Chapter 16~~Lily gives birth~~
Ethan made love to Kia like she was the most precious thing in the world and to him, she is. He lay awake watching her sleep for over an hour, glad that he had waited for her. Thankful that he had finally found her and swore that he would do everything in his power to make her happy and to keep her safe for as long as they lived.
The next morning, they woke up late and made love again, then Ethan called for room service, unwilling to let the wonderful night they had shared end too quickly. For once, he didn’t care what was going on at home. Kia was going to be his focus today. Whatever she wanted to do, he was going to take her anywhere she wanted to go, buy her anything she wanted.
They ate breakfast and then shared a shower, making love again until Kia’s knees were weak and she was wondering if she would ever be able to put her knees together again and if she did, would they hold her up.
“So what do you want to do today?” Ethan asked as they were getting dressed.
“We aren’t just going home?” Kia asked in surprise.
“Not unless you want to. I thought we might go shopping or we could go to the amusement park or wherever you want to go and do whatever you want to do.” Ethan said.
“Well, I’m a girl so I’ll never say no to shopping, although I can’t really think of anything I really need. Something I would like to do soon is practice driving so that when I do get my birth certificate, I can get my driver’s license.” Kia said.
“Well, since we brought my sports car and it’s a stick, I think it would be easier for you to take the test with an automatic transmission. How about we go look at cars?” Ethan suggested.
“You would buy me a car?” Kia asked with wide eyes. She suddenly felt like she couldn’t breathe.
“Well, you will have to have something to drive once you get your license.” Ethan said practically watching the smile that spread across her face.
“Oh, Ethan! That is so generous of you and it’s no wonder I love you so much but let’s wait until I get my license and I have time to research cars. Could we maybe get me some new clothes? You said I’ll need to start training to learn to fight and I’m going to need work-out clothes. All I have now are the jeans and dress slacks that Angela bought for me. I’ll need t-shirts and stretchy pants.”
“Sure. I could use some new things too.” Ethan smiled at her. “Something else I would like to get for you is a new phone. I noticed that the one you have is out of date.”
“Yeah. All I could afford was the cheapest of the pay as you go phones from Walmart. I’ve always wanted one that has a camera and that I can get online with it.” Kia admitted.
“Good. Then we’ll hit the mall and then get some lunch before we head home, so long as my phone stays quiet.” Ethan said, thankful that his phone had not rung yet this morning. He was hoping that between Jared and his father, that they would be able to handle whatever problems arose without him for one day.
They checked out of the hotel and drove over to the mall. Ethan was still trying to figure out how he was going to get away long enough to go buy her ring, glad that she had chosen the mall since he had found the ring online that he wanted to get at a jeweler who has an outlet in the mall.
They walked around mostly window shopping until they came to the store that specialized in sportswear. Kia picked out several outfits that Ethan said would give her good freedom of movement for her work out sessions.
Knowing that the jewelry store was only two doors down, when she went to try things on, Ethan made an excuse that he was going to the men’s room and for her to wait there for him.
“Ok, babe. It’ll be a few minutes so you go ahead.” Kia said as she quickly kissed him and carried her selections into the fitting room.
Ethan hurried down to the jewelry store and a sales lady spotted him as soon as he walked in. She hoped he was single and here to buy his mother a gift as she straightened her skirt and walked over to him. “How can I help you, sir?”
Ethan pulled out his phone and showed her the ring he had found online. “I want this ring set in a size 5 please.” Ethan told her and saw her expression change.
“Oh well, there went those hopes.” she thought but said, “Sure. If you will just follow me.” She led him over to the counter where they had engagement rings displayed. She found the set in the correct size and asked “What size stone would you like?”
“Well, she has very tiny hands and fingers. Can I see a 1.5 carat stone?” Ethan asked.
The sales woman produced a tray with several sizes of diamonds and after comparing different stones nestled in the setting, he decided on a 1 carat stone. The 1.5 just didn’t look right in the delicate setting.
“I think you made an excellent choice and you are right, the one carat stone fits this setting much better than the larger stone, especially if she has small delicate hands.” The sales woman smiled at him. “I just hope she realizes what a very special man she’s found.” she thought as she set the stone and found a box for it.
