By: Rosa Swann
I can’t believe what Logan’s parents have done. Not only are they trying to fight the will, but they took Maddy away from Sterling. I’ll fight them every step of the way, because Maddy is my family too now.
Maddy is gone. They took her. I can’t believe they’d resort to low tactics like this. What do they really want? And will my mating with Wilder help or hinder getting Maddy back? No matter what, Maddy and Wilder are both my family and I’m not giving up.
I can’t believe it. I can’t believe how they’d take Maddy away. How they can rationalise this in a way that makes people believe them.
Can’t they see it? Can’t anyone see that they’re just out to hurt us? They don’t care about Maddy, they’ve never cared about her. How do I know? Because they never cared about Sarah. There is no reason for them to even be interested in a Beta child. None.
I hold Sterling tightly. I can’t let him go right now. I can’t do anything but hold him. His sobbing form fits against my body so that I can protect him any way that is needed. I don’t care anymore. I don’t care what people think when they see us.
They took Maddy. There is nothing worse that they can do now.
I hear another car come up the driveway and Sterling tenses in my arms.
“No.” His voice is broken. “I don’t want to see anyone.”
The car stops and quick footsteps make their way over to the door. “Wilder? Sterling?” It’s Sarah. Of all people, it’s Sarah.
Sterling shakes his head. “No. No.”
Then the footsteps disappear down the side of the house and I hear the creaking of the gate in the wall, then the back door.
“Sterling? Wilder?” Sarah walks into the kitchen and then comes into the hallway.
When she sees us, she stumbles for a moment, then she comes over, her face streaked with tears as she kneels down and wraps her arms around us.
“I came as soon as I heard. I can’t believe they did this.” Her voice is soft. “I can’t believe they’d go this far.”
“Why?” Sterling looks up and the pain in his eyes hurts so much. “Why would they take Maddy?”
Sarah shakes her head. “I have no idea. I don’t know why they’d go this far either.”
I know why and I’m pretty sure Sarah must know it too. This is revenge. This is revenge for me not staying out of their lives. This is revenge for losing Logan. This is revenge for me standing up to them a couple of days ago.
Another car comes up the driveway and we all still for a moment. Then Sarah’s phone beeps.
“A text from Lilly. They’re here.” Sarah stands up.
“Lilly?” Sterling looks at me.
“My sister.” Then I realise what Sarah said. “They?”
“I think she may have taken your parents with her.” She looks through the little hole in the door as footsteps come up. “Yep.”
“Fuck.” Sterling starts to scramble, but I hold him tight. “I can’t meet your family looking like this.”
“I don’t care. I can’t let you go right now.” I pull him closer, then shoot a look at Sarah. “Tell them to go away.” I don’t want to see my family, not now, not in this state, not when Logan’s parents have fucked us over again.
“I’m not going to.” Sarah’s voice is stern as she opens the door. Luckily, we’re behind the door so we’re out of immediate view.
“Are they here?” I’m not sure what I expected, but not my mother’s voice sounding so broken.
My tears start all over again, and I can’t stop them. “Mum?”
“Wilder.” She pushes past Sarah and takes us in her arms. I’m not sure why, but this feels safe, this feels like I’m just a little boy again, even if for a little while. “That family… How can they keep hurting everyone?”
Lilly stands in the doorway, looking down at us, also in tears. Next to her is my dad, he’s not crying, but I know that he’s close too. Fuck.
“Come on.” Mum starts pushing at us. “Let’s get you at least to a more comfortable place.”
We slowly get up. Sterling keeps close to me and I hold him tight. I navigate us towards the living room and we crawl onto the couch, Sterling almost sitting in my lap.
“Oh, my dear.” Mum puts her hand on Sterling’s back. “How can they hurt you so much? There’s a limit to how much pain they should be allowed to inflict on a person. What happened?”
Sterling shakes his head, pushing against me.
“He picked up Maddy from school and… They started working in the garden when people drove up here. Logan’s parents with some official-looking people. They were… scary.” I still don’t know how everything exactly happened, especially since I don’t even know what happened upstairs.
