Yesterday was rough, last night even tougher. I didn’t get any sleep; my entire body was aching from tossing and turning. The mate bond grew stronger each time I saw him, and the pain of denying it was getting harder to ignore. I rolled out of bed and to the sound of soft murmurs. That meant Zoe was awake as I heard her trying to wake Casey in the room beside mine. Getting to my feet, I quickly opened my door to see her in all her bedhead glory. She yawns and smiles at me.
“Morning, ” She says, turning her attention back to Casey’s open door before she does a double-take.
She stepped away from me, and Casey went to step out of her room when Zoe shoved her back inside the door and quickly shut it. Casey banged on the door.
“Just a minute, sweety,” Zoe said before gripping my arm.
“What happened? Did that bastard hurt you? I will f*cking kill him,” She whispered yelled.
” Swear Jar,” Casey called through the closed door while I tried to figure out what had got into her.
“Huh?” Zoe ushered me into the bathroom, turning me to look in the mirror, and I gasped at what I saw. Blood smeared my face, and the dark rings under my eyes looked like I got into a fight and was on the losing end of it. I reached for a washcloth and quickly washed my face, but no physical injuries were present.
“Must be a nose bleed,” I tell her, which was something that was becoming more frequent. Whenever I saw him, it seemed to me that something would get worse, headaches nosebleeds. I blink at my reflection before leaning in when I
notice the discoloration of the whites around my eyes, no longer white but blood red.
“What the f*ck?” I whispered.
“You need to figure out something soon, Everly, “
“It’s fine; I will go see a doctor, ” I tell her, though I knew it was pointless.
“No, you need to see your mate. Or mark someone,” Zoe gasps, and I stare at her in the mirror. Her eyes were watery, and as she watched me, concerned.
” It’s been four and half years, Everly, and you are already deteriorating. What will it be like in another five years? How much worse? ” I shrugged. I had no idea, but clearly, that wasn’t the answer she was after because she stalked off down the hall. The moment I stepped out of the bathroom, I heard a shriek before her voice reached my ears.
“The bodyguard right, geez, you scared the crap out me,”
Walking into the living room, Tatum was sitting up. ” You get many breaks-in to sleep on your uncomfortable sofa?” He groans, and I hear his back crack. He tosses the blanket aside before making his way to the kitchen and flicking the kettle on.
“Coffee?” He asks, giving Zoe the once over; she was wearing her silky pyjamas with kittens on them and rainbow toe socks.
“Nice socks, ” Tatum smirks, and she glares at him. He was barking up the wrong tree if he was going to mock her socks, she had an entire collection of those toe socks, and in the wintertime, she even liked to wear them with her flip flops. She called them her winter editions flip flops. She growls at him, and he purrs back at her, which shuts her up quickly before she pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes at him.
“Uncle Tatum, ” Valerian screams, rushing out. Anything would think they knew each other all their lives with Valarian’s excitement. At the same time Tatum scooped him up, there was a knock on the door.
“That would be your father, kiddo, ” Tatum said, placing him down. Valerian moved to the door and swung it open before bouncing on the b*lls of his little feet.
“You came back; you came back, “
“I pinky promised, didn’t I,” Valen tells him, picking him up. He stepped into the apartment, and the apartment felt smaller suddenly, with two bulky
men taking up space.
Coffee, boss, ” Valen nods to Tatum before Tatum turns to me.
“Coffee, what happened to your eyes?” He says, shoving past the table and knocking a chair over.
“Allergies, ” I stated as he gripped my face with his huge sausage fingers. Zoe scoffs beside me, and he glances at her before raising an eyebrow at me when I swat his hands away. Valen comes over and grips my face, and I j**k away from his tingling touch.
Allergies? ” He questions when Valarian suddenly speaks against me.
“Mum gets them all the time, and nose bleeds. She gets a lot of nosebleeds, ” Valerian says, and I press my lips in a line. Valen looks at me, and his lips part before he nods and looks at Valarian.
“Well, mummy needs to see a doctor. I will take her, ” He tells Valarian, and I went to object when Zoe adds her two cents worth.
“Good idea, she sees doctor Mary at the rogue center, ” Zoe says, folding her arms across her chest, and I noticed Tatum’s eyes dart to her cleavage, and I glare at her.
“My mate is not going to a rogue center,” Valen states before realizing what he said to Zoe, who is also a rogue.
“And why is that?” She says, dropping her hands to her waist and popping her hip. Oh, careful, Valen, you may just get into an argument you can’t win with her.
