A week later,
Alpha Kalen, Valarie’s mate , stood across from me as we watched her get lowered into the ground at the rogue cemetery. Zoe and Macey stood beside me, and Macey’s mother watched our kids at the Hotel for us. Four people and the tow truck driver were the only people who attended and her lawyer. I tried my best not to look at the man responsible for her death.
We all spoke, sharing our stories with Valarie; her mate said nothing and remained silent. I wondered what he was thinking. Did he hate himself as much as I hated him? To do this to such a wonderful woman angered me. The coroner said she died from organ failure caused by the mate bond; there were no other health issues or any explanations.
It pissed me off that he was healthy and alive because he was an Alpha and male, while she was dead because she was unmarked and female. It felt wrong that women die from neglect of the mate bond. It scared me because my health was already suffering, and if I wasn’t careful, this could be me. When we got the report, Macey and Zoe also voiced their concerns, saying I should just mark and mate someone, so I didn’t end the same way.
The coroner was shocked and said he had only seen two cases before because most people keep their mates. He also questioned and asked if we knew who the mate was to inform them. Kalen, Valarie’s mate , and Valen’s father said he had no idea as we sat in the office while giving me a pointed look, warning me to not say anything. That meant he saw me when I would catch him coming and going from the Hotel sneaking in like a thief in the night. I couldn’t understand why he bothered coming that day if he wasn’t even going to acknowledge she was his mate.
How did he explain his reasoning for being there? Though I could tell not even the coroner believed whatever bullshit Kalen fed him. I was listed as her next of kin which I was shocked about but glad to get some answers either way.
Shaking the memory away, I listen to the priest, and when the service is finished, I watch as Kalen speaks to the lawyer for a second before turning on my heel and following Macey back to her car when I hear my name being called.
“Everly? Which one of you girls is Everly?“ Comes a deep voice. We all stop, and I look back at the immaculately dressed man. He was an older gentleman, around Kalen’s age. Kalen’s lips were pressed in a line as he followed after the lawyer jogging over to us.
“I am, “ I tell him. He stops holding out his hand to me, and I shake his hand while he catches his breath.
“My name is Joseph. I am Valerie’s lawyer. Do you mind if I speak to you for a second?“ He says, pointing over to a picnic table under the trees by the parking lot.
“Ah, yeah, sure,“ I tell him, wondering what he wanted.
“We will wait for you at the car, Everly, “ Macey calls out, and I nod, waving at her. Sitting on the bench seat. Joseph pulls some glasses from the inside pocket of his suit jacket, putting them on before digging through his briefcase. Kalen sits beside him, also curious.
“Why the girl, what does she have to do with anything?“ Kalen asks.
“Just wait, please, Alpha Kalen. I will explain. About six months ago, Valarie came to see me, to change her will,“ Joseph says. My brows pinch together, and I look at Kalen, who was glaring at me.
“Ah, here it is, this is her current will, this is for you, “ He says, handing me an envelope. I noticed Valerie’s handwriting, the front of the envelope read ‘For Everly’ Looking back at Joseph, I nodded, thinking that was it, about to get up.
“Thank you, “ I tell him, about to leave.
“Everly, I am not finished. Valarie was very insistent and went to a lot of trouble to make sure her will could not be contested or changed,“ Joseph says, looking over at Kalen.
“I am not understanding, “ I tell him. Joseph smiles sadly before tugging on his tie and glancing nervously at Alpha Kalen.
“I have known Valarie for thirty years and considered her a good friend, and I am aware of who you are to her, Kalen,“ Kalen growls, and Joseph puts a finger up, standing up to the man. I was able to see Joseph truly cared for Valarie.
“I signed a non-disclosure to not let that information out, Valarie saw to that, but since Everly here is aware of who you are and what you are to Valarie, I have not broken that or intend to, but that is why I must warn you, Kalen. If you contest this will I have here, Valarie has measures in place that if you fight Everly, it will be made public information that the Blood Alpha’s father let his mate die because of her status, “
“Status? I f*cking loved her“
“Obviously not enough to look past her being Omega,“ I snapped before I could stop myself.
“Don’t pretend to know me, girl.“
“I don’t need to know you, nor do I want to, Kalen. Your actions showed me plenty of your character, “ I tell him, and he growls at me. Ignoring him, I turn my attention back to Joseph.
“What has this got to do with me?“ I ask him. “Well, I need you to sign some documents, “ “What sort of documents?“ I ask him. “Valarie left everything to you and your son Valerian, everything Everly. The Hotel, her bank accounts, her family’s money, a considerable amount, everything she owns now belongs to you, “ Joseph tells me. I swallow, looking up at the tree I was sitting under and blinking back tears.
“Valarie was a very wealthy woman, Everly, and everything is now yours, “ Joseph says, and I sniffle. Kalen growls and punches the table. Joseph jumps when Kalen stands up before storming off toward his car. I stare after him before turning back to face the lawyer.
“Don’t worry about him, Everly. This is what Valarie wanted, and I have known Kalen for a long time. He won’t risk his reputation to fight this, so what I need from you are some signatures, ID, and bank account details, “ Joseph says, handing me a pen. I take the pen from him, pointing out where to sign. When I am done, he gives me the deed to the Hotel.
“You just became the new owner of Mountain View Hotel; I look forward to seeing you accomplish great things, Everly. Valarie told me all about you and her grandson“ I opened my mouth, glancing around for Kalen, he was gone already, and Joseph put a finger to his lips.
“Secret’s safe with me Everly, Valarie was a very depressed woman when I met her; in the last year, I haven’t seen her happier. You and Valerian did that,“ He says, standing up. I shake his hand.
“I will bring some other paperwork over during the week,“ He says, and I nod, watching him leave before looking down at the deed and the envelope in my hand. “Thank you, “ I whisper to her, hoping she can hear me wherever she is. Valarie just ensured Valerian’s future, and I could never thank her enough for what she has given us, but I would trade it all in a heartbeat to have her back with us.