All night I couldn’t sleep. Valen wouldn’t answer any of my texts and shoved me out whenever I tried to mind-link him. His silence was driving me insane, and I worried about Valarian. He sounded upset on the phone and wanted to come home, but I managed to calm him down enough and told him I would pick him up from school. Valen didn’t object, so I figured he was okay with that, or at least I hoped he was.
Throughout the night, I obsessed over the horrible sh*t that was portrayed on the news, saying Valen and I were fighting because he was cheating on me, that he finally realized Valarian wasn’t his son. It was all bullsh*t. I knew it, they knew it, but they would do whatever they could do to sell a story.
The bed felt too big without Valen in it, cold and empty, the house too quiet without him snoring beside me and making me want to smother him while he slept.
Many times I got up and checked the locks and windows and checked Valarian’s bed. A habit I thought I outgrew. That was something Zoe, I both did, almost like we took it in turns during the night when it was just us. We always feared it being only us in the house, knowing that rogue-w****s weren’t much of a fight if someone broke in, especially with my tiny wolf and hers.
Yet alone, I found myself reverting back to old habits and nearly had a panic a****k when I realized Valarian wasn’t in his bed when I checked. I kept reminding myself he was safe with his father, yet knowing that and seeing it for myself were two different things. Maybe if he wasn’t angry with me, I would be fine. Because I never had this issue when Valarian would sleep at Kalen’s, I knew it was because I was entirely alone and without having anything to distract me reminded me of being on my own in my car, only this time I was in a huge empty penthouse, yet the feeling was still the same…
Having just closed my eyes, I heard the front doors lock twist and click, which had me sitting upright. Panic coursed through me and my hand instantly searched for Valen in the bed before remembering he wasn’t here. My heart thumped in my chest as I crept toward the hall when Valen’s voice flitted through my head.
“Calm down. It’s just me. Don’t hit me with anything; I am carrying our son,” he mind-linked, and I let out a breath of relief.
Walking down the hall, I see him step out of the entryway and into the dim lighting. I left the stove light on, and as I stepped into the living area, I saw Valen was carrying Valarian, who was asleep in his arms. It was a little after midnight, and I moved closer, wanting to take him but Valen turned away.
“Get his bed ready. I will carry him,” Valen whispers, and I nod, rushing off down the hall and pulling his sheets back.
I step aside, flicking on his nightlight and lighting the ceiling up with his solar system projection. Valen sets him in his bed, tucks him in, and relief floods me that Valarian is home. Although when I moved to kiss his head, Valen walked out without a word to me. I heard him walk into the bathroom down the hall before the shower started.
Checking the front door was locked, I went and climbed back into bed. Valen came in a few minutes later in his towel. Once again, he said nothing, and I could feel he was still angry, so I let him be. Yet when he got dressed and grabbed his pillow, I knew he wasn’t coming to bed.
Instead, he walked out of the room, and my stomach twisted, knowing he was still so angry with me that he wouldn’t even sleep in the bed beside me. At least he was home. Maybe now I could get some form of sleep. No such luck. It took hours to sleep as I stared at the ceiling.
The following morning, I was awoken by morning sickness. It sent me running for the bathroom as I heaved and threw up the contents of my stomach, splattering the front of my pajamas in my vomit. It was early in the morning, and it was the first time I woke up needing to be sick.
My stomach turned violently when I felt Valen’s fingertips brush the back of my neck and pull my hair away from my face. Catching my breath, I feel him sweep my hair over my shoulder before he wet a face cloth and handed it to me. “Are you alright?” I nodded my head, feeling breathless. My throat was r*w and burning, wiping my mouth and he walked out.
Climbing in the shower, Valen walks back in. He was already dressed, and he placed a towel on the sink basin. I watched him scoop up my dirty laundry, and when he went to walk out, I called out to him.
“Are you leaving early?” I asked him.
“I’m going with dad. I already packed Valarian’s lunch. It is on the counter,” he says, walking out and shutting the door. So I guess unless it was to do with Valarian, we weren’t on speaking terms. It saddened me, but right now, I would take anything. It was better than nothing. When I finished showering, I hopped out, and I could hear that Valen was getting Valarian up and ready for school. Walking into the room, I sigh when I see Valen has set my clothes out on the bed.
Quickly changing into my work clothes, I wanted to try to speak to him before he left, but Valarian was animatedly telling him about something while he ate his coco pops. Valen watches me as I walk into the kitchen before sliding a cup of tea in front of me and my breakfast. I scrunch my face up at the tea. I hated tea, and I wanted coffee, yet when I went to look for it, he cleared his throat.
“I tossed it out. You shouldn’t drink so much caffeine. Also, there are prenatal vitamins above the microwave. Make sure you take them, and you have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow at 2 pm and an ultrasound,” he says, and I nod, wanting to speak to him, but he turned his attention to Valarian.
“Why is mum going to the doctor’s?” Valarian asked, looking at me.
“Because mummy is having a baby,” Valen tells him, kissing his head and grabbing his suit jacket.
“Behave for your mother. I will see you in the morning.” Valen tells him before walking off.
“Wait, you’re not picking me up from school?” Valarian asks, twisting in his seat to look at his father.
“No, I am going with pop and won’t be back until late tonight,”
“Where are you going?” I ask him.
“To pick up that part with dad, I have to go; I need to pick him up because you have his car,” Valen tells me and I went to grab his father’s keys and turned around to retrieve them out of my bag. By the time I did, Valen had already left. I sighed before pouring the tea down the sink, and I couldn’t wait to get to work to make a coffee, though I wasn’t sure my belly would handle it with how my stomach was lately. The smell alone has made me sick a few times, yet I still craved my morning hit of caffeine.
