Chapter 9: Elizabeth
Elizabeth sat at a table on the boardwalk. I shouldn’t be here, she thought as she nibbled on a french fry. Her long, blonde hair had been pulled into a high ponytail. She was wearing blue bikini top with a pair of jean shorts covering the matching bottoms. Her eyes were fixed on Mountain Pack as they transferred their belongings from the vehicles into their homes. The boardwalk was neutral ground, but she still replayed her thought to leave over and over.
Her wolf was furious that she did not journey up to Mountain to visit Michael. She missed him horribly, which only made her keep her distance from him. She had fallen under the damn Alpha Aura, and her wolf was just too horny to see it. Her chest hurt every time that she thought of him, and her skin burned when she remembered his touch upon it. She had fallen under his spell, and now she was heartbroken. The first male wolf that she had revealed her secret to had treated her no differently than any other she-bitch. She sighed and rubbed a hand over her face.
“He is pretty dreamy,” Audrey teased as she sipped her milkshake. Her best friend sat beside her with her red hair spilled down her back. She was wearing a white bikini top with jean shorts, her eyes observing Mountain Pack. Elizabeth’s eyes followed Audrey’s to Michael. Her wolf purred in approval at the stubble that had begun to take root on his sculpted face. He was wearing a black muscle shirt with a pair of jeans. His muscles rippled as he helped a male wolf carry a large sofa with a bookshelf tucked into it. His muscles swelled suddenly as he tightened his grasp on the sofa to prevent it from slipping. A thin sheen of sweat glistened against his tattoos. The male with him was slightly shorter than Michael was, his brown hair pulled into a tight bun. The male was wearing a blue t-shirt with a pair of jeans.
The houses were beautiful. Each house was made of grey brick with approximately three bedrooms per house. She had passed by them before and noticed that the windows on the back of the homes were large, and that sliding glass doors connected to the bedrooms that faced the mountain. The main road of the mountain was undeterred by the development as it started at the curve around the mountain, away from the pack. She had assumed that the larger home of the development that was located directly in the center of it was Michael’s. The house had a large skylight that covered the master bedroom.
“Yeah, he’s something,” Elizabeth said as she popped another french fry into her mouth.
“Oh, I’ll bet that he is,” Audrey grinned.
“Aren’t you dating someone? I don’t know, the Beta?”
“Who?” Audrey asked innocently.
“You’re terrible,” Elizabeth laughed.
“I may be committed to your brother, but I ain’t blind to the other males. I can admire the Mountain Alpha from afar.”
“Don’t be a Michael groupie,” Elizabeth teased.
“I can’t be if I don’t sleep with him,” Audrey winked. “Come on. You’re not the least bit curious what he would be like in bed?”
“Maybe,” Elizabeth mumbled as she bit her lip. Quite the opposite, she was very curious about what he would be like in bed.
“I mean, imagine the passion that he must use in his fucks. So primal, so animalistic. Your brother—”
“No!” Elizabeth shouted. She watched Michael’s eyes snap in her direction as he returned to the truck for a box. Audrey snickered and Elizabeth glared at her. “You set me up.”
“Maybe. You keep looking at him like you want to devour him,” Audrey grinned.
“Not going to happen. My brother would kill me.”
“Your brother needs to loosen up.”
“Are we talking about the same guy?”
“Well, he loosens up in bed—”
“Audrey!” Elizabeth snapped. “No! No!” She growled as Michael’s eyes fixated on hers for a moment, then returned to transporting a box into the main house.
“Will you quit getting me worked up?” Elizabeth hissed.
“Why? He seems to like it,” Audrey said as she took another sip of her milkshake. “He keeps looking over here.”
“What if he’s looking at you, and you’re just making me look like an ass?”
“Win-win,” Audrey teased. “But he didn’t stay in my house for a week, so I’m sure it’s not me.”
“That didn’t go well, and now I have to stay at his house for a week to babysit Matthew.”
“You still need to talk to Grayson about that,” Audrey commented. Elizabeth’s jaw ticked but she nodded. She had not spoken to him since the night that they had fought, her last night with Michael. She needed to talk to him before tomorrow. “So, did you sleep with big bad over there?” Audrey pipped up.
