It was with our backs pressed to the oak floorboards beneath us, Indie and I lay attempting to catch our breath after our tickling fest when we heard our names being called from downstairs, telling us it was time for dinner. Hand in hand we skipped down the stairs; laughing and giggling as we made our way towards the large dinner table whilst singing—terribly off-key might I add—‘what makes you beautiful’ by the notorious One Direction.
Just as we reached the last verse we turned and locked eyes, still holding hands with me squatted down to Indie’s height. Indie and I giggle and curtsied dramatically as her parents and the other guest sitting around the dining table chuckle and applaud us.
Reaching the dining table, I take a seat in between Dominic and another boy so that Leanne is sitting across from me. Not a heartbeat later, my lap is vacated by Indie and a middle-aged man—Indie’s father I’m assuming—scolds her gently and says that guests are not chairs.
I softly reassure him that Indie is fine where she is. “She actually reminds me of my little brother Benny...” I trail off as thoughts of my six-year-old brother enter my mind and tears immediately spring to my eyes.
I watch as Mr. Maxwell’s features soften into a sad expression before he nods, a simple confirmation that as long as I am okay with the situation he will not argue.
I smile at him, tears still blurring my vision, before I notice someone missing at the table. Leanne must have noticed my darting eyes and the confused expression and answers my silent question: “Noah is out... with friends” she comments with a tense smile and that, paired with the pause in her speech causes me to believe that this is an excuse.
Tilting my head I stared at her, curious. What reason would she have to lie to me? Deciding to ignore it, I look at the delicious meal before me as Indiana—still placed comfortably on my lap—digs into her own meal. I would just confront Noah myself later.
Hours later, I lay in Noah’s bed but he is still not home from being with his ‘friends’. I begin to doze off as the events of the day catch up to me and exhaustion seeps into every cell of my body. Just as I begin to close my heavy lids the creak of the door opening jerks me upright.
I force my eyes open to find Noah standing before me with a guilty expression contorting his handsome features. “Where were you?” I ask, my voice hoarse from lack of sleep.
Like Leanne earlier, he hesitates before responding. “I went for a run.”
My brows rose in surprise as I stare at him with suspicion. If you’re going to lie about where you have been you should at least make up a believable cover story. Like please, he wasn’t covered in an ounce of sweat. “That’s not what your mum said.”
He stumbles over his next words, “Oh, right, yeah, what, um, what did she say?”
Just to test him further I lie. “That you went to the grocery store...”
“Oh yeah, I was. She needed me to buy the ingredients for her famous bundt cake and I ran there. You know, kill two birds with one stone.”
I wanted to laugh at catching him in a lie but I restrain myself and refuse to say another word as he undresses, his boxers the only piece of clothing he wears as he slides into bed beside me. He whispers the words, “Night, Angel,” before kissing my forehead, but I cringe and shift away. Not really wanting to lay in bed with a guy I barely knew I wait for Noah to fall into a deep asleep before I crawl out of the bed, grabbing a rug and pillow as I leave the room before making my way to the lounge.
Like every other, I wake up in the middle of the night. It was a habit I had yet to break in all my years, but as I awoke a dinging sound piques my curiosity. I notice a phone on the table next to the lounge and it is flashing with a new message. I have no idea what possesses me to invade the owners’ privacy, but I pick up the phone to see three messages and five missed calls all attempting to get a hold of Noah.
< Noah, come to mine? We can... talk... ;) >
I laugh, humourlessly. Right, I think to myself, because talking is exactly what you had in mind...
My eyes flit over the following message. < Noah, please baby, come make love to me >
But it’s the last message that makes me almost—almost—vomit in my mouth as the imagery plagues my mind.
< Noah, baby, I need you inside me, right now. I can’t wait for next week >
Actually, never mind that, I did vomit in my mouth a little. Gross. But the feeling of sickness quickly turns into an emotion I seem to be experiencing a lot of lately: anger. A deep growl exits the pit of my throat as I reply to her messages.
< Come to mine... > I pause, debating whether I should add his pet name for me ‘Angel’ to the end. Reading over previous messages I found that he never called her any names so I decided not to. < Meet me out the front of the pack house; I want to show you something. ;) >
Her reply came < Be there in five > quickly as I knew it would. Geez, she could have at least tried to not sound so eager. Honestly, the multiple kisses and smiley faces at the end were just overkill. She even signed her name at the end like Noah didn’t have her name listed in his contacts: Stephanie.
