The Alpha's Daughter - Chapter 29

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I shook my head mutely, taking in the indifferent expression on dad's face. He sighed, his face going pale.

"Your baby," he choked. "I thought it would be you. I thought he was after you. I wanted to keep you away from all of this." My hand fell to my abdomen instinctively, stroking it lightly.

"What?" I whispered.

He looked up at me with desperation in his eyes.

"I knew about the prophecy, Annie, and I thought it was about you." His voice faltered as he tried to stop tears spilling from his dark eyes. "I thought I was protecting you, darling, I swear to God I did." It took a moment for it all to process through. He had left me, because he had thought I was in danger? After all of these years of thinking he had just had enough, it was now that I was finally hearing the truth.

But now, I was beginning to realise properly that all of the fear he had felt, was about to be offloaded on me. It was going to be my child that Dante wanted. He was going to take my baby and I was going to have to pick up the pieces. There was no question of leaving as dad had done; Cal and I were in too deep now. Running would perhaps prolong the inevitable but, at the end of the day, he would come.

And that scared me.

Dad's head jerked up, listening to my thoughts. He just looked at me, pain flashing across his face. I could feel the tears welling up inside as every worst case scenario rushed through my head at once.

"Oh, Annie," he mumbled, pulling me into a hug.

And then it all came tumbling out. Every little niggling worry or fear about the child growing inside of me, reared their ugly heads and came spilling out in a pain-filled sob. My head was against dad's chest as I cried into his shirt, the walls I had built especially for him, pulling themselves down. Because, even though I had never wanted this baby in the first place, the thought of losing it made me sick to the stomach, the maternal instinct coming in fighting.

"It's going to be okay, sweetheart," he soothed, stroking my hair. "Daddy's here." That just made me weep harder, crying for everything he missed in my life because of Dante and his pack.

After a while, when I had run out of tears, I broke away from him, rubbing my eyes with the back of my hand. For once, I didn't feel ashamed for crying in front of someone. I felt sort of...relieved, really, that I no longer had to deal with it on my own.

"Are you going to talk to Cal now?" he asked soothingly. "Poor boy's going frantic." I sniffed, laughing at the thought of Cal nervously waiting downstairs. In all fairness, perhaps it was a bit cruel keeping him in the dark.

"Yeah," I sighed, running my fingers through my hair. Then I said it again, with more confidence. Dad chuckled and walked to the door, opening it slowly. He smiled warmly at me and his face completely lit up; it was such a change from the surly glower that he normally wore.

"What?" I asked, feeling slightly self-consciously.

"I'm going to be a grandpa again," he said excitedly, grinning from ear to ear. I rolled my eyes, but even I couldn't keep the small smile creeping across my face. I watched him leave and I knew that, in a few minutes, I was going to have to face Cal. It wasn't as if I was scared, but there was still that sense of foreboding.

I heard his footsteps on the landing and I held my breath, the knot in my stomach tightening as he got closer to the door. Moments later, he came through it, his face pale and his eyes bloodshot. Cal closed it behind him and stared at me, leaning against the wall with a terrified look on his face.

I sat against the headboard of the bed, just looking at him. I wasn't sure what to say. I didn't know how to handle this. There was no instruction book for situations like this.

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