Chapter dedicated to JasmineVerner. Thanks so much for reading and voting, my friend!!

Chapter 87 – Strong For Him – Raine's POV

I hadn't wanted to leave Cage's side, but Brialle had convinced me I needed to get cleaned up, and promised she would stay with him until I returned. Once I was showered and appropriately dressed again, I did feel better. My anxiety was still running high, but she had been right. Cage was strong. I knew he would fight for us.

I walked back into the conference room, where Cage was still lying on the bed, and hurried to his side. They had left him on his stomach as the majority of his pain seemed to be coming from my mark on his back. I cringed when I saw the red and painful lines, and shuddered again to realize that I had caused him so much suffering.

I was still very confused about what all of this meant. I needed to talk with Felaern, but only Brialle was in the room now. She looked up at me from a nearby chair and murmured, "How are you doing?"

I replied quietly, "I'm ready to be strong for him."

She nodded in approval. "That's my girl."

I sat gingerly on the bed, careful not to disturb him. For right now, he was quiet with his eyes closed, but I doubted he was asleep, because his jaw would clench and occasionally his hand would curl into a tight fist. I cringed every time, because I knew he was struggling against the pain.

After several long moments of silence, Brialle spoke softly, "You have grown into a strong young woman. I never wanted this world for you. Honestly, I did not think you belonged in it. You were so different. But, it is clear now, that I was stunningly wrong. You embody a status here that is shared by no more than five others."

I had no idea what to say, and just stared at her. It was still so surreal to consider that I was now looking into the eyes of my mother. A woman I had given up hope, a long time ago, of ever knowing. I understood now why she left me, but a wound that deep and painful did not heal in just a few moments of time.

From her sad expression, I think she suspected my thoughts. Maybe not exactly, but close enough. Her words confirmed it when she promised brokenly, "I will do everything in my power to repair the damage I have caused you and your sister."

I struggled past the lump in my throat and whispered hoarsely, "I know you didn't want to leave me."

"No, sweet girl, I did not," she replied with difficulty, as a single tear broke through her eyelashes and ran down her cheek.

We sat silently after that, each lost in our own thoughts. I lay down and whispered an almost constant stream was words, love and encouragement to Cage. He never responded, but I knew he could hear me.

I wasn't sure how much later, maybe a few hours, the door opened and Alaric quietly walked into the room. His expression was tight with concern and compassion as his gaze rested on me. Brialle rose from her chair and commented, "I will give you some time alone."

She walked out the door, letting it close gently behind her. I pulled my body into a sitting position and Alaric walked to my side. He murmured, "Protocol dictates that I bow before a Queen. Would you like me to do that?"

Shock reverberated through me as I realized he was absolutely serious. I hastily replied, "Of course not! Don't you dare ever bow to me! Please... Sit." I motioned toward the chair.

He pulled the chair closer to the bed and settled into it. "How is he doing?"

I struggled not to cry as I replied brokenly, "As well as he can. I hate that I am the cause of his pain...The guilt is killing me to see him like this...To know that I did this to him."

I Am Only One {Mature Vampire Romance}Read this story for FREE!