Chapter 100: It's Not Over
The homestead is eerily silent since we returned. There’s been a strange atmosphere in the whole
Homestead and even the village out back seems still and devoid of noise. Everyone is home licking
their wounds, absorbing the reality of what we just did and went through, and homes are filled with
warm reunions and an aura of hope. The air is lighter, brighter and the fog is completely gone. It feels
like something huge is now settling to dust yet spirits are high despite the need for peace.
Colton is sat on the bed drying his hair after the third shower he took to rid himself of a weeklong
buildup of debris, grime, and of course, Vampire blood. Something he does when he needs to think for
a while, and I know he probably wanted space from me to let the remainder of his anger fizzles a little.
Even though now, I’m laid on the bed behind him and he seems so much calmer than before.
I’m resting after a soak in the tub in our other bathroom where I took time to rid myself of all the
vileness of our hectic adventure. It was weird taking time apart to get clean, but he’s been reserved
since we came home, simmering from anger to sadness and a lot of up and down mood swings. I know
he’s probably going through every memory a dozen times to really take in the fact he lost days of his
life, when to him it was seconds of a blink of an eye. I know he’s processing and thinking it all through
and I’m waiting for him to come out of his head before I approach him again
He stayed close, even though he needed space and he hasn’t been cold or anywhere near as mad as
he was on the walk home, but I can tell he still has so much brewing and for my own sanity I am
leaving him be.
Meadow is avoiding him too as the two of them are no longer talking. On returning home they had a
huge showdown in the study, venting, arguing, stubborn meeting fire, and I know it was his way of
letting everything out. His self-guilt, his feelings of failure and the knowledge of everything we have
done without him here to protect us.
I know that seeing how he hurt me is killing him, his obvious distress and pain is overwhelming me, no
matter how hard I try to reassure him that he couldn’t control what happened. He hasn’t said much
about my pregnancy since things diffused again, but I guess given everything he has to process that
maybe he doesn’t know how to react. I mean what could he say after the doctor checked me over and
said I was perfectly fine. He looked relieved, held my hand, and then silently brought me up here to
clean up and rest, making sure I was brought food even if he was still inwardly raging my way.
It’s hardly great timing and with my abilities held back and making me vulnerable, it only adds to his
worry that I might get hurt or that worse could have happened out there. I get why he’s being like this, I
do, but it has me so on edge and really not how I thought he would be when I got him back. I guess
knowing just how overprotective and anal he is about my always being safe and pampered is confirmed
with how much sulking he’s doing and how much he yelled at his Mom and Meadow. Colton has always
been one to aggressively lash out when he was in the most emotional turmoil, even my way and now
he’s brooding. I hope it doesn’t last long given how much I just want to curl up and be like we were
before any of this happened.
I know him only too well, and as I watch that muscular body, now in sweats and fresh as a daisy
despite being topless, I can still see how tight and rigid his muscles are. Carrying his tension and stress
and I want so badly to smooth them out and roll up in his arms to relieve him. He’s avoiding touch too,
to punish me for putting myself in danger, lugging my ass to another state, and heading a war against
our own warriors. I’m majorly in the doghouse even though he did admit out there that the spell being
broken wouldn’t have come about any other way.
Every one of the sub pack have gone to their rooms to clean up, after a brief emotional reunion
downstairs too. Now they’ve gone to eat and rest before the arranged grand hall meeting where Colton
intends to debrief the pack and tell them what happens now. Time out is where we are at and then we
come together to talk about the future of the pack and the possibility this might be nearing the end of
the Vampire battles. There’s just so much.
“You’re never this quiet for this long, you’re scaring me.” I finally break when he rests back on the edge
of the bed away from me, my nerves and anxiety too much to bare anymore. I lift my foot and nudge
him gently in the butt, pulling his attention back to me with a coy smile and a look on my face that I
hope tugs at his heart strings. Full on puppy dog eyes and pouty lips because he’s being so distant and
quiet, and I don’t like it one bit.
He turns and looks at me for a moment, making me hold my breath and I tense, wondering what’s to
come next, but he sighs, and I find myself doing it with him. A sense of letting go in the air as his
emotions finally merge with mine and some of that wall comes down a little, making me relax a touch.
He pulls himself up and instantly crawls up the bed and lies down beside me, making the mattress dip
so I roll towards him.
Stretching out to meet my position, he puts his palm on my abdomen gently, a stillness to his manner
and I hold still and wait for him to make the moves, because I’m so unsure on how he’ll react. His eyes
move to where he’s holding and yet his face is so hard to read and he feels me looking at him and
avoids my eye contact. He pushes his face towards me, ducking down so I can’t see him, nuzzling in
against my shoulder as his breath plays softly over the skin on show from my light nightdress. His
presence alone warms me to my core and calms some of my inner anxiety, sinking against him and
exhaling heavily, even though I know he’s unwilling to fully uncurl.
