We trailed a small entourage through the winding corridor, my heart pounding in anticipation. I didn’t know what to expect. The last time we saw Kai, he wasn’t conscious. We arrived at a room and Rhea nodded towards the door.
“He is in there,” Rhea said and then looked up past me. “Demetri, I would like to discuss some things with you if you would come with me.” I watched as Demetri nodded his head.
“It would be a pleasure.”
I kept my gaze on Demetri as he stepped past me. I didn’t know these people, but he seemed to be completely at ease. Still, after everything, I felt nervous about him not being by my side.
I felt Sion’s hand move on my back, applying slight pressure ushering me towards Kai’s room. I smiled up at him and nodded my head. It was silly of me to be nervous for Demetri. I took a deep breath and reached for the door. The moment it opened I could hear a noise from inside. The soundproof room was undone with just a slight opening.
“You are seriously sticking with that?! You can’t be serious.” I heard Kai’s voice and felt instantly at ease.
“Listen, I need time to adjust… mentally… and—” Epona’s voice quipped as a gentle laugh came from Kai. I glanced up at Sion, but he didn’t make any move either. We were both curious about their conversation.
“You don’t need time to adjust mentally. You are worried about your image taking a hit.”
“Kai, that’s not fair,” Epona protested, and I bit my bottom lip, feeling guilty listening to their conversation. Of course, not guilty enough to shut the door.
“Epona, you saved my life, but you didn’t do that for anyone else. You saved me because you felt something more. We both know it. You are a strong kelpie, and you are worried about what others will think because you claimed a wolf… because a wolf is your mate.” Kai stated, his voice trailed into a soft whisper. My mouth dropped open as I processed what he was saying.
“I get it. I mean, most women want their mate to be stronger than them. They want to feel protected. You can defeat a small pack of wolves on your own. I am not stronger than you in our feral forms. You are embarrassed by me.”
“That isn’t it! I don’t care about that. If anything, I like the dynamics of… us.” Her voice stopped and I could tell she was struggling to say what was on her mind. Sion’s grip on my back tightened as we both listened in shock. Epona and Kai were mates? That was unexpected. I could feel my heart racing as I tried to process the information. I knew that kelpies and wolves didn’t usually mate, so this was a unique situation.
“I…I don’t know what to say,” Epona stammered, her voice laced with uncertainty.
“You don’t have to say anything, just know that I’m here for you,” Kai replied, his voice filled with sincerity.
“I just…I am afraid of this connection…” Epona admitted, her voice barely above a whisper. “I’ve always been a loner. That’s why—”
“That is why you are nervous about being part of a pack.” Kai’s voice was warm and kind. He wasn’t upset and was understanding. I was still a bit in shock, but really happy Kai had found a second chance mate. “I know, Epona. But you don’t have to be alone anymore. You have me and I would never hurt you.”
“I don’t know what having someone means.” I could feel the weight in her words. I understood this in my core. I grew up not having anyone and it was scary to let someone in. I leaned into Sion’s front and smiled. It was the best decision I ever made, though.
“You don’t have to figure it out all at once. We can take our time,” Kai said, his voice soothing. “You know… after… after my first mate was killed… I didn’t think I ever wanted to have someone again. I didn’t want to feel that type of pain, but you know what? Loneliness was more painful.” I felt a lump form in my throat as I listened to Kai’s words. He had been through so much, losing his first mate and then nearly dying. I really wanted Epona to be good for him.
“I know what you mean,” Epona replied, her voice softening. “I don’t want to be alone anymore, either. I don’t want to deny this bond. It is a double bond, so I am stuck with you anyway.” I could hear a playful tone in her voice.
“So, mates? You are okay with finally being honest with everyone?” I heard Epona click her tongue and laugh.
“You are a persistent wolf, aren’t you?”
Kai chuckled. “I have to be if I want to be with you.” My heart swelled as I listened to their conversation. It was clear that Kai and Epona had found something special in each other. I felt like I was intruding on a private moment, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave just yet.
“You know I was never going to deny us being… mates. I just… I just wasn’t sure about telling everyone until I figured out what that really meant.”
“Those who have mates know exactly what having a mate means. They will understand us. This instant connection… the person who can soothe the others souls. But if you need more time… it’s just… people will know I am off the market if I have a mate.” I could hear the sly tone in his voice and my lips twitched upward.
“Okay, okay… mates it is,” Epona relented, her voice filled with amusement. “But this is an equal partnership. No one lords over me. I don’t want anyone to think I am soft.”
Kai laughed loudly. “You’re a feisty kelpie. No one’s going to think you’re soft. Besides, they all know you are stronger than me. Now, there is one other issue.”
“What is that?”
“Placing my mark on you… but that will have to wait. We have guests.”
Oh, shoot…busted. I looked up at Sion wincing as he grinned and pushed the door open, revealing the scene inside. Kai was lying in the bed, looking much better than the last time I saw him. Epona was sitting next to him, her hand resting on his arm. They both looked up as Sion and I entered the room.
“Hey, Kai. How are you feeling?” I asked, trying to keep my tone light. I knew my face was completely red with embarrassment.
