• Sabriel gritted her teeth, grimacing in pain as another contraction hit. Why was this one so bad? Why was she having so much trouble with him? Vlad was right by her, holding her hand, worried to no end. Sevina was coaching her through it…but…she couldn’t really hear Sevina at this point. Why? Something went wrong, didn’t it?


    The kitsune jumped, her eyes shooting open as her gaze shifted to the window. No. A battle. No! Not here! Their anger and hatred and bloodlust flooded her and she screamed in pain, clutching at her heart. Sevina was saying something…now Vlad…now she was being lifted and carried…somewhere. Where were they taking her?

    She whimpered and then heard Vlad whisper something in her ear. Whatever it was, his voice was soothing, even if his emotions weren’t. Sabriel held tightly to him as they entered another room in the house. She was set down on a bed and the door slammed shut behind them.

    Now the battle was a little farther, at least, but it still hurt…a lot. She heard Sevina tell her to push, so she did. The child was beginning to move from her. The separation hurt and she cried out again. Vlad squeezed her hand reassuringly. Sabriel took a deep breath and pushed again.

    “You’re almost there, Sabriel,” she heard Sevina say. Sabriel nodded. She could feel it. Her baby was almost out. She smiled, despite the pain as that was fading some now. “Once more. Push.” She did.

    Then the door opened. Someone was speaking quickly, too quickly for her to understand in her distracted state. Then she heard Sevina scream in rage, Vlad lunge forward, she supposed to catch the child, and pain ripped through her chest.

    Sabriel gasped, writhing in pain. She tried to scream but nothing came out.

    ’I’m dying,’ she realized, horrified. She looked over at Vlad with wide, scared eyes as he stared back with the same expression, holding the screaming, bloody baby in his hands. Sabriel held out her arms for the child and her mate cut the cord quickly before laying the newborn baby boy in her arms.

    “Z…Z.u…k…o,” she murmured, smiling as she stroked his already semi-thick blue hair, looking down into his golden eyes. “M…My gi..f..t to you…is…t…t..o r.i.id y…ou…of t.h..is c…c…curse…” She put her hand over his heart and lifted up. An orb of energy was pulled from the boy’s chest and he stopped crying, staring at the energy.

    Sabriel smiled as she watched her son’s eyes and took the energy, putting it into herself. She knew it was suicide, taking his empathy into herself. But she was already dying and the only one who would’ve been able to save her had just gone off the deep end.

    “Sabriel! No!” Vlad cried, rushing forward as her eyes drifted closed and her body went limp.