Exhaustion was setting in, but I couldn’t let it get to me just yet.
I can’t believe all that has happened in the last twenty-four hours. I’ll just…
“Hmm…” was my absent-minded reply. Everything was circling in my brain, making it hard to concentrate.
“Are you mad?”
My son’s small voice caught my attention. I was currently getting him ready for bed. He decided he wanted to wear his Ninja Turtles pajamas, and now we were in the bathroom so he could brush his teeth and pee in his ‘big-boy’ potty. He may only be two, but we were working on potty training. He was doing well so far, but still had accidents every once in a while.
I was trying to sort laundry while he brushed his teeth, but all I was doing was staring at a pair of his pants with a hole in the knee.
Turning to look at my reason for living, I could see worry and uncertainty clear on his face. Putting the pants on top of the washer, I closed the small distance between us. Placing my hands on his shoulders, I turned him on his little footstool to face me.
“Why would you think I was mad honey?”
He averted his eyes. Looking anywhere but at me. Grabbing his chin gently with my fingers, I forced him to look at me. “Why would you think I was mad?” I asked again.
He started fidgeting on his stool, so I placed him on the floor to make sure he wouldn’t fall. Although, him being a werewolf, he more than likely wouldn’t get hurt. It was more instinct to protect him, even from the smallest chance of getting hurt.
“Quinn, honey, what’s wrong?”
He kept fidgeting as I knelt in front of him. He looked at me from under his lashes. “You mad ’cause I diff’ent now?”
“Oh honey,” I squeezed him to me. “I’m not mad at you. You’re not different, you’re special.”
“But…but…I not want be special,” he started to cry.
“Oh, baby, there’s nothing wrong with being special,” I kissed the top of his head, as he burrowed into my embrace. “You know the lady you were playing with earlier, and those men who were here?” He nodded against my chest, still sniffling.
“Well they are special too. Just like you.”
He pulled away to look at me, rubbing the tears from his eyes. “Really?”
“Yep,” I said, popping the ‘p.’ I pulled him close again. This time for my own comfort. “I know this is all strange, but I promise it will be alright.” I kissed his head again before standing with him in my arms. “Okay, enough of this talk. Now, it is time for bed.”
“But I not want go bed,” he complained, while fighting—unsuccessfully—a yawn.
Chuckling, I said, “Oh, I think you need to go to bed. You had a very eventful day, and you need your sleep.”
We shuffled down the hall to his room. Once there, he climbed into his bed burrowing under his covers. I kissed his head, and was about to get up, when he asked, “Mommy? Can I have a story?”
Normally, I would say ‘yes’ to his request, but with everyone else in the house, I needed to get them sorted before I went to bed. As it was, I was having a hard time keeping my own eyes open.
He must have sensed my hesitation, because he sat up and wrapped his arms around me, “Pwease mommy? I want hear about wolf again.”
My throat closed up. I may not like Alexander at the moment, but he was the father of my child, and I tried—in my own way—to let Quinn know about him. The story he wanted was about how his father and I met. Only in the story, the wolf and human lived happily ever after. When in reality, the wolf left the human to raise a child on her own.
I couldn’t say no to my little man. He needed something to make him feel normal again. And if telling him the story about how I fell in love with his father helped, so be it.
Ignoring the fact the house was full of wolves that could hear every word I say, I settled in next to my son and started my story.
“Once upon a time, not too long ago, there lived a young girl in a quaint little cottage. She loved her home, as it was close to the woods, and she could hear all the little creatures that lived there scurry about.
Now the girl’s parents warned her about the woods. They told her that there were monsters that lived in the woods and to stay away. The young girl didn’t believe her parents. The woods had always felt peaceful to her, and she loved running through the bushes and between the trees.
One day, the girl snuck away from her chores and wandered into the woods behind her house. Her parents had been mad at her that day for getting a bad grade in school. As punishment, they gave her extra chores to do. But the girl didn’t want to do chores, and snuck away instead.
It just so happened that in these woods, there was a little pond fed by a tiny stream. The girl would come to this spot whenever she was feeling lonely or upset. While sitting against the bank of the pond she heard a noise behind her.
Frightened, she jumped up and turned, facing whatever had made the noise.
