Three weeks later
“Remember, this summer project is fifty percent of your final graduation requirement.” Jeanette says at our end of the year assembly. Everyone in my graduating class sits in the front seven rows of the auditorium. “The first three sections, your twenties to your forties, is due at the beginning of your economics class in the fall. Pick your partner now and get started. Any questions?” This project is meant to prepare us for life after graduation. Basically it’s money management. it’s a lot of work which is why its so important to work on it over the summer. The thought of school work makes me groan. Like usual, everyone’s silent. I lean my head on Cameron’s shoulder, fully prepared to take a nap right here if this is going to take any longer. Thankfully it’s not. “No one? Okay. Get out of here. Any questions that come up over the summer can be emailed to your assigned eco teacher.” Everyone gets up at once and ushers out.
Summer starts early in Russell Springs, the first week of June, which is nice. At least for everyone else. For me, it’s working at my mom’s book store. I have no clue what they’re going to make Cameron do, but probably something to do with my dad. I’m dreading it.
“So, everyone’s going to the Dairy Shack.” Louis says as I’m emptying my locker.
“Okay?” I ask giving him a face. He never wants to do what the humans are doing. In fact, if they’re going one way he usually goes the other.
“Do you want to go?” He’s smiling, and actually looks quite excited. But the idea of dairy actually makes my stomach feel queasy. I glance at him, noticing how long his hair’s gotten. He needs to get it cut.
“Not feeling ice-cream.” I say honestly. His face falls. “But I mean, you can go.” He shakes his head.
“Hey,” Cameron says coming up behind me. He wraps his arms around my waste, and kisses my cheek.
“Lets get out of here,” Carissa says without stopping. Slamming my locker shut I swing my bag over my shoulder, trusting Cameron to get out of the way, and follow her towards the car.
′You okay?′ Cameron asks. ′You seem... punky.′ I only shrug. Punky isn’t the right word. Sick. Sick’s the right word. Cameron walks ahead of me, unlocking my car with the keys he’d somehow managed to swipe from my pocket. I stop, nearly causing a collision with Louis.
Before I even know what’s wrong Cameron has my arm and he’s pulling me forward until I’m at the hood of my car beside the side of the school.
And I vomit.
Louis is speaking but I can’t hear him, my hearing turning to white noise, before it comes back. Cameron’s blocking my view as he holds back my hair. No not my view. He’s hiding me from the others. I grip his arm as I hurl up my lunch and my breakfast.
′What do you need?′ He asks.
“Water.” Muttering an okay, he ushers me into the passenger seat of my car.
“Honey are you pregnant?” Carissa asks as she dives into the backseat. No filter on this one. Cameron noticeably stills as he digs in his backpack. Finding a bottle of water he hands it to me and gets quickly into the drivers seat. “I’m going to be an aunt, aren’t I?” Behind me Louis snorts.
“Car,” He starts. They start arguing, but I focus instead on Cameron, tuning out the group in the back seat.
‘Are you okay?’ I ask Cameron, though I’m the one that just vomited all over the cement. His knuckles are white on the steering wheel as he pulls out of the space.
′Yeah,′ He answers. ′Yeah of course.′ I watch him as he maneuvers the car, his face just as white as his knuckles. Why is it I don’t believe that he’s okay.
Laying my head back on the headrest, I watch as he drives the car, studying every little feature in his face. ′I’m fine, you know.′ The nausea I’ve been feeling the last fifteen minutes is basically gone. Cameron doesn’t say anything. He drives us straight home, parking the car under the house, and slips out without a word.
Louis opens the door for me, yells a see you later, and heads to his home, Carissa close behind him. Cameron leans against the hood of the car, watching their retreating backs with a frown on his face. I walk slowly over to him, and lean my hips into his. He brushes a kiss on my forehead, pulling my hair back behind my ears with both hands.
Taking my hand he leads me up the steps and into the house. My eyes immediately land on my parents sitting in the living room alongside Sera. The vet in the pack. The vet.
He told them.
I told them.
It’s what Shira asked of me when we headed back to school. If Kat started getting sick. If she threw up, tell them. So I did. The second we got close enough to the house.
I can feel her anger. “Kat,” Her mother says, standing. She’s holding a pink box in her hand.
“I haven’t had that much water today.” She starts, but Shira merely rolls her eyes. With a groan, Kat shoves her backpack into my chest, takes the box from her mother, and stalks to the guest bathroom behind the stairwell, leaving me with her parents.
