KILLIAN, DARKER DAYS
I’ve been in contact with Callum a couple of times – outgoing mostly. He knows I’m alive and that’s about all I’ve said - and he hasn’t pushed. I imagine he’s pissed off at me – how could he not be? We all lost Dad, we were all hurting and as the oldest brother and next Alpha I should have stepped up, I should have been the one they all looked to, leaned on, relied on.
I failed my Mom, I failed my family, I failed my pack.
I failed my Dad.
My pack… ah Christ. There’s a burned bridge that can never be rebuilt – I’m technically a rogue now and even worst, I’m a former Alpha who abandoned his pack to become a rogue. It doesn’t get more shameful than that – I will never be accepted into a pack again, not after this. No pack will ever trust me – not in any role let alone as Alpha, not even the Erie Waters pack.
Especially not the Erie Waters pack.
The Douglas family belongs to them and they belong to us – or with us. Dad was so proud of his pack and worked hard for them every day he was Alpha. It wasn’t just our family who was lost when he died – there were hundreds of extended family feeling our suffering. When times were rough, his pack stood by his side – first time things went to shit for me as Alpha I left and never looked back.
I fucking ran.
I told no one and just left like the coward I am, running from everyone I know and all of my responsibilities – the pack, my job and my family. For months all my family and pack knew was that I was gone – they didn’t know if I was alive or dead, which was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to disappear, to be forgotten – for everyone to move on with their lives and leave me in the past.
It almost worked.
I ran and ran and ran some more. I took buses and trains where I could, hitchhiked when I couldn’t. Being alone I couldn’t run for miles like I once took for advantage but I didn’t care – I knew it was only a matter of time before my sanity would finally disappear completely or I would finally have the courage to do what needed to be done. Being alone, being separated – being only a half for the first time in… an awfully long time, I knew my time was limited.
An abandoned shifter does not stand alone.
My bravery came before my mind went, so I tried to make it stop but ended up here instead.
Here, in this place where they kept my black heart beating despite my desires and efforts to the contrary.
Here, in this place where they have forced my body to do all of the things it used to do before but after I failed it has to learn to do again.
Here, in this place where the therapy doctor makes me talk about my Dad and how much I miss him.
Here, in this place where the therapy doctor makes me talk about what a screw-up I am and all the ways I messed up.
Here, in this place where I’m doing everything I don’t want to do alone because I am alone.
Here, in this place where the new doctor’s tests are telling me all the things I don’t want to hear.
They shouldn’t have saved me.
Texting with Callum has gotten easier but I’m not ready to talk – texting lets me keep everyone and everything at a distance still. He keeps it to general topics and doesn’t say how hurt or angry everyone is, but I know they are. They have to be – I screwed up and let everyone down. The Douglas family lean on one another in tough times and instead of turning to them when I was down, I ran. Therapy has helped me understand more of the reasons behind some of my behaviours, but I still fucked up and there is no point in calling it anything else.
A pig in a dress is still a pig, an asshole is still an asshole.
I’ve missed out on a lot being selfish and thinking of only myself. I’m an uncle and haven’t met any of them – my list of accomplishments as ‘prick’ grows. My baby sister – little Everly – ‘Runt’ and her mate Gabe have six – SIX! Fucking six pups now! Six! That is incredible! I have three nieces and three nephews in the Ozarks – including one they named for our Dad and I knew nothing about them.
Nothing because I was too worried about my own needs. My need to not hurt anymore, my need to not feel alone anymore. My need to make it all stop.
My need to fail.
My baby brother also got married! Married to a movie star, they have a baby now too and I missed it all. I don’t know one celebrity from another, but my therapist says Aubrey Turner is a big deal – I have no idea how Asher could have met someone like her but I’m happy for him. Apparently, she was at Dad’s service, but I don’t remember… I don’t remember much about that time. Being the only human – well, before anyways, of us quadruplets Asher often got the shit end of things but sounds like life is going well for him now.
He deserves it, he’s a great guy.
Ash and Aubrey’s baby make seven new additions to the Douglas family I knew nothing about. Why? Because I’m a narcissistic asshole, that’s why. My therapist keeps telling me there is more to it than that, but it doesn’t matter, none of it matters because there is no going back and changing things… making things right. I thought I was making progress and maybe going in the right direction in terms of getting out of this place but not anymore.
My pain is back.
The loneliness is back.
I want it all to stop.
The one bit of news I wasn’t expecting to hear and am having the most difficulty accepting… is it because of who it is about? I don’t know. Is it because of what it is about? I don’t know. Is it because of both of those factors? I don’t fucking know!
But I’m not coping!
Callum is mated.
