Please read Max's POV on the situation in SuperNatural1985's one shot titled Strong Part 8.

I'd like to thank SuperNatural1985 for her amazing editing skills and for all her help and support! As she has already announced in her story, The Way to Live, Max will be making appearances throughout this story as one more of the Pack. I encourage you to please read Max's original story in The Way In, also by SuperNatural1985.

*Kim has now been introduced into SuperNatural1985's The Way to Live and was already featured in Struggling, Disastrous,It Begins, Broken Bonds, Hurt, Challenge, Aftermath, Werewolf Law 1 and Unacceptable.

Happy Ending – Mika

This is the way you left me,

I'm not pretending.
No hope, no love, no glory,
No Happy Ending.
This is the way that we love,
Like it's forever.
Then live the rest of our life,
But not together.

Wake up in the morning, stumble on my life
Can't get no love without sacrifice
If anything should happen, I guess I wish you well
A little bit of heaven, but a little bit of hell

This is the hardest story that I've ever told
No hope, no love, no glory
Happy endings gone forever more
I feel as if I'm wasted
And I'm wastin' every day

This is the way you left me,
I'm not pretending.
No hope, no love, no glory,
No Happy Ending.
This is the way that we love,
Like it's forever.
Then live the rest of our life,
But not together.

2 o'clock in the morning, something's on my mind
Can't get no rest; keep walkin' around
If I pretend that nothin' ever went wrong, I can get to my sleep
I can think that we just carried on

This is the hardest story that I've ever told
No hope, no love, no glory
Happy endings gone forever more
I feel as if I'm wasted
And I'm wastin' every day

This is the way you left me,
I'm not pretending.
No hope, no love, no glory,
No Happy Ending.
This is the way that we love,
Like it's forever.
Then live the rest of our life,
But not together.

Ch 38 Unbroken

I stared down at the keys and for the first time in my life my mind was blank. No songs, no notes and no lyrics came to mind. My grief was as raw as it had been two weeks ago, only now I wasn't hiding behind my wolf and I was dealing well with what I had done. Antonio and Jeremy had offered to speak to me about it, but I'd turned them down. It's not that I couldn't talk about it, but I didn't want to with them. I had already given my mate an earful and for now that was enough.

I sighed softly and stood, but Max quickly took my hand and held me in place. I sighed again, a little louder now and gave my little brother a look just as Reese growled from the couch. Max instantly backed down, the determination in his eyes burning bright. I briefly wondered if Max and Reese would always be like this around me, but then decided on forever. They were both just too dominant, especially Reese and especially around me.

"I'm trying, Max. I just don't know what to sing," I said softly and walked away from the piano towards my mate who quickly wrapped an arm around me, pulling me to him. I snuggled into him and looked back at my brother who looked none too happy. A pang of hurt ran through me as I realized that I was disappointing my brother way too much this week.

I had been human for a week now and slowly retaking my life where I had left it. The only thing I hadn't gone back to was the academy. Alex was now officially a missing person, as was Abbey, and I had no idea if I could go face everyone, but that wasn't the only reason why I wasn't going yet. Music was what brought Abbey and me together in the first place, so I knew that the moment I played or sang I would fall into a tearful fit and I would much rather have it at home than at the academy.

I had already tried a hundred times to play something, anything, everyone in the house trying to get me to sing or play, but I couldn't. I just couldn't think of a song that described what I felt. I missed my friend, so much, but other than the regret of having put her in harm's way I only had one other. Just before my performance I had told her all I had ever wanted to tell her and how much she meant to me, but maybe I should have given her the option to continue being my friend with the knowledge of what I really was. She had had the right to know what she was getting herself into. I had no idea if I would have told her if the opportunity had presented itself since it was forbidden to say anything, but now it was a regret I would live with for the rest of my life.

"Come on," I smiled and gestured to my brother, "let's see if we can pass that last level on Uncharted." He hesitated for a moment but then obliged me, standing and coming over to me to take my hand.

"Just promise me that you'll keep trying, Kim," he pleaded, giving me his puppy dog eyes look. I grinned at him and nodded.

"I promise, hon," I said, squeezing his hand tightly as Reese started leading us out of the room. We went straight to the games room and I was just setting the game up when Noah walked into the room. I hadn't even heard him get home. I quickly gave the controller over to Reese and gestured for him to play as I went to greet my brother.

"Hey, sweetie," I grinned, embracing him as tightly as I could while he returned the hug full force, the sounds of shooting and dying playing in the background. When we finally pulled away, I gave him a once over, inwardly smiling at the fact that he had gained back most of his weight. I had made sure that he ate almost double than what he normally ate and had also put him through an intense training routine. With his werewolf metabolism he had quickly gained back the weight he had lost after Abbey's death. The sad truth is, though, that if it weren't for my mate I probably would have lost weight as well.

