It had been a couple months since our last parent meeting. Bobby hadn’t been upset. He told me that he didn’t want to be separated from me. I hugged him so hard he squeaked.
That night, I cajoled the kitchen staff into giving us extra dessert. They were feeling badly for us. Most kids were in here for a few months, maybe a year. As it was, there were bets that we wouldn’t get adopted until I aged out.
Christmas had been nice that year. We always got a present from Miss Tye and one from Queen Bellamy. She sent me a cellphone and told me I had service on it through the orphanage’s plan. Miss Tye got me a gift card to a clothing store so I could buy some more trendy clothes.
It was actually New Year’s Day that Miss Tye came running into the TV room. She looked really excited and bounced.
“Kay, we have a request to meet with your family!” She grinned.
“When?” I asked.
“In a month! They have some stuff to get ready. I think this is the one. I have a really good feeling, Kay!” Miss Tye said excitedly.
“You said that about the last one, Miss Tye.” I chuckled.
“Yes, but I lied. This is the one. Definitely.” She insisted.
I shook my head. “Fine. This is the one. We have a month for them to change their minds, but if they make it here, they will totally be the ones.”
She squealed and walked off chattering to herself. River, one of the younger teens looked over at me.
“You actually believe that?” She asked.
“No, but it makes her happy when we’re as excited as she is.” I snorted.
“I suppose. I hope she’s right, though. I’d hate to leave you behind if I get adopted.”
“You will, River. You’re only thirteen. Still young enough for people to want you. Plus, you’re rogue born. Rogues are more likely to adopt other rogues and they like older kids when they can get them, so they know they will be able to take care of themselves.” I assured her.
“Thanks, Kay.” River smiled.
We went back to watching the cartoon marathon we’d started the night before. At this point, we were fighting to stay awake. It wasn’t about the cartoons anymore, but seeing who could outlast the other. I loved the challenges the rogue kids thought up.
Two weeks later, I was saying goodbye to River. She was adopted by a rogue family who was based in the old Limb Torn region. This was probably the last time I would see her. Like so many of my other friends.
School started again and I was getting rides in the morning, because of the snow. I got a lot of compliments on my clothes. Some of the girls I knew exchanged phone numbers with me. At school, the pack born and rogue born kids stayed in their own groups. Otherwise, there was no real clique system.
I hadn’t expected it, but I was happy at how quickly I’d been accepted into the group of pack born students, even though I was an orphan. I’d managed a few friends in the rogue born group, too. They revered orphans because the queen was an orphan.
As it drew closer to the meeting date, I was more nervous than I’d been before. I think it was the transition from being a silly, hopeful, girl, to being a more jaded person. The words of the Harts echoed in my dreams some times.
Was I really selfish and cruel? I didn’t like how that felt. Over the last two years, I’d turned down a lot of couples who really wanted the twins. There had been a rogue couple interested in just me and Bobby.
Every family seemed disappointed when I refused. None of them ever called me selfish. They all said they understood how important family was.
When the day finally arrived, I was a ball of nerves. There was no school that day. I dressed the kids up after the littles had their nap and snack.
We went to the playroom together. Addy was pretending to cook food and Aaron was serving it. Bobby and I kept pretending to eat it. Bobby argued with Aaron that he wasn’t going to eat food he dropped on the floor, so Aaron was moving extra slow so he wouldn’t drop any of the play food.
The door opened and I looked up from my littlest brother, who was trying to feed me. Miss Tye walked in and waved someone in. I got out of my seat and patted Aaron on the head.
Two men walked in the door. They were both about six feet tall. The one on the left was blond with green eyes and a lightly muscled frame. The one on the right was much thicker. He had copper hair and light brown eyes. They both stood and scanned the room like warriors assessing a scene.
I walked over to the door and stood next to Miss Tye. She smiled at me with an excited light in her eye.
“Hello, I’m Kaysie.” I told them.
“Oh, goddess, you’re gorgeous. Isn’t she perfect, Jean-Claude? She looks like she could be my little sister!” The blond one grinned.
I pushed my own dark blonde hair behind my ear and smiled a little. No one had called me perfect in a long time. He seemed really nice.
