Fated To The Alpha by Jessica Hall Chapter 172
Jonah had everyone in a panic as we scoured every inch of the forest and the road leading into the town. Everyone flooded with relief when Andrei rang and said Jonah was with him and Derrick.
Malik looked beside himself at the thought of losing him, kept repeating over and over again he lost Andrei’s little buddy. Apparently all Jonah talks about is Mr Andrei and Mr Andrei’s wife. His words filled me with some foreign feeling I wasn’t used to feeling. Making me wish I could have kids even though I know it will never happen for us.
Casen’s mind instantly convinced someone hadkidnapped him. Every single pack member was out looking for him, and I truly understood what it meant to be a pack. It wasn’t just some community it was family, we are all family and I had no doubt no matter who it was missing, the reaction would have been the same.
Andrei pulling in had everyone getting to their feet and rushing toward the car. Malik nearly rips the rear door off before pulling Jonah out and dangling him upside down by his foot and scolding him yet there was no anger in his words, just immense relief that the boy was ok and safe.
Jonah squealed thinking it was hilarious as he dangled from Malik’s grip telling everyone he ate berries and went on some adventure with Mr Andrei and Mr Andrei’s Dad. Derrick tells him to call him Derrick before giving up with a shake of his head with a laugh.
Andrei was trapped in his car still unable to get out while Pack members crowded around his car while Jonah was hugged and crushed by everyone and tossed in the air. His laughter contagious, exciting the pack even more. How one little boy could instill such fear and happiness in a pack full of only warriors was amazing to see.
I chuckle at Andrei’s annoyed expression as he once again tries to get out of his car before climbing over to the passenger side and climbing out. Andrei makes his way over to me before stopping and wrapping his arms around my shoulders and watching his pack. As annoyed as he was about being trapped in his car, I could also feel his bubbling happiness that his pack was so happy and all because one little boy went on an adventure with Mr Andrei.
“And how are you, Mr Andrei?” I chuckle and Andrei growls, pressing his nose into my neck.
“Can honestly say he is the only person that actually calls me that instead of Alpha” he grumbles, though I know he secretly likes Jonah, liked the boy’s attention as much as he whined about how naughty and annoying he was. Andrei stuffs his hand in his pocket pulling out a card and handing it to me.
“That was Jonah’s father, unfortunately no date of birth but I have someone in the city going to the casino for me to look up his information” I nod, glancing at the card.
“What’s wrong?” Andrei asks.
“Nothing” I lied but he felt my deceit instantly and growled at me, nipping at my neck.
“What’s wrong little wolf?”
“Nothing, Andrei, it is selfish” I tell him, embarrassed about even thinking about it. He was going to press me to tell him when Jonah excitedly skips over and Andrei suddenly laughs, finding something amusing as he skips over to me and stops in front of me.
“Hi Mr Andrei’s wife, I got you something” He says, jamming his hand in his tanned shorts pocket. The pocket stained purple like his lips.
“Her name is Sage and you need to stop calling me that” Andrei tells him.
“But you are Mr Andrei?” he says. Andrei chuckles, shaking his head, clearly giving up on trying to correct him. “He makes me sound so old” Andrei grumbles when Jonah finally fishes out what he was looking for.
He opens his hand and I see squashed berries also a rock and I think some leftover Marshmallow from a couple days ago as well as some pocket lint.
“Look I brought you some berries back, so you could try some” He says, shoving his hand toward me. “You can have some too Mr Andrei” He says excitedly.
“Oh no they are Sage’s favourite, she won’t want to share” Andrei says laughing nudging me and I hold my hand out for the mushing blob and whatever else he crammed in that tiny pocket. “Ah thanks” I tell him.
“Don’t they look great, you will love that, try some” Andrei laughs behind me when I realise Jonah was looking up expectantly, waiting for me to try his apparently delicious pocket gunk. Andrei nudges me.
“We have eaten worse,” Sierra tells me, also quite
fond of the boy. I sigh, grabbing the tiniest chunk looking the cleanest and popping it in my mouth before swallowing without trying to taste it. Andrei is trying to stifle his laughter behind me.
“Mmm that’s delicious, I think Mr Andrei should try some. I am feeling generous today and will share my delicious berries” I tell Jonah and he beams up at him, nodding his head eagerly.
Andrei’s laugh cuts off instantly and he clears his throat.
“I’m allergic” He suddenly declares when Jonah scratches his head.
“Means you get sick from touching something” I tell him but if I had to eat them so did he. Before I catch him out on his lie. Jonah actually does.
“ Silly Mr Andrei, you were eating them when we walked back down the mountain”
“They were different berries” Andrei suddenly says, trying to dig himself out of this situation.
“Nope definitely those I got Jonah to help me pick them” Derrick says before sending me a wink as he stared at his son with a smirk on his face.
“See, ” Jonah says excitedly and Andrei mumbles under his breath something about being Alpha and a traitorous family.
I turn to him, smiling at him. He presses his lips in a line giving me a look before his eyes dart to my hand and he swishes it in my palm with his finger, hoping to find a clean piece.
