I don’t know what to think anymore.
When I refused to leave, Councilman Ron had taken me into his office in the back of the strip club. What the Hell was a Councilman doing running a strip club to begin with? I was still stunned by the night’s events, nothing was making sense.
My mate worked here, serving drinks to drunk and horny idiots. A Councilman apparently ran the place, and to top it all off, my mate’s brother is telling me I have a son.
My mind kept spinning as I was pushed—none too gently—into a seat.
“Alexander, I know this is a lot to take in but I need you to snap out of it!”
The Councilman’s voice brought me—somewhat—back from the depths of my mind. I looked around at the room we were in. It was small, no bigger than a walk-in closet. It only held a desk, a few chairs, and filing cabinets lined the back wall. There were no windows, the only source of light a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling.
“Alexander! Are you even paying attention?”
“I’m sorry, what?” I tried to keep my focus on the man before me. I didn’t need to be in trouble with the Council on top of everything else that is going on.
Ron was situated behind his desk, and was currently rubbing the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. “I said, what are you doing here? You came storming into my club looking like you were ready to rip someone apart. What is going on?”
I shifted uneasily in my seat. I never told any of the Council members that I had found my mate three years ago. They only knew that I had shifted at sixteen and assumed that since we couldn’t find my sisters I was the next Alpha of the White Wolves. Everyone just assumed that they were dead, and handed the position over to me.
Little did I know that my mission to Colorado over a month ago proved everyone wrong. Both my sisters were alive and now I was on a mission to find the one that had been taken from under our noses. I wasn’t going to tell Councilman Ron this though.
If what Kayla’s brother, Cameron, said was true, then I needed to be careful of what I let slip to the Council. I may not like Kayla, but she is still my mate, and I won’t let the Council use anything I say to harm her.
“Oh, uh, I was following a Hunter, and I thought he might have come in here. But since I didn’t see him, I’m going to assume he ran into the woods behind the building.” I lied through my teeth. No way was I going to tell him that I followed my mate here and was about to rip into the asshole that had grabbed her.
Ron gave me a skeptical look over his steepled fingers. He lifted an eyebrow, “Are you sure? I think if a Hunter came near here my bouncers would have scented him.”
Shit! His bouncers were wolves too! How did I not notice this? Oh that’s right, I was too busy being pissed off to pay attention!
“Uh, yeah. Maybe he just laid a false trail. I’ll have to start from scratch in finding the bastard, but I will find him.” I stood from the leather chair I had been sitting in, trying to make a clean exit. “I’ll just leave and get back to it. Sorry for interrupting your day.”
I turned to leave when Ron spoke up, “If you’re sure. But one of my waitresses was pretty shook up before she left for the evening.” I froze. He couldn’t know, could he? “I know that one of our customers hassled her, but I’m sure it was something else that was bugging her. I know that she is a single mother, I just hope that it doesn’t have anything to do with her son or the man who father’d him.”
The blood drained from my face. I could feel my heart constrict painfully in my chest. He knew!
“If I find out that someone is giving that poor girl a hard time, then I will have no choice but to put that person in their place.” He stood behind his desk, leaning on it slightly, staring directly into my eyes. “Do I make myself clear?”
I gulped loudly, the fear a hard pill to swallow.
I could only nod, as I turned and practically ran from his office. I paid no mind to the dancers getting ready, or the bouncer on the back door. I walked in a haze to my car and got in as everything resonated in my mind.
He knew that Kayla was my mate. He knew I was there for her. He knows about her son! Dear Goddess. He implied the boy was mine!
My hands shook as I started the car. I didn’t put it into gear, only sat there slumped in the bucket seats. Could everything that Cameron said be true? Is Kayla’s son mine? The Councilman basically flat out said that he was. And that if I hurt either of them he would kill me.
My hands rubbed up and down my face in frustration. I didn’t know what to do. I need to think. Yep, that’s what I need to do. I need to leave and go somewhere to think.
With that in mind, I put the car in gear—the purr of the engine not even registering in my mind—and pulled out of the parking lot. I took a left and drove.
I didn’t have a destination in mind, I would drive until the car ran out of gas.
Along the way I would think.
The problem, the only thought running through my head…I have a son. I have a son. I have a son.
Crap! I have a son!
I was having fun watching the little boy, Quinn, play with his toys. Everything in his room was so bright and happy. I could tell that he was loved and well taken care of. I just hope that I will be as good a mother to my pup. I never had a mother, so the concept is foreign to me.
He was currently jumping on his bed. It was very interesting—his bed. It was the shape of a car, but he was not able to drive it. Apparently, it was only for sleeping.
