“I’m sorry, son,” Kalen choked out and groaned. Turning my head, I looked at him. Kalen’s face was so swollen he was barely recognizable. He coughed before placing his fingers in his mouth and removing a tooth. Valen’s answer was a growl when I helped Kalen to stand. The sound of cracking bones reached my ears as I heard Valen shift back behind me. Keeping a grip on Kalen, who was unsteady on his feet, we moved toward his car, and I fished his keys out of his pocket and unlocked his car for him.
“I’m alright, dear. Go, check on my son,” he hissed, falling heavily in his seat. With a nod, I turned to find Valen had walked back to his car.
“Valen?” I called, and he turned to look at me as I walked over to him. The look he gave me made me stop.
“You knew, you knew and said nothing,” he said and bit the inside of my l!p and nodded. Hurt shone in his eyes as Valen looked at the Hotel.
“She gave you this place, didn’t she?” he asked.
My lips quivered as he turned his gaze back to me. ” She recognized your son,” I told him, and he sucked in a deep breath.
“You should have told me,” he said, and I could feel his heartbreaking, the sadness for a loss he didn’t actually lose all those years, the sinking feeling that I betrayed him.
“Valen, wait. Just let me.” He got in his car and slammed the car in reverse, smacking into the brick garden out front of the main office before tearing out of the driveway. The engine of his car roared as he floored it down the street.
“I take it that is what you meant when you said it would get a lot worse?” Marcus said as I rubbed my arms against the cool breeze. He stopped beside me with a groan while rubbing his lower back, and Kalen pulled out of the parking space before winding down his window.
“He will forgive you. It’s me he is truly angry at, ” Kalen said with a sigh. I nodded and watched him leave.
Three days later.
The only time I had heard from Valen was via text message. Three days had passed, and he was still angry at me. I knew he spent most of those days drunk. Could feel the unease sitting in my stomach through the bond. Standing out front of the school,
Valarian and I waited for him to come to get him, yet the feeling through the bond was like he was passed out and asleep. In no way was I letting my son go with him if he was drunk. Therefore, I hoped it was just my guilt for not telling him sooner.
“What time is it?” Valarian asked me, looking both ways down the street for his father’s car. Retrieving my phone from my pocket, I glanced at the time and sighed. He was almost an hour late.
“He will come, he promised on the phone,” Valarian said while nodding his head and walking back to the bench seat that sat in front of the school. I wandered over to him and sat next to him.
“Maybe he is in traffic?” Valarian said, fidgeting with his fingers.
“How about we ring him when we get home? Maybe he is busy,”
“But he promised he would be here,” Valarian said while looking at me teary-eyed. He had been asking for his father since the morning after the Alpha meeting. Asking where he was and when he could see his father and I kept making up excuses.
“Did you have a fight?” he asked, and I turned to look at him.
“You did. You upset him and made him leave us, didn’t you?”
“No, he is upset about his mother,” I tell him, and his eyebrows furrow.
“But Nana died years ago?”
“And people stay sad for a long time,” I tried to explain.
“Well, you can take me to him,” Valarian said, hopping up and walking toward the car. I tried to ring Valen on the short walk back to my truck, but he didn’t pick up.
“I don’t think he is home. We can try to ring him when we get back home.”
“No! He promised me. I want to see him. I want my dad!” Valarian screamed at me. Startled at his outburst, I stared at him before pulling myself together and kneeling beside him, wiping the tears that streaked down his cheeks.
“Valarian, I don’t think you should see him right now. Your father needs time,” I tell him, but he shakes his head.
“What if he needs me, please, Mum! Please, ” Valarian begged, and I dropped my head and pinched the bridge of my nose. I sighed before looking back at his big amber eyes filled with tears.
“Fine, but we just knock, and if he doesn’t answer, we go home,” I tell him, and he nods. Valarian bounced on his heels excitedly and raced toward my car, climbing in the back and buckling himself in. Jumping into the driver’s seat, we headed to his Hotel.
