'I miss them...'
"Save some for me Squirt!" Oh, boy! Mom let go of me and turned to the door.
"He wouldn't shut up about you since he came". She explained while watching Jake come to us. Before I could react, Jake was right in front of me squeezing the life out of me in a huge tight hug. Oh, how I miss him! It's been more than a month and...
Oh.. uh-oh! this is bad, I can feel a thunderstorm through our bond. Everything happened so fast. One moment I was in Jake's arms, and the next I was vigorously torn from him and he was pinned down on the ground by my furious mate who threw punches at him accompanied by strings of curses.
"Oh My God, Jake!" Mom's maternal instincts kicked in and rushed towards the pair. Damon's eyes were golden with red forming specs. I grabbed his hand and pulled him away.
"Get away from him Damon, we talked about this!" He lowly growled back as his wolf had taken over, there would be no logic in his jealous head now. "Please baby calm down!" I gave him a perk on his lips as I moved to my mom and Jake. "Jake? are you alright? I'm sorry, he's just a bit territorial!" I explained as I held his hands trying my best to apologize for my mate. This is all new to him and the only thing he might have caught from all this situation is that Damon was an abusive asshole.
"Who is this Asshole?" Yeah, I knew he'd say this.
"Watch it, boy!" Damon retorted. I can see his eyes are blue again, which means he's in control. Jake scoffs as he turns to look at Mama. "Well?"
"He's Phoenix's Fiance". She informed him and I didn't miss the look on his face, she then turned to look at Damon. "I understand what you must be feeling right now but you don't need to worry, He's practically my son and Nix's brother. He is Family and I don't like this."
"She's what?" Jake blurted his face showed denial which got my mom puzzled.
"Well, I don't like him!" My mate mumbled stubbornly crossing his hands over his chest. I turn to glare at him; "You don't need to like him, I like him for both of us".
I saw Silver's car pull up when I turned from my mate and strolled towards Jake. It's not a matter of choosing, and I know how hard it is for my mate, but I can not just toss Jake aside or treat him rudely just because of my mate. He has always been with me throughout our entire lives, through the worst and the best times. He means a lot to me. I truly see him as a valuable family member. Even my wolf once considered him potential if we had no mate out there.
I can see he is in shock. "What is going on Nix?" I didn't miss the hurt from his tone.
"Come, let's go inside. Amora is coming, she's already here in that Silver car parking over there." I slightly turned to make a room for him to see.
I held his hand and made way into the house. I didn't find anyone which was strange. Their scents were still strong, smells like they went out a few minutes ago. I can smell uncle Allan upstairs in the guest room, probably tired of the drive. The smell from the kitchen gave a promise of a nice dinner a few minutes ahead. I smelt Ashley too, but her scent was a bit older than the others. She might have left before the others who I suppose might be out for a run.
We reached my room, praying that it's renovated. I opened the door letting him go in first, then I followed. Everything looked in place to my relief. I never had time to bond with this place but I enjoyed the quiet and comfort it gave me. I closed the door as he sat on my bed, his hands going to his hair. I remained standing on my spot knowing where to stand. I knew this day would come, it was never my intention to hurt him but he is just too damn stubborn. I sighed.
"How come you are engaged? When did it happen?". He started to interrogate me.
"Yesterday," I answered. Well, I was married yesterday in our world but telling him that should complicate matters even more.
He looked up to me, his eyes searching mine for something, maybe hope that this is a bad joke. "Yesterday." He repeated after me. He then added. "And for how long do you know him? Is he the reason why you rejected me?"
I sighed. "Jake.."
"Please Nix, tell me this is all a joke! Even if he truly is your fiance, that loser seems abusive. He clearly has anger issues and the self-control button seems to be missing on his brain."
Even though I love him, I can not let him go on with this. "Stop J".
"He is practically too old for you!"
