A/N: 18+ Mature for language and sexual content. Chapters 1 & 2 are a bit of a background, so they start slower...but Chapter 3 & 4 speed things up for a juicy scene.
**This book has been published on Galatea.** Please go there to read the rest of the book. Thank you so much for your support! xoxox
Shit. Why am I always running late, I think to myself. My class is about to start in 10 minutes and I’m still about a 20 minute drive away. After finishing up my MBA and working at a corporate office since I graduated 4 years ago, I’ve been taking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) classes after work to keep my body in shape. As a wolf shifter, I needed something to burn my energy on days I couldn’t shift ever since I left my pack almost 10 years before the mating ball. While I have a little log cabin I go to every once in awhile to shift and set my wolf free - I needed to strengthen my human side just as much and well, getting a black belt in BJJ has been helping just fine with that. I still visit the pack every so often, but everyone knew it wasn’t my home anymore.
As I enter the class - I take the next full hour to clear my head, focus on my technique, and get ready to push myself further than my last class. Drenched in sweat, I exit the gym and notice 4 missed calls on my phone from my best friend from my pack, Mara. We still keep in touch after I left the pack; she was my dearest childhood friend and after she met her mate Alexei - I’ve become fond of both of them greatly and we still meet every once in a while to catch up.
I figure she might want a quick catchup again since it’s been weeks since I last saw her so I call her back.
“Hey Mara what’s up?” I ask her
“Hey Lyssa” she pauses, but I can tell from her voice that something isn’t right. She continues, “I have some bad news I’m afraid… your dad is at the pack hospital - he had a stroke yesterday. He’s doing okay now and is stable, but I think you should see him. It’s been years and I know he misses you dearly even though he understands why you left…” her voice trails off.
I can barely hear myself think. I haven’t spoken with my father in almost 2 years. I left almost 10 years ago and we still kept in touch, but after my mom passed 2 years ago, things became hard between me and him as he was always berating me with finding a mate and helping him lead. He knew I was strong enough to lead our pack on my own, but I couldn’t shake him from his old school ways of a male being a more respected figure. I decide either way, I have to see him.
“Hey Mara, I’ll be right over. Going to stop home and take a quick shower ok? I’ll see you guys in an hour. And Mara - thank you for letting me know”
“No problem Lyssa - I know you love him and you guys aren’t always eye to eye on things, but I’m happy this gets to bring you guys somewhat together. Plus I missed your spunky ass bossing all these little males around and putting them in their place” as she giggles to help lighten the mood.
I rush out of my gym class and stop at my apartment. I’ve been living here after graduating college and it was a perfect location. Close to my corporate job and the gym, driving distance to the pack when I see Mara and Alexei, but with enough space to allow me to live in my human world and as a respected female. My father knew about my recent promotions at work and he was proud of me, but I could tell he always felt a bit deflated to see me leave his pack. I was worried if we would be having the same discussion again, but I couldn’t let that deter me. I needed to see him and make sure he was alright. I get to the apartment, shower, throw on a pair of jeans, some white sneakers, and a tank top and head out back to the car to take on the drive to the pack hospital.
Well fuck. I look down at my bloodied up knuckles and hiss as the blood starts spilling out. I come to our training center to clear my head and this morning was a particularly annoying day after dealing with Anna - the pack bitch. She’s always hounding at me and parading around like my Luna, thinking she’d help me lead the pack someday in the future after I mistakenly gave into her flirty antics and slept with her awhile back. Ever since - I haven’t been able to shake her off my back. She’s needy, weak, and completely irresponsible, but I keep her around for a good time if she offers. But this morning, she started up again with that Luna bullshit and I needed to blow some steam.
I step out of the training center while my Beta, Nate, rushers over. “Alpha Damien, you have a call from Alpha Vladimir. He says it’s urgent”
I tell him I’ll be right there, wiping off the rest of my bloody hand on my gym shorts. At 6’2”, I tower over Nate by a head, but like me, Nate’s a fighter. We’ve trained together for most of our lives and I trust him with my life.
I head to the office and pick up the phone with a growl, “Yes Alpha Vladimir. How can I help you?” remembering that as an Alpha himself, the man needs respect.
“Ah Alpha Damien. Pleasure to hear from you. I’ve heard you’ve been doing a good job taking over pack land left and right. Your reputation precedes you”. I sit in silence, wondering where this is going. He continues, “I have a favor to ask of you, and it should be a win-win situation. My health is failing, and I need to make sure this pack is in good hands. The hounds have encroached my land and a takeover is at this point a matter of when. I’d rather save my pack’s lives and hand it over to a respectable Alpha than have them lost to me anyway through future bloodshed. I ask for you to take over, doubling your current numbers, with the promise that you’ll take care of them as your own”
I sit silently, pondering. Alpha Vlad’s pack had a reputation of its own. The last of the Russian bloodline, his pack was the only one that matched mine in numbers and strength. I hadn’t heard from them in a few years after their Luna died, and hearing of Alpha Vlad’s condition, I now know why he’s kept a low profile.
I wait before responding, “Alpha Vladimir, I know you and my father were very close and he continues to have much respect for what you’ve done with your people. I’ll gladly take over on one condition.. I want to meet your daughter”
“Alpha Damien…” He speaks quietly, I can barely make out his words “She...hasn’t been around the pack in almost a decade. She has no interest in our kind. If I may ask, why?”
He had a good point. And frankly I didn’t know either. I had heard about her. I was in attendance at the Blood Moon Ball almost a decade ago, the same day when I first heard about her, how she ran away and left her pack. I’ll admit, I was intrigued. A woman leaving everything she’s known to live with humans, I think in distaste. I respond, remembering his unanswered question “The reason is not of importance Alpha Vladimir. I do not wish her harm. I simply wish to meet the person who would have led your pack and ensure she understands the transition.”
“Ah very well” Alpha Vladimir responds. “I will speak with her and will allow you both the chance to meet. I will see you soon Alpha Damien”.
I hang up the phone, smirking to myself. Something tells me I’ll enjoy meeting my new pack members.