She noticed he had glanced at his watch several times and wondered if she was in the mall. He got a glazed look for a moment and then smiled at her when he asked her to ring it up.
Kia had tried on all of the outfits and found the ones that were the most comfortable and exchanged the ones that didn’t fit well, for ones that did fit but in different colors. Ethan had told her to get several pairs of each since she also needed to learn to shift while she was in fight training and that meant some of the things would more than likely get torn up. She knew that in a real fight, she couldn’t ask her opponent to wait while she stripped but hated the thought that all of these new things might not last beyond one wearing.
She had finished trying on her new things and wandered around the store a bit while she waited for Ethan but was beginning to get worried about what was taking him so long. She finally mind linked him asking if everything was OK.
“Sure. I just got distracted. I’ll be there in a few minutes.” He answered back and sure enough, two minutes later he walked back into the store.
“Hey, I was beginning to think you had forgotten which store you left me in.” Kia teased.
“I was passing the shoe store and saw a pair of boots that I like. I was going to try them on but the man was busy with other customers so I finally gave up. I don’t really need them anyway.” Ethan crossed his fingers behind his back for the little white lie.
“Well, I’ve got 6 full outfits of work out clothes but you said you needed some things?” Kia told him.
“Yes! I need some new workout shorts. My old ones have seen better days and I’ve only got a couple of pairs left.” Ethan said as they headed towards the men's department. He often bought work out clothes here so it only took him a few minutes to find what he needed. “Did you get some shorts? Summer is almost here and it’s going to get too hot to wear long pants.”
“No, I only bought long ones and even their petite sizes, I’m going to have to cut them off and re-hem since they are a little too long for me.” Kia admitted. She rarely ever managed to find pants that were just the right size for her short height.
They found her some shorts and Ethan told her to get some short leggings as well. By the time they were done, they both had armfuls of clothes to carry to the checkout counter. Ethan paid for their purchase and Kia’s mouth dropped open at the total but she didn’t say anything. She was definitely going to have to get to work on the pack books and find out more about their income and expenses.
They left the store and walked back to the car to stow their bags and Ethan asked if there was anywhere else she wanted to get.
“No, let’s head home. Your parents are going to think I stole you away.” Kia grinned at him. “It’s almost 2 now.”
“Wow! Is it really?” Ethan pretended not to have realized what time it was but with as many times as he had looked at his watch at the jewelry store, he knew what time it was. The ring was burning a hole in his pocket and he prayed he would be able to wait until the Luna Ball to ask her to marry him. “No wonder I’m hungry. We’ve missed lunch. Do you like pizza?”
“Of course. Who doesn’t?” Kia grinned at him. She had a feeling he was stalling to go home but she had to admit that she didn’t want the day to end either.
Ethan took her to a little pizza place not far from the college campus he had attended. “I used to come here a lot when I was in college. Most of the college kids come here not only to eat but to socialize. They have really good pizza and some of the best root beer you’ve ever tasted.” He told her as they found a table and waited for someone to come take their order.
A few minutes later, a young college kid, a boy with a face covered with freckles and bright red hair, came over and asked what they wanted to eat. Ethan told him they wanted a large meat pizza with extra cheese and two large root beers.
The inside of the pizza parlor was like stepping back in time with it’s black and white tiled floor, padded booths in bright red and the old fashioned juke box selectors on each table. “I didn’t think places like this existed anymore. Do these still work?” Kia asked.
“I’m pretty sure they do. What do you want to hear?” Ethan said, digging in his pocket for some quarters as Kia flipped through the selections. She picked out an old Beach Boys song and Ethan laughed as he put the quarters in the slot. They laughed and ate their pizza and Ethan had been right. They did have the best root beer she had ever tasted.
On the ride home, Kia started asking questions about how the pack made money and did pack members earn a wage just for being part of the pack or did they have outside jobs.
“Well, the pack members who work directly for the pack are on our payroll, like Edith, Lucy, Jared, Lily, Chris and Josh, the household maid staff, plus a few others but most of them work in our town or on the farm.
