I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I have a brother on the walk to our house.
A half-brother, but a sibling non the less.
As soon as we walked into the house it felt like I could breathe again.
Just being home gave me comfort.
Dane went to the kitchen to make a bottle for Kyra as I began getting her changed.
“Let me,” Dane said as he took Kyra from me and began feeding her.
“What’s on that brain of yours?” he questioned softly.
I shook my head, unsure of where to start.
“I just…I don’t know. There are so many thoughts, questions, and worries bouncing around right now I’m not sure where I would even start to try to explain it.”
I felt my eyes burn as tears formed. I stood and started pacing around the room; everything hitting me at once.
Dane’s arms stopped me as he slowly turned me toward him, wrapping me in a tight hug.
“Deep breath babe.”
He whispered as he gently stroked my hair and back.I did as he said, inhaling his scent as it surrounded me.
After a few breaths, I felt calm again and let Dane lead me to bed.
He slowly helped me get undressed before pulling one of his t-shirts over my head.
“My whole life has been turned upside down.”
I told him as we laid down on the bed, “I don’t regret it—it’s just been a lot, you know? “
Dane pulled me close to him, “I understand, and you have handled it and waited for me to talk.”
“I’m still learning about being a werewolf, a mom, and a mate. And now I have met my mom and lost my mom, meet my dad and I’m still not sure if I can trust him or not. I found out I have a brother! It’s just too much at once.”
I sighed and closed my eyes as I snuggled closer to Dane.
“I know it’s been a lot, babe, but I’m proud of you and how well you have handled everything. I’m not sure how much we can trust Apollo either. Hell, I thought we could trust your mom, but look what happened with that.
No matter what though—I will always stand by your side.I will always protect you and Kyra, and I love you both more than life itself. Kyra is asleep in her bed, so why don’t we try to get some rest now too.”
How did he always know exactly what to say? “I love you too Dane,”
I whispered, feeling his breathing even out under me. I knew he was just as exhausted as I was if not more. I lay there listening to Dane snore lightly until sleep finally consumed me.
The next morning, we woke up and dressed early. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I will, hopefully, get to meet Devin today and learn more from Apollo about Kyra.
As I was packing Kyra’s diaper bag, Adria came through the front door.
“Good morning!” she cooed as she took Kyra from Dane.
“Good morning to you to mom,”
Dane replied playfully to his mom.
She laughed as she swatted at his arm, “Well I hate to break it to you dear, but the minute Kyra was born she stole first place from you!”
I laughed as Dane fake pouted, “Is Apollo still at the border?”
I asked her as I slipped my shoes on and inviting him to breakfast but decided any interaction with the Alpha King should come from you or Dane.”
She looked between me and Dane, “the pack is nervous. It’s not often the Alpha King himself shows up and also stays the night.
They aren’t sure what is going on or what happened last night. I know you have this under control, son, but I suggest informing them of what’s going on. At least tell them some of it to ease their minds some.”
I could see Dane tense, “I’ll have Ash give them a brief update and inform them as soon as Apollo leaves, we will hold a formal meeting and let them know everything. For now, though, we should get to the packhouse”
As we walked out the front door, we were met by Ash, Genesis, and Blaze.
“We made him wait as long as we could,”
Genesis sighed, “he hardly slept at all last night. He seems very anxious.”
I looked over at Blaze as he talked softly to Kyra and Adria. I still couldn’t get over the changes physically happening in Blaze, not to mention how he acts with Kyra is mind-blowing.
He is so much bigger than other kids his age; taller and more muscular.
“You and Blaze go to the packhouse with them. I will be there shortly,”
Ash told Genesis before giving her a small k!ss and heading toward the border.
“Is it okay for him to go by himself?” I asked, feeling a little uneasy at the thought.
Apollo hasn’t done anything to make me doubt his intentions, but I just have this gut feeling he isn’t what he seems.
I wish I didn’t feel this way about him and I hope I am him. They will escort Apollo and Devin, if he is here, to our office. I nodded as I let Dane lead all of us across the yard into the packhouse.
Zayd was waiting in the office for us when we arrived.
“Good morning,” he cooed, just like Adria did as he took Kyra from her.
I rolled my eyes and laughed as Dane threw his hands in the air, “Good morning, Dad!” he said.
Zayd just shrugged his shoulders as he moved to sit on the couch next to Adria.
Dane smiled at me and winked before sitting in his chair and pulling me into his lap. I liked seeing the playful side of Dane.
It wasn’t long before we heard a knock on the door before Ash came in, “Alpha Dane, Luna Holly,”
he bowed his head before stepping to the side and allowing Apollo and a man that I assumed to be Devin walk in.
Colby walked in behind them as Ash shut the door.
They stood stiffly by the door instead of taking a seat like they normally would.
Dane and I stood as Apollo approached the desk, “Good morning,”
Dane greeted them.