Just that it wasn’t good. When they came back down…
No, when Maddy was carried down those stairs like some sort of thing, not a human being…
I just lost it. I couldn’t watch it happen. But that’s probably why they brought the other Alphas with them, in case something went wrong, in case someone resisted.
“Sterling?” Sarah kneels in front of him. “Can you say something? Can I get you something?”
“I want… I want Maddy back.” The loud sob makes me wrap my arms around him tighter, pulling him as close as possible, protecting him so no one can hurt him again.
The room is silent until Sterling has calmed down a little.
Mum taps my shoulder. “Can I talk to you for a moment?”
“I…” I don’t want to let Sterling go, not now.
“Just a moment.” She looks at the way I hold Sterling and I’m pretty sure I know what this is about.
“Okay. Star… I’m going to move. I’ll be right back.” I whisper against him and he shakes his head, not letting me go. “Just a little while.” I take his hands and he grasps onto me tightly.
“Please, don’t?” He shakes a little.
Dad steps closer. He kneels down next to Sterling. “I’m here. I know you don’t know me, but I’m here. I’ll help.”
Sterling finally looks up, and I’m not sure what he sees in Dad’s eyes, in his face, but he nods and takes Dad’s outstretched hands.
I slide from around Sterling and walk in front of Mum to the kitchen.
Her eyes go around the space before she closes the door. “I’m getting… flashbacks here.”
“I know. It was weird for me too.” If there is someone who realises how weird this situation is, it’s me. “You wanted to talk?”
“What happened between you and Sterling?” She looks at me intensely.
“I…” I don’t want to lie, but how can I deny what’s going on in this situation?
“I know he was mated to Logan before, but did you mate him too?”
“What? How?” How would she even think to ask that? Are we that obvious? “How could that even happen?”
“It happens. It’s rare, but it happens. One Omega, two Alphas. One Alpha, two Omegas. Stuff like that. It happens.” She comes closer, reaching out. “I know you mated Logan. Like, marked and all. It wouldn’t be a huge leap to think that that connection may work in a threesome way.”
“I…” I don’t know how to answer her now, my body suddenly so much lighter. We’re not weird, this happens more often, apparently.
“So, yes?” She puts her hand on my chest, and I wonder if I’m imagining the sadness in her eyes.
“Yes. I mated him too. Why?”
“Just wanted to make sure I didn’t misunderstand the situation. When?”
“The day after Logan’s funeral. He went into heat.” I don’t want to think about this. I don’t want to think about that right now when everything is such a mess.
“Do you love him?”
“Would it change anything?”
“Not for me, but maybe for you.” She looks at me. “You deserve to be happy.”
“Right now. That’s not something I have control over.” I push myself off the table. “I’m going back to Sterling.” I have my hand on the doorknob when my mum speaks again.
That feeling in my chest? How I can’t be without him? How I want to be at his side every second of every day?
Yeah, I think that this feeling is called love.
“We’ll fight. We’re getting Maddy back and we’re making sure that Logan’s family can’t hurt you again. You’re not alone in this. We may not be Alphas, but that doesn’t mean that we have no power.” She smiles a little, putting her hand on my back. “Go back to him. He needs you.”
When I open the door, Lilly comes from the living room, wrapping her arms around me, pulling me close. “I’m so sorry I didn’t come talk to you sooner.”
I wrap my arms around her too. “It’s okay. There was no way you could have known.”
It’s not like we’ve been close. We’ve both been trying so hard to live our own lives that we stopped staying in touch… And me losing myself so much after Logan left… It can’t have been easy on her either.
“I should have. I’m your sister.” She huffs.
“You called me when it mattered. That’s what counts.”
She called me to tell me about Logan’s funeral. Without her, I wouldn’t have known at all. I may at some point have cursed her for that, but no more. There’s no reason to curse her for that. I know that she did what she thought was best. What she thought would be the best thing to do with the information she got from Sarah.
I make my way into the living room and Sterling’s eyes are on me immediately, the pain in them breaking my heart into a million pieces. I want to help him. I need to help him. There isn’t anything in the world more important right now.
