Hmmm, something is for sure wrong with Jessie. He has failed to do his runs yet again. Marcel was on edge again, so while on my run, I had not smelled his scent. It should have been very strong, but it was faint. While checking in with the perimeter guards, they all informed me they had not seen him since two days ago. I am a bit confused, as he has never pulled a stunt like this before. I check in with every guard on duty and informed them to keep me informed when they last see him. Lex will not be happy about this. I head back to the packhouse to wait for Lex. I think I came up with a suitable cover story to buy the property next door. I just hope that Lex will go along with it.
As I get closer to the packhouse, I can smell Jessie. I transform back into my human form, throwing on the clothes we keep in lockers at the back of the house. I walk in the backdoor and see that Jessie is just sitting at the table talking and laughing with some of the other pack members. What the fuck is he up to?
“What the fuck is going on here?”
Everyone stops what they are doing, turning to look at me. Everyone but Jessie has confused looks on their faces.
“Jessie, do you care to explain yourself?”
“We are all just sitting here talking is all. What’s up?’
“First off, why are you here and not doing your rounds? Seems you have not done what Lexington told you to do.”
“I did my run earlier.”
“No, you did not. I just came from running the entire perimeter. Your scent is too faint out there for you to have just done it.”
Jessie is staring at me like he has no clue as to what I am talking about. I glare at him and growl lowly as I am getting pissed off from him lying to me. I will let some things go, but lying to me is not one of them. With him not doing his job could have possibly meant something was missed and put the pack in danger. I will not have that. Lex won’t stand for that either.
“I did my run. The guys saw me come in from the back. Didn’t you guys?”
He looks around like he wants them to back him up.
“Bruce, did you see him come back from his run?”
“Cana, I saw him walk in the back door but as to him doing his run, I can not say that I saw him as I did not.”
“What the hell Bruce. You know you saw me come in from my run.”
“I saw you come in the door but I did not see you running so I will not say I saw something I did not.”
“Thanks, Bruce, for your honesty. Did anyone see Jessie out on his run and not just walking in the back door?”
I look around the room and the table. Everyone just shakes their heads no.” FUCK, what is going on here with him? It is so out of sorts it is not even funny.” I think to myself. I feel my blood starting to boil from this blatant lie Jessie is giving me. I look over at Jessie and raise my voice to him.
“Jessie, you will get out of here and make your perimeter run now. If I find out you have not done it, then you will have a severe punishment. You are our Delta, so we hold you to a higher standard. Others look up to you. You are failing as a good example. I do not want to have Lex take your rank away from you. Now get your ass up and get the fuck out of here.”
“Sure I will go right now.”
“Oh, and Jessie, since you saw it fit to ignore orders from your Alpha/King, then you will do the runs that you have missed for the next week. He was nice enough to let you only do it a few days, but since you fucked up, you will do it for a week. I don’t want to hear anything about the time you will not be spending with Cherry. This is all on you.”
I really hate to talk to him like that in front of the pack, but they all need to see that he will not get away with something that I would let no one else get away with either. I want them to all know that just because he is the Delta does not mean and can ignore an order. I head to my office to wait for Lex to get some paperwork done. Being gone the few days we were has put me behind.
There is a knock at my door. I tell whoever is there to come in. Looking up, I see Lex there.
“Morning Lex. How was your day with Envy?”
“Mornin, it was actually really great. Horus and Indigo marked each other. So we are fully mated now.”
“That is great. Marcel and Zeva have not done that just yet. Does it feel any different from just the human form mark?”
“It has made the mate bond stronger. Also, it has put Horus and Indigo a bit more at ease.”
“That is great. I am so glad to hear that. I won’t push them to mark each other. I think when they feel the need, they will.”
“So anything happening that I need to know about before we talk about what we should say to the humans?”
“Actually, yes, one thing. Jessie didn’t do the perimeter runs you assigned him to do. I went for a run this morning as Marcel was restless again. The guards told me they had not seen him in two days. So I told him he has to do the runs for the next week. I made sure that everyone knew that just because he is our Delta does not mean he can do what he chooses when he is told to do something.”
“Holy fuck. What the fuck is going on with him? I do not like this at all. Something feels off. He is too responsible to do this. Thank you for handling it.”
“You are welcome. Yes, something is off. So I was thinking I have come up with an idea to tell the humans.”
“Oh really. Let’s hear it.”
Well, you know that land has always been great hunting grounds.”
“Yes, it actually has.”
“Well, I thought that we could let them know we would like to buy it from them so we could still use it for hunting.”