"I DON'T CARE JAKE!!" He glanced at me disbelievingly. "I don't care. It's the same reason why we couldn't be together. It's true, I had a thing for you but I knew it wouldn't go far. You deserve better! And I love you too much to hurt you!"
"No, listen to me! I can't be selfish, I couldn't use you to sate myself then toss you away when I find him. It wouldn't be fair to you."
"So you mean to tell me you knew him way back?..... Did you know him when you kissed me?"
"No." I paused. "It's complicated. I swear, it's not an easy explanation."
"Try!" He stood and strolled towards me. "Try to make me understand. How can I move on from a woman I ever loved? Who I waited for."
"I'm sorry Jake. I can't love you the way you want me to".
"But you love him." He said tiredly.
"Yes, I do". I replied looking at his beady eyes.
His hand came to stroke my right cheek as he gave me a weak smile. "Are you happy with him?" He inquired.
I nodded as a tear escaped my left eye. He looked so heartbroken and I hated it. "We were so happy together". I told him. "Even if we fight a lot, I feel like myself when I'm with him. Hell, fights are our own private language. I came to learn I'm not a softcore romantic girl, the thought as cute as it is, bores me."
"Ok." He muttered with a sigh. "I won't stand in the way of your happiness". I hugged him. "I wasn't actually asking for your permission, I'd swap you like a fly". I teased.
He pulled off from our embrace with a smirk and a raised brow. "Oh yeah?."
"Oh, shut up and hug me! I've missed you so much". I push him back into a tight hug. This strong man.
"I miss you too Squirt."
"You may just bang him for all I care." I heard my mate through our bond and rolled my eyes as I moved back. "Let's go downstairs. Amora can't wait to introduce you to your future brother in law." I turned to open the door.
"My who now? It's that serious?"
I just flipped my hair and gave him a wink. I always do this indicating 'that was just a hint'. He shook his head.
When we reached the sitting room, I went straight to Allan and gave him a welcoming hug. Right then Amber and Shaun came in, while Jake was busy scolding his sister for the surprise while Allan kept his cool. They wanted to get to know Amora's new suitor and they weren't making it easier for Silver.
On my side, I was busy trying to improve my mate's pretty dark mood. For the rest of the night, he behaved cool and calm. He tried to please everyone except for Jake. I know it will take time for him to lighten up with Jake in the same room as us but I was happy he was trying. After long chats with Silver and Allan, his mood improved for better and the dinner passed like a blur.
Once everyone was full, I retreated to the kitchen with Shaun. We had our bonding time while washing the dishes. Throughout my conversation with Shaun, he seemed to be troubled by something, I had to ask. "Is there anything you wish to share with me?"
He stayed quiet for a few seconds, probably thinking if it was wise to share whatever was bothering him with me. He let out a long breath then started to explain. "We used to be few, I knew I'd be able to protect us. It's my duty to protect you and mama, but I'm afraid it's getting out of hand."
"What are you talking about Shaun?" He has always been tough, even more, when dad passed away. I understood him, he had to take his place as the family's protector. It was us against the world. I thought it was just nature taking its course, He was born a leader and that's what he wanted to be after dad's departure. But what is making him doubt himself now?
"Some people have been tailing us for years. Judging from what we went through, I believe father's family is behind this".
"You seriously can't blame our loss on them! We don't even know them, Shaun. Besides, aren't they supposed to be dead?"
He shook his head. "Who else hates us or our father so much that they would want to kidnap us, Phoenix?." He hesitated. "Anyway, they have been following us for a while and I believe they know everything about us, including our newly acquired family". Now I understand, he is afraid. Losing our father and sisters was so hard for us, losing our mates would kill us. And that seems to be the plan.
"How do you know we are still being watched?". He then started to tell me everything he knew, and what he did to protect us from them. It's true, it's hard for them to get us in my mate's territory. But that doesn't stop them from trying something else to get us. If they've stayed away and quiet for a while, then they might be preparing for a come-back.
