Chapter Nineteen: I Have A What?!
“Laila,” Park whispered into his mate’s ear, “you need to shift, my love.”
Her soft voice had Park’s heart aching. She sounded so weak. “Yes, love, it’s me. Now shift.”
“I can’t,” she said pain filling her voice.
“Yes, you can,” Paxton said as he leaned over her. “You’re the damn queen, you can do anything.”
She smiled weakly. “Too weak..." She moaned. “It hurts.”
“Come on, baby, please,” Park cried, “you’ve got to.”
“For the babies,” Paxton whispered.
She smiled at the thought of their children. “Tyler and Grahm.”
Park chuckled, “okay, love, you win, Tyler and Grahm.”
“I knew I’d win,” Laila said with a cough.
Paxton grumbled, “stop using your near-death and shift.”
With a heavy sigh, she concentrated and screamed, then laid before them as her field mouse.
Riley walked over to them and picked the small mouse up into her hands. “I love you, Laila,”she whispered before she closed her eyes.
A soft glow came from her hands and surrounded the field mouse. Soon Laila was sitting up in Riley’s hands stretching and yawning.
“God! You scared us half to death!” Paxton hollered as he took Laila from Riley’s hands.
“Ah, come on, did you really think I’d leave you guys so soon?” Laila said, and if mice could smile, she’d be grinning from ear to ear right now. “And don’t think I don’t remember you agreed with my choice in names.”
Both men grumbled, and she laughed the cutest laugh, then jumped out of Paxton’s hands and shifted before she hit the ground.
Park and Paxton wrapped their arms around her at the same time.
“It’s okay, I’m all right,”she said as she held them.
“Don’t ever scare us like that again,” Paxton said with a growl.
“Can’t promise that,” Laila said, “we’re at war boys,” she said when they pulled back and stared at her.
“Then promise you’ll never go out without back up again,” Park said.
She nodded, “now that I can promise.”
“Laila,” Riley said with a cry.
Laila looked at her best friend and opened her arms to her. Riley ran into her arms, and the two women held each other tight.
“Thank you,” Laila whispered.
“That was great thinking,” Park said, smiling at Riley.
Riley smiled back.
“My mate is brilliant,” Mark said as he walked up behind Riley and kissing her on the top of her head.
“Who shot at you?” Paxton asked.
Both women shrugged.
“No clue,” Laila said.
“Didn’t even hear anything,” Riley said, ” a bullet flew out of nowhere, past my head, and Laila went down.”
“Silencer,” Park, Paxton, and Mark said at the same time.
“You said it went past your head?” Park asked, looking at Riley.
Riley nodded, “yep. Right into the shelf beside me.”
“That was a miracle,” Mark said as he squeezed her from behind.
“We should go find the bullets,” Paxton said.
Mark nodded, “I agree.”
“I’ll stay with the girls,” Park said as he wrapped his arms around Laila.
“All right,” Paxton said then kissed Laila’s temple.
“Hey, while you’re in there, see if our cart is still there,” Laila said.
Paxton stared at her, and she folded her arms over her chest, then grinned at him.
“We almost got killed for that meal. We’re going to have a cookout tonight,” she said as she gave him her, this is final no arguing look.
Paxton grinned. “How can I deny my woman a cookout?”
She giggled as he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. He finally let her go, and he and Mark returned to the store.
“You do know we’re not letting you out of our sight for at least a month,” Park said as he kissed her temple.
She sighed, “I’m sorry I worried you.”
“You didn’t worry us, Laila.”
She looked up at him, and he gently kissed her lips.
“You scared the fuck out of us.”
Paxton found the bullet that had hit Laila stuck in a pound of flour close to where the girls had been shot at. To think, this little piece of metal had almost cost him and his brother their mate and cubs.
“Here’s the one that missed Riley,” Mark said as he pulled out a pocket knife and plucked the bullet from the shelf.
“Let’s get this crap and get out of here,” Paxton said, referring to the cart of food that was still sitting in the middle of the aisle where their worlds had almost ended.
They paid for the food then met the others outback, in the woods. The coyotes who had come with them were already with Park and the girls.
“Did you find anything?” Riley asked as she ran up to Mark, who leaned forward and kissed her.
“We found both bullets,” Paxton said, “we’ll have Vectore look at them when we get home.”
“Did you get the groceries?” Laila asked.
Paxton nodded, “we placed them in the trunk of Riley’s car. Come on, lets head home.”
Park and Paxton held onto Laila as they walked with her to the parking lot of the grocery store while Mark walked with Riley, the two coyotes behind them.
The drive home was quiet no one wanted to talk about what had almost happened. Once home, the guys carried the food into the house for the girls; then, they all started cooking dinner.
Paxton excused himself and went to the cabin.
