Chloe wasn’t joking about getting us a Pack House to crash in once we reached Noble Metropolis. In fact, since waking, Chloe was the one leading the way. I walked behind her while Siren and Charlotte flanked our group and Corey walked at the back... where the Alphas were. Baden and Chase had groaned themselves awake after forcing themselves to shift to human form in the morning. They said the bare minimum such as; What was happening? Why were they all here? After that; acceptance of the current plan and silence.
The weather was rainy and unfavourable in helping us tread fast through the forest, to a main path, but at least it helped cover our tracks.
So, we trekked the rest of the way to Noble Metropolis and even drenched we kept a fast pace. We were all tense to get out of Moon Territory.
That meant once we smelt the wood fires of the rustic but dense city, we were all sore from walking in our human forms and cranky for some rest.
The destination was worth it, however. On the north side of Noble Metropolis, Chloe brought us to the front door of a huge, stylish rustic townhouse turned into a full blown mansion. It was littered with greenery of all kinds, even though the block was long and narrow between other similar housing estates. It was a few main streets from the city centre. The beauty of the hub of this city wasn’t something we could admire and talk about though, since we all wanted some food and a place to kick up our legs.
The inside of this empty Pack House was set with blue stone walls and thin corridors that opened up into huge open areas. The bedrooms and bathrooms were upstairs, the kitchen and lounge were decorated with windows stretching the whole back of this mini narrow mansion. Huge wooden pillars held up the needlessly tall ceilings. The backyard was almost equal length to the house itself. The back doors led to a tiled entertaining area, where a massive heated bath was located, big enough for a pack to squeeze into. Then there was a full on herb and vegetable garden growing at the back along brick winding paths.
So, this place was practically perfect for our needs and Chloe had stated so, over and over as we entered the city and then finally the empty Pack House.
Siren and Charlotte fell straight into the outdoor bath, Chloe rested for a few minutes before deciding to cook a meal for everyone and Corey was first to have a shower upstairs.
Baden, Chase and I? Were all avoiding interacting with other. I mean, I tried in the morning, and a few times during the walk, to look back at them and grab their attention. But my limping, healing mates couldn’t look me in the eye.
Chase sits at the counter now while Chloe cooks and Baden checks out the garden at the back.
When I see Corey come down the stairs, in fresh clothes and wet hair - I run up the stairs next.
I use the spare time to witness the spotless 6 seperate bedrooms, that all contained over sized beds and way too many fluffy blankets. I went into the main bathroom in the middle, where I showered for twenty minutes under hot scalding water. I wrapped myself in a towel and found a narrow room full of wardrobes and spare clothes. I shuffle on an oversized white knitted sweat shirt and new black undies.
I was ready to nap.
I head to one of the bedrooms at the end and I stand by the window overlooking the front yard and the city itself. It was early afternoon and smoke was filling the sky from all the chimneys. We were located on a nicer side of the city, but to be fair, every part of this place was well kept and looked after. The people seemed nice and well educated, beings from all walks of life lived here as a unified society.
It was nice, but I couldn’t help but feel the front of it was a clever facade to hide the tensions that inevitably lurked beneath. Mortals that would be kidnapped in the night, vampires that would be murdered if caught alone in the wrong place at the wrong time, werewolves that would cause mischief on weekend nights - or any weekday night for that matter. I knew what my kind’s reputation was like and whether or not I wanted to admit it, werewolves were known to cause trouble in crowded places. We liked attention - any kind of attention.
I guess I was the exception. If I never had to be the centre of attention again, I would gladly skulk away into an isolated place and do my own thing. Whatever that was. Painting, reading or studying.
But, I couldn’t deny that I a part of me was also excited to be in an official pack of my own; even if the start had been rocky.
I look over my shoulder at the grey bed with royal purple fluffy throw rugs and too many baby blue feather pillows piled at the headboard.
It was so damn inviting.
This place was the perfect den to rest. It struck me this would certainly be considered a holiday retreat; hence it was empty.
Most Pack Houses were ten times the size of this place, but that didn’t mean this wasn’t impressive on it’s own.
I take a step towards it, but then I hear the stairs creak from the narrow hallway.
I pause before I lightly walk to the open door and peek my head out.
Chase limps up the last step, his face screwed up in pain, his body hunched.
He didn’t look so broken on the walk. With no eyes looking, he appeared to be in copious amounts of pain.
"Hey,” I hiss at him quietly and Chase nearly loses his feet. He straightens his back and fakes a cough into his hand. He’s got cuts healing all over his face and a bruised lip. Some of his hair is even missing in a couple of small chunks that he could easily comb over - and had been successfully hiding most of today.
