Chapter dedicated to ALL of you lovely readers who have waited so patiently for me and understand the struggles that I have been through and am currently still going through. I don't say it enough, but I love you all.
Chapter 74—Little Sister
Grace gently moved the sheet and light blanket, recovering Hycinth's lower body. With a quick glance at the pump that was pushing much needed nutrition into Hycinth's frail body, her careful brown eyes assessed the steadily dripping feeding tube for a moment. Satisfied with the performance of the medical apparatus, Grace turned back to me. "That's it for now."
"Okay." I hadn't forgotten about Luca waiting outside. Once again, I took a minute to focus on my Wolf's emotional stability. The last thing I needed was for him to erupt in a protective violent outburst at the presence of another male this close to our mate.
He felt my inquiry into his mind. All was calm, his thoughts somber as he replied, "Bring him in."
I exhaled in relief but was also surprised to hear a small amount of hope in his thoughts. Not only was the animal in control of his baser reflexes, but he was ready to try anything, including bringing in a non-blood-related male if it meant there was any chance Hycinth would respond and awaken. It would devastate him if the other male was able to get through the impenetrable barrier in Hycinth's mind that he could not, but his own feelings didn't matter to him. Not anymore. I intimately understood his fear and insecurity. A part of me worried that Hycinth wasn't responding simply because it was me asking her to. Sydney had said that Hycinth wanted to return to me but that was secondhand information. Maybe she'd been wrong. Maybe Hycinth still didn't want me even now. Could her aversion be so severe that even she couldn't overcome it in her mind? My heart clenched painfully at the thought.
I shook my head, forcefully shoving out the devastating thought. I couldn't let my own insecurities cripple me emotionally. Not now. Now, I had to remain strong for our mate. Once she was awake, I would deal with the aftermath and face whatever came my way, but not now.
Pushing my thoughts into the mindlink, I silently reached out to Luca, "Now."
He didn't need any more clarification or invitation than that. Instantly, soft footsteps outside conveyed that he had gotten to his feet and approached the door. The handle turned slowly, and the door opened. Luca's bulky frame blocked much of the sunlight coming through the door as he stepped inside.
Absinth eyes dilated, adjusting to the lower light and flickered quickly around the room until they landed on Hycinth in the bed. His brow furrowed, deep creases forming in his forehead when he saw her small frame, pale and sickly. Sucking in a sharp breath through his mouth, he swallowed thickly and let it out. His attention riveted back to me, his tone thick with emotion, "Can I..."
I nodded my consent.
Moving stiffly across the room, he stood by her side and leaned down to her ear, whispering softly, "I'm here, little sister. Can you hear me?"
My Wolf and I held perfectly still, waiting with bated breath, hoping and praying for a response.
But there was nothing.
Luca found her fingers through the covers. He squeezed gently and tried again, forcing lightness and humor into his words, "Remember what we talked about, Cinn? No laying around in bed all day. It's time to get up."
Still no reaction at all. Hycinth remained motionless except for the slow rise and fall of her chest.
I mentally reached into our one-sided mate bond, searching for anything, any change or indication that she'd heard him, but I came up blank.
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"Shh, little mouse, you don't have to run away..." my words were hypnotic, whispering into the magic of the atmosphere. "Spanking can be a form of pleasure, just as much as it can discipline." She gave an almost imperceptible shake of her head, spin...