We helped Macey settle in, and Valen was pissed off with Tatum and even rang him. Though he assured
me that it wasn‘t that she couldn‘t have kids, that it was because she didn‘t tell him from the start and to
give him space. I tried to tell Macey this, but she wouldn‘t listen and said she was done and that it was
for the best.
Macey had gone to get Taylor from Zoe‘s the following morning, and she would be staying on the floor
below. I knew everything would work out in the end. Macey was stubbom, and once you hurt her, she
walked. She always said she didn‘t have time for drama, and she was right. None of us did, yet we
always found ourselves stuck in it.
“I will go grab Valarian from your father,” I tell Valen as I scoop up my handbag from off the floor by the
hallstand. I rummaged for my keys before spotting the ring box. With everything going on, I forgot to give
it to him. I grabbed it, and his arms wrapped around me from behind, and he kissed my shoulder.
I went to open it, but now I knew why Dion was so insistent on this ring. Because it actually matched and
had similar marked patterns etched around the outside. Valen’s hand clamps over my mine, closing the
box before I can open it.
“Put it in the safe. Save it for when I marry you,” he purrs
“You don‘t want to see?” I ask him, and he confirms my thoughts. “Nope. I trust Dion helped you pick it
out, so I know it will match,” he chuckles. I sighed, closing it though, I wanted to show him the engraving
it had inside. I guess it could wait. “Go get Valarian,” he says, turning me around to face him.
I hand him the box, and he pockets it. “Then you can put this away then,” I tell him, and he nods. Three
weeks later Weeks passed, and Nixon was really pushing my father to go to the media to back him up,
but after his claims, the city was divided. Valen‘s pack scientists had been trying to replicate the vaccine
and had so far been unsuccessful.
Despite Nixon saying he was doing it to help the city BLN0JFKS the forsaken. He refused access to this
so–called facility, even when Valen mentioned it at the Alpha conference meeting Nixon claimed he didn‘t
want the pack becoming involved and the vaccine slipping into the wrong hands.
In other words, he didn‘t want the vaccine replicated, knowing he had nothing to use over my father. And
with the debt hanging over my head, he used it to get his way in the council. Nixon also still fought me
with the Rogue laws being changed. Ballets went out, and the city was given a voice, yet most were too
scared to go against Nixon.
We were still fighting for the change, but now he claimed that my father handed the pack over after
threats from Valen. And until the debt was paid, Nixon still had partial ownership therefore, my vote didn‘t
count. And if I marry Valen before it is paid, then we are one pack and his wouldn‘t matter either. Leaving
the Slasher pack in a precarious position if he goes against Nixon, seeing as they have business
dealings together. Nixon had the cites people wrapped around his demented finger.
He also claimed that letting the restrictions against the Rogues become expunged would endanger the
city, since they were only one step from becoming forsaken. His logic made no sense, yet the media ate
it up. And when the votes went out, our packs weren’t allowed to vote on it.
The Slasher Pack Alpha had confided in Valen that he was also worried about Nixon, and how the
constant media attention was dividing the city. He believed too, that Nixon was doing something that
would sway the city to get rid of the Rogues completely. We just had to figure out what.
And just to add extra protection to himself, he had reporters with him constantly, so no one could get to
him, and his every move was watched. He looked like the city‘s hero and caused hysteria within the
packs, including ours, who had been questioning everything. The Rogues were being painted as villains.
Nixon claimed that the missing rogues were choosing to turn forsaken. And that it would only be a matter
of time before the rest follow to take down the city. So we were at a standstill. I had just dropped
Valarian to school and was headed to the Hotel when I was pulled over by one of Nixon‘s officers.
The police sirens went off behind me, and I pulled over. This was becoming a daily thing. And before the
officer even reached my car, I wound down my window and held my license and registration. “What is it
today, Cleo? Bald tires? No, you claimed that yesterday.
Taillight? Na, it can’t be that. That was the day before. You’re gonna have to be crafty this time.” I tell
him. “And why is that?” he asks, peering in the window. He looks in the back at the empty car seat. “I’m
sure you’re running out of bullshit to fine me for,” I tell him. This was a waste of time, and it was starting
to irritate me.
I rest my head back on the headrest. Rubbing my hands over my huge swollen belly, I was only 9 weeks
pregnant, but my stomach was already looking quite round. Macey was right. I would be the size of a
house. He examines my truck, writing more tickets and passing them to me.