“Sage said you could have the rest, bottoms up son” Derrick says with a laugh. Andrei glares at his father and I grab his hand, dumping the contents in his before picking out the rock and putting it in my pocket.
“Come on Mr Andrei, I kept them warm in my pocket for everyone” Jonah says.
“Yeah Mr Andrei” Derrick says with way too much enthusiasm and Andrei growls before quicHy eating it. It was a big chunk and definitely needed to be chewed.
“Is it good?” Jonah asks and Andrei gives him a thumbs up, his cheeks puffing out like he is fighting the urge to gag before he swallows it looking rather pained.
“Yep delicious” Andrei tells him. Jonah bounces on his feet excitedly.
“Good, now I can give Casen, Malik and Vince the rest in this pocket” He says rummaging in his other pocket while looking for them. I watch as he calls out to Malik who doesn’t even hesitate when Jonah offers him some.
“He has an iron gut” I mutter while watching Malik.
Turning to Andrei he growls at us before pinching at his tongue and pulling some lint off his tongue. “I need to go brush my teeth and tongue,” He says, stalking off inside the house.
“Think he is upset, best to feed the pouting manchild. I feel like pancakes, let’s go make pancakes for dinner” Derrick says, dropping his arm across my shoulders and tugging me inside.
Andrei I could hear muttering to himself as we stepped in and I followed Derrick to the kitchen and put the kettle on while Derrick grabbed ingredients out to make pancakes for dinner.
Derrick cooked every night when he stayed the three months with us, something about, he never cooked at home because he had no one to cook for and felt silly cooking for himself. But I could tell he loved cooking as he hummed to himself while making the batter and heating a frypan.
“Coffee or tea?” I ask him.
“Ah might have a coffee” He says and I nod, grabbing the coffee down and sugar.
“I see Jonah gave everyone quite the scare ” Derrick says and I nod smiling.
“He is a little ball of energy, ” Derrick comments. “That he is” I tell him pouring the milk in.
“Sage?” Derrick says, making me look at him and he stops mixing batter.
“Andrei and Kat gave me quite the talking to about me mentioning you and Andrei having children, I didn’t know you couldn’t. I am sorry for mentioning it and my intention was never to upset you” he says.
“It’s fine, you didn’t know and it’s not your fault, so don’t feel bad” I tell him, a little shocked that Andrei told his dad.
“You know you don’t have to carry a child to be a parent, My mate Shirley wasn’t Kat’s biological mother but she loved her all the same. Andrei wasn’t Anthony’s either, yet he raised him and loved him, did the job I should have done” I didn’t know what to say to that confession, it was the first time he ever mentioned not being a good father to Andrei. Derrick turns back to the frypan making pancakes.
“One thing I have never forgiven myself for is walking out on him, I should have took him with me, I just hope I can make it up to him. I blamed Anthony for my mates death, though it was Andrei that had her killed” He says shocking me. I did not know that Andrei killed Kat’s mother.
“Andrei killed your mate and you forgave him?” I ask, shocked.
“No not him, but he helped Jacksons men do it, I understand it though, he saw Shirley as the one that took me away from him, like I said Sage. I wasn’t a good father to Andrei, Anthony was a far better man than me, we all do things we regret and I was honestly shocked when I found my son was raised by the one man I destroyed, so don’t feel bad for me Sage, Andrei had every reason and some to hate me, this is my karma” He says.
“Yes, everyone has regrets, ” I tell him.
“You have regrets?” Derrick asks and that was the first time I had ever admitted that and I had no idea why I mentioned regretting something. Derrick was one of those people you felt instantly comfortable around and he reminded me a lot of Kat with his no judgement and he truly had a way of understanding people.
“And what do you regret?” he asks.
“I regret asking my father if we could visit the flower meadow, ” I tell him.
“That’s the place on the other side. Near the town of Bright opposite side of the mountain, that flower meadow? Lovely place, we drove hours down there in spring to take Kat there when she was little. She loved that place and filled an entire basket full of flowers and pressed them when she got home”
“Yep that’s the one” I tell him.
“You would be the first person I have ever heard to regret going there, so why is that?”
“Did Andrei tell you about when he found me?” I ask him.
“Yes, he told me” He says and I nod.
“Well we were travelling in the opposite direction, we were supposed to go to the next town over but I asked my father if we could go to flower meadow, he agreed, mum also wanted to go so we went there instead. When we left we decided to camp just outside of Bright on the outskirts of the forest surrounding it. That’s when they stumbled across us and killed my father and took my mother and I” I tell him.
“You know that isn’t your fault right, you did nothing wrong there Sage, you just stumbled across some bad people”
“I know it’s not my fault, but we also would have been in the next town over if I never asked and both my parents would still be alive” I tell him.
“Either way those rogues would have caught someone to take, unfortunately you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, your parents took you because they loved you, just remember that, there was nothing you could do about it. What they did is on them not you” Derrick says and I nod. I knew that but to a nearly 13 year old at the time, fault is all I saw in it.
