Nicole was your typical alpha. She is beautiful, strong, and courageous. She knew from the time she was just a pup, that she wanted to be a cop (a protector in human form). Her family had a longstanding tradition of breeding alphas and Nicole was no different. Her pack was a collection of four different families. There were the Haughts (who were the protectors and leaders of the pack). All of the alphas in her family chose law enforcement as their human jobs. Then there were the Creek, Wilson, and Rum families. They were the other families of the pack. They had their fair shares of alphas, betas and omegas. Nicole grew up in a pack that people could only dream of. She never went without. Her alpha father and beta mother always made sure she was loved and cared for. They made sure to help her grow into the strong and confident alpha she was born to be. She grew up alongside her three siblings. Alek was the oldest. He was tall and had dark brown hair in his human form. Then there was Brie. Nicole and her were extremely close. Nicole always looked up to her and they were joined at the hip ever since they were pups. They were together all the time and truly grew up together. Brie was only three months older than Nicole and they were commonly referred to as the twins by other members of the pack. After Nicole comes Ryan. He was the youngest and looked like a miniature version of Nicole. Brie and Alek had dark hair like their mom’s, but Nicole and Ryan had red hair, just like their father. Nicole had a good life growing up and was taught everything there is to know about being the perfect alpha. In human form, she looks no different than anyone else. But there was something in her blood that made her and her pack different from other alphas. They were refered to as verum lupum which loosely translates to true wolf. This basically means they phased. It’s incredibly rare nowadays and those who can do it tend to hide it well. The ability to phase into an actual wolf is cool in theory, but it comes with great responsibility. There are people out there that want that power and will use any means to try and get it. Nicole phased for the first time when she was eight years old. She had seen other members of her pack phase before so it wasn’t all that surprising. The surprising part was that Nicole phased at age eight, while Brie had to wait and didn’t phase until she was almost eleven. Brie was jealous but ultimately happy for Nicole and Nicole was experienced enough to help Brie through her first once it happened. It wasn’t until she was fifteen years old that things started to change. She noticed how her father started to spend even more time training her and her mother started introducing her to other alphas that were deemed “appropriate suitors”. Nicole realized early on that she had no interest in the males and her mother quickly adjusted to only bringing females around. Nicole brushed it off, hoping it was just her mom scratching an itch. She couldn’t fathom being a mother yet, or settling down for that matter. Her father pushed her harder as time when on. She started to get frustrated around age twenty and finally cracked. “Why?! Why are you treating this like it is life or death?!” Nicole asked her father. “I understand that it’s important to set an example Dad, but this is too much.” Nicole’s father regarded her kindly and asked her to sit next to him. She did and he launched into a hypothetical situation of Nicole being the leader of the pack someday. Her brother was next in line, but he didn’t really show the initiative yet. Nicole felt a mixture of emotions as she listened to her father talk. Part of her was excited, because this was something few got to have the opportunity to do. But at the same time, she felt… out of place. The conflicting emotions must have shown on her face because her father patted her on the knee and told her something that changed everything. He told her that if she needed to go away for a while and see the world, that it was okay. He explained that he left for a year before he came back and married her mother. He himself needed to see the world so he could truly understand how important the pack and family was. She nodded her head and hugged her father. Later that night, they announced the news of her idea to go soul searching and everyone seemed a little nervous, but overall supportive of her decision. She left a year later after finishing her training at the police academy. She graduated top of her class, so she could go almost anywhere. She chose a small town called Purgatory. She had visited a couple of times and met with the town sheriff. She thought the secluded town would help her stay under the radar a bit, but also allow her more hands on work. She packed up three boxes of her things and headed towards Purgatory the day after graduation. Saying goodbye was the worst part. Ryan cried and held her tightly. He begged her not to go but knew it was no going to happen. Brie started crying a few days before Nicole even left. It kinda made Nicole laugh. She hugged her mother and father and fist bumped Alek before driving off. She looked back in her rear-view mirror at the whole pack waving good bye. She turned her attention to the road and she was off.
Waverly was the first omega born into the Earp family for over four generations. It used to get her teased by her older sister Willa, but Waverly herself didn’t mind it too much. Wynonna (her older sister and the middle Earp sister) was always protective of Waverly. Her alpha instincts made protecting Waverly second nature. Ward (their father) was cruel and never truly appreciated any of his daughters. He used to get drunk and beat them, always extra cruel to Waverly. Ward died when Waverly was six years old. He got drunk and got into a fight with Willa over their mother’s disappearance. He was so drunk, he didn’t realize what he was doing when he pulled the trigger on his daughter. Once he realized, he turned the gun on himself and left Waverly and Wynonna to fend for themselves. They lived with their Aunt Gus an Uncle Curtis after that. Life wasn’t easy for the Earp sisters. They were outcasts growing up and Wynonna’s rebellious behavior didn’t help much. She blamed it on her alpha and she did eventually grow out of it… kinda. Waverly on the other hand, was the good Earp. She was wicked smart and studied two years above her grade level all throughout school. She started dating Champ Hardy her sophomore year of high school and that made her quite popular in school, despite her last name. She was head cheerleader and prom queen her senior year and was living the dream as people would say. But that wasn’t the real her. Her so called friends weren’t real friends. She practically had to shut off half her brain just to have a conversation with them. She hid her intellect a bit, only letting it show in small moments. After she graduated, she started working at Shorty’s. It was the only bar in Purgatory and doubled as the best place to get a decent meal in the town. The saloon was owned by her aunt and uncle and their friend Shorty. She started tending bar when she turned twenty-one and never really stopped. By her twenty-second birthday, her life seemed pretty planned out for her. She would eventually marry her beta boyfriend Champ, work at Shorty’s and that was it. Little did she know that couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
Sunday June 12th: Shorty’s Saloon
Wynonna walks into Shorty’s with a scowl on her face.
“Who crapped in your coffee?” Waverly asks sarcastically.
“Dolls is being an ass. He won’t shut up about this girl he met at the academy.” Wynonna says with exasperation. “I guess she is transferring here for a little while and he is all excited to have someone from back home.”
“Girl? Like ex-girl?” Waverly asks, curiosity peaked.
“He didn’t say, even when I asked. He actually had the nerve to laugh in my face when I kept asking!” Wynonna says.
“C’mon, let the man be excited about his gal pal coming. God knows he doesn’t get excited about much else.” Waverly adds before returning to work. She pours her sister a drink and goes back to polishing glasses and filling the regulars’ drink orders. After a few hours and a fair amount of whiskey, Wynonna is dancing around to the sound of the jukebox. Waverly smiles and keeps a watchful eye on her while she works. Wynonna is drinking her fifth round of whiskey when Dolls enters the bar with his arm around a tall redhead’s shoulders. The woman (the officer, Waverly corrects, looking at the woman’s uniform) is beautiful. She’s probably around five foot nine, fiery red hair, porcelain skin, and has a smile that can light up the room. Dolls releases her and she heads to the bathroom while he continues walking towards the bar.
“Hey Little Earp.” Dolls greets her.
“Wow. You are chipper today. What can I get ya?” Waverly responds with a surprised smile.
“Um… depends. How drunk is Wynonna? Because the answer to that determines what I’m drinking, considering I’ll probably be the once carrying her out tonight.” He says with a small smile.
“I’ll get you a Coors Light.” Waverly states with a laugh. She turns around to grab a glass and looks up to see the redhead had returned, although she was not standing at the bar. She is standing a few feet away, talking to Dolls about something that seems to have both of their attentions.
Waverly’s attention is pulled from the pair when Champ slams his glass on the bar top with a little too much power. “Babe, get me another beer will ya” He says, looking only at Waverly’s cleavage. He doesn’t even try and hide it. “And when I’m done with my beer, you could take a break and go upstairs for a little bit.” He adds, wiggling his eyebrows up and down.
“Champ. I’m working.” Waverly says flatly as she puts a fresh beer on the bar for him. He walks back to his buddies by the pool table and Waverly’s attention is back to the redhead and Dolls. They have moved to the door and the redhead is leaving. She looks back to say something to Dolls and makes eye contact with Waverly for just a second. Then she is out the door and Dolls is walking back to Waverly (and Wynonna who seemed to appear out of thin air).
“Where did your girlfriend go?” Wynonna asks as Dolls approaches.
Dolls chuckles a little, “She just got into town today and has some stuff she has to do. You know, meet her new landlord, unpack, etc.”
“Oh goodie!” Wynonna yells in mock excitement.
“Relax Earp before you fall over.” Dolls teases.
Before Wynonna can fire back, Champ and his buddies all start shouting and pushing each other over the game of pool. “Duty calls.” Wynonna says as she and Dolls get up to break the fight up.
Sunday June 12th: Purgatory Sheriff Department & Shorty’s Saloon
Nicole gets into town early that morning and drives straight to the police station. She drives into the parking lot and sees a familiar face. “Holy shit!” She says with a smile.
“Nedley told me he was hiring a new deputy that graduated at the top of her class at my academy. I knew there was only one person it could be.” Dolls replies to her obvious shock.
They hug and Nicole is happy to have a friendly face in town. “What are you doing here? I thought you got recruited to work for Black Badge. You know, keeping everyone in line.” She asks.
“I did. I’m stationed here on a permanent basis. Purgatory is kinda the crossroad between three different packs and it’s about the last of the unclaimed land left. I am kept busy here.” He says. “The better question is what are you doing here?”
“If you ask my dad, I am soul searching.” Nicole says with a little mock in her tone. “But I’m really here to just be away for a bit. You know, like find out who I truly am before I am given the huge responsibility of leading a pack.”
“Well I’m glad you’re here. It will be nice to be around someone a little more level headed for once.” He adds.
“What do you mean?” Nicole inquires.
“Let’s just say the people around here are a little too in tune with their primal instincts sometimes. My partner, being a great example of that.” Dolls says. “Her alpha tends to get her either drunk or in a fight… or sometimes both.”
“Sounds like my kind of people.” Nicole says with a smile.
“They are the complete opposite of you.” Dolls counters.
“Exactly.” Nicole exclaims
“Alright, well you want to go get a drink?” He asks.
“I gotta check in with Sherriff Nedley and let him know I arrived today, plus I got some other errands I have to attend to. But I’ll walk over with you and you can show me around a bit.”
“Perfect.” He says and drapes an arm over her shoulders as they walk down the street.
After less than five minutes of walking and talking, they enter a saloon. It’s extremely crowded and loud, but its strangely comforting. Everyone is doing their own thing. Dolls starts to walk towards the bar when Nicole’s phone rings. She tells him she will be back in a moment and heads towards the back and the bathrooms so she can answer the call. After speaking with her landlord, she walks out and finds dolls at the bar.
“Hey, my landlord just called and wants me over there ASAP.” She says to him as he steps away from the bar. He lets her go, but only after she promises to have a drink with him to catch up. She is about to go out the front door when she turns around to say something to Dolls. Her brain short circuits as she makes brief eye contact with the bartender. She manages a small smile before her body is propelling her out the door. What the hell was that? She walks back to the station and tries to shake whatever is going on inside her head.
Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think and tell me if I should continue to write this one.
Chapter 2: Introductions
Sunday June 12th: Purgatory Sheriffs Department
Nicole is in the station, talking to Sherriff Nedley. He is a gruff man but seems content having her here. He is very aware of who she is and who her family. Everyone in the country knows about her pack. He dismisses her to go about her business and she goes over to her desk to fill out some paperwork. After about an hour of silence, Dolls and a brunette entered the station. They carried in two very obviously intoxicated men and waste no time slamming them into the drunk tank. The brunette leaves without a word, but Dolls strolls over to her desk and sits in the chair next to it.
“So, does Nedley know about your pack, and why you are here?” He asks.
“Yeah, he does. He thinks this will be a good fit.” Nicole responds. “Was that your partner I just saw you with?”
“Yes, that was Wynonna. She is quite the… unique individual.” Dolls says with a small laugh.
“I can tell. I smelled her alpha coming from a mile away.” Nicole teases.
“Yeah. That’s just the beginning of it. You will love this about her. She is an Earp. The Earp heir actually.”
“Ha, shit. Well I guess I will be running into her often then.” Nicole says, trying to contain her elation of what is about to transpire.
“Oh yeah. Well, what time are you off?” Dolls asks.
“Well I went to go see my landlord right after I left you. So, I just have to finish filling in this sheet and I will be out of here.” Nicole states, “Why?”
“Because you have to be hungry and I haven’t gotten to actually drink my drink at Shorty’s. Two idiot started throwing fists shortly after you left.”
“Alright.” Nicole says as she fills in the last bit of information. She walks into Nedley’s office and hands him the completed paperwork. He nods and tells her to have a good night.
“Hey, let me go to my place and change real quick. But I will meet you there.” Nicole says as she returns to Dolls.
“Sure.” He responds and leaves.
Dolls returns to the bar twenty minutes after Wynonna. He walks right up to his spot in front of Waverly. He smiles and sits down on the bar stool. “Can I get that beer now?” He asks
“Of course.” Waverly cheerfully responds. She sets a Coors down in front of him and leans on to the bar top. “So. Who exactly is your redheaded friend?”
As if on cue, Wynonna plops up on the stool next to Dolls. “Yeah, do tell us about your friend.”
“Well her name is Nicole. And she is someone I met in the Academy. She graduated top of her class there and we became pretty close friends.” Dolls says, eyeing Wynonna as he does.
“So, she is smart? Big woop!” Wynonna says, throwing her hands up in the air.
“Oh, trust my Earp. She is much more than just a smart girl. You will see why soon enough. Well, if you stick around, that is?” He challenges. “She will be over here any minute.”
Waverly jumps in, “So is she like, an ex-girlfriend or a thing or something?”
Dolls almost spits out his beer when he tries to stop the laugh that is threatening to escape. Just as he is about to get his composure back, a hand lands lightly on his shoulder. He turns around to look at Nicole’s amused face.
“You okay there Zay?” Nicole questions with an equally confused, yet amused look.
Dolls swallows his beer and gets his voice back. “Nicole, this is my partner Wynonna Earp.” He introduces, leaning his head towards Wynonna. “And this is her sister Waverly.” Gesturing his hand towards Waverly. “They asked me if you were my ex-girlfriend or a thing or something.” He mocks lightly.
Both erupt into laughter and it has both Earp sisters a little stunned. It takes them a minute to calm down before Nicole can speak. She holds out a hand over the bar and shakes Waverly’s hand. “Hi, I’m Nicole. Nicole Haught. And I am definitely not his ex-girlfriend or a thing or something.” Nicole says with a laugh and a wide smile. “No offense to Dolls here, but he is not really my type.” She explains. She looks over at him and the both try to stop the laughter that is trying to escape. It’s only then that Waverly notices they are still holding each other’s hands. They seem to note is simultaneously because they both release their grips. She notices the loss of warmth she feels immediately after they break the connection. It is weird, but she almost whimpers.
Nicole turns to look around Dolls and at Wynonna. Wynonna is eying her suspiciously and doesn’t offer a hand in greeting. Nicole must understand because she doesn’t offer one either. Waverly watches them for a moment before snapping back into focus. “Well, can I get you something to drink Officer Haught?”
“Um, no. I’m okay. Thank you.” Nicole responds politely. Smiling at Waverly.
“How about some food?” Waverly throws back.
“Okay, that sounds great. Surprise me.” Nicole says with a smile.
Waverly has to literally walk away because Nicole’s dimples are doing weird things to her. She places Nicole’s order with the kitchen and returns to the bar. She refills drinks and is kept busy until Nicole’s order is ready. She grabs the plate and brings it over to the group. She places the plate in front of Nicole and waits for a response. Nicole smiles and thanks her. Nicole looks at the burger in front of her and takes a bite. She smiles and gives a thumbs up. Waverly smiles back and goes about wiping down the already clean bar.
“Waverly Earp! You better get your butt out from behind that bar before I come over there and do it myself! Gus calls from her office. She walks out and comes to a stop beside Waverly, eyeing her with an unamused look. She notices Waverly is looking at Nicole and decides to introduce herself.
“Gus McCready.” Gus holds her hand out to the redhead, breaking Waverly’s stare.
“Officer Nicole Haught, Ma’am.” Nicole reciprocates the handshake with a kind smile. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Haught? As in Viribus?” Gus questions.
“Yes Ma’am.” Nicole responds. “But it is not really something I advertise unless asked.”
Waverly’s eyes drift to the officer’s wrist. She can just make out the edge of a tattoo that is covered by Nicole’s long sleeve flannel.
“I understand Officer.” Gus says.
“Please, call me Nicole.”
“Alright then.” Gus then turns her attention to Waverly, who moves out to the other side of the bar under Gus’s scrutinizing gaze. Dolls explains how he knows Nicole and they all talk a bit.
“Well, thank you for the meal. It was really nice to meet you all. I have got to get going.” Nicole says. “Early day tomorrow.”
“Did Nedley already give you an assignment?” Dolls asks, suprised.
“Yup, I’m driving up with him to the north boundary line tomorrow morning. He seemed pretty convinced I could be of use there.” Nicole says.
“Yeah, I think i have to agree with him.” Dolls says.
“Y’all have a good rest of your day.” Nicole says to everyone before leaving.
Waverly is so wrapped up in Nicole, she didnt even notice that the redhead had left a twenty dollar bill on the bar. Waverly eyes the cash and then at Dolls.
He looks at Waverly and smiles. “She’s always good about that. Never see the girl eat a meal on the house.”
“Dolls, the burger and fries is only eight dollars. And you ate most of her fries.” Waverly says, emphasizing how much Nicole had overpaid.
“Yeah, she does that. Consider the rest your tip.” He says.
Wynonna breaks their conversation, “What is up with her?”
“What do you mean?” Dolls asks.
“Her scent, I couldn't smell it. And what does she have to do with viribus? “ Wynonna asks, obviously annoyed.
“I told you she is much more than smart.” Dolls said in explanation.
“Use more words Dolls.” Wynonna spats.
“Well most of it isn’t my story to tell. But as already stated. She is a member or the Viribus. Her father is Nicholas Haught, the head alpha of the pack. She is one of four who are next in line. It is my belief that her father chose her to be next in line.”
“So why is she here?” Wynonna asks skeptically. “And why is she scentless?”
“Wait. So that means she is an alpha?” Waverly adds.
“Maybe you should ask her why she is here. But what she told me was that she wanted to see a little bit of the world outside of the pack before taking her position. And she is not scentless. She masks it. It is a unique ability. I have only met one other that can do it. And yes, she is an alpha. All Haughts are as far as I know.” Dolls says
“Who was the other person?” Waverly asks.
“Um… her grandfather. I met him shortly after I met Nicole. He died a couple weeks ago. Good man. He meant the world to her and taught her everything about her abilities. She doesn’t talk about him much.” Doll says a little uncomfortably.
“I’m sorry. Are you saying we just met a member of Viribus pack royalty? Wow, she really didn’t give me that vibe.” Wynonna says.
“That’s kinda the point Earp. Nicole doesn’t see herself that way and she doesn’t want to be treated that way. She wants to be treated like everyone else. She works twice as hard and wants to earn respect, not be gifted it. She is… special.” Dolls says as if it is the most obvious thing in the world.
“Is she a verum lupum?” Waverly asks.
“Not my place to say yes or no.” Dolls doesn’t answer the question. “Anything else you want to know about her has to come from her. She might tell you if you get to know her.”
At that, the conversation ends and they go about their business as usual.
Monday June 13th: Shorty’s Saloon
“You think it is one of yours?” Dolls asks over his glass of beer.
“No, the markings are different and it is too far north.” Nicole states as she thinks about what she had scene today. It was a mess. Animal carcasses were everywhere and the dirt was stained a darker brown from all the blood. “If I had to guess, I would put my money on the Revenants. This seems like their MO.”
“I agree, but I had to ask.” Dolls says apologetically.
“Dolls, don’t do that. Don’t feel bad for thinking of them. They may be my pack, but they aren’t perfect. They are capably of bad things.” Nicole says.
“Is that the real reason you left?” Dolls asks, hoping he hasnt crossed a line.
“No. I mean, thats part of it i guess. But I mostly just neeeded to get away. For a long time now, I have felt like something is missing. Like I am not doing something in my life correctly.” Nicole takes a drink of her beer. “I have had my whole life planned out for me in that pack. My father groomed me to take his place and although part of me wants it. I just have this feeling that it isnt enough. That I will wake up one day and the pack will not be enough for me.”
“That’s understandable. You are not in a usual pack and being in a pack at all is rare.” Dolls says with understanding.
“You have never been in a pack Zay. But if you had, maybe this would be a different conversation. Most would say I am being ungrateful becaus I have all of that. But it just doesn't feel like me. I want to date who I want to date, I want to start a family when I am ready, I want to travel or lay in bed all day on Sundays.” Nicole sighs. “I want to have a choice and the opportunity to create my own life. I left hoping that this little adventure would help me get over this feeling.”
“Haught, you don't have to explain yourself to me. I get it. I saw you with your pack. Its okay. And if it’s any consolation, I am happy you are here.” Dolls says
“I think I am too.”
Wednesday July 11th: Purgatory Sheriff Department
“Good morning, Officer Haught.” Waverly said as she passed Nicole’s desk.
“Good mornin’ Miss Earp.” Nicole responded with a smile.
“Please, call me Waverly.” Waverly says with a slight blush.
“Alright then. Good mornin’ Waverly.” Nicole corrects with a bigger smile.
“Officer Haught, mind coming in here for a moment?” Dolls asks from down the hall.
Nicole stands and walks to the Black Badge office. She enters and is followed by a confused Waverly. Wynonna is there too and looks equally confused by Dolls’ request for Nicole.
“Nicole, you recognize any of these people?” Dolls asks, sliding a photo to her.
Nicole looks it over and frowns. She looks up at him, “They are here in town?”
“Just outside, in the burrow just east.” Dolls says.
“Yeah, I recognize them. I grew up with the three that are in front.” Nicole states, pointing at three of the people in the photo. “I recognize the other ones too. But they aren’t as familiar to me.”
“We got to talk to them, we need to figure out if they are behind all the recent… incidents.” Wynonna snaps.
“You won’t make it back alive if you go alone.” Nicole states flatly. “You can’t just walk in asking questions and interrogating people. That burrow is invite only. You go in by force, they will kill you without a second thought.”
“Well, if you have all the answers, then can you get us an invite to this stupid rat’s nest?” Wynonna says with a sarcastic bite.
“We don’t need an invitation. As long as we are with her.” Dolls says, gesturing towards Nicole.
“And why is that?” Wynonna spats.
Before Dolls can answer, Nicole speaks. “Because the burrow is run by an offshoot of viribus.” Nicole looks tired all of the sudden, or just extremely unamused. “Just give me a minute to tell Nedley.”
Dolls nods and Nicole exits the room, not looking at all excited.
“What was that all about?” Waverly asks Dolls.
“Her relationship with the pack is... well lets just say, she has to pretend to be something she is not when she is around them.” Dolls says regretfully. Before more can be said, Nicole steps back into the office and nods her head. They suit up and head out to Dolls’ SUV. Nicole sits in the back with Waverly and Wynonna sits shotgun. It takes them twenty minutes to drive out to the burrow. Nicole and Dolls make small talk for most of the drive and the rest is silent. Dolls pulls the SUV to a stop and Nicole gets out. Wynonna reaches a hand back and stops Waverly from doing the same. Dolls gives his partner a look before getting out to stand with Nicole in front of the SUV.
“Waves.” Wynonna says. “You should stay in the car.”
“What? Why?” Waverly protests.
“Its not safe. Waves, it is a literal wolfs den in there and I cant protect myself and you.” Wynonna says, trying to be clearer.
“And what makes you think I need your protection?” Waverly questions indignantly.
“Wave, you are an omega and you want to go into a den full of alphas and betas?”
“Wynonna, I am on suppressants. I can do this. I will be fine.” Waverly says, not backing down.
“Fine.” Wynonna concedes, her alpha hating it. “But please be careful.”
They both exit the car and stand next to Dolls and Nicole. They all start to walk. Nicole stiffens as they get closer to the front door. “There is only one door in and out. So, if we get stuck, we are screwed.” Nicole says, staring ahead. She turns her head and growls lowly at Wynonna. “You should have left Waverly in the car. It’s not safe for her.”
“And why is that?” Wynonna asks, the challenge evident in her voice.
“Because she is an omega and we are going into a burrow full of alphas.” Nicole says.
“How did you know she is an omega?” Wynonna asks skeptically. “And it will be fine, she is on suppressants.” They are almost to the door.
“Suppressants don’t work as well as one may think.” Nicole says flatly. It was common for unmated omegas to use suppressants to try and hide their scents. But there were a special few alphas that could still smell their scents, despite the suppressants. It was one of the abilities that also came with being verum lupum. She she could still detect Waverly’s scent (despite the suppresants) and she knew Jerry would too. Nicole shook her head and Dolls grasped the door handle.
“Ready Haught?” Dolls asks.
“Ready.” Nicole says with a growl that catches both Earp sisters off guard.
Dolls opens the door and they are swarmed by the scent of alpha and the occasional beta. It was almost overpowering. They step in and start to walk towards the back. Their formation simple. Nicole in front, Wynonna and Waverly behind her and Dolls in back. They make it about ten feet in before others notice their presence. Nicole is suprised it didnt take longer. Wynonna’s alpha could be smelled from a mile away. A man stops the ststers from moving forward, steping right behind Nicole and seperating them (obviosly not noticing Nicole). Wynonna bares her teeth and growl, eliciting a pack animal response from the other alphas that are now surrounding them. Dolls is in a defensive position, covering the Earp girls’ backs.
“You don't belong here.” The alpha man says in a grumble. Now baring his teeth to Wynonna in return. Challenging her.
Wynonna moves to advance on him but is stoped by Dolls free hand. All the alphas react to her movement though and step in closer, ready to attack. They only stop moving in when a growl and barks sound off in the air. Everyone freezes. A pin could drop and one would be able to hear it. Another bark and growl erupt and the alpha’s surrounding the trio all lower down, their alphas submitting to the owner of the sound. Waverly looks up to see the sound came from Nicole. She is standing strait, a confident and dominant presence in the room. She advances towards the alpha man and gets up in his face. She growls in his ear and he whimpers in submission. The sound makes Waverlys blood turn to ice. The alpha man backs away from the trio and Nicole places herself protectively in front of them. Waverly can now smell Nicole’s scent. It is unlike any she has ever experienced. It is strong and screams dominence. But there is also something she can't place. She doesnt get long to think about it though because Nicole breaks the relative silence. “Where are the Rum twins and their brother?” Silence. Nicole repeats again, this time, with more volume and more growl. “Don't make me ask again. WHERE ARE THE RUM BOYS!”
“Cole.” Jerry Rum says as he comes forward. He was followed by his twin brothers James and Johnny. “Been awhile.”
“You are a little far away from home aren't you Jer.” Nicole says, leveling him with a glare. She never like Jerry. He was an asshole and couldn't keep it in his pants. Typical horney alpha.
“Enjoying a little vacation.” Jerry responds. “What are you doing here Cole? Not that I am not...” He looks her up and down, “very pleased to see you.”
Nicole is disgusted by the look he is giving her and growls. “Investigating some activity. Have some evidence that you and your brothers are involved.”
“I resent the implication.” Jerry answers smugly. He takes in a deep breath, looking around Nicole at the group behind her. His vision locks on Waverly as her scent reaches his nose. “Oh, you brought a snack.”
Wynonna and Dolls growl as he advances towards them. They are about to jump into action when Jerry is ripped from his place on the ground. Waverly blinks and then sees Nicole. She has him pinned on a nearby wall, a full foot off the ground. Her hand is around his neck, holding him in place, and her other hand is holding her gun to his head. She is baring her teeth and growling at him. Wynonna notices how Nicole’s normally brown eyes are now a royal blue color. Jerry is unsuccessfully struggling against her hold on him. He fights it at first, his alpha instinct refusing to submit. But he does eventually and Nicole fights the urge to shoot him or rip his throat out. Her reaction surprises her, but she doesnt let it show. He submits and stops fighting her hold on him. He cant breathe and she can see him starting to turn a little blue. She releases her hold and he drops to the groud like a sack of potatos. She leans down and growls in his ear. “If you or any of your cronies cause anymore trouble like this again...” Nicole pulls in a little closer. “I wont hesitate to take you out and throw your brothers in jail. Or, I could just let your activities be know to the rest of the pack. I am sure my father would love to hear about your violations of pack law.” Jerry shakes his head and Nicole backs away. She nods to Dolls and leads them outside. Nicole smiles at the twins as she passes them. “Hey James, Johnny. Happy belated birthday.”
“Thanks Cole.” They both respond warmly.
Once outside, Nicole walks away from the Black Badge team. “You good Nicole?” Dolls asks, obviously concerned.
“Yeah. I just need a second.” Nicole responds. She bends over so her hands are on her knees. She takes a couple deep breaths and shakes her head before returning to the SUV. She is met with an impressed (yet slightly concerned) Dolls and two wide eyed Earp sisters. “What?”
“That was...” Wynonna started
“Really great work.” Dolls interupts, sending a look to Wynonna. “Lets get out of here.”
“Dolls, I was going to say...” Wynonna trys again.
“Drop it Earp.” Dolls cut her off again.
Nicole holds the door open for Waverly to get in and then follows her into the SUV. They drive back in silence. Waverly pretends to look at a file, but actually studies Nicole who is sitting as close to the door as possible. Waverly notices how stiff and tense Nicole has been since they arrived at the burrow. It is a stark contrast to the Nicole Haught she is used to. Nicole has been in Purgatory for over a month and Waverly has come to know her as a relatively easygoing person. Always friendly and warm. But the Nicole sitting next to her is hard and... almost angry. As they drive back, Nicole starts to relax and seems almost back to normal by the time they arrive back at the station.
Wednesday July 11th: Purgatory Sheriff Department- BBD Office
“They won’t be a problem anymore. Jerry Rum is stupid, but I don’t think he is stupid enough to try that shit again.” Nicole says as she takes a sip of her coffee. “The twins are good boys. But they follow their brother’s lead and it gets them into trouble.”
“How do you know that dickhead?” Wynonna asks. “And how did he know about Waves?”
“The Rums are a prominent family in my pack. I grew up around them. Jerry was always a bit of a trouble maker. Used to drive my dad nuts.” Nicole says, annoyance clear in her tone. She softens a bit once she looks at Waverly. “He knew Waverly was an omega because suppressants don’t always work. A verum lupum can still smell a scent, even if a person is using suppressants. I am suprised he didn't detect her sooner than he did.”
Nicole tosses her now empty coffee cup into the trash. She looks at Dolls, who is giving her a questioning look. Wynonna seems to have her attention drawn back to Nicole because now she has more questions.
“What was up with your eyes?” She asks.
“Earp.” Dolls scolds.
Nicole puts a hand up to pacify him. “It’s okay Dolls.” She turns to look at the sisters. “It is a trait that has been passed down in my family. It is kinda like a mark of royalty as my father would say. It is pretty rare.”
“How rare?” Waverly asks, her curiosity getting the better of her.
“Well. There used to be two of us. But now its just me.” Nicole says, a little bit of sadness creeping in before Nicole pushes it from her mind.
“So you are a verum too then, right?” Wynonna asks, but it is more of a statement.
“Nonna.” Now its Waverlys turn to scold her sister. “Thats incredibly personal.”
“Does it matter?” Nicole ask, quirking an eyebrow at Wynonna and ignoring Waverly’s objections.
“Kinda. I would like to know if it is possible you will turn into a giant wolf, kill me and eat my heart out.” Wynonna says with a smartass smirk.
Nicole sits there for a moment and contemplates. “I am a verum lupum. But let me put your fears to rest.” Nicole says smugly. “Those who know me understand that I dont have the same... selfcontrol issues as other alphas. Plus, I dont threaten someone unless I fully plan on following through. So if I were going to hurt you Earp, it wouldn’t be a surprise.”
Wynonna glared at her, but didn't let her alpha put her in a situation she would most likely regret.
Dolls snorts up some of his coffee, trying not to laugh. Nicole gets up and goes to leave. “You need a report for this Dolls?” She asks.
“Nope. But I think I owe you a drink for this.” Dolls responds.
“Just doing my job. Call it practice for the future.” Nicole responds. Giving him a fake smile.
Dolls nods and turns to Wynonna and starts discussing something. Waverly stands and gets to the door at the same time as Nicole. She puts a light hand on Nicole’s arm to stop her.
“Nicole, thank you.” Waverly says. Her eyes reflecting her gratitude. Nicole protected her and she won't forget it or brush it off like it was nothing.
“Like I said, just doing my job. Plus, it gave me an excuse to do what I have been wanting to do for years.”
“And what is that?” Waverly asks.
Nicole smirks, “Scare the living shit out of Jerry Rum. The guy really is an asshole. Been wanting to do that for years but never had cause.” Nicole gives her a flash of a smile before exiting and walking towards the bullpen. Waverly didn't miss the pain hidden in Nicole’s eyes. She tried to hide it with smiles and jokes, but it isn't lost on Waverly. She is still staanding there, thinking about it when Wynonna’s voice breaks her train of thought.
“Dolls, your friend is kind of a badass.”
“Earp. Dont push it.” Dolls warns.
“What? She is.” Wynonna defends.
“Well I am glad yo think so because we will be seeing a lot more of her.” Dolls says, looking back down at his file.
“And why is that?” Wynonna asks.
“Because this is a transfer request Nedley gave me as we came in. I requested to have Nicole be transfered to our team and he authorized it. Black Badge will be here in the morning to get her set up and deputize her.” Dolls says nonchalantly.
“WHAT?” Wynonna exclaims. “Why?”
“Like you said.” Waverly says with a smirk of her own. “She is a badass.”
Thursday July 12th: Purgatory Sheriff Department- BBD Office
“All go well?” Dolls asks as Nicole enters the room.
“Well if you count the fact that Agent Lucado didn’t rip my face off as a win, then yes. All went well.” Nicole responds.
“Can you blame her for being pissed? She did try and recruit you at the academy.” Dolls asks sarcastically.
“Trust me Dolls. I didn’t expect this to happen either. Black Badge is not a group I had ever planned on associating with.” Nicole says. “Hunting my own is not really my thing.”
“I know, but now that you are here, how are you feeling?” He asks, understanding her feelings.
“It is nice to be here, but that is kinda a double-edged sword.” Nicole responds with a shrug.
“I like it here, but I can’t get to attached. I have responsibilities back home. This is only supposed to be temporary.”
“Do you want to go back?” Dolls questions.
“It doesn't matter if I do or if I don't. I have responsibilities. Plus, they are my pack and my family. I do love them, they are all I have left.” Nicole says.
“I understand. Well anyways. We got another case. The Earp girls are going to meet us at the scene. Ready to go?”
“Lead the way.” Nicole says, a smile returning to her face.
Thursday July 12th: Townseed Residence
“That is just nasty.” Wynonna comments, resisting the urge to puke. Waverly stays silent, but her face resembles Wynonna’s revulsion.
“Earp. Have some respect. This poor woman is dead. Her kid found her body like this.” Dolls says.
Wynonna’s face sobers and she has the decency to look guilty. After a few more minutes, Nicole emerges from the Townseed house, clipboard in hand. Dolls spots her as she approaches.
“I got statements from Clark Townseed (the husband) and their son Ethan. Stories check out and match up. Mrs. Townseed was out here, milking the cows last night. She never returned inside. Her son found her this morning the way she is now. He didn’t touch anything. Mr. Townseed was out of town on business until he got a call from his son this morning. I have copies of receipts that I will look into when we get back to the station. Nothing more I can do here…” Before Nicole can finish her sentence, a new scent hits her nose and she is cut off. Dolls, Wynonna and Waverly all look up at her in confusion. The rest of them smell it a few moments later and they all get on edge. The alphas start to stir. “We should get out of here.” Nicole says, her eyes searching the surrounding area. After another moment, the scent is gone.
“That was weird.” Waverly says
“I’ll say.” Wynonna agrees, a little miffed.
“Let’s finish up here and head back to the station. Not much else we can gather from the scene. Local LEOs will handle the evidence collection and deliver it to the station.
They all pack up their things and head for the vehicles. Nicole takes one last look at the scene before stepping up, into the SUV. She can’t shake the feeling she is being watched. That scent. She recognized it, vaguely. But she can’t place it. She shakes her head and closes the door.
Thursday July 12th: Purgatory Sheriff Department- BBD Office
“Haught. It is one in the morning. What are you still doing here?” Nedley asks, poking his head through the door.
“Working on the Townseed case. We were at the scene this morning. There is something off, but I just can’t seem to figure out what.” Nicole responds, her eyes glued to the papers in front of her and the laptop on the desk.
“Yeah, well I don’t think you will figure anything else out while running on four hours of sleep. Go home. Get some rest. Start back on this tomorrow.” Nedley says, shutting the door as he leaves.
Nicole gives a small laugh, shutting the laptop and locking the files up in her desk. She walks out of the station and heads for her cruiser. She gets in and drives back to her apartment. When she arrives, she goes to her bedroom and peels off her uniform. She takes a shower, hoping the hot water will rid her mind of the horrible images she witnessed today. That woman (Mrs. Townseed) was brutally attacked and murdered. And worst of all, her son was the person that found her. The scene was horrible but Nicole also couldn’t pin down the thing that was making her so uneasy. Something didn’t feel right about all the information. Everything seems to line up on paper, but it all just seems too… setup. She decides to let it go for the night, exiting the shower and getting dressed and a pair of sweat pants and a T-shirt. Exhaustion hits her like a ton of bricks and she falls asleep quickly after laying down.
Friday July 13th: Purgatory Sheriff Department- Breakroom
“I had to tell her to go home at one in the morning. She is a good cop, but she also doesn’t know when to call it a day.” Nedley says.