I sit back down on the couch and Sterling curls up against me again, holding me tight. I wrap my arms around him as I look around the room. Everyone apart from us are Betas, they sort of understand the situation we’re in, but they’ll never fully understand the mating bond we have.
Then my eyes meet Sarah’s. “Do you know what they’re up to?”
She shakes her head. “After I stayed behind, when they left last weekend… They’ve not been telling me anything. Sure, mum still talks to me a little, but only because she doesn’t know what else to do. Dad won’t let her say anything that is actually useful. I’m not even sure she knows exactly what he’s up to.”
“Fuck.” I curse and my mum makes a disapproving sound. How those habits stick, even after these years.
“What can we do? Can we report them to the police? Can we talk to anyone?” I thought trying to get the will worked out and trying to get the house in our name was going to be hard. But how are we supposed to fight them over Maddy?
“I don’t think the police will be useful.” My dad sits on the coffee table in front of us. Luckily, it’s a hard wooden one. “They got people involved way above that level. You’ve dealt with people who are the type of people the police will hand these types of cases to.”
“Then what?” I want to do something.
“Did they give you papers? Anything?”
I try to remember what happened exactly, but the only thing that I can remember is how they treated Sterling and Maddy. How they were forced to do things against their will. And how I lost control of myself and hit one of the guys… “I don’t know.”
Behind me, I hear footsteps down the hallway, and then coming back to the living room. Then, Mum’s voice. “They left some papers on the table in the hallway. I guess they didn’t feel like actually handing them to you…”
She gives Dad the envelope and he pulls some papers out. I don’t know what it says, just that it’s filled with words and that I can’t read it from here.
“So…” Dad starts. “Logan’s parents have invoked their rights as the Alpha’s family to take care of any of the Alpha’s children in the case of a death. It’s ancient, but legal.”
He looks over some other pages. “This is generally invoked in cases where the Omega is mentally unstable, especially after the death of a loved one. Or where the Omega is otherwise incapacitated, for example when they’re addicted to drugs or similar issues. This…”
He sighs, frowning, his voice going almost angry with frustration. “They say they’re invoking it because of the presence of an ‘unknown and unmated’ Alpha who supposedly is a threat to the child. I guess if you get the right judge… But it’s not how this ruling is generally used.”
He skims a couple more pages. “This family… When will they stop doing these things? When will they stop hurting people for the sake of wanting to appear strict? For the sake of wanting to appear superior over other families?”
In my arms, I feel Sterling become heavier. “I’m getting Sterling to bed. He needs to rest.”
“I…” Sterling looks up at me, but he’s about to start crying again and I know he’s trying his hardest not to. “Okay.” He stands up and I follow him to the downstairs bedroom.
In there, I take him in my arms, pulling him tightly against me. “It’s better if you go to sleep now. I know it’ll be hard, but you need to think about the life inside you too. At least try to get some rest.”
“Wild…” Sterling looks up, seeking out my lips with his.
I dive in, hoping to make him forget, even for a second. The kiss is sloppy, but it’s not about being sexy, it’s about being there for my mate.
When he breaks away, tears are already dripping down his cheeks. “Will you be here soon?”
“I’ll come back as soon as I can, okay?” I’m just not sure when that will be.
“Okay.” Sterling quickly strips and climbs in bed.
I kneel next to the bed, looking at him closely. “You’re very important to me. Please, don’t ever forget that.”
“You too. Don’t forget it. And Maddy…” His voice breaks. “Maddy too.”
“Yes. Maddy too. We’re going to get her back.” I kiss his cheek and stand up. I don’t want to leave him, but there isn’t anything about it. I can’t just leave my family in the living room, and I need them to fix things. “Rest. I’ll be back as soon as possible.”
Sterling doesn’t answer me, but I can see his broken form in the bed. God. Again…
I close the door behind me quietly and walk back to the living room. There, I’m met by a lot of curious looks.
“So?” Dad stands up. “I think we need a little explanation right about now.”
Fuck. That was too obvious, wasn’t it? It’s one thing for Mum to know, it’s another thing to basically be caught by your whole family…