now is not the time to let my anger get the best of me. I need to stay calm and collected.
“Any status on the bitch,” I ask, not even bothering to clarify who I’m talking about.
“She’s missing,” Ori answers. “Mother is interrogating our cousin.”
“Is Ves aware?”
“She won’t have to worry about her brother as long as he cooperates. Father is hunting down Maleah’s allies and those responsible for the trial.”
“What about the murders?”
“Fia’s looking into them.”
I say nothing. That’s a bit of a concern. Fia is emotional. If she finds anything that pisses her off, she might just burn everything to the ground before telling us anything. I can’t say that I care if she did do that.
The person responsible did kill innocent pups just to frame me. They’ll get no sympathy from me when they face my younger sister’s wrath. I let out a yawn then wince as the pups decide to have a kicking match inside of me. There goes any chance of me getting any sleep. They only calm down with Zeke’s aura.
“What’s wrong,” Ori asks.
“Pups are using my insides as a punching bag,” I answer. I take several deep breaths as I wait for them to stop. “They’re going to be active little shits when they’re born.” Ori kneels in front of me.
“Is it alright if I touch?”
“Go ahead.” He places his hand on my stomach. I sense him release a little magic.
“Little ones, have some mercy on your mother.” The kicking stops.
“How the hell did you do that?” He smirks at me.
“A little trick I learned when Freya was pregnant.”
“You’re not going to tell me?”
“You should figure out your own trick.”
“Stingy,” I grumble.
“Whatever.” I yawn again.
“Get some sleep.”
“I can’t. I need contact my sisters and let them know what’s happening.”
“You couldn’t have just told Ves to do it,” he asked.
“Slipped my mind,” I respond. He sighs and stands up.
“I’ll tell her. Go to sleep.” I lie on my side. So bossy. I’m out like a light.