“She is a good cop because she is smart and doesn’t give up.” Dolls corrects.
“Dolls, I am lending her to you so you can utilize her skillset. Not so you can run her into the ground.” Nedley says, annoyance clear in his tone.
“She is a big girl Nedley, she can take care of herself. She doesn’t need me to tell her when to go home and when to come in. Not that she would listen, even if I tried. She knows her own limits.” Dolls says, also annoyed, but trying to defuse the situation.
“Watch out for her Dolls. If you don’t, there will be a lot of people coming after you, including me.” Nedley threatens lightly as he walks out of the breakroom.
Dolls just stands there for a moment, holding his empty X coffee cup in his hands. He shakes his head and finally goes to fill up his cup.
Friday July 13th: Purgatory Sheriff Department- BBD Office
“It is too perfect.” Nicole mutters. Looking between the files, a laptop, and the whiteboard.
“What?” Wynonna asks, not sure if she heard her correctly. It is far too early for this shit.
“His alibi.” Nicole responds, although she says it in a way that makes Wynonna think she didn’t hear her question and is still talking to herself.
Waverly stands and moves so she is next to Nicole. She looks at the receipts and the timeline Nicole drew up. She nods her head and mimics Nicole. “It’s too perfect.”
“Does someone want to tell me what is going on before I shoot someone?!” Wynonna shouts.
Waverly shudders a bit at the noise. Nicole, on the other hand, doesn’t move or acknowledge Wynonna’s exclamation. She mumbles something and turns to the laptop. Waverly follows suit and Wynonna huffs in frustration. Dolls enters the room. “Any progress?” He asks.
“I think Nicole is on to something.” Waverly says, looking at Nicole’s laptop as she types furiously.
“And I would love to know what it is!” Wynonna says, sarcastic anger raging.
Nicole looks up and turns to the whiteboard, pointing at the receipts that Mr. Townseed gave her. “He has receipts for his whole trip. Everything he did. Giving him no time to commit the crime.”
“And that’s a problem because…?” Wynonna leads, not really liking this whole not knowing what’s going on thing.
“Because it is too perfect. It is a setup.” Waverly answers.
“I am a conscious person, so I keep my receipts. But what kind of person keeps every single receipt?” Nicole asks. “I get keeping receipts for hotel stays, gas, and meals. But, no one keeps receipts for fast food places, personal transportation (with timestamps), and some of this other stuff. It is too perfect. It is a setup. I just checked security camera footage from his hotel. He was gone for over five hours on the night of his wife’s death. His receipts say he was eating dinner at a restaurant in the city. I called said restaurant and had them send me their footage as well. He was never there. He probably fished this receipt out of the trash once he returned. Five hours gives him plenty of time to drive here, kill his wife and drive back to the city.”
“Nice work. You got a motive?” Dolls asks.
“No, not yet.” Nicole says.
“I may have one.” Waverly says, raising her hand like a kid in school. She turns to the whiteboards and points to a piece of paper. “Mr. Townseed is broke. Like really broke. His bank statements tell us he spends any money he has on booze, hookers or more booze. His wife’s bank statement show she spent over four hundred dollars last month at this address.” Waverly moves to her own laptop and turns it so everyone can see the screen. The address from the bank statement is typed into google and the first result is a divorce attorney’s office. “She was going to divorce him. She was meeting and paying divorce lawyers for their services.”
“So, he killed her because she was going to divorce him? But why leave the body for his son to find?” Wynonna asks. Nicole’s eyes widen and she bolts out the door.
“Nicole!” Dolls calls out, trying to catch her. But it is too late, she is gone. He grabs his bag and runs out to the SUV, followed by the Earp sisters. They peel out of the parking lot and speed to the Townseed residence (lights and sirens all the way).
“What the hell is going on?!” Wynonna asks.
“Haught figured it out and she is going out there.” Dolls says. They are only a few minutes away from their destination.
“What is it then?” Wynonna asks.
“It was a warning.” Waverly says, realization hitting her as she says it.
Before anyone can respond, Nicole’s voice speaks through the radio. “This is Officer Haught 10-23 at the Townseed residence. I got a 10-32 with one hostage.”
“How did she get there so quickly? Waverly asks. Dolls sends her a look that tells her she doesn’t want to know. They arrive a minute later, disembarking from the car with guns drawn. Nicole is about fifteen feet away from them, gun raised at Mr. Townseed. He has his son by the neck, a gun to his head.
“Put the gun down now!” Nicole commands.
“Go to hell!” Mr. Townseed replies, squeezing his grip on his son’s neck.
“You don’t want to do this man. This isn’t worth your life or his.” Nicole looks down at the young boy. He looks scared and shakes in his father’s grasp.
“That bitch was gonna leave me and try and take my boy! But they both belong to me! She wouldn’t listen! I told her what would happen if either of them tried some shit like that!” He squeezes his son’s throat again and causes the young boy to cry out in pain as his airway weakens.
“Ethan.” Nicole’s voice softens as she addresses the boy. “Do you remember me? My name is Nicole. I was here yesterday.” The boy does his best to nod. “Alright, good. Ethan, I need you to look straight at me, okay? Try not to move.” The boy does as Nicole asks, her tone calming him the slightest bit.
“Shut up bitch!”
“Last chance!” Nicole says, her emotions unwavering as she refocuses on Clark Townseed.
“If I die, my property is coming with me!” He yells. But before he can try and do anything, Nicole takes a shot. She hits him in the shoulder (of the arm holding the gun), causing him to drop the gun and stumble a few steps back. He loses his grip on his son’s throat and the boy wrestles free, running to Nicole. Once the boy is clear and standing behind her, she re-aims for Clark. She is about to fire again as she sees him reach for the fallen gun, but Dolls beats her to it. He hits him twice in the chest, causing him to crumble to the ground.
Friday July 13th: Townseed Residence
Once Dolls checks for a pulse and confirms that Townseed is dead, Nicole pulls the boy from behind her and squats down so she is just below eye level with him. She checks him over with her eyes, looking for injuries. “Are you okay buddy? Did he hurt you?” The young boy shakes his head no and grabs Nicole into a bear hug. He begins to cry into her chest and she picks him up, holding him and swaying her hips. He is eight years old and probably an easy sixty pounds, but Nicole doesn’t care. He is alone, both of his parents are dead, and he is scared. She holds him tight, swaying as she walks in a wide circle, mumbling reassuringly.
After a few minutes, his cries subside and he just sniffles into her shirt, hiding his face. Nicole doesn’t stop though, she keeps holding him and comforting him until an ambulance arrives and paramedics are loading him into the rig. He begins to panic when Nicole puts him on the gurney, eyes wide with terror. “Hey, hey. Ethan. It’s okay. I will meet you at the hospital. These nice guys here have to check you out first and take you to see a doctor. This is Ricky.” Nicole reassures as she points to one of the EMT’s loading him up. Ricky smiles at Ethan. “He is a friend of mine and he is going to take care of you until you get to the hospital. He is a really nice guy.” She sends Ricky a look that says if you leave him, I will fuck you up. Ricky nods and takes Ethan’s hand in his own as he sits next to the gurney in the loaded ambulance. Ethan looks unconvinced, Nicole scratches her head and thinks. “Do you like dogs?” Ethan nods his head. “Great! Ricky has two dogs. He can show you pictures of them on his phone while you wait for me, okay?” Ethan brightens a bit and nods. Nicole pats his foot once before closing the ambulance doors and patting the steel back. It takes off towards the hospital.
Nicole watches it leave and then turns around. She looks at the scene as a whole before walking over to the spot where Clark Townseed’s body is. She walks right up to it and crouches by his head. She looks down and whispers, “You bastard.” She looks at him, disgusted. “That little boy is amazing and you threw him away. You killed his mother, left him to find her, and tried to kill him too. I can only imagine what kind of shit you put them through while they were both still alive. There is a special place in hell for bastards like you. Any person that hurts children…” Nicole growls. “You are lucky Dolls shot you. You got to die quick. That is a luxury you didn’t deserve. You better thank your lucky stars it wasn’t me who killed you. It wouldn’t have been fast or painless.” Nicole stands and looks down at the body. “Go to hell. I hope it treats you the way you deserve.” She walks away from the body and towards Dolls. Wynonna and Waverly are talking to another officer who is writing out statements.
“Great work.” Dolls says as she approaches.
“Maybe, but today is a sucky day.” She responds.
“Agreed.” He says. They are in understanding. They both stay silent and just watch the scene in front of them. Nedley’s deputies are securing the scene and the coroner has just arrived and is checking out the body. Officers are taking photos and samples for evidence, while others are writing out statements.
They could have stayed that way for longer, but Wynonna’s arrival pulls them from their trance. “Okay. So that escalated quickly.”
Nicole surprises both of them when she chuckles at Wynonna’s quip. She looks up and sees their surprised faces. “Sorry.” She chuckles again, but regains her composure. “It’s just so fucked up. I would rather laugh than be angry.”
“You are a different breed, Haught.” Wynonna says, shaking her head. She smiles at the redhead a bit.
“You have no idea.” Nicole responds with a smile.
“Drinks at Shorty’s?” Wynonna asks as Waverly rejoins them.
“Sure.” Dolls says and Waverly nods as well.
“Um, I’ll take a raincheck. I am gonna go to the hospital and get Ethan’s statement. Plus, I want to make sure Social Services gets him set up properly.” Nicole says, starting to walk away. “But next time, drinks on me.”
“Sure thing Haughtshot.” Wynonna says.
Nicole stops dead in her tracks and turns to face Wynonna, a look of disbelief on her face. “Did you really just try to make a pun from my name? Really Earp? At least be original.”
“I am just warming up. Give me time. I’ll get there.”
Nicole groans and starts to walk again.
“Need a ride?!” Dolls asks
“Nope!” Nicole shouts as she heads for the tree line. “But thanks anyways!”
Dolls just laughs and shakes his head. He turns his attention back to the Earp sisters.
“Where is she going?” Wynonna asks.
“The hospital.” Dolls responds.
“It’s in the other direction and is she planning on walking there? Cause’ that a bit of a trek.” Waverly asks.
“Don’t you remember how she got here?” Dolls asks. Before either woman can formulate a response, a howl sounds off in the distance. Dolls smiles and does a little laugh. Both Earp girls stare off at the part of the tree line where Nicole had disappeared to, both with childlike wonder and fascination.
Friday July 13th: Ghost River County Hospital
“Nicole!” Ethan shouts as she walks into his hospital room, an arm behind her back.
“Hey Ethan. How are you feeling Bud?” Nicole responds with a smile.
“Ricky showed me videos of his dogs jumping into his pool. It was really funny.” Ethan says. Nicole’s smile widens. It always amazes her how easily kids bounce back after something horrible happens.
“Well that was very cool of him. Where is he by the way?”
“The nurses kicked him out. Said visiting time was over. Wait? How are you here?” Ethan asks.
Nicole chuckles and pulls out her badge. “I showed them this. They can’t really not let me in. Plus…” Nicole gets a mischievous glint in her eye. “Can you keep a secret?”
Ethan nods animatedly and Nicole comes closer and whisper shouts, “I bribed them with carrot cake from the bakery across the street.”
Ethan laughs, “Really?”
“Yes.” Nicole responds with a smile. “It is nurse Diane’s favorite. What is your favorite?”
“Chocolate!” Ethan responds without hesitation.
Nicole laughs and reveals a Styrofoam container with the bakery logo on it. “Well, it just so happens I have a piece of chocolate right here. Nurse Diane says you can have half if you promise to be good.”
“Alright, sit down and I’ll cut it in half for you.” Nicole says, unable to hide her affection for the young child. He plops himself down on the bed and waits patiently for Nicole to place a piece of cake and a fork in front of him. He gobbles down the cake and laughs giddily as Nicole does the same. Nicole spends the night at the hospital with Ethan. They talk about what happened with his family, they watch cartoons on the crappy hospital TV, and they even play a game of hospital hide-and-go-seek before Nicole tucked him into bed. Right before he fell asleep, he asked Nicole what would happen to him now.
“We can talk about it in the morning bud, but you don’t have to worry. We will figure it out.” She says. She falls asleep in a chair that is pulled up to Ethan’s bedside. His hand is still clutching her fingers a few hours later when Waverly walks in to the hospital room. She comes to check on the young boy, but she didn’t think Nicole would still be here. The sight of their joined hands makes her heart melt. Nicole is so good with him (and now that she thinks about it, she is good with all kids). Waverly doesn’t want to disturb them, so she decides to go down to the cafeteria and get some food for Nicole. She returns fifteen minutes later, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in hand. She sits in the chair near the door after placing the sandwich near Nicole. Waverly just watches the steady breathing of Nicole’s chest; the way Ethan’s fingers periodically tighten on Nicole’s. It is a beautiful sight.
Saturday July 14th: Ghost River County Hospital
“Hey.” Waverly says as she wakes up, seeing Nicole is already awake.
“Hey. What time did you show up last night? I don’t remember you coming in.” Nicole asks with a smile.
“Early this morning actually. Wanted to check on the little guy. He has been through a lot.” Waverly says, looking at the still sleeping boy.
“Thanks for the sandwich. I forgot I hadn’t eaten all day yesterday… besides a cup of coffee and a half a slice of cake.” Nicole says gratefully.
Waverly laughs softly, “Eating like a champion.”
Just then, a woman in a pantsuit steps through the door. She looks at the boy and then at the two women. “I am looking for a one…” She looks at the file in her hand, “Officer Nicole Haught?”
“That would be me. Can we speak outside?”
“Sure.” The woman responds, stepping out the door and into the hall.
“Mind watching him for a sec?” Nicole asks. “I don’t want him to panic if no one is here.”
“Of course.” Waverly responds.
Nicole exits the room and into the hallway. “Officer Haught. My name is Deborah Lancaster. I am a child advocate from the Department of Social Services. I have been assigned to the Ethan Townseed case. I have been briefed on the situation and the terms of which he ended up here. I am sorry I didn’t get here sooner, Purgatory is a ways away from the home office.”
Nicole shakes Deborah’s hand. “It is nice to meet you. So, what are you planning on doing for him?”
“He has grandparents that live just outside Kansas City. I talked to them this morning and they are ready to have him. They were planning on taking in him and his mother once they left Clark Townseed. So, they are already prepared for his arrival. I got an okay from his doctor as I came in. I plan on personally escorting him to Kansas City. We leave on a flight tonight.”
Saturday July 14th: Ghost River County Hospital
“Will you come with me?” Ethan asks with sad, hopeful eyes.
“I can’t buddy. I am sorry.” Nicole says regretfully. The look on the young boy’s face is breaking her heart. “But listen, I talked to your grandma this morning. Her and your grandpa are really excited for you to come stay with them. You are even getting your own room.”
Ethan gives her an unconvinced look. “But I am going to miss you.”
Nicole knows part of Ethan’s separation anxiety with her has to do with his trauma. She wants to reassure him as much as she can, but there is only so much she can do. “I know bud, and I will miss you too. But this is a good thing. Plus, your grandparents have a dog. His name is Dennis, I think. You are going to love Kansas City.”
Before Ethan can respond, Deborah comes into the room. “Okay Ethan, it’s time to go.”
Nicole stands and helps the young boy out of the hospital bed. He grabs her hand and looks up at her. “Will you walk me to the car? Please?” He pleads.
“Of course.” Nicole responds with a pained smile. This is always the hardest part: the goodbyes.
They make their way out of the hospital and out to the parking lot. Ethan never let’s go of her hand. Dolls, Wynonna and Waverly are all standing by the car. They all say short goodbyes. Nicole stops at the door and crouches down. Ethan pulls her into a bone crushing hug. He wipes his eyes when they separate and Deborah ushers him into the car. She shakes hands with Nicole and enters the car herself. The car pulls away from the curb and drives away.
Wednesday July 20th: Purgatory Sheriff Department- BBD Office
“Nicole, its late. Go home.” Dolls says as he starts to pack up his things for the night. “We don’t have any open cases. You have no reason to be here right now.”
“Paperwork.” Is all Nicole says in response.
Waverly is in the office too, doing research. She looks at the clock and sees it’s almost 12:30am. She huffs out a breath, but doesn’t move to leave.
Dolls turns Nicole’s computer and sees what she is working on. “Nicole, why are you looking into cold cases?” This gets Waverly’s attention.
“Because they aren’t cold anymore.” Nicole responds. “I have a feeling that these three murders are connected.”
“And what makes you suspect that?” Waverly asks, sliding over so she is also sitting next to Nicole.
“Because of these marks.” Nicole points at claw marks on the crests of the victims. “I have seen them before and so have you.” She takes a hard swallow. “Just… not on humans.”
“You think Jerry Rum did this?” Dolls asks, looking at the files closer.
“You see those marks below the indentations of the claw?” Nicole points. “That mark is caused by a genetic abnormality that effects one’s gate and posture. The genetic abnormality is unique to the Rum family.”
“So, what’s the plan?” Waverly asks.
“I have to alert the pack, Dolls. He violated pack law and any punishment he gets here will be less than in the pack. The pack doesn’t stand for killing innocent humans without cause.” Nicole says, looking at Dolls.
“I understand. Make the call.” He says.
“I will call my father in the morning. They will be here to take him off our hands.” Nicole says. “But we can bring him in.”
“Okay, we should hit the burrow at dawn.” Dolls says.
“You should stay at the homestead tonight.” Waverly says quickly. “That way, you won’t have to drive back home tonight, only to get up in a few hours and drive all the way out there by yourself.” Waverly reasons.
“That is a good idea.” Dolls says, sending a look to Waverly. She blushes.
“Ummm…” Nicole goes to protest but Waverly stops her.
“C’mon Nicole. It is the most practical solution.” Waverly says, her eyes wide.
How can I say no to that face? “Fine. Thank you.”
Wednesday July 20th: Earp Homestead
“Nicole, you are not going to sleep out in the barn!” Waverly protests.
“Waverly, I don’t want to be a burden or overstay my welcome.” Nicole counters.
“Nicole.” Waverly literally and figuratively puts her foot down. “You are not sleeping in the barn. It is cold out there and you will freeze to death. You are also not sleeping on the couch because you will ruin your body doing that. You are gonna sleep in my room. You are not being a burden. Dolls is sharing with Wynonna, otherwise I would let you have my bed and I would sleep with her.”
Nicole goes to protest again but the look Waverly levels in her direction makes the works die in her throat. Waverly points up the stairs and then leads Nicole up to her bedroom. It is the final door at the end of the hall. They both enter and Waverly busies herself, pulling the sheets down.
“Waverly, I can take the floor. I really…”
“Nicole. We are both adults. We can share a bed.”
“As long as you’re comfortable. I don’t want to make you…” Nicole starts.
“You don’t.” Waverly cuts her off yet again.
“Okay. Bathroom?” Nicole asks, accepting defeat.
“That door, right there.” Waverly confirms, a triumphant smile on her face.
Nicole enters the bathroom, closing it behind her. It is only then that Waverly realizes what she has done. She does her best not to panic, especially when Nicole exits the bathroom in her pajamas (a black sports bra, a white tank top and a pair of sweat pants). Nicole gets into the side of the bed that Waverly isn’t occupying and gets under the covers, being mindful to stay to her side of the bed. After a moment of silence, Nicole rolls on to her side and takes a deep breath. “Goodnight Waverly.”
Wednesday July 20th: Earp Homestead
Waverly wakes up pushed against something soft. Well, actually, something warm and soft, yet firm. She cracks her eyes open and realizes that she is pressed up into Nicole. She is no longer on her side of the bed, but rather, she is curled up into Nicole’s chest. She doesn’t remember moving during the night, but she apparently did, seeing as she is not on the opposite side of the bed. Nicole has a protective arm over her, holding her close as they rest. Waverly can feel the steady beat of Nicole’s heart as they lay there. It is comforting. She never lets Champ hold her like this. She barely lets him touch her at all anymore. It feels possessive when he touches her. It feels like it is about keeping his hold on her like she is his property. But Nicole holds her close. She holds her like she is ready to jump up and protect Waverly from anything. They barely know each other, and yet, Waverly feels so comfortable and protected by Nicole. She is pulled from her thoughts when Nicole shifts. Nicole mumbles something, smiling a little before falling back into sleep. Waverly doesn’t fight it when Nicole pulls her closer. Rather, she burrows in, wanting to feel even more of the comfort that she feels when she is with Nicole. It’s about twenty minutes later when Nicole does actually wake up. Before she can even think of how to play this, Nicole is retracting her arm and jumping out of the bed. She walks into the bathroom, grabbing her bag on the way, and shuts the door.
Waverly just lays there. She has to silence a whimper that threatens to escape from the loss of contact. After a few moments, she gets herself up and gets ready for the day.
Wednesday July 20th: East Burrow
They are all standing outside the burrow, deciding on a plan. No one seems to be able to agree.
“Dolls, that is stupid! She is not going in there alone!” Waverly says.
“It is the safest way to do this.” Dolls argues.
“Safest for who? Cause’ it sure isn’t the safest for Nicole!” Waverly argues.
“I agree with Wave, Haughtstuff shouldn’t go in and take them on by herself.” Wynonna adds.
“Well you being in there won’t help. You don’t know how to lay low! You flaunt your alpha like you’re the queen of the world!” Dolls snaps, frustrated. He doesn’t like the idea of Nicole going in by herself, but he doesn’t see another way. Bringing Wynonna along is a liability and him going in with Nicole leaves the Earp girls defenseless. He turns to look at Nicole, who is staring at them with a very unimpressed and bored look on her face. She straightens up and starts to walk to the building. “Nicole? What are you doing?”
“If you guys can’t agree on who is going in, then why don’t we just have everyone come out.” Nicole says, annoyance clear in her voice. Before any of them can say more, Nicole is pulling the pin on a can of tear gas. She opens the door, throws the tear gas inside and closes the door. At first, nothing happens. It is quiet. But then all of the occupants of the building start pouring out of the structure, coughing and rubbing their eyes. Nicole stands near the doorway, making her presence known. They all bow their heads respectfully and stand off to the side. As the last of the occupants leave the building, the Rum boys emerge as well. Jerry looks angry, while the twins both look scared.
“What the fuck?!” Jerry growls. He smells Nicole and then he looks up to see her. “Cole! This your doing?!”
“Jerry Rum, you are under arrest for the murders of Alicia Franks, Emmitt Wagner and Dale Yates.” Nicole says, not even acknowledging his anger. “You are also in violation of pack law and will be punished in accordance with pack decree.”
“You have got to be fucking with me Cole!” Jerry exclaims. He says it in a way that implies being accused of murdering three people is no big deal.
“What part of any of this makes you think this is a joke. Surrender yourself Jerry. Don’t make this harder than it has to be. Don’t make your little brothers watch.” Nicole counters, authority in her voice.
“They were just a few humans who got in our way!” Jerry argues. Getting angrier.
“They were human beings with families and friends who cared about them. You took them away. Now turn around and put your hands behind your back.” Nicole responds, her distain for Jerry unmistakable.
“You’re going to have to take me down. I am not going anywhere.” Jerry responds, growling at Nicole.
Nicole smelled his scent about twenty minutes ago, but now she knows he is here. She sees him out of the corner of her eye. Only now does she acknowledge he is here. She turns to look at the man as he approaches. He is in his wolf form until the last few feet. He phases back into his human form with practiced ease. Every single person bows in his presence (except for Nicole and Jerry). Even Wynonna does a small bow of her head. “I think that sounds like a great idea.” Nicole’s father says. He looks at Jerry, disappointment clear in his features. “Thank you for the call.” He says to his daughter. He is in head alpha mode right now. Now is not the time to greet his daughter like he would like. He turns to look at the Black Badge team, before returning his attention back to the situation at hand. “Jerry Rum. Are you requesting to challenge Nicole for your freedom? Are you acknowledging this is a direct action of resistance and you will be punished accordingly?” He asks Jerry.
“Yes, alpha. I am.” Jerry responds, looking Nicole up and down. He thinks he can beat her.
“Nicole.” Her father turns his attention to Nicole. “Do you accept this challenge?”
Nicole only responds with a growl and a bark.
All of the other alphas and betas howl and bark. Let’s get this party started.
Dolls watches Nicole as she comes back over to them. She takes off her utility belt, stenson and her uniform jacket. She places them in the SUV and closes the door before coming directly to the group. “You should probably go.” Nicole says.
“What is going on? I thought challenges like these were just myths?” Waverly asks.
“Unfortunately, no. They are very real and happen more often than I would like to admit. It is how we normally have to settle disputes in the pack.” Nicole responds. She looks annoyed.
“You are going to fight him? To like the death?” Wynonna asks. “Haught, he has like 80 pounds on you, easy.”
“I am aware.” Nicole says removing her uniform shirt so she is in her tank top. She puts the shirt in the SUV as well.
“How many of these have you done?” Wynonna follows up.
“Too many.” Is all Nicole responds with.
“Nicole.” Dolls looks at her with equal parts sympathy and worry. “You got this?”
“I hope so.” She responds. She turns to look at Waverly. “You might want to leave. These don’t normally end pretty.”
“We are not leaving you here.” Waverly responds without hesitation.
“We got your back Nicole. Be careful.” Dolls says and Wynonna nods in agreement.
“Cole!” Nicole’s father calls from the open field on the side of the building.
Nicole and Jerry are facing one another. They are 100 feet apart. Everyone else is surrounding them in a wide circle, including the Black Badge team. Nicole’s father is standing in the center of the circle, in between the two. He starts the customary speech. “We have laws, we have a code. It is what keeps us from turning into savages. We are better than that. We give ourselves the opportunity to battle for redemption. Proving one’s strength and worth through battle to gain reparation is one of our oldest traditions. The law will be upheld. Good luck. May the better wolf win.” He steps back and the surrounding alphas start to bark and howl in encouragement. Jerry phases right away (but it takes him a couple seconds to get his bearings). Nicole on the other hand waits for him to move before phasing herself. She does it with ease, similarly to her father. She stands tall and strong. They start to circle each other, growling at one another, snapping their jaws open and shut loudly. Jerry bares his teeth and tries to make himself look as big as possible. Nicole watches him, studies him. He is slightly bigger than her and his coat is an oily grey color. It is a stark contrast to herself. She breaks eye contact with him for a half a second as she meets Waverly’s gaze. She hopes the look on Waverly’s face isn’t one of disgust or fear. Before she can think about it more, Jerry barks and advances on her. She snaps back to attention and dodges the bite that was going for her neck. He advances again, but Nicole doesn’t let him get far. She gets herself under his jaw and bites him hard in the shoulder. He yelps and backs away. Then they are both wrestling each other, both going for the neck. They hit the ground, kicking each other off one another and rolling in the struggle. Jerry gets a strong hit to Nicole’s upper arm. She doesn’t even yelp. As this is all going on, her father circles the fight, exchanging pleasantries with the spectators. He rounds on the Black Badge team.
“Xavier Dolls. It has been some time.” Nicholas Haught says as he approaches.
“It has been Sir.” Dolls says politely.
“I assume my daughter is working with you? That is why she is here with you?”
“Yes Sir.” Dolls responds. “Is that a problem?”
“Not yet.” He says. He is about to address the Earp women but before he can, a yelp comes from the fight.
Nicole has Jerry by the neck and she throws him 50 feet. She goes to advance on him again, but he whimpers and crawls into submission. She stops. She turns to her father and he nods. She straitens as much as her injuries will allow and looks to the sky. She howls and it silences every other sound in the area. It screams victory and authority.
Wednesday July 20th: East Burrow
“Holy shit.” Wynonna says, staring wide eyed at Nicole.
Dolls and Waverly just wordlessly nod their heads in agreement. They watch as Nicole’s father phases back into his wolf form and approaches Nicole and Jerry’s submitting figure. Nicole waits until her father is standing over Jerry’s limp form to stop the low growl that has been coming from her. Her father barks and two more wolfs appear in the distance. They run at top speed towards them. Once they stop, they both focus their attentions on Nicole. They both greet her friendly and one even rubs his reddish-brown body against Nicole’s larger form. Nicole seems to flinch the slightest bit, but no one notices. Well, no one except Waverly, that is.
“Who are they?” Waverly asks Dolls. She nods her head in the direction of the two newcomers. The larger of the two was slightly bigger than Nicole with jet black fur that is covered in grey patches. His eyes are stern, but he still seems friendly with Nicole. But once his gaze falls on Jerry, he bares his teeth and growls loudly at the wolf. The other, smaller wolf looks like a small version of Nicole. His reddish-brown fur resembles Nicole’s, although her coat has a twinge of blond in it that gives it a more radiant quality. He also has kind eyes, but these don’t falter like the bigger wolf’s does. He seems solely focused on Nicole.
“Her brothers.” Dolls responds, never taking his eyes away from the wolves.
Nicole keeps her stance and demeanor authoritative, but even she can’t hide how happy she is to see her brothers (especially Ryan). He comes up and embraces her, rubbing his head into her neck with affection. She barks softly at him so only they can hear (not that anyone here besides their brother and their father would be able to understand them anyways). “Hey Ryan.”
“I miss you.” He whines back, finally stepping away from her (but only slightly).
“I missed you too.” She looks at her father, who is now looking at her expectantly. “We can talk later.”
He nods and returns to Alek’s side. They both get Jerry to his feet and start to walk him towards the direction they came. Her father nods at her once more before following. They continue to walk until they hit the forest line. There is a loud bark and howl and then silence once again. Nicole shudders. She has never gotten used to the sound. At least her father had waited until they were out of sight before executing Jerry’s punishment. Nicole silently thanks him for that. For not making the Rum twins watch as their brother is killed for his crimes.
Nicole shakes her head and turns in a circle, seeing that everyone is still standing in the large circle, watching. She barks loudly and everyone jumps. They all run and disperse until Nicole is alone in the field with the Black Badge team. She is still in wolf form, so she keeps her distance. She looks at them, hoping to gauge their reactions.
Wynonna has a shocked smile on her face and looks like she is fighting the urge to dance around and shout. Dolls looks impressed, but slightly concerned. And then there is Waverly. She has an unreadable expression on her face that makes Nicole nervous. Is she scared of me? Disgusted by all of this? Dolls takes a cautious step forward, one hand raised to show he is friendly. It isn’t necessary, Nicole is aware of him, but she appreciates his caution. He takes another step and then another. He slowly makes his way over to her, the Earp sisters following behind him.
“Are you hurt?” He asks her, looking into her eyes.
She lightly stomps her front left paw on the ground, indicating a yes.
“Okay. Do you need a hospital?”
Nicole shakes her head and makes a fussing noise.
“I will get the first aid kit at the car ready. Meet me over there when you’re ready.”
Dolls walks back to the SUV after reaching up and giving Nicole a pat on the head. It is his way of telling her he is happy she is okay, but that he also understands the emotional and physical pain she is going through.
Once Dolls is gone, neither Earp sister moves to get closer. They just stare at her, not knowing what to do. They had read legends about the verum lupum and heard the occasional story, but seeing it with their own eyes... it is a lot to take in. The verum are almost three times the size of a regular wolf, but seem to otherwise match their physical characteristics. Nicole senses their hesitation and phases back into human form. She, for the first time in her life, feels shame being in her wolf form.
In a blink of an eye, Nicole is in her human form and hunching over. She has one of her hands pressed to her bleeding arm. She has a few scratches on the rest of her exposed skin, but looks othwise unharmed. The sight of Nicole clutching her injured arm snaps Waverly out of the trance she was is. She takes a final few step and comes to Nicole’s side.
“What can I do?” She asks, her sister taking a spot near Nicole’s other side (although, not as close).
“Im fine Waves. Just need to lie down.” Nicole says dismissivly, avoiding Waverly’s gaze. She begins to walk, as best she can, back to the SUV.
Wednesday July 20th: Earp Homestead
“Dolls, its not necessary. I'm fine.” Nicole protests.
“If you dont cover that, it is going to get infected.” Dolls argues, pointing at Nicole’s arm.
“Dolls, I got this.” Waverly jumps in, pulling a chair up so she is at Nicole’s side. Dolls reluctantly hands her the first aid kit and walks over to lean against the wall. “And you...” Waverly turns her head to look at Nicole. She gives her a look that could kill. “Shut up, sit still, and let me clean and cover this.”
Nicole is in so much shock, all she can do is dumbly bob her head. Waverly gets out the necessary materials and begins to clean out the wound. Jerry sunk his claws in pretty deep, but the wound isn't that big. She is so preoccupied with the process that she almost doesnt hear Wynonna ask Nicole a question.
“Dude. That was awesome.” Wynonna says. “Why havent you shown us this before?”
“Earp!” Dolls scolds, he moves to lean off the wall but Nicole’s calm voice stops him.
“Dolls, relax. I dont have a problem answering her questions.” She turns to look at Waverly. “Both of your questions.”
“Great, because I have a couple.” Wynonna says, bringing Nicole’s attention back to her. “I thought wolves shredded their clothing when they changed from human to wolf? But apparently thats not the case.”
Nicole laughs. “That’s a myth. Our clothes stay with our human form when we phase. If they didn't, we would be naked once we phased back into human form.”
“Okay, next question. Could you like, crush a car. You are like... huge!”
“I am a wolf, not the hulk Wynonna. I could probably put a good sized dent in one though, if I was so inclined.” Nicole responds.
“Do you, like, eat people... in wolf form?”
“Ew, no. Stop watching shitty werewolf movies Earp.” Nicole responds, blanching in disgust.
“So those were your brothers and your dad?” Waverly cuts in.
“Yeah. The bigger, dark wolf was Alek. He is my oldest sibling. And the red one is my little brother Ryan. And obviously, you met my father.”
“Seems like a self-righteous ass.” Wynonna comments.
“Wynonna!” Waverly scolds.
“He kinda is.” Nicole responds, shocking everyone. “He wasn't always this way. But ever since my grandpa died... he just hasn't been the same. My dad and I used to be close, but once my grandpa was gone, he just... All he can talk to me about is the damn pack. I think I remind him of my grandpa too much.” Nicole shakes the thought out of her head. “But my brothers are easier. Alek is the oldest, so he can be kinda a hard-ass. But he is a good person. Unfortunatly, he is as gung-ho about the pack as my father. He lives and breathes to serve my father. Ry is the youngest.” Nicole looks at Wynonna and then indicates to Waverly. “He is my babyboy.”
Wynonna nods and understands the significance of what Nicole is saying. Waverly is her world and she would do anything to protect her. Nicole obviously feels the same about her little brother.
“He is only eighteen and still trying to figure out who he is in the world.” Nicole continues.
“I am suprised Brie didn’t show up.” Dolls comments.
Nicole huffs out a humorless laugh. “My mom is probably keeping her occupied...”
“What do you mean?” Wynonna asks, picking up on Nicole’s distain for the topic.
“Once Brie and I hit certain ages, our mother took it upon herself to find us mates. You know, keep the good genes going.” Nicole says as if she has a bad taste in her mouth. “Brie got lucky though. My mom didn't start with her until sometime after her twenty third birthday.”
Waverly is almost afraid to ask, but she cant stop herself. “And what about you? How old were you when it started for you?”
Nicole looks at Waverly for a moment before averting her eyes to stare out the window. “Fifteen.” Nicole visibly gulped, swallowing down the negative feelings. “But nothing substantial came of it so, it is just a waste of time.”
“I am sorry Nic. That sounds... rough.” Waverly says. Not completely sure what the right thing to say is.
“Maybe. But many would say its a blessing.” Nicole finally looks back at Waverly. “But for me, it is a curse.”
Friday August 5th: Shorty’s Saloon
“So your brother is coming here?” Waverly asks Nicole as she places a beer in front of her.
“My sister too.” Nicole says with a small smile. “They can't stay long, but I missed them and they have been begging to come visit.”
Waverly smiles at Nicole, knowing the redhead is trying to suppress her own excitement. She has gotten to know Nicole more and more over the week. They have started to hang out at Shorty’s (outside of work and sometimes) without Wynonna and Dolls. The front door of the bar opens and two people walk in. Waverly watches as their eyes adjust to the dim lighting and scan the bar. They both lock on to Nicole (who has her back to them). They both silently walk towards her, obviously trying to sneak up on her. The young redheaded man is about to pounce on her when Nicole pipes up.
“Don't you dare Ryan.” She says, not even moving to turn and look. Waverly smiles, knowing Nicole was probably aware of their presence long before they were aware of hers.
“How do you do that?! It is so not fair!” Ryan says in mock outrage.
Nicole smiles and finally turns to face her brother and a woman (Who Waverly assumes to be Nicole’s sister).
“It is called superior skills Ry.” Nicole jokes, pulling him into a hug. She looks at her sister and smiles. “Aren't you going to say hello? You haven't seen me in months.”
The dark haired woman’s face breaks into a smile as she reaches out and hugs Nicole. “Hey Cole. I missed you and your sarcastic ass attitude.”
“It is part of my charm. I am nothing without my sarcasm, my self-deprecating humor and my looks.” Nicole says with a shrug of her shoulders. This earns a laugh from her siblings. “Take a seat. You guys want anything? My treat.” Nicole says, motioning to the chairs next to her at the bar.
“No we actually just ate before we left. Today was the big pack-wide barbecue. But I will take a water.” Ryan says.
“Yeah, too much food. I don't want to eat for the next week.” Brie supplies. “And can I get a vodka tonic?”
“Oh.” Nicole seems to reflect for a moment. “I miss that event. The food is always amazing.”
“Yeah, it isn't the same without you though.” Ryan says and Brie nods her head in agreement.
Nicole doesn't know how to respond so she just shakes her head and flags down Waverly (who is pretending to be working, while discretely watching the siblings interact.
“What can I get ya?” Waverly asks as she approaches, a wide smile on her face.
“Another beer for me and a vodka tonic for my sister. Oh and a water for the pup.” Nicole says, elbowing her brother. She looks back up at Waverly. “Waverly, these are my siblings. Or at least two of them. My brother Ryan and my sister Brie. Ryan, Brie, this is my friend Waverly Earp. We work together.”
