My son cries louder, and I reach for him. The man’s eyes dart to him before he sniffs the air. Staring at him oddly, and I tuck him into my chest.
“It’s only temporary; please don’t call child services,” I tell him, and he cocks his head to the side; his gaze appeared to be more thoughtful than scrutinizing.
“Does your car run?” He asks, looking at it before he kicks a tire.
“I have no fuel; I will leave tomorrow, I promise,” I tell him, panicking. Maybe he was a council worker? I doubted it because of his expensive suit.
He looks at me, “you smell familiar,” he mutters.
I swallow, wondering if he remembers me, but he doesn’t appear to, and I also didn’t want him questioning which pack I was from. My father and his Alpha were not on good terms, yet maybe if he could get me in to see Alpha Valen, he might help out with his son. However, that thought also frightened me having to face the man who ignored me and refused even to do a DNA test, and he declined to come to check, stating my claims were lies, but if he just met him, he would see. We could always sense our kin. I stared at him, wondering if he would leave when he pushed the hatchback open further before reaching in. I scooted further back, looking for a weapon in case I needed it.
“Calm down; I can’t leave you here knowing you are sleeping in your car with a baby,” he says, grabbing the car seat.
“I will leave; just don’t take my son,” I tell him. He looks at me like I am mad.
“I’m not; I want to help,”
“You want to help?” I repeat, slightly suspicious. I must have heard that wrong.
“Come on, you can stay at the packhouse until I speak to my Alpha,” he says, waving me forward.
“Grab a change of clothes. We can come back to your car tomorrow,” he says. I don’t move, and he sighs before grabbing a bag. He grabs a tin formula, the nappy bag, and some of my clothes, stuffing them inside the bag.
“Come on, wouldn’t you rather have a warm house than a cold car?” He asks. I look down at my son, wondering if I should trust him. He grabs the car seat. I climb out, and he hands me my umbrella before shutting my trunk.
“This way,” he says, walking to his car. I follow him to his electric blue sports-looking car. I always wonder why he didn’t drive to work. And why would he leave such an expensive car at a train station?
He puts the seat in before scratching his head. “You know how to clip it in?” He asks, and I nod.
“Okay, you put it in, and I will hold your-” He looks at my son in my arms.
“Son,” I tell him, and he nods, holding out his arms for him. He takes him from me, and I lean in, making sure to keep an eye on him while I clip the seat in before turning around. Retrieving my son, I clip him in his chair before climbing in beside him. He then passes me the bag before shutting my door.
He turns the heater on when he hops in before glancing at me in the mirror.
“Your son has odd-colored eyes, reminds me of my Alpha’s. He is the only person I know with Amber eyes besides his father,” he says. I look at him, and he looks away, looking back at the road. He definitely has his father’s eyes, but I keep my mouth shut. Though maybe this would be my chance, he would be able to tell if he saw his son. We can sense our own family, plus their resemblance was unmistakable.
“Who is your Alpha?” I ask, pretending I don’t know.
“Valen the Blood Alpha,” he says, his eyes darting to mine in the mirror again, gauging my reaction to his words. I feel excitement bubble in me, knowing I am correct in who he is.
“He will be fine with you bringing a rogue in the territory?” I ask him.
“He won’t be there, and I will speak with him tomorrow,”
“Are you hungry?” He asks, and my belly rumbles loudly at the mention of food. He chuckles at the noise.
“I will take that as a yes,” he says, and my face heats. I give my son his dummy, his amber eyes peering at me in the darkness of the car.
“What’s your name?”
“Everly,” I answer him.
“Odd name, what pack were you from, or were you born rogue?”
“No, I was in a pack,” I answer, but I refuse to tell him which one. It was no secret my family’s pack and the Blood-Alpha were constantly at war.
“Your name, I can tell you have beta blood,” I tell him.
“Marcus, and yes, I am Valen's beta,” he says before pulling into a drive-thru. I grab my wallet.
“I don’t want your money,” he says before ordering. He asks what I want, but I don’t say anything feeling awkward, so he orders two of the same thing.