Vectore was sitting outback on a lawn chair, his eyes closed. When Paxton approached, the Shaman opened one eye.
“Are the girls okay?”
Paxton nodded then told him what had happened.
Vectore sighed, “the Dark Wizards are getting impatient.”
“Do you think they were controlling whoever shot at the girls?”
Vectore nodded, “more than likely. Let me see the bullets.”
Paxton handed him the bullets, and Vectore closed his eyes as he held them in the palm of his hand. The bullets glowed as he closed his fingers around them.
Paxton could see the Shaman’s eyes move behind his eyelids. At first, it was slow, then they sped up. He must be seeing what the shooter had seen.
“Well damn,” Vectore said as he opened his eyes, “we need to find the shooter.”
“Well, duh,” Paxton said with a growl.
Vectore shook his head. “You can’t kill him.”
“And why the fuck not?!” Paxton yelled.
“Because he’s your mate’s brother.”
“What?!” Paxton yelled, shock and fear in his eyes. “Laila is an only child!”
“It seems she has some secrets of her own,” Vectore said with a frown.
“Damn it!” Paxton said with a growl as he kicked at the post.
“Come, I think we should talk to your mate,” Vectore said as he got to his feet.
“Are you sure about this?” Paxton asked.
Vectore nodded, “as sure as I am that she’s your queen.”
“Damn it,” Paxton grumbled as they headed to the new house.
They found Laila in the kitchen talking and laughing with Riley and a coyote who had helped them.
“Laila,” Paxton whispered.
She looked up at him with a bright smile then turned that smile on Vectore. “Hey, Vec! Come to eat with us?”
“Something like that,” Vectore mumbled then headed down the hall to a more private room.
“Come with us,” Paxton said as he motioned for Laila to follow them.
Laila scrunched up her face, then set the knife she’d been using to cut up vegetables down on the counter and followed him down the hall.
“Park!” Paxton yelled.
Park peeked in from the back porch then followed them when his brother motioned for him to follow.
They found the Shaman in an extra bedroom and closed the door behind them.
“What is this about?” Park asked as he looked from his brother to the Shaman.
“Maybe Laila should tell you,” Paxton said, staring at Laila.
Laila looked at him, confused. “Is this about me and Riley going off on our own?”
Paxton shook his head. “No, it’s not. This is about your brother.”
“Paxton,” Vectore hissed.
Laila stared at, Paxton her face pale. What was he talking about?
“She’s still keeping secrets,” Paxton accused.
Laila felt a tear slide down her cheek. How could he think that?
“Laila?” Park asked as he looked at her stricken face. “Do you have a brother?”
Laila quickly shook her head. “I-I’m an only child.”
Paxton snorted, “no need to lie about it anymore, Laila. We found you out. Your brother works for the Dark Wizards..."
“What!?” Laila squealed.
“Yeah,” Paxton said with a growl, “he’s the one who shot at you and Riley.”
“Paxton!” Vectore shouted.
Laila’s skin turned purple, then she burst into tears and flew from the room.
“Damn it, boy!” Vectore hollered. “Didn’t you see the confusion on her face!?”
“Confusion about what? That we found out about her lies or that we know her brother works for the enemy.”
Vectore slapped Paxton upside his head.
“Ow!” Paxton howled with a growl.
“You moron! She didn’t know she has a brother!”
Paxton’s skin paled, and his eyes grew large. “Fuck.”
Park stared at Paxton then looked at Vectore. “Explain.”
Vectore sighed, “I used the bullets to watch the shooter. I recognized him easily; he looked just like Laila. He hadn’t wanted to shoot them; the Dark Wizards are controlling him.”
“And you just automatically think Laila knew she has a brother?” Park asked as he looked at his twin.
“How could she not know she has a brother?” Paxton asked.
“I don’t know, maybe because she was adopted!” Park thundered.
Paxton stared at his twin. “She told you?”
Park shook his head. “She doesn’t know she was adopted. But I saw it when I saw the pictures of her parents. Also, when we’d saved her from the wolves when her parents had died the blood in the air, none of them were blood-related.”
“Shit,” Paxton said with a growl.
“What the hell did you do to Laila!” Riley hollered as she burst into the room.
“What do you mean?” Park asked as he turned to her.
“She came into the kitchen and looked like she had seen a ghost then ran outside and jumped into her car and peeled out of here. What. Did. You. Do?”
“We’ll tell you later,” Park said as he rushed from the room.
“Where would she go?” Paxton asked as he followed his brother outside.
“How the fuck would I know?” Park said with a growl as he turned on his brother. “Look what you did! She will never trust us again!”
Paxton’s face paled as he looked out towards the road.
“Let’s go get her,” Vectore said as he walked past the twins and headed for one of the trucks in the yard.
