The days that saw incredible hell for Marieke have seen mostly happiness for Echo. True, it was a shock to meet the child Nazareth spawned from her stolen ovum and his own seed, but the child, Nazron, quickly found a place in her heart ... though as the days passed she began to worry about him, for he seems obsessed with receiving "presents" and is being caught in blatant lies ...
But through all of it - worries for poor Marieke, battered again and again, brought close to death by PhoenixGod, and concern regarding Nazron - the love between Echo and Blood Demon kept her spirits singing. When Blood told her he did indeed wish her to have his child, her joy was complete ... for an instant ...
Then her own past came back to haunt her. Ilithyia, Greek Goddess of childbirth and Echo's half-sister, appeared before them in a rage, reminding Echo that she had been cursed long ago to bear no more children because she had given Moonbiter away before he was born. Behind Ilithyia appeared Echo's mother Hera, Queen of the Gods, and Aesculapius, the God of medicine. Hera proposed that Echo and Blood be tested: Echo to prove that she was willing to risk her life to bear this child, and Blood to prove that his love for Echo transcended his own demonic and predatory nature. "You must maul her to the point of death," Hera told Blood, "and only then stop yourself and heal her."
What followed was agony. Her body ripped and torn, inside and out, Echo felt consciousness fading as her blood streamed from her wounds ... but Blood's love was true. As death hovered over Echo, Blood Demon rose above himself and healed her - and conception was granted. Echo is pregnant, and filled with happiness.
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