As soon as the vote was over, we started to circulate, talking to our friends about our newfound relationship. Meghan had been pulled away to talk to some of the old ladies, leaving me with the guys. As soon as Hammer saw me alone, he pounced. “We need to talk, Abaddon,” he said as he pulled me towards a booth in the back.
“Don’t worry, I won’t let him kill you,” Teri said as she followed us. We sat down, and I looked across at the two old friends who were my future in-laws. I tried to relax, but I know our relationship was a shock.
“No need, I love her, I’ll do anything for her.”
Teri reached across and took my hand. “I can see she loves you as well, but we need to know your intentions.”
I smiled. “I intend to make a new life with her. You should know that when Gabriel asked me to stay on with him, I said I would only do it if we stayed with the Riders. This club, these people are her family, I’d never take her away from them unless it was her decision.” Teri squeezed my hand. “We haven’t even had an official date, but I intend to change that. I’ve known her, watched her forever, now that I know how she feels it won’t take long for us to move forward. I intend to ask her to marry me, and I’d like your blessing to do so.”
“You can’t have children with her,” Hammer said. “Isn’t that a problem for you?”
“I never expected to have children, not after my mate died,” I said honestly. “She knows, we talked about it briefly. We can adopt, we’ll have a family, just a different way. I haven’t brought it up with her, but I’d be all right with using donated sperm to get her pregnant, since mine won’t work. There’s plenty of time to talk about that later, right now I just want to get closer to her. I want her to be happy.”
“That’s all a father could ever ask, Abaddon. It was a bit of a shock, knowing you this long and all of the sudden you two are together, it made me angry. Lucky for you, Teri likes you and talked me back from the ledge.”
“You have our blessing, Abaddon. If she says yes, of course. Just don’t take too long, she’s not getting any younger you know, and it’s not like our other boys are close. Two grandkids in Florida aren’t enough.” Hammer leaned over and kissed her. “That’s all we wanted to say. Meghan is special to us, she always has been, and I’m glad she finally has someone to share her life with. Have you thought about where you’re getting married? Is Crash going to do it?”
I just laughed. “I haven’t even asked her yet, and the wedding arrangements are something I’ll leave up to you and Meghan. I’ll just show up with the rings.” We talked for a few more minutes, then they got up and went over to talk with Viper while I went to find my woman.
An hour later, Meghan’s head was resting on my shoulder, she was clearly tired. “Ready to call it a night,” I whispered.
“Shower and bed sounds wonderful,” she said. I stood and helped her up, we said our goodbyes and I walked her up the stairs to the room she had taken across the hall from the Clinic. She made decent money with her work, mostly filling in for vacationing doctors and sick calls, but she never spent it on a home or apartment. She told us she preferred this, a room where she was available if needed, and she could be around her friends and family. Snake’s cooking didn’t hurt her decision either. She was a brilliant doctor, but couldn’t make Ramen noodles without incident. I walked her to the door, turning her and pulling her into a soft kiss after she unlocked it.
“I love you,” I said as looked in her eyes, my hands circling her waist. She moved her hands around my neck, pulling me down for another kiss as her body molded itself to mine. My body was reacting, I could smell her arousal along with my own. When she let go of me, I let my hands drop from her. “Good night.”
She opened the door, her eyes never leaving mine. Grabbing my hand, she pulled me inside and quickly locked the door behind her. “I love you, Abaddon. Hold me tonight?”
“It’s dangerous, I want more than you are willing to give right now.”
“Then you better ask me to marry you soon, because I’m not wanting to wait much longer to have you in all ways,” she said. “Dad didn’t kill you, Mom is thrilled, and I’m happy.” She kissed me again. “Make yourself a drink, I’ll be out in a bit.” She went to her closet, pulling out some fresh clothes and disappeared into the bathroom.
I got some ice out of the small freezer and poured a double shot of Two Gingers Irish Whiskey over it. I put some soft music on, she preferred jazz and that was what came up on her playlist. I sat in the recliner between the bathroom and the bed, my eyes closed, my wolf taking in the scent of the woman who was my mate in every sense but having a wolf of her own. My wolf was happy, he understood there couldn’t be another, and with Meghan he had a chance at a future, a family, a home.
I had about half of it done when the door opened, and she came out, her hair damp and the thin T-shirt and shorts clinging to her body. “I’ll be back in a minute,” she said. She grabbed a key off the wall and went across to the Clinic, returning with a pair of athletic shorts. “This will have to do, I don’t keep men’s clothes in my room.” I took them from her, our fingers touching. “Yet.”
I kissed her and tossed back the rest of my drink, she didn’t want any, she was going to bed. I went into the bathroom, taking off my clothes and hopping in the shower. She was so close, but she wasn’t ready. The shower was cold, freezing cold, and when I was clean I got out. She’d left a new toothbrush by the sink, so I took care of my nighttime routine and came out.
