When Jackson left this morning it was a bit curious. But I just assumed he had pressing issues back at the pack. If he needed anything he would call.
The end of the day came and went and he never came back. I stayed a bit later just in case, finishing up some work while I waited. Five thirty and nothing.
I walked home, taking advantage of the warm evening. When I got back to my apartment I found Jackson sitting outside the door.
"Well good evening, Mr. Thorpe," I smiled.
He looked up at me with a faint smile and I could tell something was wrong.
"What's the matter?" I asked with a knotted brow.
He shook his head at me, "Nothing. Can I come up? I have a few things to talk to you about."
I looked at him sideways, a bit hesitant at the request but let him up. As we walked in I slipped out of my shoes, walking in heels all day was a little bit like torture. "Have a seat, let me change out of my work clothes really quick." I changed quickly into some leggings and a loose tee before joining him on the couch.
"Can I get you something? Water?"
He shook his head again, keeping his gaze lowered.
I had never seen him like this before and it was a bit worrying. "Jackson," I placed my hand on his arm sending tingles through my fingers, "Something is clearly wrong. Tell me, maybe I can help."
He let out a small laugh, "How are you so kind all of the time?"
"Would you rather I be mean? I can if you want me to. I'm real good at name calling," I teased.
He looked up at me, an emotion in his eyes that seemed to be affection mixed with sadness. "Can I just hold you for a minute?"
I looked at him curiously, hesitating for a moment before agreeing. He wrapped his arms around me and we ended up tangled into one another. Being close to him relaxed me and I could hear Raya purr in my head. He bent his head down and gently brushed his lips against mine, offering a deep, gentle kiss. He exhaled and released me.
"Okay Sasha, I need to tell you something. Something awful."
I watched him fidget with a ring on his finger and I could tell he was afraid to speak. "Jackson, what's the matter? You're starting to scare me."
"After you started working at TITAN I had Jim look into you. After getting to know you I wanted to know more, I wanted to figure out where you had come from. We couldn't find anything, until..."
My eyes widened. They had found my old pack. I wasn't sure I was ready for this, "Jackson, what are you saying?"
He shook his head and met my eyes, "Sasha, your family is from my pack."
I snapped my face forward, trying to wrap my brain around what had just been said. "What do you mean I'm from your pack?"
"We had looked everywhere. Jim got this crazy idea in his head that maybe we couldn't find you because you were from here. But suddenly it all started making sense. When my mom confirmed it this morning I..."
"Your father..." I whispered. My wolf was fighting to get free, I was struggling to keep control. "Your father did this?"
He nodded, "My dad was a mean, cruel, horrible Alpha. It took me years to gain back the trust of the pack, to build it back up from the ruin my father had left it in."
"You're sure?" I growled.
"I am." He looked down, pulling a file from his jacket and handing it to me. "Your name is Sasha Reynolds. The reason given for your exile was because your parents disobeyed direct orders and refused to submit- but we know that's not what happened."
I looked at the file, a picture of my family attached to the front page. I didn't have any pictures of my parents. They had all been lost when we were exiled. I could feel the anger building inside me as I ran my fingers across their faces. “I need you to leave."
"Sasha... I'm so sorry. I promised my pack was safe for you. I had no idea..."
"Leave," I spoke sternly, hoping he would get the hint. I needed to be alone. I needed to work through this.
"Sasha please..." he replied quietly. I looked up at him. His eyes were full of sadness and regret.
"Jackson, get out. I need... I need some time. I need to process this." I could feel the fire inside me. If he stayed I would say things I didn't mean. I needed time to wrap my head around it all.
He lowered his head before standing and walking to the door. "I'm sorry Sasha. Don't... don't push me away," he whispered as he left.
When the door closed I couldn't hold it anymore. The dam burst. I cried, my body heaving with sobs. How was I supposed to get past this? How could I look at my mate and not see his father killing my mother? How could I be his mate and live in his pack, the pack I was exiled from?
I woke the next morning, my tears had all been cried out and my cheeks were stiff. I got dressed and went to work. I knew I would have to see Jackson but I would do everything in my power to avoid being alone with him. I couldn't do this yet.
I heard the ding of the elevator and the pause in his step as he saw me. "Miss Lovett.. you're here?" I could hear the worry and excitement in his voice.
"Yes, good morning Mr. Thorpe."
He walked into his office and I knew he was expecting me to follow but I wasn't going to.
You have a conference call with Dunbar at nine thirty and then a lunch meeting in the conference room at twelve.
I began on my work when I heard the familiar ding.
Thank you Sasha. I'm glad you came in today.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. "No Sasha. You can't go there. We need time."
Thankfully the day went by slowly. After lunch I came back to see him at my desk. "Can I help you, Mr. Thorpe?"
"My office please, Miss Lovett."
I attempted to calm myself. My plan to avoid him today had failed. I walked into his office and spoke quickly, "What can I do for you?"
"Sasha," he spoke quietly and stepped toward me. I stepped backward, not wanting to be any closer. He saw my actions and stopped, a scowl spreading on his face. "Sasha, I'm not going to hurt you."
"I know that." I looked at him, "But I need some time."
"What do you mean by time?" he asked. I could hear the anger creeping into his voice.
"Exactly that. I need time. I need to get my head straight, to wrap my head around all of this. I just found out my mate and future pack is actually my old pack and my mate's father is the reason for everything that has happened in my life. Jackson, I just need time."
He let out a slow breath, "If that's what you want."
"Yes, it is," I said sternly. I turned and left the room, trying not to let him see the tears that were threatening to fall.