"How'd your exam go?" I asked as we sat down on the couch together. Reese glanced at us from the other couch he shared with Max but said nothing. Noah and I were close, really close as brother and sister and Pack mates, but he didn't push the limits on our relationship like Max did which is what pissed Reese off, or to be more exact, it pissed his wolf off. Again, I was just really thankful that Max was gay or there would be bloodshed for sure.

"Okay, I think," he said, watching the TV. I sighed softly and shook my head. My brother's insecurity irritated me severely sometimes.

"I'm sure you did great, hon," I murmured, taking his hand in mine and leaning against him. Noah had had a hard two weeks as well, but he was going to school and I wasn't. I guess it wasn't really fair but I knew that I only had a couple of days at the most before the Alpha ordered me to go back to the academy.

Reese and Max were going to school as well, though Reese had much more to catch up on since he skipped out on a lot of classes during my week as a wolf to be with me. As soon as I was human again I gave him a good kick in the ass for being an idiot—though a loving and caring idiot—and sent him off to study. Max, after the misunderstanding once I had Changed back with him believing I was leaving and all, had been treating me like nothing ever happened, except for the small matter of him making it his personal duty to get me to sing again. Reese was pushing me too but not as much since he knew I would sing when I was ready.

We played video games for the next couple of hours, bickering and laughing until it was time to make supper. Noah and I left Reese and Max to their killings and went to go make the meal. It was our turn and I was glad to have some time alone with Noah without Reese hovering nearby. He was still very on edge after the whole Turner incident, but who could blame him?

"Hello, bambinos," I heard Antonio call from behind us as we worked at the island counter. I dropped what I was doing and spun around, going straight over to the man I was proud to call my father. When I reached him he leaned down, allowing me to kiss him on the cheek.

"Hey, dad," I said as I hugged him to me. As I pulled back Nick stalked past us with a tired look on his face and, without so much as hello, he went straight to the fridge, pulling out a beer.

"Long day at the office, I see," Noah chuckled lightly, grabbing a beer for himself. Nick just shrugged and muttered something indecipherable before gulping the beer down. His tie was half undone and his hair looked oddly out of place in its current messy state. Normally, Nick was really picky about such things, but I guess he was too tired to care. Both men had worked until supper time, so it really had been a long day for them.

"Supper's almost ready," I announced, talking more to Nick who was eyeing the food hungrily. "If you can set the table, I'll go get Reese and Max so we can eat." I smiled up at Antonio who grinned back, pulling off his tie and jacket as he headed out the door. I was just about to follow him when Noah stopped me.

"Wait, I'll go get Reese," he said hastily, drying his just washed hands on his jeans and coming to me. I smiled at him and shook my head.

"It's okay, I'll go," I said, watching as Noah shot a nervous glance over at Nick who was deep in conversation with his third beer. Without another word, I took off in search of my mate. The games room was empty, so I followed his scent through the house to the back door. Max had taken off up the stairs where I could hear the shower running in the distance.

I took a moment to put on my shoes and then went outside, stepping into the chilly March night. I blinked for a moment and waited for my night vision to kick in before I set off down the path that took to the guest house. I didn't find it odd that Reese had gone there since he still had most of his possessions there. What was odd was that Noah hadn't wanted me to come out here.

I reached the not so small guest house and walked in without knocking. I froze in the doorway. Boxes upon boxes covered the entrance floor and beyond, random items spaced between them. Walking through the mess, I reached the kitchen counter where I could find photo frames of all kind with pictures of the Pack. There were pictures of Reese and Noah from a time before I had known them, pictures of Reese and Nick, Reese and Nick and Reese and…me.

Ignoring the rest of the photos, I picked up the photo of me and Reese that had been taken on New Year's Eve. Reese was holding me from behind with his arms wrapped around my waist and his head leaning on my shoulder. I had my hands over his arms, smiling shyly at the camera while Reese had a full blown grin on his face.

I stared at the image, tracing us with my fingers. New Year's felt like such a long time ago. So many things had changed since then. The man holding me tightly against him in the photo was no longer the person for which I had fought with my feelings daily to make sure he wouldn't figure out how I felt. Now he was my mate, my lover and partner for the rest of our lives. I had worked through my insecurities and had given myself to him. We were bonded for life, something I had never even dreamed of in my wildest dreams.

