With All My Soul Page 33

“Fine. Whatever it takes.”

“Okay.” Harmony sat, and Traci sat next to her. Em and I sank into our seats, fascinated and a little scared. “First, let’s put this away.” She slid the yellow vial back into her purse. “Second, you’ll need to eat healthily. Exercise, but don’t overdo it. Get plenty of rest. And...I’ll be back tomorrow with something for you to take every day. With tea or water. No coffee.”

Emma frowned. “Harmony, is she going to remember this?”

“No.” Harmony glanced at the ground for a second, thinking. “You’ll have to introduce me to her again, Kaylee, and I’ll give her the mixture as a prenatal supplement.” She turned back to Traci. “Are you sure you want to do this? You won’t remember what we’ve told you. You won’t remember the risks. You won’t remember...so much of this.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Traci insisted. “I would never give him up, no matter what I know or don’t know about this pregnancy. If you tell me tomorrow that I need whatever you’re bringing, I’ll believe you. I’ll take it.”

“If she doesn’t, Nash can help, right?” Emma leaned closer to whisper.

I nodded. “Nash, or Tod, or my dad.” Any one of them could Influence Traci into wanting to take what she needed to take to help her keep the baby. And I was only willing to let them do that—to play with her mind—because we’d all seen how badly she wanted to keep her baby.

But... “Traci, there’s one more thing.” I’d never hated myself as badly as I did for what I was about to say. She nodded for me to go on, and I could see in her eyes that though she might not have anticipated the wording, she knew at least some of what I was going to say. “If you can’t do this...” I took a deep breath, then started over.

“If it turns out that nurture can’t trump nature and your son becomes dangerous, I’ll have to...stop him.” That wasn’t in my job description, strictly speaking, but I already felt responsible for whatever this theoretic incubus might do later in life, because I’d agreed to help bring him into the world. Against my better judgment. “I can’t let him hurt people, Traci. I’ll be watching him. And I won’t be alone. Your son will get a chance, but he’ll only get this one chance. And the next tough decision on his behalf won’t be yours to make.”

It would be mine.

And I would damn well make the right one.

Chapter Eight

“You know, there were times when we were little when I would have done almost anything to be an only child, but now all I want in the world is to be her sister again.”

“You’ll always be her sister, Em,” I said as we backed out of the drive, wishing I could see her face from the backseat. “Even if she doesn’t remember that.”

I’d never had a sister. I’d had Sophie for thirteen years, but shenever let anyone labor long under the impression that we were anything more than cousins. Emma was the closest thing I’d ever had to a sister, and I knew exactly how Traci felt having lost her, because I’d lost Emma twice before, and both times I’d found a way to bring her back from the dead.

And even if she died a dozen more times, I would move heaven, earth, and the Netherworld as many times as it took to bring her back.

But it would be much easier if I could figure out how to keep her from dying again in the first place.

“Girls.” The tone of Harmony’s voice told me I wasn’t going to like whatever she had to say next. “I can’t explain how badly I hate to have to say this, but I think we need to consider the hard truth here.”

“No.” Em crossed her arms over her chest and stared out the passenger’s-side window. “We’re not killing her baby.”

“Of course not!” Harmony stomped on the brake and the tires squealed as she pulled to a stop two full feet from the curb. She shifted into Park, then twisted in the driver’s seat to face us both. “I would never suggest anything like that. Whether or not to end her pregnancy is your sister’s choice. But you both need to understand that even with my help, there’s every chance in the world that Traci will still lose this baby and maybe her own life in the process. In fact, whatever help I’m able to give her may make that more likely.”

“What? Why?” Em looked almost as confused as she was clearly terrified.

“Because if left alone, her body will almost certainly reject the pregnancy when it starts to threaten her life. That’s the case in a full two-thirds of incubus pregnancies. But if I help her keep the baby into her second or third trimester and her body still rejects it, the miscarriage could kill her, too. You’d be losing not just your nephew, but your sister. Is that something you’re willing to risk?” She was talking to Emma now. I had no say in this.

Emma shouldn’t have either. She shouldn’t have had to wrestle with a decision like that. But she was the only one of Traci’s relatives who knew the truth.

“Me? No.” Em shook her head firmly. “But Traci knows the risks. She made her own decision, and I don’t think that would change, even if she remembered making it.”

“So you’re sure you want me to help her, rather than letting nature run its course?”

Em turned on her, and the spark of anger in her eyes surprised me for a second. “There’s nothing natural about this. Nothing.” She swiped unshed tears from her eyes in one angry motion. “My sister was raped by a monster, and now she’s carrying one. I was killed by another monster. Nothing will ever be the same for either of us.” She glanced at me and seemed to reconsider. “For any of us. But Traci’s made her choice, and we are damn well going to respect it.”

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