Elizer somehow got organised. The twins were fed and both car seats were strapped into the car. Although afterwards she had to just sit for a bit and gather herself. The drive to the vet’s was short and if it weren’t for the twins and collecting an injured dog probably wouldn’t require a car journey. She made a note to investigate the pram that was stored in the garage. One of those old-fashioned ones you saw in old movies.
Pulling up, she climbed out and went inside to re-emerge minutes later with Mar and two nurses. Mark quickly sedated the dog and between them carried him inside while Elizer unstrapped the twin’s car seats and carried them inside.
‘Elizer dear Mark said you were coming,’ Aunt Betty sashayed around the counter a mug in her hand. Her perfectly made-up face glowed with pleasure. ‘Here dear, let’s do a swap for this fabulous coffee for these two adorable creatures.’ thrusting the coffee in Elizer’s hands, she unstrapped the twins and was soon cooing over them. Leaving Elizer to sit and wait while sipping coffee.
Ten minutes later a scuffle broke out as a young girl rushed in a cat basket in one hand and a baby seat in the other. A plaintive wail emitted from the basket and the baby was screaming its head off.
‘Oh, Carol, the bloody cat got into a fight again and has a huge gash out of one of its legs blood everywhere you know,’ she dumped the cat basket on the counter and aggressively rocked the car seat.
‘Karen, calm down honey,’
‘I can’t. He is away this week, and I am tired all the time. I don’t need the cat acting up,’
‘Here, let me help.’ Elizer climbed to her feet and took the baby.
‘Oh, would you, that would be marvellous,’ the girl smiled as her eyes widened in recognition. ‘Elizer, I heard you were back.’
‘Karen?’ Elizer grinned as she recognised her childhood friend.
‘You are all my idiot brother can talk about,’ Karen smiled as the nurse took the cat away and Karen plumped down next to Elizer, taking her baby and feeding it without a care in the world.
‘Your brother?’ Elizer frowned, as she could only really picture a sulky teen who spent most of his time avoiding them.
‘Oh yes, he is the police officer here.’
‘I thought he joined the army?’
‘He did, but he did two tours and then got injured, so they sent him home and then discharged and now he is the local law,’ Karan grinned.
‘Ah PC Summer,’ Elizer muttered.
‘So, what brings you here?’
‘Oh, I um found this dog. In a bit of a state so uncle Mark came and took it and aunty Betty has kidnapped my twins, so I am drinking coffee and pretending I am a sophisticated young woman again who doesn’t smell faintly of sick,’ Elizer dead pans as she sips her coffee.
‘Acceptable answer,’ Karen gives a giggle as she swaps breasts. ‘Ever considered a career in acting?’ Turning her earnest gaze on Elizer, they both burst out laughing.
Ben couldn’t sleep as the conversation with the vet circled his head. Vet, who was he kidding? Concentrating as he tried to remember his history. Two tribes in the beginning, one to protect the male heir. The other, though if he remembered, was a warrior clan, their job to find the female heir and protect her.
She was human, always human, never wolf. She was the balance bringing the humanity to the wolf. That was why Mary was killed? She was a wolf; she wasn’t his destined. He had known it was wrong, and he didn’t think a baby would come from the union. He was wrong again. Maybe he wasn’t the heir? Oh, who was he kidding? Would the Synod kill his son? Was his destined here? That story had always annoyed him. Maybe that was why he had Mary. ‘Mary, I am so sorry,’ he whispered.
‘Time to go,’ Mark strolled over to the large dog crate. ‘You are going to behave yourself as my niece is here to collect you.’ Ben lifted his head. Intrigued as to why he would be released into the care of the Alpha's niece.
‘You will go home with her. If you run, we will find you, and the outcome may not be to your liking. Do you understand?’ Ben growled as Mark opened the cage and slipped a collar around Ben’s neck.
‘You have this week, then I will force your shift if you haven’t shifted already. Do you understand?’ Ben growled in response? As he jumped down from the cage. He followed the Alpha out into the waiting room.
The scent caught him immediately. Baby, his baby was here. Did they have him caged up somewhere? Ben whined as he tried to locate the source of the scent. As he was getting close, another filled him. This was so strong it made him dizzy. His heartbeat faster and heat washed through him. She was here, his destined.
‘Okay uncle Mark, the twins are in the car,’ her voice carried across the space as she burst through the door. Ben froze.
‘Oh, look at him,’ Elizer knelt and ran her fingers through his fur. ‘He is beautiful. Someone must be looking for him.’ she stood up as Mark passed her the lead.
‘Oh yes, they are. But you can care for him for a bit while I sort it all out.’
‘Sure, he will be lovely company,’ Elizer leant forward and kissed Mark’s cheek. Ben let out a low growl. ‘What’s his name?’
‘Lovely. See you Sunday for dinner,’ her cheerful voice and tug on the lead had Ben moving.