We get a percentage of the income from the stores in our town as well as from the income from the farm. You haven’t seen either one of them yet or the ranch where we raise some sheep and cattle but that’s mostly to keep our people fed, however we do sell some of it. Especially the wool from the sheep.
We also invest heavily in the stock market and so far, have done quite well. The night I met you I had just returned from Japan where I was on business. We are trying to diversify some of our businesses but so far I haven’t received the confirmation of the proposal I presented to them.” Ethan told her without going into great detail.
“OH goodness. I don’t know anything about the stock market.” Kia said, feeling less confident about her abilities to help Ethan with bookkeeping responsibilities.
“Not many people truly do because it changes so much but that and business management was what I went to college for and we don’t expect you to learn it all overnight either. Just get comfortable with the Accounts payable, accounts receivables and once you are familiar with that we’ll add payroll and we’ll work up to doing more as you become more comfortable with how we do things. I will take care of the stocks and file the taxes.” Ethan said.
“Don’t worry, Kia, my mom will walk you through anything you don’t already know or understand until you can do it on your own. We don’t expect you to have the level of training that an accountant would have.”
“Well, I looked at the computer and saw that your mom has been using Quickbooks Pro, which I’m proficient at but I didn’t really have time to get into your records much. I did notice that you all seem to use American Express Black cards and while they are very impressive cards to have, I think we would be better off going with cards that don’t have such high fees and offer cash back options that would pay the pack instead of costing just to have the card.” Kia said.
“You are right and we can get new cards for things like we did this weekend but I want to keep the Black cards since we have already paid the membership fee, which if I remember correctly was rather high and non refundable. They have the highest limit available and while we pay it off at the end of every month, we sometimes need to have that high limit available to us.” Ethan said.
“I agree that we should keep it but there are several cards out there like Discover and Visa that offer cash back options that would help to keep the bills paid without having to tap into pack income.” Kia said.
“Oh, man, I got a mate who’s not only beautiful, she’s smart too. The moon goddess truly smiled on me!” Ethan said with a big smile as he pulled into the pack driveway.
Over the weekend, Kia spent time exploring the house, learning where things were and how to get from one place to the next by the shortest routes.
On Monday, Angela took her out to the bunker and explained that it was used to hide the elderly, the untrained and the children in the event of an attack and it could also be used in the case of a tornado. It was a series of large rooms underground between the schoolhouse and the church, which was a lovely building with stained glass windows and wide stairs leading up to a covered portico. Kia could just imagine having her wedding pictures taken there, IF Ethan ever proposed.
“There are entrances from the school house as well as the church and the main house. The one from the main house is from the kitchen. That’s mainly because most of the staff are concentrated in the kitchen and it’s on the ground floor. The younger children would be more concentrated around the school house since they use the playgrounds there even when school is not in session. Most of the parents work, so when formal classes are not in session, the school house still gets used as part of the day care center.
As Luna, your biggest responsibility is to make sure that all the children get to the bunker in case of an emergency. Older children who don’t work yet, each have at least one child they are assigned to get to the bunkers safely. A lot of the elderly are assigned as babysitters or they help out at the daycare center. So at least they are all close to the same areas.
A full on attack against a pack as large as ours would be rare but then rogues are not always smart. Usually they are sneaky and will try to attack lone wolves who are away from the pack. That’s why we keep the children out of the woods unless they are going with a group of adults and by adults I mean warriors must be with them.” Angela explained as they walked across the grounds to watch the other women in training.
Kia was amazed to see rows of women doing Thai Chi moves and then after about half an hour, they broke off into pairs and began practicing martial arts. There was one woman who was particularly impressive mainly because of her size and build. She stood at least 6’ tall and was built more like a man than a woman, with large muscular arms and legs, a 6 pack stomach and virtually no breast, at least not breast like most of the women. Hers were more like a man’s chest. She had reddish brown hair that was currently tied up in a ponytail on the back of her head with a terry cloth headband to keep it in place and soak up the sweat. She looked like one of those women bodybuilders that Kia had seen on TV.