“There’s a lot……. My heads a little fried. I’m also sort of shellshocked about this.” he gazes at my
stomach and blinks back the instant damp sheen on his eyes and exhales heavily once more. My heart
skipping a beat or two with the slightest worry that maybe babies are not something he’s actually happy
about and that’s why he’s being evasive and strange. We have never really talked about it and we were
using precautions to avoid exactly this.
My heart flutters with the very real possibility that this isn’t just down to his guilt gnawing at his soul, but
the fact he’s going to be a father and maybe it was never in the plan for him. I swallow heavily and try
not to dwell on the slight chance, he’s devastated about it.
“Talk to me.” I nudge him, needing something more than quiet, and nuzzle closer. Inner anxiety growing
as my insecure self shows face. My heart rate increases, and my palms get clammy as I try and appear
neutral emotionally. I don’t want to burden him with a spew of feelings when he’s having a hard enough
time deciphering his own, but it’s hard.
The spell had fallout for sure and Leyanne did warn me that he may need an adjustment period to get
his head straight when we got home. That mind control and being trapped somewhere in a state of
timelessness would affect them on some level, even if it only lasted a week. I don’t know how much of
that is this.
I smile impulsively when he lets go of my belly and wraps his arm around me instead, gesturing for me
to lift my head so his other one can slide under it and gives me his bicep as a cushion. A familiar Colton
move, one that soothes me a little and I try not to overthink this and instead focus on his touch. I
snuggle in greedily, needing him more than air, his legs wrapping around mine until every inch of us
touches intimately and he buries his mouth in my hair and tucks my head under his chin.
“Where to start…. You went to New Mexico, you found your brother, brought back a witch…… Lead our
people into a crazy dangerous battle that might have ended all of us. Had a one-on-one fight with me
where I tried to kill you, more than once. And that’s just to start….” He lets out a long strained breath
and squeezes me closer, his surge of chaotic emotions finally seeping through to me and I can feel just
how messy his brain is.
“I know.” I mumble guiltily in a low voice and stretch my arms around him as much as I can, clinging on
“We’re also going back to the mountain to finally deal with that chaos now we have reason to believe
the vampires are receding… and you’re pregnant…. we’re pregnant! I’m going to be a dad.” He breaths
out heavily as though this fact is still taking its time to filter through and is obviously the major one for
him that’s giving him a hard time. The woosh of words, the extra hard exhale as he got to the final point
and yet I so cannot read a single emotion accurately to tell if it’s a bad sigh or a shocked one.
“I know, I know… Carmen imprinting on Jasper… meeting a vampire, finding out my dad’s not my
dad…. I know there’s a lot. I get it, I lived through it and I still haven’t really absorbed any of it. I just
hate when you clam up and I can’t tell what you’re thinking, while your emotions are not helping me
any. I can tell you’re sort of shocked, but there’s a lingering something I can’t decipher. I can feel it, it’s
making me nervy and uptight and yet I don’t know what it is.” It comes out in a ramble, my heart
pounding as my feelings get the better of me and turn me into a jittering wreck. I want to so badly just
ask him if he hates the fact I’m pregnant, but I’m too scared to hear the answer. My heart is literally
hanging by a thread, terrified of what pain he can cause with one simple rejection of what grows inside
“Disbelief…. that’s what that is. It’s not one thing, it’s many… Like, are we really ending a war that’s
plagued us our entire lives? Are we really going to be parents in the midst of all this? Is this all gone
from never ending threat to nothing in the blink of an eye. And what about you? Your father is royalty
among … god, our enemy, Lorey. You’re a freaking vampire Princess and that just blows my mind. I’m
not trying to close you out, I’m just… overwhelmed.” Which I guess is exactly how he has me feeling.
Overloaded, anxious, and weighed down with a thousand emotions all at once. Sometimes sharing that
is too much and it’s hard for me to swallow even though I know he’s trying so hard to shield me form
the worst of it.
“Leyanne thinks that me being alive will pull Varro back from attacking our people so I guess, yes, the
threat is going to end. We just haven’t had any word from Jasper or Darrius to confirm it, but the
mountain had way less vampires than we both know were there before. So where did they go? And
him….. once he knows I’m alive, what if he wants to see me?” I dodge the baby topic, sticking to
something less traumatic to my soul.
It is something I’ve thought about, my father, and honestly, I don’t want to see him. I don’t want to face
the reality that my dad, the one who raised me for ten years, the father I loved, was not even my blood
at all. That some lord, some creature out there, that I’ve never met who waged wars because of me is
who I belong to. I can’t absorb it. I can’t get my thoughts in order to really accept it.