'Elizer I will be call round in a couple of days to check on him,' Ben was sure this was directed at him and let out a growl.
Once home, Elizer fed and changed the babies. Both dogs followed her around the house. Now she was crashed on the sofa. Her laptop in her lap and a mug of tea on the coffee table. Both babies asleep in the travel cot she had in the living room. Catching up with emails and making a point of staying off social media.
A soft knock came at the door has her pushing to her feet. Pulling open the door, she was pleased to find James, Oli, and Steve. All looking uncomfortable and a little embarrassed.
‘Hello boys, how can I help?’ all three promptly blushed as their collective gaze roamed over her. One coughed as another nudged his companion in the ribs with his elbow.
‘Dad said you needed help with the garden, and he is really busy, so he sent us,’ James said as the other two nodded. ‘He will be here later, but said we could make a start,’ James added as an afterthought.
‘Well, that’s very good of you,’ Elizer smiled at them, trying not to giggle as they blushed even more.
‘PC Summers said we should come see you as well,’ the smallest one added, brushing his dark hair back under his cap as he adjusted it.
‘We haven’t been bad or nothing,’ Steve added.
‘Oh yes, the garden it well you can see what it needs,’ she smiled, and they shuffled their feet as more colour stained their cheeks. ‘How does fifty quid an hour sound?’
‘Fifty quid, are you sure, lady?’
’Yes, but I want a good job. My name is Elizer. She held her hand out.
‘James,’ the big blond boy grinned.
‘Steven,’ the dark-haired boy shook next. ‘This is Oliver. He doesn’t talk much,’ the smallest boy kept his eyes on his feet as he held his hand out. Elizer gently shook it.
‘Well, nice to meet you all. The garden things are in the shed, I think.’
‘Yeah, we know we sometimes came and helped your aunt,’ James said. Elizer decided he must be the spokesperson for the little group.
‘She used to feed us weird food. You won’t do that, will you?’
‘Oliver, you can’t say that!’
‘But she did,’ Oli answered, his posture straight with indignation.
‘I won’t feed you weird food,’ Elizer chuckled as the two dogs ambled over to see what was going on. All three boys stepped back with a look of horror on their faces. They glued their eyes to the dogs.
‘Why is that dog here?’ James managed his attention focused on Elizer.
‘Um, no, I am looking after it for uncle Mark,’ Elizer gazed between the three. Stumbling when the boys pulled her away.
‘Miss, call Mark and give it back,’ James said in a hushed voice. ‘That is a wolf, not a dog, miss.’ Steve nudged James and gave him a warning look. Elizer watched the exchange and realised the boys knew what Ben was. Interesting, she thought.
‘Boys, it’s fine. Look, he won’t hurt you.’ she buried her fingers in Ben’s fur.
‘Well, we will be out here okay,’ Steve said, all mirth gone, his tone serious.
Elizer stood in the kitchen, washing her mug, watching the boys mowing the lawn. Their chatter distracted her from her thoughts about her houseguest. Who was he? And why was he here? More importantly, why was he still in his wolf form? Robert rarely shifted, as he called it. She understood they didn’t want their existence known.
The film on the news and on social media had changed that. Was that why this wolf was here? The baby, what about him? Nothing had been reported, and PC Summer had said nothing. Even the boys knew nothing about the baby. Should she tell someone? Elizer dismissed that idea. Somehow, she knew she should protect the baby.
Standing as she noticed the time she made the boys some lunch. Just sandwiches and some sponge cake one of the ladies in the village had sent round. Placing it all on a tray along with glasses and a jug of squash, she went outside to the patio where a table that had seen better days sat.
‘Boy’s, lunch,’ she called as Connie the spaniel ambled out, sniffing at the boys.
‘Hmm, this is lovely.’ Elizer sat back, a baby against each shoulder as she burped them.
‘May I hold one?’ Oli asked, his voice quiet and still unable to make eye contact.
‘Of course, this is Juliana,’ passing a little pink bundle to Oli. ‘Her brother is still hungry,’ Elizer chuckled as she offered her son her breast again. He immediately latched on. As she stroked his down soft hair.
‘What’s the boy called?’ James asked, drinking his lemonade.
‘Oh, Joshua or Josh for short.’ Elizer wiped the milky dribble from Josh’s mouth. ‘He’s a bit of a porker compared to his sister.’ Josh let out a burp, making the boys laugh.
‘Um miss this one smells,’ Oli held Julianna out while screwing his features up in disgust. Eliza took the baby with a chuckle.
‘Nappy change time, I think.’ Climbing to her feet, Elizer ambled back indoors. James brought the tray back in. ‘We can come back tomorrow,’ he volunteered. Finish the flower beds.’ His eyes were wide as Elizer gave him an envelope with cash in.
‘That would be lovely, James, thank you.’