Chapter 52: Man whore
“Don’t you DARE touch my mate again, Josh Spencer!”
I had to laugh, one thing about our Pack was that things were never boring. I looked at Josh, he was about to blow. His fists were clenched and his wolf was about to come out. Craig was on it; he was out of his seat and restraining him quickly. “STAND DOWN,” he ordered. “They are mates, you can’t interfere.”
“SHE IS MY SISTER, AND HE’S A MAN WHORE!’ Despite the Alpha’s grip, he was still struggling.
“That’s not your call, Josh. Shift and run it out, that’s an order.” Josh looked again at his sister, still engaged in a passionate liplock with his friend, and shifted. Letting out a howl, he took off for the land behind the house.
Lars Albertson, one of Josh’s close friends, got out of the pool quickly. “I’ll watch him, no one should be alone,” he said before he shifted and ran off after him. Jacob looked at his mate Melanie, who was playing in the shallow end with their daughter Chance. “I’m going to the security room, I’ll monitor things from there,” he said.
Satisfied that Josh would be safe, we turned our attention back to the happy couple in the deep end of the pool. Seeing how she was starting to grind on him, I turned to Ella who was just laughing about the whole thing. “They’ll be putting on a show in two minutes if we don’t stop them,” I said.
“She’ll be pregnant in five,” Ella replied.
Craig whistled, getting everyone’s attention. “All right, it’s a school night so I want all the kids out of the pool, showered and dressed in the next five minutes,” he said. The kids all acted like their favorite toy was taken away, but they knew better than to disobey the Alpha. Moms helped collect their children, and people started leaving for the locker rooms or the bunk rooms.
Angela Spencer, Jane’s mother, walked to the edge of the pool. “Now for you two,” she said to Jane and Carl. “Jane, you have school tomorrow. Go get cleaned up and changed, then you can come over to the Alpha’s office and say good night. You’re in bed by ten, though, no excuses.”
“Mooooooom!” She untangled herself from a clearly aroused Carl and stood by his side, her arm around his waist. “I’m eighteen, he’s my MATE, I want to be with him.”
“He’s also human, we just met him, and you are still our daughter and still in school. Until you get permission to mate, young lady, you are still under our guardianship,” her father John said, “So don’t make this more difficult that it will already be.”
Jane’s shoulders slumped at the thought of leaving him, but she didn’t have a choice. If she defied her parents, the Alphas would back them and things would get even worse. She pulled him down into a quick kiss. “I’ll see you soon,” she said, then she climbed out of the pool and grabbed a towel before heading to the women’s locker room.
Angela’s hard gaze now turned to Carl, who had moved to the side of the pool to hide his excitement from the others. “As for you, young man, when you get that swelling to go down, meet your mate’s parents and the Alphas in their offices. Ask anyone to show you where they are.” Carl nodded, then put his head down on his hands at the edge of the pool. I figured he was probably doing math problems or something to get his mind off Jane and her body.
The two came back to our table and sat down, John’s head was in his hands. “Love, I’m not ready for our baby to grow up,” he said. “At least with Josh, he has to wait for her to be of age. Jane could be his immediately under our laws.”
“Come on,” Craig said, “We may as well talk through some things before they arrive. Gunny, Rose, I need you to join us.”
“Huh? We’re not involved in Jane’s mating,” I said.
“It’s a similar situation, a wolf mating a human. The choices we make could affect Josh and his relationship with Charlotte,” Ella said.
“Fine,” I said. “First I need to have a sandwich, though.” The others looked disgusted, I didn’t understand why. I had a powerful craving for a peanut butter and tuna sandwich, and I wasn’t going to let their looks get in the way.
“P, B and T?” Gunny looked at me like I was weird.
“Yes, and you should go make It for your poor mate who is carrying your FOUR babies and struggling with her hormones!” He scurried off, at least he knew how to properly cater to my raging hormones. Gunny was very supportive, and I was going to milk that guilt of his for knocking me up so hard. I looked over at Craig, who was rubbing Ella’s pregnant belly. “I can’t imagine how it is for you, Ella, this all must seem commonplace by now with all your pregnancies.”
She smiled and held Craig’s hand in place. “Well, this man can knock me up with a dirty thought, it seems. Except the time I was held at Ft. Detrick, I think I’ve been pregnant more than three quarters of the time, and I love it.” She looked over at her children who were being corralled by Marge, who was bringing them over to say goodnight. They were good kids, rather numerous, and they were their pride and joy. I watched as they hugged, remembering back to the days I would hold Charlotte until she went to sleep. I was so busy then, for a year it felt like I never slept, and that was with just one. I had no idea how I could handle four.
