Epilogue - River Part One
The last six months have gone so fast. It feels like just yesterday that Leo and I marked each other. And while it feels like time has been on fast forward, it only feels that way because I’m so damn happy. Life is fucking good. It just keeps getting better. So let me catch you up.
First SEX! A LOT of sex! Call me a hornball all you want, but the best week of my life was at the Walterson cottage during Leo’s heat. We didn’t get dressed the whole time because it was pointless as we’d be fucking an hour or so later. I appreciate that the Walterson family let us use the cottage. Leo sent them a lovely gift basket in thanks.
Sex outside of the time we used the cottage was a bit complicated. Sage ended up moving their bed to the basement, saying they didn’t want to live on the same floor as three fucking, and they meant that in more than one way, couples. But it worked out for us because Leo and I had room to ourselves. The downside was still sharing not only a wall but a bathroom with Austin and Suzie.
I think they only moved into Austin’s old room after he and Suzie moved out because they wanted more access to a full bathroom, and dad was not going to turn the half bath in the basement into a full bath or at least three-fourths to add a shower.
Yes, thank Goddess Austin, and Suzie moved out after their wedding. No offense to my bro and sis, I love them, but this house was not going to be big enough for seven people.
Let’s see what else has happened. Oh, Leo went and got their name changed. They are officially Leo Carlisle. As soon as we are both legal, I’ll make that not just because I marked them but because legally, we’re married. I don’t know how the mate mark usually works—I thought it was based on your family. Yet the mark on Leo’s delectable neck is the same one dad has. So they have the eclipse symbol special to mom’s new moon wolf. I think it’s great cause the less connecting me to sperm donor, the better.
Leo’s been doing well here. They’ve found Bloodmoon is a super accepting and supportive pack making friends left and right. Everybody likes them because they are this little bubble gum ball of sunshine. And I’m glad they are making friends, and I don’t get too growly when males are friends with them because I know in Bloodmoon, the mate bond is sacred, and nobody would fuck around with someone else’s mate.
Beyond making friends, Leo has been getting their first real chance to learn to fight. They loved all the training. Even if the training on top of going to high school leaves them tired at the end of the night. I keep telling them not to push themselves too hard, but they figure they’re already behind others their age cause of Silvermane’s bullshit. So they are working double time to catch up.
I can’t say much. I remember what it was like when I first shifted and had to play catch up on all things werewolf, including training. Plus, I get to be part of Leo’s training - I’m all in for any excuse to touch them. Lunar and Storm have been getting along great and training in wolf form and their powers. Storm was so accurately named as she can generate and change the weather. It’s freaking wild.
We’ve had zilch contact with anyone in their family. The only time we hear anything about Silvermane, in general, is through David. He only brought it up once to say that the wolves turning on the February full moon, of all genders, were being allowed to attend gatherings to find their true mates. It’s good to know the fear of our grumpy-looking short stack Alpha makes others fall into line.
Don’t tell Alpha Logan I called him a grumpy-looking short stack. I like being alive and having sex with Leo.
So that has us all caught up to the present. What’s happening in the exciting present? Well, it’s pride month, and here in Portland, we do that shit up. I can’t wait to share it all with Leo. But there’s something extra special about tonight’s event. We are making a special trip to Club Enigma to see a band called Revolution of Death.
What’s so special about that? For starters Revolution of Death is an all-supernatural band that plays some eccentric shit ranging from jazz to punk. David turned Sage and me on to them a while back. Sage is into their sound and excited to see them live. Now for the part that makes visiting this band more exciting for me.
David tracked down Leo’s bio dad. He’s in Revolution of Death as the drummer! Leo wasn’t sure if they wanted to meet him, but they figured maybe he could fill in some gaps on what happened. Not like their cunt-bag mom was going to talk about the man. And he’s in a fantastic band, so he must be where Leo gets all their fabulous genes.
So the three of us are headed to Enigma. Not an easy task to make our way through the crowds of the pride festival. I’ve got my hand tightly in Leo’s so I don’t lose them in the crowd. Plus, I want them close. I know how hot they look in their bubble gum pink and black checkered cross-back dress with black leggings and combat boots that show off how perfect their body is. And while my mark is on their neck, it doesn’t mean a thing to the humans we are passing.
“Where’s Sage?” Leo questioned, pulling me to a stop.
I furrowed my brow looking around for my purple-haired twin. Usually, you’d think they’d be hard to miss in a crowd with their purple hair. But today, they are harder to spot in their black long sleeve crop top hoodie with a custom wolf design on the sleeves, black pleated skirt where the pleats are different colors of the rainbow, rainbow knee-high socks, with black and rainbow platform boots.
‘Sage, where did you go?’ I called out through the link, not wanting to waste time. David arranged for us to meet Leo’s dad before their set, and I didn’t want us to be late.