“Audrey,” Elizabeth groaned as she rolled her eyes.
“What? He was in your house for a week. I’m allowed to ask.”
“Even if something did happen, you’d tell my brother, and that’s a headache in itself.”
“So, something happened.
“No,” Elizabeth said sternly. “I said that if something did.”
“Liz,” Audrey said seriously. She grabbed her hand and squeezed it softly. “I may be your brother’s girlfriend, but you’re still my friend. I know how easy he is to trigger, especially about you. I can keep a secret.”
Elizabeth smiled and squeezed Audrey’s hand. “Thank you, but no,” she said as she shook her head. “If something happens, I wouldn’t put you in that position with Grayson.”
“What position with Grayson?” her brother’s voice asked.
Elizabeth rolled her eyes and turned to find Grayson standing behind Audrey. He had his arms draped down Audrey’s shoulders in a hug as he rested his chin on top of her head. Grayson’s short blonde hair had been spiked, his green eyes curious. His bare chest was flush against Audrey’s back, his white swim trunks paling his tanned skin. “Your lovely sister here told me about this fantastic sex position where I put my legs—”
“Nope,” Grayson untangled himself from Audrey. “Not taking sex tips from my little sister.”
“Thank god, because my tip was you positioning your legs, not hers,” Elizabeth corrected with a grin.
Grayson flinched as Audrey snickered. She pushed herself to her feet. “You two need to talk. I’m going to get some water,” Audrey said. She kissed Grayson’s cheek and walked away. Grayson hesitated but sat in the chair that Audrey had vacated. His eyes trained on Mountain Pack as they finished unloading the vehicles. “Lizzy Beth—”
“Gracie, please,” Elizabeth sighed. “Can we not fight? I hate it when we do.”
“I wanted to apologize,” he said softly as his eyes met hers. “Vincent talked me down, and I’m sorry. No matter how old you get, I’ll still feel responsible for my baby sister. You will always be my baby sister before you’re our Alpha’s second.”
“Gracie, that isn’t the problem,” she said. “You’re my big brother before you’re my Beta, but I need to breathe. I need to know that you’ll support my decisions, even if you don’t agree with them. I understand your concern of my well-being around Michael and Matthew, but you seem to forget that you and Vincent taught me how to protect myself.” She leaned over and squeezed his hand. “More than that, you both taught me how to think like a Beta. You need to remember that.”
Grayson smiled lightly and sighed. “I still don’t like you doing this, but I understand. Just, be sure to check in, okay? And try to not piss them off too much, at least not Michael. Matthew is just a temporary headache; Michael is a permanent one.”
“If they start it, I’ll finish it,” Elizabeth shrugged. “I won’t start anything.”
“And don’t tell him who you are.”
“Gracie, I’m not an idiot. The whole point is for me to be an undercover Beta.”
“I am proud of you, you know,” Grayson said. “I need you to remember that. My sister is our strongest she-wolf, both mentally and physically. Aside from my worry of you as my sister, I worry about something bad happening to our strongest female.”
A slamming sound pulled Elizabeth’s attention away from Grayson to Mountain Pack. Michael had closed the tailgate of his truck. She glanced at the sky and noted that there was still some day light left before the shift. She took a deep breath. She knew that she needed to talk to him before tomorrow, and it would appear normal if she approached him than him approaching her. Her eyes shifted back to Grayson. “I have to go. You two stay safe tonight. I’ll make sure to say good-bye before leaving tomorrow,” she said as she stood up.
“You stay safe as well, sister,” Grayson said as he rose to his feet as well. He embraced Elizabeth in a tight hug. She smiled and hugged him back, then walked over to Michael.
She saw Michael’s head snap in her direction. His emerald eyes were bright and hypnotizing as he studied her. The ache and burn of her body intensified under his gaze, and she cursed the purr that her wolf elicited. She tucked her hands into her pockets and bit her lip. Her wolf was on the verge of howling at him. She noticed his jaw tick suddenly, and she wondered if her wolf had succeeded in communicating with his. He leaned against his truck and crossed his arms over his chest, his eyes fixated on hers. His eyes burned with an emerald fire so intently that she was unable to look away from it. She noticed a flash of gold begin to melt into the emerald as well.
