Part 3 - Chapter 35
Once Hercules was fast asleep in my arms, I snuck out of the room to allow him more space. He was still exhausted and I could tell he was in pain. I closed the door behind me as I walked into the kitchen where I could see light.
My mother was sitting on the dining table, a cup of tea in her hands, looking up as she saw me.
“I gave your room to Caine, I hope that’s ok.” she said as I approached her.
“Of course.” I said, going into her elongated arms as she embraced me in a hug. I didn’t want to tell her what happened to Cameron, or explain the body. So I kept quiet.
For her, it just seemed like a pack of rogues attacked us and she had lost another son. I could never tell her the truth.
“Is daddy okay now?” I asked, pulling away from her hug to sit next to her.
“He’ll be fine.” she said, looking up at me and pushing the hair off my shoulders.
“What about the fire, is it safe?”
“No fire, I got him out the window and let the gas go out and broke the wiring. Who is sick enough to do that?” she asked, and my stomach clenched.
She held onto my hand, “I was so scared I was going to lose you today too.” she shook her head, closing her eyes and I could see that she had been crying earlier as well. That’s when I realised that this was the day it happened, all those years ago.
My mother never spoke about it, till now.
“I’m sorry mum,” I said, not knowing what else to say. It was always heartbreaking seeing your mother upset, but seeing tears beneath those eyelashes made it even worse. I wasn’t sure what I was apologising for, was it for killing her sons, being absent all these years or never accepting her affection since that day.
Cameron was pretty much family, when his parents died my parents never thought twice about adopting him informally. He was the son that they had lost, how could I tell her what he did?
How could I tell her that both their sons were gone because of me?
“You have nothing to apologise for.” She said looking up, “Things happen in life. I lost Adam but I got Noel, I lost Cameron but I got Hercules, and most importantly I have you.” she said, smiling, “I don’t need anything else.”
I could feel an unfamiliar sensation in my heart, it wasn’t a physical pain, but deeper as I let her hug me again. It felt all like all the burdens I was carrying, all the secrets, were just getting heavier.
Noel was better the next day, he was almost acting like it never happened and I wished sometimes I had the same ability to forget like a kid. I had no idea whether he would be traumatised by it, what he remembered about getting there but he was playing with Hercules like nothing happened.
Both of them are trying to finish a jigsaw puzzle on the lounge room floor. I watched as they played for hours, before Noel eventually got too tired and ended up taking a nap on the chair.
Hercules started cleaning up the pieces, putting them neatly in a box, “What was that phone call this morning?” he asked.
“You heard that?” I asked, I thought I was being quiet.
“Wolf hearing, who were you talking to?” he asked, almost amused as he closed the lid of the box.
“George, he’s an elder at the Enforcer committee. I obviously had to do some paperwork about what happened, and witness statements from my mother so we were doing that this morning.” there was always the practical side of things you forget to do. It was too fresh in my mind to do it, but I knew how important it was, especially when I killed a fellow Enforcer.
“What’s going to happen?” Hercules asked.
“I’m not sure. I told them the entire story, and that it was self defence. Caine actually gave a witness statement apparently.” I said, when George told me that I was surprised, “So i think they’ll just put these ones in the files.” I shrugged.
Caine had left early this morning after knowing Hercule was safe, saying he had things he needed to tend to.
“I’m happy to give one too,” Hercules said.
“I’ll see if it’s needed, my parents don’t know...everything.” I whispered. “I don’t want my mother to find out about Cameron.”
Hercules moved closer to the couch, reaching for my hand, “We don’t need to tell anyone.” he said. I remember a few years ago I would have pushed away at his touch, doubt always in my mind but right now, I knew there was nothing else I wanted then Hercules and Noel.
“What about us?” I asked.
“What about it?” he asked, his face contorting into a grimace.
“Well... I have obligations you know. I’ve got Noel, my job, I don’t really see myself giving it up to be a... Luna,” I said, the word sounding foreign in my mouth.
“Who said you needed to?”
I tilted my head confused, what did he mean.
Hercules moved even closer, now reaching for both my palms, bringing it up to his lips, “I was scared what you were going to say but if it’s that, that’s the least of your concerns. Noel isn’t just your responsibility, he’s mine too. He can stay with us, I think he needs you more than you think, and I think you need him even more.”
I looked at Noel, sleeping in that chair cuddled up to a pillow and wondered if I could really take responsibility for him like his mother wanted.
“What if he grows up resenting me?”
“No one blames you for what happened, you need to start accepting that it wasn’t your fault. Noel would never resent you.” Hercules said, lifting his arm to brush my cheek, the smallest gesture sending butterflies in my stomach.
“We’ll make it work.” He said, with more assurance than I felt. “All I need to know if you want me, you want us, and we can make it work. I don’t want you to give up what makes you happy. I know how much your job means to you, and I know that’s what came between us last time. So let’s make a compromise.”
“A compromise?” I asked.
“I want you to keep doing what you need to do, but just be careful and maybe try doing it near our pack. We’re a family now and Noel needs a mother more than I need a mate.”
Our pack, my stomach flipped.
“I know you’ll make a great Luna, but you’ll make an even better Enforcer, and I want it no other way than handcuffing every Alpha you see on your first encounter,” he joked and I rolled my eyes feeling embarrassed, my eyes automatically going to his wrists to see if there were any scars from me.
Thankfully, there wasn’t.
“Now we have more important things to worry about,” he said.
“We do?” I asked.
Hercules nodded, standing up, pulling me off the couch and against his chest, “We need to get pigs to replace in the barn for your dad.”
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