“I did think it was half empty considering how many we’ve chased through that infernal forest for
months. Or maybe there was always less of them and we assumed more. Maybe they just spread out
and used the same patrols over and over. God knows. We defeated them so fast, it’s like they weren’t
even trying to hold us off.” Colton sighs and instinctively squeezes me again, inhaling me as though
he’s glad to be home again even though his reality meant he never left me. It’s odd. I guess him having
my memories now means it’s messed up his timeline and he shouldn’t miss me because it was only
today he left me, but his memories are making that confusing.
“Leyanne said that when vampires lose leadership when their coven lord abandons them…. they
become useless. Like they have no direction, and their abilities are stumped or something. She thinks
whoever the lord was, left them and the one you killed, had tried to take the place as coven master.”
She told me all this downstairs when we first arrived back in a hurried conversation while Colton issued
orders to the pack and dispersed them to their homes until eight pm. Then went nuclear at Meadow
and Sierra and ended up storming off to the study.
The order is to rest, regroup, and meet to talk about everything, including what we found out when we
went to New Mexico. And now in the eerie calmness of a bright sunny day it feels like the events of
dawn are a dream and the last week already becoming a blur that never really happened at all. If it
wasn’t for the witch still being here, I would think that I imagined it all. In his arms, it feels like he never
left me, despite the tension between us because of his mood and my dying need to know what he
thinks of our baby news.
“That suggests your father… the vampire one, is really pulling them back, but why leave any at all?
Surely he would take them if this was over.”
“What else is he going to do with them. They were made to fight and excess to needs if he no longer
wants to. He probably took the strongest and left the rest behind knowing eventually the wolves would
deal with them and get rid of his problem.” I got the impression from Leyanne’s conversations that
vampires see halflings as dispensable and worthless and a lord wouldn’t think twice of leaving them to
die. So not like wolves at all.
After meeting Darrius, I see that we have only ever dealt with these crude half-bred demons all along
and the real enemy, the ones like Darrius, are something we should always fear. We never really knew
our enemy at all. We would never have stood a chance had the pure bloods been out here ready to
take us down.
“I just can’t relax into this idea that this is all ending. It seems to easy, too clean. Maybe because he left
any at all. Maybe I just need confirmation, I don’t know. I can’t shake the feeling that this is far from
over and it’s not as simple as it all seems.” Colton releases me a little and pulls my face up to him with
a gentle finger under my chin. Leaning in to graze his lips over mine and it makes my heart flutter and
flip over. This is first he’s calmed down enough to show this kind of intimacy since we broke the spell. I
greedily push my face to his to draw more, throwing all my doubts and questions aside when faced with
my desire to have more of him. I’ve craved him so much it almost made me insane and one little peck
is nowhere near enough.
Alpha, we need you downstairs.
Cesar breaks into our head link, running my plans and Colton lifts his head and frowns at me. Both of
us knowing this can’t be good if we’re being disturbed already. It’s only been an hour or so since we
came up here.
Cesar never encroaches on our private time together, no one does. It’s the one major rule that Colton
has. That when he wants to be with me alone, it’s a cardinal sin to interrupt us without him first giving
the signal that they can. Colton gave strict orders to leave us be unless it was an emergency and Cesar
wouldn’t disobey that if it wasn’t. My heart sinks and I almost pout at the loss of his lips near mine as he
Colton links back and let’s go of me fully, jumping to his feet to retrieve clothes and yanks a long warm
robe out of the wardrobe for me. Despite my disappointment, my insides soar at the fact, even being
aloof and strange, he’s still wanting me by his side. Still my normal Colton in there after all, the one who
expects my constant presence and panders to me in anyway he can.
I put on a comfy nightdress after my soak, so a robe is a must and I get up and let him help me into it
with a smile. Pushing my feet into slippers, blushing when he kisses me on the back of the head
tenderly and follow him as soon as he throws his upper clothes on. I feel like we’re back to dating or
being shy somehow, and I don’t get it at all. I know it’s probably one sided as he seems like he always
does concerning being touchy with me, grabbing my hand and such, but I feel nervous and restrained. I
guess it’s because of that burning questions that’s digging a crater in my soul and needs a real answer
before I can relax.
We head downstairs quickly and can tell by the scent that the sub pack are already convening in the
study that used to be our room, away from the hall, in cozier confines. I pick up on every one of them
as they recently passed through and follow Colton to our preferred nook for sub meetings. We have
never migrated from our small private space for the original sub pack. Some habits die hard.
They are all inside, including Leyanne which I’m surprised to see, given how protective of this room
they can be and the twins seem to be a little enamored with her. One sat either side of where she is
and she’s making it clear she may remove body parts if they get too close. There’s an unmissable air of
warning in her stiff upright posture. Her hostile glare at one and then the other as they throw her
charming smiles makes me giggle and I bat Domi on the head as I pass him and move to the seat
where Colton guides me.