Hopping off the leather couch, cringing when it feels as though my skin is being pulled off after sticking to the leather, I circle my sleeping rug around my shoulders. Still wearing the pyjamas Leanne had given me I made my way outside and exactly five minutes later I saw a red-headed female stalking towards me. Even with it being the darkest time of the night, her hair shone and I had to admit she was beautiful. Envy flared in my gut.
“Hey, you wouldn’t have happened to see a guy out here about yay tall, devilishly handsome, sex godish?” I would have to look up that word in the dictionary, but I had to give her some credit, it did seem like an accurate description.
Still, he was supposed to be my mate and she wanted what was mine so I force myself to refrain from snarling at her. “No, I haven’t seen him. Who are you?”
“I’m surprised you don’t know. I’m the Luna of this pack, the Alpha’s girlfriend and if I play my cards right, soon to be wife.” She smiles an evil smile. What a...
“The Alpha’s girlfriend, huh? I wasn’t aware he had one because he never mentions you.”
“You wouldn’t be.” She snaps back, her face turning the same shade as her hair. “Who are you anyway, his maid?”
“That’s not what he calls me when he screams out my name, but yeah, whatever floats your boat,” I smirk, laughing at the look of utter rage on her face.
“You—you bitch!” She exclaims as she lifts a hand to slap me.
“I wouldn’t talk to me like that if I was you.”
“What gives you the right to tell me what to do? Get over it.” She glares at me, hatred present in her eyes, before releasing a sigh. “Whatever, all this cattiness made my forget why I’m here, I’m going to Noah’s room.” She started walking towards a big pine tree where one of the branches hung over Noah’s balcony and I snapped.
I didn’t stop to think as I ran at her and shifted into my big white wolf. There used to be a time where a pure white wolf was rare, but times had changed. I refused to let Stephanie anywhere near my mate, even if didn’t like him very much right at this moment. She turns at the last second and shifts into an amber wolf, much smaller than mine, courtesy of the Beta blood coursing through my veins. For once I was semi-grateful that my father was a Beta.
We run towards each other and a millisecond before we are about to collide I leap over her and turn to face her hide. So naive. I bite her tail and pull her towards me as she snaps her head around and emits a loud howl before trying to bite my neck. I move out the way of her attack, but she still manages to bite my back.
Pushing her away from me I tower over her, my wolf snarling, with sharp teeth bared in an unspoken threat. Her wolf whimpers and moves away from me.
“Radiance, let her go.” Dominic says from behind me, I hadn’t even heard him come up.
I nod immediately recognising him as my superior and backing down and turning away from Stephanie. She was lucky Dominic had intervened or she would have been in for more damage than a sore bottom. Looking back on it, I probably should have remembered the advice to never turn your back to an enemy, but it was too late. By the time my ears had picked up the fast movement coming from behind me and I had whipped around to face Stephanie, she was already coming at me, fast.
Dominic shifts into his mud brown wolf and the four boys from this morning intervene her attack and with one of the boys was bitten instead. I cry out in horror as I run over to his form lying still on the ground, blood gushing from the wound on his side. This should have been me.
Dominic, back in his human form, throws me a shirt and I quickly cover my naked body with it. Focusing on the task at hand, I turn to the boy and whisper for him to shift. He does so straight away and I yell desperately for someone to get a first aid kit. Immediately someone runs into the house.
I find out that the boys wound is not only on his side but his abdomen as well. Memories from years of first aid training come into my mind. “Do you trust me?” I ask the boy, his eyes reflecting the fear I’m sure is present in my own, but he nods whispering in a raspy voice the word ‘yes’.
I nod. “This is going to hurt a bit, but I have to put pressure on the wound. On three, yeah? One—” Ignoring the numbers which should have followed I place my hands on his stomach and add pressure to his wound.
I cringe as he winces straight away. “What happened to two and three?” He comments with what could almost be deemed as a chuckle.
I laugh half-heartedly and shrug. “They died.”
