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Chapter 32: the guy I knew and


"Ready for your first day on the job?" Cherry asked with a beaming smile over breakfast. It's been two days since the Alpha - I mean Alex - gave me a tour. Two days since he told me about his mate.
It was like I could feel his sadness through me, like it struck something inside me to see him so hurt. I didn't want that, I wanted to comfort him, but held myself back. When he hugged me it ... It felt so safe. Off course I freaked out the first seconds because he moved so fast and swiftly. But after that first second, my body eased and I calmed down. A part of me wanted to stay like that. But I shoved that part away.
Sure, Alex is a nice guy. But he is still an Alpha and I am ... me. Wolfless, weak little me. An Alpha needs someone strong besides him, not someone broken me.

After the embrace we just talked. It wasn't awkward or weird, just comfortable like always. And while we were talking, I convinced him to let me help him out with all his paperwork. He had been so nice to me, it was the least I could do.
But Alex would only accept my help if he could hire me and pay me for my work. It had been a discussion for the last two days, but I eventually caved. Only because he really needed the help and was too stubborn to see it.

"Maddy? Earth to Maddy?" Cherry waved a hand in front of my face.
"Yeah sorry, I was a little ... -"
"- distracted, I know. You didn't even hear Will's amazing joke" Cherry chuckled.
"Hey, don't use that sarcasm on me, it was an amazing joke", Will snapped back playfully.
"Yeah, whatever rows your boat big guy. But shouldn't the two of you head out? I wouldn't let our grumpy Alpha wait" Cherry said with a wink.

I didn't really understand why they always referred to Alex as 'the grumpy one'. I've never seen him grumpy or moping. Sure he was more the silent type, but he was also kind and attentive.

Will and I left the house and made our way to the packhouse. On our way there, Will tried to explain his hilarious joke to me, which was basically a really bad dad joke. But nonetheless I laughed, if only to satisfy his own need to be funny. He seemed a little nervous.

When we approached the Alpha office I could hear loud voices yelling. Will immediately stepped in front of me, pushing me behind him in a protective manner. I was still processing what was going on, when the door of the office flew open and a male wolf quickly made his way out of the office. He looked scared, but when his eyes landed on me his face became hard and angry. I recognized him as one of the young warriors I escorted to the hospital a few days back. The one that told me I was just a girl.

A growl erupted from the office and young warrior quickly strode away while sneering at me like I was the one growling at him.

"What is his problem?" I asked my cousin, who only relaxed his posture when the other male was out of sight.
"Damien is a .. a stereotypical macho man. I think he is still angry you put him in his place the other day" Will shrugged, but there was still something in his eyes. Something that told me he wasn't fully dismissing what just happened.

We walked to the office, the door was still open and inside ... All the paper that were neatly stacked on top of eachother, were now ... everywhere.
Alpha Alexander was brooding in his leather chair behind his desk, clearly lost in thoughts. Okay maybe now I get why they call him grumpy.

Will walked in, assessing the damage and then planting himself in one of the chairs in front of his Alpha. I just stood there in the doorway, not sure how to proceed. Alex clearly needed a minute to calm down. A need that Will clearly dismissed by approaching him. But Will was his best friend and Beta. He could piss him off and get away with it. I am just ... me. If he got angry, I won't even be able to protect myself. Plus, pissing off Alpha's hasn't worked in my favor in the past.

"Alex, Maddy is ready for her first day on the job", Will eventually said after a very awkward minute of silence. Well, awkward for me, Will seemed totally fine, like this was a daily occurrence.
But his words did seem to pull Alex out of his thoughts. His eyes immediately found mine and a corner of his lips lifted. The awkwardness was flushed away. There was the Alex I knew and l-.. wait what?

"Maddy, come in, take a seat so we can talk about your job and responsibilities"

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