"To be honest, I also had the feeling, I smelt them. I just waited for them to strike and this time, to choose me." He narrowed his eyes at me. "I am a trap Shaun, a deadly one. I'm a grim reaper on a sheep's skin". I added with a shrug.
"I don't like this."
"I know you are overprotective, but so am i. If I get the chance to face them alone, I'd sacrifice myself for you guys"
He now had a grim expression on his face. "You fucking wouldn't! Or I'll march to hell myself and smack you for it." I giggled.
"There is nothing we can do now brother, let's wait for their first move. And they'll be in for a grand surprise. You are strong, even stronger with Amber."
"And with you two demons as mates..." he snickered. He didn't have to finish his sentence. We wouldn't sit and watch anymore, this time we'll fight for our family. He came close and kissed my forehead. Let's go. He took my hand and led me back to the sitting room. A few hours later, I was back in Damon's chamber sleeping peacefully in his arms.
My eyes shot open in the middle of the night. My body was covered in sweat and my heartbeats were in a riot. "Baby? What's wrong? Are you alright?" I turned my head to the side my mate was, his eyes shone with worry. I can feel my body start to shake as tears pooled my eyes. I shook my head, grief engulfed me that I couldn't speak. I hugged him as I started to sob on his chest. I cried out loud so that at least I get the pain out of my chest. It tightened and hurt me. I tried to bury it but it always comes back to the surface. The dreams keep hunting me sometimes. This is why Amora moved in with me, the dreams would sometimes come back and I experience the fresh pain again. She didn't want me to distance myself again, she feared maybe this time it'd be permanent.
I don't know for how long I was a sobbing mess on my mate's arms, or how my mate calmed me. I woke up at the first light of the following morning. I was still snuggled to him and I can feel he's awake.
"How are you feeling?". I could feel his concern as I scooped off of him and laid on my back facing the ceiling. I took in a deep breath and blew it off.
"I'm okay I guess, "I answered him.
"Can you talk about it?" His hand found mine and held it. It calmed me. I nodded.
"Five years ago, my family was living a normal life. My father was alive, so were my twin sisters." I paused while my hand went to the side table hunting for my phone. I got it, Unlocked it, and opened the gallery scrolling on different videos and photos till I found my family's album. I gave him my phone and he started going through them.
"You all look like him. Well, your brother takes the cake." He observed with astonishment. I smiled. "You know, I didn't think Shaun was mixed till I met your mother."
I nodded. "Yes, he gets that a lot. If it wasn't for my mother's dimples and some facial expressions he inherited, no one would believe he's our mother's son. For my sisters and I, it's easy to believe since we had a light brown complexion." I said sadly. "I miss them so much." A tear escaped my eye.
"What happened?" Sensing my sadness, he took my arm and brought it to his lips, and kissed it.
"One day, I recall it to be Saturday, Elvera and Chloe wanted to go out. We didn't have a lot of friends back then so it was just us, Amora and Jake. I wasn't in a mood to go out, I woke up with a headache plus a running nose so I preferred my bed more than anything else. So they left. I was watching a movie in my room when I started feeling weird. My whole body ached and I felt a sudden fear. After a few minutes, I discovered the feelings weren't mine."
"The twins bond." He mumbled.
I nodded. "We never had a pack link, but we had a siblings bond, especially us three. I took my phone and started to call them, Chloe didn't pick up. But after calling Elvera thrice, she picked up. I figured Chloe would be the first to pick up because she never put her phone in silent mode nor vibration, but Elvera was an expert. Whenever we had emergency calls, Elvera wasn't the first to call because her phone was always in silent mode. And that day her silent phone worked in her favor. The panic I felt through our bond was making me even edgier. When she picked up she didn't respond directly to me. I just heard her say.
'I love you Nix.' Then even louder, 'You morons killed my sister. YOU ARE GOING TO PAY!'
