“I’m leaving,” I faintly heard Dylan’s voice whisper in my ear.
I cracked my eyes open and found him hovering over me, a smile taking over his lips.
“It’s so early,” I whined, my voice still full of sleep.
Dylan was slowly running the tips of his fingers up and down my arm, which made a shiver of desire run through my body.
His husky chuckle brought me out of memories from last night.
“Jace keeps calling for me,” he said.
“Why is he awake so early?” I asked, scrunching up my nose in complaint.
“Leila…” Dylan said my name with a grin on his face.
He leaned down and nuzzled his nose against my cheek.
“Dylan,” I mimicked in the same tone.
“It’s almost midday,” he told me.
My eyes widened at his words and I sat up on the bed, pushing Dylan away in the process.
“Why didn’t you wake me up earlier?” I asked, as I slapped his chest and got up from the bed.
“You looked tired,” he replied.
“That was your fault!” I cried, throwing my hands up in exasperation.
I was supposed to be up by eight in the morning. Eric, Liam, and I were supposed to go to the city. Eric and I were mainly accompanying Liam because he needed to take care of some stuff. Liam didn’t say what, but he asked if we wanted to tag along.
It had been a while since I had been anywhere outside of town, so I quickly agreed. Eric had also been excited about going to the city.
Dylan had been flat out opposed to the idea after hearing about it.
It was in partly due to our engagement last week, which had only served to make him more even possessive than he already was. The other reason was that although Eric and Liam were my guards, Dylan didn’t want me too far away from Midnight Moon territory without him.
‘We’ve had way too many close calls in the past,’ Dylan reminded me time and time again, whenever I mentioned going anywhere that wasn’t in our territory.
“How is it my fault?” Dylan asked, bringing me out of my thoughts.
“You, you,” I stuttered, giving Dylan my best glare when he smirked at me.
“If I remember correctly, you were the one who told me not to stop last night.” His words made a blush creep into my face, and I could feel the warmth spreading all over my body.
“Whatever,” I retorted and left the room.
I was hiding out in the closet, waiting for him to leave.
I wasn’t ashamed that we had made love last night, but now I knew Dylan’s main reason for wanting to continue our actions until late at night was so that I would be too tired to wake up in the morning.
He had succeeded.
Eric was lounging in one of the sofas in the living room when I arrived downstairs. He had his PSP in hand and seemed to be really focused on it.
“Where’s Liam?” I asked him even though I knew Liam had already left.
Eric put the PSP to the side and began digging around in his jean pocket.
“You just missed him,” Eric commented, after checking the time on his iPhone.
“I did?” I asked, feeling a frown form in my face.
Maybe if I hadn’t waited so long for Dylan to leave, I would have caught Liam. Dylan had said Jace kept bugging him to leave, yet he had taken his sweet time. I knew he only wanted to tease me some more about last night and the begging I had done.
“Yup, you just missed him by about four or five hours,” Eric replied, a grin taking over his lips.
I gave him a flat look and shook my head at him.
“That wasn’t funny,” I told him, throwing a pillow at his head, which he easily swerved.
“I thought it was. Why did you wake up so late anyways?”
“I was tired,” I replied, and quickly distracted my gaze somewhere else. I didn’t want for Eric to know exactly why I had been so tired that I overslept.
“Uh huh,” he muttered.
When I turned to face him, he was waggling his eyebrows at me.
I felt the blush coming on again, so I opted for fleeing the room. I was hungry anyway.
“What’s up?” Eric asked.
He had stayed in the living room for a couple of minutes, before following after me. I was sure the smell of bacon was what dragged him into the kitchen, more than my company.
“I’m making breakfast,” I shrugged.
“My favorite,” Eric said, nodding towards the bacon.
I smiled at him before taking a sip of my grape juice.
“Pass me a coke,” he said, when I offered him the carton of juice.
“It’s so early.”
“Bacon tastes better with coke,” Eric shrugged.
I laughed at his words, which seemed silly to me. Laughing about that was enough to lift up my spirits, if only for a minute. I had really been looking forward to the change in scenery.
