I lead Hayley back to our bedroom and tuck her in after removing her shoes. I do not want to leave her just yet, so I lay down behind her, resting on my elbows. I brush back her long, now soft strands of hair through my fingers. This seems to relax her, as she flutters her eyes closed and drifts off into slumber. I would do anything to join her, but I have a few things I need to do before she wakes up. I continue to stroke her hair for a while before I quietly stand and exit the room.
I start walking to my office which is at the top of the packhouse. On the way there, I remember how I felt whilst Hayley was in her session. I missed her so badly, I thought I was going to break the door down just so I could see her again. Aaron was constantly whining because he was missing his mate, and it was driving me insane. Throughout the whole session, I was pacing back and forth outside the door, but I couldn’t hear anything as the room is soundproof for privacy.
When I reach my office, I unlock the door using the key which is in my pocket, and close it behind me. I take a seat behind my massive, polished oak desk and my legs start twitching, already missing Hayley and just wanting to be near her again.
I mindlink Basil to meet me in my office to talk. He responds immediately saying, “I won’t be long, Alpha.” A few minutes later, there is a knock at my door.
“Come in,” I order. Basil closes the door behind him and places himself in front of me on one of the chairs.
“I was wondering when you were going to call for me,” he says with humour. I squint my eyes at him, warning him not to take his joke to far.
“How was she?” I ask.
“I assume you are talking about Hayley,” he replies. I give a nod in return and he proceeds saying, “She is very closed off. I obviously can’t say what was said, but she isn’t telling the whole truth to me. It may mean it will take longer for her to trust me and open up, but she can take as long as she needs to open up.”
I could easily use my Alpha command on him to tell me what Hayley said, but I respect Hayley and will give her the privacy that she deserves. I give Basil a nod in understanding and say, “Just keep me in the loop. I want to make sure she is happy and feels safe here. I do not want her to think she is in danger.” I pause, then say, “Thank you, Basil. You are dismissed.”
He responds with, “Thank you, Alpha,” stands then leaves, closing the door quietly behind him.
I start going through a few files that have been left on my desk, catching up with what I missed yesterday. After an hour, I mindlink Dimitri to come to my office. “On my way, Alpha,” is his response.
Dimitri knocks once then enters. “You alright Alpha?” he asks me, after closing the door.
“Yes, just sorting through a few things. I need you to do something for me.”
He gives me a nod. “Anything.” He walks to one of the chairs and sits down, listening intently.
“Tomorrow, I need you and a few warriors to go back to where I found Hayley and see if you can smell any other scents around the area. You will have to go into rogues territory as that was where she was coming from.”
“Of course, Alpha. This will be good as well for the warriors training - sniffing out other wolves scents.” I nod in agreement.
“Later that night, once Hayley has gone to sleep, we will have a meeting to discuss what you and the warriors have found.”
He responds with, “Sounds like a plan,” he pauses then looks away.
“What do you want to say, Dimitri?” I ask, getting agitated at him for keeping his mouth shut. “Well... I was just wondering when will Hayley become our Luna. All of the pack members are wondering if she is your mate and if that means the pack will finally have a Luna.”
This throws me. I’ve been so preoccupied that I didn’t stop to think that she will become my Luna. Hayley will be a fantastic Luna. She will care for our pack. She would love our pack. “I haven’t thought about it, but Hayley will become Luna when she is ready. The pack has survived thus far, so it can survive a little bit longer. Tomorrow, I will hold a meeting for the pack to tell them that Hayley is my mate, but that she needs a bit of time to adjust to becoming Luna and to complete the Luna ceremony.”
Dimitri is nodding his head whilst I am talking, in agreement with me. I think for a second then continue to say, “As Hayley is practically Luna now, she needs a personal guard at all times. We need the best fighter we have... that has a mate.”
Dimitri responds with, “Well our best fighter is Axton, but he doesn’t have a mate.”
I growl at him and say, “Well, not him then,” and continue to think.
“Jax, what‘s more important? Hayley’s safety or you being a jealous mate?” I allow Dimitri to use just my name and not my title sometimes, as he is my closest friend. I come to him whenever I have a problem. I trust him with my life.
I pause and think it through. Hayley’s safety is what matters, so I guess Axton will be her guard. “Fine. You’re right,” I say before I mindlink Axton to come to my office.
A few moments later a knock echos throughout my office, indicating that Axton was here. He waits outside until I say, “Come in.”
He enters, bows his head, and says “Alpha, Beta.” He is wearing grey, baggy shorts with a black, skintight T-shirt and meant to be white but now brown trainers. His hair is ruffled, not styled in the slightest. He raises his head and his bright, green eyes bore into mine.
“Axton, I have a proposition for you. How would you like to be your Luna’s guard?” I ask.
His eyes widen and he says, “It’s true? We have a Luna?”
I nod my head and reply with, “It’s true. Her name is Hayley.”
Once Axton recovers from the shock he says, “I would be honoured, Alpha. Thank you for choosing me.”
I nod my head but warn him by saying, “But if you ever touch my mate without my permission, your punishment will be so severe, you will wish you were dead. Do you understand?”
