By evening, I had met my goal, which was a good thing since Logan was tired of Blackjack. He wanted to see the Fountains of Bellagio and, to be honest, so did I. We made the 10 o’clock show and got right up close. When it started, I was speechless. It was mesmerizing as I listened to the music while watching the interplay between lights and water. I remember thinking how great it would be to see this with a mate. It was that romantic.
We stayed for several shows and during one of them I heard my phone ring. I ignored it, thinking it was one of my brothers calling to see where we were. But it didn’t stop. As soon as it went to voice mail, it rang again. By the fourth time, I knew it must be important so I told Logan I was stepping away and headed over to a quiet area.
Well, it wasn’t a brother calling. It was my friend Jimmy and what he
said broke my heart… I could see the pieces falling in a million shards to the concrete sidewalk below. I remember staring at my feet wondering how I would ever pick those pieces up and put them back together. I remember hanging up the phone, numb, standing still, wondering how I would ever tell my brothers their whole world had disappeared in a flash. Everyone gone. Killed. Before I knew it, tears were streaming down my face while I was trying to gulp in air. I couldn’t breathe. The air around me disappeared and I was left in a vacuum of grief.
Somehow, Logan sensed something and came to find me. I remembered his large arms wrapping around me, trying to give comfort, still not knowing it was his tragedy too. He kept asking me over and over what was the matter as my sorrow consumed me and made it impossible to answer him. I’ve thought back about that moment and all I can remember is that I would never be able to give my younger brothers and sisters the trip to Disneyland. Funny how the most ridiculous thoughts enter your mind when faced with the loss of people you love.
Finally, I was able to stutter out the disaster that had befallen our family. As my words reached Logan’s mind, I saw raw and soul-numbing grief sweep across his face. We stood there for some time, clinging to each other as we tried to come to grips with our new reality.
Eventually the last words Jimmy spoke to me surfaced in my mind and I knew I needed to find my brothers fast. They were in danger and it was now my responsibility to protect them and keep them safe. Logan felt my body stiffen as I realized my brothers were out in Las Vegas, alone and easy prey for the wolves hunting to kill us. I reached for my phone and dialed Cody. Colton and Carson would be with him. Logan called Dakota and Zane. We told them to stay where they were and we’d come to them. I didn’t want them to be exposed any more than they were already.
Once we were together again and sitting in the van, I explained what happened. By far, it was the hardest thing I ever did and I barely kept myself together. Zane broke down and Logan climbed in the back to comfort him. As the news sunk in, I saw Dakota close up and retreat into himself. The triplets had each other and I could see them forming their circle as they always did when needing support and I knew right then they would weather this together. It was a lot like Logan and me—having a built in support system that was yours alone.
But Dakota and Zane, well I’m not afraid to say I was worried about them for different reasons. Dakota was close to our mom and Zane just as close to our dad. So I knew both of them felt like someone had kicked their legs out from under them and both were on the ground, trying hard to catch their breath.
I sat there, trying to figure out where we could go. Our pack lands were out of the question. And as I glanced in the rear view mirror, I saw my brothers looking at me… no… they expected me to lead them. That’s when I realized I was now their Alpha.
Oh gods, it hit me like a ton of bricks. From now on, it was my decisions that would determine the fate of my brothers. No longer was I an Alpha-in-training. No, that ship sailed without me on that warm May night. I remember how anger surged through me at that moment. Fuck my uncle! I remember thinking I was too young, too inexperienced, but I didn’t have a choice. My brothers’ lives depended on me making the right decisions. Part 2 of 3.