It’s been over two weeks since the Ellie’s attack and there has been no sign of Cortez or any of his rogues. The pack is still on high alert as the warriors trained harder in preparations for a fight. We all knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when.
I have spent every moment lately with my family. I was completely enrapt in my daughter. I had missed so much of her life so far. I never had gotten to see her first steps, or hear her first words, or even take her to her first day of school. But I know that I will be there for every first she still has.
I will be there when she gets her license, when she falls in love, when she goes off to college. As I watched my little girl so focused on her games, I promised myself that I will be there for the rest of her life, to watch her grow, to see her future, and I will have Ellie right beside me through it all. My perfect mate.
“What are you thinking about?” Ellie whispered to me as she placed a light kiss on my cheek.
I pulled myself away from my thoughts as I looked back down to her and gave her a light smile, “The future,” she gave me a confusing look before I continued, “Our future, our daughter’s.”
Her face lit up in a smile, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” I told her, kissing her lightly. I pulled her closer to me on the couch as we both just sat in comfortable silence before Walker and Sawyer came bursting through the door.
“I didn’t say that!” he yelled to her, his voice almost pleading.
“Well it’s what you meant,” she countered back at him.
“No, it’s not.”
“What is going on?” I shout. Knox growled in the back of my mind at our interrupted time with our mate and daughter.
Ellie and Sawyer stared at each other for a second before Ellie pushed herself out of my arms and wrapped Sawyer into a hug. Sawyer squeezed her back like her life depended on it as Ellie turned to Walker.
“You are an idiot, Jason Walker” she growled out.
Walker stood there in shock as he watched his and my mate, “What did I say that was so bad?”
“Why don’t you think about it for a while and we’ll see what you come up with,” Ellie snapped as she took Sawyer upstairs.
We watched them retreat before I turned to Walker, “What did you say to Sawyer? I have never heard Ellie use your full name.”
He shakes his head in confusion, “I have no idea. We were fine.”
“Well what were you talking about when she got angry with you?” I ask him as Zea jumps onto the seat next to me to be a part of the conversation.
“We were just talking like we always do. I asked about her day and we were talking about her training with the pups when she just snapped at me and started crying then she got angry. I don’t know what I did wrong,” he told me.
Why would Sawyer get upset with him? I thought to myself.
What did he say about pups? Knox comments. Oh god, that would explain why Ellie is just as pissed now.
“Walker, what did you say about the pups?” I ask him.
“I don’t know. She asked how I felt when I trained the pups and I told her the truth, that I hated training which she knows and then she freaked out on me. Asked if that meant I didn’t like pups and stormed out. I don’t understand what I said that made her think that or made her so angry,” he says.
I shook my head at him as even I knew he made a colossal mistake, “Walker, by chance did Sawyer ask you about the pups because she wanted to know how you feel about having kids?” I asked him, trying to nudge him there.
“She knows I love kids, but I just don’t like training them. What’s the big deal?” he said, clearly not understanding.
I shook my head at him, “God, Ellie was right. You are an idiot.”
“What?” Walker almost screeched, “What is it that I’m not getting?”
“She asked how you feel about kids, because she’s pregnant,” I tell him.
I watch as every muscle in his face seems frozen in time as the realization hits him. Then, as if the truth finally set in, I watched as joy, fear, and shock all seemed to crowd his features before he stood up quickly and bolted for the stairs, “Sawyer!”
Zea laughed as we watched him go. Within a few minutes, Ellie came back down, “I’m assuming you had to tell him,” she laughed.
I shook my head and smiled at her as she joined us on the couch, “I tried to let him get there on his own, but he just couldn’t put it together.”
She laughed at that, “Yeah, I didn’t think he would, but I am surprised you knew.”
“She asked him about how he felt about having kids. It doesn’t take a genius.”
“I suppose not,” she tells me, “I like to hope that you would have had a clue as to what I was talking about.”
“I am positive that I would have known,” I tell her.
“Oh really?” she says, “Because I seem to recall that I was easily able to pass my morning sickness off as my hatred for fish.”
“Well, one instance does not mean that I would not have known,” I tell her playfully, “I do wonder though, how would you have told me?”
She smiled as she thought back, “I actually thought about getting one of those t-shirts that say best dad or telling you over a nice dinner. I even thought about just blurting it out. Granted these thoughts were all had literally seconds after taking the test, so I didn’t have a lot of time to think of ideas.”