“Hey,” Elizabeth said softly as she stopped before him. “How are your people settling in?”
“Well enough. The children are mesmerized by the ocean,” Michael nodded. He hesitated for a second. “I wanted to ask for your help with that. Would you be open to teaching my people how to swim?”
“Of course,” she smiled. “I’d love to.”
“Thank you. Elizabeth—” Michael started but was cut off by a male wolf growling appreciatively at Elizabeth as he walked by. Elizabeth rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest. Animals, she thought. Michael’s body went rigid, and his jaw clenched. She looked at him curiously. Surely, he was not upset about that male’s reaction to her. He shook his head suddenly to break the trance. “Allow me to introduce you to my Beta. Liam!”
“Alpha?” Liam asked as he stood beside Michael, and Elizabeth immediately recognized him as the male wolf that was assisting Michael in transporting the couch.
“This is Elizabeth, a friend of Alpha Vincent. She will be staying with us while Matthew is here, to keep an eye on him,” Michael said.
“I was wondering when we’d see you,” Liam nodded.
“I didn’t want to intrude while your people were getting settled. They have enough stress to worry about than an Oceansider popping by to say hello,” Elizabeth shrugged.
“We appreciate the patience,” Liam said as surprised etched into his face.
“Re-locating to a new territory is stressful enough,” she said.
Liam’s gaze studied her for a moment, as if gauging the sincerity of her words. She chose to shift her attention to Michael. “What time does Matthew arrive?”
“Some time in the afternoon,” Michael said. “I’d rather you arrive before him. It’ll be slightly less surprising to him if you’re here when he shows up.”
“I wouldn’t be sure about that,” Liam muttered.
“Meaning?” Elizabeth asked as she cocked an eyebrow.
Liam’s eyes widened. “You’re different for him.”
“You’re new,” Michael corrected with irritation. “Matthew has…had the local cuisine, as it were. He has not had you.”
“He’ll survive,” Elizabeth said. “I’m not here to please him. I’m almost hoping that he will say some dumb shit so I can hit him freely.”
“I like her,” Liam grinned. “I’m going to head up the mountain,” he said as he looked at his Alpha. “I’ll see you up there.”
Liam nodded to Elizabeth as he departed. Elizabeth uncrossed her arms and tucked her hands into her back pockets. She allowed her eyes to roam the pack and observe each wolf. She felt Michael’s gaze roaming her body, and she cursed her wolf before she could react. “What are you doing tonight?” Michael asked.
“The night of the full moon?” she quirked as her eyes shifted back to him.
“I know what you’re doing,” he answered with a smirk. “I meant where.”
“The beach? Where else?”
“Mountain,” he said as he nodded to the mountains behind him. “If you’re interested, anyway. This will probably be our last full moon there without worrying about humans.”
Elizabeth’s eyes danced along the majestic structure behind Michael. Trees engulfed it. So many places to run in plain sight, she thought. She allowed the growl of desire to reverberate in her throat. Serenity. “Aren’t you afraid of your people chasing me?” she asked.
“Concerned, but only because I worry about what you could do them.”
“And if I do fight them?”
“It’ll teach them a lesson. We are living beside your pack now. You won’t be the only Oceansider that they encounter.”
“Probably the only female to fight back.”
“It would be entertaining, to say the least.”
Elizabeth chewed on the inside of her cheek. He was allowing her to defend herself with no consequence, with full understanding of it. No demands to stand down. She expected him to threaten harm to her if she harmed any of his, like any other alpha would issue to an outsider, but he was not treating her like everyone else. “Thank you, Alpha Michael,” she said. She heard his wolf purr loudly, and she smirked. Rulers craved their titles to be addressed, and it was the first time that she had done it. “I’ll bring my stuff over tonight and just crash here after the shift, if that is all right.”
“Of course,” Michael nodded. “We leave in an hour.”