Alexandria Safe House
As soon as I walked in the door, I smelled sex in the air.
I was furious. I knew what instructions Greg received when Beta Coral sent him to protect Heather. Yes, they were pretending to be “Mr. and Mrs. Greg Barks” since that made it more difficult to locate her, but Coral had been specific. “Don’t let your proximity lead to an inappropriate relationship or letting your guard down.” The Love Shack I just walked inside? Inappropriate. He was four years older than the college freshman he was protecting, and he was an unmated werewolf.
As soon as I could, I pulled him aside. “What the hell is going on here, Greg? You’re fucking a HUMAN you’re supposed to be protecting?”
“I know. It just happened, Vic. We love each other.”
I just stared at him for a bit. Love? He didn’t know the first fucking thing about LOVE. He’d never felt the mating pull, never mated with the one meant for him, and never held his pup in his hands. “She’s not your mate, Greg. Trust me, you meet your fated mate, and it will make what you have with Heather look like a pleasant distraction in comparison.” In the back of my head, something said I shouldn’t be too hard on him. After all, I was fucking a human too. The difference was that I had no fated mate waiting for me, not until I joined her on the other side of the Moon. I’d figure out how to get around the Council edicts with Spider Monkey at a later time.
“I haven’t met her yet.”
I slapped him across the face. “By Luna, you’re what? Twenty-two? If you found your mate TOMORROW, you’d still be considered lucky to have found her so YOUNG. Bitch about not finding your mate when you’ve reached a century.” He looked contrite as we stood in the extra bedroom. “I can’t just let this pass, Greg. Beta Coral defeated Alpha Millner in combat, she and Keith are now Alphas of the Blue River Pack. I’m the acting Security Beta, which means you work for me.”
His shoulders slumped down. “What can I do, Vic? I’m still a probationary member of this Pack. If the Alphas find out, I could be kicked out. No one else will take me, not if this gets out. I’m begging you, Vic, help me survive this.”
I thought about it; Greg was a good kid; he was young, and let Little Greg drive his actions too much, like many of the young men I’d trained. “At least tell me you used protection.” Getting a human pregnant? I couldn’t hide that from the Alphas.
“And she doesn’t know we are werewolves?”
“She has no idea, Vic. I wouldn’t do that to her; I love her.”
“You love her now, but you’re foolish if you think there is a future. The Council is cracking down; no more Trusted Agents. If she finds out about us, she’s dead, you understand?”
“I won’t tell her a thing.”
“Good. The Alphas said you’re to stay here for another week or so, that gives me time to figure something out. Pack up everything and send me a text if you need a van or a truck to help out. Did you lease the house?”
“Yeah, told them I was moving to a job up here. Four-month lease, all cash in advance.”
Money wasn’t an issue. “Break the lease, get what you can back but don’t push it. I want a thorough cleanup of the house.”
He nodded his assent. “What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to separate the two of you until things calm down a little. You can’t get close to her when you are back at Arrowhead, not until enough time has passed that they don’t suspect the relationship started here. Whatever it takes, make sure she doesn’t tell anyone you two are fucking each other. If she says anything other than you protected her and kept her safe, there’s nothing I can do to save your stupid ass.”
He nodded. “I’ll get Heather to stay quiet about this. Thanks, Vic.”
“When you do, let her down easy. She’s been through enough shit this year.” I walked back out, leaving him to talk to Heather before we left. He crossed the hall into the master bedroom while I went to the kitchen to see Three Tequila. “Anything good for the trip home?”
“We should grab some drinks, maybe some snacks.” I spotted an Igloo cooler on top of the fridge, and put some water, Cokes, beef sticks and a block of cheese into it with some ice. “She’s looking so much better than the last time I saw her,” T said.
“Well, she was in the hospital then after being shot in the back. She’s recovered well.” I closed up the cooler. “Use the bathroom, we’re not stopping on the way home unless we have to.” She got up and moved to the guest bathroom in the hall.
Ten minutes later, her bag and box in the back of the van, I put it in gear and pulled out of their driveway. I was alert for any tails, taking random turns and circling blocks to make sure we were clear. There was nothing, and Heather soon fell asleep.
