I led Leah to the kitchen. I was going to make her something special for her first breakfast in my/our home, but I noticed she kept sending furtive glances towards my chest. It was then I realized that I was still walking around in only my boxers.
Quickly getting her set up with some cereal and milk, I made a break for our room. I knew if I did not get dressed soon that I would be more likely to take her in the kitchen and probably scare her to death.
I took my time getting ready, pulling out some comfortable jeans and a plain blue t-shirt. I wanted to get back down to Leah, but I really did not want to have ‘the talk’ with my mate. It was embarrassing enough when my own parents had it with me at the age of twelve, I really did not want to have to relive the experience with my own mate. I wonder if I can get my sister, Alia, to talk to her. She was mated, and had a little girl. She would be able to explain better than I could. Liking that idea more, I called my sister on her cell.
It was after seven so she should be up as my niece is an early riser. The phone stopped ringing and I heard my sister’s voice snap out, “Devin, this better be good. Your niece is driving me crazy this morning and I am not in the mood to deal with coming over and making you breakfast.”
A smile bloomed on my face as I heard my niece, Ehren, screaming like a banshee.
“Ehren, I swear if you don’t settle down right now I won’t let you visit Uncle Devin!” my sister screamed over the phone. I full out laughed as I heard Ehren let out a squeal and ask when she could come over. “I’m glad you think this is funny,” Alia stated. “I’d like to see if you’re laughing after spending a whole weekend with her.” I heard the mischievous tone underlying her words.
“Alia, come on. I love Ehren, I really do, but I can’t take her this weekend.” I was not above pleading with my sister if it came to it.
“Why not?” I could hear frustration leaking into her voice. “You owe me a weekend of babysitting since you bailed on us for our anniversary. You still have not explained why that was.”
“Alia!” I shouted before she could go on a rampage. “That’s partly why I’m calling. I found my mate and she was in the hospital.”
“What! Why didn’t you say so sooner?! Is she ok? Is she still there? Do you need me to come there?”
“Alia!” I shouted again before she could overreact and take off for the hospital. “Everything is fine now. Well, mostly. I don’t have time to explain. I’m at home with my mate and I need you to come over. Bring Ehren if you want, but I need you here. Please…” I was close to groveling, and Alia could tell.
“Alright, I’ll be there in about fifteen minutes. Once I get Ehren ready we’ll be over.”
“Thank you. Thank you.”
“Ha ha. No need to thank me big brother. That’s what family is for.” I could hear chuckling as she hung up the phone.
Closing my cell I made my way back downstairs towards the kitchen and my mate.
I had watched as Devin quickly pulled some things out of various places in the kitchen and placed them in front of me. He then made an excuse about needing to get dressed and raced out of the kitchen. I could hear him run upstairs and I soon heard the sounds of him rummaging around up there.
I looked at the stuff in front of me and wondered what I was supposed to do with it all. I do not think I have ever made anything before and I was afraid to try now. Figuring I would wait for Devin to come back, I took a seat on one of the tall chairs along a high counter.
Placing my chin in my hands, I wondered what being a mate meant. I mean Devin said a mate is someone’s other half, but what did that mean? How was I supposed to complete him when I was not complete myself?
Sighing, I closed my eyes and concentrated on the sounds of Devin moving around upstairs. I could hear him talking to someone, but I did not know who it was. I did not hear anyone replying to him so I did not know what was going on. Maybe he was using that thing he puts to his ear. I have only seen him use it one other time and never asked what it was. It looked interesting. I wonder if he could show me how to use one.
I was brought out of my thoughts as I heard him enter the kitchen. I must have been thinking harder than I thought, as I did not hear him come down from upstairs.
I looked at him over my shoulder and my breath stopped. I do not know if I will ever get used to the way he makes me feel just from looking at him. He had changed into pants and a blue shirt. I liked the way the color of the shirt made his eyes deepen in color. Looking into them was like looking into the deepest part of the lake we had seen yesterday, as if the depths were never ending. I felt my heart flutter as something flashed in his eyes. My own flickered to his lips and I could see one corner pull up in a smirk. My mouth went dry.
Trying to distract myself, I looked at the rest of him and felt a pang of disappointment. Yes, he looked good in these clothes, but I liked him even better in his boxers. Sighing, I turned my attention back to the stuff on the counter. At least these things did not make my heart feel funny, I thought to myself.
“What’s wrong?” Devin asked as he came up behind me and placed his hands on my shoulders.
I quickly looked at him and brought my attention back to the items in front of me. ‘Nothing,’ I sent to him.
“Then why haven’t you eaten?” He asked with concern in his voice.
I looked back at him as if he was crazy. ‘I don’t know what to do with this stuff,’ I projected my exasperation.
Devin looked dumbstruck for a moment and then sheepish. “Sorry,” he said. “I forgot for a moment. Don’t worry. I’ll make you something to eat. What would you like? I can make eggs, toast, bacon, cereal, pancakes…”
I stopped him before he could continue, ‘Devin, I don’t know what any of that is. All I have had to eat since I woke up is whatever then sent to my room at the hospital. Just make whatever you want and I will eat it.’
“Are you sure? I can make whatever you want. It’s…”
‘Devin! Please do not make a fuss. Just make whatever and I will be fine. It is not a big deal.’ I could feel his disappointment, but I did not know how to make him feel better. It was not his fault I did not know what certain foods were. Just one more thing to feel depressed about, I thought.