“Good enough for rogues. It should be good enough for everybody, or are you admitting that this City is discriminative?” She says with a glare.
Valen says nothing, just turns away from her, choosing not to answer. Good thing, too, because Zoe was a firecracker before her morning coffee.
Never cross paths with Zoe if she is in a bad mood and hasn’t had her morning coffee yet. She may be small, but damn she got a good right hook. You only have to ask the pool boy to know that or Macey’s brother.
“Okay, how about we get you ready for school Valarian, ” asks Valen while walking off into his room down the small hall. Tatum hands me a coffee giving me a worried look before handing me an extra cup.
“For the boss,”
“Your boss. Not mine,” I tell him stalking off down the hall to find my mate and Valarian. Stepping into the room, Valerian pulled his clothes out of the wardrobe while Valen looked around. Stopping beside him, he takes his mug from my hand and sips it.”
“Does not look like a kids room, ” He mumbles to me. “Valarian doesn’t like a mess, ” I whisper back.
“You know I can hear you, right? ” Valerian asked as he laid his clothes on the bed neatly.
Valen chuckles and turns around and Valarian eyes his father’s cup before going over to his little desk, pulling out two coasters, and sitting them on his bedside table.
Valen lets out a breath just like I had seen his son do many times when he found something relaxing.
Apparently, coasters were relaxing. Placing mine on the coaster, I moved to his wardrobe, retrieving his shoes from the bottom of hit and placing them beside his perfectly made bed. It was one of the first things he did.
The moment he got up, he made his bed. I had even caught him making Casey’s or remaking mine.
That’s one of the reasons I made sure to shut my door of a morning. Sometimes his compulsions became a little much. I was more a roll-out of the bed of a morning and made the bed before I climbed back in it sort of person.
We helped him get ready, and Valen watched everything like he was learning something new. It made me nervous while I gelled my son’s hair and flattened his collar when Valen suddenly started unbuttoning his shirt. I just buttoned because Valarian whined about the collar not being completely wrinkle-free. How either of them could spot the tiny crease was beyond me.
“It isn’t necessary I ironed it the other day,”
“I can feel it, I can feel it, I know it’s there, ” Valerian cried as Valen undid the last button.
” I will do it,” Valen tells him, giving him a worried look as Valarian had a meltdown.
“Breathe, buddy. It isn’t the end of the world; it can be fixed,” Valen states, walking out before stopping in the hall. He scratched his head before looking back at me.
“Where do you keep your ironing board and iron?” He asks.
“Ah, the laundry where else?”
“Well, mine is in my linen closet, ” He says with a shrug.
“See, I told you and Zoe it belongs in there, ” Valerian huffs.
“Yes, the dryer puts lint on-“
“The ironing board, ” they both say at the same time, and I fold my arms and raise an eyebrow. Valen chuckles and shakes his head.
“Definitely, my kid,” he chuckles, walking off to find the laundry.
While the kids ate breakfast, I was onto my second cup of coffee when Valen glanced up at me briefly while he cut Valarian’s pancakes.
“I will be by at one to pick you up,” Valen states. Now, what did he want? It was bad enough I had spent my early waking hours with him this morning.
“And why is that? Valarian doesn’t finish school until 3,”
“I am taking you to see the doctor,”
” No, I will go myself. You don’t need to come to a doctor with me; I am fine,”
“I will pick you up at 1,”
“Valen!” I spat at him, and he pins me with a glare, his aura slipping out, and my grip on my mug tightened.
“I will pick you up at 1; it isn’t up for discussion, ” Valerian glances between us. The tension in the room was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Tatum cleared his throat, and I was thankful when he changed the subject.
Valen ended up taking Valarian and Casey to school much to Casey’s amusement. She happily kept asking if being Alpha meant he could k**l people and get away with it before asking if she could banish her teacher because she and Valarian said she looked like a poodle.
I shook my head at that, but Valen politely answered all her questions before offering to take her to school. Zoe ended up giving in when she got a call from Casey’s father, who she had been trying to avoid since his parents found out about Casey.
Walking through the hotel, I headed for my office. I waved and smiled at my secretary as I passed her before escaping into my office. Turning the lock, I moved toward my desk only to freeze. Alpha Kalen was sitting behind my desk. His leg crossed over the other in a reclined position.
“Good Morning, Everly. I thought it was a good idea; I stopped by for a little chat, ” I pursed my lips, folding my arms across my chest. “Is that so,” I asked.