Chapter 6 - The Arrival
I fluttered my eyes open to see J propped up on his elbow, staring at me. I blushed as our eyes met. I’m sure I looked terrible. J slipped his arm around my waist and pulled my body next to his. Running his hand up my back, he pressed his lips to mine.
“Good morning to you too,” I whispered.
“Are you ready to meet our pack, Luna?” What? I hadn’t even registered the fact that my mate was an Alpha, which meant I would be his Luna, their Luna. I knew nothing about being a leader. Sensing the panic in my eyes, J cupped my face in his hand. “Baby Girl, don’t worry. You’re going to be a fantastic Luna. I didn’t mean to overwhelm you.” He pulled my face closer and kissed my forehead. “Look, you’ll have a great support system. You’ll have my mom, Becky, my Aunt Amy, and my Aunt Karen. They’re all going to love you and help you with anything!”
“You really think they’ll like me?” I asked shyly.
“Of course, Baby Girl!”
“Okay. Well, I need to get a shower and get ready then. I’ll head down to my room and start packing my stuff.”
“I should probably get a shower too. How about I just come down to your room when I’m done?”
I nodded as I threw the covers back and searched to find my robe.
“Here, Baby Girl,” J handed my robe to me from the other side of the bed and helped me slip my arms inside. Then he pulled me into a tight hug. Just his touch calmed down my nerves. “Now, head off to your room. I have a surprise for you down there.”
I happily skipped off to the elevator and headed down to my room, wondering what surprise he could have arranged for me. I slid my key and opened the door. Nothing caught my attention. The room was clean, bed made, flowers on the desk, mints on the pillows. Wait, flowers? I glanced back, and there was a beautiful arrangement of flowers on the table next to a tray of waffles and a massive bowl of fruit. I walked over to the desk and found a note:
Good morning Baby Girl! Enjoy your breakfast. I can’t wait to bring you home with me today. XOXO J
A smile spread across my face. I had actually found my happily ever after. I can’t wait to go to our home. I skipped to the bathroom and began to get ready. Just as I stepped out of the shower, I heard a knock on the door. I threw my robe on and checked the peephole. Olivia! I opened the door and wrapped my arms around my best friend.
“Oh, my gosh, girl! Did Jacob tell you? We’re going to Blood Stone today!”
“I know! I know! I’m so nervous and excited at the same time!”
“Well, we don’t have all day, so let’s get started on that hair of yours.”
Two hours later, my hair was finally dry. Olivia had braided a section around my face like a headband then left voluminous curls flowing behind my shoulders. Then I added a quick swipe of eyeliner and mascara.
“Girl, you look hot,” Olivia complimented.
“Yes, I’m melting. That hairdryer is going to be the death of me,” I joked as I headed to the closet. Thinking of the ride ahead of us, I opted for a loose maxi skirt and a plain white t-shirt. I tied a knot in the maxi skirt so I wouldn’t trip over it then slipped on a pair of flats. I stepped out of the closet to see Olivia had changed into loose high waisted shorts and a crop top. She had tied her hair up in a braided top knot.
“I’m going to meet Taro in my room to get my bags. We’ll meet you and Jacob downstairs when we’re ready to head out.” Liv pulled me into a hug.
“Okay. I just have to throw the rest of my stuff into my bags, and I’ll be ready.”
“That’ll take you another two hours,” Liv joked.
I shoved her out of the room and began to pack everything into my suitcases. After getting all of my clothes and shoes packed, I heard a knock on my door. I was sure it was only Liv who forgot something; I just pulled the door open. I was mildly startled when I was met with broad shoulders and a muscular chest instead of Liv’s small frame.
“Baby Girl, you really should check the door before you open it. I could have been some creep wanting to get you into bed.”
“I know. I know. I thought it was Liv.” I pulled him into a sweet kiss. “Thank you for breakfast. It was great.”
“Good. I’m glad you liked it. You have your bags packed yet?”
“Almost. Just a few more things.”
“Taro and Liv are already in the lobby waiting on us. She said you’d probably be another hour before you were ready.” He raised his eyebrow with concern.
I just rolled my eyes and continued packing my hair and makeup items. ‘Why did I bring so much stuff?’ I thought to myself. I zipped the suitcase and set it beside the first. Then I made one last sweep through the room to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I came out of the bathroom to find J holding both suitcases.
“All ready,” I said as I placed my sunglasses on my head and opened the door. Just as J had said, Taro and Liv were both waiting in the lobby for us.
We piled into the car and decided to get drive-through for lunch. Liv connected our favorite playlist, but a couple of songs in, I was already getting drowsy. I leaned my head against the window and dozed off.
After what felt like just seconds, J was rubbing my leg, saying, “Wake up, Baby Girl. We’re home.”
