In the weeks that went past, Cole and I took the time to get closer to Cassandra. Cole had temporarily transferred the major parts of the alpha work to Ryder, who was all too happy to help, as long as we promised to make him Cassandra’s godfather. Cole had shaken his head with a smile and agreed.
I’d decided that, out of all the females I knew properly in the pack, Tina was to be the godmother. I had approached her and asked shyly, and to my delight, had smiled softly and said ‘Yes.’ So that was sorted.
Cole was also taking the time to be around me more. He was more protective and possessive over me, especially when we went out to the public. Any male who looked at me too long received a death glare so cold and strong from Cole that I was surprised they didn’t shit their pants right in front of us.
When I confronted him about it, he huffed stubbornly saying, ‘you’re the mother of my child. If anything was to happen to you, I don’t know what I would do.’ I just smiled and shook my head. What was I supposed to say to that?
Right now, I am laying in bed with Cole, the morning sun shining through the sheer curtains. I wake up and roll over in Cole’s arms to come face to face with his sleeping face. His bare chest and body beneath the covers are flush against mine, and I can distinctively feel his rock-hard erection pressed against the inside of my thigh.
I smile. This man is my life. Along with Cassandra. If somebody had told me a year ago that I would be married to that man I love, with a beautiful daughter and a wonderful pack surrounding me, I would have spat in their face for getting my hopes up that my nightmare could ever end. But here I am, and I can’t be happier.
There is just one problem left, one Cole and I have been trying to avoid.
He apparently is getting worse. Drinking all day and all night. Killing members of his pack without mercy and exiling them without a thought. Jason, Ebony’s mate, had been my father’s Gamma. So many more had flocked to our pack, their faces full of the horrors they had faced in The Blood Earth pack. We had, of course, taken them all in. But now our pack is becoming overcrowded. We need to come up with a better solution.
“Ugh... Good morning my love,” grumbles Cole beside me, his arms stretching above his head and his lean body rubbing against mine. His eyes shoot open as his cock slides between my legs, and I feel him harden even more.
I look up at him, a smug smirk plastered across his face. I grin, knowing what is coming next. “Looks like my body knows what it wants,” he rasps into my ear, rolling over on top of me.
He makes slow, amazing love to my body, and after that, we go to shower, getting ready for the day ahead. I dress into a pair of cut-off shorts and a tank top, my decision influenced by the hot weather we have been getting the last week or so. I pack a baby bag of Cassandra’s clothes and go over to her room down the hall. Her room is dim and quiet, telling me that she is still sleeping. I am wrong.
She is lying in her cot, her little feet kicking in the air. She isn’t making a sound. I walk over into her line of sight. The minute she sees me, she kicks harder. I smile.
“Good morning sweetheart. How are you? Did you have a good sleep?” I pick her up and hold her in front of me, cooing softly and kissing her nose.
She looks at something over my shoulder and a familiar scent fills the air. I turn and look at Cole standing in the doorway, his hands shoved in his pockets watching us, a soft smile on his face.
“C’mere babe,” I whisper. He stands straight and makes his way over, taking Cassandra from me gently and kissing her cheek. She giggles and bobs her head. I watch him smile and copy her.
Cole had been really hesitant in the first few weeks around her. He was too scared to hold her without me, saying that he might crush her. He didn’t want to feed her through a bottle saying he might choke her. It took him a while and alot of coaxing from me, and a few lessons from a willing Tina, before he started to get more independent with her. He has even changed a few nappies, but I still do the really bad ones. He gets too nervous when it is too much for him. I had been worried that he might drift from her, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“I’ll go make some breakfast babe. You bring her down when you’re ready. Okay?” I reach up and kiss his cheek, his smooth cheek under my lips erupting sparks between us. I smile up at my handsome husband and he pecks my lips once more.
I turn and leave the room and make my way down the stairs into the kitchen. I decide to make a simple breakfast of toast and coffee. As I lay it all on the table, Cole comes down with Cassandra. My smile turns into a frown when I see that he is absolutely livid. He comes over to me and gives Cassandra to me, his breathing ragged.
