Eredity

Chapter 8

Ira

It was here. The day he had dreaded. Ira was hoping it wasn't true but he had looked at the calendar a few times and no matter what he could not deny it. October was here and he was officially ten year old. He dressed slowly and contemplated staying in his room but he was sure that they would come and find him. Maybe he could barricade himself in the closet but they would find him there too. There was nowhere to hide from his father, nowhere. He had dreaded a birthday more than this.

At a snail's pace he walked down the stairs holding the banister and holding his breath as well. When he was at Stonehaven they had celebrated both Elena and the twin's birthdays and they were big affairs. He had been dreading his birthday ever since. He only celebrated his birthday with his mum. They went to the city for the day, got milkshakes and his favorite food and went to the museums and the wharf, usually they stayed the night. He loved that but now he had many more people and his father already vetoed his spending the day solo idea. His dad vetoed a lot of his ideas unless Kim stepped in which she sometimes did. That made her a bit more tolerable.

He kept his breath inside as he walked into the kitchen thinking the only good part about the day was that his mum might call for his birthday, she might be the person he knew and loved, she might be his mother again. He was hoping in his heart of hearts she would call. He wasn't too optimistic though but the hope kept growing like a fire being fueled and stoked every few minutes until it was the only thing he was looking forward to.

He finally took a breath and looked around the kitchen. The table was filled with his favorite chocolate pancakes. His father and Kim sat there reading the paper and Clary and Dom were sitting quietly eating for once. Nick, Vanessa, Noah and Antonio were chatting but everyone stopped what they were doing and looked up when he walked in. His father smiled at him, the widest smile he had ever seen from the man and Ira blushed. He continued to the table and sat down accepting a few quiet "happy birthdays" and some pancakes. He waited for more, people to jump out or someone to say "surprise" but no one did. Finally he relaxed. It didn't seem like anyone was lurking around the corner, thank goodness.

"Ira," Reese said suddenly and he stiffened, "happy birthday, buddy. I'm so proud of you," he finished. Ira nodded and wondered why grownups always did that. They said they were proud of them for simply turning a new age, it seemed a bit redundant. Maybe they were proud of them for surviving or something. Ira nodded and thanked him and the others when they said it as well. When nothing else was said or done Ira looked around unsure. Kim caught his expression and cocked her head smiling. She was so in tune with him and always seemed to know when he was thinking things. It was scary.

"Problem Ira?" she asked. Ira shook his head and went back to his pancakes. He clutched his fork hard feeling the cold metal and grounding himself. He heard his dad chuckle and he moved the newspaper he was reading turning the page. Ira glanced at him but his dad gave nothing away. He was learning to read them a lot better now but their expressions rarely gave anything away. It was infuriating but it was also pack. A mutt could tell what your moves were if you didn't have a good poker face and you could not just wear sunglasses and a hat around a mutt or in a fight.

Ira concentrated on his pancakes again noticing they had patterns like flowers and happy faces. Again he rolled his eyes. Little kid stuff. He couldn't wait to be an adult. There was no advantage to being a kid in his opinion. "What are we doing today? Are we having a party?" Clary asked. Ira swallowed hard when she said that and choked on his food. Immediately his father laid a hand on his chest and smacked his back a few times until Ira pushed him away and breathed regularly again.

"No," Nick answered when they were assured Ira was ok. Embarrassed he scowled at the offending pancakes blaming them for the mishap and pushing them away. Maybe it was time for a new favorite food. He slumped in his chair and crossed his arms not daring to look at anyone for fear of what they would do or say next, especially Clary.

"Why not? We always have a party for birthdays," Clary asked looking at the adults annoyed. Dom seconded this by throwing a piece of pancake that Antonio caught out of the air and ate with a wink at the little boy. Dom clapped and yelled something throwing his arms in the air. Antonio chuckle and reached over pretending to take a bite from his nose while Dom screeched and tried to whack him. Maybe one thing he wanted for his birthday was peace and quiet.

