Chapter 20: Definitely Tall Enough

"Titus?" The curtain parted, and the alpha stuck his head into the room.

"Hey dad, just give me a second, and we can go." The black werewolf splashed some water from a bowl on his head and patted down his fur.

Xavier cleared his throat and pushed River forward. "I also came to drop him off as well. We already had a talk about what's going to be happening today."

I gave River a knowing smile from where I sat on the edge of the bed. "You're going to be so hot when Peter and I get done with you. I'm sure we'll find you a man."

The golden werewolf stared at his feet, fiddling with his tail. He was trying really hard not to smile.

"Don't have too much fun." Titus ruffled my hair as he passed.

I glared at him as I flattened it. "Yeah like you at leadership training with your brother."

Titus groaned and went with his father into the hall. Xavier's voice could be heard lecturing his son about his important role as future beta.

"Come sit down." I nodded to the spot beside me.

River shuffled over and sat crossed legged. He continued to pick at his fur.

"Are you nervous?"

He nodded.

"Well, I've enlisted Peter, and he's an expert."

He bowed his head. "Thank you, for doing this. It means a lot."

I put my arm around his shoulder. "Come on, don't get all sentimental on me." I rubbed his back. "I don't want you to be an omega forever. You deserve better."

With a smile, he ran his hands up and down his legs. "Okay," he took a deep breath. "When do we start?"

"Right now." I grabbed his wrist and led him out the door. "Let's get you a husband."

"A mate," he said nervously. "A mate would be fine."

"Same thing." I stood outside my neighbor's cave. "Peter, we're here."

The curtains pulled to the side and gave us a both a grin. "I'm all ready. Hey, River, I'm Peter."

"I know," he piped up.

I could see a faint blush under his fur. Peter seemed a little surprised by his reaction.

"It's just..." River lowered his gaze. "Well, I... You're so beautiful. Your fur, I'm sorry. It just. Oh my god." Covering his face, he inched behind me.

The white werewolf just laughed. "Thanks. Let me grabbed my bag, and we can get started."

After retrieving his assortment of soap, Peter led the way to the hot pools. We went to the waterfalls. A few pack members were there, but none of the visitors. I guess the meeting was for everyone. Peter started setting out his things as River looked on, fidgeting.

"Well get over here." I took him by the arm and placed him on a rock above the water.

He sat up straight, looking around nervously.

"I know what I'm doing, River." Peter popped the lid off a bottle. "I promise I won't make your fur fall out."

He froze, glancing between us.

I patted his leg. "He's teasing." I took off my clothes and shifted.

"Oh," he breathed, relaxing.

Peter squirted some soap on top of the golden werewolves head and started scrubbing it in. The foam turned brown. We both stood behind him giving each other concerned looks.

He scrubbed harder, lifting out more of the dirt. "It's going to take a couple rinses, but we'll get you looking good for those dominants."

***

"I think we did it," I stated proudly.

Peter gave an approving nod. "He has a certain glow about him, don't you think?"

"You sure?" River ran his hand down his arm. "I looked alright?"

"We'll have to work on the sex appeal, but your fur looks great." I gave him a smirk.

The newly washed werewolf didn't appear too thrilled about the sex appeal comment as he examined himself. He shifted his weight from foot to foot. "Now what?"

"Well," I put my hands on my hips. "As soon as the meetings over, everyone coming to the hot pools. They shouldn't be much longer."

"What do I do?" His ears splayed to the side.

Peter took his hand and dragged him back to the waterfalls. "You can help me. I need a good bath."

Excitement filled River's eyes. "Okay."

I held in my laughter. His admiration for Peter was a little too obvious. They both had very handsome wolves, each for their own reasons. I wandered over to where I usually sat with Titus and slipped into the water. Laying my head back on the ledge, I closed my eyes. It felt good to just float. It had been more work than I thought. River had plenty of dirt caked under his fur.

