Another Forever

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Chapter 17

Hailey POV

A strangled groan leaves my lips as I stretch out on my bed.

I don't remember falling asleep, I never do. Sometimes it fascinates me because one minute I'm thinking of something and over analyzing every detail about it and the next I'm dreaming.

My eyebrows scrunch together as I take in the emptiness next to me. I'm certain I didn't dream laying here in Thomas' arms.

I run my hands through my hair, pulling it into a messy bun before standing and moving towards the door.

I can't even smell Thomas' scent lingering in the halls. He must have left as soon as I fell asleep.

My chest constricts at the thought of him just leaving me, but I deserved it. I practically keep him at arm's length, so it's not fair of me to get mad when he keeps that distance.

I follow my dad's voice, needing something else to focus on. I can focus on helping to find my mom.

My heart beat increases as Thomas's scent fills my nose. How did I not hear his voice talking to my dad?

Or did I but I followed it anyway?

I take a few deep breaths before pushing my way into my dad's office.

Everyone's eyes snap to mine when I step in. Everyone except for the blue ones that I am so desperately wishing would.

Thomas stares at the map on the desk, drawing circles and lines, pointing things out to Ethan.

"Hey Kiddo, feeling better?" my dad asks softly.

I slowly pull my eyes away from Thomas and look to my dad. I give him a small smile and nod before moving to sit quietly in an empty chair.

"So the scouts are in position here," Jake points to the map, before moving to another spot, "And here." He looks up and his eyes lock with Thomas' and I hate that I get a ping of jealousy.

I scowl at the floor but I can feel eyes burning into me. I look up quickly, hoping that it's Thomas, but he is still staring at the map with his jaw ticking as he thinks hard about something.

My eyes travel to my dad, who is in fact, staring straight at me. His eyes calculating as he flits his gaze between me and Thomas.

I don't want to know what he's thinking, and I don't want him to read me like a book. So I divert my attention back to the floor.

"So far the only movement is here. It's some sort of warehouse and that is where we are going to check," Jake finishes, glancing up to look for approval from our dad.

"Sounds good. We'll leave in half an hour. Make sure everyone is ready." Everyone nods at my dad's words.

I jump out of my chair ready to focus on anything other than Thomas when my dad's voice stops me.

"Hailey, you stay. Everyone else, let's meet out front in one hour," my dad keeps his eyes on me as everyone starts to leave the room.

The silence of the room settles quickly around us. Dad motions for me to sit in the chair again, as he walks around and leans onto the desk, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Alright, kiddo. Bare with me here because this is supposed to be your moms' department. She got boys with you and I got girls with Jake. But I can tell there is something wrong with you and Thomas," his eyes squint like he is uncomfortable before he clears his throat and continues.

"Now I don't want details. I know mates, hormones, and wolves but you're still my little wolf princess and I will punch him. But what's wrong?"

My throat tightens with emotions and a choked sob/laugh escapes me. I stand quickly and wrap my arms around him in a tight hug.

I literally have the best dad. Even when mom is missing, he isn't going crazy like other mates would.

He's eerily calm and is even making time to talk to me about a tough subject for him.

"It's nothing, Daddy. Just worried about Mom and the others," I shrug, sitting back down slowly.

"You're half of me so you can't lie to me. Now, we have less than an hour before I go kill a bunch of jackasses who kidnapped my mate - that's getting off topic," he takes a deep breath before motioning me to start talking.

I stare at him for a few heartbeats. Would he understand what I'm going through?

Do I even understand what I'm going through?

I release a sigh, sinking lower into the chair.

"I don't know. I... I just didn't react well to the news especially considering that Cade's killer is involved." Shame colors my voice, but my dad just watches me with the same expression.

I can't even read what he is thinking? Will he think I'm overreacting?

The silence drags on and I can't hold my dad's gaze any longer. My head drops into my hands as the entire fight with Thomas plays on repeat in my mind.

How could I have said some of those things? Especially after the night we had together?

My dad takes a deep breath sighing as his posture relaxes.

"Cade was like a second son to me because Mason and I have always been best friends. I never got to know him as my daughters mate though," he says thoughtfully.

He pushes off the desk and squats down so that his grey eyes stare straight into mine. I can see something akin to sympathy dancing through his features as he grabs my hands in his.

"It hurt us all when he died, I mean your wolf can attest to that with the forced shift. But what you need to ask yourself is, did it hurt as a mate and lover or as a loved one? Because there is a difference." I don't respond, mostly because I don't know how to.

And partly because my throat feels like it is closing up from the emotions.

I stare at the carpet in deep thought, not seeing the grey color as my dad's words roll in my head.

He has a point. Cade and I were close but I never really had a chance to know him as my mate only as my best friend.

Is it possible that I'm heartbroken because of the role Cade played before he realized I was his mate?

Am I just mourning deeply for my best friend?

The pain of losing Cade was indescribable. But the thought of losing Thomas is completely unbareable. Even thinking it has my chest constricting.

"Do you love Thomas?" my eyes snap to my dads' and he holds my gaze, searching for the answer himself.

Thomas' smile pops into my head. The way his voice sounds saying my name and how it rolls off his tongue like honey.

My mind replays his fingers gently tracing my features when I had woken up in his arms for the first time. Even the way he held me so lovingly when he comforted me a few hours ago.

A ghost of a smile plays on my lips and my dad gets a knowing look in his eye before I can even speak.

"I could be," I whisper.

"My advice is to tell him soon. I hate to point this out, but this isn't a walk in the park mission that we are going on. And you know as well as I that not everyone makes it safely home," He stands up, kissing my forehead before he steps out of the office.

I watch him leave, his words weighing heavily on my mind.

This is a dangerous mission and I know just what to do.

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