Something must have happened with that woman I saw leaving as I watched Everly leave. She seemed upset, turning back to Valarian and little Casey. Both were in a mood.
“Poppy, can you get us a drink?” Valarian asked, and I smiled. He looked so much like Valen when he was his age, his big amber eyes looking back at me reminded me of his father, though Valen had grown out of his dimples.
“Of course. What would you like?” I asked them both.
“Banana milkshake,” Casey squealed, and I smiled before looking at Valarian, though I had a funny feeling of what he would ask for before he said it, especially if he was indeed like his father.
“Vanilla, please,” I nodded, happy I was right before looking around for the servers. Not seeing any, I spied the bar, which only had a small line.
“Okay, wait here; I will be right back. I am just going over there,” I point the bar out, which was only a couple of meters away before stepping through the playground’s safety gate. Excited for the day I planned to distract the kids.
It kind of reminded me of when I used to take Valen out. Every Sunday was our day. Every Sunday was an adventure when he was a small boy, always hunting for unknown places to take him.
I place the kid’s orders and order them some subs to take with us too, before turning to look back at them. I waved before realizing they were gone.
Two minutes, if that, I had turned around for only a few moments and they just disappeared. Racing back to the playground, I searched the tunnels, climbed into the cubbyholes at the top, and checked the slides. They were gone, and my stomach sank, my heart racing like a drum at the thought of losing them.
“Hey, the kids, the kids that were in here, did you see where they went?” I asked, grabbing a security guard’s arm. He looked behind me at the playground and shrugged.
“I didn’t see any kids, Alpha Kalen,”
“I want all hotel security looking for a boy and girl. The girl is in a pink dress with, um, um, what is the name?” I tried to think of the name of that show she liked, the one Valen complained about. “Trolls, it’s a pink troll’s dress, the boy a light blue button-up shin and navy slacks,” the guard stans rattling off their descriptions across his radio before
turning to me. “Their names?”
“Casey and Valarian,” I tell him scanning the wine the gardens for any trace of them. How could I lose them, and why would they leave?
“And whose kids are they are?”
” My grandkids just f*cking find them,” I snapped, darting off and yanking my phone from my pocket. My hands shook as I punched in the numbers, I dial my son’s number again, missing a couple of numbers in my haste as I ran through the foyer, looking for any sign of them. I manage to dial the correct numbers a few seconds later, scanning the place while I wait for my son to answer.
“What’s up?” My stomach sank at the thought of what I was about to tell him, and I felt sick like I was about to throw up. Everly, and he would never trust me again. My heart thudded painfully against my ribs, so hard I was at serious risk of heart atta*k. Do these kids not realize I am old? I can’t get a fright like this.
“I lost them, I lost the kids,”
“What do you mean, you lost them?” my son snapped, his voice slightly hysterical.
“They were right there, then I went to get them a milkshake, and I turned around. They were gone,” I panicked, racing through the restaurants and bars, looking for them.
“They couldn’t have gone far; I am on my way.” Valen replies.
“Okay, I will ring Everly,” I tell him, dreading that call.
“No, let’s see if we can find them first. They couldn’t have left the hotel,” Valen says, hanging up.
I had every member of available staff looking for them, the entire security personnel was searching, and even a few police has showed up to help me search the d**n place when a call came over the radio.
“Found them. They were in the kitchens hiding,” A chef calls over the radio. The immense relief I felt could not be explained as I made my way to their location. Pulling my phone out, I called my son back to let him know, and he told me he was nearly here. No doubt to rouse at the kids for hiding on me. Wal king into the kitchens, both kids were sitting on milk crates, the chef standing over them with his arms folded not looking impressed.
“I caught them tampering with the mayor’s wife’s food,” the chef tells me, and I put my hand on my hips.
“Well, haven’t you two been up to mischief,” I asked them.
“She was mean to my mum,” Valarian huffs, and I tilt my head.
“That lady with the curly hair and pig’s nose,” Valarian said before getting up and walking to the double doors. He points out a table, and my brows raise. Alpha Nixon’s wife, she was a nasty woman.
“What did she do?” I asked him.
“Said we weren’t welcome in here, called us riff-raff,” Valarian says, and I growl.
“You should not have run off like that. You should have told me. Your father is distraught and on his way here,” I tell him, and he drops his head. The chef watched as I turned to look at him.
“You didn’t serve her the spoiled food?” “No, caught them just in time, sir,” I nod.
“Very well, I will take it to her and make these two apologize,” I tell him, and he nods, handing me a tray that had escargot on it and a bowl of soup. I give the children a scolding look before noticing a snail in Casey’s hand and chuckle. “Were you going to put live ones in her food?” I laugh, shaking my head?
“She is the one that wants to eat slugs,” Valarian pouted before glaring out the doors at the woman. I glanced around and noticed the chef was busy cooking at the back, and no one was paying attention.
“I saw nothing,” I tell the kids, placing the tray down and turning my back on it.
“I saw nothing,” I tell Valarian, nodding toward the snails in Casey’s hands. She pulls more from her pocket. How many did this kid stow away? Valarian giggles when a waitress notices, and I nod to her. She glances at the table number on the tray before looking out the door and pressing her lips in a line as she snickered.
“I saw nothing either,” she says, sending me a wink.
Grabbing the tray, I see the snails had been replaced and one was even swimming around in her soup. “Allow me,” the server says, and I glance at her name tag. “Thank you, Stacey,” I tell her, handing it to her. She nods, smiling at the two mischief-makers behind me who were giggling, taking the tray out and setting it in front of her.
She nods and thanks Stacey while we watch from the kitchens when Valen busts through the doors. Relief is
clear on his face, and the kids duck behind me, peering up at him under my arms.
Valen lets out a breath, “You two have some explaining to do,” he scolds before being cut off by the shrill screams coming from the restaurants. I try not to laugh as I watch the woman spit her food out and jump back from the table. Valen turned, looking out at the commotion while the woman was shrieking and waving waiter’s over.
The kids laughed behind me, and I erupted and joined them, and my son looked at me before folding his arms across his chest. “What did you do to the City Mayor’s wife?
“I saw nothing,” I tell him, and he looks at the children.
“Pop said we could,” Valarian snitches and I look away, well I thought it was quite funny.
“I stand by what I said; I saw nothing,” Valen sighs.
“I hope she chokes,” Casey says, pursing her l!ps and squinting her little eyes at the woman.
“And why is that?” Valen asks her.
“Seems the woman doesn’t like rogues in your hotel, son,” I tell him.
“Good, let’s introduce you both then, shall we?” Valen asks. “She was mean to mum,” Valarian pouts with teary eyes.
“Well, we can’t have that, can we?” Valen says, holding his hand out to my grandson. If only I had the b*lls all those years ago to have Valarie on my arm and by my side. I thought guiltily. I won’t allow my son to make my mistakes.
“But dad, she is the mayor’s wife,”
“And this city is owned by me and Pop. We elected her husband as mayor, and I can easily remove his status,” Valen tells him.
“Good, then I want to be the mayor,” Valarian says, and I chuckle.
“Aim higher, my boy. No name holds more power than Solace in this City,” I tell him, and he looks up at me with a sparkle in his eyes. Oh, he would be a terrific Alpha one day.