Everyone had something to keep them occupied.
Freya had her family and her new pack. Riley had Reese. Ethan had Tristan. Everest was spending a lot of time with one of Freya’s brothers-- I could not for the life of me tell them apart. Even after recognizing their scents, the names still alluded me and it was rude to ask someone’s name after they had been introduced to you thrice.
A week ago, before the E-twins, before crazy witch Minnie, when Freya had just dyed her hair that pretty pink, things had been way easier.
I quickly shot to my feet. “Sir.”
“Call me Edward.”
“Okay.....” I would never ever call him that.
He sat down on the stairs where I had just been. I awkwardly followed suite.
Seconds ticked by in complete silence.
“It’s been two weeks, Webb. Our daughter seems good...fine. Healthy. Her food isn’t poisoned. Neither is her drink. She isn’t forgetful....her strength is constant...” He trailed off and eyed me. “She smiles when you walk into the room.”
I chuckled. “Yeah.”
“You smile too.”
“When are you mating them?”
“Huh?” I sputtered.
“It needs to be done before we leave. Maya is adamant and I’m getting antsy being around a pack.”
He chuckled. “You’re embarrassed? Don’t be. It’s completely natural. I was raised a Siren, you know. Nothing fazes me.”
I nodded. But it was so so weird. My mate’s dad asking me when I was going to complete the bond with his daughter and my other mate. “As soon as possible, Sir.”
“Okay. Well don’t go calling Maya, “ma’am” or anything like that lest you want a punch to the face.”
“You want to stay?”
Meili kicked a rock and avoided my gaze. We were at the Siren camp bringing food to them. Riley and his brother were busy making rounds which was Riley's code for seeing the Omega.
“You’re here too,” he grumbled.
I sighed. “If you stay, you leave mom and dad and Syn and Zisa and Magni and Forsetti and--”
“I get it!” he snapped. “I know. I know, okay? I love them too. But I need to stay. Freya, I need it like air.”
“Is he your mate?”
“I don’t know. He doesn’t treat me any different.” He shrugged. “It feels really good when I talk to him, when I touch him. They’re these tingles that travel through me. Like fire and sparks all at once. Warmth....”
I smiled at him. My little baby brother. A wolf always knew their ate. If Meili felt it, then it had to be true. “I’ll talk to him--”
“No! Please don’t. I’ll....I’ll sort it out. Okay? I’ll figure it out. Just don’t...please don’t interfere.”
“Okay. I won’t. I hope you know what you’re doing, Meili.” I hesitated, but I said it anyways. “A wolf can die from a broken heart.”
“I do,” he answered with conviction.
“Trust me. Okay? I’ll come through,” Reese said into his phone. I was standing just inside his door waiting for him to acknowledge
He turned around and visibly jerked. He hung up. “Riley? I didn’t hear you come in. What’s up?”
“Nothing. Just wanted to see you. Catch up a little.”
He nodded slowly then, “How long have you been standing there?”
I frowned. “I don't know. Why?”
He laughed. “Just feeling a little rusty. Can’t believe I didn’t hear you come in.”
Try being the mate of a Siren for a week and tell me if you won’t end up walking as quiet as me, I thought. Out loud I said, “Don’t sweat it. Happens to the best of us.” I made my way over to his bed and perched myself on the edge. He was my brother, we had been the closest we could be when we were younger, but now...
“Where do you live?” ....I hadn’t seen him in fourteen years. I had been nine and he, thirteen.
“A pack? A family? Are you married? I feel like we haven’t sat down and just talked, you know? Am I an uncle?”
He smirked. “I wish.”
So did I.
That was the first time I had ever realized such a dream existed in me. Not being an uncle-- I wouldn’t have minded--but being a father.
Having pups of my own.
When I had been in love with only Dustin, it hadn’t been a possiblilty. Now though...I had Freya. I found myself grinning.
I’d have to talk to her about it. Freya did not seem like the kid type.
“Why the smile?”
I shrugged. “Just thinking.”
“Well, I live in Texas. In a coyote pack.....” he trailed off. “You could come back with me. Live among your people.”
I grimaced. “Sorry I can’t leave. I have Freya and Dustin here.”
“You could bring them with you.”
I shook my head. “They’re needed here.”
“That a huge sacrifice to make for them.”
I shot to my feet, feeling irritated. “They’re my mates. Nothing I ever do for them is a sacrifice.”
“Please sit down. I’m sorry. I misspoke.”
“I’m not married. Or mated. or in a relationship. Not yet anyway. I’m still too young for that.”
“How did you find me?”
“I’ve been looking for you for years. I was adopted by humans, but there was a wolf pack in the area at that time. They helped me find a coyote pack. It took me in. Their alpha has been helping me find you. And now I have.”
It was nice and heartwarming to hear.
For all of five seconds.
Before hell broke loose.