Pressing my lips in a line, I walked over to them, where they were harassing the receptionist.
“Why are you in my territory?” I snap at him, and h e turns his attention away from the girl behind the counter that looks relieved.
“Your doctors wouldn’t answer my questions, and one hung up on my wife, ” John says, pointing an accusing finger at me.
“Your point being?”
“She is our f*cking daughter,” he snarled.
“What, now she is your daughter because you had no issues disowning her?” I snap at him, and he glares at me.
“Leave!” I tell him, and he growls. Ava grips my arm, and I pull mine away.
“Please,” she says, and I look at her. I know Everly didn’t have issues with her sister, hurt by the fact she never continued their relationship, but she didn’t blame Ava. Her father. However, she had washed her hands of after what he did.
“You can come to see her. You remain here,” I tell her father, who growls before Ava looks up at him. ” Please, dad,” he sighs. I raise an eyebrow at him to see if he would challenge me on this, but he nods to her, and I tell her the room number before she goes to duck up the stairs.
“Give this to my father and son,” I tell her, giving her the paper bag and one coffee. She nods quickly, taking it and heading up to see her sister.
Sipping my coffee, John stalks off to the cafeteria and orders his own. I received a text from my father asking if it was alright that Ava just got there or if he should make her leave. I replied that it was fine and that I would back up soon before placing my phone in my pocket.
“I’m not here looking for trouble, Valen, ” John says when I come up behind him.
“Good because if you are, you just found it, ” I tell him. He glares at the barista, who rushes around quickly, making his coffee.
“Why are you here?” I ask him. “She is my daughter,”
“Bullsh*t, you didn’t care that she was your daughter when she fell pregnant with my son,” I tell him, pulling a chair out at a nearby table. The barista hands him his coffee, and he pulls out the other. The entire cafeteria falls silent, and I look around to find it empty except for the barista, who stood staring wide-eyed at us, sitting at a table together.
“Tell me the real reason, or leave. I will drop Ava back at your borders later, and who let you cross?” I ask him.
“Nobody, I just drove in. You dropped your border patrols, remember for the rogues, ” he says, and I had forgotten entirely. I nod, sipping my coffee and sitting back in my chair. I could tell he was uncomfortable.
“I won’t let you ruin her again,” I tell him.
“I didn’t ruin her. You did. She was a good kid; I had no issues with her growing up until you got your filthy hands on her,” he snarled.
“Yet you have no issues trying to palm your other daughter off to me, so what is it you want?”
“Nothing, I am just here to check on her,”
“I don’t believe you,” I tell him, pinching the bridge of my nose.
“There it is. You aren’t here to check on Everly at all. You want something, ” I tell him.
“Your father and I had a deal; he broke it, “
“A f*cking deal for what? I marry Ava. Then what?”
“We have an alliance, that’s what.” My brows furrow at his words.
“I don’t buy it; you’re hiding something, ” I argue. John sighs, scrubbing a hand down his face.
“How is she?” he asked, drinking from his cup. “Alive, and now marked, “
“So she is awake?” I shake my head.
“No, not yet,” I answer, leaning forward and bracing my arms on the table. I scratched my beard that was growing. I felt d***y but actually didn’t mind how it looked. Though as soon as I got my hands on a razor, it was going.
“The other girl, Emma, Emery?” he asks, and I could see he was trying to make small talk.
“Emily?” I ask.
“Yes, that one,”
“She lost a leg, and they aren’t sure she will make it. Emily isn’t strong enough to fight off the infection.”
“She never found her mate?” John asks.
“She is rogue. What do you think?”
“I know she is rogue, goddamn it, I’m just saying she might stand a chance if she had one,” John snapped at me.
“As far as I know, she hasn’t, and since when do you care about rogues?” I ask.
“I don’t,” he says, folding his arms across his chest and staring at me. His eyes run over me before they flick away.
“You look like sh*t,” he says.
“And you look old, time to retire, don’t you think?” I retort, and John scoffs.
“This is the last time I am asking; you don’t answer, you can leave. Why are you really here, John?” he scowled before looking at me.
“It scared me seeing her like that; I thought they k****d her,” John says.
“And where is your wife, Claire?” I ask him, and he looks at the table.
“Staying with her friend, we had an argument,” he says.
“Over Everly?” he nods.
“So what you thought, coming here would patch things up with your mate?”
“No, yes, but no. I just wanted to make sure Everly is alright, “
“Because now you realize she isn’t a rogue w***e?” I ask him.
“How the f*ck was I supposed to know?” he snarled at me, gripping the edge of the table.
“That is one thing I don’t get,” I tell him, watching the man that is supposed to be my father-in -law.
“What?” he asks.