Lately, Dylan had been insisting that I stay at home. I didn’t know why, but Liam told me Jace had made it pretty clear that he and Eric should keep me inside the mansion whenever Dylan wasn’t around. It seemed that even though the battle was over, Dylan wasn’t letting up one bit.
“What do you think Liam was going to do in the city?” I asked Eric, turning back to face him.
I was wondering what Liam was up to lately. On the days that led to the proposal, I had been too worried that something might be wrong with Dylan. After he proposed, I was finally relieved enough to notice that something was up with Liam.
“No idea,” Eric replied, but he put his game away in his pocket.
It seemed like I had peaked his interest with my question.
“I heard him talking to Jace the other day about making a trip,” Eric commented.
I raised an eyebrow at him, pushing him to continue. Eric simply shrugged.
“I didn’t really think anything of it. Jace simply told him to ask the Alpha.” A laugh followed Eric’s words, which only served to confuse me.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
Eric was shaking his head, his eyes full of amusement, and a wide grin was spreading on his lips.
“Jace told him he wasn’t too sure Alpha Dylan would let him leave. But if he really needed to make this trip, Liam should come to you. Jace said we all know how whipped the Alpha is.”
He broke out into more chuckles after saying that. I gave in to a few of my own, mainly because Dylan wasn’t around.
If Dylan knew that Jace was spreading those things around or that Eric and I were laughing about it, he would surely be throwing a fit, or punching a few people.
“I’ll ask Liam about it next time I see him,” I told Eric, before turning back to the food that was cooking.
“How are things coming along for you birthday bash?” I asked Eric once we were seated in the dining room table.
Eric groaned at my words, and I could almost feel the dread he was feeling about his upcoming birthday.
“Don’t even get me started on that,” he said.
I reached out for his hand, already feeling bad that I brought up the topic.
“She’s still coming on strong?”
“Worse. Turning twenty officially sucks,” Eric said.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the pity party he was having, even though I genuinely felt bad for him.
Two days ago, we had a celebration at Emma and Benjamin’s home, Dylan’s parents. Eric’s mom had brought up Eric and his mate-less status.
I had talked to Eric’s mom already. I warned her to take it easy on him. The woman knew no bounds. She got upset with me, although she tried really hard to hide it. In the end, I only made it worse.
“Well, I’m sure this trip we’re taking will you give a break,” I reminded him.
Eric smiled, and sighed loudly.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been to Locus territory before. It’s pretty cool,” Eric said, sounding relieved.
“I’m glad Caine found a mate. He kind of scared me a bit last time he was here,” I admitted, although I had made no comment about it to Dylan.
I wasn’t sure Dylan would like me saying that, considering he and Caine were best friends.
Eric grinned, and a guilty look crossed over his eyes for a moment.
“That was my fault. It was true though. I’m also happy that Alpha Caine found a mate, but I’m not sure it’ll make a difference,” Eric said, his voice turning grim.
“What are you talking about?”
“I was talking with John the other day. I think it was the day after Alpha Dylan set up the date for our visit to Locus territory,” Eric started.
“John told me that Alpha Caine is going to attack one of the packs. He wants to have Alpha Dylan’s support, which of course was given.”
Eric’s words left me stunned to say the least.
“Are you serious?”
“I’m serious John said that, but I don’t know if it’s true or what exactly was said,” Eric replied.
I could tell he was starting to worry. He dropped his fork and was looking at me like he thought I might break down any second.
“I can’t believe Dylan hasn’t told me about this. Why would he sign up for another battle when we just got through a nasty fight between so many Wolves? Five packs were involved in this mess! Five packs!” I cried.
I stormed off, needing to take some time for myself. I knew why Dylan was helping Caine. Caine had been there with us during our fight. I just didn’t understand why they were so desperate to start another war.
I stormed off to the game room that was hidden deeper inside the mansion. I wasn’t sure if Eric assumed I would go there, or if he followed my scent, but he found me a few minutes after.