Apollo smiled as he held his hand out, “Good morning. This is my son, Prince Devin Sparks.”
He introduced Devin, who shook Dane’s hand as well.
“Nice to meet you,”
Dane replied before slipping his hand in mine.
I stepped forward a little bit, “I’m Holly Black, your sister I suppose.”
I looked at Dane to find a huge smile gracing that beautiful face of his.
This is the first time you have used my last name…like it Mrs.Black.
I heard Dane through our mind link, causing me to smile.
Devin gave a small smile, “I suppose you are,” he chuckled lightly shorter than Apollo but had the same brown hair and light grey eyes.
My gut seemed to twist when he spoke though.
There was something about him that made me feel really uncomfortable.
I glanced across the room at Kyra who was still being held by Zayd.
Adria and Genesis exchanged a brief look before locking eyes with me.
I knew then they had the same gut feeling I had about Devin. I just knew we needed to keep our guard up and watch him carefully.
Dane must have felt the uneasiness spreading through the room, “So what can you tell us about Kyra and Blaze?” he asked, breaking the silence that had settled.
We all looked at Apollo waiting for his response, “Straight to the point, I like that,” he smiled, “there is a prophecy I guess you could say, in short, it says that a female heir to the Royal pack will be blessed with gifts this world hasn’t seen.
One of the things I remember hearing is how this female would have a mate from birth.
He would be blessed with the strength and knowledge needed to protect her and rule beside her.”
I looked over at Blaze who was sitting close to Kyra as I thought about what Apollo had just said.
It made sense to me, but I felt like there was more he didn’t want to tell us.
“What else does this prophecy say?”
I questioned him, narrowing my eyes.
“It’s been so long, that is all I can remember. My mother is the one that used to tell me.”
I didn’t believe him.
Devin sat silently watching Apollo.
“So, you think that Kyra is the one mentioned in the prophecy, the one to become the next Queen?”
Zayd spoke up as he handed Kyra to AdriaAsmall smile spread on Apollo and Devin’s face, “Yes, but if she is, then she won’t just rule over the werewolves, but overall the supernaturals.
For this reason, we believe she should come to live at the palace, of course not without both of you. There she will be better protected and can get the training she needs.”
Devin was very confident as he spoke.
Deep growls broke out throughout the office as Dane, and I stood.
“Kyra isn’t going anywhere,”
Dane gritted out, stepping forward.
I noticed everyone in the room had slowly moved and were now circling Adria and Kyra protectively.
Apollo scanned the room, “No need to get violent, Devin was merely offering.”
“Offering? What are your real intentions here?”
I had to ask.
This gut feeling had continued to grow, making me wish they would just leave.
The smirk that flashed across Devin’s face sent chills down my spine.
Apollo stood abruptly and I felt everyone in the room tense.
“I mean no harm at all, Holly.I know you are scared to trust me, and I understand that, but I really just want the best for you and her.I really don’t care if she is the one in the prophecy or not.Y’all will always be welcome at the palace.”
Apollo’s eyes showed nothing but sincerity, it was now Devin that I knew was up to something.
“Unfortunately, we will have to be leaving. I cannot leave the palace for long, but I would like to come back in one month to visit if that is okay with you.
Maybe my mate can come with me next time. I do think you would like her, Holly.”
Apollo smiled at me as Devin stood behind him glaring at me.
“We could never deny the Alpha King a visit,” Dane replied.
I could hear Apollo gave me a quick hug before turning to the group surrounding Kyra, “Can I please see her before I leave?”
Dane nodded his head at Ash and Colby, and they stepped aside just enough for Apollo to get through.
Devin stepped up to me with his hand out, “It was so nice to meet you, sister”
The sarcasm dripped off his words as I reached to shake his hand.
He gave my hand a squeeze, “See you soon.”
Dane and I began escorting Apollo and Devin back to the border.
“I know this is a lot to take in Holly, but I hope you know I am not who you thought I was.” he smiled.
We were halfway to the border when Devin stopped walking mid-stride, tilting his head up and sniffing the air, “What is it, son?” Apollo asked as he looked around the area.
My eyes widened at him before I looked at Dane.
“Mate!.You have found your mate!! That is great!”
Apollo seemed genuinely happy for him.
We all followed Devin as he walked through the pack trying to find his mate.
“Her scent is so faint…” he shook his head as he kept walking.
“What is in there?”
Devin asked pointing to his left.
“That is where we keep prisoners,”
Dane told him and then realized who he was selling.
“Any females?” he asked slowly.
Dane nodded his head, “One.”
He didn’t give any more information than that.
“Open it, I want to go inside.”
I looked at Dane, then Apollo.
Dane sighed as he unlocked the door and began leading us down the steps.
Nyla was already on her feet when we reached her cell, “Mate…” they both said as their eyes locked.
Devin spun around quickly, “Let.Her.Out.Now.” he demanded. “calm down.”