“My mate Shirley took a bullet for Kat, Jackson’s men were told to kill Shirley, when they realized they were losing against them. One of them took a shot Kat, it would have killed her too, but Shirley shoved her out of the way, she saw it coming and she threw herself in front of it to save our daughter”
“That’s horrible” I tell him, feeling terrible for Kat to live with knowing her mother died for her too.
“Not as terrible as knowing your daughter was capable of saving her, she was going to but I knew it would cost my daughter her life. So I took Shirley away before she could. I had to make a choice, I had to let one go, and I would have always chosen Kat, I don’t regret it. But I let one die to save the other and the hardest thing I have had to do was turn my back on my daughter while she begged me to let her save her mother” he says, scooping out another pancake and putting it on the plate.
“I made the mistake of choosing my mates over Andrei, I wasn’t going to do the same again. Kids should always come first, and you don’t have to be theirs biologically to parent them. Sometimes the best parents aren’t their real ones, Anthony and Shirley showed me that, though Shirley’s character would be considered questionable to some but she loved Kat enough to throw her life away for her, just like Anthony chose to forgive and raise my boy and love him, knowing I was the reason his daughters were dead and his previous partner”
“ Is that why you were asking about Jonah?” I ask him. He chuckles and nods.
“Yes, I overheard you talking to Andrei earlier. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop” he says, flipping a pancake in the frying pan before taking a sip of his coffee.
“Andrei showed you Jonah’s fathers card, I noticed you got upset about that” He says and I nod.
“It’s not selfish” He says and I look at him, my eyebrows pinching because I never mentioned why it upset me.
“You said it was selfish and it was nothing, I know you meant you hoped he didn’t have a family because you were hoping he could stay, it’s not selfish. It’s not selfish to be willing to love someone else’s child, it’s the most selfless thing
you could do, raise and love a child that’s not yours and love them like they are. And you know what?”
“I hope we don’t find any relatives either, You and Andrei would be good parents to that little boy and it isn’t selfish for wanting to be ” Derrick says and smile.
“I think it may take some convincing for Andrei though, if he doesn’t have family and he can stay” I tell him.
“Na, Andrei wants him too, he is just too scared to admit it because the boy drives him crazy but I don’t think he would need much convincing, Anthony raised him right and he would be a good dad”
“You are a good man Derrick, I am glad you are in Andrei’s life now” I tell him meaning every word, I could see why Kat was such an amazing person, selfless and I knew she would make a great Queen. Knew she would put her pack before her own wants.
“Na, far from. But I am trying to make up for it now, even if it means I die trying to make it up to my kids, because both of them I hurt the most, the two people I never should have let down” He says with a shrug.
“For Shirley?” I ask confused as to how he hurt Kat.
“No, I walked out on her too after Shirley died. I came back thanks to Andrei but I still left when I shouldn’t have, I know better now. I will always choose my kids happiness over mine no matter the cost, I won’t fail them again” He says.
“Can you grab the ice-cream, dinner is done” Derrick says, holding up a huge pile of choc chip pancakes. I chuckle, grabbing the ice -cream while Derrick dishes dinner out onto plates.
“Speaking of my son, where the hell is he?” Derrick asks when I realize Andrei never came back from brushing his teeth. I try to feel for him through the bond but he blocks me out making my brows pinch. Derrick hands me the plates and I place them on the table.
“Andrei dinners done! ” Derrick yells out the kitchen door while I place the last plate down.
“Andrei?” Derrick says, his voice trembles almost like he is scared before he wanders out of sight. I walk over to the door and stick my head out to see Derrick stop at the stairs.
“Son? Why didn’t you say you were out here?” Derrick says and I step further out to see Andrei was sitting on the bottom step with his head in hands and well within hearing distance.
“I’m sorry Andrei I didn’t mean to upset you, have you been here the entire time?” Derrick says cupping the back of Andrei’s neck.
“I’m sorry, I had Shirley killed” Andrei says and Derrick’s face crumbles slightly in pain and he swallows looking at the ceiling before looking back at Andrei.
“Not as sorry as I am for leaving you, you don’t need to apologise to me Andrei, we have all done some messed up shit, but I don’t deserve your apology but I hope you accept mine, because I mean it son, I will never make that mistake again. I will never abandon you again” Derrick tells him before grasping his face in both hands and forcing Andrei to lift his head from his hands.
“I swear on my life son, I will make it up to you, ”
“Now come on, I made dinner, so let’s hug it out in a manly way. I know you don’t like hugs and need to keep up this cold Alpha appearance” Derrick says, making Andrei chuckle.
“I never said I don’t like hugs” He says standing up and embracing him.
“Oh so it’s just my hugs you try to escape, too old t hug dear old dad” Derrick laughs hugging him back and rubbing his back.
“Something like that” I hear Andrei say as I slip back into the kitchen out of sight. I quickly sat down, pretending I wasn’t listening.
“Now that Jonah, he is really something right?” I hear Derrick say as they walk into the kitchen and Andrei huffs and doesn’t answer before pecking my cheek as he sits besides me.