Addy didn’t know what made her yield to Victor’s command. It could be she didn’t want to cause trouble for Pierce. It could be the wave of dizziness that hit her at the exact moment. She whirled around to face him on spaghetti legs. Victor stopped a few steps from her as the pack gathered behind him. Addy saw them run together in a blur of colors and squiggly lines. She tried to locate Pierce through the haze and saw him rushing toward her. Addy thought something horrible. The wolves hated her. They did this to her. She glared at them. Hadria came toward her.
“Stay back,” Addy shrieked. “Don’t come near me.”
“She’s lost it!” River yelled, holding his hands up in surrender.
Hadria did the same. Addy couldn’t believe they’d get rid of her like this. She backed away until she went to the door. She opened it but she didn’t have a chance to walk out. Addy collapsed. She heard the screams of the pack around her but most of them were drowned out by Pierce. The wolves huddled around her, all talking at once. She couldn’t make out what they were saying.
“Addison,” she heard Pierce scream. “Addison, answer me!
Addy couldn’t answer him. She faded into the darkness.
Pierce watched Dr. Nichols and Dr. Wickman. They hadn’t given him a prognosis on Addison’s condition yet. He got up and paced the floor. This was driving him crazy. Bryce got up to pace with him. Pierce wondered if he miscalculated the vampire species in some way. He researched everything there was to know about them. He could’ve missed something. Addison kept up with her feedings or that’s what she told him. He wasn’t exactly around her 24/7.
“Pierce, will you and Bryce sit down? You’re driving me nuts with all that pacing.”
Pierce glared at Victor. “Could you sit still if Hadria was in there?”
Victor rolled his eyes. “Stop comparing Hadria and Addison. It doesn’t do any good to be on edge right now.”
Pierce ignored him. He stopped pacing once Dr. Nichols emerged. He pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed at the sweat on his head. Pierce’s heart ached at the look on the doctor’s face. Dr. Nichols smiled but it wasn’t a reassuring one.
“How is she?” Pierce asked. “Is she going to be alright?”
“Well…” Dr. Nichols said. “It’s hard to say at present.”
“What do you mean, doc?” Victor growled. “What’s wrong with her?”
Pierce wanted to close his ears. He couldn’t bear it if she was dying or if there was something in the vampire species that made them crazy. Addison was on edge when he tried to get to her. She didn’t want any of them near her. What if it had something to do with her being a vampire?
“Is she dying?” Bryce asked.
Pierce let out a small whimper at the prospect. Victor came to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. It did nothing to comfort him. If she were dying, how was he supposed to live? Bryce sensed his apprehension and offered him a smile.
“Of course not,” Dr. Nichols said. “She’s far from it actually.”
Pierce’s legs gave out. Victor and Bryce both caught him before he hit the ground. He hated when Dr. Nichols did things like this. It was the same way when Victor got injured a long time ago.
“You really need to work on your delivery,” Victor said through clenched teeth. “Are you trying to give Pierce a heart attack?”
“Sorry,” Dr. Nichols said. “But her condition is cause for concern. She’s pregnant.”
Bryce gasped. Pierce couldn’t believe it. He glanced at Victor who didn’t react in one way or another. Pierce never thought this would happen. He didn’t think he’d be a father. It was something he didn’t expect with Addison. He wanted to enjoy his life with her and he didn’t care if they had children or not.
“I’m…” Pierce whispered. “I’m going to be a father.”
“That’s a good thing, isn’t it? Bryce said.
“A hybrid,” Victor muttered. “That’s the concern, we’ll have our first hybrid in the colony. I don’t like it one bit.”
“I don’t care what the child is,” Pierce said. “I’ll love him or her unconditionally. You will not harm my child, Victor.”
“I said I didn’t like it. I never said I would harm the child.”
“So now what do we do?” River said. “Are we supposed to take in a hybrid child who could be the death of us?”
“Shut your mouth, River!”
Pierce was surprised Victor spoke up in Addison’s defense. He watched as Victor went to address the pack. Dr. Nichols stopped him which he didn’t appreciate. Dr. Nichols gave Pierce a nod.