Brie and Ryan both shake hands with Waverly and smile at her. “It is nice to finally meet you Waverly. I wish I could have introduced myself on my previous visit, but the situation didn't allow it. But it is nice to finally meet the woman my sister won't shut up about.” Ryan says kindly, elbowing Nicole at the end.
“Shut up Ry.” Nicole counters, shoving him lightly. Brie just shakes her head and smiles.
Waverly blushes but does her best to hide it. “It is nice to finally meet you both too. Nicole has told me a lot about you. Let me get your drinks started. I will be right back.”
Waverly returns with their drinks and sets them down infront of them. All the Haught siblings thank her and take sips from their drinks. Nicole places a hand on Waverly’s and squeezes it lightly. Waverly smiles at the touch, enjoying the openness of it. Shehas been spending a lot more time with Nicole recently, after breaking up with Champ, so she knows the touch and the meaning it conveys.
“So Waverly. Earp? As in the legendary Earps? Brie asks.
Waverly laughs. “Yes. Wyatt Earp is my great granddaddy.”
“Quite the legacy.” Brie says, impressed.
“Not really, considering you all have quite the legacy of your own.” Waverly says.
Brie and Ryan both laugh. “We try and not let it get to our heads” Ryan says. “Otherwise, we turn into our brother Alek or our father. I swear, sometimes I wonder if they hear how dickish they sound.”
Nicole laughs and almost spits out her beer.
“Yeah, you heard me.” Ryan jokes. Earning a laugh from Brie and Waverly.
“I hope you dont say that to their faces.” Nicole says. “I raised you better than that.”
Ryan rolls his eyes. “I wouldn’t be sitting her if I did. Dad has been even more of a basketcase since you left.”
“Have you ever considered that may be one of the reasons she left?” Brie teases her brother.
“God, sometimes, I cant tell which sarcastic comment is coming from who, you or Cole?” Ryan fires back.
“They called us twins for a reason.” Nicole comments.
“That is true.” Brie adds smugly.
Waverly just laughs as the siblings go back and forth, loving the experience of getting to meet Nicole’s closest family members.
Friday August 5th: Shorty’s Saloon
“Alright. We better get going.” Brie says, standing from her stool at the bar.
“Nooo.” Ryan protests, grabbing Nicole’s arm and whining like a child.
“Lets go you big baby. It is almost midnight.” Brie teases.
“Hey, you can come back whenever you want. You are always welcome to come see me.” Nicole says, hugging Ryan to her tightly.
“Fine” He concedes. “It was really great to finally meet you Waverly.”
“It was nice to finally meet you too Ryan. And you too Brie. Safe travels home.” Waverly responds with a genuine smile. Ryan and Brie exchange goodbyes with Waverly and Nicole before they exit the bar.
“You think they will be fine getting home safe by themselves?” Waverly asks.
Nicole snorts. “It is a pretty easy task when you are the scaryiest thing out there.”
“I don't find you to be scary.” Waverly says, moving to lean closer to Nicole. She puts her elbows down and leans so they are only inches away.
Waverly watches as several different emotions cross Nicole’s face before she responds.”I wish it wasn’t true, but you should be.”
“And why is that?” Waverly asks. “Because you are special? Because you are capable of something none of us are?”
“Because you are not capable of being what I am. You cant defend yourself against me.” Nicole says lowly.
“Would I ever need to?”
“I would never hurt you Waves. You know that. I wouldn’t hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it. I don’t even like hurting people who do. But…” Nicole trails off.
“But…” Waverly brings her back.
“But, my gifts as you call them, can make things seem different. They can change our perspective of the world.”
“And you think that should scare me?” Waverly asks for confirmation, although she is no more scared of Nicole than she was a few minutes ago
“Yes. I think it should.”
“Do you want to know what I think?” Waverly asks, fully intending to tell Nicole (even if she says no).
“I think you are a fierce protector. I think that is why you are such a good cop and a good leader. But I also think you are destine for more than just the pack. I know you love them, that is obvious. But you have made no effort to go back. I think you want to create your own life. One where you are not destine to do anything. One where you create your own destiny. I think you are meant for more than breeding out alphas to prepare for the next generation of leaders for the pack. I think you are worth so much more than that. And I think you feel that same way.” Waverly says, placing one of her hands on top of one of Nicole’s.
Nicole bows her head and tries to hide her blush. “I don't know about all of that. But thanks Waves.”
“Anytime.” Waverly responds.
Friday August 5th: Shorty’s Saloon
Waverly finishes up her shift as Nicole sits and nurses her final beer. Considering she has been here for hours and has only had two beers, it is safe to say she isnt feeling a buzz.
“Waverly. Clock out and get out from behind the bar!” Gus calls from her office.
Waverly chuckles, clocking out and walking around the bar to sit with Nicole. “Want to go back to my place and watch a movie?”
“I should probably head home tonight. I should go and catch up on my paperwork.” Nicole responds with a frown.
“Only you would bring your paperwork home...” Waverly says with a giggle and a shake of her head.
Before Nicole can respond, they are interrupted by a loud eruption behind them. Waverly turns to see Champ walking through the front doors. Waverly, instinctually, moves a bit closer to Nicole. She doesn't miss how Nicole’s body tenses and the small growl she let out.
“Waverly!” Champ barks out as he approaches.
“Champ.” Waverly says as if his name puts a bad taste in her mouth.
Friday August 5th: Shorty’s Saloon
“Waves! Babe!” Champs says, moving to touch her.
“Champ don’t. I am not your ‘Babe’ anymore. We have been over this.” Waverly bites out harshly.
“C’mon Waverly. Don’t be like that. You know you miss me.”
“Actually, I don’t.” Waverly says, clearly beyond the point of aggravation.
“Look, Waves. You just don’t know what you’re missing. Why don't we go upstairs to the old apartment and I can remind you what your missing. Cause clearly you have forgotten.” Champ says confidently.
“Waves. You and your omega just need a good fuck. C’mon.” Champ grabs her arm. She tries to get free but his grip tightens. He is so focused on Waverly that he doesn’t even notice Nicole move.
He only seems to notice when he is falling flat on his back, hitting the floor with a dull thud. He growls in indignation. He moves to get up, but the growl that comes from Nicole stops him in his tracks. Her scent is on full display and Champ knows he is in trouble. She pulls him up from the floor and drags him towards the front door.
“When a woman says ‘no’ Champ, that means no. Actually, maybe you need the consent speech all over again. Yes means yes and EVERYTHING ELSE MEANS NO. I see you near Waverly again, I will make sure you regret it.” Nicole literally shoves him out the door. “Oh and don’t bother coming back to Shorty’s. Consider yourself banned. Your unpaid tab is over $400 and we all know you can’t pay it.” She slams the door shut behind her, making sure no one else is around. She leans down to his ear and growls lowly. “Consider the Earps under my protection and the protection of Viribus. Don’t fuck around with me on this Champ. You won’t see another day if you do.”
Nicole stands up straight and plasters on a good-natured smile. “Now you get home safe Sir. Have a pleasant night.” And with that, she reentered the bar.
Gus is standing next to Waverly, who is holding an icepack to her arm. Nicole descends towards them and comes to stand next to Waverly. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I am fine. Just a little sore.” Waverly says. She looks at Nicole and gives an appreciative smile. “Thank you. For kicking him out.”
“Does he have a history of violence or aggression with you?” Nicole asks.
Waverly ducks her head slightly. Nicole looks to Gus, who is mirroring her anger towards the beta male.
“Well, you don’t have to worry about him coming near you again. Oh, and Gus. I am sorry, but I might have banned him from ever stepping foot in Shorty’s ever again. Sorry for driving away a customer.”
“It is not like he was a paying customer. Plus, after the revelations of the last few minutes, I am thankful you did. If you hadn’t, you might be having to slap the cuffs on me for murdering him.” Gus says, growling at the thought.
“Get in line.” Nicole mumbles, but Gus and Waverly are both close enough to hear it.
Monday August 8th: Purgatory Sheriff Department- BBD Office
“You like her, don’t you?” Dolls asks, although it comes out more as a statement.
“What?” Waverly asks, not really sure what he is talking about.
“Nicole. You like her.” Dolls clarifies.
“Of course I like her, what is there not to like. She is a good friend and coworker.” Waverly says, trying her best to say it casually.
“We both know you think more of her than that. And I know you like her a hell of lot more than friendship.” Dolls says.
“Is it that obvious?” Waverly asks, checks tinged pink with embarrassment.
“Only to anyone paying attention.” Dolls says, but then he adds. “So that means Wynonna is completely oblivious to it all.” He laughs lightly and so does Waverly.
“And Nicole?” Waverly asks.
“That is complicated.” Dolls says, excitement dimming slightly.
“Nicole is a complicated woman. Like, it is clear she knows you like her. And it is clear she really likes you. But that may not matter.” Dolls tries to explain.
“Why wouldn’t it matter?”
“Because there is a strong chance Nicole would never act on her feelings towards you. She isn’t a selfish person. She would never get involved with you, knowing she would leave for the pack later. So she will hide her feelings and do the right thing. Even at the cost of her own happiness.” Dolls elaborates.
“Oh…” Waverly says, deep in thought. “What if I initiated it? Would it matter?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t met any of the people Nicole has dated outside of the ones chosen for her.” Dolls admits.
Waverly stands to go get more coffee. “And Earp?” Dolls calls out. Waverly turns to face him. “Maybe you should get to know her better before you make any decisions. She could explain a lot of this to you better than I can. All you have to do is ask her.”
Waverly nods and smiles. “Thanks Dolls.”
Saturday August 13th: Earp Homestead
“Wait! Wait!” Waverly gets out through giggles. “So your sister did that?”
“Yes!” Nicole explains, laughing at her own story. “She thought she could get away with it. But our mother caught her sneaking out that night and well… let’s just say Brie hasn’t tried to sneak out on a date since.”
“And what about you?” Waverly asks.
Nicole chuckles. “I never really had that issue. I used to sneak out a lot. But not for those reasons. Oh, and I never got caught by my parents.”
“So if you weren’t sneaking out for dates, what were you sneaking off too?” Waverly asks, amused.
“Well, I used to like to explore my abilities. The thing about the pack is, it is really accepting of us Verum. But other abilities… not so much. It is not outwardly expressed, but it isn’t encouraged.” Nicole says, obviously deep in thought.
“Other abilities?” Waverly queries.
“Ha, yeah. Like my eyes and how they change, or my ability to mask my scent, stuff like that.”
“Do others have these abilities too?”
“Not really.” Nicole says. “There used to be a lot more of us. But it started to die off throughout the last four or five generations.” Nicole sighs. “I guess, once people having abilities stopped being common, it became more taboo. Maybe it was out of jealousy or maybe out of fear, who knows. But it has led to the few of us left to disguise a lot of our abilities. I am the last of my kind. My grandpa died and that meant it was just me. There is a woman that left the pack a few years back. She was a telepath. A few months before that, the last known bender died.” Nicole explains.
“A bender?” Waverly asks.
“Yeah. He could manipulate certain elements. It was pretty cool.” Nicole says, obviously fond of the man.
“So you would sneak out at night to use your abilities?” Waverly confirms.
“Yeah. That was really the only time when I could truly be myself. I didn’t have to hide who I was or what I could do.” Nicole says, looking to meet Waverly’s gaze.
“So, have you had any thoughts about when you are going back?” Waverly asks, hopeful Nicole isn’t planning on leaving soon.
“It is kinda all I think about, if I am being honest.” Nicole leans back into the couch. “Can I tell you a secret?”
“I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to lead Viribus. I don’t want to play the part someone else chose for me.” Nicole admits, letting her head fall into her hands.
“Hey, Nic. It’s going to be okay.” Waverly says, placing a hand on Nicole’s knee. There is a moment of silence before Waverly asks the question on her mind. “So what are you going to do?”
Nicole looks at Waverly for a long moment before responding. “I don’t really know. I want to just tell my father, but that will ultimately mean cutting myself off from my mother and siblings.”
“Who will take your place, if you don’t go back?” Waverly asks.
“There is no one left really. I mean, Alek would probably do it. But he is unfocused and hasn’t trained for this. Brie is ineligible and Ryan is an unlikely choice because of his age.” Nicole responds.
“Why is she ineligible?”
Nicole’s face sobers a bit more. “Um… when we were young, her and I were both in the running to be the next head alpha. So they made us compete. Similar in fashion to what happened with Jerry.” Nicole pauses and swallows hard. “I won, thus, making her ineligible. Her and I are on good terms though. We were literally forced into it. We didn’t have a choice in the matter. But it kinda knocked her down a peg and she blamed our father. She thought it was unfair for him to put us in that position.”
“He sounds like an interesting man.” Waverly says.
“Like I said before, he wasn’t always this bad. But it has gotten to the point where I almost don’t recognize him anymore. Same with my brother Alek.” Nicole takes a deep breath. “I came to Purgatory because I started to not recognize myself. I didn’t like that I was changing who I fundamentally am as a person, just to play a role I never had a choice in playing.”
“I am sorry Nic. That sounds… hard.”
Nicole laughs. “Yeah, it was. I just felt like something was missing. Who would have thought I would have found it in Purgatory (of all places).
Waverly is about to ask what she found when Dolls and Wynonna enter the house with a slam of the door and their loud voices.
Sunday August 14th: Earp Homestead
Waverly wakes up and rolls over in bed, bumping a still sleeping Nicole. Nicole huffs and gives a weak growl in her sleeping state that makes Waverly giggle. Nicole drapes an arm over Waverly before pulling her close. Nicole is still asleep, yet her instinct is to protect Waverly. It warms Waverly’s heart. She and Nicole had stayed up late last night talking, even after Dolls and Wynonna showed up. The conversation after that was lighter and more casual, but Waverly still enjoyed them all the same. By the time they noticed how late it was, Waverly knew there was no way she was letting Nicole drive home. This is how she found herself wrapped in Nicole’s protective embrace. Although this seems to happen every time Nicole sleeps over, the affect it has on Waverly never dims. She nuzzles into Nicole’s neck, breathing in her scent that she rarely gets to smell outside of times like these.
After a few minutes of this, Waverly feels desire and lust start to fill her. Her omega yearns for Nicole, and her scent is positively intoxicating. She pulls away the slightest bit, just enough to raise her head so she can look at Nicole’s face. She looks at the peaceful expression on her face, the way her lips are parted slightly in sleep. Waverly leans down and places a soft kiss to Nicole’s cheek. Nicole stirs a bit, a small smile on her lips. Waverly does it again, this time to the other cheek with a little something more. Nicole stirs a little more, seeming to wake up. “Waves?” She asks in a sleepy tone.
“Good morning.” Waverly says, voice low and dripping with flirtation.
“Although I would love to be woken up with kisses every morning, what are you doing?” Nicole asks, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
“Sorry. I couldn’t help it.” Waverly apologizes, although her tone says she is anything but sorry.
“I’m sorry.” Nicole says, moving away slightly. “I mean, I… we… can’t…” Nicole stumbles over her words. Her head and her heart waring inside her.
“Why Nicole?” Waverly asks, closing the distance between them once again. Waverly shoves her face into the crook of Nicole’s neck, taking in a deep breath of everything Nicole. “I want you. And by the smell of things, you want me too.”
“Waves…” Nicole takes a shuddering breath, fighting to keep her alpha in check. It barks in indignation but she shuts it up. She has never been ruled by her primal side and she refuses to start now. “I want you… But I can’t be what you need. We can’t do this. I- I’m not good for you.”
Waverly pulls her face from Nicole’s neck so she can look into Nicole’s eyes. “Why not Nic?”
“You know why. You know what I am. What I can do. You know who my family is. You know what they expect of me.” Nicole says, looking disappointed with herself.
“I know you don’t want to leave. I know you are an amazing alpha who uses her abilities to protect and serve, to uphold the law. I know you are scared of hurting me, even though you have to know deep down that you never will. I know you fight your feelings, in fear of having to walk away.” Waverly takes one of Nicole’s hands in hers. “But Nicole, I want this. I want you, all of you. I can handle you and your family and the world that they keep placing on your shoulders. I know you don’t want to leave, but if you had to, I would follow you wherever you go. I want this Nicole and I know you do too. The only thing in the way of it happening is you.”
Nicole closes her eyes and breathes deeply. She opens her eye to look at Waverly after a few moments. Waverly’s eyes are a pool of concern and hope. The fear of rejection and abandonment are so clear in her features that it almost breaks Nicole’s heart in two. She moves, pulling Waverly into her embrace. “I don’t want to start something with you and then have to leave you. I don’t think I could survive it.” Nicole whispers, holding Waverly to her tightly.
“I told you, I will follow you wherever you go Nicole Haught.” Waverly says.
“I could never ask that of you Waverly.”
“I know, that’s why I am offering.” Waverly counters.
“I am never going to be the reason you leave Purgatory. I would never separate you from your sister. But I also don’t think I can fight these feelings anymore.” Nicole admits, allowing Waverly enough room to look at her.
“So, what are you saying Nicole?” Waverly asks hopefully.
“I am saying, if you want to be with me, I will be here with you.” Nicole says, looking into Waverly’s eyes. “I want this, more than anything I have ever wanted.”
“You shouldn’t stay just for me.”
“Waverly, I want this. I want you. I want this life, my life. I don’t want to rule a pack because I was born into the right family. I want to live my life and earn everything I have. I want you and this life and Purgatory and your crazy sister and Dolls and all of it. That’s what I want.” Nicole says with confidence. “And I am sorry it took me so long to admit it to myself, even though I knew it the moment Dolls introduced me to you and your sister.”
Waverly smiles and nods at Nicole. Nicole leans in and connects her lips to Waverly’s. they both smile into the kiss, their first kiss, as their mouths start to move in sync. Nicole pulls Waverly closer, hand pressed to the bare skin on her waist where her sleep shirt has ridden up. Waverly giggle as Nicole pulls her on top of her, sitting her on her lap. Nicole sits up, not allowing their kiss to break. Waverly wraps an arm around Nicole’s neck to keep herself close and grounded. Nicole wraps her arms around Waverly’s waist, holding her as close as she dares. Waverly’s tongue wipes along Nicole’s lower lip, requesting entrance. Nicole allows it without hesitation, her own tongue reciprocation the action. They continue to kiss for server minutes before Nicole pulls away, smiling at the brunette on her lap.
“I want you to know I am really enjoying this, but unfortunately, we have to stop.” Nicole whispers, brushing a quick kiss on Waverly’s lips.
“Why?” Waverly whimpers, her omega feeling slightly dejected.
“Two reasons.” Nicole says, rolling Waverly off of her so they are both back on the bed and a few inches apart. “One, if we don’t stop now, I don’t think I will be able to later.”
“And what makes you think I want you to stop?” Waverly asks, dangerously flirty.
“It’s our first kiss Waves. I want to do this right. I want to take you on a date and do this the right way for once.” Nicole says honestly.
Waverly blushes and accepts Nicole’s answer. “And the second reason?” She asks.
Nicole doesn’t say anything, she merely points at the door a second and a half before Wynonna comes bursting in.
“Get up! I’m hungry in a way that can only be cured by greasy diner food and coffee… oh and we need to stop at the donut shop on the way.” Wynonna says, completely oblivious to their previous situation. “C’mon. Meet you at the Jeep in ten minutes.” With that, Wynonna walks out of the room and down the stairs.
Waverly looks at Nicole in shock once her sister is gone. “How did you…?”
“Super wolf hearing is a gift sometimes.” Nicole says with a smirk, moving to get up and out of bed.
Waverly pounces on her, giggling, before she can make it off the mattress. “Woah, whoa there Officer Haught. We still have eight and a half minutes.” Waverly says, her smirk broadcasting her intentions.
“I like the way you think Earp.” Nicole says, flipping them in a second and lowering herself to kiss the beaming Waverly below her.
Saturday August 20th: Earp Homestead
“Are you really not going to tell me where we are going or what we are doing?” Waverly asks, feigning annoyance.
“Relax Waves, I think you are going to like this. All you need to know is we are going to be outdoors, so bring a coat.” Nicole says with a chuckle.
“I’m a planner Nic. I am not used to not knowing this kind of stuff.” Waverly complains, emerging from her bedroom. She is in a pair of high waisted skinny jeans and one of Nicole’s t-shirts that she stole. It is big, so she tied it off, exposing some of her midriff.
Nicole, who is leaning against the wall, straightens at the sight and moves towards the brunette. She pins her between herself and the wall, joining their lips in a quick kiss. “You look beautiful.” She whispers as she pulls away.
“Nicole, I am in one of your old t-shirts and jeans…”
“You say that like it should change my mind.” Nicole says, smiling down at her. “And between you and me, I like it when you were my t-shirts.”
“Well good, because I like wearing them.” Waverly says, looking down at the PSD t-shirt before looking back up at Nicole.
Nicole pulls away and takes Waverly’s hand, leading her down the stairs. They walk outside and Waverly furrows her brow. “Where is your cruiser?”
“Don’t need it. Do you remember when I told you about how I loved to explore places I couldn’t in my human form?” Nicole asks.
“Yeah, you said you loved to go on mini adventures.” Waverly says with a smile as she reflects on a past conversation.
“Well, I was thinking… I want to share that with you. So that is what I intend on doing.” Nicole takes a step back and phases into her wolf form and lowers her body to the ground. Nicole jerks her head to her back and Waverly understands the signal. She climbs on Nicole’s back, grabbing onto the thick fur and holding on tight. Nicole looks back and waits for Waverly’s nod. Nicole walks off the Homestead slow at first. Only after crossing the fence line does she begin to run, picking up speed as she goes.
Waverly’s smile is ear to ear. She can’t believe the speed and what she is seeing. They are going so fast, but Waverly is able to absorb every detail as if she were moving the speed of a turtle. Nicole slows a bit as they reach the woods. Nicole, still going at a high speed, weaves around trees and jumps over rocks and debris. The land begins to incline into a hill and Nicole doesn’t seem phased. She continues up the hill as if a forty percent incline is no big deal. After only fifteen minutes, Waverly guesses they have traveled at least twenty miles. At the top of the mountain, it opens up into a clearing. Nicole slows and trots down to the middle of the clearing. There is a small lake that overlooks the open landscape that surrounds Purgatory. Nicole slows to a stop and lowers herself down so Waverly can get off. Once she does, Nicole phases back into human form and looks at Waverly, hopeful.
Her worry is quickly relieved when she sees the smile that has been plastered on Waverly’s face since she got on Nicole’s back. She takes her hand and leads her to a spot near the lake (where a blanket and a bag lie in wait). They sit down and Nicole presents Waverly with the contents of the bag. After handing out disposable silverware and plates, Waverly is gifted with a box of food from her favorite Chinese food restaurant. Her smile grows impossibly wider when she opens the box and smells her favorite dish inside. “How did you know?”
“I am a capable investigator Ms. Earp. You are not the only observant person.” Nicole jokes with feigned offense. She takes out her own food and begins to eat.
“I didn’t even know this place existed.” Waverly says between bites.
“Well, that’s because, at least to the two legged humans, it doesn’t. There are no roads up here and the trees hide it from the outside world.” Nicole says. “This is one of my favorite places on the planet. You can see everything from up, but no one can see you. I come up here to think, or just to run around and train. I have even come up here once or twice to just scream just because I wanted to.” Nicole laughs, shaking her head. She points down at a cluster of buildings and houses down below. “That's Purgatory.”
Waverly stops eating and takes it in. She knew her town was small, but from up here… it is so small she can pinch in between her fingers. “That’s… wow.” Nicole smiles, happy that Waverly enjoys the view. She loves this place and she is happy to be sharing it with her. Waverly turns and looks at Nicole. “It’s kinda perfect up here.”
Nicole laughs. “Yeah. We are truly on top of the world up here. Away from everything below.”
Waverly moves to lean into Nicole’s body as they continue to eat and talk. After what feels like only minutes (but in reality, is several hours), Waverly and Nicole are laying on their backs, watching the stars. “This is amazing.” Waverly says, breaking their comfortable silence.
“Glad you like it.” Nicole says, smiling up at the stars.
“I do, but I wasn’t just talking about this place.” Waverly says, rolling onto her side to look at Nicole.
Nicole reciprocates the action, looking at Waverly with pure adoration in her eyes. Neither one of them know who moves first, and neither cares. The kiss is soft and sweet, full of care and patience. After another half hour filled with stargazing and stolen kisses, they stand and place everything in the bag. Nicole leaves it there, she will be back to pick it up tomorrow. She phases and crouches low, allowing Waverly to get on. Waverly burrows her face into Nicole’s fur, surprised at how close it is to the softness of her hair. She gets her grip and Nicole descends the mountain. She goes slower down the hill and back to the Earp homestead. She is almost to the fence line when she asks, Are you okay back there? But she doesn’t ask it out loud. She isn’t sure why, but then she hears Waverly respond (although she is fairly certain the brunette on her back is asleep).
Yeah, I’m great.
Nicole stops in her tracks. Waverly responded, to a question in her head. She shakes her head and huffs. That’s impossible. She thinks, continuing to walk. They react the porch and she lowers down once more. Waverly gets off and smiles at Nicole.
“I just had the weirdest thing happen.” Waverly says rubbing her eyes.
Nicole stretches out a bit, which is always easier to do in her wolf form because of the added weight. Waverly moves foreword and scratches Nicole’s head. Waverly takes another step forward, allowing Nicole’s head to push into her chest. The warmth it fills Waverly with is magical.
You’re freezing. We should get you inside. Nicole thinks, unable to talk to Waverly while in wolf form.
You keep me warm. Waverly replies in her head. Her eyes shoot open and go wide. It happened again. How? She answered a question that Nicole didn’t physically ask, and she didn’t physically answer. But both seem to have the same shocked reaction. Nicole phases into her human form and looks at Waverly with comically wide eyes. “I- um…” She stutters. “Waves… that shouldn’t… I mean…”
“Nicole what was that?” Waverly asks, a little concerned.
Nicole seems to be in utter shock and it takes her a long moment. “It shouldn’t be possible… but it is, or I think it is…” She looks at Waverly. She gives an awkward laugh and smile, kicking a rock on the ground. “So, Waves. There is something I have to tell you…”
Saturday August 20th: Earp Homestead
Nicole looks at Waverly for a long moment before ducking her head and pacing in a small circle. She is muttering to herself, racking her brain for a different explanation. This shouldn’t be possible. How is this…? What is happening?
“Nicole.” Waverly says, looking concerned by her girlfriends behavior… oh and by the fact that she could talk to Nicole in her wolf form.
“It should be possible…” Nicole says, verbalizing her thoughts once again. She still paces, not looking up from the ground.
“Nicole! What shouldn’t be possible?” Waverly asks, concerned her girlfriend is so shook by this.
Nicole looks up at her, a mixture of anxiety and confusion written on her features. “I have to do some research to be sure. But… um…” Nicole pauses, collecting her thoughts. “I think we, you and I… are bonded… in some sort of way…”
“I don’t know. I need to research it. Go through the databases to be sure.” Nicole says, flustered.
“Okay… I can help.” Waverly says, taking a step towards Nicole.
“Waverly, I don’t know if…”
“Hey. This involves me too. I want to know what is going on. No matter what we find, okay?” Waverly says, taking one, big final step towards Nicole and looking up into her eyes. “Please don’t shut me out.”
Nicole nods her head slowly, looking into Waverly’s eyes.
Waverly wraps her arms around Nicole’s neck and leans into her body, burying her face in Nicole’s chest. Nicole wraps her arms around Waverly, holding her close. “Well, what’s a first date without some drama.” Nicole jokes, trying to calm her own anxiety.
Waverly giggles and looks up at Nicole. “You said you wanted to do this right, so we went on our first date, and I had a great time. So I think now is the part where you kiss me.”
Nicole looks at her and smiles. “You want me to kiss you?”
“More than anything, at the moment.” Waverly responds.
Nicole looks down to Waverly’s lips and then back up to her eyes. Nicole, not one to deny Waverly anything, leans down and kisses Waverly softly and slowly. Waverly tightens her grip on Nicole, pulling her impossibly closer. Nicole breaks the kiss, although reluctantly. “You should get inside.” Nicole says, looking down at Waverly.
“Aren’t you coming?” Waverly asks, confused.
“No.” Nicole says, leaning down to kiss Waverly. “But I will be back later.”
“Okay.” Waverly pouts.
“Hey, don’t give me the face. I will be back as soon as I can.” Nicole says, kissing the pout from Waverly’s face. She leads Waverly to the door and opens it for her to enter. After she shuts the door, she walks off the edge of the porch and out towards the boundary line. She phases quickly and breaks out into a run to the south west. Waverly watches from the window as Nicole runs, disappearing into the landscape.
She had heard his father’s howl in the distance when she was kissing Waverly. She couldn’t ignore his call, sending Waverly inside. She knows what she has to do, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Once she enters the large clearing south west of the Earp Homestead, she sees her father (in human form), along with her mother and siblings. They all looks pleased to see her and the thought of what she is about to do breaks her heart. She slows and phases back to two legs as she nears them.
“Hey Cole!” Ryan says as his sister approaches. He takes a few steps towards her and embraces her tightly. Brie goes to do the same but a growl from her father keep her in place. Nicole fights the urge to defend her sister. Ryan moves back to stand next to Brie under his father’s warning glare.
Their father turns his attention to Nicole. “It’s time for you to come home Nicole. It is time for you to take your position as Head Alpha seriously. You need to come home and start to do the job you were destine for.”
“And what if I don’t want it?” Nicole asks harshly. “What if I don’t want the life you chose for me?”
“What?!” Her father asks incredulously. “Are you out of your mind?!”
“No! I am an alpha. I am a Haught. I wasn’t born to follow anyone. And that includes you. I didn’t choose this for myself! You chose it and never even asked me if I wanted it!” Nicole says, her voice raising to her father’s level.
“It is your destiny!” He counters.
“Says who?! You?!” Nicole asks, her arms flying up in the air. “You don’t get to choose who I am and what I do!”
“Nicole.” Nicole’s mother cuts in calmly, trying to calm both her husband and daughter (without putting herself in the crossfires herself).
“Karen!” Nicole’s father growls, silencing her. He turns to refocus on his daughter. “You just need more time. Obviously you are still not aware of how good you have it in the pack. We will be back in a few months. By then, I expect you ready.” He says with an edge. He turns and walks away, not allowing Nicole to argue anymore. He whispers something to Alek and turns back to face Nicole. “You will understand why you need the pack. You will understand what it means to no longer be under our protection.
As he finishes his sentence, Alek phases and charges towards Nicole. She phases just in time to dodge his bite. Nicole’s mother gasps, but says nothing when Nicholas Haught wraps a possessive arm around her.
“What are you doing?!” Nicole says.
“What I am told. He might not have chosen me to be head alpha but I sure as hell will serve him. That is the role I was destine to play! If you won’t accept yours, I will make sure you regret it and reconsider!” Alek barks as he lunges for Nicole again.
He hits her to the ground but isn’t fast enough to sink his teeth in her before she gets up. She bites him hard as he tries to go for her neck, causing him to bark and then whine out in pain. He hits her hard, knocking her away from him. He advances on her and gets a small nip on her, but she doesn’t even react, still in defense mode. She doesn’t want to hurt him. He is her brother. But she also won’t let him get her either. She knows what she has to do to finish this fight. She spins around him as he tries again for her throat. She pushes him down and stomps her front paws down on his ribs. She hears the crack as at least one of his ribs crack under her weight. He whimpers and barks in pain. She jumps away from him and gets a safe distance from him before phasing back to her human form. He is back in his human form as well, clutching his arms to his injured side.
“I’m sorry Alek.” Nicole says, wanting to go over and help him, but knowing she shouldn’t.
“And that is why you are the next Head Alpha and he is not. We will see you in a few months Nicole.” Her father says as if he didn’t just order and them watch his two children fight. Brie and Ryan help Alek to his feet and they follow their parents in the opposite direction from Nicole. Nicole whimpers as she looks down at her shin and shoulder. It is bloodied and she is pretty sure her face is too. She phases and takes off in the direction of Purgatory.
Sunday August 21th: Earp Homestead
“Dolls, your phone is ringing!” Wynonna says from her seat on the couch. Waverly sits next to her, watching TV. It had been a slow morning and they were enjoying a little bit of TV to start their lazy Sunday plans.
“Will you check it for me?” Dolls yells from the shower.
“Sure!” Wynonna yells back. She picks up his phone and opens it up. “Shit! Dolls! Get out of the shower! We got to go!”
“What?! Why?!” He asks, turning off the water.
“Nicole is in the Emergency Room! Nedley texted you! Get dressed, let’s go!” Wynonna yells back, getting up off the couch.
“Nicole is in the ER?!” Waverly asks, panic in her voice.
“Apparently. Nedley just said for Dolls to meet him there asap.” Wynonna says, missing how her sister looks like she is going to puke. Dolls comes out fully clothed and take his phone from her. He presses the screen a few times before raising the phone to his ear (wedging it between his head and his shoulder). They all walk out to the SUV and climb in. Dolls drives away from the Homestead at breakneck speed as he talks on the phone.
“Hold on Nedley, hold on.” Dolls says, connecting his phone to the Bluetooth in the car and putting the phone down. “Okay repeat that.”
Nedley’s gruff voice fills the car. “Where are you Deputy Marshall?”
“About twenty minutes away. What happened?” Dolls responds.
“I should be asking you that.” Nedley says, anger clear in his voice.
“Nicole looks to have been attacked by something. I will tell you more once you get here. They are going to take her up to surgery if the bleeding doesn’t stop soon.”
“10-4. Be there soon.” Dolls says curtly.
“Oh and Marshal? Don’t bring the Earp girls along. Don’t even tell them Nicole is hurt. Do us all a favor, will ya?” Nedley says.
“Too late for that!” Wynonna yells at Nedley, who promptly hangs up after an exaggerated huff of indignation.
Sunday August 21th: Ghost River County Hospital
They arrive at the hospital to find Nedley pacing near an examination room. He has anger in his eyes and it doesn’t dim when he sees the Black Badge team.
“What’s the situation Nedley?” Dolls asks.
“Sherriff, how is Nicole?” Waverly asks, concern being an understatement for how she feels.
“Both of you, shut up so he can tell us what is going on.” Wynonna barks out, obviously masking her concern with irritation. She nods at Nedley.
“I was driving back to the station after my patrol when I saw something on the side of the road. I drove up and pulled over to find my deputy bleeding out in a ditch on the side of the road. She barely had a pulse when I got to her, (her body trying to heal itself). I called it in but ended up driving her here myself. She was conscious for most of the ride to the hospital and (although clearly out of it) she hasn’t lost consciousness since then.” Nedley says, looking over at the room where they can guess Nicole is being treated in.
“Did she say who attacked her?” Dolls asks.
Nedley hesitates and his eyes darken. “When I asked. Yes she did. Although reluctantly.”
“And…?” Wynonna asks. “Who did she say did it?”
“Her family.” Nedley growls out.
Sunday August 21th: Ghost River County Hospital
“We want to see her.” Wynonna demands.
“Not a chance in hell.” Nedley states harshly, allowing a bit of his growl to escape. “She said her family did this to her. For all I know, that could mean you guys. I know she regards you as family.”
“You think we did this to her?!” Waverly exclaims, in complete horror and disbelief. “We care about her! We would never hurt her!”
“So you are saying her real family did this to her? Really? The family that wants her to lead them one day? Also not very plausible.” Nedley says. “None of you are to have any contact with my deputy until I get her official statement and figure who is to blame in this matter!” Nedley growls out.
All three take a step back. It wasn’t often they saw Nedley get angry like this. They don’t have a chance to respond before a loud crash comes from inside the examination room. After some more scuffling, the doctor and nurses leave the room. The doctor stops at Nedley to update him. “She is already starting to heal herself, but she won’t let us do anything beyond putting in an IV. I have to report this to Viribus as soon as possible.” The unfamiliar doctor says.
“I would hold off on that for now.” Nedley says. “There is a chance they did this to her.”
The doctor looks shocked but then seems to understand. “That would explain a lot of her injuries and her behavior towards getting medical help.”
“She didn’t tell you what happened?” Nedley asks, a little surprised.
“She can’t. One of the hits she took broke her jaw. It is healing quick, but she is in a lot of pain still and was only starting to regain her bearings when we left the room.” The doctor says, cringing a little at the thought.
“How long do you think it will take her to heal?” Nedley asks.
“If she relaxes and lets her body heal properly, she will be back up and going in a few hours. But that is up to her.”
“A few hours?! Doc, I was the one who found her. There is no way she can heal that fast?”
The doctor laughs sadly. “Nicole’s healing is stronger than any I have ever seen. Probably due to her experience doing it and her abilities.”
“She has been half way to dead before?” Nedley asks in a hushed, yet angry tone.
“I don’t recognize you? You aren’t from Purgatory. Who are you?” Wynonna asks but is ignored.
“I have been treating Nicole and her brother Ryan since they were pups. Let’s just say, they were brought in several times a month with similar injuries… for years.”
“Who would bring them in?” Dolls asks, tired of being outed from the conversation.
The doctor looks at him for a moment but ends up speaking once Dolls flashes him his badge. “Their mother, in the beginning... But it was mostly Brianna who brought Nicole in. Their father used to make them fight each other. But there was never truly a winner in those situations… especially when Nicholas Haught started ‘training’ Nicole himself.”
Waverly feels sick. All she wants to do is see Nicole, but she also doesn’t want to see her in pain. “Sherriff, please. We need to see her. I need to see her.” Waverly pleads, hoping being in the Sherriff’s good graces might help her chances.
“Wait.” Nedley says to her, turning back to the doctor. “Do you have any idea who did this specifically?”
