We burst through the forest and came face to face with a sleek, black SUV that stood about 6 inches higher than any traditional SUV I’ve seen. I gave Everett a quizzical look and he just laughed it off, rounding the truck to climb in the drivers seat. I followed his lead after I helped Charlie climb up into the back seat.
Once I was in the comfort of the soft tan leather passenger seat, Everett started the truck and began the drive to California. The drive would take all day and we wouldn’t reach Shallow Lake until late that night. We had time to kill, so we decided to ask each other questions and get to know one another better.
Charlie is most excited about going to school and meeting new pups. Everett even brought up some of the things he will learn in school and Charlie’s face light up brighter than fireworks in the night sky. Charlie never felt excluded in any of our conversations, Everett made it a point to ask him what he thought or how he felt about it. My heart swelled as they spoke, laughed, and joked. Goddess, he’s going to make a wonderful father.
I had always known that Shallow Lake was ran like a tight ship. Controlled, collected, and fierce when needed. For some reason I just can’t see Everett being an overbearing Alpha, micromanaging every little thing, even if I did just meet him not long ago.
The boys were in the middle of an intense conversation over the dynamics of football since Charlie was never allowed to watch a game, much less play. I just laughed along as Everett tried his best to explain it.
“You know what? Tomorrow, we are going to play a game. It’s easier to show you than to tell you.”
Charlie and I laughed at the excitement he held in his voice. Everett just rolled his eyes at us and glanced at me quickly before putting his eyes back in the road. He reached over and grabbed my hand and said, “Don’t even think for a second that you’re getting out of it.”
I narrowed my eyes at him and said, “Um, I think I’ll just watch.”
Charlie chimed in, begging me with his eyes and putting his hands together in prayer. “Please, please, please Amelia! It will be so much fun!”
I sighed and looked back at him. Who could say no to that face? Not me.
“Fine. I’ll play, but don’t be surprised when I kick your butts. Remember, I am from Texas... we breathe football.” I teased playfully.
Charlie almost fell out of his seat with the amount of laughter shaking his body, doubting my abilities. “Amelia, I have the Alpha on my side. I think you’re the one who is gonna get your butt kicked.”
I rolled my eyes at him and shook my head, letting out a small laugh. “He has a point, but I am an Alphas kid... so I may be able to hold my own, Alpha.” I threw at Everett with a playful wink. He chuckled at my response.
“Game on, Amelia.” He said with a nod of his head.
I blushed at the way he said my name, but I didn’t turn away from him to hide it. I was letting my guard down, letting him see the real me and not the mask I was forced to put up around Chris.
“I’m hungry, Everett. Can we get lunch now?” Charlie asked from the backseat.
I turned and looked at Everett, hopeful that he would stop because I was hungry as well. “Sure. At the next exit we will find somewhere, okay?” Everett said.
“Woo hoo!” Charlie and I yelled in unison at his answer. Everett just laughed at us and shook his head.
After eating lunch, the car ride became a little more quiet. Charlie had fallen asleep after eating a full meal of chicken tenders, fries, and a chocolate milkshake. Everett and I sat in comfortable silence as he drove. He held my hand, never letting it go.
I found myself examining him closer. Noticing the few freckles he had on his cheek bones, the way his eyebrows rise slightly when he is changing lanes, and the way his lips turn up a bit every time Charlie lets out a little snore in his sleep. This man is perfect.
I turned my body in my seat so I was facing him, still holding his hand in my lap. “Did you talk to my dad?” I asked.
He glanced at me and nodded his head. “Yeah, him and your mother are actually at the pack house at Shallow Lake. They came as soon as I called them. Since your brother is old enough now, he stayed back to oversee the pack, alongside Beta Matthew.”
I nodded my head as he spoke. Goddess, I missed my family. I sighed and tears pricked at my eyes.
“I never thought I’d never see them again.” I whispered and turned my head, embarrassed because the tears began to escape.
“Amelia, we all thought we wouldn’t see you again. That’s why we were moving up the plan I put in place. But, you’re safe, you’re alive, you’re here. None of us could be more thankful to Luna just to have you here.” The love he poured into that statement made me realize just how much he cared for me.
I smiled at him as the tears began to slow. He released his hand from mine and wiped at them gently.
The sweetness of the gesture made my breath catch in my throat. I don’t think I will ever get over how kind this man is.
“You know, your dad has already given me the ‘talk’.” He said with a chuckle, trying to lighten the mood, and held onto my hand again.
I furrowed my eyebrows. “What talk?”
“You know, the ‘talk’. He told me I better take care of you or he’d have my balls on a platter. He said some other things as well, but it’s best we don’t say that in front of children.”
I laughed quietly, so I didn’t wake Charlie.
“That’s probably the same talk he had with Chris before we left the Summit.”