“That’s Sandra. She’s the best female warrior we have. Strong as an ox and an excellent fighter. She takes her job very seriously. Come on and I’ll introduce you.” Angela said as Sandra walked in front of the class in their direction.
“Sandra, I’d like to introduce you to our new Luna, Kia. Kia, this is Sandra, our training instructor for the women. You will start training with her after the Luna ball.” Angela said.
“Hello, Sandra.” Kia said and was surprised when the big woman looked down at her and then bowed as she said “Welcome, Luna, to the Silver Forest Pack. My, but you are a tiny little thing.” Sandra said in her straightforward way as she held out her hand. “But don’t worry, in fighting, size is not always an advantage and I can teach you how to defend yourself and how to bring your enemy to his knees.”
Kia’s hand felt lost in the woman’s much larger one but she smiled and said. “I look forward to learning everything you can teach me.”
“Good attitude!” Sandra complimented her. “Do you mind if I see your wolf? You can strip in that tent.” Sandra pointed the way to a small tent that looked like a bathers tent that she had seen in old movies where people would change their clothes at the beach.
Kia walked over to the tent and quickly stripped out of her clothes, shifted and walked back onto the field. Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched as she walked back over to where Sandra and Angela were standing.
“My goddess, Luna. I must say your wolf is not only beautiful but much larger than I expected.” Sandra said and then surprised Kia when she shifted right in front of her. Sandra’s wolf was a reddish brown but much to Kia’s surprise was slightly smaller than Tia in height but she was much more muscular, having a broad chest and powerful looking legs and neck. They sniffed each other, which was something that Kia was still not used to doing but Tia had explained that it helped her ID wolves within the pack. Sandra mind linked with her “I think your wolf will be able to handle herself. What is her name?”
“Tia. What about yours?” Kia asked.
“Sasha. Well, if you will excuse me, I need to get back to work. Very nice to have met you Luna. I look forward to next week.” Sandra linked her and with a nod at Angela, trotted back across the field.
Kia went back to the tent and shifted, which was now becoming less painful than it had been before, and got dressed again. She returned to Angela who was watching the women warriors shift and begin practicing. Fighting as wolves was a lot more violent than when they practiced as humans but Sandra kept a tight rein on everyone, making sure that no one got carried away, lost their tempers and hurt another pack member.
“She is quite impressive and just a little bit scary.” Kia admitted to Angela as they walked back to the house.
“Sandra is one of our best warriors, even if the men will never admit it. She can whip the butts of most of them, with maybe the exception of maybe Ethan and his pup pack.” Angela said.
“Hahahaha. Who is the “pup pack”? Kia laughed. She suspected that she already knew and Angela confirmed that she had dubbed Ethan, Jared, Chris and Josh as the “Pup Pack” when they were just pups themselves.
“The four of them have grown up together their whole lives. Ethan and Jared were born a week apart, Chris about a month later and then Josh a couple of months after him. They are more like brothers than just friends.”
As they entered the house, Angela immediately went still for just a moment and then got a big smile on her face as Edith went running by, followed quickly by Lucy. “What’s going on ?” Kia asked.
“Lily is in labor.” Lucy said just as Jared came crashing into the house. He ignored everyone as he raced up the stairs and down the hall to their bedroom. The doctor arrived a minute or two later and made everyone but Edith and Lucy leave the room while he examined Lily.
Jared paced up and down the hallway as he waited to find out what was going on inside his bedroom with his mate. After about 15 minutes, the doctor came out followed by Lucy, who took off down the hall without saying a word to anyone.
“Well, Doc, how is Lily?” Angela asked as Jared stood next to her, apparently unable to speak at the moment.
“I’m not going to lie to you or try to sugar coat this but she’s very weak and we may have to do a C-section. She’s not been eating enough or rather she hasn’t been getting enough nutrition because she’s been throwing up so much and she’s gotten weak.
She’s asked that she be allowed to try to deliver naturally because she’s almost fully dilated but I’m going to limit the amount of time we wait to three hours and I’ll only allow that if the pup’s heart beat doesn’t show signs of distress and she has agreed.
