Sebastian Torres is a healer and midwife both by trade and by calling. He’s spent the past three years as the only male midwife in a local hospital.
Anthony Craig is intrigued by Sebastian, finding him professional and attractive. He can’t help wondering about something—why Sebastian never dates the same man twice.
When several pregnant women die in maternity wards a few states away, their fetuses missing, the police are baffled at the strange circumstances surrounding their deaths. Could there be a serial killer on the loose?
As the number of deaths escalates, Sebastian suspects a monster of legend, rather than one of the human variety, is responsible. Sebastian knows he’s the only thing standing in evil’s way, but in order to save innocent lives, he must reveal his secret to Anthony. Will Sebastian’s revelation prove too much and drive Anthony away?
Sebastian Torres was exhausted. Working the night shift at the local hospital was never fun, especially when there were eight babies to be delivered. Eight was not really a bad number in and of itself, but it was bad when all eight were premature.
Sebastian shook his head. As the only male midwife—not midhusband, thank you very much—working in the hospital, he’d had to endure perplexed stares from both the women and their husbands on a daily basis. Not to mention the rest of their extended families, should they pay a visit. When he’d announced his plans to study midwifery to his aunts, they’d been so happy they proceeded to support him in every way possible. It had been a different story when he got to college.
Not that he wanted to think about those days. Nobody ever hears of male midwives, but here he was, and there were many others. True, they were a rarity, but when the going got tough in the delivery room, whom did they call? Fortunately, after the initial stares and confusion, the families were glad he was around to help guide them through the process of childbirth.
Thinking back on his night, Sebastian wondered about the cases they’d faced. Was it all some cosmic coincidence? He got into his car and started the engine, sitting back against the leather seat, worn out. He synced his phone to the car system.
“Phone. Call. Aunt Marie.” Waiting for the call to connect, he slowly eased out of the parking lot.
“Hey, sweetie. How was your day?” His Aunt’s voice came through the speakers.
“Hi, Auntie M. Just wanted to call and say hi,” he said, smiling as he pictured his aunt sipping her usual cup of chamomile and lemon tea. At barely five feet, she was a tiny thing, with silver hair and smooth skin free of wrinkles, just like her sisters. But her personality was neither small nor meek. She was a force to contend with, irresistible in her girlish charm and humor, her iron will belying her age and figure.
“Hmm, you never call this time of the day unless something’s bothering you, dear. Do tell.” His aunt’s well-modulated voice always soothed him. Even when she was being demanding, she sounded gentle. He loved her so much.
“A funny thing happened last night. Eight women came in one after another; all of them were in premature labor.” He cut to the chase, too tired for small talk. Besides, Auntie M had always told him that wasting her time was never a good idea.
“I see. How are the women and their babies?” Although there was a mild curiosity to her tone, Sebastian knew better.
“All eight women gave birth with no problems, and the babies are all fine, and being monitored closely. It was a good thing they were all of the viable age, and their lungs were strong. Otherwise, the NICU would have been chaotic.”
“That’s good. Now, at what times did they come in?” Aunt M asked. He pictured her taking down notes.
“They came in at different times during the night. All of them were between thirty-five and thirty-six weeks. All eight of them.” He couldn’t stress the number enough.
Aunt M said nothing, but he could hear her tapping on the keyboard as he gave the details. Her silence was something he’d expected. It meant she was deep in thought.
After a while, she spoke again. “All right, sweetie. I’ll look into this and ask the girls if they heard of anything unusual from their circles. Call me should there be any additional coincidences happening.”
Sebastian smiled. “Thanks, Aunt M. Kisses to you and the two, okay? Love you lots.”
“Love you, too, sweetie. Take care of yourself and keep your eyes open. We don’t want you too tired at the wheel now.”
“No worries. I won’t. Call you later. ‘Bye.”
Sebastian had been on his own since he’d turned twenty-four. He had a Masters in nursing and midwifery and a practitioner’s license under his belt, allowing him to work in all fifty states. He’d decided to answer the call for a midwife in a private hospital just a few miles from where he grew up. It had been an exciting opportunity for him and, to help him out, his aunts found him a neat little house. He’d barely settled into his job when he received a call from Aunt M, who tearfully broke the news of his beloved Aunt Sara’s death.
Aunt Sara, Marie’s younger sister, was the one to whom he’d been closest. It had been a stupid freak accident. A drunk driver had gone over the Jersey barrier and landed on top of her moving car. The paramedics at the scene assured them it had happened fast and Aunt Sara had died instantly. But they knew better.
His Aunt Sara had taken over the responsibility of raising Sebastian when he was one and his parents disappeared, leaving him alone in their house with just a sour bottle of milk. He wasn’t found until three days later when a mailman rang the doorbell and heard the toddler crying. Looking in, he’d seen Sebastian’s sorry condition, panicked, and called 911. No one really knew how he survived.
It had taken Social Services a further two days to locate Aunt Sara, who hurried over and took Sebastian in. Of course, the three other aunts helped in their own way, but it had really been Sara who’d been a mother to him. The others were too flighty and giggly to be seriously considered maternal. They’d never been able to find Sebastian’s parents, and the police had been baffled as to why they would abandon their child when, from the neighbors’ accounts, they seemed to have been loving parents.
Sebastian heard the excited barking as he got out of his car. Smiling, he called to his three dogs. “Hey, girls.”