Chapter 11 ~~Endings part 1~~
The next morning they were up early and after a quick breakfast, Marcus and Angela told Ethan and Kia that they would take care of getting Tanya home and that they could do as they had originally planned in getting Kia signed out of school and from the placement agency.
“We’ll follow you to the city in our own car so that you can get your business taken care of while we deal with this.” Marcus told them at breakfast.
“Are you sure, Marcus? My stuff can wait. Taking care of pack business has to come first over that.” Kia said and Ethan’s heart swelled with pride. She may be new to the pack but she was already putting it above her own wants and needs. She was going to make a great Luna.
“We have some other business to take care of as well in the city so we were going to have to go anyway. From what I hear, you already had a full day planned and to Tanya it’s not going to matter who shows up to collect her. No offense to you Kia but she knows Angela and not you.” Marcus said.
“I also want to go to the florist and arrange for flowers to be delivered tomorrow, since the flowers in the garden have only just started to really bloom, I don’t have enough to make any decent arrangements.” Angela added.
“I understand.” Kia said but she still felt like she was dropping the ball in her Luna duties by not being there but arranging for flowers would not even have entered her mind until that very day. She realized that she had a lot to learn about being Luna.
As soon as breakfast was over, Ethan called Jared, Chris and Josh for a quick meeting. “Me, Kia and my parents all have business in the city today. My parents are going to be picking up Tanya and bringing her home. Make sure that the Bryerson’s have anything they need. Kia and I will more than likely not be home until nightfall if not later so Jared, as usual, you are in charge. I don’t want anyone patrolling alone and double the night guards. We don’t want a repeat of what happened to Ronald.”
“Don’t worry, Alpha. We’ll take care of things.” Jared assured him.
“Josh, get everyone on the field today and work them on combat techniques. Tell everyone they are to link their locations and status of the borders on an hourly basis, day and night.” Ethan instructed.
“Will do, Alpha.” Josh confirmed.
Ethan dismissed them then he and Kia left for town. Marcus and Angela followed them about half an hour later, telling Jared that they should be back just after lunch time.
Since Kia knew that Ms. Kay might have to go out of the office, she called to let her know that they were coming in today and Ms. Kay informed her that she would be in the office until 10 am.
They made a quick stop at a jewelry store, to buy her the gift Kia wanted to get for her. Kia had been thinking about it and she decided to buy Ms. Kay a heart pendant. She had wanted it to be engraved “My guardian angel” and the man was very happy to oblige. He had finished it within just a few minutes.
Ethan started to insist on paying for it but Kia overruled him by saying “She has watched out for me ever since I moved to Omaha over 6 years ago. I want this to be from me to her.” The necklace had set her savings back a hundred dollars but to her it was worth it.
Kia had always dreaded having to come back here and was glad that this was the last time she would ever have to go to this place. She led Ethan into the office and the girl at the reception desk recognized Kia right away.
“Hey, Kia! Are you here to sign out?” The girl named Jane asked as she ogled Ethan.
“Hi Jane. Yes! I am. Ms. Kay said she would be here until 10. Is she in her office?” Kia asked.
“Yep and I’m sure you know the way.” Jane said and picked up the phone to let Ms. Kay know they were on their way.
Kia led Ethan through the maze of offices until she reached Ms. Kay’s office. Kia knocked and when she heard “come in”, opened the door and stepped inside. The office was small but tidy with a single desk facing the door.
There were windows that looked out to the playground area that was currently empty as classes were still in session. Both walls on either side of the desk were lined with file cabinets.
They were full of the stories of the lives of the thousands of children that had passed through the system that Ms. Kay had been in charge of over the years. Behind the desk sat an average looking woman with dark hair pulled back into a severe bun on the back of her head. She had large round eyeglasses on her long pointed nose and bright blue eyes.
She wasn’t what Ethan would think of as an attractive woman at all but she was neatly dressed in a polyester blouse that was buttoned to the throat and an A shaped skirt.
“Ms. Kay, this is my rescuer, Ethan McGuire. Ethan, this wonderful lady is Kay Endwright. She has been in charge of my case since I moved to Omaha.” Kia introduced the two of them.
