I hadn’t realised how hard it could be to wrangle kids into a bath when they were all hyped up. It took Michael and me over two hours to drag them into a shower. Janie of course, went when she was told being that much older, but Blake and Keeley were a handful.
The little kick about seemed to lift spirits in the packs though as everyone was laughing and joking around as we bundled back into the warmth of the mansion.
Once we were all washed and re-dressed we headed down to the dining hall which was packed with people as the food was being brought out quickly.
“I’ll be right back,” I kiss Michael’s cheek as I leave him with the kids a moment, spotting Jae on his own.
“Jae!” I call out as he smiles facing me.
“What can I do for you?” He grins.
“I need your help, Blake, he’s having trouble sleeping because of nightmares, is there anything we can do to help that, I would go to Rook but he’s scared of him,” I ask.
“We could suppress the memory back, but one day it will come back, he needs to talk to someone ideally,” Jae answers.
“I was afraid you would say something like that, he hates talking to anyone other than people close to me, he hates most guys, who can I get him to talk to?” I ask.
“One of the healers, she was a psychologist in her town once, I can talk to her about it, perhaps he will find it easier to speak to a woman,” Jae replies.
“That might work, but what do I do tonight?” I bite my lip nervously looking back at Blake.
“I can get you a sleeping draught that will cause dreamless sleep, it’s best not to use it all the time though, but for now, it will do,” He answers.
“Thank you, Jae,” I smile.
“No problem, now have you seen Kai?” He asks.
“No, not since playing football,” I shake my head.
“He’s avoiding me,” He sighs.
“Time, he just needs time,” I squeeze his shoulder in support.
“I know,” He nods.
Just then Kai walks in with Luciana and Trey, his eyes meet Jae’s as he winks at him.
“I don’t think you have anything to worry about there Jae,” I laugh as he blushes.
“I’m paranoid aren’t I?” He laughs.
“A little, but I understand it,” I smile.
“Ok, well I will go get you that draught and bring it to you before the kids go to bed,” He smiles and wanders off quickly.
“Will you come and eat my love,” Michael says in my head as I look over at them, Blake is sat in his lap, stuffing his face happily.
“You know being a daddy looks good on you,” I smile at him as he grins.
“As does being a mother on you,” He replies as I sit next to them.
“Mum, did you see the shot I took against Jason! He totally missed the ball!” Blake giggles.
“I did not miss it! You cheated!” Jason laughs behind us.
“I think Jason is a sore loser,” I poke my tongue out playfully.
“Michael! We need you!” Kade shouts from the doorway as I frown as he lifts Blake from his lap and puts him on mine.
“What’s going on?” I ask.
“Attack on the south side, just a few, nothing to worry about,” Kade answers.
“So why do you need Michael?” I raise a brow.
“I…Uh…” Kade murmurs.
“Kai, Luciana watch the kids!” I order as I stand defiantly kissing Blakes head as he sulks watching me walk off from Kade who grumbles at me.
“You know those high-risk wolves that were mentioned at the meeting today…” Cole says as I notice the warriors lined up at the south side of the building.
“I take it this is one of their packs?” I growl, glaring at Kade.
“It is,” Cole nods.
“Lock the place down!” I call out as I hear the commotion indoors as the vulnerable are all moved to safety, wolves and fae that could fight coming to our side.
“I am looking for the queen of wolves!” A deep voice growls in the distance.
“Not a fucking chance,” Michael growls protectively.
“Stand down Michael,” I whisper.
I walk forward as a wall of warriors stays by my side, Michael right beside me.
“I am Phoenix, Queen and alpha of the Blazing Moon Pack, who might I be talking to?” I call out into the dark woods.
“My name is Zack and I come asking for help in a plight against a common enemy, Thomas has destroyed my home, taken my children and killed all our women, he then demanded our submission, I will not bow to such a man. I was brought up with honour, though our methods may be more barbaric than what you are used to my queen, we are of loyal people and ask if you would take us in until we have defeated him where we can take back our home,” He says walking out of the woods.
“YOU!” Trey growls stepping forward.
“Trey?” I hold onto his shoulder.
“He had my father killed!” Trey growls.
“I didn’t know you were a wolf, boy, had I had known I could have come to a much better agreement,” Zack smirks.
“He’s the one that my father got into debt with, he’s the one that sent all those men after us,” Trey growls a warning as Zack steps forward.
“Just business my boy,” Zack shrugs.