He does not take my threat seriously and nods with a small smile on his chiseled face. “Yes Alpha,” he says.
“You will start tomorrow morning, once I have left. Whenever I’m not with Hayley, you will be, but if I am there, you will not be needed. Whilst I am busy, you will help Hayley learn how to speak in full sentences and read properly. She was in an accident and lost her memory resulting in her speech being muddled up and could do with learning how to improve it. As you will be with her a lot, you will have plenty of time to help teach her.”
Before Axton has time to reply, an ear-piercing scream radiates throughout the entire packhouse. Both turn to me and I stand up quickly and sprint to my office door. I fling it open and race down the stairs. I reach the level that the scream is coming from and notice it is the same level as where mine and Hayley’s bedroom is. I rush to our bedroom door and notice the scream is coming from behind it. I throw the door open to find Hayley thrashing around in bed, tangled in between the bedsheets. Her head is shaking, tears are streaming down her scrawny, little face while a frown is plastered in the middle of her eyebrows. She is having a nightmare.
I dash over to her and put her in my lap. I hold onto her whilst shaking her awake. Her eyes shoot open, looking around for any sight of danger. When she doesn’t find anything she closes her eyes whilst sobs rack her body. She starts losing her breath as a panic attack starts taking over. I have to remind her to breathe and help calm her down by rubbing her back in circular motions, causing tingles to run up both of our bodies. I hold her so tightly as if my life depended on it. It was then that I realized that she wasn’t having a nightmare, she was having a flashback.
She eventually calms down and falls limp in my arms. My heart is breaking at the sight of her. Tears well in my eyes, but I don’t let them fall as I have to be brave for Hayley. I asked her if she is alright and wants to talk about it, but she just responds with a shake of her head. I whisper an okay, lay my head on top of hers and hold her close. I want to make her feel better and for her not to have to think about her past, so I decide to come up with a plan to make her feel better.
“Hayley, I have a surprise for you. All I need you to do is just sit here. I’ll come back in half an hour to grab you for the surprise. How does that sound?” Her eyes shoot to me with excitement swimming in them. She nods her head eagerly and a grin spreads across my face. I gently place her back on the bed and say, “I won’t be long,” and with that I walk out of the room closing it behind me, but not before I give her a quick wink. I stand in the hallway and look at Dimitri and Axton. “You two need to help me...”
We did it. We managed to get it all set up in under half an hour. I walk back up to mine and Hayley’s bedroom and knock softly on the door as to not startle her. I enter to find her in the same position as I left her in. She looks at me with eagerness and is practically raring to go. “Do you want to come see your surprise?” She nods her head frantically. “Follow me,” I say as I hold out my hand. She stands up clumsily and places her tiny hand in mine, looking lost against it.
I lead her outside to where her surprise is laid out. When she spots it, her breath gets caught in her chest. Tears well in her eyes and I start to think I went too fast for her, but then she jumps at me and gives me a bone-crushing hug. My arms wrap around her tiny frame and I breathe in her scent, relieved that she isn’t upset.
She stands back after a couple of seconds and takes in her surroundings. Fairy lights are scattered amongst the trees creating a beautiful atmosphere. A check pattern blanket lays in the middle of the field, on top of the radiant flowers. A picnic basket is placed on top of the blanket, which holds a couple of slices of toast, some rich tea biscuits, some peppermint tea in a flask to keep it warm with some cups, and Hayley’s tablets. Next to the basket is a stereo, which I plan on using later tonight.
I quickly mindlink the pack as Hayley is gawking at the sight, to say that they can enter the packhouse, but to swiftly grab something to eat and drink and then to head to their rooms and stay there until nine tomorrow morning. This way Hayley won’t be scared about having to deal with all the members at once, whilst heading back to our room later on.
“I love... this?” she says with so much passion and confusion. “Thank you,” she whispers as she snuggles into my chest.
I enjoy the moment until I hear her stomach gurgling for food. “Come on you, lets get you something to eat.”
She follows me to the blanket and only sits down once I do. I open the basket and place the food out on the blanket, for easy access. I hand her the tablet that she needs to take and give her a cup of peppermint tea to wash it down.
We munch on the toast and rich tea biscuits and a comfortable silence falls between us. I notice she is looking at the sky, so I lie down looking up. She copies my actions straight away like I thought she would. My hand automatically goes to hers and rubs soothing circles on the back of it. Aaron purrs in my mind and it radiates to my chest and comes out of my mouth. We stay like this for another hour, just stargazing at the magical sky. Not once talking, just enjoying having each other near.
I suddenly remember about the stereo and gently roll up so I can connect it to my phone. I decide to play ‘Last Request’ by Paolo Nutini as it seemed rather fitting for the situation. I stand up and extend my arm to Hayley and ask, “Care to dance?” She nods her head at me and delicately places her hand in mine and stands up.
I place her on my feet at the start of the song, swaying side to side. She looks up at me with the biggest smile I have ever seen and it’s breathtaking. It’s the first time I have seen her smile and it is so beautiful. Happiness fills my body and I rest my forehead against hers and continue to sway to the beat...