Silas Knight, La Patron of every wolf on the North American continent and possibly a few others as well, walked the wide hallway outside his bedroom to avoid waking his mate, Jasmine. She was worn out from tending the children all day and he wanted her to have a few minutes of undisturbed rest. Her day had been as long as his, but whereas he spent the day running a nation of wolves, she spent the day with four pups whose needs and personalities were as different as the days of the week. He would gladly face the rebels or pouting Alphas than handle his feisty litter all day. She had remarked on more than one occasion that the pups had his arrogant gene, as if that were a bad thing.
He placed his bundle higher on his shoulder and patted his back gently. “It’s going to be okay, little one,” he whispered in an attempt to calm David’s whimpering. For some reason none of the doctors had been able to explain why the child was in a constant state of discomfort. Nothing calmed him for long.
“Is he going to be alright?” Tyrese, Jasmine’s older son, asked as he walked down the hall toward them. He was dressed in pressed jeans and a bright red short-sleeved polo. His highly polished boots made a clopping sound on the marble floors. He had allowed his hair to grow out from a military buzz cut, and it now brushed against his shoulder.
Silas nodded and flicked his gaze over the young pup again. “He’s fine, just having a hard time quieting down. Going out?”
“Yeah, a few of the guys and I are going to hit this new club in town. Supposedly it’s owned by a half-breed, I wanna check it out.”
Since Silas had approved the club owner’s petition to open a business in the state, he wasn’t surprised. In fact he’d heard the business venture had proven to be such a success, the owner had petitioned the Alpha of Georgia to open a club in Atlanta.
“There are still some rebels in the area. Be careful. Have fun.”
“I will. Always.” Tyrese nodded and walked to the elevator which would take him down to the tunnels. He would have to walk a good distance and then come up beneath the condo complex to pick up his car. It was safer and away from the main houses.
David whimpered a little and Silas returned his attention to his youngest male pup. “I’m sorry you’re not feeling well, but it’s going to be okay.” He started to hum and David quieted. Initially, Silas had thought to have the pup calmed in a few minutes, consequently pacing the quiet hall made sense. Now he realized he’d miscalculated and headed to the darkened nursery. He sat in one of the rocking chairs, continuing his soft serenade. There were five additional rockers in the large nursery along with the four cribs occupied by his pups, lining the wall. The nurses lay asleep on a twin bed behind a screen so they were close if one of the pups woke through the night. Except David. They had a small crib in their room for when he had problems sleeping. It bothered him that the doctors couldn’t find the root of his pup’s discomfort. Poor thing had been poked and prodded repeatedly with nothing to show for it.
Closing his eyes, he sought advice from the Goddess. He waited until the warmth of her presence filled the room. David quieted and went still. Offering comfort, Silas rubbed his son’s back as he waited for permission to speak.
“Patron.” The whispery voice filled the room and touched every atom of his being. Her energy touched off sparks in the room and sent tingles down his spine. He struggled to make a coherent sentence.
“Goddess of Life, how can I help my pup…my son?” he asked, uncertain if she’d respond since he hadn’t followed the normal protocols for contacting her. He continued humming old, forgotten melodies, so engrossed in the peaceful moments that when the Goddess responded on the wisps of the wind, he was startled.
“He is your seed, La Patron, you can heal him as you’ve healed many others.”
How? He was such a tiny thing. But her presence had left as suddenly as it came. Holding his young pup tight, he sent warmth and waves of healing vitality to his son. He then placed his palm in the middle of the child’s back, closed his eyes and focused on healing the small body. When he was done, Silas waited, hoping his pup was better.
Within a few moments, David began whimpering again. Tired and confused, Silas placed David across his shoulder and started humming again. The child settled. Silas breathed in the sweet silence of the room and gazed at the ceiling. Last year the Goddess told him change was coming, and it had blown through his life with hurricane force winds, upsetting everything he knew and believed. Human females and wolves, breeding, creating a whole new category of beings – half breeds. There were times he still couldn’t believe it, but he’d just look in his nursery. All four of his pups, his first litter, were half-breeds.
At the thought of them, love welled inside him and overflowed. Now with pups of his own, he fully understood why full-blooded wolves were willing to fight their pack mates, and start a civil war to save their pups. As much as he had detested the idea of half-breeds before, he was irrevocably committed to saving all wolves, full and half-breeds. Part of the reason lay on his shoulder, taking small sips of air and trembling slightly on the exhale.
“Don’t worry, little one. The Goddess says I can heal you, I just need to figure out how and then all will be well,” he murmured, closing his eyes as he rocked.
His thoughts roamed to Tyrone, Tyrese’s twin. He wondered how the young pup would react when he discovered another had challenged him for the right to lead the West Virginia wolves.
Silas decided to allow the challenge to stand since there were those who didn’t view the former Alpha as a traitor. But Silas knew better. He’d read the Alpha’s thoughts, heard his hatred of the breeds, and his desire to destroy everything and everyone who stood in his way. That included Silas. The traitor had died by Silas’ hands and he was within his rights to choose a replacement.
The sweet scent of his mate reached him. Keeping his eyes closed, he waited for her to speak.
“Let me take him, you have that meeting tomorrow with the detective. You said he was coming at eight, it’s after three now.” She reached forward and took the pup from his shoulder. He might never admit it, but he missed the small patch of warmth the little one had provided.
Silas pulled Jasmine onto his lap, pushed her swinging braids from her face and nuzzled her neck. He had missed her. The birth, coupled with the fall in the cave, had wreaked havoc on her body. The doctor had restricted their lovemaking due to the bleeding after the pups were born. There were still so many things they simply did not know about her physiology, neither he nor the doctor wanted to take any chances.
“He’s going to be fine,” he whispered as she placed a kiss on the pup’s brow.
“Oh?” She eyed him curiously. “Have the doctors said something to you?”
“No. The Goddess.”
Her eyes widened and lit with pure joy. “What’d she say?… What’d she say?”
Pleased with her eager response, he repeated the words he had been told. “I’ve laid warm hands on him, sending healing energy through his body, but… that didn’t work. Don’t worry, it is my top priority to discover how to heal him.”
“Can’t you just decree it? Make a command? Tell his body to be healed?”
Chuckling, he tapped her nose. “I’m not the Christo. I can heal wolves because I’m their leader, we share similar energy. He needs something more and I will figure it out.”
She nodded and stood, taking his hand. “Come on, time for bed, at least until you have to get up. I’ve missed you.”
Gingerly he cupped her face between his palms and stared into her eyes. He read the fatigue and the determination. She had made it very clear when she’d been pregnant that she would raise her children. And though she had nurses to assist, she spent most of her time caring for the pups. Initially, they’d argued over the amount of time and energy the pups were taking, he had felt left out. That had been an intensely enlightening discussion. Now he understood it went against everything inside her to hand her babies over to someone else to raise. It wasn’t who she was. Now, he made time every day to visit her and the pups. They set aside an hour or so every evening to spend time alone, so far it worked well.
“I love you,” he whispered across her lips, and kissed her deeply.
She opened her link and he was inundated with a tidal wave of sweet, tingly, warmth that cascaded over him and permeated his heart. “Love you, baby.”