RETURN – Excerpt
The cage is really a wall of glass that spans the far back corner of the room. Inside is a human-looking nursery. Not as posh as the one Inanna had set up in the Vegas lab. There’s a feeding tube attached to the baby’s stomach and she’s naked.
She’s sucking her thumb.
This is my child.
Mine. And Junco’s.
“Can we go in?” I ask Tessen.
She shrugs. “I wouldn’t, sir. No offense, but she’s killed seven warriors. She could wake up at any moment. We have her drugged via the feeding tube, and we have gas at the ready, the system in this room is well equipped to handle such a child, but—”
I’m looking over at Linny and Subjack as Tessen talks, but I look back to her when she stops. “But what?”
“She’s very unpredictable. And dangerous, sorta like Junco, but without all the cute parts.”
I can’t help myself, that makes me laugh. “Cute parts?”
“Well, you know what I mean. Junco is sort of lovable in her own crazy way. And when this baby is like this, she’s very lovable too. But, well, I’ve seen what she can do and if you’re asking for my honest opinion, I’d say no, sir. Stay out of that room until we know more. I have an idea, and we should run it by Junco’s parents. They are, after all, experts in raising a part-demon child.”
Linny’s words come back to me now—Come to us. Do not hesitate. She knew. She and Subjack know what to do with this baby, because they already did it—successfully, I add to myself—with Junco. I look over my shoulder and she’s smiling.
“We’ll leave the baby for now, Tess. Thanks.”
She walks away, but I stay there. Looking down on my little girl. I wish I could see her eyes, but if she opens them now they’ll glow red. And I’m definitely not ready to see the demon in her just yet.
I just want to look at her like this.
A soft and innocent child.
I never thought about a family before Junco came along. And really, it was not until she said she might be pregnant that I considered it. Briefly, just briefly. Because there’s no family for me in the future.
But if I can save this child, make her whole and happy, then the baby would be like a gift.
Something Junco might cling to afterward, if things go well. Something to give her peace and comfort.
A piece of myself, to remember that I loved her, a child to keep in her heart forever.
To replace whatever feelings she has for me.
Because I will be gone.