This was not what I expected. Everly was on attack the entire time, yet the longer I watched, I realized
John wasn’t even fighting. He could have landed multiple blows on her and she even left herself open a
couple times where he could have taken her out but he didn’t. Ava stood beside me chewing her nails
nervously, her eyes glued to the match and Macey and Zoe beside her with the same frightened
expressions on their faces.
Something was going on. It was almost like John was deliberately throwing the challenge.
“Why isn’t he fighting back?” Marcus whispered and I shrug, but Everly was becoming tired and she
only had two minutes left before they had to shift. Nixon was screaming at John to take her out,
screaming like a damn banshee and distracting both of them. I have put up more of a fight with her
when training with her, yet John almost seemed scared of hurting her and Everly was also holding
back. He had hit her once and it was only in the thigh, he had ample opportunity at body and head
shots but never took one of them.
The siren blared signaling it was time to shift. And I noticed Everly glance at Ava nervously. I could see
John talking to her while they fought, but once that signal went off he had no choice but to shift.
However, Everly didn’t.
“What are you doing? Shift!” I scream at her and I see Ava take a step forward to the pit and Macey
grips her arm and shakes her head. Ava’s body trembles like she was about to shift herself and run in
there if Macey hadn’t stopped her.
“Everly, shift!” I command through the mindlink. She tenses and looks at me over her shoulder and
fights my command when Ava notices my command over her she yells at me.
“She can’t! Drop your command! You are distracting her!” Ava snapped at me and my brows furrowed
in confusion and I was about to ask what she was talking about when John’s huge wolf stalks toward
Everly and she backs up, turning to her side, making herself a smaller target but still she doesn’t shift.
Ava walks the sideline with me. “Everly, back out!” Ava snarls at her sister but she shakes her head not
turning her head away from the fight. John charges at her and I hold my breath. Everly jumps back and
pivots, her foot connecting with him under the ribs, only for him to turn and slash her thigh. She
staggers back and he pounces on her at the same time her fist connects with the side of his head. He
shakes his head and backs up, snarling and snapping his huge teeth at her.
“Everly, what are you doing? F*cking shift!” I yell at her as her pants become soaked with her blood
from his claws slashing her outer thigh. Nixon screams at him, distracting him for a second and she
jumps on him. Wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his torso but he rears up trying
to throw her off, he nearly lands on top of her but twists at the last second, bounces off her before his
weight could crush her. She rolled out of his way before he could snap his teeth at her face but he
made no move to, and didn’t attack when she tried to get to her feet which left her wide open.
“F*cking take her out John!” Nixon snarls angrily across the other side. He was so furious, his canines
slipped from his gums and I glared at him. John looks in N ixon’s direction and hangs his head when I
notice Claire beside him. Tears streamed down her face as she watched her daughter and her mate.
“It’s ok, love,” she yells at him. Everly circles around him but he hangs his head before charging at her.
My breath lodges in my throat as she runs at him too and I wait for them to collide, claws, teeth and
skin don’t mix. Ava screams out and runs toward the pitch just as Marcus snags his arm around Ava’s
waist hauling her back.
My heart raced when suddenly John jumps clean over her, Everly spins, her feet losing traction on the
gr*ss and she falls on her hip. Get up! Get up! I worry as John turns around and moves toward her,
snarling and snapping his teeth. Everly backs up on her hands and feet, as he stalks toward her, she
raises her foot to get ready to kick him when he pounces on her. My breath lodges in my throat and I go
to run onto the arena but stop when John drops on his belly and she halts.
John tilts his head and bares his neck to her in submission while I try to figure out what just happened. I
look at Marcus to see if he just witnessed the same thing. John submitted. Nixon curses and yells
before storming out, shoving past his people, while Claire rushes onto the field with shorts and a towel.
Everly reached forward and brushed his fur. He whimpers and Claire throws a towel over him while I
gaped. What the f*ck just happened? Once the towel is over him he shifts back and is on his knees in
front of her and she gets to her feet.
When it is clear it is over, I walk into the center of the arena, wanting to know what happened and why
he suddenly caved to his daughter. Confusion was evident in the crowd as murmurs broke out in a
chorus, this wasn’t what anyone was expecting. Especially after all the fighting between packs. Everly’s
mother was talking in a hushed voice and as I approached
Everly, I caught the end of her mothers words to John and I halted on my steps.
“You did the right thing, love. We lost one grandchild and daughter, we don’t need to make the same
mistakes again. You did the right thing, she is carrying our grandchild,” Claire whispers and Everly
tenses as I stop beside her. Claire was trying to console John yet I couldn’t take my eyes from my
mate. My eyes drifted over her before going to hers. “Pardon?” I ask Claire and she gasps, taking a
step away from me.
