“When was the last time you met him?” Lucien asked as he drove us into the city. Katherine and Desmond stayed over at the clinic saying that they had a few other things to settle for business.
“Not too long ago - almost a month - I guess… We don’t talk much,” I said and Lucien glanced over at me as he drove.
“Lucien, an Alpha’s daughter isn’t gonna become an Omega- but I might as well have been. It’s not like I was gonna let my parents live with that sort of shame so before that kind of shit could’ve gotten any worse… I left.”
“But how does your dad feel?”
“I don’t know,” I answered simply before I lay back in my seat. “How’d you get into contact with my dad anyways?”
“Auden, he contacted me, not the other way around.”
I sniffed out my dad the moment we walked towards the hotel. He smelled of Carmine and my sister’s signature honey-scented perfume that had only slightly grazed his side. And yes, I could still smell all that - despite my human appearance. Lucien followed close behind me as I made my way to the piano bar, where I knew my dad would probably be drinking from his favorite kind of whiskey. And I was right.
He sat by the windows sipping a glass of whiskey with a ball of ice in the glass. I didn’t bother looking over at Lucien or greeting my dad - I took a seat across him.
“Auden.” My dad got up, his eyes were on Lucien’s as he extended his hand. “Alpha Lucien.”
“Dante, how was the flight?” Lucien said as he shook my dad’s hand, he then took the seat next to mine.
“A little bumpy, but nothing unusual,” my dad replied, taking his own seat. “Do you guys want anything?”
“No. We’re fine,” I answered before Lucien could say anything. “Why are you here?”
“I came to check on you-“
“You haven’t checked on me since fall break of my freshman year at high school.”
“Auden, darling, you know that I would’ve- but I had to take care of things with your sister-“
“Zaina went to school ten minutes away from my high school and our pack was smack in between the two,” I breathed a sigh. “Anyways, we wanted to talk about the apartment attack, not me.”
“You’re my daughter.”
“Really? I almost forgot,” I said before I waved a waitress over, her eyes skimmed down Lucien before she even got to me. “Earl Grey tea, two sugars, and milk. Thanks.” She nodded her head, her eyes glazing over Lucien and perhaps even more disgustingly so - my dad - before she left.
“Your co-workers were worried. We had to deal with calls all week,” my dad said and leaned back in my chair.
“That’s expected. I mentored most of the vets and dealt with some heavy-handed cases, but it’s nothing that they couldn’t handle,” I said as the waitress returned, lingering a little too long as she placed my cup of tea in front of me.
“Ellis was asking about you.”
Who’s Ellis? Lucien immediately asked and I glared at him.
“I see you’ve severed your ties with Carmine.”
“Took me long enough, right?” I countered. “Listen, if you don’t have any information about the night of the attack, why are you here?”
“I told you, I came to check on you, why is that so hard to believe?” He countered and I balled my right hand into a fist, earning a look of concern from Lucien as he reached over at traced a circle at my wrist.
“Okay, stop avoiding my questions, dad. I only contacted Zaina because I wanted to know how the hell that kidnapping fuck that took Lucien’s sister knew that the apartment beside mine was empty.” My dad picked up his glass, swirling the liquid around it before he drank from it. I watched him with scrutinizing eyes.
“Zaina said that there was a series of people visiting a few weeks before the... event happened.”
“There always are. I want to know how he opened the door knowing it’d be empty. One door and it would’ve been my apartment that he’d opened.” My dad released a breath before he turned and picked up a brown leather bag and sifted through it. He then produced a fairly heavy-looking folder.
“These are all I can pick up from Zaina’s office-“
“What- did she lock you out of-“
“I… also have a luggage bag with your things- I took as much as I could.”
“Dad. What does Zaina know?” My dad’s lips fell into a flat line and I found Lucien taking my hand and squeezing it reassuringly. I’m not sure if it was the mate bond, but I felt… calmer.
“I plan on returning to Carmine this evening, I just wanted to make sure you were alright. Your mom should’ve left you a few other things in the luggage bag - it’s currently at the receptionist’s desk,” he said - a bit too fast for my liking.
“Dad. I asked you a question.”
“It is no longer any of your concern,” he said and I rolled my eyes.
