“Eric, I just went out to get ice cream, I’m fine… I know he hasn’t been found, but it’s been two weeks, and…” Anna huffed as she tried to jiggle her ice cream cone, her phone, and getting her car door open. “Okay, I’ll be home in… ah…!” Anna screamed.
Someone grabbed her from behind, causing her to drop her ice cream cone. That same someone yanked her phone out of her hand as they opened the car door and shoved her inside. Pushing her over the console she almost fell into the passenger side seat. Anna turned to see who that someone was and let out another scream when she saw Mark smirking at her from the driver’s seat.
“Did you miss me, Anna?” He asked in an evil tone as he snatched her keys. Starting up the car, he sped out of the parking lot toward the outskirts of town.
Anna held back another scream as she sat up and buckled in. She might not want to be here, but the safety of her unborn baby came first. “Mark, what are you doing?”
He glanced at her before going back to watching the road. “I’m taking what belongs to me. First, though, we must find somewhere to beat that baby from your belly. I won’t raise another man’s child Anna, no, you will be having my babies and only mine.”
Anna let out a whimper as she wrapped her arms around her belly protectively. She felt the baby move as if he felt his mother’s fear. “Oh Eric, please find me before it’s too late.”
Eric stared down at his phone. “What just happened?”
One minute he’d been talking to Anna, the next, she’d let out a small sound of fear, then nothing. Standing up he headed for the door.
“Hey, man, where are you going?” Ron asked.
“I’m not sure yet. My wife’s phone just… well, I’m not sure exactly what happened to it. So, I’m going to go find her,” Eric answered. Walking down the hall he paused at his Alpha’s door, then poked his head in. “Alpha, I’m heading out to find Anna. Something is wrong.”
Alpha Pete frowned. “Take Jarod and Mike with you.”
Eric nodded and started off to find the two men. When they were found, they quickly loaded up in his truck and took off. He started by going by the only ice cream shop in town because that’s where she said she’d went. He didn’t see her car, but he got out of the truck anyway. Letting his wolf rise a bit he took a deep breath. He could still smell her scent lightly.
Noticing something shiny on the ground, he went and picked it up. Anna’s phone, next to a puddle of melted ice cream. He growled. Someone had his wife. Turning back to the truck, he drove toward a little lane in the woods. Then he and the other two got out and shifted into their wolves.
Wolf growled as he took complete control. Someone had his mate who was heavily pregnant with his pup. He was not happy about this, in fact, he was enraged over it. Woe to whoever had her when he found them because today that someone would die.
Then he began to run, following the mate bond he and his sweet Anna shared. They’d only been running for maybe ten minutes when Wolf picked up the sound of whimpering. The whimpering soon turned into crying and he pushed himself toward the sound.
“Please, please, don’t hurt my baby!” Anna cried out.
“You should have never gotten this way by him, Anna. I told you, you belonged to me. So, why would you think this would be acceptable when I came back for you? Huh? Huh? Answer me that Anna?” A man shouted.
The voice was all too familiar to Wolf, it was Mark.
The shout was followed by a slap, which echoed in the still of the forest, then a scream.
Wolf snarled and bolted from the bushes to find his Anna hunched over on the ground. She had her arms wrapped around herself, protecting his pup the best she could with her body. Mark was bent over her, trying to pull her up.
Wolf saw red and lunged for Mark as he came up. He caught him, his head in Mark’s stomach, and shoved him with all his might away from his mate before biting down on Mark’s leg.
Mark yelled even as he pulled something from his pocket and yelled, “I came prepared for you this time!”
Wolf saw the man’s gun too late. The gun went off and Wolf felt a burn in his shoulder. It wasn’t silver though, so all it did was anger him even more as he heard his mate’s sobs coming from behind him. With another snarl, Wolf lunged again, this time for the man’s neck.
The second shot went wild as Mark went down. Within seconds the man called Mark was dead, gun still smoking in his hand.
Wolf stepped back; his lip still curled back in a snarl. No one and he meant no one messes with what is his to protect. He turned to whine at his mate who was holding her belly as she lay panting on the ground.
“I-I think… I think the baby is coming Eric,” she panted.
Wolf stepped closer to take a sniff of his mate. He smelled a bit of blood and whined.
