My hands trembled as we pulled up out front of the Hotel. Officer Richards had driven me and had escorted me to Alpha Valen’s penthouse apartment. I wracked my brain trying to figure out how he had Valarian was here. Did he spot him at the school and take him? Did Valarian look for him, or did someone notice the uncanny resemblance between them? I had many questions, but nothing terrified me more than what happened now that Valen knew he fathered a son.
He would have to kill me before I ever let him take my son. My nerves were shot, my eyes burned from spending all afternoon and night balling like a baby. My mind instantly went to he was kidnapped, or one of the Forsaken had killed him. The relief I felt when I found out he was alive and ok was as crushing as the thought of losing him. There was nothing worse than thinking you lost a child; the what-ifs, the sheer panic, and frantic places your mind takes you were a pure nightmare. Your mind instantly goes to the worst-case scenario.
The thing you fear most in the world, losing them for good, your child suffering, and you could do nothing to help them. No sort of fear could compare to thinking you lost the most important person to you. Fear, once your parent changes. You no longer fear the boogie man. You no longer fear the dark, at least not for those same reasons you once did.
Being a parent, you become the boogie manhunter. You don’t fear him anymore. You fear ordinary people taking your child, your neighbor, the person hanging around the children’s parks; you fear people in general. You suddenly become the person checking under the bed, the person entering the shadows first, not because you don’t fear them still but because you fear them for a different reason. You fear them because you know the child behind you relies on you to keep them safe.
No , you don’t fear the dark; you fear what’s lurking in it that could hurt your child. Just the same as you no longer fear death, what you truly fear is leaving them behind, knowing nobody would love them more than you. You fear what would become of them without you.
So losing a child, no matter how briefly, nothing can compare to that sort of fear. The little person that has you getting out of bed each morning because the morning wouldn’t be worth waking up to without them.
Before children, I couldn’t picture a life with him in it. Yet, once he was born, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have him like it wasn’t worth remembering. Children become all-consuming, you can’t remember not having them because your life becomes somebody else’s, it wasn’t yours anymore, it becomes theirs, and you live each day for them, so to think you lost one? You just lost your reason for breathing.
Without them, there is no life worth living. So no fear compared to how I felt for those grueling hours of frantic searching and thinking the worst. Sometimes your own mind becomes your worst tormentor. So moving into the elevator , I felt myself breathe, knowing he was safe, yet my anxiety never lessened because now we were back to fear number one. Someone taking my child, except it would be his own father this time.
I moved from foot to foot as the elevator traveled up to the top floor. The Hotel was lovely, and I was shocked to find that Alpha Valen’s floor was heavily guarded. Exactly who was he expecting to a****k him? You had to use a key in the elevator to get to this floor. Officer Richard grabs my arm when I step out. He walks me to the middle of the corridor containing one door and five guards.
Each one stared at me curiously. It must be strange for them to see a rogue girl visiting the Alpha, oh the scandal that would result in the media, if I was spotted here. Officer Richards knocks on the door before suddenly walking off.
“Psst, ” I hiss at him, and he stops. “Where are you going?”
“Work, I was told to drop you off, not hold your hand,” he says with a smile. I was about to retort that he should remain if this turned into a violent custody disagreement when the door opened, and Beta Marcus was suddenly standing in front of me. “Luna, ” He says, and I scrunch up my face.
“Yeah, don’t call me that. Where is my son?” He steps aside, motioning for me to come in, and I step past him. The place was all open- plan, and I realized
the entire floor was just his apartment. Large windows ran the whole length from floor to ceiling, looking over the City. I bet the view would be breathtaking at night.
Hesitantly walking around, I notice another security guard sitting on the couch when I spot Valarian on the sofa beside him. The huge security guard had a game controller in his hand, and Valarian glanced at me before shrieking.
“Mum!” he squeals, placing the controller he had in his hands down and rushing over to me. But before Valarian reached me, Alpha Valen scoops him up with one arm before depositing him back on the couch. Valen kisses his head before looking at the security guard, who nods to him in some silent message.
” Stay here. I need to speak to your mother, ” Valen tells Valarian as I step closer, wanting to see my boy. I try to move toward him. My heart frantically thumping in my chest as I reach the back of the couch when Valen grips my arm and suddenly starts walking. I stumble as I am forced backward before shoving him off, earning me a growl from him.
” Don’t f*cking touch me, ” I hiss at him, making sure to keep my voice low so Valarian doesn’t overhear as we stand in his oversized kitchen.
Marcus leans on the counter, and my eyes dart to him when Valen steps closer, caging me in with his huge body and pressing me against the counter.
“You want to explain how the f*ck we have a son that I had no idea existed until he turned up on my doorstep, “
“Well, for starters, you don’t have a doorstep, just a door,” I tell him while rolling my eyes. If he was going to talk to me like s**t, then this conversation is over before it started. I push on his chest, but he places his hands on either side of my hips, refusing to move.
“I am not in the mood for more of your lies, now answer me,” he growls.
“Who the f*ck do you think you are? You are not my Alpha. I will not tolerate you talking to me like some child that needs a scolding now back up,” I tell him and glaring at him. His aura slips out, and the only thing keeping me upright is his body pressed against mine.
A whimper escaped my lips, having forgotten just how powerful an Alpha aura was when directed at you in anger, and he was angry, no that wasn’t a strong enough word. He was livid.
” Don’t test me, Everly, you know exactly who I am and what I am capable of, just remember if you want to leave here with my son, you better start speaking, ” He warns when Marcus comes up behind him and grips his arm. My eyes dart to him over Valen’s shoulder.