I watched Devin pull some other things out of a big silver box. When he opened the door, a light that came on, and I could feel the cold coming out of it. ‘What is that?’ I asked him.
‘What is that thing called that you just opened? Why is it cold inside?’
He only looked at me for a second before a smile formed on his lips. He came around the counter and gave me a hug. “That, love, is a refrigerator. It’s cold in the inside to keep the food and drinks in there from spoiling.” I could feel his amusement at my lack of knowledge of things he takes for granted, but to me it was annoying.
Deciding not to get into that, I changed the subject. ‘Are you going to explain this whole mate thing to me?’ He stiffened with his arms around me and I felt his discomfort as if it was an itchy blanket on my skin.
He slowly let me go and made his way back to the other side of the counter. I saw he was blushing and trying to distract himself from the topic.
‘Devin, you said you would explain. Are you going to or not?’ I was beginning to get annoyed with him, and so was my wolf. She could not understand why he was being this way.
He shuffled from foot to foot and cleared his throat several times before he finally got any words out. “Um uh, about that, see, uh, my sister, oh boy, I don’t know if I can explain, and well, um, my sister…” He was interrupted by a knock on the door in the kitchen leading to the outside.
Before he could answer, a bundle of energy shot through the door and tackled Devin’s legs. He didn’t even budge as what looked like a little person made a valiant attempt to climb up his pants. A second later a, very, harassed looking woman entered. She had a harried look on her face and her dark hair was pulled back to try and keep the mass of curls under control. I do not know if it was really working as I could see some strands coming loose and falling into her annoyed eyes.
“Ehren,” she practically screamed, “If you do not settle down, I swear I will take all of your toys away, and you will not be allowed to play with your friends for a week.”
The little girl pulled away from trying to climb Devin and looked at the woman in the doorway. I noticed that she looked exactly like a small version of Devin. My heart clenched, and I felt something burning in the pit of my stomach. My wolf growled within me and it took a lot not to growl aloud. I do not know who they are, and Devin had said that I was his mate so they could be family or just pack members. No need to get upset, at least I tried to believe that.
“But mommy! I just wanted to see Uncle Devin.” The mini-Devin whined. I wanted to cover my ears from the high pitch of her voice. Instead, I sat there and watched as they interacted with each other. Something stirred in my mind at the display of affection as Ehren ran to her mother and hugged her legs, begging her mommy not to take her toys away.
Devin’s voice drifted through my mind, ‘Leah, love, are you ok?’ I guess I was staring too long as the woman and little girl were looking at me funny.
I looked up at Devin and gave him a small smile. He looked into my eyes for another moment before shrugging and turning to the people by the door.
“Alia, Ehren,” he addressed them, “I would like you two to meet someone very important.” He turned back to me. “Sis and munchkin, this is my mate, Leah. Leah, these are my sister, Alia and her daughter Ehren.” I let out the breath I did not realize I was holding.
Devin’s sister, Alia, untangled herself from her daughter and came over to me with her arms outstretched. “Oh my, I’m so happy for you two,” she said while wrapping me in a hug. I stiffened in her arms, as I was not used to being hugged from someone other than Devin. She pulled back ignoring my stiff form, “Look at you. You are so pretty! I admit when Devin called earlier and told me you were in the hospital I thought I’d be coming here and seeing a person who looked sickly, but you look marvelous! Oh, I can’t wait for you to meet my mate and our parents. Oh, and everyone in the pack. Oh, they are going to love you.”
“Alia,” Devin interrupted his sister’s dialogue. “Calm down. I just got Leah home yesterday, and we are taking time to get to know each other. I will explain everything later. As for now I need you to take a breath and help me explain some things to Leah.” He grabbed his sister’s shoulders and stooped down so he could look her in the eyes. “Can you do that for me?” he asked.
Alia looked between him and me in confusion. “What do you need to explain?” She looked back at me and then to her brother again, her confusion deepening. “And why hasn’t Leah said anything? What is going on Devin?”
“First of all, Leah is unable to speak, and second, you wouldn’t stop talking long enough for her to get a word in edge wise if she could talk.” Alia turned her stare to me and I could see pity forming in her eyes.
I closed my own and tried to find her in the mass of other voices in my head. ‘Don’t worry about it,’ I sent to her, ‘I have found another way to talk to others.’ When I opened my eyes, Alia’s mouth was hanging open and her eyes were about to fall out of her head. Devin who knew what had happened was practically rolling on the floor laughing at his sister’s expression.
Deciding to let her get her composure back I looked at the little girl standing by the door uncertainly. I concentrated on her ‘voice’, ‘Hi Ehren, it is nice to meet you.’ The dark haired girl spun in a circle, trying to find who had spoken to her. She spun back around to stare at me.
“Did you just talk to me in my head?” she queried. I nodded, not wanting to do it again in case it freaked her out.
Apparently, it didn’t as the little one gave a belly laugh and launched herself at me. It was a good thing I was leaning against the counter, otherwise, I would have toppled over.
“That is so cool!” Ehren exclaimed. “None of the other adults can talk to me that way. They tell me it’s because I don’t have a wolf yet. If you can talk to me then that means they can too, right. Does this mean I’ll be getting my wolf soon?”
I looked to Devin and Alia with a questioning look. Alia was looking at Devin the same way. What was Ehren going on about?
Devin had gained control of himself and was back to making something for breakfast. When he looked back at us, due to the silence he shrugged and said, “Let me make breakfast and once we are all sat down to eat I’ll explain a few things.”
If I have anything to say about it, he will be explaining more than a few things before this day is over.