“Hmm..” Twilight walked towards her mate and actually walked a circle around him as she looked him over. She breathed his scent in and gave that soft feminine rumble of hers as she moved around him again, “So ya knew this all these years and ya let us think otherwise.” It wasn’t a question, she was making a statement that didn’t require any kind of answer. When she was standing before him this time she growled low and punched her mate right in the nose.
He sneeze-blew the blood from his nose when his head stopped moving. He knew he’d be owed. He was willing to take it. Damn, but she hit good, too! Part of his attraction to Twilight had always been her fierceness. He couldn’t complain when she used it on him, could he?
Devon actually stepped back two steps from them, surprised at what she’d done. “He said slap.. That ain’t slappin’ him, damn woman…”
“Ya shoulda told me long before now.” Twilight was still right up in her mates face as she growled the words at him before glaring at Devon, “And I don’t slap.” It was said with disgust at the idea that she’d do such a thing. Kieran had known better too. He loved her for being different.
“No…no ya don’t,” He held back a chuckle while he pressed his thumbs to each side of his nose to pop things back into place. That done, he nearly bent over with the immediate pain. He shook his head. Luckily, he was still holding his nose so the blood didn’t go far. “And, I know. I know that now.”
Reaching for a cloth from the table, Twilight held it to her mates nose until he took over and then she stepped away from him.
“Don’t ever keep such a thing from me again.” She walked out leaving the father and son to their own then. Her mother had pulled such things on her and she’d ended up traded off without even a chance to say good-bye to her brother, Derek. Keeping secrets and holding things from her was bad and the fact that her own mate had done such was reallybad. He knew better and still did it! It pissed her off all over again. Stepping outside she shifted forms and took off running. She’d feel better after a mile or two and then she’d return to forgive Kieran. But she needed to be angry for a while.
“She gonna be alright?” Devon looked from the empty spot where Twilight had just been to his own father, “Or should ya go after her?” He wasn’t real happy with the man but he wasn’t so pissed that he’d hit him. At least not now.
“OH…nooo….nope… ya don’t go after that one when she’s mad. Believe me! I learnt that lesson the hard way.” This time he did chuckle a bit. But he looked back up at Devon. “I don’t expect forgiveness. And I don’t blame you for needin’ ta know. Wish I could’ve had more time, but guess I’ve taken too much time as it stands. I never wanted to talk bad of yer mama. Devon, I loved her.” In Kieran’s eyes was honesty. “But I wasn’t the one she loved. Sometimes the past gets colored through … well, you know the rest. You ain’t too shabby with the fatherly stuff. Better’n I could ever be.”
He knew something was different about Gareth, now he knew what it was. He was Argoth’s and not Kieran’s. Here, everyone had thought the Pack simply that lucky as to have two pups born to it at nearly the same time. Derek and Gareth had been close as children because they’d been born close together, but as it had become obvious to others just how similiar Gareth was to Argoth, and how Argoth always seemed to include Gareth, the two boys had drifted apart. Devon had always assumed it was just childhood jealousy, but what if Derek had known all this time and had come to resent Gareth? And for something he had no control of? Devon really needed to think that over.
“I aim to be a much better grand, if that’ll be alright with you and Eva…” Kieran stopped, seeing the way his son was thinking. “Don’t hurt yaself. Those gears sure are grinding in that there head of yours.” He looked down. “Damn beard… I can’t tell if it’s stopped.”
With a rumble Devon took the cloth from his father and wiped the blood from his nose and beard. “Looks like it stopped, so get hit by her often?” He finished cleaning up the Alpha to this side of their Pack.
“Nope. Only when I deserve it. And not often at all, son. We respect one another better than that.” Kieran’s eyes softened when he was talking about Twilight. “She’s my gift. My reason for changing.” He smirked. Then he got serious again, “So what ya thinkin’?”
“I was just thinkin’ that Derek and Gar knew.. I had ideas about it but I’m pretty sure they’ve known for a while now. I’m also thinkin’ that’s maybe part of the problem between them. As to Eva and our pups, well let’s get Terry back to her and I’m sure she won’t mind ya seein’ all of them.”
“Son, we ain’t moving tonight unless we’re told. Keep your stomach full and your blood ready. We’ll get him back. Twi and I – we’ll give you a list of possible places we’ve known and had scouts tell us about Dwellers and Simoan. It’s just a matter of time.”
Big shoulders shrugged as Devon moved to grab food from the trays on the table.
“Feel free to talk to Derek about all of this when he gets back. Hell, have Twilight in here for the added entertainment as I’m sure she’ll punch him, too, when he reveals that he already knows.”
“You know, I might ought-ta do that,” Kieran grabbed up a piece of bread. “If nothin’ else, it’d be nice ta see someone else getting that punch.”
Tossing a piece of meat into his mouth, Devon chewed and couldn’t help but think of Terry again. He tossed the food onto the tray with a snarled sound of disgust as another thought came to mind.
“You said anything?”
“Can you get me into the Council meeting that is happening soon?” He looked down at the table and took a deep breath, “I want to get in and confront the Alpha of Simoa. Maybe then, we’ll get them to rush after my pup and we can follow them.”
“Good move. We’ll get them to call an emergency Council meetin’. That ought-ta light a fire under asses.” Kieran nodded slowly. “I’ll send word before the night is over.” The big Alpha walked over and for the first time in a long time, he gave his pup a hug. “I hate this is happenin’. I know. I know…” he had lost Devon’s older siblings and had almost lost Devon back in the wars. He knew what his son was going through. And he was going to do everything in his power to solve this problem and get that boy back.
“Let me go and get a messenger sent right now.”