"Kim, what are you doing here?" I suddenly heard and jumped, almost dropping the frame. I hadn't heard anyone approaching. I turned to see my mate walk into the kitchen/living room from the bedroom which was a visible mess behind him. He was carrying a box in his hands which he slowly dropped to the floor while I stumbled around searching for my voice.

"I…um…we…supper," I said, putting the picture frame back on the counter with the rest while avoiding Reese's gaze. "Supper's ready," I finally managed to say, only to add, "Why didn't you tell me?" I tried to keep the hurt from my voice, but I don't think I managed it. Yes, we were mates for life and, although I had worked through most of my insecurities, I was still a little unconfident.

"Because I didn't want to pressure you, sweetheart," he said gently, coming over to me as I stared around at the boxes that contained years of memories and mementos. Now I understood. We still hadn't addressed the moving in together issue. "When you're ready we can give it a shot, okay?"

"Where are you going leave it all?" I asked softly, ignoring his last words. He was always waiting for me to be ready. He had waited much too long for me to be ready to be his mate, too long.

After becoming his mate I had thought back on moments when Reese's control over his instincts to claim his mate had been almost readable, at least to me. The night he had brought me here to tell me about the Australian Pack and my father and so many moments more, but I knew that his control was tested to its limits the night he went after Mark. Had that happened after we had mated I knew for certain that Reese would have claimed me the moment he got home. He didn't, of course, so, thinking back on it, I realized how my going to him that night pushed his control to the very limits. I also knew for certain that if he had tried to take me I wouldn't have stopped him.

"My old room," he said simply, instead of saying "his room". It was pretty much his room nowadays and it had been for a while now. The guest house was now what it really was, a guest house.

"But…why?" I whispered, staring back down at the photos and focusing on the one of us, Max and Noah. We were all on the back porch and once again Reese was holding my tightly against him, showing the world who I "belonged" to. This was before the Mark incident as well.

"Because I don't want to be any further away from you than I have to," he said as he wrapped an arm around my waist. I looked up at him and felt tears start to form in my eyes. Without hesitating, I lifted myself on my tip toes and wrapped my arms around his neck, closing my lips on his. He instantly kissed me back possessively, making me lose myself to him until I couldn't breathe anymore.

"Move in with me," I gasped the moment we parted, leaning my forehead against his. I felt Reese tense against me so I quickly kissed him again, trying to prove to him that this is what I wanted.

"Kim, I…," he started to say when are lips parted momentarily, but I shut him up with a deep kiss. I was sick of him always waiting for me. Besides, what was the point in prolonging something that was inevitable?

Once I felt his body relax and felt as he gave into my kiss I pulled back. I had made my point, I think. "You're moving in with me and that's that, Reese Williams. I'll talk to Nick later so we can repaint it and move around the furniture to make more room," I half declared, half ordered. A huge grin suddenly appeared on my mate's face, lighting up the whole room. Slowly, he took a few steps away from me, his hands dropping away from me. His pure blue gaze just stared at me, the grin still painted on his face. I fidgeted under his scrutiny and looked away, feeling the blush bloom on my cheeks.

"You've changed," he said simply into the silence, drawing my eyes back to him. I bit my lip and nodded as I wrapped my arms around myself. Yes, I had changed, but I had changed long before Turner had come along and taken Abbey from me. It felt like a long time ago that I hadn't even dared to sing in front of anyone for fear that they would see who I really was.

"I'm not afraid anymore," I whispered, closing my eyes and taking a deep breath. "I'm not so…broken." I opened my eyes just in time to see Reese frown at me before understanding lit up his face. "You helped me heal," I said softly.

Reese was on me before I knew it, forcing me back a couple of steps as he devoured my mouth and I devoured his. Gone was the girl that had feared going this far with a boy. Gone was the girl that had doubted she would ever meet "the one." And gone was the girl that would never have believed that a man like Reese could have been into her. Of course, I still found it hard to believe myself, though I think that any girl waking up beside him would wonder how lucky she got.

"Kim! Reese!" I heard Max's voice call from outside just as Reese hauled me up into the counter, sliding his hands under my top. We ignored the call, but of course, that didn't dissuade our brother. He knocked loudly on the door, shouting, "Food's going to get cold, guys." Sighing, I pulled away from my mate, giving him a look when he growled lowly at the door. Some things would never change it seems.

I hopped off the counter and went to the door, swinging it open. "Oh, shit," he breathed, his face falling the moment the smell of our arousal reached him.