The day went by slowly, time really dragging out. I spent all morning at the hotel talking to contractors. They were slowly getting everything done, but it would be a few months before we would be able to reopen. So after lunch, I went to the homeless shelter and continued doing my mural. It was coming along nicely and I met with the sign fabricator before picking up Valarian from school to approve the final design. I wanted Valen to come with me to the sign design but I suppose he will see it when it set atop the old school.
Pulling up out front of the school, I receive a text message from him.
Valen: Don’t forget to pick up Valarian from school.
I texted him back saying I was out front of the school already and asked roughly what time he would be home, yet he never replied. With a sigh, I tossed my phone into my handbag and waited for the bell. Once home, I cooked dinner while Valarian did his homework.
Everything was very routine, after dinner, he had a bath, I showered then put Valarian to bed. I managed to sneak a small jar of coffee home, hiding it in the back of the pantry. Once Valarian was tucked in bed, I made a coffee, intending to wait up for Valen. I went over the hotel accounts and paid some of the bills that were outstanding, watching our funds slowly dwindle away, but we would grow again, that much I was certain of. When finished, I messaged my father asking for the pack accountant’s details.
Me: Can you send me the pack’s accounts details, and the accounts and assets inventory?
Dad: If you want, I can meet you for lunch tomorrow and go over everything. I will have to sign the deed to the pack house over to you.
Me: No, keep it in your name. I am not taking your house. Just make sure you leave it to Ava in yours and mum’s last will and testament.
Dad: You’re not kicking us out?
Me: No, of course not. It’s your home. You’re still my parents and part of my pack now. I just need to clean up the pack finances, you can still run things on your end.
Dad: Where do you want to meet tomorrow?
Me: Can you meet me at the homeless shelter? I will be there most of the day.
Dad: Can you bring Valarian? Your mother and I would like to see him?
His message shocked me, and I chewed my lip, debating what to reply.
Me: If Valen says it is ok.
Dad: Okay, I’m sorry he found out the way he did. Hope you are both doing well, we haven’t spoken to the media or told them. See you tomorrow.
Me: Night dad.
Dad: Goodnight, Evie. See you tomorrow. I will text when I am on my way.
Well, that went better then I thought. Dad and I managed to have a civil conversation, something I wasn’t expecting after the challenge. It was hours and early morning before I heard the key in the door. I glance at the hall leading to the front door to see Valen step in. He quietly walks in before noticing the lamp on beside me. He drops his keys into the bowl on the hall stand.
“How was your day?” I ask him.
“Long,” Was all he answered before he went to head down the hall. He retrieves a towel from the linen cupboard and walks into the bathroom. Packing my laptop up, I walked to the bathroom door and gripped the door handle, but he locked it. I sighed and knocked on the door, yet he ignores me. I knew he heard me because I could feel his annoyance.
“I am having lunch with my father tomorrow and I wanted to take Valarian. Mum and Dad want to see him?” I call out to him through the door. Yet Valen chooses to ignore me and I hear the water shut off.
Sighing, I move back to the couch and wait for him to come out. He does, walking off toward the bedroom before returning with his pillow and blanket.
“Did you hear me?” I asked him. Though I knew he did because I felt his annoyance earlier.
“Do what you want, you do anyway,” is all he says. Valen chucks his pillow on the couch and his blanket.
“Are you seriously going to just keep ignoring me?” I ask him.
“I have nothing to say, Everly. It’s late, I want to go to bed,” he says and I press my lips in a line before getting up.
“Don’t forget you have the ultrasound tomorrow at 2 PM,” he says as I start walking off.
“I am not sure what time I am meeting dad,” I tell him.
“Well, you won’t be meeting him at 2 PM, will you!” he says before shutting the lamp off and sending the living room into total darkness.
“Are you coming to it?” I ask him, wondering if I was doing this alone, my last experience wasn’t the best and I couldn’t even afford to go to ultrasound appointments, I had to choose between eating for the next week or not eating and going to the appointment.
The only one I had besides my initial one was at 20 weeks and I found out Valarian was a boy The only reason I got to go to that one was that I slipped over at the Chinese restaurant and my boss was worried I would try sue, so he took me to the hospital and they did one because I started bleeding. They put me on bedrest like that was actually a possibility, instead, I was back to scrubbing dishes only hours later. I tried to remind myself this time was different.
Yet I dreaded being pregnant, it terrified me. However, things had changed but one bad experience was enough to ruin this pregnancy for me already.
I shudder when I think of giving birth, how the midwives sneered and taunted me while I cried in agony, the hunger from trying to breastfeed and not getting enough food dried my supply up quickly, if it wasn’t for Macey I would have starved those few days. Who would have thought the offer of a muslie bar would start a lifelong friendship.
Yet the worst was seeing everyone’s families come to meet their new family member while not one person from my previous life remembered I existed.
“Yes, Everly, so don’t be late,” Valen says, pulling me from my thoughts, he moves around on the couch and makes himself comfortable.
“You can sleep in the bed,” I offer suddenly not wanting to be alone. He says nothing and I wanted to climb on the couch with him, just so I could shake the dread away. I take a step toward him to see if he would let me when speaks.
“Go to bed, Everly,” he says and tears pr*ck my eyes as I turn around and head for bed. I don’t know what is worse, being alone or having a mate and feeling alone. Another night of restless sleep and checking the damn locks. Fine, not like I haven’t been on my own, I was no stranger to loneliness. Loneliness was something ingrained and woven through me, yet why did it hurt more now?