Jordan was wet all over, his clothes were soaked from the leaking water bottle and the cold seeped through his clothes and made him chill all the way to his bones. He tried to move but the cage kept closing in on him so he was trapped no matter which way he turned. Dada was dead - Jordan could see his pale lifeless eyes staring into him, his flesh rotting and dripping off his bones but the eyes kept staring. Papa either couldn’t find him or didn’t want to after it being all his fault that Dada was shot. He was all alone, always destined to be all alone. Maybe they shot Papa too. Maybe the gun went bang bang BANG! Jordan screamed in terror - they were coming for him too.
Samson jumped out of bed before he was fully awake. The shrill ear splitting screaming coming from the darkness next to him sent shivers down his spine with its urgency.
Jamie woke just as quickly, turning on a bedside light so they could see the tiny boy in front them thrashing about half asleep, eyes open but seeing dreams. Samson picked him up, unwrapping the blanket keeping him warm and bringing him close to his chest.
“He’s all wet, has his nappy leaked?” He asked Jamie over Jordan’s head, who was able to check his bottom half.
“Soaking. Does he wee in his sleep now?”
“He hadn’t before now. Or he’s pissed himself in fear. Jordan! It’s Papa. It’s all a dream. Jordan!” Samson was rocking back and forth, trying desperately to stop Jordan crying.
“Come change him - get him out of the wet clothes.” Jamie suggested.
Jordan turned to see Dada, staring at him - almost like in his nightmare and as he woke properly something snapped inside of him. He couldn’t take this life of danger and predators and fear. Instead he knew of a reality where he was loved and his biggest daily dilemma was what toy to play with and learning how to crawl. So he let his whole world shift on its axis and his mind emptied of all his problems and heartache. He was still crying uncontrollably but he was no longer worried why.
The two wolves standing over him were certainly worried. Nothing they said or did seemed to calm Jordan. They couldn’t possibly have noticed the monumental shift in his psyche - they were simply dealing with 10 minutes of inconsolable baby. They had changed him and wrapped him up, to stop him flaying his arms about, they had tried a pacifier, tried to feed him, both rocking him but he wouldn’t calm down. It was so unlike Jordan, and Samson was genuinely concerned.
“Jordan! Tell us what’s wrong pup. Are you in pain? Where does it hurt? You can talk - if you’ll just tell us what is the matter.” Samson was pleading with him. He noticed Jamie walk out of the nursery and shot him daggers at his retreating back. But he couldn’t deal with that too right now. Surely Jordan would tire himself out. Samson held Jordan tight, kept repeating reassuring words over and over and started pacing the room.
Jamie came back and motioned for Samson to come too. Samson followed him, curious, into the bathroom which had been lit as dimly as possible and one of the huge sinks was full of warm water and the tap was still running. Jamie took Jordan, still sobbing, and stripped him down and plopped him into the water. He put his forehead under the running water so the water ran down his hair and back of his head and started swaying him gently in the water. Like magic, Jordan went quiet, his breath hitching from crying for so long but his eyes nearly rolled back into his head at the soothing and hypnotic touch of the water.
Samson looked at Jamie as if he was a miracle worker and they just waited silently for a few minutes to make sure Jordan was really ok.
“What was that about?” Samson whispered.
“Damned if I know.” Jamie replied. "We can’t keep him in here all night - do you think we can move him?”
“I haven’t a clue. You did better than me, thinking of this - so whatever you reckon.” Samson shrugged helplessly.
“Let’s try. Get a towel and have it ready - we don’t want to do anything to startle him.”
As smoothly as possible they turned the tap off, then lifted Jordan out and cocooned him in a giant fluffy towel and moved over to the changetable. They were able to put him back in his diaper and clothes and Samson went ahead into the bedroom to turn all the lights out. Jamie successfully fed him and then wrapping him back up warmly, laid him fast asleep back in the bassinette.
When Jordan next woke he had no recollection of the drama he had caused, his mind was more happily engaged in watching the sunlight stream across the room, catching the dustmotes. A small frown fluttered across his brow as he realised he needed to poop, so he grunted and drew his legs up to achieve his goal.
