Chapter 29

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Her fingers fluttered in mid-air as Kieran tore Fenrir from her and I caught them in mine.

"Jace!" Kieran shouted.

Was that a bell tolling? The sound reverberated around me endlessly, shattering the world around me until all I could see was my mate.

Was this what Fenrir saw? What he felt?

The sea, endless, fathomless, relentless, the tides flowing from me to her. Warmth draining away in slow degrees. Joy in seeing her cheeks pinken, her curves become fuller. The little bump under her gown swelled until her tummy pressed gently against the fabric.

Was that normal? Should she be progressing that fast? It looked like something out of a sci-fi terror movie. Alien impregnation.

Fear twined with the so-inappropriate laugh that tried to break free. It kind of was an alien baby, if one of them was ours anyway.

She refused to let go of my hands, her fingers tightening around mine. Her mouth opened slightly, lush and welcoming like a rose in full bloom, in stark contrast to the pale thinness of before.

I could feel her draw on me, a pulsing milking sensation that tugged at my heart...and my cock. Appropriate or not, I was going from my usual semi around her to a full-blown erection and things were only getting harder.

"Jace!" Kieran shouted again.

Angry. He was angry. Why?

Muzzily, I forced my head around to stare at him.

"Dude, why you angry, brah?"

"Fates, he's gone all internetty bro-dude on us," Kieran spat.

"Just pull him away when he's getting close," Lucas muttered. "Fenrir looks fine, or will be."

The words spun in my mind and dissipated, disappeared, like water swirling down a toilet. A toilet. Those were cool. We didn't have them aboard the medusa, not quite the same anyway. Things were weird on the medusa. Some stuff was magic and other stuff was hyper-advanced tech and the rest was straight out of the medieval age.

My mate's eyes glittered. With life. With...lust? Was that lust? It looked like lust. It was the look I'd caught from under her lashes when she was half-Asleep and orgasming sometimes.

"Merciful Stars, can you gag him or something?" Lucas groaned. "I never thought —"

"Never thought what? You know exactly what he's like and what he does when he gets drunk," Kieran retorted.

My loves.

I smiled at them, faintly aware that it was a sloppy, puppyish smile that I normally wouldn't allow anywhere near my face for all that I liked to play the carefree one.

I loved them so much. Just like I loved our mate. Our mate, who was going to have our babies. Our babies. Just the thought made me feel all fuzzy and prickly inside. Terror and anticipation and hope and love and and and...

Lucas shook his head. "Shit, what is she doing to him? Fenrir just kind of sat there, like he was giving blood or something, but man, Jace is out of his mind."

"I don't know, but keep an eye on him."

"You don't need to tell me twice."

Keep an eye on who? Whom? On our mate? I could do that. Some days it was all I could do to stop looking at her.

She was looking good though. All pink and round and glowy, the way she was supposed to look. Watching how pale and wan she was getting was killing me. It was nice to be able to fix it. I wanted to fix it. That was all I ever wanted.

"Stars benight it, how's he doing now?"

Muscular arms wrapped around me, one banding around my shoulders and the other around my waist. "Somehow, he's doing all right. I think she's tapering off, or she's getting full up, or something. What does your mother have to say about this?"

His mother? Kieran's mother?

I blew a raspberry, almost biting the tip of my tongue in the process.

Fiona was nice enough, I supposed, but her immediate adoration of Adora kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I got it, I really did. The way we anchored Kieran wasn't the same way that Adora did and would. Plus, Adora could give him baaabies. Grandbabies that Fiona had been hinting after for decades.

But, was it too much to ask for a similar amount of excitement when we'd pledged ourselves to each other? Instead she'd always carried that glimmer of fuckery around us, that strange mix of wistful hope and poisonous wishes, as if Kieran would turn to one of the girls she was always parading in front of him if we were gone.

As if. Kieran was ours. Ours. Even in death. I'd haunt him so he couldn't get it up with anyone.

A low deep laugh reverberated by my ear.

Lucas. It was Lucas. I loved his laugh. He didn't laugh enough and every time he did it made me want to roll myself in him, burrow in him, and wallow until I was covered in him.

"Fates," Kieran groaned. "This is killing me. My mother has no idea, and I'm breaking off the connection before she hears Jace."

What was wrong with her hearing me? In fact, wasn't the problem that she didn't seem to hear me? I loved Kieran and I loved Lucas and I loved Adora and maybe I could even like-love-lust Fenrir, but she never seemed to hear it. Just kept looking at us with that fuckery look. I hated that look. The look that said I wasn't good enough, that my love wasn't enough, that I would always be paying and paying and paying for the amount of love my brother gave me. A dragon was only allotted so much love in his life, and my brother had given me all he had. More than he had. And now he was dead. Dead dead dead. So dead I didn't even have his ashes to carry with me. So dead I'd lost our home in the instant he'd fallen to the ground, not just lifeless, but utterly devoid of that which made Xavier the male he was.

"Make him stop, please," Kieran begged.

Warm soft lips covered mine. 

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