Fever Claim

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Sitting in a wooden chair, I dipped the tip of my paintbrush onto the darker grey blob of paint on the palette before lifting it up and making a careful precision sweep of my wrist to finish off the grey fur on the werewolf. Leaning back, I admired my work with a tilt of my head to the right.

Shuffling behind me snapped me back up to turn around to see who was behind me. Judah walked over, bent down to scrutinize my work.

"Isn't he adorable?" I pointed at the wolf with my paintbrush.

Judah made a face and I narrowed my eyes on him. Slowly, he lifted a hand to rub the scruff he has been growing on his chin. He tilted his head to the left and then to the right.

"Hmm..." he murmured.

"What?" I questioned.

He turned to look back at me. Placing gentle hands on my shoulder, he turned me slowly to face him.

"Rose, I think you should stick to medicine," he stated.

I huffed, clearly not happy with his indirect criticism. He had painted one of the spare bedrooms into a light green color for the nursery. After it had dried, I volunteered to paint little pictures on the walls for the baby.

After coming home from the residing pack, I was shocked to find out I was pregnant but that didn't stop me from studying. Judah paid a private doctor to help me with my studies and medical career.

It has been exactly six months since I have returned and I do not regret my decision. I still stand by it. It was for the better—for my health, for my life, and for everybody around me. I continued to learn what I needed to be a great pack doctor but at the same time, I get to learn how to become a mom with my mate by my side.

"It looks exactly like you," I argued.

He arched an eyebrow, "It looks like a chihuahua."

"I spent all day working on it!"

He made a sour face. "Yeah, let's stick to medicine."

"I think it looks exactly like your wolf," I added, refusing to agree that it looks like a starved chihuahua.

"I do not look like that," he replied with a shake of his head.

He picked up another paintbrush, dipped in the color I had just dipped in and added some more strokes to the picture.

"Hey," I scowled.

"There," he replied.

"Now, you look like a furless fat bear," I protested.

He turned towards me and swiped the paintbrush over my forehead. My eyes widened in surprise. I touched my forehead with the tips of my finger before looking up at him with big eyes. He smirked before dipping his paintbrush on my color palette and adding a dot to my nose.

"Now, you look adorable," he announced.

I lifted the palette and smeared on his face.

"You too," I muttered before standing up.

He grabbed me around the waist before sweeping me off my feet. I released a loud squeal of surprise before wrapping my arms around him.

"Put me down, Jude," I complained just as I saw him leaned towards me. He rubbed his cheek against mine. Paint smeared between our cheeks and I let out a yelp before slapping him on the shoulder.

"You idiot." I pushed against him. He held me tighter.

He leaned forward again and wiped his face on my shirt. I squealed when I felt his lips brushed up against my breasts and nipples. He made sure to nip it.

Once he was done, he dropped me back down onto my feet. I wiped my cheek with the back of my hand before looking down at the smeared mixture of colors on my hand.

"Jude, you got paint all over me."

There was a knock at the door, interrupting us both. Judah left to answer it and I followed him. Looking over his shoulder, I catch sight of my mom coming inside with some sweet treats. Galen stepped inside right after her.

He's been very kind to my mom. I've seen the way he looks at her. He adores and loves her. She also looks at him the same way. My mom brushed back her hair and revealed the mark that Galen had left on her neck two months back. It took a while for them to agree to be chosen mates.

"Rose, I made your favorite kind of desserts." My mom walked over the kitchen counter and placed the tray on the counter.

Judah walked over and picked up a piece of French dessert and taking a bite out of it. He didn't even seem annoyed with the paint on his face or his hands. My mom's eyes darted between us as if she had just realized we were covered in paint.

"Did you two paint my little one's room or did you two paint yourselves?" my mom asked.

"Or did an explosive bomb of paint bomb the room?" Galen added with a smirk before walking over to wrap an arm around my mother's shoulder.

"Very funny guys." I pointed at my face. "This was all Judah's fault."

"I think I added some colors to your face," Judah replied.

"What are you saying? That I'm fat and ugly now?" I glared his way.

"Careful, Gamma," Galen warned with a chuckle.

"I'm saying you are beautiful," Judah smoothed it over as quick as he could.

Another knock sounded at the door.

"I'll get that," Judah replied before rushing back to the front door.