“Nice to meet you Ethan. Thank you for rescuing Kia. She’s a very special young lady.” Ms. Kay said as she shook hands with Ethan and then motioned for them to sit down in the chairs across from her desk.
“Nice to meet you as well. Kia has only good things to say about you and you don’t have to tell me just how special she is. I’ve seen it for myself since she has been staying with my family.” Ethan said.
“Well, Kia. You are legally an adult now so I just need you to sign these papers and then you will be free of any more foster families. I’m so sorry about putting you with the Coopers. They had one boy before you but he never said anything about being mistreated while he was with them, so we assumed they were a safe couple.
The state attorney should be contacting you in the next few weeks to give a statement and to let you know whether or not you will have to testify in court or not. I’m hoping not but we’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, here are the copies that I promised you. I do hope you have better luck in finding out more about your parents than I did. My work load doesn’t allow much time to do the in depth research that it would have taken to find out where they came from. Heck, I couldn’t even find out their names for sure.” Ms. Kay told her as she handed over the file.
“Thank you, Ms. Kay. Ethan said he has a friend at the police department that may be able to help but first I have to get checked out at school. I have to find out how many people I’m allowed but I would like for you to be there when I graduate next week. It’s next Tuesday at 6 pm in the high school gym.” Kia said.
“Count on it.” Ms. Kay said.
Kia pulled the gift out of her purse and handed it to Ms. Kay. “This is to say thank you for all you’ve done for me over the years.”
“Oh, Kia. You didn’t have to do this but thank you.” Ms. Kay opened the box and Kia and Ethan saw tears spring to her eyes as she read the inscription. “Oh you are just too sweet. Thank you. I shall treasure this always.” Ms. Kay said, standing up to come around the desk and give Kia a warm hug. She normally didn’t allow herself to hug the children that came to her but Kia was special. She had always been kind and easy to work with.
Just then her phone began to ring. “Well, I have to get back to work. Best of luck to you Kia and very nice to have met you Ethan. Take good care of her, she’s a very special person.”
They said goodbye and left her office. Kia waited until they were back in the car before she opened the file and looked through it.
“Is there a copy of the police report in there?” Ethan asked.
“Yes, it’s right here. Otherwise it seems there’s mostly just information on all of the families I was placed with over the years.” Kia answered as she flipped to the back of the thick file.
“Good. That’s what we will need to get started. Let’s go to the school and get things handled there and then we’ll call my friend, Mitch.” Ethan said as he started the car. “Maybe he can join us for a late lunch.”
They drove over to the high school and arrived just as the bell rang signalling that one period had ended. Kia held her head high with a big smile on her face as they walked, hand in hand, to the office, fully aware of everyone staring at them.
Her wolf hearing picked up on the girl’s whispers of “Wow, who’s the hunk?” and the guys whispering “Who’s that? She’s hot!” Ethan just had a grin on his face as he followed Kia into the office. Kia knew that he could hear them as well but it still made her feel good.
Kia spoke to the counselor and explained what had happened with the Coopers and the fact that she was now living over an hour and a half away from town. The counselor, Erica Boswell, confirmed that she had completed all of her final tests, her grade point average was 3.75 and that she just had to turn in her books, pick up her cap and gown, ring, and graduation photos.
“I’m sorry to say that you didn’t make it for the scholarship, Kia but there were only so many to go around and so many qualified students that it basically came down to the luck of the draw out of a hat. But it sounds to me like your luck is changing for the better.”
“That it has.” Kia said. “I will still be able to attend the senior ball and walk the line with my class, won’t I?”
“Oh yes. Definitely.” Erica said.
“Well, where do I go to collect my cap and gown and other stuff?” Kia asked.
“There are tables set up in the gym and someone should be there to pass things out but if not, let me know.” Erica said.