Standing at the edge of the trees was a young boy. He had hair as dark as a raven’s wing, and the most mesmerizing golden eyes she had ever seen.
Without saying a word, the boy came and sat next to her by the pond.
Feeling oddly safe, the girl sat down once again and stared at the water before her.
Neither said a word the entire time they sat on the grassy bank. Soon enough, it was time for the girl to head back home and finish her chores before her parent’s punished her more for going into the woods.
Standing, she started to head home without a word to the boy next to her. She was surprised, and pleased, when the boy stood and walked with her into the woods. She should have been scared, but the boy gave her a sense of peace and she knew it was silly to be scared of him.
They walked in silence to her home, and the boy stopped at the edge of the woods and watched her as she continued into her house.”
A slight smile graced my lips as I remembered how shy the both of us had been at that first meeting. I can still remember my cheeks flushing in embarrassment when I couldn’t think of anything to say to the cute boy sitting next to me.
I looked down to Quinn, laying next to me in his bed. His eyes were drooping, but he wasn’t out just yet. Running my fingers through his glossy black hair, I continued my story.
“The girl went to school the next day still wondering who the boy was, and why she had never seen him around before. She was sitting in her first class, when the door opened and the boy she saw in the woods walked in.
She was startled and pleased that he was in her class. Looking around the classroom, she saw there were several open seats, one of them next to her. She secretly hoped he would take the chair next to her. She wanted to get to know this strange boy that kept her company at the pond.
To her delight, the boy did sit next to her, and she found out his name. The teacher had introduced him as Alexander.
She wanted to talk to him, but class had started and she would have to wait.
At the end of class, he got up and walked out without a word. The girl was disappointed, but got up and went to her next class.
Out in the hallway, the boy was talking to some other people, and as she walked past, he stopped her. ‘Can I walk you to class?’ he asked.
The girl was so happy, all she could do was nod as her cheeks turned pink with pleasure.
The boy smiled at her, and she could have sworn the world stopped. All she could see was him and was held captive by the curve of his lips.
The rest of the day, went like that. He would turn out to be in all of her classes and would sit next to her, and then walk her to the next class.
At the end of the day he walked her out to the front of the school. The girl’s parents were waiting for her and she hurried to them. Not even saying good-bye to the boy who kept her company all day.
Later she walked into the woods behind her house and sat at the pond. Not long after, the boy showed up and sat next to her.
This time there was no silence. They talked, and got to know each other.
Everyday they would go through the same routine. He would walk with her in school, and they would meet at the pond before sunset and talk.
A few weeks passed, and they were sitting at the pond like they did every day. Only this day was different. This day the boy was going to tell the girl his biggest secret.
The girl could tell he was nervous, and to help him, she held his hand. Now, until this point, neither one of the them had touched. All they had done was talk. At the hand-to-hand contact a spark arced between them.
The girl was startled, but the spark didn’t hurt her, so she kept her hand on his. The boy was only staring at their joined hands with a look of longing on his face.
Finally, after much coaxing from the girl, the boy told her his deepest, darkest, secret.
He was a werewolf.”
Here’s where I fudged our story a little bit. There was no way Quinn needed to know about mating. At least not at this point in time. He was too young for that yet.
“The girl didn’t move at his revelation.
She wanted to believe the boy, but werewolves didn’t exist. At least she didn’t think so. But she really liked the boy, and wanted him to stay her friend. So, she didn’t question him. She only sat there holding his hand, enjoying the sparks that were flowing from the contact.
The boy wasn’t done with his confessions yet, and the girl wondered what else he could be hiding.
The boy went on to tell her that she was his soul-mate. The one he was destined to spend the rest of his life with. They would grow old together, have children, and live their lives together in bliss.
The girl was happy, that someone wanted to be with her. She had been told by her parents countless times that no one would ever want her, and she was over joyed when the boy said he would love her for always and forever.
They stayed at the pond, holding hands, and watching the sunset before them.
When it was time to go, they got up together—hand in hand—and walked away into the woods to live happily ever after.”
As I finished the story, I looked down to see Quinn fast asleep, curled into my side. Slowly, and quietly so as not to wake him, I removed myself from his bed.
I bent over the side and kissed him softly on is forehead.
