Bonus chapter #1
I wake up to giggles and don’t have time to react before two pairs of legs jump on me. My brother makes an “oof” sound next to me, and I realize that we’re attacked by the two crown princes early in the morning before the sun rises, aka our sons, Elias and Alexander.
“What are you doing up now, boys?” I ask and yawn.
They continue to giggle, and I turn left to kiss my beautiful mate good morning but realize pretty quickly that she’s not there. Miliano, who turns in the same direction as me, is just as surprised when there’s a big gap between us. The laugh that I love comes from the door.
“Your boys want you to wake up and get a move on,” Aleida says, and I sit up in bed to watch the goddess that is my mate.
She has been grumpy and hasn’t allowed neither me nor Miliano to touch her in a month now. In fact, she barely talked to anyone at all, other than her brothers and closest ones, Blake and Holly. Now, however, she stands in front of us with a thin nightgown on herself with Lucia in her arms.
“Papa, wake up?” Lucia asks, and just after that, her sisters come stumbling into the room.
“Wake up!” Adelita orders, and I sigh because I know that there’s no point in resisting my three-year-old.
“Boys, bring your sisters to the kitchen. Aunt Holly is baking cupcakes for you; if you hurry, you may get to taste,” Aleida says and puts Lucia on the floor.
All five run out of the room in a line and laugh all the way. Aleida looks after them and smiles big with pride, the same satisfaction that I always feel when I see them; our children. Miliano is still lying down in bed, half asleep and unaware that our mate is in the room.
“Hey, wake up!” I say and slap my twin on his shoulder.
“Why? The sun is barely up, so why are you?” he mumbles and yawns.
“When the hybrid queen and our mate are in our bedroom, then you wake up!” I say annoyingly and slap him again.
He quickly sits up in bed and looks at our mate as if she’s a saint; he always has the same gaze when he sees her. Okay, it’s not just him; I’m exactly the same! But can you really blame us? How many times haven’t we been close to losing Aleida?
“Have you stopped being mad at us now?” Miliano asks and yawns as he sits up.
Aleida sighs and looks sad. She fumbles with her hands and looks ashamed of how she behaved in recent weeks. Neither we nor any others have blamed her; she has undergone much shit in a short time. I know she feels self-conscious from time to time. Even though it’s been over two years since she killed Michael, we all know that she still feels shame and misses him very much. I stretch out my hand to her, and she moves slowly towards the bed until she stands next to me. Gently I lift her and put her down between us.
“I know why I’ve been grumpy,” she says quietly, and we look confusedly at her.
“Is there something wrong?” I ask anxiously.
You may think I’m stupid to worry about the strongest creature alive, but it’s no wonder I’m always concerned. The darkness that Aleida carried within herself for several years hasn’t come back since Alida and Michael died, at least not in the same way. She got out of it and today basically functions like any other person, except when she thinks of Michael, which is understandable. However, Miliano and I continue to worry because we’re afraid that what has happened will repeat. It doesn’t take much for a person who has recovered from falling back into old dark tracks again; it works much like an alcoholic. The balance between sober and addicted is fragile, hence our concern. I’m afraid the reason she stays away is because of that darkness.
“I want you to close your eyes,” she says, and we look questioningly at her before doing as she asks us.
I hear her move something, and then she takes my hand in hers; she probably does the same with Miliano. At first, I notice no difference more than that she holds my hand. But after a short while, she puts my hand on something that’s a little round.
“Aleida? What-?” Miliano begins, but she hushes him.
“Feel properly,” she says quietly, and we hush right away.
I don’t understand what she means; until a bit of flutter moves under my big palm. I say nothing but try to realize what it is I feel. It recurs but is stronger. What the hell is going on? I’m just about to ask when she talks.
“You can open your eyes, dear mates,” her soft voice says, and I open my eyelids.
My hand is on her stomach, and it’s a bit round. Are we having puppies!? Again!? I look at Miliano, who looks just as surprised before my gaze moves to my beautiful mate, who smiles lovingly at her belly. She caresses it gently.
“We’re going to be parents again,” she quietly says.
Miliano nor I can hold ourselves back but throw ourselves both over her. She laughs at our enthusiasm, and we overwhelm her with kisses. We hug her from each side, and she breathes out in joy. Aleida’s soft hand caresses my head slowly as a form of massage.
“How long have you known?” I ask.
“I found out about it late last night,” she replies. “In the middle of the evening meeting with alpha Paul, I became severely nauseous, and Blake had to finish the meeting for me. Holly demanded that I’d visit the pack doctor and practically dragged me there. The rest is history.”
“What’s the gender?” Miliano curiously asks, given that we know hybrids are developing faster than both humans and werewolves; the pregnancy is incredibly short.
“A boy and a girl,” Aleida answers laughingly. “It seems that Alida was right when she said I got her potential future, seven puppies and all.”
“We’re having twins!?” I exclaim and think of the five hooligans we already have.
“Yes, in two months, we have two more little monsters to love,” she replies, kissing my head.
It doesn’t matter to me whether there are one or fifty puppies in my mate’s stomach; I’ll love them regardless because Aleida is everything I ever wanted and could’ve asked for. Now I’ll become a father once again, and there’s no more tremendous pride for a man than his children.