“I can’t hold her right now. I might hurt her.”
“What’s wrong. Did something happen with the pack?” I sit down beside him, rubbing his arm in a calming manner. His angry expression softens slightly and he turns to me.
“No. Ryder assures me the pack is fine. But...It’s you’re father,” Cole says, his eyes hopeless and angry. “He figured out that Jace is part of our pack, and he’s going to kill him. Jace just mind-linked me. Summers is going to kill him in two hours if I don’t get there. He said...he said that you have to come. Or Jace gets killed.”
I freeze. No fucking way. I stand up, my voice stony and cold. “Let’s go. Now. I’ll take Cass up to Tina. Meet me at the border.”
Cole looks as if he wants to argue, but sees my expression. Knowing he won’t be able to change my mind, he sighs in defeat. He takes Cassandra from my arms and hugs her, kissing her head softly.
He gives her back to me and walks away, the front door slamming behind him. I sigh. There’s no way my asshole father is gonna kill one of my friends to prove a point.
I gather up my things and Cass’s things and I walk out, closing the door behind me. I start walking over to the pack house. I watch little the kids run around and laugh without a care in the world. I see a group of warriors training the teenage kids fighting and shifting. Weapons are being thrown and fights being assessed.
It reminds me of the time I first came to the pack. Back then, these people were so strange to me. Now, I watch as a passing group of men bow slightly as they pass me and their future Luna as I walk into the pack house. So much respect.
I find Tina downstairs chatting with a group of females. They all stop and bow slightly. Tina smiles at me and walks over. I spot Derek playing on the floor.
“Good morning Luna. Cole’s not here. I thought he would be with you this early in the morning,” she says, making a kissy face at Cass, who bubbles with happiness and smiles at her. Adrian runs into the room and looks up at me, hugging my legs softly.
“Hi Luna! Hi Cassy!” He exclaims, leaning back so he can see my baby. I smile down at him and crouch down so he can see her properly. I watch as he kisses her head and grabs her hand. He stares down at her with a cute smile on his face. I stand back up after a minute and turn to Tina. He goes over to play with his brother, Derek.
“Do you think you can watch over her for the day? Cole and I need to go to a neighbouring pack and sort out some things. I’m not sure when we’ll be back though,” I bite my lip, guilty that I’m asking her again. She’s been wonderful, helping out whenever I’ve needed it.
“Of course! There’s no problem. I’d love to. And I’m sure Adrian would like to play with her, right honey?” She replies, looking down at her adorable son. Adrian nods his head wildly, his long curls flopping about on his head. Derek giggles from the floor and Tina coos softly to her baby.
“Thank you so much Tina. I don’t know what Cole and I would do without you,” I smile hurriedly. I hug Cass fiercly and kiss her soft hair. She smiles up at me. I hand her over quickly and hug Tina and Adrian one last time, before running out the door and down to the border.
As I approach, I spot Cole pacing around in his wolf form, his clothes folded neatly and gathered in his mouth. He whines softly as I come closer, rubbing his furry side into me. I smile at him and strip, folding my clothes and placing them beside me. I shift in a second and pick up my clothes in my mouth. I suddenly hear Damien’s thoughts directed at Tensa. I feel her take over to speak with her mate.
“I was starting to think you’d stay with Cassandra.”
I huffs out a breath and start to run off, Damien coming up beside me. “Of course I was coming. I was just saying goodbye to her.”
He looks over at me. “You find it hard to leave her behind,” he observes. He growls as a tree branch comes our of nowhere and whacks him in the face. I snort and nudge his side. “Yeah, I guess. I just don’t like the thought of leaving her. Feels like I’m never going to see her again,” I reply truthfully.
Damien whines softly. “Don’t think like that. You’ll see her by the end of the day. I promise.”
We stay silent after that, concentrating on our speed and direction. The Blood Earth pack is about thirty minutes away by walking. So in about ten minutes of non-stop sprinting through the woods, we enter a clearing.
Damien slows down and comes to a stop on the edge of the woods. I stop beside him and check out the area.