“But how..." Paxton started.
“Shaman, remember,” Vectore said, pointing to himself, “now let’s go find your mate.”
Laila pulled her car into the driveway of her parent’s house. She hasn’t been here since they’d died. She took a deep breath as she stared at the light blue shingles. Why would her parents keep something as important as a brother from her? She opened the car door and stepped out. With a deep breath and a heavy heart, she closed the car door and headed up to the front door of her parent’s house.
She will get answers if she has to tear the house apart.
She didn’t need to tear the house apart. She found the answers she was looking for in the hidden safe behind the painting of her and her parents. It only took her three fails before she found the right combination for the safe. Her birthday...
“Oh, mom, dad, why?” She said with a cry when she found her adoption papers. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
She found a few other papers, including a letter from the adoption agency. They had contacted her parents to discuss adopting twins, but her parents couldn’t afford twins, so they took the girl and left the boy to be adopted by someone else.
“No,”she cried, “you-you separated us,” she said as she read more and more of the letters. “Oh God,” she cried.
Her brother had been adopted by an older couple who had died when he was eight, and he was sent into the system. The adoption agency had contacted her parents again, asking for them to take Riddle in. But again, her parents had denied them.
But why her parents weren’t poor... “Why!?” She screamed as she fell to the floor in tears. “Why!?”
That was where Park and Paxton found her when they rushed into the family room.
“Laila,” Park said as he fell to his knees beside her.
She leaned into him as she cried. He held her close and rocked her.
“I’m sorry,” Paxton said as he knelt on the other side of her. “I shouldn’t have accused you of something so..."
She turned to him and wrapped her arms around him. He sighed as he held her.
“My parents refused to adopt him,”she said with a cry. “They kept saying they didn’t have the money for two kids. But..."
“That’s how it is. Some people take the younger of the siblings..."
She shook her head. “He’s not my older brother,”she cried. “He’s my twin!”
Park and Paxton stared at each other with wide eyes. Being separated from your sibling is hard enough, but for it to be your twin...
“My parents weren’t poor!” Laila cried out. “They weren’t rich, but they were very well off. They could have afforded both of us.”
Paxton sighed as he held her close. “It’s okay, we’ll find your brother,” he promised.
“Even if we have to torture a Dark Wizard,” Park said with a grin.
Laila chuckled, “I don’t think we’re ready for that.”
“We’re not,” Vectore said from behind them.
Laila turned to look at the Shaman. “Can you find him?”
Vectore grinned, “finally, someone who knows who to go to..."
“Yeah, yeah,” Paxton said with a snort. “So, can you find him, or not?”
Vectore pulled the bullets from his pocket and looked at them. “With a little bit of Laila’s blood, I think I can find him..."
“We also have these,” Laila said as she stood and pulled the papers and letters from the safe and handed them to the Shaman. “Will these help?”
Vectore grinned, “with his name and some of his back story, yes, I think these will come in handy.”
They returned home, and Laila told Riley and Mark what they had discovered.
Riley gasped. “You have a twin?”
Laila nodded, “apparently.”
“Oh, Laila,” Riley said as she hugged her best friend.
“And we will find him,” Paxton said as he smiled at Laila.
Laila smiled at him. “Right.”
“Okay, the steaks are ready for the grill,” Mark said with a smile, “let’s get to cooking.”
Park and Paxton worked at the new grill and whispered about what they’re going to do when they find their mate’s twin. They know they can’t kill him, but he needs to answer for almost killing Laila.
Though, according to Vectore, he had tried to fight the order to kill that was why both bullets had missed their marks. Though one had hit Laila if he hadn’t just fired to fire and run, he would have aimed and killed them both instantly.
“I found him,” Vectore said as he rushed into the kitchen.
“Already?” Park and Paxton asked at the same time as they turned from the grill and looked through the open sliding glass kitchen door.
Vectore nodded, “he’s close enough it wasn’t hard to track him. The Dark Wizards are still controlling him. But I think I have an idea of how to break the spell and bring him home.”
Laila stared at Vectore. “How?”
He looked at her. “You.”
“No!” Park and Paxton said at the same time.
“Look, he is fighting off the Wizards the best that he can. I think the Wizards know he’s Laila’s brother, but I don’t think they realize they’re twins. Even though they have never met, that twin bond will still be there. You two of anyone should know how strong a twin bond is,” Vectore said, looking from the twins to Laila. “He will recognize your bond; all you have to do is tell him who you are..."
“No,” Paxton said as he walked into the kitchen from outside.
“I’ll do it,” Laila said.
Paxton looked at Laila. “I don’t think..."
She walked over to him and kissed him. “He’s my twin.”
Paxton took a deep breath. “We will be right there with you.”
She smiled, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”