The happiness between the two was received with mixed emotions. Both were shocked and didn't know how their families felt about them being single and finally finding someone. For R.J her warning of not telling everyone fell on deaf ears with Ryan. Beside his men he proceeded to tell everyone he met during the day and that created the ever popular butterfly effect. She knew her news was out by the welcome she met at her home. Driving the street that led to it, people who were doing whatever they were doing stopped and congratulated her with wide smiles and a boat load of questions about their new leader.
She was overwhelmed with emotions, they didn't know Jacob and already asked about his health, wishing him happiness and if he needed anything. Walking up to her house, Ryan and the guys came rushing out with silly grins taking her up in a bear hug, spinning her around laughing. Neighbors ran into her yard congratulating her. A familiar face came out of her house, arms folded and a huge smile. "We were so busy with our new mate that we forgot to tell ya coolest friend ever?" Shane teased.
R.J laughed heartily and ran up to him, he caught her in his arms giving her a tight hug. "Between work and getting to know him I was busy. Sorry." They all watched how she glowed by the simple mention of her mate, she was a different person comparing to the all serious distant person her father wanted.
"When are we going to meet him Alpha?" some one called from the crowd. "I'm hoping soon." she returned.
"Tell us about him. Please." a ten year old pleaded tugging at her hand. Rolling her eyes she conceded, looking at the crowd before her with expectant eyes and true curiosity. "This is to stay between Black Heart and Alpha Shane's pack Golden Wolf."
"Yes Alpha. We promise." they returned.
"First of all, he doesn't know about us. He's human and from initial contact with him he seems accepting..." she started.
"Obviously." She heard Charlotte muttered followed by the snickers of a few pack members who worked for her.
"Hey I was just really happy to find him." she defended herself. "Anywho as I was saying, he seems accepting and we all know we have to give the mate bond time and ease the whole 'I'm a mythical being' on them. Jacob isn't alone he has a daughter who also have to be brought in the loop. Protection would have to be at our best for them. Not only is he your next leader but he comes as ties to the crown. Our pack has already been deemed a Royal pack and it's extended to all our mates. I'm sure Ryan gave everyone the whole protect our own talk." she continued. With laughter they answered her a resounding yes.
"He's in Golden Wolf's territory but that doesn't stop us from being there for him. Alpha Shane has agreed to give us access to his lands and offered us his own men for nightly patrol." Ryan continued for her. In shock she turned to her friend who simply shrugged, "You would do the same for me plus I've seen him around. He's good people. Would be my honor to help keep him safe." Shane said truthfully.
"Thank you everyone. It means a lot to me." Tears glazed in her eyes at the resounding support she had at this delicate time in her life, it brought her back how the pack rallied around her after the death of her mother and older brother. When her father simply left her to her own devices, no comfort from him just one sentence 'Grow up that's life'. Those words cut a deeper wound because he said it while she held her brother's lifeless body in her arms. The elders in the pack saw to her well being along with her grandparents to which she was grateful.
"Anything for you Alpha"
'Our family.' Kara said to her as they both watched over Black Heart as they spoke of things they would do to welcome Jacob and his daughter to their world.
'Yes. Our Family.' R.J agreed.
For Jacob, revelations were revealed and not in the best way. At the parent/teacher meeting, he sat before Mrs Johnson looking at his daughter's art work and academics for the short period she have been in first grade. "Jasmine have been nothing but great. Her language and motor skills are great, very vocal when she doesn't understand things and when she feels something isn't right. She's a popular one around here though she seem to stay at one person's side and he to her. His parents wanted to thank you for having such a brave and wonderful daughter. Their son have been shy throughout pre-school and at home, now he's much more talkative and expressive. Always talking about his best friend Jasmine."
Jacob chuckled knowing that his daughter would surely be the one to do that. Makinghhhh friends with the most unlikely person. He looked at the picture she drew earlier, the title was 'My Family'. She drew herself and him with crowns on their heads, Lexi and William on the other side of the paper with huge smiles on their faces and above them all was the single word MOMMY. His voice hitched and he swallowed the sob that was threatening to come out.
