Bound by Duty

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A Friend in Need

The heels made click-clacking sounds on the marble tiles. The briefcase swung back and forth along with the movement of the hands. Danielle looked straight ahead as she walked towards the conference room. Behind her were two wolves who were present to assist and protect her.

The doors of the conference room were open. The conference was yet to go into the main event, so Danielle hadn’t missed much. As she scanned the room with her eyes, she spotted two hands waving at her from the back. Hiding a smile, she made her way to the back of the room. She pulled out a chair for herself and sat down, facing three alphas.

“Sean, Misha, Reece,” She nodded at each one, greeting them. All of them were alphas — Sean of the Amethyst Pack, Misha of the Aquamarine Pack and Reece of the Opal Pack.

“I can almost see the steam coming out of your ears. What’s going on?” Reece asked, leaning lazily against his chair.

Danielle looked at him, startled. She recovered quickly and said, “It’s just my father,” she muttered.

Realisation dawned on their faces. Misha looked at her sympathetically. “It’s been two years since you’ve been back, is he still being so hard on you?”

She cradled her chin with both her hands, leaning forward on the table. “To him, it doesn’t matter how much time has passed. His dislike for me is more about his dislike for my mother.” She said matter-of-factly. “And I won’t let his dislike come in the way of what I’m supposed to do.”

“You aren’t supposed to do anything, Dani,” Sean said quietly. “There is nothing compelling you to become alpha. I wish you would tell us just why you think it’s so important.”

Danielle looked at Sean silently. She would just remain quiet whenever they trod on uncharted territory.

“Okay, okay, we all know not to talk about that,” Reece spoke up, ever the peacemaker. “Now that Dani has just arrived, why don’t we talk about something else? Perhaps something less serious?”

Danielle was up for that. She looked at the others expectantly. Sean cleared his throat self-importantly and announced, “I found my mate.”

Danielle’s eyes widened with surprise. Joy bloomed inside her hearing the news. The others whooped and clapped him on the back. “Congratulations!” She embraced him, feeling very happy about the news.

“That’s why you were looking all flushed and loved up today!” Reece exclaimed.

Sean beamed, thanking everyone. “So?” Misha asked. “Who is she? Where did you meet her? Let’s have the details!”

“Her name is Grace. She worked on the second floor of my company and I never knew her. I kept postponing the inspection of the lower floors until one day I decided to get through with it. I walked through the second floor and bam, that was it.” Sean explained excitedly. Danielle knew that he had been dying to tell them the news for a long time. The fact that he held out for so long was a testament to his EQ. “She has already moved into my house. It’s only a matter of time before I take things forward.”

Danielle scrunched up her nose. “Take things forward? Shouldn’t you wait for her to give her consent too?”

Sean looked appalled. “Dani! I never thought you would think so low of me! Of course I will ask for her consent! But anyway,” he winked mischievously, “I don’t think that will take too long with my incredible skill sets.”

Danielle spat out the water she was drinking. Misha began choke-laughing. Reece’s shoulders shook looking at Danielle’s reaction.

“Please, Sean,” Danielle pleaded. “Never say things like ‘incredible skill sets’ in that context again. It will scar us for life.”

Sean just grinned. When the laughter subsided, Misha spoke up, “My sister finally got her business degree,” he announced. “She wants you to come to her graduation, Dani.”

Pleasantly surprised, Danielle nodded quickly. “Of course, I would love to attend the ceremony. It’s been quite some time since I’ve spoken to her, I’m really glad she invited me.”

Reece said, “Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get back to our earlier discussion.” He looked at Danielle pointedly.

“Do you remember the party we met?” Misha said suddenly. “It was a welcome party for you when you came back after all those years. But you were feeling anything but welcome there,” he laughed shortly. “I think the one thing that drew us all to you was your vitality. You were like a struggling plant in your pack that we knew, at first glance, would turn into a huge tree. What I’m trying to say is that you’re capable of surviving any kind of situation.”

“But at the same time,” Sean continued, “You need others to help you grow, Dani,” he spread his hands wide helplessly. “At the very least, you need others to travel this journey with you!”

Danielle frowned. “Why are we talking about me, again?”

There was a collective sigh. “The point is, Danielle, we care. And we want you to be able to approach us if you feel we can help you in any way,” Reece expressed.

She continued to frown. For a time, the table was silent. Then, as if understanding something, she slowly nodded. “If I ever find that I need help from anyone of you, then I will not hesitate to ask.”

The men sat up straight, shocked at her words. Slowly, a smile spread across their faces. “That’s all we can ask for,” Sean said.

As she neared the pack borders of the Amethyst Pack, Danielle took comfort recalling this promise she had made to them. She was still nervous about bothering Sean with her presence because she knew what baggage she was bringing to the Amethyst Pack. Sean’s pack was one of the largest in the kingdom and placed first across many categories in the royal rankings. Sean had such a pack to run; he also had a mate to top it off.

That was the main reason she chose Sean out of the others. His pack was capable of fending off any kind of attack from Jacob’s side. In addition, he had a mate, so it wouldn’t give rise to unnecessary rumours within the pack. With this in mind, she reassured herself that she was doing the right thing. Danielle, as her wolf, shot off for the last leg of running to enter the borders of the Amethyst Pack.

An hour later, Lupa could sniff out that no pack’s land had come to an end and pack territory would start immediately. Danielle wrested back control from Lupa and shifted to her human form, fully clothed. Being able to shift back and forth with clothes on was a gift to one of the earliest werewolves by a mage. It was in one of those rare cases where a werewolf’s mate was a mage.

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