"Because, it's Ira's birthday and he doesn't want a party. We'll do whatever he wants though," Reese answered looking at Ira who shrugged. Clary sighed and slouched in her chair a bit setting an elbow on the table and pushing around her pancakes. Ira had the feeling he was terribly disappointing to her.

"You know, you're kind of weird, Ira," Clary muttered. Ira said nothing to this. He had been called weird since he was a toddler when he didn't want to play with the other babies or go to the beach and swim with the other kids because the water used to scare him. They always called him a freak because he liked to be alone which was not the pack way. He was different and that was ok because his mum said so. Someday he would show them all. What he would show them was not abundantly clear yet though.

"Clarissa," both Nick and Vanessa warned and she sighed again and glared at her plate. Ira rolled his eyes and set his hands neatly on the table watching her. He was good at making people feel ill at ease, another skill learned from his mum.

"I know what I am," he said giving Clary a level headed stare until she blushed and looked away, "and I know what I want," Ira said tentatively. He looked up at the adults and then at his father. "When mum calls I want to talk to her." Reese stared at him and then looked at Kim uncertain and surprised. "I don't want you to lie to me and tell me she didn't call to spare my feelings or because you think you know what's best, you don't."

"Attitude, Ira, that's one," Kim warned. Ira managed to stop himself from huffing but just barely. They had decided to use the warning system with him like with the other kids. He got three chances before he was punished; three warnings and he hated it. It was how you treated a child or a misbehaving animal but not him, he wasn't either of those.

"Ira, you spoke to her a week ago, remember how that went?" Reese asked cautiously probably trying not to upset him. Ira gave him the look he reserved for adults when they acted like he was five and not double that age in physicality and at least quadruple mentally. It usually made them pull back surprised and think twice but his dad seemed immune to it. Go figure, his one weapon would be one he couldn't use on them.

"I'm young, not stupid, Reese," he growled. His father frowned and opened his mouth but Kim touched his arm and mouthed "not today" despite the fact that she had already warned him. His father took a deep breath and nodded looking at Ira and asking him to try and be a bit respectful before he answered his son.

"Ira, I don't think your mum will call."

"She will." With that Ira got up and walked fast from the room to one of his favorite places, the window in the front living room. He took a seat and refused to move. Maybe she would even visit since it was such an important day. She always said it was the best day of the year for her and because he was special to her. How could she just forget the most important day of the year? She wouldn't, he knew it.

Reese

"What is he thinking?" Reese hissed as he cleared away dishes. Kim sighed and wisely said nothing as he ranted. Her mate's dream was to throw a big party for Ira and have him be happy and running around like the twins did when they were little or Nita and Clary. Reese wanted his son to be normal, but Ira was far from a normal child. The others were all so excited to have a day that celebrated them with cake, presents and games. All Ira wanted was to be left alone and to get a call from his mum. He didn't want present or cake or pizza. He didn't want movies or trips to the city. He wanted to forget it.

"What did the hell did they do to him down there that makes him so…quiet and makes him not think he deserves a birthday. I want to rip them apart with my bare hands," Reese seethed and broke the plate in his hand he had been holding to put in the dishwasher. The werewolf sighed and walked to the garbage throwing it in and adding it to the metal tally of plates, cups and other assorted items broken from his strength. It was the hazard of being a werewolf.

"Maybe he's just a kid who doesn't like the attention Reese, maybe that's just him and not something someone did to him," Kim said gently. Reese shook his head angrily and closed the dishwasher door hard. Kim sighed and continued washing a few of the pots and pans. When he was like this it was best to leave him be and let him get it all out.

"It's not normal, Kimmy. He's just…why can't he be as excited as I am?" It's the first time I get to celebrate my son's birthday and he acts like I am forcing him to go to the dentist or something, which by the way he needs to do soon and the eye doctor, but I don't know what to do with him." Kim took her hands from the soapy water and dried them before standing on tip toes and wrapped her arms around his neck. He hugged her back fiercely.

