Days like these seemed to last forever. I said this more to myself as I walked down the steps of the clerk’s office and headed to the awaiting car. I was ready to get out of my white blouse and black pencil skirt; heels already dangling in my hand. I was meeting Val for lunch before going back to the lodge to move more boxes out.
I was in the final transition from clerk work to becoming a Social Studies tutor for the Pack. Apparently, most of the teens were struggling in that department due to the focus on Pack History rather than American History. I started working with them a couple months ago and turned out, it became a huge opportunity for me. I was currently applying for a teaching job at the local high school, but for now, being a tutor would suffice. Beta Female of the Moonrise Pack definitely had perks to it.
I met Val in the backyard walking with Caleb’s parents. For the past couple years, Valerie had been Luna of the Moonrise Pack. Her mate, Caleb, was the Alpha. He and I didn’t like each other at first, but over time we grew closer; him becoming someone I could trust with anything.
When her eyes met mine, she smiled and waved me over just as his parents walked off with a wave themselves. Though they were retired ranks, they were still high distinguished in the pack.
“Hey,” I said, pulling her into a hug. “It feels like I haven’t seen you in days.”
She patted my back and pulled away to look at me with a pout. “I know. I’m sorry but I have a perfectly good explanation.” Something about her seemed different.
“And that would be?”
“I’ll tell you after lunch.” She grabbed my hand and had me follow her towards the forest.
“Val, Postcards is over there,” I said, pointing in the opposite direction of where we were going. Ever since the day she took me to Postcards to get drunk in the middle of the afternoon, it had been a running joke between us all. Even with us teasing her, Val made it that much more to go there whenever she could. It’s not like I was so opposed to going every so often either.
She walked deeper into the forest until the backyard was no longer in sight.
“Are you taking me here to kill me, because I’m telling you right now, human blood doesn’t seep into the soil fast enough for you to run,” I joked.
“Won’t be human for long,” she mumbled, but then chuckled nervously and kept her pace.
I had been recently hearing stuff like this a lot lately. The pack was so used to wolves, they didn’t know how to act around a human in their space. Sure, there were humans before me, but they had all Turned shortly after meeting their mates. I didn’t mind all the questions, though.
It felt weird to say human now. I mean, I was human after all but now it was only a matter of time before would I turn. Logan had given me space about the topic, but deep down, I knew he wanted me to turn. But I wasn’t ready to let go of my human side just yet, and he respected me for it. I loved him that much more.
She stopped abruptly with a groan. “Fine! I’ll tell you now.”
I shook my head. “We can wait—”
I stopped abruptly and faced her. “You’re what?”
“Pregnant. As in, there is a baby in here.” She gestured to her stomach. “A muffin in my oven, if you will.”
I blinked. I, myself, couldn’t tell if I was shocked or not. “How far along?”
“I found out a couple days ago and then I went to Dr. Hal.” She tucked a lock of her dark brown hair behind her ear. “Please don’t get mad.”
“Are you kidding?” I scoffed. Of course, she would think I would get mad. A smile rose up my cheeks as I enveloped into a hug. “I am so happy for you!” Val and Caleb had been talking about kids for months now, never coming to a compromise. Caleb wanted to start a family months ago, but Val wasn’t sure they could handle it just yet. “How did this happen?”
She furrowed her eyebrows and then cleared her throat. “Well first, you find a guy who can—”
“That is not what I meant!” I shuttered. “You’re so annoying,” I said with a laugh.
She snorted. “Should’ve phrased your question better.”
I rolled my eyes. “Does Caleb know?”
She shook her head. “Not yet, and I plan on keeping it that way for now.”
“He’s going to find out.”
“He will after I tell him later.”
I smiled at my best friend. “Even though I hate you, I love you, Val.”
“Love you too, Rosetta.” She nodded behind her. “Now, let’s go get some food I am craving burgers.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Cravings don’t kick in until later.”
“Well, I’m kicking them in now.”
“It’s official!” Logan shouted as he set the last box down. He sighed before unceremoniously dropping onto the new, black leather couch. “We are done moving in.”
I smiled before plopping down beside him. “We still have to unpack.”
He groaned before laying his head on my shoulder. “Can we just pretend we unpacked.”
We had been at this a good couple hours, so I was also exhausted. “Maybe for an hour.”
He turned his head to the side to face me. “Do you think we’re making the right decision?”
I nodded. “Well, we’ve already moved the boxes so there’s no backing out now.”
He eyed the boxes on the coffee table. “It’s just going to be weird.”
“You’ve lived on your own before.” My hand inched up and down his arm.
He shrugged. “That was different.”
“Hey, if you’re having second thoughts...” I pulled myself on his lap and placed my hands on his chest, undoing the first couple buttons of his shirt.
His arms wound around my waist as he shook his head. “No, I’m not. It’ll just take me time to adjust.” I knew he just worried about being away from his parents.
“They’re on the other side of the Pack House. We can always visit them.” My fingers skimmed the sides of his collar, hoping to keep him from getting anxious.
He tucked a lock of my hair behind me ear and smiled. “I love you.”
My heart skipped a beat. I loved this man with everything in me and nothing would ever change that. I winked. “I know you do, which is why we are going to take a break and eat ice cream!”
He laughed before letting me tug him into the kitchen.