One of the boys comes back with a first aid kit and I instantly get started on the wound. “Can you please put pressure on the wound...” I trail of realizing I don’t know this boys name or the name of the one I’m currently tending to.
“Daniel. And yes, I can.”
After completing the necessary tasks to help the wound heal properly like disinfecting and stitching, I begin to wrap a bandage around his stomach. “Someone lift him off the ground for a second.”
Daniel lifts him effortlessly and the boy winces once again. “Hold in there, Lucien. You’re alright.” He tells the boy and all I can think is, Finally, I know his name!
I finish wrapping the bandage and tell Daniel to put Lucien back on the ground. “There you go, Lucien. The bite was pretty deep, but with your werewolf healing it should be better in two or three days.” I smile. He was lucky. Internal bleeding could have been a possibility and Stephanie almost hit a major artery, but I wasn’t going to tell him that.
But obviously, that didn’t mean that Dominic was going to keep his mouth shut. “You’re lucky, Lucien. Shit could have hit the fan if she had messed up.”
“Really?” Lucien looks up at me with wonder clear in his eyes.
I nod reluctantly.
“Am I allowed to sit up?” He asks.
“I would prefer if you didn’t, you’re a werewolf but you also just got a chunk of your stomach ripped away,” I reply, exaggerating just a little.
He ignores my wishes and gets up slowly before pulling me into a bear hug. “Thank you.” He whispers.
“Nothing really, now get off me before you bust open your stitches.”
Lucien does not accept my obvious bashfulness. “It is something. I could have died, but because of you, I get to live another day. Thank you, Luna.”
I begin to tell him that the only reason he was put in danger was because of me, but I refrain because I doubt he’d listen. Instead, I tell him that my name is Radiance but he can call me RJ.
“I’m so sorry, Lucien. You know I would never hurt you I was trying to get the slut.” Stephanie takes tentative steps towards Lucien.
Even though I wanted to deny being a slut I kept my mouth shut, after all, I did insinuate that I slept with her ‘boyfriend’. However, Dominic, Lucien, and Daniel still growled at Stephanie in disgust.
“Don’t tell her who I am,” I whisper so only they could hear.
“So you were trying to get my friend?” Lucien raises his voice.
“Our friend.” Dominic and Daniel add simultaneously.
“You’re friend? Isn’t she your maid or something? Dominic someone as high as you shouldn’t be befriending a maid.” She smirked.
“I’ll be sure to tell Noah you said that about his friend,” Dominic replied.
“Oh, she’s already told me how friendly they are.” She sneers, utter distaste distorting her face.
“So you want me to tell him?” Dominic comments with a raised eyebrow, testing her.
“No! Don’t!” Stephanie quickly said. “I don’t care who she is. It’s not like I’ll be seeing much of her. As long as she doesn’t get between me and Noah more than she already has—which is unlikely with a face and body like hers. I mean look at her and then look at me.”
This time I couldn’t hide my annoyance and the boys growled with me. Stephanie ignored it and skipped back down the road, probably heading home. The boys all looked at me as if asking what to do now.
“Dominic and Daniel, if you’d like you can return to your rooms, get some sleep. Lucien, come with me.” They bowed their heads in respect and walked into the house, with Lucien and I trailing behind them. We walked up the stairs towards Noah’s bedroom and I found that the door was open. I peeked inside and noticed that Noah was still sound asleep. How he could sleep through that ordeal I would never know but I guessed it was for the best.
Walking down the hall I stopped in the guest room, ushering Lucien inside. I can’t believe I hadn’t remembered this room earlier when looking for a place to sleep. It had two double beds on either side of the room, with matching generic bedding.
“Chose a bed,” I told Lucien gently. As he trudged himself towards the one on the left side of the room with the black quilt and pillows I tell him to wait in bed as I run to the kitchen to grab a couple of glasses of water before returning to his side.
When I reached him I took in his form. He was laying in bed with the covers pulled up all the way to his chin, his arms smoothed over them. I handed him one of the glasses and he sat up in order to drank it slowly.
“Thanks, RJ.” He said, and it was obvious by the glassy look in his eye that he was tired.
I nodded a smoothed his hair back from his face. “Get some sleep. You need it.” I leaned down and kissed his forehead before walking over to the bed opposite him. After drinking some water myself, I fell asleep.