"Jasmine can you please come and eat?"
Jacob was frustrated and on edge since last night, sleep eluded him, he was uneasy and the paranoia of being watched reached 75 maybe 100. He didn't know it would affect him so hard by wanting space. Was he wrong to ask that? Was he wrong to find comfort in a friend? Hearing the howls behind his house tore at his heart, after hours of whimpering in pure sadness Markell finally told him what it was. In a bitter voice he told his human how Renae still cared for him after his betrayal. How she saw Jasmine as her daughter. She asked every wolf that pledged their loyalty to her to extend it to him and Jasmine. Jacob still couldn't believe all that he was told.
"Daddy where's Frankie? I don't see him outside." He released a tired sigh. She was the first to come downstairs and made post by the large bay window in the kitchen. Her attention was focused on the wet backyard, pass the trees. Frankie and her made a routine to play outside before school and teach her things about his werewolf life.
"It's raining out baby. He's probably under shelter" The excuse was poor but he knew that he had to find a way to distract her from this new life they lived in for the past week or so. She didn't reply but obeyed by coming to eat. They both ate in silence with only the rain falling heavily on the roof. The weather was very compatible to his mood. Dark and gloomy.
"Aunt Lexi would be picking you up this afternoon."
"Why? Frankie always comes for me then I stay with Damien and Dominic." she argued. "That's not happening anymore. We are going back to the normal way. Aunt Lexi missed you." He gave her a strained smile hoping she would drop it.
"No. I want Frankie." she argued.
"Jasmine Anahi Kaiser don't you dare argue with me. What I say is final. Aunt Lexi will pick you up from school, bring you back here, you will behave yourself like the good little girl you are. There would no longer be any talk of werewolves or any of them sleeping in your room. Do you understand?" He didn't mean to be harsh on her but it needed to be done.
"Yes daddy." she replied softly with a broken voice.
They finished their breakfast in an uncomfortable silence and got ready for the day. The car ride was the worst, Jasmine found it was the right moment to sing a song that Renae taught her. He was there watching them both as they sang it while playing dolls. It was a moment he had to record. Renae held Jasmine in her arms and sang while his little girl watched in simple adoration then made an effort to follow.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear how much I love you Please don't take my sunshine away."
She sang the song over and over till they reached her school. The words tore at him because Renae was his sunshine and he just pushed her away. Why are those words affecting him so much?"Daddy?" Jasmine called out before leaving the van.
"Will Renae still be coming around?" she asked in a hopeful voice.
Jacob swallowed the lump in his throat, his hands tighten around the wheel how can he answer her without making her sad.
"Maybe sweetheart " he replied with a clenched jaw. Jasmine looked at her father, his head was low, shoulders slumped, his hair was uncombed she knew something was wrong with her father.
"Ok. Bye Daddy I love you."
"I love you too sweetheart." Jacob watched as she pulled her raincoat tighter blocking out the light drizzle. When she disappeared inside he made his way to work.
"Okay kids the rain has let up a lot so we can all go out for recess." Jasmine's teacher announced. Her classmates cheered in excitement but she kept coloring not caring if recess was inside or outside. What her father told her of no more wolves stuck in her head; she hated the fact that her Aunt would be her pick up. Jasmine loved being with her new friends and the stories Frankie always had to tell. Her favorite one was of his best friend,Renae. She was so brave and kind. Everything they told her of Renae made her want to ask her the question so much.
In fairy tales, step mothers were always evil and did mean things to the children but she knew Renae would never do that.
"Who's that?" her best friend's voice startled her.
Jasmine looked down at the picture she drew for Art time, it was a woman with long yellow hair and blue eyes with red lips beside her was Jasmine herself. "That's Renae. I'm going to ask her to be my new mommy."
"She's pretty." Jaden commented
"You should see her in real, her hair...." Jasmine started.
"Jasmine? Sweetie? You have a visitor." Mrs. Johnson sang with a big smile on her face. Not knowing what to expect she quickly turned around. Her eyes lit up and the brightest smile her teacher ever saw from her was on her face.