I stuff them in the glove box with the rest. Officer Cleo follows me all the way to the Hotel so I drive extra
slowly, earning honks from drivers behind him. Pulling in the place was nearly halfway to being finished,
and I was excited to open it again. Yet, the bigger I got, the harder it got to move around, and I was
constantly hungry and horny.
Damn, was I horny? Poor Valen had his stamina tested, that‘s for sure. Pulling in, I spoke with the project
manager while waiting for my mother. She rang yesterday asking if she could go baby shopping with me.
It was such a bizarre situation for me to see her so supportive of this pregnancy, and I had to keep
reminding myself things were different this time around. Yet the same fears remained.
Even with Valen‘s reassurance, I was constantly waiting to be turfed out and cast away like last time. I
knew a lot of it had to do with pregnancy hormones, but my anxiety levels were constantly through the
roof. Sleep had become troublesome not only for me but for Valen.
Yet as much as he tried to understand, I knew he didn‘t get the lock thing. Anxiety made me paranoid,
hormones made me overly sensitive to everything, and the stress was getting to me. I was still talking to
the manager when I saw my mother‘s car pull into the parking space beside mine.
We were going in her car. I smiled and waved when I saw her. Quickly, I finished my conversation with
the project manager before wandering over to her. I climbed into her car, placing my handbag between
my feet before placing my belt on while she reached over the back to retrieve something from the
She drops a bag on my lap. “I made them something,” she tells me, and I open it to find matching yellow
crochet booties and beanies. I smiled and thanked her, looking at how small they were. It was hard to
imagine Valarian that little again, so they looked so tiny in my hands. “We can go baby bunting first if you
like,” she said, and I nodded.
“Yes, Valen said he would meet us for lunch, though,” I tell her. Every weekend since, my parents come
over on Saturdays for dinner to spend time with Valarian. Valarian, at first, was wary of them. Although
he had asked me if he could go to training with my father.
It was a little odd and took some convincing for Valen to allow it, but we merged pack training, so both
packs now trained at the arena every Sunday together, and any rogues that wished to attend also trained
with them. Valen had been taking Valarian along.
Valen thinks he is too little to train, but I was training from the moment I could walk, and I knew my father
wouldn’t allow him to get hurt. I attended the last one, and it was odd seeing my father training my son,
so much similar to the way he taught me. For the most part, life was good, Ava was even training, and I
could tell it meant a lot to mum that everyone was getting along again.
However, pulling up at the baby shop, my mother stared out the window as she stopped the car.
“I should have done this with you last time,” she murmured, staring up at the store decorations. I
swallowed but said nothing.
“We failed you,” she adds, and I nod, not knowing what to say.
They did, big time, I accepted and moved on from that, or so I thought. My anxiety said otherwise. For
the most part, I had come to terms with everything and didn’t see the point of dwelling in the past that I
“You‘re here now. Let‘s focus on that,” I tell her, but she shakes her head.
“We should have told you, protected you, and gone to Valen. Nixon would have made you keep him and
used him against you and your father. We knew that was no place for a child to be raised amid war. We
messed up. We thought we were protecting you, instead, we destroyed you.”
“You think you destroyed me? You didn‘t,” I tell her.
“How can you say that? When your father came home and told me you were going to let us be a part of
your life, I almost didn‘t believe him after everything we had done. We didn‘t deserve a second chance,”
she says, staring off vacantly.
“No, you didn‘t deserve a second chance.” she looks at me and nods, her lip quivering. “Hating you
doesn‘t hurt you, only me. I haven‘t got time to hate mum. I haven‘t got time to harbor the sort of energy
that would take. You think you destroyed me, you did, and I‘m not sure I will ever fully forgive that, but
some good came of it,” I tell her. “Valarie?”
She asks, and I nod. Valarie was a massive part of it. Her influence in my life was greater than any
passage of time I had endured, but that wasn‘t all. Mum knew Valarie had taken her place in my life, and
I wasn‘t afraid of hurting her feelings by her knowing that. “Yes, but also through everything, I found
I grew up too soon, but finding my place came with finding my purpose. A purpose that was more than
just being the Alpha‘s daughter. I found my identity, who I am, the person I was born to be, and that
wasn’t in the shadows of another. With that comes acceptance, mother.
I am not some little girl anymore; I am not frightened of the world because I saw it at its worst, lived and
endured it, and it didn‘t break me. It raged an inferno inside me to prove everyone wrong. It showed me I
was more than an Alpha.” Mum chews her lip. They think I hate them; I don‘t. I hate things they have
done, hate the feelings they invoked, but not them. “
I Don‘t know if I would feel the same if our roles were reversed,” she admits. “I used to put you and dad
on a pedestal, higher than life. I lived up to that. Then it fell apart. I went from future Alpha to rogue, but
there was one title that meant more than that, and it was the title of being Valarian‘s mother.” I tell her
and she smiles sadly and nods.
