I had Zoe drop Valarian to the hospital. I smile when I see her car pull into the parking lot. While she parks the car, I make my way over to her before opening the back door. Unclipping his seatbelt, he hops out of the car excitedly, wanting to see his sisters.
He brought the plushies he helped pick out with him. Yet as I glanced in the car, Taylor and Casey were both in their car seats which I thought was a little odd. It was pretty late at night.
“Where are Marcus and Macey? Also, have you heard from my father?” I ask Zoe, who chews her lip nervously.
Zoe glances in the back at the girls before climbing out of the car and ushering me to the rear of the vehicle. Valarian climbs up onto the hood of the car and waits for me while clutching the blue and green plushies; Zoe glances at him as if to make sure he is out of earshot.
“John returned home with Ava,” Zoe whispers, and I blink at her dumbfounded because nobody told me Ava was found or handed back. Why had no one told me? This was good news, assuming she was alright, and Everly would be relieved knowing her sister was okay.
“What do you mean? Is she okay?”
“She is fine. She was a little dehydrated. John had his old pack doctor check her over.” Zoe tells me.
“And no one thought to tell me?” I whisper, yell.
“No, because your father and John didn’t want to ruin your first night with your babies. But there is more. Macey cut a deal with Carter; she swapped places with Ava.”
My brows furrow at this information. Why would she swap places with her? It made no sense. And what would Carter want with Macey?
I go to open my mouth to say something when Zoe speaks first. “John and Marcus went to help your father look for her. That is why you can’t get a hold of anyone. They told me not to tell you.”
“I will send men out to help them search.
Whereabouts in the city are they looking for her? I can send scouts out to help.”
“I am not supposed to tell you, but Macey isn’t in the city. They have a tracker on her; Marcus rang me just before you did.
They picked up a signal, but it is weak and not giving them an exact location,” Zoe tells me, and I curse, shaking my head.
“Just go take Valarian in to see his sisters and tell Everly her sister is fine. As soon as I know what is going on, I will let you know. I told Marcus he should ring you.” I growl, knowing they were doing this behind my back.
“Please do, because apparently, no one thought to inform me!” I snap, and she cringes.
“They didn’t want to ruin yours and Everly’s day,”
“It has been nearly forty-eight hours since they were born. Someone should have bloody told me by now! Get hold of Marcus and get him to bloody ring me! He has been ignoring my calls.” I snap at her, and she nods her head before climbing back into the car.
My head was all over the place. They didn’t tell me, and now they are god knows where and could be walking into an ambush for all they know.
But it explains the silence through the pack link and why everyone was ignoring my calls. Even Everly had been worried because she was expecting her father and mine to be here by now. Especially with how excited they were.
“Is everything okay, dad?” Valarian asks as he rushes over to grab my hand. “Everything is fine. Are you excited about meeting your sisters?” I ask him.
“Yes, and mum. I don’t like being away from mum. I brought the plushies.” he says, showing me.
“The girls will love them,” I tell him, giving his hand a squeeze before we navigate our way to the maternity ward. As we got closer, I could hear them crying, and I picked up my pace.
Everly still couldn’t shift to heal for a few more days and struggled with moving much. Opening the door, she beamed when she laid eyes on Valarian.
He rushed toward her excitedly, where she was trying to get one baby to latch. While the other cried in the bassinet, another was lying between her thighs asleep, having just been fed.
“Can you grab her?” She nods toward the bassinet, and I wander over, plucking her bundled-up little form out of the crib.
All three babies inherited my genetic mutation. All three girls had amber eyes and dark hair. We still hadn’t picked out names yet, though I had an idea for one name but was yet to run it by Everly.
So, for now, they were still babies A, B, and C. Moving to the chair beside the bed, I rocked baby B in my arms while Valarian dragged a chair over to the bed on the other side of Everly so he could kneel on it next to the bed. He places his hands on the side of the bed, peering at baby A sleeping on her legs, sucking on her fingers.
“They are so small,” Valarian whispers, stroking Baby C’s foot while Everly attempted to breastfeed, which she found harder with three babies and no supply. We had been supplementing with formula, yet she was still determined to try to give them as much breast milk as possible.
“Are you being good for Aunty Zoe, Aunty Macey, and Pop?” Everly asks Valarian, sweeping his hair from his face. I needed to cut it, it was getting too long, and he had been complaining his hair was messy. Zoe had tried to cut it for him, but he refused to let her touch it last night.
Valarian looks at me. I swear that boy was too smart for his own good. The look he gave me was far too knowledgeable for a boy at age 4.1 wait to see if he mentions Macey being gone.
“Yep! Pop brought Aunty Ava home,” he says before showing the baby the dinosaur plushie. Everly’s head whips to the side to look at me. “Ava is back?” she stammers the words out, and I nod.
“Carter gave her back. But we will talk later when Valarian isn’t listening,” I tell her. Her eyes well with tears, and she swallows but nods her head, turning her attention back to Valarian and the girls.
“Can I hold one?” Valarian asks excitedly, reaching for the baby on her legs.
“Wait! Wait, you need to be careful. Come here,” I tell him, and he climbs down off the chair and rushes over as I stand holding baby B in my arms.
“Sit in the chair, and I will help you hold her,” I tell him.
Valarian does, holding his arms out. I hold her, placing her in his arms but keeping a firm grip under her bundled butt and head in case he drops his arms.
Valarian looks down at her in awe and sniffs her little head. “She smells like mum,” he says before k!ssing her little head. The baby squirms in my hands and opens her eyes, and Valarian gasps.
“She has our eyes, dad!” he squeals, inspecting them before smiling brightly. “They all do,” I tell him, lean ing closer to k!ss his head. Valarian plays with her tiny fingers before he leans down, k!ssing her nose.