"It's okay, hon. Come on, let's go eat," I grinned with a wink, taking his hand in mine and tugging him towards the house while Reese walked up beside me, muttering something about dessert. I smiled to myself knowing that Max could be forgiven for interrupting us—again—since he was so willing to share the food with us. More often than not, if you were late for a meal in a werewolf house you were left with no food. That Max had come out to get us proved how much he cared for us and respected us. Our brother and sister relationship was more proof of how far I had come. Max had a very long way as well. He had experienced his own change since I had arrived.

Supper was a silent affair as it was custom for werewolves. It was Reese and Nick's turn to clean up and I was just about to relieve Nick of his duties so I could talk to my mate about the living situation when Antonio asked me to go with him to his study. Curious, I followed him without a word. If he wanted to speak in his study, it was either a private matter or an important one or both.

"Princess," he smiled as soon as we were seated at his desk. He crossed his strong arms on the table and gazed at me, much the same way Reese had looked at me as well. "I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you," he eventually said, a sad smile coming to his lips. "When we first met I had promised myself that I would help you on your way to becoming both a werewolf and a woman. And as I look at the beautiful young woman before me, I know that I succeeded, but I didn't do it alone."

"All I needed was someone to care," I whispered, remembering what he had said so long ago. "And a family that loved me and believed in me." I felt tears threaten but I pushed them back. Even if they were tears of happiness I needed to get over crying so much, though when I was with someone that was crying I doubted that I would be able to stop myself.

Antonio smiled at me from across the desk and without a word he opened a drawer beside him and extracted a large envelope. Silently, he pushed it towards me and sat back in his chair. I stared down at the yellow envelope, hoping that it was what I thought it was. With trembling hands I opened it and let the contents fall onto the desk, déjà vu instantly washing over me. It felt like my first day here at Sorrentino Estate.

I stared down at the objects before me, unable to hold back the tears now. Credit cards, passport, ID card, everything that had and would ever carry my name was before me. Except they no longer read Kimberly Anne Vera. I was Kimberly Anne Sorrentino. Jumping from my chair, I ran over to Antonio and hugged him, falling onto his lap. He chuckled softly as I thanked him, happiness coursing through me.

"You're part of my family, principessa, but you don't need these documents to know that," he said gently as he stroked my back with his hands. I nodded into his chest, knowing that he was right. Family wasn't a feeling that could be written on a piece of paper.

Reese POV

As I watched my mate study the colour pallets I couldn't help but think how much my life had changed since I met my Kim. After arriving here to the States I had gone on a prolonged celibacy. I just hadn't been ready for sex or dating after what I had been through. Even though I had been slowly getting back into all of it shortly before meeting Kim, she broke through all of the walls I had placed around myself to protect myself.

In Kim I found the perfect partner in every way possible. She was strong minded and was more than up to the duty that fell on her for being my mate. She was a born leader in my opinion and she accepted the position without complaint. Kim loved her brothers and would do anything for them and I mean anything. She was also physically strong, strong enough to take me down if I lost it. She was amazingly generous, always giving without asking for anything in return. And, of course, we were sexually compatible.

"Blue," Kim said suddenly, pointing at one of the dark blues on the pallet she was holding.

"A bit dark, isn't it?" I said gently, trying not to upset her or anger her. She had quite a temper when she wanted to. But she just rolled her eyes as if frustrated that I hadn't understood which I obviously hadn't.

"We're only going to paint one wall dark blue, the others will either be a sandy colour or a light grey," she said, looking down at the lighters colours on a different pallet. She suddenly tensed and looked up at me biting her lower lip. "Unless you don't want that…," she said slowly. I grinned at her and shook my head.

"Whatever you think is best, amor. You and Nick understand this whole decoration thing better than I do," I said, making my mate smile again. She was still insecure about herself, though she had come a long way from when we first met. I would make sure to grow her confidence even more, though.

"I like dark blue if you do, sweetheart." For some reason that made her blush furiously, her gaze falling from mine to the pallets in her lap. "Kim?" I said gently, laying a hand on her thigh. I saw her bite her lip before she looked up at me, her eyes indecipherable.

"I really like dark blue, especially this one," she whispered, pointing down at the blue again. I nodded and waited for to keep going. She would tell me eventually, all I had to do was wait for her to work through her insecurity to tell me. "It, um, reminds me of your eyes," she said in an almost inaudible whisper.

"Sweetheart," I groaned and stood, going over to sit beside her and pulling her onto my lap. She let me move her and rested her head on my shoulder, gently nuzzling my neck, but I pulled back so I could look her in the eyes. "You're amazing," I said simply. She smiled shyly and leaned into my neck again. I would have made love to her right then and there to reinforce her confidence, but that would have to wait for now.

"So," I said and grabbed the pallet she had been looking at, "what are we going to put the blue with?"