“I like that idea. It wouldn’t be far from the truth. Let’s take the truck and not the Escalade. I will meet you out front to go ahead and get this over with.”
“Okay, I am just going to shut down this document and be right behind you.”
As we drive up to the “house, there is a smell that is so not familiar. I have smelled nothing so horrid like this before. This place is like a mini fortress. I am shocked we did not even know they were building this. It is like it just about popped up right out of thin air. It is pretty quiet. I wonder how many people live here. As I get closer to the gate, I press the call box button.
“Yes, can I help you?”
“Hello, I was wondering if we could come in and talk to the owner of the property, please? We live next door on the land to the south of you.”:
“Oh yes, sure, come right in when the gates open.”
The gates are slowly opening. They are at least 12 feet tall made of wood. I am rather confused why they would feel the need to have walls and a gate so tall. The smell gets stronger as we go enter. It almost smells like someone is trying to cover up the smell of sulfur. I feel Horus getting even more on edge. He wants out, but I keep him under control. I can not have him going crazy on these humans. That would ruin any sort of peace between us and hopefully being able to purchase the property. I pull up to the house that is three stories tall. Getting out of the truck, I look over at Canagan. He has the same look as I do. We have both been surveying the surrounding area. We both put on our professional smile that seems to relax humans. I look up at the front door and an older gentleman walks out the door. He is about 5’9”, with no noticeable muscles. He can not weigh over 145 lbs. He actually looks rather frail. Walking up to him, I introduce myself and Canagan to him.
“Hello, youngsters. I am Barney. It is nice to meet our closest neighbors.”
Shaking his hand, I notice his grip is stronger than it should be for his frail frame. I shake it off, thinking that it is probably how he was raised. The saying my father always told me was. A firm (but not crushing) handshake is a sign of mutual respect from both parties.
“It is very nice to meet you also”
“Come inside and have a seat and sit a spell. This way we can get to know one another.”
We head inside and both Canagan and I stop dead in our tracks as the smell smacks us in the face even stronger when he opens the door. That is for sure sulfur. We smell they are trying to cover up. Not sure why there would be so much sulfur. Shaking off the smell to be polite, we follow behind Barney, sitting down in the living room.
“What did we do to get the pleasure of this uninvited visit?”
I look at him, trying to figure out what was meant by that. It was kind of snarky the way he said it, but in the end, he had a gigantic smile.
“We were out hunting and when we got to the edge of our property, we saw your compound. I did not know the property was even for sale. We have been wanting to purchase it for many years now.”
“Oh yes, it came on the market two weeks ago, and as soon as I saw it was for sale, I purchased it right away. Made a cash offer. I have been trying to also buy this land for over 50 years now.”
“Interesting. I have made many inquires as to if the property would be for sale and was told that they would never sell it.”
“Ah, yes, but see, I went to the owner of the land before they passed away. We made a deal that I would be the first to know the property was for sale when they passed. The owner passed three weeks ago, and the attorney informed me I could purchase it.”
“So I would assume that you would not be willing to sell it to us then?”
“No, I would not. Sorry, but I have wanted this for too long.”
“Would consider selling to us for double or even triple of what you paid? We would really like to keep using the land for hunting. We get most of our game from this land to keep out community feed.”
“I am not in the market to sell for any amount of money.”
“Okay, well, thank you for your time. We will go then.’
“How would you like a tour of the compound?”
I look over at Canagan, trying to gauge how he feels about it. He nods his head in agreement. I think he is probably wanting to see what he is hiding. Because if you are not hiding something, you would not build this type of compound. Also, maybe it will put Marcel and Horus at ease to know there is no threat here. We all stand up.
“Sure we would like that.”
“Great, maybe this will be the start of a great friendship.”
“That is possible.”
“I doubt that very seriously,” I think to myself. Something is very off in this place, so I will let him think what he wants. I smile as well as Canagan, and we follow him out of the house. As we walk around the front of the property, it just looks normal. We head to the back of the house. Looking around, Horus tries to push out. I am having a hard time keeping him under control. I hear a whimper.
“What is that whimper?”
“That is nothing to worry about.”
“Seems to me that if something is whimpering, then there is something wrong. What is it?”
My voice starts to rise a bit as I am getting more upset by the second. I notice that Barney is startled by my reaction. But there is no way I am not going to find out what that is about. I glare at him as he looks up at me.
“It really is nothing of concern. It is my daughter’s new puppy. She is in the process of training it.”
“What the fuck kind of training do you do here? A dog should not whimper while being trained.”
“We train dogs for protection.”