"Reese, this is what Ira wants. There will be other children that will be happy to celebrate until they drop. Right now we need to let Ira have what he wants and let him be happy," Kim said lowly. Reese nodded and sighed knowing she was right. The problem was that the one thing he really wanted was impossible. Elena had agreed with him that contact with his mother was very unwise and it couldn't continue. If she called Reese could not let them talk. He prayed that she would not be so stupid.

"Well, he's getting a few things at least. I won't stand for the little ankle bitter having nothing," he muttered. Kim chuckled loving his Aussie speak as she called it. He reached down and kissed her hard almost letting his thoughts and intention get away with him until she pulled back and reminded him what day it was.

"Right," he said with a smile and proceeded to call everyone together.

Ira

His mother would either call or come and see him. He knew the likelihood of her coming to see him was next to none but he was sure, so sure, she would call. He was so sure he was hanging on to the hope like he was desperate for water and hadn't drunk in days. He needed to hear his kind mother, the mother who loved him so much and the one who would die for him and not the woman who yelled at him, possibly hated him and scared the hell out of him. That mum was always reserved for people she didn't like but Ira was not, could not be one of them.

At a noise from the hallway he turned and saw his father and Kim filing into the room followed by the others. They all held presents which made Ira stare and back up into the window seat a bit. "I know you don't want any attention, buddy but we couldn't resist at least giving you presents. Will you open them for us?" his father asked, almost pleading.

Ira looked at them all and then sighed but nodded. He'd do this if they wanted plus, he wasn't a total robot, he did like presents and things too. His mum had conditioned him to like and dislike many things and presents were normally a dislike. She said it would make him think he was entitled so she only allowed him a few presents at birthdays or Christmas and nothing to expensive. Once in a while she would surprise him with an expensive treat and he always felt special and undeserving, that was her goal. Spare the rod spoil the child was a favorite motto she liked to tell him and he believed it because she had brought him up to.

Ira sat where he had been and opened his presents carefully saving the paper and bows as he went revealing books, clothes and board games. Clary was so impatient with his slow process she kept begging to help but he refused. His favorite present was a framed autograph from his favorite author, George R.R. Martin. The books were very much above his reading level but he loved them and the graphic and descriptive scenes so they let him read them. Plus he'd seen much worse in real life or at least about the same. He wanted to be an author someday like Martin so he had to read and reread his books to get the style and tone.

"You like it? Kim found it for you," his father said. Ira nodded and fingered the picture amazed. His mum had never been this generous, no one ever had.

"Thank you, this is…this is really great," he said sincerely lowering the wall he built around himself brick by brick second by second. It was definitely the best present he could get besides his mother's call. He also really liked the encyclopedia he got from the Danvers; it was a set about the world, nature, space and animals. He'd have fun reading it to Dominic who liked it when people read anything to him. It was one of the only times Dom would just sit there quietly and not squirm or make noise.

"We have one more thing Ira, its outside," Antonio grinned and gestured for him to follow them. Ira did so reluctantly and walked outside behind his father, they all seemed excited for some reason. Ira stopped when he saw Clary hop on a pink bike and ride around and Dom run to a tricycle and grab the handles but he didn't seem to have gotten the hang of it yet. Nick laughed and lifted him on pushing him along while the boy giggled and hit the handle bars with his hands.

Another bike stood upright near them, it was blue and silver, Ira's favorite colours. Behind him someone put a helmet on his head and Ira reached up and adjusted it wearily. "You like it?" his father asked crouching down and reaching forward to do the strap under his chin up. Ira batted his hand away and did it himself before shrugging and going to inspect the bike. This was not going to work. It was a death trap waiting to happen. If his mum came and saw him riding it she would be livid.

"Come on Ira, we can ride half way to the gates but not all the way," Clary called and started off but Nick stopped her. Ira shook his head. He took off the helmet and went to sit on the steps going up to the house. The helmet was in his lap and he traced the pattern on it with his finger trying not to look at the bike.