After that, I heard a dozen gunshots, curses, screams, car breaks then crashing. I was screaming her name but the call ended long before I knew so. My head hurt so much and I felt my heart, my heart.." I couldn't go on. Damon knew it and he embraced me as I let my tears fall.
"I'm sorry baby. Shh! It's okay love." I calmed down and he let go of me and his lips found mine. His kiss was slow and gentle. It calmed me even more. When we came for air he kissed my forehead. I had to finish this.
"I ran to my mother but the pain was so intense. Everything went black. I shifted for the first time. When I was alright again, I wasn't me anymore. I couldn't eat that I lost a lot of weight and I couldn't talk. I nearly quit school and it was my last year at the University. I didn't want contact with anyone. I spent most of my time at parks. Amora helped me with school and scolded me when I was too much. She was there with me when I experienced nightmares and outbursts. Shaun took care of mother who was in a worse condition. She didn't speak much and wanted her mate. Father came back and stayed for a few days with us before returning to America."
"Wasn't he living with you?" I shook my head. Then I told him about my family's history. "So he still spent most of his days with you. That's more than three-quatres of the year."
"Yes, but three years before his death, he wasn't coming home frequently. Anyway, he died two years after my sisters." Then I told him about my mother's reaction and how my dad died.
"You've been through a lot baby." He concluded.
"That's why my mother wanted to come here, she wanted to start afresh because the house was too much for her and so were the memories. She lost her mate after all. My brother agreed because of your administration."
He nodded. "I'm here for you now. I'll protect you."
I smiled. "I know." I looked up at him. His lips crashed to mine and he showed me just how much he wanted me.
Two hours later we were at the front door of the former Alpha pair of the pack. A little girl with big blue eyes and jet black long hair opened the door. This must be his little sister.
"Damon!!" She jumped excitedly.
"Hey, cherry!" Damon lifted his sister and carried her as he moved into the house. I followed them inside my eyes still fixed on the beautiful creature carried by my mate. She was also staring back at me from her brother's neck, curiously.
"Who is she?" She asked slightly cocking her head aside. She's adorable. Just like how her brother described her to be.
"Her name is Phoenix, Cherry. Your new sister". She frowned. "Sister?. Mommy and Daddy adopted a new sister??"
I smiled. Is this little cutie jealous? Damon chuckled. "No, she's my mate".
The little girl gasped. "Put me down please!" Her brother stood and released her. She came closer and stood in front of me.
"Hello, I'm Madeline." She was smiling brightly.
I squatted down and replied. "Hello Madeline, it's nice to finally meet you". I raised my hand to play with her silky hair. "You are beautiful". A faint blush appeared on her cheeks and she hurriedly hugged me.
I heard footsteps coming our way. I looked up seeing a pretty middle-aged woman coming our way. She has shoulder-length jet black hair, a pair of soft blue eyes, and a charming smile. She walked towards us and stood in front of Damon.
"What a wonderful surprise" She announced as she hugged him. With such striking similarities, I don't have to guess.
"Mother please meet Phoenix Lloyd, my mate" Damon introduced me as he let his mother go and motioned her towards me. She gasped.
I was embraced within seconds. Welcome to the family darling, I'm Bella Forrest. She let go and took a step back looking at me up and down while holding both my hands. "Oh, Luna you are beautiful!" Her eyes were misty.
"The most beautiful woman I have ever seen." Damon countered.
I blushed. "Thank you, Mother."
"I've got a sister now!" Madeline spoke up then she looked at her brother. "Actually brother I thought you'd grow old by yourself."
Damon crossed his hands over his chest and glared at his sister with a raised brow. Bella giggled. "Thank Luna! This is the most Precious s gift I could ever ask for. To finally see my son happy and settled with the right woman." She said while looking at the mark on my neck. "Oh! Mark is going to love this". She tugged my hand and started for the stairs. "Come let us go meet your father, we have a lot catching up to do."
Damon's cherry ran forward, leading the way.