“Based on the size of the lacerations and bruises… it would have to be her father or her brother Alek. They are the only ones big enough or strong enough to inflict this much damage.” The doctor says regretfully. “I won’t be reporting this back to Viribus, but I will be back to check on her in a few hours.” He pauses, looking at the Black Badge team before returning his gaze back to the Sherriff. “Sherriff Nedley, you are listed as her next of kin, is that correct?” He looks down at the clipboard in his hands.
“Yes, I am.” Nedley says, pure devotion in his tone.
“Well then you are in charge of her.” The doctor says. “Make sure she stays out of trouble.”
“Will do.” Nedley says, walking towards the door of the examination room. The three Black Badge agents followed him. He turned to look at them. “Let me have a word with her first. IF she wants visitors and IF she wants to see you, THEN you may come in. Understand?”
They all nod and Nedley enters the room, closing the door behind him.
Sunday August 21th: Ghost River County Hospital
After almost an hour of relative silence, Nedley emerges from the exam room.
“You can go in and see her. But she is still in a fair amount of pain, so be careful.” He directs his glare at Wynonna.
Waverly doesn’t need to be told twice and moves to walk in, followed closely by Dolls and Wynonna. The scene inside the room is a little scary. There is a lot of blood soaked materials in the trashcans and there is even some blood on the floor still. Nicole lying on her side, curled up in a ball. Her body is completely still, except for the occasional tremor that Waverly assumes is her body doing the healing process. Waverly walks over so Nicole can see her (although she knows Nicole probably smelled them the moment they entered the hospital). Nicole’s hands are in fists, but they aren’t clenched too tightly. Waverly, slowly, takes one of Nicole’s hands in hers.
Nicole opens her eyes at the contact, looking at Waverly for a long moment before closing her eyes again. Dolls and Wynonna both pull up chairs near Waverly and Nicole to sit. Nicole doesn’t open her eyes when she breaks the silence of the room.
“I met with my family last night. I told my father that I didn’t want to be head alpha. He told me I would feel what it meant to be without the packs protection, that I would understand what would happen if I didn’t take my rightful place…” Nicole pauses, trying to get her voice back to normal. “He sicked Alek on me (and not for the first time). And I only defended myself. But Alek is pretty hurt. He wasn’t even able to walk away without help.”
“Why would your father do that?” Wynonna asks.
“Because if you are not under pack protection… you are fair game. He was threatening me. He showed me what he would do if I chose to leave.” Nicole tenses up, the healing process was not the most comfortable. “He will be back in a few months to get a final decision from me.”
“And if you decide to not go back?” Wynonna asks incredulously.
“Then I will be made an example of.” Nicole says, looking down at the hand in Waverly’s. “They will come after me and everything I care about.”
“This is bullshit!” Wynonna exclaims.
“Earp!” Dolls scolds. “Not now.”
“No Dolls! This is bullshit! She doesn’t have to go! She is not their property! She is a human being and a grown ass woman!” Wynonna yells.
“Wynonna. They will come after you and Waverly. I won’t let that happen.” Nicole says calmly, but something in her voice sounds dead.
“Then we will fight them! You aren’t going unless you want to!” Wynonna lowers the volume of her voice, but it is still angry.
Waverly can feel the tears falling down her face, but she does her best to keep them at bay.
“We don’t stand a chance Wynonna.” Nicole says. “I can’t stay and watch them kill all of you and anyone else who gets in their way.” Nicole looks up at them for a moment before looking down at Waverly. “Look, I will be out of here in a couple hours. Can we talk about this later?”
Wynonna opens her mouth to speak but is cut off by Dolls. “Of course, we are gonna go get something to eat.” He notices how Waverly is being, how she hasn’t let go of Nicole’s hand. How her own hands tremble as she fights her emotions. He knows the couple need some privacy. He pulls Wynonna out the room and down the hall.
Once they are gone, Nicole turns to look at Waverly. Waverly still hasn’t said anything since walking in.
“Waves?” Nicole asks.
At the sound, Waverly breaks down into sobs, her faced pressed tightly into Nicole’s hand that is held in hers.
“Waves, baby. Come here.” Nicole says softly. She pulls Waverly onto the bed and wraps the smaller brunette in her arms. Waverly sobs into Nicole’s shoulder, fisting the sheets below them hard. She shakes as the intense choking sobs continue to rack her body.
“You can’t go.” Waverly chokes out. “You can’t leave me now. We are just getting started.”
Waverly buries her face into Nicole’s neck and Nicole has to fight her own emotions that are threatening to break her. “I won’t let them hurt you.” Nicole says. “I would die if anything happened to you. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if they hurt you because of me.” Nicole’s tears begin to fall, although she is (externally) holding up better than Waverly. Waverly whimpers and Nicole tightens her grip around Waverly, hoping to provide some comfort. They eventually fall asleep after the tears stop, but it’s not the peaceful slumber they are used to having when together.
Sunday August 21th: Ghost River County Hospital
Wynonna walks into Nicole’s room an hour later to see her sister in bed with the alpha. Instinctually, Wynonna’s instinct is to growl. But then she sees Nicole reflexively hold Waverly tighter to her, protecting her. Wynonna doesn’t know what to make of it. She knew the redhead had become a close friend of Waverly’s, but them sleeping like that is more than just friendship. How could I have been so blind? She stands there for a moment, watching the pair. As if sensing another presence in the room, Nicole growls lowly in sleep, causing Waverly to burrow deeper into the alpha for protection. Wynonna fights her alpha, that at the moment, wants to beat the crap out of Nicole. Instead she silently leaves the room.
She walks down the hall and finds Dolls sitting on a bench. Wynonna plops down next to him, but looks straight ahead. After a moment of silence, she speaks. “How long have they been together?”
Dolls chuckles sadly. “Officially, not long. But they have had more than a friendship since the moment Waverly broke up with Champ.”
“She dumped Chump for Nicole?” Wynonna asks.
“No.” Dolls says. “She knew she deserved better than him. Nicole played a part in that. But in the end, it was Waverly who decided she wanted more. And Nicole didn’t want to start anything with your sister. She actively avoided her feelings, knowing this would possibly happen.”
“Why didn’t Waverly tell me? Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t anyone tell me?”
“It wasn’t my story to tell.” Dolls says simply. He stands up. “I’m going to get Nicole’s discharge papers. You should probably talk to your sister. She is going to need you.”
Wynonna nods and walks back to Nicole’s room. She walks back in to find Nicole awake and out of bed. She is dressed in a pair of sweat pants and a PSD t-shirt (obviously Nedley brought her some clothes to change into) and is stretching her muscles on the back wall of the room. She obviously notices Wynonna’s presence, but doesn’t acknowledge her until she is walking out of the room. “You probably need to talk to Waves about a few things.” Nicole whispers. “I’m gonna go meet up with Dolls and sign my discharge papers so we can get out of here.” Nicole leaves the room quietly and Wynonna moves to sit on the bed.
The movement jars her sister awake. She seems to panic for a moment, feeling around the bed (presumably for Nicole) but coming up empty. She shoots up and moves to jump out of bed but Wynonna’s hand stops her. “Wave. It’s okay. Nicole is fine.”
“Where is she?” Waverly asks concerned and sleepy.
“She is with Dolls. They are doing the paperwork to get her out of here.” Wynonna says, looking down at her hands. “But I think we should talk.”
“Oh…” Waverly says, ducking her head. She can guess her sister figured out about her and Nicole. Not that it was much of a secret. Dolls seemed to know before even Waverly, herself, knew.
“Yeah… Look Waves. I don’t know why you felt like you couldn’t tell me about you and her. But, I am sorry if I ever made you feel like you could come to me with anything. Especially about this.” Wynonna says remorsefully.
“Nonna, that’s not it.” Waverly says honestly. “It wasn’t some secret. I just honestly haven’t figured it all out yet for myself. This attraction I have for her and the love she makes me feel… it is completely new. I just didn’t know how or when to tell you.” Waverly huffs out a humorless laugh. “Hell, we had our first official date last night.”
“Well, I hope you know you can always talk to me… about anything.”
“Yeah, I know. Thanks Nonna. And I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.” Waverly says sheepishly.
“It’s okay, Babygirl.” Wynonna pulls her sister into hug. “I probably should have figured it out. Looking back, you guys weren’t really subtle.”
Waverly laughs lightly, hugging her sister back.
Monday August 22nd: Purgatory Sheriff Department- BBD Office
“What the hell did you do to my sister?!” Wynonna barks, anger spilling from her pores.
“I didn't do anything.” Nicole says calmly, she might not be angry, but her tone warns Wynonna to back down.
“Earp. The bond isn't something one can impose on the other.” Dolls explains.
“Then explain it to me.” Wynonna growls.
“Nonna, calm down. I need to know and your loud yelling is not helping anything.” Waverly scolds.
Wynonna sits in her chair next to Waverly and waits for Dolls and Nicole to start.
“So, I think the first thing we should talk about is what kind of bond this is…” Nicole says, looking at Waverly. She looks down at a book and uses her index finger to point at a line of text. “It's called a soul bond. There is a Latin name for it, but I'm not about ready to try and say it again, let alone remember it.”
“Wait, wait…” Wynonna laughs. “Are you trying to tell me you two are bounded by your souls… like as in… soulmates??” She barely gets it out before her laughter takes over her.
“Earp!” Dolls barks, tired of her antics. Wynonna straitens up and refocuses as best she can, but she still has a shit eating smirk on her face. Dolls nods for Nicole to continue.
“No, it does not mean we are soulmates necessarily. These types of bonds don't always happen between mates at all. Sometimes they happen between friends, family members, etc.” Nicole says, not missing how Waverly’s face fell the slightest bit at the new information.
“How does it happen?” Wynonna asks.
“We don't actually know.” Dolls says. “It is pretty rare. There are only three or four records of it in the last twenty years. And before that, there are more but the documentation is spotty at best. But from what we can tell, it should only be possible between verum lupum. A wolf could have one soul bond with another. The bond allows them to communicate in a completely different way. It also allows them to feel what the other bonded person is feeling.”
“Is that why you kept saying it wasn't possible?” Waverly asks Nicole. “Because I am not a verum like you?”
“It's not only that.” Nicole says. “The research suggests that one can only be bonded to one other person in their lifetime. I am already bonded to someone… or I was.”
“Who?” Waverly asks, afraid it is an ex or something.
Nicole takes a deep breath. “My grandfather.” Nicole pauses and collects her thoughts. “He broke the bond connection a minute or so before he died… spared me the pain of feeling what he was feeling… feeling what it felt like to die.”
“You can break it?” Dolls asks.
“Yes. And you can also suppress it. Breaking the bond is painful (literally tearing your soul in half) and irreversible. Once it's done, you can't fix it. Suppressing it just blocks the channel in a way. Kinda like tuning into a radio station.” Nicole says.
“So, you and Waverly can talk to one another right now and can feel what each other are feeling?” Wynonna asks
“We can, but we aren't.” Nicole says. “I have been suppressing it since I left to go see my family.”
“Why?” Waverly asks.
“Not something I wanted you to feel or witness.” Nicole answers simply.
“Wait.” Wynonna stands. “Stop suppressing it.”
“Why?” Nicole asks.
“Please.” Wynonna whines.
Nicole huffs out a breath and let’s go. The effect on Waverly is instantaneous. Her face changes as her brain function seems to change.
“Woah, that actually kinda cool and also kinda creepy.” Wynonna says, earning her a disapproving look from Dolls.
“I feel like your sister is enjoying this a little too much?” Nicole says.
“You think?” Waverly replies. Wynonna is studying her and it makes her a little antsy. “I wish you didn’t suppress this all the time. I want to know how you are feeling.”
“You could always just ask me.” Nicole replies. She is still looking through the file in her hand.
“Guys! No! You’re talking to each other! In your heads! Don’t, I know you’re talking about me.” Wynonna whines. Waverly laughs and refocuses on her sister. Wynonna turns to look at Nicole (who is still looking down at the file). “So, you are saying you can feel what each other are feeling?” Wynonna asks as she moves towards Nicole.
“Well, it’s a little more complicated than that…” Nicole is cut off when Wynonna sucker punches her in the face. Waverly flinches instantly and Nicole hits the floor. Unfortunately, Wynonna is too preoccupied with observing her sister that she doesn’t notice when Nicole gets up. By the time she does, it’s too late. Nicole has her face down on the ground with her arms pinned behind her. Her alpha growls in protest but Nicole’s is stronger and Wynonna doesn’t fight (she can’t from that position). “What the hell Earp?!”
“I wanted to see how it works!” Wynonna says as if it is completely obvious. “Plus, I wanted to punch you for wolfy bonding my sister.”
“Wynonna!” Waverly exclaims, horrified by the turn of events.
“I’ll get an icepack.” Dolls says, leaving the room as Nicole releases Wynonna.
“Wynonna! That was so not okay.” Waverly says, obviously pissed.
“Did you feel it Babygirl? Did it hurt you?” Wynonna asks, remorseful.
“I’m fine. I felt it though.” Waverly says, moving to check on Nicole. “Are you okay?” She asks as she turns Nicole’s face to the side.
“I’m fine. The ground did more damage than her fist.” Nicole says, shooting dagger eyes at Wynonna. “Like I was saying before. Waverly can feel what I am feeling, but not really. It is like she is experiencing the pain, but not actually feeling it herself.”
“It’s hard to explain, but she is right. I felt the pain she was in, but it didn’t hurt. It is really weird.” Waverly comments. “Speaking of pain, I know you are in some now, sit.”
“And this is why it is suppressed…” Nicole grumbles under her breath.
Dolls reenters the room a minute later with an icepack for Nicole’s jaw. She will heal quickly, but the ice will help. “So, what’s next?” He asks.
“Well I am looking through the files to figure out how to actually break it…” Nicole starts.
“You what?!” Waverly exclaims. “No!”
“Waverly…” Dolls starts but she won’t even look at him. Her eyes are trained on Nicole.
“Waves, this is dangerous. If the pack finds out, they will kill you or worse. I won’t let them have another reason to harm you.” Nicole says.
“What’s worse than death?” Wynonna asks.
“Being forced to live among them and be a breeder because if me.” Nicole responds bitterly. “I won’t allow that.”
“Nic. You are not breaking the bond. Please.” Waverly says.
“Waverly! I won’t let them do that to you. I won’t do that to you. You don’t understand what it’s like.” Nicole says, trying to keep her frustration and anger in check. Nicole stands and drops the icepack down onto the table with a hard smack. “I need some air.” She leaves the room and closes the door behind her.
“I’m going to go check on her.” Waverly says, standing to leave.
“Don’t Wave. She’s right. She needs to break this bond.” Wynonna says. “You are not safe being bonded to someone like Nicole. Her family is powerful and they would not be happy about this…” Wynonna trails off.
“You mean they wouldn’t be happy about Nicole bonding to an omega?” Waverly finishes harshly. “Or worse, an Earp omega.”
Wynonna wants to deny it, but that is exactly what she means (even if it hurts her to feel that way). “Waves, you know I don’t care about that…”
“Right, right. But ‘the world has different perspectives’ than you do, right?” Waverly can’t fight the hurt she is feeling. She decides she needs to leave before the hurt turns into anger and is misdirected towards her sister. She leaves the Black Badge office and then walks out of the station after checking for Nicole in the bullpen.
She eventually finds Nicole behind the station. She has her hands balled into fists and stands with an almost painfully rigid posture. Waverly walks up behind her and wraps her arms around Nicole’s waist. She breathes in Nicole’s scent as she presses her face between Nicole’s shoulder blades. She breaths deep, allowing the alpha’s presence to calm her.
After a long moment of silence, Waverly hears the softest sniffle she has ever heard. Obviously, Nicole had been trying to hide the tears, even from Waverly. Waverly loosens her grip on Nicole and walks so they are face to face. Nicole’s face is wet with almost silent tears, her eyes closed tightly.
“Nic.” Waverly says, raising a delicate hand to Nicole’s cheek. Nicole doesn’t move, trying to stop the tears. “Nicole, baby. You don’t have to be strong and rational all the time. Not with me.” Nicole finally opens her mouth and chokes on the air and sobs hard. Waverly wraps her arms around Nicole and pulls in close. Nicole clutches to her tightly and continues to cry.
Tuesday August 23rd: Purgatory Sheriff Department- BBD Office
“Where is Waves?” Wynonna asks as she walks into the office.
“At home, probably.” Nicole says distractedly.
“Probably? You don’t know?” Wynonna questions with genuine surprise.
“She went home around ten last night. Texted me when she arrived safe at the homestead.” Nicole says, still scrolling through stuff on her laptop.
“You didn’t go home last night?”
This seems to break Nicole from her concentration. “What?” She shakes her head. “What time is it?”
“Nine am Haught. Have you even gone to sleep or napped or gotten any rest since the hospital?”
“Nicole ignores her question purposefully. “Dammit.” She lets her head fall to the desk.
It isn’t even ten seconds later when Waverly comes walking in. “Nicole!”
“Shit.” Nicole says from her desk pillow.
“You didn’t come home, you never even left. And I know you haven’t eaten or done anything besides work. Get up, let’s go.” Waverly pulls Nicole up by her arm.
“Waves. I can’t. My shift starts in less than two hours.” Nicole whines.
“Nicole. You are going to eat real food, then you are going to get some real sleep. Dolls just texted me to tell me that we all have the day off. Let’s go.” Waverly says firmly, leaving no room for argument.
“Damn, he couldn’t have mentioned that before I got my ass out of bed?” Wynonna complains.
Waverly ignores her sister and tugs Nicole’s arm harder. The alpha growls with warning, but it isn’t very convincing based on the fact that she is too tired to do anything.
“Bye Nonna. See you later.” Waverly calls as she leads Nicole out of the station.
Tuesday August 23rd: The Diner
“Anything else I can get you ladies?” The waitress asks as she pours Nicole another cup of water.
“No, we are all good here Betty. Thanks. Could we just get the check when you have the chance?” Waverly asks with her patented smile.
“Of course sweetheart. I’ll get that for you. Just holler if you need anything.” And with that Betty leaves them.
“You okay?” Waverly asks, placing a hand on one of Nicole’s on the table.
“Yeah. Just exhausted.” Nicole replies.
“Not sleeping for several days on end will do that to ya.” Waverly comments.
“It’s not that. I mean it is, but its more than that. I’m emotionally exhausted. My brain feels like its overheating and everything is just happening and I don’t know what to do about it.” Nicole takes a deep breath and lets her head bow a bit. “Plus, you wouldn’t allow me to order any coffee.” Nicole says with a smirk.
“Your ridiculous, but seriously.” Waverly’s smile drops slightly into concern. “I’m worried about you.”
“The irony of that statement is that all I do is worry about you and your safety.” Nicole says.
Before Waverly can respond further, Betty walks by. Nicole flags her down, looking at the bill briefly before handing Betty some cash. She stands and holds out a hand for Waverly.
As they make their way out, Betty calls for Nicole. “Officer. Don’t you want change?”
“Nah, Betty. The rest is for you. Have a great day. Tell Jackson I say hello.” Nicole responds, smiling at Betty as she holds the door open for Waverly to exit.
Tuesday August 23rd: Earp Homestead
“Nicole. You need to change. You can’t sleep in your uniform.” Waverly says, trying to coax her alpha off the bed gently.
Nicole had entered the bedroom only to fall face first into the bed. Waverly giggled before the concern returned.
Nicole grumpily sits up with a low growl. Waverly makes herself busy removing articles of Nicole’s clothing. It isn’t a sexual thing though. That is not to say her omega doesn’t yearn for the clad alpha in front of her, because it does. But this is something more. Waverly studies Nicole’s form as she goes. Noticing how much muscle Nicole hides under the uniform and how her fair skin is so soft and warm. Nicole is down to her sports bra and underwear and Waverly takes a moment to admire the view before helping Nicole put on an oversized t-shirt. Once she is done, she doesn’t feel like trying to get Nicole into a pair of pajama bottoms. She leans Nicole back and helps her get under the covers. The alpha is in a state of pure exhaustion and Waverly is pretty sure Nicole is moving completely on autopilot. There is a good chance she won’t even remember any of this.
Waverly strips out of her jeans and exchanges her crop top and bra for one of Nicole’s police academy shirts. She slips into bed next to Nicole, her omega wanting nothing more than to be closer to the alpha in the bed. Her alpha. As if sensing her internal need, Nicole reaches across the bed blindly. She grasps Waverly by the hip and pulls her so the omega can curl into her. Nicole purrs with contentment and Waverly can’t help but do the same.
Tuesday August 23rd: Earp Homestead
Nicole wakes up a few hours later. Waverly is curled into her chest and purring into the crook of Nicole’s neck. Nicole’s alpha growls in response, wanting something far more primal and intensive then the cuddling. Nicole, who prides herself on not being run by her primal side, beats it into submission and puts it in its place.
Waverly must sense Nicole is awake because she pulls away slightly so she can shift and press a kiss to Nicole’s lips. “Good morning.”
“It’s the afternoon.” Nicole says with a sleepy smile. “But I will take a good morning kiss no matter what time of the day it is.” Nicole leans over and kisses Waverly, allowing the smaller brunette to pull Nicole on top of her.
“So, I was thinking…” Waverly wraps her hands behind Nicole’s neck with a look of faux innocence. “We have had our first date, and I think it went great. And we are dating now so…” Waverly pulls Nicole down to join their lips. This kiss is more intense and Waverly isn’t shy about slipping her tongue into Nicole’s mouth at the first opportunity. She breaks away a fraction of an inch to whisper, “I really, really want to have sex with my girlfriend.”
“Nicole. Please don’t pretend you don’t want it to. I could practically feel you grinding into me while you slept… not that I minded in the slightest.” Waverly has a naughty smirk on her face that has Nicole scrambling.
“Waverly, we shouldn’t. After everything that you have learned over the last few days, why do you still want to be with me. If my pack finds out, they will come for you and take out anyone in their way.” Nicole says, her body tensing the more she thinks about it. Waverly can feel it and she smells Nicole’s scent grow as her protective instincts start to fire up.
“Hey, hey.” Waverly says softly, placing both of her hands on Nicole’s cheeks and forcing her alpha to look her in the eyes. “I don’t care about any of that. I’m yours and you are mine. I won’t let your pack change that. If you want me, I’m here. Thats all that matters.”
Nicole seems to berate herself, an argument going on in her head. “I don’t know. I mean… I want you, god Waverly I want you. You know I do. But this is more complicated.”
Waverly sees the heartbreak in Nicole’s eyes, the fear and the shame that starts to take over her. “Nic, baby.” Nicole looks at her. “Don’t worry about the future. For right now, it’s just us. We will bomb those bridges when we get to them. But right now, I just want to be with you. And we don’t have to do anything except cuddle and sleep. But I don’t want you pushing me away. Please.”
Nicole nods once, then twice. She leans down and takes Waverly’s lips into a smoldering kiss. As their actions quicken, Nicole reaches down and grabs on to the hem of Waverly’s shirt. “Are you sure?” She asks, her alpha hating it but Nicole ignores it completely.
“Yes.” Waverly breathes out, lifting her arm so Nicole can pull the shirt off.
The final page of this chapter won't post for some reason so I will just add it to the next update! Sorry!
Wednesday August 24th: Earp Homestead
Waverly wakes up the next morning pressed into something warm. She opens her eyes slowly and looks at Nicole’s still slumbering form. The morning sun pierces through the blinds and paints beautiful stripes along Nicole’s bare back. Waverly shifts a little, moving impossibly closer. Nicole growls low and soft, pulling Waverly tighter into her body. But after a displeased and frustrated growl, Nicole opens her eyes and rolls so she is now on top of Waverly.
“Good morning.” Waverly yawns.
Nicole lets out a noncommittal grunt (obviously still gripped by sleep) and drops down, pressing herself over Waverly in a way that is extremely possessive, yet comforting as well.
Waverly smiles, enjoying the feeling of Nicole’s skin touching hers. This train of thought leads Waverly to reach a hand up and touch the small bruise that has formed on her collarbone. Although her omega howls to flaunt the mark, Waverly knows she should make sure to wear a shirt that will cover it up. Omega whimpering in dejection, wanting nothing more than to show everyone who her alpha is, Waverly does her best to focus. Nicole sits up, sensing Waverly’s distress.
“What’s wrong baby?” She asks.
“Nothing.” Waverly says a little too quickly.
Nicole looks and sees where Waverly’s hand is pressing slightly into the hickey from last night. Nicole understands (kinda) and leans down to kiss Waverly’s fingers. “I know you want more. I know you want me to bite you and for you to bite me. You want the mating bite… And I want that too, you know that. But you are not in heat, I am not in rut, and honestly… I don’t feel right about bonding you to me any more than I already have until we settle everything with my family.” Nicole pauses and kisses Waverly again, this time on the lips. “I want you to have an out if this all becomes too much. I will understand.”
“I’m not leaving you Nicole. And I won’t let you go either, not unless you want too.” Waverly says with conviction.
“I will never want to leave you Waverly Earp. Bonded or not. You are it for me.” Nicole says, looking into Waverly’s eyes.
Waverly smiles and leans up to kiss her girlfriend.
Friday September 2nd: Earp Homestead
They are all sitting in the living room, watching TV, when Nicole smells a scent nearby. She growls, recognizing the scent and knowing the presence of this person is not a good sign. Everyone turns to her in confusion and surprise. Dolls reacts first, getting up and grabbing his gun as Nicole heads for the door. She opens it and looks out, but no one is there. But she can smell him… and her. They are close. She steps outside, closing the door behind her so Dolls and the Earp girls are in the house. She walks to the center of the driveway, knowing the three Black Badge Agents are probably watching her from the large front windows. Nicole stands there, listening and waiting. After another moment, she sees him. Even in the dark, he stands out. The patches of white spotting his black coat giving him an older quality. It reflects him well. He slows as he gets closer but still ends up crashing into her with a hug after phasing back into his human form.
“Doc.” Nicole says, relief and concern battling for dominance.
“Miss Cole, it sure is nice to see you again.” He pauses letting her go and taking a step back. “I just wish it was under better circumstances.”
“What’s going on Doc?” She asks, concern winning over in her head.
“I promise we will tell you everything. But I needed to make sure it was safe before bringing her any closer.” He says.
“The Earps are of no threat to her or any of us.” Nicole says confidently.
Doc smirks. “Being that the Earps are legendary wolf hunters, and these Earps work for Black Badge, I am mighty skeptical.”
“Well, you can trust me. They won’t hurt you or her. I promise.”
Doc nods and raises his face, letting out a low howl.
It’s only a few more moments before Brie is visible. She runs towards them, phasing to human form with ease. She hugs her sister tightly, Nicole reciprocating the action.
After a long minute, Nicole, remembering they are out in the open, motions with her head to the house. “We can talk inside. Better that no one sees us.”
With that, Nicole leads Brie and Doc towards the house.
As they enter the house, Waverly greets Brie kindly, giving her a short hug and offering her something to drink.
“No, thank you.” Brie declines politely. “We actually can’t stay long, or at least, I can’t.”
Nicole cuts in. “Guys, this is my sister Brie (who Waverly has already met) and my friend Doc (who Dolls knows).” Dolls and Doc had shared a friendly handshake when Doc entered. “Brie, Doc. Waverly Earp, Wynonna Earp, and Xavier Dolls.” Wynonna nods at them politely. Nicole turns to Brie. “What’s going on? Why are you here?”
“Please sit Cole.” Brie says and waits for Nicole to take a seat before she continues. “Dad… he’s… he’s coming for you.”
“I gathered that during our last family reunion.” Nicole comments dryly.
“Cole, you don’t get it. He is coming and he is bringing the legion.” Brie says, fear etched in her features.
“Who are the legion?” Wynonna asks.
“There are two divisions of warriors in the pack. There is the guard and the legion.” Nicole says absentmindedly, mind running a mile a minute.
“Okay? What are they? What is the difference?” Wynonna asks, still confused.
“The guard upholds pack law. They are the face of law enforcement in the pack. They are all about honor and tradition. The legion… they are more easily compared to a firing squad.” Dolls says, noticing Nicole’s change.
“Legion trains to kill.” Brie says flatly. “They were an invention of my father’s when he took control. The guard has been around since the creation of the pack.” She eyes Nicole. “Cole…”
Nicole stands and starts pacing, rubbing at her wrist as she thinks. “I know Brianna. I know.” Nicole says.
“Haught.” Dolls tries.
After another moment, Doc moves and stops Nicole. He grabs her wrist and pushes her sleeve up, exposing her tattoo on her inner wrist. “Remember who you are.”
“And who is she?” Wynonna asks. She had seen the tattoo before, but never thought to ask about it. But now, it was obvious that it is important.
“The leader of the guard.” Doc answers, eyes never leaving Nicole.
“Former.” Nicole says.
“No. You will still always be the leader. Doesn’t matter if you leave or stay.” Doc says warmly.
“That’s your job now Doc.” Nicole says cracking a small grin.
Waverly notices the exact same tattoo on Doc’s wrist.
“True, but there isn’t much left of the guard to lead. Your father has done a number on us… I’m the only one left.” Doc says sadly.
Nicole breaks away, anger flooding her. “Has he lost his fucking mind?!” She begins pacing, but stops and turns to look at her sister. “How long Brie?”
“They will be here in twenty-three days Cole. And… they are preparing for you to resist…” Brie says, fear and anger both present.
“Dammit.” Nicole growls under her breath.
Brie’s voice softens. “And Nicole… um… there is something else, but I should probably tell you outside… I have to get going anyways. They will start looking for me soon.”
Nicole feels the dread sink to her bones and her body feels heavy, but she nods. She follows her sister out and they walk down the driveway.
“He killed her Nicole… Mama. It happened late last night…” She looks over at her sister, seeing nothing but anger in the redhead’s eyes. “She fought back, told him she couldn’t do it anymore. She didn’t want to watch her children get hurt and she ultimately refused to submit to him any longer.”
“She found out about you… didn’t she?” Nicole asks knowingly.
“Yeah. I told her actually. I told her the truth that I have been hiding for years.” Brie pauses. “She… she was kinda her old self again. Like she was when we were little. She kissed me and promised that she would keep me safe.”
“Did she tell Dad?”
“That I can’t breed, that I'm infertile? No. I wouldn’t be standing here alive if she had. That’s what started the fight between them. Dad knew something was up, but she wouldn’t tell him.”
Nicole swallows hard and looks at her sister with wet eyes. “Did she suffer?” Their mom was a lot of things, but she was still their mom. She loved them, even if her submission to their father sometimes blinded that fact.
“No.” Brie breathes out. “It was quick.”
Nicole nods, wiping the tears from her eyes. She hugs her sister and watches as Brie phases and runs away.
Nicole stands there, hands clenched into fists as she phases. She wants to run, she wants to hunt, she wants to let the animal inside her free. She wants to do anything but feel the sadness and panic that wants to consume her.
Saturday September 3rd: Earp Homestead
Waverly and Wynonna both wake up the next morning without their alphas by their sides. Waverly shifts, smelling the sheets that only faintly smell like Nicole. Obviously the other half of the bed has been empty for at least an hour. She stands up and gets dressed before departing the room and bumping into her sister.
“Hey.” Wynonna says.
“Good morning.” Waverly says, not quite as chipper due to the lack of caffeine in her system.
“Ew, you’re in a mood. Either you haven’t had your caffeine fix or your girl fix this morning. Which one is it?” Wynonna asks with a smirk.
“Both.” Waverly responds dryly before going to the bathroom to brush her teeth.
By the time they are both downstairs, they can hear the sounds coming from outside. After fixing their respective coffee and teas, they walk out to the front porch to check it out.
They are greeted by the sight of three very half naked individuals. Dolls is in a pair of basketball shorts. He is standing on the sidelines as Nicole (clad only in a pair of joggers and a sports bra) circles Doc. Doc does the same, growling lowly at Nicole.
“Okay Holiday, let’s see what you got.” Dolls says with a whistle.
Doc phases immediately and continues to circle Nicole. She stays in human form, simply studying him. He barks and Nicole nods in understanding.
“It’s so annoying that they have their own wolfy language that only they can understand.” Wynonna grumbles to her sister. She pauses, looking at the smirk gracing Waverly’s face. “Shit, never mind. You have it too.”
“But only with Nicole. So like right now. She is suppressing it, so I can’t hear or feel her. But if she wasn’t, I would be able to not only hear her, but also understand Doc through her own thoughts.” Waverly says, still fascinated by the idea.
Wynonna just rolls her eyes and turns her attention back to the others.
Doc charges at Nicole but stops short when she phases and knocks him clean off his feet in less than a second. He hits the ground with a thud but bounds back up quickly after a yelp.
Nicole barks twice and charges him, Doc reciprocating the action. They collide and the sound feels almost earth shattering. Doc and Nicole turn into a blur of multicolored fur as the both wrestle each other. After several moments, there is a yelp of pain from Nicole and Waverly (just for a moment) feels Nicole’s ability to repress the bond falter. But Nicole recovers quickly nipping Doc hard and then shouldering him off of her and into the air. He hits the ground on all fours, paws skidding in the damp dirt below them. They pause, both seeming to relax and catch their breaths.
Waverly feels that thing again. The feeling when Nicole stops repressing the bond and everything floods Waverly in the best and worst way possible. Waverly looks at Nicole, who is now walking towards her. Her fur is ruffled and crazy from the activity, but Waverly can’t help but find her stunning.
“You okay Waves?” Nicole asks, almost to the two women.
“Yes. Of course. I just don’t like to see you hurt.” Waverly replies honestly.
Nicole lowers her head and butts her head lightly into Waverly’s abdomen (rubbing up on her affectionately).
Waverly smiles and runs her hands through Nicole’s fur, scratching the side of her face lightly.
It is only then that Nicole responds, relaxing into Waverly’s touch. “I will heal. It’s okay. We are just training.”
Waverly hums in acknowledgement (out loud) and thus, tunes Wynonna into the fact that she and Nicole are conversing.
“What are you guys talking about?” Wynonna asks, eying Nicole cautiously.
Nicole forgets how little interaction Wynonna has had with her in wolf form (unlike Waverly). She nudges Waverly affectionately with her wet nose before taking a slow step towards Wynonna.
Wynonna’s facial features are a mixture of anxiety and curiosity. Nicole approaches her, lowering her head (giving Wynonna the option to engage her or to not). After a moment of hesitation, Wynonna places a hand on Nicole’s head (pausing for a moment) before patting the wolf’s thick fur.
“Dude, you’re really soft.” Wynonna says with childlike fascination.
Nicole turns her head and looks at Waverly to translate her response.
“She says thanks.” Waverly says to her sister. Waverly listens to Nicole a moment before calling Nicole out. “No Nicole, I am not going to repeat that part. That’s my sister.”
Nicole shakes her head and gives a small growl-bark combination in response.
Waverly laughs and shakes her head. Nicole trots away soon after when Doc beckons her back.
“One more round.” He says with a bark.
Nicole growls in assent and they start to circle each other once more.
“Get angry Cole. Remember why you’re fighting. Remember who you are fighting.” He says
Nicole growls. “I can’t. Not until the time comes. I can’t do that to you… I- I don’t know if I will be able to stop once I start unleashing that anger.”
Waverly is struck by Nicole’s honesty and Waverly makes a mental note to discuss it later. Nicole huffs and eyes her. Dammit! Forgot about the whole telepathy thing.
Doc barks and brings Nicole’s attention back to him. He charges her and the dance begins once again.
Monday September 5th: Purgatory Sheriff Department- BBD Office
Nicole walks into the office that morning with two cups of coffee in her hands. She places one on her desk and then puts the other in front of Waverly (who is wrapped up in a blanket on the office couch with her laptop on the table in front of her). Nicole notices that Waverly’s pupils are blown and she is staring at the screen blindly. Nicole’s concern rises. She crouches down next to Waverly, placing a soft hand on her blanketed shoulder.
“Waves? Are you…” Nicole cuts herself short when Waverly’s scent hits her. It is her, but different. It is overpowering and strong. Nicole has to take a step back, realizing what the change is and knowing she shouldn’t be near Waverly.
Waverly whimpers and buries herself deeper into the blanket.
Nicole composes herself, pummeling her alpha into submission down at her feet. She tries again. “Waves? You’re uh… are you… in heat?”
Waverly whimpers and nods her head into the blanket.
“Waves baby. Why are you here? I’m sure Dolls would have given you the next few days off.” Nicole says with genuine sympathy and concern. “You shouldn’t be in town. The other alphas won’t be able (nor will they probably try) to control themselves around you.”
“I-I didn’t. I mean.” Waverly takes a deep breath. “I didn’t feel it until I got here. It hit me like a freight train. There were no warning signs or anything. I was just sitting here when it took effect in a matter of five minutes. I know it normally doesn’t happen that way but…” She pauses again and then begins to ramble. “And then I was going to try and go home, but I can’t and the other alphas… I won’t make it home. And then I smelled you from down the hall and my body just froze. And…”
Nicole steps forward cautiously to stop Waverly’s ramblings, but makes sure to keep enough distance so she doesn’t touch her. She sighs.
“I’ll take you back to the homestead. But we should hurry before it gets worse.” Nicole says, holding the door open for Waverly as they rush out of the station.
Monday September 5th: Purgatory Sheriff Department
Nicole pulls out of the station parking lot at breakneck speed, Waverly’s Jeep complaining with the noise of tires burning on asphalt. The speed limit on Main Street is thirty-five miles per hour. But Nicole… she is pushing the red wrangler to almost fifty-five.
“Waves? Baby?” Nicole looks over at her girlfriend with concern filled eyes.
Waverly mumbles, physically unable to do anything else at the moment. Her insides feel like they are on fire and it is all she can do not to scream.
Nicole, turning her attention back to the road, slams down hard on the brake. “Fuck!” She exclaims, hitting the red light at the only fucking intersection in town.