"I don't want it," Ira said setting the helmet beside him finally and looking up.

"Why not?" his father asked walking forward and sitting beside him, he looked hurt and Ira tried to ignore that but it was getting harder and harder every day. He shrugged but fingered the helmet watching Clary ride around. Reese sighed and said "fine". He was asking Kim about the return policy which made Ira wince but Kim said not to worry about it and gave Ira a knowing look.

Ira looked at his hands and drummed his fingers on the helmet. He sat contemplating the bike for a bit watching everyone trickle back inside except for his father, Kim and Nick. Noah came back out after a bit as well and sat down near Ira watching silently. Ira thought Noah may have been a bit like him as a kid. He could picture a small boy with brown hair sitting and watching the world and contemplating. He didn't know much about Noah though so that may have been untrue. He did know Noah had been in jail as a kid but now he didn't seem like the type to get into trouble, he was a cop after all.

"I've never had one before, Reese," Ira finally murmured. His dad looked surprised and then chuckled, in a better mood now, and told him to give it a try but Ira shook his head and hugged the helmet instead. His father looked very disappointed but hid it quickly too telling him they could take it back if Ira really wasn't interested. It wasn't that but he was too embarrassed to tell everyone. He had never ridden a bike before. He would get hurt but he could not tell them that. His mother had always called them death traps and while he had wanted one, other kids in the pack had them, she never let him. She also never let him go on roller coasters or anything that went too high. The airplane getting here was one exception but she was terrified the whole time making him scared too. The best thing to do was reject the gift.

He ignored his father and watched Clary and Dom riding around instead. His dad watched him for a bit and then pushed the bicycle to the side of the house muttering about return policies and other things while Kim whispered something to him, they both looked at Ira who did his own muttering.

All he could concentrate on was his mother now and how angry he felt at his father and her, he always felt angry. He was hopeful but he could only concentrate on the white hot rage. It was the only thing that was keeping him from going mad waiting for his mother to call. She only had a few hours and he just knew she would not forget.

He spent the rest of the day sitting in front of the phone in the study, on the floor, watching it and waiting. It had to ring, it had to. If not maybe he could get her new number and call her. He held onto his legs and rocked back and forth watching the piece of plastic and metal. He was willing it to ring like his mind could make it so.

By the time his bed time came, and his mother hadn't called yet, his father found him standing in pyjamas in front of the phone looking crestfallen. "It's bed time, buddy. Come on." Ira turned to the man not having to fake the watery eyes and the pleading expression. Finally, as a last birthday wish, he ended up on the window seat looking into the dark night with the phone tucked beside him. He woke up the next morning with a pillow under his head, a blanket over him and hugging the now disconnected phone that had never rung.

Ira thought this was a moment in his life that might define him. His mum always said that you could tell what these moments were because they were so profound and so life changing. He knew the image of sitting there hour after hour would always haunt him and invade his dreams. He knew the burning anger from it would never leave even if it dulled. He wondered if the anger from it would ever really go away. Now it just seemed to grow getting out of control.

At breakfast he turned two thoughts around again and again in his mind, first; his mother didn't care anymore, but, that thought hurt too much, second; his mother was in danger and could not call. This is the thought he went with and it cemented the feeling that he needed to get to her and get away from here. He needed to find her sooner rather than later. He hadn't gotten the laptop he had asked for, his father said maybe for Christmas, when Ira said sarcastically that he should have gotten a computer instead of a dumb bike, his dad said maybe never.

He didn't have much time in the next few weeks to do any research as his father and Kim tried to distract him in any way they could. He hadn't said a word about his mother and neither had they but even though he had tried to hide his feelings he knew they were onto him. He was worried and he was hurt but he didn't acknowledge this. He kept his fear at the forefront of his mind.

"I'm going to be a ballerina for Halloween, what are you going to be Ira? Ira? Ira!" Clary repeated. Ira sighed and ignored her reading his book and making notes for his book report. "Ira, Ira, Ira," she cried grabbing his arm. He growled and shook her off pushing her back. He never wanted a little sister and having a little cousin like Clary cemented that feeling more than ever.