Everett growled, angrily. “Don’t worry, he will get everything that’s coming to him. I promise.”
“What are you going to do?” I asked curiously.
“Not now. Let’s not worry about that right now, enjoy right now.” He smiled a strained smile.
Everett drove in silence, it was comfortable and every few minutes we would steal glances at each other. Never once letting his hand leave mine, scared I may wake up and this all be a dream.
When Charlie woke up, he started asking questions all over again and we answered as best as we could. We laughed at jokes, simply enjoying each other’s company.
When we finally arrived in Shallow Lake territory, Charlie and I were asleep. I didn’t wake up until Everett tried to take his hand out of mine to get out the truck.
“Are we here?” I asked, a little disoriented from sleeping.
“We are. I’m going to carry Charlie to his room. Follow me.” I nodded my head and exited the truck.
It was night time so I was unable to make out anything around me but the lights still flowing through the windows of the pack house. It smelled so fresh and clean, the scent itself reminded me of Everett’s. It put a small smile on my face as we made our way up to the front door.
Home. It smells like home.
As soon as we walked through the door, my mom and dad barreled towards me, grabbing me in bone crushing hugs and cheek bruising kisses.
“Amelia!” My mom yelled with relief lacing her voice.
“SHH!” I sounded back at her and nodded towards a sleeping Charlie in Everett’s arms.
She quickly put her hand in front of her mouth, trying to keep her voice inside. I gave her a small laugh and shook my head. Her eyes shown with love and relief at seeing me.
I pulled her in for another hug and my dad quickly joined in and kissed me on top of the head.
“We are so happy you’re back, baby girl.” He murmured in my hair. I’ve never seen my father cry, after all he was an Alpha, but as I looked up in his eyes, there were small, silent tears falling down his cheeks.
Everett cleared his throat, making me glance at him. He mouthed something about taking Charlie to his room and I nodded my head. Squeezing my parents tight one more time, I released them. My mom looked me up and down, her eyes widened.
“Baby, did they starve you? You look like you’ve lost 20 pounds in these past few weeks.”
I shook my head, “No mama, they didn’t starve me. I couldn’t eat, they put wolfsbane in the food.”
Her face turned from one of worry to one of anger in a split second. It’s common knowledge that my dad is a lot more docile than my mom when they are angry. You never want to make that woman mad at you.
“I will kill those motherfu-” she started, but was quickly interrupted by my dad.
“Michelle, language.” He narrowed his eyes at her.
Mom just rolled her eyes at him. I giggled at her childish antics and shook my head. She grabbed my hand and started leading me towards the kitchen.
The pack house was a large structure, it had an industrial yet modern feel. I loved the mixture of cables, iron, glass, and wood. There were personal touches every where you looked, probably from the pack members that lived here.
In the kitchen, my mom put together a quick dinner for me and Everett, who showed up a few minutes later and sat down at the kitchen island with me. As we ate, I told them everything that happened, from beginning to end.
When I had finished, my parents stared at me with a swirl of emotions in their eyes. Eventually, both sets of eyes settled on anger.
“I knew something was off with that little shit.” My dad said and turned to Everett, “We will help with whatever plans you have for them.”
Everett stood, nodded at my father, and they both grasped each other’s forearm and shared one of those manly hugs, with a clap on the back. Mom and I shared a look that said, ‘what just happened there?’.
I cleared my throat and rolled my eyes, “Sorry to break up your little bromance, but I’m exhausted and would like to go to bed.”
My mom laughed a full belly laugh as my dad and Everett just shook their heads with small smiles playing on their lips.
My mom and dad came up to be and wrapped me up in one final hug for the night.
“Good night, baby. Love you.” My dad said and my mom echoed him.
I kissed them both on the cheek and said, “Night, love you too.”
I walked over to Everett smiling and he grabbed my hand and led me out of the kitchen. We walked down the hallway, passed the stairs, and out the back door of the pack house. Were we not staying here?
“Where are we going, Everett?”
“To our house.”
My cheeks grew warmer, the butterflies in my tummy engaged, and my heart skipped a beat at his use of our. I looked up to him and smiled a large genuine smile that completely reached my eyes. He returned my smile, and it mirrored my own.
We reached our house quickly. It was just half a mile away, through some huge redwood trees. The beautiful two story home, seemed to be made of only glass and dark wood of some kind.
The entire bottom floor of the home was surrounded by glass, you could see directly inside from where we were standing. There were lights on in the kitchen and living room, illuminating us outside, making it a bit easier to see. The second story was primarily dark wood, but the wall that led to the balcony had glass doors. It was stunning.
I gasped as I took it all in. “It’s beautiful.” I whispered.
Everett chuckled and shook his head, “Wait until you see it in the daylight.”
I let out a small laugh. “Lead the way, Alpha.”
