Chapter 19

Reese poked Kim and nodded to Ira. He was navigating a large puddle in the sidewalk giving it a look full or ire. Any other child might jump into it soaking his shoes with a giant smile, the twins certainly relished that when they were younger, but Ira was too careful for that, to thoughtful if his guards were not down. They had made him wear new rubber boots and a raincoat; it was an unseasonable warm and rainy February day for the beginning of the month, which was, in his exact words, "juvenile and senseless". His grasp of the English language really was on Logan's level when it came to expressing himself, even if he did not speak a lot.
They went to great lengths to get a very grown up looking set of black rain gear for him so the cartoons and pictures would not, again in his words, "make him look like the world's only living brain donor". That in Australian simply meant stupid. Reese personally had given up much of his Australians slang after he came here but he saw Ira was bringing it back. When he first settled here he would often watch Australian TV just to hear the accents and familiar cadence but he hadn't done that in years. Now with Ira he didn't need to.
Ira walked ahead of them avoiding puddles and walking around the people on the sidewalk. Twice they had to call for him to slow down and walk where they could see him which would work for a few seconds. They caught up with him at a red light with the park in the distance and Ira's eyes dancing at the sight. He didn't seem interested in the playground equipment at all but was looking at the paths and the woods. He seemed to love woods despite the fact that he had not seen any until coming to the states. Reese smiled at this and nudged Kim gesturing to him.

As the light turned green Reese grabbed Ira's hand just as he started to move away from them in one of his lightning fast moves. Ira pulled forward but was yanked to a stop with his dad's grip. He glanced back with a look of full ire which they were seriously reconsidering naming a look of Ira. "You know the rules," Kim said instantly. His next look said they were treating him like a child again and he did not appreciate it but he slowed down and started ignoring them as per usual. Once they got to the other side Reese let go and Ira ran ahead exactly ten feet and no more. He knew exactly how to use and abuse rules to be right on the line of obeying and disobeying. In this one way at least he was a normal child.

The park was a riot of activity on a Wednesday afternoon. Men blew bubbles as large as a person that Ira was invited to run through and break. He reached out a hand and touched the bubble watching it jiggle before he pulled back his hand and wiped it off making a face and walking around it. The man raised an eyebrow and gestured for Reese and Kim to walk through which they did causing Ira to look disgusted before he took off again.

Ira ran past the woman painting people in caricatures not interested and slowed down when some kid's raced by on skateboards not caring about the slippery walkways, snow or ice. He stopped and studied them for a moment and one a girl a little older than him slowed down and smiled at him. She glanced at the boys she was following and then stopped walking back to Ira and offering the board to him. Ira bit his lip and set the board on the ground glancing at Reese and Kim who stood still letting this play out and then back at the board. He stepped on it gingerly and pushed himself forward wobbly but passible. The girl smiled and took the board back skating after the boys and winking at Ira.

"I think she liked you buddy," Reese chuckled. "We should get you a skate board." Ira made another classic face, ew, and then took off again heading for the statue in the distance this time. Bethesda Terrace Fountain was an angel held up by other figures with water falling down around them and a large circular pond surrounding it. Ira started walking around the circular edge of the cement surrounding the water balancing on the lip and making circles. As he did this he counted the number of times silently to himself letting out a cold puff of air each time.

Reese and Kim found a bench and sat down to watch him and their surroundings as they waited. "And I was starting to think he was acting normally for a change," Kim sighed as the boy counted and did the rounds never tiring. He was hawk eye focused on his task.

"His OCD is showing," Reese murmured. He crinkled his eyes in the worried way of a much older man, a man who had been too much by thirty one. Kim set a hand on his and rubbed the soft skin there going over a few callouses he earned from farm work as a child and kept with pack work.

"It's him showing, Reese."

"We have to go, now," a figure said jogging up in front of them and breathing a little heavy interrupting their silent moment. A werewolf would not be winded unless he had been running for a long time. Immediately Reese stood and turned scanning the park. Nothing. "No, this," Noah said pulling a sheet of paper from his pocket and handing it over. It had been in an envelope but Noah had ripped that open presumably as soon as he got it.

