She shook her head and closed her eyes as another contraction moved through her. “I’m okay. I can do this without anything.” She prayed she could, at least.
“I hope Brawn comes back before you have the baby, because he will be pissed if he misses it,” Thorque said and leaned in to kiss her on the crown of her head. He stood and walked over to the entrance of the cave. Brawn had left early this morning to gather some food, but he had been gone nearly half the day already, and she knew she would have this baby soon.
“He’ll be here,” Lukin replied and kept his focus on her. “Come on, let’s get to the sleeping chamber.” He helped her stand, and as they made their way toward the room, she stopped and clutched at her stomach.
“Oh God.” She looked down, saw the clear fluid dripping on the floor, then looked at Lukin and Thorque. “The baby is coming really, really soon.” She may not have ever had a child before, but she had seen enough watching the few women in the camps she had been living in to know that once the water broke, the baby would be making an appearance soon.
In seconds flat, she was in the room the four of them shared. The worry that came from Thorque and Lukin was so tangible that it seeped into her and made this situation even more uncomfortable. Thorque prepared the bed by placing clean material on it, and Lukin helped her onto it. Sweat covered her forehead, and with each passing contraction, they grew stronger and closer together.
“Where the fuck is Brawn?” Lukin seemed to mutter to himself.
For the next several moments, she focused on breathing through her mouth and exhaling through her nose. “I have to push.” She closed her eyes and rested her head on the bed. She wanted all three of her men here to experience this with her. Breathing out slowly, she opened her eyes, and as if she’d conjured Brawn with her thoughts and needs, he rushed into the bedroom.
“It’s time,” he stated and glanced around. “I could sense it when I got close to the cave, and then once I was inside, it was like something pulled me forward.”
She didn’t know what he was talking about but assumed it was something that only a Hades male felt with their superior senses. Blood covered him, and his hands and chest dripped with the red and black stuff. He took a step forward.
“Stay back, Brawn. You’re filthy,” Thorque growled and went to stand at the end of the bed between her thighs.
Brawn stopped, looked down at himself to see all the blood, and then growled as if he was frustrated.
Thorque pushed her shift up, and another powerful contraction went through her. On instinct, she pushed. With every contraction, she did this until she was exhausted and barely able to control her breathing.
“That’s it, Minka,” Thorque said softly.
“You’re doing so well.” Lukin ran a rag over her forehead. The excitement in the room was a living entity, and she actually felt it more strongly than the pain that moved through her right now. She glanced at the entryway, expecting to see Brawn, but there was only empty space. Another contraction slammed into her, and she closed her eyes and tightened her hold on the sheets beneath her.
Thorque ran some gel between her thighs, and she knew it would aid in stretching her and allowing the baby to pass through easily.
“Almost there, baby,” Thorque encouraged, and when the discomfort passed, she saw Brawn standing at the end of the bed behind Thorque, looking scared and vulnerable. The blood and gore were cleaned off of him, and when she reached out for him, he was by her side seconds later.
With Lukin on one side holding her hand and placing a rag on her head, Brawn on the other side whispering encouraging words to her, and Thorque helping her to deliver her first child, she felt this renewed sense of strength.
“One more push, Minka, and the little one will be here,” Thorque said with pride in his voice.
She gave it her all, and as soon as she felt the baby come out and heard that tiny little cry, tears sprang forth. Thorque cleaned the little body, wiped it off with warm water, and then held him up to show his brothers. Her son was tiny, but with lightly tinted red skin, a thatch of black hair on his little head, and a cry that shook the walls. When Thorque handed him to her, she saw the black wing outline on his small back.
She held him to her chest and stroked those lines. Her son calmed instantly.
She looked at Brawn. “You can tell?” Again, it had to be a Hades thing.