Falling In Love With The King Of Beasts

Chapter 678 - Christmas Special 2021 - Part 7


Chapter 678 – Christmas Special 2021 – Part 7

RETH

He was frozen, jaw slack, staring at her. Her scent was even more jumbled than before, and he knew he needed to pay attention, to try and reassure her. But he just needed a moment. He couldn’t quite…

Elia leaned into him, her hands sliding up to cup his jaw on either side. “Please don’t worry, Reth. Please. I wasn’t going to tell you until I could think about it without being worried, because I really do know it’s safe this time. I’m sure. The Creator has a purpose for us, Reth. He can’t do that if I’m dead. I’m going to be fine. I’m certain of it.”

She was right, of course. He’d seen that himself. And he’d always wanted a Pride—with as many young as the Creator sought to give. But the moment she’d said pregnant, his mind had filled with images… Elia gaunt and weak… Elia terrified. Elia screaming in pain.

Blood. Everywhere.

“Reth, listen to me,” she whispered, her nose almost brushing his. “I am much better equipped this time. And my head is… in the right place. No one’s trying to kill me. And there’s no war. The people are at peace—even the bears have gone. We are safe, Reth. And I’m sure—I’m certain that I’m going to be just fine. And so is our baby.”

“Love…” he breathed, then suddenly it wasn’t enough to be close to her, he needed to shield her, protect her, hold her apart from the world.

Snaking his arms around her, he rolled her to the furs, covering her with his body, his elbows over her shoulders, his hands curled over her hair. He loomed over her, resting between her thighs, the blankets pooled at his waist and she clung to him, their eyes locked in shock and delight—and yes, some fear. But he had himself between her and the world. There was nowhere she was safer. The tiniest coil of joy began in his stomach.

“Another cub?” he whispered.

She nodded, and he could smell the dip of nerves in her—Elreth was already a handful. He was certain she was nervous about managing two cubs, both shifting and leaping everywhere. But Reth would help, and he knew the females of the Pride would, also.

They’d answer to him if they didn’t.

She was shadowed under him, covered by him, her eyes wide and searching, waiting to see his reaction and he was terrified to show her because the truth was… the truth was… he wanted to roar this news from the mountain. Announce it to all of WildWood. He wanted to run through the Tree City, screaming his joy and displaying his mate…

And he wanted to curl up in a corner and hide from everyone and everything at the thought of where this could take them.

“Are you well, Elia?” he breathed, his fingers playing on her scalp in the way he knew she loved. She nodded, her hands sliding up his sides to cup his biceps.

“I’m fine,” she whispered. “I just… I need to warn you that… that it looks like this pregnancy is going to go really fast too,” she said, her eyes searching his. “So it might be a little tiring and… and that’s okay. I’m in much better shape than I was before Elia. And there were a lot more pressures and stresses. I mean, this one will be easy by comparison.” She tried to laugh, but it was shaky.

He dropped his head to rest his forehead on hers, eyes screwed tightly shut, holding her and praying, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Creator, for another cub. A family. Thank you.”

Elia whispered her thanks too and when they both opened their eyes, they were both smiling.

“Elia, Love…”

“I know.” She bit her lip, her eyes sparkling. “It’s insane.”

“You’re amazing,” he breathed.

She shook her head. “I’m just living my life, Reth. We did this together. I mean, the Creator made it happen, but… you know what I mean.”

“You should have told me,” he rumbled, fighting a flash of anger that she’d been carrying this alone.

She shook her head. “I was going to but… but I wanted to be able to smile and be excited. I wanted you to smile. I don’t want to focus on the fear, Reth. I really want this one to be different.”

He dropped his head to his arm, embracing her, pulling her into his chest, curling his arms under her head and wrapping them both together.

Her hands slid back down his arms, to his sides, to his waist, pulling him close. He could smell her nerves, but she was happy too.

“Elia… Love…” He couldn’t stop saying her name. He was terrified, and ecstatic, and overwhelmed and… and it was all her.

Stretching up, she kissed his neck, wrapping her arms around his waist and hugging him tightly. “Reth, I can’t do this without you.” Her voice was high and thin, but determined, too.

“You won’t have to, Love,” he promised, laying a soft kiss to her neck. “Anything, you need anything, you tell me. We’ll talk to Aymora about taking Elreth more often so you can rest more. And your favorite foods—I’ll talk to the market and make sure they’re serving up the best we have for the winter. Don’t bother with these meals at home anymore. We can take Elreth to the market early and—”

“Reth.”

“—there’s no reason why you have to attend every women’s council meeting. Aymora can take them anything that’s important for you to—”

“Reth, don’t worry. It’s going to be fine.”

“—for that matter, I can have Brant take some of my load too, so I can spend more time at home.”

“Reth! You already spend plenty of time with me and Elreth. Stop! This is a good thing. We just need to get used to it, and we need to trust. The Creator has a plan, remember? We can trust that.”

He nodded, then pushed up on his elbows again to meet her eyes. “Yes, you’re right,” he rumbled. “We can. I just… I love you so much, Elia.”

She bit her lip and her eyes began to shine again. “I love you, too, Reth.”

Then he looked at her and let the smile he’d been holding back rise to beam at her. “Well done, Love.. Very, very well done.”


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