Next morning Chris is up early. He managed to get out of bed on his own, without all too much trouble. Now he tries to take a shower, but first he needs to take these bandages off. Which is not so easy considering they are on his back and he can’t reach them. He hears a knock on his bedroom-door. “I’m in the bathroom,” he shouts.
Danny strolls in. “Morning,” he says with a sleepy voice. “You’re up already.”
“Yeah, couldn’t sleep any more. This sleeping on my stomach is not really comfortable, I’m more of a side and back sleeper.” Chris looks at Danny, “did you need me for something?”
“No,” Danny yawns, “I just wanted to check on you. See if you’re alright. Which you are, I see.”
“Well, now that you’re here, could you get those bandages off for me? I want to take a shower.”
“Do you think that’s wise? Aren’t your wounds still open?”
“I have a feeling that they are a lot better today. It still hurts, I still can’t lie on my back, but they feel a lot less tight than before.”
“I’ll have a look,” Danny says.
Chris turns around to show Danny his back. Danny pulls everything off and is surprised to see that the wounds are almost closed. They are still raw and fiery red, but they are almost healed.
“Wow, Chris, you are right. It looks a lot better. I wish you could see it in the mirror.”
Chris turns to see for himself in the mirror, from a certain angle he can see a little part and he is also surprised when he sees how well it looks. “Well, I’ll take that shower now.” He smiles, “then we’ll have breakfasts and after that we’ll be on our way home. What do you think?”
“Sounds good to me.” Danny laughs, “we can’t keep my pretty lady waiting for me for too long, now can we.” Danny gives Chris a wink and steps out of the shower. “I’ll get breakfast ready, don’t take too much time under that shower!” He calls from the bedroom.
The shower did good to Chris, he felt refreshed when he came out. Then the great breakfast Danny made for him, he feels like one lucky bastard. Chris is thinking about the reason for his happiness for about the whole ride home. When the packhouse comes in sight, he sighs. “It may just be for one night that we’ve been gone, but I’m just so very happy to be home,” he tells Danny.
“I know you’re the happiest here, I am too,” Danny gives Chris an understanding look. “No place is better than home.”
When Chris steps out of his car, he’s still stiff because of his back. When he looks up he sees his brothers Nick and Leo next to each other walking over. “Hey man”, Nick gives him a hug. “I heard you were confined to your bed, so I decided to come over to see how you were doing. When I came here and they told me that you weren’t here, I thought I’d help our little brother out, managing all the things he took over from you.”
“It’s good to see you, brother, thanks for coming. I don’t know what they told you.” His gaze goes to Leo, “but there were some highly important issues that I had to take care of.”
“And those couldn’t wait until you were fully healed?” Nick raises an eyebrow, giving him a stern look.
“No, they couldn’t wait. The life of Mr. Simmons was at stake. How long are you staying? Now that you’re here, I would like to discuss some issues with you.”
“I can stay as long as you need me.”
“Alright, then we’ll discuss it later. I think I first need to take some rest now.”
“Not so fast.” Leo breaks into the conversation. He steps right in front of Christopher. “You really went. You really went against my advice and just went off.” Leo is pissed, his arms crossed in front of his chest.
“Brother, it’s good to see you too.” Chris smiles and wants to give him a pat on his back, but Leo steps away from him.
“No! Don’t do that!” Leo is furious. “You promised to not treat me like a child anymore, and here you are, just doing what you want. You don’t consider what others think and how others feel!”
“Leo,” Chris takes a step closer to him and holds Leo by his upper arms and looks at him. “I am alright. I had Danny with me for protection. You know you don’t have to worry about me. For your information, my back is almost healed. It still hurts, but all the cuts are almost closed.”
“Still, you didn’t even think about my feelings, I am your brother!” Leo points a finger to Chris, right in front of his face. His face is red from anger. “I am your brother! Not just one of your pack-members you can boss around!”
Chris holds his hands up to ward Leo off. “Please, I understand you were worried, I understand you feel like I didn’t take your feelings into account, but I had no other option, Leo. The problems aren’t solved yet, but at least Mr. Simmons is safe now. I-”
“I don’t want to hear it anymore!” Leo dares to interrupt Chris. “I am sick and tired of all your crap! I thought you really gave me the chance to show that I can be responsible, but when it came down to it, you still don’t trust me. You still treat me as a little kid!”
Chris is getting pissed. He knows he can’t do good for everyone, and with being responsible for a lot of people, you can’t keep everyone happy at the same time, but Leo is taking it too far right now. Looks like Leo’s puberty is not over yet. “I don’t have to listen to your little tantrum here, go to my office, we’ll continue this conversation there. I don’t want to have this dispute in front of everyone here!”
“No, Chris! I am your brother; you don’t get to order me around like that!” He folds his arms in front of his chest again, not scared of his brother.
“Leo! Office! now! I won’t ask again!” Now Chris is furious, his patience is gone. His brother just disrespected him, the Alpha in front of his pack!
Leo turns around and walks away with long strides.
“What was that about?” Nick raises his eyebrows, looking a little taken aback. He took a step back when he noticed Leo had a bone to pick with Chris. Now he watches Leo leave.
“Little brother wants to be treated like an adult but doesn’t realise how much responsibility I have. He doesn’t understand that I am not just a brother to him, I am also an Alpha. If the things don’t go as he wants them to go, he reacts with tantrums. Not very mature.”
Once in his office, he sees that Leo sits in one of the chairs, his arms folded in front of his chest. His eyes could light a fire. Chris stands next to his desk, bending over it for support, facing Leo. He points a reprimanding finger to Leo. “Leo, now you have to listen to me very carefully! I’m not going to repeat this! I am not only your brother, but I am also a businessman and an Alpha on top of that. I am responsible, not only for you and me, but also for the people that live here and the employees that work for me. Mr. Simmons is the only guy that makes sure that you and I and all the rest of the people here, have food on the table. I pay him to make money for me. Now whether you like it or not, I deem the person that makes sure that my future is safe, especially important to me. If that means that I must put my own safety and my health at risk, to keep that man safe, I’ll do it, without a doubt.”
Leo looks down at his feet. A bit embarrassed, but still a bit angry as well.
Chris continues, a bit gentler. “I know you were concerned; I know you care for me, and I deeply appreciate that. But sometimes I must give up my own health and safety, to protect that of others. That’s just part of being an Alpha. You don’t have to agree to that, but I hope one day you will understand.”
Leo’s stature drops a little, his head lowers even more.
Chris turns around and sits down on the corner of his desk, “now for your reaction in front of everyone just now. That has to stop. Seriously, I don’t take that behaviour from anyone in this pack, so I suggest you watch your mouth next time. I won’t always be as nice as I was just now. If you want to be treated like an adult, I suggest you lose the tantrums and act like one.”
“Now leave, I need to rest.”