I felt a kick in my stomach and so I placed my palm over my belly. Little Sage is awake from all the ruckus that is happening outside my body. She did another cartwheel in my stomach.

Alpha Hunter and Luna Katya walked inside with Liam trailing behind. Luna Katya is starting to trust the pack more. She's learning to open up to everyone including Alpha Hunter. Judah tells me it had to do with the kidnapping. Luna Katya's attitude changed towards Alpha Hunter. Apparently, Alpha Hunter got injured badly during the rescue mission and Luna Katya was the one who had to end the Alpha rogue's life to save Alpha Hunter.

Luna Katya walked over to me immediately. Her eyes falling on my stomach before it flew to greet me with happy stars in her eyes.

"You look beautiful, Rose," she smiled.

"Thank you, Luna Katya."

Liam stepped closer to us and I felt another hard kick to my stomach. This time it was painful and I winced. Placing my palm where Sage had kicked me I frowned.

"What are you doing in there?" I muttered to her.

Judah walked over and placed his palm over mine.

"Is everything okay?" he asked.

"She's kicking me like crazy. It's like she's on some kind of steroids or caffeine," I grumbled.

Liam stepped closer and eyed my stomach before taking hold of his sister's hand. He gripped it tighter but his eyes remained on my belly. Liam is growing quickly. His dark midnight hair is long and reaching his shoulders. He might only be eight years old but his dark brown eyes revealed that this little boy has seen much more in his eight years than a normal adult. He is a quiet boy but very nice and friendly.

"She must be excited to hear everyone," Judah suggested.

"Must be," I replied.

Another knock sounded at the door. This time Alpha Hunter who was closest to the door walked over and opened it. Beta Ace and Scott walked in.

When I was away, Beta Ace and Scott had finally come to terms with their relationship. They have publicized their relationship. Judah told me that Beta Ace's announcement broke so many female pack members' hearts. They didn't think Beta Ace was gay and to hear that he was mated to Scott, it was surprising news to them all.

Scott walked over to us and pulled me into a hug. He had told me a couple of weeks back that him and Beta Ace were trying to adopt. They wanted to have pups together. Adopting is a long process and sometimes it takes years. Most parents do not abandon their pups. Werewolves adore babies and believe in keeping their kinship strong. So, adopting it a long and lengthy process. I do hope that they are able to find what they both want.

"It looks like she's growing," Scott said as he pointed at my stomach.

"Oh yes, she's growing. Another three more months and this baby is ready to pop," I replied.

"She's coming out?" Liam whispered to himself but earned everyone's attention.

Luna Katya looked down at her brother.

"She is," Katya replied.

Liam looked at my stomach again and then something happened. He smiled. He smiled brightly and his eyes sparkled with joy. I laughed softly.

"Are you excited?" I asked.

Liam nodded. "I want to see her."

"You will. I promise. Once she comes out, I'll have your sister bring you to visit her," I promised.

Liam nodded his approval. Everyone stayed and ate the dessert tray my mom brought. Judah made us dinner. After dinner was finished, everybody left slowly.

We were alone once again. Judah led me outside to sit on the bench that was on the porch. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close. His hands settling around my stomach. We were silent as we listened to the little crickets' chirp and the wild sang at night. It was a comforting sound.

"We have come so far," Judah whispered.

"What?" I turned my face up slightly to look at him. He looked down at me and smoothed my hair behind my ear.

"We started out on opposite sides, thinking it will never cross. Yet here we are. We're mates and you're pregnant with my pup," he replied.

"Were you happy when you found out I was your mate?" I asked.

He chuckled. "That night when I found you swimming, I was out trying to get some air because I have discovered that I have fallen in love with you. The possibility that I have fallen in love with the one woman who hates me and at the same time might not be my mate—it scared me."

"So, you loved me even before you knew," I smiled.

He nodded before leaning in to kiss my lips gently. I sighed against his lips just as he pulled back to look back down at me with those warm olive eyes.

"I have loved you for a long time. I was just ignorant and refused to face the truth. Maybe the bond was there and we just didn't recognize it until it happened. I don't know but I know that I am glad you are my mate. I wouldn't have it any other way."

He leaned in again and kissed me underneath the stars and moon. Declaring his love with every stroke of his tongue and lips.

I'm glad too. I'm glad that I gave us a chance.

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