Tonight, was the full moon and as usual, the night was filled with excitement. I met with Logan’s parents while he went to find Caleb to prepare for the Shift and the Run. I followed Grace into the kitchen of the Pack House. The Pack House was hectic as always when it came to the full moon. Everyone was running around, getting things in order for tonight. The kitchen was the most hectic; everyone scrambling to make food to send out to the backyard tables. Even with all the craziness, everyone managed to enjoy every single moment.
“Honey, can you grab the trays of cookies out of the over?” Grace nodded her head to the ovens and proceeded to toss a tray of salad.
“Of course,” I replied and grabbed some mittens in the drawer before opening the oven. There were three ovens, each hold four trays of fifty cookies. I grabbed the first tray and waited for one of the maids to bring the cooling racks. “How was your first night without me and Logan?”
Grace laughed. “Best night of my life!”
I smirked. “Oh, yeah?”
She nodded excitedly. “Sam and I haven’t had a night like this to ourselves in forever. We had some catching up to if you know what I mean.”
I stifled my laughter. “Grace!”
“I may not be as young as you, but I still got it. Ask Sam.”
“Ask me what?” I turned around to face the man himself with Logan by his side.
I turned back to Grace and scowled. “I’m good.”
Logan came behind me and kissed my neck before putting on mittens himself and helping me. “Ask him what?”
Sam walked over to Grace and bumped her hips with his so he could grab a cucumber. Grace swatted his hand and he pouted. I smiled at them. This time last year they were thought to be dead. We hadn’t found them until months later in the dead of winter held hostage by rogues who were threatening Logan. It felt like forever ago now. They were doing so much better compared to the first months of arriving. It was hard but they managed to get through it.
“I was just telling Rosie that we finally had sex last night.”
Both men gaped at her.
I couldn’t help the laughter bubble out of my throat. “I stopped her before she could go into detail.”
“Honey, you can’t just go around airing our private life.” Sam pulled at his collar, heat rising up his face.
“You mean your sex life?” I raised my eyebrows and smirked.
“Doll, why don’t you just stick pins in my eyes.” Logan groaned as he hid his face in my hair and inhaled.
“At least we did it behind closed doors away from wandering eyes,” Grace muttered all too loudly.
Logan picked his head up and groaned. “You guys weren’t supposed to come back early!”
Before we had finalized the moving, Sam and Grace went on a getaway weekend trip with Caleb’s parents. Because of the snowstorm, they came back a day early and found me and Logan in a very compromising position in the living room. We were too distracted to hear them. We finalized the house the next morning. I grimaced at the memory.
“That’s besides the point.” I chuckled nervously. I placed the last tray in the cooling rack and took my mittens off, pleading my cheeks to lose their redness.
Logan followed suit and grabbed my hand. “C’mon, we don’t need to keep hearing this.” He wrinkled his nose in the cutest way possible and then cleared his throat loud enough for everyone in the kitchen to stop bustling. He spoke with clarity when he said, “Please start making your way to the backyard for the Shift.” Then, he led me out of the kitchen and to the backyard.
I noticed the frown on his face and shook my head. “You okay?”
“No,” he muttered. “I could’ve lived the rest of my life peacefully not knowing what they did.”
I rolled my eyes. “At least she didn’t go into detail.”
“And I am forever glad she didn’t.”
I giggled and poked him until his frown fell away, replaced by content.
He took a seat on a picnic bench, patting the space next to him. I sat next to him as he plucked a chip out of the bowl and ate it. “Rank of another pack will be here in a couple days. I’ll brief you in tomorrow, so you’ll know what to expect at the meeting.”
“What’s going on?”
“I’ll fill you in later but they’re looking for packs to show them support against another pack.”
I shook my head in understanding. Logan purposely left out names so no one would pick up on anything. Everyone here had unbelievable hearing—everyone except me the human.
We watched as most of the pack members made their way to the center of the backyard, facing Caleb and Val, waiting for further instructions. “You should go.”
He held his hand out. “Come with me.”
“Anywhere,” I responded meeting his beautiful gray eyes. They quickly flashed gold before a hint of his dimple appeared. I didn’t take his hand, but I kissed his cheek slowly. “One day.” Ever since I saw him shift at the first Full Moon Ceremony I attended, he had always wanted me to come with him, but I had refused. He knew why but asked me every time. I didn’t mind it though, I found it cute that he continued to ask me. One day I would say yes, but not while I was still human. I wanted to experience it with him for the time when I finally decide to turn. But until then, I was to watch over the kids of the pack while the Run was done.
He smiled and nodded. “One day, Doll, and it’ll be the best day you’ll ever have.”
I rolled my eyes. “This is the part where I say, ‘the best day was when I met you.’”
He chuckled and kissed my forehead before rising from the bench. “At least come with me for the introductions.”
I groaned. “Those are boring!” I placed my arms on the bench and rested my head over them, closing my eyes. I would rather take a nap in that time.
“Val has an important announcement to make.”
That was enough to convince me to follow him. She was going to announce her pregnancy to the pack! “Now that’s going to be interesting!” I ran a little ahead of him then turned to face him, jogging backwards. “Let’s go!”
He eyes me and clicked his tongue. “Why are you so eager,” then, “what do you know?” He kept his eyes narrowed at me and started walking.
“For once, more than you.” I stuck my tongue out, then turned away from him and made my way to Caleb and Val as she was ready to announce her big pregnancy.