My physical body has been ready to leave this place for awhile now, it is my brain that is keeping me here. The doctors don’t want to release me until everyone is sure I won’t try something that will either end me up in here again, or in a hole in the ground.
They’re right to be worried.
Therapy has helped though, never thought I’d say those words – although I imagine my medication is playing a big part too. The ups and downs of trying to get the right kind and amount figured out has been shit but I think we got it now… I do feel better, actually – the best I’ve felt since before Dad died.
I never thought that was ever going to be possible again.
Therapy, the new doctor’s awful questions… it all came back to one thing – Dad. Dad’s death to be precise and my inability to cope with it and everything that followed. I now know that as much work and time as I had put in with Dad in anticipation of becoming Alpha one day, when everything went down – I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready mentally, emotionally or even in maturity. The stress of a job I was unprepared for in addition to the anguish of losing my Dad… it was a lot.
A lot, a lot.
But I’m the oldest brother, the next in line and the one everyone looked to – everyone. Not just my family but hundreds of pack members too – suddenly I was responsible for everyone and everything… and it scared the shit out of me. I put on a brave face because I had to and I kept it up, fooling everyone – even myself.
Until she walked into my life – Rory Clark.
A beautiful woman who I knew was my mate the minute I laid my eyes on her – I couldn’t believe it! I had found my mate and the Luna for our pack.
But she was human.
My Mom is human and that didn’t stop my Dad – but in hindsight, it should have. Dad should never have passed on his heart defect; he should never have had children - but he didn’t know so I am definitely not blaming him for anything. The fact remains that the four of us are now going to live the rest of our lives in constant fear and that sucks.
Dad didn’t know but I do.
I can’t consciously and willing pass that on to anyone, let alone my own pup! Dad didn’t know – all he knew is he had found the woman he was meant to be with, and they had four pups together. Does having a human Mom increase our odds of problems? I don’t know - another shifter parent would have stronger genetics and might be able to counter it somehow… it is that exact unknown that keeps me up at night.
It is that exact unknown that kept me from accepting my human mate.
I did have all of the information, so I did what I had to do – for Rory and for the pack. My life changed in that moment – beyond the obvious because that is when the loneliness started. I hate the loneliness.
Yes, that is when everything changed.
Even then, I knew my days as Alpha were numbered - I just didn’t realize how few days I had left.
Shifters and humans mate all of the time these days and it is no big deal – anytime mates find one another it is a gift and a blessing and not to be dismissed or taken for granted. All shifters know that and most have the utmost respect for the mate bond – including me. My parents gave us four the perfect role models of what a loving couple is supposed to look and behave like, we were lucky to have that. The little time I spent with Evie and Gabe, I have zero doubt they have it too. Maybe I would have had it with Rory – but as Alpha that chance was taken away from me when Dad died the way he did. As Alpha the pack has to be my priority – they always have been, even if my actions don’t demonstrate that.
Rory is human and I’m a defective shifter – or at least, I was.
As Alpha, I have a responsibility to my pack to produce an heir – a future for the pack. Dad died unexpectedly because of a heart defect – a hereditary heart defect that he may have passed on to any of us four. Mom and Dad didn’t know about his illness until it was too late, but now we do.
The defect stops with me.
The pack needs a strong Alpha which I was not – I thought I could still do the job and I was doing it, until Rory walked into my life. When I was forced to confront choices in my life that I didn’t want to make – I made them anyway. I saw what Dad dying did to my Mom and I will not put my mate through that – never. I saw what Dad dying did to my siblings – I felt what it did to me. I will not bring pups into this world only for them to suffer through my unexpected and sudden death.
So I rejected Rory.
As human it didn’t mean shit to her, but I know it tore my family to pieces and was the beginning of the end. Not taking her as my mate meant the pack wouldn’t have a Luna since only the Alpha’s true mate could ever be Luna – I denied the pack that. Not having pups meant I couldn’t give the pack an heir and a future – I denied the pack that.
By rejecting Rory that day, I condemned the pack to fail.
By rejecting Rory that day, I condemned myself to a life of loneliness.
To being a half.
The only way for the pack to survive, to ever have a chance was for me to leave – so I did. Ashamed and embarrassed, I left when no one was looking - I didn’t tell anyone, not even my family.
One day I was there, the next day I wasn’t.
I tried to do right by the pack but looking back now, I realize I didn’t do anything in a thought-out way… everything I did was a reaction to something else. I haven’t been in control of my life for an exceedingly long time – honestly, the only time I have felt anything remotely close to ‘normal’ was when I tried to make everything stop. My thoughts were clear then and I knew very well what I was doing – what I wanted to happen.
Not surprisingly, the one time I was in control – I fucked up.
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