We ended up choosing a light grey and once that was settled, we went to the guest house and grabbed a few boxes, taking them upstairs to our bedroom. Thankfully her walk-in wardrobe was as big as a room, so all we had to do was move a few things around and there was more than enough room for my things. Not that I had many things anyway. Nick and Antonio had tried to spoil me just like everyone else and they mostly succeeded, but every time they got me something just to spoil me it was a painful reminder of how my parents had spoiled their only child.

We had been moving things around for about an hour when I found it. I was emptying out one of Kim's underwear drawer the contents of which could go elsewhere she said when I found several pieces of music paper hidden inside. I pulled them out and stared down at them. I might not be able to read music but I could definitely read the lyrics.

"Kim," I said and turned around. Kim, who had been moving her underwear to its new location, turned to face me. "What's this?" Her face fell and a blush blossomed on her cheeks, deepening by the second.

"I…um…that's a…," she stuttered, looking at anything and everything but at me. I strode forward and placed a finger over her lips, silencing her instantly.

"It's okay, amor, I just wanted to know why you wrote this. It's…heartbreaking," I said gently, removing my finger. Sighing softly in relief, she gazed into my eyes and bit her lip nervously. I could have backed off and told her that it was fine and that I didn't need to know, but I did need to know.

The song spoke about the sadness she felt because she would never be able to be with someone because he was leaving and he didn't want her. That was the gist of it anyway. I knew how Kim thought and I could read through the lines. I knew she had felt like this before we became mates, but I had never thought she had felt so lonely and helpless.

"I…I wrote it the night you went after Mark, while I was waiting to know what they were going to do to you," she said, for once keeping her eyes on me instead of averted. We were progressing on this, at least. "I was just so scared that night. I had no idea what they were going to do to you and I—"

I cut her off with a swift kiss that had her tripping back against the wall where I pressed my body against hers, holding her there. The tension quickly left her body and I could soon smell her arousal growing, intertwining with my own.

"I'm never going to leave you, Kim, never. I love you so, so much," I whispered into her neck, inhaling her sweet scent which was an explosive cocktail for my arousal. "Nothing will ever, ever change the way I feel about you."

"I know," she said and quickly added, "I know that now." She sighed softly and I pulled away to look her in the eyes. She lifted a hand and touched my hair lightly. "You don't know how far away from me you felt back then, Reese. To have you was a hope I hadn't even dared to dream."

I kissed her again, harder this time. If only I had known how she had felt. I had known that she wanted me, but I hadn't known how much she was suffering. I had waited because I had wanted her to be ready before I told her that my wolf had mated me to her, but now I could see that she had always been ready and that by waiting all I had done was hurt us both which would explain why Max and everyone had been so insistent about us being together. I'd thank them later.

"I love you," my Kim moaned when we parted for air. I groaned and was just about to forgo the surprise I had in store for her when someone knocked on the door. I growled lowly and Kim sighed as she pushed me back, brushing her hair away from her face. She called for whoever it was to come in and in came Noah and Max.

"Hey," Noah grinned, his nostrils flaring as he caught the smell of our arousal. He gave me a look and shook his head. He knew I really wanted to give Kim a surprise, but he also knew how difficult this was on us, even if Kim didn't know it yet.

"Can we help, Kim?" Max asked as he went over to Kim who was picking up some of the clothes off the floor. She tensed at Max's question and bit her lip, looking over at me for help. She didn't like lying or throwing people out of her room, so she was stuck.

"We would rather do this alone, guys," I said, preferring to go with the truth since Kim would be upset if I lied to the boys. Noah grinned at me and sent me a thumbs up from the doorway before leaving. Max, on the other hand, gave Kim a quick peck on the lips before escaping my wrath.

Kim sighed at my growl and muttered something inaudible as she bent down and started folding the last of the clothes. I honestly didn't mind that Kim and Max were close. She was close to Noah as well. What I did mind was that he liked to push the limits on their relationship, something neither I nor my wolf liked one bit. But I have to say that had it been Noah who was crossing the line I would have exploded long ago. Max was gay and wasn't really a threat, but he was still trespassing on my territory. Kim understood that, but it ticked her off that we played these dominance games daily.

Without a word, I strode over to her and kneeled beside her, pulling her into my arms and engulfing her with my scent. This always helped when I felt my territory had been trespassed. Kim snuggled into my chest with a soft sigh, breathing slowly. I may have hurt us both with waiting, but I didn't regret it. What was done is done, and everything worked out in the end. I had my brothers, my family, my Pack and, most importantly, my mate and that was all I really needed.