“TASTE THE RAINBOW, MUTHA FUCKA!!” A familiar voice shouted as I saw a protest sign launched into a crowd of close-minded fucks who can’t just leave people alone to have a good time and be themselves.
“I think they are in that direction antagonizing protestors.” I pointed across the sea of people.
“Shouldn’t we get them?” Leo frowned, casting a worried glance in the direction of my twin, who was now visible in the crowd. “Whoa, who’s that?” Leo blinked as we both noticed a dark-haired person in a suit that I would say is straight out of the 1920s come up behind Sage, running their hand over the back of my twin’s leg and stopping at the edge of their skirt.
“I’ll kill whoever it is,” I growled, feeling protective of my twin. Sage can handle themselves, but they are demisexual and don’t react well to crossed boundaries.
“I… I don’t think that’s necessary.” Leo blinked, as shocked as me, when Sage turned and smirked instead of hitting the person. They were too far away to hear what was being said, but I feel Sage isn’t in danger.
‘Go meet Leo’s dad. I… I just found my mate. So I might be a bit.’ Sage advised through our link.
‘Holy SHIT! Way to go!’ I shouted back, happy for them. No more being the seventh wheel in our family.
‘We can’t wait to meet them and get all the details later. Find us at Enigma.’ Leo instructed, tugging my arm and pulling me through the crowd. Knowing it was their mate made me feel more relaxed about leaving Sage behind.
“Doors don’t open for another hour and a half. So you want in, get in line.” A bouncer stepped in our way, folding their beefy arms.
“We’re here to meet the drummer of Revolution of Death. Um, Darby, that’s what David called him. Tell him Carlisle is here.” I explained.
The bouncer narrowed his eyes at me but pulled out his phone, turning slightly away from us to mumble some words to whoever answered. He was keeping the call real quiet. I guess they know we’re wolves. “Go inside. He’s waiting.” He snorted, pocketing the phone.
Epilogue - River Part Two
“Thanks.” Leo smiled and pulled me past him into the club.
I’ve been in this place with Leo since they moved out here. It has a very different vibe with all the house lights on and not filled with people and music. We scanned the room, and other than staff reading for opening, we only saw one person sitting at a booth. Their back was to us, but I guess that has to be him.
I furrowed my brow as we walked closer, and I couldn’t pick up the scent of a werewolf off the guy. I know that Leo isn’t a hybrid like Sage and me. They don’t have any of the unique markings associated with hybrids. So maybe we have the wrong guy after all. “Ahem. Are you Darby?” Leo jumped right in, tapping the guy on the shoulder.
They stepped back as the big guy lumbered out of the booth to greet us. He’s got a build like most werewolves I’ve met. And as I looked at his face, I saw a lot of Leo, especially their eyes. If this is Darby, how is that possible? Maybe he can hide his scent?
“Holy shit… you look just like mon mere.” Darby blinked. “Well, not the hair color. Though she’d probably pick a color like that if she were to dye it.”
“I…Hi. I’m Leo Carlisle. This is my mate, River Carlisle.” Leo nervously greeted them, offering their hand.
“Very nice to meet ya both. Though I suppose our meeting is a bit late and weird. Please take a seat, cher. I’m sure ya have plenty ya want to ask, and I got some questions of my own.” Darby smiled, gesturing us to the booth. He’s got a very cajun accent, so I guess Leo is from Louisiana.
“Thanks. How much did David tell you?” I asked, guiding Leo into the booth. The whole time Leo and Darby kept their eyes on each other. It was like they were studying their faces looking for every similarity that made them family.
“He told me a bit. Something about how I might have a kid in his pack.” Darby shrugged, getting back into the booth to sit across from us. “Suppose I better introduce myself properly. I’m Léonel Darby.”
Wait, his name is Leo too? Now that’s a sign of the universe, if there ever was one.
“What ya want to know? I don’t know what all your mere told you.” He frowned, folding his hands on the table.
“How? I mean, how is any of this possible? I mean, I know how conception works. But I mean, the way Silvermane is, the idea she stepped out on her mate sounds impossible. Yet I’m sitting here looking at a guy who is the source of much of my looks.” Leo questioned.
“Mate.” Léonel scoffed. “Theodore Hanley was a piece of fuck trash and never was her mate. Bastard took what was mine and what I got out of it? A broken heart, near-death experience, a life without my wolf or pack, and a drinking problem.”
“Whoa… that was a lot that you just word vomited. Can you back the truck up and maybe explain a little more?” I asked, wrapping an arm around Leo.