Anna reached out and rubbed her hand along his head as he nuzzled her belly.
Wolf felt the baby move, but not the way he usually did when Wolf greeted him. It felt more like the pup was getting ready to come and Anna’s gasp as a hard contraction moved through her told him she was right. His pup was ready to be born.
“Seriously Eric, I’d like to have this baby… aah… too late, baby not waiting!” She shouted as another contraction hit.
Eric shifted. “Anna!”
“Eric, this baby is coming whether I’m ready or not,” she informed him with a sob. “I don’t want to have him in the forest.”
“I’ll get you to the clinic.”
Anna shook her head, “No, you won’t because he’s not going to wait that long. Can I at least have him in the back of your truck?”
Eric looked up to find the two wolves he’d brought with him watching. “Go, tell the alpha what happened here. Send the pack doctor out, hurry!”
With a nod of understanding, the two took off.
Eric picked his mate up just as she yelped again. “Another already?”
“Yeah. I had a feeling he might be a bit early. With everything that happened today it has sped the process up even more.”
When they reached his truck, he sat her down. He pulled out blankets and towels he always carried in his toolbox and spread them out. Then Eric moved her onto the pallet he’d made before helping her out of her pants.
“I know nothing about childbirth, my love,” he murmured as he lifted her legs. “However, I think I see the baby’s head.”
She huffed. “Such an impatient child.”
“Yep, just like his mother,” Eric agreed. “So, let’s bring this baby into the world.”
By the time the pack doctor and the alpha made it to where they were, little Ryker Hollington had already made his entrance into the world. He was red, wrinkled, and yelling his lungs out, but never had a baby looked so beautiful as he did to his new parents as they stared down at him in awe.
“Couldn’t wait for the Calvary, could you?” Alpha Pete asked as he shifted and pulled on shorts.
“Nope, he is one impatient child,” Eric said.
The pack doctor quickly checked him over and smiled. “Well, despite his entrance, he seems to be healthy.” Turning to Anna, he said, “Let’s get you to the clinic for a once over too, shall we?”
Anna gave the doctor a tired nod.
“I’ll drive,” Alpha Pete said.
Eric nodded and wrapping his mate and baby up in a clean blanket the doctor had brought in his pack, he carried her to the front of the truck. Once they were all in, Alpha pulled out onto the road. Reaching the Pack Clinic, they found Maura, Minnie, Tony, Emerson, and Ember waiting for them.
“My baby, my baby is here!” Ember yelled as she ran toward the truck. “Is it true, Auntie? Is my baby here?”
Anna laughed as she uncovered Ryker’s head. “Ember, meet Ryker.”
Ember giggled as she kissed his little head and whispered, “We’re gonna be the best of friends and if bubba is nice we’ll let him be your friend too.”
“Hey, I’m always nice!” Emerson shouted and the adults laughed.
“Okay, Ember, back up now. They need to go in and let the doctor make sure they’re both okay,” Minnie said.
Ember nodded even as she watched them take Auntie Anna and Ryker inside the building.
Later that evening, after both Anna and Ryker had a thorough check and everyone was gone, Anna and Eric lay snuggled together on the small bed.
Anna rubbed a hand gently across little Ryker’s head and gave a contented sigh.
“You sound happy, love.”
“I am, so, so happy. I never thought the day would come when I’d hold a little one in my arms. Yet here he is and he is just perfect.”
Eric smiled as he caressed the baby’s cheek. “That he is. I told you our baby would be even better looking than Tony and Minnie’s.”
Anna just shook her head at him as she looked up. “Who knew that day I ran into you, I’d end up here. I was so lost and lonely, yet I still had hope that one day I’d find my forever love.”
Eric turned to gaze into her eyes. “Your forever love?”
She laughed as her cheeks turned pink. “Yeah. I told Renee that even with what had happened with Gary and I, I still believed in happy ever after. With you, Eric, I’ve found happiness, and my forever love, the kind I always dreamed of.”
Leaning in Eric kissed his mate. “I’m glad you ran into me that day too Anna because in you I’ve also found my forever love, my soulmate. You have made me and my wolf incredibly happy. I love you.”
“I love you too,” she whispered back.
Then he once more kissed her as their new baby boy watched with a smile only a baby can have.
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