Five Years Later
“Vi! Stop that” I laughed as my daughter pulled on the tail of one of the warriors who was in charge of overseeing her protection. She had begged and pleaded for a ride on his back, and no one was able to resist the adorable smile of my three-year-old.
We had named her Violet after the strongest woman we had both ever known, but everyone called her Vi. Her middle name was Jasmine out of respect for Sophia’s mother, although Sophia still struggled with the way her mother had been towards the end of her life. There was a lot of raw emotion to work out as she came to terms with everything that had happened to her. But we did it together. As always, everything we did was as a team. My parents had taught us the value of that.
Having Vi had helped. Just like her mother, Vi was an amazing mix of both panther and wolf and we had both agreed from day one that this was not something to be hidden. She was born this way for a reason and there was a special place for her in this world. It was our job to help her find it. She deserved to be celebrated, not hidden away due to shame or fear.
Although, things in this pack were a lot different, so it made it easier for Vi to be accepted amongst everyone she had ever known.
My dad had kept his promise. As soon as he knew Antheia was going to be okay, he had gone back to Jeremy’s pack and retrieved every woman and child who was still there. Some had already left, looking for their family members in other panther packs, but many had remained, waiting for my dad to rescue them and offer them shelter within the Blood Moon pack.
We were unorthodox, but we made it work. Each and every member of this pack had something productive to do each day. Everyone was given a place and a job and was welcomed with open arms, so long as they abided by the one rule my father had set from the very beginning. They must live in harmony. My dad wanted everything to be open and honest from that moment on - secrecy had already caused too much pain. Of course, I had kept this rule in place when I took my place as Alpha with my amazing mate ruling by my side as Luna.
I had managed to convince my dad to reach out to all the other shifter species that we knew of, wanting to make a truce with them so that we could ensure a situation like this never happened again, as well as doing our bit to spare all the innocent children that were murdered through no fault of their own. We were determined to remove the negativity surrounding hybrids, and Vi was the perfect example of what a true mixed-breed pairing could achieve.
The only pack that had responded to us had been a bear pack. The minute the Alpha and his son had entered our pack, we knew then that my dad would no longer be able to remain as Alpha here. He was needed elsewhere.
The Alpha son had roared as soon as he stepped onto pack land, almost tearing entire buildings down as he muttered “mate!” over and over again, only appearing to calm when my sister appeared from her room, smiling at him innocently.
Of course, she had no idea that she was his mate. At seventeen, she was still too young to feel the pull of the mating call, but she had felt a connection with him and wanted to be close to him.
After we finally managed to calm my dad down - or should I say my mum managed to calm him down - we all came to the agreement that I would now rule as the Alpha of Blood Moon and my parents would move into the bear pack with Antheia for six months whilst she spent time getting to know her new mate and the ways of the bears.
They had been there for a month so far, and we made sure that we spoke every single day. If Jeremy had managed to achieve anything positive in his life, the way our family had managed to bond was definitely it. We would never shut each other out any more.
I know my dad still struggled with the thought of his children no longer needing him, but he seemed to be coming to terms with the fact that he was entering a new phase of his life, especially since he was now a grandfather. Vi had him wrapped around her little finger and she knew it. No one, not even my mother, was able to order him around the way that little girl was able to.
She had spent hours on the phone with him last night. Before my parents left, my dad had gone out and purchased a copy of every single book that Vi owned, and every night he made sure that they read a bedtime story together, each of them having their own copy to read from. He refused to miss any part of her life.
When she had finally gone to sleep, I kept him on the phone for a while, catching up on everything that had been happening that day.
He had grown quiet before telling me. “You know, I think that this is the end of the story for your mother and I, and I really am okay with that. I’m happy to accept my pipe and slippers and live a peaceful life like all grandfathers should do. This is yours and Antheia’s story now - I can't wait to see the adventures you’re going to have.”
Me neither, dad, me neither.
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