| Cameron |
Jeanette, Ms. Crowser, is kind enough to point me in the direction of the nearest shopping plazas. Jogging, not made easy with the Jeans I chose to wear for the trip, I found them in five minutes. Apparently this town is made of one long road. It seems so small and remote, I’m surprised when the trees open up to a bunch of shopping centers on either side of the road.
It takes me about an hour to get everything on the list, and I spend enough money that Eric’s going to skin me. But he chose this for me. He wants me to go to school. So this money I’m spending is his fault. I’ll never tell him that. The words will just get me thrown in the basement.
Again I have to ask for directions to the new house. It just so happens to be on the other side of town, about ten more miles. Normally I would shift, which cuts the travel time in half. Running on four legs is faster than two. But I know there’s another pack in this town and I don’t want to risk crossing into their territory. I also have no clue how hunters operate in these woods. With my luck shifting would get me shot and killed. My expectation with this new land Eric’s magically acquired is that it needs work. He only told the pack about it a month ago, as if it were news to him. However as I walk up the driveway, I realize the house is not in fact damaged. The long driveway is freshly paved and leads to a modern gray brick home with glass windows stretching the second floor. Two pickup trucks are parked out front with the third most likely in the garage.
Following the path around the side of the house, I spot an open field and surrounding where the forest meets grass are smaller houses, also made of the same brick and each with a chimney. In all, there are five.
“Not bad, huh?” Nick says, coming up behind me. He must’ve been in one of the trucks, as he has a large duffle bag. I nod as he claps me on the back and continues on around the side of the house. Following him, I watch as he heads towards one of the smaller homes and I slip into the back sliding doors of the main home.
Inside, Eric stands at the kitchen to the left drinking a bud light. Alaric, our beta lays on the gray couch on the right.
Everything’s stocked and neat. There’s no way Eric’s only known about this place for a month. He has to of hired help in rebuilding. Eric looks at the clock on the new stove, then at the bags in my hand. Never at me.
“Your Principal called.” He snaps. “Something about how the school requires you own certain materials.” I stay silent. “She gave me a list. If you got one thing that’s not on it-”
“I only got what I needed,” I tell him handing everything over. Reaching forward he swipes them from me and picking up a piece of paper on the counter, begins to check each item to what’s on his list. He pulls out the box that contains the laptop.
“How much was this?” He snaps, preparing to blow. I shrink back.
“I got the cheapest one they had,” I tell him quickly. “350.” He shakes his head but doesn’t yell at me. Instead, he throws everything back in the bag and tosses it to me.
“Your room’s the last door on the left upstairs.” I run off before he can find something else to yell at me for. My own duffle bag is sitting outside the door. I pick it up with ease before entering the shockingly small bedroom. For the size of the house, I’d really thought it would be bigger.
He’s done this on purpose. As an Omega, I get what’s left. Naturally, I’d be in one of the small houses surrounding the field, but Eric’s my guardian. He likes to keep his eyes on me.
In the small space, there’s a sliding door closet and a twin bed that’s pushed against the only window and the slanting wall. There are dark blue sheets covering the bed. A desk is pushed up against that.
′Pack meeting five minutes.’ Eric’s voice echoes in my head. Sitting up ramrod straight, I reach for my phone. Two hours. I’d slept for two hours. Running a hand through my messed up brown hair I throw on my discarded navy blue shirt and head downstairs.
Most of the guys are in the living area, lounging on the sofas and comfortable looking chairs. Though there are open seats I stand by the archway that leads to yet another living room, closest to the stairs. An easy escape route should I need it.
“This territory is the largest we’ve had since Montana.” Eric starts, his back to me. I cross my arms over my chest as I listen, eyes trained outside through the sliding doors. “I’ve already done a perimeter sweep so it’s scented. However, there are markings that indicate its border. We’ve got five acres of land surrounding this place, and there’s another seven between us and human households.
“There are hunters in these woods. We will have a patrol schedule that I expect you all to keep. Alaric.” He uncrosses his leg on the couch and sits up, as heads to turn to him.
