7 YEARS LATER
“Stop moving or I’ll bite your toe,” growls Genesis. She’s painting my toes sky blue and she seems to be very dedicated to doing it perfectly.
“Con, quick! Bring that charcuterie board over here or your mate will eat my toes!” I yell at Constantine who’s been working on his laptop under the shade near the kitchen. He looks over at us before he stares back at the charcuterie board on the kitchen table.
“What? The whole thing?” he asks, incredulous. Yeah, the board is huge.
I hear Serena laughing from her position on the lounger next to me.
I almost roll my eyes at Constantine. Doesn’t he know his mate enough by now? Genesis’s love affair with food is legendary...at least among us pack members and her family. It has gotten worse after the birth of their son, Dominik. It’s a good thing that our metabolism is very high and that we go for a long run and practice fighting almost every day.
“Just bring it over and nobody gets hurt, Constantine,” mutters Lazarus who is sitting next to Serena. He’s been concentrating on his laptop for the past half an hour, I didn’t think he was aware of anything that’s going on around him. We might be thousands of miles away from Banehallow Palace, but the men are always working.
Constantine grins before he closes his laptop, then he saunters over with the charcuterie board and places it at the end of Genesis’s lounge chair. He then kisses the top of her head before he sits next to her.
We are currently sitting by the pool in the backyard of our home away from home in Shadow Geirolf Pack, Wisconsin, about two miles away from Lake Michigan. Shadow Geirolf Pack is Penny’s and Genesis’s old pack. Genesis thinks that it’s important for her son, Dominik to bond with his werewolf family here. We visit the pack at least once a year to warrant having our own house in the pack’s territory. We’re always welcomed and they’re always looking forward to our visits. Having Autumn, Genesis younger sister as the Luna who’s mated Alpha Hunter Stevens, the alpha of Shadow Geirolf Pack doesn’t hurt either.
A loud yelling is all the warning we get before a little hurricane that is Dominik Romanov, barrel through with a big water gun. My brilliant mate, Caspian aka firearm or water gun supplier isn’t far behind. He’s carrying his own water gun. I’m surprised at how resourceful my mate is at finding the latest and the most advanced water gun.
“Father, help!” yelps the drenched little tike.
“You have nowhere to run!” yells my very grown-up mate who’s also pretty soaked himself. His t-shirt is plastered to his body. His golden hair, which is getting too long again is in wild sexy disarray - the end touches his collarbone now. “You’re supposed to be in my team, you little traitor!”
“They cut me a better deal,” answers Dominik. His intelligent, silver-grey eyes look almost angelic. Almost.
“Hey, you two are getting the food all wet!” says Genesis as the two starts to weave between us while shooting at each other, spraying everybody and everything in between.
I grab my own water gun and squirt the duo before they can do us too much damage.
“Hey!!” they both yell.
These water guns are pretty neat if I do say so myself. “Are you done with my toes yet?” I ask Genesis. I can’t wait to join in the battle.
“Yeah, all done. But they’re still wet!” warns Genesis.
Some parents might not allow their kids to play with guns for fear that their kids would grow up to be violent or something but we lycans and werewolves are already violent. We don’t use guns in fighting as we don’t need guns to do any damage but water guns are pretty handy on a hot day like today.
Constantine swoops in to grab his son around his middle and lifts the wiggling and giggling little punk up over his shoulder before he dips his son down again.
At 5 years old, Dominik is already drawing attention wherever we go. He’s a beautiful boy with dark reddish hair and Constantine’s strange, bright, grey-silver eyes. He’s also quite tall for his age. He’s already bigger than his older cousins.
Genesis is considered very young for a lycan to have a child but hey, all those painting sessions paid off. Yeah, I know what those painting sessions mean now. I get it.
“Let me go, father,” he begs while still giggling. Constantine trapped his son in a headlock before he releases him.
“Take the battle away from your mother and her food, Dominik. You’re the adult here,” he says to his son while giving Caspian a sly smile.
“You’re just jealous I’m the coolest uncle here,” responds my mate before he squirts Constantine right on the chest.
Constantine stares at his chest before he grabs the gun from Dominik and shoots Caspian with it.
“Oh, I give up!” Genesis moans but I can see that she’s not at all mad.
It took a bit of adjustment at the beginning for us to be traveling with a child and a bigger entourage which includes a nanny and a governess.
While Genesis and Constantine are loving parents, it’s also true that lycans who mated their erasthais don’t make the best parents as we are too preoccupied with each other to a degree. But so far, between the eight of us, a nanny, and a governess, I think we haven’t done anything too traumatic to young Dominic yet. If anything, I think he’s doing tremendously if not a little spoiled.
My mate Caspian is like a kid himself so Dominik isn’t lacking a playmate when we’re traveling.
