Con felt is heart go cold as he stared down at the blood stain. He knew this was the afterbirth but this much blood had never come out of Tornei before, not even after she borne Jenna. Con looked at his wife's face, he had never seen it so colourless before. Minutes ago she had been warm from the effort of bringing the twins out, but now she was as white as the sheet had been.
'Lysan, what's happening?' he asked.
Lysan didn't answer so Con peered over to see what he was doing. The gooey tissue-y stuff that comes out after the babies was spread out and Lysan was poking it with his fingers.
'Lysan, what is it?' asked Con, again, getting even more worried now.
'I think something's torn. The membrane isn't complete.' said the bald man.
Con looked back to Tornei and noticed that, even with the help of the pillows, she was struggling to hold the baby.
'Here,' said one of the assistants, coming over to take the baby that Con held. She put that one in the basket and attempted to take the other one out of Tornei's arms.
'No,' she said, weakly, pulling the baby away from the assistant. 'I want to feed her. I want to feed both of them.'
'Tornei, you're too weak.' said Con.
'I'm not,' said Tornei, in a tone that obviously said she was.
Con turned to the doctor for help. 'She needs to lie down,' was all he said.
Con turned back to Tornei. 'You need to lie down, Tornei. Let her take the baby. She'll find someone who can feed them.' he said.
'I've fed the other three, I can feed these two, as well.' said Tornei.
Why are you so bloody stubborn?
'Please, Tornei. Just let someone else do it, please.' Con felt like he was going to cry. Out of all the times she had to be uncooperative it had to be now.
Con turned back to Lysan. 'Can she feed one of them?' he asked. At least Tornei was getting half her own way.
'Yes, but she still has to lie down.' Lysan replied.
Con turned back to Tornei, again. 'Just feed the one you've got, Tornei. And lie down.' said Con, helping her to lie down.
'Can't I feed the other one, as well?' she asked, while the one she was holding latched on.
'You can't, Tornei. You need to save her strength.' said Con.
'Please. It might be the only time I can.'
No, no. Don't say that, Tornei.
'I'm sorry, Tornei. There's no way you could do it without sitting up.' Con turned back to the doctor, noticing that blood was still pouring out of her. 'Is there any way you can stop that?' he asked, indicating to the blood stain with his eyes.
'There is one way. Sorry if this hurts, my lady.' he pressed his hand to her stomach.
'Ow!' cried Tornei, her grip tightening on the baby she held.
'It's okay,' soothed Con. 'It'll stop the bleeding.'
Tornei nodded and went silent. He saw the assistant who tried to take the baby out of Tornei's arms change the linen.
'I'm so cold. And tired.' said Tornei.
'I know. Just stay with me.' said Con. He moved off the bed and climbed in next to Tornei, putting his arms around her. He could feel how cold she was.
'I want to go to sleep,' she said, barely a whisper.
'I'm scared. What if I don't wake up?'
Then I'll be left raising five children. I don't know how to do it. Shut up, Con, this isn't about you.
'You will. Don't worry. I'll be here. Go to sleep.'
'I need to tell you...something.'
'Tell me later.'
'Let...Dalya help you. Help you in everything, especially raising those two. Turn Cadmys into a good king.'
'No, he is a prince. And the girls are princesses. It doesn't matter if it's official, or not.'
Con nodded. She's right. She's always right.
'Tell Jenna not to argue with Dalya, and not to take her anger out on her sister, just because she looks like me. Tell her that no matter what Lily McCountey says, I do love her and I always will.'
Lily McCountey? Con didn't have a clue what Tornei was going on about, but he nodded anway.
'And tell Cadmys and Jenna that whatever they name the girls, not to name one of them Tornei. They need to move on. They don't have to forget about me, they just have to move on. And so do you.'
Con nodded and he felt a tear fall down his cheek. Not to name one Tornei. She thinks she's going to die. And I've got to move on? How do I move on from the wolf I've loved since I was twelve?
'Con?' came Tornei's voice again.
'Yeah?' he asked, hugging her closer.
'I'm trying to stay awake.'
'Don't. Go to sleep. I'll still be here when you wake up.'
There was quiet from her then and Con thought she had actually gone asleep until her voice pierced the air again.
'I love you.'
'I love you too, Tornei.' he choked out. I always have. His tears fell more freely then and he picked up a lock of her hair and began twisting it around his fingers. 'Sleep, Tornei. I'll be here when you wake.' Con felt her tail still and knew that she had finally succumb to her exhaustion. Please stay with me.