They left the counselor’s office and walked through the now empty halls, students had gone on to their next class, to the gym. Sure enough there were tables set up for cap and gowns, one for class rings and the final one for class photos. Thankfully, since most students were in classes, the lines were all short. Members of the cheerleader squad manned each station and all of the girls ogled Ethan shamelessly, smiling and trying to flirt with him as Kia collected her graduation stuff. As soon as she was done, they walked down to her locker to empty it and gather up her text books. “Is your head bouncing on the ceiling yet?” Kia teased him. It had not escaped her attention that all of the cheerleaders had been flirting with him.
“Nah! Not one of them could hold a candle to my mate.” Ethan said honestly which earned him a kiss before she closed her locker. They walked back to the office and Kia turned in her books. As they left the building, Kia had the biggest sense of freedom settled over her and she had a huge smile on her face.
“Today is one of the best days of my life, I swear! I’m finally free! I don’t ever have to come back here and put up with all that BS anymore but the best part is no more foster homes! Woohoo!” She said doing a small dance as she put her things on the back seat of the SUV.
“Call your friend and see if he can meet us somewhere nice for lunch, please. I want to celebrate!” Kia smiled at Ethan, who chuckled at her antics. It made him feel good to see her so happy and now he was glad he had been the one to bring her.
“My pleasure.” Ethan said as he pulled out his cell phone and called his old friend, Mitch. Mitch Robertson was from a neighboring pack, the Blue Pine pack. He and Ethan had known each other almost all of their lives.
Mitch had moved to the city in search of a mate a couple of years ago and since he wasn’t living at the pack house, he had to work. He had considered the military but that would take him too far away from home and his pack. Jeffrey, his older brother, was the Beta in his pack.
Mitch answered “Well, if it isn’t that voice from the past. Have barely heard from you in the past few years and now, twice in one week. How are you, Ethan?”
“Good Mitch. Was wondering if you could join us for lunch? We’re celebrating.” Ethan said.
“Who’s “we” and what are you celebrating?” Mitch asked.
“My mate, Kia, has gotten her freedom today and we have the information I spoke to you about.” Ethan said.
“Where?” Mitch asked.
“How about Johnny’s?” Ethan replied. It was a high end restaurant that they used to take dates to when they wanted to make a good impression or to celebrate special occasions.
“In about half an hour?” Mitch asked, his stomach growling at the thought of a thick slab of their prime rib.
“Meet you there.” Ethan said and then hung up.
“So how do you know Mitch?” Kia asked and Ethan explained about them growing up knowing each other as they drove to the restaurant. When they arrived, Mitch was already there but was waiting in his car for them. He got out and waited for them to park a couple of stalls down.
“Looks like the lunch rush is almost over. Maybe we can get a good table and some fast service.” Mitch said as he and Ethan shook hands and bro hugged. Ethan introduced Kia and Mitch gently shook her hand. “Well, I can see what it was that attracted him to you. Nice to meet you Kia.” He noticed the mark on Kia’s neck and felt a longing to find his own mate.
“It hits you like a freight train going a hundred miles an hour, bro.” Ethan grinned at him as he read the expression on Mitch’s face.
“Maybe I should hang around the train station.” Mitch laughed. “Where did you two meet?”
“Found her asleep on a bus stop bench.” Ethan said and then burst out laughing at the expression on his friends’ face.
“Wow. Now that had to be the moon goddess at work there. Put in a good word for me with her, will you?” Mitch said.
They entered the restaurant and were immediately seated at a table near the windows. They looked over the menu and as soon as the waiter brought their drinks they had all decided what they wanted to eat so they placed their order. As soon as the waiter left to place their order in the kitchen, Mitch asked, “So what is it you need my help with?”
“Kia’s parents were killed in a car accident when she was only 7 years old. Somehow she got put in the human child care system because she could only remember her first name and didn’t know her parents’ names. Kia was thrown from the car but her parents were trapped inside when it exploded and burned.
The police around Sheridan, where the accident happened, didn’t know she was a pup so they just turned her over to the local system. She’s been in that system for eleven years now and finally got released today. That’s why we are celebrating.
We have a copy of the police report from the accident. Kia wants to know if you can find out anything about her parents and what pack they come from? I’m wondering why they didn’t make an effort to find her.”