Jared, you can go and see her for a few minutes but I’ve sent Lucy to get a nurse and a gurney. I want to move her to the hospital now in case we have to do an emergency cesarean. If the pup starts to show signs of distress, time will be of the essence and we’ll have to act fast or we could lose them both.” That statement nearly sent Jared to his knees and he got very pale.
“Oh god! No! I can’t lose my Lily!” Jared stared at the doctor in horror. His heart was pounding in his chest and it felt like someone had wrapped a steel band around his chest because just taking a breath took effort.
“Go see her, Jared. Try to make her understand that a C-section would be the best way.” Dr. Anson told him.
“Doc, no matter what happens, you make sure Lily survives.” Jared looked at him intensely. Dr. Anson nodded and Jared finally took in as much air as he could manage and then entered their bedroom.
Jared felt like it was a mile to get the few feet it took him to get to his mates bedside. He dropped to his knees next to the bed and looked at her. Edith gave him a smile of encouragement but left the room so that they could have some time alone. “I’ll be right outside the door if you need me.” She said before she pulled the door closed.
Jared looked at his beautiful mate and wondered how things could have gone so wrong so fast. She had been fine when he had left this morning and now she looked so pale and frail. Lily opened her eyes and looked at him when he took her chilled hand in his.
“Hey!” He bent forward and kissed her forehead. Her skin felt clammy and sweaty and Jared’s heart began to race again. “What’s going on, my love?”
“Doc wants to cut me but I want to have our pup naturally. I can do this Jared.” Lily said but her voice was weak.
They had promised each other when they had first become mates that they would never keep secrets and would always tell each other everything. Honesty between them was very important to both of them.
“Baby, he’s agreed to let you try but if the pup starts to show signs of stress, he’s going to do what he has to to save you. I pray our pup makes it, baby, but I can’t lose you. I will die if you don’t make it.”
Lily could never hurt him by saying that if the pup did not live then she didn’t want to either. But she began to question her decision about natural childbirth as another contraction gripped her. This one was the strongest one yet and Lily had to hope that she would be able to push the pup out soon as the pain was incredible and she let out a small cry.
Jared yelled “Dr. Anson!” Lily was crushing his hand but he didn’t care. He wished he could take all of her pain away as he watched her face contort in pain as she waited for the contraction to be over with.
Dr. Anson quickly came back into the room and checked her progress. Jared wiped his mate’s forehead with a towel he found lying near her pillow.
“OK, Lily. It’s getting very close. I can see the head now. Just breathe and when I tell you, take a deep breath and push.” Dr.. Anson instructed but wondered where the hell Lucy and the nurse were. His mind linked them “Hurry up! She has crowned.”
Just then Lucy and the nurse, named Kathy, showed up. Lucy was pushing a gurney and the nurse was pushing a machine that was to monitor the baby’s heartbeat as well as Lily’s.
Edith came back carrying a stack of clean towels and a large metal bowl, which she quickly filled with warm water. Between the nurse and Lucy, they quickly got the monitor hooked up and it immediately gave readouts to tell Dr. Anson exactly where his patients stood. So far, the pup’s heart beat was strong but Dr. Anson was worried that Lily might not have enough physical strength to push the pup out.
Another contraction hit Lily and she groaned as she squeezed Jared’s hand. Jared looked at the doctor who looked under the sheet that was draped across Lily’s raised knees and he could tell that the next contraction should be the one that would make the difference.
“Lucy get on the bed and hold her leg and put your other hand behind her upper back. Jared, you hold her other leg and her upper back, just behind her shoulders. She’s physically weak and is going to need help. When her next contraction starts, I’ll let you know when but you’ll pull your hands towards each other like you are trying to fold her in half but don’t force her and wait for me to tell you when. Lily, the next contraction is going to be the one to bring out the head. All of you, listen to my instructions as I give them.” Dr. Anson instructed them.
A minute later, the next contraction hit and Lily screamed, wanting to arch her back but Dr. Anson said, “Ok Lily, now take a big deep breath and push! Slowly bring her back and legs together.” He said as he bent forward to guide the baby’s head out. Jared and Lucy put pressure on her legs and back as Lily grunted and pushed with all of her might.
