Chapter 25: I'm Going In
Alpha Carmichael’s POV
“Good morning, Williams. I hope you slept well,” I spoke, my tone displaying how much I didn’t actually care about the quality of sleep he got. I also couldn’t help but get a quick jab in at his ego by dropping his Alpha title when he had no choice but to hold his tongue to keep from lashing out.
“I slept just fine, thank you,” he grumbled back before digging into his breakfast. The corner of my lips pulled up in a silent sneer before I masked the look with one of indifference as he lifted his head to meet my gaze.
“I figured we could begin our planning over breakfast as we have quite a bit of work ahead of us,” I said before beginning to sift through the stacks of piles I’d accumulated. Throughout the years, I’ve done everything I could to try and catch Knox again, but the fucking little shit was smart. Too smart. He was always one step ahead of me, but not this time.
Oh no, this time he’s going to walk right into my trap. I just have to figure out how to make it happen.
“Firstly, I need to know what this Poppy woman looks like. Can you supply me with a recent photo?” I asked, praying that this man wasn’t as big of an imbecile as I’d pegged him to be.
“Uh…” he rattled off while racking his brain. I couldn’t contain my need to roll my eyes. I was surrounded by fucking idiots. “Oh, wait!” He finally exclaimed before snatching his phone from his front pocket and feverishly tapping on the screen. He found what he was looking for before sliding the device across the top of the dining table. “Her father sent me this photo for consideration when we were first discussing the deal. It’s only about a month old,” he explained as I picked up the phone. I was thankful that we were in my personal quarters with just the two of us instead of the pack house where we’d be surrounded by many. I swallowed the lump in my throat as my pants tightened painfully over my groin.
Well, now I fully understood Alpha Williams’s urgency to get her back. I mean just look at those tits! And those hips - fucking A - they were made to carry children. I bet she’s a lot of fun in the sack, too.
I licked my lips in a predatory manner, something that caused Alpha Williams to clear his throat and glare at me with just enough annoyance to not provoke me. I raised a single brow at him, changing my previously formulated plan in my head. I would help Alpha Williams take down my nephew alright, but only because I would be taking this Poppy chick for myself. She would bear strong pups and, quite frankly, that’s all I cared about. And oh how fun it would be to fuck her knowing I’d ripped her right out from that little asshole’s grip. Yes, I can just fucking taste the victory now.
“This is incredibly helpful, thank you. I will make you aware, however, that this is to be a very private investigation. I don’t want anyone else besides you, me, and some of my men to know what is going on. Are we clear?” I asked to which he nodded. “Wonderful. Once you’re finished with your meal, meet me in my office to discuss-”
“Alpha Carmichael,” one of my border patrol guards asked while entering the room. I was about to snap at him for interrupting me, but he cut me off again. This fucker had a Goddamn deathwish.
“We have two women at the border requesting entrance for the intents and purposes of finding a mate,” he rushed out. I raised a single brow while staring the man down just as a thought came rushing to the front of my brain. He’s using his mate to try and infiltrate my pack...there’s no other person this could be. A wicked smile overtook my face, shocking and also scaring everyone in the room.
“Escort them across the border. I don’t want anyone to leave their sides. Bring them directly up to my office so that I may become acquainted with them,” I ordered, my tone filled with glee. “Williams, I want you out of sight at all fucking times,” I growled eyeing him purposefully. “Do you understand?” I asked, a meaningful look in my eyes. I could see the realization had dawned on him as well. He smiled along with me before frantically nodding his head. He scarfed down the last few bites of his food before throwing his plate in my sink and making a mad dash out of the room.
“Well, boys, looks like I don’t have to go hunting for the bitch after all. She’s just going to deliver herself to me on a silver platter. Isn’t that nice?” I rhetorically asked with a smirk. My two closest men chuckled darkly with a few nods of agreement. I pushed myself out of my seat and leisurely made my way to my office. It was one of my favorite rooms in the entire pack house. It used to be my brother’s and I had the absolute pleasure of completely destroying it when I took over before remodeling it to be exactly the way I wanted.
I let myself sink down into the plush office chair, crossing my legs at my ankles and leaning back. I linked my hands behind my head and laughed jovially. Somehow, things always managed to work out perfectly for me. It was amazing, really. I would keep my pack and even continue to expand, finish Knox off for good, and have a fun little toy to mess around with before she carried my kid and I disposed of her.
I daydreamed for a little while until I heard three petite knocks on the wood of the door.