“And I was yours, I always regretted not fighting harder for you, I should have as your mother, we
wouldn’t be here like this now, wouldn’t feel awkward,” so I wasn’t the only one that felt odd, my family
had become strangers to me over the years, but still I loved them.
“I gained so much more because of it though, and you’re here now. So for that, I don’t hate you because
I found I was more than that title; more than your daughter. I just needed to climb my own pedestal and
hold myself higher, and doing that made me see everything clearer than when I was the Alpha‘s
Now I am a mother, friend, Luna, an Alpha, and I am me.
So you don‘t get to claim that you solely destroyed me because I wasn’t bom yet. Only I can destroy
what I built. Only I can destroy my value because it isn’t up to you to give it to me. Yes at first you
destroyed me, then I rebuilt myself but in my image and not that of others, “I tell her, reaching over to grip
her hand. I squeezed it.
2 “So don‘t reminisce about a past that no longer exists. That was just the foundation of a better future,” I
tell her, and my hands go to my belly, my kids‘ future, mine and Valens’ future. “So come on, let‘s shop
before I need to pee again; I know that is definitely in my near future, “I laugh, and so does she. We
climb out of the car and head inside.
We picked out a few things but not knowing the genders, only left options that were neutral However,
going to the next store, I noticed my mother was becoming fatigued and irritable, not at me but at herself
as she tried to keep up.
I was looking at cot sheets and mobiles when she made a strange noise down the aisle, glancing over
my shoulder at her. She clutched a rack, and her body trembled, the stand shaking under her grip.
“Mum?” I wandered back over to her. I touched her arm, and her head whipped up, canines protruding,
and bloodshot eyes stared back at me as she snarled.
I stagger a step back, and she steps toward me before shaking her head. 2 “What did you ask?” she
said, looking at me expectantly like I had asked something of her.
“Oh, this is cute,” she gushed, making me wonder if I had imagined it. She held up a onesie, holding it
against my belly. “I‘m kind of tired. I was thinking of heading home soon,” I told her. Yet seeing it
frightened me. “What? We just got here. Didn‘t you want to go to baby bunting?” She asked me and my
eyebrows almost rose into my hairline.
We just left there! “We went there first,” I told her, and she seemed confused. “We brought the
bassinets?” I tell her and her brows furrowed in confusion
“I must be tired,” she murmured so softly I almost missed it. I needed to speak to dad and Valen.
It was like a switch had flicked within her, and so suddenly. “Come on, we will get you home,” I tell her,
leaving my basket. I text dad to come get her, not wanting her driving. He met us in the car park, and
despite me telling her he was coming to get her, she seemed surprised to see him.
Dad placed her in the car and handed me mum‘s keys so I could get back to my car. “Is she always like
that?” I asked worriedly. Dad sighs, “Yes, when she is due for another dose,” he says, looking in the
window at her. “It shouldn‘t be coming on so quickly,” he said, his eyes darkening to black. “Nixon hasn‘t
stopped treatment?” I asked.
“No, he wouldn‘t risk it, but the vaccine is not lasting as long now, wearing off faster like she is becoming
immune to it,”
“I will speak to Valen and see what the scientists come up with. If needed, go to the media, and declare
the vaccine not working. Maybe we double the dosage?” I asked.
“Nixon would kill me,” Dad says.
“Not with everyone watching. He won‘t. He will have no choice but to agree or admit his vaccine doesn‘t
work and let other pack scientists in to help. If he does that, he will lose his sponsors from the other
cities. Big pharma won‘t back him if he can‘t prove it doesn‘t work,” I tell him, and dad nods.
“It will buy us time to find a cure,” I tell him. Dad nods before turning to me, “Have you sold that land
yet? Nixon said the other day he was going to file against the pack soon if it isn‘t paid,” he says guiltily.
I shook my head, and Valen said he would sell some of into Valerian‘s trust, though I would have to put it
back. Valen could pay it, but a lot of his money was also the pack’s money, not just his to blow how he
liked. Our pack was questioning his authority with all the media attention, as it was. We didn’t need
tension to rise more.
t could make everything fall apart if he did. “I’ll speak with Valen and try to call a pack meeting. We need
to get this taken care of before it becomes too late,” I tell him, and he nods, giving me a quick hug before
climbing in the car to take care of my mother.