Chapter 26 - Olivia (Part 1)
Seeing how Cameron interacted with Chloe on Sunday, Olivia knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that he would move heaven and earth for her and would be a great father.
The week passed by slowly with Olivia frequently (and eagerly) checking her phone and texting Cameron every chance she got. He was often busy and unreachable during the day doing the various duties he had described to her since discovering he was a werewolf. He patrolled the borders of his territory, spent hours training, and intermittently checked in with his Alpha, and Sam and his mate. But every evening, he made sure that he was there on the screen as Olivia read Chloe her bedtime stories.
Both Chloe and Cameron repeatedly asked her about going to Cameron’s on the weekend. She didn’t want to give a definite answer, knowing that the market was still hot and would be starting to trickle off with the summer winding down. She tried to keep either Saturday or Sunday open, but her second client couldn’t do it the same day as the first. With that in mind, Olivia didn’t want to let both Cameron and Chloe down, so she worked around the two schedules so that she would finish early on Sunday, pick up Chloe from her mother’s, and be at Cameron’s by mid-afternoon.
Chloe was a bundle of energy and couldn’t sit still for a minute when Olivia made the announcement and when Sunday rolled around, Olivia was exhausted just trying to keep up with her. Her mother was worn out too during those few hours she took Chloe during Olivia’s open houses.
“I’m hoping things work out,” her mother told her before she left with Chloe on Sunday. “I still don’t approve, but no one has given me a chance to even meet him to change my opinion.”
“Later, Mom,” Olivia told her firmly. “It’s about Chloe right now. He and I have worked through our issues, and now it’s Chloe’s turn.”
Her mother nodded and waved them off.
They stopped at home long enough to change into comfortable clothes. Cameron told her to wear clothes she’d go hiking or camping in as he planned to spend most of the day outdoors with them. Olivia brought a change of clothes for Chloe in case she got covered in mud. That child had her girly moments and other times loved digging her fingers in the dirt and running around in mud puddles.
She’s definitely Cameron’s daughter, she thought to herself with a smile as she packed up Chloe’s change of clothes.
They hopped in the car and were off. Olivia tried not to think too much about Cameron changing into a wolf, knowing that it would create more unnecessary anxiety, but she also had Chloe to thank for keeping her mind off that part of Cameron. She was hyped to see him again.
Cameron gave her latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates for her to put in her GPS that led them out of the city and into the countryside. She turned off the highway about ten minutes after leaving the city limits and headed north before turning again. With each turn, the roads became narrower and the traffic lighter until the GPS guided her down a single dirt lane into a wooded area. After another two miles, the trees parted and a clearing opened up. There were still lots of trees everywhere, but she could see little log cabins scattered about the valley. In the middle of the clearing ahead of them was a large redbrick building with five levels.
Cameron was waiting for them outside the building with his father, and a few other people she didn’t recognize. As soon as she parked the car and Cameron helped Chloe out of her seat—too eager to get her in his arms and nuzzle her head, making her giggle—he introduced her and Chloe to the strangers: his Alpha and Luna, his mother, brothers and sisters and their mates, and a handful of kids ranging in age from one to ten. Olivia shook each of their hands with goosebumps rising on her skin.
Cameron wrapped his arm around Olivia’s waist and hugged her after his mother, with tears in her eyes, stole Chloe from Cameron’s arms to hug her tight while his family fawned over her.
He rubbed his nose in Olivia’s hair while his family was talking animatedly with Chloe. “I figured we could hang out with my family and let the kids play a few outdoor games before heading back to my place. They just want to spend some time with both of you.”
Olivia nodded and they set out to go to the back of the large building, where there was a nice patio with an in-ground pool. The kids rushed to the pile of outdoor gaming equipment and asked Chloe which game she wanted to play first.
Chloe, having only played with one or two children at a time before, was shy and unfamiliar with the games so the children picked one for her and taught her how to play it.
While Chloe was slowly opening up and enjoying herself with her cousins, the adults in Cameron’s family tried to engage Olivia in some polite conversation. It was awkward at first but it was short-lived as jokes were cracked and Olivia emerged from her shell. Cameron stayed by her side, sneaking away only to steal Chloe from her game for a minute, while the other children hollered at him to bring her back. One time, he refused and the children chased him around for a few minutes as Chloe squealed and laughed.
Soon, dinner was served and everyone gathered at the picnic tables.
Looking around, Olivia noted the close-knit family vibe as laughter and conversation surrounded them during their meal, and smiled to herself. This was something she never had as a kid since her family was torn in two. Even cousins were not close enough to get to know them growing up. This was something new, something she never thought she could have for her little family, and it filled her with hope.
Then there was Cameron doting on Chloe and not ashamed to hide it. She was lapping up his attention and having a blast with the cousins she never knew she had.
What more could Olivia ask for?