“Come in,” I called out, sitting up to resume the intimidating posture that I normally carried. A head of blonde hair peeked into my office momentarily before two females emerged. I ran my tongue over my bottom lip before scraping it with my top row of teeth. God damn, she looked even more delicious in person.
“Welcome, ladies. Please, take a seat and make yourselves comfortable,” I murmured while gesturing towards the two chairs across from me. Poppy smiled politely at me, but I could sense her nervousness as she sat. The girl she had with her followed her actions, but there wasn’t an air of unease or nervousness around her at all. Call me crazy, but she might even be giving me a challenging look.
This bitch needs to be put in her fucking place. Shaking off the thoughts, I focused my gaze back on Poppy and worked up the most convincing charming smile I could muster. If I was going to be successful, I needed to make her feel like she was at ease here. Only then would she let her guard down. I couldn’t capture and use her for manipulation if she was always glancing over her shoulder.
If she was smart, she would never let her guard down...I thought to myself before rubbing the palms of my hands together.
“So, you’re both here because you’d like to take a look around my pack for potential mates?” I asked even though I already knew the answer.
“Yes, Alpha,” Poppy rasped out softly. Demure too...how cute. “I’m Sam and this is my best friend Aubrey,” she introduced, causing me to do my best to fight the condescending smile that wanted to break through. Using a fake name to try and throw me off...even cuter.
I had to admit, without Alpha Williams’s tip I would’ve most likely allowed them in without second thought. They were both attractive and there didn’t appear to be a motive behind their actions unless you were looking for one.
“Well, Sam and Aubrey, I’m going to grant you permission as we don’t get these kinds of opportunities often - as you can imagine. I wish you both nothing but the best; my pack could really use wonderful women such as yourselves,” I lied easily with a convincing smile, though Poppy’s cautious gaze stayed locked firmly in place.
“Aubrey, my men will take you to a temporary room you can stay in while you’re visiting. Sam, I’d like to have a word with you in private,” I murmured. It wasn’t a secret that I was an unmated Alpha and I wanted to see what she would do if I showed interest in her. I also just wanted to fuck with her mind...it was just too much fun.
“Sorry, but we don’t separate anymore. You can probably imagine some of the awful things we’ve been put through during visits to certain packs, so we like to stick together at all times,” the other bitch stated with a snarky undertone in her voice. I glared at her, but she didn’t cower or look affected at all. This fucking bitch is going to get it…
“Of course,” I replied with a syrupy sweet voice. “But I’d love to get some alone time with you eventually, Sam,” I spoke, stressing her “name”. She cleared her throat before nodding, but she looked like she was about to vomit.
“Take them to their room, boys,” I instructed before waving them all away as if I didn’t care.
“I don’t know Grace, I just have a weird feeling. He seemed way too nice for my liking and his eyes looked crazed. Did you see that too?” I asked, speaking only loud enough for Grace to be able to barely make out what I was saying - that way I knew that even if someone was trying to listen in they wouldn’t catch a single word we exchanged.
“I know exactly what you mean,” she agreed with a worried expression. “He gives me the creeps. Let’s just wait about an hour in here to seem like we’re getting settled and then we’ll set out to try and catch anything we can. I wanna get the fuck outta here as quickly as possible,” she muttered while rubbing the sides of her crossed arms with her hands.
“Sounds good to me,” I mumbled before taking a seat on the edge of the bed. I rested my face in my hands before mind-linking Knox that Grace and I had safely infiltrated the pack. I could feel his worry and stress thick and heavy through our bond, wishing I could soothe him but knowing that nothing would besides me getting the heck out of here and back into his arms.
I didn’t realize I’d dozed off until Grace snapped me out of it and motioned her head towards the door. I blew out a puff of air through my lips before hoisting myself up and nodding for her to lead the way. We stayed nearly plastered to each other’s side as we walked through the halls. The pack house was absolutely massive and had been very clearly renovated. It had a modern, sterile aura to it. I hated it.
I re-focused my attention, memorizing every nook and cranny of the place that I could, unsure if I would need the information or not but knowing that having it was better than not. Grace abruptly stopped walking right outside two large wooden doors which I assumed lead to the pack dining room if the heavy smell of food was anything to go by.