Waverly’s scent is growing and it is smothering Nicole in the confined air space. She knows its strong too, because they have only been stopped at the intersection for about five seconds and the other alphas have their noses in the air, searching for the source.
Honestly, Nicole would normally just run the light in this situation, but the traffic driving perpendicular to them is coming through fast and she risks getting hit if she tries.
A predatory growl and howl sounds off near the driver’s side and Nicole looks out the window. “Dammit.” She mutters, recognizing the owner of the noise. Champ.
He is walking towards the car, licking his teeth hungrily as he does. He is flanked by Kyle and Pete York (Although Pete doesn’t seem as enthusiastic as the other two).
Nicole growls and gets out of the car, slamming the door shut behind her.
“Champ. Back the fuck off.” She growls lowly, warning clear in her tone.
“I’m here to take back what is mine!” Champ barks. He smirks. “And from the smell of things… she is all ready for me.”
“Waverly doesn’t belong to anyone Champ. I suggest you turn around with your boys and walk away.” Nicole barks with authority.
“I’m not leaving without what is mine. That omega is mine to fuck and I refuse to let some dyke stop me from taking what’s mine!” He counters, taking another step closer.
“Over my dead body.” Nicole growls, taking a step towards them.
Champ looks to Kyle and smirks. “I guess I will get a two for one then. Kill you and get that omega slut back in her rightful place. You might have intimidated me when I was drunk and alone. But I don’t think you will do so well against me and two alphas. Three versus one are not good odds for you.” He challenges (motioning to the alpha York boys).
Nicole barks out a humorless laugh and stares at Champ with a dangerous glint in her eyes. “Let’s be honest Champ, your fucking dumb ass beta brain does not count as one. And by the looks of your boys, you seem to have only one alpha standing with you.”
Champ turns and sees that Pete had stopped several feet back. He growls but turns back to Nicole. “Doesn’t matter. We [motioning to himself and Kyle] will kill you ourselves.” He smirks and winks at Kyle. “Maybe I will even let him have a turn with her once I’m done with her.”
Nicole loses her temper and literally lets loose. First, she stops masking her scent and it hits both men like a physical blow. They barely have time to react before Nicole phases into wolf form and places all four legs on the black asphalt.
The men, for their parts, look genuinely stunned and terrified. They freeze in place, knowing their next few seconds could be the difference between life or death.
“Shit, she’s a Verum.” Kyle whines, immediately bowing to Nicole (a clear action of submission).
Champ doesn’t move, he just stares at Nicole. She internally chuckles a bit when she sees the wet stain spreading down Champs jeans.
Nicole, tired of this whole situation, barks loudly and growls at them, advancing towards them.
The movement seems to jar Champ from his frozen state because he turns and runs in the opposite direction. Kyle follows close behind, periodically checking over his shoulder to see if Nicole is chasing them.
Once they are gone, Nicole phases back to her human form and gets back into the SUV. She slams her foot on the gas pedal and guns it until she reaches the front porch of the Homestead.
Monday September 5th: Purgatory Sheriff Department- Break Room
Wynonna’s phone dings and she pulls it from her pocket, unlocking it immediately.
Haughtdog: Waverly went into heat. I found her at BBD an hour ago
Haughtdog: Just got her to the homestead.
Haughtdog: She isn’t in a good place.
Wynonna’s eyes widen and she quickly types her response.
WhiskeyDonut: Did you make it to the homestead safely?!
WhiskeyDonut: I am surprised and relieved that you didn’t run into anyone.
Haughtdog: We did. Champ and the York boys…
Haughtdog: I handled it.
WhiskeyDonut: Okay thanks for letting me know.
Haughtdog: Are you coming here?
Haughtdog: To take care of Waves?
WhiskeyDonut: Why can’t you?
Haughtdog: Waverly’s heat triggered my rut early
Haughtdog: I don’t want to hurt her Wynonna. I don’t know if I can do this.
WhiskeyDonut: I have never seen her in heat. I wouldn’t know what to do.
WhiskeyDonut: Plus it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to be at the homestead either. Your rut and her heat… the scents would be too much.
WhiskeyDonut: Take care of her Nicole. I don’t care in what way as long as it is what Waverly wants.
WhiskeyDonut: Good luck. Keep my baby sister safe.
Wynonna puts her phone back in her pocket and walks to the Black Badge office. She walks in and meets Dolls’ confused gaze. She is about to ask what is wrong when she smells Waverly. Obviously Nicole wasn’t lying, she was here… and by the strength of her scent, she is most definitely in heat.
“Is Waverly…?” Dolls begins.
“Yes.” Wynonna answers, not needing him to finish.
“With her. Made sure she got to the homestead safe.”
“Good… well I guess you are staying at my place for the next few days…”
Monday September 5th: Earp Homestead
“Nicole. It hurts.” Waverly says, voice vulnerable and shaky.
“Waves. I’m sorry baby. I know it hurts. But you will be okay. I promise you. It will pass.” Nicole says from her seat across the room.
“Why are you all the way over there?” Waverly asks with a whimper, pulling the sheets on her bed tighter to her chest.
“Because I don’t want to hurt you. I want to be here and support you and take care of you. But I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I let my rut and your heat cause me to do something you don’t want. I can’t risk it Waves.” Nicole says with a bowed head. Her hands are gripping the chair so tight and Nicole swears she can hear the material splintering under the force.
What makes you think that I wouldn’t want you to do it… you know?” Waverly looks like she is going to continue but Nicole interrupts her.
“Waves. That’s just the heat talking. Your omega heat and the primal desire.” Nicole says.
“No, Nic. It’s not.” Waverly says, a little defensively. “I have wanted that since the beginning. You, on the other hand, just keep making excuses for why we shouldn’t be together. First you tried to not be friends, then you tried to avoid your feelings for me and date me. Nicole, if you don’t want me, please just tell me. Stop making excuses.”
“Waves.” Nicole sighs, loosening her grip on the chair ever so slightly. “I want you so much it scares me. It scares me because I know for a fact that there is nothing on this earth that I wouldn’t do for you. I would do anything, be anything you needed. And that fact scares me. Because it’s hard enough to fight the primal side alone. But both sides of me want you and I am standing on a thin line that is keeping both parts of me in check. I want you Waverly. Trust me, I want you. But I want you to want whatever happens between us too and I fear this is all just the heat talking.” Nicole says, her own honesty surprising her. “I have so much baggage and issues. I don’t want you stuck with all of this, especially if it isn’t what you want outside of heat.”
Waverly is silent for a long moment, thinking deeply as she struggles with the aching inside her. Her omega whimpers in dejection and howls to be claimed. “Nicole. I want this. I do. Of course, the omega in me wants it. But I am more than my primal side. Just like how you are so much more than your alpha. You are strong, courageous and caring and that has nothing to do with the alpha within. Thats all you baby. So please, come here. Be mine in the way that I want to be yours.”
Nicole stands after a moment of hesitation. She slowly walks to the bed, taking in the scent of the omega that gets stronger and stronger as she gets closer. She stands at Waverly’s side for a moment, closing her eyes and gaining a sense of control before squatting down so she is at eye level with the omega lying down.
She raises her hand and runs a delicate hand through Waverly’s sweat dampened hair.
“I love you, you know that, right?” Nicole asks, tone and face serious.
“I do.” Waverly replies. “You know I love you too, right?”
“I do. But I need you to promise me something.”
“Anything.” Waverly responds quickly and without hesitation.
“Don’t promise me anything Waverly.” Nicole says, running her hand back through Waverly’s hair. “Promise me that if you don’t like something or feel even the slightest bit of hesitation, you will tell me. We can slow down or stop or do whatever you need. I need you to promise me that and stick to that promise.”
“I promise, as long as you do the same.” Waverly responds, purring contently at the touch of Nicole’s hands.
Nicole nods and stands, removing her hand from Waverly’s face.
“Where are you going?” Waverly asks in a panic. She grabs Nicole’s hand in an effort to keep her anchored here.
“Waves. I am willing to do this. But we need protection. Trust me, I can’t wait for the day we don’t use it. But I don’t think our first cycles together is the best time to get you pregnant. I think your sister might actually kill me.” Nicole jokes, voice a little flat as she continues to fight her alpha.
Waverly smiles nervously, blushing. “I-um… I have some.”
Nicole looks at her in confusion. “What? Why would you…? Waves, Champ was a beta, the ones that fit him won’t fit me.” Her alpha howls inside, loud and proud.
Waverly blushes impossibly redder. “I know. I… I bought them after I broke up with Champ.” She pauses and smirks a bit. “Never knew alpha condoms were more expensive than regular ones.”
Nicole’s jaw hits the floor. “You… you bought alpha condoms… after you broke up with Champ…?”
Waverly smirks harder as she watches her girlfriends brain short circuit. The thought strengthens her confidence (well… as confident as one can get as they fight off uncontrollable pain due to arousal). “Yes, I did.”
Nicole is rendered speechless, literally. She can’t speak. She just watches as Waverly uses her grip on her hand to pull her onto the bed. It is only when her back hits the mattress hard that she regains her bearings.
“Waves. I-uh. Are you sure?”
“Nicole.” Waverly says, straddling Nicole with a serious (yet slightly amused look on her face). “I bought alpha condoms over a week before our first date. Do you think I would have done that if I wasn’t sure about this… about you?”
“You never cease to surprise me Waverly Earp.” Nicole says with a smirk.
The smirk quickly fades into a look of pained restraint and Waverly shifts in her place on top on Nicole.
“Waves.” She moans, feeling the change start between her legs.
Waverly must feel it to because she shifts again, purring as she feels the developing bulge touch her center through their pants.
“Nicole, please.” Waverly whines. She leans down, pressing her front so it is covering Nicole. She spreads out on top of her alpha, rubbing her scent on the redhead and enveloping herself in the scent of Nicole.
“Okay Waves. Okay. Just remember your promise, okay?” Nicole says, sitting up and bringing Waverly up with her. She unbuttons her shirt quickly and Waverly makes quick work of her own.
“I promise Nicole.”
Monday September 5th: Haught Household
“Brie.” Ryan calls as he enters her room.
“What’s up, Ryan.” Brie responds, looking up from the book she is reading.
“We need to talk.”
Brie leans out of her chair and looks down the hall.
“Dad isn’t here. He and Alek went to go train.” Ryan says, trying to reassure his sister.
Brie lets out a deep breath in relief and looks at her brother. “Okay. What’s wrong… among others things?”
“I’m leaving in the morning.” He says, not breaking eye contact with his sister.
“What?! Ryan, they will kill you.”
“Brie, I won’t fight Nicole. If I stay and refuse to fight, they will kill me anyways. I won’t die that way. I would rather die fighting alongside Cole, trying to protect her and the ones she loves. I would die honorably that way. But I can’t and won’t fight her. I can’t. She has been more of a motherly figure for me than our mother ever was. I loved mom. I really did. But my loyalty has and always will be with Nicole.” Ryan says with unwavering certainty.
Brie looks at her brother for a long moment and thinks hard. She breaks the silence, grabbing a bag off of her shelf and placing it on her bed.
“What are you doing?” Ryan asks, surprise and fear in his eyes.
“I’m coming with you. And we are leaving tonight. We won’t make it to Purgatory alive if we leave in the morning light.” She says, packing the bag with clothes.
Ryan stares at his sister for a long moment, trying to comprehend what is happening.
“Ryan. Go pack.” Brie says, noticing his statue position.
He shakes his head and walks out of her room to do just that.
Tuesday September 6th: Haught Household
Brie and Ryan slip out the back door just after one in the morning. There are guards walking the grounds, but they dodge them without issue and make their way to the edge of the pack land. They are almost to the border when they hear a howl from the direction of their childhood home. They both shudder, recognizing the angry outrage as their father’s.
“He knows.” Brie says, voice trembling slightly.
Ryan doesn’t say anything, but he nods in silent agreement. He is scared to.
They quickly phase into their wolf forms and begin to run as fast as they can.
They have been running for about twenty minutes when Ryan notices a figure standing about one hundred yards ahead of them, he barks at his sister.
“Who is that? I can’t tell.” He asks.
“Doc. You might have been too young to remember him well. He was a part of the Guard with Cole. Took over after she left.” Brie responds, slowing as they approach him.
“I remember him, but he looks different.”
They both stop at Doc and exchange pleasantries.
“We should get going. The route we need to take will take an additional hour than usual. We don’t want the pack following us back to the homestead. Your sister has taken measures to mask its location. She wants to keep the place hidden for as long as possible so her friends can stay there safely.” Doc says.
“Okay.” Ryan says.
“It is good to see you again Little Red.” Doc says kindly. He turns serious again. “One of the conditions for you coming to Purgatory is that you will have to be registered and veted by Dolls and the Earp. We will go to the police station first and handle that before we go to the homestead.”
“Lead the way.” Brie says without hesitation.
They begin to run once again.
Tuesday September 6th: Purgatory Sheriff Department
Doc enters the station with Brie and Ryan in tow. Sherriff Nedley is standing at the front desk, an expectant look on his face.
“Sherriff. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Officer Haught’s siblings. Brianna Haught and Ryan Haught.” Doc says, motioning to the two siblings.
The Sherriff eyes them suspiciously. He takes a step forward, predatory and warning. “Either one of you the one that put my deputy in the hospital a few weeks ago?” He growls.
“No Sir.” Ryan answers respectfully (a spitting image of his sister). “Although, we were there and watched it happen. We are equally responsible.”
Nedley regards the young man carefully before softening and giving him a light pat on the shoulder. “After hearing about what you all went through at home… I can’t really blame you.” He looks Ryan in the eyes, thinking about how the boy just owned up to something that was at least partially out of his control. “Your sister is very proud of you, young man. She can’t say enough nice things about you.” He turns and looks at Brie. “Both of you.”
Nedley turns his attention to Doc. “Dolls and Wynonna are ready for them. You can take them back to the Black Badge Division Office.”
Doc nods and begins to walk down the hall, the Haught’s following closely behind.
“Never thought I would be walking it a Black Badge office willingly… or alive.” Brie jokes dryly, earning a sad chuckle from her brother.
Tuesday September 6th: Purgatory Sheriff Department - BBD Office
“So how does this work?” Brie asks from her seat next to her brother.
“It is relatively simple. We ask you some questions, we take a blood test and an oral swab, we fingerprint you and add your information into the computer, and then we are done.” Dolls answers.
Ryan looks to Wynonna and then to Peacemaker (which is holstered at her side). “And if something doesn’t match up… what? She shoots us and you go back to drinking your coffee?”
Wynonna looks at him, observing him closely. After a moment, she answers. “Look. You seem like nice people and your sister is a part of my family now. I trust her. But I don’t trust either of you yet. I don’t know you. But your sister does and, because of that, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt. As long as you tell the truth and don’t break any laws, you and I won’t have a problem.”
Ryan looks at her for a long moment before nodding. Brie does the same shortly after.
“Okay, which one of you wants to go first?” Dolls asks, moving the conversation back on track.
“Ladies first.” Ryan says, motioning for his sister.
Dolls nods and motions for Brie to follow him. She does and they head for the interrogation room across the hall. This leaves Doc and Ryan with Wynonna.
“How long do you think he is going to take?” Ryan asks after the second hour of Brie and Dolls’ interview.
“No idea.” Wynonna replies, taking a sip of her coffee.
“You sure you don’t want anything to eat or drink?” Doc asks Ryan for the second time today. “You haven’t eaten in a while. Won’t do you much good to escape, only to die of starvation.” Doc jokes.
Ryan looks puzzled. “Why are you being so nice to us Doc. My father killed all your soldiers, your unit, your friends.” Ryan turns to Wynonna. “And you are the Earp heir. You are the famous slayer of Verum Lupums. Your family is famous for it. You should be my mortal enemy. Not offering to help us. You shouldn't even be inviting Nicole into your team, let alone your family. Care to explain why? I don’t mean to be rude, but like you, I don’t know whether to trust you yet.”
Wynonna sighs. “Yes, I am the Earp heir. And yes, my job is to kill Verums. But only when it is deserved. I don’t kill unless one of them breaks the law.”
Ryan looks at her quizzically. “No offense intended. But your father did not share that same mindset… neither did the heirs before him.”
Wynonna cringes, but recovers. “My father was not the best man.”
Ryan scoffs. “Considering he marched on to pack land and tried to kill myself and Nicole for no reason other than existing… I would say that is an understatement.”
Doc is confused. “Pardon, I seem to be a little lost in this conversation.” He looks to Wynonna, who has a pained look on her face.
Ryan turn to look at Doc. “I am surprised you haven’t heard the story… although, now that I think about it, I’m not. It isn’t something Nicole shares quite as openly as I do.” Ryan motions to Wynonna. “Her father, Ward Earp, was the previous Earp heir. One day, Mr. Earp decided the world would be a safer place without the two youngest born children of Nicolas Haught alive. So, he traveled onto pack land, killing any wolf that got in his way (or even showed themselves) and quite literally broke down our front door. My father and grandfather were gone on a hunting trip with the majority of the alpha leaders. Nicole and I were alone in the house with our mother. After knocking her out with a blow to the head, he ripped Nicole and I from our rooms and made us sit in the living room as he pointed his big, Verum killing, gun at us. Nicole was around eleven years old at the time, I was still a baby. He pointed the gun at me, but Nicole phased and knocked the gun out of his hand. But the gun still went off.” Ryan cringes and shakes his head. “There is a scar above her left eye, that is where the first bullet grazed her. Ward got ahold of the gun (most likely due to the fact that Nicole didn’t want to hurt him and was only trying to protect me). He shot at her again as she used herself to shield me. She took one of his bullets to the lower ribcage. Shattered three of her ribs and unfortunately, injuries from that gun don’t heal like regular ones. The remaining guards showed up, but his oldest daughter… I can’t recall her name… dragged him out of there before the alphas tore him to shreds.”
“And Nicole?” Doc asks.
“She was in the hospital for a little over a month. The shattered ribs had to be fixed manually (basically they had to re-break them back into place) and the damages had punctured her lung. Because of her age and the fact that she phased back into human form… it made her recovery more painful and longer.”
“I didn’t know.” Wynonna says softly, speaking for the first time since the story began.
Ryan looks at her skeptically once again.
“Look, I knew he did that. But I didn’t know it was you and Nicole. I had heard the story, but it was never in that much detail. All I was ever told about the wolves he killed were that they were dangerous.”
Ryan chuckles dryly. “Yeah, an eleven-year-old girl playing with her baby brother was really a threat to the public.” Ryan stops and looks at Wynonna.
She has a look of genuine regret and sadness on her face.
He softens. “Look Wynonna. I’m sorry. I know he was your dad and I am sure he was important to you. I guess we all just have our own truths about the past. But that isn’t on you. I’m sorry. I shouldn't be rude and mean to you because of it.”
Wynonna scoffs. “The man used to get drunk and beat his wife and daughters. Then he scared one away, shot another and then shot himself. He was not a good man Ryan. Don’t feel bad for hating him. At least, not on my account. I hated him too. But, I hope you can learn to trust me. I am not my father. Your sister trusts me, I hope you and your other sister can too.”
Ryan nods slowly. “Speaking of Nicole, where is she?”
Tuesday September 6th: Purgatory Sheriff Department – Interrogation Room 1
“Please state your name, date of birth and all other pertinent identification information>” Dolls says, turning the recorder on.
Brianna looks apprehensive, but does speak after a moment of hesitation. “My name is Brianna Haught. I was born on April 16th, 1990 in pack land. My father is named Nicolas Haught and my mother was named Julia Haught. I am Nicolas’s second oldest child. I am preceded by Alex and tailed by Nicole and Ryan.”
“Okay. Before we continue, are you familiar with the registration process and what it entails?” Dolls asks as a part of the procedure.
“If you are asking if I have gone through this before, the answer is no. Registration isn’t looked upon fondly in the pack.”
“And why is that?” Dolls asks, although he seems to already know what she is going to say.
“You take down our information, take our blood and store it in your databases. You use that information to hunt us down and experiment on us to make weapons designed to destroy us. I think you can gather why we don’t trust Black Badge or your database.” Brie says harshly.
“We only hunt down the ones guilty of crimes.”
“Guilty? Are you seriously going to come at me with that crap? There is no judge, no jury. You and your agency just choose who is guilty. You can’t erase the past Deputy Marshall. Black Badge has killed over a hundred Verums from my pack alone that were later proven innocent. But Black Badge didn’t care. They just bust through the door, execute us and then leave our bodies there for our families to find. We aren’t given any of the rights regular humans are.” Brie pauses. “Despite what your government might believe, we are still human. We still have a brain and emotions and people that love us. So why are we treated so differently?”
“Because you possess a power that no regular humans can. You can be a danger to society. It wouldn’t take much for you to slaughter an entire town. It has happened before. That is the purpose of this database.” Dolls responds.
“To control us.”
“To regulate and monitor you. You are capable of destroying everything in your path. You (your species) is capable of a lot of bad stuff.” Dolls cuts in.
“And what about you Xavier Dolls. We both know you are all too much of a monster yourself. You are a hypocrite. How can you sit there and tell me we are monsters, when you are one too? You might not be a Verum, but you sure as hell are a monster.” Brie says. “And that’s just what is going on inside you. That isn’t even talking about the actually transgressions you have committed against others. I have never killed an innocent person in my life. I know for a fact you can’t say the same.” She growls. “My sister may be able to look beyond that, god knows she knows more than any of us, but I am not so easy. You can’t treat me and my brother like criminals for just being who we are. We didn’t choose this life. We were born this way. If given the choice, none of us would have chosen this. We can’t help who we are. But it doesn’t make us monsters.”
“Brie, look.” Dolls says deflating a bit. “I have known you for a while now and I care for your sister a lot. She is my best friend. But I have to do this by the book. I know you and Ryan would never intentionally hurt anyone, but… precautions have to be made.”
Brie gives him an unconvinced look so her continues.
“Do you really think Nicole would allow me to do this if she didn’t believe in me? If she didn’t have faith in me?”
Brie relaxes shaking her head slightly and looking back up at Dolls with less anger. “Okay.”
Dolls nods and relaxes in turn. Both alpha push their primal instincts to hurt the other down and continue.
Tuesday September 6th: Earp Homestead
“Waves.” Nicole breathes out.
“Nic, it’s okay. I promise.” Waverly says, breathing through the slight pain as her badly stretches around Nicole’s cock.
“I really don’t want to hurt you.” Nicole says, looking down at Waverly’s center and withdrawing slightly.
“You’re not.” Waverly says quickly. She opens her eyes and looks at Nicole (who it giving her a look that says You’re lying to me and I know it). She caves. “It hurts a little, but it feels so good to have you. Please. Please don’t stop now.”
Nicole looks down once again, slowly inching further into her omega before pulling out and thrusting back in as softly as she can. Her alpha instinct, the one she is holding down and fighting against, wants nothing more than to take the omega and mark her as Nicole’s. But that’s just it. Waverly isn’t Nicole’s to have. She isn’t anyone’s to have. She is a person and deserves to be treated like more than a breeding stock. So, she ignores her alpha as it howls in outrage and continues to go slow. It is slow, yet so quick. Every second feels like an hour, but also faster than a blink of an eye. It only takes a few minutes before Nicole is buried almost completely inside Waverly. Nicole just stays that way for a while, allowing Waverly’s body time to adjust to the stretch.
“Holy shit.” Waverly breathes out, her face beaded with sweat (partially from her heat, partially from exertion). She chuckles lightly, taking one of her hands and using it to pull Nicole down to kiss her. Waverly’s other hand still grips the bedsheets beneath her tight.
The movement draws Nicole even further into the omega and she moans into Nicole’s mouth in response.
“Baby. Are you okay?” Nicole asks, although the sounds Waverly is eliciting and the feeling of being inside her is has dropped her voice into something a little more primal… a little more dangerous.
Waverly recognizes it, the internal struggle. And is scares her a little bit, but it (more importantly) makes her arousal shoot through the roof. She looks Nicole over, the alpha on top of her fighting so hard with herself. Waverly can see it in her eyes and in the way her muscles twitch and exert far beyond what they normally would. “Nicole. Fuck me.”
Tuesday September 6th: Purgatory Sheriff Department - BBD Office
After a blood draw, Dolls leads Brie back into the Black Badge Division office. “Okay, well we should probably get some food. I will call it in at Shorty’s and one of us can pick it up when it is ready.” He says.
“Food es bueno.” Wynonna agrees.
Ryan, Brie and Doc all nod their heads in agreement.
“Okay good.” Dolls says. He picks up his phone and dials the Shorty’s number.
After three rings, Gus answers.
“Shorty’s. What do you need?” Gus asks in her normal firm tone.
“Mrs. McCready. It’s Xavier Dolls. Mind if I call in an order for pick up?”
“Not a problem Son. What can I get ya?” She asks, pleased it is him calling.
After everyone orders their food and Dolls hangs up with Gus, the room falls into silence.
Wynonna eventually breaks it. “Why?”
“Why what?” Brie asks.
“Why didn’t Nicole say anything to me or Waves about our father?” She clarifies, looking into space.
The Haught siblings exchange a look before Ryan goes to respond.
“Our sister is… well let’s just say she is a different breed. She doesn’t truly trust anyone, but easily forgives.” Ryan and Brie both eye Dolls. Wynonna and Doc both notice and look at Dolls with questioning eyes.
“A story for another day.” He answers Wynonna and Doc’s unspoken question.
“And Nicole doesn’t hold your father’s actions against you. If she did, you wouldn’t be sitting here. I think it is more personal for her too. She doesn’t want to be held accountable for our father’s actions. The guilt… it has gotten to her a few times over the years. I fear that, with the death of our mom, she is struggling to cope with it once again. Especially now that you are all involved.” Brie continues.
“What?! You mom died?!” The room asks collectively.
Ryan and Brie look around at them. “Nicole didn’t tell you?!” They ask in unison.
“No. She didn’t.” Wynonna says defeated, but then looks up at the Haught’s. “I’m sorry for your loss guys. Really. That sucks.”
“Yeah, it does. Not something I will ever forget and not something I ever want to see happen again.” Brie says sadly. “Considering we grew up around our dad’s cruelty, we should be used to it. But watching him do that to the person he claimed to care for… it changes you.”
“HA killed your mother?” Dolls asks.
“Yeah. He did.” Ryan says.
“Why wouldn’t Nicole say anything about it? We could have helped her grieve or something.” Wynonna says, a little hurt.
Ryan sighs. “Wynonna, something you should know about my sister is that she feels like she has to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. That’s how our father trained her, but it’s also just her. She has a big heart (even though she tries to hide it) and doesn’t want to burden others with her problems. Plus, telling you guys about it means talking about it and expressing emotions that she would rather hide away. It is what she does. She holds herself together, but eventually she cracks and falls apart. A person can only take so much. It was hard for her as a kid. I think that’s where the coping mechanism started. She was forced to watch executions, fight her friends and family, hunt…” Ryan pauses and looks at Brie. “Our sister is the strongest person I know, but being strong isn’t enough when you go through what she has.”
Wednesday September 7th: Purgatory Sheriffs Department - BBD Office
Nicole walks into the Sherriff’s station in the morning to find Brie and Ryan asleep on the couch in the BBD office. Across the room, Wynonna and Dolls are asleep in chairs and Doc is laying on the floor with his hat over his eyes. Waverly enters just behind her with a coffee carrier in hand.
“Are they all dead?” She whispers, a playful smirk on her face.
Nicole smirks and grabs one of the cups of coffee. She walks over to Wynonna and waves the cup just below her nose.
“Coffee!!!” Wynonna squeals as she jumps out of her seat. “I knew you loved me Haughtdog.”
Nicole huffs in mock indignation as she hands her the coffee. She turns around and looks at her siblings. They are watery eyed and looking at her in a way she can’t really describe. They both charge her and she embraces them in a big hug that makes her feel complete.
After long moments of silence, Brie whimpers into Nicole’s ear. “It’s bad… It was really bad… back home.”
“That isn’t our home anymore.” Ryan says with an equally quiet whimper.
“Then where is home?” She asks.
“Doesn’t matter. As long as we are all together.” Nicole responds with calm and soothing confidence.
Both of her siblings burrow into her deeper and allow themselves another moment of peace before the chaotic world comes back into focus and they are forced to deal with it.
Wednesday September 7th: Purgatory Sheriffs Department - BBD Office
“Cole… it’s not that I don’t have faith in you and in us, but this… it’s a little crazy. We won’t beat them with just us. Dad, Alek, and Legion… plus any others he can round up. We will be outnumbered.” Brie says.
“I know we are not used to being the underdogs, but that’s what we are.” Nicole says, not looking up from her laptop. She turns to the whiteboard and begins to write. “The way I see it, we might have an equalizer. On our side, we have myself, you, Ryan and Doc as shifters. Dolls has his own skillset and Wynonna has peacemaker. Waves has the BBD resources and can help us find weaknesses. Plus she can hold her own against any of the no shifters. With them, its dad, Alek and the other five members of Legion. Of course there is a chance of others joining them, but from the information we have, the pack seems to be running a little thin these days.”
Nicole pauses and looks at Doc. “We know my father will go after me first (probably with Alek and at least two members of Legion). He knows one won’t take me down alone and with me out of the way… he believes you to be followers. Something you all are not.” She turns to look at her siblings. “We need to be better. He is coming for me. That’s what this is about. If they get me… you got to make sure the Earps get out. Understand?”
The Haught siblings nod their heads as both Earp women begin their protests.
“Like hell!” Wynonna exclaims.
“Nic, that’s not happening! I’m not leaving you in a fight!” Waverly joins in with a little more outrage. “What part of bonded doesn’t make sense to you?!”
Ignoring the women, Ryan asks the question on the tip of is tongue. “Why is that directed at us and not with Doc?”
Brie elbows him, knowing the answer but a little too preoccupied with thinking about what Waverly had said.
Doc looks at Nicole and Nicole growls a little. “Because his job in that situation is to kill me.”
“WHAT?!” The rest of the room exclaims except for Doc (who continues to look at Nicole with unwavering devotion).
“They can’t take me alive.” Nicole says a little too calmly in explanation. “If they capture me, his job is to kill me before they take me.”
“That is not going to happen! You are not going to let that happen! I can’t believe you would…” Waverly says, angry with Nicole’s carelessness with her own life.
“Waverly.” Nicole says, abruptly ending her protests. “I will not let them take me alive. I will not let them torture me for information that they will use to hurt people. I won’t go back. I can’t. This isn’t up for discussion so either get on board or stay on the dock.”
Waverly looks at her with a hard stare and Nicole does the same. It’s a battle of will and neither of them is willing to back down easily. Nicole stops suppressing the bond and begs Waverly to understand.
“Waves, please.” Nicole begs.
“How can you just throw your life away like that?!” Waverly snipes back.
“Because I have seen what my father and his ‘interrogation experts’ are capable of! I have had to watch! I don’t want hat for myself. They torture people until they are begging for death. Begging for it all to end.” Nicole pauses, regaining composure. “I am not going down without a fight. I will keep fighting until my dying breath… but I would rather die at Doc’s bite than whatever they would do to me. He will be merciful… they will not.”
Nicole walks over to Waverly and takes her face in her hands.
“It is a last resort. It will only happen if it’s our only choice. I don’t want to die. I just got you in my life. I will do anything to keep it that way. I promise. But I refuse to go at my father’s hands. That’s not how I want to die.”
Waverly pauses a long moment before speaking. “I can’t lose you. If you die, I die. Just remember that Nicole.”
They both nod and return their attentions to the people around them (all looking like they wish they could hear the conversation in their heads.
“Let’s move on.” Nicole says, moving back to the whiteboard.
Thursday September 8th: Earp Homestead
Waverly sits on the porch steps and watches as Nicole and Ryan spar in the driveway. Ryan and Nicole had been at it for hours now (Doc had quit an hour earlier). She feels a presence behind her and turns just as Brie takes a seat next to her.
“Hey.” Waverly greets softly.
“How’s it going out here?” Brie asks, taking a sip from her coffee.
“They are still at it. But so far, so good.” Waverly responds.
“Good.” Brie says. She rubs her neck a little awkwardly (something Waverly had noticed Nicole doing as well when nervous). “So, you are bonded with my sister…”
Waverly isn’t sure if Brie’s response is positive or negative so she tries to remain neutral. “Um, yeah. Yeah we are.”
“I didn’t know it was possible.” Brie says. She pauses for a long moment and contemplates. “Waverly, do you care for my sister?”
Waverly is a little concerned about the line of questioning, but answers without hesitation. “I don’t just care for her, I love her.”
Brie smiles slightly but then returns to her stoic posture. “I don’t mean to be rude or pry into your relationship with her. Nicole is a grown woman and a strong alpha at that. I know she can take care of herself. But that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about her. Nicole has a big heart, and she doesn’t let it show often. But when she does, she opens up completely. And by doing that, she leaves herself vulnerable.”
“You are asking what my intentions are with your sister?”
“No. I am asking that if it comes to a choice, will you choose her over anyone else? Because I know for a fact that she will always choose you. She already has. She is going against everything she knows so she can protect you and these people. And I am happy to be along for the ride. But I want to know if you are willing to do the same. Many people have claimed to love her and have walked away as soon as it wasn’t convenient for them or didn’t fit their agenda. I don’t know you Waverly. And much like myself, I imagine you are not accurately represented by your family’s reputation. But that doesn’t mean I am not worried for Nicole. That is why I ask: Do you care for her? It is really easy to say you love someone and then throw it away when feelings get hurt. But genuinely caring for someone doesn’t just go away.” Brie says, looking at Waverly head on.
Waverly sits there and looks at Brie. “I care for her. I really do.” Waverly takes a sip from her own coffee. “I can’t really explain the feeling, but I knew almost immediately after meeting her… that she was going to be important to me. Little did I know, but she ended up being one of the most important things in my universe.”
Brie smiles a little and nods her head. “Nicole would never ask you to choose her over anyone. She never has and never would ask anyone to choose her. But I am asking you to choose her Waverly. She deserves, for once in her life, to be chosen. Our father chose her simply because she was the best fit. Not because he cared or loved her. And she didn’t ask Ryan and I to come here. She never would have. I can see how much she cares for you and your family. She would sacrifice herself for any of you before even thinking about asking. That’s just who she is. She is annoyingly selfless in that way. So, I’m asking. Waverly, she and Ryan are all I have left and they are my everything now. Please, if it comes to it… choose her. Don’t run, don’t hide and leave her to fight alone. And I am not just talking about what is happening with our father.”
Waverly nods her head and drinks from her coffee once more. “I don’t think I could leave her if I wanted to. She completes me, and that is saying something because I never knew I wasn’t whole until she showed up.”
Brie huffs out a small laugh. “That’s the thing about bonds. They make you feel and understand things that never existed before.”
“Do you have a bond with someone?” Waverly asks.
There is a long pause before Brie answers the question. “Unfortunately, no. But… I spent years watching Cole and our grandfather interact with their bond. A small part of my six year old self was jealous, but mostly… it fascinated me. We used to spend hours studying her bond and the others we could find research on. I think that is why Nicole is so frustrated about her bond with you. She doesn’t understand it.”
“I have done a lot of research myself and I don’t either. Nicole is right, it shouldn’t be possible.” Waverly says thoughtfully.
“I believe Cole is overthinking the issue.” Brie says. She looks at Waverly and then out at her still sparring siblings. “Nicole assumes that two people must be verums to have a soul bond. And to an extent, it’s partially true.”
“What do you mean?”
“Waverly, do you know what makes verums different from normal alphas (what gives us the ability to phase into wolves)?” Brie asks.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s genetic.” Waverly says, thinking about the subject.
“Yes, but do you know what specifically makes a verum different from a regular human?”
“No. I haven’t read anything that goes into any more detail.” Waverly says.
“That’s because there isn’t any (at least, anything viewable by the public). Black Badge captures wolves and tests them. We were told horror stories from the few who escaped and lived to tell the tale. Black Badge (in the pursuit to create a weapon to destroy Verums) figured out that two genes are the only things that make us different. One acts as a catalyst and the other gene mutates and creates verum lupum.” Brie looks at Waverly again and sighs. “The genes have only been found in Verums because those are the only people Black Badge tested for the genes on. Thus, Nicole assumes it is not possible for regular humans to have the genes.”
“But if I had the genes, I would be a verum like her (like you).” Waverly states, trying to understand.
“True. But what if you just had one of the genes and not the catalyst? If that were the case, the bond would make sense and that would also explain why you aren’t a verum.” Brie states, still watching Waverly for her reaction. “I think you are a lot more similar to us than you think Waverly.”
Waverly stares at her coffee cup and thinks. It is possible. But if that’s true… that means… “It is possible. But why would Nicole overlook that? That doesn’t seem like something she would do.”
“Because Nicole doesn’t believe the results, or rather, she doesn’t want to. She doesn’t want to know that she shares a gene with others like Jerry Rum and our father. Cole believes that the verum gene sequence is a curse or just based on bad luck. Plus, I am not sure Nicole has actually read the real results from the Black Badge studies. When they were leaked to pack leadership, Nicole was… going through some stuff and… wasn’t really capable of comprehending the information. She probably just got our father’s personal take on it and took it as gospel.”
Waverly nods and thinks before speaking. “So you think I have the gene, but not the catalyst?”
“I do. But I can’t take credit. Your sister is the one who gave me the idea.”
“Wynonna?” Waverly asks in disbelief.
Brie chuckles, but it falls a little flat. “Ever wonder what makes you Earps and that gun of yours able to kill us? I think you having the gene allows you the ability to kill us and use the gun.”
“But only Wynonna can fire Peacemaker. It only works for her. She is the heir.” Waverly counters.
“Yes, but that’s because she is the oldest. It is possible it will fire for you too if your sister died or was unable to fire it herself.” Brie says thoughtfully. “It is just a theory. But it makes sense.”
