The little ones were playing in the hallway chasing each other through the open areas. As soon as they saw me they started walking really fast instead of running. Rider was laying on the ground staring up at the ceiling while the kids piled on top of him.
“Where are Lake and Matt?” I asked.
Drake giggled. “Is go get ’em,” he said and squiggled off to find his brother.
Alex slipped into our room and was waking Quinn up.
“Come on. Ice-cream time,” I said. The kids were all happy and screaming ice-cream when we reached the kitchen. Rider was in the fridge pulling out the ice cream, all the flavors, he balanced them effortlessly in his arms as he set them on the counter. I pulled enough bowls out for everyone and then some, and Cass was getting the spoons.
Alex had his arm around Quinn protecting her and guiding her towards us. “Hey guys, I’d like to introduce you to Quinn. She’s Alex’s daughter and your new sister.” I handed Quinn a bowl. “Help yourself Quinn while the rest introduce themselves.”
Cass rushed around the corner of the bar and wrapped herself around Quinn’s legs. “You were right Hunter, you were right.” Cass let her go and held out her hand. “I’m Cassidy.”
Hunter raised his hand. “I’m her twin, Hunter.” A fact they were both proud of.
Drake sat down on the stool. “Is Drake.”
Matt was holding Laker’s hand as they walked into the kitchen. “I’m Matt, and this is Laker.”
Rider chimed in, “And I’m Rider, Lake is my twin.”
Quinn laughed, “There are lots of twins here.”
“Daddy’s a twin, and Grammy was a twin.”
“Grammy?” I asked.
Laker laughed, “That’s what they decided to call Mom.”
“Okay then.” I smiled at Quinn. “Twins run in my family.”
Quinn looked at me. “Can I have a little of all of them?”
Rider was there, “Absolutely.” He dished Quinn up a little bit of ice-cream from each container and offered her whip cream and sprinkles.
“Ice-cream?” Alex asked.
“I figured it was big step in welcoming her. Who doesn’t love ice-cream?” I pulled Alex aside. “I have to meet the supernatural leaders, I need you there with me.”
“Midnight, central park.”
“So the vampires can be there?” Alex asked.
I nodded. “Yeah. That okay?”
“I’ll be there. Do you want to share the other news?”
“Do you?” I asked.
And really I didn’t have much warning before Alex put two fingers to his mouth and blew. I couldn’t whistle like that, no one had ever taught me and I never really cared to learn to cat call either.
All the kids turned to look at us. Alex grabbed my hand and held it up. Laker was the first to notice and he was wrapping his arms around us. The rest of them all joined in, Rider asking, “Is it official now?”
I shrugged. “He asked so yeah, I guess it is.”
Quinn was off by the bar still watching so I held out my hand to her. “Join the hug.”
She shook her head. I was going to go get her myself but it was Cass who wiggled out from between Matt and the rest of the pack and took her hand. “Come on, sis. It’s a family hug, everyone has to be in it to be a family hug.”
I apologized. “It’ll probably take a bit of getting used to Quinn, but most of us here kinda like the big group hugs and sleeping together. It’s the pack blood in us.”
Quinn followed Cass and she wrapped her arm around her sister and Rider tugged her in against him. It wouldn’t always be a ‘forced’ hug, but they wanted to include her, she was family.
“Go eat your ice-cream, before it melts,” I said quickly and just like that the hug broke and there was chatter in the kitchen. Rider was whispering to Quinn when she asked, “What do you mean pack blood.”
“That’s a long story. Can get a bit intense,” Rider said. “I don’t even know if I believe it.”
“It makes sense,” I said. “I’ve always liked touch, it made people stay away from me as a kid.”
“Dad and Mom were overjoyed we liked to cuddle even now, Dad would be surprised Lake and I would curl up next to him to watch tv,” Rider said with a smile. “I think this would freak him out a little though.”
“I’m sure it scares Quinn a little to,” I said.
Alex chuckled, “Well tell us the story.”
“So my, our, Mom was little when it happened. They were camping in the mountains and a wolf pack attacked them. They killed everyone but Mom, she’d been bitten but the Venatori that killed the wolves took her in. He stayed with her until the next full moon but Mom didn’t change. So they thought that was the end of it. But turns out there is a rare condition that lets a human carry the theranthropy mutations and pass them on to their offspring. And since I’m half Venatori I don’t change. Cass and Hunter should be good. But Laker and Rider they might. But we really didn’t know they had it until Matt came into Lake’s life. And they sort of bonded for life like werewolves to. Since none of us are pack, none of us really understand the laws governing packs. We will be remedying that.”
“Wait,” Quinn said, “You’re talking about werewolves? What’s Venatori? Dad, are they crazy?”
Alex shook his head with a wide smirk. “Crazy yes, but it’s all true. Just like you can walk dreams and listen to people’s thoughts.” Alex looked at me. “Well do your thing.”
I rolled my eyes and started juggling four colored balls, fire, air, earth and water, round and round, but I never touched them, they just spun in front of me. Quinn’s eyes were wide “Magic is real too.”
Cass held a bubble of water in her hands. “I can do it too. Hunter’s not so good.”
Drake had a simple flame dancing above his hand. “I can too. See!”
Quinn looked around. “Can all of you do magic?”
Matt laughed. “No.” He touched Drake’s flame and the patterns vanished. He moved to Cass’ bubble and he jerked it out of his hands and it popped on the edge of the counter splashing water everywhere. “Opps.”
“I got it,” I said and in an instant it was gone, everything was as dry as it had been before.
Quinn blinked at us with awe. Hunter held his arms up to me and I lifted the boy. He curled around me. “Bad dream?”
He shook his head. “Yes.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked.
Hunter shook his head. “No, be careful tonight.”
Rider patted Hunter on the back. “You need to tell someone, kiddo, you can tell me okay? If you can’t tell Dad.”
Hunter pulled away to look at his uncle, tapped me on the shoulder. “This is Daddy.” He pointed at Alex, “That’s Dad.” He looked to Alex with a smile, “If that’s okay?”
“Do you want to call me Dad?” Alex asked. “You don’t have to.”
“But you are aren’t you. You are gonna marry Daddy and you can’t be a Mommy. And two Daddy’s would get confusing. Quinn calls you Dad too.”
“Quinn calls me a lot of things. But you can call me whatever you want.”
Hunter giggled and held his arms out to Alex and Alex too him. Hunter wrapped himself around Alex like he had me. “I like Dad,” he said. “I love you.” I think I saw a tear in Alex’s eye fall to his cheek. And I loved seeing him with Hunter. Cass was always with Alex, but there was something about him caring for Hunter. Maybe it was because Hunter reminded me of me.