A hand on my shoulder gently shook me awake. I opened my eyes to find Yvonne looking down at me. A small smile on her face. I started to sit up but she motioned for me to stop. Then reached over and stroked Alex's hair. There was a stir in my mind and I felt the link, opening to it.
Yvonne, "There must be more to you than I thought."
Me, "I'm not sure what you mean."
Yvonne, "He doesn't allow anyone near him, not since his parents died. Alex has been an orphan for almost two years. We have tried many families within our pack but he just wouldn't have any part of it. I was beginning to think he would grow up alone."
My heart welled, a lump growing in my throat. I looked down at the little face on my shoulder. In that moment a need I had never known washed over me. Something emerging that I didn't think was ever an option. But this boy needed a mother, a family.
Me, " He's not alone.", was all I could say. I didn't feel I should have to say more. This would mean more changes in this kaliedoscope that was becoming my future, but change was becoming normal for me. I have no idea how to be a mother, a mate, a wolf, a snake. Not even sure I really knew how to human when I was one. Que the anxiety. All the what if's and possible scenarios of where I would fail swooped in and used it's giant wings to fan the flames of all my insecurities. What the hell was I thinking! I didn't even babysit as a teen, my knowledge of kids was limited to knowing what toys where on tv commercials, how was I supposed to step into the roll of being someones mother? Have I lost my mind? Would Del be ok with this? Should I have waited and talk to her first? How was I supposed to balance caring for this child and taking care of Del? Would she feel pressured to keep the baby because there was already a child in our lives? NO. I couldn't let him grow up alone. I wouldn't let him. She would understand my decision. Children are a bleesing no matter how they come into your life, they're meant to be protected. Nurtured. And this boy needs me. How was I ever going to tell him no.
Wait a damn minute, that was new. I've never thought like that. I've never felt this way before. Good god I wish my thoughts and emotions would sort themselves the hell out. This rollercoaster crap was getting old quickly. Again I felt the stir in my mind, "You're a mom now, like you said children are a blessing no matter how they come into your life. Get used to that feeling of fear that any and everything is a threat to their health and safety, that instinct to protect them from all the dangers the world holds. I think you'll know what to do as you move forward." Yvonne with drew and broke the link. Standing silently next to me watching her daughter sleep and absently rubbing her belly in a circular motion. Her stomach looked bigger than it had yesterday. Which brought me back to the thought of a wolves pregnancy and how long it lasts.
Carefully I stood up, lifting Alex with me and nodding to the chair for Yvonne to sit. I walked over and placed Alex down on the empty bed next to Dels. After covering him up I stood back, looking from one to the other and letting it sink in that this is now my life. A mother in law that also happens to be royalty, a wife - the pregant princess who may or may not recover her memories, and a now formerly orphaned boy who chose me as his new family. Learning how to be a hybrid, the fact that only half of what I am is known and the other half is to be figured out as I go. If I was a drinking woman. this just might be when I would need a very strong, very tall drink. We sat in silence for I don't know how long. Just watching over them. I tried to map out what my next steps were and sort through my choices. My little apartment wasn't going to big enough now, we would need something much bigger. Alex would need clothes and books and games and toys. I had no idea what kind of education system the pack provided or if I was expected to do some form of home schooling. But I also needed to consider that Del may be in the hospital for awhile. She may even decide that she wants to live on her own, with out us. I wasn't sure that was something I would agree to with out a protest. But I felt that was probably the selfish side of me, more the mate bond animalistic part that wants to be near her at all times. I also needed to sit down and start studying up on all things wolf, I was pretty good at school. I never minded the reasearch aspect so this shouldn't be too difficult. It's just finding the time with everything I have now placed on my metaphorical plate. At the root of it all though was the fear Del wouldn't even remember me, that she wouldn't want me any more, that our connection would break and I would lose her forever.
A raspy voice broke me from my thoughts, "Lex, that's not how the mate bond works. Besides, who could ever forget you?" Tears fell from my eyes so rapidly I couldn't see through them. She was awake, she knew who I was. I was at her side with out even realizing I had moved. Kissing her face where ever I could find space I thought I hadn't kissed yet. Del giggled a little and held my face in her hand. Staring into my eyes before leaning in to kiss me. A fire blazed through my veins and ignited every nerve. Behind us, Yvonne cleared her throat. I gave her room to see to her daughter, she sat down on the bed next to her and leaned in for a hug. I could hear the faint conversation of their mind link but did my best to give them their privacy, I felt they deserved it. Knowing things hadn't always been great between them.