Reaper's Legacy(6)By: Joanna Wylde
“I’m here with you, Sophie,” the 911 operator told them. “Hold on. The paramedics only have to come up from Hayden. You’ll see them soon.”
Sophie groaned through another contraction.
“I have to push.”
“The ambulance is ten minutes out,” the operator said. “Can you hold on until they reach you? They have everything they need to help you with this.”
“FUCK!” Sophie screamed, squeezing Ruger’s hands so hard his fingers went numb.
“All right. It’s unlikely the baby will be born before they arrive, but I want you to get ready, Ruger,” the operator said, her voice so calm she sounded stoned. How did she do that? He felt about thirty seconds away from a heart attack. “Sophie needs you now. The good news is that childbirth is natural and her body knows what to do. A baby born this fast usually means a very smooth delivery. Do you have a way to wash your hands?”
“Yeah,” Ruger muttered. “You gotta let go for a sec, Sophie.”
She shook her head, but he pried his hands free. He ripped into the first aid kit, pulling out a couple of ridiculously small sanitary wipe packets. Then he attacked his hands and tried to go after hers.
She screamed and punched his face.
Holy shit, girl had some power behind her. Ruger shook his head, then pulled it together, his cheekbone throbbing.
“It’s too early,” Sophie gasped. “I can’t stop it. I have to push now.”
“When is she due?” the operator asked as Sophie moaned long and low.
“About a month,” Ruger told her. “It’s too early.”
“All right. The most important thing is to make sure the baby is breathing. Don’t let it fall on the ground if it’s born before the EMTs arrive. You’ll have to catch it. Now don’t panic—it can take hours to push out a baby, especially the first one. But just as a precaution, I want you to find something warm to wrap around the child if Sophie delivers. You’ll check the baby’s breathing. If it’s good, you’ll lay him on the mother’s bare chest, facedown, skin to skin. Then put whatever you have over him. Don’t tug on the cord, cut it, tie it off, or anything. Keep your hands away from the birth canal. If the afterbirth comes out, wrap it with the child.”
That’s when it hit him.
Sophie was going to have her baby right here on the side of the road. His nephew.
Holy shit, she needed to get her pants off first.
She wore leggings and he tried to pull them down with her still inside the cab. It didn’t work, and she couldn’t seem to find a comfortable position, either.
“We have to get you out of here,” he said. She shook her head, teeth gritted, but he picked her up and set her feet on the ground anyway. Then he pulled down her sopping wet leggings and panties in one smooth move, lifting one foot and then the other to free her legs from the clinging fabric.
Sophie cried out again, face tight as she bore down next to him, falling into a squat beside the truck.
Fuck, he needed something to keep the baby warm.
Ruger glanced around frantically, finding exactly nothing, so he pulled off his cut and tossed it into the truck. Then he ripped his T-shirt over his head. It wasn’t the best, but it was relatively clean. He’d showered and put on a fresh one before meeting Mary Jo.
Sophie pushed for an eternity, crouched down and digging her fingers deep into his shoulders. He’d have bruises there in the morning. Probably cuts from her nails, too. Whatever. The 911 operator’s calm voice encouraged them, saying the ambulance was only five minutes out. Sophie ignored her, lost in her own world of pain and urgency, giving loud, low groans with every contraction.