Waverly chews on the information for a long moment before nodding her head in agreement. “It is possible (which is more than we had yesterday).”
They both turn and watch just in time to see Nicole toss her brother to the ground like he weighs nothing. He whines and admits defeat. She helps him up and licks his wounds affectionately. He rubs into her side and murmurs in contentment.
“It’s weird. To be able to hear what you all hear.” Waverly says, breaking the comfortable silence they had been in for the last few minutes.
Brie laughs genuinely and smiles. “Yeah, I can imagine. Must be strange. I can remember the time before I started phasing. It was an adjustment (to say the least) when I changed. I can’t imagine how weird it is doing it secondhand.”
Waverly smiles and makes eye contact with her alpha.
“I love you.” Nicole says.
“I love you too.” She replies
She returns her attention to Brie’s statement. “It is weird, but also amazing. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Friday September 9th: Earp Homestead
“Wynonna, can I ask you something?” Waverly asks.
“Sure Babygirl.” Wynonna answers as she plops down on the couch.
“Do you know anything about pre-heat stuff? Like how it works?”
Wynonna freezes in her seat. “I… um… a little… um…” She swallows hard and tries to ease the uncomfortable feeling. “Didn’t you talk about this with Gus?”
“Um yeah, and I did a lot of my own research.” Waverly says, also slightly uncomfortable but needing to talk to someone. “But I kinda need to talk to someone about it because I am… nervous.”
“Okay… but why me?”
“Because I love you and trust you. Gus is busy and honestly my sex life is not something I really want to discuss with her. And Nicole… well I don’t want her thinking I’m like… a child or something…”
“Why would Haught think you are a child?”
“I don’t know… because she has been through this stuff before and I don’t know…” Waverly says with a downcast gaze.
“Has she?” Wynonna asks. “Have you asked her? And even if she has, wouldn’t that make her even more qualified to help you?”
“Okay, okay. Fine. What did you want to talk about specifically?” Wynonna says, taking pity on a clearly uncomfortable and insecure Waverly.
“Okay, so I went through pre-heat and had the symptoms of heat. But it was for less than twenty-four hours. So that means that I will be going into actual heat soon. But I don’t get why I went into pre-heat?”
“Probably has something to do with you dating an extremely powerful alpha.” Wynonna says with a smirk.
“I didn’t realize it was an actual thing that people went through.” Waverly says sheepishly.
“Only happens once. Most people don’t talk about it if it happens to them (probably because of embarrassment). But it happens to omegas and even an occasional alpha (although pre-ruts are not as common). How did Haughtstuff react?”
Waverly blushes hard and squeezes her hands together. “She was kind and totally understanding. I just felt bad because it caused her to go into early rut. But she was really sweet and tried to make me feel as normal and comfortable as possible.”
“Does having the bond help?” Wynonna asks curiously.
“Yeah. I knew she was really okay with it and not just trying to spare my feelings (which helped with the guilt and embarrassment). But in some ways, it makes it worse because she is kinda taking the rut and using the primal instinct to train harder. She has started suppressing the bond less and less and now she hardly ever does. It’s nice and it makes me feel closer to her, but it also comes with some challenges.”
Wynonna nods her head in acknowledgment and wonders, not for the first time, if this bond is more of a blessing or a curse.
“So, when do you think your actual heat will be here?” She asks after a moment.
“Well, best guess is within the next five days. But probably before that.” Waverly says, taking a sip from her water. “I think I will be staying at Nic’s place until it’s over. Not that I don’t want to be here, but with Brie, Ryan, Doc, you, and Dolls staying here… that’s just a little too much alpha in one place.”
“That’s probably best.” Wynonna agrees. “Speaking of which, where is she?”
Before Waverly can respond, a wolf barks and growls angrily from outside. The sound of others joining it causes Waverly and Wynonna to jump from their seats and run to the front door. When they arrive, they see Doc, Brie and Ryan all in wolf form. All three are growling threateningly and baring their teeth. Nicole is in human form, but Waverly can feel how ready she is to change if the threat becomes more imminent. The threat being the Rum twins and an older man. The twins are in wolf form, but the man stands on two legs and looks all too human. Brie snaps her jaw and makes a loud snarl that makes both twins take a step back, but not the man. He just smiles at Nicole, only glancing at Brie and the others occasionally.
“Cole. Long time no see.” The man says in a friendly tone.
“JC. It has been a long time, although I can assure you that wasn’t an unintentional act.” Nicole responds sharply in a tone that reminds Waverly of the way she spoke to Jerry Rum.
“Oh, come now Cole. You should have no ill will towards me. I simply follow the orders given to me.” JC responds.
Nicole wants to retort, but doesn’t and instead gets to the point. “What do you want Juan Carlos?”
“To warn you. This is not a battle you want to fight. You will lose and you will bring everyone you care about down with you.” JC says with a sense of casualness that is inappropriate in this situation.
Brie, Ryan and Doc all growl even louder and snarl. Doc takes a predatory step forward (to Nicole’s side). She puts a hand up, signaling him to stop.
“Maybe so. But I don’t really have much of a choice, do I? But thank you for your input. I will be sure to ignore it and try to forget it as soon as possible. Travel back safe.” Nicole says, anger rising.
“Cole, you have a choice. You are making the wrong one. Come home to your family, bring your brother and sister back home and start treating life seriously. The pack is your family and you leading it is destiny. You can’t fight destiny. I have known you since you were born. You were created precisely for this purpose. All that work, all that training, it was all for you so you could be the best version of yourself. So that you could be the leader that the pack needs and is destine to have. Come home Nicole. Come home now before people start getting hurt. You should want to keep them save. If you really care for these people… come home and spare them the death that will come if you stay here and defy the pack.”
Nicole doesn’t say anything and Waverly can feel why. Nicole is in pain. What this guy is saying, it is paining her and she is struggling. Waverly wants, needs to comfort her alpha, but knows better than to approach with assailants in close range.
Doc takes a step forward, snapping his teeth and growling. He turns and looks at Nicole.
“Do not listen to him Cole.” He says. “You are better than that.”
Waverly hears Ryan and Brie bark in agreement.
Nicole stares at Juan Carlos and thinks hard. What he is saying, the things about her. These are things she has thought herself since this whole thing began. They trained her (her father and JC trained her) to be lethal. They trained her to be a weapon that would protect the pack, enforce its laws and execute punishment accordingly. She was bred for that purpose and from the moment she could walk, she was groomed for the position. She is a weapon, she is dangerous.
Nicole phases without warning and charges the Rum twins. They back away quickly in submission and Nicole makes a slight change in direction towards JC. He phases just in time to hit Nicole off balance. She remains on all fours but admittedly hides a small limp. He charges her and she deflects him, but not without difficulty. Doc, Brie and Ryan bark and start to move to help Nicole but she growls at them to stay put.
“I GOT THIS!” She orders.
They growl in response.
“You are not alone!” Brie argues.
“We are not going to Watch him hurt you.” Ryan chimes in with a whine.
Doc just barks menacingly at JC.
“I’ve got this.” Nicole repeats with a bark.
JC charges her again and this time, Nicole isn’t quite as lucky.
Friday September 9th: Earp Homestead
“I’ve got this.” Nicole repeats with a bark.
JC charges her again and this time, Nicole isn’t quite as lucky.
She takes the hit and hits the ground hard. JC comes at her again and gets a good bite into her side before Nicole snaps out of her daze. She twists and sinks her fangs into his upper neck.
JC barks in pain and releases his hold on Nicole’s side. But Nicole doesn’t let go. She bites down harder and feels the metallic taste of blood. JC fights to release himself (although that only makes the injury worse. Nicole lets go and JC hits the ground hard. He gets up and looks at Nicole. She is covered from mouth to neck in his blood, but her own side is also bleeding heavily. He charges her again and knocks her clean off the ground and fifteen feet back. She crashes into the side of her police cruiser. The armored vehicle doesn’t stand a chance and crumbles under the force. JC advances again and jumps up on the barely recognizable cruiser, placing his front paws on Nicole’s limp body. He jumps up and lands down on her chest (the crack of her bones is audible even to the humans watching over twenty feet away). Nicole yelps in pain but manages to lean up and bite JC hard in the shoulder. He jumps away from her, ripping away from her in the most painful way possible. He hits the ground and barks at the Rum twins. The twins move to help him but stop as Doc, Brie and Ryan advance towards them, barking and growling in warning to back down. Nicole drags herself off the car and drops to the ground with a dull thud. She does her best to stand, but only is up for a moment before JC knocks her back into the car. She doesn’t have enough energy to stop him, but she does get her paw up in time to drag her claws across his chest. The gash bleeds heavily and causes him to back away. He moves away from her, aware that her wolves are slowly getting closer to them.
Brie and Ryan go to Nicole’s side and begin to lick the blood that is covering much of her body. Doc stands firm in between Nicole’s fallen form and JC, growling in a threatening manner.
“Leave now Juan Carlos. I won’t be as kind as Ms. Haught when it comes to bite placement.” Doc warns with a loud bark.
JC growls but slowly walks back towards the Rum twins. He barks at them and has them follow him as they leave the area.
“They have our family Cole. We are sorry but they will kill all of us if we don’t do what they say. We don’t have a choice.” James whimpers to his friend as they retreat. His brother whines in agreement.
Nicole doesn’t respond but they know she heard them.
JC barks at them to shut up and they do as they follow him out into the woods towards pack land.
Friday September 9th: Earp Homestead
Wynonna looks at the scene in front of her in complete shock. Nicole is on the ground, blood is everywhere and she is breathing so shallowly that she can barely tell she is actually breathing. Doc is still staring at the land where the pack members had disappeared at. Brie and Ryan are trying to help their unresponsive sibling. Ryan whines loud and uses his nose to try and prod Nicole’s face into moving. That’s when it hits her: Why isn’t Waverly there? She would be the first one over there trying to help her alpha. That’s when Wynonna looks to her side and notices Waverly’s slumped form on the ground. She quickly gasps and crouches down to Waverly.
“Babygirl. What’s wrong? Are you hurt?” Wynonna asks in a panic, eyes scanning her sister’s body for injuries.
“Nic.” Waverly whimpers. “Sh-she is in pain.”
“Wave I don’t understand.” Wynonna says but then she does. The bond. She looks at Nicole and then back at her sister. “I thought you said you didn’t actually feel the pain. You just could feel that she was in pain. And why could you feel it at all? I thought she could suppress it?!” Anger floods Wynonna at the thought that Nicole didn’t suppress the bond and allowed Waverly to feel the pain.”
“She… she did. That’s why JC caught her off guard.” Waverly gasps out. “She was focused on me and suppressing the bond. But she is hurt really bad and even if she is suppressing it… I still felt how much pain she was in during that first hit. It felt like some- someone was squeezing my heart so tight I couldn’t, couldn’t breat- breath properly. I just- I need a second to calm down so I can be here for her in the way she needs.” Waverly says, trying to catch her breath.
Wynonna nods and rubs her sister’s back soothingly as she watches the others tend to Nicole. She is conscious again, but is very out of it. Ryan lays at her head, licking her face while Brie tries to stop the bleeding in Nicole’s side. Doc is moving the wrecked and unrecognizable cruiser away to allow for more access. Nicole whines out in pain, although it is so soft and fragile.
Waverly moves to stand up and slowly makes her way to her alpha with Wynonna’s help. Waverly drops to her knees and looks at Nicole. She places a light hand on Nicole’s face which earns her a low growl in warning from the two Haught siblings. Wynonna moves her hand to land on peacemaker, ready if any wolf makes a wrong move. Nicole gives a painful, yet powerful bark telling her siblings to calm down. Both wolves stop growling, but look at Waverly suspiciously.
Waverly holds her other hand up in a placating gesture to the siblings. “I’m not going to hurt her. I promise.” She looks at Ryan, who is closer than their older sister is to her. “Please.”
He huffs out a deep breath and takes a step back, allowing Waverly space to hold Nicole’s head in her lap. The alpha whines a bit at the movement, but ends up falling silent once Waverly is settled and she is petting her with her head in her lap. Lithe fingers run through damp fur and add a level of comfort that she has never felt after fights. When she was young, she was normally sent to the doctor to get patched up and ready to fight again when the time came. No one was ever there to comfort her or to help. Ryan and Brie, hell even their mother, tried. But they always showed up too late and even if they didn’t… it wouldn’t feel like this. Nicole takes a deep breath that sends spikes of pain throughout her entire body. Waverly notices and frowns down at her.
“Why are you still suppressing the bond?” She asks. “The fighting is over and I already know you are in pain. Please don’t shut me out. We were making so much progress before.”
Nicole thinks for a moment. She saw the way Waverly had crumbled to the ground after JC landed his first blow. She saw the pain. She might not have felt the actual pain, but watching someone you love be in pain… it is almost worse than the pain itself. It’s torture.
Nicole huffs out a breath through her nose that tells Waverly she is denying her request. She doesn’t want to watch Waverly feel and understand the pain she is in right now. The healing is starting already, but not fast enough. Her breathing is starting to normalize as her punctured lung heals and the broken ribs begin to fuse back together. With the ability to breathe semi normally once, Nicole can’t fight the exhaustion that hits her like a car. Just before she falls asleep, she thinks about the irony… she was the one hitting the car.
Nicole begins to stir when Brie, Doc and Ryan begin to move her. She whimpers and howls out in pain (body still not healed yet).
“I know, I know.” Waverly says sympathetically. Nicole had passed out again and the bond was no longer suppressed. She could feel how much pain Nicole is in and it is breaking her heart.
Ryan nudges her softly to stand up and take a step back so they can move her. Waverly does, patting him softly on the neck before returning to her sister.
They watch from the porch as the wolves prodded and push Nicole. She whines and whimpers in pain, but it quickly turns to a howl of effort as she starts to push herself up. Ryan barks in encouragement as Nicole starts to hold her own weight on all fours.
Waverly, however, is cringing harshly. She can feel what Nicole is feeling and can here the internal battle going on in the alpha’s head.
Get up Nicole! You are better than this! Get up and be worth something for once in your life! You are weak and are proving JC right! Get up! This is why you should have never come to Purgatory! You are the reason these people are in danger! It’s your fault! The least you can do is get the fuck up!
Waverly isn’t sure what’s worse: the physical or the mental pain Nicole is going through. She decides it’s the mental because she can feel the pain starting to subside in Nicole’s chest but also feels the anger with herself and the situation rising.
Nicole shoves the other wolves away and barks.
“Back off.” She warns.
“Cole don’t do this. Let us help you.” Ryan says.
“I just got my ass handed to me by JC. Forgive me if I don’t want you taking care of me like a child!” Nicole says harshly.
“JC is the leader of Legion and our fighting instructor since we were pups. You shouldn’t expect to beat a master at his own craft. And he did not beat you. Did you see him? He was barely able to walk away.” Brie says, growling at her sister
“Nicole don’t.” Doc warns, knowing her next thought.
Nicole feels her final rib heal with a crack. She is still in pain, but at least everything is back in the right place. She bounds forward and away from the others. She has so many thoughts going on in her head, all at once. It’s too much.
JC is right. I can’t do this. I can’t protect them. This is all my fault. They are going to slaughter everyone and it will be all my fault. I was created for this. I was born to kill. That is what I am, aren’t I? How could I be so stupid to think otherwise. Fuck! What am I going to do? They are going to kill everyone. They are going to kill Waverly!
Nicole’s panic and anger rises to yet another unsafe level and she is forced to use her paws to cover her head. She wishes everything would stop, that time would just… stop. This isn’t what she wanted. All she wanted was a life. A life that was hers to live. But maybe JC and her father are right, maybe Alek too. Maybe she can’t fight this… the destiny chosen for her.
“Nicole.” Waverly’s soft voice enters her mind.
Nicole doesn’t respond. She can’t. She is breaking apart and Waverly is watching her do it.
“Nicole, honey look at me.” Waverly tries again.
Nicole smells and hears Waverly approach her cowering form and place a soft and gentle hand in her fur.
She freezes, sensing Wynonna’s change. She is on the defensive and Nicole can smell it from where she is. She hears the almost nonexistent sound of Wynonna un holstering Peacemaker.
“Waves.” Wynonna says cautiously and slowly. Nicole hears her take a slow step towards them, the crunch of the gravel hitting her ears. “Might not be the best idea to be so close to an out of control wolf. Maybe give her a second to cool off.” She likes Nicole and she knows Nicole cares for Waverly. She knows Nicole will never forgive herself if she hurts her.
Brie phases back into human form quickly and agrees. “Waverly, you should step back. She is struggling with control and she would never forgive herself if she hurt you.”
“She won’t hurt me.” Waverly says softly, never taking her eyes off Nicole as she runs her fingers through soft fur.
Both Brie and Wynonna are unconvinced and the fact that Doc and Ryan haven’t phased back yet says they are not sure either.
Nicole is hearing everything, but nothing is really sinking in deep. The only thing she can think about is how this is all her fault. She is to blame and Waverly is going to get hurt. These thoughts are only interrupted when Waverly’s hand petting her brings her back to reality. Sometimes it is just for a second, sometimes a little longer. As time passes, she can feel herself relaxing and sagging to the ground as she gives into Waverly’s comforting touch. Waverly takes a seat once again and brings Nicole’s head into her lap.
“Is that a bond thing?” Brie asks Wynonna in a hushed tone, knowing the Earp has been around the couple longer than she has.
“No.” Wynonna responds with a light chuckle. She re holsters Peacemaker and looks at her sister and Nicole with a small smile on her face. “It’s a Waverly thing.”
They all leave Waverly and Nicole after a while and decide they better go pick up some food. Doc heads to the barn while Wynonna, Brie and Ryan drive off to grab some food for everyone. Wynonna had called Dolls several times, but he didn’t answer. She left him a message telling him everything that had happened and to call her. She is guessing he is just caught up with work.
Once the truck is out of sight and Doc has retreated to the barn, Waverly looks away from Nicole for the first time to look around them. The sky is beautiful and the air is cool and pleasant. She looks back down to see Nicole looking at her with those big brown eyes. Waverly always finds it fascinating that even in their most primal form, Nicole’s eyes are always so soft when she looks at her.
“We should get you cleaned up.” Waverly says. “You are covered in blood and I want to make sure everything healed properly.”
Nicole huffs out some air but gets up anyway. They begin to walk towards the house slowly. Nicole still hasn’t phased back to human form and the reason why hits Waverly. Before, the obvious answer was because healing works better and faster in wolf form. But now…
“I think I understand…” Waverly starts stopping at the steps and looking at Nicole. Nicole looks at her back but stays silent. “I think I get why you stay in your wolf for as long as you can during stuff like this. It is a way for you to shut people out. Humans can’t communicate with you and other wolves can, but you can ignore them and run off at top speed. Your wolf is kinda like your safety blanket. But it is for that very same reason that you feel shameful about it. You feel like you don’t deserve to be happy. That you only deserve what the man and your father say you deserve. But they are wrong.”
Nicole looks away from Waverly for a long moment before phasing back into human form. She pulls Waverly into her embrace, not caring that they are both covered in now dry blood.
Waverly knows she doesn’t completely believe her (doesn’t need the bond to know that). “You don’t believe me?” It’s more of a statement than a question.
“No. I don’t.” Nicole says honestly. She takes Waverly’s hand in hers and they walk into the house together to clean up. “But I am sure you are going to spend the rest of our days trying to prove it to me.”
Waverly laughs and squeezes Nicole’s hand. “Count on it.”
Friday September 9th: Earp Homestead- Waverly’s Bathroom
“I’m sorry.” Nicole says as Waverly turns on the shower and sets clean towels out.
“For what?” Waverly asks, genuinely unaware of what her alpha is apologizing for.
“Um… for thinking about leaving or if I had never come to Purgatory at all. We are bonded, I know you know what I am thinking. But the converse of that is that I can feel you too. I can feel the pain and hurt you feel when I think those things.” She takes a step towards Waverly so there are mere inches from one another. “I can feel it right now.”
Waverly startles a little at Nicole’s honesty and can’t deny the way her heart clenches when Nicole has such thoughts. She looks at Nicole, but the redhead has her gaze fixed at her feet.
After a pause, Nicole continues. “I can feel it from across the room when I get up for work in the morning and leave you. I can see it in your eyes when I hesitate to be with you in… certain ways.” Nicole rubs the back of her neck nervously. Her hand comes away bloody and she remembers the purpose of the shower. She begins to undress, but continues to talk (still not looking away from the floor). “I feel how much I am hurting you. I feel and see how much my thoughts and actions hurt you. The situation with the pack is largely out of my control, along with some of our other issues. But how I am making you feel… that’s all me and it occurred to me today that the pain I am directly inflicting on you seems to hurt you more than all the other stuff combined.” Nicole carefully removes her last article of clothing and walks over to the shower. “It’s just… learning to live with guilt has never been something I have been good at. It is one of the reasons I knew I wasn’t cut out to be pack leader. But I am going to try to be better.” Nicole pauses and stops halfway into the shower. “I’m sorry Waverly. I really am and I want you to know I am all in with you.” Nicole steps into the shower and closes the glass door behind her.
Waverly doesn’t know what to say or do. She just stands there and lets what Nicole said sink in. She won’t stand here and lie. Nicole doubting herself and her decision to come and then stay in Purgatory hurts her. It does and the amount of times it happens makes it worse. As far as Waverly is concerned though, Nicole is her mate. She may not have a bite to show for it, but it doesn’t matter. Nicole is hers and she is Nicole’s. Nicole’s thoughts and fears may hurt, but they are also humbling. Nicole is so externally cool and collected. Only Waverly gets to see and feel what is going on below the surface. It makes Nicole seem all the more human and shows Waverly that Nicole isn’t perfect. Although she will always be perfect in Waverly’s eyes, she knows that is because she loves the woman. And, if she is being completely honest, Nicole’s reaction is somewhat justified. The woman wants to keep them safe and panic and fear of losing people you care about can make you think drastically.
Waverly stands there a moment longer, allowing herself one more moment alone before stripping and walking into the shower.
Nicole stands under the stream of water with her head still bowed as the water falls down her form. Waverly moves so she is in front of the alpha but the taller woman still doesn’t move.
“Nicole.” Waverly says softly over the sounds of the shower. No response. “Nicole, honey. Please look at me.”
The omega raises her hands up and cups the taller woman’s cheeks softly (raising the woman’s gaze to meat hers).
“Nic, we are going to get through this. All of us. But you and I, we are good. Even if we aren’t at the moment, we will be. I love you and I can feel how much you love me. We both can so there is no doubt about that. But part of being with me is understanding that you can’t protect me from everything (and I don’t want you to). You can’t hold the world on your shoulders and expect to be okay. Let all of us… let me, help you. That is what family does. Your siblings traveled over one hundred miles to help you. Let them, let us, let me.”
“I know you are strong. Hell Waves, you are the strongest person I know. I understand and know that you can fight your own battles and take on a few extra without breaking a sweat. And I understand that I can’t protect you from everything (not that you even need my protection). But there is a difference between understanding and accepting. It is not only my true nature that makes me want to protect you. It is also just part of who I am. I understand. I know. I am just still working on accepting. Accepting this… and a lot of other things.” Nicole replies in a hushed and vulnerable tone.
Waverly leans up and kisses Nicole on the lips as water pours down their faces. After a few more soft and long kisses, Waverly goes to work washing Nicole’s hair and body. Nicole returns the favor once Waverly is done and it takes all of her will power not to pin the omega up against the wall and make love to her for hours. Waverly might have had a preheat (and have her actual heat coming in a few days), but Nicole’s rut is still in full swing and the fight with JC only heightened her primal needs. The two warred inside her. She either wanted to kill something or lock herself away in her house with Waverly for the weekend.
A small growl rumbled from her chest as Waverly moved her hands to grab Nicole by the ass and pull her closer. Waverly (hearing Nicole’s thoughts) knew exactly where her alpha’s mind was going and she was not going to be the one to ruin it.
“Waves…” Nicole starts.
“Hey, I know. It’s okay.” Waverly says, kissing Nicole’s collarbone before moving to her neck and then to her jaw.
“You sure?” Nicole asks, hesitating. She needs to be sure.
“Like I said Nic. Heat or no heat, I want you. I am more than my omega and you are more than your alpha.” Waverly states with a smile, recalling the conversation they have had about this during her preheat.
Nicole purrs soothingly (for her omega, but also for herself). She reaches down and pulls Waverly up and into her arms. Waverly wraps her legs around Nicole’s waist and lets her arms tangle in wet, red hair. They kiss and in that moment, they forget all about the fights and the battle coming towards them. All they think and feel are each other and neither can think of anything else they would rather be doing.
Dolls enters the house later that evening looking exhausted and a little worried.
“Zay?” Nicole questions as she observes her friend. “You okay man? You look… off.”
“Long day. Didn’t get a chance to check my phone until a little while ago. Came here as soon as I heard Wynonna’s message. Are you okay?” Dolls asks.
“I’m okay (a lie), but we aren’t talking about me. Seriously, are you okay?” Nicole insists. She pats an empty spot next to her on the couch and motions for Dolls to sit and join her.
He does and takes a sip from a beer she offers him. After a few sips and several deep breaths, Dolls puts the bottle down and looks at his friend. “Someone broke into a BBD warehouse this morning. That’s where I was today. I would have been here if I wasn’t there. I’m sorry Cole.”
“Even if you were here, it wouldn’t have changed anything. Trust me, my alpha wanted that fight more than I care to admit. But in all seriousness, what is going on with BBD?”
“I honestly don’t know. They are still trying to catalog everything and see what is missing from the warehouse. Probably won’t know anything until the morning.” Dolls replies with a shake of his head.
“What was housed in that warehouse?” Nicole asks.
Dolls gives her a wary look. “That was the main research facility for the BBD projects regarding verums. There is everything from medicine and other drugs to weapons and equipment. I can’t imagine the pack or any other verums would go anywhere near that place so it must be human outsiders.”
Nicole nods and takes a sip of her beer. She turns back to Dolls and jerks her head to the kitchen. “You should get something to eat and then go to sleep. You look like you need it.”
“I ate on my way back, but a shower and sleep sound amazing.” He moves to get up but hesitates and sits back down. “You sure you are okay?” Nicole nods and Dolls gets up and disappears down the hall. “Night Cole.”
Nicole lets her face fall into her hands and growls softly. “Goodnight.” Nicole whispers to herself as her mind begins to flood with the new information. She has to assume the worst until proven otherwise. Someone has weapons designed to kill verums. Shit.
Saturday September 10th: Nicole’s House
Waverly wakes up the next morning in Nicole’s bed. She doesn’t remember coming back to Nicole’s house last night, but that doesn’t really surprise her. After the long, emotionally and physically draining day, she is surprised they made it here at all.
Waverly turns over and looks to the other side of the bed. She whimpers slightly when she finds it empty. She scooches over and buries her face in Nicole’s pillow, breathing in her alpha’s scent. She can feel her alpha’s presence, but it is from a distance. At Waverly’s request Nicole has stopped suppressing the bond and Waverly couldn’t be happier about it. She knows Nicole is running, based on the thoughts, but she doesn’t know where. She decides to go back to sleep, pulling the pillow into her chest as she drifts back to sleep.
When she wakes once again, she does get up and goes downstairs. She can hear the shower running in the bathroom and it takes all of her self-control not to join the redhead. She walks into the kitchen and starts to make breakfast and is happy it is ready by the time Nicole is done in the shower and dressed. Waverly feels strong arms wrap around her from behind and she can’t help but lean back into the embrace.
“Good morning.” Nicole says softly and she kisses Waverly’s shoulder.
“Morning.” Waverly responds, closing her eyes and enjoying the moment.
“You didn’t have to make breakfast.”
“I wanted to.” Waverly responds. “Plus, you will be doing a lot for me when my heat hits so think of it as paying it forward.”
“Two things.” Nicole starts with a chuckle. “One: When your heat hits? Seriously babe? Your heat hit last night. I had to practically wrench you off of me last night. Then you overheated and passed out.”
Well maybe it wasn’t just the exhausting day that caused me to not remember last night. Waverly thought.
“And two: Doing things for you is not something that you have to pay forward or pay back. I do things for you because I love and care about you.” Nicole continues.
Waverly turns in her arms and looks at her alpha with eyes of pure adoration. “You know, you say the sweetest things to me Nicole Haught.”
“I aim to please.” Nicole says with a cocky grin.
“Oh god.” Waverly whines in mock dismay.
Nicole chuckles and finally plants a kiss to Waverly’s lips. She pulls back and smiles down at the shorter omega. “Thank you. But seriously, how are you feeling?”
“I’m doing okay. It is less traumatic than the preheat but I think that has to do with the fact that I now know what to expect. It’s much less of a shock to my system. And by the way, you were a little worse for wear yesterday. How are you?”
“Healing finished last night, just a little sore now. Nothing to be worried about.” Nicole answers dismissively. She leads Waverly over to the table and sits down. They eat in a comfortable silence and simply enjoy the quiet moment of togetherness.
Saturday September 10th: Earp Homestead
Brie walks out of the barn to find Dolls and Doc talking on the porch. She approaches them, eyeing Dolls warily. “Gentlemen.” She greets as she passes.
“Brie, would you mind if I held a moment of your time?” Doc asks respectfully. “I we could have a moment?” He clarifies, gesturing to himself her and Dolls.
Brie nods and takes a seat next to Doc so she is farthest away from Dolls.
“Thank you.” Doc says with an upward twitch of his mustache.
“What did you want to talk about?” Brie asks, looking at both men.
“We wanted to get your thoughts about the warehouse break in yesterday.” Dolls states. “I assume Nicole discussed it with you.”
“She told me, yes. And my thoughts…” Brie takes a moment to gather her ideas. “She said you didn’t suspect Viribus. And under normal circumstances, I would agree with your assessment. But I wouldn’t rule out the pack this time. Although it is unlikely they would want weapons that could hurt their own people, I also wouldn’t put it past them. Nicole had the idea that if there is unrest in the pack, they may be using weapons to keep people in line. They don’t need the weapons to do that, but it probably makes it a hell of a lot easier.”
“What makes Cole believe there is unrest in the pack?” Doc asks.
“She said it was something about how the Rum twins were acting when they showed up with JC. They told her they didn’t have a choice. That they had their family.” Brie says. “Those boys have loved Nicole like a sister since they were pups. The twins used to follow her around all the time. Like many, they were captivated by my sister. She has that effect on people. People just naturally want to follow her and she will naturally lead (even if she doesn’t realize it). Those boys weren’t enjoying the fight yesterday and they certainly would never hurt Nicole unless compelled by a very good reason.”
“Like their families being threatened.” Wynonna supplies, appearing from inside the house. She takes a seat next to Dolls and sips from her whiskey.
“Exactly. It is the only thing that I could think of. Plus, the weapons just add to the terror.” Brie adds.
“Inventory has been completed at the warehouse. A crate containing an unlisted weapon and a bunch of other random stuff is all that is missing. Your sister seemed pretty upset when I told her.” Dolls says, watching for Brie’s reaction.
Brie looks at him, studies him for a moment but then lets it go and answers. “Nicole may not want to lead Viribus, but she still cares for the people that are in it. That was our family. Walking away is hard enough. Knowing that they are possibly getting hurt is even worse. Guilt is not something she deals with well.”
They all nod their heads, knowing they are all the same way (whether they want to admit it or not).
Sunday September 11th: Earp Homestead
“Doc, can I ask you a question?” Brie asks as she enters the barn.
“Of course, my dear.” Doc responds.
“If they capture Nicole, are you really going to be able to kill her?” She asks without malice.
Doc sighs and looks at the ground. “I have known you and your sister since you were pups. I have seen you both grow into alphas and women that anyone would be proud to call their own. I have been working as your sister’s right hand with the guard since the moment of her appointment. I would do anything for her. That includes taking necessary measures so she doesn’t end up dying in one of your father’s torture rooms. She doesn’t deserve that. It will probably kill me and my soul… but yes. I will do it if it comes to it. I just have to keep praying that it doesn’t.”
“I didn’t think you believed in God Doc?” Brie questions, a small smile playing across her lips.
Doc chuckles. “I don’t, but prayer and faith in the universe can only help me.”
Brie nods and gives herself a moment to think about everything.
Finally, she turns and looks at Doc full on. “I don’t think I can lose anyone else Doc. Especially not Nicole. She and Ryan… they are all that I have left of my family.”
“I think you might want to take some advice from your sister on this. She has created a new family here. People she trusts, loves and cares about. She brought you, Ryan, and myself in to that family too. They are welcoming you with open arms and want you to be here. They all love your sister and trust her. Dolls even considering the idea of welcoming us into the family is completely because of his faith in Cole. Your sister once told me that your father was not her family. She said that blood makes you related. But love, trust and commitment makes you family. That’s what this group here is. It’s a family.” Doc takes her hand and squeezes it lightly. “You have more than just Cole and Ryan. You just have to accept them into your heart.”
“What makes you think they will accept me?”
Doc laughs and squeezes her hand again. “Darling, they already have.”
Brie nods and lets a small tear slip down her face.
Sunday September 11th: Nicole’s House
“Nicole, please?” Waverly asks breathlessly as she comes down from another earth-shattering orgasm. She has come to find that her heat is amazing and so freeing, yet also so painful if not handled properly.
“What baby?” Nicole asks as she kisses Waverly hard on the mouth. “What do you need?”
There is more to that statement and Nicole knows it. She can feel Waverly physically and through their bond. Waverly wants a mating bite and for the first time, Nicole is tempted to give it to her.
Sensing Nicole’s thought process and feeling that she is no longer completely opposed to the idea, Waverly leans up and kisses her girlfriend. “We don’t have to.” She says, running her fingers across Nicole’s cheek. “But I want that, whenever you are ready.”
Nicole seems to debate this for a moment in her head before returning her attention to Waverly. “You want this? And you understand that it does change things?”
“All I want for the rest of my life is you. I want to kiss you, make love to you, laugh with you and do all the other things we do together. I have no desire to do those things with anyone else. I love you Nicole Haught and nothing is going to change my mind.” Waverly states with unwavering confidence.
Nicole nods her head, the nervousness she has been holding onto with this topic melting away. She leans down and kisses Waverly. “I have never loved anyone as much as I love you.”
“I love you Nicole.” Waverly breathes, pulling Nicole closer by the neck and deepening the kiss.
“And you are sure this is what you want?” Nicole asks one final time.
“More than anything.” Waverly says.
Nicole kisses her again, allowing the kiss to distract Waverly a bit as Nicole begins to thrust once again.
Waverly’s grip on the back of Nicole’s neck loosens and soon her hands travel down to leave scratch marks down the alpha’s back. Nicole lowers her mouth, kissing along Waverly’s jaw and on the spot just below her ear. Waverly whines, feeling the sensations below and Nicole’s kisses and the effect they are having on her.
She isn’t surprised Nicole can get her all fired up so quickly. They had done this before, but the first time was different. During her pre-heat and even the first time during her real heat, Nicole had been slow and as gentle as possible. And, to an extent, she still is that way. But now it is different. Nicole is always caring and aware of Waverly’s needs, but the fear of inflicting unnecessary pain or trauma is gone. There is a comfortability that they have now with this. It will probably always feel bit… uncontrollable. But the comfort of knowing they are together is enough to calm their nerves.
Waverly can feel herself climbing higher and higher as her alpha’s thrusts into her harder and deeper. Her fingernails dig into the skin near Nicole’s shoulder blades as she pleads. Embarrassment kinda went out the window once her girlfriend found her heat sated in the BBD office.
“Please.” Waverly whispers as she feels herself fall over the edge.
Nicole allows Waverly to be fully enveloped by her orgasm before moving her kisses down and allowing her tongue to trace the area around her pulse point. She feels Waverly squeeze her in reassurance once before opening her mouth wider and allowing her teeth to bite into the flesh of Waverly’s neck.
Knowing the mating bite generally hurt… a lot. Nicole wanted to make sure Waverly was at least a little pleasantly distracted when she did it. Thus, eliminating some of the pain. Waverly howls out softly, a mixture of pain and pleasure. Nicole releases from the bite and licks the blood that dots the mark. She kisses the spot, licking it soothingly as Waverly comes down from her high.
“Are you okay?” Nicole asks, burrowing her face in the crook of her omega’s neck. She breathes her in, hoping that her girlfriend isn’t in too much pain. The bond tells her she is in pain, but the pain is almost completely overshadowed by the blinding amount of pleasure coursing through her body, mind and soul. Nicole nuzzles in deeper when her girlfriend doesn’t respond, hoping.
“I don’t know how to put it into words.” Waverly says softly, breathing heavy with her eyes still closed.
She slowly moves, flipping their positions so she is not on top. She kisses Nicole, feeling almost drunk with the feeling. She can’t really describe it, but she knows what she wants next.
Nicole, still sheathed inside Waverly, isn’t completely sure what her omega has in mind but she isn’t going to complain. Waverly rolls her hips, grinding hard into the alpha below her and pushing her inside her even deeper. She knows Nicole is close, but of course the alpha put Waverly’s needs above her own. She can feel Nicole tensing below her, so she leans down and kisses the redhead hard.
A low, yet content growl escapes Nicole’s lips, vibrating through her chest.
The sound only spurs Waverly on. She continues to ride Nicole until the alpha grips her hip with one hand and clutches the sheets below her in her other hand. Nicole climaxes hard, harder than she had earlier in the day. Waverly leans down and sets her teeth in the spot on Nicole’s neck where her scent is strongest. The alpha howls, something similar to Waverly’s earlier but also uniquely Nicole.
Waverly feels it, the moment her teeth break Nicole’s skin and cause her to blood to appear. Something shifts. She can tell Nicole feels it too but is a little to enrapture to speak. Waverly licks the mating bite clean, looking at Nicole’s face for her reaction.