"Leave me alone," he grumbled going back to his book. Clary growled now and pushed Ira back almost toppling him off the chair. That was the beginning of their problems Ira figured. He turned to her and glowered but unlike children who had not grown up around werewolves, Clary was not intimidated. She scowled right back and then loudly screamed for her father.

Immediately Ira grabbed his book intent on slipping out of the room but Nick's voice stopped him. He froze and turned glaring at Clary who had managed tears and a small girl voice. "Ira, what happened?" he sighed picking Clary up. Apparently "Clary was bothering me" was not an appropriate response and the crying kid always gets the sympathy. He would remember that.

"This is war," Ira warned as he passed her on the way to his room when Nick had taken a phone call and was not paying attention. He meant it. Clary only rolled her eyes and smiled at him as he left. She would not be smiling soon he thought.

Americans have a weird semi holiday called Halloween. At home Ira had known of Halloween but he never participated and mostly all the people there did was let it pass thinking wistfully about scary things and candy. Once, and only once, Keith had allowed the kids to go trick or treating but Ira had not been allowed. His mother thought it was too much sugar and too much bother. They had instead just sat at home and watched a semi scary movie that bother Ira's mother more than him. When Irene got back, dressed in a witch's costume, she shared candy with him though. That was great.

Here, they seemed to go all out and do double the amount of stuff anyone else did, like a lot of stuff in America. Here they had elaborate haunted houses and costumes, huge parties and even the adults got involved. Ira didn't see the point. Yeah, he liked candy but he could just steal Dom and Clary's too. He wasn't dressing up and acting like a kid going door to door for any amount of money, candy or begging from his father. Reese seemed to be very focused on him having all the childhood experiences he could but Kim was usually the one to pull him back. He never thought he would be thankful for Kim but he was in this regard.

"No," Ira said for the thousandth time and his father sighed. He'd presented a few different costume ideas and so did Kim, from his favorite books or a few movies he liked. He didn't go for any of them.

This was another one of those things that Reese thought he was odd about. What child did not want a birthday? What child did want to trick or treat and get candy? The only other person he could think of would be Clay. Nick of course had mentioned how odd he was as a child but he was a child werewolf. Ira was just a child who also seemed like an eighty year old most times and would one day be a very peculiar wolf.

Kim told Reese not to worry about it but Ira could tell he was. His father just had to understand that he wasn't just a little kid. He might be small and only ten now but he didn't think like most ten year olds, he never acted his age and he never had. Maybe there were little things that made him similar to other children but he had never felt like a child and maybe this was because his mother never treated him like a child. She always said he was a mini adult and she treated him like it most of the time. He didn't want or need his father though he was be was beginning to like the man a little, sometimes, to his horror.

He watched Clary and Dom run around with Kim chasing them and trying to get the finishing touches on their costume. Ira rolled his eyes and stayed put, on the window seat, watching her wrestle with the kids and then watching Nick, who just got home from work, do the same. Ira was never having kids. It was way too much hassle.

"Ira, get ready, we need to go soon," Kim called walking into the room holding Dom who was in a little pirate costume and sucking on his thumb. He held out a wet hand to Ira who grimaced and ignored them both.

"I'm not going," Ira announced turning the pages of his book slowly. The noise of the others had been distracting him and he was looking forward to some alone time.

"Yea, you are. No one is available to stay with you so go get your coat and shoes," she ordered sounding exasperated. She had been sounding this way all day. Reese was away and she had been in charge of them. Dom had already thrown two temper tantrums, Clary had been in a bad mood because of some little kid dispute when they picked her up from school that afternoon and Ira was being his usual self. Kim had had enough.

"No."

"Ira, now," Nick said from the doorway. Ira looked up to see Nick holding Clary's hand. She was squirming with excitement and sending Ira rotten looks when he didn't move fast enough. He set down the book slowly marking his page with a book mark and shook his head sitting up.

