“You filthy mongrel… good-for-nothing, louse of a husband.”
Quinlan stared in amazement as Brayden ranted at him. His knees buckled as he watch another wave of pain rolled through his husband’s delicate body with enough force so his back bowed off the bed. A feral scream tore from Brayden’s throat. As soon as the pain appeared to lessen Brayden burst into tears and held out his arms toward him. Quinlan didn’t even hesitate as he ran across the room and wrapped his husband tenderly in his arms.
“I am so proud of you my love.” Quinlan peppered his face in kisses. He couldn’t believe Brayden was in the throes of labour. For some insane reason Quin felt jilted, like he’d missed watching their child grown within his husband’s body.
Brayden’s back bowed in pain again and he glared at Quinlan through his tears and obvious discomfort. “You’re never sticking that thing inside me ever again. Do you hear me? We are never having sex again.”
Quinlan bit back the smile that was trying to force its way onto his lips. But somehow he didn’t think that Brayden would appreciate it.
“I can’t do this, Quin. I don’t know how to get the baby out. What if it gets stuck inside me forever?” fear laced his words and Quinlan didn’t know how to reassure his lover that he was strong enough.
Brayden moaned as another set of gentle hands touched him and seemed surprised to see Lord Dalziel, his other father standing there.
“You need to calm yourself as much as possible. Take deep breaths and slow your heartbeat. If you’re too stressed out, then the babe will be just as uneasy.” Fane’s voice was trying for smooth and soothing, and Quin appreciated what the man was doing.
Brayden narrowed his eyes and snapped. “What would you know about it?”
Fane smiled, “I was there for the birth of both of my children. I remember vividly what Thayer went through to bring each of you into the world.”
“How?” Brayden asked.
Quinlan hoped like hell whatever needed to happen was simple and reasonably easy. He hated seeing Brayden in any kind of pain.
“Well, once you’re calmed down enough to proceed an incision will be made. The cut will run from your navel to your pubic bone to bring the babe into the world to take its very first breath as a member of our race.” Fane stroked Brayden’s arm, “Now I need you to relax so we can get my first grandson born. Once the babe is free of your body you’ll be able to shift and heal yourself.”
Brayden paled even further then he already was. “Not going to happen. I’ve never shifted before. I don’t know how.”
“I’ll help you.” Javier said softly. Quin waited unto Javier came to his brother’s side and offered his support.
Quinlan could only watch as Brayden grimaced as yet another wave of discomfort engulfed his small frame.
“Oh Gods… Quinlan, I need this baby out of me now… please, I’m begging you—it’s killing me.” Quinlan’s heart wrenched at the words escaping his husband’s lips.
“Fane, what do we need to do?”
To Quinlan it was as if a switch inside Fane seemed to flick. His demeanour changed and turned him into a force to be reckoned with. “Lay him out on the table, we need sterilisation strips to cleanse the skin where the incisions needs to be made.” He ran his finger along the spot he meant.
Quinlan held tight to Brayden as the sterilisation strips were rubbed over the taut skin of his husband’s lower abdomen. “Baby, soon we’ll be looking into the face of our gorgeous son.”
Brayden’s eyes widened, “Quin, where are the boys? Are they safe? Tell me they are safe?”
“They’re safe, love. I promise you they are very safe.” He leant across and kissed Brayden on his forehead. “Come on now, are you ready to bring our child into the world?”
Brayden couldn’t believe Quinlan was finally here with him. And now he was into too much pain to rejoice. Oh God, here came another wave of agony. He gritted his teeth as the sharp ache stabbed through him. Something wasn’t right. Damn it felt like his insides were being torn apart. He needed this over—now!
“I fucking hate you right now. You did this to me,” Brayden ground out as yet another wave of what felt like torture hit him. “You’re so not my favourite person anymore.”
“I love you, Bray.”
Brayden didn’t believe a word he was hearing. “Bullshit! You caused all this.” He wanted to shut up desperately but his mouth just wouldn’t stop. “You impregnated me. You filled me up. They took me because of that. This is all your fault.” He heard the room gasp as tears filled Quinlan’s eyes and he let go of his hand and stepped away. Brayden wanted to take the words back, but didn’t know how. “I’m sorry.” Just didn’t seem to cut it.
“Javier, could you please stay with Brayden. My being here is obviously causing him distress.” Quinlan had a single tears run its course down his cheek as he turned and walked from the room and Brayden felt like shit for hurting his husband.
Brayden’s wanted to call him back. He needed Quinlan here with him. But he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Quinlan had chosen to leave him again and that fucking hurt like. Hell, now his heart was breaking right along with his body.
“He’s searched for you since the day you disappeared.” Javier said softly. “You wouldn’t believe what he’s been like. I don’t think he slept at all for the first three days while he organised the search party to track you down.”
Tears leaked out of Brayden’s eyes as he listened to his brother defend his husband.
“He loves you so much.”
“I need to give him a mild sedative now. Not enough to knock him out, just enough to calm him.” Lucas held up the needle for them both to see.
“I need my husband.” Brayden demanded, “QUIN!” Brayden screamed his husband’s name as the needle moved closer toward him—God he hated needles.
Quinlan’s head snapped up from where he sat on the floor outside of Brayden’s room. When Brayden screamed his name in terror it had him off the floor and back through the door before his name had even faded from the room.
“Quin, don’t let them stick me with that.” He pointed a shaking finger at the huge needle.
“Lucas?” Quinlan asked as he walked back over to stand beside the table.
Lucas chuckled, “It is just a mild sedative so he doesn’t move too much during the birthing.”
Brayden grabbed Quinlan’s hands and held tight when he felt a sting of the needle as it entered his skin just above his pubes. Relaxing as the pain slowly ebbed out of him.
“Look at me, Bray. Keep your eyes on me.”
“Okay,” Brayden tried to smile bravely but Quinlan saw his lower lip quivered. Then Brayden frowned. Out of the corner of his vision Quinlan saw Lucas make the incision and then help free the baby. All the while Brayden appeared to feel nothing.
They both looked toward the end of the table as they heard a baby cry. “Sire’s may I introduce to you your very beautiful son.” Lucas held up the swaddled babe. A weird look come over Brayden’s face.
“Bray,” Quinlan asked as Brayden let out a loud moan.
“Oh, the fates be blessed.” Lucas handed over Xavier to Quinlan as he ducked back behind the shield. Standing back up he smiled. “May I also present your equally as beautiful daughter.”
With grey spots filling his vision Quinlan hurriedly handed Xavier to Brayden for safe keeping, then toppled to the floor as he promptly fainted.