"We have two hours to get out of the state, she took us seriously," Noah informed. Reese crumbled the note in his hand missing a few fingers and scanned the horizon again. Now he saw them. Clay, Antonio, Karl and Jeremy but no sign of Elena. None of them looked particularly happy about this or to be in the position they were in either. They did not want to be the heavy against beloved pack and family members but this is what it had come down to. Elena's word was law.

"Don't worry, we're leaving now," Kim said for the benefit of them all. Ira was taking his tenth turn when Noah grabbed him mid walk arms wind milling as he concentrated. Ira struggled against his uncle until Noah put him down where he proceeded to the fountain and his task once more. Noah sighed and started reaching for him again but Reese said to let him finish.

"They won't hurt Ira or the babies, which means Kim but we're both fair game and you know we won't fight back," Noah said watching the boy complete the circuit and then jump off running over to them and looking at their faces curiously. The pack had saved them both, saved Kim as well and so, no, they would not fight back.

Reese reached down and picked up his son settling him on his hip, he fit like a glove, and Ira put an arm around his shoulder. "Ready to go kid?" he asked. Ira nodded studying his surroundings once again. Boldly the three werewolves faced the pack spread out on the right side of the area in various positions and walked through them not saying a word but Ira actions said it all. As they passed Antonio and Clay Ira finger waved and mouthed "bye poppa" which was he had been calling Antonio when he came back, virtually at the same time as he called Reese dad. The man waved back and looked away to hide the water in his deep chocolate brown eyes. Tonio loved children and he hated losing one though it was in reality three with the unborn children. They could tell he hated this, close to breaking his position for the first time in years.

"Have you thought about what you are doing?" Jeremy suddenly asked walking at their sides, suddenly it made more sense that he was here. He normally would not be coming on missions but if they needed someone to talk some sense into another person Jeremy was perfect.

"Have you?" Reese spat. His anger had ignited immediately.

Jeremy sighed and reached up to brush a piece of hair from Ira's eyes but Reese spun determined and annoyed. "Don't touch my son. We're mutts now and associating with us is no longer wise," he reminded. Jeremy brushed the burst of hurt from his eyes and nodded watching them go. Ira watched with a detached curiosity. They could only assume that Jeremy's words had no effect on Elena or that Reese pushing to leave had pushed her to be harsh.

"Two hours," Karl reminded. None of the three werewolves acknowledged him but Ira turned and stuck his tongue out at him causing Antonio to snort and Clay to roll his eyes but give a tiny secrets smile.

The airport was busy and Ira had no desire to wander from any of the grownups. He held tightly to one or the others hand and watched children run around or be corralled by parents, men and women taking wheeled suit cases back and forth, security guards walking around and dozens of people running or eating or drinking. It was fascinating as far as people watching went.

"Do you know why your mom named you a Jewish name?" Noah asked. Ira kicked his legs and shook his head sitting on his lap. His gaze was focused on the TV in the distance showing a newscast. "Maybe you are Jewish, or a little bit," Noah mused. Ira shrugged. He had no idea if he was but he didn't care. They had never been religious unless you could pack religion worshipping the Alpha and doing as he or she said that was.

"We have a problem." Noah turned and stood setting Ira on his feet but held his hand tightly betraying his worry. "Kim is too pregnant. We won't be able to get out of the state in half an hour. It will take us three to get to the border," Reese sighed.

"Then we need to go," Kim said looking down at her stomach. Kim took Ira's hand again, so Noah and Reese could cover their back and front, as they hurried through the airport hitting a walking escalator. He looked up at Kim who chuckled and let go of his hand so he could rush ahead testing the escalator. First he stood on the end letting it roll him forward and then he turned and tried to walk against the momentum. Finally he walked with it holding the rail and then started to run grinning at the increased speed.