“Cut the bullshit dad, If you’re not gonna talk to me like I’m your daughter or at least some kind of ex-pack member - then talk to me like an old business partner because to be honest none of the things that we’ve established would’ve existed had I not been the one to start it all,” I said, breathing deeply as I tried to regain my composure.
“There are things that I can say that I’ve yet to confirm. And as Zaina takes hold of Carmine, it becomes a bit harder to… get a hold of things. I will contact you or your new Alpha when I have more information,” my dad answered simply and I felt some small bit of me relax.
“Thank you,” I said and my dad shrugged before offering me a hint of a smile.
“All your life, I thought it was my fault that you weren’t able to shift - my failure for looking after your sister more than you because she was my heir… But I’m glad you’re able to help others in need.”
“It’s my job to help animals- and what could an Alpha do about his non-werewolf daughter? Bad enough that the pack saw you nurture and train me - no matter which of us you prioritized - I’m not sure which was worse, staying where I knew I wouldn’t belong or trying to join those that think we don’t exist.”
“Um, excuse me, would any of you gentlemen want anything to drink?”
I turned my head to face the waitress that had been eyeballing both my- Lucien and my dad. My dad chuckled but before he could say anything I decided to speak.
“Sorry, we’re having a serious conversation. If they want anything I’ll call, darling,” I said with a plastic smile.
“But I’m sure they’d at least have a glass of water-“
“Do you have any right now?” I asked, raising my eyebrows at her.
“I can go get them-“
“Aren’t you supposed to serve them as soon as we get here?” I asked, folding my arms atop of each other. She stared at me and I returned it.
“Do you have a staring problem?” I asked, she shifted her weight between her legs.
“Sorry, um, do you guys still want water?”
“No.” She froze before she offered a polite smile.
“Excuse me.” I watched her turn and leave, the moment she caught the eye of her co-worker and opened her mouth, I rolled my eyes and averted my gaze.
“I’m guessing this conversation is over,” Lucien said as he fished out his wallet and took out a set of bills and set them down on the table. “Excuse us.”
My dad had to excuse himself, he said that he had a headache- although I was sure he only wanted to leave because he felt uncomfortable. My dad was a strict Alpha - and I don’t know how exactly he managed to keep a straight face when he found out I couldn’t shift. But I’m glad that he didn’t like to push questions. My only questions now were for my sister. It was like she became a whole different person - and maybe it’s because I only saw her twice a year or something like that… but… I didn’t think she was any different util my mate finally found me.
Which honestly begged the question.
What the hell does Zaina have to do with any of the events that transpired in New York? At this point… I doubt the ‘attack’ on Lucien’s sister happened beside my apartment by coincidence. Like I said, I don’t exactly believe that fate had a plan - because I don’t see how an Alpha having a human daughter could be a part of any wolf goddess’ plan. And I’m hardly the worst-case scenario for this kind of goddess’ thing.
The morning after, I went onto the balcony of the pack house.
“You okay?” Lucien asked and I turned around, he walked close to me but not... close enough to let me feel the warmth off his body. So I stepped forward. I might as well savor the relief that this connection thing had to offer. Lucien stood stiffly as I lay my head on the crook of his neck.
“Do you wanna rest?” He asked and I nodded.
We made our way down to the room and as Lucien stepped forward to open it - as he had always left it unlocked - we heard footsteps. Confused, I watched as Lucien stepped back.
“Maybe we should-“
“Lucien, who the fuck-“
The footsteps hurriedly made their way somewhere and I heard something hit the bed. I raised my eyebrows at him and walked to the door and opened it.
“Auden I don’t think-“
“Lucien!” A woman yelped and I glowered in her direction. The woman wore a short black dress that was cut way too low to be decent and her hair was long, black, and curled.
I’m not gonna lie, she was pretty, but who the hell-
“I’ve missed you! Who’s this?” She asked and Lucien cleared his throat.
“Oh, I don’t care. I wanted to know when you’d be free for another meeting, papa wants to finalize a few things and I’d love to give you a private tour of our new hotel-“
“Sorry, did I interrupt you?” Lucien breathed a sigh, but before he could open his mouth, I tilted my head, smiled at the little talkative parrot in front of me, and turned on my heel, slamming the door behind me.
Auden- she’s- Lucien began but I blocked him out of my head as I walked out the door.
I was not gonna be a part of some kind of shitty love triangle.