“I need to get cleaned up, little wolf,” Chase murmurs the words awkwardly while trying to sneak for the bathroom to get away from me.
He was embarrassed and hurt from losing a fight. I couldn’t avoid the fact that I was also embarrassed that I had just hid under that boulder and watched as it happened. We had to face each other sooner or later.
I lick my dry lips and then bury my hands under my long sleeves, stomping my way to the bathroom, I hold out my fist before Chase can close himself away.
“...wait,” Chase tries to keep me out but I slip in and hop to the bath. I turn it on to hot and stand back up, glaring at Chase but only because I’m really angry at myself.
“Baden needs to be here too,” I whisper out, “You wait. Actually, get in the bath. I’ll help you two clean up the wounds.”
“Maia,” Chase snaps at me as I storm past him, but I hold up my hand.
“No,” I snap.
“Please don’t - ”
I ignore him and jump down the steps. I find Baden heading for the stairs already. Baden assumes I’ll walk right past him, but I grab his elbow and tug him along. Looking confused, I don’t give him time to protest as I drag him up the steps a bit too quickly for his injuries.
“Can we please talk later?” Baden gruffly growls out weakly, while I pivot behind him and then shove him into the bathroom.
I jump in last and slam the door shut, locking it and leaning back against it while Chase inspects his face in the mirror and Baden turns to look at me with distress.
“We can’t exactly continue where we left off, in this state,” Baden tries to make a joke of what happened, but even that sounds painful for him.
“You’re both going to bathe and I’m going to help clean your wounds,” I interject, “This is serious, guys. I absolutely fucked up big time. I had an ancient weapon attached to me and watched like a coward while you both got slaughtered by nine Alpha’s and a Prime Alpha,” I suck in a breath as they flinch at the memory of the fight, “Now I have to make it up to both of you.”
“Maia, you did the right thing,” Chase murmurs, “We were assigned your protectors; we’re meant to get beat up every now and again,” Chase scoffs at himself as he feels a bruise at his neck, “I’m kind of impressed with Baden’s father, he knows how to rip us apart, weaken our bond, then tear us to shreds just as we start to think we’re strong Alpha’s primed for challenging his position. And look what happens... we get our noses buried in the dirt and banished.”
“I’ll tell you what,” Baden takes over, locking eyes with me, “Maia... we need to start marking our damn territory. We need to fight until we gain some ground in Noble Metropolis - then we can spread a tough reputation while we’re actually training how to fight together. Chase and I weren’t co-ordinated enough last night. We were easy targets when we weren’t synched up, like we used to be... we used to read each other’s minds we were that good in a fight.”
“We were brutal when we were younger,” Chase laughs at the memory, turning around, he starts to strip as Baden does too. Chase smiles half-heartedly at me.
“You’re both being stupid if you think the fact I hid and cowered didn’t have anything to do with you both losing that fight -”
“Nine Alpha’s, like you said,” Baden snaps, “Who would have healed us if we were all beaten to a bloody pulp?”
“Just... get in the bath,” I murmur, waiting for my mates to obey.
Chase and Baden finally shuck off their pants and they both look at me like they want to banter about who gives the real orders, but neither of them have the energy to even attempt to.
Baden steps back into the bath, sinking down and growling out a low noise of pain and pleasure, “Moon, this is just what I fucking need,” Baden leans right back, closing his eyes. Chase steps in next and takes the opposing side. As he settles with an equal groan of painful relaxation, I finally loosen my shoulders and step forward. I grab a few face washers from the draws below the sink and then I kneel beside the large tub.
I wind up my sleeves and grab a bar of soap, putting it in the water and lathering up my hands.
“You’ll both let me clean you without a word of complaint,” I warn both of them as I reach for Chase first. He watches me wearily, biting his cheek as I grab his dirty arms and start lathering him up.
“...you’re sweet, Maia...” Chase forces out the compliment. I know he wants to tell me to back off, but I just scrub harder if I think he’s about to complain. With a few hisses, he keeps in most of what he wants to say. When I’ve rubbed his chest down, I grab a small face washer and lather that up. I gently work on Chase’s wounds on his cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. The cuts are small but they look painful. I do go slower on these, and he closes his eyes while I do it.
“Do you feel better, Chase?” I ask, quietly. He opens one eye and slowly smirks.
“Yeah, I do, little wolf,” he actually sounds delighted after being washed. I finally manage to smile a little - right before Baden violently kicks the water and splashes bath water all over me.
“Don’t forget about me, bitch,” Baden growls, half-playfully, but mostly seriously, “Do I even exist?”
