I understood where Nick was coming from, but that didn’t make it any easier on me. We had a missing wolf and a dead wolf in our pack, the missing wolf might be responsible for the dead wolf. There were so many unanswered questions that I was starting to lose track of what I was searching for. I looked down at my phone as it began to buzz in my hand. Dr. Morris. I missed my appointment. I had more pressing things to worry about, and obviously I was fine. Did I really need to go to the clinic and have blood taken only to be told that I was fine, just like every other time I was there? Nick was off discussing everything with the pack, and I opted to stay home, but of course he insisted on a babysitter. So, I sat awkwardly on the couch with Alex in silence. Neither of us knowing what to say.
“I’m sorry about Jimmy.” I finally blurted out. Jimmy was a friend of Alex’s and the last time I saw Alex we were on our way to the hospital with two critical wolves, me being one of them.
“Me too.” He said with a nod. The silence crept back to us and I pulled my knees to my chest, resting my chin on them.
“So, how’d you get stuck with babysitting duties again?” I asked.
“Nick trusts me.” Alex said. “I’d like to think I’m right under Daniel in ranking, but I don’t like to get cocky.” I couldn’t help but giggle. “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing, I’m sorry.”
“You don’t think I’m ranked that high?”
“No, no, it’s not that.” I blushed and bit my lip, but I knew he wasn’t going to let it go. “You said ‘under Daniel’.” Alex looked away from me and blushed. “Have you asked him out?”
“No, he’s my superior, that’s inappropriate.”
“You think Nick would care?”
“No, I know he wouldn’t care, but it’s not that easy.” Alex shook his head and adverted his eyes to his lap. “I worked hard to get where I am, and I don’t want anyone in the pack to think I slept my way up the rankings.” I scoffed at him.
“I don’t know anyone in the pack that would think that way, and I know everyone in the pack. Hell, I know things most people wouldn’t know. Wolves tend to talk when you’re serving them alcohol.” I missed my job at the bar, but this was far more important than pouring whiskey over ice.
“You’re very thoughtful, Emma.”
“I died, Alex. I legit died. I don’t know if there’s a reason I’m alive, but I’m not wasting it.” I put my hand on his thigh and smiled at him. “I know telling you to seize the moment is cliché and all that, but it’s easy to take life for granted. You never know, it could be the worst mistake of your life.” We laughed together, but the fun didn’t last. I don’t know what it was that came crashing through the window, but it was hard enough to shatter the glass. Alex grabbed me so fast I wasn’t sure what was happening at first. He flipped himself over the couch, pulling me with him. We used the couch as shelter to block the glass from hitting our bodies. Alex held a finger to his lips, and we sat in silence as we listened for the intruder to make a move. My chest heaved as I tried to calm my thoughts; we were under attack and I needed to get my shit together. Last time I was in a battle with Alex, I got shot and ended up in the hospital for almost two months, to say I was nervous was a bit of an understatement. I turned to the kitchen, could I make it to the butcher block before the intruder got to us? Alex shook his head, realizing my plan and knowing I wouldn’t make it. We were going to have to fight our way out of this, and we had the element of surprise on our side. It didn’t seem as if our attacker saw us before we made it over the couch. The footsteps were approaching closer to us and with a deep breath that drew his scent into my nose, I suddenly knew who it was.
Alex stood and turned at the same time, his fist almost connecting with the face of the wolf, but I stood faster and grabbed his wrist before his knuckles could connect. I stared into those familiar gray eyes as Derek stared back at me. I couldn’t speak, I was in utter shock. Derek’s leg shot out and connected with Alex’s knee, the crunch that it made and the cry from Alex as he fell to the floor told me it was broken. I had no time to react as I felt a small pinch in my neck.
“I’m sorry, Em.” Almost instantly my vision blurred, then went black. Derek caught me as I fell, his face being the last thing I remember seeing.