Deep voices echoed down the hall and grew closer. I rolled over and saw a red werewolf hurrying toward me. That wasn't Darius.

"Aden." She waved at me. "You remember, right? Titus's grandma. I've been busy catching up with everyone, but now it's time I have one with my new grandbaby." She sat down at my side. "I tried to find you yesterday, but you disappeared.

I leaned back. She was a little too close.

"Tell me everything about you." She clasped my hand.

"There's not much to say. I pretty normal." I scanned the faces of the people coming in and spotted three familiar humans. Darius, Storm, and my mate were also with them. Titus sat on my other side while my parents and everyone else sat across from us.

My dad seemed to be getting along really well with Titus's grandpa.

"Rose showed me all the things you've carved. You're very talented," said Sage.

"Thanks."

"He's adorable, Titus. He really is." She patted my cheek. "Just look at this fur. You are by far the most precision thing I've ever seen." Sage squeezed my chin. "Don't you think so Thomas?"

The human man laughed. "Yes, dear. Titus found a very handsome young man, in both forms." He winked at me.

I scooted back against my mate. "Yeah, thanks."

Xavier arrived with Rose. "Everything go alright, Aden?'

I nodded. "He's up there with Peter. They're sure to get plenty of attention."

The alpha looked over. "He looks nice. You did a good job."

I shrugged. "If it gets him a mate, then it's worth it."

We talked for a while about random things. I mostly listened and try to dodge any awkward questions. Sage told us about their trips overseas, and all the packs they've met. I found out Thomas had been a forest ranger, before mating with Sage, which was probably the main reason my dad got along with him so well. They were outdoors people.

"You got your wish Titus," Sage said smiling at me. "You were just a pup when you told your grandpa you wanted a mate just like him. Human born."

Titus laughed hesitantly. "I got lucky." He hugged me to him.

My mother awed. "That is so unbelievably cute. Why didn't you tell us that? Isn't that just the sweetest thing?" she said to my father.

"Mmm..." he nodded. "It was meant to be, I suppose."

"I'll apologize for Titus." Sage looked me in the eyes. "I heard what happened. He got a little of me in him, but not nearly as bad as his brother. So count yourself lucky."

Darius scoffed.

"He really was just the kindest pup." She reached over and shook my mate's muzzle. "Why did you have to grow up? You two boys were just adorable. A handful, but you looked like angel, at least," she laughed.

Titus shrugged. "It's just how things work."

"Since we're on the topic of pups," said Storm, sitting up straight. "Darius and I have something to tell everyone."

The area fell still. If this was heading the way I thought, my mother didn't need to hear it.

"We're pregnant."

Rose screamed and covered her mouth. "I knew it. I just knew it." She hugged her daughter-in-law. "I'm going to be a grandma. I can't believe it." She looked to her son. "You're going to be a daddy."

"Mom!" He hugged her begrudgingly. "Don't make it weird."

"I'm so excited." Rose squealed with delight. "A new little pup."

Xavier patted his son's shoulder. "Congratulations."

"Thanks." He slipped his arm around Storm and kissed her cheek.

My mother's eyes had not left me since the announcement. Thank god, we were in water, or she would of been able to see the sweat soaking my fur.

Storm laughed softly. "Do we have any other announcements, Aden?"

My mouth dropped open. "Is this some subtle way to tell me I've put on weight? Because, it's not funny."

The group laughed.

"If we ever adopted, I'll be sure to let you all know," I said annoyed.

"You won't be adopting." Sage patted my leg. "We're werewolves. Our genes work differently, and that pack over there has a great solution for gay couples."

I looked where she was pointing. "Like what?" The pack were huge in human form, I didn't want to find out what they looked like as werewolves.

"Midfield been doing some test. It's still in research stages," said Xavier. "I didn't think you two were anywhere close to thinking about pups, but they create an egg with both of your genetics and through a surrogate you can have a pup of your own."