“You’ll be fine, love,” Gunny said as he sensed my longing mixed with worry. “I’ll be here, the Pack is here, and you know Marge and Mabel will help. You’re going to be fine. Now come on, eat this thing before the smell makes everyone in the kitchen leave.”
“My snack is ready, I’ll see you in a few minutes,” I said. Walking into the house, I sat at the table where Gunny had placed my sandwich and a glass of milk. He was still in the kitchen, pretending to clean up, but I knew he just couldn’t watch me eat this sticky, fishy goodness. I gobbled it down, washing it down with milk, then took the plate to the dishwasher. “Thank you, baby,” I said as I kissed him. For some reason, he didn’t want a tongue kiss.
He took my hand and led me down the hall to the Alpha’s offices. Their setup was as unique as their relationship; the norm among Packs was that the male was dominant, he was Alpha and his mate was never to challenge or dispute his decisions. She was allowed to look good on his arm, pop out babies, take care of the house, and watch over the women and children so the Alpha could do the important stuff. That was tradition.
Like Robert and Renee, Craig and Ella had adapted how they ran things to the strength of their mates. Renee was a Next Alpha, a leader in wartime, and had taken over a Pack by defeating the Alpha of the old Santa Fe pack before meeting and merging with Robert’s Gila Pack. Ella was the Alpha of the Belden Pack, a position she held with or without her wolf or panther. Craig was an Alpha’s son, his bloodlines gave him the size and characteristics, but he was joining HER pack and he respected that. Their office was huge, their desks side by side so they could work together. If privacy was needed, there was a conference room adjoining with seating for twelve, and that was where we headed.
John and Angela were already there, and we let the Alphas know we were ready for them. Craig brought a blushing Ella in, setting her on his lap as he held her in his arms. “So,” Craig started, “Before we talk about Jane, we need to talk about Charlotte. Right now, Josh is under Alpha order not to mate or change her until she is eighteen, which is a week after she graduates from high school. Rose, Gunny, do you want that to change?”
I shook my head no. “I know it’s difficult for them, but it is for the best. I don’t need her to have the drama of going to school as a married woman to a man who works their and is much older. Plus, he’d get her pregnant her first heat. Right now, they are getting to know each other, and it’s letting her get comfortable with the Pack before being changed.”
Angela nodded. “If she was from another Pack, I wouldn’t stand in the way, but we have rules we agreed to in the treaty. He can’t have her until she is of legal age and has Alpha and a judge’s permission. There are only so many times we can get away with not going through the process before it comes back to bite us,” she said. “Too many people know of Charlotte and how she is human. If she was changed as a minor, it would get out.”
“Still, he’s human and she’s still in high school,” I said. “Carl is already here to help, he has proven his worth and his loyalty to our kind already. You should be proud to have such a man as your daughter’s mate. I know her instincts will be to claim and mate him, but is there really a hurry? He knows little about life in a Pack, about the changes this will make. Angela, your concerns about school apply to Jane as well, plus the girls have become so close that letting Jane mate quickly will hurt Charlotte. She will see Jane getting permission to mate as being unfair, especially since Carl can’t go to a judge because he is a fugitive.”
“Then we are in agreement with you,” Ella said. “We will Alpha order Jane not to claim or mate with Carl until she has permission from us and a judge, which won’t happen until she has graduated from high school. In the meantime, we can prepare Carl for his change.”
“She’s going to be pissed,” John said. “I know I would be.”
“It’s our decision, based on what is best for the Pack,” Craig said. “She doesn’t have to like it. If she pushes back, she won’t like what I’ll do.” He looked at the door. “Come in, Carl,” he said loudly.
Carl opened the door, dressed in tan shorts and a T-shirt. Angela got up and gave him a hug, he hesitated for a moment and then embraced her back. “I’m so happy my daughter found you,” she said. “I’m Angela Spencer, Jane is our daughter. This is her father, John.” The two shook hands, then we all sat down. “You must have questions.”
“A lot of them, actually. Josh told me a little about mates on the drive, and I’ve had very limited contacts with some Packs- mostly just getting permission to stay on their land, and interacting with the guards they had around me. Nothing prepared me for what I’m feeling right now, though.”
“What are you feeling,” Ella asked.