"I didn't know that your wife passed. I'm so sorry Mr. Kaiser" the teacher comforted him, squeezing his shoulder.
"Lost her when Jaz was 3 months. I did my best to keep her alive in Jaz' heart and mind." he confessed tracing the dark curls around the woman's head in the drawing.
"And you did a great job. Jasmine talked highly of her mother." It was then Jacob noticed the crown on her mother's head and he released a sad laugh remembering that he told his daughter her mother was the most wonderful queen he ever known.
"I did. Didn't I" he said mostly to himself.
"Keep doing what you're doing. I see how you look at her with worried eyes every morning. It's okay for you to worry but it's also your duty to allow them to grow without any hindrance."
Mrs. Johnson's words were kept under lock and key as he left the school making his way home. He was proud of himself of being able to be the father Jasmine needed and sometimes the mother. He made it through, teething, hernia, colds, tantrums and even hair braiding. What he truly worried about were the upcoming teen years, that time he would need help with.
Pulling up in his driveway he took note of William and Lexi's cars parked at the curb, gathering everything from the van he stumbled through the front door.
"I'm home." he called out.
"Daddy" The enthusiastic shout from his daughter always brought a smile to his face. Quickly placing his stuff on the floor he braced himself for the whirlwind hug from her. On cue she came running down the hall way in her pjs, hair wild and a big toothy grin on her face. He caught her in his arms and spun her around. "Well hello to you too princess Jasmine." he said in her ear.
"Hi daddy" she cooed holding him tighter. It was times like these he was happy to be a father. Brushing her hair away from her face he kissed her cheek and walked to the sitting room. There he greeted William who was engrossed in an episode of Curious George, "Oh hey dude" he mumbled as his eyes followed George trying to make a windmill.
"He won't allow me to change the channel." Jasmine all but whisper-shout in his ear.
"No fair Jazzy. We watched Cinderella all afternoon all three movies." he argued. Jacob raised his eyebrow at his friend who gave up the fight. They all knew never to start an argument with the pint size Kaiser woman.
"Any way someone here deserves a gi.." he started to say tickling Jasmine when Lexi came in with a welcoming smile on her face.
"Hey. You're home." she said walking over and giving him an awkward hug. William watched from his seat trying to gauge his friend's reaction. He knew of Lexi's crush on Jacob heck every one knew except the man who accepted her hug as a friendly one.
"Hey Lexi. I'm glad you stayed over. As I was saying to this princess here, she deserved a gift for making daddy so proud." Jacob continued and completely missed the adoring smile Lexi gave him. William took his niece as Jacob ran back out into the hall, to get whatever he brought home. Lexi bounced over to the armchair to wait on him. In ran back the man of the moment holding three boxes and a silly grin on his face.
Lexi took note of this and compared to others she witnessed over the years, something brought more light to his eyes except Jaz and she wanted to find out. "Come here baby" he called out. Jaz jumped out of her uncle's lap to her father's.
"This is for you." She took the box that was wrapped in pink gift paper ripping it to shreds, when she saw the logo which didn't recognize she gave him a confused look so he helped her open it. It was then he got the delighted squeal he was waiting for, the sound sent a high pitch sound to his eyes from the hearing aids. Thankful it wasn't painful enough for him to get rid of them.
"Your very own tablet. It has everything you need." he explained to her while turning it on. He had the B from Security help him in installing apps she normally use on his iPad to the tablet. What he was grateful for was the princess theme that was installed and all the disney songs Jasmine loved.
"Thank you Thank you" she said over and over while kissing him all over his face. "You're welcome baby. Why don't you go up to your room and play with it." he suggested in which she happily obliged.
"Jacob. You are spoiling her. What does a six year old need with a tablet." Lexi objected immediately. William rolled his eyes at her 'wanna be mother' attitude. "Jaz is responsible enough for one and deserved it. Also not now for your lectures." Jacob said sternly.