There’s rubbish everywhere, blowing around in the strong breeze. Dying fires are full with paper and there’s nobody about. I look over at Damien.
He puts down his clothes and let’s out a howl. I follow suit, letting my father know that I’ve come as well. We wait for a minute, and then he comes into view, a small group of males following him. I see somebody being dragged along the grass and growl lowly when I notice it’s Jace. Damien gives me a warning growl and I stop, watching with hatred as I watch my father come closer.
His tall, stocky body is hunched over, as if he hadn’t stood up for a really long time. I can see his skin is all scaly and red, his face bloated and red as well. And when he smiles, I spot yellow teeth coming into view. I cringe mentally, feeling angry and embarrassed that this man proudly calls himself my father.
“Cole! My lovely daughter! Please, before we continue, shift. It’d be rude not to,” he exclaims, his arms acimbo, as if he’s gesturing to his wonderful land. I huff. The last thing it is, is wonderful.
I look over at Cole, wondering what we’re going to do. He nods at me, walking off behind a tree with his clothes and shifting. I follow him, watching as he pulls on a pair of jeans. I shift and pull on my shorts and tank top. He waits for me, grabs my hand and kisses me quickly.
“Stay calm, love. We’ll get out of here as soon as possible.”
I nod and we make our way back to where they all wait, Cole never letting go of my hand, which I’m grateful for. He’s keeping me grounded. I know that if he lets go, I won’t be able to keep my cool.
My father’s gaze drops to our joined hands and smiles. “I’m so happy you have found your mate, Daughter. And, from what I’ve heard, you’ve got a child as well. My first granddaughter! You must bring her for your next visit.”
I scoff. This man is insufferable. “There will be no next time father. All we came for was Jace. You have no right to kill him. Give him back and we’ll leave peacefully,” I sneer. Cole tenses beside me and squeezes my hand. I take a breath. God this is going to be hard.
“Ah yes! My beta you mean? You know, well played Cole,” he claps loudly, mockingly. “I should have thought of that myself. Plant a secret spy in your pack. But, alas, here we are.”
Cole shakes his head. “If you hand over Jace peacefully, like my mate said, we’ll leave. But if not, we will destroy your pathetic pack. So choose wisely.”
Suddenly, my father starts laughing loudly. “Oh please. You two against my entire army? I don’t think there’s much competition. Even if you are an Alpha and she’s a Luna. So really, I’m the one making the demands. I’ll start with the basics.
I want my daughter and her child to leave your pack and join mine. They will be the heirs to the throne. That’s all I ask. If you refuse,” he muses, turning to his men, who snicker,” we’ll just kill you now. Your little girl will grow up without parents. Remind you of anyone Cole?” He smirks cockily.
Suddenly, instead of Cole holding me back, I’m holding him back as he growls and takes a step forward. “Fuck you! My mate and child will stay by my side. And don’t you ever, ever mention my parents again. You have no right.”
I turn to Cole and place a hand on his chest. “Calm down Cole. Stay calm, remember.”
He nods once, firmly, and steps back. I turn to my father, sending him a deadly glare. “You are a sad and sick excuse of a father and an Alpha. There’s no way I’m staying here with you. And neither is Cassandra. Over my dead body. I thought you cared about me. Why did you send me all that money when I was with Mother?”
He snarled. “She’s not your mother. You know that right?”
“Yes,” I gulped, suddenly unsure of where he was going with this. “She told me about my real mother when she kidnapped me.”
“Your real mother was my mate. I remember she was so young. She was so innocent and naïve. I never loved her, though she did satisfy me in other ways,” he smirks. I feel sick. “Then I met Synthia. She was older, experienced and beautiful. I fell in love with her, and she fell in love with me. I promised her we’d be together, but she didn’t know about your mother, Nicki, or the pack.
One day, your mother told me she was pregnant. I was so angry, I left to see Synthia. She had brought up the fact that she couldn’t have kids. So I decided that I’d take you when you were born and we’d have a happy life.