“Valen, calm down, ” Marcus whispers to him, and he growls but steps back. I breathed deeply when his aura slipped off me, allowing me to stand without wanting to collapse in a heap at his feet.
“How?” Alpha Valen says, leaning on the counter. He looks over his shoulder at our son, who is unaware of the tension behind him.
“Geez, I don’t know Valen, crept into your bed and left without saying a word.”
“What?” He growls, and I scoff. Is he really that stupid? He runs his hand down his face before rubbing his temples.
“Explain. Why would you not tell me?” he growls.
“I did tell you, same as I told you I wasn’t a rogue wh0*e,”
“I am pretty sure I would remember if I had a son, Everly. Don’t bt me; it’s bad enough you fed that sh*t to our son,” he snarls.
“I did tell you, I also F*cking tried to tell you the night you kicked me out of your packhouse in the F*cking rain with our newborn son, I tried to tell you when I was pregnant, what did you expect me to do beg and plead for you to believe me because I F*cking tried that too, but you secretary kept telling me to bugger off, and that she would put an AVO on me”
“Was I drunk?”
“Which time, most of our encounters were when you were obliterated, not my issue that you are an alcoholic, I did my part.”
“You are so frustrating. You kept my son from me. My son is rogue because of you,” He snaps, pointing an accusing finger at me. I growl at him, and he laughs, tossing his hands in the air.
“Laugh, go on. You think it is funny, you thought it was funny when I told you I was pregnant too, laughed like it was the funniest thing you ever heard,” He stops staring at me.
“There is no way I would have ignored someone telling me they are pregnant,”
“I would never sleep with a seventeen-year-old, especially a mongrel related to Alpha John, well newsflash a**h*le, you did! ” I spit at him.
“That’s what you said, then laughed and hung up on me; I tried to ring you back and you said if I ever rang with my lies again, you would skin me alive, that you wouldn’t be associated with a mutt of Alpha John’s, ” I tell him before looking back at my son on the lounge.
“No, wait, repeat that. What did you just say? ” F*ck does this fool have amnesia to go with his OCD?
What a messed-up combination that would be, though I would like watching him clean the same spot repeatedly. However, I shake that thought away when he steps closer, and I am forced to take a step back.
“Your last name is Summers,” he states.
“It is now, it is my mother’s maiden name, my father stripped me of his name the day he stripped me of my title because I fell pregnant to you, my father refused to have a rogue -wh0*e for a daughter, just like you refused to believe you had fathered the child of mutt,” I tell him.
Alpha Valen stares at me. “You are not an Alpha; I would feel it if you were,” he says, folding his arms across his chest.
“I have been a rogue for five f*cking years, my aura is gone now, you sticking your d**k in every b!tch you came across for the past four and half years making sure my aura was obliterated. My aura is weak because of you, “
“What are you talking about?” He snaps.
I snarl. What part wasn’t he getting? Looking at Marcus, I shove past Valen before grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and slamming my lips against a startled Marcus who had his hands up in the air.
Valen staggers, clutching his stomach, and I release Marcus, who looked like he was about to faint at what I did. Turning to Valen, I pointed at him.
“Now imagine how bad that would hurt if I f*cked him. too.” I growl at him. Valen’s fists clench at his sides, and Marcus puts up his hands, taking a step away from him and me. ” She kissed me,” He yaps out when a furious growl tears out of Valen. This time earning the attention of our son.
“Everything is fine, honey, play with your um… new friend, ” I tell him, glancing at the behemoth of a man sitting next to my son playing video games when he looks like he should be chasing down the hulk. Valarian stands looking between us.
“I will be over in a minute buddy, sit down, please,” Valen tells him, and he glances between us again before reluctantly sitting back down and returning his attention back to the game.
“Tatum, his name is Tatum,” Valen says with a sigh, pointing to the man on the couch beside Valarian.
“Great, are we good now, we all on the same page? If so, I will grab my son and be on my way,” I tell him about to step past him when he blocks me with his arm.
“No, we aren’t done yet,” Valen says, his teeth pulling back over his teeth.
I sighed, folding my arms across my chest. I don’t know what else we possibly had to talk about.
“If you are Alpha John’s daughter, how come he has never mentioned you?”
“Did you not listen to a thing I just said? He thought I was a rogue -wh0*e, shunned me for it like all the other packs do,”
“But you’re not,”
“Very observant of you, now if you will excuse me, it is a school night, and I need to get my son home, “
“He isn’t leaving,” “Like hell, he isn’t, “
“He is my son too. You can’t just decide to keep him to yourself, “
“And you don’t get to wake up one day and suddenly decide to be a mate and father. It doesn’t work like that,” I retort, and he suddenly rises taller, standing over me when Valarian is suddenly at our side. He tugs on his father’s shirt, and he instantly steps back, looking down at him.
“I’m tired,” Valarian yawns, and Valen looks at me when I bend down to pick him up.
“Have you eaten?” I ask him.
“Marcus made him grilled cheese; he also had some ice cream,” Valen answers, and I nod.
“Come, we should get you home for a bath and bed,” I tell him, glancing at Valen, who sighs but nods.
“I will run you home, ” he says, reaching for his car keys from a bowl on the bench.
“Are you going to come home with us?” Valarian asks his father, and I swallow.
“Not tonight, but I will pick you up in the morning to take you to school,” I glare at him but keep my mouth shut.
“Really?” He says, brightening up and looking alert.
“Yes, your mother just needs to let me know what time to get you,” He asks, raising an eyebrow at me. I suppress a growl knowing it would only upset Valarian if I said no.
“He gets up at seven AM,” Valen nods before reaching for him, and I let him take him. “Come on, we can talk more tomorrow. He should get to bed,” Valen says, and I followed him.