Twenty-Six: Verre

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It was only the second time Verre had ever thrown up, the first having been she had eaten twenty sourbuds on a dare.

Staggering back into the cave, her stomach still churning, she eased herself down. What was wrong with her? It wasn't like to her to get jittery during a mission, and this pretty much counted as one. Was it nerves? Perhaps she was worried about Cerise and Aura. They were so young, after all. Maybe she should have joined them.

"Verre?" Baen half-rose from where he had been sleeping beside her. "Are you alright? You're looking especially pale." He placed an arm around her waist, pulling her towards him. She didn't resist, enjoying the added warmth and nearness it brought.

"I'm fine, really. I-" Were those tears welling up in her eyes? She didn't cry, ever. What was wrong with her!

Swallowing hard--and commanding the tears to remain in her eyes--she continued, "I'm just tired is all. It has been an exhausting month trying to survive and make sure everyone else does too."

One month, had it already been that long since she had last seen her parents or slept in her own bed? The thought made her homesick, and she almost cried . . . again. Instead of crying, though, she ran outside and vomited . . . again.

"Verre, there is definitely something wrong. You never ever vomit." Baen had rushed out after her, clothed only in his trousers. He was going to freeze to death worrying about her. "Let's get you back inside so I can figure out what in Denthlire is happening."

Thankfully, Blanca had gone on a walk. Her breath was hardly toxic, but the longer she spent in the cave, the worse it got. She also said she preferred to be by herself, so no one minded when she went on little strolls.

Settling back down on the patch of ground that served as her bed, Verre let out a deep breath, feeling that her entire being was frazzled. She was never like this.

A sneaking suspicion began to dawn on her as Baen massaged her shoulders in an attempt of comfort. When had her last cycle been? It had been before she had been captured, at least a month before that, actually. The more she considered it, the more it made sense. A horrible, fear-instilling sort of sense.

It was--unfortunately--highly probable that she was, in fact, pregnant.

But she couldn't be pregnant, not now. She and Baen had always talked about having children, to one day start a family, but now was the literal worst time to be pregnant. How could she carry out what she needed to do with a baby?

Still, as she rested her hand subtly on her stomach, she couldn't help the flood of love and excitement this new change brought. But there was a chance she could be wrong, right?

She knew that the chances were slim, especially given the clues that were right in front of her. Judging from her cycle, she was at least eight weeks along. But, it was most likely ten or twelve. Still, ten weeks seemed like such a short amount of time, especially since she still had thirty to go.

The rhythmic pressure of Baen's hands on her back brought her back to reality. A realization struck her; she couldn't tell Baen. He would sacrifice himself in exchange for her and the baby's safety.

Still, she wouldn't be able to keep it a secret for long, not with her lean form. She would tell him once the slippers had been safely handed to Madame Rose. Or once Blanca killed Pan, like they had talked about.

Verre had discovered that Blanca was the only one who could kill Pan. His regenerative abilities were too strong for the rest of them to kill him, or even harm him.

But Blanca, her powers somehow were incredibly harmful to him. While Verre didn't know why, it was still a weakness they could exploit.

Blanca had agreed with her plan, saying that it was the only way everyone would make it out alive.

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