“Like I’m floating, and the current is pulling me towards her,” he said. “I mean, I saw her and she was the only thing in the world. All that mattered was her, and having her in my arms made everything seem better. My skin was all tingly, and I could lose my soul when I stared in her eyes,” he said.
“Yep, they are mates,” Gunny said.
We spent the next twenty minutes explaining what mates were, and what the rules and customs were surrounding them. “Mates are forever, Carl. There is no divorce among us, no cheating, no abuse. When you find your one true mate, you would die before you hurt her. There is no lying, because you can sense each other’s thoughts and emotions. It’s a tie far greater than marriage, stronger than the bond to your Pack. It’s not something we want humans to just rush into.” He looked at the door. “Come in, Jane.”
Jane opened the door and searched for Carl, her face lighting up when they caught each other’s eyes. She rushed into his arms, kissing him deeply while placing herself on his lap. “I missed you,” he said.
“Carl, Jane, your parents have discussed your situation and have come to a decision,” Craig said.
“Without asking me what I wanted?”
“Yes, we’re pretty sure from your display what you would want,” he said. He walked to stand in front of her, holding her chin so she would look at his eyes as his wolf came forward. “You are not to mate with or cause Carl to change into one of us until you have permission from us. That permission will not be given until you have graduated high school.” The Alpha command caused her to shudder, her wolf submitting to his power.
“But… that’s MONTHS from now!”
“It’s for the best, baby,” Angela said. “We want you to finish your schooling and we need to give Carl time to understand who you are and what it will mean to him to become yours. I’m sorry you are disappointed, but you and Charlotte are in the same boat.”
She sat there, disappointed. “FINE,” she finally said. “I have to go to bed since I have school tomorrow. Will I see you at breakfast?”
“Yes, if Josh hasn’t killed me by then.” He kissed her before they stood up. “I should go get settled as well, if we’re done here.” The Alphas stood and embraced the couple, then Gunny and I did, finally her parents.
As they walked to the door, Jane elbowed him in the ribs. “Fair warning, Carl. I may not be able to mate or claim you yet, but you are MINE. I will rip to shreds any woman who tries to take you, and if you even THINK of cheating on me I’ll have your balls for earrings. Am I clear?”
“Good, now take me back to my dorm.” John and Angela followed them out, and I got up and closed the door behind them. I was giggling to myself at how effectively she had laid down the law. For a shewolf who couldn’t finish the bond, it was difficult because they feared losing their one. She was going to be as jealous and protective as Josh was with Charlotte.
“Alphas, Josh has been informed of the decision and is changing now. You wanted to talk to him before meeting that man, right?”
Craig nodded. “Al is on his way back with him now. We got them settled in the guest house, they said they can’t stay at a hotel and we couldn’t leave them on the street until we have time to decide.” When Tom had returned to oversee the house, he noted one of the houses down the block was for sale. We had plenty of money in the Pack accounts, and we knew Gunny and I would be staying here when Craig, Ella and some others returned to the island life. We bought it for cash, and were actively seeking other properties in the area we could use to expand our Pack boundaries and facilities.
Josh knocked on the door and entered. “You wanted to talk to me, Alphas?”
“Yes. Give me your impressions of the people you met tonight when you left for the airport.”
“Shifters, some cat species. I could feel their strength, the big guy was dangerous, but I sensed no ill intent. His power was similar to a Beta. The couple didn’t have near as much power, and they were petrified of me. Whatever they are running from, they fear more than us.”
“Al said the same thing. He was able to place the scent, though. They are mountain lions.”
“Mountain lions?” I looked around confused. “They are loners, why would they be wanting to talk to a wolf pack?”
“We’ll find out in a moment,” he said. “Al, bring him in.” The door opened, and Al brought in a big guy who looked like he belonged in a biker gang. He was tall, muscled and intimidating, even bigger than Craig was. Gunny instinctively stood, pushing me behind him. The biker wasn’t as muscled and intimidating as MY man. “Welcome to the Belden Pack, I’m Alpha Craig Anderson, and this is my mate Ella,” he said as they shook hands. “My Betas, Gunny and Rose Rodriguez.”
“Charlie Stillwater. I and my family thank you for the audience, and I would like to formally request asylum with your Pack.”
“Asylum? What are you running from?”
“My bosses. They want me dead, and my family are in danger. I need help to get them back, and I’m willing to give you information that will make it worth it.” He was nervous, but he was genuine.
“Why do they want you dead?”
“I’m the one who killed Maitea Jennings, and I was supposed to kill Luis as well.”