We didn’t say anything to each other. I sat on the couch, blankly staring at the TV which Eric had bothered to turn on. He took out his game and played it quietly.
I had to admit I was glad for his company.
“Whoa, who died?” Liam commented as soon as he stepped inside the room.
Eric and I had been in there for about an hour before Liam arrived.
“Who will die if another war between packs starts,” I retorted in a dark voice.
It wasn’t Liam’s fault, or Eric’s, and I felt bad that they had to deal with my bad mood about it all. I wasn’t even blaming Dylan for this one either. He was just supporting his brother. I was just hoping Caine had a very very good reason to bring a war over everyone’s heads, his included.
“What war?” Liam asked with a frown.
“Never mind,” I replied, deciding it was better to change the subject.
I was not looking forward to having lingering thoughts about death all day, at least not as long as I could avoid it.
“Where did you go?” I asked him, pointing at the elegantly styled brown paper bags he had in his hands.
“This is for you,” Liam said, handing one of the bags to me, which had a burnt orange ribbon on it.
“This one’s yours.” Liam handed the other bag, with the forest green ribbon, to Eric.
Eric raised an eyebrow and took it from him cautiously.
I laughed at their exchange. It was always the same thing with them two. They teased the hell out of each other, but at the end of the day, they actually got along.
“What is it?” Eric asked, but he was already looking inside the bag.
“Pie,” Liam replied casually.
At first I thought he was joking. He wasn’t. It was pie and it looked delicious.
Inside the paper bag was a rectangular box, which was divided into ten sections. Each section had a little pie of a different flavor, from pecan, to apple, to pumpkin, to cherry and even cheesecake.
“Nice,” Eric said, with an approving smile.
“Don’t eat them yet,” Liam said, looking at me teasingly.
“Why not?” I suspiciously asked him, wondering if he had pranked me. He had been doing that way too much, although most of his pranks were directed to Eric.
“I already ate a dozen of them, but I’ll want more if I see you two eating them,” he said.
I laughed at him, but did as he said and put the brown bag to the side.
“So what were you doing in the city?” I asked him.
“My sister wants to visit me for my birthday,” Liam replied, but there was a certain edge to his voice.
“That sounds awesome,” I grinned and turned to look at Eric, who was raising an eyebrow in Liam’s direction.
“I didn’t know you had a sister,” Eric commented.
“I didn’t know we gossiped and did each other braids,” Liam replied, and he smirked when a blush started creeping over Eric’s cheeks.
“You are so mean,” I told Liam, but I couldn’t hide the laughter in my voice.
“She sent me some stuff through mail and I went to pick them up in the UPS place. There’s only one in the city. I stopped by to talk to Dylan about seeing if my sister could visit, but it was a negative on his part,” Liam finished explaining.
I found myself frowning at his words.
“I think Jace predicted this,” Eric said, letting out a chuckle, which Liam thought was directed to him.
“Yeah, you’re laughing because you have all your family here!” Liam snapped at Eric.
“Hey, calm down,” I told Liam, giving his chest a light push.
He had been about to get in Eric’s face. The last thing I needed was for the two of them to start fighting.
“Eric’s saying that because we heard you asked Jace about this. But I thought you wanted to leave,” I said.
“I want to go and pick up my sister. She hasn’t shifted yet but she’s going to in a few months. I have to have her with me. And well, I was hoping to bring her over here for my birthday,” Liam added sheepishly.
I smiled at him. I could feel my insides warming up. Liam had been through a lot. He was really stubborn and he complained about being part of the pack any chance he got, but he was a loyal to Midnight Moon. He’d been there for me, not only for the past month, but during the day of the attack from Raven and Staten Pack.
“I’ll talk to Dylan,” I promised.
“I was talking to my dad earlier today,” Dylan started to say, while he was pulling his shirt over his head.
He had just arrived home and was about to jump in the shower. I had been upstairs, reading one of the books Eric had picked up from me at the bookstore.
“My mom was asking about us,” he said in a careful tone.