I jumped aside as blue paint flew past me and hit the wall behind me. I spun out of the way of another shot and drove my hand into the paint bucket, bringing it out and flicking it towards Reese, hitting him square in the face. I chuckled and tried to move back just as Reese tackled me, sending us onto the newspaper-covered floor. Shrieking, I tried to get out from beneath him to no avail.

Reese grinned down at me with his beautiful smile, his eyes dancing with laughter as he pinned my hands over my head. "No," I cried, but it was too late. Using one hand to hold mine above my head, he used his free hand to paint my face and, because I was squirming, my hair.

"You did not just paint my hair," I growled, making him chuckle loudly. Without warning, he brought his lips down on mine, kissing me hard. I groaned as he grinded against me, my arousal already high from our play fighting with the paint and, from what I could feel, so was his. Of course, he had been keeping me hungry for four days now, so that might have something to do with our growing need to be together.

I heard the door open eventually but I didn't look up. Reese still had a firm hold on my wrists and was using his free hand to explore my body while his lips locked onto mine. It wasn't until I heard a sigh did Reese pull back to glare up at the intruder. I lifted my head and saw an upside down version of Nick, his arms crossed over his chest as he stared at the wall Reese and I had started to paint.

"When were you guys planning on finishing it exactly?" he asked in an exasperated tone. I glanced at the wall and realized that we hadn't even made it to the halfway point; paint splattered awkwardly where our war had begun. Oops. It wasn't my fault, though. Reese was the one provoking me with his tight tee and jeans.

Reese got off of me then and helped me up, quickly pulling me to him for a quick kiss. I turned around and took a good look at the room. I was very thankful of the fact that the floor wasn't the only thing we had covered with plastic. Blue paint sprinkled the plastic cover we had placed over the bed and there was even some on the plastic that covered the wardrobe.

Nick walked over to the wall and sighed again, louder this time. "I'll call the painters. I'm sure they can have it done by late afternoon," he said, pulling his phone out as he made his way out of the room. He stopped at the door and turned towards us, saying, "Max and Noah wanted to go on a run after lunch, I think. You guys should go with them." After giving Reese a stern look he took off, closing the door behind him.

I sighed and strode over to the window seat, sitting over the plastic cover. "He's right, you know," I said, giving Reese a look. "You know I trust you and if you asked me to wait for my Change, I'll wait until you tell me, but it's been a week, Reese." It had been a week since we had both Changed and four days since we had had sex. The tension in my body was starting to get painful, the Change threatening to come the moment I let my control slip, something neither Antonio nor Nick agreed with.

Reese smiled apologetically to me and came over, taking my arm in his and feeling the tight tendons pulling beneath the skin. "I haven't gone this long without a Change before," I said softly, flexing my hand to tense out the muscles a bit.

"Okay," he said and without warning he took me in his arms and carried me from the room. I said nothing as he took me down the hall and into his old room, closing the door behind us and laying us on the bed. "I promise you the wait will be worth it," he whispered into me ear as he lied over me, pressing his body against mine as he started to nibble down my neck.

He was right. The wait was totally worth it, both the wait for our Change and our having sex. The tension our bodies built up when we forestalled our Change made for really great and intense sex, apparently. I could imagine why Reese knew this, but I didn't dwell on it. There was no use dwelling on the past, really.

Several hours later, by which time we had missed lunch, we emerged from the bedroom after having a hot and not so short shower. We went straight downstairs to the kitchen and ate until we could no more. Once we had eaten enough for a dozen people, we left in search of our brothers. Unsurprisingly, we found them in the games room.

"Guys, want to go on a run?" Reese asked as we stepped into the room. Noah paused the game and stood, smiling widely as he came over to us. Max stood as well and quickly came over to me, taking my hand as we started heading towards the backyard.

"Can we try again in the afternoon, Kim?" Max asked as the back door closed behind us. I inwardly sighed but nodded. I knew I needed to sing and I would do it if it would make Max stop worrying about me. But what would I sing? What song would let me express my regret for not having told Abbey the truth and yet let the world know that I missed her but I was letting her go?

As we reached the forest edge I picked up recent trails of familiar scents and smiled to myself. I glanced at Reese and I could see that he had smelt it as well. Noah and Max, however, still needed to learn how to use their noses. I was about to go in search of a bush to Change when two figures appeared in front of us, one taking Max down and the other taking Noah to the ground, landing on some thick underbrush.

"Dad," Max shrieked as Antonio started tickling his sides. I laughed and jumped out of the way when Reese tried to take me to the ground as well. I hear Noah shriek as well as Nick attacked him on the other side.