Sunday September 11th: Nicole’s House
Her pupils are blown wide and she is just staring blankly at the ceiling. She seems to come back to herself after a moment and tilts her face down to kiss Waverly. Nicole can feel the knot, can feel the stretch as Waverly’s pussy accommodates it. Waverly moans into the kiss, not all there and still very much in the grips of ecstasy. Waverly kisses along Nicole’s collarbone, making sure not to move too much, lest she hurt herself. She begins to drift off to sleep, letting her head lay on the soft skin of Nicole’s chest. The strong beat of her alphas heart and the content purr rumbling from her acts as an instant soother. She whispers an I love you against Nicole’s chest, allowing her body to completely relax. In her last moment of consciousness, she hears Nicole whisper that she loves her too.
Monday September 12th: Nicole’s House
Waverly wakes up first, smiling as she realizes she is still laying on her alpha. Nicole must have moved them at some point, because Nicole is no longer inside her, back in her normal female form, condom is gone and the woman below smells as if she had hopped in the shower and rinsed off her body some time ago. Nicole, feeling Waverly wake up, shifts so her chin is tilted down so she can look at Waverly.
“Sleep okay?” She asks, running a hand down Waverly’s bare back.
“I slept amazing.” Waverly says, moving her hip just the slightest bit to emphasize her point. Nicole chuckles and leans in. Waverly accepts the kiss with vigor and finally slides off her alpha. They lay there on their sides, facing one another. Neither knowing what to say as they feel the mating bond. Not only does the mating bond seem to have its own characteristics, it also seems to strengthen the existing ones of their soul bond.
“Did you sleep good? Obviously, you left me at some point. I can smell your recent shower.” Waverly says, eying the redhead.
“I slept like a rock for a solid seven hours. After that though, I couldn’t fall back asleep and I really needed to get rid of the protection and stuff. Plus…” She leans into Waverly, pushing the girl on to her back and crawling on top of her. “You left me a little sore.” She nips at Waverly’s untouched side of her neck. “The water helped.”
It is only then that she realizes all the bruises on Nicole’s torso. “Oh my god! I did that?!” Waverly surveys the purplish marks that are marring Nicole’s porcelain skin. “Oh, Nicole, I am so sorry. Wait why aren’t they healing?”
“Because I am halting the healing.” Nicole says simply. “I like them.”
“Please let them heal baby.” Waverly whimpers, not liking the idea of her alpha in any type of pain, even if it is pleasurable.
“If I do, will you stop feeling and looking so guilty?”
Waverly nods and Nicole takes a deep breath. Waverly watches as the bruises slowly fade before her eyes. Once they are all gone with no trace of their existence, Waverly lightly kisses a spot on Nicole’s chest that was previously very black and blue.
Nicole gets off of Waverly and walks towards the bathroom. “Waves, we both need to shower and get ready. Heat and rut are over, we don’t have any excuses anymore.”
“You already showered.” Waverly argues, pulling the sheets up to her chin.
Nicole pokes just her head out the door and smirks at her omega. “True, but I need my hair washed and also, I have some… other needs that need to be attended to. But if you don’t want to shower, feel free to lay in bed.”
Waverly immediately jumps from the bed and runs into the bathroom, jumping into the shower with Nicole in a fit of excited laughter.
Monday September 12th: Earp Homestead
Wynonna’s phone rings on the kitchen table as she finishes pouring herself a cup of coffee. She walks over, picking it up when the caller id indicates it is Waverly calling. “Hey Babygirl.” She answers.
“Hey Nonna, we are going to head towards the homestead in the next couple minutes. Do you want us to pick up breakfast on our way there?” Waverly asks.
“Yes. Please do that. Having three verums in the house has caused our food to magically disappear.” Wynonna jokes, eyeing Ryan (who is sitting on the couch smirking at her). “Oh and hey, how are you feeling?”
“Okay, we will pick something up and be over in about forty minutes. And I am feeling really good actually.”
“She caved didn’t she. She finally gave you what you wanted, huh?” Wynonna teases, knowing it was only a matter of time before Waverly got that mating bite from Nicole.
“She didn’t put up a fight, like, didn’t even argue. I think she is truly ready to accept this as her home.” Waverly says, voice filled with happy emotions.
Wynonna can hear Nicole enter their room and kiss Waverly. “My home is wherever you are.” Nicole says. “Tell your sister I say hi and that we will see her soon.”
“Nicole says hi.” Waverly says, not realizing her sister could hear all of it. “Hey I got to get ready. See you soon.”
“Drive safe.” Wynonna says.
Waverly hangs up and Wynonna does the same.
She stands from her place at the table and shouts up the stairs. “Wake up sleepy heads, rise and shine! Waves and Nic are on their way over here!”
The next ten days are a complete blur of training and preparations. Nicole’s days consist of wake up, eat, train, eat, train, eat, sleep and repeat (the others basically doing the same). They decided it was best that they all stay at the homestead until the battle. Nicole locked up her house and made sure everything was properly set at the station. She is worried about the battle, everyone is. But something has definitely shifted her mindset. Waverly thinks it is the mating bite, and maybe that is part of it, but Nicole insists that it happened before that. She believes it is the reason she even wanted to claim Waverly as her mate in the first place without the lingering guilt. Ryan loves to joke that it is her biological clock starting to tick. This always earning him a punch on the shoulder or a glare that was almost more painful than the physical blow. It is a weird feeling. Like, they are all training until they are almost unconscious by the end of the day, and the stress is harsh. But they are also bonding. The family is truly becoming a family. Brie, Ryan and Doc all welcomed in with open arms.
Thursday September 22nd: Earp Homestead
Nicole walks outside and sits down with Dolls and Brie on the fence at the boundary line. They are all silent for a long time, simply thinking and enjoying the view as the sun slowly starts to set. Eventually, Dolls begins to speak (his voice low).
“When I was first recruited to Black Badge, I made a lot of mistakes. I blindly followed orders, not really understanding the consequences. They hired me because I knew werewolves and how they operated. I was the perfect recruit to train to hunt the very people I cared about. You both know I am not one hundred percent human, you both knew that upon smelling my scent.” He turns to look at Brie. “I told your sister the story while we were in the academy together, but I think it is time I told you too Brie.” He pauses and takes a breath. “When I was young, I was in foster care. My parents were gone shortly after my birth. My foster father worked in a lab that worked on genetic testing for the government. Little did anyone know he was using his foster kids as lab rats.” He looks back out at the setting sun. “I am a reptile/human hybrid because of his experiments. After that, I couldn’t be put back into foster care so I went off on my own. I was thirteen at that point. I was taken in by a nice family soon after. They were werewolves like yourselves, the last of their bloodline. I was invited into their small pack and grew up with them until they died. I went to the academy six months later and met Nicole.” Dolls stops, trying to decide how to say his next words. “My parents… they didn’t just die. They were killed by nomad werewolves for sport. I was angry… and maybe that is why it took me so long to realize the damage I was causing with Black Badge. I can’t take back my actions, I can’t go back and fix it. But Brianna.” Brie meets his eyes. “I am not the man I was back then. I met your sister and she helped me see things from a different perspective. I have changed. But, I want you to know that you can trust me. Your sister does, she knows I would do anything in my power to protect this family. You are a part of this family too. Just know that.”
“I do.” Brie says with a soft smile. “I am glad to be here and Dolls… I’m sorry about your parents.”
They share appreciative glances between them, both looking at Nicole (noticing her lack of speech or general movement since sitting down with them).
She just stares at the disappearing sun, deep in thought.
Dolls doesn’t want to push her, knowing she is shouldering a lot, but there is something on his mind that he needs to know. “Nic. Is something wrong? You have been distant the last couple days and although stress is understandable…”
“I understand what you are trying to get at Zay.” Nicole cuts him off, her voice void of emotion. “I think everything is just hitting all around me and becoming very real, very fast. It scares me. I don’t want to die, but knowing I could possibly lose Waverly or any one of you in less than three days… I don’t know how to…” Nicole has to stop and regain composure. “I can’t live without her Dolls. The only thing worse than dying is having to live without Waverly. You are you, my siblings are Verums and Wynonna has peacemaker. Waverly is not defenseless. I know she can hold her own, plus I am pretty sure she is smarter than our whole family combined… times two. But my greatest fear is that my emotional attachment to Waverly will be the very thing that gets her hurt or worse.”
“Waverly can take care of herself Cole.” Brie says. “She is incredibly strong and smart. You need to trust her. And honestly Nicole, trust all of us. Stop trying to take these battles on your own. That fight with JC… you didn’t have to fight him alone. You chose that.”
“I know. But I would rather be hurt than risk any of you getting hurt.” Nicole replies, her tone defeated. She has been strong and stoic all through training and will continue to be. But in this moment, she allows herself to be vulnerable.
“And how do you think it makes us feel to see you hurt…?” Brie questions, voice laced in pain. “Nicole, we spent years watching JC and Father beat the living crap out of you in the name of learning how to fight. They taught you to fight alone and there was no chance you could win against those two. Cole, they almost killed you more times than I can count and we were forced to watch. We couldn’t help you or anything…” Brie takes a deep breath. “Please, stop being a lone wolf. I know it is easier, but it is also a really lonely way to live. Please trust us. Trust us to take care of ourselves.”
Nicole stares out at the now fading light. She slowly nods her head but does not take her eyes off the land before her. Dolls and Brie get up and walk towards the house without a word, giving Nicole the time she needs to think.
Sometime later, Waverly walks out and wraps her arms around Nicole from behind. After long moments of silence, Waverly comes around and sits next to Nicole on the fence.
“JC, he was your trainer? Back with the pack?” Waverly asks tentatively.
“You never mentioned him before.” Waverly comments, taking one of Nicole’s hands and holding it in her lap.
Nicole takes a deep breath and allows the dark night and her mate to calm her. “JC, Juan Carlos, is my father’s best friend. They grew up together in the pack. JC had a bad temper growing up, but put it into his physical training. He showed promise and was even a leader of legion for almost a decade. He left his position with legion so he could start training me. He considered it an honor to train the next head alpha. Thought it was his true calling.” Nicole squeezes Waverly’s hand, allowing the other woman to ground her. “He and my father used to take me into this open field twice a week and teach me. It was always the same game… two against one. Of course, I rarely one. Of all the times it happened, I can count on one hand how many times I actually beat them. Win or lose though, I always came out broken, beaten and bloody. I would heal, but the mental battle was the more painful part. About a month before I left the pack, I started to win. They even brought in Alek towards the end to try and make it more difficult. For the first time, I didn’t feel like a victim and I felt… powerful. But I also realized that power, it is dangerous… and that is exactly what my father wanted me to be. A weapon. That’s when he decided I was ready to take the throne and be head alpha.”
“When I see JC, he reminds me of my father. All I see in his eyes are the memories of them breaking my bones, cutting my skin and making my family watch.” Nicole says, tears running down her cheeks.
Waverly doesn’t say anything this time, instead she just pulls the alpha into her and allows Nicole to bury her face in Waverly’s shoulder.
Friday September 23rd: Earp Homestead
Nicole lands a hit to Brie’s side, sending her fifteen feet to the right. The older alpha whines at the impact, but does not back down, running back towards her sister in a flash of black fur.
Something Brianna realized early in life is that Nicole is not as strong as some of the male alphas, but she is much faster. Her sister learned how to use that to her advantage and Brie is paying the price for it right now.
She goes for a shot on Nicole but is easily dodged. Nicole gets a paw wrapped around her back leg and swipes her off her four legs.
“Dammit.” Brie growls, looking up at her sister as she trots over and begins to lick the top of her head affectionately.
“Sorry Sis. Just got to remember to stop telegraphing your next moves.” Nicole responds.
At that moment, Ryan comes barreling out of the house in full wolf form and smashes into Nicole. Nicole yelps, hitting the ground and watching as her brother keeps running. She gets up and gives chase, barking expletives as she does.
Waverly, who has been watching the entire scene from the porch, laughs and smiles at the siblings acting like… well, siblings.
“Stupid idiots.” Brie grumbles, standing on all fours once again.
Waverly laughs at her comment, reminding her of Wynonna.
Brie turns sharply towards Waverly and looks at her with wide eyes. “You can understand me?” She asks in surprise. She looks off in the distance and knows Nicole is too far to hear her, thus, Waverly shouldn’t be able to either.
“Yes.” Waverly says out loud. “Been able to understand all of you without Nicole around since we mated. I guess having my blood mix with hers activated part of the verum genes in me. I can’t phase like you guys, but I understand you and seem to have some of the heightened senses. Nothing compared to Nicole’s, but still a lot better than before.”
Brie phases back into human form and approaches Waverly. “That is amazing. Is there anything else you can do now?”
“Not that I know of. But Dolls wants to do more tests to find out. But that will have to wait until after the battle.” Waverly says.
“Hopefully we live through it to figure out the results.” Brie says and Waverly nods in agreement. “So anyways, they are coming the day after tomorrow, what are you two going to do with your last free day tomorrow?”
“Honestly? I have no idea and I don’t really care, I am just hoping that I can spend what could be my last day with my mate and my family.” Waverly says. She and Brie walk inside together, talking about plans for tomorrow.
Friday September 23rd: Earp Homestead
Waverly is screaming, she doesn’t know why, but she is. She just has this feeling that something is wrong. The world around her is dark and the little light that shows it blurring. Clearly, I am dreaming she thinks. But this dream feels very terrifying and the thought that it isn’t real doesn’t seem to be calming her. She whines for her alpha, wondering why (even if this is just a dream) Nicole isn’t by her side. She hears a growl that she recognizes as Nicole’s and stops all noise so she can listen. Another growl, this time louder and more threatening. She hears a thud and then a voice she vaguely recognizes. “It’s you or it’s her. It’s all of them.” The voice says, muffled like it is underwater. She can hear Nicole’s continuous growl and the sharp intake of breath. Then there is sound of movement.
There is a moment where Waverly is so cold, like the place she is trapped in has suddenly lost all of its heat. Then the warmth returns at full force and touches her forehead. She hears Nicole purr softly and then whine in unison with Waverly as the warmth leaves once again. Then things begin to get even more hazy and Waverly drifts into a significantly less dreamy sleep.
Saturday September 24th: Earp Homestead
Waverly begins to enter wakefulness just as the sun is about to rise. She shuffles around the bed, looking for warmth as a chill runs down her spine. Clearly Nicole had forgotten to close the window last night. She rolls to Nicole’s side of the bed, finding it empty and just as cold as the rest of the bed. Waverly shoots up and searches the room. She finds nothing, returning to the bed and sniffing Nicole’s pillow. It smells of Nicole, of course it does, but in particular, it is drenched in Nicole’s soothing pheromones. And now that she is aware of it, the rest of the room is too, like Nicole was purposefully trying to do so. Waverly scents the air and freezes when she smells a scent other than her alpha’s or her own. It is definitely kin, but not her own. Nicole’s. It isn’t Ryan or Brie’s either. Waverly runs out of the room and down the stairs. When she gets to the bottom, she finds Brie and Ryan both pacing the living room with Wynonna, Doc and Dolls watching them with concerned eyes.
“Nicole is gone!” Waverly exclaims as she hops the last few steps to the ground floor.
Brie and Ryan both turn to her sadly and bow their heads, “We know.”
“What the hell where did she go?!” Wynonna yells, surprised and a little scared (although she will never admit it).
“More like where was she taken.” Ryan supplies.
He makes a may I gesture towards Waverly and she nods, allowing him to lead everyone up to her room. He scents the air, growling immediately. He moves towards the still open window and scents it.
“Alek.” Brie growls, scenting the air herself.
“He was here?! How did none of us realize or even wake up?” Dolls asks.
“Because my sister drowned us all in soothing pheromones. Might as well have given us a bottle of Xanax and then a bottle of Valium.” Ryan says. “Probably trying to keep us safe. If he was in here, he could have killed any of us if we tried to attack.”
“So… Nicole left… just went with him?” Wynonna asks.
“No, he threatened her. He said it was either me or her.” Waverly interjects, taking a seat on the bed.
“You were awake?” Wynonna asks, she rushes to Waverly’s side and places her hands on her sister’s head, checking her over. “Are you hurt?”
“No, I’m fine and no, I wasn’t awake. It is just so weird, like… I thought it was a dream…” Waverly states, squinting in concentration and then in confusion. “Like I was only semi aware, it felt like I was underwater.”
“That would be the pheromones. Your bonds probably broke through it just enough to give you a semiconscious state.” Brie says.
“They left through the window, but there is something about this that isn’t making sense.” Ryan says, turning to look at a very silent Doc. “She wouldn’t have just left and there is a smell with Alek’s that I don’t recognize.”
Doc moves over and scents the windowsill. He then walks down stairs and out the door. They all follow and end up outside where Waverly’s window sits above. Doc phases and literally puts his nose to the ground. He follows a seemingly invisible line, only stopping a few feet after the homestead boundary and picking something that was left on the ground. He phases back to human form and rejoins all of them. “They both exited out the window.” He walks a few feet and points at the ground. The dirt is disturbed and a little wet. “Then there was a struggle. My guess, Cole wasn’t going without a fight. She seems to have won, the blood here on the ground is definitely Alek’s. But there is another scent here too. Juan Carlos.” He walks a few more feet and points to a spot on the ground where it looks almost burned. “Those scorch marks, those are burner stick marks.”
“What are burner sticks?” Wynonna asks.
“BBD created them to help detain werewolves.” Dolls says.
“The pack used to utilize them to help control unruly wolves who broke pack law.” Brie adds.
“It is normally a loop of wire stringed to the end of a pole. The wire loop is tossed over the head of the detainee. The loop automatically tightens and locks. Then, (with the push of the button on the pole, it exerts an electric charge around a loop (and thus, around the neck of the captive). It is similar in idea to a shock collar for regular dogs. Only difference is, a regular shock collar for dogs puts out anywhere between 1,500 and 4,500 volts. The burner sticks were designed to emit over 50,000 volts (because they had to handle more than just your average Labrador Retriever).” Dolls supplies.
Waverly feels like she is going to be sick, like very literally.
“So, this JC dude saw that Alek was going to fail, so he came up and used one of those burner sticks on her?” Wynonna asks.
“Yes.” Doc answers. They must have shocked her pretty hard because these are drag marks. She probably passed out and they were forced to drag her out.” He pulls the object he had picked up earlier and raises it so everyone can see. “Looks like she dropped this as they were dragging her away. It was at the boundary line.”
Waverly rushes forward and grabs it. “It’s ammolite. But why would Nicole have it and why would she drop it?”
“Because it acts as a shield.” Brie says. “If shaved down and burned, it can create a protective barrier that supernaturals (werewolves and a few others) can’t cross. Stuff burns us if we touch it.”
“But then how did Doc touch it?” Wynonna asks.
“It hasn’t been burned yet. But if Nicole left it at the boundary line, that means she wants us to use it to make a protective boundary around the homestead.” Dolls says, taking the ammolite and examining it.
“But if we use it, Nicole won’t be able to cross back in and Ryan, Doc and Brie won’t be able to cross back out.” Waverly protests.
“That was probably Nicole’s thought process as well. But she still left it anyways, she wants us safe.” Dolls argues.
“Well, then leave us outside the boundary and we will go save Cole. Protect yourselves.” Ryan offers.
“No.” Wynonna says. “Family doesn’t split up to save themselves.”
“Okay but we can’t be here defenseless. They will come back tomorrow for us, they just took Nicole as a precaution. My father doesn’t like losing.” Brie says. “I know it is not what anyone wants to hear, but I trust my sister. If she left it, she wants us to use it. We need to make a boundary with all of us in it.”
“Not happening. I am not leaving her.” Waverly says. What if she escapes and needs us.”
“What if she doesn’t and they come after us anyways.” Dolls fires back.
While these two argue, Brie, Ryan, Doc and Wynonna all share looks. Wynonna swallows hard knowing that what she is about to do… it is going to possibly break her and her sister. She looks at the Haught siblings and at Doc. They already look broken. She nods and they all take their positions.
Using Waverly’s distraction to her advantage, Wynonna moves behind her sister and grabs her tightly around the torso, trapping her arms as well. She lifts her off the ground and pulls her towards the house. Brie grabs the ammolite from Dolls and Ryan strikes a match. The ammolite begins to burn as it is handed over to Doc. He carries it in a wide circle around the gate of the homestead, watching as the embers hit the ground and make the boundary. He finishes the boundary (which is glowing blue on the ground). He blows out the remaining ammolite and pockets it before it can burn him.
He turns and looks at the others. He knows Waverly has been screaming, fighting to wrestle out of Wynonna’s grasp since the moment the ammolite began to burn. But now, she is just crying. Dolls is just standing, looking dumfounded and raw. Brie and Ryan are both hugging one another, crying softly into each other’s bodies. Doc turns and watches as the blue begins to fade and leave only the black burns in the ground. A tear of his own falls as he mourns the loss of his life with his friend. He phases and plants his back paws hard into the earth. A moment later, Brie and Ryan do the same by his side. They all look up at the sky and let out a howl. It is long and sad, it is one of loss.
Waverly stops fighting Wynonna and just sobs into her arms, allowing gravity to pull them both to the ground. Her cries quiet as the wolves begin to howl. Tears rolling down her face, she watches them in silence.
“What is that?” Wynonna asks.
Waverly gulps and sniffles. “It’s the howl of mourning. One normally done when a wolf dies in battle…” Waverly sniffles hard and tries to breath. “They are mourning Nicole and the life she could have lived with us… with me… and our baby.”
“WHAT?!” Wynonna exclaims.
“We found out last night. Nicole could hear the heartbeat.” Waverly pauses and burrows into her sister. “We didn’t want to say anything until after the battle, just in case we all didn’t make it.”
“Oh, Wave.” Wynonna tightens her grip on her sister, holding her tight. “I am so sorry. I know that doesn’t mean anything, but…”
Waverly hushes her sister and just leans into her. “Please. Please, can we just not talk for a little while.”
Wynonna nods and both girls turn to watch the three wolves continue their howl.
-A shit tone of horrible feelings
Saturday September 24th: Viribus Land
Nicole comes to tied to a chair, in particular, a chair wired with burner stick components. She looks around the room and recognizes it as the living room of her childhood home. She looks around but finds she is the only one there. She scents the air and concludes that she is alone. Then, the scent of her father and one she recognizes as Alek begin to appear. As they get closer, their scents get stronger and Nicole has to fight the urge to growl. The front door opens and in walks her father and her brother. A moment later and JC is coming in behind them. The door is shut and the three alphas move closer to her.
“Well Cole. Long time no see.” Nicolas Haught says as he takes a seat in front of his daughter.
“Not nearly long enough. Miss me?” Nicole asks, her voice dripping with hatred and sarcasm.
“Actually, yes. If you must know, I do miss having my children in my home, eating dinner together, working together.” He says as he leans back in his chair more to relax.
Nicole doesn’t miss the flash of hurt that crosses her brother’s face at that statement, but it is gone just as quickly as it appeared.
“So, do you want to just get this over with and kill me? I feel like it will save us all a lot of time and effort. You can’t get to my friends and family back in Purgatory, I made sure of that. So, you might as well just get it over with.” Nicole states, almost selling the idea that she is completely unaffected and bored.
“Yes, a scout did encounter the little boundary that was put up at the Earp homestead. Very clever. You were always highly intelligent Cole, but that impressed me. And as you know, I am not an easily impressed man.” Nicholas comments as if this is a genuinely friendly conversation.
Juan Carlos moves around them and pulls a remote from the table, handing it to Nicholas.
Nicolas moves it around in his hands for a moment as if in deep contemplation. Then he presses the bottom button.
Nicole immediately wants to scream, but can’t as her whole body seizes up. Pain engulfs Nicole’s entire body in it as the metal chair she is bound to comes alive with electricity.
He releases his finger from the button and after a few moments, Nicole slouches down in the chair as much as her restraints will allow.
“Well Cole, considering you seem so curious as to why you are here, let me explain.” Nicolas begins, as if he didn’t just electrocute his daughter with enough volts of electricity to power a house. “You are the wolf, the alpha born to take this position. Now, you see, you seem reluctant to take your place. And to an extent, I was understanding. I let you have your little vacation and your fun. But then the time came for you to come home and you refused. I tried, several times, to convince you to come peacefully. But you didn’t listen. In fact, you went even further and started living amongst the Earps, our natural enemies. Or, have you forgotten that their father almost killed you and your brother?”
Nicole growls lowly but doesn’t respond beyond that.
“You see Nicole. That is what I don’t understand. Or rather, I didn’t understand. It wasn’t until your brother and JC got you that I truly started to understand.” He stands and pulls down the collar of Nicole’s shirt, exposing the mating bite on her neck. “You found a mate.”
“I think saying that Alek and JC got me here is a stretch. Alek couldn’t win against me so JC resorted to sneaking up on me and using a weapon designed to subdue me. I don’t think that is something to be all that prideful of.” Nicole says, finally starting to breathe normally again.
“Speaking of, how do you like our new toys?” JC asks. “50,000 volts was what they were designed for, but we upped the amperage. I think we may have over did it a tad because it seemed to knock you out a little too quickly. We were almost a little afraid that it stopped your heart and killed you.” JC continues with a smile.
“Pity.” Nicole murmurs to herself.
“So, now that I understand your situation better, I will make a deal with you.” Nicolas continues as if he had never stopped talking.
Nicole looks at him with a mixture of skepticism and hatred, but stays silent.
“If you don’t want to take the throne, so be it. But in return for my grace in this matter, you will give me your first-born pup to raise and train to take your place.”
Nicole looks at him like he is crazy and honestly… he fucking is in her opinion.
“Are you fucking serious?” She asks, honestly questioning his seriousness and sanity.
“Very. It is a good offer. You should consider it or decide to take your rightful place.” He says.
Yup, he is fucking insane.
“Go to hell.” Nicole spits out.
“Oh Cole, I wish you didn’t make me do this this way.” He says with mock regret.
His finger pushes down on the middle button on the remote and Nicole’s vision goes black for a moment before going red. She isn’t sure how long he leaves it on for. All she knows is that when she returns to the present, her father is out of his seat and is holding something being handed to him by Alek.
“Glad you are back with us. So, here is the thing. I have this weapon. It is very cool and I believe it may interest you. You see, the Black Badge that you have been working alongside for some time now designed this gun with the purpose of killing Verums. But what makes it unique is that it uses DNA from their database to target its designated victim. That means anyone in the Black Badge database is fair game and can be killed by this weapon. We looked through and found your DNA file on it. Meaning we can harm you. Plus, now that you are mated, we can hurt the woman you decided to mix your bloodline with.” Nicolas informs, smiling wickedly. “Tomorrow, we will be going to Purgatory, all of us. You will be placed among your group of friends and your mate and you will choose. If you refuse, they will watch you die.”
With that, he and JC leave the room, leaving Nicole alone with her eldest brother.
“If you would like some water or something to eat… I can arrange that.” He says, not meeting her eyes.
“No. What? Why? Why would you do that?” She asks, genuinely shocked.
Alek sighs and takes the seat in front of her recently vacated by their father. “I have good memories, you know. From childhood. You, Brianna, Ryan and I. We used to be a family, a real one, a happy one. Mom used to take us to the lake on Sunday afternoons so we could learn to swim…” He wipes his face and folds his hands together on his knees. “Those were the best times of my life.”
“Alek, why are you doing this. Why are you helping him? Your heart clearly isn’t in this.” Nicole asks, seeing a side of her brother she hasn’t seen in years.
A humorless laugh escaped Alek’s mouth and he shakes his head. “I don’t think I even know anymore. Maybe because it was what I was destined to do. Or maybe just because I am not the right kind of alpha to do more… who knows.”
“You’re better than this. And you are so much more than you give yourself credit for. And you could be so much more if you make a different choice. I am not saying for you to side with me. But maybe you should consider taking off and trying to start over. Be your own person, be your own alpha.” Nicole says, trying so hard to reach that brother she lost so many years ago.
“No, I can’t. I can’t do that. He will come and find me and what he will do to me… and also living in fear of him finding me. Always looking over my shoulder… I would rather be dead.” Nicole watches as her brother’s walls begin to crumble and fall. Tears begin to fall and his sobs fill the air. “I am so sorry Nicole. I just… I don’t even know who I am anymore. I never wanted to hurt anyone. I just wanted to make him proud. But now I am a murderer. I don’t even know when it happened. When I changed into the monster people fear us to be.” He takes a deep breath and finally looks his sister in the eyes. She can see the pain, the agony. “And I hurt you… so many times. I am so sorry Cole. I am…”
“Hey, Ale.” Her use of the old nickname surprises her but she continues. “I know you are feeling the full weight of your demons. And I know how hard that is because I have been there. But you can change, you can make a difference. Just get out of here and make something good happen in your life. Find love and freedom. Find yourself.”
“Why aren’t you asking me to help you?” He asks, starting to slow the tears and his breathing.
“Because I think what is best for you is to just drop everything and go. You don’t need any extra heat coming after you by helping me.” She says honestly.
He looks at her for a long moment. “I met a woman a few states over. I quickly fell for her but father pulled me away and forbid me of seeing her. Threatened he would hurt her. If I help you, he will kill her. She is a true innocent in this Cole. I can’t risk it.”
“I understand.” Nicole says, no hesitation what so ever. If the roles were reversed and it was Waverly… she can’t say she wouldn't be making the same choice.
He stands and moves to the large bay window. “You are too good for this world Cole. And I am so sorry.” He looks over at her.
“She can feel her own tears finally breaching, understanding starting to form in her mind. “I love you Alek. And just so you know, I always have and I always will. No matter what.”
He moves over to her quickly and kisses the top of her head. “I love you too.” He whispers. He moves back over to the window and pulls out the weapon their father had brandished. He presses a button and immediately falls to the ground lifeless.
Nicole sobs, her cries and screams breaking free as she watches the life drain from her brother’s eyes. She screams and cries looking anywhere but at him. She can’t. It is too painful. Even after all he did… he was her brother and she loved him.
Saturday September 24th: Earp Homestead
After the initial hysteria wears off, the family all gather in the living room and sit in silence. Waverly has stopped crying, but that could change at any moment. Wynonna holds her sister’s hand next to her on the couch, a tortured look on her face. The Haught siblings sit on the floor, Ryan laying his head in Brie’s lap as she runs her hands through his hair. Dolls stands near the door, leaning heavily against the wall. Doc stands near the Haught’s, keeping a watchful eye on them as he knows Nicole would want him too.
Waverly whimpers, clenching Wynonna’s hand tightly for a long moment before relaxing a bit.
“You feel her?” Wynonna asks softly, breaking the silence.
Waverly nods sadly. “She is suppressing a lot of it. But she can’t suppress the pain. It seems like only the extreme emotions and feeling get through. Those are the ones she can’t fight off.”
“But she is alive?” Dolls asks.
“Yes, although… whatever they are doing to her… she doesn’t want to be.” Waverly replies softly so only Wynonna can hear the end. She rests her hand on her abdomen, where life she and Nicole created together continues to grow… even though Nicole isn’t here. Something about that feels ironic and so wrong that it makes Waverly want to be sick.
“So… pregnant…” Wynonna starts.
“Yeah.” Waverly says. “Was a bit of a surprise for us too. We were pretty careful, but evidently, not careful enough.”
Waverly looks over at the Haught siblings and finds that they are both staring at her with strange looks on their faces. There is a long pause before Ryan speaks.
“Your pregnant with Nicole’s pup? I am really happy for you Waverly. I am, we both are. It’s just a lot to take in with recent events and all.” He says. He looks up at his sister and she just shakes her head.
“I get it.” Waverly says.
Ryan leaves his sister and crawls over to Waverly. “May I?” He asks.
Waverly nods with a small smile and moves her hand so Ryan can press his ear to Waverly’s stomach.
He smiles, hearing the heartbeat and begins to laugh softly. His laughs eventually turn to whimpers and he crumbles into the couch next to Waverly. Waverly wraps an arm around him, holding him close as tears begin to stream down his face.
Doc, after getting permission, mirrors Ryan’s previous actions and then raises his head after a moment. His eyes are misty and he seems to be holding back a lot of emotion as well. He takes a seat right in front of Waverly on the floor and pats Ryan on the shoulder in an action of comfort.
Brie moves and stands behind Waverly and the couch, a hand placed softly on the small brunette’s shoulder.
Waverly looks around and realizes what this is. The wolves, they have formed a protective barrier around her. Brie at her back, Doc at her front and Ryan at her side. Wynonna, who is on her other side, seems to realize this as well and tightens her grip on Waverly’s hand.
Family, pack, all part of protecting the growing life of one of their own.
Sunday September 25th: Earp Homestead
Waverly felt her bond with Nicole get stronger at dawn. She rushed downstairs and woke everyone. As Nicole got closer, the more the bond pushed at her senses. They all stood near the boundary line and watched as a large pack of wolves in the distance got closer and closer. Waverly, Dolls and Wynonna recognize a few. Unfortunately, Doc, Ryan and Brie recognize them all. All people they used to regard as family.
The Viribus pack comes to a stop and all phase into human forms. Nicholas Haught is in front, Juan Carlos to his right. Nicole is kneeling on her knees, forced to stay that way by the hands holding her up. They let go of her and she stays up, but slumps considerably.
Waverly tries, she really does. But the tears want to fall so badly. She looks at Nicolas and she no longer wants to cry. No, she is angry. She is angry and filled with hate and fury and it burns brightly.
“Good morning.” The man in question greets. “I see we all decided to make an appearance.”
None of the Earp/Haught pack says anything. They all just glare at him.
“Well, I think I should catch you up on the events of late.” Nicolas says. “You see, my dear daughter Nicole is stubbornly refusing to take her destine role. So, in the honor of being the bigger person, I made a compromise. I gave her the option of not taking the throne herself. In return, she would give me her first born to train to take her place.”
This statement elicits all of the family to growl and tense.
He doesn’t know about the pup. Keep it that way. Nicole communicates, although it is weak.
Waverly has to fight a whimper.
Okay. I love you. Waverly responds.
I love you too. Both of you. Nicole says before she beings to fade once again.
“Go to hell!” Wynonna yells. “You aren’t getting anywhere near us. Especially Waverly.”
“I thought you might say that.” Nicolas pulls the weapon from a Viribus member behind him and points it at Nicole.
Dolls gasps, startling everyone near him.
“Agent Dolls. I am sure you recognize this.” Juan Carlos says. “Black Badge did a fine job designing a weapon to kill us. Plus, all the other toys they have are fun too. I guess they never figured they would be used against their own agent.” He chuckles and pushes on a remote.
Nicole instantly starts screaming, writhing on the ground in pain as electricity and pain flood her vision white.
Waverly grips Wynonna’s hand hard and turns into her sister, gathering all her control as to not lose it.
JC releases the button, Nicole’s body relaxing on the ground a bit.
“Like I was saying. I gave Nicole a choice. She refused both. Now, I think I need to incentivize her. Who should I target first Cole? How about Brianna? She is of no use to me now that I know she can’t bear heirs. Or your brother. He was never going to work in leadership anyways. Or maybe I should just go straight for the money shot and take your mate.” Nicolas asks teasingly.
At his words, Nicole surprises everyone when she phases and jumps from the ground and into her father. He phases as well, but not soon enough. Nicole has him by the throat and clamps down hard.
He barks in pain loudly and everyone feels and hears the crack as some bones in his body break. Nicole throws him to the ground and she can hear as more bones break on impact. She is about to charge him again when the electricity from the burner sticks hits her again. She falls to the ground, whimpering, whining and cowering to the ground in pain.
JC ups the current and Nicole feels her muscles start to feel fluid. The current is shut off and she falls to the ground. She looks at Nicolas and listens. She doesn’t hear whimpering or even breathing. She looks over and sees his eyes. She watches in a daze as the life drains from them and the muscles of his body go limp.
JC, who is at his side, presses a hand to his fur and murmurs something softly before standing. He phases and kicks Nicole into the air and back to the area directly in front of her new family. He phases once again and grabs the weapon, walks back over to Nicole.
“Okay Earps. Here is the deal. You claim to love her, to care for her. Then I assume you will do whatever it takes to save her? So, tell me how to open the barrier and I won’t kill Nicole. We will take you all into custody at Viribus until Nicole and her mate bear their first pup. Then you will all be free to go. I will still honor Nicholas’s offer."
“Go fuck yourself! You want us to surrender?!” Wynonna asks. “Not a chance in hell!”
“Then Nicole dies. And if that isn’t enough, I will pick you off one by one until only the human remain.” He clicks a few buttons and finds Nicole’s DNA. “You have ten seconds… ten!”
“We don’t know how to break it!” Waverly yells at him.
“JC, please! Don’t do this!” Ryan yells.
“They don’t know! They are telling the truth! I didn’t tell them how!” Nicole yells at him.
Waverly, I need you to listen to me and not ask questions. Tell Doc to ‘follow the code of the guard. The thing that bonds us all’. We are running out of time. Waverly, do it now! Nicole pleads, looking at Waverly in hope. Her bond holding on by a shred.
Waverly looks confused but turns to Doc quickly and whispers to him.
Doc looks at her and nods.
Brianna barks and phases into wolf form, not that it will help anyone.
Nicole, please tell me you have a plan! Waverly whimpers, face tight with emotion and fear as she looks at her alpha.
I do. But just in case things go to shit, I love you more than I have ever loved anyone else Waverly Earp. You know that, right?
Waverly nods and tears begin to fall freely down her face.
They all looks at Nicole with pleading looks. "Nic! Tell him! Tell us! We don't know what to do!" Ryan barks.
Nicole ignores his please with a shake of her head.
Everyone takes a deep breath and watch as JC pushes a button. But nothing happens. They all wait but… nothing happens.
Nicole laughs and JC whips his head down at her.
“You idiot!” Nicole exclaims. “You really think I would submit my actual DNA to BBD?! What do you take me for?”
