Part 16: Happily Ever After

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We'd stayed in Las Vegas overnight, simply to catch up on sleep. Evan had called Robert before the SUV had even pulled away from the curb at the Bellagio and they'd spent the next ten hours tracking Caleb and me down. All in all, he'd spent nearly forty hours awake. There was no way I was allowing him to get on a plane to Portland without some sleep first. Noelle had decided to stay in Las Vegas for a few more days and I had a sneaking suspicion it was to spend time with Caleb. Evan and I were finally on our way back home after flying to Portland.

"Evan, did you know the President was a wolf?"

He grinned at me, "Nope. Didn't have a clue. CanUS doesn't publish a membership roster. I imagine we're supposed to keep that piece of information to ourselves. I know we have wolves in high places, I just didn't realize how high."

I remembered something I'd meant to ask him about before I'd been distracted by cute baby tigers at the Mirage, "What was Robert talking about when he asked you to 'think it over and get back to him'?"

"My grandfather is beginning to think about taking a break, his words not mine. He asked me to take over his spot on the Council for a few years while he takes a vacation."

I felt my eyebrows lift in surprise, "He can do that? Just hand his spot over to someone else like that?"

Evan shot me a look, "We're not a democracy here, Kimber. Granted, the Council tries to make decisions according to what they think wolves want, but in the end it's a rather rigid command structure. Wolves rule by dominance. After my grandfather, I'm next in line for a Council seat."

"So, are you going to take it?"

"No. I called him this morning and told him to pass it to the next wolf in line. I have no interest in sitting on the Council. Right now, I just want to spend time with you." He reached over and threaded his fingers through mine. I couldn't stop the warm, happy joy that spread through me.

When we pulled up in front of the house, Evan made me leave all the bags in the SUV. Before we went in, he came to stand behind me and clamped his hands over my eyes.

"No peeking."

"No peeking at what? What are you doing?"

"Shush, the pack has a surprise for us."

He led me through the doors and into the great room. I could hear other people in the room, but I had no idea how many. Evan moved his hands away from my face and settled them on my shoulders, "Okay, go ahead and look."

I opened my eyes and there in front of me was a Christmas tree that stood over ten feet tall. It was covered in lights, garlands, bows and beautiful ornaments. Marsh, Tasha, and a few of the other wolves stood there grinning from ear to ear. I took one look at the beautiful tree and my eyes filled.

"I haven't had a Christmas tree in a long, long time. It's the most beautiful tree I've ever seen," I whispered.

Evan wrapped his arms around me and hugged me from behind, "Caleb told me. I called Marsh and he made it happen."

I cried happy tears as I hugged Marsh and thanked him. "Nah, thank Tasha, she did most of the work. We just did what she told us to."

"Here," Tasha said, "We save last part for you." She handed me a beautiful glass star for the top of the tree. I hugged her fiercely before Marsh and Evan boosted me up like a cheerleader so I could put the star on the top of the tree. Once it was on, Marsh turned on the lights and everyone started clapping and howling.

My heart, which had already been so full of love for Evan, felt like it would burst with joy. I wasn't just home, I was with my family who cared enough to make even my simplest wishes come true. I thanked every one of them and made a silent vow to do a lot of Christmas shopping for my new family in the next few days.

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