Lorelai stood on the boundaries of their den, staring out at the rolling hills of the Scottish countryside. For miles, there were no other buildings in sight. On the horizon, she could see the faint plumes of smoke from an ancient chimney, that being the only indication of civilization out there in the nothingness.
She inhaled deeply, breathing in that clean, crisp air, and smiled.
The journey to their new home had been without incident, smooth the entire way. Even Brooke, who had been the most vocal in her protests, had little to say as they packed up the old house and made their way north.
Killian had done his best to prepare them for what they were walking into, but even with his accurate descriptions, Lorelai could never have pictured the sorry state of their new packhouse. It was mostly in ruins, with a caved-in roof and multiple holes in the walls. Windows hung from their frames, the glass shattered and left in jagged spikes. There were no doors, just rotting frames and empty spaces where a door should sit.
Anyone else might have passed this building up, but for the Rebel Pack, it was perfect.
As soon as Lorelai clapped eyes on it, she saw its potential and the building itself was only part of the appeal. The land surrounding the dilapidated house was vast and beautiful. And it came with the building. They could make roots here, she could see pups here, families.
The main house was only one benefit, and one day it would become their headquarters.
They just had to make it liveable first.
Renovations were well underway, with everyone pitching in where they could. Lucas took command of the project, drawing on his experience from his previous pack. Wanderers, they never settled in one place for too long and Lucas had skills making a home out of nothing.
As though she were standing right next to the construction zone, Lorelai could hear every smack of a hammer, every cut of a saw. She closed her eyes and imagined the men hard at work. In her mind, she could see Lucas giving instructions, Killian overworking himself out of guilt, Liam overseeing the entire project.
She smiled at the thought of her partner, her love, for so long.
He had been so positive the past few weeks, so full of energy. She knew he could see the potential of this place just as she could. His good mood rubbed off on the entire pack, and everyone was in high spirits.
A delicious warmth spread through her veins as she considered how his good mood had boosted their sex life. It wasn’t as though they were lacking in that department. Since the day they had lost their virginity all those years ago, they had been all over each other whenever the situation presented itself. Now, though, Liam didn’t care who was around or what she was doing. If he wanted her, he was going to have her, and she was happy to submit.
Only this morning, before the sun had even risen, Liam woke her with his head buried between her thighs and his tongue bringing her closer to climax before she could even process what was happening. When she did wake, he’d rolled her on to all fours and mounted her like a man starved, even though the others slept only meters away.
She would be thankful for their privacy when they completed renovations if nothing else.
Giggling to herself, she turned away from the view and made her way back to camp, on high alert for any foreign scents on her way. They’d been here more than a month now, but until they had the safety of four walls, they couldn’t be too careful. Between the ten pack members, there were seven jilted packs hunting down their missing members.
The thought made Lorelai’s blood run cold.
After all this time, the thought that her old life could catch up with her and steal what they worked so hard to achieve was terrifying. The last she heard, her father had passed away, killed by a rival pack. Her mother had followed him, thanks to their mating bond, and all the family she had left was her two older brothers.
Zane and Xander were everything you’d imagine a wolf to be. Strong and formidable, they worked together as the perfect compliment to one another. Zane, the older, was silent and brooding, his sharp eyes never missing a thing, while Xander chose the more obvious approach. He had a steely tone, a darkness in his eyes, and an aura that made you nervous to be in his company.
Alone, they were men that demanded respect. Together, they were unstoppable, and they knew it.
Even if her father had given up the search for her, Lorelai knew her brothers wouldn’t. She often wondered what became of her old pack, how the dynamic had shifted with the passing of her parents, and she was positive Zane and Xander now had control of the pack as Alphas.
She shuddered at the thought, wrapping her arms around herself and finding a spot by the firelight. As though on cue, Liam appeared by her side, sinking to the ground and slinging his arm around her shoulder.
“You look deep in thought,” he said, pulling her closer.
“Thinking about my brothers,” she admitted. She felt Liam tense and silently cursed herself. That told her everything she needed to know. Liam was a powerful leader of their pack. He was every bit as strong as an Alpha should be, with the smarts to back it up. He’d kept them safe for so long and fended off every threat that came their way.
But it didn’t stop him from fearing her brothers.
“We need better security,” she said. “Especially while we’re so exposed.” Liam nodded his agreement, his eyes scanning the perimeter of their land as though her brothers were approaching them as they spoke. Of course, they weren’t. In their month here, they hadn’t run into one other creature of the night. Not even the vampires Killian had mentioned.
“We’ll work on it, babe. I promise.” Lorelai watched as the light of the fire danced in his eyes, highlighting the subtle specks of gold hidden in the hazel depths. Concern etched his features, his teeth grazing his lip in a thoughtful gesture.
Immediately, she felt contrite.
He’d been in such a good mood, and she had put an invisible enemy on the boundaries of their land. It did them no good to worry about her brothers or even any of the previous packs of their members. Until they had some information, a scent, a footprint, they were safe.
They would deal with the issue when it rose, and not when it was a simple thought.
“Do you want to go for a run?” She asked, nudging her body against his and pulling him from his thoughts. The grin that spread across his face erased any hint of worry from his features. There was nothing Liam loved more than to stretch his legs as a wolf, and to have Lorelai running by his side.
“Let’s do it,” he said, standing and holding a hand out to her. She accepted his help, pulling herself to her feet and giving him a brief kiss. His arms wrapped around her as he pulled her body against hers, his lips demanding more from her. His breathing ragged, he murmured a promise in between kisses. It was one she heard often.
“I won’t let them take you from me, Lorelai. I promise I’ll keep you safe.”
She took the words to heart, pulling away and letting her wolf take over her body. The pain of transforming was a thing of her youth. Now she looked forward to the change, to feel strength and power overtake her body. With her eyes now a pale blue, she looked into the black eyes of her Alpha and nuzzled his snout with her own.
Lowering herself into a submissive pose, she waited for his order, barking happily as he told her to run. With the miles stretched ahead of them, thoughts of her brothers melted away.
If only for a little while.