“Is he asleep?” He asks, and I look at my son. I nod my head as he pulls up to the next window.
“Climb in the front,” he says, which makes me look at my son again, worried.
“I don’t bite, climb over,” he says while patting the passenger seat, and I unclip my seatbelt before climbing over into the front and placing the seatbelt on quickly. I noticed he didn’t have a mark on his neck, so he hadn’t found his mate yet. He opens some cup holders and places the drinks in them before passing me a paper bag.
“You can eat in the car,” he says. I thank him and open his burger box, letting him pull it out.
Marcus pulls over on the side of the road before flicking the interior light on so we can see better before turning in his seat to face me. “Eat. I won’t hurt you,”
I open the burger box, my hands shaking. “Are you cold?” He asks, turning the heat up.
I nodded my head. It was a lie. I was fine in the car; it was the fact I hadn’t eaten a hot meal in ages or actual food that wasn’t canned spaghetti or granola bars. I bite into the burger, and a sob nearly escapes my lips; I am quick to suppress it so he doesn't hear. I was chewing slowly, savoring the taste and the warmth. Looking up, he is watching me while eating his burger.
I blushed, embarrassed that he was staring. He must think I am pathetic. I felt pathetic accepting a stranger's help.
“Thank you,” I tell him while taking a sip of the cold coke. It fizzed in my throat and on my tongue but tasted so good.
“Where is your family?” He asks curiously.
“He is my only family,” I tell him, looking at my son.
“They tossed you, didn’t they, for being unmated” I swallow, looking down.
“My mother was a single mother, not a rogue, my dad died; she raised me alone, she struggled but had the pack. Must be hard having no one,” he says. I don’t say anything. What could I say? I am the disgraced daughter of an Alpha.
We ate in silence, and for the first time in ages, I felt full, yet still, he handed me his chips, telling me to eat them before starting the car again. It took twenty minutes of driving, and I realized we were getting close to my old pack before he turned to the opposite side of the road.
It took another twenty minutes of driving through his territory before he pulled up at a large three-story house. I could hardly see it was that dark, but I could tell it was modern-looking.
“You okay? Stepping across didn’t make you feel sick?” I shake my head. It was odd. Usually, rogues feel sick crossing a border, but I didn’t. “Huh, odd,” he mutters.
“Are you sure it is okay for me to stay here?”
“Yeah, no one is here, and you can stay in my room tonight; I have pack patrol, so I won't be home” I nod.
“The Alpha won’t mind?” I ask.
“Na, he won’t even know until I see him tomorrow. He is in the City partying tonight; you will have the place to yourself,” he says, opening his door. He opens the back door, and I climb before walking around the car and grabbing my son out. He places the bag over his shoulder before putting his hand on my lower back, showing me to the front door. I watch as he unlocks the door before motioning for me to enter.
Stepping inside, Marcus flicks the hallway light, and I can see better. The entire place is spotless. White Marble floors and a massive staircase led up to the next level. I couldn't see in the rooms off the side because he didn't turn those lights on, but if the foyer was anything to go by, the rest of the house would be breathtaking. It was way over the top, nothing I wouldn’t expect of the Blood Alpha. They are the wealthiest Pack and have half the City under its claim. "This way," he says, motioning for me to follow. I follow him up two flights of stairs before he stops at a black door. He pushes it open to reveal a king-size bed with a canopy. Mahogany furniture and a large black rug sat on the floor. A flat-screen TV was built into the wall, and he turned it on before turning the volume down a bit. I could also see a door leading to a balcony.
Quietly sneaking up the side of the house, I stop at my sister's bedroom window. Looking in, I see her asleep in her bed. I tap on the window before I see movement; she flicks her lamp on, squinting around the room before looking at the window. Waving at her, my sister's mouth opens, and she becomes immediately alert before she rushes over. Ava throws her window open, and I pass her my bag, which she places on the floor before taking Valarian from me, so I can climb through the window. "Sis!" She cries, hugging me. I inhale her scent, tears flowing down my cheeks, before pulling back to look at her. She clutched her mouth before a sob escaped her. "He's beautiful," she chokes out. I gently closed the window, and she hugged Valarian close, smelling his tiny head. I was soaked, my hair dripping from the rain.
