Christopher steps out of his black sedan. Closing his eyes, deeply inhaling the fresh air of the woods, at the same time pulling on his tie. At this time of day, it’s almost teatime, the smell of the forest seems to be the most intense. It immediately has a comforting effect on him. He only just stepped out and he is already much more relaxed. He looks up for a moment to see the tips of the Grey Mountains surrounded by clouds. He loves it here; Miller Creek is home. He just got back from a week in Litchley, but he hates it there. It is so crowded, so grey, with all those fake people around kissing his ass all the time. He wishes he never has to go back there, but as long as his firm is there, he has to go there every once in a while. Chris takes his suitcase and a small briefcase out of the trunk and walks to the stairs of a big wooden house. It’s like a ginormous log house. The house is old, but it’s very well maintained, meeting the needs and comfort of today.
“Good evening, Chris, how was your trip to the big city?” Chris’ second in command, Danny greets him at the door.
“It was stressful, I’m glad to be home, to be honest.” Chris replies, while he heads to the big central stairway.
Danny follows him to his suite saying: “Well, it’s good to have you back, Chris. Nothing big happened while you were gone, just Garreth and Fritz who couldn’t do without a fight as usual. I am glad you are back, Chris, you know I really don’t like being responsible for everyone here on my own.”
When they are at Chris’ door he turns around and looks him in the eye. “So, nothing happened? Really? What about the rogues, you didn’t hear from them?” Chris opens the door and steps in. There are rogues lingering near the borders, they can cause serious problems.
“It was all quiet,” Danny says, “maybe it is like the silence before a storm, but I don’t mind a little peace for a while.”
Chris puts his suitcase in a corner of the suite and throws the briefcase on the coffee table. He takes off his tie and throws it on the couch. “That’s better,” he says with a sigh.
“You really hate the city that much, huh?” Danny asks.
“You know how much I hate it. If I could, I would shut that business down immediately, but you know we can’t do without it.” He looks at his right-hand man, but also his best friend.
“While you were in Litchley, did you happen to find a certain woman, like your soulmate?” Danny asks curious, plopping on the couch, putting his feet on the coffee table in front of it.
“Danny, get your feet off the table, and don’t ask stupid questions, please.” Chris says annoyed with a sigh. His eyes turn dark.
“So, it’s a no, I presume?” Chris nods, still annoyed. “It’s strange you haven’t found her yet. You are looking for the right one for so long now.”
“Well, at least I am not alone in not finding the right one.” Chris shoots back with a little smile, “I know you haven’t found your woman either.”
After their talk, Danny heads out, leaving Chris to take a shower and change in some more comfortable clothes. He plops down on his sofa, thinking about his friend. They have known each other their whole lives. They grew up together as the most promising kids of the pack, Danny is like a brother to him. A lot has happened since they were kids.
But every time he needed support; Danny was there for him. Helping him out, any way he could, he already did so before Danny became Beta. Chris knows Danny still holds himself responsible for Chris being kidnapped by some feral wolves when he was sixteen. They were still kids at the time, they were both still in the transition from being boys to the strong men they are now. There was no way that Danny could have done anything to prevent him from being kidnapped. It was a difficult time, but together they came out stronger.
Being the kids of the Alpha and the Beta, they were expected to take over from their fathers. Chris took over the Alpha position from his father seven years ago, he was eighteen. His father was killed by an Alpha of a hostile neighbouring pack, his mother died not long after that out of grief. Even then Danny helped him to handle it all. Taking over the position of Alpha, coping with the loss of his parents, taking care of his brothers, he supported him, no matter what. Chris knows Danny would catch a silver bullet for him if he had to, but he would do the same for Danny as well.
He is still relaxing on his couch, his eyes closed, as he suddenly feels a mind link opening. ‘Chris, you awake?’ Danny says through their link.
‘Yes, what is it?’
‘Adina, the head of the clinic is here.’ Danny explains, ’she wants to have a chat about someone visiting next week for a job interview. You know they are looking for extra help. Do you want to talk to her personally, or do you need some more rest, then I can handle it?’
‘After all these years, you should know me by now, you know. You know I want to do it all by myself.’ Chris replies, a grin on his face, ‘meet me in my office, I am on my way.’
Adina is the head of the clinic that is situated a hundred meters down the road. Chris had some renovations done recently and now it’s more up to date and can accommodate more patients when needed. But because the clinic is now bigger, they need more staff as well. That is what Adina wants to talk to him about.
A few minutes later he meets Danny and Adina, who are already waiting in his office. “Adina,” says Chris while he shakes her hand and he steps behind his desk to sit down on his black leather office chair, “it’s good to see you. How are you doing? How is everything going at the clinic? Are you settling down well?”
“Well, I am fine, thank you,” she says with a little smile as she sits down at the other side of the desk. Danny remains standing, leaning against the wall. “I am incredibly grateful for what you did with the clinic, the changes were really necessary. I think when we have some extra help in the clinic, everything will be fine. Actually, that is what I am here for.”
“You already had my approval about hiring people, so what do you need me for?” Chris asks furrowing his brows.
“I got a phone call this morning from a friend of my brother Joe. Her name is Ava, and she is looking for a job as a nurse, but can’t find one in the city. Joe told her that we are looking for people to hire, so she called me, and she seems suitable. She will be visiting next Wednesday to see what the job is about and to see if she really is the right person for the job. She is also human, though.”
Chris strokes the stubble on his chin thoughtfully. “That is good to know. From what you tell me the girl seems promising. I will inform the border security that someone will cross our borders Wednesday. Offer her to stay the night, for humans, travelling when the sun sets, can get them spooked here. She can leave the next morning after breakfast.”
“I will,” Adina says. Chris turns to Danny and asks: “Danny can you make sure that one of the cabins next to the clinic is ready by then? We don’t want her to find out anything about us before she has signed her contract here, so I’m not going to let her stay here in the packhouse.” Danny stands straight and nods, “I’m on it.”
After Adina and Danny leave the office, Chris links his security to inform them about the visitor. And because he is in his office now anyway, he takes the opportunity to go through some of the documents and files that were put on his desk while he was away. As he puts the last document away the bell that announces dinner rings. He walks to the dining hall and greets the members that are already there. They all bow their heads slightly out of respect.
From behind someone places his hand on his right shoulder and says with a stern voice: “Christopher Amos Desmond Anderson, why was I not informed about your arrival? When did you arrive?”
When Chris turns around to see the person talking to him, it is like he looks into a mirror. His younger brother Leo looks like the younger version of Chris, a little less muscular, but taller. Chris has two younger brothers, Nicholas, or Nick, who is twenty-two, being the Beta of the Foggy Forest Pack, a neighbouring pack of Nick’s mate Alicia, and Leonard, or Leo, who just turned eighteen, still looking for his purpose in life. “Leonard,” Chris greets him with a smile, “I arrived around teatime. But I didn’t get to inform you, I had to get to work almost immediately. You know they can’t do without me here.”
They sit together, Chris at the head of the table, Leo on his left, Danny on his right, in order of their ranks. Next to Danny sits the pack Gamma Simon with his family, and next to Leonard sits the packs Delta Jason with his mate. Dinner is being served by the kitchen staff and they start to enjoy their hearty meal.