“Cameron,” Reginald says with a sigh. He gestures to the seat across from him. I do as I’m told, tossing our bags at the stairs and look between Kat’s parents and the unknown lady before me. She’s middle aged, with red hair. Freckles cover her nose.
“We wanted to talk before Kat comes back out.” Reginald says. “Because she’ll be more open if you’re on bored.” Now I’m nervous.
“About what?” I ask slowly.
“Her... wolf problem.” Shira says, resting her hands on her knees as she wrings her hands. “If she is in fact pregnant, if it forces her to shift, she could lose them.”
“She has it under control.” I say, more confused that Shira’s bringing her father and this unknown wolf into this conversation, than the actual conversation. Shira shakes her head.
“Louis told me.” She adds. “About the morning you confronted your old Alpha.” I sigh. Nervously Shira glances back at the closed bathroom door. “She may not entirely have it under control, and going four months without shifting...”
“It could cause her wolf to do it for her.” Reginald finishes for her. “We think... it’s in her best interest to remain a wolf for the entirety of the pregnancy.” My entire body goes rigid.
“They’ll be born wolves.” I say quietly. “They’ll be stuck in that form until they’re four, five even.” They just stare at me. They know this, obviously, but it’s crazy. It’s different growing up in a pack that has all their pups born wolf. Here they’d be alone.
“We do have members here that choose to do it this way.” The woman that has yet to be named says. “You were born a wolf, correct?” I only nod. “The pups tend be born stronger. It’s only because of convenience that the parents choose their human form.” She glances at Reginald, and opens her mouth to say more when the bathroom door opens and Kat comes waltzing back out, tossing the pregnancy test on the coffee table, and plopping down in the chair beside me.
‘Kat will react better if you’re on our side.’ Shira tells me.
Boy was she wrong.
“How am I supposed to graduate on time if I’m in my wolf form for a year?!” I practically yell. Wolfskin pregnancies last about four months, but then there’s feeding the pups. If I have them in my wolf form I’ll have to feed them in that form. They’ll be born with wolf senses, blind and scared. I won’t be able to leave them with anyone else for months. Even Cameron.
“Jeanette can get you a diploma Kat that isn’t a problem-”
“It isn’t about the damn diploma!”
“Language.” Dad says. I turn on him.
“Really, you’re worried about how I speak. Now?” Cameron takes my hand. He’s trying to calm me and I appreciate it. But right now I’m seeing red. “And how long have you known about my wolf?” Dad doesn’t answer. All this time I thought I’d been careful but in reality they’d all known. Fucking Louis with his big worried mouth.
“Katalina,” Sierra starts. “I understand that this is frustrating, especially as a teenager, but it’s the safest course of action given your condition.” I huff.
′I think it’s for the best.′ Cameron says, squeezing my hand. Traitor. All them are traitors.
“This isn’t fair.” I whine. “My summer’s basically ruined.”
“No it’s not.” Mom says softly. “You-” I can’t help it. I start crying. Plopping down on Cameron’s lap, I curl myself into his body, resting my head on his shoulder. His arms wrap around me.
“How long do I have?” I ask. I wanted this, I remind myself.
“Tomorrow morning at the latest.” Sierra says following my parents’ silence.
“We’ll make a den,” Dad says. “. Wherever you want, whatever you want, okay?” I don’t answer him.
′It’ll be okay.′ Cameron says, kissing my forehead.
“Whatever.” I mumble to everyone. Satisfied my parents stand and leave me with Sierra and Cameron. I don’t plan on moving from this spot. He smells good. I’m comfortable.
“How’re you feeling Katalina?” She asked me lightly, leaning forward on her knees. With swollen eyes I glance at her from under Cameron’s chin.
“Like absolute shit.” Sierra smiles.
“I’d like to get an ultrasound done tomorrow after you shift. I work until four. Come over after?”
“We’ll be there.” Cameron answers for me. She probably realizes I’m not in the mood to talk, because the next time I look up, she’s gone.
“You know,” He starts softly. “I spent my first five years as a wolf, two of them surrounded by humans. It’s really not bad.” I just stare at him. "I love you?" I can't help it. I blush, a small smile finding it's way onto my face. My eyes study his.
"I love you more." I breathe out, pressing a soft kiss to his lips.