“I already told you that I have no interest in real estate,” Raiden grumbled.
A male laugh countered his sullenness. “Sorry big guy but it’s not up to you. Let me talk to Artemis.”
“Investment isn’t even your area of expertise, Sol. You’re a fucking prosecutor.”
“Yeah, well being an alpha isn’t your area of expertise—”
His sentence was cut short when Raiden pulled the phone from his ear and terminated the call. He picked up his pen and tapped it against his lips, taking a moment to read over the document in front of him.
To ease his installment into the pack, he begun helping Artemis with her work. He didn’t mind the paperwork, finding that everything he read over the years prepared him by providing the judicial and financial knowledge needed to run a pack.
He stopped annotating the contract when a sharp knock invaded the room. Calmly, he got off the chair and pulled it open. Lukas stood there with a folder in hand, looking relaxed. It was still stifling to see Artemis in Raiden’s lethal arms, but he was warming up to the picture.
“Is Artemis around?” he asked Raiden.
“No. She went to check out a patrol report a few minutes ago. Why?”
The phone started ringing in the background, but Raiden paid it no mind.
“Aren’t you going to get that?” Lukas pointed out.
Raiden shook his head dismissively. “No. That’s just Sol being a jackass.”
“What does he want?”
“He wants the pack to expand its investments in real estate. I would advise against it,” Raiden bid. He knew that Lukas was a confident businessman and would probably not care about his suggestions, but he figured it wouldn’t hurt to warn him.
To his surprise, Lukas shrugged. “Okay, I’ll tell Sol to get lost.”
Raiden’s face crumbled with confusion. He had been expecting Lukas to tell him to remember his place.
Seeing his reaction, Lukas elaborated. “You’ve been studying the economy for far longer than any us so if you say investing is a bad idea then it probably is. Anyway, please give this to Artemis when you see her.”
After Raiden accepted the folder, the alpha walked away and left the lycan behind with a warmth in his stomach.
The warmth was acceptance.
The rarity of the emotion made it all the more breathtaking.
Raiden knew that he still had a long way to go. Pack members still assumed the worst of him. They stared and muttered behind their palms as when he walked by, and their ignorance worshipped their fear. But if he managed to receive Lukas’ acceptance, then he was sure he could win over anyone else.
As his eyes watched his future father-in-law walk away, his mouth curved.
“Where is it?” Artemis mumbled to herself as she scrambled through the doctor’s office. She could swear that she left her phone on the table.
She spun around hopelessly, willing the phone to appear. With a groan, she began scrambling through the contents of a nearby table. A bottle of pills clattered on the floor and she bent down to pick it up.
Werewolf birth control. Expires March 2037.
Her face became as pale as the bottle she was holding.
She pressed the item against her chest to hide its label and then skittishly looked around the room in search of bystanders. When she was sure that she and the butterflies in her stomach were the only beings in there, she re-read the text.
Her heart soared and a smile automatically printed on her face when she remembered the words she exchanged with Raiden a few days ago. Their touch had been nothing but platonic since then. But as she hugged him in bed at night with hands that spoke of patience, her mind screamed with eagerness.
She had been pondering dangerous thoughts lately. Thoughts that would put Lukas in a hospital. Thoughts like: What would it be like to fuck the lycan of Wrath? Would he be gentle as he usually is with her? Or would he passionately invade her core as he did her heart?
She squeezed her eyes shut as she thought of dancing in Raiden-infused flames. The vision had crossed her plenty of times within the past few days, but she never acted on it.
She had been thinking of cranking up the heat of their relationship ever since Raiden fell to his knees before her. He had been so romantic the night of his confession... she was itching to mark him as hers forever.
And to reward him.
She knew that Raiden wasn’t ready for parenthood, and she was fine with that. That road could be avoided by the bottle in her clammy fist.
With a galloping heart, she shoved the bottle of pills in her purse. She then resumed searching for her phone, now feeling more flustered than annoyed.
Her phone appeared minutes later under a pile of papers. She was about to pocket it when a thought crossed her: Did she own any flattering lingerie?
Maybe I should stop by the mall...
She unlocked her phone and opened up the maps app to check the traffic in the area.
“Doctor Haynes!” she retorted, feeling like she got caught red-handed.
“Oh wow, you’re sweating heavily. Are you feeling okay?” the doctor asked worriedly.
Artemis all but flew out the door. “Yes! Thank you!”