Fate Forgotten
any more. He had Annie and couldn’t fathom life without her. Now he’d found his fated—Valerie. Annie came above his needs and desires. She was his life, but for Valerie, there would always be room.
    Would she accept him and Annie? His stomach soured.
    He should be more concerned with befriending her first since his fated wasn’t fond of him, but not many women would be interested in raising someone else’s child.
    Jacob couldn’t worry about that now though. He wouldn’t ruin the moment he found her.
    “I hope you don’t mind I left Valerie here with Annie. Joce was having some pain. We thought maybe she’d gone into early labor or—”
    He faced Ashley. “It’s fine.”
    “Are you sure you aren’t upset? I could understand if you were—”
    Clyde wrapped his arm around Ashley. “It’s fine, angel. He’s not angry.”
    Jacob’s eyes narrowed. “You aren’t reading me, are you?”
    “I don’t need to read you to know she’s yours. You’re smooth.” Clyde smirked. “Congrats.”
    Ashley’s eyes went wide. “She is? But I thought you said you met her—”
    Ignoring Clyde’s jab, he addressed Ash. “I had, but I…She created an illusion to disguise herself.”
    Her jaw dropped. “Why in world would she do that?”
    Clyde’s eyes narrowed. “Because when she met Jacob, he’d been stewing in anger, per usual.”
    Jacob’s gaze shot to Clyde. He glared. “I’ve been better.”
    “When Annie’s around. When she’s not, you’re back to your old ways.”
    In his defense, he had a lot to worry about. The angel knew it and purposefully tried to infuriate him, ruin the moment he found his fated. He wouldn’t let him.
    Turning to Ashley, instantly, his expression softened. “Why did you apologize to her when you got here? You felt guilty about something.”
    “Oh…” She covered her mouth with her hand. After a pause, worry emanating from her, she released a breath. “She’s scared of you.”
    “Yeah, she told me.”
    “She did?”
    “She was sleeping when I got here. When she woke, she shot me with magic, then apologized. She said I was giving her the ‘death stare.’ ”
    “Death stare?”
    “I guess that’s what she calls it when our eyes glow.”
    Ash’s brows quirked. “But your eyes were glowing because you found her, not because you were angry, right?”
    “Yeah, I guess to her it didn’t seem that way. She said when we met, she created the illusion because I’m always angry and because I’m…intimidating and…mean.”
    “Are you surprised?”
    Ashley glared at her mate, and then addressed Jacob. “Oh, Jake, don’t worry. She’ll get to know the real you, and she’ll love you.”
    She said it like she believed it with her every breath. He needed that now more than ever. Pure Ashley, so sweet and nice. Of all the immortals living at the compound, she’d befriended him. He still couldn’t fucking believe it. Not for the first time, he thanked God he hadn’t managed to push her away.
    “I hope so.” The image of Valerie’s face came to his mind. He grinned. “She’s beautiful…”
    Ashley smiled. “Yes, and she’s great with Annie. You don’t have to worry about that, ever.”
    He wasn’t much for hoping, had never been, but now, it was all he had.

Chapter 12
    Over the sound of the blazing hot water cascading down his back, chest, and head, Jacob heard Annie’s soft cries. He quickly wiped the soap off, wrapped a towel around his waist, and materialized in her room. Her sadness struck him and wedged itself deep in his gut. His heart tightened in his chest.
    “Pupa, what’s wrong?”
    Tears streaming down her beautiful face, she said, “It’s M-Monday.”
    “Y-yeah. It is.”
    She cried harder. God! What he’d give so she’d never cry again. He picked her up, unconcerned with the water still dripping down his chest, and held her close. “Annie, please tell me what’s wrong. What can I do?”
    “Mommy made me…b-braid

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