Chapter 119: Going Forward
“Is everything ready?” I wander into the new dining room space we cleared and created this past week
in readiness for my father’s first official visit. The room which used to be the medbay, although now our
outhouse for the clinic is complete, we are freeing up space indoors. The village has come on a lot
these past months and even though we know a move back to the valley is in the books, we still want
this place to have a use. Some of our pack might want to live out here despite the Alpha and Luna
returning to the main homestead. Sierra has already expressed desire to continue here with Radar now
that she feels her position as Rema no longer requires her to oversee the reunited Santos. I think in all
honesty she wants to relish in her new love and honeymoon period without grossing out her son.
I’ll be sad to leave our home behind but I know this is the start of a new chapter for all of us.
“So clean it’s sparkling. The grounds have been refreshed, everything scrubbed, and the manor is in
top shape for this royal visit.” Meadow drolls with that sarcastic tone of hers. Standing with her head
propped to one side as she scans all the details on her tick list. Still not onboard with an alliance
between our kinds or accepting my father as a guest, but she’s trying. A lot of the pack are still
reserving judgement until they see how life continues for themselves. This visit has already caused so
much upheaval and mutterings among them.
“And Colton?” I ask, looking around for my invisible mate who has been AWOL since first light. Off
doing whatever he does every day.
“Patrolling the grounds with Radar and Jasper. Still trying to acclimatize your brother into the pack and
bickering with him at every opportunity. I swear it’s become a hobby for those two and they only hang
out to argue.” Meadow sighs heavily and then goes back to her clipboard.
I can’t say I disagree. The past week has seen my brother move into the house of his own accord and
spend all his spare time goading my mate into verbal spats. They’re always together and always
fighting but don’t seem to think that giving one another space should be a thing. We offered him one of
the village houses on the edge of the patrol line for some solitude, and yet he moved right across from
our bedroom just to piss Colton off.
He was meant to be here to protect me, and yet I have barely seen him since he dropped off his
luggage. I guess because I have kept Carmen close by in hopes that their proximity would help things
along and she acts as a natural deterrent for his presence. He’s still holding out on her, and she’s so
stubborn and hurt that she’s avoiding him like the plague. It’s frustrating to have two of them in a small
space like this manor and yet see them never get within thirty feet of one another. I don’t understand
why he’s being so certain about this given his acceptance to living here now.
“They’ll be here at noon. I have no idea what food we should serve, seeing as they are vampires.”
Carmen appears almost by magical thought, hands on her hips and looking unusually beautiful in a
simple white summer dress which flows around her legs in a carefree manner. Ethereal today and her
blonde hair is almost golden like a halo of softness.
“Look, there was a time we didn’t think vampires could be out in the sun. Maybe they can eat human
food too.” Meadow shrugs and both Carmen and I raise a brow in unison at her.
“Isn’t that the problem with their species…they eat human food?” Carmen widens her eyes to
emphasize the words human and food and I start to giggle at the word play.
“Ughhh, you know what I mean. Let’s just serve steak. Leave it raw and they can suck it for all I care. I
mean, who doesn’t like steak?” Meadows huffs at her.
“Angelics… they’re vegans!” Demi casually wanders in looking mischievous at his quick-witted remark
and winks our way. All pale skinned, sandy hair and blue eyes which hint at far off DNA in his past
bloodlines. For once no sign of his identical shadow and I roll my eyes at him.
“I guess that gene was missed on you two then.” I point out. “You two could eat your own weight in
steak in a three-minute sitting.” For Angelic mix breeds they lack anything good natured or pure in their
“We’re Lychans, baby. The wolf DNA dominates everything else.”
“Speak for yourself.” Sierra appears in the room waving about her hands that are shrouded in a blue
glow as if to prove her point and then smiles sweetly as Domi moves out of her way to let her in. She
has been walking around with that honeymoon glow, mate mark on show at her collarbone, and making
me and Colton seem like we are not even lovers in comparison. I never knew Radar could be such a
touchy feely, attentive, and mushy mate if I hadn’t seen it myself these past days. Glued together most
of the time, and always touching. Sierra is like a new woman. Glowing, bubbling over with brightness,
and her magical gifts seem to have ramped up to crazy levels. I guess all she needed was real
happiness and mutual love. No more fear of dwindling gifts anymore for her.
“I think as a Lychan pack we pretty much fail. Most of our main hierarchy are mongrel bloods of mixed
breeds. And I’m a freakin part human.” Carmen plops her ass on the edge of the new long polished
dining table and tosses her hair casually over one shoulder, with that sassy manner of hers that I’ve
missed. No hint of denial anymore in admitting what she is.
Since we made it clear to our pack that bloodlines shouldn’t be a shameful secret, instead something to
celebrate, it seems so many have come forward to profess their childhood sins of being mixed breeds.
