Breakfast was in full swing when Liam entered the kitchen, individual conversations filling the room with a low buzz of voices.
He stood in the doorway, and though he knew each wolf sensed he was there, he stayed silent, observing his pack.
Lorelai took centre stage as she so often did in his mind, standing at the stove and tirelessly produced a variety of breakfast dishes. The way the sun broke through the window basked her in a halo of light, highlighting the individual colours of her hair.
Her freckles, more pronounced on her pale skin, decorated the bridge of her nose and the curves of her cheeks. He couldn’t imagine a more beautiful woman existed.
Liam forced his gaze away from her, falling instead on his sister. His lip curled as he watched James feed her. It wasn’t that he disliked the hybrid. In fact, they had become firm friends over the years. But seeing the man’s mark on his sister’s chest stirred something in him. Something primal and protective. He only wanted the best for Sophia, and he wasn’t sure James was it.
Still, there was no denying the radiance of his sister now she was mated and he couldn’t help but feel some envy that it had come so easily for them.
Killian stood brooding in the corner, barely paying attention to Brookes incessant chatter. Since he had joined their pack, Brooke had been trying her best to get him into bed. As far as Liam was aware, she had so far failed.
Nathan sat with their newest packmate, the two of them mimicking James and Sophia’s nauseating display. Never one to miss an opportunity to make fun of his twin, Nathan had found a true companion in the form of Lucas. The two were natural pranksters, the life and soul of any party.
With James distracted by his mate, it was nice that Nathan still had someone who didn’t judge him for his hybrid status.
Bethany and Rachel made up the last of their packmates. They were, for all intents and purposes, a couple. Though they didn’t like the label. They’d left their pack three years ago after being forced into horrors no woman should ever endure. Bethany’s father, as an Alpha, was furious his daughter had not found her mate. He’d passed her around the males of his pack to see if she belonged to any of his men.
When that didn’t work, Rachel suffered the same fate. They had left the following day, sneaking off and running for the hills.
It didn’t take them long to find the Rebel Pack and upon hearing their story, Liam was only too happy to welcome them into their home.
“Does everyone have something to eat? Liam asked, finally walking into the room. One by one the conversations died until every wolf gave him their full attention.
“I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Killian has found us a new home. Killian, if you could give us some details.”
With a curt nod, the older man stepped forward and cleared his throat.
“There’s a village in Scotland that’s been neglected over the years. Only in the last ten years or so has it begun to see a turnaround. They’ve built a new school, various amenities and they’re developing a night scene.” He paused and ran his hand through his hair. “The school have offered me a full-time teaching position which means for the first time in a long time, we’re going to have money.”
“You’ll have money, you mean,” Brooke interrupted.
“Just because you’re selfish with your income, doesn’t mean Killian is,” Nathan said. “He’s always contributed.”
“I’m not selfish! I give my share.”
“Oh yeah?” Nathan sneered as he raked his gaze over her impeccable clothes. “Recent shopping spree?”
“I’m allowed to treat myself! I swear you always-.”
“Enough!” Liam said, his tone leaving no room for argument. He was tired of this same argument between the former lovers. “Please continue, Killian.”
“Nathan is right. I plan on investing all my money into the pack. But I wouldn’t be so selfish as to accept a job without making sure there were jobs out there for you all too.”
Nathan smirked at Brooke, no mistaking the smugness on his face. Liam rubbed at his eyes, suddenly feeling exhausted.
“Brooke, there’s plenty of bar work, which I know you love. Nathan, new houses are being built all the time, which means there’s construction work. Lor, I hear the nursery might be looking for new staff.”
Liam turned to his partner and saw the light shining in her eyes. He cast his gaze to the ground and swallowed past the guilt rising in his throat. He would give anything to have the ability to gift Lorelai with pups. She had a natural ability with children, wolf or otherwise and he knew she longed to be a mother. He shook away the thought and focused on Killian.
“As you can see, there’s something for everyone. We could make a real life there.”
“And what of the house you’ve found?” Sophia asked. “That’s the most important part of all, after all.”
“It’s big. Too big probably, but I think we’d like the space. It’s an old farm actually, so we’d have decent land. And it’s far enough removed from the village that we’d have privacy too.”
“Sounds out of our price range,” Lorelai said. Liam had to agree. It sounded perfect and perfect was never in their cards. Killian hesitated and sighed.
“I won’t lie. It’s expensive but a steal. It’s a fixer-upper so we have a lot of work to do on it.” Brooke groaned and Liam caught Killian’s eye roll. “We’ve lived in worse places before and I think this could be something special for us. A real chance.”
Silence fell over the group, each wolf lost in its thoughts. Liam couldn’t help but feel excited at the prospect. Everything Killian outlined sounded ideal. But there was one question that hadn’t been answered and it was, perhaps, the most important of all.
“And what of others of our kind? Or any creatures of the night.”
Killian met Liam’s eyes and held his gaze strongly.
“I would never lead our pack into danger.”
“We all know that, Killian. But my question still stands.” Liam hated the flash of hurt that crossed Killian’s features. But the safety of his pack had to come first.
“During my scouting, I detected no other packs in the area or close by. There is a pair of vampires who live a few miles away but I spoke to them.”
“You spoke to them? Bethany said, the horror clear on her face. “Killian, you could have been killed!”
“But I wasn’t,” he snapped, looking immediately apologetic. “They were reasonable. Kind almost. They said if we didn’t bother them, they wouldn’t bother us.”
“And you took them at their word?” Brooke asked.
“I did. Don’t question me again.” Brooke opened her mouth to reply before whining as Liam gave her a pointed look. “So. What do you think gang?”
Liam fell silent, deep in thought as his pack looked at him. Regardless of their opinions, which he would gladly hear, they knew his decision was the one that counted.
It was a risk to leave everything behind, and move into a house that needed so much work. More of a risk to stay though, with the uncomfortable knowledge there were other wolves in the area.
“Start packing, ladies and gentlemen. It’s moving day.”