“Take another step and I will have my wolves tear yours to pieces,” I growl in warning as Zack holds his hands up and takes a step back.
“We cannot trust them, we cannot let them in,” Trey says.
“We opened up our home to all that needed it, how can we push someone away that is asking for help?” Cole whispers.
“Don’t do it Phoenix,” Trey begs as I look at them all, my hands running through my hair stressfully.
“Fuck, how many of you are there?” I call out.
“Twelve my lady,” Zack smiles as grubby wolves come out of the shadows looking menacingly at us.
“You may stay, however, you will be watched, you will obey my rules, you will not harm a single person here and you will pull your weight if I get the smallest inkling that you are causing trouble for my wolves I will remove you or kill you dependant on your crime, understood?” I growl.
“NO!” Trey growls as he shifts, snarling at the man.
“Trey! Stand down now!” I growl the order as he steps forward.
“One free shot son, you deserve it,” Zack opens his arms out as Trey bursts forward at him, claws swiping at Zack as he turns, defending himself, not attacking as Trey tries to kill him.
“Trey that is enough!” I bark out as I shift leaping into the fray, batting him away as he snaps at me, I growl as he whimpers, bowing on the ground.
“We have no room inside right now but you may have the tents we have,” Kade walks up watching me closely as I keep Trey under control.
“That will be just fine,” Zack nods.
“Get inside right now Trey,” I order as he whines, shifting and stomping inside.
“Jason! Follow him and make sure he doesn’t get into any trouble,” I order as he nods and follows quickly.
“Why would you accept people like that?” Michael asks.
“A common enemy can cause the most unlikely of allies, we may need their need for revenge in our favour, one less pack in Thomas’s hands,” I answer him shifting back.
“I will have them watched by the warriors,” Michael nods sighing, he knew I was right.
“My lady, may we talk?” Zack asks as I hear Michael’s protective growl.
“Michael, calm, yes but I will not wander off with you alone,” I raise a brow as Zack smirks at me.
“I wouldn’t have thought you would, we will just go over there, we will still be in the sights of your warriors and who I would guess is your mate,” He looks Michael up and down with a smirk.
“That would be correct,” Michael growls.
“Let’s talk,” I kiss Michael’s cheek before walking off with Zack.
“He’s protective of you, but I would be too if I had such a gem in my arms, alas, my mate died after giving birth to our son, one of the first hybrids in quite some time, part wolf, part vampire,” He says as I look at him, taking in his facial features as I gasp.
“No…” I murmur.
“I heard you knew my son, which is exactly why you can trust in me, don’t worry I have no interest in taking him for myself, you can keep him, but I do want to see him safe, I wasn’t born for this, this life, I was born to kill, though I am nothing like my parents before me, they had no heart, they killed for the love of it, I kill for a purpose and right now my purpose is to see my son safe and Thomas killed for what he and his father did to my mate,” Zack says.
“Shade killed her didn’t he?” I ask.
“Yes and now his son has the children of my pack and I will not stand idly by and watch them destroyed, I will go to war with you and I will no doubt die doing so, but I will make sure those children get to you and I need you to make a vow to me that they will be taken into open arms as you did my son. News travels fast, I know you love my child, we’ve been watching your pack for weeks, it seems you have a few weak spots in your patrol, I will happily help you guard them and teach your warriors, but I need your vow, my lady,” He says.
“You have my vow, I will protect the children with my all,” I say as he grasps my arm and I feel a sting as my tattoo grows larger, a deep blood red thread entangling between the vines.
“I vow to help you in your war, defend your packs and no harm will come to any of them while I live,” He says.
“But you want nothing to do with your son,” I murmur.
“He is happy with you, he can have a real family, he is too soft for my kind of life,” he shakes his head.
“He’s part wolf, he’s not stupid either, he will figure it out,” I reply.
“Can you smell me right now?” He asks as I sniff the air, but there was nothing.
“No, how?” I ask.
“We live with just basics, makes it easy to move around from place to place, we mostly live as our wolves, whereas you all live in your human form, we have learnt to cover our scent with mud and other means, Blake will never know I am his father,” He says.
“He’s been asking about his parents, I said I would find out, so what should I say?” I ask.
“Tell him they are dead, I will be soon enough,” He answers before walking away from me.
“I won’t lie to him!” I call out as he stops and turns to me.
“Fine then, tell him his mother is dead and his father is cruel and heartless,” He shrugs and walks off.
