Fall hold 3, p.13
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       Fall (Hold #3), p.13

           Claire Kent
 
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  She’d walked for so long that there wasn’t any extra time. She almost immediately felt the intense desire to push, and so that was what she did.

  It hurt horribly, but Lenna was in a strange intense daze where she couldn’t really process specific sensations or actions. It didn’t take very much time at all before the baby was crowning—and then was far enough out for Mara to pull out all the way.

  The baby was a girl.

  The baby was healthy—she knew this from the smiles on Mara’s and Rone’s faces as they cleaned her up before handing her to Lenna.

  The baby was hers. Hers and Rone’s. She really had no idea how it had happened.

  She’d fallen to this planet less than sixteen months ago, completely independent, completely alone in the world.

  And now she had a family.

  ***

  Two weeks later, she was propped up in their bed, nursing her baby.

  The infant was pink and loud and bigger than Lenna had expected. She’d been born healthy, and she’d taken to nursing really well. There was no reason to assume she wouldn’t survive.

  Lenna loved her daughter more than she’d ever known was possible.

  She and Rone would have to figure out a name soon. The Kroo waited two weeks before they named their children, and by now Lenna understood why. After two weeks, you could be at least reasonably confident that the baby had a decent chance of surviving.

  Her daughter had made it that far. She and Rone could name her.

  She was a greedy little thing, her tiny mouth suckling eagerly and occasionally dribbling milk down her chin.

  She must take after Rone.

  Out of the blue, Lenna wondered how Hall and Kyla were doing, whether they would ever have a baby. She couldn’t really picture Hall as a father, but no one would ever have imagined Lenna having a baby either.

  People could change.

  Then she wondered how Desh was doing. She missed him often. The tribe wasn’t quite the same place without him.

  When she’d left, he hadn’t yet known what he was going to do. She wondered if he would go back to school, be the academic he’d been before.

  Life had changed him too—and hopefully it was for the better.

  On that thought, Lenna looked up and saw Rone coming into the cave, making his way to the bed. It was dinner time, but Lenna had left early to nurse the baby in peace.

  The Kroo didn’t care about privacy—for anything—but it was easier nursing when she didn’t have dozens of interested eyes on her.

  Healthy babies were rare enough that everyone was still fascinated.

  Rone was smiling as he lowered himself to sit beside her. “Baby good?”

  “Baby good,” she replied, using her free hand to stroke the soft forehead. Feeling unusually soft, she leaned toward Rone, pleased when he wrapped his arm around her.

  “Baby hungry,” Rone said, a faint trace of awe in his tone as he watched their daughter nurse.

  Lenna laughed. “Yes.” She tilted her head down and adjusted her arm so she could press a little kiss on the infant’s head. “Hungry like Rone.”

  Rone made a huff that could have been teasing indignation.

  She leaned over and pressed a kiss on his jaw.

  He held his face in place so she would kiss it again.

  Relaxing against him, she changed positions so the baby could suckle from her other breast.

  They were silent for a few minutes, except for a few gurgles and slurps from their daughter.

  After a while, Lenna finally put into words a question she’d been wondering for the last two weeks. “Rone glad baby girl?”

  The question evidently surprised Rone. He turned his head toward her with a jerk.

  “Rone glad baby girl?” she asked again, placing more emphasis on the last word to make sure he understood what he was asking.

  She really didn’t know what he would feel. This was still a male-dominated society—even though Rone himself had changed in ways she never would have imagined when she’d first met him.

  Rone turned his eyes back to their daughter. “Yes,” he murmured. “Rone glad.”

  “Lenna glad.” She stroked the tiny head with her fingertips again. If their baby had been a boy, he would have left their tribe when he hit puberty. As much as Lenna tried to really feel part of the Kroo, she would have hated that.

  “Girl stay,” Rone said, as if he’d read her mind. “No leave. Rone glad. Baby home.”

  Lenna couldn’t have said it better herself.

  ***

  If you haven’t yet read it, the first book in his series is Hold, about Cain, and the second book is Release, about Hall and Kyla. Next year, the last book in the series will be coming about. It will be about Desh and will be set several years after the events of this one.

  If you’d like to stay up-to-date on sales and new releases, then you can sign up for my monthly newsletter, in which I share news for both my Noelle Adams and Claire Kent pennames. You can sign up through the link here.

  About the Author

  Claire has been writing romance novels since she was twelve years old. She has a PhD in British literature and, when she's not writing, she teaches English at the university level.

  She also writes romance novels under the penname Noelle Adams (noelle-adams.com). If you would like to contact Claire, please check out her website (clairekent.com) or email her at clairekent.writer@yahoo.com.

  Other Books by Claire Kent

  Escorted

  Breaking

  Nameless

  Christening

  Incarnate

  Seven

  No Regrets

  Finished

  Complicated

  Hold

  Sweet the Sin

  Darker the Release

  Taking it Off

  Release

 


 

  Claire Kent, Fall (Hold #3)

 


 

 
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