“If you don’t mind, there’s something you all should know first. Addison is not pregnant with one child but two. They're twins. There's no guarantee the children will be hybrids.”
“What do you mean?” Jacinth asked. “Addison is a vampire and Pierce is a werewolf.”
“True but that doesn’t matter,” Dr. Nichols said. “The children could be a child of the night or the moon.”
“Make sense will you?” Victor said. “Stop talking in riddles and give it to us straight.”
Dr. Nichols cleared his throat. “It’s the same with werewolves. You don’t start experiencing changes in your life until you reach a certain age. The twins are the same. I’ve never heard of hybrid children. If they are, then they’ll have the advantage of both species but there’s a chance the children could be one or the other. A child of the night meaning vampire or a child of the moon meaning werewolf.”
“You’re saying the children could be vampires or werewolves, not a cross between both?” Bryce asked.
“Dr. Nichols nodded. “Hybrid children may exist but in this case, I believe the children will be werewolves or vampires. There’s also the possibility one could be a werewolf and one could be a vampire. This is a cause for concern but the main concern is the vampires.”
Pierce didn’t care if they were a cross between both or one or the other. He would love them the same. He would protect them like he would protect Addison. If the colony so much as tried to harm them, he’d make them pay for it.
“Now what?” River asked. “What do we do, sir?”
Victor scowled. “What else? We look after them.”
“Even if they wind being vampires or a cross between both?” Hudson asked. “What if they try to harm us?”
“Hybrid children are an advantage,” Jacinth said. “They’ll have the strength of both species and none of our weaknesses. This is a diamond in the rough sir no matter how we slice it. The vampires will come for the children and Addison. It’s safe to say regardless of what the children are the vampires will use them for their power. I say we keep them and Addison safe.”
“I agree,” Bryce said. “They’re my nieces or nephews after all. We can’t let the vampires get their hands on them. I say we do whatever it takes to keep them safe.”
Pierce was grateful to Bryce and Jacinth. He prayed Victor thought the way they did. Victor had the final say. Victor seemed to take into consideration both points. Pierce glanced at River and scowled. River caught him glaring at him and lowered his eyes to the floor.
“What do you say, River?”
River jumped at Victor addressing him. Pierce wanted to scream. He was really going to let River decide the fate of Addison and his children. He had no right. Pierce was ready to attack him but Victor stepped in his way.
River sighed. “Hybrid children are dangerous but it's a welcome advantage. I’ve never seen a hybrid child but at the same time, what risks are we taking keeping the children around? It could put us in danger but there’s no point in being wary of something that hasn’t happened yet. Addison was right about all of us. We gave her a hard time for something she couldn’t help. I say we protect her and the children no matter what.”
“Now you change your tune?” Victor said. “Don’t be a coward. Say what you really mean or I’ll throw you out.”
“I mean it, sir,” River said. “I mean it. I kind of felt bad for making Addison feel like we didn’t accept her. I know it’s not her fault.”
“Fine,” Victor said. “As of now, Addison isn’t allowed anywhere without an escort. You're to protect her at all costs. If any harm befalls her or the children, you’ll pay with your lives. Like you protect Hadria, protect Addison the same way. I don’t want to hear excuses or back talk. Is that understood?”
“Yes, sir!” The pack shouted in unison.
“Pierce,” Victor said. “Regardless of what the children come out to be, I’ll welcome them with open arms. You concentrate on protecting Addison.”
“Vic,” Pierce said, tears springing to his eyes. “Do you mean it?”
Victor pulled him into a hug. “Of course. I’m sorry I was so hard on you before. I wanted to protect you but I was blind. Addison and the twins will get no trouble from me. We’ll do what we can for them.”
Addy awoke in a hospital bed. She felt a little better. She sat up as Pierce entered the room with a huge smile on his face. Addy smiled. He came to her and placed a kiss on her forehead. Bryce and Victor entered. What was going on here?