“Fucking hell,” I murmur feeling my heart beat against my chest hard with so much anxiety.
“My love?” Michael runs up to me having seen Zack wander off.
“FUCK!” I scream out grabbing a stone and throwing it against a tree.
“Woah, what happened? Phoenix, look at me!” Michael grabs my face as a tear drops down my cheek.
“Zack is Blake’s father and he wants nothing to do with him,” I wipe my tears away as he looks at me flabbergasted.
“Him…He’s…Holy shit…” He murmurs.
I recount everything he had said to me as Michael stands listening to me throughout the whole thing.
“Perhaps he can be trusted, though I will still have him watched, it seems odd that he suddenly turns up now,” Michael sighs hugging me as I cry into his chest. I felt bad that Blake’s father was here and yet he wanted nothing to do with his child.
“I need to find Trey,” I sniffle wiping my eyes.
“He is currently trashing his bedroom, Jason is trying to control him, unsuccessfully might I add,” Michael says.
“I need to calm him down, will you check on the kids for me?” I ask.
“Of course I will, it’s about time they went to bed, though I am sure Luciana has that covered, will you be sleeping in my room or your own tonight?” He smirks.
“Whichever one you’re in,” I smile.
“I will come to yours, just in case Blake has another nightmare issue,” He says.
“Jae should be getting him some draught to deal with that tonight, so hopefully we won’t have that tonight,” I answer as we walk towards the mansion.
I can see some of my warriors had fetched the tents and were helping pitch them up as they watched the new wolves warily.
I nod at Zack as he nods at us before helping his men who had mostly changed into their human forms, looking slightly uncomfortable as they were so used to their wolf forms.
“I will find Jae first then and see if he has sorted that out before going to see the kids then, be careful with Trey my love, even the ones we love can have trouble controlling our wolves sometimes,” Michael kisses me before we separate and I take off towards Trey’s room.
When I get there I can hear Jason shouting from outside.
“Trey calm down mate! Phoenix knows what she’s doing!” Jason shouts as I hear wood breaking inside.
“Does she?! She’s letting a monster in our home! Why would she do that?! She’s failing! She’s going to get us all killed!” Trey growls as I gulp, my eyes welling up as I burst through the door.
“Why don’t you just say that to my face Trey,” I say as he looks at me in shock.
“Phoenix…I…Fuck…” He stammers.
“No, keep going, tell me how much of a fuck up I am! Tell me how everyone is going to die around me! Like I don’t already feel like that! Go on Trey! Tell me!” I shout angrily getting into his face.
“He had my father killed,” He says backing away.
“I know Trey but what should I do? Send him away, the children of his pack have been taken and their women killed. They don’t live like us, should I turn them away because your father got into trouble with the wrong people?” I ask.
“I…” He stammers.
“That’s not all,” I sigh as I begin to tell him and Jason everything.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Jason murmurs sitting down in shock.
“I wish I was, but we made a vow and I looked in that mans eyes and saw no lies, he looks like Blake, I can see it, now tell me Trey, what should I do? Make them leave?” I sigh.
“No, I will keep my distance from him, you’re right Phoenix, I’m sorry,” he bows his head.
“Come here,” I say pulling him to me as I hug him.
“You’re not failing, I was just angry, Gray took over and…” he says.
“It’s ok, I get it, I do, but I need to know you can support me in my decisions, I can’t look weak, not while we’re getting ready for battle,” I reply.
“I swear, I support you in everything Phoenix, he just made me throw down my guard and lose the plot,” Trey nods.
“Good,” I sigh nodding.
“What about Blake?” Jason murmurs.
“I will tell him that his mother died because of Shade and his father is a wolf that lives a life of cruelty and mayhem that is not safe for him,” I answer slowly.
“And you expect him to take that?” Jason raises a brow.
“What else do I do? If I tell him his father is outside, Zack will destroy that little boy,” I reply.
“He’s happy with Phoenix and Michael as his parents, we can’t ruin that,” Trey says.
“Talking of Blake, I need to go see him, it’s almost bedtime, now can I trust that this burst of aggression is over?” I point to the mess around the room.
“Yeah, I’ll clean it up,” Trey nods.
“I’ll give you a hand mate,” Jason adds.
“If you need me, you know where I am,” I smile hugging them both.
“Shacked up with your mate, no way am I coming to get you, he may tear us limb from limb!” Jason jokes as I roll my eyes.
“Good night boys,” I laugh heading out.