Several hours later, Twilight returned and once inside she glanced into the parlor area to find father and son both asleep in the chairs before the fireplace. Instead of waking them she made her way up to her bedroom. She washed up and stripped out of the leathers to trade them for a silken wrap Kieran had gotten her from the city. She stood on the balcony and stared out at the surrounding lands they now called home.
Her hand rested flat on her abdomen and for the first time she was nervous. A Weylyn pup had been snatched straight from Pack lands. They had been seeking out the mate and pups of the Alpha in the other world. What stopped the same from happening in this world? Now to go along with those fears she had another brother out there. She knew of Gareth, but very little aside from what others said of him. Now, not only did she fear for her future children, but she feared meeting Gareth and finding out that he wasn’t the monster the stories made him into.
It was while her mind was lost to all of these thoughts that her mate was able to creep up on her so easily. Twilight actually jumped a little as she felt his hands on her. She drew in a quick breath and stared straight at him, “Kie..”
“Gonna help me clean up after you made such a mess of me, my lady?” He let her back up a bit from his hands at her waist. “Or are ya still mad at me?”
Twilight eased back against the opposite side of the entry and crossed her arms over her breasts, “Dunno, ya think ya deserve my help cleanin’ up?” She loved this man and it seemed that no matter what he did it made her love him even more. But her mind wondered if he would want what she was about to tell him?
“Course I don’t. What’s deservin’ anything got to do with the hope that you’ll do it anyway?” He chuckled, his deep timbre of voice laced with a bit of wickedness.
She stepped to him and helped remove his shirt first, her hands rested on his chest as she looked up into his eyes.
He rumbled for her then and there. This woman, he’d do anything for.
“Ya can’t go with him and leave me here Kie.” Her fingers moved through his chest hair and she swallowed hard. “Help him from here. Don’t go into the hills Kieran, I can’t lose ya out there.”
“If his pup’s out there… Twi… that’s our grandpup. He’s just a kid, ain’t even grown up, yet. You… you’re usually the first ta hop inta battle for a lot less, so why would you say I can’t go out there?”
Reaching for his hand Twilight pulled it down between them and pressed it to the area just beneath her bellybutton. “This is why.” she wondered if he would understand.
Kieran found himself taking a deep breath. His amber eyes looked downward at where she had placed his hand, as if that were needed. He knew just from the touch, where she had placed his palm and what it meant. His eyes went back to her’s. His brows both raised. Was this really happening?
“We… we got a pup?”
“I…I think so.. I’m not positive but yeah…maybe.” Her response had been shaky at best, but then she was nervous as hell. Kieran had said he’d already played the part of father and had screwed it up enough. He hadn’t been interested in more children and in fact had taken several precautions to avoid it so she wasn’t sure how he’d react. Twilight actually held her breath and shivered just a little as he inspected her.
Inspect her, he did. He looked over her voluptuous form, her stout muscles, and her soft, feminine curves. And there was something different about her scent as he took it in close to her breasts. He’d not thought about it. He’d completely overlooked it. And when his eyes went back to her’s a bit of wonder in them, he noticed her shiver and how she held herself. She’d never been scared of him – not once!. That’s part of why they were mates. She had no trouble standing up to him.
“Are ya scared?”
There was a shaky laugh, “Of course I’m scared. I’m nervous as hell, Kieran. You didn’t want more children. Swore you’d had enough of em after yours were grown. Now here I am.. Maybe caught up and worse yet I’m wantin’ ya to stay instead of runnin’ off for the boy.” She felt like a horrible person and yet she was looking out for herself.
“You know how many times I prayed to the Goddess to take me?” Kieran asked her.
Twilight shook her head as she watched him closely. In the time that she had know Kieran, he had never talked about such a thing with her. He was so traditional that it had surprised her that he had spoken of his previous mate as well as her father. In those traditions, one didn’t speak of the dead – not good or bad. And yet, he had proken that tradition for her. Now, he was telling her more about himself than ever before. Wanting to end one’s own life was not something a traditionalist would admit to. Yet…
“She never did. And I tried to help her with it so many times, I lost count. Then, everything changed. One day, I stopped askin’. I got right. I became the leader I was supposed ta be. Then, I became the mate I was supposed ta be. And then, I was given back my place as Alpha to my pack. And today, I got ta hug and help my boy and I know I’m still welcome in his heart. I’ve been given all these second chances, after I was sooo ready ta just throw it all away.” He put his hands on each side of her face and let their heads lean against one another. “You’re givin’ me another chance. You’re not caught up, you’re the Alpha of this pack, my mate, and you’re rightly havin’ my pup. And I love you all the more for it.” He kissed her with the passion she so loved from him.
She smiled for him as the kiss ended and she was left breathless. What could she say to that? “I love ya Kie, but I don’t want to lose you. Please don’t make me raise this child alone.” Twilight slid her arms around him and breathed in his scent.
“You won’t keep me away from helpin’ Dev save my grandpup, but I can tell you this much – I won’t be lookin’ for the Goddess ta take me anytime soon, love. No extra risks. This ain’t a war, here. This is a rescue. When things happen, we’ll move quickly and I’ll come back to ya. No vengeance is on my mind as much as bein’ here for my new family.” He looked down and smiled. “I’ll come right back, to the both of ya.”
“If I can’t change ya mind I guess there’s only one way to solve this problem. Her blue eyes sparkled for him as she looked up at him, “I’ll check with the shaman and see that everythin’s okay so I can go with ya. I’m still useful and I won’t let ya go without me.” She heard him breathe out his nose in annoyed fashion. He knew there was no talking her out of it. Her nails moved along his back as she smiled for him. “Now let’s get ya cleaned up and then you can take me to bed – oh mighty Alpha – and show me how much you want me.”
~ Rachel Diane Adams and Dawn McClellan © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019