Khaos woke me up early hours of the morning, kissing my forehead as I sleepily rubbed at my eyes. I noticed he was crouching by the bed in front of me, already completely dressed though it was still completely dark outside.
"Where are you going?" I asked, my voice hoarse and groggy
He stroked my hair, looking at me with such love and adoration I couldn't help but smile at him. "I thought it best if I leave before Eros wakes up. If we're not going to tell him who I am for the time being then there's no need for him to catch his parents in bed together. We'll traumatise him with that another day."
I chuckled softly at his attempt at humour but I knew how much it hurt him to not being able to go to our son and be the dad he always wanted to be. Khaos and I had not always had the best relationship at the beginning but one thing I could never deny was the way he accepted the fact he was going to be a father and never once shirked away from his responsibilities.
"Hey" I whispered, drawing his attention back to me when I noticed the dark clouds shadowing his eyes. "He'll know who you are soon enough, you know that right? We'll get through the next few hours together and then we'll have all the time in the world to make this work. Have faith." I reached out to squeeze his hand, pleased to note that he returned the gestures, though the tension didn't leave his shoulders.
"Go back to sleep, little one. We need to set off early if we are going to make it back to the Atlantis pack in good time."
"What about Grey? I'm supposed to be up early to cook breakfast and you know the daily schedule he has for Eros..."
"You leave Grey to me, beautiful. You never have to worry about anything now that I'm here. I'll take care of you both. I love you." He kissed the top of my head and rested his forehead against mine briefly.
"I love you too" I whispered, my heart feeling as though it was being squeezed by the cruel hands of fate. Were we always destined to live a life without each other? It seemed the clock was always ticking against us
"That's not what a giraffe looks like, silly! You have to draw it properly or else I can't guess!" I frowned as I struggled to pull myself from the lull of sleep.
I heard Eros as he giggled and shouted and the low drone of Khaos responses but nothing they said made any sense to me. "What next?" Eros asked
"A kangaroo doing ballet, since we already did a giraffe rollerblading"
Okay, what planet was I on that this was a normal conversation? I hopped out of bed and wrapped the dressing gown around my body, tightening the belt as I headed to Eros' room and poked my head around the door.
They were both huddled together on the floor. Eros was on his knees, his tiny tongue poking out of his mouth in concentration. Khaos was laid on his stomach, spending more time looking at our son in wonderment than he did looking at the paper in front of him.
I walked closer, noticing the scattered drawings surrounding them and sure enough, there were two pictures of a giraffe rollerblading, as well as a cactus in a milkshake, a cloud wearing underwear (Khaos had drawn lightning bolts over the material and called this "thunderwear" which would explain Eros' laughter).
I plopped down next to them, my knees tucked underneath me and stroked the hair out of my son's face. "Are you two having fun?"
"Morning, mummy!" Eros burst out, leaning forward to wrap me in a tight hug. "Khaos has been teaching me how to draw! Look, we're making nonsense pictures. Wait there..." he demanded, shooting up to gather up all the pictures laid about the room
"Hey, you" Khaos murmured when Eros was too distracted to notice.
"Hey back" I whispered, leaning in to sneak a kiss.
"Here!" Eros shoved the piles of paper under my nose and I took them off him with a laugh, raising my eyebrows at some of the pictures being drawn.
"Food drawing other food? Who came up with that idea?"
"It was Khaos" Eros giggled, "He said he's always hungry but he didn't want to go to breakfast without you since you two are friends now. We were waiting ages, Mummy, and his tummy kept rumbling. I said we could bring you some food back but he wouldn't leave so he settled on drawing his breakfast eating each other." Eros rushed his words out in excitement and I glanced at Khaos with a mocking look.
"You were hungry and so you drew a picture of bacon eating eggs? I particularly liked the tomato sauce bottle that's been tipped over to look like the egg is wounded. You have a very weird imagination." I smiled and he looked away from me, twisting his lips into a grin.
"Yeah well, when a mans gotta eat, he's gotta eat, isn't that right champ?" he directed at Eros and my heart swelled as they went back and forth with each other, each describing their favourite foods.
"Alright, alright! I get the picture. Give me 5 minutes to get dressed and we'll go get breakfast" I said getting to my feet and heading for my room
"We'll give you three minutes and we might consider saving you some food." Khaos shot back. I shook my head at his impatience, sneaking one last look at the two of them when I got to the door, seeing that they were settled back into their drawing game, already completely at ease with one another.
I made a mental snapshot of this moment, wanting to remember this forever. I liked to remain optimistic but who knew how many more moments like this we would have?
No, I wouldn't dwell on that today. I would take what we were given and be grateful for however long our second chance lasted, knowing that every hour that passed was an hour longer than anyone else got.
"Ready?" I asked, pushing myself off the car that I had been leaning against and taking the bags from Violets hands. "How much stuff does one child need for a day away?" I said, shoving the bags into the boot.
She didn't answer me as she tucked Eros into the car seat and strapped him in. As much as I hated Grey right now, I had to admit that he had thought of everything when it came to his grandson. Although this was more to do with the fact that Eros was the next in line for Alpha rather than any genuine concern for his safety, I was grateful nonetheless.
"Are we doing the right thing, Khaos?" Violet whispered when she closed the door, straightening up to give me a concerned frown.
"We already discussed this. It needs to be done, its the only solid lead we've got. If you have a better idea, I'd love to hear it." I placed my hand on the small of her back and led her around to the passenger side.
"No. That doesn't mean I'm happy about it though"
"You wouldn't be you if you were completely happy with me, now would you? Move you ass and get in the car, woman. There's somewhere I want to show you before we go to the Atlantis pack"
I left her hanging impatiently as I closed the door and hopped in the car on my side, taking my time with starting it up and flicking through the radio stations. Violet gave a huff of annoyance and slapped my hand away, looking at me with raised eyebrows in silent question
"It's a surprise Eros and I have planned, isn't that right buddy?" I asked, smiling at him in the rearview mirror
"That's right" he beamed back, tapping the side of his nose and whispering "shhh". I winked at him, feeling the love for him burst through me. My entire life was in this car right now and how I wished I were driving them away to start a new life together. Instead, I was taking them back to the last place I ever wanted them to be, not even knowing if it was safe for us to do so.
I shook off my morbid thoughts and concentrated on the journey ahead. I had said to Violet earlier that we needed to get to the Atlantis pack as soon as possible but there was something else I needed to do first.
The moment I had found out that I had a son my wolf had gone insane, demanding that he have the opportunity to meet him and bond with him. I was ecstatic at the thought of seeing Eros' wolf and having a proper run with him as father and son, even if he wasn't aware of who I was my wolf and I knew and that was good enough. For now.
"You brought us here?" Violet breathed, her eyes shining bright with unshed tears as she looked at the forest in front of us. Of course she knew immediately where we were - this place was so burned into our memories. It was the first place we ran together as wolves, where we had our first hunt, shared our first kill and allowed our wolves the freedom to bond together. It was a special place for us both and I couldn't wait to include our son in it.
As I carried a sleepy Eros back to the car, I knew that this day was the best thing that had ever happened to me, closely followed by the day I completed the mating with his mother, of course.