I drove straight through, a four-hour drive in the bright sunshine. We had filled the tank after leaving the Interstate before going to Heather’s house, so no stops were needed. “Alphas, I’m two minutes from the front entrance,” I sent when we were close. “Heather and Three Tequila are secure.”
“Welcome back, Vic. Drive straight into Roadkill’s garage, we’ll be waiting.” The guards at the main entrance waved me through; even though the Sons were reeling, we still had heightened security helped by our Oxbow Lake allies. I followed the road around the homes lining the lake until I turned into the smaller home, near the curve where the point moved out into the lake. Pulling into the empty spot, I parked and turned the engine off as the garage door was going down.
“We’re here,” I told them. The rear doors opened as Heather stretched and rubbed her eyes.
“Harleigh!” Possum was bouncing as Heather smiled and moved towards the back. They hugged, joined soon by Roadkill. “You look good,” she told Heather.
“I’ve healed quite a bit, and I’m safe,” she said. Her stomach growled. “I guess I’m hungry too!”
“Come on inside. Honey, grab her stuff?” The girls went outside as I closed the back doors and went around to the passenger side. I handed the box and the bag from the passenger seat to him, then he opened the door again. I drove the van back to the Pack motor pool, then walked back to the offices at the Pack House.
The Alphas weren’t in yet, so I went to Ron’s office instead. He had moved one office closer to the Alphas, reflecting his new status as Lead Beta, while I was using his old one. “I’m back,” I told him.
“Everything go well on the drive?”
“Good weather, no issues except the smell of sex on the way down to the airport. Remind me not to take the Love Van on an airport run again unless I’m in the back.”
He snorted as he looked over his computer. “Have you looked over the training plan?”
“I have, but I thought of something on the way back here,” he said. “The Beta camp starts soon, and we aren’t sending anyone?” Beta Camp was an intensive camp for future Pack leaders under 25 years of age, held every three years at a Pack volunteering to host it. It prepared them physically, allowed them to network with people their age in other Packs, and receive expert instruction in Pack law, history, and tactics.
“I don’t believe so,” Ron said. “Did you have someone in mind?”
“Greg Barks. He’s got potential, and he’ll miss the age cutoff if we wait for the next time around.”
Ron leaned back. “The course starts in nine days, Vic. Can we even get him into the course at this late date?”
“I’ll find out before we bring it to the Alphas. I hate the idea of losing a qualified warrior, but the experience will do him a lot of good. The Alphas ordered Greg to close up the hideout he and Heather used in Alexandria and return in a week. The timing works.”
He pulled open a folder and looked at the roster. “We have three new warrior loanees coming from the Adirondack, Cascade, and Donner Packs after the New Year. If we can talk Alpha Coral into sending us someone, we could do it.”
“That’s assuming she fends off the challenge to her,” I said.
“There isn’t going to be a challenge. Coral and Keith met with the Pack and laid out how things were going to be under their leadership. Most were convinced based on her reputation, the rest followed. The Beta who lodged the challenge has withdrawn it, and Alpha Coral gave him leave to find another Pack. Last I heard, he was joining Banff as a warrior.”
I just smirked; he should have known better after watching his Alpha get dismantled. It wouldn’t shock me if he’d studied up on her and watched enough tape to know he’d get his ass whupped. “That’s good news for her. Does she like it up there?”
“She says it’s nicer weather than Arrowhead, whatever that means. I don’t think she’ll be coming back; Rori said she sounded happy.”
“Good. Anything else I need to know?”
“Frank Grimes woke up about two this afternoon. He isn’t strong enough to shift back yet, but he’s one impressive wolf. You should stop in and introduce yourself after you’ve eaten.” I looked at the clock, early dinner was starting and I was starving. “The Alphas want to meet after dinner to discuss how we’re going to handle the humans around here, given the Council edicts. We’ll meet at Coral’s old house at seven.”
“I’ll be there,” I said. Dinner went quickly, and I went back to the office to keep working on training and patrol plans. The longer we maintain the heightened security in place, the tougher it is on the people. The idea I had was to give some of the Omegas, of which we had plenty in this Pack, some basic training to allow them to pair with qualified warriors.