“Jordan, is that you awake?” Papa’s head appeared in Jordan line of sight. Looking worried. Adults always had so many worries.
“Papa!” He was so excited to see his Papa.
Samson had to smile down at Jordan, last night had not affected him too severely it seemed. He picked him up and cuddled him close.
“You stink! Let’s get you changed and dressed.” Samson was already leading him into the nursery and onto the changetable. Where Jordan kicked and wiggled happily.
“I hate to ruin your good mood but do you want to talk about last night? You gave us quite a fright.” Samson had to keep trying to immobolise Jordan’s limbs - normally he sat still and patient in the mornings.
“Dada!” Jordan said.
“Yes, he was worried too. What was your nightmare about?”
Jordan just started at Papa blankly with a goofy grin on his face. He offered no complaint or argument about what Papa dressed him in, it was a thick fleecey white onesie with built in hood and mittens that could be zipped on and off and were attached by a piece of elastic so that they hung off the sleeves when not in use.
Samson looked at Jordan puzzled. It was like Jordan was a real baby. A real baby! It clicked all of a sudden. They had done it - Jordan was in headspace! Samson laughed a little deliriously, picking him up for a cuddle.
“Jamie!” He called out. “Jamie, come in here!”
Jamie came rushing in.
“What is it, is Jordie ok?”
“He’s great. Look at him. What do you see?”
“A polar bear?” Samson laughed - way too hard at such a lame joke. “Jordan. Who’s this? Can you say Dada?”
“Dada” said Jordan proudly. Not embarrassed or ashamed to be speaking so basically.
“That’s not special. Although I will never tire of hearing that.” Jamie looked at Samson as if he’d gone mad.
“Jordan, can you clap your hands for Papa and Dada?” Jordan clapped clumsily. Smiling and laughing as he performed his trick. “Now, can you say ‘I want an ice-cream’?” Jordan said nothing but he continued clapping his hands excitedly.
“Samson, I’m sorry but what am I meant to be seeing? He’s doing precisely as he’s told? He’s our baby?”
“Exactly. He’s acting and thinking like our baby...” Samson left the sentence hanging waiting for Jamie to get it. He wasn’t disappointed.
“Thinking like a baby.” He repeated reverently. “Do you really mean it? See if he can walk!” Jamie was as crazy excited as Samson now.
Samson moved him in his arms, seeming to take more care now, in case Jordan didn’t support himself. They stood only meters apart, their heads almost touching as they bent over but room enough at their feet for Jordan to take a few steps. Samson placed him upright, holding him by his armpits so Jordan could balance and then he let go. Jordan fell with a plop onto his padded bottom and just looked up at their expectant faces far above him. Samson tried once more, lifting him up and letting him go towards Jamie. The momentum tilted Jordan forwards but he didn’t move his legs so this time he fell flat on his face - not even putting his arms up to catch his fall. He just lay there for a second before he started crying. Jamie picked him up instantly.
"Sorry darling. Are you ok? Oh Samson! Look at his bottom lip drop. You are too adorable.” Jamie started kissing his face which turned the little cried into giggles.
“Pass him over and I’ll feed him.” Samson was moving into the main bedroom as he spoke so he could keep talking to Jamie while they fed.
Jordan latched on without a fuss and was soon gulping Papa’s milk, uninterested in the conversation around him.
“I can’t believe he’s gone into headspace.” Jamie spoke softly. “Do you think that screaming last night had anything to do with it?”
“I guess. That’s the only thing that’s changed. It alters our plans this afternoon - I don’t think he should be with the twins if he’s in headspace.”
“No.” Jamie agreed. “It’s not really safe or appropriate. When we were by the lake the other day, I saw all sorts of baby groups - he would love that now. I might look into that. This afternoon I could give him a swimming lesson. There’s so much we can do!”
“Including leaving the compound a bit more. He’s going to be easier to take along to places and be less fussy. I wanted to get the Donoghue holdings all round the area under control and try getting them profitable, not to mention get that pack sorted out.”
