From Chapter 45:
She whispered, “Supremely. I know that it’s hard to understand, but I don’t think I could handle it if you were to look at me with disgust and contempt.”
“If they make you happy, then that’s all I need to know for now. Your mother is waiting.”
Sebastian kissed her cheek and took her through the door.
The lights were turned low as Kara entered her parents’ room. She took in the details for the first time as she looked around on her way to her mother. Behind the heavy, dark wood door, there was an armoire on the wall behind the door with relief carvings of twisted vines on the edges and around the corners.
Wolf paws curled over balls at the feet and the design was repeated on the dresser, chests of drawers, vanity and night stands. Rich, deep blue walls were bordered on the lower third by the same dark wood and intricately carved chair rails sat atop the bead board.
Soft light poured like falling water from upturned sconces placed around the room and the California king-sized bed stood proudly in the center of the wall which it shared with the door. The bed had the same vine design as the other furniture swirling up the canopy posts like candy cane stripes and the bed curtains that had been pulled completely back on her earlier visit were now touching in the center of the bars in both sides and at the foot of the bed, but secured at the middle with silken cords.
The overall look was elegant and calming and Kara gave Sebastian a brilliant smile, “I would very much like a bed similar to that one. It doesn’t have to be so fancy, but it’s just beautiful!”
Sebastian kissed her nose and smiled at her, “It would be nothing for us to have a duplicate made, if you’d like.”
“No, not a copy, but something similar…” she switched to thinking, “And much, much sturdier too, with places to attach the cuff chains on the sides, top and bottom, and loops on the top bars for them too…and it would need to be a bit higher from the floor as well.
It would need to be fastened to the wall to prevent busting sheetrock like Nick did last time he got a little excited, and I would definitely want a little set of steps to climb into it or for kneeling on-”
Sebastian stopped her, “Sweet peaches and oh damn, Baby! You can’t talk like that now; you just can’t! I can’t put you down now, not without the others seeing my ‘endowment’. You are so damned sexy that you can make me come close to losing it by just listening to you. I want to hook your legs around me and take you against the wall, but now is not the time. Now is the time for you to visit with your mother.”
“I know. I-I’m scared, Bastian. It already hurts and I’m too afraid to tell her goodbye.”
He tilted her and held her closer to his chest, “I’m here, Love. I’m here and I will always be here for you.”
“You can’t promise me that! What if you die too? What will I do! I just can’t face her. I can’t face death again. It hurts, Bastian, it hurts so much!”
“I’m not going to die for a long, long time, and Nikolai will be here for you if or when that time comes. Let’s get through the crises as they come and not borrow more for the day, alright? I’m going to set you on the bed and sit in the chair beside you now. Open your eyes.”
Sebastian set Kara beside her mother and she sobbed onto the sleeping woman’s chest, hugging her as tightly as she dared. After several minutes, Eldora’s hand came to rest on Kara’s head and the dying woman managed to stroke her daughter’s chocolate tresses. She spoke softly and Kara wouldn’t have been able to make out the words if it wasn’t for her wolf.
She said, “I love you, my beautiful, lovely child. I have always loved you and I ask again for your forgiveness for my part in causing you pain in your life. I need to know that you do not harbor ill will toward you before I pass from this life to the next.”