You ended up being extremely premature, and we were constantly in the hospital for you. I was sick of it. Of Nicki. So when the doctor said you were fine, I took you both home. I killed your mother, and took you to Synthia. For a few years, we had a happy life. I enjoyed being with you and I loved her. Years passed and I intended to marry her. Bring her to the pack. But they rejected her, said it was either her or the pack. I had to choose the pack. So I said goodbye to her, to you, and left. Forever.”
I stand there, frozen, as he tells me about my mother. The woman he killed. He didn’t even love her. Did he ever love me?
“Why? Why did you send me the letter. The money? If you didn’t love me, why did you do all that?” My voice is shaky and uncertain. Cole caresses my hand, reminding me that he is there with me, which I’m eternally grateful for.
I watch as my father paces back and forth, his hands behind his hunched back. I realise that he isn’t well. He is sick.
“I heard that Synthia had found her real mate. She was falling in love again. I was so jealous and angry. I was lonely. Maybe if I hadn’t killed Nicki she would have forgiven me and we could have had a life together. But I had to watch as Synthia forgot about me. And I also heard that she was treating you like rubbish.
And even though I didn’t fully love you, I still cared about you,” he nods, looking over at me. I shake my head and a tear slips out of my eye.
“I did. And I wanted you to someday come back to me. To become the heir to my throne. To learn about your bloodline. See, your not just half werewolf. You’re a full-blooded one. Do you know, your mother was a born Luna? That means you’re one of the strongest type. Your practically royalty! So I knew you’d be a strong leader. And it’s hard to find that type of leader around anymore.
I sent you money so that you’d be able to get away one day. And you did. Only you found the wrong person,” he sneers at Cole. Cole smirks and kisses my head. I hug his torso and turn away from this disgusting creature. I can’t stand him. And to think he wants me to stand by him after revealing all this to me. Yeah fucking right.
“That’s enough, Summers. Now that you’ve had your fun, give us Jace. And we’ll be on our way.” Cole’s demanding, commanding voice rings out above me, and I look out to see what will happen.
My father shakes his head and smiles. “You don’t understand. I was never going to give him over. I’m taking my daughter and killing that traitor. Now,” he commands, looking over at the men holding Jace down.
They advance on him, pulling out knives and guns. Suddenly, there is a commotion behind us and I turn to see Ryder, Mike, Jason, Jasper and Nick burst out of the trees in wolf form. I turn to Cole in confusion. He smiles.
“I mind-linked them. Told them to wait for my word. Now it’s a fair fight.” He shifts into his wolf and I follow, running over to the men holding Jace and pointing their weapons in his face. But I stop when I see Ryder there already, biting and ripping the men. He tears out their throats and turns to Jace, shifting into human form.
“MATE,” he growls. Jace jumps up and grabs him, planting a kiss on Rider’s lips. I freeze, watching with amazement. I had no idea that Jace was gay. Or Ryder for that matter. But I shrug it off. I love both of them, as friends. Brothers. And if they are meant to be together, I support it one hundred percent.
I turn and let them have their privacy. I watch as Cole advances on the men surrounding my father. He rips one’s head off and tears out another’s throat before they have a chance to shift. As he works on the rest, I watch with knowing eyes as my father sneaks away, like a coward. I decide to follow him.
I creep behind him as he makes his way towards a huge house. His pack house. Just before he gets there, I let out a warning growl and he freezes. I watch as he spins around to face me, a strained smile plastered on his fat face.
“Daughter! May I say that you look absolutely beautiful in your wolf form. I know you get your good looks from me.”
I shudder. If I look like him, I certainly don’t act anything like him, which I’m grateful for. I notice that he’s slowly making his way up the stairs and I growl. I lunge at him, and he squeals like a pig.
“Wait! Don’t kill me! I’m the only parent you have left. You need me. So does your child. Right?”
I shake my head at him. I know I don’t need him. I know that. But I have this feeling in my chest. What if he can change? Be better? I can come out of this with one parent at least.
But I’m reminded of what he has let his pack come to, with all the chances he’s been given. I can’t base the well-being of this pack over the fact that I want a parent. That I want him to change.
Because it will never happen.