“Hunting small animals is game.” He starts. “Deer and larger animals that roam these woods are restricted to Eric and my self. Remember we have to share. And yes, I know that is difficult for some of you.” They spout off more orders, about fifteen minutes worth before dismissing everyone.
“Kid.” Eric’s voice stops me as I try to sneak back up to my room. Skittishly, I turn towards him. With barely a glance at me, the rest of the pack slips out the door. Alaric stays. He’s most likely living in the house with us.
“No hunting.” Anything to keep me under his control. I nod, keeping my head lowered as Alaric slips past me, and heads towards the stairs. “You cook. You clean. I’m not hiring a damn maid. If laundry needs done you do it. That includes the rest of the pack. There’s a washer and dryer downstairs.” He waits for me to say something.
“Yes sir.” I mumble.
“What was that?” I clear my throat.
“Yes sir.” He nods.
“Groceries. You can use the car if we need them. I’ll leave a list when we do. School. If you don’t get all A’s there will be problems. Got it?”
“Yes sir.” He turns to walk out the store. Closing my eyes, I fight myself before asking.
“Eric?” I bite out. “H-how am I supposed to get to school?” It had been an hour fast walk to the house.
“Isn’t there a bus?” I shake my head. But he isn’t looking at me.
“No.” He huffs, then works his jaw thinking before he responding.
“Call them and ask about parking. If the price is reasonable and by reasonable I mean no more than fifty bucks, and if there’s room you can use Bogey’s car. But,” He turns on me. “You don’t go anywhere after school. You come straight home.”
| Kat |
Carissa has Art Honors Society today, so it’s just Louis and me. The persistent wolf won’t let me drive. Though I give in, I make it obvious that I’m pissed.
“You’re my friend, Louis.” I say bluntly as we pull into the driveway. He doesn’t say anything, but his knuckles go white on the steering wheel. “My friend. Not my Mate. And I know you don’t want to hear this, but here’s the truth-”
“No.” He jerks the car to a stop under the balcony of the Pack house and turns to look at me. “Here’s the truth Kat. You are the future Luna of this pack. And whether or not you find your mate, it is my job to keep you safe. If I think you look unwell or if I don’t think your safe, then you need to protect yourself because what happens to you can be the downfall of this pack.” Oh really? His arrogance- “Protecting you is hardwired into my brain. I’ve always been this way. Your wolf understands. Why don’t you?” There’s a growl forming at the bottom of my throat, beginning to rise. I can make him submissive. I know how. It’s also hardwired into his brain. However, there are times when I need to reign in my own power. There is such a thing as over-dominance. So I look at Louis, who I consider my Beta, and nod.
“When we’re at school,” I begin softly. “It needs to be reigned in. I don’t want the humans to think we’re-”
“I was going to say Freaks.” Louis works his jaw before turning off the car and handing me the keys. “But yes.” He looks at me once again, his gray eyes, studying my own.
“Got it.” Before I can utter another word he’s out of the car and I’m sitting there watching his retreating back as he ascends the steps.
“You got sick?” My mom asks sharply as she’s preparing dinner. I sit at the counter on a metal barstool, cutting carrots.
“It’s not a big deal,” I answer. “I’m fine now.” Mostly. She gives me only a mother can. “A quarter of the pack shifted last night too.” She opens her mouth to argue with me further as my dad comes in, sweaty and shirtless. Malcom follows him, dressed the same way.
“Luna,” He says in greeting as dad pulls her to him.
“Hello Malcom.” She answers, with a smile. Dad trails kisses down her neck, making her giggle. I take a hard bite of a carrot and roll my eyes, trying hard not to gag.
“I heard someone caught a deer last night.” Malcom says with a smile which in return causes me to smile slightly. I can feel Dad’s eyes on me as he lets go of Mom.
“When’s dinner?” Dad asks mom. She kisses his cheek.
“About thirty minutes.” Sliding out of my seat, I head towards the stairs, and up to the privacy of my room.