We had an entire week of funerals and memorials. Everything felt wrong, though, the city was quiet as we tried to settle back into life. Tatum was in an induced coma. They saved his leg, but infection spread everywhere, and Macey had been sick with worry, barely leaving his bedside. Zoe and I had been alternating with taking Taylor. Ava busied herself with work, and so did I. Anything to take my mind off how quickly everything spiraled out of control.
Coming home from work, I had been holed up in my office, which was finally finished, going over documents from both packs. The accounting from the hotel and scraping money left-right, the center to paying bills. Then I spent all afternoon helping Ava move her stuff back home from the apartment out the back of the hotel, which Macey would now take over.
Walking inside, Valen looked over the back of the couch, and the beer in his hand didn’t escape my eyes as he quickly placed it down to turn to look at me.
“I put your dinner in the microwave, and Valarian asked for you at bedtime,” Valen says and I nod while dumping my handbag on the hallstand.
“Why didn’t you answer your phone? I have been calling all afternoon. And you shoved me out of the mind link,” he said, his tone clipped at the end.
“I was with my father and Ava. I helped her move back in with dad,” I answered while moving to the kitchen; I heated up my dinner. I was exhausted, and even eating seemed like a major task.
Valen strolls into the kitchen, and I eye the bottle in his hand. He quickly tips it up and drains it, tossing it in the recycling. He catches me watching him when he turns around and arches an eyebrow.
“What?” he demands.
“You know how I feel about you drinking. And I definitely don’t want you drinking around Valarian,” I tell him, and he scoffs.
“Right. Because I’m an alcoholic?” he clicks his tongue and shakes his head, and I lean back on the counter and fold my arms across my chest.
“Don’t put words in my mouth Valen; I never said that. I just said I don’t like you drinking. But hey, if you say you are, you must be,” I sighed. I so did not want to argue tonight. He growls but moves closer, his s going to my bump as he caresses it.
“I only had one. And Valarian is asleep. And I am not an alcoholic. Geez, Everly, I don’t obliterate myself,” he says before leaning closer. He dips his face closer, his lips brushing mine softly before biting my bottom lip playfully. I roll my eyes, pushing on his shoulders, and he chuckles, stepping back and opening the microwave when it dings. He grabs the plate out, sitting on the kitchen bench.
“Did you sort out the finances for the hotel and find out how much is owing to the contractors?” he asked, and I nodded.
“And you paid it?” he asked, and I growled before walking over to my handbag and grabbing his card out. I hand it to him, but he pushes my hand away.
“Keep it,” he says, and I shake my head but place it back while he fetches me a fork.
“The real estate agent rang today, She said Alpha Daxon from Slasher pack wants to repurchase the land from behind his pack,” I tell him, and he nods.
“Yes, he wants to build some training grounds. He mentioned even wanting to train with our pack for a bit.”
“Sounds like a plan. Also, I got a weird message from Carter today,” I admit. Valen points to the table, and I sit down while he brings my plate over, setting it in front of me.
“How did he get your number?” Valen asks, and I shrug. It wouldn’t be hard, probably from his father’s files.
“What did he want?”
“Asked if we had settled the debt. Carter said he found the paperwork and banks statements,”
“What did you say?”
“I told him the truth, then offered him the titles for the back of his pack. But he said no,” I shrug.
“Yeah, his father wiped every cent from the pack’s accounts. I say the pack will be dismantled if he doesn’t do something soon.”
“So, what should I do?” I asked.
“I will talk to him tomorrow and handle it. And from what the investigators said, we owe Nixon nothing. As soon as he is found, he will be brought before the council and probably executed, anyway. Carter wasn’t a part of that agreement, so has no warrant to claim it, and he was the one who also one who infected your mother so he can’t claim money for the vaccine.”
“Have they seen any sign of Nixon?” I asked, m0aning as I spear a piece of ravioli into my mouth, the sauce was heavenly. Valen chuckles, leaning down and licking the sauce off my lips.
“I have something you can m**n around that tastes better,” he offers.
“Somehow, I think this tastes better,” I teased, spearing another piece and popping it in my mouth. He laughs, pecking my lips before walking off into the bathroom. I hear the water turn on a few seconds later while I turn back to my food.