What was there to celebrate? My failures, the fact I am pack-less and homeless, that I am raising a baby on my own because the father refused to believe he got with a seventeen-year-old because he couldn’t recognize me as his mate. “Shift! Please, Everly. I can’t watch you suffer in the rain, please,” My mother begs, sucking in a deep breath. “You can do this, Everly,” I whisper to myself. It isn’t how you imagined shifting, but you need to put your big girl panties on and do what’s required. I tell myself that nobody will be celebrating for you, not anymore, before stripping my saturated shirt off. I hang it over a railing along the far wall before shredding the pajama pants. I look around; it is late at night no one will see me. Even if they did, they wouldn't pay any attention to the disgraced Alpha’s daughter. &nb
I had to hold my son on my lap in the back as the taxi driver drove us to the train station. We drove past a rundown hotel on the way to the station, and I think I may just have enough fuel to get my car there; hopefully, I did. After spending the entire night in the rain, I wanted a hot shower, wanted something warm in my belly, but most of all, I wanted the safety of four walls, even if it was only for one night. I tell myself that one night is all I need to let it out, then I can suck it up and figure something out. I handed the taxi driver some cash from the wad my father gave me. I had no idea how much my sister snuck into the bag, but getting my keys from the baby bag, I unlocked my car and climbed in, pulling the hatchback down when I realized I no longer had a car seat. Shit! I think knowing how long I saved f
Valen POV The sun was searing my eyes out of my head as it lit up the back of my eyelids. I was just about to force myself up when Marcus burst into my room, the door slamming into the wall loudly, the noise rattling my already pounding headache. "Ah, good you're up," he says just as I sit up, rubbing my eyes. I wave him off, but he doesn't leave. Instead, leaning on the wall beside my dresser. "What?" I ask, my head pounding in my skull. I look around my room to find some redhead in my bed and groan, praying I used a rubber. She was tangled in the sheets, and just seeing her there irritated me. Stupid dick; why does it always pick bimbos. "The rogue girl in my room, where did she go?" Huh? What the fuck is he talking
Everly POV We settled in the room, and I washed Valerian down with a wet cloth. It was a little too cold today for me to give him a bath right now. Once Valarian had settled and was napping, I had the longest, hottest shower in ages. Trying to wash the memories of last night away. I found my mate, saw him, and he didn't recognize me. But worse still was knowing he was with another woman. The agony that it caused as I ran home was heartbreaking as well as painful. When Marcus took me there, I hoped that he would recognize our son and get the help we needed, that maybe everything could be fixed, especially once I realized he was my mate. Allowing hope for the first time in ages, and I caught a glimmer of it only for it to be taken away, and now I was failing my son once again, that much I did know.
I spent all night writing a list for Valerie of everything that I noticed needed doing around the place, but it was a little challenging, considering I didn’t know what half the place looked like. I also spent a good chunk of time listing ways to advertise the site once it was up and running. I didn’t even know this place existed until I drove past it in the taxi on my way back to my car. Lived in this city my entire life, and I never realized there was a hotel on this side of the City and on the main street. Valarie would not need this information until the place was ready to open, which was a long way off. And that is if it passed the health and safety inspections first because this place was literally falling apart at the seams. I managed to get a hold of Macey and Zoe; they were keen to find work. Both of them were floored with the amount Valarie was willing to p
Not long after the truck leaves my car in the parking lot, I am waiting on the curb. Zoe got out of the taxi first as it stopped beside me. Zoe pays for the cab, and I help her grab her stuff from the trunk. “I never knew this place was here,” She says, looking up at the vast hotel, "kinda creepy, it looks haunted,” She adds, and I chuckle. “Anyway, I am so glad to see you again. I have been so excited I barely slept a wink last night,” Zoe tells me, giving me a hug. “So, is this everything?” I ask her looking down at the pram and duffle bag. “Yep, that’s everything, our life in a bag. Pathetic, isn’t it?” “No, see that pie