“We could tour them tomorrow? Then I can stop in at town or talk with Stefania about getting him interacting with other age like babies.”
“We really did it Jamie, he trusts and loves us enough to retreat to this helpless stage on his own, knowing we will truly care for him. I could burst from pride and happiness.”
“Me too, Sammy. Me too. I love you both so much.”
Jordan found a pure and innocent happiness from switching into headspace. He was free; from worries and troubles, problems and responsibilities. An added bonus he hadn’t even contemplated was the level of affection Papa and Dada gave him now, they were constantly touching him or kissing and cuddling him and it made him feel reassured and incredibly loved.
As they left their rooms they ran into Graham, closing the door to his suite, also heading towards the library for the morning meeting.
“Morning Boss, Jamie.”
“Graham. How are the twins?
“Progressing, thanks to you. We’ve got them booked in to see Dr Maverick this afternoon.”
“Ohhh!” Jamie exclaimed. ” What are they getting? Same as Jordan?”
“For Fin, yes. We’re still undecided for Ash, she’s so feisty we thought of regressing her further so she’s pure baby, she can’t wreck havoc that way but then the sexual side isn’t really possible.” Graham looked to them for advice.
“Even if you go full package on her, she’ll still have needs. She will only be able to receive, not give favours. And you’ll have to really listen to the way she communicates in whatever way you still give her. Personally, I think that’s what she both wants and needs. She signed up for this. Ask Stefania if they did any psych evaluations if you’re uncertain.”
“Good idea - I’ll call her later. You want to bring Jordan in with Jenny for the meeting?” Graham pointed back at their suite.
“We can’t. We will have to keep them separate for a bit. Jordan’s gone into headspace today.”
“He hasn’t!” Graham was impressed. “Jenny!” He called out, reaching back and banging on the door.
“What love? Sam, Jamie - hi.” She looked expectantly at Graham.
“Alpha just said -”
“I think in private, you could call me Samson...seeing were brothers now.”
“Samson just told me, Jordan’s in headspace! They did it.”
“Lemme see.” Jenny whipped to Jordan so fast, holding her arms out for him.
“Aunty!” Jordan reciprocated, leaning out of Papa’s arms for Jenny to catch.
She bounced him in her arms, talking and cooing - amazed to see the transformation. Jordan was so happy, not blushing or reacting to the baby talk, in fact he basked in the attention.
The rest of the day passed in a blur of playtime, cuddles, eating and sleeping and Jordan was an angel through all of it. Samson was a proud, puffed up peacock - showing off his son to anyone who cared to hold him (and some who didn’t) and if anyone thought it was out to character for their Alpha, no one said a word.
The following morning, after the meeting saw Jamie, Samson and Jordan packing a pram, picnic and baby toys into the SUV and heading out into the sunshine. First stop was some errands in town. Samson headed off while Jamie and Jordan strolled content in each other’s company.
Jamie passed the human baby store and couldn’t resist testing just how compliant new Jordan had become. He grabbed a store trolley and sat Jordan in it so he was facing him and clipped the belt in so he couldn’t fall. They wandered the aisles, Jamie getting a little too excited at the clothes and accessories for his boy. Jordan clapped and laughed, more at his Dada’s antics rather than the goods that were piling high in the trolley.
“Eeeeek!” Jordan squealed and lurched sideways in his seat.
“Jordie! Careful! What is it?” Jamie was quick to right him back up - the metal of the seat would hurt Jordan if he landed on it.
“Ta!” Jordan was practically bouncing up and down. He had his hands outstetched, straining against the seatbelt.
Jamie moved the trolley closer. “What can you see.”
“Dada.” Jordan confidently said - not looking at Jamie.
Confused he looked where Jordan was and his breath caught in his throat. There amongst hundreds of stuffed toys was a fluffy blanket, a very large, brown fluffy blanket, but in the middle of it, sewn into the centre so the blanket folded out from it was a large stuffed wolf. The most interesting part was that it could have been an exact replica of Jamie in wolf form. The colours and markings so strikingly familiar, Jamie was lost for words.