Kai grinned at me, “I’m feeling much better, thanks to Epona.” I watched as he grabbed her hand when she tried to remove it from him. “My mate.” She cleared her throat and then looked away. She was acting uncharacteristically shy, but it was a sweet moment. “I take it we won?” He chuckled, pulling her hand up to his lips.
“Of course, we won. We still need to unite our packs, but it is finally over.” Sion smiled and then looked over at Epona. “Sorry to interrupt. We just wanted to check in on, Kai.”
“It’s all good, man. I’m just happy to be alive,” Kai replied, still holding onto Epona’s hand. “And speaking of the pack, there’s something I need to address.”
We looked at Kai, waiting for him to continue.
“Epona and I will return to the Chance pack for a little while. We haven’t worked out all the details yet. Eventually, we will move to the Diamond pack.” I smiled and nodded my head.
“Actually, that is reassuring.” I said and he looked at me curiously. “Through some agreements, my first-born daughter is promised to go to the Diamond pack.”
“If we have a daughter, that is the plan. Right now, our focus is on our son.” Sion said, beaming proudly. I watched as Kai’s confused face lit up.
“You’re pregnant!” Then, instantly, he scowled. “And you fought?!”
“Hey!” Epona jerked her hand, but his grip didn’t allow her to tear her hand away. “Just because she is pregnant doesn’t mean she can’t fight.”
“Of course not. It has nothing to do with her abilities. You can’t predict what happens in battle…” Kai started to say, but Epona snorted.
“The same goes for anyone. Pregnant or not. It is no one else’s decision. Fighting is our choice to make. If we feel capable, then who has the right to tell us no? Not when fighting could be the key to victory.” Yeah, I really liked Epona.
Kai grinned, clearly amused by Epona’s fiery response. “I stand corrected.” He then turned his gaze to Sion and me. “I’m happy for you both. And I hope our children can grow up together as well.” I watched as Epona’s face changed to beet red. She turned her face away from us, and Kai chuckled at the sight.
“I think she’s embarrassed,” Kai said with a smirk.
Epona glared at him playfully. “I am not embarrassed. I just don’t want to talk about it.” Kai chuckled and gave her hand a squeeze.
Sion and I exchanged a look, both amused by the dynamic between Kai and Epona. It was clear that they were meant to be together. As we all chatted, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of contentment. The war was over, and we had won. Plus, seeing Kai and Epona together warmed my heart. They would be coming to stay at the Chance pack for a while and I was happy I would get to know her better.
As the conversation continued, I couldn’t help but notice the intense chemistry between Kai and Epona. It was like they couldn’t keep their eyes off each other, even when they were talking to someone else. I smiled to myself, happy that Kai had found a mate who was so perfect for him.
Sion’s voice pushed into my mind, ‘We should give them some privacy, Love.’ He was right. They still had some marks to attend to.
“Well, we need to be heading back. We still have a lot of work to do,” Sion said, and Kai nodded his head.
“Of course, Alpha. We will be joining you guys again in about a week. Epona has some things she needs to settle first.” Kai’s eyes met with mine and I gave him a warm smile.
“Take your time, Kai. We’ll be waiting for you and Epona when you’re ready.” I said, trying to convey my support for his new relationship.
Kai beamed, his eyes flashing with appreciation. “Thank you, Luna. We appreciate it.” He looked back at Epona, who nodded her head. “We will see you guys soon.” I looked between Kai and Epona and felt so much relief and happiness. Kai was alive and had found his mate. They would be coming back to the Chance pack for a short time and then he would be there in the Diamond pack if I ever had a daughter.
The chemistry between Kai and Epona was truly captivating. The mate bond was something special. Well, at least most of the time it was. I was just glad that it turned out this way for Kai.
Sion wrapped his arm around my waist as we walked out of the room. We shut the door to give them the privacy they probably needed. Usually, marking was an intimate moment and happened soon after finding your mate.
The hallway was empty as we walked back towards the dining area. I was curious about Demetri and was wondering how Odell was getting along. Suddenly, without warning, Sion spun me into his embrace. His searing lips crashed against mine in a passionate explosion, igniting a fire inside of me and stealing my breath away. In that moment, the world melted away and all that remained was the warmth of his kiss.
My body melted into his, responding with a fiery passion that matched his own. Sion’s hands roamed over my body, leaving a trail of goosebumps in their wake. I moaned against his lips as his tongue tangled with mine, seeking dominance. But this was no fight; it was a dance of passion and desire.
Finally, we broke apart, panting and gasping for air. Sion’s eyes were dark with desire as he gazed down at me, his hands still resting on my hips. “I love you,” he said, his voice husky with emotion.
“I love you too,” I replied, leaning in to kiss him again. His hands wandered over my body and finally a frustrated growl escaped from his lips.
“Soon…somewhere more private.” He promised as a big, toothy smile spread over his lips. “It’s over Clover. We did it. We can concentrate on us now. On our family. Let’s inform our pack of their new little Alpha. It is time to celebrate.”
I nodded, feeling a sense of relief and joy wash over me. The war was finally over, and we could focus on building a better future for our pack. “Let’s do it,” I said, smiling up at him. Finally, we could focus on ourselves and having a family. A real loving family. I was more than ready for this new journey in our lives.