Apollo told him sternly, “Let’s talk outside.”
He glanced at Nyla before turning and heading back up the stairs. I really didn’t even know that she was still here until now. I just trusted Dane when he said not to worry.
The sun seemed brighter as we all stood outside.
“Don’t ever growl at my mate again,”
Dane warned Devin as he took a step forward.
“You remember who the hell you are talking to mutt,” Devin replied, taking a step forward like Dane.
I barely realized Ash and Colby as they stepped up and stood on each side of us.
Their stance showed that they were ready to fight.
“That is enough, Devin!”
Apollo roared, “You will better control yourself if you plan to continue to represent the Royal Pack. You never address an Alpha as a mutt, I know I taught you better than that.”
Apollo placed himself between the two men as he stared at Devin.
“Now we will find out why she is imprisoned in the first place and then decide from there what will happen. Alpha Dane, do you mind if we take this back to your office?”
Only then did Apollo turn to face Dane.
Dane hesitantly nodded his head before slipping his hand into mine and leading the way back to the packhouse.
Once inside, Dane didn’t even sit down in his chair. I could feel anger pulsing through his veins.
“Now then, who is the girl?”
Apollo questioned as he sat in the chair across from the desk.
Devin stood standing glaring at me and Dane.
Apollo turned to Devin and let out a low growl, causing Devin to look down as he moved to take a seat next to Apollo’s birthday coming soon. She was a title chaser and attacked Holly not long after her arrival.
Dane rushed his answer just giving the basics of her.
I watched as Apollo sat silently; doubt written on his face.
“I don’t give a s**t what she did. Holly seems fine to me, so I want my mate released immediately.”
Devin growled out.
Apollo abruptly stood as he spun to face Devin, “You will hold your tongue.
Better yet you can wait at camp while I talk with Alpha Dane and Holly.”
Apollo’s voice was deep with authority when he spoke to Devin this time.
Devin huffed as he stood and made his way to the door without any argument.
Once he left and the door was shut behind him, Apollo took a seat again, “I do apologize for his behavior. Between us, we have been noticing some changes in Devin lately, no worries though.”
He brushed it off like it was a normal thing, “Now about this woman, is there any way you would be willing to let her leave? I would rather sort this out civilly with you than have it escalate into something we all would regret one day.”
I could hear the warning in his voice as he looked at Dane patiently.
“So, you are okay with her becoming part of the Royal Pack even though you know she attacked me?” I laughed.
And here I was beginning to think he cared.
“If a title chaser is what she is, then she will be getting a title with Devin. Hopefully, with training, she will become a better person. But no, I am not okay with the fact that she attacked you at all, but I also have to think about Devin. I can assure for that matter.”
Apollo seemed sincere.
Dane looked at me leaving the decision to release her or not in my hands, “I want her gone as soon as she is released. She is not to go to any houses or tell anyone bye. I don’t want her wandering around the pack.”
I told Apollo sternly.
Apollo seemed pleased with my answer, “As you wish.”
I didn’t go with Dane to release Nyla, instead, I found Genesis and Adria with Kyra and Blaze.
Kyra was lying on her playmat as Blaze moved the toys hanging on it for her to watch.
As I walked into the room, Adria stood up, “Well what happened? I heard there was an argument of some sort with the prince?” she asked worriedly.
I nodded my head, “I guess you could say that.”
Dane walked in just as I finished telling Adria and Genesis what had happened.
To say they were surprised would be an understatement.
He walked behind me, gently messaging my shoulders, “They have left. King Apollo made it very clear to Devin and Nyla both that she is not to even come to this area again, and if she does, her punishment will be harsh. He also told Nyla if she ever raises a hand to you again, he will kill her himself, which of course pissed Devin off, but he didn’t seem to care at all.”
I won’t lie, hearing what Apollo said made me happy.
“The day isn’t over yet, and I need to inform the pack of what has happened.I know everyone is on edge.”
I sighed but knew that it needed to be done…just felt so drained and wanted nothing more than to curl up next to Dane and sleep for a week.
I walked with Dane to the clearing where he was going to his pack, so mom has planned to have a big cookout before he leaves. It will start after the meeting.”
He looked at me smiling, “Okay, it sounds good. I won’t lie though; your uncle is a little intimidating.”
Dane laughed as he shook his head, “Not the first time that’s been said.”
After informing the pack that everything was okay, Dane invited everyone to the cookout.
Everyone seemed relieved that Apollo was gone and excited about the cookout.
I sat at the picnic table holding Kyra as I watched everyone talking and laughing.
Everything seemed to finally be falling into place.
Kain was no longer a problem, and Apollo didn’t really want me dead.
I still had a bad feeling about Devin and now he has Nyla at his side. I really hoped we wouldn’t regret our decision to let her go with him.
Dane slid onto the bench next to me giving me a passionate kiss before taking Kyra, “Does this feel like the calm before the storm?” I asked him.