"I can stay on my own," Ira said but both of them said he wasn't staying alone. "Mum left me on my own all the time, I'm not a little kid," he protested angrily. Clary sourly disagreed but Ira ignored her which was probably the best policy right then.

"Well, there are different rules here, Ira. Get ready," Kim ordered. Ira rolled his eyes at this but got up and did as they asked or else it would be another big fight. He was waiting for the time when he would be alone so he could do research or maybe strike out on his own to find his mother but they never seemed to leave him alone. It's like they thought he would kill himself when, really, he'd been left on his own since the age of five and he'd been ok.

The whole thing was boring to him. They walked from house to house while Clary, holding Dom's hand, rang the bell and both of them said the magic words, "trick or treat". Ira read trailing behind the others and bumping into plenty of people. Finally he closed his book with a snap and looked at the latest boy who dared touch him with a glower. Ironically he was sporting a werewolf costume.

"That's not what a real werewolf looks like," Ira snapped. His anger was always buzzing right beneath the surface ready to jump out and bite someone. The boy's eyes widened a bit before he became angry and told Ira he was crazy. He ran off to join a group of other boy's Ira's age and Ira saw them laughing at him and pointing. This is why he was fighting going to school. Boys like this that would tease and belittle and had no really brains. He shook his head and turned back to Kim and Nick who both looked beyond exasperated with him.

"Ira," Kim said crouching down, they always did this, crouch down so he was on their level, it was another thing he found ridiculous, "you know very well you are not to mention things like that. You never know what it could start." Ira stared at her for a few minutes before sighing, rolling his eyes and going back to his book which she promptly took away from him.

"You're not my mother," Ira seethed trying to get it back but she had pulled it out of his reach and he couldn't jump that high. He clenched his fists and growled the way he had seen the adults do. A small growl that was probably not as intimidating as his dad's but still. It made her stop for a second surprised.

"No, but when your dad is not around I am in charge. Straight to bed when we get home." Kim turned from him fully expecting to be obeyed and not expecting Ira to lash out and call her a whore and a bitch. The benefit to acting older than you are most of the time was the surprise you elicited when you didn't. Ira was mostly quiet and he kept his thoughts to himself but his mum always said he had a temper. Push him too far and he'd explode. She had used that to her advantage a time or two as well.

Suddenly time stopped and Ira saw Kim's hand rise. He felt her smack him across the cheek so hard he flew to the ground smashing his elbow into the concrete sidewalk. Ira put a hand to his stinging cheek and looked up at her shocked. His elbow rang with pain and he could already smell blood. Kim had both hands over her mouth equally surprised and looking guilty. "Ira, oh my god, I am so sorry," she started to say and crouched. Ira scrambled back and then up shaking his head and fighting back tears that he refused to shed. He brought a hand to his elbow and saw blood when he brought it away again.

"Kim," Nick hissed and looked around thankful not as many people were out right now and if anyone noticed they said nothing. Ira was not sure if this was good or bad. The humans either didn't care or never paid enough attention to notice.

Ira turned and started to just run, he needed to get away and this was always his instinct but Nick's hand came down and grabbed his coat sleeve holding tightly. Ira growled but Nick started dragging him back to the car holding Dom on his hip and with Clary trailing behind looking surprised. Kim walked behind them fighting her own tears as well but she said nothing. Clary kept glancing at her surprised but she didn't utter a word for once. This meant that Kim did not normally act like this, Ira was the only one who could push her that far apparently.

Ira climbed into the back seat when Nick let him go and curled up holding his cheek and wiping his eyes. He held a Kleenex to his elbow to stop the bleeding. There was a first aid kit in the car but he refused to let Kim touch him and Nick was driving. No one said anything on the way home and even Clary was subdued. Dom was kicking his legs and signing babble with a handful of candy already hyper. Ira didn't ask for any candy but Clary handed him a tootsie roll and he accepted eating it but not feeling any better. For once they didn't fight. There were moments that transcended fighting between children and adults and this was one of them. It was like during the war when the two sides stopped fighting to celebrate Christmas for a day before fighting again, a silent truce of sorts.