Suddenly, Reese tackled me and sent us flying to the forest floor. I growled up at him as he tried to pin me and struggled beneath him, trying to get the upper hand. But before I could do more than free a hand, he leaned down and kissed me, ignoring the fact that we weren't alone.

"Reese," I gasped when he pulled away to grin down at me. His smile faltered when he saw my face. Reese was a romantic and as such he thought the romantic thing to do was show his love for me in front of others. I wasn't so sure, though. I just wasn't all for the whole public displays of affection, even if it was just in front of our family.

"I'm sorry, amor," he whispered and leaned down to nuzzle my neck. I told him that it was okay as I threaded my hand through his hair, knowing that he hadn't done it intentionally. He just loved me too much to care what others thought. I didn't care what others though either, but it just made me uncomfortable. My past haunting me in a way I really wished it didn't.

A throat cleared beside us and Reese sat up, letting me see Nick looking down on us as he shook his head in mock-dismay. "Didn't you guys have enough this morning?" he grinned, failing to hide his intention. He tackled Reese and they fell with an almighty crash to the ground. I chuckled as I watched them struggle and shook my head. Boys.

I stood and looked around at the makeshift battleground that we had made and saw Antonio taking on both of my brothers. Of course, my father was winning. As silently as I could I made my way out of the battlefield and took off down the path. Once I was comfortably far way enough from my family, I ducked behind a large bush, stripped and started the Change.

When it was over, I collapsed onto the ground and waited for the last remnants of pain to pass while I rested. The Change had come easily since it had been a week since I had Changed, but it was still painful. It would always be painful, but it was worth it. To spend time as a wolf had no price, not even pain. Elena had once said that it was like giving childbirth, but I guess I wouldn't know that for years to come.

Slowly, I stood and sniffed, hearing as other members of my Pack finished off their Change. I followed the sounds of the grunts closest to me to the place where my mate was Changing. I whined softly to tell him that I was here and for him to hurry up. I wanted to play.

I sat and stood guard while Reese Changed and when the sounds of his pain stopped I poked my muzzle in. When he didn't react I put my whole head into the bush and saw my mate lying on the ground, panting heavily. I strode over to him and nuzzled his neck, greeting my wolf mate before licking him in an affectionate gesture. He whined softly and then stood on wobbly limbs, turning to lick me back.

Suddenly, a howl rang though the trees instantly calling to us. I jumped forward with Reese hot on my heels and together we barrelled through the woods towards the source of the howl. Antonio was calling his Pack to him. The forest flew beneath me as I ran and the trees blurred beside me. I grunted as I almost tripped in a dip on the ground but I kept running, relishing in the feel of the wind coursing through my fur.

Eventually, we burst into the clearing where our family awaited, Max and Noah tumbling in a fight to our right while Nick nipped Antonio and the jumped back in case of retaliation, repeating the process while Antonio waited patiently for us to arrive. I huffed and strode over to the boys, growling as I pushed Noah off of Max with my muzzle. Instantly, they stopped fighting and stood, watching Antonio for instruction. Antonio took off suddenly, ignoring Nick's continued playfulness, and we all followed him, our leader and carer.

Together as a Pack we set off in search of prey which we found a while later grazing in a large clearing. With no apparent signal, we bounded forward splitting into two groups. Max, Reese and I took down one of the five deer that had been eating while the other took down another, slightly larger one. Reese was as protective as always in wolf form so he made sure to keep Max and me out of harm's way, though that didn't stop me from landing the final blow and killing the frightened animal.

The bodies were then dragged to a nearby clearing as always and we all rushed to our respective kills, digging in. Sometimes we followed Pack hierarchy, sometimes we didn't. Today we didn't, mostly because there was more than enough food for all of us. I growled lowly at my mate when he came too close to my side of the food and he growled back playfully, pretending to come closer to my side again, but a nip in the ear from me stopped his attempts at playing.

As soon as we had all had our fair share we left for another clearing where the smell of the rotting corpse wouldn't bother us. I went for Max and Reese went for Noah, pinning them down while we cleaned them. Max squirmed beneath me, whining softly as he told me that he did not like the cleaning process one bit. I growled at him, telling him to let me do my job. Once I was done, though, Max came at me and licked me clean despite my grunts of protests.

Eventually, after all my brother's fussing, we were all sparkling clean. We gathered together in the middle of the clearing, falling into Pack hierarchy now that safety was the matter at hand. Noah and Max lied together in the middle in the glade while Reese and I took up positions on either side of them and Antonio and Nick covered us from the back and front. Some things would never change and this was definitely one of them. No matter what happened, we would always protect the younger wolves.

