Accidental Surrogate

Chapter Chapter 315: Determination


I gasp and quickly reach out my hand to clasp Roger’s. I feel that he is just as tense as I am as we both
sit on the end of the bed, staring at Cora.

Leon flicks his gaze to me and gives me a very subtle shake of his head and a tiny frown. It’s a small
gesture, but the meaning is clear: I absolutely must not disturb Cora’s state. As a precaution, I raise a
hand to my mouth and cover it, knowing that in the upcoming moments I may hear details that make
me react involuntarily.

Roger squeezes my other hand tightly as Leon continues.

“Cora,” Leon continues, curious. “I admit that I am intrigued by this man, this priest. Can you tell me
more about him? What details do you remember?”

“It’s…hard,” Cora says, and I see her brow ruffle. “He…he didn’t want me to remember.”

“That’s very frustrating,” Leon continues, his voice like honey. “Just tell me what you see.”

“He’s tall,” Cora says, her frown deepening. “He has pale skin and dark hair…he’s not old, but not
young. His robe is black.” She gives a little shrug and huffs a sigh through her nose. I can see that
she’s frustrated, even in her hypnotic state.

“That’s all right, Cora, that’s wonderful detail,” Leon says soothingly. I hear Roger’s mouth pop open
and snap my head to him, but Leon holds up one finger towards us, begging patience while he

“What happened next, my dear?” Leon asks.

“He told me,” she says, sighing, “to destroy the sample in my hand – to wash it down the sink, and then
discard the vial. And then, once I did that,” she sighs, almost peaceful again, “he had me go to the
other freezer – the one with the shifter samples and to take out number 7285692. So I did. And then I
prepared that, and tested it for motility, and when it was ready,” she shrugs, “I went into the exam room
and helped Ella.”

“Thank you, Cora,” Leon says smoothly, smiling at her. “That is wonderful detail. You’ve remembered it
all so beautifully.” Then, he turns to Roger and nods, giving him permission to take control of the

“Cora,” Roger says, releasing my hand and crossing his arms over his chest. “Can you hear me?”

“Roger?” she asks, her eyes still closed. “What are you doing here in my lab?”

“I’m just…visiting…” he says awkwardly, clearly not very good at the kind of play acting that Cora’s
hypnosis requires.

“You’re not allowed to be back here,” she says, frowning.

Roger scoffs a little, as if remembering that she had no protests about a strange man in black robes
who apparently took control of her will and made her switch sperm samples before inseminating me. I
give Roger a hard nudge with my elbow and when he turns to me I give him a stern frown, clearly
communicating that he needs to be nice to my sister. This was, after all, not her fault.

Roger sighs and nods, agreeing to my terms. “Cora,” he continues, “what did the priest say to you
before he left? Did he ask you to…forget anything? Or do anything special with the sample?”

“No,” she says, turning her head to the side and considering. “He simply…took my hands, before I
went, and there was a white light…and then he was gone.”

“And then you took the sample,” Roger asks, “and you didn’t know to whom it belonged?”

“No,” she says, folding her hands in her lap, looking if anything a little bored. “I thought, at the time, that
it was the right sample. I thought it was the donor.”

“Very good, Cora,” Leon murmurs reassuringly next to her. “You’re doing wonderfully.” A little smile
comes onto her face.

“Cora,” Roger says again. “Did you ever see the priest again?” he asks, “after that day?”

“No,” she says simply, with a little shrug. But then, a darkness passes over her face, and she frowns.
Leon sits up, peering at her closely, and then looks at me, worried.

“Cora,” I say, intuiting that Roger may have hit on something here but…..perhaps, just asked the wrong

“Ella?” she says, her voice a little scared.

“Yes, Cora, it’s me,” I say softly, quickly standing up and moving to her side, sitting back down on the
bed and taking her hand. I’m probably blocking the remote investigators‘ view of Cora now, but I don’t
care. My sister is more important.

“Oh hey, Ella,” she says, her voice wavering a little bit, afraid.

“Cora,” I say, as gently as I can. “You said you don’t remember seeing the man in the black robe after
that day…but did you ever see him before?”

“Ella,” my sister says, her lip starting to tremble. She turns to me, unseeing, and grasps my hand
tightly. “Ella…”

“Cora,” I say, worried, glancing between her and Leon, desperate.

And then, my sister goes rigid with terror, her eyes flying open, and she tilts back her head and

Again and again – her screams are unending – she barely draws breath before the next one begins

“The antidote!” I shout, throwing my body across her, working to hold her, to keep her down. Leon,
clearly startled, fumbles with the shot at her side, his hands shaking. But suddenly Roger is there,
snatching it from his hands – leaning over and injecting Cora in the arm where Leon administered the
first shot and all the time she’s screaming, a sound of pure terror

Roger’s leans over Cora now, reaching for her face, calling her name – and then slowly, so slowly, her
screams subside, and she comes back to us.

“Cora,” I say, raising both of my hands to her cheeks as tears slip down her face. She looks at me,
panting, starting to sob.

“Ella,” she cries, reaching for me, and I wrap my sister in my arms, climbing fully onto the bed so I can
hold her close. Roger, panting with the anxiety of the situation, watches us for a second as the door
behind him bursts open and Sinclair is suddenly there.

“Is she is she all right?” he gasps, moving briskly into the room, his team of investigators behind him.

“She’ll be fine,” I murmur soothingly, hoping desperately that I’m right. My sister looks at no one, her
face buried against my shoulder as I slowly rub her back, rocking her. I make quiet shushing sounds,
the same I make to Rafe when he’s having a hard night. It’s all I know to do in a moment like this just to
be soft, and quiet, and create a safe space for her to deal with whatever just happened.

“I’m – I’m so sorry,” Leon says shakily, “it must have been a traumatic memory

“It’s all right,” I say quietly, both to him and to Cora. “It’s no one’s fault – it’s okay.”

Sinclair reaches out a hand and puts it warmly on Leon’s shoulder, nodding to him, letting him know
that we don’t hold his practice to blame. Then Sinclair nods towards the door, suggesting that Leon can
leave the room if he wishes, an invitation which Leon accepts with a shaky nod. I watch the two of them
leave to join the investigators in the hall. Sinclair closes the door behind them to give us some privacy.

“Cora,” Roger begins, hesitating. I watch him as he puts a hand out to her shoulder, laying it softly
there, a gesture which makes Cora flinch at first, but from which she doesn’t pull away. Then, he
pushes. “Cora, what did you see?”

Cora gasps and curls hard against me, and I can feel her whole body go rigid as she turns away from
the memory – whatever it is –

Clearly, she is not ready to share.

“Go, Roger,” I growl at him, holding my sister tighter.

“But we need to –”

“Go!” I snap, ready to tear him to pieces. It’s a bit of an unfair reaction, I know, but when my sister is
upset like this? I’m not going to let anyone push her beyond her boundaries. Not for an instant.

“Ella,” Roger says warningly, frowning at me as he stands and sinks his hands into his pockets.

He’s desperate, I know, to know more which is his job, I remind myself. He’s trying to help – to answer
important questions that will help me protect our child. I force myself to be more graceful than I feel like
being in this current moment.

“Just….give us a second, Roger,” I say, meeting his eyes steadily, hoping he sees and recognizes the
full complications of this moment, how torn I am, along with him. “Just give us a minute, okay?” He

sighs, but then nods. “All right. I…I hope…” then he sighs again, shaking his head. “I’ll give you two a
minute.” And then he leaves the room, and I hold my sister until she cries herself out.

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