The Forgotten Claim - The Claim: Book 1

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Chapter 23 - Olivia (Part 1)

Time ticked idly by, drawn out by Olivia’s restlessness and the uncertainty that was taking place beyond the walls of her hotel room on the fifth floor. Cameron told her that she had a lot of contemplating to do, and indeed she did with the revelations of him being some sort of werewolf and the implications that would have on Chloe.

She couldn’t believe that Chloe would one day turn into a wolf. It had to be painful and the thought of her baby transforming into another creature was chilling. She wanted nothing more than to go to her mother’s house that instant and hold her daughter and will her to stop growing. To stay sweet, young and innocent and never grow up in such a horrific world like Cameron’s.

She knew she shouldn’t think that way as crime riddled the streets of her city as well, but everything came at once in such a shock that she couldn’t think rationally.

An hour after Cameron left, she called her mother to talk to Chloe. It was more of a reassurance call than she would admit. Chloe was fine and enjoying herself like any four-year-old should—safe and secure without a worry in the world beyond her own immediate needs.

“Tessa got a puppy!” Chloe gushed on the phone, talking about neighbors’ daughter whom she liked to play with. “Can we get a puppy too?”

Your father turns into a wolf, would that do? Olivia was tempted to say but held her tongue. That sounded crazy even to her, never mind what a four-year-old would think. “Maybe someday when we get a house. Puppies need more room to play.”

“We could keep it at Grandma’s house!”

Olivia could see her mother scowling in the background with that suggestion. She was more of a cat-person than a dog-person.

“I don’t think so, sweetie. If you want a puppy, you have to take care of it, not Grandma.”

“Does Daddy have a house? He can take care of it and we can play with the puppy on weekends!”

Olivia chewed on her lip at the mention of Cameron. Where was he now? Was he okay? “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him.”

Chloe heaved a sigh of defeat. “Okay, fine. When will we get a house?”

Olivia feigned shock. “What? You don’t like where we live?”

“Nope,” Chloe said, popping the ‘p’ sound for the first time and making Olivia wonder where she picked that up from. “I think we should live with Daddy.”

Olivia’s brows rose up. “Oh, you do, do you?” Where was this coming from?

“Well…” Chloe trailed off as if picking her words thoughtfully. “You’re my mommy and he’s my daddy. We should live together, right?”

“Well,” Olivia replied, choosing her own words carefully now, “not all mommies and daddies live together.”

“Why?”

“Well…” Olivia was biding her time to put the right words together that a child could understand. “Sometimes, mommies and daddies are better people when they are not together.”

“Why?”

“Some mommies and daddies fight when they are together, so they are happier not living together.”

“Do you and Daddy fight a lot?”

Olivia sighed, grappling with her feelings for Cameron. “No, not a lot. Sometimes we argue. You know, shout and say mean things we shouldn’t say to each other.”

“Why?”

Why, indeed? “Because we get frustrated with each other. We have problems to figure out, sweetie. A lot happened when Cameron lost his memories. We need to talk more.”

“About what?”

Olivia was trying to limit the details about the possibilities of her and Cameron getting together. But Chloe being Chloe, and children asking questions when clear answers were not provided, would continuously ask a stream of questions until she got the answers she was looking for—especially if she could ask questions that would get her what she wanted.

Chloe wouldn’t call Cameron ’Daddy’ if she didn’t want him to be her father. She wouldn’t ask to start bedtime stories early with Cameron on the phone and read more stories if she didn’t want to have him take an active role in her life. It was no secret that Chloe liked Cameron, but in her innocence, she would like anyone who was kind and sweet to her.

It was clear that Chloe was fishing for answers that Olivia didn’t want to give—especially since she saw Cameron turn into a wolf—until she spoke more with him.

“About what’s best for you, me, and Cameron. Okay? I have to go now, sweetie,” she said, hoping to evade more questions that she didn’t want to answer until Cameron came back.

If he came back.

She scowled at herself. He’ll come back. Trust that he’ll get through this and come back.

She said goodbye to Chloe and blew kisses into the phone before ending the call. Hanging her head, she closed her eyes and wondered where to go from there. She knew Cameron was right. She had to stay in the hotel where it was safe. She couldn’t put her life in jeopardy when she didn’t know how close the dangers were out there or if they would come after her. She had no means of communicating with anyone to find out what was going on.

Staying put was her only option to ensure her own safety so she could return to Chloe when it was all over.

Heaving a sigh, she stood up and took that shower Cameron told her to take. Afterward, she ordered room service and went out on the balcony to spend her evening reading a book on an app on her phone, surrounded by flowers. The sun began to set, splashing shades of crimson and red across the sky. Any other day and it would have been beautiful and romantic, but knowing that Cameron was out there fighting for his life and the lives of others, it was an ominous reminder. She went inside and drew the curtains shut and opted to watch TV for a bit.

Hours passed as anxiety gnawed away within her. She thought she heard howls in the distance from wolves, but she couldn’t be sure as they were too far away and she didn’t dare venture out onto the balcony now in the middle of the night. Even though she was five stories up, she didn’t know what these werewolves were capable of. It wasn’t worth the risk and she kept all the windows and doors locked for good measure.

The clock’s hour hand struck midnight. Then one, and two, before voices in the hallway outside her suite whispered and the door opened.

Olivia sprang to her feet as a dark-haired stranger with tanned skin and carrying a large black duffel bag entered. Before she could question who he was, another man with graying black hair pulled back into a braid limped in with Cameron on his back.

She stifled a gasp at the sight of Cameron. Despite the blood and dirt that coated his body, rendering him nearly unrecognizable, she knew it was him and he was in rough shape.

The first man greeted her with a tip of his head before pointing to the bathroom. The other man limped in with Cameron and the first man followed.

Olivia hurried after them and peered inside as Cameron was set down on the toilet with a grunt. “What happened? Will he be okay? Is it over?”

The first man turned to her and introduced himself as Doctor Waaban while the other man turned on the water in the large standing shower. “I haven’t been able to fully examine him to see the extent of his injuries yet, but the battle is over, yes. He’s suffered some deep scratches across his body but the most concerning injury at the moment has to do with his ear. It’s too close to his previous head trauma and is currently causing him dizziness. Until I get a better look at it, I can’t tell if it will be a temporary issue or a permanent one.”

“So, aside from his ear, he’ll be okay?” she asked.

He gave her a reassuring smile. “Yes, he’ll be fine.”

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