I fluttered my eyes open to see a beautiful colonial-style mansion. It was gorgeous with its stone block exterior and massive wooden doors. The porch was framed with huge white columns and sat behind a roundabout driveway. It was a beautiful home that emitted modest wealth. Three men walked out of the house. All of them tall and muscular and wearing the same clothes. They approached the car as Jacob put it in park.
“Alpha, good to see you back safely.”
“Chad, good to be back,” J replied as he tossed him the keys. The remaining two men grabbed the suitcases from the trunk, and J instructed them where to put them. J squeezed my hand. “Want to grab a snack? I’m sure there’s some fruit in the kitchen.”
“Sure, that’d be great,” I replied, stretching my neck. J led me through the large wooden doors. The foyer had hardwood floors and a double staircase curving around each side to the second floor.
“All the offices are upstairs. Bedrooms on the west wing are for the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. Bedrooms on the East Wing are for all the staff.” J winked in my direction. “Kitchen and dining hall are this way.” J led me through a sitting room into the dining hall then through a set of double doors to the kitchen—each room more impressive than the last. The kitchen was loaded with three refrigerators, a walk-in pantry, and a huge seating bar. Jacob walked to the bar with a bowl of fruit and two forks. Quickly, we devoured the bowl of fruit.
“Thank you, J,” I smiled as I took the dishes to the sink to wash. Just as I turned my back, I heard a squeal and then a rush of footsteps towards us. I turned back around, frightened, to see three middle-aged women rushing into the kitchen.
“Is it true?” one woman, with blonde hair like J’s, asked.
“Oh, please tell me. Did you find her?” another woman, a brunette, questioned.
“Jacob Alexander, don’t you lie to me! Where is she?” the third woman, who oddly looked like Taro, demanded.
“Geeze, guys! Chill Out.” Jacob replied as he stepped in front of me. He turned around and gave me a quick kiss on the forehead before grabbing my hand. “Maddy, I’d like you to meet my mom, Becky, my aunt, Amy, and my aunt, Karen.” He pulled me out from behind his back, and the women engulfed me in a hug.
I spied Taro and Liv walking into the kitchen and mouthed “HELP ME” to Liv.
“Don’t worry. I survived their attack just a minute ago.” Liv replied as she laughed at me.
There was a sudden quiet that filled the room, then what sounded like a stampede. I heard a loud growl come from J, and then he darted out of the room. Taro kissed Liv quickly and then followed behind Jacob. Worry covered all the women’s faces.
“What’s going on?” I timidly asked.
“There’s an attack at the west gate.” Becky replied, “It’s the Crimson Pearl Pack. We need to move. Now.” Becky ordered, leading us into a staircase. All of us traveled quickly down the stairs into a cellar. Becky locked the door behind us. Olivia and I held tightly onto one another as the quiet engulfed us.
“Does this happen a lot?” I finally managed the courage to ask.
“No. But Crimson Pearl has made a few threats over the last couple of months. Knowing that Jacob had been expanding our pack territory and that their pack was next, it was a case of attack or be attacked. I guess coming back from the mating ball, they expected us to be vulnerable.”
“I see.” Jacob hadn’t said much of his pack or his work since we met. I noticed all three women seemed to relax at the same time.
Becky looked over at me. “Oh, I forgot you can’t mind link the rest of the pack yet. The threat is over. Their Alpha is dead.” Unlocking the door, Becky led us back up into the kitchen.
Amy took my hand and said, “Let’s get you up to your room and get you settled.” I looked back for Liv and saw Karen grabbing her hand as well. I followed Amy as she led me down the west hallway. She opened the door at the end of the hallway and ushered me into my room. “This is your and Jacob’s suite. It’s like your own little apartment inside the house. You’ve got a full kitchen, dining room, and living room. Those French doors open out onto a patio too. It looks like they brought your suitcases in too. Let’s get these put away, sweetie.”
Amy showed me the bedroom and master closet then started putting away Jacob’s things. “I’m not sure how much Jacob told you, but I’m not really his Aunt. My husband, Mike, was Aaron’s Beta.”
“Aaron?” I questioned
“Oh my, I guess he hasn’t said much at all, has he sweetie?”
“No, not really,” I laughed.
“Aaron was Jacob’s dad. He and Mike, my husband, were best friends. They come from a long line of Alpha & Beta’s. Unfortunately, Mike and I were never able to have any children, so when Aaron and Becky had Ethan, they asked us to be his Aunt & Uncle. Then as the rest of the boys came along, it just stuck. Even Karen and Hiro’s kids call us, Aunt and Uncle.”
“Okay,” I tried to grasp all the info Amy just threw at me. “So Aaron’s not the oldest? And I’m assuming Karen and Hiro are Taro’s parents?”
Amy just shook her head as she carried Jacob’s dirty clothes to the hamper. “I’m going to kick that boys’ ass. We need to get everyone together for brunch tomorrow. I’m sure Taro didn’t bother to dish out any details to that sweet Olivia either. Do you girls know each other?”