My body shook with laughter as I watched my family fight. No, for once it wasn't a tickle fest, it was a wrestling match, and while I could play with them I didn't really feel like it. Not today, at least. An unsettling feeling was eating at my insides and as I watched my family tumble and play, Antonio and Nick teaming up against my three brothers, I realized what was wrong.

It had been over five months since I was bitten, five months in which my whole life had been turned upside down. I had grown as a person, healing within until the point where I could hardly remember what it felt like to be broken. But I had been broken for so long that it was hard to believe that I had completely healed, and yet, looking at my family and feeling the happiness coarse through me told me that I really had healed.

With Turner gone, the person that had started it all, it felt like my life was reaching the end of a cycle. I had a place in the Pack, a family that loved me and a mate that I cherished. I had wonderful and caring brothers, an overprotective father and a territorial and yet amazing lover. Five months ago I would never have thought it possible for me to have any of these things.

This wasn't the end of something, though, it was the beginning. I had lost a friend and a sister and I knew I would carry the grief with me for the rest of my life. I had learned the price of my new life the hard way, but now I knew how to avoid making the same mistake again. Now I could rise to the height of my rank and use my experience to protect my brothers no matter what happened. I was starting to understand what the title of leader entailed.

Without warning, I jumped up and started heading towards the house. Someone called me back but I kept going. I finally had a song in my head and I couldn't stop. I needed to play it and now. It was so perfect that I wondered how I hadn't thought of it earlier.

I heard my family catch up to me eventually and Reese asked me what was wrong. I just shook my head and kept walking. I just couldn't explain the need I suddenly felt to play this song. I felt the grief start building up as the words played in my head, but I forced back the tears. First play and sing, and then I could breakdown.

When we reached the place where our clothes were, I took thirty seconds to dress and then took off again, still pulling on some clothing items and forgoing the shoes. I could hear my family speaking around me, though they were trying to keep quiet, but I ignored them. I was too focused on my destination to care about was being said in that moment.

I ran into the house and went straight to the music room, clambering awkwardly into the piano seat. Reese sat beside me and I could feel his and everyone else's eyes on me. I waited for them to stop moving around and pressed my fingers to the keys. Closing my eyes, I let the grief take over, letting it flow through me painfully as it led my fingers to play Happy Ending by Mika. This is for you, Abbey.

Tears rained down onto the keys before I had finished, but I kept playing and singing until I hit the last note. As soon as I stopped Reese wrapped me in his arms and held me as my emotions broke loose. I had had a few breakdowns throughout the weeks, my grief sometimes getting the better of me, but right then it felt ten times worse. I could feel myself letting go of Abbey. I would never forget her and she would always be the sister that saved me, but I needed to move forward.

Moving forward, though, also meant letting go of my other family. They were a part of who I was as well, but I needed to let them go. I would not let my past define me and they were my past. I was no longer the broken daughter that had once lived with them. I would grieve the thought of seeing my sister again. She did nothing to make me who I was and who I became because of my mother and stepfather, but for her safety I needed to stay far away from her.

"Kim," I heard a soft voice call and I pulled away from my mate to see Max standing beside me with Noah just behind him. Before I could say anything he pulled me to him, hugging me fiercely as Noah joined us.

"That was beautiful, princess," my father said and I felt as he kissed the top of my head. I nodded against Max's shoulder and then pulled back, looking around at my family. My family. I finally had a family that loved me and that cared about me and that I would do anything for.

"Max," I said suddenly and stood, wiping away the last few tears. No more dwelling on what was done. This was it. This is my life now and I was going to hold onto it with everything I had. "Call Addison and see if he can come over. I want to start working on my Julliard audition," I ordered. Max grinned widely at me and took off, Noah following him. Seconds later I heard as they began a wrestling match just outside the music room.

I sighed and shook my head. Boys really would always be boys. Reese took my hand then and started leading me out of the room. We passed Antonio and Nick who both grinned at me with their trademark smiles, betraying their father and son relation.

My mate and I strode from the room to find Max and Noah laughing as the tumbled on the marble floor. I turned to Reese and smiled up at him. He grinned back and leaned down, kissing me lightly on the lips. I had come a long way from who I had been before being bitten, but it was time to let go of the past and look towards the future. This wasn't the end, though. It was just the beginning.

The End

A/N: First of all, I want to thank everyone who took the time to review and for all the support. It is much appreciated, as always!

Secondly, Kim has come a long way since the story began and I feel like her story has only just begun, so I am happy to announce that I will be writing another story for after Fearless titled Reawakened in which I will be introducing Kim into the greater supernatural world.

Again, a big thank you to all and you can of course keep following Kim's story in Fearless.