Seeking happiness

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XXXVIII

It’s just after dinner when Chris is called to the phone. He takes it in his office and plops down on his chair, his feet up on the old worn-out desk. The phone call is short, the message was short, but devastating. When he hangs up and puts the phone back down, his face turns white, his eyes dark. He just got the message he dreaded most.

Gabriel, his strongest warrior, his trusted guard, is no more. He stopped breathing; he couldn’t keep up the fight to live anymore. He hits the desk with his fist. He feels like a failure, all the people that have died because of the rogues. He should’ve protected them; he should’ve been stronger. He needs to find a way to put an end to these attacks, he has to. He owes it to Gabriel and all the others that passed away because of this. He shoves some papers aside to make some space to place his elbows on his desk. While doing that, a white envelope falls out on the floor. When he picks it up, he frowns, he hasn’t seen this envelope before. There’s his name and the address on it and it hasn’t been opened. He curiously rips the envelope open. When he folds out the paper, he sees a letter written in a handwriting that he knows all too well. His breath hitches, is someone playing a sick joke with him?

Dear Christopher,

It’s been a long time since I have seen you. The last time I saw you, you could hardly be called a man. From the things I have heard about you, you’ve grown into a fine young man. A strong leader and Alpha.

I am sorry I couldn’t be there when you needed me most. I am sorry I left you with such a great responsibility, while you weren’t even ready. I am sorry, so deeply sorry, that I couldn’t be there for you. I’m sorry I couldn’t give you time to blossom before you had to take on your heavy task as an Alpha.

There are some things I need to explain to you. I really hope this letter will reach you, so I can make you understand the difficult situation I am in.

The last time we saw each other was when I left to protect our pack from an attack from a neighbouring pack. Everyone, including me, thought it was a neighbouring pack. As you know, the battle was lost, and part of the land fell into the hands of the enemy. Everyone on the battlefield thought I was killed. I was seriously injured and unconscious, all our warriors had withdrawn to defend the rest of our land and the Pack. They left me for dead. Although that should never have happened, I am grateful for that. It has kept you and the rest of our family safe.

Shortly after the attack, I fell into the hands of our enemy. As it turned out, it wasn’t a neighbouring pack that attacked us, but rogues. Rogues headed by a human male. The man has a great hatred for me.

Before your mom and I met, your mom was with this man. She’s always lived in the big city and never expected to find her fated mate. While I was there for a business trip, we met. She has left the man, but he has never been able to forget her. His hatred and jealousy for me were so great that he wanted to take away everything I had and loved. My status, my pack, my wife, my kids, everything.

My Alpha genes healed me quickly from my injuries, but the man poisoned me with Wolfsbane and hit, kicked and injured me a lot and for long times in a row. He let me heal every time and just before I was back on strength, he started again. He showed me pictures of how my family got on without me. How my wife languished with grief and eventually died from grief. How my oldest son, still a boy, turned from a happy young boy into a serious young man. How he was weighed down by the heavy burden he was carrying. How he took care of his two young brothers and the people he was responsible for. I endured the blows, I could handle the injuries, but what he did to you, it cut my heart every time. If only I could have done more to protect you, if only I could have escaped, to unburden you

Up until recently I was always heavily guarded. But the highest in rank of the rogues is not so much around anymore, and lately my guards have not been around that much. One of my guards has even become an ally. He is the one who gave me the opportunity to write this letter and helped me to send it.

Boy, I hope you know how incredibly proud I am of you, of that amazing man you’ve become. A great, strong leader, a true Alpha. I hope you know that I love you and your brothers very much. I hope one day I may hold you in my arms and touch you again.

My boy, I miss you so much.

Your father.

Chris pushes his chair back and hunches over, his elbows on his knees. He starts breathing heavily, trying to fight back the tears that threaten to form in his eyes. His father is still alive? His father was kidnapped, how did he not know that? His father thinks he has failed him and his family, but he has failed his father. He was blinded by fear for his enemy, by grief over the loss of his father and by the heavy tasks that awaited him. He did not look for his father as the warriors said it was too dangerous. Chris can’t fight his tears back anymore and lets the letter fall on the floor. A wave of guilt washes over him. If only he had known that his father was still alive, he would have searched for him, fought for him. Then his mother wouldn’t have passed away, they would both still be here. An animalistic grunt comes out of the back of his throat, pain, anger, sadness, and regret forcing themselves a way out. All the memories flood his mind, all the feelings he had put away, just wash over him and he breaks down.

He doesn’t even notice someone knocks on his door and comes in. When he feels a hand on his back, he jolts up. “Chris?” He looks into the worried eyes of his best friend.

Chris tries to wipe away his tears and tries to stop his crying but doesn’t succeed. He can’t hold it back anymore.

“Jeez, Chris, what’s going on?” Danny crouches in front of Chris’ chair and he strokes Chris’ upper arms to comfort him.

After a while, Chris has no more tears left, he becomes quiet. “Chris?” Danny frowns.

“Sorry you had to see that,” Chris gives him half a smile.

“What is going on, I have never seen you that broken before.” Danny gets up and sits down on the corner of the desk.

Chris bends down to pick up the letter he dropped on the floor. “Here, read this.”

Halfway through the letter, Danny’s face turns pale. His eyes rush over the lines. When he is done reading, he drops the letter on the desk, his eyes wide. “No way.”

“Yeah,” Chris looks down at the floor, he doesn’t know what to do with himself.

“Your father is still alive.” Danny says thunderstruck.

“Yeah,” Chris repeats. “I’ve failed him.”

Danny looks at Chris, his brows form a frown. “No. Chris, you’re not the one to blame. You were just a kid at the time. You had no idea what to do. You are not to blame, don’t even think about it.”

“Still, I have never looked for my father.”

“It was too dangerous, Chris, if you had gone looking for your father you would have been taken too! Then we wouldn’t have lost one Alpha, but two!”

Chris sighs. He doesn’t know what to think. “We have to find and save him now, though.”

“Yes! Let me call everyone together, then we can think of a way to find your father and free him.”

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