I hear footsteps running from the side of the house before cute little were-kids appear with their own water guns. Nine-year-old Piper, Reese and River’s fearless daughter is a bit of a tomboy. Reese and River, in case you don’t know, are Penny and Genesis’s werewolves best friends. Behind her are Genesis’s nephews; seven-year-old Adam and five-year-old Aaron. They’re both Autumn and Alpha Hunter’s sons.
Their parents dropped them on our front doorstep this morning so that they can spend the whole day playing with Dominik. Reese, River, Autumn, Alpha Hunter, Penny’s parents, and Genesis’s parents are arriving later this evening.
We’ve been here for four weeks and today is our last day here before we travel to Chevalier Caye, Belize to visit Constantine’s maternal grandmother who also happens to be Lazarus’s grandmother. We’re due back at Banehallow Palace in three weeks time.
The kids lift their guns up with wicked smiles on their faces but my mate loudly announces, “Ammo time! The last one in the pool is a rotten egg!” His announcement causes four screaming kids to be jumping right into the swimming pool, splashing water everywhere. Genesis just shakes her head and laughs as she gives up trying to save her food.
“Hey Moya Printsessa,” says Caspian, dropping a kiss on my bare shoulder.
“Hey, you!” I reply, smiling at him. “Where are your other comrades, Penny and Darius?”
I feel his lips tug up as he smiles against my shoulder. “Not sure...” he answers playfully. “Beany and Darius disappeared not even five minutes into the game.”
“Did you put those two on opposing teams?” asks Serena, sitting up.
“Of course, can’t have the two warriors working on the same team,” my mate answers, looking suspiciously innocent.
“Bad move, my friend,” says Genesis. “They’re probably working out their anger..”
“Yeah, working out their anger. Let’s just leave that at that,” mutters Lazarus. His eyes are still glued to the screen of his laptop.
Serena laughs and flips his laptop close. He looks up and gives her one of his rare affectionate smiles.
Not a second later, Penny and Darius saunter out from the open french doors.
“Where were you two?” asks my mate, still looking innocent.
“We were umm...” Penny stumbles with her answer.
“Working on our battle strategies,” supplies Darius.
“Yes! Yes, we were,” Penny agrees quickly. Is that what it’s called these days? I look at my mate who grins and gives me a wink.
“Hey, where are you two going?” she asks when I get up and grab Caspian’s hand to pull him up with me.
“We’re going to work on our battle strategies,” snickers my mate.
“Yes, we are!” I announce with a smirk as I continue to pull Caspian into the house through the same door they came in from.
“Well, my parents and everybody else are going to be here in an hour, so... don’t take too long discussing your strategies,” says Genesis. “Be down soon!”
We walk past the chef and his assistants who are busy cooking up a storm and plating the food for our guests this evening. The cleaning staff is still busy cleaning up the mess done by four...I mean five kids. Can’t forget my mate.
“So, that battle strategy...” murmurs Caspian when we reach the staircase. He wraps his arms around my waist from behind and plants his lips on the nape of my neck, then he practically carries me up the stairs.
“Yeah, that battle strategy,” I say. “I think we need to get to somewhere private to discuss our strategy.”
“Agreed,” he mumbles as his lips continue to ravage my neck and my earlobe, wreaking havoc on my senses.
He lets me slides down to my feet when we reach our room. He closes the door and locked it with a click.
I turn to face him and lift my self up on my tiptoe wind my arms around his neck and kiss his lips.
“Discuss the battle plan first or shower...?” he asks between kisses.
“Strategy..” I remove my mouth from his to kiss along his chiseled jawline. My lips, my cheek, and my chin feel the slight buzz of hair on the lower half of his face. “Then shower and..” I pull his earlobe gently between my teeth. “Strategy.” I suck the soft skin behind his ear, drawing a sexy moan from deep in his throat. His arms tighten around me. His hands move lower to grasp my butt and lift me up so I hook my legs around him.
“Good plan,” he groans as I grind myself against him. He carries me to the bed then he drops me in the middle of it before he crawls over me. “Now, the strategy..” he says as his mouth lands on my neck. One of his hands roams over my body while the other pulls the strings of my bikini top off.
“Great strategy,” I agree.
I guess quite a bit has happened in our lives. It’s been seven years since Caspian defeated his half brother, Æmelius.
King Alexandros has never really fully recovered from the loss of his erasthai but Queen Sophia is thriving. They’re still ruling as king and queen for now. Outwardly, King Alexandros is in control but we know who is truly in charge. Queen Sophia is truly a strong woman. Without the threat of Katya and Æmelius, she is not in a hurry to give up the reign, which is fine by us. She is doing a great job.
We’re traveling the world but Banehallow Palace is home now. Every few months we go back and stay for a month or so to do our duties.