Instead of leading the way, he dropped my hand and before I could protest he lifted me up in his arms, bridal style. I locked my hands behind his neck and giggled as he made his way into the house.
He carried me upstairs to the master bedroom, kicked the door shut, and dropped me on the bed softly. When he flipped on the light, I took a look around the room. It was a large space, but definitely lacked a woman’s touch. Calling it plain was putting it nicely. There was nothing in the room but a king size bed, with white sheets and a black comforter, a TV mounted on the wall in front of the bed, and a chair that sat on the other side of the room.
Everett must have noticed the scowl on my face when I looked around because he laughed nervously while scratching the back of his neck and said, “It’s not much right now, but I never really had an eye for interior design. With you becoming Luna, you can change anything you want.”
I turned to face him and let out a little laugh, “I may make a few changes, but first things first, I need a shower.”
He left out a deep breath he was holding. “Let me grab you some fresh clothes, you go ahead. There are towels in the cabinet.” He motioned toward a door that lead to the master bathroom.
“Oh, before you go, where is Charlie sleeping?” I asked.
“He’s right down the hall from us, in the guest room. Maybe he could fix that room up to his liking, since it’s about as bad as this one.” He joked. My heart soared, Charlie not only got to stay in the pack, but he got to live here with me as well.
I giggled while nodding my head and went into the en-suite bathroom. The bathroom was just as barren as the bedroom. On one side of the Jack and Jill sinks held a single toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste, along with other things that men used. The other side had nothing, it was completely empty. Left empty for his future mate, for me. My heart broke just thinking of the amount of loneliness he felt in this huge house, all alone.
The jacuzzi tub was large and could fit 4 people comfortably, I made a mental note to try it out tomorrow. The shower was big enough for two people, and had shower heads and jets protruding out all over the walls.
I stripped off my clothes, opened the glass door, and entered. I turned the water on as hot as my body could handle, allowing myself to relax under the waterfall and the jets to massage my sore, tense muscles.
After I felt more relaxed, I quickly washed my hair and washed my body. When I was done, I climbed out of the shower and grabbed two towels out of the cabinet. One for my body and one for my hair. I carefully examined myself in the mirror, I looked a little more refreshed, but still looked like shit. I could sleep for days if everyone would let me.
With the towels wrapped around my body and hair, I made my way out of the bathroom and back into the bedroom. I stopped in my tracks when I saw Everett seated in the chair across the room. He was shirtless and was wearing some pajama pants that definitely looked like they fit in all the right places.
His body was a work of art. Bulging biceps, chiseled pecs and abs, the glorious V that started from his hips and made its way down to his groin, and that trail of hair that started at his belly button and made its way down the same direction.
I didn’t even know I was drooling over him until he laughed and said, “You like?”
I blushed redder than a tomato and groaned in response. I muttered, “I’m so sorry.”
“Hey, I’m your mate. You don’t have to apologize for checking me out, cause I’m definitely not going to apologize for doing the same to you.” He said with a wiggle of his eyebrows, making me shake my head.
I walked over to the bed and snatched up the clothes he left there for me and walked to the huge, half full walk-in closet to change. After throwing on the clothes, I walked out and noticed him staring at me with lust in his eyes.
I looked down at what I was wearing and it dawned on me that what I had thought was a long night gown was actually his T-shirt, and his boxers.
He let out a small husky growl as he continued to stare. “Damn, you look good in my clothes.” I blushed once again, and he seemed to have to literally shake his head to rid himself of his thoughts. Once he seemed to compose himself, he adjusted to a comfortable position in the chair, with his feet propped up and his body partially reclined.
I quickly nodded my head towards the bed and asked, “Are you not sleeping in the bed with me?”
He looked at me nervously, his cheeks turning slightly pink. Did Everett just blush? Oh my Goddess.
“I, um, wasn’t sure if you wanted me to.”
“Don’t be silly. Get over here, it’s big enough for both of us.” I stated firmly.
I walked over to the bed and slipped under the sheets, the bed was soft and warm, inviting me to fall asleep for countless hours. Everett got up and flicked off the light switch then made his way over to the bed hesitantly. When he reached the other side, he crawled into the bed and got comfortable on his back.
In the darkness, I could only make out his profile from the moonlight shinning in the balcony doors.
Instead of waiting for him, I crawled across the bed. He felt my movement and immediately stiffened and held his breath. I rested my head on his chest and wrapped my arm around his waist. “Good night, Everett.” I whispered.
He relaxed and let out his breath, “Good night, Amelia.” He wrapped his arms around me softly, protectively, and kissed the crown of my head.
I fell asleep that night feeling safe, like I was never in danger to begin with. My last thought before I feel into a restful sleep was; Anywhere could be home as long as I’m with him.