“I used to be a pack guard. I was to my pack, les Ombres Sanctifiées, what your David is to Bloodmoon. I was in Silverman a little over seventeen years ago with my Alpha and Luna. That’s when I met my mate June. She was a pretty little thing. She was a bit shy until I got her in private. I wanted to mark her on the spot and bring her home with me.” He sighed.
“But after our first night together, I’m about to mark her, and she tells me to stop. That she can’t be marked yet, she tells me her pack has traditions and needed to talk with her folks before taking that step.” He shrugged.
“I was raised as a respectful man. I would force myself on anybody. So I agreed for her to talk to them. But before I could hear their opinions, I had to go. My Alpha and theirs had not hit off, and they demanded we go. I told Jane I’d be back for her no matter what.” He frowned.
“But you never came back?” Leo frowned, sounding a bit hurt. They’re jumping to a conclusion, but I can get it. Their mom had a chance to be with her mate and leave Silvermane. Why wouldn’t she take it?
“Before I could get permission from my Alpha to return, I ended up in our pack hospital with pain so bad I thought my insiders were getting ripped out to be my outsides.” His expression turned dark.
“While fighting for my life, for my wolf, I could hear the doctors talking, telling my parents that my mate was stepping out. And when my wolf stopped talking to me, when I stopped being able to see him, I crashed. I was in a coma for months.” He clenched his hands together so tight his knuckles were turning white.
“I woke up by the spiteful love of the Goddess.” He scoffed. “To find I wasn’t a werewolf anymore. I’m a second-generation werewolf in the Darby line, and now I was basically human. Without my wolf, I couldn’t keep my role in the pack, and I didn’t want to stay among them, so I left. I went back to Silvermane. I wanted answers from Jane. I found her on Theodore’s arm with his mark on her neck and a baby in a stroller.”
“Oh, my goddess….” Leo gasped and covered their mouth with both hands, tears in their eyes. “But you never confronted them?”
“I was too angry and without my wolf, I would have ended up dead if I fought Theodore. Maybe I should’ve at least then I’d have been with my wolf. So I did the only thing I could. I drowned myself in liquor.” He frowned.
“That’s when Auðr. He’s a vampire and leads our band of supernatural misfits. It turns out he’s also my great great uncle that died way back. So he took pity on me and gave me a pack and a purpose with this band.” He sighed.
“And now I get a call through a few channels that I’ve got a kid who went through hell because they’re mine. I’m sorry for all that ya had to suffer living with them. If I’d stopped to consider that, ya could’ve been mine.” He shook his head.
“It’s okay. You were brokenhearted because of her and lost your wolf. Seeing them together made it worse, so of course, you’d assume I was his.” Leo assured him, reaching out to place their hand over his. “I can forgive you, father. It wasn’t your fault. We both suffered because of them but got this chance to know each other because we are free of them.”
“You’re right.” He nodded, smiling. “And I’d like to know you and your mate better. I’ll be in town for a bit for the festival. Auðr does love a gay pride festival. Between plenty of willing victims, he’s often got this pick of male company. Getting to know you will be a good distraction from having to watch my two times great uncle getting more tail than me.”
Leo and I both chuckled. “I would like that. However, I have to ask one thing. Can you accept me? I mean, as I am?” Leo frowned.
“What ya mean, cher? Ya look perfect from here. I’ll have to call my parents. They’ll be over the moon to know they have another grandbaby. All the Darbys back home will be thrilled to know I got a kid.” He smiled.
“Leo, I think he’s aware you’re non-binary. He’s only called you things like child and kid or cher this whole time.” I pointed out with a smile realizing their real dad was accepting.
“Yes, of course, I knew that. David told me. He’s very protective of you, Leo. I love that you have my name and that it was your choice. I always wanted to name Leo. And I promise no one in the Darby family or my old pack would ever think twice or give you a second of grief for being nonbinary. You’re kin, and they will love you exactly as you are.” He promised, squeezing Leo’s hand.
This was probably the best outcome we could’ve asked for. Leo has a family. They have a blood family that cares and accepts them. After our talk with him, I knew Leo was looking forward to taking a trip to Louisiana to meet the rest of the Darby werewolves. That night, finding out the truth about their family was only the tip of the surprise iceberg.
When Sage showed up with their mate, things got really crazy. But I can’t tell you about that. That’s for Sage to tell you themselves. I can tell you that for Leo and me, life only improved. The added love and support of the Darby wolves created a great environment for Leo to blossom.
It also made for one wild wedding when we married on New Year’s after Leo turned eighteen. And created a more extensive support system for when we started having babies. Don’t worry. We didn’t start popping them out too early.
Our twins, Edaline and Echo, were born the year after little Jenny, and we moved into the old Shelton family home. And two years after the twins, we welcomed baby number three, Juniper. And we couldn’t be happier with our family of five. I bet Dillon Shelton was rolling over in his grave to have us in his family home.