Falling Into Place
“Things are a lot quieter now, aren’t they?” Lapu said from across the room, making me look away from the window to stare at him. He had his back turned to me, and his focus was on the table in front of him. We were both in the pack house’s bonus room. It was mostly used for hunter meetings, but it also somewhat doubled as Lapu’s office.
“They are,” I agreed, looking away from him. We didn’t need to specify what made the pack grounds quieter. We both knew what the other was thinking about. Since Honon left the frequent yelling matches had stopped. Ahote and Aponi still weren’t on good terms, but they had stopped outrightly ignoring each other and could be in the same space and even exchange words without a fight breaking out.
“I’m really happy that my brother has you, you know that, right?” Lapu said, making me look over at me. He had his body turned towards me now. A soft look was plastered on his face as his lips twitched in the slightest of smiles.
“Well, I didn’t get that impression when we first met.” my words drew a chuckle out of Lapu, and I laughed too, remembering how protective he had been of his brother.
Lapu went back to looking through his files. Everything in the pack was filed manually and it made me a bit puzzled. I understood that being away from the rest of the city would make internet connection spotty, but I wondered why they didn’t get regular desktop computers to type up documents.
Shaking the thought out of my mind, I looked away. I was sitting on a bean bag close to the windows. The weather was a lot better now. The raining weeks had stopped, and the grounds were dry and green with grass. A smile crossed my lips when I noticed a child peep in through the window. They waved and hurried away when they noticed me staring. I couldn’t help wondering what Ahote was up to at the hour.
A knock on the bonus room’s door made me and Lapu look towards it.
“Come in,” Ahote’s brother said, making the person at the door turn the knob and push the door open. My eyes went wide and my chest tugged a little when Ahote slipped into the room. He smiled when he spotted me before turning his full attention to his brother.
“You’re both here, so I think this will be easier to do,” he muttered, walking to the center of the room before hugging himself. He was in a sweater—something he’s been wearing more often because he was starting to worry that people might be noticing. It was all in his head of course, but it was cute to watch him fuss over his belly as he dressed up every morning.
He closed his eyes for a bit, taking in a deep breath before looking over at me as if asking for my permission to do what he was about to do. I gulped, realizing what he was. He was going to tell Lapu about his pregnancy. I suddenly felt self-conscious, but a part of me was also excited and wanted this to happen. I nodded, pushing some stray strands out of my face. Ahote smiled, looking away from me to turn his attention to his brother. His eyes didn’t stay on him long. They cast their gaze to the wooden floor as Ahote rocked a bit from side to side. He was nervous too.
“I’m pregnant,” he said, looking up at his brother. “It’s Alek’s,” he quickly added, not trying to cause an upsetting confusion.
“Does Honon know?” Lapu managed to ask, making Ahote nod.
“Is he planning to do anything to make things difficult? I swear to the spirits if he is—”
“He’s going to leave us alone,” Ahote said, making Lapu paused and sighed in relief. He looked from his brother to me, and I felt a wave of nervousness wash through me, but it went away when he smiled and walked over to me. He reached out his hand, and I took it, standing up before receiving a hug from him.
“We really are brothers now,” he muttered, letting out an excited chuckle as he pulled me at arm’s length. “This is the more reason you should get your bonding ceremony over with,” he added, patting my shoulder before letting go of me and wandering to his brother. He smiled at the smaller man, giving him a side hug before asking if he could touch his stomach.
“I’m going to be an uncle again,” he chuckled, squatting so he was on eye level with Ahote’s stomach. “Have you told Aponi?” he asked, looking up at his brother. Ahote shook his head, and Lapu let out a sigh, nodding.
“I’ll do it eventually. I just haven’t completely forgiven her yet,” he muttered just loud enough for me to catch.
“What she did was wrong, but she had your best interest at heart. She just wanted you to be happy,” Lapu said. “I’m sure if you showed her how happy you were now, she’d be happy for you too,” he added with a little grin as he looked from me to Ahote.
Ahote nodded, “I’ll think about it,” was all he said before moving to sit across from me. We talked to his brother for a while, and we all turned to the door when it creaked open. Elan stared into the room at us, and it took a while for the young boy to walk in. He made a beeline to me, and my heart filled with warmth as he climbed into my lap.
“Did you run away from Kara?” Ahote asked, pinching his son’s cheek.
“You’re no longer a baby, you’re going to have a sibling,” Ahote mumbled, and I held on to Elan as he stared at his father in confusion. It didn’t look like he knew what that entailed, and it made me laugh in my head.
Ahote and I left the bonus room soon after. We dropped Elan off at the kitchen, and I had to calm him down and promise to let him play a game on my phone before he hushed and let us leave.
“Why are you smiling?” I asked Ahote when we got into the room we were now sharing. His smile only widened as he walked over to the bed and sat on it. His smile widened as he touched his stomach, cradling it a bit as he made to adjust his sitting position. He was a lot more careful with his movements these days, and even though it wasn’t showing you could tell that he was instinctively conscious about his stomach and body.
“I don’t know,” Ahote said after a while. “Everything’s going well, and I’m excited and a bit giddy about it I suppose.”
I raised a brow, closing the door behind me before walking over to sit beside him on the bed. The mattress sunk with my weight, and Ahote giggled when I kissed up his neck and made funny ‘muah’ sounds.
“Stop it,” he mumbled, yet he leaned into me. I laughed, stopping the play before taking a hold of his chin and turning his face towards mine. We stared at each other—blue eyes looking into brown ones. I could feel my face grow warm, looking at Ahote always made me a bit dumbstruck. Pheromones aside, he was a good looking person, and the sweet person behind the looks only made him more attractive. He turned his gaze away from me suddenly, pulling my hand away from his face.
“My heart races so much when you look at me like that,” he muttered, moving to hug his shoulders as a tiny smile played on his lips. “It makes me a little afraid,” he muttered, and my mouth opened a bit as a feeling of concern rushed through me.
“It’s not a bad feeling,” he assured me, shaking his head. “It feels good—a little too good to be true, you know?” he muttered.
“I’m so happy and it scares me. I’ve prayed for this every day and I’m going to have it now, and it’s a bit scary,” he continued to ramble. I moved to hug him, pulling him into my chest as I kissed this temple repeatedly. I wanted to assure him that everything would be fine—that I loved him and would never leave him.
“What if you do have a mate and they’re just too far away for your wolf to sense them? What happens if you find them? Will this stop?” he went on, and I could feel his body shake. “Will I be selfish if I don’t let them, have you?” he kept going pulling away from me. “I’m not going to let you leave. I might die if my heart breaks again,” he said in a serious tone. His voice low, but his words sharp and flesh cutting.
“I’m not going to leave you,” I muttered, rubbing his cheek with the base of my thumb. “I promise. I love you. I love your son—”
“Your son,” he said cutting me off. I stared at him. My eyes went wide with sudden confusion.
“My son?” I muttered, frowning a bit as I watched Ahote busy his fingers by playing with his hair.
“Elan’s your son too,” Ahote clarified. His voice was a bit low, and it seemed as if he had just reflected on the gravity of his words.
“Alright,” I could only nod because my throat was clogged and my eyes wear burning from unshed tears of joy. He stayed like that for a bit, hugging each other, and meditating in the fear of happiness that plagued us both.