20 Week Ultrasound
Valen sat nervously beside me, his foot tapping as Doc squirted the lubricant over my huge belly, the coldness of it making me want to pee. I glance at the clock above the door. Macey said she wanted to come. Maybe she got caught up at the hospital. Tatum was getting better with the infection gone and had woken up. But he couldn’t shift without the risk of his leg not shifting, due to the nerves and tissue damage left behind from his leg being nearly completely removed.
He had to go through physiotherapy to learn how to use his leg again because he could shift to heal himself, but they weren’t sure if his leg would shift with the rest of him, so until he healed completely, it wasn’t worth the risk. Doc starts the scan, taking measurements when we hear a knock.
Doc leans over on his stool, opening the door, and Macey walks in, tiptoeing as if making noise would somehow disturb the Doctor and her knock didn’t. She bends over and pecks my cheek before deliberately messing Valen’s hair, earning a growl from him as he swatted her hands away. She laughs and stares at the screen before squinting.
“So, you all placed your bets?” Doc asked. He knew from previous scans that Macey and Valen had a bet on the genders, hence why she was here.
“Yep! Two boys and a girl,” Valen says.
“Nope! I say three girls,” Macey says.
“Well, for your sake, I hope there’s at least one boy. Valarian said last time you promised to wrestle in the boy way, and you will break that boy’s heart,” Doc laughs. He came to my last scan with Valen. I will give Valen one thing. He has never missed an appointment. He has had to remind me to attend a couple.
“Well, mum, what do you think?” Doc asks.
“Two girls and boy,” I tell him, crossing my fingers. He laughs and moves the device across my belly. I close my eyes when he declares Baby A to be a girl.
“Next one is a boy,” Valen says before deflating when Doc says Baby B is a girl. Macey rubs her hands together, then rubs the side of my belly.
“Nope! It’s a girl, and you owe me three foot rubs, and you have to refer to me as ‘oh favorite one’ for a full week!” Macey says. Doc chuckles and shakes his head, moving the device over my belly.
“Stop with your Karma voodoo!” Valen snaps at her, having already lost his bet.
“And what do you win?” Doc asks since it was down to us.
“A jar of coffee,” I say, and he turns his head to look at Valen.
“She isn’t human, Valen. I told you to stop reading those baby books. She can drink as much coffee as she wants,” Doc says, and I purse my l!ps.
“We don’t know that for sure,” Valen argues.
“Do you have a doctor’s degree?” Macey asks.
“Just because you want to risk our kids coming out with three heads,” he sneers at her.
“I would hope so! Two heads only would be an issue since there are three of them,” Macey taunts.
“You know what I mean,” Valen growls at her, and Doc laughs at their banter. He moved the device over my belly, and it took a while because bub was playing hide behind the others, but he was finally able to get a good enough view before he declared.
“Baby C is…” Valen and Macey lean forward eagerly.
“A girl!” Doc says, and Macey squeals and jumps in victory while Valen deflates.
“Looks like you wrestled in a girl way, Alpha,” Doc laughs.
“Apparently so,” Valen mutters.
“Oh! That is so much pink!” he groans while Macey shook her a*s in his face still doing her victory dance.
“Maybe we can dress one in blue and hope Valarian doesn’t notice?” Valen says thoughtfully.
“He will notice,” I deadpan, and Valen sighs.
“I don’t know what to do with girls,” he pouts before glaring down at his crotch as if it wronged him.
“You had one job! And you gave me three girls! You couldn’t have at least shot one boy out?” he growled at his d**k.
“I think he is just trying to hide his excitement for the three-foot rubs he owes me,” Macey says, and Valen pulls a face.
“I am not touching those neanderthal feet,” he snaps.
“A deal is a deal, oh, and I will let my toenails grow just for you before I claim my first one,” Macey states. Valen pales and looks like he will puke.
“Tell you what? I will scrap one-foot rub off if you give Everly her jar of coffee,”
“Wipe all three, and I will,” Valen growls.
“She can drink coffee, and no, I will get rid of one,” Macey says, holding up one finger. He growls and scrunches his face up.
“Fine, and you better scrub those damn feet raw, and I am wearing gloves,” he snarls when Doc leans down and whispers to me.
“Do they always fight like this?” he asks.
“No, this is their love language, and Macey will win, just watch,” I tell him. He laughs, turning back to finish the scan.