"Only a few feet," Reese warned but he was already far ahead ducking and dodging people, the people he hated but the escalator was fun. That was until he ran into someone who didn't hesitate to pick him up. Ira looked into Jeremy's eyes. The man turned and stepped off the escalator where Antonio waited and his parents with Noah were not far behind. Ira was wide eyed with confusion looking back at his family. He was supposed to trust this man but his parents were mad at them.

"We need to get you out of here." Ira looked at his father and the others who were confused and then around for Clay and Karl but didn't see them. Ira watched as Noah and his dad both tensed moving their feet and unconsciously getting ready for a fight.

"They're gone, we volunteered to follow you to the airport but we need to get you to the border, ASAP because Elena is not kidding. We have an escort waiting there to take you into council safety." Tonio said taking Ira's weight from Jeremy. His parents seemed confused and weary about this but they nodded. And quickly they followed.

"Did you miss your poppa?" Tonio asked in a joking voice. Ira nodded and laid his head on the man's board shoulder watching the world and missing the look of fear and hurt in the man's eyes. This was his family. How was he supposed to just let that go?

On the car ride he looked behind them the whole way playing with his seat belt and keeping watch just in case everyone else's eyes missed something. He was good at watching. Ira was finally able to breathe when they saw the sign saying they were leaving New York State and they pulled to the side of the road with Jeremy and Antonio stopped behind them. A car was waiting for them with two figured leaning against the hood.

"Adam and Savannah will go with you to Portland and you can stay with Lucas and Paige for now, until the babies are born," Jeremy announced when they were out of the car. Reese, Kim and Noah looked at one another speaking without talking but finally Reese nodded.

They hadn't even shut the doors of their cars fully when another one cut across them and parked. He swallowed as Elena, Karl and Clay got out. Ira took in a breath as she faced them and then looked at her watch crossing her arms.

"Two hours not five," she said as Clay stepped forward. Reese was suddenly in front of them covering them all and facing the pack members. Noah stepped up beside Reese covering Ira and Kim who pulled Ira close obstructing his view. Antonio and Jeremy seemed right in the middle of it all. Ira did not know what side they would end up on.

"The order was understood. We neglected to remember that Kim can't fly. We need some leeway," Reese said in a soft voice. Ira watched his hand clenching and unclenching betraying anxiety despite his calm voice. He immediately reached out and took it and his dad squeezed his smaller hand but did not look back. Savannah and Adam watched with worried eyes. The pack seemed to be dissolving before their eyes.

Elena didn't answer, she did look over at Jeremy and Antonio with annoyance and her eyes demanded they join the three on the opposite side. The two oldest pack members looked at her and one another. Jeremy must be having a hard time Ira thought since he had made Elena Alpha and now he did not agree at all with one of her decisions.

"I won't be denied saying goodbye to my family, my grandson," Antonio said. Ira looked at the man who had stopped being suspicious of him and embraced him whole heartedly after that. Ira had embraced it too because he missed Gavin his own grandfather, so much. Antonio was a good man and Ira had a lot of fun with him. His favorite part was the once a week that Antonio would set up an obstacle course for them and he and his cousins would race one another on it for hours all the while hearing Antonio's booming laughter in the background. He had a really good laugh.

Elena nodded to this and Antonio turned to Ira and crouched hugging him tightly. "Ho intenzione di perdere te, bambino," he said and then translated it saying he would miss Ira. "We don't agree with this if you have not figured this out," Tonio said still holding Ira but standing now. Ira set his head on the man's shoulder and looked at the Alpha who did not look so sure or so absolute now, not to Ira anyway.

"Reese, Kim, Noah I'll ask you once more, give you one more chance. Come back to Stonehaven so we can speak, figure the situation with Ira out or leave now and never come back. I will give you the states you will be allowed to live in." Her voice rang out cold and heavy penetrating Ira's heart with a cold rush.

"My son is not a situation, Elena. Ira say goodbye," Reese ordered. Tonio hugged him once more and then set him on his feet. Ira tried to ignore the burning in his lungs or the fact that he felt like his breath was being taken away and he couldn't breathe. Sometimes things were just too much and this was one of those times.

