26

195 7 3


CHAPTER 26 – 3 YEARS LATER

"Lilith! Sit still!" Chase laughed as the small girl wriggled in her seat.

"But I want cake!" She whines, pouting adorably. She flicked her now shoulder length, fawn hair out of her russet eyes, cheeks flushing pink.

"Let us take a photo first!" Aiden urged, setting up the camera.

I rest my hands on Lilith's small shoulders. "Come on, Screeching owl, just wait a few more moments."

Once Aiden had finally set the camera up, he joined Chase, myself, Will, Nickoli, Raffi and Sahari behind Lilith's seat. A vanilla and raspberry cake in the shape of a smiley face sat in front of her, three little candles burning like beacons. The camera clicked quickly.

"Yay! Cake time!" Lilith exclaimed as soon as she could move.

William chuckled at her, taking away the candles she'd blown out in her haste. "You're so impatient!" He bopped me with his hip. "I wonder where she gets that from." He smirked cheekily.

I gasped, feigning offense. "I have no idea what you're accusing!"

Chase cut the cake, handing everyone a wedge. "Happy now, little Storm Demon?" He snorted.

"Mmm-hmm!" She mumbled around a mouthful. Crumbs fell from her chin and on to her lap.

Sweeping them away, I pinched her cheek. "Such a mess!"

Nickoli giggled. "This cake is almost as nice as my ring." He preened like a peacock, flashing his ring.

I rolled my eyes. "Stop banging on about it already!" I sighed.

He slapped my thigh. "I will not!" He pushed his nose up, pulled William close to him. My heart swelled like a balloon, ready to burst, as I saw the two of them. They were engaged now and getting married in August... but Nick refused to relinquish his stress ball, Willy's Willy- which caused endless for my elder brother.

As I cleared away plates, I glanced down at my own wedding ring- a simple silver band that looped in the middle- that Aiden had given me around two years ago now...

"Happy thoughts?" Aiden asked, wrapping his arms around my waist.

"Happy thoughts." I confirmed, resting my head back on his chest.

Everything had moved so quickly since Faulkner had been defeated. Aiden and I had gotten married, Nickoli and William got engaged, Raffi and Sahari are living together in the pack house, and most importantly, Lilith had grown into a beautiful little girl with Aiden in her smile. Chase had moved in with Grace, who now had her own little cottage- he was also attending school, which he was less pleased about.

But we still hadn't heard anything from Emma, nothing of her plans in all these years...

"Present time!" Raffi yelled, pulling Sahari off of her mouth- honestly the two were like animals.

First, Lilith opened Chase's present- he'd gotten her a personalised book called Lilith and the Storm. Next came Will and Nick's gift, wrapped in fluffy wrapping paper (No doubt Nickoli's idea)- it was a fluffy, grey owl teddy.

"Hey it's me!" Lilith giggled, hugging the toy tight. "Thank you Uncle Will and uncle Nick!"

After that, Raffi and Sahari gave her a 'Make your own superhero costume' kit. Lilith always insisted that if she were a superhero she'd be called Stormaggedon and have an owl sidekick called Hedwig (Which will probably be her new plushy).

Finally, Aiden and I gave her ours- we'd spent ages deciding what to get her, but finally decided upon a grey tent, that looked like a castle- a fort for The Storm Goddess.

"Thank you all so much!" She squeaked, hugging us all in turn. "This has been the best birthday ever!"

"Well you haven't had many." Chase laughed.

"True. But still." She insisted.

Seeing her happy made my spirit soar. She was everything to me and Aiden. Every time she laughed, I saw Aiden's smile on her rosy face and my laugh left her lips. Her nose wrinkled when she laughed like Chase's and her chin was dimpled like Will's. In her, I saw all of our family.


Claws.Where stories live. Discover now