I’m learning the rope. Queen Sophia has taken it upon herself to train me to be the queen one day. Caspian is taking his Royal duty more seriously now in addition to extending his assistance to more Packs that need help.
Jonah is mated to Eva, a female lycan warrior who used to work under Darius. I never noticed how they disappeared together after that mating ceremony that never happened. I was too busy with everything else around me at the time that I didn’t see that coming.
They are perfect for each other, I couldn’t be happier. Eva was so casual about sex and Jonah was hooking up with human women left and right before they met each other. Now they don’t seem to notice anybody else.
My cousin Jonah isn’t the most affectionate especially openly out in public either but Eva changes all that. I can see that he’ll do anything for her. That sucker never stood a chance. Ha!
Jonah trained to be the members of the Royal Army for a few years and he’s one of the top students. Most of the rookies are assigned to guard the Banehallow gate or ground before they are trusted enough to guard the Royal family or given more challenging tasks but Jonah is already assigned to be our personal guard at the palace, along with Eva. It might be considered nepotism but he’s my cousin, of course, I trust him.
My other cousin, Jorden is now mated to Lady Celeste. Surprisingly, they did wait for a year as I suggested before they mate each other. I was very wary and worried at first but I can see how happy they both are.
I did want them to end up with their mates, but I couldn’t stop them from finding happiness in each other. I understand that not everyone finds their mate or erasthai. It wouldn’t be fair to ask them to spend a lifetime of loneliness waiting for mates that might never come. As my Nana used to say, life has an expiry date and it doesn’t come with a guarantee.
Nana also told me that all creatures are made in pairs - humans, werewolves, Fae...when they find their mates, it’s magical but not everyone is lucky enough to meet their other half.
Werewolves are luckier than most to be able to sense their mates easily. Humans very rarely ended up with their soulmates. Fae can sense their leanan sídhe, just as lycans can feel the pull of their erasthais. Both creatures live to hundreds, if not thousands of years, even then, not all of them are lucky to find their missing half. Besides, lycans snatch mated werewolves or married humans all the time...and even Fae once in a while.
Jorden and Lady Celeste are now living in an estate not too far from the palace. Lady Celeste comes from money, so Jorden doesn’t have to work a day in his life if he doesn’t want to but I know that won’t make him happy. So, Caspian puts him in charge of looking after werewolf packs - managing funds, overseeing the distribution of supplies etc. Lady Celeste or rather, Celeste St. Martin as she is now known assists him. She is still a proud woman but with just one look from Jorden, she knows when to keep her mouth shut. What can I say? She is still a work in progress.
I must have dozed off after our lovemaking. I look up to see Caspian resting against the tufted velvet headboard. One of his arms is lightly draped on my shoulder as I lie on his lap. There’s something endearing about his brooding expression. He looks like a spoiled child and I find it totally irresistible.
I know he is going to be a great king and a wonderful father one day. One day. Not yet. For now, I have my own man-child to worry about.
“Is everything okay?” I ask him.
“Everything is fine, Moya Printsessa,” he answers as he slides down so that we’re lying face to face. He lifts a lock of my hair from my face and tucks it behind my ear. “I live this life to make you happy. Do I make you happy, baby?”
“You make me very happy, my love. I’m happiest when I’m with you. I can’t imagine anything better,” I whisper.
He flips us so that I’m lying on my back, pinned to the mattress underneath him. “I love you,” he says, leaning down to cover my lips with his.
“Umm..I love you too,” I manage to say before he deepens the kiss, slipping his tongue between my lips and it’s a while later that I manage to say, “Our...ahh..guests will be here..we should get ready...uh..shower..go down...stairs.”
“I am going down..” His mouth slides to nibble and suck my neck and my collar bone, moving lower...Oh, that feels good. “What were you saying again?”
“Forget it,” I say breathlessly. “Continue...”
“Anything you say, my love.” And so after flashing me a wicked, sexy grin, he continues.
I still have a lot to learn and I have a long time to learn them but I know certain things seem to be true;
I am so lucky to have found my soulmate and when you find someone who makes your life beautiful, hold on to him or her tightly.
The older the lycan gets, the more relaxed they seem as in they don’t freak out easily - you’ve got to wonder what’s that all about.
Life is an adventure, so enjoy the journey, not just the destination - that might sound like a very cliche thing to say but it’s no less true.
Take care of your teeth and don’t forget to floss.
Being mature isn’t about being serious all the time. Enjoy life. Open your heart to the wonders of the world and play like a child every chance you get.
When you find a pair of shoes that you like, grab it before someone else took it.
Worrying about what others might think about you is a waste of time, emotion, and energy.
Be kind to yourself and to those who deserve it.
Be what you are and own it. Own it.
I am so lucky to have found my mate.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, NicoleRidd3yWrite a Review