“Actually, we’ve been best friends since Kindergarten.”
“Oh, that’s just fantastic! Well, I’m going to go check on dinner and let you get settled in. Do you need anything? Have any questions?”
“Nope. Thank you so much for your help, Amy.” I exclaimed.
She pulled me in for a hug. “Anytime, sweetie. Dinner should be ready at about six. I’ll see you there!”
I walked around our suite, taking in everything. The kitchen was beautiful with wood cabinets and white tile backsplash. There were dark stained hardwood floors throughout the entire suite. A huge TV was mounted to the wall in the living room with a similar one also in the bedroom. It was all fairly new, but it had a homey feel to it. I checked the time and decided to freshen up before dinner. I changed into a navy floral maxi skirt and a pair of sandals. It was a little chilly, so I threw on a navy cardigan then slipped out to the hallway. I spotted Liv coming out into the hallway at the same time, and I rushed to her.
“Holy Cow! Isn’t this all insane?” I asked
“Definitely. I mean, we had nice houses, but this? This is amazing.”
“Amy wants to have brunch tomorrow. Did she tell you?”
“Yes, Karen told me. They are all so nice!”
We entered the dining hall to find several tables set up. I spotted Amy, Becky, and Karen as they waved us over. Next to them were Mike, Amy’s husband, and Hiro, Karen’s Husband. I didn’t see Aaron or even a chair for him. I made a mental note to ask about it tomorrow at brunch. The other tables were full of families, but I didn’t recognize any of them.
Amy spoke up as Liv, and I sat down. “Girls, this is my husband, Mike, and Karen’s husband, Hiro.”
“Ladies, we’re so happy to have you join our family. I’m sure Jacob and Taro will be here soon, but you ladies go ahead and enjoy your dinner.” Mike added with a genuine smile.
Two plates of parmesan crusted chicken, potatoes, and mixed vegetables were placed in front of us. Becky grabbed the pitcher of sweet tea from the table to refill her glass. “You girls want tea, or can we get you something else?”
In unison, we replied, “Sweet Tea!”
The food was delicious, and our new family kept us laughing all evening with stories of Jacob and Taro as boys. As diner came to an end and our plates were taken by the kitchen staff, I noticed that Jacob and Taro still had not joined us. No one else seemed to find this odd. I asked one of the staff to make a plate for Jacob and send it to our room. Liv did the same for Taro. The crowd began to dwindle down, and soon Karen and Hiro excused themselves. Becky followed suit shortly after. Olivia and I stayed talking with Amy and Mike until nearly ten o’clock when we finally made our way back to our rooms.
I was sure Jacob would be in soon, so I changed clothes and turned on my favorite Netflix show – When Calls The Heart – and settled into the couch.
11 o’clock, no sign of Jacob. I shrugged it off, thinking he was wrapping things up from the attack today. I’m sure that requires a lot of the Alpha.
12 o’clock, no sign of Jacob. Worry and concern start to creep in. What if he was hurt? Surely someone would have mentioned it, right?
12:30, I decided to send him a quick text. Hey. I have your dinner in the fridge. XO
1 o’clock, still no Jacob. I decide to go looking for him. I’m sure he’s in a meeting, but it will just calm me down to know that he’s okay, especially after today’s attack. I step out into the quiet hallway. There are a few dim lights lit throughout the house. I can hear a few people in the kitchen, so I head there first. I round the corner to find the remnants of the kitchen staff cleaning up from dinner. I nod politely, then remember Jacob telling me that the offices were upstairs. Maybe that’s where he is. I head up the stairs and see a few lights on. I walk past a few closed doors and hear nothing from the other side. I see a set of double doors and assume those are J’s office. I can see the light on and hear voices the closer that I get. I knock on the door, and every voice hushes.
“What?” An angry voice demands.
I gently push open the door and step inside. “I- I’m just looking for the Alpha.” I gaze around the room of men, all studying various papers and maps until I find Jacob behind a desk with three men around him. His hair array from stress. His eyes cold and distant.
“Right here. In the office marked Alpha.” J replied sarcastically.
“I- I’m sorry. You just didn’t come down for dinner, and I was worried about you.” I asked timidly.
“I’m not a child. I don’t need looked after.”
I stood there, almost in shock. This was not my Jacob. My Jacob was sweet and kind. This man was rude and sarcastic.
“Can’t you see we are trying to work here?” He seethed, flipping through the pages on his desk.
I couldn’t bring myself to reply. I could already feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I turned and shut the door and ran back down the stairs. I pushed past the few remaining staff left up at this hour and ran straight to my room. I couldn’t believe that that man I had just seen was my Jacob. No. There was no way. Maybe he had an identical twin, an evil identical twin. I pulled myself into a ball and pulled the covers over my head. Maybe I was dreaming. Yes, this is all just a horrible, horrible dream. I’ll sleep and wake up in the morning, and J will be snuggled in beside me, and everything with be better.
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