“The car you rented is ready, Alpha.”
“Thank you Ethan. Go ahead and lead the pack run home. I am going to drive with Hailey.” Thomas’ hand squeezes mine and for some reason the gesture makes a blush rise to my cheeks.
It has only been two hours since our kiss and I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. Something about this kiss felt different, more intense. For the first time neither one of us held back and the reward for that was like fireworks.
I’m not talking like one or two fireworks. I mean the grand finale of a firework spectacular, where you can’t tell the difference between the explosions because they all bleed together. It was unlike anything I have ever felt before and as cliche as it sounds, it felt like Thomas and I were the only two in existence.
“Of course, Alpha. Drive safe and get our Luna safely to the pack.” Ethan shoots a wink at the both of us which earns a small growl from Thomas.
“Get out of here!” He gives a shooing motion that has Ethan chuckling as he shifts and runs off.
Thomas shakes his head at his beta before turning to me “are you sure you’re ready to say goodbye to your family?” I can see the concern and uncertainty floating around his eyes and it makes my heart melts at how much he cares for me.
I lean forward, placing my free hand on the back of his head and pull him towards me. It’s a small kiss but I let it linger, relishing in the feeling of his lips against my own.
“I don’t know.” I can tell it isn’t the answer he was looking for, but I decided that I wasn’t going to lie or hide anything from him; he’s my mate.
“But I am doing it anyway because I want to be with you.” As soon as the words leave my lips, his lips press against my forehead before pulling me into his strong arms.
The nervousness in my stomach won’t settle though. I know that being with Thomas is right and I never should have pushed him away. I was just scared. But my initial thoughts were correct. I owe it to myself to be happy and I owe it to Cade to be happy. It is almost a disgrace on his memory to not be happy when I have the chance.
Truth is, had it been me to die, I would’ve wanted him to have his second chance. I’ll always and forever love Cade, nothing will ever change that, but Thomas is my mate.
“Let’s go find your family.”
I can do this. I can say goodbye to my family, people do it all the time. Besides it isn’t a goodbye. I mean we will be able to visit each other still. Not to mention that the packs are only about three hours away give or take.
“But I don’t want her to go!” I would know Hannah’s voice anywhere and the emotion behind her words sends a pang hurt to my heart.
I speed into the living room and scoop Hannah up off the floor where she was crying and hug her to me. Her tiny hands grabbing my shirt into her tight fists as if she will never see me again.
“Hey, it’s okay.” I soothe her while rubbing small circles on her back.
“Please don’t go.”she sniffs, hugging me impossibly closer.
“I need to. Thomas’ pack is all alone and weak without me as Luna. They need me.” I see Thomas roll his eyes slightly, but a small smile sits on his lips.
“But I need you! You can’t leave me!” Hannah wails, her tears flowing down her cheeks and dripping onto my shirt.
I place her on her feet, and sit on my knees so that we are eye level. Big tears roll down her cheeks and I wipe them away with my thumbs and straighten her purple Sofia the First dress.
“I’m not going far, I’ll come back so much that it will hardly be like I am gone.” Hannah sniffs adorably and sneaks a glance at Thomas before looking back at me.
“He’ll let you come back?”
“Yes.” I say as Thomas scoffs, muttering something under his breath as my mom and Sam stifle a laugh.
“You know, I have a special job for you while I am away.” Hannah perks up at my words and I lean in a little closer, pretending it’s a secret.
“I need you to spy on Jake and be the annoying sister I can’t be from Thomas’ pack. Make sure you tell his mate about the time you got him to dress up as a princess for tea time.” I wink before kissing her cheek.
“Okay.” Hannah agrees immediately and hugs me tight one more time, before skipping away.
Well that was easy. Hopefully it stays that easy. Thomas gives me a reassuring smile and I turn to face my family.
“Wait where’s dad and Jake?”
“I sent for Jake and your father is sulking in his office.” My mom smiles sadly, tears welling in her eyes.
I can only imagine what she is feeling right now. Her oldest child is leaving to be with her mate. Although it is something that is expected in the werewolf world it still can’t be easy.
Even I’m wondering how I will get along without my mom to hold my hand, so to speak.
Dad, please come down I mind link, while my mom and Sam help carrying the last suitcases from the living room to the car.
Sam and Mason wrap me into a tight group hug “We’re so happy for you. Cade would be happy and proud of how strong you are.” Great, the water works are starting, not only for me but Sam as well.
The emotions in my throat making it hard to get any words out but I manage to choke out, “I love you both” before the tears spill over.
I pull away and Thomas shakes Masons hand before engages them into a conversation as I turn to face my mom and Jake.
What I did to deserve Thomas I will never know. After everything I have done he is still, not only by my side, but he’s respectful to my family and my bond to Cade’s.
Before I can even speak, my Dad appears from the house, with red rimmed eyes walking straight towards us. I look between the faces of my family and I can’t help the memories that flash before me.
Dad teaching me to ride a bike and climb trees. Mom binging Netflix with me on sick days, introducing me to all her favorite shows. Jake and I getting into prank wars with Cade and Alex through the years.
“I’m going to miss you guys so much.” I try to grab all three of them into a group hug but I end up smashed in the middle of the group.
“You’re not going far babycakes. Just call often and come back for visits whenever.” My mom mumbles.
“I will. Besides who will embarrass Jake in front of his mate if I’m not here?” Jake groans at my words as we pull out of the hug.
“Just be safe, Hailey. And remember, embarrass me in front of my mate and I’ll tell Thomas that story from when you were thirteen and you ha-” I slap my hand over his mouth as my cheeks flush red.
I notice Thomas raise an eyebrow but I turn away quickly and face my dad who still hasn’t said anything.
“Daddy?” another tear rolls down my cheek.
“I love you, my little wolf princess. I’m so proud of you.” He kisses my forehead before wrapping me tightly in his arms.
His scent surrounds me and before I can pull away, I'm smashed in the middle of another family hug.
“I love you too. All of you.” we break apart and Thomas’ arm snakes around my waist as I say my final goodbyes to my family.
“I’ll take good care of her, I promise.” Thomas shakes hands with my Dad and Jake before giving my mom a small hug.
With one more quick hug to each of them, Thomas and I head to the car.
“Just remember what I said about being a grandpa too soon, Thomas!” my dad shouts as I climb into the passenger seat.
Thomas’ eyes widen with something I don’t recognize as my face flames with embarrassment.