A soft knock on the door drew Rage from his thoughts. Hours of thinking passed as he sat quietly while Willow slept.
A head of long brown hair peaked around the door, familiar brown eyes smiled with the same warmth as the smile on her face.
“Mother,” Rage stood, greeting his mother softly as he moved to meet her at the door. She smiled, stepping around the door to reveal her arms holding black fur.
“I came to check on Willow and bring Shadow. He has been wondering around the castle yowling.” Rage smiled down at the now wiggling cat. Joy allowed the cat to jump from her arms, rushing across the room and onto the bed.
Rage smiled as he watched the cat push his nose to Willow’s forehead before rubbing against her and head-bumping her hand. She smiled softly as he opened her eyes to find the black fur ball quietly trying to get her attention. When she reached out and ran her hand from head to tail he laid beside her, curling up and purring.
Her eyes fluttered closed and Rage knew she had fallen back to sleep. The meds were keeping her sleeping as her wounds healed. He had seen them a few hours before while a nurse changed the dressing. The sight made him want to go right back downstairs and whip his brother all over again. Though they were healing, the skin scabbing and closing the open flesh, she still had weeks before they would be healed.
“Rage?” At the sound of his name he turned his attention to his mother. Her eyes wide with shock as she looked at Willow. “Is she...?” her eyes flickering to her son before returning to the sleeping female.
“Yes, mom, she is.” Her face broke into a blinding smile as she turned to him, tears in her eyes.
“I’m going to be a grandma?” her voice a whisper as if she feared the opposing answer.
Pride filled him as he nodded. He never expected to be proud of having pups, but seeing his mother filled with happiness, he was proud to be the cause.
Hunter sat in his office, he sipped the amber liquid from his glass, lost in thought. He didn’t want to think, but the brandy was of no help with that, it seems.
Word had come about the Rogue group. After they fled from the fight, they had converged with another group in Arizona. Trackers were following them, watching them, as they had before the attacked.
They needed to get a handle on this before it got too bad. This wasn’t just a small rebellious group, this was bigger, much bigger.
He looked up as the office door opened, reveling Daryl. He wasn’t sure what he would do if his uncle wasn’t here. He trusted him like no one else. He had served his father for years and didn’t miss a stride when he became his adviser.
“What should I do?” the question was vague but held a lot.
“I’m not here, to tell you what to do, Alpha,” the joking undertone caused a smile to shadow Hunter’s face.
“Than advise me, Uncle,”
The older male chuckled, lowering himself into the chair across from his nephew.
The two sat in silences as one debated within his own thoughts and the other waited.
Daryl Wulf was not known to be patient, yet he sat quietly waiting from his his brother’s eldest to ask one of the hundreds of questions shooting through his mind like shooting-star’s across a night sky.
“Fury...” the name shocked the older male who raised an eyebrow, “what would my father have done about Fury?”
Daryl tilted his eyes, watching the young boy he watched grow up, and not for the first time he wondered what was going on inside someone’s head.
“As his father or as his brother?”
“As his Alpha, I suppose,” the male pushed his lips. It was hard to determine what his brother would have done. It had just been the two of them growing up and he would never have done what Fury had to Rage’s mate. BUT Victor would have never let him live if he had, brothers not not.
When it came to his sons... Victor was different. He was harsh and demanded them to be the best they could. But he wasn’t cold hearted and understood when someone wasn’t in the right state of mind.
When he finally raised his eyes to his nephew, gold clashing, he still didn’t have an answer.
“Maybe you should send him to Alice,”
The words hung in the air.
“You think she can help him?” worry laced Hunter’s voice, hope blooming at the possibility of not only having his brother alive, but also healthy.
“If not, at least he will be somewhere safe.” Hunter nodded slowly.
Both males turn as the office door opens, neither expecting anyone.
Two sets of eyes land on Rage as he walks into the room, ignoring the tension he seemed to cause.
“Rage,” Daryl stood, stepping up to his nephew and giving him a hug. When he pulled back he took a long look at the young male’s face, “how are you feeling?”
“I’m alright, just tired,” the dark circles under his eyes spoke volumes to the other males in the room.
“How is Willow?” Hunter watched as his question brought a slight lift of his brother’s lips before it was gone.
“Still in pain, but doing better. Mom’s with her,” Hunter nodded as Rage lowered himself into the chair beside their uncle. “She brought her the cat,”
“Oh sh!t, I forgot about the cat.” all three burst out laughing. No one had thought about the cat but now they were wondering where the cat had been the last two days.
“Mom is over the moon about the pups,” Hunter smirked, their mother had been pushing for her sons to have families for a long time.
“While we are on the topic...” Rage groaned, knowing where this was headed.
“I am aware of the long list of things I have to take care of,” he rubbed his hand down his face and then through his hair with a sigh. “That’s one of the reasons I’m here.”
“Well, go ahead,” he motions with his hand for him to continue.
“Due to Willow’s pregnancy and everything that happened, I’d like to request staying here through it,”
“You’re asking me to stay home during a war?” Hunter couldn’t hide his growl, narrowing his eyes on his brother.
“I am,” Rage gritted his teeth, fighting a growl of his own. Getting Hunter riled up was no way of getting what he wanted.
“If I deny your request?” Rage felt like his teeth would crack as he fought down his anger, his urge to show his brother he wasn’t below him.
Daryl watched Rage shake, eyes glaring at Hunter without a response. The tension in the room was growing, they would fight if they continued like this.
“You are needed commanding the troops not caring for your pregnant female like some nurse-maid.”
“No, you should have taken care of all of this before. Months ago, than we would only have one thing to worry about and not all of this damn drama!”
Hunter was standing now, hands pressed flat on his desk as he leaned forward, looking down at Rage still seated.
Rage leaned forward, fingers wrapped tightly around the arms of his chair. His face twisted, eyes unblinking and locked with a twin set as the dominance of his brother only over filled him with anger. His mouth opened...
“Lets compromise,” both sets of eyes snapped to Daryl, anger still filling the males. If he hadn’t been a beta, he probably would have left the room already.
“How about this...” the older male trailed off, waiting for the males to calm a bit, for Hunter to sit and Rage to not look like he was going to pounce over the desk. “Because we need you for the war, at the end of the week you return to Texas,” he lifted his hand, muting whatever Rage had to say, “you will come back periodically over the next few months. If the “war” isn’t resolved by the time Willow’s pregnancy reaches the six month mark.”
Rage crossed his arms over his chest, leaning back in his chair and Daryl had to fight a smile as he turned to find Hunter sitting the exact same way.
“Hunter will take over in your stead until the pups are born and you can return.” Hunter’s frown deepened.
“And who is going to run the pack while I am away? I doubt Fury will be better by then.”