By the time I got home my couch was empty. Judging by how long it took on my run, Emmett was probably long gone. Sweet Moon Goddess, I wonder how he felt waking up alone? A sudden pain in my gut has me feeling guilty for leaving him but what else was I supposed to do? Fake a smile and tell him I had a great time? I went upstairs and grabbed my phone.
Chloe-“Did you make it home?”
Chloe-“Are you okay?”
Chloe- 3 Missed Calls
Chloe-“I’m going to kill you if you didn’t make it home.”
Dad-“Just checking in, call me.”
Chloe-“Emma Rose Clark call me right this minute!”
Chloe- 4 Missed Calls
Emmett- “Hey, where’d you’d go?”
Chloe- 3 Missed Calls.
The last notification was from seven minutes ago. I pulled up Chloe’s name and hit send.
“What the hell, Emma!?” I held the phone away from my ear the second I heard her screeching voice. “I called you and texted you! Where the hell have you been?”
“I went on a run.” I rubbed the back of my neck. No one would know of the hook up from last night. Emmett would question too many things to talk to anyone about it before we talked.
“Moon Goddess, Emma, why did you just leave like that?” Because I was afraid someone would notice I was jealous of Natalie sitting on Derek’s lap so I sat on Emmett’s instead?
“I wasn’t feeling too great, I didn’t want to get sick in front of everyone.” That sounded like a damn good excuse.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m great, just needed that run.”
“Alright well why don’t we grab lunch this week? Friday is the mating ritual and it’ll be our last thing to do as single ladies.”
“Yeah, sure.” My mind wasn’t in this conversation. I had somewhere to be.
“I’ll call you.” I hung up the phone before she could say another word.
It didn’t take me long to clean up and get changed into some fresh clothes. I walked across town to the little floral shop owned by a woman who shared my name. The bell sounded as I entered the building, my heart in my throat. The whole place was covered in flowers. Roses, daisies, lilies, any kind of flower you could possibly think of. The smells were overwhelming, you’d have to be used to it to stay inside a building like this for a long period of time.
“Good morning, how can I help you?” I turned to Rose as she spoke. Her voice sounded exactly the same as it did ten years ago. Hell, she even looked the same. The same plain-Jane face with just a few more wrinkles, the same brown hair cut to her shoulders. “Oh my Mood Goddess...” She raised a hand to her mouth. “I’m sorry.” She stepped out from behind the counter and took a few steps toward me. “You look just like your mother, it’s like looking at a—“
“A ghost?” I finished for her.
“I’m sorry.” She apologized again.
“It’s alright.” I smiled at her.
“Um, what can I help you with?” She turned back to her customer service voice. “Are you having an event coming up? Perhaps a mating ceremony? Or were you looking for just a simple bouquet?”
“Actually I was looking for you.” She seemed surprised. Why wouldn’t she be? I haven’t seen the woman in ten years.
“What can I do for you?”
“I was hoping you could give me some answers.”
“Honey, I didn’t work with your mom. I only ran the front desk to the building.”
“Rose, you’re one of the only survivors of that day.”
“You know, the Alpha is really the one you should be asking.” She turned from me and tended to some flowers near us. “He was there, he survived.”
“Nick can’t know about this.” She snapped her head and made eye contact with me.
“Emma, this is dangerous, you can’t hide things from the Alpha.”
“Are you afraid of him?” I asked her softly.
“Aren't you?” She asked back.
“No.” I stepped closer to her, I needed this. “Rose, please.” I begged. “I just need to know what happened to all of those files. My mom worked on a lot of cases, I know they didn’t just disappear with her death.”
“Rose please don’t push me away. Everyone is so scared of Nick that they keep slamming the doors in my face. I don’t need you to tell me who killed my mom, I don’t need you to point me in the right direction of who killed her. I just need to know what happened to those files. I promise you no one will know I was here.” Rose walked away from me without a word, disappearing in the back room. Dammit. Whatever hold Nick had on this pack was strong. This was my only lead, so without it I needed to go back to square one. I was almost at the door when I heard Rose call my name. I turned so fast I almost fell face first into a bushel of sunflowers. She shoved an envelope at me.
“Here.” She said. “I’m sorry I don’t have more information for you.”
“Thank you, Rose. Thank you so much.” She smiled at me and I shoved the envelope in jacket pocket. I all but ran out the door, trying to hold up my promise that no one would know I was here but as I hit the street, Kyle turned the corner. Dammit.
“Emma?” He raises a brow at me. “What are you doing here?”
“I was going to get some flowers for my dad.”
“Your dad?” He questioned.
“Yeah...but then I thought that was a bad idea so I didn’t.” Oh Moon Goddess, put me out of my misery now. “What are you doing here?” I tried to get the spotlight off of me.
“Please, don’t tell Chloe.” I pinched my fingers together and made a line across my lips. “I’m ordering some flowers for her for the mating ritual.”
“That’s very sweet of you.” I smiled at him. Maybe I should get Emmett flowers. Sorry for using your dick to make myself feel better? Probably best I didn’t. “I’ll leave you to it.” We waved our goodbyes and I jogged home. Luckily for me, Kyle didn’t want anything ruining his surprise for Chloe so I knew he wouldn’t be telling anyone I was at the flower shop.
When I got home I had every intention of opening that envelope and starting my journey to revenge. Unfortunately for my plans, I found Emmett on my porch waiting for me.
“We have to stop meeting like this.” I knew I startled him because he jumped up like a teenager caught with his hand down his pants.
“Emma.” He rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t reach you and—“
“You didn’t like how you left things last night?” Deja vu. “Maybe my phone died again?”
“Did I do something wrong?”
“No.” I cut my attitude and took a breath. I can’t deal with this right now, I need to know the contents of that envelope. “I’m not going to give you the ‘it’s me not you’ speech. I’m just kind of freaking out about this whole mating ritual thing and then you and I—“
“Emma, it’s alright to be scared.” He rubbed my arm so gently. What is wrong with me? He’s any females dream, why am I having cold feet?
“Listen, Emmett, I promise I’m not blowing you off. I just really have something I have to take care of.”
“Will you charge your phone so we can at least talk?” I laughed.
“Yes, definitely.” He leaned in and placed a soft kiss on my lips.
“See you later.” He bounced off my porch and I ran into my house. I ripped the envelope out of my jacket and tore it open.
423 Courtown Road
This was it. This was where I would find my answers.