“Since finding her and my son, what I don’t get as a father is how you could look at your own flesh and blood, the child you raised, and turn your back on her like she meant nothing. Turf her out and abandon her; I would k**l for my kid. There is no way I would abandon him,” I snap at him.
“You don’t know what you are talking about; I was protecting her!” he snarls.
“Protecting her? Are you f****g serious? She was living in her car with a newborn f****g baby, choosing between food for herself and f*cking diapers. Don’t give me that c**p, John!” I tell him before standing up.
“You are a sh*tty excuse for a father and a man,” I spit at him before turning to leave.
“Because you are such a great one yourself. You didn’t even know Valarian existed for how long Valen, and what of your father, perfect f*cking example there after what he did to your mother, ” John sneers, and I stop turning back to face him.
“The mother that raised your daughter when you refused to. My father knows he f*cked up. At least he admits it and is trying to make up for it, you… you… You just look elsewhere to blame, and me. I wish every god d**n day I was there, even if she wasn’t my mate. I would have taken her as one had I known her or known she had my son.” John curses, shaking his head.
“You see her as your biggest shame, John, when you should have seen her as your daughter and for who she is?”
“Because you are suddenly an expert on my daughter. She wasn’t some sweet, innocent little girl. She got herself knocked up,” he said.
“You’re right; she got herself knocked up with my help. It takes two people to create a baby, John, so why are the women only punished for it? It is sickening, but as much as I hate you for what you did, I suppose I should thank you also, ” I tell him, and he scoffs.
“Because she turned out great in spite of you, you showed her what not to do, and I can’t wait for her to bring this city to god d**n knees,” I growl. 1
“Ha, ha. You fool, you may own half this city Valen, but Everly wouldn’t know the first thing about running a pack, a business, yes, but a pack. She was a f*cking rogue. Ava would have.” John tries to argue.
“Ava is not my mate, and I would never choose her over Everly. And a pack. You b****y idiot. Her pack outnumbers all of ours.”
“Great, now I have heard it all.” John laughs. “Your numbers are only 300 or 400 hundred bigger than mine. You may have more people, but I have alliances you don’t have, Valen. Think with your f*cking head,” John snaps, standing up.
“Try l000 more than yours, John. You want to go to war over me refusing to marry Ava, so be it, but you won’t win, and I will gladly watch her destroy you, take everything from you.”
“Pft, you idiot, you do not know what you have done. War, you have seen nothing of the war that will be headed our way. You need my pack,” John tells him.
“What f*cking war? I don’ t need an alliance with you because I have Everly’s; They will fight alongside mine. You are forgetting something John. Everly isn’t just an Alpha. She was also rogue. I have come to realize that they have more guts than any pack I have known, including my own. They band together, forced to survive and rely on each other,” I tell him, stepping closer.
“The rogue population outnumbers any pack when banded together, and guess who just opened their borders up? Guess who has her army, and she didn’t even realize it..”
“Everly does,” John laughs. “Their rogues Valen, pull your head out of your a*s. She can’t control them.”
“She doesn’t need to control them, John. They are family. Everly has done more for the rogues than any Alpha has in this city, so when push comes to shove, who do you think they will stand behind an Alpha?” I laughed.
“No, they will fight for the woman that gave them a fighting chance? Do you think she isn’t Alpha material? She has her own land. That hotel is solely owned by her. Everly didn’ t just build a business;
she built a pack. She has more members than any of us. Now last I checked pack counts, my pack is the largest at 847. the rogue population is well over a thousand, “
“Means nothing, Valen, and you know it. Unless she can get those laws changed, nothing in this city will change. Your merry band of rogue-w****s wants to stand behind you more fool them, it’s a quick way to become forsaken, ” he says, and I stop.
He laughed as I turned back to face him. “You forget, any rogue that steps out of line receives instant banishment. They are already the dregs of society. Her being your luna won’t change that. You own half the city, but you don’t own the council. It will never pass in the courts. Everly would be attempting the impossible. This city doesn’t want things to change; she won’t succeed. All she will do is start a war she can’t win.” John claims.
“She will win, John. I know Everly, she won’t give up until she does,” I tell him when Ava comes back down. I turn to look over my shoulder. She had
tears in her eyes. “Everly, is okay, she..” Ava shakes her head before glaring at her father. “This is your fault,” she snaps at him. John growls at her words.
“Get in the car. You don’t speak to me like that,” John snaps at her, and she shakes her head at him before stalking off, leaving me with John.
“Tell Everly to ring her mother when she wakes up, ” John says, and I nod. He turns to walk away, then pauses.
“And tell her I stopped by, I meant what I said, Valen. War is coming. Make sure you aren’t on the wrong side of it, ” he says before walking off. I stared after him, wondering what he was talking about.