Quinn stopped what he was doing. He jumped from his bed shouting, “Mommy! I like pretty lady. I show her all my toys. We play guy who jumps and shoots fire, and I show her how to be ninja!”
“I see that,” his mother laughed. Turning towards me she introduced herself. “Hi, I’m Kayla, you must be Leah.”
I did not answer, only tilting my head to the side.
“Cameron told me you can’t talk, so I brought some paper and a pencil. Will that work?” She held it out, but I did not take it. I did not know how to write, so it was pointless.
I kept my head tilted,concentrating, listening to my wolf. “Hello Kayla. I believe you know where my sister is.” I spoke into her mind.
She was stunned, and held her son closer to her in fear.
“Do not worry,” I spoke again. “I am not sure how I am able to talk to you this way either, but it is very convenient.” She stood frozen in place. I was getting tired of her not speaking. I needed answers, and I needed them now. “Now that we can talk. Where is my sister?”
Kayla backed away from me until her back slammed into the wall behind her. With Quinn still in her arms, she slid to the floor. Not once did she speak. Her mouth opening and closing in a comical manner.
If this situation was not so urgent, I would have been laughing at her expression. As it was, my wolf was laughing at her in my mind. Making it very hard to keep a straight face, and to concentrate on the task at hand.
Quinn struggled in his mother’s arms. Finally able to lean back, he took her face in his hands, trying to get her attention. “Mommy? What wrong? Why we on the ground? Are we going wrestle? Mommy. Mommy.”
“It is okay, Quinn,” I spoke to him. It was easier to speak with him in his mind than his mother’s as he was a wolf pup. His mother was human and it was very difficult to keep concentration when speaking in her mind. “Your mommy is upset with me for talking to her in her mind. She will be fine in a few minutes.”
He turned his head to face me with his little brows furrowed in concern. “Why mommy upset? I like you talk in my head. It special.”
I gave him a sad smile. This boy was a miracle. “She is not used to it,” I tried to explain. He opened his mouth to ask more questions, but I stopped him, “Can you go and get Cameron for me? He can talk to your mother and explain what is going on.”
Quinn’s face lit up in excitement. He wiggled out of his mother’s arms and ran into the other room to do as I asked.
I did not have to wait long until Cameron—followed by Devin—came piling into Quinn’s room. Cameron immediately knelt next to Kayla—hopefully to snap her out of her stupor. Devin stood in the doorway giving me a look full of disappointment.
What did he have to be disappointed about? I was trying to get answers. He was acting as if I had done something wrong.
‘He does not understand,’ my wolf tried to explain.
‘Well how do I make him understand?’ I asked back, ‘I do not like the looks he sends us. I want him to be happy with us again. I do not like this distance between us.’
‘I know, but you will have to find a way to make him understand. I do not like the way he has been treating us also, but we have not been the greatest mate either. Maybe when we have time, we can talk everything out with him. It is not good to have this turmoil in our lives.’
Giving a nod, I realized that everyone in the room was staring at me.
I sent Devin a quizzical look. Shaking his head, he answered my unspoken question. “Cameron was asking what happened. You didn’t answer for a while, and then you just nodded your head.” His own falling forward, his hand coming up to rub the back of his neck. He looked at me from under his lashes. “What is going on Leah? Earlier you made Kayla pass out, and now she is sitting here in shock. What are you trying to do?”
I could hear the frustration in his voice. My emotions were going haywire. I was trying to stay calm so I could explain myself. The pressure behind my eyes was an indication that all my efforts were for naught. I could not hold back the tears that spilled from my lids.
I knew what I was doing. I was getting answers. But his obvious disappointment in me was making me feel like I was doing everything wrong.
“I talked to her in her mind,” I whispered into his own head. “I need to find my sister. Emily is out there, scared and alone, and Kayla is the only person who knows where she is.”
Devin only stared at me. I waited for him to say something, anything. But he stood in the doorway with a blank look on his face.
“I am sorry you do not approve of this, but it is the only way I can talk to her.” More tears slipped down my face, “I am sorry I am a disappointment to you, but this is something that I have to do.”
He still did not say anything. Thinking he was mad at me, and not able to escape—he was blocking the door—I slumped to sit on the side of Quinn’s bed.
I put my face in my hands and cried silently into them.
Oh Goddess, she thinks I hate her.
How did it get to this point?
A month ago, she was my sweet and innocent mate. I had to explain everything to her. From how to turn on a light, to how to get dressed every day. And now… Now she was barely acknowledging my existence and talking to humans in their minds.
I feel like I don’t even know who she is.
I mean, she’s my mate, and I love her, but I don’t really know her.
My wolf was curled up in my mind, whimpering at the fact our mate was upset.