All in all, it seems only about forty percent of the Santos can trace their blood truthfully through Lychan
only. Another lie we were force fed all these years by Juan and his stupid ideals. It’s been refreshing
though, to see them embrace their true selves and no longer hide hidden gifts from their own kind. It
seems we have so many talented among us with unusual abilities that may not always be useful but
are what makes them unique. No longer afraid to admit that they aren’t only Lychan.
“Steak it is.” Meadow pipes up getting us back on track and notes something down on the clipboard
she’s been carrying. “I’ll tell the kitchen to prepare a carnivores feast. I’m sure blood sucking leec……”
She stops talking when she catches my serious eye on her and swallows a little hesitantly. Not amused
at her slip to insults concerning my father. “Chica, no offense but, I mean it’s what they do.” She points
out and I shake my head at her with a small affectionate smile, inwardly sighing because she’s not
wrong. I’m just too sensitive today because of how nervous this meeting is making me. My nerves are
all on edge and I haven’t been able to eat today at all.
“Not all of those with vampiric blood.” I tap my own chest and wink at her before going back to fixing the
floral décor in the middle of the huge table. Letting it go and exhaling slowly to relieve some pent-up
“True. I’ll stop talking.”
It sometimes worries me if my unborn will have tendencies that I never experienced. Nothing is certain
and I have no idea if these babies will follow the norm and be more Lychan than anything else. Being
twins, I’m not sure if that will affect things but looking at Domi and Remi, who are almost identical in
every way with dominant Lychan DNA, then maybe I am worrying for nothing. If Lychan vampire mixes
had the traits of both, we would have heard of it by now.
“What’s with the dress? Aren’t you all combat pants and vest tops lately? The Lana Lane of the wolf
world.” Meadow’s eyes and attention are on carmen now, as a subject change, appraising the feminine
look of today and it’s only then I spot the minimal makeup and that her hair has been styled differently.
She’s put in more than the usual effort.
“No reason.” She flippantly waves a hand at us and starts adjusting chairs around the table, avoiding
Med’s eye. She’s also more closed up and secretive than normal. Less chatty and it piques my interest.
Wondering if this is a tactic to get Jasper to notice her.
“I mean, I’m not against using your feminine wiles and assets to get your man to pay attention. If you
need any pointers….” Meadow is all over that in an instant and stops in her tracks when Carmen flicks
flower vase water at her in warning to stay away.
“I don’t. And it’s not for him. I’m tired of looking like a beat-up tom boy who has lost all sense of her
image lately. I have more pride than looking like a half-baked, decrepit floor broom that’s been used to
death and discarded in the dust.”
“And she’s back. Welcome home, Caremonella!” I pat her on the head with a huge grin and my
annoying pet name for her, throwing my arm around her shoulder casually as I come to stand beside
her. She exhales heavily, displaying minor irritation at my obvious glee and continues adjusting seats.
Carmen moping and being weird and distant these past days was starting to really bother me. I guess
she needed some ‘her’ time to pull herself back together and process all that’s happened these few
weeks. We all have. Working on the manor, and the Valley simultaneously, overseeing, organizing and
repairing bonds with out fractured pack has been cathartic, but emotionally exhausting. It’s only been a
week since the battle that night, but it feels like we have achieved the work of a month.
“About time too, Chica. I know you can’t outrun the imprint, but I’m glad you are seemingly back to
being the cold and haughty biatch I used to love to hate.” Meadow flicks her in the forehead with
precision, swings her clipboard up and bops her on the head with it softly before swaggering off with a
naughty smile. Knowing sticking around will get some sort of physical retaliation now Carmen is no
longer afraid to put Meds in her place.
“I still loathe her.” Carmen snorts and crosses her arms across her chest sulkily. I laugh at both of them,
knowing that’s the furthest from the truth it could be. They have a love-hate relationship, that’s warm
underneath, and I know either one would sacrifice themselves to save the other. Neither can admit they
are sisters now, and friends. Denial is what I expect for the rest of their lives.
“So, noon? Are you nervous?” Carmen turns the conversation back to what we are preparing for, and I
let her go. Shrugging in a non-committal way as I go back to prepping the room and focusing on
imaginary dust particles I need to remove. My gut has been like washing machine all morning and I
have been trying to ignore the chaos of internal feelings for a week.
“Hmmm.” I answer in a bland tone and move the flowers for the fifth time today. Using Carmen’s
method of nonchalance.
“Signing a treaty is enough of a pressure I guess, but knowing you have to work out some sort of future
relationship with your father must be messing with your head. Given what he is and who.” Carmen has
the sense to let me wander off without following. Focusing on straightening pots on the side table
“I’m going to take it one step at a time. Let things develop naturally once the treaty is dealt with. Colton
told me to not rush into any plans and throwing myself into trying to bond with him. Just take it as it
comes. That’s what I’m going to do.”