Jolena walks around the packhouse. She’s still using the room next to Christopher’s. For some reason she doesn’t feel like moving to Ava’s cabin, she feels safer here in the packhouse.
The beautiful woman who sits between Leo and Nick at the table when it’s time to eat, walks her way. “Hey,” she smiles. “I don’t think we have been introduced properly yet.” She says. When Jolena looks at her, she notices how the woman is holding her stomach. “My name is Alicia. I’m Nick’s mate.”
Jolena smiles politely. “Hi, nice to meet you. I am Jolena.”
“Nick told me everything about you. How do you like it here?”
“I love the surroundings here.” Jolena says, trying to avoid talking about what happened the last few days and how she really feels about that.
“Must be hard,” Alicia says with an understanding smile. “To be ripped away from everything you know so well and then to live among these wolves, who you don’t even know.”
“I know a few,” Jolena looks in the distance and shrugs. “Ava is one of my best friends, I know Danny pretty well because they’re mates. And Nick and Leo, I know them because they’re Chris’ brothers.”
“Well, you know me now too.” Alicia smiles again and looks at her. “You know, if there’s anything you need to talk about, you can talk to me. You can’t just keep it all in.”
“I need to talk to Chris about the things that are bothering me. I don’t really want to talk about it with anyone else, I’m sorry.” Jolena turns around to walk away. She really doesn’t need anyone else talking about her and Christopher. She feels bad already about the whole situation. Another person talking about how Christopher loves her so much already, will only make it more difficult for her. It will only make her feel guilty. And she doesn’t want to feel guilty. She just doesn’t feel the same way. Maybe she will feel the same about him in the future, but not right now. She needs time, she needs space, and not someone else trying to convince her to jump into something she doesn’t feel comfortable about.
When she walks up the steps of the packhouse, she bumps into someone’s hard chest and she almost falls backwards. But before her butt reaches the ground, two arms reach her waist and pull her back up. “Careful, love. I love you falling for me, but you don’t have to do it literally,” Christopher smirks.
When she looks up, she sees him smirk, his eyes twinkle mischievously. They stand chest to chest, almost touching. She notices how close he is, if he lowered his head, his lips would touch the space between her eyes. The familiar glow when Chris touches her, warms her from the inside. She looks at his lips, he is so close, she could kiss him if she wanted to. She just has to put her arms around his neck and pull him closer. She feels she wants to; she feels the urge to claim his lips, claim him, let everyone know he’s hers.
When he sees her looking, when he sees the desire in her eyes, the corners of his mouth go up slightly. He lowers his head a little bit, their lips almost touching, but not quite. The tension is palpable.
Someone behind them clears his throat. “Alpha, we have to go.”
Chris ignores him, he keeps looking into Jolena’s eyes. “Do you want me to go?” He whispers.
She swallows. “I think you have to; they’re waiting for you.” She whispers back, but she keeps staring at him.
He places his hands on either side of her face, dips his head down and kisses her softly on her lips, then pulls away. “I have to go now, but when I come back, you and I are going to talk.” He grabs her hand and places a kiss on it and gives her a piercing look. Then he turns around to walk over to the guy who asked for his attention. “Let’s go Simon, we’ve got a lot to do.”
When he walks away, he looks over his shoulder and gives her a wink.
A while later Jolena walks into the large kitchen of the packhouse. She is impressed. It looks like the professional kitchen of a restaurant. But she has seen how many pack-members eat in the packhouse, so she knows this is not just luxury, but above all very much a necessity. She decides to look in the pantry and take out the ingredients to make an apple pie. Halfway through making her apple pie, some female pack members walk in, they stop abruptly at the door when they see Jolena working on her pie. “Miss, you don’t have to do this, we can do this for you,” one of the women says. They all quickly surround her and try to take away her stuff.
“No, please, I really want to make my pie.”
“But you don’t have to Luna, we can do that for you.”
Jolena sighs. “I was just bored; I don’t have anything to do here. I really enjoy baking. Can I please finish my pie? I thought I could give back for your hospitality.”
“Well,” one of the women starts to smile, “let’s help you then. We will make enough for everyone to enjoy a piece of apple pie.”
“Yes,” Jolena smiles, “that would be great.”
They all start to get busy, and chat away. Jolena smiles, she’s making friends, she feels actually a lot better now.
To say that the last hours went by excruciatingly slow, was an understatement. Especially when you have someone at home, whom you long for, by whom your thoughts are occupied. He and Simon, his Gamma, were busy the whole day. They scoured the whole area together, but didn’t find anything, not even a tiny clue as to where they’ve hidden his father. It’s almost dark, the sun is setting, and Chris is heading home. He didn’t hear anything from Jason, so he assumes that nothing serious has happened while he was away.
The other guys that were on the lookout, approach Christopher as soon as he arrives at the open space in front of the packhouse. “Alpha,” Danny says as soon as Chris opens his door. “We all haven’t found a single clue. Did you find anything?”
Chris sighs and gets out of his car. He brushes his hands through his hair. “No, we didn’t find anything either.” He looks at the men surrounding him. They all have expecting looks on their faces, as if he would have all the answers. “Give me some time to think, guys. I don’t know what to do. As soon as I have a plan, you’ll be informed. Chris’ Gamma and Delta turn around and walk away.
Evan walks up to Chris, grabs his shoulder and squeezes a little, “If you need anything, just let me know. I’ll stay here until we’ve safely returned your father.” The tall man turns around and follows Simon and Jason inside the packhouse.
Only Danny and his brothers are left. Chris steps away and leans against the hood of his car. “Are you alright? You look as if you haven’t slept in days.” Nick comes a little closer.
“I don’t know.” Chris shrugs. “There’s a lot expected from me. I don’t know if I can handle it all. I don’t know if I’m able to find our father.” He looks down at his feet.
“Hey Chris,” Nick walks closer and gives him a hug. “You are not alone in this, you hear me? We are here to help you. You don’t have to carry this burden on your own. You’re doing great.”
Leo and Danny nod in agreement. “We’re here for you,” Danny says, “let us help you carry your burden.”
Chris pushes himself away from the car and stands up straight. “I forgot I still have my informants to find out if there’s a trace of Verona in the city. I’ll call them and check on them. It could take a few days, though, before I get the results.”
“Well, we just have to wait and see then,” Leo says, “Once we have those results, we’ll see what we can do.”
They all nod. Then Leo and Nick start to sniffle. “What is that wonderful smell that makes my mouth water?” Nick asks and looks in the direction of the packhouse.
“Looks like the kitchen is busy cooking unbelievably delicious things,” Leo smiles, “Let’s go see and find out what they’re making.”
When they all take the steps to the packhouse, Jolena walks their way with a big smile on her face. “Hey guys,” her smile grows wider, “I just baked some pies with the kitchen crew. You’ll be able to taste them when dessert is served.”
“So, it was you who’s responsible for the mouth-watering smell,” Nick smiles.
“Yes,” Jolena smiles again, then she looks at Chris, “you’re back.”
“I am,” he smiles back at her and takes a step closer.
“You wanted to talk to me, do you think you have time right now?”
“I think so, but I would like to shower first, is that alright with you?”
“He’s afraid he stinks and that he’s going to scare you away because of that,” Nick teases.
They all laugh, Chris shakes his head. “I’ll see you in a minute,” he says to Jolena and walks away. But when he takes the first step of the stairs, he changes his mind and turns around. He quickly walks to Jolena, grabs her by the waist and pulls her close to his chest. When she looks up, he lowers his head and plants a gentle kiss on her lips. He smiles, quickly turns around and speeds away to take his shower.