“Well, if the report shows the vin number of the car or even the license plate number, then I can find out who they were. As to why the pack would have been unable to trace her would be because that’s the way the system is set up.
When kids enter the system, the only way to track them is if you can prove you are a blood relative and since she didn’t even know who she was there would have been no way for anyone to even inquire with anyone. No one was probably notified of their deaths. I’d almost bet that they are buried in unmarked graves with just the date of their death’s to record it.” Mitch said.
“I will do my best to find out what I can but you also have to realize that for some of the smaller packs, unless the woman goes to the hospital to give birth, the birth may not even be recorded by the state but I would be very surprised in this case since you are what, 18 now? That was changed when the government created the US census but some of the old timers and people who live away from human society don’t always follow the human laws and that is something that needs to change at least in this kind of thing. Everyone needs a birth certificate nowadays. You can’t even get a driver’s license without a birth certificate.”
“That’s true. I passed driver’s ed but I can’t get my license until I can produce a birth certificate.” Kia spoke up.
“You don’t have a driver’s license or birth certificate?” Ethan asked in amazement and his heart felt sore when she shook her head no.
“Heck you can’t get a marriage license without one either. With the legalization laws that are becoming such a big issue lately, you will be considered an illegal alien until you can prove you were born here in the USA.” Mitch said.
“You mean I could be deported?” Kia asked, becoming frightened.
“Probably not deported because they can’t just send you to a random country since you can’t prove where you were born but you could do some jail time.” Mitch said, honestly.
“Wow. I didn’t realize it could go to that extreme. Don’t worry Kia, we will figure this out.” Ethan said, squeezing her hand.
“I don’t want to scare you but you really need to get it addressed right away and I will do everything I can to find you a starting point.” Mitch said.
Just then their food arrived and everyone concentrated on eating for a few minutes. The food was delicious and Ethan guided the conversation away from Kia’s situation and he and Mitch took turns telling Kia stories about their growing up together and some of the trouble they got into as adolescents. By the time they were done eating, Kia felt much more at ease but had been laughing so much that she needed to use the ladies room.
While she was gone, Ethan quickly gave Mitch the run down about the rogues and about Ronald being killed. “That’s the second time in as many days as we’ve had to chase rogues off of our land. We have one of them in a holding cell and he’s talking but doesn’t seem to know much. He’s an Omega that ran from an abusive pack only to be bullied into joining the rogues. He’s asked to join our pack but because of what happened with Ronald, I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet.” Ethan told him.
“I think I need to check in with the folks at home. They don’t bother me with pack issues unless they need my help and so far Jeffrey is handling things just fine, I guess.” Mitch said with a worried look on his face.
“My parents came in today to pick up Tanya from the college to take her home to be with her family. We will be having a memorial service in a day or two. There’s not even enough of him left to bury really. It looked like they didn’t just kill him, they ate him as well. All we found besides a large pool of blood was his head, a few of the larger bones and some fur.” Ethan said remembering the scene they had found and suddenly his lunch wasn’t sitting well in his stomach.
“Sounds like the rogues have gone mad.” Mitch said as he unconsciously rubbed his stomach as if to keep his lunch down too.
“Don’t say anything in front of Kia, please. I don’t want to spoil her day. She’s been so happy today.” Ethan said when he spotted her coming back from the restroom.
“So what else do you have to do in town? I might be able to come up with something by the time I get off of work. Now that I have the report number, I should be able to pull up information on the computer at work.” Mitch said as Kia returned to the table.
“Oh that would be great! We still have to go get Ethan a tux and there are a few things I would like to get at the store before we go home. Maybe give us a call when you find out something?” Kia said.
“A tux?” Mitch asked.
“Ethan is going to escort me to my senior ball Friday night and it’s a formal event.” Kia smiled at Ethan and Mitch almost busted out laughing except for the sharp kick Ethan aimed at his shin under the table.
The waiter brought their tab and Ethan pulled out his credit card and paid the bill. They left the restaurant and Mitch told them he would talk to them soon.