“Thank you daughter. I knew you’d see it my way. Now, how about you shift and come-”
I cut him off by grabbing hold of his left arm with my teeth and ripping it off. He screams and falls to his knees. Blood pours out of his hole as well as from the arm in my mouth. I chuck it on the ground beside me and move closer to him. Just because I can’t find the strength to kill him, doesn’t mean I can’t hurt him.
He whimpers and starts to call for help. Nobody comes.
A loud growl sounds behind me and I turn to see Ryder still as a werewolf and Jace standing beside him. Jace winks at me and turns to watch as Ryder snarls at my dad.
“Luna, please. Let me kill him. He hurt my mate. Nearly killed him. I want to make him pay,” Ryder mind-links me. I startle, surprised to hear his voice. Usually Cole’s the only one who mind-links me. But I nod to Ryder. If he wants revenge, I’ll let him have it.
Ryder crouches down to me in respect and nuzzles Jace, before he stalks over to my father. I watch as he realises what’s happening and he tries to stand quickly, to get away from Ryder. He suddenly turns to me, his eyes pleading, his one hand stretched to me.
“Please Jade. Don’t let him kill me. I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you. All of you. Just call him off. Please,” he begs. I growl loudly, letting him know that I hate him as much as Ryder hates him. That I don’t plan on ‘calling off’ Ryder. That I want to see him die.
Ryder launches himself at my father and tears his other arm off. The screams and growls ring throughout the air, the sounds of skin tearing and claws and teeth digging into flesh following.
And suddenly, everything goes quiet. Ryder steps away, and I turn to see the damage. But a furry side come into my view. I look up and see Cole.
“You don’t need to see that my love. I don’t want you seeing that. Turn away. Please.”
I nod once and move towards the trees. Cole stays back to clean up the mess. As I walk, I think about the future now. We’re safe now. We can be happy. Finally.
I see the bloody remains of the Warriors, Nick, Jasper, Mike and Jason cleaning up the bloody bodies. I walk past them without really looking at them, and towards the pile of shredded clothes that belong to Cole and I.
I spot his shirt and move it around. It’s still in one piece. So I move behind a tree and shift, changing into it. The hem comes down to mid thigh, so I come back out. My body is wet with sweat and blood.
“You can come back now, love,” Cole tells me. I walk back there, avoiding looking at the naked figures of the other guys. I know that nakedness is normal, but I still feel uncomfortable. I round a corner and see Cole in human form, naked. Him being naked though...
I shake the thought from my mind and walk over. Cole sees me and checks what I’m wearing. He scowls, walking over to me and pulling me to his chest, out of the boys’ view.
“You’re walking around practically naked love,” he whispers harshly. I roll my eyes, placing my hands on his broad chest.
“Yeah? And what clothes was I meant to wear huh? Since I shredded the ones I was wearing.”
He sighs. “Fine. But stay away from the men. I don’t want them looking at you.”
“Cole, none of them want to die. And they know that’s what they’ll get if they do look. Besides, we don’t have to worry about Ryder and Jace, apparently,” I mutter, still shocked at their open revelation.
Of all the years I had known Jace, he hadn’t told me, or given me the slightest clue, that he was gay. I guess the whole time his flirting was really just harmless play.
I look over Cole’s shoulder to see them. They are standing so close, their faces inches away from each other, whispering things to one another. Jace, who was a little taller than Ryder, gently strokes Ryder’s cheek, before pulling him in for a kiss. I look away, giving them their privacy. A smile forms on my lips as I realise that two important people to me have also found happiness.
“What now Cole? What happens to this pack? Who becomes Alpha?” I ask him, looking back up to see him already looking at me. He smiles.
“It’s over, love. Jace will become their Alpha. I’ll imagine Ryder will leave my pack to stay with him,” he thinks out loud, a wistful smile on his face.
“Oh. Then what will you do? Ryder was your beta,” I say. He shakes his head, entwining out fingers together. “Doesn’t matter. Who am I to stand in the way of budding love?”
We start to walk away, towards the trees, Mike, Jasper, Jason and Nick behind us. And we shift, running off towards our pack. To our family.