Making sure he was covered up to his chin, I turned and almost screamed.
In the doorway was the silhouette of a man.
Somehow I knew it was Alexander. Walking quickly to the door, I turned off Quinn’s bedroom lights, and shut the door. Making sure to leave it open a hair so he wouldn’t be scared if he woke in the middle of the night.
I had every intention of walking past Lex and going to bed, when his hand landed on the bare skin of my arm.
The sparks were sudden and over whelming, it almost brought me to my knees. Gaining control of myself, I slowly backed away from his touch.
“What do you want Lex?”
I was in the living room listening to Devin and Cameron explain to me what happened earlier.
I was in shock.
The boy had turned into a wolf. Not just any wolf. He turned into a White Wolf. That could only mean that what everyone had been telling me was either true, or she had cheated on me with a member of my pack.
If the boy was truly mine, then touching him should confirm it. There was a connection between wolves and their pups. It was the only sure fire way to know for sure.
Leaving the guys in the living room, I made my way down the hall to see the boy. I was at his door when I heard him ask Kayla for a story.
I figured I could wait a little bit, while she read a story to him. I mean, how long does it take to read a kid’s book?
Little did I know, she started telling the story about how we met.
Why would she tell this to her kid?
Granted she left out the part about the mating, but still. Why would she be telling him about how we fell in love all those years ago? Was it because she still had feelings for me? Or was it because she wanted the boy to know who his father was.
At the end of the story, Kayla crawled out of the bed, kissed her boy and covered him up. When she turned, I could tell I had startled her. I didn’t care. I only cared about finding out the truth. If I was a father or not.
She hurried out of the room, shutting off the lights, and closing the door part way.
I could tell she was going to ignore me, so I grabbed her arm. The sparks, and bond that had been dormant for all these years, rushed through me. Kayla backed out of my grasp before I was fully recovered from the shock to my system.
“What do you want Lex?” she asked.
What I want is to know the truth. I want to know if that boy is mine, and if he is, why did she keep him from me.
Instead of spewing the questions racing through my mind, I asked, “Can we talk Kay?”
Sadness entered her eyes at the nickname. When we were together, I never called her Kayla. She was always Kay, or Tinkerbell.
“I’m tired Lex,” she stated with a sigh. “I’ve had a long and frustrating day. I just want to go to sleep and forget today ever happened.”
“Please, Kay?” I was close to begging. “I really think we should talk.”
She grabbed her temples and rubbed them with two fingers. “Fine,” she said resigned, and moved towards the door across the hall.
When she entered, she noticed Leah sleeping in her bed. At her groan, I could only assume that she had no idea that there was someone sleeping in her room.
She turned abruptly, almost ramming face first into my chest. She stopped just as suddenly, glared, and growled at me to move.
Not wanting to anger her more than she already was, I stepped aside and let her pass. Following behind her into the living room, I couldn’t help but notice the way her pert little ass moved in the shorts she had on.
I had to adjust myself quickly before someone noticed my little friend coming to attention.
Kayla walked through the living room, ignoring Devin and Cameron sprawled across the small couch and floor, and into the kitchen. She went to a cabinet, got out a glass, then went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of juice.
From the way she was acting, I can only assume she wished it was something stronger.
After pouring her drink, she sat—unceremoniously—at the kitchen table.
I sat across from her, and waited.
“Well, what did you want to talk about?” she spit out.
Okay…Tired Kayla equals pissy Kayla. Or maybe it was just me that was making her pissy?
I didn’t know how to go about this, so I blurted, “Is the boy mine?”
Kayla stilled, the glass halfway to her lips. Slowly, so slowly, she lowered it to the table, and removed her hand from it. She looked at me, and all I could see in her eyes was rage.
What? It was legitimate question. I need to hear from her if he is mine or not.
Every movement precise, and purposeful, she stood from the chair and walked out the back door. Where was she going? The sound of something being hit reached my ears and I rushed out the door.
Kayla was over by a little shed beating the Hell out of it with a baseball bat. What…?
Slowly, I approached her. “Kay? What are you doing?” I didn’t want to startle her, so the question came out slowly. Who knows, she may turn around and start hitting me with it. I would be fine, but she could hurt herself if she did that.
