I had been waiting with Marcus at Everly's place for hours since Marcus brought me here after getting
the kids from school, yet Macey still hadn't returned home and I was beginning to worry, she hated
leaving me alone and always stuck to her times, one thing about Macey was she was never tardy and
her not being here when she said she would be only added to my anxiety.
Marcus pecks my temple as he passes me where I was cutting up vegetables.We were making the kids
dinner when Taylor came over, looking out of place without her mother. I felt out place without her or
"Can you try mum again?" she asks, pulling a stool from the counter and climbing up on it.
I glanced at Marcus, who chewed his lip before I smile and nod to her.
"Of course, sweety," I tell her, about to retrieve m y phone when Marcus slides his to me.
"Have you notified Valen?" I mind linked him, and I see him nod out of the corner of my eyes as I dial
"Any word from Kalen?" I asked him via the mind link, making sure Taylor didn't overhear our
The worry on her face told me she knew something was amiss.
Her mother would rarely leave her unless she was with us, but she had said nothing of the sort to
Taylor or any of us that she would be running late, and her phone goes straight to voicemail which I
know she would have had on full charge.
"She might have got caught up with work," I tell Taylor, trying to reassure her.
Taylor nods sadly, going back off to Valarian and Casey, who were drawing happily at the table and
discussing baby potential baby names.
Everly and Valen were still in the hospital, and I know Valen rang earlier to say he was going to collect
Valarian after dinner to bring him to meet his sisters and mother.
Yet Valen said his father was unreachable too, and none of us had heard from John either, making me
believe they couldn't be in the city or they would be able to be reached via mind link, but all we got was
radio silence when we tried their pack tethers, so they were too far to be reached.
Opening the mind link, I tug on Valen's tether ABm# _jKL he opens it straight away.
"How is Eve?" I ask him.
"Good.She is trying to breastfeed.One baby has a tongue-tie," he tells me.
"Any news from your father?" I ask him.
"No, something is going on, and I can't reach John either, but he seems close.I can feel his tether, it
came back about 20 minutes ago,"
"Everly, can't contact him?"
"No, and I am not adding extra stress to her by asking her.I know if she finds out, she will go looking for
Macey, and Doc said she can't shift for at least a week”
My words cut off when I hear Valarian shriek.
“Pop, pop!" he calls, rushing toward the hall when I get a whiff of John's scent.
"Hang on.John is here.I will speak to you in a second," I tell Valen
"Thank god, ask him where my father is," Valen says quickly.
"Yep, will do," I tell him before cutting the link.
I move around the counter toward the hall when Valarian suddenly backs up, his head turns to me and
a frightened expression moves across his face and I freeze in my tracks when I see John carrying Ava
in the doors.
"Ava?" I gasp, rushing over to help him, and I start ripping toys and the kids' blanket from the couch so
h e can set her down.
Marcus raced over, and I was too shocked to get my bearings, yet the relief I felt upon seeing her
nearly made me sob as John set her down before looking at us.
Marcus races off, returning and bringing back a bottle of water and handing it to Ava.
"My old Pack doctor is on his way to check her over.Zoe, you need to watch Ava for me,"
he says, and I look up at him from where I am crouched beside Ava, helping her hold the bottle
between her lips when John turns his attention to Marcus.
"And you are coming with me."
Marcus stared at him when I saw his eyes glaze over as John spoke to him through the mind link.
Ignoring them, I trusted Marcus to keep me in the loop; right now, Ava needed me and I had to calm the
Valarian whispers and crushes her in a hug.
"I’m alright, I got lost," she tells him, not realizing the kids knew or had some understanding of what had
been going on.
Her hand weakly gripped my arms when Valarian let her go, tears welling in her eyes before they went
to the kids, who stood horrified; Valarian was crying and I see John rub his back and give him a kiss on
"You're okay," she chokes.
"I'm alive," I tell her.
I was far from okay, but I would be one day.I had my village, and our village was family.
"Go get Aunty Ava a pillow and some blankets," John tells Valarian, who runs off to get them.
Ava smiles sadly when I feel the mind link open up.
"What's going on?" I ask Marcus.
"I need to help John and Kalen," he says, and I watch a s John and Marcus leave the room and head
up the hall.
"Where are you going?" I ask him.
"To find Macey," Marcus tells me, and I gasp, looking at Taylor over my shoulder.
"What do you mean?" I ask him but he doesn’t reply and I stand up when he comes back out pulling on
a jacket and his boots.
"Where is Macey, Marcus?"
I growl through the mind link, and he lifts his head, looking at me.I go to open my mouth and demand
he tell me when Marcus points to Taylor behind me and I close my mouth while trying not to panic and
scare her daughter.
"Marcus?" I ask him and his eyes glaze over.
Marcus didn't answer right away, and the silence made the skin on the back of my neck prickle, and my
entire body broke out in goosebumps as every fiber of my being told me something was seriously
"Carter has her," Marcus tells me, and I feel my legs wobble as I try to make sense of his words.
Tears - pricked my eyes and Marcus came over and kissed my cheek.
Why would Carter have her?
"I'll bring her home," he whispers, and I nodded, my head before watching John come out in a change
of clothes, he stops at the hall.
"Marcus?" John calls.
Marcus says before Casey rushes over to him with her arms up, he bends down scooping her up.
"Where are you going, dad? Can I come?" she asks.
"Not this time, I’ll be back soon," he says pecking her cheek, and setting her down before following
John out while I stared in shock, trying to figure out what i s going on and how everything become so
out of hand when Casey came over and climbed in my lap.
"Where is he going, mum?" Casey asks me.
"To work, he’ll be back soon," Ava tells her while worry gnawed at me.