I wanted to go to Leah and hold her, tell her everything was fine. That I wasn’t upset with her. But I couldn’t. I was upset. Not really with her, but the situation.
I just got her back from the Hunters, found out we were having a pup, and now we are searching for her sister—my best friend’s mate. We were only supposed to go to Colorado to meet Jack’s mate and then go home to Washington. Instead, we get there only to be thrown into a fight with Hunters. Jack’s mate is kidnapped, and we’ve been on a month long mission to find her again.
A noise to my right caught my attention. The little boy, Quinn, was standing there looking wide eyed at everyone in his room. His eyes zeroed in on Leah sitting on his bed with her head in her hands—shoulders shaking with silent sobs.
Quinn inched his way to Cameron, who was still trying to get Kayla to respond. “Uncle Cam-ron?” He asked in a quiet voice.
Cameron barely spared him a glance. His full attention on his sister, sitting in shock on the floor. “What bud?”
“Why is pretty lady crying? Do she have ouchy?”
Cameron finally looked at his nephew. Seeing Quinn looking behind him, he turned and saw Leah sitting on the edge of the race car bed. He glanced up at me, back to Leah, and then settled his eyes on Quinn.
“Well bud, I don’t know. Why don’t you go over and give her a big hug and kiss. Maybe that will make her feel better.”
All I could do was watch, as this small two year old walked up to my mate and tried to comfort her the way I was supposed to. He wrapped his arms around her as best he could. He then climbed up the side of the bed and placed a small kiss on her cheek.
I should be doing that. Letting her know that I was here for her, and that everything was going to be all right. Only I couldn’t do that. My wolf wanted to, but I needed to get to know my mate again—claim her again—in order to have the right to comfort her.
Leah lifted her head, wiping the tears from her face. She grabbed Quinn and hugged him close. I just wish she would do that with me. I felt ridiculous, being jealous of a two year old but I was.
Turning away from the scene in front of me, I made my way to the living room.
I still had the keys to the rental car in my pocket. I didn’t even think about what I was doing. I pulled the keys out, walked out the front door, and went to the car. I drove away from the house, from my mate. I needed time to think, and staying there with all the drama was not making it easy.
I’ll find a bar somewhere—get drunk. Not in this town. Somewhere farther away. That way they can’t come looking for me.
Yep, sounds like a plan.
With that in mind, I sped down the road.
I heard the front door open and close.
Letting out a sigh, I looked towards Leah and Quinn. She had him wrapped in her arms, seeking comfort from his small frame.
Shaking my head with a sigh, I turned away from them to focus on my sister. I don’t know what happened between Leah and Devin. When I first met them they seemed to be so in sync with each other. Now they act as if they can’t stand to be in the same room.
Deciding to deal with that issue later, I tried again to gain my sister’s attention.
“Kay, honey, can you hear me? Come on sis, I need you to snap out of this.” She still didn’t respond. She sat there wide eyed, staring into space. Getting frustrated, I stood and ran my hands through my hair. “Dammit, Kayla, get it together! Quinn needs you! You can’t sit here like a lump on a log. Get your ass up and quit being a baby!”
The mention of her son’s name seemed to snap her out of her stupor.
“Cameron Bennett, you watch your mouth! There will be no swearing around my son! Do it again and I will cut your tongue out! Do you understand me?” Kayla had jumped up to push her finger in my face, emphasizing that she was not kidding around.
Too bad I didn’t care. I had a huge smile on my face because she was up and talking again. The way she was before was scary to say the least.
I grabbed her in a bear hug, lifting her off the floor and spinning her around in circles.
She let out a surprised squeak, and started giggling as the room spun around us.
Putting her back down, I kissed her forehead.
She pulled away from me slightly. I was going to ask her what happened, when her ringtone sounded from her room across the hall. ‘Bad boys’ filled the air, stilling everyone in their place.
Kayla ran across the hall and snatched the phone from it’s charger. She answered, but didn’t say anything. She just stood there listening to what was being said on the other line.
Still without a word, she hung up the phone and slowly turned towards us. Even from across the hall I could see the blood drain from her face. A sense of dread filled my stomach, “What happened Kay?”
She swallowed and looked back at the phone before throwing it onto her bed as if it burned her. “Kay?”
“They’re watching the house,” she whispered. “They know where I live. Oh God,” she sobbed. “They know about Quinn.”
I ran and caught her before she could slide to the ground again. “What am I going to do Cam? They know about my baby. They could hurt him. What am I going to do?”
I didn’t know what to tell her. I could only hold her as she sobbed into my chest, clutching my shirt in her fist.
Leah walked in with Quinn clasping her hand. She looked from Kayla to myself before I felt something in my head.