I kneel, my back hurting from the hard blue hospital chairs while holding her while Valarian coos and makes babbling noises when my phone starts to ring in my pocket.
The vibration makes me stand, and Valarian pouts when I take his sister away, setting her in the bassinet.
“Go sit with mum; I will be back in a minute,” I tell him, and he does while I pull my phone from my pocket.
Everly shuffles over carefully, and he climbs up next to her with my help. Once I see all the kids and my mate are secure, I walk out of the room because it was Marcus calling me when I saw the screen.
Shutting the door behind me, I quickly answer it. ” Forget to tell me something?” I snapped at him.
“I know. I know. You can kill me later. We need your help,” Marcus says, and I growl at him through the phone.
“Did you find her?”
“We think so. We have an approximate area. But the search area is too big. We need men out there. And we are in the forsaken territory. It would be good to have someone who has immunity besides your father out here to go in first,” Marcus tells me.
F*ck, my father and I both had some strange immunity to forsaken bites from the mutation handed down, which I kind of hope is handed down to our children.
Few people knew about it, and it wasn’t something that we publicized, though, after the forsaken attack, they probably figured that with how many bites we both had with not getting sick.
Alpha’s had a little more immunity to the venom. However, their bites had no effect on me and my father at all besides a burning sensation.
“Send me the coordinates, and I will send scouts and warriors out. I’m on my way,” I tell him, hanging up. Walking back into the room, Everly was already staring at the door, and I knew she would have been straining to listen, which was why I shut the door. I could feel her curiosity while I was on the phone.
“What is going on?” she asks through the mindlink while glancing down at Valarian, and I knew she could feel my worry and anger through the bond. I should be out there with my men.
“Carter has Macey,” I tell him, and she purses her l!ps. The look of fury on her face was as angry as I felt.
“So, why are you still standing there?” She replies, and I smirk before moving toward the bed. I lean over Valarian and peck her !ips.
“Come on, Valarian, I need to drop you home,” I tell him, and his lip quivers, not wanting to leave his mother and sisters. I hated to be the one to break his heart.
“He is fine here. You can help me with your sisters, right?” Everly asks him, and he nods excitedly.
“I want to stay. I can look after mum,” he smiles.
“You should tell Tatum.” she mind links, and I knew she was right. Tatum had managed to use his crutches earlier and walked down to see us. I think he thought he would find Macey here because he looked pretty disappointed when he asked where she was, and I had no answer for him.
He had stayed for an hour or so and said he wanted to apologize to her and that he didn’t mean what he said. I got it; he felt useless not being able to walk properly and didn’t want to be a burden on her.
The nurses scolded him for walking down because he had an infection in his leg that required extra surgery to clean it out. The nurses forced him back to his room.
“I will tell him before I leave,” I tell her, gripping Valarian’sface.
“Behave for your mother and stay in this room. Don’t leave. Your mother can’t chase after you right now,” I warn him, and he nods his little head.
“He’ll be fine. I’ll see you soon,” Everly says. And I nod to her, k!ssing each of the kids quickly.
“Make sure you come home to me. You are not leaving me with four babies to raise by myself,” she says through the mindlink.
“Not even the devil himself would stop me from coming home to you. Or them,” I tell her, and she nods, yet I could tell she was trying not to cry. She didn’t want me to go but knew I had to if we wanted to find Macey and have everyone come home safely.
My father and hers could handle themselves, but we aren’t sure what they are walking into, and each new Alpha is stronger than their father. It means Carter is stronger than them, plus he was forsaken once, so we aren’t sure what it means in terms of his bite.
Leaving, I swing by Tatum’s room, stopping at the door. I didn’t know how to tell him Macey was in trouble, yet he had a right to know. He loves her and Taylor, and I knew he wanted her back after seeing him today.
Swallowing guiltily, I pushed the door open to find a nurse in there checking his vitals while another was redressing his leg. He looks up at me. The room smelled sterile, and I could smell antiseptic strongly in here.
One nurse smiles, leaving while the other was redressing the wounds. Tatum looks over at me. “Late-night visit, Alpha,” he states, and I nod.
The nurse checks his dressings before nodding. “I’ll come back and finish up,” she tells him, and he nods his head at her. I wait for her to leave, and Tatum pulls himself up higher on the bed.
“Everything alright?” he asks. I sigh and shake my head, moving closer to the bed. “It’s Macey,” I tell him, and he instantly perks up at her name.
“Is she here? Did she bring Taylor?” he asks.
“Carter has her, Tatum.” His eyes widen, and he instantly tosses the blanket back. I grip his shoulder.
“Everly wanted me to tell you, I am going after her. But you are in no state to travel,” I tell him, trying to shove him.
“If it were Everly, would you be sitting around?” he growls at me, and I press my lips in a line.
“The doctor has told you, you can’t shift,”
“F*ck the doctors,” he growls, standing, and I grip his arm.
“I’m coming, Valen. That’s my girl and my daughter’s mother. You don’t get to tell me something like this and expect me to sit around and wait for you to return.” he snaps, and I curse.
“Fine, but we are leaving now, and you are to hang back when we get there,” I tell him, and he nods, though I had a feeling him hanging back with patrols wasn’t happening.
“Let’s go,” he growls, shaking my arm off and moving toward the door. When we step out, the nurse’s eyes widen.
“Tatum, you should–”
“Leave him,” I tell her, and she backs up as he moves past her, ignoring the worried look of the nurse. Yet nothing no one said was going to stop him from shifting. Not even the risk of losing his leg would prevent him from shifting to get to her if we tried stopping him.