I made calls, did paperwork, and lost track of the time. I got the mental summons to meet the Alphas, seeing I was already late. I packed up my notes and hurried across to the home the Alphas were using until repairs on their home completed. When I came in, they were all sitting in the living room, a warm fire already going in the fireplace along the wall. “My apologies, Alphas,” I said of my tardiness.
Rori was first to speak. “You are aware of the Council’s views on humans and our secret, Vic?”
“Of course, Alpha. I read the transcript.”
“Good, then you realize that if Spider Monkey discovers our secret, she will be killed.”
Rage coursed through me, and I forced it down, staying in my chair. I hated the thought of anything happening to my woman, and my wolf didn’t like it either. “I love her,” I finally said.
“Enough to watch her grow old and die? Enough to let her go if that is the only way?”
I looked at them, knowing what they asked. “I will not, I cannot give her up now. I will take responsibility for her, Alphas. Even if that means leaving the Pack to be with her.”
Rori shook her head. “Spider Monkey has helped this Pack greatly, and we would never force her away. We are only asking that you consider a few things to make it easier to protect the secret.”
I relaxed, thankful I wasn’t going to be ordered to break up with her. “Such as?”
“It would be problematic to have her live long-term among us without accidentally revealing ourselves. We understand she is selling her house, and wants to live up here with you.”
Chase continued. “There is a house for sale on the lake, three houses from the back entrance to the Pack lands. It is close enough to get here quickly, but since it is off Pack lands, it makes it simpler for us with the Council. If you don’t like the house, you can remodel or rebuild and we will help with the cost.”
“I could do that. Spider Monkey doesn’t want to live up here year-round; if this position becomes permanent, we will need to address that. I’m not letting her go to Florida without me.”
“It might be easier for you to prospect with one of the Florida chapters since Spider Monkey won’t want to leave the Club behind,” Rori said.
“I just might do that, take a Nomad cut for up here.” I looked over at Chase. “Would you allow her to be changed, like Frank Grimes has been changed? If she is fully informed and agrees to it?”
“We are hesitant to let out that we’ve successfully changed a human being, for obvious reasons. If it becomes necessary, we can revisit it, but for now assume the answer is no,” he said. “Don’t get her pregnant, either. We don’t want the Council to get involved there, either.” They tended to kill the mother after the baby was born.
Three Tequila had told Rori at dinner that Heather had a crush on Greg Barks. When I suggested sending him to Beta Camp, having verified earlier we could still get him in, they quickly agreed.
The rest of the meeting dealt with Heather and how we were going to deal with her living on Pack lands. Heather would be staying with Possum and Roadkill, taking college classes on the Internet, and helping in the Pack garage.
Rori looked over at me. “She wants to learn to defend herself, and that training will be in your purview. Work her into existing classes when you can, one-on-one when you can’t.”
“I might put her with Spider Monkey and Mykayla; an unshifted wolf is a good training partner,” I said.
“Whatever works best.”
The meeting broke up after that, and I returned to my room. Pulling out my phone, I used FaceTime to call Spider out in San Jose. She was smiling as she came on the screen. “Hey baby, how are you doing?”
“Good. My condo is on the market, and I’ve started boxing things up. Tomorrow I go into work and finish my paperwork there.”
“I miss you, love.”
“I love you, and I miss you, my Big Dog.”
“Big Dog?” She hadn’t called me that before, and for a moment I wondered if she knew more than I thought she did. What if she already knew I was a wolf?
“You know what they say… ‘The bigger the dog, the bigger the dick?’ It’s a good road name for you. I can’t put ‘Big Dick’ as your name on the Steel Brotherhood cut, or I’ll be cutting a bitch a week that tries to find out if it’s true.”
I laughed. “You know what you just did with that,” I said. “Our initials would be BDSM.”
She started laughing. “Nothing wrong with that! I’ll pick up a few things in the City for you while I’m out here. You’ll look great in a studded leather harness, Gimp mask and assless chaps.”
“And you’ll look great in only a wide leather collar and fur-lined cuffs,” I teased her. “I wish I was spanking that ass of yours right now. Have a good sleep, and I’ll call you tomorrow.”
She smiled at me. “Goodnight, my love.”
“I love you, Spider Monkey.”