“I don’t know,” I tell her, leaning over and kissing her mark, “I like all of those ideas.”
She laughed again before pushing me back slightly and looking down at Zea, “Hey sweetheart, do you want to help me get dinner ready?”
Zea smiled and nodded her head vigorously. She truly did love the kitchen.
“While you guys work, I’m going to get some of my own work done,” I tell Ellie as I stand up and I pull her into my arms. Before she could say anything, I pulled her closer for a kiss, smiling as I pulled away.
“Alright, you take care of pack business,” she smiled at me before giving me one last kiss and walking away, but not before yelling to me, “But you better not be late for dinner.”
I laughed as she walked out of the room, “I wouldn’t even think about it.”
I spent an hour in my office working on the paper work for the pack when Walker came in and started pacing around the room, “I mean I’ve always wanted kids. I love kids and I couldn’t wait to have kids with Sawyer, but if I’m not ready. I mean I’ve never been a dad. I don’t know how to be a father. I didn’t exactly have the best role model growing up. What if I’m not good at this? I mean-”
“Walker!” I yelled, causing him to halt mid pace and stop his rant. I motioned for him to sit down and thankfully he did, “Take a deep breathe.”
He did as I said before giving a look that I had never seen in my best friend before, “What if I’m not good at this?”
I give him a light smile, “Walker, you have wanted nothing but your mate and pups since as long as I can remember. You love children, and you will be a great father.”
“How do you know?” he asked me.
“Because of how you are with Zea. You aren’t your father, Jason. You never will be. That kid just got the greatest parents it could ever wish for,” I told him. God, when did I become so sappy.
Walker smiled at me, “Thank you man. You’re right. I have nothing to worry about. You and Ellie will help us with this whole parent thing, right?”
“Good,” he nodded his head as his smile grew even brighter, “I’m really happy.”
“I know,” I told him before handing him a stack of papers, “and I’m sorry to break that happiness, but we both still have paper work to take care of.”
He groaned as we both got to work.
Alpha! Reid called me in the pack link, worry evident in his voice.
Reid, what’s wrong? I asked him.
Rogues on the north border.
“Sound the alarms for rogues,” I told Walker as I linked all of the pack warriors to prepare for a fight at the north border.
Moving quickly, we were both outside and had shifted within minutes, racing towards the border.
Ellie, I called out to her.
Axton, what happened? She asks me, panic and worry clear in her voice. She probably heard the alarm.
Rogues are at the north border. I need you and Zea to get to the safe room, I tell her as I push myself to run faster.
But Axton, I can help-
I cut her off with a growl, No. Please, Ellie, I need you both safe. Just get to the safe room and lock yourselves in, I tell her, trying to get her to do as I say.
Okay, she says, but Axton, be careful. I love you.
I love you too, I tell her before closing the link.
Knox pushes us to go faster. He knows these are probably the same rogues that want Ellie and Zea, and neither one of us is going to let anything happen to them.
When I reach the border, I see all of my wolves standing at the ready. They faced the trees in wait for the attack. Seeing Reid closest to the border, I move to stand in front. I scan the forest behind the border, unable to see any rogues, when a slight movement caught my eye.
I let out a low, menacing growl as more than fifty rogues stepped closer to the border into view, but not one of them crossed the line.
If was like they were waiting for an order. I look over each and every one of them, none of them held any power. None of them were Cortez or any of his warlocks. They were just his foot soldiers.
It was a stand still. Every warrior was ready, growling at the sight and each rogue growled back. The tension could be felt in the air. I was about to order the attack when a howl echoed through the woods. Every single rogue stopped growling the second the sound reached our ears. Taking one last look at us, they started to retreat into the forest.
I stared perplexed as I looked over to Reid.
What just happened? He asked me.
I don’t know-
My words were cut off as I felt pain shatter through my body. Every each of my skin burned as I almost collapsed to the ground in a whimper. The pack moved closer to me, knowing something was wrong but not knowing what.
Axton, what is happening? Walker yells to me.
I wanted to reply, but I couldn’t. The pain just grew stronger, but the stronger it grew, the more familiar it became. I had felt this kind of pain before. It was pain that wasn’t mine.
Only one thought crossed my mind as I pushed myself off the ground and took off for the house.