Her breath heaving in her chest, eyes blazing, Kayla turned to me. “He. Is. Not. Yours,” she growled out.
I was getting pissed now. My wolf wanted to come out and rip something apart. We had been told all day that he is ours, and she turns around and says he’s not. We wanted to kill something, but the only person back here was her and we couldn’t physically hurt her. No matter what she’s done.
“What do you mean he’s not mine?” I ground out.
“He. Is. Not. Yours,” she repeated. “He’s MINE!”
That’s it, “If he’s not mine then who’s is he?!” I screamed at her.
“He’s mine, you ASS!” she spit at me. “You!” she pointed. “You were nothing more than a fucking sperm donor.! He is my son! You will not come into my home and automatically claim my son as yours! You will not take him from me! He is MINE! And no one, I mean NO ONE, will take him away!”
At this point she was red faced, and looked like she was going to explode from the anger clearly written in every part of her.
One thing was made clear though. The boy was mine. She confirmed it with the ‘sperm donor’ comment.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I questioned in a whisper.
“Tell you what?” she grunted, pacing around the yard—bat swinging with every movement.
I stared, unseeing, into the night. “Why didn’t you tell me that you were pregnant?”
She stopped mid step, turning slowly to face me. “Why?”
She moved fast, and I didn’t have time to stop her. She took the bat and brought it across my face, whipping it to the side. “Why?!” she screamed. The bat swung again, connecting with my left arm and chest. “I’ll tell you why!” Whack, into my stomach. “You. Left. Me!” Thwap, behind my right leg, brining me to my knees. “You accused me of cheating on you with my brother, when I was only seeking comfort!” Crack, she had brought the bat across my shoulder blades. “You called me a whore! You accused me of only sleeping with you for your title! We were mates! You conceited, ignorant, shit for brains!”
I didn’t try to defend myself. Everything she said was true. That day came flooding back to me.
Waiting for her outside of our classroom. She had left before the bell, saying she wasn’t feeling well. I was going to look for her, when some of my pack members came up and convinced me to head to lunch and wait for her there.
I was really worried about her, as she had been sick for a few days now. I waited throughout lunch, but she never showed. Finally, I got up and followed her scent. It lead outside, and I couldn’t figure out why she would be out there.
When I had gone out, all I saw was her in the arms of some man I had never seen before. It never occurred to me that he was her brother. I had never been inside her house, or introduced to her family. She never really talked about them. And I never forced the issue.
I saw red, and started shouting things at her. All I knew was that I had been worried sick, and she was outside in the arms of another. I didn’t know what I was saying, but the concept sunk into my brain. We were over. My mate. The one who was made for me, who was supposed to love me for all eternity, was no longer mine.
I walked away from her that day, not listening to anything she had to say. I left the state that night. I only called her parents to check on her when I felt something was wrong through our weak bond. But that was several months after I had left.
Thinking about it, it was close to nine months after I moved.
She is right. I’m an ass. If she wanted to beat me to death with the bat, then I would let her. I would do anything at this point to make it up to her. If breaking every bone in my body would help her to forgive me, then that is what I would do.
So I sat there, in her backyard, and let her keep hitting me with the bat. Tears were streaming down her face, and her hits were getting weaker and weaker.
Eventually, she collapsed in front of me—the bat hanging limply in her hands. Sobs were wracking her body, as she kept calling me every horrible name under the sun.
I deserved every single one of them. But she didn’t deserve to hurt anymore. I acted without thinking and brought her into my arms. She was too weak to fight me, and collapsed in my embrace. I rocked her as she let loose all the emotions that were coursing through her.
As I held the woman I had wronged in my arms, I knew I had to make it up to her some how. From this moment on, I would be the mate she deserved and needed. I would listen to her, I would love her, I would raise our son to be a strong wolf.
But most of all, I wouldn’t leave her concerns, wishes, and fears left unheard.
The emotional and physical exhaustion combined with Lex’s tactless question served to be the straw that broke this camel’s back. Taking my anger and frustration out on the shed seemed a better option than slapping the shit out of Alexander.
Turns out hitting him with the Louisville Slugger I keep by the back door worked a whole lot better.
Now, curled up and crying in his arms, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I was angry in the first place. Being in his embrace always calmed me down. Brought me peace I could find nowhere else but with him.
