A Brotherhood of Wolves
I move quickly through the paperwork that the priestess gives us, half of my attention on Ella and Cora
across the room. Rafe isn’t hungry yet I know this for sure, and I know that Ella knows too. He ate on
the way here, in the car.
So, what he hell is she up
I hand the paperwork back to the priestess, who gives us a warm smile and tells me she’s looking
forward to seeing us on the night of the full moon. Roger and I murmur our polite goodbyes and then
we both turn our attention back to the sisters.
“What’s going on over there,” Roger asks, watching them with his arms crossed.
I take a moment to look him over. His body is tense, his brow low with worry. “Why don’t you tell me?” I
say quietly, my voice low and a little frustrated.
My brother snaps his head back to me, frowning. “What?”
“Come on, Roger,” I respond, shaking my head. “Don’t pretend they’re not talking about you.”
“Me?!” he says, aghast. “What did I do?” But towards the end of his sentence, his eyes flick to the floor.
“What’s even going on with you two?” I ask, sighing, not really wanting to have the conversation but
feeling pressed to it now if it’s disrupting our plans for our child’s dedication. It’s an important day – I
want it to go smoothly, undisturbed by this drama.
“That’s Ella,” Roger murmurs, shaking his head, “speaking through you. You don’t actually care what’s
going on between us.”
“I do care,” I return, a little offended. “I care, Roger. But yeah…Ella has brought this…issue to my
attention. More than I would have noticed otherwise. She calls you two…” I sigh, a little embarrassed,
“What?” he asks, confused, spinning to me. “What’s Codger?”
“Your couple name,” I say, sighing and pressing the bridge of my nose between my thumb and
forefinger. “A mix between Cora and Rodger.”
“It was that or Rora.”
“Oh my god,” he murmurs, putting his forehead in his hand and taking a deep breath. “You guys talk
about it enough that it has a nickname?”
“She’s upset with you, Roger,” I explain, looking again at my beautiful, sweet mate, who wants the best
for both of them. “I think Cora is upset. And I thought it was just Ella being Ella until…today. When I see
that Cora really is upset. So, did you do something to her?”
My brother sighs again and runs his hand down his face so that it’s covering his mouth as he, too,
looks across the room at this incredible pair of sisters. “I stopped calling her. I regret it, Dominic – I…”
he sighs, as if having trouble putting it into words. “But it’s not easy, with her being a human. I thought it
would be simpler, but it’s…”
1 nod, understanding, and put a steady hand on his back, letting him know that I’m here. You’ll figure it
out,” I say, hoping it’s the right thing. He nods quietly, and I can tell that he hopes I’m right.
“But Rodger,” I say carefully. He looks up at me, a little exhausted but ready to listen. “If you mess up
He opens his mouth to protest, but I hold up a hand. He shuts his mouth, letting me finish.
“If you mess up this ceremony, Ella is going to kill both of us. Just rip us to shreds.”
A little laugh bursts from my brother and he shakes his head, looking over at her. “How is that even a
threat?” he breathes, wondering. “She’s so…tiny.”
“Tiny,” I agree, “but fierce. And she’s got mom strength now. So let’s just…not cross her. And do our
best to make Cora feel welcome, because if Cora’s not happy then Ella’s not happy, and if Ella’s not
Roger nods slowly, lifting his hand into the air and making an explosion sound with his mouth,
simultaneously opening his hand like a bomb.
“Exactly,” I respond, nodding.
We’re silent for a moment, looking over at the girls, each thinking our private thoughts. But after a
moment, Roger asks a question of his own.
“Wait,” he says, frowning at me. I start out of my reverie, looking at him. “If we’re Codger,” he muses,
“…what are you?”
“Nothing,” I respond, firm, looking away. “We don’t need a couple name. We’re just Dominic and Ella.”
“Della,” he supplies. I glare at him.
My glare turns into a snarl.
“Sinclella!” he says, starting to laugh. I just give him a shove, unable to help the smile that pulls at my
“Shut up,” I murmur.
“Wait, no, it has to be Éclair!”
“Oh my god,” I breathe, defeated. “Don’t say that to her she’ll love it, she’ll never let it go
“I’m going to tell her right now — Roger starts across the room, but I grab his arm, laughing.
“I swear to god, Roger, one word and I’m throwing you in the pool Ella
I frown at my sister, confused and wanting to make it all better, and then I sigh when I realize that I
can’t. “I guess I thought mom’s gift fixed it all,” I murmur, “after you gave it to the world. It was enough, I
guess, to end the war to ask wolves and humans alike to stop fighting. But not enough to squash all of
the fears and prejudices.”
Cora nods, agreeing, looking at me again and working hard to give me a little smile. “I want to be a part
of your life, Ella,” she says, looking down at the baby and smiling. “And, of course, of baby Rafe’s. But
if you could please try to remember that… I’m not as much a part of your world as you think I am, then
that would be helpful.”
“You are a part of my world, Cora,” I insist, taking her hand and looking at her seriously. ” You’re my
flesh and blood, and you’ve always been my sister, even if we didn’t know about the biological part for
a long time. There’s no part of you that’s not part of my world, okay?”
She nods, giving me a little smile.
“But also,” I continue, still holding her gaze. “I hear you. And I’ll try harder.
“Thanks, Ella,” she says, her voice soft.
I pull my sister close again for a hug, the baby fussing between us. We laugh, looking down at him, and
then I nod towards the group, asking her if she wants to go back. Cora nods and, taking my hand, we
return again to the wolves waiting for us.
Along the way, I admit that I’m torn. Because as much as I’m glad that my sister told me what’s wrong, I
admit that I feel guilty. Guilty that she feels different at all, and guilty that…
Well, that I got so distracted in the pregnancy and the birth of my son. That I didn’t even realize that my
sister felt that way. That I didn’t even realize that things were this bad, between the humans and the
Sinclair and Roger are laughing and roughhousing a little, by the looks of it, as we make our way over
to them. I can’t help smiling at this I like to see my mate happy and at peace. He catches my serious
look, though, as I come more clearly into sight. He stops, then, looking curiously at me, quirking his
head to the side. I just give him a little nod, letting him know all
Because the two of us? The leaders of these people?
We have work to do.
“Hey, Ella,” Roger says, grinning wickedly at me. “Are you hungry, do you want some breakfast? Maybe
Sinclair snaps his head to him. “You’re dead.”
“Actually,” I say, my eyebrows going up. “Pastries sound great.”
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