“Congratulations,” Bryce said, running over to her. “I can’t wait to meet them!”
What’s going on?” Addy asked. “What are you congratulating me for?”
“You’re pregnant,” Pierce said. “We’re going to be parents.”
Addy wasn’t expecting that. How she longed for children. She had no idea what this new journey meant for her or Pierce. She watched the pack huddle into the room. It kind of made her angry. Now they felt bad for mistreating her. She was not having this.
“Pierce,” she said. “I’m happy as well as shocked by this revelation.”
“Yes as am I,” Pierce said. “We’re having twins.”
Another reason she didn’t want to stay here. They would be hybrids and it would give the wolves another reason to mistreat her and the children. She'd been mistreated her whole life and she'd be damned if she let her children go through the same thing. Addy didn’t care what the wolves did to her but hurting her children was a no go. She got out of bed which made the pack huddle even closer to her. Addy didn’t understand them. She put on her shoes and thanked the doctor for treating her.
“Pierce,” she said. “Let’s go home.”
“Home,” Pierce frowned. “What do you mean home?”
“Back to your place,” Addy said. “I don’t want to be here anymore.”
“You can’t leave.”
Addy went right up to Victor and met him eye to eye. “Watch me.”
Victor smirked which made her angry. This was just a game to him. It was a game to all of them. If he wasn’t Pierce’s brother or the alpha of the colony, she would wipe that smirk off his face. Instead, she brushed past him. The pack got in her way. Addy tried to push them aside but they wouldn’t budge.
“Get out of my way,” she said. “I’m not staying with you guys a second longer.”
“I see why you like her, Pierce,” River said. “She has a lot of fire.”
“Addison, please,” Hadria said. “Let us help you.”
“Why?’ Addy said. “You all made it clear you don’t want me here. I’m not going to stay here and watch my children be mistreated for being different. I’d rather take my chances out there with the vampires or should I join them like you all think I’m going to do?”
“We don’t think anything,” Victor said. “You're Pierce’s mate and although you’re a vampire, you chose to stay with him. I have the final say in what you do. You're not allowed to leave unless you want to put Pierce in danger. You know he’ll follow you anywhere. Pierce can’t protect you or the twins alone. Do you want to be a distraction to him and have him at a disadvantage with the vampires? That’s what’ll happen if you leave here.”
Addy hated it but he was right. If she left with Pierce, he’d be so distracted with taking care of her and the twins the vampires would take him out. She would lose him forever. Addy sighed. It was the last thing she wanted. She didn’t want her selfishness to cost Pierce his life and the twins a father. Victor came over to her. He led her back to the bed. Pierce was at her side in an instant.
“I apologize for the way I’ve acted until now,” Victor said, throwing the covers over her. “I was foolish and blind. Pierce is one of the most important people in my life. I thought I was protecting him by keeping him from the one he loved most.”
“Are you saying you don’t feel that way now?” Addy asked.
“I still don’t trust humans or vampires but I’ll make an exception for you,” Victor said. “Protecting Pierce is important but so is his happiness. I don’t want you to make reckless decisions over a bunch of ignorant werewolves. Stay here where it’s safe and where we can watch over you. The vampires will come because you’re one of them. If they find out about the twins, they’ll wage war with us to get their grubby hands on them.”
“I understand,” Addy said.
“Good,” Victor said. “Let’s give them some time alone. We must discuss how we’re going to deal with the vampires. It won’t be long before they find out about the children.”
Addy watched them leave. The doctor checked her vitals and jotted something down on a chart. He smiled at her before leaving the room. Pierce took her hand in his. He leaned down to plant a kiss to her lips. Addy didn’t know what kind of power the twins could have but she wouldn’t let anyone use them for personal gain. She placed a hand on her belly.
Pierce placed a hand on top of hers. Addy smiled. She wondered if they were going to come early or would they come in nine months like a human woman’s pregnancy. As if they heard her thoughts, Addy felt a kick against her palm. She was further along than she thought. Addy would do whatever it took to protect her children and the man she loved more than anything in the world.