This time it was my mother squealing with delight. "I'm so glad you became a werewolf." She yanked me over across the cove and hugged me. "So how much longer until it's ready?"

"Mom," I muttered. "I'm not ready to have a kid. I'm eighteen."

"Time flies when you're married." She waved her hand to hush me.

Xavier let out a sigh and thought for a moment. "I'd rather they have a few successful births, before anyone in my pack uses it. Rupert has been following the research pretty close, so if you want to learn more, you might want to ask him."

"The charming young man with a scar?" my mother asked.

Darius shook his head, laughing. "No one has ever called Rupert charming in his life."

"You either," I shot back.

He narrowed his eyes with a smirk. "I really want my kid to have someone to play with and what would be better than a cousin."

I arched a brow. I really wanted to hit him.

"That is such a good point, Darius." My mother held my hands in hers. "You're not going to wait until I'm an old woman, before I get a grandbaby right?"

My shoulder dropped. "No, but it's not going to be this instant either."

"Oh course not." She kissed my cheek. "Titus still needs to finish raising you."

"Mom!"

She chuckled. "What? It'll be good practice."

***

I hugged my parents, before they climbed into the ATV. "Have a safe trip home."

"Be good." My mom blew me a kiss. "Mind your manners."

"Will do, mom."

"Bye, Aden," said my dad, before he turned to Titus. "Take care of him properly this time. Got it?"

"Yes Mr. Perri."

"Alright, you boys be safe." He backed out the ATV and started down the dirt path.

Sage slipped over after saying goodbye to her son with Thomas.

"It's so good to have you in the family," said Sage.

"It's a pretty good family to be apart of."

"You are just the sweetest thing." She flicked my chin. "My grandbaby did good. Yes he did." She went to hug Titus.

Thomas put his arm around me. "Don't let my mate scare you off. She's a wild woman, but she'll love you to the very end."

"I'm getting that impression. It was good to meet you."

"You too. Take care of Titus for us."

"I will. Have a safe trip."

The couple climbed into their ATV.

"Try to visit a bit more often," said Xavier.

"Oh, I'm going to have a great grandbaby soon, so I surely will." Sage pointed at Storm.

She put a hand on her stomach. "Well if it turns out like Darius, we're going to need your help."

Darius growled and wrapped his arms around his mate. "There's nothing wrong with that. We have to keep the alpha line in the family."

"Take care. Keep me updated." said Sage, behind the wheel.

"Like we can ever get a hold of you," muttered the alpha.

"Bye," we said together as they drove off down the trail.

"So what did you think?" asked Titus.

Grabbing his hand, we started back to the cave.

"They're nice. Darius makes more sense, but overall they're really fun to be around."

"Good to hear."

We reached the entrance.

"I have to go do some stuff with Darius and my dad."

"'kay, I'll just go back to the room and recover from my parents being here."

With a smile, he kissed the top of my head. "I'm just glad they didn't take you with them."

"Me too." Standing on my toes, I gave my black werewolf a proper kiss.

He left with his brother and father, and I wandered back toward my room. A very tall man in human clothes stopped me.

"You're Titus's mate? Aden, right?"

I nodded. "He went with his dad somewhere."

"Oh no, I wanted to ask you something."

"Like?" I said hesitantly. I didn't know if I should be worried or not.

"Yesterday, I saw you with a gold werewolf. Him and Rupert's mate?"

"Are you perhaps interested in him?" I baited.

The man with brown hair tensed up and shook off the idea. "Oh, it's my alpha. We might have someone interested." He scratched the back of his neck. "He's a really handsome young man, and I was told you knew his name, because my alpha was wondering."

"It's River."

"River," he said softly with a smile playing on his lips. He nodded and took a deep breath. "Thanks. I better go." He hurried passed me.

I watched him, before he disappeared down a side tunnel. Definitely tall enough. I think River would love a man like that.