He was going to bring up something I didn’t want to hear. Dylan only ever used that voice when he thought I might get upset about something.
“What did Emma say?”
Pups. It was all Emma asked about any time I saw her. For the past few weeks after the miscarriage, Emma had been pushing it more than before.
‘I’m ready to be a grandma,’ she kept repeating.
Thinking about Emma becoming a grandmother brought thoughts about my own mother. The thoughts were fleeting, because Dylan soon got my attention.
“You know what she wants,” Dylan said, making his way towards me.
I had been sitting on the couch, with my legs propped up. Dylan kneeled in front of me, and brought my legs down to the ground, settling his upper body in between my legs.
“What do you want me to say?” I asked, and I noticed the defensive tone in my voice.
The past few weeks had been slightly nerve wrecking for me. I wanted to go into the city so that I could see a doctor and start getting contraceptives elsewhere. Getting them from the pack doctor, whose biggest fear was to anger his Alpha, wasn’t exactly my brightest idea.
I was scared Dylan would suspect something after he noticed I wasn’t getting pregnant. If he went and asked the doctor, I knew he would tell Dylan everything.
“Nothing,” Dylan replied, running his nose over my flat stomach.
“I know it’ll happen again soon,” he said, sounding really sure of his words.
He picked up his head and brushed his lips against mine. With the way his arms snaked around my waist, I could feel our embrace quickly heating up.
“Wait, I need to talk to you,” I said, pulling away from him.
He cocked an eyebrow and looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to continue.
“Liam’s going to go pick up his sister. His birthday’s coming up and-” It was as far as I got before Dylan interrupted me.
“No,” he flatly stated, like if he was leaving no room for argument.
“I told him I would talk to you about this. He won’t be long,” I said, and shrugged like it was no big deal.
I knew it wouldn’t be that easy though, and the hard look Dylan was giving me said exactly just that.
“Liam isn’t allowed to leave so far away,” Dylan said.
I frowned at him and crossed my arms over my chest.
“It’s going to be his birthday, Dylan. Besides, he’s a good pack member. Why can’t he leave? He deserves this,” I argued.
Dylan shook his head, and ran one of his hands through his hair.
“You’re forgetting that Liam is supposed to be locked up, as my prisoner. This is something I promised to Layton. I’m already breaking my word by allowing Liam to be free,” Dylan said, and he sounded bothered by that.
“But you’re in charge here, aren’t you?” I asked, taking a hold of his shoulders and pulling him closer to me.
“I am,” Dylan said, and he narrowed his eyes at me. No doubt he knew I was going to say something else about it.
“Then you can decide Liam’s fate. If you think he should be set free, it’s your decision. I bet you Layton just wanted to get rid of Liam. If not, he would’ve killed him. But he didn’t,” I said.
“I’m not letting Liam make this trip,” Dylan said.
I wrapped my arms around his neck, and allowed myself to chuckle at the stubborn tone in his voice, like if he could feel himself budging.
“You should at least think about,” I said.
He was about to retort back, but I crashed my lips against his before he could. Dylan quickly responded to my kiss.
I tangled myself against him, not that he minded. With my legs wrapped around his waist, he carried me over to the bed. His lips were moving slowly against mine, before his teeth grasped my lower lip, asking for entrance.
I smiled against his lips, which was all the invitation Dylan needed.
While Dylan was in the shower, I left downstairs in search of the pies Liam had gotten for me in the city. I was planning on asking him where he bought them. I wanted to get some for Emma later, way later when her baby crazed stage went away.
I took the rectangular box with the pies, out from the bag. I was going to save the brown bag. It had nice decorations and looked more like an elegant gift bag. I was about to fold it when a red envelope lying flat on the bottom of the box caught my eye.
I hadn’t seen it before because the box with the miniature pies had covered it.
Everything seemed to stop for a moment, while I read the small card inside the red envelope. Dylan was going to be furious. He was going to kill Liam when he found him and he was probably going to blame me for this.
The card read:
I will be back with my sister.
I’m sorry Leila,