Sinclair’s face immediately closes off, “Baby we talked about this.” He rumbles, sounding unhappy but
“We started to,” I agree, remembering that last painful conversation. “And then the bomb went off and
everything went crazy.”
“Ella, I know how badly you want to meet her. And I would love nothing more for us to be free to go
searching right this minute – but it’s not the time. There’s too much going on.” Sinclair proclaims,
repeating much of the same sentiments he had when we first discussed this matter.
“But this isn’t just about finding her because I want to meet her.” I correct him. “You told me yourself
that after Xavier died, Queen Reina left Moon Valley and became a devotee of the Goddess. That can’t
coincidence.” I insist, silently begging him not to shut this possibility down without hearing me out first.
“My mother met the Goddess, she spoke to her. Whatever they discussed, it had to have been far more
substantive than the fairytale version the Goddess told me as a pup. Even if that’s all she knows – she
still has answers we don’t.”
Sinclair doesn’t reply, but I can see the gears working in his head, his thoughts racing a thousand miles
a minute. Taking advantage of his contemplative mood, I forge ahead, “But what if that’s not all? What if
she’s been serving the Goddess these last five years learning the secrets of my blood so she’ll be
ready when I come? What if she knows how to get in direct contact with the Goddess, and can help me
do the same? It’s obvious that the Goddess’s priests and devotees have powers and knowledge we
don’t – far more than any elder council. If anyone can help us, surely it’s her.”
All of a sudden I feel a violent burst of defiance from Sinclair’s wolf, the beast lashing out against the
man. It explodes through our bond in a vicious haze of passion and protectiveness, rage and refusal,
determination and fear. Sinclair clamps his eyes shut with the effort of getting the animal under control,
and his fingers dig into my hips with unexpected force. Understanding sinks in when he slowly drops
his head back against the sofa, emitting a very soft, drawn out, “fuuucckk.”
My heart leaps in my chest. “I’m right, aren’t I?” I exclaim excitedly, bouncing a little in his lap. “I’m
Sinclair snarls, and perhaps for the first time in our entire relationship, he sets me away from him. One
moment I’m straddling his thighs with my swollen belly pressed flush to his abs, and the next I’m alone
on the couch while my mate paces back and forth across the room, overflowing with feral energy. I
watch him warily, feeling torn. I’m desperate to find my mother, but the last thing I want is to be away
from my mate, especially as the war escalates and my due date nears. I’m sure he feels exactly the
“Dominic?” I ask in a small voice, not sure what to do to help calm him.
“Yes, you’re right!” He snaps, even though I hadn’t planned on repeating my earlier question. “I swear, I
could strangle the Goddess for doing this to us. If she wanted to create a mortal child she should have
stayed with you and raised you and been a real fucking parent. She never should have torn you from
Reina and Xavier, sacrificed you to be abused by the humans!” His thundering growls have evolved
into a full-on roar, and his power spills out of him like a wild thing – ferocious and indomitable. “What
kind of a god abandons their most precious miracle? What kind of mother leaves her children
I want to get up and go to him, but I can tell he needs his space at the moment. He needs to get all of
his fury out into the open – especially if I want him to agree to this. Even so, I feel the strangest
compunction to defend my celestial mother, “In my memory, she said that I had to go through all that,
so that I could know what it was to be human.” I remind him.
Sinclair whirls around, “that’s bullshit. You could have been raised by Damon himself and still turned
out the sweetest creature to ever walk the earth!”
“I don’t think that’s true.” I counter gently, “that’s not how people work.”
“I don’t care!” He grumbles viciously. “I will never, never forgive her for what she put you through!”
At this point, I do stand and close the distance between us. I reach up and place my small hands on
either side of his scruffy jaw, forcing him to look down at me – even though he clearly doesn’t want to.
He grimaces and looks anywhere but at me. I patiently wait, and he eventually concedes, his green
eyes shining. I tilt my head to the side, letting him feel all my love through our bond. “You do know, that
if she hadn’t done all that – you and I would never have met.”
Sinclair softens slightly, searching my face with his ravenous gaze. His arms reflexively wrap around
my body, and he lowers his forehead to mine. There’s still so much turmoil swirling through his
consciousness, and the stubborn man doesn’t want to give in. “If the cost of giving you the life you
deserve was living without you, I would have gladly done it.
‘Then I’m glad it wasn’t up to you, because I wouldn’t.” I profess fervently.” I wouldn’t trade you and
Rafe for anything in the whole world, and it frankly infuriates me that you would even suggest such a
thing,” I continue with a scowl. “I am the woman I am today because of everything I survived and
overcame. I’m not saying I like it, or that I wouldn’t spare myself of the pain if I could. But if it hadn’t
happened we wouldn’t be here now. I wouldn’t have the love and joy of our family, and more
importantly, our people would pay the price.”
“I don’t care.” He says again, wearing an expression suspiciously close to a pout. “You’re more
important.” I realize I’m talking to his wolf now, rather than the logical man who puts duty above all else.
“You don’t really believe that.” I respond with a sad smile, ‘This was all set in motion so that the God of
Darkness’s schemes on earth wouldn’t result in the destruction of shifters and humans alike. You, more
than anyone, believe the future of our world is worth any price.”
“Not you.” He digs his heels in, clutching at me with newfound vigor, his voice hoarse with emotion.
“Exactly, and if it wasn’t for this war – I never would have been born.” I state simply, though the gravity
of this fact staggers me. I hadn’t considered this particular bit of logic before, and though my brain
wants to freak out in existential angst, I know I have to keep it together for my spiraling mate. “Don’t
you prefer having me in the world and a bit scarred, than not having me in the world at all?”
‘That isn’t fair.” He snaps petulantly, glaring at me even as his hands tighten on my small body.
“Maybe not, but it’s true.” I answer wryly, running my thumbs over his cheeks. “It will be okay, Dominic.”
I croon, leaning into him for a hug.
“I can’t let you go, Ella.” He mumbles against the curve of my neck. I feel his angry tears on my skin,
and I know that the decision has already been made, despite his continued denial. “I won’t. It’s not
safe, I’ll go mad if I let you out of my sight.”
“We got through one separation.” I murmur, kissing his hair and running my hands over his broad
shoulders. ‘We can get through another.”
He shakes his head, “It’s not the same. I knew I’d be back before things got too serious, before the
baby got too big.” Sinclair’s hands slide to my middle, “there’s no telling how long it might take you to
find Reina – how far you might have to go, or how much time you’d have to spend with her to learn
whatever she has to teach you.” His wolf’s despair puts tears in my eyes too, but before I can reply he’s
talking again. “And it was different when I knew you were under lock and key here. I wasn’t joking when
I’d go mad, my wolf will lose his mind if we don’t know where you are or whether or not you’re safe.”
‘We’ll get through it, because we have to.” I promise, feeling my own sobs begin to build. “The last thing
I want to do is be away from you, Dominic. But we don’t have a choice here. I have to do this if we’re
going to win this war.”
I feel another violent wave of anger and resistance from his wolf, before something caves inside him.
“Not before the summit concludes. Not before I’ve had at least another week with you two.” Sinclair
stipulates, letting his authority come through loud and clear.
“After the summit.” I agree, feeling both of our hearts break. “Not a moment before.
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