“Told you he’s got a whiney side,” Chase chuckles with a widening smirk while I pick up the soap and throw it at Baden’s face. I admit, it’s a bit violent and he can’t raise his arm in time because he’s got a very bruised shoulder. The soap collides with Baden’s left eye ball and he cries out as I simultaneously yelp out for him.
“Shit!” I mentally slap myself as I lunge towards him and Chase bursts out laughing, “I’m sorry!” I grab Baden’s hair and he holds his eye shut while his other hand picks up the soap - throwing it at a hysterical Chase.
I pet Baden’s wet hair, my other hand petting his chest.
There’s sudden silence from Chase’s end as the soap smacks into his face next, splitting in half after colliding with the bridge of his nose.
“...oh you think you’re real smart, don’t you?” Chase growls to Baden, picking up one half of the soap. I let go of Baden and lunge back to Chase, I slap his hand and Chase grabs my wrist, “What are you going to do, Maia?” Chase asks me, raising a brow.
“Leave her be so I can get my turn, dickhead!” Baden snarls at Chase and Chase finally releases me while raising a bushy brow.
“Whatever,” he shrugs, “It’s cute seeing you fuss over us anyway. Never thought I’d see you give such a fuck about anything, Maia. You’re always so distant...”
...what was that supposed to mean?!
I pause but keep my thoughts to myself as Chase hands me the soap and I move back to Baden.
I wash Baden while I bite my tongue.
Don’t ask insecure questions.
Don’t do it, Maia.
I stop myself, while I feel Chase’s eyes digging into me and Baden... I feel Baden judging me too.
I grab a clean face washer to wipe down Baden’s face and neck. I focus my gaze on Baden’s fat beautiful luscious lips, so I can distract myself.
When I’m done, I can’t stand their hot silent stares any longer.
I stand up, I throw the washers in the sink and I avoid their gazes. Without another word, I quickly slip out of the bathroom and head back to that bedroom I was in before. I pick up the towel I already used and I dry my hair twice before slipping onto the bed, I grab a pillow and hold it to my chest, my legs lying splayed out while I close my eyes - exhaustion hitting me in waves.
You’re always so distant.
What did Chase mean by that?
And their lack of communication. I tried to convince myself it was because they were upset about losing the fight. But I didn’t want to dwell on the other fact... that they could just be majorly disappointed in me. They’d never tell me, but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t be thinking about it.
Or discussing it, right now, as a matter of fact.
I let out a pathetic whimper, just once, and then I close off my throat and purse my lips shut, burying my face into the pillow. I couldn’t let out another pathetic sound like that again or they might hear! Argh!
I start to doze off, feeling stupid and horrible for not doing better. I also feel cold and alone.
I feel like I am just a disappointment in general.
To my mates.
To my new pack.
As a werewolf, the feelings you were impacted the most by were related to pack mentality. Right now, I was in a Pack House with a pack and two Alpha mates, but I felt so alone.
You’re always so distant.
I wish I didn’t keep repeating that statement, over and over again in my mind.
But then I still my breathing, half asleep on my pillow when I hear them in the doorway.
“...there she is,” Chase murmurs under his breath.
“...awww,” Baden drawls, amused by my state, “...is she asleep...?”
“...I don’t know, but she’s sad...” Chase whispers back to Baden, “We can’t have sad wolves. That’s just depressing.”
If they couldn’t have sad wolves.
I wait for them to disappear.
To laugh about how useless I am.
They don’t speak anything else and I assume they’ve moved off, so I let out a trembled, broken breath - just as the bed covers simultaneously compress on either side of me. Before I can protest, I only manage to let out half a whimper of shock before arms wind around me; a strong hand lies under the band of my panties, one on my waist, one on my thigh, one in between my thighs, up high but not too high. One leg shoves between my knees and another curls around from the outside, on top. They both shuffle in closer; a kiss to the nape of my neck, a kiss to my forehead. I differentiate between them via smell. Baden is in front, Chase at the back. Baden puts a hand on the back of my head and pulls me down into the curve of his neck. Chase puts pressure on my stomach so that he’s holding me back into his warm torso. I bury my head into Baden’s pulsing heartbeat, my butt against Chase’s hot front.
We don’t need any words to be shared as they both hold me so tight.
I feel acceptance all over - on every inch of my body.
It feels like heat, strength and total safety stitching me mentally back together.
It was so simple, but it was so powerful.
They were forcing my doubts to crumble to dust and my mind felt like it was glowing with healing power, through their combined firm, iron grasps all over my body.
Just like that, my mates return the favour and I fall into a blissful, deep sleep, crushed between the two of them.