JC doesn’t get a chance to respond because Doc charges forward and crashes through the barrier. A wall of light falls down and everyone feels the shift as the barrier breaks.
Sunday September 25th: Earp Homestead
JC doesn’t get a chance to respond because Doc charges forward and crashes through the barrier. A wall of light falls down and everyone feels the shift as the barrier breaks.
Nicole instantly goes for JC, phasing quickly and knocking him fifteen feet in the air. Doc charges into the Viribus crowd without hesitation to back up his girl. Ryan and Brie phase and charge foreword as well, attacking the wolves advancing towards the house. Dolls grabs Waverly and lifts her off the ground, carrying her towards the house and Wynonna fires shot after shot with Peacemaker.
“Dolls! What the hell! We need to go out there and help!” Waverly protests and Dolls slams the front door shut.
“We are! Grab your shotgun. Move it Waverly!” He yells, watching the fighting through the window.
Brie takes two wolves out in one fellow swoop, but takes a hit to the side. The wolf that got her is two feet from taking a kill shot when Wynonna shoots him down with Peacemaker. Brie growls, nodding to Wynonna before jumping on a wolf going for her brother.
Doc, with a running start, begins to pick off the wolves flanking JC. One by one he begins to tear them limb from limb, relishing in the crack as he takes out the second in command for the Legion. Blood is everywhere, bodies too.
Wynonna takes a moment to look at the carnage but soon realizes that it was a mistake because that moment of observation allowed three Viribus wolves to surround her. She knows she can shoot at least one of them, but that would immediately spur the other two into attacking her from both sides. Wynonna is about to fire when she sees Brie and Ryan charging towards her. Brie takes an extra-long stride before leaping clear over Wynonna’s head and slamming into one of the wolves. Ryan turns sharply and strikes one of the others. Wynonna takes the third, liking that they are on an even playing field once again.
They dispatch with those three relatively quickly, just in time to hear a loud yelp come from about thirty yards to their lefts. They turn and see JC kneeling on the ground in human form. He is extremely beat up. His face is covered in blood, several gashes on his head continue to bleed as he begins to right himself and stand. His arms are covered in blood and shredded flesh. Across his chest, four large and deep claw marks run from his right shoulder down to his left hip.
Below him, Nicole is writhing on the ground in pain as JC holds down a button on the burner stick remote. Nicole yelps again, louder and throatier.
Waverly and Dolls come running out of the house, shooting a few wolves that are getting a little too close for comfort. Ryan and Wynonna quickly finish them off as Brie continues to run along Waverly’s side, opposite Dolls.
The second yelp has all of them running towards Nicole, stopping when JC puts up his hand and raises the remote in warning. “Come any closer and she dies.” He looks around and finds that not one of his Viribus brethren is still standing.
“Let her go Juan Carlos! There is no getting out of this for you! Release her and we won’t kill you!” Dolls commands in an authoritative voice.
Waverly looks down at her alpha on the ground. She is in better shape than JC by far. Nicole is definitely beat up, but it is clear she was winning their battle until JC pulled out his stolen BBD toy.
JC laughs bitterly and ups the current on the remote.
Nicole barks and whimpers, falling completely lifeless to the floor. She is still very much alive and fighting like hell, but the current is making her muscles seize.
I would rather die than be captured and be a prisoner in one of your jails. “We modified this remote so that it can up the electricity to a level that can kill her. You can either let me go, or I will kill her. If I go down, I’m taking her down with me!” JC yells. He looks down at Nicole with disgust. “She had everything! Everyone gave up so much to make sure she had everything! And she threw it all away! She killed her father and her older brother is dead because of her! Everyone who is dead is that way because of her!” He reaches down and grabs her by the muzzle, wrenching her face up to meet his eyes. “Your mother, your father, your brother and all the others! They are all dead and it is all your fault!”
He lets go of her and her head falls to the dirt without support.
At the realization of his words, everyone pauses. Alek is dead. More are dead.
The only one that doesn’t seem to be affected by his words is Waverly. “None of that is her fault! People make their own choices!”
“You must be the mate. Your right, people make their own choices…” He shifts looking down at Nicole. “And she made the wrong one.” With that, he flips the top switch of the remote and everyone is paralyzed to watch as Nicole’s fur begins to stand on edge, her muscles begin to relax as the life drains from her.
Waverly reacts first, firing a shot from her shotgun at JC, hitting him hard enough for him to drop the remote. She knows it won’t kill him, but it will give her a chance. He hits the ground with a thud and remains there motionless as Waverly darts over and grabs the fallen remote. She quickly flips the switch back to the off position and moves to Nicole’s head. Her alpha isn’t moving, not even breathing from what Waverly can see. But the bond they share tells her that Nicole is still alive, that she is still holding on. But she is very weak and it could go either way at this point. Waverly pets her head softly, leaning down and whispering words of encouragement in Nicole’s ears. Tears stream down her face as she places a hard kiss on top of Nicole’s head, begging her to wake up.
“Baby. Please. You gotta wake up.” She sobs, burrowing her face in Nicole’s fur. “You gotta wake up for me and for your siblings and for Wynonna and Doc and Dolls… and for the baby. Our baby. I can’t live without you Nicole and I can’t do this without you. Nic, baby. Please wake up. I love you.”
While this is all happening, the others begin to accept what is probably going to happen. Anger boils over in all of them. They are all consumed by their feeling and no one notices JC Begin to stand.
Waverly whimpers and pulls on her bond with Nicole, trying anything that could bring the alpha back to her. She can’t let go. She isn’t ready to let go. Nicole’s eyes shoot open, but they aren’t the soft brown ones Waverly is used to. Her eyes shine blue, the same color they did during their first case together.
Nicole doesn’t even look at her. She just bolts up from the ground and spears JC into the air right as he is coming down to bite Waverly. Waverly staggers back, quickly feeling Wynonna and Dolls’ hands on her. They hold her in place and they all watch as Nicole and JC battle it out once again. But this time is different. There is no restraint on Nicole’s part. Every move is carefully calculated and precise, hitting and biting down in the places that will cause the most damage.
There is a sharp yelp and a loud howl and they all gasp.
Nicole stands over JC, his body a bloodied mess. He is gasping for breath, but still manages to chuckle.
He speaks lowly, so only Nicole can hear. “She’s pregnant. Ha this is better than I ever could have planned. You knocked up an omega and now she is bearing at least one heir to the throne.” He laughs again, looking at the anger on the other alpha’s face. Her eyes shine blue, something he has only seen once, in her grandfather. At the time, he was protecting Nicole from Nicolas. But seeing it in her eyes…
Nicole growls, biting down on to his back leg and tossing him fifteen feet to the left. He hits a large rock, knocking the little air left in his lungs out of him. She stalks over slowly, his blood dripping down her muzzle. She gets close to him, so close he can feel the atmosphere change just with her presence.
Nicole leans her large head down, growling in his face. “You will never touch them. Not my mate, not my child, not my friends or my family. Anyone who wants to try is going to have to go through me first. And I can promise it will end the same way for them as it is going to end for you.”
With that final remark, Nicole locks him in her jaw once again and flings him into a large boulder.
Juan Carlos yelps on impact, but is silent after that. Nicole looks into his eyes and sees the fading of color as he dies.
When she saw the same thing happen with Alek, she cried and screamed and felt so much pain. But watching JC die, at her strength… she doesn’t feel anything. She feels almost numb.
Once he finally goes, Nicole sits down on the ground and looks up at the sky. The howl that she releases is unlike any other she has ever done. She hears the other’s gasp, the howl surprising them too. She howls again and again, barking in between.
“What is she doing? It this another howl of mourning?” Wynonna asks her sister.
“No.” Waverly answers, watching as Brie, Ryan and Doc all lower down their front paws and bow their heads. “It is Nicole announcing the death of the Viribus leaders… and taking the throne herself. Viribus is almost completely gone, she is proclaiming anyone left is free to do as they please… She is setting them free.”
Dolls takes a knee, bowing his head as he hears Waverly’s words.
Waverly and Wynonna both look at him in shock, but quickly follow suit. It is hard not to submit when you hear that howl. It is so unlike anything anyone has ever heard. Even animals miles away (non-canine animals) bow their heads respectfully.
When the howl is over, Nicole doesn’t move from her position. She just sits there and lets the past events truly sink in for the first time. Her mom is dead, killed at her father’s hands. “Alek is dead, by his own hand but Nicole holds Nicolas responsible. Nicholas himself is dead, at her hands. And JC is dead, also at her hands. She looks around at all the bodies, all because she couldn’t take her life (the one chosen for her). She then turns and looks at her family, the one she chose, her real family. They all are a little beaten up, but all seem to be okay. Nicole turns away once again, looking to the sky as if it could make sense of all the chaos. She never wanted this, any of it. But now she has it and even though there is so much bad… having a real family for once, a real pack to call home… she can’t help but feel a twinge of happiness beyond the pain.
She stands and walks towards her father’s body, her eyes fading back to their normal brown. When she reaches him, she lowers her head and lifts him on to her back. She walks, to the tree line almost a mile from the homestead and drops him to the ground. She spends the next hour digging a deep hole and placing him in it before burying it up once again.
She looks down at the disturbed dirt her father lies beneath and puffs out a deep breath. “You don’t deserve honor, you don’t deserve grace and you don’t deserve forgiveness. And I can’t give you honor, you stole that away from yourself years ago. But I can show you grace and give you my forgiveness. Because hating you is exhausting. It weighs me down like a ball chained to my ankle. You are still my father and I know that you are only a product of your situation. It doesn’t excuse it, but I can forgive. I have to forgive, not for you, but for me. I need that. I will never forget though. But forgiving you is enough for me. I buried you here because this area is home to some of the most beautiful wildlife this side of the border. It is peaceful here. I hope that you can find peace Dad. I really do. Because you were sick and angry. But you weren’t always that way. I remember being little and you playing with Alek, Brianna and I. Teaching us how to run and kick a soccer ball. But then you changed and I will never know what did it. Anyone old enough to remember is dead, so there is no one left to tell me.” Nicole brings her paw up to her face and wipes at her eyes. “So, I choose to forgive you and hold on to the happy memories. Because… I can’t hold on to the hate anymore. I just can’t. It is like cancer, slowly eating away at me until there is nothing left. And I don’t want that. I am starting a family and I have a pack that I love. I have to fight for them, let go for them and be there for them. Not only do I have to but I want to.” Nicole takes a step back. “I hope you find peace Dad.”
Nicole leaves and walks back to the homestead. She feels lighter, lighter than she has in years. She approaches and sees Black Badge agents cleaning up the battle zone, collecting bodies and cleaning up the mess. She decides to avoid all of that and go through the back door. She enters the house on two legs, walking in to find Dolls, Wynonna, Waverly, Doc and her siblings all cleaned up and sitting in the living room. She takes a seat on the couch, bringing Waverly into her arms as she settles and leans down to kiss Waverly’s belly.
“I have so much to tell you all.” Nicole starts, breaking the silence.
Sunday September 25th: Earp Homestead
“Alek is dead, isn’t he?” Brie asks.
Nicole looks at her sadly. “Yes. Ale is dead.”
Brie looks at her sister, the sadness in her eyes. When Nicole was little, she could never say Alek’s name right so she called him Ale. As the got older and he started to get crueler, she stopped using the nickname. That fact that she is using it now… something changed. “What happened?” She asks.
Nicole begins to tear up, Waverly instantly rubbing into their mating bite and comforting her as best she can. “He uh… he killed himself. He broke down and cried. He was so sad and lost. The guilt was eating away at him. He apologized, and said he loved me… and then he killed himself right in front of me. I watched him die… the same way I watched our father and JC die. I saw the life drain from their eyes. But with him, I cared. Our father and JC… I couldn’t see past the anger at the time. I think it made it easier.” She shakes her head gently and looks up at her siblings. “When they took me, they kept me bound in our house. When we left the next morning, I got to see what was left of the pack. Of the one hundred and twenty-two people that lived on our land, only about thirty are still alive. The entire Rum family is gone. JC said the Rum twins tried to fight back but ultimately lost. Their family retaliated and ended up losing their lives in the process. All the Creek family is gone too. There are still a few of the Wilson family left, but they are elders and looked to be in bad shape when I saw them. People are scattered on the land, some living in tents because their houses were burned down or taken away from them. Some don’t have food or water. I released them so they would be free to fight for survival like everyone else. Go out into the world and get real jobs and have real lives. Counting JC, our father and the members of Legion dead… there is maybe ten left. They are free to live in any way they please.”
I’m so sorry Nicole. Waverly says through their bond.
Nicole moves into her more, purring low in her chest and she finds comfort in her omega.
“So, home is really gone?” Ryan asks.
Nicole looks at him and nods. After a long moment, she speaks once again. “Um, but if it’s any consolation, my home has always been with the people I love. And right now, all the people I love are in this room… of and Gus.” Everyone chuckles a bit and she continues. “I um… I want to go back there though, you know, grab some stuff I left behind. I didn’t know if you wanted me to grab some of your guys’ stuff or come with me? It’s up to you. I am planning on going tomorrow.”
Doc, Brie and Ryan all nod. “We would like to go and say goodbye to the place we used to call home.”
Nicole nods and ducks her face into Waverly. “I hate to ask…”
“Nic, of course I will go with you.” Waverly says without needing her to finish.
By the end on the night, they all end up deciding to go to pack land in the morning.
Waverly, Wynonna and Dolls all walk outside to look at the three wolves in full wolf form. Nicole snorts at Waverly, rubbing her face softly into her ever so slight bump. She gives Waverly some instructions and Waverly relays them to the other humans.
“Dolls, you’re with Doc. He will bend his body down to make it easier for you to get up. Wynonna, you’re with Brie.”
Both Dolls and Wynonna look a little nervous, but get on nevertheless.
Nicole lowers completely to the ground, making it easier for Waverly to get on (not that she is all that pregnant for it to matter yet). She grips Nicole’s fur and shows the other how to do the same properly (as to not hurt their friends below).
Once they are all ready, Nicole leads them in a walk that gradually increases in speed until it is a full run. Wynonna shouts comments of joy, laughing as Brie and Doc race each other in an open clearing.
Even with the added weight, Nicole is still the fastest, but she doesn’t test it and remain cautious with Waverly on her back. Ryan stays close to Nicole and Waverly, watching out for trouble and keeping an eye on Waverly.
When they arrive at the pack land boundary, they begin to slow down. The laughter and basically all the conversation stops, all just taking in the view before them.
Hey everyone! I just want to let you guys know that I will NOT be posting for the next week due to finals. This will affect both Mustang and Blue Eyes. I want to give these final chapters the time that they deserve and I just won't be able to do that this week. I really appreciate your patience and all the comments (and kudos). I am working really hard on replying to all the comments I have missed the past month due to school. Thanks and much love!
I'm back! Sorry for such a long break! Finals, work and family got busy and really hectic. Thankfully, I am back on track and will return to my normal posting schedule. Thank you for all the comments, kudos, patience and feedback in my absence. I will get back to answering them ASAP.
Monday September 26th: Viribus Land
As they walk closer towards the houses, they begin to see people. As they pass, people bow to Nicole respectfully, some moving alongside the group in a sign of pack and unity. Nicole realizes then that her releasing them doesn’t mean they would all flee. Many have nowhere else to go. With this in mind, she allows their closeness, welcomes the familiarity even. They arrive at their childhood home and the humans on their backs dismount. They walk inside, leaving the others outside. Walking into the living room, Waverly cringes as she sees the chair bolted to the floor and the blood pools surrounding it. She can smell it is Nicole’s, but if she couldn’t, she would be able to tell by the way Nicole stares at the space. Nicole’s eyes drift away from the chair and towards the large bay window. Alek’s body has been removed and buried with their mother, but Nicole will never forget what happened in that spot.
Shaking her head, Nicole takes Waverly’s hand and leads her up to her room.
Walking into Nicole’s childhood room is a trip for Waverly. Shelves on the walls lined with photos and trophies, a mini basketball hoop on the back of the door and a bookshelf in the corner are the first things Waverly notices. Nicole walks across the room and opens the closet, grabbing a duffel bag and beginning to fill it with things she wants to take with her. She takes a photo album full of photos with her grandparents, her siblings and her parents. She also took her letterman jacket out of the closet and packs that as well. As she watches Nicole grab a few more things, Waverly sits on the bed and takes in everything. Music, sports and media posters are on the walls, almost completely covering the white walls behind them. Waverly picks up a photo of Nicole that sits on the bedside table. A man Waverly recognizes as Nicole’s grandfather and Nicole (in uniform) stand on a stage together. Both are smiling wide and look so happy.
“My graduation from the police academy. That is the only time I had ever seen my grandpa cry.” Nicole says softly, looking at the photo as well.
Waverly hands the photo to Nicole and she puts it in the bag.
“I think that’s everything.” Nicole says, putting the bag at the foot of the bed and climbing up next to Waverly.
“Are you okay? How are you feeling?” Waverly asks, running her fingers along with Nicole’s jaw.
“Better. Better than I have in days. Having you here, it makes me feel comfortable in this room for the first time in my life.” Nicole answers honestly.
“While you were captured, Wynonna told me a story. Actually, Wynonna, Brie and Ryan all contributed. It was about my father and how he almost killed you. About how he showed up and shot you while you tried to protect Ryan. How Willa showed up and saved his ass before your pack could get him. I was surprised by the tale… considering you never once brought it up to me.”
“Waves, I didn’t bring it up because it is in the past and has nothing to do with you. His sins are his own, not yours and not Wynonna’s. I didn’t want to cause you more pain than I already had.” Nicole says softly, pulling Waverly into her arms and falling on to her back.
“Is that one of the reasons you hesitated to be with me? Because of him?” Waverly asks, voice small and vulnerable.
“No. It honestly never crossed my mind. I don’t look at you or Wynonna and see your father. I see two very strong and independent women, who have overcome so much to be who they are today. When I look at you right now, I see the mother of my child and the woman I want to spend the rest of my life. You are not him Waverly Earp. You are nothing like him. Just like how I hope to be nothing like my father. They don’t define us, but they give us an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and be better for it.” Nicole runs her palm over Waverley’s abdomen, kissing Waverly’s forehead as she does. “I love you. I have since the beginning and I always will.”
“I love you.” Waverly whispers, raising to meet Nicole’s lips in a real kiss. She pulls away for breath and sighs happily. “It is all becoming really real now. The baby, our new life… I can’t wait.”
Nicole smiles and kisses her again. She couldn’t agree more.
2 months later….
Saturday November 26th: Earp Homestead
“Waves? Baby? What’s wrong?” Nicole asks, wiping sleepy eyes to look at her mate. Waverly is sitting up in bed, staring down at her now very pregnant belly.
“I think I changed my mind.” Waverly says softly, running her hands over her bump.
Panic threatens to surge through her, but Nicole tries to keep calm. “About what Baby?”
“Nicole, I want to know. I know I said I wanted to be surprised by the gender but I think I want to know.”
Nicole sits up, kissing Waverly’s bare belly softly before kissing Waverly on the lips. “Okay. If that is what you really want.”
“Is that why you can’t sleep? Because you want to know if it is a boy or a girl?” Nicole asks, pulling Waverly down and into her arms.
“Kinda. I think I am just nervous too. The due date is in less than a week. With normal pregnancies, we get more time. I think this is just really fast and I am nervous.” Waverly admits.
Nicole smiles softly and kisses Waverly again. “Whatever you need Waverly. I am here for you. Tell me what I can do and I will do it.”
“Just be here with me, hold me and tell me the gender.” Waverly asks, burrowing into Nicole as much as she can.
Nicole could hear the heart beat first and could tell the gender almost from the beginning as well. The scent change had tipped her off but the redhead promised to keep it a secret because Waverly wanted to be surprised.
Nicole purred and nuzzled Waverly softly. “You sure you want to know?”
Nicole smiles and squeezes softly. “It’s a girl.”
Waverly feels tears falling down her smiling cheeks as she takes it in. “She is a girl.” She whispers more to herself. She looks down and affectionately rubs her bump. “You’re a girl.”
The day Waverly goes into labor, Nicole fears she might die. There are many reasons for this line of thinking, but the main one is the screaming and the pressure Waverly is abusing Nicole’s hand with. Contractions had started the night before and Waverly had been remarkably calm about it. But as they got stronger and closer together, Waverly’s composure weakened. Wynonna and Brie came running upstairs at the sound of a pained yelp from Waverly. When they arrived, Nicole informed the of Waverly labor and dished out orders as Waverly curled into her body for comfort.
Many of the Viribus are now happily settled in Purgatory, wanting to be close to their alpha and the newly formed pack. As time passed, especially as Waverly’s pregnancy rapidly progressed, the new pack became closer, realizing for the first time that this union was a choice. Those who stayed are loyal to Nicole and those who weren’t left, but still were grateful for the freedom Nicole granted them.
The new pack, the one Nicole proudly named the vincere pack, was formed. Viribus was named so because it is the Latin word for strength. Vincere means to overcome. Although it is strictly a formality and they all generally refer to the pack as the Earp pack, Nicole still wanted the formal name to mean something. To represent what brought these people together. They all overcame something to be here. Having humans in a pack was a first, but it didn’t hold anyone back and once the pack members learned to trust the Earps, all started to feel… like family. The pack consists of the Earp sisters, Dolls, Doc, the Haught siblings, Gus, and twenty-two former Viribus members who made the trip to follow their chosen alpha.
With the birth getting closer and closer, the pack really began to bond and they all treat and view each other as family. Ronda, who was the head nurse back at Viribus comes to the Earp homestead the moment Brie calls her and quickly gets Waverly comfortable (or as comfortable as she can be at this point). Nicole never leaves Waverly’s side, allowing her omega to crunch her hand in her grip when a contraction hits and taking the verbal outlash that the pain and hormones bring out as well.
“Why the hell did I let you do this to me?! Why?! Why did you do this to me?!” Waverly yelled as she tried to recover from a particularly hard contraction.
Nicole just kisses her sweaty forehead and breathes steadily, connecting with Waverly through their bond and making sure the brunette continues to breathe and hold on. One minute she is yelling and cussing at her alpha, the next she is sobbing and pulling Nicole impossibly closer for comfort. Nicole takes her cues from Ronda, eventually positioning herself behind the omega so Waverly’s upper back is pressed against Nicole’s front. She keeps one hand tightly in Waverly’s grip while her other arm wraps around Waverly as a means to comfort the woman, but also to support her better.
Downstairs, Gus, Wynonna, Brie, Doc, Ryan and Dolls all wait, listening to the sounds coming from upstairs. Every scream from her niece’s mouth makes Gus tense in her seat on the couch and every scream from her baby sister makes Wynonna momentarily halt her pacing, before starting up again. Outside the house, in the surrounding area, the rest of the pack waits in silent support for their new member to be brought into this world.
Dizzy from watching Wynonna’s pacing, Brie stands and drags Wynonna upstairs with her.
“What are you doing?” Wynonna asks frantically, looking almost terrified as they climb the stairs.
“You are making everyone more anxious down there and we both need to be up there for our sisters. They want us there so we will be there. Now, get your ass moving Earp before I change and make this a less pleasant journey upstairs.” Brie threatens. Her voice is firm, but Wynonna can see her own fear and anxiety mirrored in Brianna’s features. She grabs the taller girl’s hand and squeezes it, walking together to Waverly and Nicole’s room.
When they enter, Waverly’s eyes shoot towards them instantly while Nicole’s stay trained on her mate. She had smelled and heard them coming before they even got to the stairs, no need to take her focus away from what is important right now. Wynonna moves and pulls a chair up next to her sister, allowing Waverly to crush her hand the moment she offers it to her. Brie sits on the other side, kissing Nicole’s head before settling next to her own sister in silence support.
“I don’t think I can do this.” Waverly whimpers as she is told by Ronda that she can push.
Nicole kisses the side of her head softly and purrs soothing words of encouragement through their bond. “You can do this. Waves I know you can. You are amazing and I will be here with you every step of the way. Whatever you need, just name it. I love you.”
“I love you too.” Waverly gasps aloud as she prepares to push.
Time passes, no one besides Ronda is really sure how long, but in the end Ronda is laying a beautiful baby girl in Waverly’s arms. The baby cries up until the moment she is placed against Waverly’s chest and Nicole’s hand drapes over the baby soft skin of her daughter’s tiny hand. Instantly, the baby quiets and sighs softly, falling asleep with her mothers’ touches. After a little while, Ronda summons the others and they all come upstairs to greet their new addition. Gus cries, watching the baby being placed in her arms after a long moment with Wynonna. Doc kisses her head softly, allowing Ryan to hold the baby. Nicole watches as her brother completely melts for her daughter and knows in that moment that something shifts inside him. He is going to love that girl like she is his own. Nicole kisses Waverly’s lips softly, pulling away just enough to look at her with a soft grin. “I love you. Thank you. Thank you for loving me. For giving me this family. For everything. Without you… I wouldn’t have any of this. I would have nothing. Waverly Earp, I love you so much.”
Waverly kisses her then, smiling into the kiss and only breaking apart when their baby is being handed back to her. Nicole kisses both of her girls’ heads before opening the window and sliding out, shifting on her way down to the ground. She feels Waverly and even the baby react pleasurably to the change, grinning happily as she looks at the moon. She raises her head and howls, a howl that she has never done before, but feel so happy she can now. Others of the pack join in, including her family on the homestead, who all phase as they join her outside.
Inside, Wynonna turns to her sister in question.
Waverly smiles with tears in her eyes, looking down at her daughter. “It’s the announcement of life. The birth of a child. Our child.”
“Have you given her a name?” Gus asks, smiling as they all (including the baby) listen to the song the wolves are singing together. It’s beautiful and she only hopes to hear it again someday. It is happy and hope for the future. It is the addition to a pack, a family. Her family.
Waverly smiles at her aunt and Nicole reenters the room, the others continuing to howl their song as she settles in behind Waverly.
“Yes.” Waverly answers softly. “Renée Haught.”
Gus gasps and Wynonna immediately feels new tears well up in her eyes.
Hearing her own middle name spoken from her baby sister’s mouth, Wynonna let the tears fall.
“Renée Elise Haught-Earp, actually.” Waverly says. “Her first name is Wynonna’s middle name and her middle name matches Brianna’s. Our big sisters were both huge parts of both of our lives and got us here today. And we know you both already care for her more than words can describe.”
Nicole kisses Waverly softy, helping her position herself more comfortably as Renée begins to fuss. “Someone’s hungry.” Nicole softly whispers. She holds the baby close, calming her easily until Waverly is ready. As their baby nurses, they listen to their pack sing together in celebration.
When Waverly wakes up one morning, she whines softy at the absence of her alpha in bed. She quickly dresses and walks to the next room over, also noticing the nursery is empty as well. Walking downstairs, she finds the front door open and walks out. The sight she sees makes her heart swell. Nicole, in full wolf form, is lying on the ground while their daughter plays with her ears from her place on top of Nicole. The, now, one year old Renee happily giggles and jabbers as she runs her tiny hands all around Nicole’s head. Her baby red hair is lighter than Nicole’s wolf, but there is no doubt that the little girl is her daughter. Noticing her mate, Nicole whines for Waverly to come over, not daring to move in fear of jarring her daughter.
Waverly smiles and walks over, plucking Renee off Nicole and kissing her daughter. “Good morning my loves.” Waverly says, placing her daughter back on top of Nicole.
“Morning.” Nicole replies through their bond, turning her head to like Renee‘s face. The little girl giggles and grabs Nicole’s muzzle with her tiny hands, holding her in place while she leaves a wet, open mouth kiss on her nose.
Nicole huffs and drops her head to the ground once released and Waverly just laughs.
“So, what are you two doing up?” Waverly asks.
“I came back from my run with my sister and found this little one up and about. She must have smelled me coming because she was waiting at the front door when I tried to come in. Decided some outside time was warranted and we watched the sun rise together out here.” Nicole says, keeping a watchful eye on Renee as she crawls off her and begins walking towards the house (teetering every few steps). She moves to help her but Waverly places a hand on Nicole to stop her.
Nicole looks at her like a kicked puppy and Waverly kisses the top of her bowed head. “You have to let her fall Nic. That is how she will learn. You can’t protect her from everything.” Waverly says, rubbing her head and smiling when Nicole relaxes just a little.
Nicole phases into human form and hugs Waverly from behind, kissing her neck softly before returning her gaze to their daughter. “I will always want to protect her.” Nicole whispers.
They both watch as Renee topples over to the ground. After a moment of them both holding their breaths, the tiny red head stands back up and continues her journey. They both let out the breaths they are holding and Nicole sighs.
“She is tough, just like her mommy.” Waverly says, smiling when their little girl turns back as if to tell them to hurry up.
“Mommy, beafast.” Renee squeals, giggling when Ryan picks her up and holds her in his arms.
“Okay Bug. One second.” Waverly says with a laugh, silently thanking Ryan as he walks their daughter the rest of the way inside and shuts the door.
Turning to her mate, Waverly finally kisses her on the mouth, sighing happily and melting into the alpha’s embrace.
“I can’t believe she is one already.” Nicole says, marveling at how time flies.
“Yeah. Do you ever want more? I mean, I love Renee. She is probably the best thing I ever did in my life. But I think I will want more children… I mean… I want more children. If that is what you want.” Waverly rambles.
Nicole kisses her deeply and smiles once they break apart. “I want whatever you want. I am happy with Nay. You and her make my world go round. That being said, I would love to add to our family. You just tell me when you are ready, if you are ready. No matter what, I will be happy.”
Waverly smiles. “I love you.”
“I love you too.
Nicole walks upstairs and finds Waverly asleep in their bed. Putting Renee down tonight was a little more difficult than normal due to Wynonna riling her up before bedtime. Luckily, the tired toddler ended up falling asleep eventually and Nicole finally closed the door and goes into her own room.
Laying down in their bed, she feels Waverly shift and climb on top of her.
“Sorry, did I wake you?” Nicole whispers, threading her fingers through Waverly’s hair.
“No. I wasn’t asleep. I was waiting for you.” Waverly purrs back, nuzzling into her alpha’s chest and soaking in her warmth. “Did she give you too much trouble? Nonna knows better, I am sorry.”
“It’s okay.” Nicole answers. “Your sister had her smiling and that is all I can asks for.”
“Really?” Waverly asks with a raised eyebrow, allowing her hand to drift down and slip in Nicole’s pajama pants.
Nicole gasps, involuntarily thrusting her hips upwards in an attempt to gain friction.
“I take it back. There is another thing I could ask for. You.” Nicole breathes out.
Waverly purrs and kisses Nicole’s neck, biting lightly on her mark. “I want you.”
“Well, when you put it that way…” Nicole purrs back, rolling them over.
Standing in front of the entire pack, Nicole looks at each one. They all stand in silence, waiting for their alpha’s cue. Nicole howls and barks softly, shifting into wolf form and then watches as the others do the same. Full moon runs as a pack has become a tradition and one of her favorites. Waverly, with Renee in her arms, climbs on her back.
“Momma.” Renee cheers happily, patting Nicole’s fur. Nicole snorts out some air and Waverly giggles. She thought her daughter would have been scared of Nicole in wolf form, but even in the beginning, baby Renee seemed to understand. Now, at just over a year old, she seems to absolutely love her mother in this form, just like in her human one.
Waverly turns her head and sees Gus, Dolls, and Wynonna all climbing up on to Brie, Doc and Ryan. She smiles, loving the familiarity and comfortability that shows as they all connect in these moments.
Nicole slowly leads them away from the homestead, the rest of the pack following behind with happy barks and howls as they pick up speed and run off into the night.
Chapter 40: Epilogue
Several years later…
Waverly and Nicole sit on the porch with their family, watching their daughter play with her little brother in the driveway. Nicole smiles as the growing pup plays so gently with the toddler and always keeps a watchful eye on her baby brother. She is only six, but Renee is already such a good big sister to William (who is going to be three next month). Nicole laughs as William climbs all over his sister as best he can like she is his personal jungle gym.
Waverly squeezes her mate’s hand and smiles, looking at Gus, Doc, Dolls, and Ryan to their left and Wynonna and Brie on their right.
“I never thought this is what my life would be. I never even imagined this.” Waverly whispers, running her thumb over the back of Nicole’s hand. “And now that I see it, I almost have to pinch myself to prove it’s real. That this isn’t some dream that I will wake up from.”
“I am in the same boat as you are Waves. I was on the path to rule Viribus, mate with another alpha, breed future leaders and train my own pups the way my father trained me. I think back to that time and realize that a part of me died the day my grandpa died. And what was left of me, my soul, was slowly chipped away at until there was almost nothing left. I came to Purgatory, a shell of my former self. I didn’t even realize it until I met you and I started to feel like myself again, for the first time since my grandfather’s death. So, trust me when I say I completely understand.”
“I love you and the life and the family we have. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” Waverly says, scooting closer into Nicole.
“Me neither baby. Me neither.”
When Renee turned eleven, Nicole begins to notice a change happening to her daughter. The signs and what she knows is soon to come, it scares her to death. But she just does her best to be supportive and let Renee know that she can always come to her. Early one morning, Nicole hears Renee whining from down the hall. She gets up quietly, making sure not to wake her mate and quickly gets dressed.
Walking down the hall, she opens Renee’s door and lightly runs her fingers through her daughter’s hair. “Mom?”
“Yeah Nay, I’m here.” Nicole says softly. “Come on, I got you.”
“Nicole lifts Renee out of the bed and walks her downstairs and out the front door. There is a grassy area at the edge of the homestead with a tree and Nicole walks them over there.
They sit there together and Nicole can feel Renee’s wolf. It’s time. But there is something her pup needs to know first.
“Nay. Look at me.” Nicole says softly, but firmly, waiting for her daughter’s eyes to meet hers before continuing. “Do not let it control you. Fight it. You let it out when you want to let it out. Don’t let it bully you into thinking it has control over you. You are Renée Elise Haught-Earp. You are strong and resilient and so good. You got this Honey.”
And so, Nicole sits there and watches Renee fight the wolf. From the exterior, it just looks like Renee has an itch or something, but Nicole knows from experience that the first change is a mentally taxing time. When Renee presented as Alpha, the level of fear Nicole thought she could feel skyrocketed. Waverly had assured her that everything would be fine. That Nicole is not her father and would never treat their pups poorly. The moment William presented as Alpha as well… well, let’s just say Nicole felt a mixture of happiness and fear that made her sick to her stomach. But in this moment, after having years to settle with the information, she knows she will do her best to never let her pups, her mate, or her pack down.
Almost an hour later, Renee begins to relax and a smile slowly spreads across her face. “Wow.”
“Yeah.” Nicole says with a chuckle. “It’s pretty amazing huh.”
“It’s like power, flowing through me. It’s like I can feel it, like energy, in my fingertips.” Renee says in awe. “Is this how you always feel?”
“Yes, but you get used to it.” Nicole says with a smile. “The thing to remember is that the wolf is you. It fights in the beginning because that is your alpha fighting against your consciousness. It is primal instinct versus developed instinct. But now that it has stopped, both sides have reconciled.”
“Are people going to be scared of me?” Renee asks.
“Some, maybe.” Nicole admits honestly. “But as long as you don’t give them a reason to fear you, that’s all you can do. Just be a good person. It matters. You might be an alpha, but you are a person first. As long as you focus on being you, the rest will take care of itself.”
“I promise you, Nay.” Nicole says, standing and phasing into wolf form. “Whenever you are ready.” She barks softly, knowing her daughter can finally understand her in this form.
Renee nods and takes a minute before standing as well. She closes her eyes and phases as well. It is much slower than Nicole and not nearly as smooth, but still very impressive for a first change. When Renee opens her eyes, she sees the world a little differently. Like literally, she can see farther and clearer and sounds are the same way. She looks at her mother and gives her a wolfish grin before barking happily and barreling herself into the larger alpha. Nicole laughs, huffing out air at the excited puppy sound her daughter is making as she jumps around her in a happy dance. Nicole stands and really looks at her daughter. Her coat completely matches her hair. It is lighter than Nicole, blonder but still very red. Renee topples over to the ground, losing her footing a little.
Nicole laughs. “It is going to take a little getting used to, but you will adjust quickly.”
Renee yips happily and rubs up against her mother, growling softly at the comfort she always finds with her mom in any form.
They both hear the front door close and see Waverly walking out to greet them. Renee eagerly moves to go to her, but Nicole growls softly in warning. “Remember, you are a lot stronger in this form. Be gentle.” After Renee gives an affirmative bark back, Nicole huffs out some air. “Okay, now go tell your mother good morning.”
Renee yips happily and runs over to a smiling Waverly. Butting her head softly into Waverly, Renee plops down in a sitting position and purrs as Waverly runs her hands through her fur.
“You look beautiful Honey.” Waverly says, kissing the top of her daughter’s head. “How do you feel?”
“Good, really good.” Renee replies.
Nicole slowly walks up to them and bows her head before Waverly. The first few times Nicole did this (an alpha bowing to her omega) Waverly had been thrown for a loop. Now though, she is pretty used to it, but the importance and the significance of the act will never be lost on her.
The brunette kisses Nicole’s nose and whispers good morning to her mate before looking at her girls with teary eyes. “What a sight.”
If wolves could blush, Waverly knows her daughter and her mate would be right now. They both huff out breaths of air through their noses and look at each other.
“Go on, go for a run you too. Just be back before breakfast. We can tell William the good news then.” Waverly says with a laugh.
“Will is going to freak!” Renee says excitedly.
Nicole nips at her daughter and gets her moving. “No terrorizing your brother. You will regret it if he turns out to be a verum too. Payback is an unfriendly woman my dear.”
“He can try.” Renee retorts, chasing after her mother as Nicole takes off in a run. They are both laughing and barking happily as they go, Waverly smiling as she watches them with happy tears in her eyes.