As soon as the car stopped Ira jumped out and ran inside without looking at any of them. He had good timing because his father was just coming to meet them. He smiled when he saw Ira until he saw how upset he was and how red his cheek was. He crouched down and pushed Ira's face to the side to look at this cheek asking him what happened. Ira stayed silent but looked back at Kim who had just come in the door.

"I'm so sorry," she said quietly. Reese narrowed his eyes and stared at her before swinging his attention back to Ira. He noticed Ira's elbow and he took the Kleenex wincing. Ira pulled away from him and turned encountering Noah who immediately took his hand and brought him to the bathroom. Noah looked very angry but he said nothing and Ira, already in pain, allowed Noah to lift him onto the counter and study his wound just as he had allowed the man to take his hand. Sometimes comfort was something he would accept.

"What happened?" Noah asked as the same time as his father asked the question in the hallway. Ira did not answer but Kim did explaining that she had made a horrible mistake. Noah took a deep breath and took the first aid kit out.

Noah cleaned the wound and bandaged Ira's elbow silently as they listened to the conversation in the hallway. "You hit my son?" Reese finally asked in a deadly voice. Noah winced at this and Ira shivered. Ira could imagine Reese rubbing a hand over his face. He was staring to get to know his dad really well and the silence that descended meant he would be showing stress, rubbing his jaw or a hand through his hair or pinching the bridge of his nose.

"He called me a bitch Reese, a whore. It was instinctual," she started to say but sighed, "I…should never have done that. I am so sorry. I got frustrated, he's been difficult all day, and it just happened." Noah gave Ira the look and Ira looked away biting his lip.

"Ira, I never want to hear those words come out of your mouth again. They are disrespectful and Kim is neither of them. If I ever hear them again you can bear in mind that you're not too old to spank or have your mouth washed out with soap," Noah reminded. Ira's glared at him shaking and jumped off the counter backing away.

Noah said his name but Ira was already in the hallway. Neither of them had moved but he did notice Nick sneaking past them to hurry the kids to bed. Dom was fighting this vehemently seeing where going upstairs was leading and was hitting Nick in the shoulder sputtering nonsense words and one word heard clearly throughout the hallway the made everyone stop. "Bit! Bitch!" he cried getting the word out on the second try. Nick took a deep breath and shook his head at Ira. Clary glanced at Ira silently looking worried. Ira wasn't worried, he was angry.

"I am so sorry, Reese. He called me those name and then suddenly it was like…it was home and I…it just happened. You have no idea how awful I feel." Reese sighed again rubbed his jaw, probably for the second time. He saw Ira standing there and looked at him with something Ira could not interrupt.

"He shouldn't have said that, Kim but…hitting him? I just…I need some space right now," Reese said. Reese reached down and took Ira's hand and not letting him yank away this time as they walked upstairs and they both tried to ignore Kim's choked sobs from below. If anyone else had hit his child…but it wasn't anyone else, it was his mate.

"I never want to hear you say those words, ever again, Ira. Are we clear?" Reese asked when they got to his room. Ira glared but made no motion to accept his words. He tried not to let it get to him but Ira knew he saw the fear. He was afraid of Keith and Keith had hit him more time than he could count.

Finally Ira turned and walked to his dresser drawer pulling it open and took out some clean pyjamas. "Ira," Reese sighed as he turned. "Please." He walked forward taking the pyjamas and setting them on the bed. He took both of Ira's hand and got down on his knees looking into his son's eyes. "Talk to me. I need to know how your feeling."

Ira shook his head and pulled back. He headed to his bed and pulled the covers over his head not willing to talk. Reese sighed but told him they would talk later. He heard his bedroom door shut then and breathed a sigh of relief. Finding his mum was now a bigger priority.

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