My son cries louder, and I reach for him. The man’s eyes dart to him before he sniffs the air. Staring at him oddly, and I tuck him into my chest.
“It’s only temporary; please don’t call child services,” I tell him, and he cocks his head to the side; his gaze appeared to be more thoughtful than scrutinizing.
“Does your car run?” He asks, looking at it before he kicks a tire.
“I have no fuel; I will leave tomorrow, I promise,” I tell him, panicking. Maybe he was a council worker? I doubted it because of his expensive suit.
He looks at me, “you smell familiar,” he mutters.
I swallow, wondering if he remembers me, but he doesn’t appear to, and I also didn’t want him questioning which pack I was from. My father and his Alpha were not on good terms, yet maybe if he could get me in to see Alpha Valen, he might help out with his son. However, that thought also frightened me having to face the man who ignored me and refused even to do a DNA test, and he declined to come to check, stating my claims were lies, but if he just met him, he would see. We could always sense our kin. I stared at him, wondering if he would leave when he pushed the hatchback open further before reaching in. I scooted further back, looking for a weapon in case I needed it.
“Calm down; I can’t leave you here knowing you are sleeping in your car with a baby,” he says, grabbing the car seat.
“I will leave; just don’t take my son,” I tell him. He looks at me like I am mad.
“I’m not; I want to help,”
“You want to help?” I repeat, slightly suspicious. I must have heard that wrong.
“Come on, you can stay at the packhouse until I speak to my Alpha,” he says, waving me forward.
“Grab a change of clothes. We can come back to your car tomorrow,” he says. I don’t move, and he sighs before grabbing a bag. He grabs a tin formula, the nappy bag, and some of my clothes, stuffing them inside the bag.
“Come on, wouldn’t you rather have a warm house than a cold car?” He asks. I look down at my son, wondering if I should trust him. He grabs the car seat. I climb out, and he hands me my umbrella before shutting my trunk.
“This way,” he says, walking to his car. I follow him to his electric blue sports-looking car. I always wonder why he didn’t drive to work. And why would he leave such an expensive car at a train station?
He puts the seat in before scratching his head. “You know how to clip it in?” He asks, and I nod.
“Okay, you put it in, and I will hold your-” He looks at my son in my arms.
“Son,” I tell him, and he nods, holding out his arms for him. He takes him from me, and I lean in, making sure to keep an eye on him while I clip the seat in before turning around. Retrieving my son, I clip him in his chair before climbing in beside him. He then passes me the bag before shutting my door.
He turns the heater on when he hops in before glancing at me in the mirror.
“Your son has odd-colored eyes, reminds me of my Alpha’s. He is the only person I know with Amber eyes besides his father,” he says. I look at him, and he looks away, looking back at the road. He definitely has his father’s eyes, but I keep my mouth shut. Though maybe this would be my chance, he would be able to tell if he saw his son. We can sense our own family, plus their resemblance was unmistakable.
“Who is your Alpha?” I ask, pretending I don’t know.
“Valen the Blood Alpha,” he says, his eyes darting to mine in the mirror again, gauging my reaction to his words. I feel excitement bubble in me, knowing I am correct in who he is.
“He will be fine with you bringing a rogue in the territory?” I ask him.
“He won’t be there, and I will speak with him tomorrow,”
“Are you hungry?” He asks, and my belly rumbles loudly at the mention of food. He chuckles at the noise.
“I will take that as a yes,” he says, and my face heats. I give my son his dummy, his amber eyes peering at me in the darkness of the car.
“What’s your name?”
“Everly,” I answer him.
“Odd name, what pack were you from, or were you born rogue?”
“No, I was in a pack,” I answer, but I refuse to tell him which one. It was no secret my family’s pack and the Blood-Alpha were constantly at war.
“Your name, I can tell you have beta blood,” I tell him.
“Marcus, and yes, I am Valen’s beta,” he says before pulling into a drive-thru. I grab my wallet.
“I don’t want your money,” he says before ordering. He asks what I want, but I don’t say anything feeling awkward, so he orders two of the same thing.
“Is he asleep?” He asks, and I look at my son. I nod my head as he pulls up to the next window.
“Climb in the front,” he says, which makes me look at my son again, worried.
“I don’t bite, climb over,” he says while patting the passenger seat, and I unclip my seatbelt before climbing over into the front and placing the seatbelt on quickly. I noticed he didn’t have a mark on his neck, so he hadn’t found his mate yet. He opens some cup holders and places the drinks in them before passing me a paper bag.
“You can eat in the car,” he says. I thank him and open his burger box, letting him pull it out.
Marcus pulls over on the side of the road before flicking the interior light on so we can see better before turning in his seat to face me. “Eat. I won’t hurt you,”
I open the burger box, my hands shaking. “Are you cold?” He asks, turning the heat up.
I nodded my head. It was a lie. I was fine in the car; it was the fact I hadn’t eaten a hot meal in ages or actual food that wasn’t canned spaghetti or granola bars. I bite into the burger, and a sob nearly escapes my lips; I am quick to suppress it so he doesn’t hear. I was chewing slowly, savoring the taste and the warmth. Looking up, he is watching me while eating his burger.
I blushed, embarrassed that he was staring. He must think I am pathetic. I felt pathetic accepting a stranger’s help.
“Thank you,” I tell him while taking a sip of the cold coke. It fizzed in my throat and on my tongue but tasted so good.
“Where is your family?” He asks curiously.
“He is my only family,” I tell him, looking at my son.
“They tossed you, didn’t they, for being unmated” I swallow, looking down.
“My mother was a single mother, not a rogue, my dad died; she raised me alone, she struggled but had the pack. Must be hard having no one,” he says. I don’t say anything. What could I say? I am the disgraced daughter of an Alpha.
We ate in silence, and for the first time in ages, I felt full, yet still, he handed me his chips, telling me to eat them before starting the car again. It took twenty minutes of driving, and I realized we were getting close to my old pack before he turned to the opposite side of the road.
It took another twenty minutes of driving through his territory before he pulled up at a large three-story house. I could hardly see it was that dark, but I could tell it was modern-looking.
“You okay? Stepping across didn’t make you feel sick?” I shake my head. It was odd. Usually, rogues feel sick crossing a border, but I didn’t. “Huh, odd,” he mutters.
“Are you sure it is okay for me to stay here?”
“Yeah, no one is here, and you can stay in my room tonight; I have pack patrol, so I won’t be home” I nod.
“The Alpha won’t mind?” I ask.
“Na, he won’t even know until I see him tomorrow. He is in the City partying tonight; you will have the place to yourself,” he says, opening his door. He opens the back door, and I climb before walking around the car and grabbing my son out. He places the bag over his shoulder before putting his hand on my lower back, showing me to the front door. I watch as he unlocks the door before motioning for me to enter.