A familiar face.
Now that she thought about it, maybe her entire speech about being fine was an overstatement because as soon as she and Brynn both got out of the carriage, Rey landed right next to her father.
Truth be told, she should have expected it. It was a habit applied worldwide that whenever visitors came to the village, it was almost always the alpha of the pack that greeted them. He didn’t notice her right away, his eyes preoccupied with Brynn and it gave Rey enough time to reminiscent on the past.
That’s how long she hadn’t seen the man standing in front of her, and yet one look was all it took for her veins to fill up with all the love she felt for him.
Her father was a good father. He cried when she was born and he made sure she would never have a reason to cry as she was growing up. No matter how busy, he would greet her with a warm smile every morning and he would single out the time, he spent only with his family every day.
So, it was to no one’s surprise that Rey loved her father. Very deeply.
But while he was a good father, he was an even better pack leader. Everything he did, he did it with the wellbeing of his pack on his mind. And as she came to realise on her own skin, he wouldn’t let anything, or anyone cause harm to his people.
Not even his own blood.
So, while Rey loved her father very much, as she stood there starring at the familiar eyes, too big of a nose and thin lips that used to produce her favourite sound in the entire world, she felt that love turn to rage.
“I can’t stress enough how immensely grateful I am that you agreed to come all this way.” He reached his hand out to Brynn. “The pack will never forget the kindness of your heart.”
Brynn shook his head and smiled: “It is really not worth mentioning. It’s our job to help those in need.”
While the conversation was definitely very interesting, Rey paid much more attention to the sequence of the words he said before. It was odd for an alpha not to directly stake a claim on what belonged to him. It applied especially to her father, who took pride in being the pack leader. So why would he say this pack instead of my pack?
She was probably overthinking it and she didn’t have much time to analyse it anyway, because his next words were: “Yes, I heard about you. Your reputation proceeds you. A young lady and her three companions travelling the world. Would you mind introducing me to the rest of your crew?”
“Sure,” Brynn nodded again. “This is Lia, Seth and ...”
Her name did not come out of Brynn’s mouth. Instead, it was breathed out through her father’s as their eyes finally collided.
He gifted Lia and S with a warm smile, but as his gaze fell upon her, shock replaced his features. He didn’t expect to see his estranged daughter here of all places. That much was for sure.
Maybe under other circumstances, Rey would burst out laughing as she stared at his comically enlarged pupils and a mouth shaped in an “o” form. He looked like a fresh fish out of water.
“Oh, right,” Lia’s excited voice interrupted their little reunion, “I almost forgot, you were born here. Is this someone especially important to you, we should know about?”
Rey almost uttered I don’t know about important but said only the words: “He is my father” out loud.
The initial shock was replaced by an even bigger one as the man in front of her heard those words leave her mouth. Right before she left, Rey made it loud and clear that he no longer held the title in her eyes. But desperate times called for desperate solutions.
While she told Lia and S, the village they were headed to was a place where she was born, she wasn’t ready to share with them, why exactly was it she had to leave.
Only Brynn knew the whole story and a lot of alcohol was present, the night Rey shared the pieces of her past with her.
That’s why she gave her father the look that hopefully emitted “they don’t know about anything, so shut the hell up”.
“Oh, that’s so exciting,” S chirped through, “you never told us, you were the alpha’s daughter.”
Her father, finally sobering up from the shock of seeing her, said right then: “She is not.”
Rey had to bite her tongue not to curse out loud. Was he really stupid enough not to get what she was trying to tell him? The least he and his pack could do for her now, was to ensure her friends would not find out about the whole story of what went down between them in the past before they would leave for good.
Keeping it a secret was more for their sake anyway. Rey didn’t know how Lia and S would react to the whole mess, but it sure as hell wouldn’t be a positive reaction. And there were people here that needed help. They were more important than her and her sob story anyway.
“She is not the alpha’s father,” he continued, “because I am no longer the alpha of this pack.”