"We'll speak to Elena," Jeremy promised. Ira was surprised to see this break in the pack so suddenly. Like a crack or a void had opened up right down the middle of them and maybe it would keep cracking and cause a real break and maybe that was Ira's fault too. Lots of things seemed to be.

"Don't bother, just keep them all safe," Kim said. Ira watched as the all hugged and spoke and then hugged him again. He tolerated the constant burning from being touched now. He wondered if he'd ever see any of them again or if he'd get his breath back. It was only when they were driving away with, Adam and Savannah behind them and him watching them out the back window that he could find the air he needed again. Antonio and Jeremy seemed to be facing off with Elena and no one looked happy. Adam and Savannah, as council representatives, hadn't said or tried to interfere but they had observed very closely.

"Everything's going to be ok, you know that buddy?" Reese asked from the driver's seat. Ira nodded absently and laid his head against the cool glass watching them until they were out of sight. His chest loosened as soon as they were far enough away. When he turned back into the real world Kim was reading the list of approved places they could live and Alaska happened to be one of them.

"She wants to keep an eye on us," Kim said setting the paper down on her lap and playing with the radio buttons to find something good, half the channels were static which sent her into a rant about paying for an expensive vehicle with a crap radio system, a distraction from the real worry. His dad moved a hand to set it on her smaller one and grasped her fingers. She took a deep breath and nodded composing herself and echoing his father's words, everything was going to be ok.


They ended up at a hotel half way through the night. Ira had already nodded off but he woke up bumping along on Noah's shoulder as they entered the room and he took off Ira's shoes. He fell asleep shortly after wanting to stay awake for the whispered argument his parents and Noah were having about something his mind could not make sense of but his tiredness took over and as soon as one of them reached for his hand, warm and familiar, he was asleep again.

Noah found him in the morning dangling his feet in the swimming pool. He rolled his pyjama pants up and let his feet skim the cool water in the silent room and then moved forward and let his feet get wet to his ankles. The shadows dancing on the wall were what had drawn him in by using his dad's key card. The man he had seen earlier had passed the pool room window a few times already. Ira was impressed with his ability to catch up with them so quickly. He wasn't afraid for some reason though he knew he should be. He watched the man and the man watched him but he wasn't ready to give the man his title yet or any significance. He was just a man, a curiosity.

A knock on the glass doors startled him from his thoughts, from his watch and he glanced over to see Noah at the doorway opening it with the key card and striding forward. "What does not leave the room mean, Ira? Your dad is freaking out and he doesn't need any more stress, out, now," he growled. This was as angry as Ira had ever seen the man and it froze him in place for a moment. "Now," he repeated. Ira glanced at the window again deciding not to tell Noah anything. He stood and put his wet feet in flip flops and followed his uncle back to the room. He was still thinking about the lecture hours later when they were travelling again but he hadn't forgiven Noah yet and his uncle knew it.

Driving. Stopping. Eating. Arguing. Listening to the radio. Looking at the map. Stretching his legs. Thinking. Reading. Listening to various IPods. That became his life for the next three days. He calculated that it took almost forty five hours of straight driving to get to Portland but they stopped a lot and slept every night too. Three days later Ira was staring at a house in a suburb surrounded by a white picket fence. He raised an eyebrow and looked back at his parents. This was not where he had expected witches and sorcerers and half demons to live.

"It's only for a little bit, until we get things worked out. When we find a safe place we'll go," Kim assured taking his hand as they walked up the driveway. Savannah and Adam had gone ahead of them to speak to Lucas and Paige. Reese took the hastily packed bags behind him and covered their backs. Once they got to the door it opened and Paige greeted them warmly with a huge smile telling them to come in. The house smelled like cookies and spices, maybe it was a magical smell.

Hours later, once settled they sat at a large table with Lucas, Paige, Savannah and Adam. Ira pushed the food around on the plate feeling nauseous. This wasn't right. As much as he wasn't sure the pack liked him or not it was right to be with them and not with witches, and sorcerers and half demons. They were nice enough but it wasn't the way werewolves were supposed to live and if he was feeling it so were his parents. He was feeling the pull to go home again and it was making him sick.