The regret I felt upon stepping out of that elevator was instant. No guards stood in the corridor, yet the smell of liquor had Valarian pinching his nose.
Grabbing his arm, I tried to steer him back into the elevator when he took off, racing down the hall. I chased after him when he pushed inside the door that was wide open.
“Dad! Dad!” Valarian screams excitedly before he falls silent. Rushing through the door, I could see Valarian standing in the hall, where it opens up to the living room. Valarian looked over his shoulder at me before looking back into the mess. Glass crunched under his shoes as he walked off in search of his father.
“Valarian, wait,” I called, trying to catch up to him, only to stop when I walked in and saw it for myself. Broken glass lay everywhere, the couches were upturned, and the china was broken, blood spatter was on the walls, and the place looked like it had been burgled. I followed the sounds coming from Valarian before finding him standing in the doorway to the bathroom.
“Dad?” Valarian murmured, and I gripped his shoulder only to find Valen passed out on the tiled floor.
“What’s wrong with him?” Valarian asked, looking around at the mess. I could tell that now he had found his father. He was on the verge of a meltdown as he took in all the mess and the state of him.
“How about I ring Pop, and you stay with him for the night while I look after daddy, okay?” I asked him as he shook. His eyes teared up, and he glanced over at his father on the floor.
His entire body was shaking, and he nodded his head before stepping into the bathroom and leaning down to shake his father’s shoulder. “Dad? ” I heard him murmur, and his father groaned but didn’t wake. Valarian leaned down and k!ssed his cheek. Pulling my phone from my pocket, I called Kalen, who said he was on his way over to collect Valarian for me.
Once he had, I walked back into the house before cleaning the place. Furious that he let it get this way, knowing full well what his son was like. The place was trashed and stunk like a brewery.
Sweeping up the glass and mopping the floor, I then walked back into the bathroom. Now that the
hall was clear of glass, I dragged him to his room. It took me 20 minutes to lift him onto the bed. He groaned and mumbled but never woke, and by the time I was done, I was absolutely livid. I drove all the way back to the hotel, fuming and snatched the letter and the keys from his mother out of the safe before driving back.
There was no excuse for breaking his son’s heart as he did. Fair enough, he was pissed at me, but Valarian didn’t deserve to see him like that, and I also blamed myself for bringing him here. About an hour later, I had found all the liquor bottles in the place and started tipping them down the drain when a hungover Valen stumbled out, bumping into the TV unit and clutching his head in his hands.
Ignoring him, I continued pouring the bottles down the sink when he rubbed his eyes.
“Everly?” he questioned, seeming confused before his eyes blew wide.
“What day is it?” he asked.
“Monday, you were supposed to pick Valarian up,” I told him, trying to keep the anger out of my tone. He muttered before he groaned and clutched his hair, banging on the side of his head with his fists.
“Why are you here?” He asked, staggering to the kitchen counter before falling onto a stool. He dropped his head onto his arms.
“Did you not hear me? You were supposed to pick him up, but instead we came here and found you passed out on the floor in the bathroom.” his head whipped up from his arms.
“Wait, Valarian was here?” he asked, and I glared at him.
“Yes, you promised him, then he walked into this place looking like a shithole with you drunk,”
“He saw me?” Valarian asked, and the feeling through the bond was guilt and panic as he looked around the room for him.
“Where is he?” he asked, getting up and rushing to his son’s room.
“He is not here. Your father has him,” I told him, and he froze before snarling and turning on his heel and stalking toward me.
“You let him take him?” He growled angrily.
“Yes, because he asked for you and you were unavailable. I understand you’re upset, but don’t punish your son for it, Valen, ” I told him, walking over to my handbag. I rummaged for the letter Valarie sent to me for him after her death. Her handwriting was on the front. I swallowed the lump that formed in my throat, and tears pricked my eyes just thinking of her before I turned around.