“You need to calm your heart before we go in; it’s racing,” she murmured while placing a comforting hand on my shoulder. I took a shaky breath in before releasing it and willing my body to relax. I’m going to be fine. Our plan is foolproof. I can do this. “Alright, now let’s get in there and do this shit,” she whispered confidently with a smile. I laughed quietly before saying, “let’s fucking do this”. Grace’s head jerked back in shock before a proud look took over her face. She reached out and grasped the door hands, schooling her face into a soft grin before pushing them open. I followed her lead and did the same, linking our arms as we entered the room. If we stuck to each other and Grace managed to keep her attitude from her face (she liked to call it her resting bitch face), we would be able to perfectly execute the ’look, we’re just helpless women pay us no mind’ facade. I sneakily studied the expressions of the pack members as we walked towards the buffet-style food set up. Everyone mostly looked both confused and intrigued, but kept their comments and questions to themselves.
When I averted my gaze from those surrounding me to the food in front of Kiara and me, my stomach growled loudly. My cheeks heated with embarrassment at how loud the noise was as I tried to brush it off as nothing.
“You ate right before we left?” Grace questioned, a look of confusion plastered across her face.
“I know but I’m starving,” I complained while grabbing a plate. She snorted with an eye roll before mirroring my actions and beginning to load up her own plate. “Besides, this actually helps our story. We would normally be hungry if we’d actually traveled all the way here from my birth pack on foot,” I murmured quietly. We turned and I waited as Grace scoped out a place to sit.
“Towards the back, at about four o’clock,” she spoke, barely moving her lips. “They all look unmated. Not only will this be a good cover up, but young, bulky men are more likely to be guards so we could try and catch a scent,” she explained before beginning to walk towards the table in question. I followed behind her, giving my best smile to anyone I made direct eye contact with.
“Do you mind if we sit with you?” Grace asked sweetly, fluttering her lashes a few times for added effect.
“Make some room boys,” one of them ordered enthusiastically. The group of them squished together, giving us more than an adequate amount of space to sit. Grace and I thanked them before sitting down and engaging in natural conversation.
“So, where are you ladies from?” The guy on Grace’s left asked.
“The Rhymes pack,” Grace and I replied in unison before looking to each other and giggling for added effect. Looking back at the men, most of them had an enchanted look on their face. We had them eating out of the palms of our hands. I allowed Grace to keep up the conversation and played the shy girl role, but really I was focused intently on each of their scents as well as eating; I really was hungry. I was straining to catch even a hint of something similar to Knox when I felt someone step up behind me.
“What’s up, gentlemen?” An unfamiliar voice asked. A chorus of Big-T, hey Trav, Travis, what’s up bro? followed the question. I didn’t give a crap about his name, but what I did care about was the wafting of his scent that smelled so strongly of Knox that I felt my heart stop in my chest. I spun in my seat just a little too quickly because the man’s eyes immediately snapped to my own.
“Oh, wow, hi...um, yo-you’re new here,” the man, Travis, stumbled over himself to get the words out. Before Knox, I would’ve found it almost cute the way he became tripped up by my presence, but now I just found that it made him appear weak in my eyes. Knox’s confidence was one of the sexiest things about him.
“Hi,” I spoke quietly, wanting him to lean in closer to me. “My name is Sam, my friend and I are here looking for mates,” I explained before gracefully extending my hand for him to shake. He did, almost popping my arm out of my socket with how hard he was jerking it. I cleared my throat and pulled my hand back quickly when he appeared to be done.
“That’s grawesome...I mean awesome,” he corrected as his cheeks lit up bright red. I giggled, feeling bad for the poor guy. He looked like he was about to start sweating any second.
“Would you mind showing me and my friend around the pack?” I asked, sneakily nudging Grace in the side. His eyes widened to the size of saucers before he began nodding so fast that I thought his head was about to fly off. “Great! We’ll just pick up our dishes and we can head out!” I chirped happily, glad to be getting somewhere so soon in our mission.
“So, where would you girls like to go first?” Travis asked perkily.
“Well, how about you show us where you work first? I’d love to get to know more about you,” I said with a more than friendly smile. The action made me sick to my stomach, but I pushed through. This was for Knox. His face lost it’s joyfulness as an edge of unease took over.
“I don’t think that’s such a great idea. I don’t have a very pleasant job in the pack,” he muttered.
“Well, just walk us by it then! I’m sure it’ll serve for a great story of how you ended up there,” Grace supplied, knowing how important this was. My hunch could be wrong, but my nose didn’t lie; neither did my pacing wolf inside my head. Once whiff of the scent surrounding this guy and she was at attention.
“Alright, but this tour is between the three of us,” he warned playfully before setting off in the opposite direction we’d been walking.