"Are you not hungry, Ira?" Lucas asked. Ira shrugged until his dad leaned over Kim and pointed a fork at his plate ordering him to eat something. Ira nodded and took a bite not tasting it at all and chewing until it was mush in his mouth. Finally he swallowed and began pushing the food around again. The differences were the biggest thing he noticed right away. The house was a lot quieter and nothing was chaotic. The pack was polite but here it seemed to be an ultimatum. It was like watching a perfect TV family have dinner and talk about their day. Paige was always smiling but she didn't talk as much sometimes unlike all the women in the pack who were always talking and trying to outdo the guys, Paige didn't need to do that, Lucas was self-assured but also in a quiet way since there did not seem to be a need to outdo everyone here, no rowdiness needed. Adam and Savannah were probably the loudest and they mostly teased one another going back and forth.

Ira also noticed his dad, Kim and Noah were on their best behaviour table and food wise as well. Not that they were normally pigs or outrageously bad mannered but werewolves liked food and feeding time could get out of hand in their home. Here the three ate in pace with everyone else and only took seconds when they were offered.

He listened to everyone talk in the background aware of the darkening shadows across the floor and answered a question directed at him whenever it was required. "…must not be feeling well," Ira heard and he looked up surprised to see that Paige and Adam were clearing plates and his dad was taking the food off the table. Paige mentioned that that was too bad since there were after dinner cookies. Ira shrugged but vowed to play closer attention from now on because their conversation, he figured, had to be important. She gave him a cookie anyway with a wink.

"If you're not going to eat you can help," Noah nudged. Ira immediately stood and took his plate to the kitchen with burning cheeks when Paige mentioned that he was very polite and obedient unlike Kate and Logan, both mostly polite and obedient some of the time, who she would have known at Ira's age too, but not as quiet and thoughtful as Ira.

Ira was making his third trip from the dining room when three things happen simultaneously. The doorbell rang, the front door opened and three shrieking girl's voices suddenly filled the home. Ira looked towards the foyer and then at Kim as the voices came down the hallway.

All of the non werewolves made their way to the hallway and Ira caught words such as birthday party, cake and visitors. "The girls must be home," Reese chuckled. Ira swallowed and gave them both a 'help" look and his father picked him up as the tidal wave of sugar high laughing girls flooded the room and then started screeching Kim and Reese and Noah's name and started asking about the babies. That was until the oldest girl, dark haired and a little Latino looking taking after Lucas, asked who he was and they all quieted and studied him.

"This is Ira, Reese and Kim's son," Paige introduced setting a hand on her daughter, introduced as Ruthie, who was eight, the others were Elsa and Eve, four and six and Adam and Savannah's daughters. Adam had both the girls in his arms grinning like the happiest man in the world. The girls both looked like Savannah but their eyes were Adam's laughing brown.

"I didn't know you had a son," Ruthie said putting a hand on her hip and studying Ira so long he felt like he was being judged for a contest.

"We do," Kim said settling it and rubbing Ira's arm. The girls started up again all talking over one another until Adam's voice penetrated them and informed two of them they were going home and to bed soon. Ira sighed in relief when it was only the adults again and Ruthie was going to bed.

"I think it's time for someone else to go to bed too," Reese said leaning over to kiss Ira on the nose. He made a face and then shook his head when the man started to push him towards the stairs. "Then we can talk to the others." Ira shook his head again and dug his feet into the carpet and then grabbed the banister.

"It's ok, Ira you can lay down with mom for a while," Kim said setting one hand on her stomach sounding tired and reaching for Ira with her other hand. Then she froze like everyone else had looking wide eyed at her. Ira did as well but then smiled a little and nodded taking her hand. Kim wasn't really his mum but she was a mum and he accepted her as such. His real mum would always be who he considered a mother but Kim had proved herself to him and so it was ok for her to be his mum until his real mum could again. He missed having a mum a lot. He loved having a dad but his mum was a missing echo in his soul.

