I had been angry. I knew my comments would upset her but I wasn’t about to just let her tell me what to do. And I wasn’t about to admit that I sat in shock for a solid five minutes after she stormed out of my office.
“Crap.” I shook my head and raked my fingers through my dirty blonde hair. Why the hell did I keep pushing her away like that? I walked up the stairs and stood outside her door, knowing I needed to apologize. That was when I heard her silent sobs, muffled from what I assumed was her pillow.
My wolf growled, You really screwed up this time.
“I know. I’m going to have to make it up to her.” And with that, I walked into my room. Dropping onto the bed, I laid there on my back trying to come up with a way to fix what I had done. In my irritation, I had snapped at her and put down her attempts to help me and the pack. I knew if I was being honest I really didn’t enjoy the job of planning parties and overseeing things like the school. I didn’t know the first thing about education and I despised having to sit and plan a party. Maybe I had been too quick to dismiss her and felt awful now that I knew I had made her cry.
My head snapped up, “I’ve got it.” I headed down the stairs to the room next to my office. It had been unused for a long time, not since my mom.
I walked in and turned on the light, looking around the room. I started pulling sheets off the furniture. There was a desk and a couch. A closet with a file cabinet and some shelves. Honestly, the room wasn’t too bad. It just needed some love. I pulled out my phone and made a call.
“Hey bro. What's up?”
“Hannah, I need your help, can you come over to the packhouse? My office.”
I heard her groan on the other side of the phone and with a roll of my eyes I added, “It’s for Addison."
“I’ll be right there!” She hung up and I wasn’t sure if I should be offended that my sister liked Addison more than she liked me.
Ten minutes later and Hannah was standing with me in the empty office. “Gosh, it’s depressing in here,” Hannah said looking around the room.
“How do I make it better? You know her better than I do, what would she like?”
“Slade, you know her just fine, you don’t need my help,” Hannah said, smiling at me. “Tell me your ideas and I’ll tell you if I think she would like it. “
“Well, the walls are okay. Think it just needs some life in here. The couch is old and kind of ugly, maybe replace it with a new brighter couch. Put some shelves on the wall for pictures and files. Add some plants? I know her favorite color is navy blue, so I bet she would like a blue chair for behind the desk.”
Hannah looked up, gawking at me. “What?” I asked.
Hannah looked away quickly, “Nothing.” But then she looked back at me. “Slade, why are you giving her this office?”
I looked away. “I messed up. She wanted to start helping out, making her place as Luna. I shut her down. I keep pushing her away even though every piece of my body is telling me to be close to her.”
Hannah sighed, “You can’t keep punishing her for what Vanessa did.”
I looked down at her in shock. I hadn’t heard her name in years. I had refused to speak of what had happened. It was too painful and I almost didn’t survive it. “I know. I just don’t know if I can let myself in that situation again.”
That was when it was Hannah’s turn to look shocked. “Slade Black, you and I both know this situation is completely different. Addie is an amazing girl. If she didn’t want you she would have left by now, especially considering what you’ve put her through. If you don’t quit this grumpy, brooding deal you’ve got going on I’ll punch you in the throat.”
“Love you too, Han,” I smiled and she smirked back at me.
Hannah and I spent a good chunk of the night working on the office. Then we left early in the morning to drive to town to get the furniture and office decor and supplies we needed. When we got back to the house Hannah had to go in first to make sure Addison wasn’t around to see. After the all-clear, we carried in the new sofa, chairs, shelves, and bags of random items. It was just before lunch when we were finished we stood in the doorway, admiring our work. The office was warm and inviting, exactly like its new occupant.
“She’s going to love it. Go get her, brother.”
With that I jogged down the stairs, only to not find her anywhere. I didn’t want to upset her if avoiding me was her goal, so I decided to wait and catch her at dinner.