Everyone turned at the excited squeal and their classmate who's always wore purple ran to the stranger by the classroom door. Frankie laughed as she stumbled just to reach him, he took her in his arms as she wrapped her tiny arms and legs around his body. "Hello little one" he said softly holding her tightly.
Mrs. Johnson gave him the okay to take her outside for the recess period. "Someone wants to see you." he said to the little girl who won't let him go. They made their way to the large family park opposite the school grounds where his van was parked. "Who is it?" she asked eyes wide with curiosity. "Someone who misses you a lot." was all he said before walking to a bench over looking the jungle gym. Sitting on the bench in a jeans and tank top, hair flowing pass her shoulders, "RENAE!!" Jasmine wiggled her way out of Frankie's hold to run into the arms of the woman she was fond of.
"Hello little Princess. I've missed your hugs so much." the older woman said holding her tightly. Jasmine pulled back and looked up at her, a frown marred her face as she reached out to touch Renae's cheek then below her eyes. Anyone with eyes can see that the woman has been crying, her eyes were puffy, her lips dry and her eyes were dull.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
Renae let out a humorless laugh and placed her on the bench as Frankie came and took a seat. "Just had some bad news nothing to worry about."
"Daddy looks the same. Are you guys fighting?"
She didn't answer the little girl, she kept her gaze on how tiny Jasmine's hands were in hers. Through out the whole night with out sleep she thought of them, cried remembering their little time together. The disagreement may be between Jacob and herself but it would never be with Jasmine. She had nothing to do why her father made that decision.
"There are times where people can be happy with each other one moment then something pops up and it changes everything. Your father and I... your... " she couldn't finish her sentence. Tears welled in her eyes, burning them slightly,showing how dry they were.
"Don't cry" Jasmine cooed wiping away her tears. Renae laughed sadly, accepting the concern the little girl showed.
"We decided to be apart for a while until he understands it all."
"Understand what? The wolves like you, Frankie and uncle Billy?"
"Yup and that he's one of us" she continued for her.
"Daddy is a wolf too? Uncle Billy didn't tell me that."Jasmine said pouting. "Your father still have a lot to learn and accept. Being a wolf and being chosen for R.J." Frankie added.
"What does chosen mean?"
"It means your father and I are meant to be together."
"So you are really going to be my new mommy?" Jasmine was filled with excitement and relief as she launched into Renae's arms. "I wanted to ask you but now I don't have to anymore."
Renae looked over her shoulder to Frankie who had a look of uncertainty on his face and sadness in his eyes. She couldn't say nothing as Jasmine went on telling her of all the things they would do together then she asked the most heart-wrenching question, "Can I call you mommy now?"
Her voice hitched in her throat, she swallowed quickly before she answered but she just couldn't. "Jazzy" Frankie called out softly but Jasmine waited for Renae's answer.
"Can I Renae?" she asked.
"When I first saw your father I knew he was mine no matter what. When I met you I knew you got me by my heart strings but..... Let's wait till your father and I get back together." Hopefully, Renae added to herself.
Jasmine seemed to be thinking it over then nodded her head in acknowledgement. Reaching into her back pocket she pulled out a folded silk handkerchief. "I want to give you something. My mother gave me this when I was six after she died I couldn't bear to wear it. She said it's been blessed by the Moon Goddess for us to find love and be protected. What I want for you is protection, love can wait till you are in college or something." She placed a gold necklace with a crescent moon pendant with a paw print fused to it around her neck.
"I won't be around most of the time but with this, just know I will be there for you. Always."
"Alright little one time to get back." Frankie interrupted hearing the calling bell in the distance.
"Bye Mommy" Jasmine said with a shy smile. Frankie and Renae was momentarily shocked but it was turned into accepting and loving smiles for her.
"Bye my little princess" Renae returned kissing her head, "Remember this is our little secret. Don't mention anything about wolves to your Aunt Lexi nor your dad with us seeing you. Take care of him alright."
"I will" she promised with all her heart waving good bye to her brave new mommy.