All three of them stared at him surprised and then Reese crouched and picked him up swinging him around, kissing his neck as he laughed and pushed at him trying to get away. "I love you, buddy." Reese moved from his neck to his cheeks and face kissing all over as Ira struggled with a grin. "Ok, bedtime little boy. We'll be up to read in a bit," he announced and hugged him again. Noah said goodnight as well and then Ira made his slow way up the stairs with Kim. He was looking forward to her not being pregnant anymore and not being so slow anymore either.

They ended up in the guest room with him falling asleep against Kim, after a serious bath to get all the travel off of him. In the morning he awoke squished in-between the three of them warm and comfortable. He lay awake wondering what he missed last night. Slowly he pushed himself from the bed and crawled under the cover to the end. When he escaped he hit the floor lightly, the cold zinging through his feet. He glanced back at the bed seeing his dad roll over and hug Kim, his mum. Noah was on the far side flung out on his stomach and half his limbs thrown off the bed.

He walked to the window and looked onto the back yard, snow and wind outside, he really hated cold. Before he turned away he saw the man again, dressed the same and watching his window. Ira was impressed once again with the man's quickness. He wasn't afraid for some reason though he knew he should be. He watched the man and the man watched him until he turned and disappeared.

When he entered the kitchen, hesitating the threshold but too hungry to stay in his room, he watched the Ruthie at the table eating eggs, Lucas at the stove flipping more and Paige walking into the kitchen from the patio door holding this morning's newspaper. "Ira, would you like some eggs?" Lucas asked without turning. Paige smiled and Ruthie looked up surprised but she smiled at him too knocking a pencil against the wooden kitchen table.

Ira nodded but stayed put looking towards the stairs again. "Let them sleep, come and eat," Paige ordered. Ira swallowed but obeyed and sat across from Ruthie who started asking him questions immediately.

"Where are you from? Is Reese really your dad? Where's your mom? Why don't you talk?" she asked in a flurry of fast words. Lucas admonished her and told her not to pry as he set down some eggs in front of Ira. Ruthie clamped her mouth shut. Ira hadn't noticed the notepad beside her and she quickly shut it and started eating again watching him. Ira picked at his eggs; he hadn't been hungry since they left and the feeling of being hungry when he woke up had dissipated. He stared at the doorway willing someone he knew and trusted to come through and finally Noah did. He grinned and walked to the table picking Ira up and spinning him around before sitting down and putting Ira on his lap.

"Thanks for the eggs," Noah said pretending to bit Ira's ear, Ira laughed, before picking up his fork. Ira smiled as he forked some eggs, raised an eyebrow and took a bite. They played you take a bite; I take a bite game the grownups used to get them to eat sometimes and had finished before his dad and Kim woke up.

After his father and Noah had both cleared the town and surrounding area of any intruder's scents, they were allowed to explore a bit. Noah had some business to take care of but he would be nearby and they weren't going far, no one was seriously worried. They were passing a series of shops and Ira was heading towards a coffee shop for hot chocolate, Kim wasn't allowed to have caffeine, she would have tea, but his dad would get an espresso, something that seemed to be available in every shop in town including the library they had visited earlier. Kim smiled until she took a breath in and frowned. She sniffed again and looked at Reese alarm showing in her wide brown eyes and her hand immediately went to her stomach protecting.

Reese sniffed as well and, just as Ira was about to walk into the shop he reached forward and speak to any of us like thator saying " as good enough for now. ay you can;t h and so I did,"yanked Ira back by the upper arm hurriedly taking a big breath in and smelling a mutt. They hurried him into the alley nearby taking him all the way to the back. Ira struggled trying to pull away. Reese let go but grasped his hand and held tightly ignoring him for a moment. He froze swinging around to look at Kim. She stopped and sniffed as well swearing as they came to the same conclusion. Instantly they maneuvered Ira between them and stood back to back scanning the surrounding. Ira had paused as well sensing the situation and feeling his panic rise. Reese wasn't sure if he was just scared or if he knew something they didn't.

