| Cameron |
I try my best not to think about Kat's words during the drive to my house. She doesn't look at me, only watches as rain pelts the window.
"I apologize for anything Eric says or does," I tell her once I've parked the car. She needs to be prepared. Eric's smart. Calculated. I'll give him that much. He'll do whatever he can to get under her skin, all while acting like the sophisticated guy he thinks he is. Kat glances over at me, her eyes searching my own. This meeting could go so many ways. She knows it.
"Don't apologize for that asshat." She says sharply. Her words bring a small smile to my lips. I kiss her lightly on the cheek.
In the house, we're greeted with silence. I set my bag on the stairwell and watch as Kat spins in the entryway. This house is much smaller than her own. Boxier. More...human.
With a hand on her back, I guide her down the narrow hallway to the kitchen and living room. Looking through the glass door, I can see why Kat and I weren't greeted. Everyone's in wolf form, watching the show outside.
"What are they doing?" She asks, crossing her arms over her chest. I sigh. I know exactly what they're doing.
"Well the wolf on the right is Bogey, and the one on the left is Sam." She looks at me, scrunching her face. I pretend not to notice. "So I'd say, Bogey took something from Sam's closet."
"What kind of name is Bogey?" She asks. "And why would grown-ass men fight over clothes?"
"A nickname." His real name's Robert. "They're brothers. And it's not about clothing." I look at her with a small smile "It's Canibus." Kat snorts.
"Your entire pack's red wolves?" She asks. I shake my head. There are actually two gray wolves. But they aren't outside. Most likely they're out patrolling. I turn away from the window and walk over to the kitchen. A list's pinned until the knife block.
It's a long list.
"They know I'm here, right?" She asks, continuing to press herself into my side. I feel her discontentment. These scents are unfamiliar to her. I doubt she's ever felt out of place, having grown up with a huge pack.
"Yes, they're just making a point." She stares at me. "That I'm not high on their list of priorities." Kat moves in for a hug, and smiling I don't object, placing a kiss on the top of her curly blond head.
The front door slams shut, and we pull apart as Alaric enters. He stops when he sees me. Slowly his eyes trail to Kat. He smiles and extends a hand.
"You must be Katalina. I'm Alaric." She takes it without hesitancy.
"Nice to meet you." She lies. He looks at me.
"Where's Eric?" He asks with a bite. I glance outside. He follows my eyes and lets out a sigh. Without a word, he storms out the sliding glass doors and lets out a loud growl as he approaches the group. It takes thirty seconds for them to disperse. Kat's presses herself into my chest.
"Kat," I ask her as Eric and Alaric approach the glass doors. "Have you ever met another Alpha besides your Dad?" I can't see her face. She's too busy watching them.
"There are meetings every great while but I've never met one, no."
| Kat |
I'm more uncomfortable than I let on. Cameron's touch gives me some comfort. But this house, for whatever reason, makes me uneasy. The scents are unfamiliar.
This uneasiness gives me the strongest urge to start negotiating on Cameron's transfer. But even as his mate, it's not my place. It's my dad's job and only when he feels it's safest for the pack, will he try. Cameron's my age, seventeen. To Wolfskin we're adults. But according to human law, we're minors.
So I'll play nice.
I'm representing my pack.
It's easy to spot Eric, walking towards the house with Alaric. He's tall and muscular with wide shoulders and a harsh face. Even though there's nowhere else to go, I find myself backing up further into Cameron's chest. He puts a hand on my wrist, where my skin peeks out under the jacket I wear.
Eric slides the door open and enters, unsmiling. His green eyes go directly to the face above my own, and I have a feeling- no I know for a fact- Cameron's adverting his gaze in submission.
I've said it before but it breaks my heart.
At long last, he sticks his hand out. "So you're the wolf that's been distracting my dog." My eyes sharpen, and I bite my snarl as he insults Cameron, who's taut beside me, his grip tightening on my wrist. He says nothing. He should defend himself. I want him to defend himself, but I understand pack structure. He can't. I take his hand, as I mull over the right thing to say.
"And you're the Asshat that's dick is so small he has to put pups down to feel better about himself," That wasn't it. But it felt good. Eric growls. A moment of silence passes between us, then Alaric's laughing.
"I like her Eric." He says, a huge grin plastered on his face. Eric says nothing. I'm waiting to see who looks away first. He does, turning to take a seat in one of the gray chairs. Alaric, tall and thin lounges on one of the couches, one leg over the other. Cameron's white as a ghost.
"Come," Eric says. "I won't bite." Why is it I don't believe him? I take a seat carefully in one of the gray chairs. Cameron doesn't sit. He stands beside the chair awkwardly. Do they allow him on the furniture? The house is spotless, I notice. I'm sure he does all the cleaning.
"Cameron said you thought I wasn't real." I say. Eric shrugs.
"He makes shit up to get out of trouble." I cross a leg over the other.
"Yet here I am,"
"Here. You. Are." He leans forward, resting his arms on his legs. "I talked to your Father this morning." He adds. It doesn't surprise me. Dad had suspected he'd call. "He did confirm you two have an attraction toward one another." I cock my head to the side.
"I'm his only child," I tell the Alpha. "I think it's understandable that he's a little bit in denial." Eric studies me.
"You two smell like each other." I shrug. "You're together for one day and he comes back here smelling like feminine perfume." Alaric snorts.
"I'm not going to apologize for anything."
"I don't expect it." The silence dredges on. He looks at Cameron. "Make yourself useful and get started on that list." It isn't a question.
"I'm not leaving her here with you." A defense. Though his voice is soft, a submissive soft, he's defending me. Eric's eyes harden.
"Boy-" He growls
"I said No." I tense, my teeth clenched as I wait for Eric to explode. But he looks at me and sees my glare before settling down. Alaric continues to smile.
"You say you're their only child?" Eric asks, changing the subject. "So you're expected to become Luna." I nod, my eyes sharpening at the word expected.
"It is my blood right."
"And you expect this shrivel of a wolf to be Alpha?" Every insult thrown at Cameron, makes my blood boil hotter and hotter.
"He is only that way because he was raised to be it." I snap.
"Kat," Cameron whispers. I ignore him.
"Cameron can learn. It's already in his blood." Alaric's watching Eric now. He's enjoying this battle. Seeing his big bad Alpha lose a fight.
"Kat," Cameron says again.
"Oh?" Eric bites out.
"My Mother could smell it the second he walked into the house. Starving, leashing, and degrading an Alpha Wolf can damper its pride but it can't hide its scent." Eric and I stand at the same time. Cameron immediately grabs my arm.
"Thanks for meeting with me. I had a wonderful time." I seethe, turning for the door. We're halfway there when Cameron stops dead in his tracks, pulling me to a stop. "What's wrong?" Eric's saying something through the pack's mindlink. I can tell by the way Cameron's eyes have glazed over. One tug on his arm and he's following me again. He doesn't tell me what his Alpha said.
It isn't until we're parked in my driveway that he speaks again. He unbuckles his seatbelt and rests his head on the headrest, his eyes closed. Just breathing. A minute passes by. Five. Then he looks at me, his head in the same position.
"I love you." He says.
That one sentence, the one damn word opens the cage I use to leash my wolf. That caution and gentleness we'd been using disappears. I'm on his lips before I can even think.