“Behave” I warn and then nestle down in the seat when Colton moves past it for me to sit and he
stands beside me. Always nearby, always guarding me instinctively, even in our safe spaces. He’s the
ideal mate, even when he’s being a distant asshole.
“What is it?” he asks, looking around the seemingly happy and calm faces, getting to the point with a
domineering tone and its only then I notice that Cesar is pacing and the only one, besides the witch,
that looks serious.
“We’re all here?” Cesar turns to us, a quizzical expression on his face and I note Meadow isn’t here
“No, what about Med….” I start but he cuts in and silences me with a wave of his hand.
“She’s coming, she’s getting Carmen.” Cesar seems unusually stiff and brisk in the way he responds,
and Colton’s furrowed brow tells me he’s wondering what the hell is up. In the absence of Colton then
someone always stands as pack head of security at all hours. I guess Cesar was on that duty before
we were called down, despite the fact he should have been among the resting.
Colton, Meadow, Matteo, Radar, and Cesar are usually the only ones who make sure everything runs
peaceably around the clock and have the authority to call a meeting like this before reporting to Colton.
He still treats them as semi equal in all things. So a gathering like this isn’t unusual but given the witch
is here and now they even requested Carmen, I feel unsettled in my stomach. Given today’s events
and everyone’s need for down time, my gut says this isn’t good at all.
Leyanne sits still and silent but even in the short time I’ve known her I can tell she has something to
say and isn’t looking as joyous and chill as the others. Her aura screams of dissatisfaction and maybe
slightly annoyed. I don’t get why. Maybe that’s just her though and I’m being sensitive.
“We’re here. Meadow appears with Carmen in tow and they both head straight for a seat and sink
down onto the sofa, although Meds is perched and upright and starts tapping her foot in agitation.
Carmen glances around then catches my eye with a questioning frown, and I can only shrug in
response. I have no more idea than she does.
“Someone gonna tell me what’s up?” Colton snaps, his tension getting the best of him and Meadow
breaks instantly. Her expression bleak as she locks eyes on him and despite their ongoing standoff, I
know their close relationship is stronger than a tiff, and important things will push aside bickers. Meds
and Colton are like siblings and will never fight for long. They never do.
“They’re moving against the mountain… the witch got word from the vampire….. the missing vamps,
they have been gone since yesterday. This isn’t over by a long shot… blood is to be spilled on the
valley and the Santa pack there is in serious danger.”
“Wait what? I thought you said this was done… isn’t that….?” Colton’s confusion matches mine and this
time, as I snap my eyes to him and back towards meadow, panic rising in my throat as his question
dies on my lips. Despite all eyes turning to Meadow for explanation on what she just stated it’s Leyanne
who speaks. Cutting in smoothly knowing she needs to expand on those minute details.
“The lord has held onto this for a long time….. he wasn’t so easy to sway. Even with news of his child.
He pulled the strongest from the mountain and he plans on eliminating all who had a part in Marina’s
death.” She looks to me, her expression almost blank as though this isn’t news to her or even a
concern. Honestly this witch, she doesn’t seem fazed at all. It irks me on a serious level, and I glare at
her, somehow feeling anger that she cares about nothing at all, even after fighting for our side. I don’t
understand how anyone can be so detached.
“Tell him the rest.” Meadow snaps as though the witch is annoying her too, although with avoiding
something important and I screw my face at Meds for her harshness. Out of character especially when
Leyanne has done so much or us these past few days and they had created a mutual understanding of
Leyanne stands up and dusts down her clothes, straightens her layered skirt and walks to the fireplace
before leaning against it. Infuriatingly calm and non-rushed. Still clearly not all that invested in what’s
unfolding when we thought the worst was over. Graceful, poised, oozing power in her mannerisms. She
could be royalty if you didn’t know her.
“This wasn’t a war of two kinds this time around….. it was little more intentional. I didn’t think it was an
important detail but none the less….. the only state having battles with vampires is this one. The only
pack under attack is Santo. I know, I’ve travelled and this war as you call it, the only repercussions are
all here around your two mountains. The wolves are not under threat…. just your bloodline. None of the
others even know there’s any kind of trouble at all.”
That revelation sinks around us like a lead ship and as eyes widen, and we look to one another, I
suddenly see it all click together and make sense. Why out of all the packs in the world, our valley, the
orphanage, was the test place for their weapon and why we were followed here.
“This was always about us?” Colton’s shocked breathy reply makes my blood run cold. The realization
sinking in numbs my skin and sends a creeping crawl of ants across my face. My heart hammering at
her words. Somehow it seems worse to know that this is a focused attack, and we are alone in terms of
defending the valley, especially knowing Lord Varro is like Darrius and both of them will be heading
there to settle this debt.