It was like something was trying to get in. The pressure was horrible. I wanted to scream out at the pain ripping through me. I barely caught the look of concentration on Leah’s face. It was then I realized she was trying to talk to me. Taking a deep breath, I tried to stop myself form resisting this unknown feeling flooding my consciousness.
Once I stopped resisting, the pain went away, and Leah’s face relaxed. “Cameron, can you hear me?”
I started, but ignoring how weird this all was I nodded.
A small smile graced her lips as she looked between my sister and I. “Good. I need you to get Kayla to tell me where my sister is. That is the only way we can stop them. I need to know where they are. Can you do that for me?”
Again, I only nodded. I had no idea if I could talk back to her in my mind, but decided to try that another time. Instead, I turned back to my sister, still clinging to me.
“Kay, Leah needs to know where these people are.” Kayla sat up with a start and was about to protest. “Listen, she needs to know so she can stop them.”
She looked uncertain, but I needed to get her to tell us. “Please Kay. Leah needs to to find her sister. She needs to get her back to her mate. Her, Alexander, and Devin will put a stop to these people. You won’t have to worry about them hurting Quinn if they aren’t around anymore. Please, just tell her where they are.”
Kayla searched my eyes for any signs of deception, but I was telling the truth. If anyone can stop these people, it would be the ones that have the most to lose if they don’t. She must have seen the truth in my eyes and slowly nodded.
She turned towards Leah and let out a small breath, “I don’t know the address, but I can take you there.” I was going to protest, but she talked over me, “I do have a condition though.” Leah nodded slightly at her words. “We need to wait for Alexander and Devin. I don’t know where they are, but we need them here before we leave. I am not going without more people to help out.”
Well at least she was thinking clearly. “What do you want to do with Quinn, because I’m coming too. There’s no way I’m letting you walk into that place without protection.”
Kayla gave me an incredulous look, “Seriously! You’re going to pull this crap now. You’ve let me go in there countless times without ‘protection’ as you put it. What makes this time any different.”
I was getting angry. Sure she’s been working for the bastards for a while now, but didn’t she see this was different. “This time is different because you are breaking someone out! You aren’t getting fucking information this time around. I will not let you go without me there to protect you. End of story. Now what are we going to do with Quinn?”
Looked stunned for a moment, she shrugged it off. Looking at Quinn she seemed to be thinking about her options. “We could take him to the club,” she began hesitantly. I was going to say ‘no’ but she beat me to it. “Ron wouldn’t mind watching him. You know he’s got a soft spot for Quinn. I’ll call him and see if he can take him tomorrow. Then when the guys get here we can make a plan, and leave tomorrow after dropping Quinn off.”
Ugh, I hated when she made sense. I was her older brother, I was the one that was supposed to be sensible. Oh well, I guess it’s a mom thing.
Nodding, I got up off the floor to leave and give her some privacy.
I ushered Leah and Quinn from her room. We headed into the living room and Quinn went straight to the game that was paused on the T.V.. I plopped down on the couch and watched from the corner of my eye as Leah lowered herself slowly onto the cushion.
I wanted to see how this whole talking-in-the-head-thing worked. I was thinking of something to ask when Quinn let out a sharp cry.
I looked to my nephew. He was curled up in a ball on the floor.
I was kneeling next to him in a flash, Leah next to me.
Kayla came running from the back of the house, phone still in hand.
Quinn was on the ground writhing and screaming, as if he was being torn apart.
“Quick! Get him outside!” Leah’s voice rang through my head.
Without hesitation, I grabbed my nephew into my arms and ran out the back door. Kayla and Leah hurrying behind me. Kayla in tears—again—and Leah looking somber.
“What’s happening?” Kayla screamed over Quinn’s cries of pain.
“He’s shifting,” was Leah’s reply. From the look of horror on Kayla’s face, I’m assuming Leah had told her in her mind also. Well that explains Kayla’s shock from earlier.
None of us had time to ponder on her words, as a small whimper brought our attention back to Quinn. I had placed him on the grass in the backyard once we were outside, but instead of my hyper two year old nephew, there was a small white ball of fur.
The ball moved and another whimper reached our ears.
Small gold eyes peaked out at us, and a pink tongue licked a little black nose. With unsteady legs, Quinn stood up on all fours and tripped over his feet trying to reach his mom.
I stood back as Kayla stooped down and lifted her pup/son in her arms.
Quinn looked towards Leah, and the next moment the pup was gone and a very naked boy was being crushed in his mother’s arms.
I was grinning like a fool, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think…
What else is going to happen tonight?
I must have jinxed us as a loud crash sounded from inside the house.