Chapter dedicated to ThatWeirdWattyGirl. Thanks for reading and voting! Ps...are you really that weird?

Chapter 158—Pictures in My Mind

Cage

I held Raine close to my chest. I still hated the way the events had transpired. I hated the way that I found out about my child. But I understood her fear of losing me. She had gone through three months, grieving for me and mourning my loss. I couldn't imagine doing that. I couldn't imagine having her ripped from my arms and left to deal with the fallout all alone.

But in truth, she hadn't been alone, Marku had been there for her. I ground my teeth together. Of all of the men to be uncontrollably attracted to her, I wasn't sure there was anyone worse than Marku. He was vile and his habits with women were disgusting, yet he did seem to be different with Raine.

Still, I didn't believe that people changed...not as significantly as that. Not to go from his thriving sex life filled with plentiful vampire females and human pets to just one woman. Thankfully, Raine seemed sensible enough to realize it as well.

I pulled back to look at her. She stared up at me, her lip still quivering, agony reflected in her azure eyes. I ran my knuckles along the side of her face and murmured, "Tell me what happened."

Her mouth turned down to a frown as she whispered, "What do you mean? I told you everything."

I shook my head. I knew the basics, but I didn't know the details. I clarified, "I want to know how it all happened. How did you know you were pregnant? How did our baby...die?" I struggled to get the last word out.

Her face fell as understanding came over her features. Explaining the details to me would be difficult for her, but whether she realized it or not, she needed me to know. She needed me to know and understand exactly what she went through.

And I needed to know. Right that moment, it still felt so surreal, and I wondered when the shock would wear off, and the real pain of grief would set in.

"Okay," she whispered in resignation. "I—"

"Wait a minute," I cut her off.

She stared at me in confusion, her mouth still open, waiting to speak.

I didn't want to have that conversation while sitting on the floor in front of the door. I reached my hands under her body and lifted her from the ground. She clutched tightly to my shoulders as I carried her and set her gently on the bed. She sat with her legs crossed and her hands in her lap. I climbed on to sit next to her, my legs stretched out and propped my back against the headboard.

When we were both settled, she just stared down at her lap, no words coming from her mouth. I gathered one of her small hands in mine. I worked to keep my voice from cracking. "I need to know all of it, please don't leave anything out."

She nodded and began again, "I...I didn't have any signs ahead of time. I didn't notice or feel any change in my body...but maybe I missed it because it was hard to focus on anything other than the constant pain from the mate bond." She tried to extract her hand from mine, but I just clutched it tighter. We had already been separated enough, I wouldn't allow her to pull away from me now. Realizing I wasn't going to relinquish her, she bit her lip and continued, "Loki was there. He was anxious...like he was upset about something. Looking back, I think he knew what was happening to me."

I considered her words. It wouldn't surprise me if Loki did know. He was in tuned to her body and her mind, and even provided healing to her. Their connection was something that couldn't be explained, but was certainly palpable enough to be believed in.

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