"Can we get him back to Lucas and Paige's?" Kim asked staring steadily at the mouth of the ally twenty feet away. She cursed when he realized the last was not an option. She could see people passing by but no one had come in yet, not even when they saw seemingly normal parents yank a child into the ally way abruptly. Good thing citizens were so observant she thought dryly. She told Reese to watch her side for a second as she messaged Noah with an SOS text and the address.

"Maybe, but we're in public so if we stay in public we might be ok. We can get to the car and get him home. We can come back with some back up, Noah is around somewhere," Reese said. He was concentring on the back of the ally. There was a fence separating this one from the one directly in front of them leading to another street and road. Dumpsters lit the sides of the concrete pathway; garbage was strewn along the way as well. A typical city scene, including the smell, even Ira had gotten a whiff of it was cringing but he hadn't let go of his father's hand which was a first.

"Yes, but then we risk bringing them to the house with the others. We don't know how many there are. We can't put the others in danger," Kim said. Reese sighed agreeing with her. He would have to make a stand here and now. He hated fighting without back up but he had a reason to fight and keep his family safe which would give him a distinct advantage over any mutts who came at him. He had more to lose.

"Ok, you take Ira and I'll follow the trail. Get him out of here and I'll call…," he tried to say taking the lead but he should have known his wife would not fall for that. She turned for a split second and gave him a withering look that actually made him shrink back a bit. Only Kim could ever do that to him and although the others found it hilarious they would do the same up against their own mates.

"Reese, we've talked about this. I am not leaving you." Ira looked back and forth between them curiously. He noticed Ira was rubbing his upper arm where Reese had touched him and watched intently. Reese could tell he understood the conversation and was not surprised to see him formulate his own plans behind his wise and wide cerulean blue eyes.

Reese looked indecisive for a moment before looking at her stomach. "The babies." Kim looked at her stomach and then Ira and Reese. Finally his father nodded and turned to Ira crouching down. He asked Kim to watch his back for a moment before he looked into his son's eyes. "Ira, I need you to listen to everything I say, or Kim says, right now, it is very important." It would just their luck that Ira would choose that moment to disobey them and that could not happen. This is why they were so adamant about discipline in the first place. In this situation Ira could be hurt or killed if he did not listen. They should have taken him home in the first place. Reese made a mental note to ramp up the discipline part with him before he moved on speaking seriously.

"I know," Ira mouthed just as seriously and sombre as Kim and Reese were at the moment. Reese nodded relieved. Ira had a good sense of when situations were dire. He was a very smart kid which was a benefit in this situation. In a move very uncharacteristic of Ira he tightened his hold on his father's hand giving away his own fear of the situation. Reese squeezed his hand lightly and continued his instructions.

"If you need to run stay somewhere public and message Noah. He'll help. I already did and hopefully he'll be here soon," Reese said and handed Ira his cell phone instructing him to call the pack if he had to run and stay where he was until they came. They would still protect him. Ira nodded to all of this proving he was calm in a crisis which would come in handy in the future. His father did not want to use the pack but Reese knew the pack would not hesitate to protect an innocent child so they would be his best bet.

"I know," he mouthed again. His son's lost voice pulled at his heart strings making him all the more fearful and turning up his protection instinct to full blast. Just like when he had to protect the twins and the other kids he went in fully prepared to kill as long as the kid's stayed safe. He would ideally like to keep one mutt alive for interrogation but that could wait if it meant their lives. Of course if Ira was not with them he could get two at once but the boy was about to see much more than any of them wanting him to anyway. It was better to not add any more to the bad dreams he would have about this. Though knowing it was Ira might mean he was fine. They would see.

Reese stood again and looked at Kim who was watching all around them. Finally she looked at Reese and then at the fire escape above their heads. He nodded and told Ira who looked up as well. Ira closed his eyes as his father picked him up and Ira, wincing, reached for the bars and hauled himself over dropping to the other side where he crouched and watched them small hands holding the bars until his knuckles turned white. The stink of his fear was palpable. "Stay there, ok?" Ira nodded.

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