She was already in bed, a lamp on my side of the bed still on. I turned it off, then lifted the sheet and slid in next to her, and she rolled towards me. I pulled her in with my right arm, her head resting on my chest as her leg moved over mine. “Abaddon?” Her whisper stirred my soul.
“Steven,” I said. “Call me Steven.” She snuggled in a little closer. “You said that when I was no longer Abaddon, to come to you as Steven and ask you out on a date. Well, tonight the Knights are no more, I am no longer a member of a Pack, I am no longer the Master at Arms. Tonight and forever more, I am your Steven.” I kissed her hair as her body wiggled on mine, her nipples poking my bare chest as her hand moved gently over my heart. “And I would like to ask you out on a date. Tomorrow, I’d like to ride with you, then escort you to this big party at a clubhouse I know.”
“I’d love that, Steven.” Her body relaxed into mine, a few seconds later I could tell she had fallen asleep. It was a skill she had developed in her medical residency, sneaking naps whenever she could. My warrior training gave me the same skill, and moments later I was asleep next to her.
My pillow moved, the sudden change and the sharp intake of breath had me wide awake. My head hit the mattress, I looked up to see his back as he sat up. He was sobbing, mumbling to himself. I sat up and moved behind him, moving up until I was hugging him from behind. It took a few minutes for him to start breathing normally, the whole time I just held him with my cheek pressed between his broad shoulders. “A dream,” he finally said.
“A bad dream?”
“No.” He moved out of my arms, moving into the bathroom. I heard the water running as he washed his face, while I moved pillows around the bed so I could sit up. He came back, lying on his side with his head in my lap. “I need to tell you about it.”
I ran my fingers through his hair. “Whenever you are ready.”
“It was summertime, we were in the yard, sitting on big Adirondack chairs. The two of us, Adam and Eve, Snake and Mia, Alan and Alice, Gabriel and someone I don’t know, but they were holding hands. Same thing with Michael and his woman, she was sitting on his lap. The chairs were in a big circle, and we had drinks in our hands, a big umbrella giving us shade. You raised your glass at me, looking out at the big home you told me you were so glad you bought that Powerball ticket for the club.”
“Wait, we won the Powerball?”
“The house was HUGE, Meghan. Three stories plus a basement, bigger than the Clubhouse, it was like a hotel, not a home. It was all-log construction with a metal roof. I could see smaller homes, two-story, around the big open area we were sitting in. It was a big grass field, but it was what was on the grass that shocked me.”
“What was it?”
“Girls. Lots of girls, I mean it looked like fifteen or twenty, all about the same age. They were toddlers, running around and sometimes falling, playing or chasing. They were all barefoot, wearing bright patterned print dresses, laughing and screaming as they had fun together.”
“Wow.” I didn’t tell him how my heart clenched, I knew when I got into this that we could never have children together. I would never feel life grow within me, I’d never give him a son to carry on his family name or a daughter to dress up.
“It gets better,” he said. “Michael and I got up and pulled our clothes off, then shifted and trotted into the middle. The girls were giggling, running after us. We laid down in the center and they started climbing over us. One grabbed my neck, gave me a hug and called me Daddy.” I could see a tear on his cheek, matching the ones starting to fall down mine. “Then she pulled off her sun dress and shifted into this little grey and black wolf, she had a white tip on her left ear and a diamond white mark on her chest. She leaped onto my back, her little teeth trying to grab my scruff as I moved.”
“The other girls pulled off their dresses and shifted as well. They, ALL of them, were wolves. Werewolves of every color and pattern, from a full white like Eve to jet black and everything in between. They all started to puppy pile on Michael and I, we were being overwhelmed as we played. We heard two howls, and Adam and Gabriel ran in. The girls yipped and soon it was a free-for-all as they play-fought the four of us, while you and the other ladies laughed and giggled.”
“It sounds wonderful,” I said as the tears flowed down my cheeks. “But how? Eve can’t have twenty babies in one litter.”
“And these girls were all about the same age, but they looked different. There may have been a couple identical twins, but the rest had hair anywhere from light blonde to black, curly and straight. It looked like a daycare class.”
“But that is impossible! Our DNA is not compatible, I’ve run the tests myself. There’s no way that…” I pushed his head off my lap, jumping up and running over to my desk. Turning the light on, I booted up my computer.
“What are you thinking, Meghan?”
“It’s never been done, but if I can figure out a way, I think I know how your vision can come to pass,” I said.
“You think that was a vision of the future?”
“Why not? The house sounds just like what Eve showed me of the photos of her old Pack House. How else could you dream of women with Gabriel and Michael that you haven’t even met yet?” I wasn’t going to argue with a vision that gave me a child, HIS child.
“I don’t know.”
I was busy pulling up medical texts on the procedure, I’d make a list of the equipment I’d need and start ordering tomorrow. He came up behind me, looking over my shoulder as his big hands massaged my shoulder. “Can I help with anything?”
I looked back at him, pulling him down to me for a kiss. “Yes. Buy a damn lotto ticket.”