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Vela shifted the minute she left the house. It hurt her to believe her father wanted to spend more time with Madelyn as the girl grew up than he ever spent with his own daughter. What was so special about this girl that he’d neglect his own flesh and blood?

Grasping her satchel handles between her teeth, she ran at as hard a pace as possible, wanting to get back to their home before her father had a chance to leave. Questioning him about this was foremost on her mind at the moment.

Upon reaching the house she and her father shared, she shifted and took the satchel from between her teeth. She hurried inside and found her father sitting at his desk, speaking on the phone.

“Yes, Cindy? ... She called? When? ... Ok ... Yes ... No, go ahead and accept that offer. The sooner that transaction is done, the better. ... What? Why? ... Ok ... Yes, 25% ... Well, that is what she said, so be certain it is in the documents. It must be disclosed to the other party. ... Yes, Cindy, do it. ... Thank you, Cindy. I will miss working with you, but it’s for the best. ... Yes, begin transferring my current caseload to the other partners. They’ll be very happy to receive my accounts. Make certain the clients are aware, and agree with the choice of partner to take over their case. If they do not, assist them in finding new attorneys, please. ... Yes, that’s right. ... No, Cindy, I will not reconsider. I’m way past due to retire...”

She continued watching quietly from the doorway as he sighed, running a hand across his face. “No, Cindy, I was very specific about this: I will keep Madelyn Randell’s case for myself. Hers is one of the few I will not pass off to another attorney. ... Yes, hers is a special case. ... No, I’m not sleeping with her, she’s much too young for me. She is like family to me and I will not pass her to anyone else.”

Vela listened to her father’s call, wondering exactly what it was about this girl that had her father so captivated with her. She was about ready to leave when he turned and saw her standing there.

“I suppose you heard the entire call,” he said.

“More or less, Father,” she replied. She walked into his study and sat down in a chair he had against the wall near the entrance of the room. After a few minutes of awkward silence, she looked at him and spoke, working hard to keep her tone even. “Who...or she, Father?”

He sighed heavily, his head dropping, one hand raising to rub his neck.

“Her name is Madelyn Randell,” he began, his head still lowered. “She is the daughter of Richard and Marie Randell.”

“Yes, Father, I know that much,” Vela replied.

“There’s more, my darling daughter.” He looked at Vela, then got up and walked to the kitchen. Pouring himself and his daughter some coffee, he returned, handed a mug to Vela, and settled back into his chair.

“Richard, Jr. was the last male of the Randell line,” Brian began. “He is the only son of an only son of an only son.” He paused to take a sip of coffee before reaching into a desk drawer to bring out a file. “This details his family tree. Decades ago, I did extensive research on the Randell line.”

He paused to open the file to the last page. Vela moved closer to note that Madelyn’s name was the last left there. Richard, Jr., was next to last. His father, Richard, Sr, was immediately before Richard’s name. Sure enough, there were no male siblings listed for neither Richard nor his father. The same situation existed for both Sr’s father, Ralph, and his grandfather, Wolcott II. Wolcott’s father, Wolcott Randell, Sr, had had one other son, who died in a fire when he was just 4 years old. His wife died in the same fire.

“These names,” Vela began.

“I know, I noticed the same,” Brian said to his daughter. “They are all names that have similar meanings. Richard is outside the naming scheme. The others, though...well, look here. Their surname, Randell, means ‘shield-wolf.’ Richard Sr’s father, Ralph, his given name means ‘wise wolf,’ while his father’s and grandfather’s names mean ‘wolf’s cottage.’ And this is not a coincidence, daughter.”

Vela looked at the book as he showed her the line going back as far as he’d been able to trace it. He continued his explanation.

“Randell is a variant of the name Randall. Both of them happen to be traditional names among Garou of the British Isles.”

“Are you saying what I think you’re saying, Father?” Vela asked.

“I am, Vela-dear,” Brian replied as his daughter sat there, dumbfounded. “Madelyn is descended from the first European Garou to inhabit the Americas.” He paused as his daughter considered the implications of that. “But that’s not the only thing that makes Madelyn special. You’d better get some tea made, Vela-dear, this is going to be a long tale.”

Connor sat staring into a cold cup of coffee as he went over and over everything he’d read. Something wasn’t adding up. He just couldn’t figure out what the missing pieces were. Finally, he sighed and shook his head. He was getting nowhere with this, fast. His thoughts turned to his mate, sleeping upstairs in her parents’ room.

A familiar feeling stirred within his heart as he thought of her, coupled with a stirring in his pants. With a soft groan, he stood up, shaking his head yet again, and made his way up the stairs, intending to just go and watch her sleep.

She lay on her left side, one arm flung across her pillow. Her right leg was bent and pulled up to lay across the bed in front of her, the left stretched, her foot pointing toward the end of the bed. Madelyn was a vision of loveliness as she laid there, her side rising gently with each breath she took, golden curls framing her face. She slept with her mouth slightly open.

A half-smile turned up the right corner of his mouth as he watched her, slightly amused that she slept with her mouth open, and he found himself glad that she was a side sleeper.

'All the better for spooning,' he thought as he stripped his shirt and shoes off and climbed into the bed behind his sleeping mate. Moving close, he tucked an arm around her waist as his right leg rested over her left. Connor’s last thought as he slipped into a deep sleep was how wonderful she smelled.


A/N A little shorter chapter this time, but I'm reworking the chapters to better fit what Inkitt says is a good length for chapters, while still keeping a good amount of information in each one at the same time. Again, please do comment. I really look forward to reading your thoughts on where the story is going.

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