Valen led us toward the door, and I was relieved he was letting me take our son home. Valarian had his head rested on my shoulder when Valen opened the door. My footsteps faltered, and I froze when I noticed his father talking to one of the guards out front. Valen also stopped, and I watched his father laugh at something one of the guards was telling him when he turned, and his eyes went to us standing in the doorway of his son’s apartment.
I drop my face into the Valarian’s shoulder, and Alpha Kalen growls when Valen steps in front of me, blocking the view I had of his father. My heart fluttered frantically, noticing the man, and I fought the urge to take a step back.
“Why the f*ck do you have a rogue-wh0*e in your apartment- ” His words cut off as his eyes settled on Valarian in my arms, his head just poking out above Valen’s shoulder. He looked at his son and sniffed the air before shoving past Valen, and I stumbled over my own feet moving a step away.
Valen’s growl resonated off the walls as he tossed his father against the wall, making me jump. A hand grips my shoulder before I am yanked backwards and out of the way. Valen pins his father against the wall. Valen’s forearn was resting against Kalen’s throat.
I looked over my shoulder to see who had grabbed me and found Tatum and Marcus behind me. Marcus jerks me behind him, and Tatum grips my arms holding me steady before Marcus moves to the middle.
“What is the meaning of this Valen, that boy,” Kalen growls and looks back over at me, and his eyes narrow before shock flitted across his face.
“You, ” he pointed at me, and Valen growls at his father in a clear warning.
“Everly! And you ever approach her like that father, and we will have issues, ” Valen warns, his canines slipping from his parted lips at angled toward his father’s throat.
“You know her? ” Kalen asked, looking back at his son, and Valen sighed.
“Yes, ” Valen says, letting his father go and fixing his father’s jacket. Kalen readjusted his tie before he glanced between us. Valarian stirs in my arms and lifts his head before turning to investigate what is going on. Kalen’s eyes widened when Valarian turned his head and looked at him.
Having never met Valarian, Kalen took a startled step back when his eyes fell on his grandson. he looked even more shocked than seeing the woman his mate left everything she owned to.
“Mummy, who is that man?” Valerian whispers to me as he pats the side of my face, trying to get my attention. My eyes remain on the man responsible for killing the woman who made me who I am today.
“He is your grandfather, ” I tell Valarian while pressing my face to his and inhaling his scent, allowing me to calm some. Kalen blinked and went to take a step forward when his shoulder brushed
Valen, who had once again moved into his path.
Marcus also moves more blocking Alpha Kalen and taking up a protective stance behind Valen.
“You have a son?” Kalen gasps as he turns his head to look at Valen.
“Yes, and this is Everly; she is my mate, “
“What? The rogue-wh0*e is your mate?” “Call her that once more, father, and see what happens, ” Valen warns. I was a little shocked to see him defend my title against his father, and I saw Kalen swallow. Kalen waves his hands in the air, and it is clear to me he was trying to get over his shock.
I shuffle my feet awkwardly and rely on Valen to keep his father in check. Marcus and Valen looked over at me, struggling to hold Valarian’s weight.
Valen’s eyes fell on my shaking arms; he moved past Marcus and reached for his son. I pulled back, not wanting Valarian anywhere near Kalen, but Valen growls at me, and I reluctantly let him go and allowed Valen to take him.
My arms instantly felt empty, and Valen placed Valarian on his hip, kissing his temple before reaching for my hand and tugging me toward him.
“Everly, this is Kalen. Dad this Everly; my mate, ” Valen introduces us, unaware that no introductions were necessary. Kalen held out his hand to me, and Valen looked at me expectantly. I hesitantly placed my hand in his firm grip. Kalen yanks me toward him inhaling my scent.
Valen growled menacingly behind me and saw Tatum and Marcus step closer like they were about to separate us and intervene if necessary. Kalen
squeezed my hand painfully. I gritted my teeth when he shocked me by hugging me, squeezing the air from my lungs, and I felt my back crack.
“Nice to meet you, Everly, ” but the underlying warning in his tone I did not miss. Kalen pushed me back, holding me at arm’s length, and pulled his face away; his ambers eyes met mine. A chill ran up my spine at the cold look he gave me.
” Nice to meet you,” I murmured back. The energy rippling off his father could not be missed. Not even by Valen, who looked at his father like he was about to toss him away from me. Kalen patted my arms before he gripped my shoulders, and his demeanor swiftly changed.
“We will have to catch up some time, sort this Rogue business out. My son can’t have a rogue for a mate ; the press would have a field day,” He said, his eyes scrutinizing my face, and Valen cleared his throat beside me.
“We would like to keep things quiet for now, father, at least until I wrap my head around the fact I have a son and mate, ” Valen tells his father. Kalen pats my shoulder.
“Yes, I think that is for the best, for now, ” Kalen said before looking at Valarian. His eyes softened as he stared at his grandson, and he pinched his chin between his fingers. Valerian stares up at him curiously, but Kalen’s face held none of the
animosity he had towards me.
“He has our eyes, son, looks like you when you were his age,” Kalen told Valen, who nodded in agreement.
“What is your name, son?” Kalen asks Valarian.
“Valarian papa, ” He answered, and I thought back the urge to cringe at the endearment Valarian used.
“Good name, a strong one, just like your father’s. I look forward to getting to know you better, ” Kalen tells him, brushing his cheek gently with his thumb.
“Where are you all going?” Kalen asked, turning his gaze to his son.