“You’re pregnant?” I asked, looking at Everly, shocked. Everly looks at me and clarity hits. What Ava
meant when she told me to drop the command, why she wouldn’t shift, I looked at John on his knees
and at Ava.
“They knew?” I ask her and tears short in her eyes as she takes a step toward me, but I take a step
“That’s what you were arguing with Macey and Zoe about, isn’t it?” I ask her and she reaches for me
but I take another step back from her. I felt betrayed, and I couldn’t believe she would go to the
challenge and risk our unborn child.
“Don’t!” I warn her when she reaches for me again. “Valen,”
“No, Everly. That wasn’t just your secret to keep from me,” I told her before turning on my heel and
walking away from her. Never had i been so angry at her, betrayed by her. I go looking for Valarian
angered she would keep that from me and needing to get away from her before I did something I
regret. Marcus rushes over to me and grabs my shoulder but I shove him off.
“Did you know too?” I snarl him. He puts his hand up in surrender but shakes his head, and I growl at
Zoe and Macey as they p*ss me. I felt betrayed by all of them. My father walks over to me when he
sees me walking i n his direction, but I don’t stop, instead, heading for my son who was on the swings.
“Valen? What happened? Did she win?” Dad calls out to me when I walk past him. I growl.
“John submitted,” I growled, too passed off to form words.
“That’s a good thing, why are you upset?” he asked, trying to keep pace with me as I moved toward my
“She lied to me!” I snarled, my entire body trembled with rage.
“Everly. She is pregnant!” I tell him and he grabs my arm pulling me to a stop. I glance in Everly’s
direction to see her chasing after me.
“What?” he asks, before holding his hand out to Everly, telling her to back off. I was glad he did
because I wanted to slap her for what she had done. She stops, looking torn between ignoring him and
listening. He shakes his head at her and I growl at her. “Valen, please. Let me…”
“I don’t want to hear it! Just get out of my face!” I snapped at her. Valarian rushes over, looking between
his mother and I. He stops a couple of meters away from me.
“Can Valarian and I stay at your place tonight? I can’t be near her right now,” I asked my father.
“Yes. Of course,” he says and I walk off to get my son. I grab Valarian and pick him up. Everly rushes
over trying to take him from me. Tears trekked down her face and my canines slipped out as I pushed
her hands away from him.
“Mum!” Valarian screams while twisting in my arms.
“Valen, give him to me.” she says, reaching for him when dad gets between us. Valarian cries out for
her when I start walking away from her heading for my car. My father, I could hear, was talking to her
and trying to calm her down but I ignored her heading for the exit.
“What about mum?” Valarian cries, twisting in my arms.
“Stop it. You will see her later,” I tell him and I lift him higher, hugging him closer.
“Are we going home?” He asks me while I fiddle with the key fob as I step into the parking lot. I
unlocked my car.
“Dad! We can’t leave mum!” Valarian sobbed pushing on my shoulders and kicking his legs, forcing me
to put him down. I growl when he takes off rushing back toward the entry.
“Valarian!” I growl while turning around to see Everly grab him. She scoops him up in her arms and my
father messes his hair as I approach them to take him.
“I want to stay with you!” Valarian cries, clinging to her neck as she sets him down.
“I’m not going anywhere, you’re just staying at pops for the night with daddy,” she says, wiping his
tears. At least she wasn’t fighting me on this. She pries his fingers from her neck and steers him toward
the car with me following closely behind her.
“It’s just for tonight?” she asks as she opens the back door. Valarian climbs in and I quickly move to clip
him i n and make Everly step aside. She touches my back and I look at her over my shoulder and she
removes it quickly from the angered look on my face.
Shutting the door, she tries to grab my hand and I fight the urge to shift. Instead, growling at her, my
aura slips out and she takes a step back, her *ss hitting the side of my car.
“You lied to me! Kept it from me!”
“You wouldn’t have let me go through with it!” she snapped back as I stepped closer to her.
“With good reason too! You didn’t just risk your life!” I tell her, barely holding myself together.
She goes to defend herself, or explain but I cut her off before she can.
“Enough! You’re causing a scene and scaring our son,” I tell her and she peers down at the window
beside her. She swallows and looks back at me.
“You’ll bring him back tomorrow?” she says and I clench my jaw. “Valen?”
“I need to go,” I tell her, walking off to the driver’s side. My father rummages in his pockets and pulls out
his keys. He passes them to her.
“I’ll talk to him, it will be alright,” I hear him tell her, and she nods, taking them from him. I climb in my
car, and dad jumps in the passenger side before I tear out of the parking lot.