"William as promised. Here's yours." he continued handing over the phone. "Love you and your new job bro." William exclaimed unboxing the phone. Reverently he took off the plastic and turned it on, knowing that he lost his best friend to the new piece of technology he turned to Lexi.
She looked at him with adoring eyes, taking note of his scruffy beard and the messy blonde hair. To her he was still the handsome new kid back at high school. Shy and cute was a great combination back then but now handsome and confident was even greater. She admired how strong he was and caring, a great father and from witnessing him with her best friend a great man to be with. "I never got to say thank you for helping me with everything. Though I had my family in Germany you and William helped me a lot when I lost Annabella. You lost your best friend and was still strong enough to take care of me and Jazzy." he said with a smile.
Lexi nodded with tear filled eyes as he poured his heart out to her. "You're great friend and a wonderful aunt Lexi" he continued handing her the last box. The word friend made her flinch but covered it up with much practice as she accepted his gift. She gasped in surprise as she saw the Huawei Matebook. It was a two in one with Windows software. "Jacob. Wow. This is too much. I mean thank you but how did you get all of this. This just advertised on TV as a coming soon product." she exclaimed.
"They are gifts from the company. R.J announced the collab today." he beamed.
"Man that's great. Congrats." William said clapping him on the back. "Yeah. She was so excited when she told everyone the news. And you know what, to her it was another way to help Huawei and the people who wants to step into the world of technology. She's really humble." Jacob explained.
"So you finally met her then?" Lexi asked curious.
He laughed at the way they met. "It was the best way to meet her."he joked. "Wait you were suppose to tell me." William said with excitement lightly punching his friend's arm. "Tell you what?" She asked looking at both men while having a bad feeling in her stomach.
"Oh fine. After she announced her news, she wanted to formally introduce me to everyone. I was walking up to her to say hello when she just rushed up and kissed me. Man the way she felt and how she kissed I forgot where we were....."
"SHE KISSED YOU" Lexi exclaimed in disbelief, jumping up from the chair. Both men watched her in shock then slowly nodded. Jacob turned back to William ignoring the woman who was shooting daggers at his head.
"Kissing her back felt right. Our lunch date was fun. I actually wanted to open up to someone, it was like everything was a whirlwind. I wanted to always see her happy, care for her and just be by her side. I told her all of this and she also wanted the same. We both want to see this through. I never felt so happy dude." he continued.
"And what was her reaction to Jazzy?" William asked.
"Yeah what was her reaction?" Lexi sneered.It hurt like a bitch for her listening to the love of her life talk about the beautiful CEO like that. She would always be a friend to him. More like invisible.
"Knock it off Lex. You should be happy for Jacob. After years of begging him to date he's actually doing it. On his own. " William spat. Lexi looked at him incredulously, "You have been begging him? Jazzy doesn't need some strange woman coming into her life just to disappear and this woman Jacob is gaga over would surely do that." she argued.
"Back up right there Lexi. First Renae would never do that...." Jacob started.
"You just known her for a day. I've known you for years. Heck since high school and I'm practically cemented in Jasmine's life since birth. I'm a much better candidate for you than her. Is it her money that's why you so hung up on her" she yelled with tears flowing down her face.
"Why the fuck would I need her money" he cursed lowly facing her. Jacob was beyond surprised at the words that came out of her mouth.
"Then why don't you see me that way" she asked softly looking in his eyes that were moments ago filled with disbelief and now soften. Lexi wanted to be the woman of his dreams and in one day he found her.
"Lexi..I.. You were always Anna's friend and I always saw you as that. "
She shook her head hating the word friend, "I've done so much to make you see how much I loved you. I gave you time to grieve. Still I'm not lucky to have you look at me as more than a friend." she sobbed stroking his cheek then took her leave. Jacob was frozen in spot trying to absorb it all. Lexi loved him? And what did she do to show him that? Does helping him with Jaz was her way in showing him? She was always available to babysit, during the years they never had any other conversation beside Jasmine.
"I did tell you back at graduation." William muttered to his friend after hearing Lexi's car leaving.
"Yeah you did. Now I'm one friend short."