“Jordie, that’s very clever of you darling, but how on Earth -”
“I should have known if I left you alone for a second you would go mad...”
“Samson! You scared me.” Jamie was holding his chest after jumping at Samson coming up behind them.
“Caught red handed. Got a guilty conscience, love?” Samson teased, as he rifled through the trolley, inspecting the proposed purchases.
“Well if you knew I would be here, I can hardly be scheming or made to feel guilty.” Jamie quipped back.
“Really, Jamie. 4 beanies, 6 pairs of shoes, another baby carrier, a baby leash system...baby perfume?” Samson’s voice was getting more and more amused and questioning with every item. “What is a babykeeper?”
Jamie took the item and put it back in the trolley. “It clips around him so it can hook onto doors and he can hang safely in case we get busy and can’t put him down on the floor. It could be useful.”
“Ugh. Fine. But I’m saying no to the baby mop onesie. We don’t need our boy to clean the floors while he crawls. Others should be making sure the floor is spotless before we put him down on it.”
“Whatever. I’ll put it back if you agree not to go through the clothes pile in there.”
Samson just sighed theatrically in agreement and stepped closer to Jordan to ruffle his hair and rub his back affectionately.
“What are you looking at pup?”
“Dada.” Still looking at the shelf.
“I’m Papa, Jordan. Can you say that?”
“He’s over this way.” Samson pointed back at Jamie, getting his attention in the process.
“Sammy look - we were just looking at this wolf when you found us. What do you think?”
Samson followed their line of sight and Jordan’s continued ‘Dadas’ and picked the blanket up for them all to inspect.
“I’ll be damned.” Samson muttered. “Did he recognise this? or you?”
“Jordie did. That’s what blew me away. Well both that and the resemblance. I’m sure Jordan’s only seen me in wolf form the night we brought him to the compound. I know it was a memorable night but to recall that much detail to see the similarities - well I told him it was very clever.”
Jordan was bored of the discussion so reached for the blanket and pulled as hard as he could. Samson let it slip out through his fingers and the rug engulfed Jordan, it was so big. Behind the folds of blanket they could hear him giggling gleefully, as he searched for the wolf sticking out of the centre. Once he found it, Jordan held on tight and nestled into its warmth and comfort.
“Better rip the tag off to pay for it, I’m not even going to attempt prying that from his hands.” Samson said seriously.
“He loves it!” Jamie cooed.
“Of course he does, not everyone finds a toy that’s such a perfect match for their wonderful Dada.” Samson added to the compliment by pulling Jamie in for a quick kiss in the deserted aisle.
“Stop it. You’ll make me tear up. If he shouted I love you to me right now I couldn’t feel more loved by him than I do right now.”
“Maybe he will love it so much he will go to bed in the cot tonight and we could have our bed to ourselves - just for a few hours...” Samson dug his hand into Jamie’s back pocket and squeezed his flesh through the denim.
“Samson! Seriously you have a one track mind.”
“I’m not denying it. But I promise to be creative tonight if its variety you want. C’mon let’s see how much of a dent in our savings this all makes and get going.”
Jordan was asleep in seconds in the car as they drove to the outskirts of Donoghue land, his new blanket obscuring him from the mirror on the backseat.
They spent the afternoon assessing most of the Donoghue properties and Samson making copious amount of notes - subdued and focused while he took his role as Alpha seriously. The drive home by early evening saw a more relax attitude take over and playfulness returned. But it wasn’t until they were in their bedroom later that night, Jordan successfully tucked up in his cot, wrapped around his rug with his ‘Dadawolf’ tight in his tiny fists did Samson truly kick back and unwind. Smiling wickedly, he slowly stalked Jamie, who laughed and started backing up but slow enough for Samson to catch him. Kissing him soundly, Samson scooped him close so they were chest to chest and then threw them both onto the bed and reached for the cover to pull over their heads and mask just a little of the noise they planned to make...