My head was swimming. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them about Carter being my mate. I wanted
nothing to do with the vile man that would allow the woman I considered to be my sister to be violated
the way she was. Yet shame coursed through me.I felt like I didn’t deserve to be around her after what
my mate had done to her. Was I cursed when it came to men? Am I the bad omen for my girls? I was
seriously considering it because unless Tatum marked me. I was as good as dead once I rejected
Carter, and my mate ruined Zoe’s life, and his father was responsible for killing Everly’s mother and my
mate by kidnapping her sister.
However, Carter being my mate, left multiple additional issues because I will be rejecting him, but then
what will happen with Taylor? Who would look after her and love her the way I do? My mum was
getting old, plus she had my brother and his mate living with her, and as much as I love my brother, he
wasn’t exactly a good role model.
After showering and checking in with Kalen and the kids, I headed to see Tatum. At the moment, he
was the only good thing going in my life other than Taylor.
Because everything felt like it was falling into tatters, and I had no idea how to come back from this, I
saw the hell Everly went through without Valen. Saw how Kalen’s rejection killed Valarie, so what would
me rejecting Carter do? what would be the consequence of that?
Walking down the corridor to his ward, I stopped and spoke with his physio lady. Her name was Tracey,
and she was the one helping us get him back on his feet, she warned me he was in a mood before I left
her going to find his room. I knew something was wrong before I even opened the door. I could hear
him cursing and heard glass break as he tossed something.
Pushing the door open, I found Tatum on the ground, his crutches by the bed.
“Stupid fucking leg!” He curses with a growl. Immediately I rushed to his side, gripping under his arms
to help pull him.
“Why didn’t you use the crutches?” I asked him when he pushed me away, forcing me to drop him. He
grunts, I move to help him again when he snarls at me.
“Just fucking leave me, Macey, stop fucking mothering me,” he snaps.
I roll my eyes. I had put up with his pity parties before, only this time when I ignored him and retrieved
the wheelchair pushing beside him. He growled angrily at me and punched it.
“Just fuck off. For once in your God damn life, Macey, stop trying to fix everything,” he snaps. I go-to
reply when he holds up a hand, cutting me off.
“Don’t! I am fucking sick of it. I am useless, and I don’t want you feeling sorry for me,”
“I don’t feel sorry for you. You’ll be fine. Tracey said you did great today. It’s only a matter of time, and
soon you’ll be walking around,” I tell him, trying to lift his mood.
“Want the crutches instead?” I ask him, moving to retrieve them.
“Get out!” Tatum snarls at me, and I freeze, glancing at him over my shoulder.
“You just can’t help yourself. Always gotta try to fix everything. My leg is fucked, Macey. It ain’t getting
any better, and I am sick of you telling me it will, so just get out. This isn’t going to work,” he says,
turning to look away.
“Tatum? You’re just having a bad day, you’ll see. I can help you shower, then how about we go
outside?” I tell him, leaning down and offering him my hand when he slaps it away.
“I said leave. I don’t want you here. Are you fucking deaf?” He snaps, yet his words pissed me off
before I realized it. I had slapped him.
“You dare speak to me like this after everything, where the fuck is your family? Huh? Who has been
here every fucking day? You don’t get to speak to me that way. You think you’re the only one having a
shitty day? ” I snap at him while he rubs his cheek. I know he was upset about his legs and needing
help and relying on people, but that is no reason to take it out on me.
“I am fucking useless, don’t you see that? I couldn’t even help you today to get Zoe back. I had to hear
about it through the damn mind link!” Tatum yells.
“No one expected your help Tatum, we had it handled, and I am not here to visit your damn fucking leg.
I am here because for once I needed you,” I tell him.
“Well, I don’t want you here. I am sick of you babying me, so just leave,” I growl that he was trying to
kick me and click my tongue. Fine, Tracey can deal with his stupid ass, and I will see him tomorrow.
“I get your upset, so I will just leave you and come see you tomorrow,” I tell him, heading toward the
door before beating him senselessly or breaking his other damn leg. I did not need this drama right
now. I just wanted to spend time with him, maybe get a hug so I could pretend for a few moments
everything was okay.
As I grip the door handle, Tatum speaks, making me stop.
“Macey?” He says, and I look at him just as he pulls himself up to sit on the edge of the bed.
“Don’t come back tomorrow; I have been thinking about it all day, and I can see it isn’t going to work, so
please don’t make this harder than it needs to be for once. Just do as I ask,” I swallowed, my throat
suddenly clogged and my eyes burned with the urge to break down. He was seriously going to break
up with me? Over a leg? Or was he using it as an excuse since I couldn’t give him a kid? I go to ask,
needing to know when he shakes his head.
“Just go, Macey, we are done,” he says and my eyebrows raise.
I really am cursed.
Suddenly, I found myself speechless. I didn’t know how to answer, so I just nodded my head before
walking out. Something else was taken from me; I just needed to pretend, if only briefly, that I would
find a solution where there was none. I needed to pretend someone other than a monster would want
me. Clearly, I wasn’t even allowed that moment’s grace.
