For One Last Embrace by carlsojos

Chapter 3

The owner of the local inn sighs as she carries several bed sheets into a cart to prepare for laundry. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees a young woman barge through the front door with a panicked look on her face.

She drops the sheets and walks over to greet her, Hello, and welc-

Is my husband here?!


Chaz, his name is Chaz. Is he here?

The innkeeper thinks for a minute. Is he a hunter? The woman nods. Those doctors took him upstairs.

Rika leaves the gray-haired innkeeper behind as she makes her way up the stairs.

Hey, what are you doing here?

My husband! I need to see my husband, Chaz!

The physician turns away from his patient to see Rika struggling against his assistants. What's going on here?

The other people manage to force the woman to the ground, and she begins to tear up again. Please, doctor, I need to see Chaz....

If you can't tell, I'm doing my best to stabilize him right now. Why don't you wait downstairs?

As the Numan tries to push herself to her feet, she suddenly becomes aware of a wet feeling... and she stops moving, a look of panic on her face. Oh, Light.... At an instinctual level, Rika realizes that her body decided it's time, either naturally or because of the stress.

The doctor takes in the situation. He could go back and try to save the wounded hunter that may or may not recover, or he can ensure the woman's childbirth reaches successful completion. The hunter lets out a low groan... John, try to keep the hunter stable, I'll guide the woman.

Physically exhausted from the entire ordeal, Rika is happy when her eyes first gaze upon the life she has just delivered into the world. As she caresses the infant, however, the doctor's assistant yells out for help, and the rest of the room quickly becomes a flurry of activity as they begin to lose the battle for Chaz's life.

As the men begin to give in to the thought that Chaz is beyond help, Rika forces herself to her feet, and walks over to the dying man, child in hand. The physician halts as she places a hand on his bloody chest. You're a father now....

Chaz picks up his head to look back. It's a beautiful baby... What's his name?

I want you to pick his name; you're the father, Chaz.

The hunter closes his eyes. Let me tell you a secret... I used to go by a different name, before Alys found me. Before she took me across the ocean... They used to call me Rudy, the rogue.

Rika isn't sure why Chaz would mention this at such a time. Then he should be your namesake?

Ru...ey.... As Chaz's breathing begins to turn still, Rika begins crying once more. The doctor decides to leave the three alone to say goodbye for the last time.

Next chapter

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