Kara gripped Ethan’s hand and grimaced. The contraction felt like a knife twisting in her lower back. Pain radiated down her legs. Had Mama felt this much pain when she was born? More than anything, Kara wished she could ask, but Mama died in the upheavals many years ago. All Kara had left were distant memories of loving warmth as Mama’s arms wrapped around her. A simple hug and kiss was all it took to cure a scraped knee or drive away bad dreams.
Another contraction snapped her to the present. That old life was gone. Ethan wiped the sweat from her brow and whispered words of encouragement. Her adoptive wolf mama didn’t labor like this when she gave birth. Was something wrong? Outside the cave she heard the pack pace. The three young wolves had come with her when she and Ethan joined. What a strange family she had now with three wolf siblings and a human mate. Both Mama Wolf and Mama would have liked Ethan. They had both passed on, yet Kara could feel them watching over her labors.
Pressure built with the next contraction. Invisible hands rested on her shoulders. A warm tongue seemed to caress her cheek. It was time. Kara bit her lip as she bore down. Silence filled the cave. Fear made her heart clench. Then a cry reached her ears, strong and hearty. Ethan grinned as he placed the newest member of their pack on her chest. Now she was the Mama.