I look over at Canagan. He is just as pissed off as I am. I can tell he is having a hard time holding Marcel back. Canagan nods his head at me. I know he has something up his sleeve, so I need to distract Barney.
“That is an honorable profession. Barney, could I bother you to use your bathroom?”
“Sure, no problem. It is right this way.”
“Canagan want to meet me back at the truck?”
“That sounds good. I will be waiting for you.”
I walk with Barney back to the house. We make small talk, but I am really not paying too much attention to what is really being stated. I know I reply, but I am just so distracted about what this man is really up to and why in the fuck is a puppy whimpering like that. We get to the bathroom and I walk in closing the door, acting as I am really using it. This is the only thing I could come up with to give Canagan time to do whatever he is planning. Washing my hands wiping them off on the towel. I open the door and head to the front door with Barney right there with me. Before I open the door, I turn to face Barney, shaking his hand. This time, my grip is a bit tighter than the first one.
“Thank you for the tour and the use of your facility. We look forward to seeing you again.”
“You are welcome, son. It was my pleasure. I look forward to our next meeting.”
I look at Barney as I heard in his voice that he meant that last sentence with something more than just to see each other again. I walk out to the truck, opening the door, and climbing in. I just look at Canagan, not wanting to ask what he did while I did my distraction while we were still inside the compound. Starting the truck, I put it into reverse and turn around to head back towards the gate that is slowly opening to let us out. I pull through the gate and it closes behind us. I relax some. I notice Horus isn’t on edge anymore. Weird. I try to ask him what has changed, but he ignores me. I look back at Canagan again. Raising my eyebrow as I know he did something he should not have.
“What did you do?”
“It was nothing. I just wanted to check on the puppy to make sure it was really okay.”
“Mhmm, sure, you did. I know you did something you will tell me.”
I shake my head at him and continue to head to the house. It isn’t a long drive but I am sure Canagan will tell me what is up before we get to the house. I pull up to the house. I smile as I see the guards at the door. That means my love is still at the house. We jump out of the truck and head to the door. I ring the bell so Envy has to come to answer the door herself.
“Who is it?”
“Open up my love.”
“Why do I….. OH MY FUCKING GOD.”
I stand at the door with my arms stretched out holding a present for her. Her eyes are enormous as the sight before her. I take a step forward as her hands are on her mouth and she has tears in her eyes. I can tell she is happy. I hand her a present.
“How do you like him?”
“Holy fucking hell Lexington. He is so adorable. What is his name?”
“Well, Canagan, and I think you should name him. He is yours now. From the looks of him, he is a Great Dane. He is malnourished and very scared. Marcel and Harou have been talking to him. Our new neighbor abused him and Canagan rescued him while I distracted the owner. So I assume we will be having a visit very soon from him. He will probably want him back.”
“He is so cute. I already love him. There is no way in hell he is getting this baby back. He is mine now. I have always wanted a dog, but Draven didn’t think I needed one.”
“I can see why Draven would say that. In our world, it is not something that we have since they fear our kind. There is something very different about this pup. He is the reason that Harou and Marcel have been acting on edge for the past few days. So what will you name him?”
She holds him up to her face, kissing his cheek and looking into his eyes. I can see the love she already has for this sweet pup. She pulls him into her chest and cradling him like a baby.
“I will name him Kol. It means dark, and with him being black, it is perfect for him. I will take him in the house and bathe him and feed him. I suggest you go and get him some food that is not high in protein. Being I always wanted a Great Dane, I did research on them years ago. Being a puppy, he can not have high protein in his diet. He is a fast-growing baby and that will not be good for him. I will go look up the food I want for him and text it to you so you can get on the road no and get back here ASAP so he can eat after his bath.”
“I love that name. It suits him very well. Okay, yes, text me the food. I love you, my Little Minx.”
“Oh Envy, that is the perfect name for him. I am glad that you love him. He will be the perfect protector for you when he grows up.”
“Thank you so much for this Canagan. But can I ask why you didn’t give him to Eli?”
“Knowing this breed of dog, I knew he would be perfect for you. He is a protector by nature, but also gentle. His protectiveness will come naturally. So you will always have someone there in case Eli or someone else isn’t there with you. He always will be.”
“Come on Cana let’s go get some things and food for his new member of the pack”
I kiss Envy on the cheek. Kol gives a little growl. I just chuckle at him and pat his head. I can already tell he will for sure protect her. They have already bonded. I am pretty sure that Indigo has helped with that as well. He will just have to learn who he can trust. I know that will take a little bit of time after his traumatic experience.