“I am taking them home; it is a school night, “
“Your mate and son aren’t staying here with you?” Kalen asked before he looked over at me. I looked at Valen when he answered, saving me from having to.
“No, I was about to drop them home,”
“Nonsense, there is plenty of room; they should remain here; you will have to mark her. We can’t have anyone noticing your mate is a rogue now,” Kalen said, and I took a step away from Valen and bumped into Marcus behind me.
“In good time, Father. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to get my son to bed,” Valen tells him before he reaches over and grabs my hand. Valen tugs me out of the door after him, and Kalen steps aside at Valen’s dismissal, and I could feel his eyes on me as I walked with Valen to the elevator.
Instinctively, I stepped closer to Valen, I hated that I did, but his father terrified me more than Valen did. Valen glanced down at me for the action but didn’t say anything as he hit the elevator button. Valarian yawns, mumbling as he tries to get comfortable in his father’s arm, and Valen tugs me against him and places his arm across my shoulders. For once, I didn’t shove him away, preferring his closeness and the safety it offered instead of remaining awkwardly at his side under his father’s watchful gaze.
“Tatum! ” Valen called, and the monstrous man moved toward us. He stopped beside me and looked at his Alpha.
“You are now assigned to Everly and Valarian,” Tatum nods and smiles down at me.
“Of course, Alpha,” he answers, and I wondered what Valen meant when the elevators doors opened,
and Valen tugs me inside. Tatum also steps into the elevator with us, and I let out the breath I had been holding.
“I am sorry about my father; he has ” He paused. “Has strong views about titles,” I offered, and Valen sighed.
“Yes, I will take care of it,”
“No need, ” I tell him while I reach for Valarian, but Valen pulls away.
“I have him; he is fine. I won’t drop him, Everly, ” Valen says, pressing his nose against Valarian’s hair and inhaling his scent.
The drive back to the hotel was silent. I had climbed in the back with Valarian when we got to the car.
Valen told me he would get Valarian a booster seat, and I said nothing. I had no idea how long until the novelty of having a child would wear off, so I didn’t bother to argue that he wouldn’t be taking our son anytime soon. Just as the car pulled up out the front,
I clipped Valarian’s seat belt while Valen parked the car. He got out quickly before scooping a sleeping Valarian into his arms and tossing his jacket over him to shield him from the rain.
I led Valen to the apartment I shared with Zoe, Tatum looking around alert, which bothered me. He surely didn’t mean Tatum would be following us, did he? My employees would never get any work done if Tatum hovered around. The man was huge and looked like he belonged in a cave grinding bones to make his butter, not following a rogue girl around and child.
“I can take him,” I tell Valen, who growls at me and pushes past; he sniffs the air before walking up the hallway, and I follow. Zoe was sitting up in her bed with a book placed in her lap. She was with me when we got the phone call about Valarian, so I knew she would have waited up, and I would have to fill her in.
“In the morning,” I tell her, and I close her door after she nods to me.
Walking over to Valarian’s little room, I see Valen sitting beside him, tugging Valarian’s shoes off before he tucked the blankets around him. I watched, safely tucked out of view as he tended to Valarian. He then switched the small lamp off and went to get up, and I moved away from the door when Valarian spoke, making me pause.
“You aren’t leaving me, are you? I need you,” Valarian says, and Valen pauses.
“Mum needs you too; she won’t admit that, though, so don’t dob on me for telling you, ” I hear Valen chuckle softly.
” I ann leaving, but I will be back in the morning, “
“Do y ou pinky promise?” Valarian asks, and I couldn’t help but peek back into the room. Valen stares at his outstretched pinky before gripping it, giving it a shake, and Valarian laughs.
“No, like this,” Valarian says, looping his pinky through his father’s.
“That means you can’t break it. Pinky promises are special, ” Valarian tells him.
“Ok, I pinky promise I will be back in the morning to take you to school, now get some sleep, ” Valen tells him, re-tucking the blanket around him. I walk back off to the living area and see Tatum waiting by the door patiently.
“I list, you said he gets up, right?” Valen asked as he walked up behind me. I nodded my head, and he stopped beside me.
“You don’t have to do the school run, Valen, ” “Well, I do now. Apparently, I can’t break a pinky promise Everly, and I want to, I am not asking. He is my son too, ” Valen says, and I pressed my lips in a line.
“It’s late. I will let you get to bed. I will be back tomorrow. Tatum will be outside if you need anything, “
“Wait, you aren’t expecting him to remain here?” “Ah, yes. Either he stays, o I do Everly, “
” It’s the middle of the night. What could possibly happen? We are going to bed. I am capable of looking after my son,”
“Our son and you are so capable that our son escaped school and found me, that shows a lot about your parenting skills, “
“Don’t talk to me about parenting, Valen. Where were you the first five years of his life? I didn’t know he would go searching for you; he has never taken off before so, don’t you blame me for that,”
“Either way, Tatum stays, or I do, so which is it? I won’t leave you both unprotected when forsaken are running around at the back of your hotel, “
I look over at Tatum. If I had to choose, it would definitely be the giant.
“Fine, but one night only, I won’t have him scaring my employees, “
” Fine, have it your way. I will stay tomorrow night then,” Valen says before pecking my head and walking toward the door before he stops. He turns looking back at me. “And you heard my father Everly, I can’t have you running around rogue, you have a week to get your head around letting me mark you, or I will do it by force if necessary, I won’t have my son remain a rogue, “ he tells me before walking out and closing the door giving me no opportunity to protest.