“Don’t be scared by Dillon. He’s just really excited. We were going to wait another year or so, but I thought we would have more fun if we were younger. I hope you don’t mind. Miss Tye says you’re sixteen, that means you’re only about three years younger than me.” Jean-Claude said.
“Um… yeah.” I replied.
“I’m Jean-Claude Dubois, this is my mate, Dillon Metz. It’s nice to meet you.” He said and stuck out his hand.
I shook it firmly and he smiled even more. Warriors always wanted a firm handshake. My dad taught me that.
I turned to the other man and put out my hand. He grabbed it and pulled me in for a hug. It had been a long time since I’d been hugged by someone bigger than me. I froze.
We pulled apart and I led them over to the table. Aaron and Addy didn’t want to sit at the table. They wandered around and continued their game. This time they served everyone at the table.
Dillon asked Bobby a lot of questions. He got into talking about computer systems and things like that. Bobby ate it up. He loved techie things.
Addy came over and put a plate in front of Jean-Claude. She climbed into his lap and started feeding him the fake food. He pretended it was the best thing he’d ever tasted. It made Aaron feel competitive and he brought a basket of the fake food over.
I had never seen my sister and brothers take to people like they did to these men. It gave me great hope. All the previous interviews were stiff and nervous, but Dillon and Jean-Claude just seemed to fit into our family.
“What pack are you from?” I asked.
“Lune Rouge.” Jean-Claude answered.
“The same one Queen Bellamy is Luna of?” I gasped.
“Oh, yeah, Claude here is Bemy’s cousin. I’m her best friend.” Dillon grinned.
My eyes widened. “And, what do you two do for the pack, exactly?”
“I’m the head warrior. Dillon is the head of our technological and cyber security. He’s also an elite warrior and in charge of vampire training.” Jean-Claude smiled and leaned over to kiss Dillon.
“Wow.” I breathed.
They could definitely take care of my family. We would be safe there. Even if they didn’t really want me, I was going to make sure my siblings had that safety. This was the family I was looking for. They could be trusted.
“What are your plans for after graduation?” Dillon asked.
“I… I want to be a doctor.” I replied quietly.
“That’s amazing! We could always use more doctors!” He said.
“Are you sure you want me too? Most young couples only want the twins.” I told them.
Dillon got up and came to kneel next to my chair. “As you can see, we’re a little different than most young couples. You’ll be more like our little sister than our daughter. Though, I reserve the right to say ‘As the father of a teenager’ as often as I need to. And I’m in charge of dad jokes. Jean-Claude will just embarrass you by being overprotective.”
“We had an add-on put on our house so there are rooms for all of you and Dillon and I can still have our office. We’d really like it if all four of you would be our family.” Jean-Claude offered gently.
I looked at Bobby and he nodded his head with a grin. He really liked Dillon. The twins were crawling all over Jean-Claude.
This could be my family. I wasn’t bothered by having two dads. That just meant that Addy would be extra safe when she got old enough to be of interest to boys.
“Can I have time to think about it?” I asked.
“Sure. Do you all maybe want to come stay with us next weekend? You could see what the place is like and get an idea of what your life could be like.” Dillon offered. “We have the bedrooms all set up.”
“You were already set up for us?” I questioned.
“Of course. When I told Bemy we were planning to adopt earlier than we planned, she told me all about you. Katie gave a full report to her when you arrived. She really admired how you took care of your sister and brothers. Bemy agrees with you wanting to stay with your family and not break it up. When I heard what you did and how you’ve protected everyone, I just knew I wanted you to be my kid. I lost both of my parents to a rogue attack when I was a kid. I don’t know that I could have taken care of three other kids on top of it.” Dillon replied.
“Okay. We can come for a weekend. I’m not making any promises, but we’ll come with open minds.” I told them.
“That’s all we want. Thank you, Kaysie.” Jean-Claude said.
“You can call me Kay, if you want.” I murmured.
“Great!” Dillon cheered.
We talked for a while more, then they headed home. Bobby was excited. A home visit was something other orphans had done, but we’d never gotten to that step, because no one wanted all of us.
That night, I convinced the kitchen staff to give us extra dessert as a celebration. They laughed and agreed. The twins didn’t really understand why we were celebrating, but they weren’t going to say no to two servings of cake.