Ethan and Kia drove over to a store that specializes in men’s suits and Ethan picked out one that would have the girls at the dance drooling because it had that effect on Kia. It was cut long for his long waist and broad shoulders. He chose a royal blue dress shirt, to match her dress, it looked really good on him. “Wow. I may have to bring a whip to the dance to keep all the girls away from you. You look hot, babe!” Kia said as Ethan modeled the suit for her.
“You like this one?” Ethan asked. “At least it’s comfortable. Wrap it up, sir. We’ll take this one.” He told the salesman who had been helping them without even looking at the price tag, which nearly gave Kia heart failure when the man rang it up.
“Now that I have a tux, I won’t have to worry about the Luna Ball either. As soon as the memorial service for Ronald is over, I want you to get serious about planning for that.” Ethan said and then could have kicked himself for bringing up Ronald’s death at the sad look on Kia’s face.
“I’ve been having such a good time today, I had almost forgotten about that.” Kia admitted as they got back in the car.
“I’m sorry to have spoiled your day.” Ethan apologized.
“Oh, you haven’t. It’s been a good day today and I feel guilty for not being more focused on that. Bad Luna.” Kia scolded herself.
“No you are not a bad luna. You just didn’t know Ronald but he’s been my friend for a long time so I’m sorry but he’s just been on my mind a lot today.” Ethan said feeling bad.
“I know and I should be more sensitive to your feelings. I’m not used to having friends like you have.” Kia said.
“I know and that can come with it’s pro’s and con’s. Having good ones is great but losing them is really hard.” Ethan said.
Just then his phone rang and he told Kia “It’s Mitch.”
“Hey Mitch. Got some good news for us?” said as he answered his phone.
“Sure do. Are you two still in town?” Mitch asked.
“Yes. We just finished picking up my suit.” Ethan said.
“I still can’t believe you are going to her senior ball.” Mitch teased his friend. “Look, I get off work in about an hour. How about you meet me after work and I’ll give you what I’ve found so far.”
“Sure. Where?” Ethan asked.
“How about the Twisted Fork?” Mitch suggested.
“We’ve got a few more errands to do but we’ll meet you there in about an hour or so.” Ethan said and then relayed the message to Kia who instantly perked up.
“Oh did he say what he found out?” She wanted to know.
“No but he sounded cheerful so it must be good news.” Ethan said.
“Oh Ethan, I can’t believe it. I’m finally going to find out my parents’ names and where I’m from. I’ve been waiting for this for so long!” Kia said, excitedly.
Ethan was glad that he was able to put the smile he had been enjoying all day back on her face. There was no way he was going to mention anything about Ronald or the memorial service again today. They would just deal with it when they got home.
For now, Kia said she wanted to go to Walmart so that’s where he took her. “I just need to get some shampoo, conditioner and body wash and I need a new brush. Mine is missing a lot of the little tip covers and it’s starting to scratch my scalp.”
They walked around, taking their time in Walmart and Kia also remembered to get a couple of notebooks so that she could write things she learned about being a Luna down. It didn’t escape his attention when they passed the jewelry counter and Kia slowed down to admire the wedding rings. “Which one would you choose?” Ethan whispered in her ear as he came up behind her. She had also been admiring the ones at the jewelry store earlier.
Kia jumped slightly. “Oh, I don’t know. I like that one but this one is nice too. But I don’t think these are real diamonds. Probably zirconia.” Kia said, squishing up her button nose in distaste.
He couldn’t blame her. Walmart would be the last place he would go in search of an engagement ring for her. But now he at least knew what style ring would appeal to her. Now all he had to do was find out her ring size but how to find out without her suspecting it had him stumped. He had a feeling he was going to have to have some help! Maybe Lily or his mother?
“Well, it’s almost time for us to meet Mitch. We’d better get through the checkout line.” He said, eyeing the long line at each of the check out counters.
“Let’s do the self scan lane. I hate using them but it is usually faster than standing in line, especially when we have so little to check.” Kia suggested.
Sure enough, they quickly went through the self scan lane and were outside in just a few minutes. They drove over to the Twisted Fork and Mitch showed up just a few minutes later.