“Ok. Release her back but keep her legs bent. Edith, give me a towel.” He spent precious seconds cleaning the baby’s airway. “Now, Lily, push for all your worth! Kathy, get ready.”
Lily was exhausted but she took another big breath and screamed as the baby’s shoulders were delivered. The rest of the baby slipped out easily and Dr. Anson turned him over and tapped him on his bottom several times and suddenly there was a loud cry. Dr. Anson looked at Jared and smiled.
“You have a son.” He said as he laid the bloody, squalling body on Lily’s stomach. Lily smiled up at Jared and then touched her son’s head. Then another milder contraction hit as the afterbirth came out. Dr. Anson inspected it to make sure it was all there, then Kathy handed Dr. Anson the clips so that he could prepare the umbilical cord to be cut.
Once they were in place, he asked Jared if he wanted the honors. Jared, who was so happy he could barely see through the tears of joy that had filled his eyes, nodded his head and reached out his hand to accept the scissors.
It was harder than he thought it was going to be but he snipped the cord in two and watched as Kathy picked up his son and took him to be bathed, measured and weighed. Jared couldn’t decide if he wanted to jump up and down or dance a jig but his heart was so full of love at the moment that he felt like it was going to burst.
Dr. Anson spent some time checking Lily until he was satisfied that she was going to be fine but told Kathy to stay with her to monitor her and the baby for a few hours. Kathy, with Lucy and Ediths’ help, cleaned up Lily as best they could.
Lily was exhausted and after about half an hour of snuggling with her son, she began to drift off to a much needed rest. Jared told her to sleep, kissed her on the head and then after spending several minutes staring at his now sleeping son, he left the bedroom.
He walked to Ethan’s office and knocked and then opened the door when he heard Ethan call out to come in.
“So, Daddy Jared. Congratulations, bro. How’s Lily?” Ethan asked as he stood up and shook hands and bro hugged his best friend. Jared had a huge smile on his face that everyone would be seeing a lot of in the next few days.
“Thanks and she’s going to be OK. She’s exhausted and is sleeping now.” Jared replied.
“So? How big is he?” Ethan asked and then busted out laughing when Jared got a deer in the headlights look on his face. He knew they had told him all those small details but he had felt like he was going to pass out when Dr. Anson placed that bloody baby on his mate’s stomach and it had taken a little while to make his head stop spinning so he couldn’t remember what they had said.
“To be honest, they said but I really don’t remember. I was more focused on trying not to pass out. Main thing is Lily is going to be just fine. She had gotten so weak from being sick all the time.
To tell you the truth, she’s going to have to beg me for a long time before I’ll put her through that again, if ever. I thought I was going to lose her there for a while and I’ll not admit this to anyone but you but I was scared shitless. I know I couldn’t have continued if she had died, Ethan.” Jared said, getting so choked up he had to stop and take several deep breaths.
“I understand. As much as I want children someday, I’m almost afraid to get Kia pregnant. She’s so tiny. I’m not sure she can handle having a pup.” Ethan admitted. He knew that Jared was the only person he could tell stuff like this too. They had always been able to talk about anything and everything. They had no secrets between them and knew each other’s secrets, fears and feelings as well as they knew their own.
“I don’t think it would have been so hard for Lily if she hadn’t been sick almost the whole time but she’s barely been able to eat and even when she did, it wouldn’t stay down for long enough for her to get the nutrition she needed from it.
She seemed to be coming out of it right before Kia got here and for the first few days she was here but then this past week and a half, she’s been sick again.” Jared said. “Anyway, because she gave birth in our bed, we’ll probably have to replace the mattress.”
“Well, there are several bedrooms available if you need somewhere to sleep tonight.” Ethan said.
“Well, if I can get some help getting the bedding changed and Lily a bath, then maybe but I really want to stay with her. Hell, I’ll sleep on the floor if I have too.” Jared blushed as he admitted that he didn’t want to be away from his mate and new pup.