Chapter 20

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Presence whispered over my skin.

Unsurprisingly, dark chocolate eyes blazed at me when I lifted my head.

"Kieran," I murmured.

I wasn't surprised, but I was hoping for a bit more of a reprieve, especially in light of what I was suspecting.

"Adora may be carrying two or more eggs instead of just the one," I tossed out.

He stopped short, eyes widening, the stench of fear boiling off his skin. His mouth dropped open and worked, once, twice, before he shut it again. Kieran's eyes slitted and the scent of rage started to overpower that of fear.

"You —" he choked. He opened his mouth and gulped down air.

"Why did I know you were going to do something like this again?"

I nearly flinched at the venom in his tone.

"When are you going to learn to share?" he roared. "You hide away like something afraid of light, scurry out and drop these little bombs on us, and then skitter away again. What in the names of the bloody Fates is wrong with you? Do you take some kind of sick twisted pleasure in being the only person who knows everything?"

What in the names of the Fates indeed. I hated that Adora was right.

"Adora warned me this would happen, but I didn't agree. I'd usually say that I now owe her something shiny and glittery, but I think she'd just throw it back in my face. I think our mate is almost sick of gold, blasphemy as that is," I said, keeping the lament out of my voice with effort.

That stopped him short, the bright rings of gold around his eyes dimming.

"I apologize," I said quickly, before his anger could rise again. "I apologize for making you feel that way and I regret that this isn't my first apology. I truly am sorry."

The words grated as I pushed them past the tightness in my throat, but there was no room for pride now. Not when my brother mate was was near to riding the killing edge.

Kieran rocked back on his heels.

"I'm not certain, by the way. I suspect."

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

"Why do you suspect?"

"She's grown paler since she woke."

His jaw set. "Which has been all of one day. Not even a full day since we have yet to eat dinner and it's nowhere near bedtime."

"Yes. And she's paler."

He swallowed and the smell of fear grew stronger.

"That's why you've been hiding here." He gestured around at the walls lined with books.

"Not hiding. Researching," I snapped. Perhaps I should have said something to them before diving into my books, but there was only so much I would take for the sake of peace.

"How will we even be able to tell?"

"The ultrasound machine will be able to tell if there's two eggs, at least. The true worry is if she has two, there's nothing to say she won't have three or more. In that case, we're right back to square one."

"Bloody Fates and Mother Night."

"Yes, and the Darkness doesn't seem inclined to be merciful," I replied.

"That means the Gifting may be more danger for her than help," he groaned.

"Most of the problem is that Adora really doesn't like to swallow."

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