Seeking happiness

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XXVIII

Jolena comes home from work. When she walks into the living room she drops on the couch and sighs heavily. It was a long boring day at the office. The peace and quiet has returned, but now it was almost too quiet.

“Hey, Jo,” Joe stands in the door to the kitchen. “I made some pasta, want some?”

“Please Joe, you’re the best,” Jolena sits up and smiles.

“How was your day?” He asks from the kitchen.

“Tiresome, yours?” She asks, getting up from the couch and leaning against the doorframe to the kitchen.

“It was alright. You know I’m always busy.”

“You should take it easy. Don’t wait until you have a burnout.”

“I know. But I can’t help it really,” he is quick to change the subject. “So, did you see your boss today?”

“No, he has left. I think he is out of the city again.”

“Hmm.”

“What?”

“I don’t have to tell you; you already know what I think.”

“Oh, yes, I do. You know what, we should go out tonight. We just forget about the past week and let ourselves go.”

“That’s a brilliant idea! I’d love that. Too bad Ava’s not in town to join us.”

“Have you heard from her recently?”

“Not really, I only got a few messages to let me know how she’s doing, other than that, not really.”

“I think she’s very busy over there. I miss her, though.”

“Yeah, me too.”

Later that night, Joe and Jolena find themselves at the bar of a dark, cosy pub. They have a great time, some of Joe’s colleagues join them and Jolena has a lot of fun. She sits down on a stool at the bar and orders a pint. While drinking, she turns around to look around to see if she sees anyone familiar. In a dark corner, she sees a couple kissing each other quite passionately. A girl with long blonde hair in the arms of a tall strong man. He looks a bit like Vince. When they take a step back and look at each other lovingly, she blinks with her eyes a couple of times. She can’t believe her eyes! She feels a sting of jealousy, the man really is Vince! She fights the urge to get off her stool and slap him in the face.

“Hey, Jo!” Joe suddenly pops up next to her. “Having fun?”

“No,” she answers him curtly. She turns herself back around to face the bar again.

“What’s wrong?” Joe asks her and sits down on the stool next to her. He orders a drink and then turns his head to face her with a worried look.

“You remember I told you about Vince? The guy I went on a date with twice?”

“Yes, what about him?”

“I saw him just now with a girl, they were kissing quite passionately. I wanted some distance, because he acted strange at some moments, but I’m upset anyway. He actually was very gentle and considerate most of the time.”

“Oh man,” Joe looks at her with compassion. “I’m sorry, girl. Do you want me to put my fist into his face for you?”

“Nah, it’d be more fun if I do that myself. Can you order me a shot for when I come back, so I can drink it all away?”

“Sure, consider it done. You go girl! Kick his ass!”

She stalks over to Vince. He still has his tongue stuck in the girl’s mouth, so he doesn’t notice her until she taps his shoulder. When he turns around his eyes grow wide from shock. “Jolena! Hey! How are you?” He smiles and spreads his arms to give her a hug. When he comes close, she raises her hand, balls it into a fist and punches him straight in the nose. He tumbles backwards but regains his balance quickly and spits out some blood. Then he steps back and looks back at her furiously. “What the fuck was that for?”

“Oh, no reason,” Jolena shrugs, then smirks. “I wanted to have a fight with a wolf.”

Vince’ eyes look menacing. “Girl, you have no idea who you’re challenging. You shouldn’t have done that.” He wipes away some blood that drips from his nose. Then he turns around and disappears in the crowd.

Chris yawns, this day couldn’t go any slower. At first, he had some issues between pack members he had to mediate between. That took the whole morning, and in the afternoon, he had the meeting with the Elders. They eventually agreed to Danny’s proposition, but it took some time to convince them, some of the Elders are still old-fashioned.

After dinner, he asks Nick to meet him in his office.

“Hey brother,” Nick hugs him over the desk, “you wanted to talk to me?”

“That’s right,” Chris sits down on his chair and Nick does the same. I actually wanted to ask you something.”

“Well come on, spill the beans.”

“I wanted to ask you if you could contact your Alpha and ask him if he is willing to meet me here. I would go to him if I could, but I don’t want to leave my pack alone at the moment. It’s way too dangerous. I’d like to talk to him about the rogues. It’s running out of hand, I’m going to lose Gabriel, our Head Warrior, to them. I don’t want to lose anyone else. Maybe if we can convince him, we can go against these rogues together. We’ll be even stronger; we have a better chance at exterminating these guys.”

“I agree, I’ll see if I can convince him to come. I understand you don’t want to leave your pack right now. I’ll do my best for you. How’s Gabriel doing by the way?”

“His life is hanging by a thread. It doesn’t look good.”

“I’m sorry, man.” Nick looks sad. He knew Gabriel from the time he still lived with Chris and his pack. “He was such a loyal man. He doesn’t deserve this.”

“No, he doesn’t.” Chris is having a hard time.

Nick gets up from his chair and walks to the door. “I’ll get in touch with my Alpha. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Not right now but keep yourself available. Things are going to change fast, and I may need you.”

A knock on the door interrupts and Nick opens it. “Hey little brother, I was just leaving,” he greets Leo but then steps out to give his brothers some privacy.

“Leo, good timing,” Chris gestures to sit on one of the chairs in front of the desk. Leo shuts the door and drops down on one of them.

“You asked me to come by. What do you need me for?” Leo asks.

“I wanted to ask you something, something of great importance.”

“Okay, I’m listening.”

“As you know, Gabriel is not doing well and can’t see to his duties because of that. I wanted to ask you if you’d like replacing him for the time being. I can’t promise you the job permanently, but I really need someone to keep the warriors in line. They need a leader, otherwise they’ll get their revenge on their own.”

“You’re thinking of me?” Leo looks surprised, “I feel honoured. I don’t need to think about it twice. Of course, I’ll do it, anything to help Gabriel.”

“Just sleep on it, please.” Chris smiles at his brother’s enthusiasm.

“Are they really out for revenge?” Leo asks, wondering.

“Yes, they are. I am planning on taking our revenge, but I need it to be planned well, otherwise we’ll have problems later. I plan on wiping out the whole rogue pack all at once. So, they’ll need to be a little more patient.”

“Ah okay, I get it.” Leo nods. “Don’t worry, I’ll get them in check. I’ll talk to them first in the morning. Was there anything else you needed?”

“As a matter of fact, yes. As you’re taking over from Gabriel, I have an assignment for you. I want you to start an investigation. You need to find out everything about Lisa. She’s been acting suspiciously. She has asked for permission to leave pack grounds quite often lately and that at night. There’s something fishy about it, I need you to find out what she’s hiding and report back to me as soon as you have some information.”

“Okay, I will look into it.” Leo gets up and walks to the door. But he waits a second to open it and looks back to Chris. “Thanks for trusting me, I won’t let you down.”

When Chris walks into his quarters a while later, he sighs. It’s been a busy day. He takes a glass from his dresser and pours himself some of the gold liquid from the bottle. When he takes a sip, he notices it has a distasteful aftertaste. He frowns, the whiskey couldn’t be past its expiration date. He holds his nose above the glass and sniffs it. That smell is sharp, it hurts his nose, and he pulls away immediately. Wolfsbane. With the glass and the bottle, he strides to his bathroom and without a doubt he pours it all in the sink. Someone is still poisoning him.

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