Slowly, my senses were coming back to me. Too tired to deal with the anger, hurt, and the million other emotions coursing through me, I shakily disengaged from Lex’s hold. Not saying anything to him, I wiped the tears from my cheeks and stumbled to the back door of my home.
I could sense him following behind, but he was smart enough not to question me. Maybe he had grown some common sense in the years we were apart.
Who am I kidding? This is Alexander we are talking about. The douche bag that waltzed back into my life and turned everything upside down. Mentally snorting at my thoughts, I pass through the kitchen to the living room.
Devin was asleep on the couch, and Cameron was nowhere to be seen. More than likely passed out in his room.
With Leah asleep in my room, the only other option for my tired mind and body was to sleep in my son’s room.
Still not acknowledging Alexander’s presence, I walk down the hall to the bathroom. There on top of the dryer was a freshly washed blanket. I grab it and walk back to the living room. Lex was leaning against the small divider that separated the kitchen and living room. I tossed the blanket to him. “All the rooms are occupied, so you will have to bunk on the floor in here.”
He looked stunned, but I didn’t care. I was just too damn tired to deal with him at the moment. Turning around, I made my way to Quinn’s room and settled next to him in his small twin bed.
With everything that had happened within the last twenty-four hours I should be up with my whirring thoughts, but as soon as my head hit my son’s Iron Man pillow, I was out.
Sighing, I settled the blanket Kayla tossed in my face on the floor of the living room. Grabbing one of the cushions from the couch, I stretched out and took stock mentally.
The last month for me had been a roller coaster of events and emotions. But tonight topped everything that had happened before. I was a father.
My mate and son were just down the hall sleeping and I was banished to the living room. Might as well be the moon for all the comfort it brought me. Now that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the little boy is my son, I wanted to hold him in my arms.
Then realization hit. I had no clue what my own son’s name is.
I sat up at that and rested my head in my hands. How could I be such an idiot! No wonder Kayla doesn’t want me to be near our son. And he is ours. I would never take him from her. No matter what she accused me of while attacking me with the bat.
Now that I know about him, I’m not leaving them on their own. I’ll just have to earn Kayla’s trust again, and get to know my son.
Settling back down on the floor with new determination, I closed my eyes and started to drift off to sleep.
Suddenly, the sheet covering the front door was ripped open. Men in assault gear came pouring into the house. I was up and in an attack position when I felt a sting in my leg. I jumped up and made a grab for the first person to come within reach, but missed. My vision clouded and I collapsed to my knees and then face planted on the carpet.
I tried to stay conscious as, screams ricocheted in the small home. I was barely able to keep my eyes open when I saw someone walk past with my son lying limply in their arms. Another was dragging a screaming Kayla behind them.
I tried to reach for her, but it felt like my body was moving through thick sludge. My arm had barely moved an inch when darkness consumed me.
“Sir, we have the boy and everyone else in custody. What would you like us to do with the mother?”
This was the call I had been waiting for. The boy, along with his father, were finally mine. The Council and everyone who ever stood against me was going to pay for not following me. But my soldier’s question about the mother halted my revery.
“What do you mean? Isn’t she knocked out like the rest?” It was so hard to find good help these days. It was a pity when trained grown men couldn’t handle a slip of a girl.
“Sir, everything we have is for werewolves. She is human. If we tranq her she will more than likely die. Your orders were to have everyone brought in alive.”
Ah, well, that explains it then. “Just knock her out. I don’t care how. I need her with the boy so he will do what he is told. Now bring them back to the lab. I need them processed and contained before they come to.”
“Yes sir. We will be at base in one hour. The tranqs should keep them under for a while after they are contained.”
“Good. Get moving.”
Sitting back in my chair, I steepled my fingers against my lips and thought about all that I could accomplish with the boy and father in my midst.
A knock at my door brought me back from my thoughts. “Yes,” I yelled.
The door opened and a bald head popped through the gap. “Hey Ron. Sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to let you know that my shift is over, and I’m heading out. Stan’s on at the back and I’ll see ya later.”
“Sure, sure. Go on. Get out of here.”
The door closed, and I went back to thinking of all the things I could do to get back at all those that doubted my greatness.