I couldn’t stop the tears when I climbed back into the car. Everything was so fucked up! It felt stupid
crying, pointless, and a waste of time, yet I couldn’t seem to stop as I headed toward the hotel. I
couldn’t go back to Everly and Zoe like this. They had enough stress at the moment, so instead, I went
to work. I needed the distraction.
Yet, pulling up, I saw the project manager out front talking to someone in a suit before realizing it was
Everly’s lawyer. He must be here to drop off the new deeds to the place. Getting out of my car, I learn
that is exactly what he is here for.He hands me the paperwork and goes over it with me on the hood of
my car. When he is done, he bids me farewell. I watch him walk back to his car when I sing out to him.
“Ah, Joseph? I don’t suppose I can ask for your help with something?” I call out, and he stops.
“Of course, what is it you need?” He asks.
“Everything I tell you is confidential, right?” I ask him.
“Yes, if you are my client, it is. Why do you ask?”
“Because I need to do something, but I don’t want Everly and Zoe finding our,” his brows furrow. ‘
“May I ask what it is?”
“Last will and testament also some custody documents,”
“A will and guardian for Taylor, I assume?” I nod.
“Well, the first step is the guardian must agree. You can’t just leave her to a family member, though that
is usually where they are placed,” I sighed. I thought he would say that.
“How about I draw up some documents for you to look after, and I can have them sorted for you to go
over at the end of the week?” I shake my head.
“Can you have them done by say,” I pull my phone out, checking the time. 8 PM tonight?”
He glances at his watch and scratches his neck but nods. I assume all assets like your share of this
place go to Taylor?” I nod.
“I want to leave her in the care of Everly or Zoe, or both?” He nods.
“I will see you at 8 o’clock tonight. If you could meet me at my office, at that time?” Joseph says, and I
nodded my head and let him leave, feeling like I accomplished at least something.
“Now I just had to hope Everly and Zoe didn’t question me wanting to sign guardianship to them if I die,
because one thing I knew was once I reject Carter I was as good as dead.
Getting in my car, I pull out my phone and message Carter asking if I could see him, when the phone
rings a few minutes later.
“Hello Little mate,” He purred and tears burned my eyes.
“We need to talk,” I tell him.
“Correct, and I have a proposition for you,” he says and I pause. Could I use this to get Ava home?
“I’m listening,” I tell him.
“You need me,” Carter says.
“Hmm, that is what you think, but I have a peace offering. Tell officer Derrick to check the mine
entrance tunnels, I hear he has been looking for his son, Micah?” Carter tells me.
“A peace offering? You had my best friend raped!” I snapped at him.
“No, she fought back, she wasn’t part of the plan. But I give you Micah as payment for that,”
“Payment? She isn’t a fucking whore,”
“I am trying here Macey. I offered to barter, and”
“I want Ava back,” I tell him
“And I want my mate,” I growl.
“Wouldn’t want anything to happen to little Taylor, would you, or Tatum? I hear he is in a bad way, I
doubt he would put up much of a fight, and seeing as I have eyes on Kalen and eyes into the hospital. I
don’t think it would be too hard to get to them,” Carter says, and I swallowed.
What do you propose, then?” I ask him, fuck how many traitors did we have among US? I didn’t doubt
his words, though I have seen firsthand what this man was capable of and his father. Clearly, the apple
doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“I want immunity to leave with you. I have my money. My pack will handle John. I wanted to handle
Everly and Valarian myself, but seeing as you have come into the picture. I am willing to renegotiate.”
“What is this bullshit vendetta you have against the shadow pack Alpha?” I demand and Carter laughs.
“John started it when he tossed my mother from the city and told my father she left”
“No, your mother left for your father’s infidelity’s, Everly told me this story before”
“Wrong, that is what everyone was told. John forced my mother forsaken, for killing Rachel”
“And this had something to do with Everly how, because of who fathered her?” I scoff. It sounded
“Her family started it, I am just finishing it,” Carter states
“Started what?” I scream at him.
“Rachel was Claire Summer’s Cousin, she tried to kill my mother and my mother killed her in self-
defense, and now he will know what it's like to lose everything just like my mother did,” I glance around
nervously, looking out the windows.
“Now I will give you a chance to deal with whatever is you were speaking with good old Joseph about,
and take Micah as proof my word is good,” Carter says, and I say nothing, though he confirmed my
suspicions that he had more people working for him.
“Think about it, Macey. You have until tomorrow to decide, or I kill Ava, Everly, everyone you love, and
hold dear. Their fates now rest on your decision, so choose wisely, Love. Because either way, you will
“And if I agree and you leave them alone?” I ask him, cogs started turning in my head as I navigated
this new proposition.
“You have my word,” Carter says, and I chew the inside of my lip.
“Speak soon,” I tell him, hanging up before he could say anything else.