Cold fingers gripped my shoulders, and a warm body pressed up behind me.
“Mhhmm...sausages,” Freya said as she peered over my shoulder. She pecked my cheek afectionately even as I shrugged off her ice cube fingers with a shiver. “Thank you.” She took a seat next to Meili at our dining table.
Our dining table.
It was small and round, and all seven of our pack members could fit around it, and if we squeezed a little more, Nanny Marie could sit too.
“Why are you here so early?” Freya asked.
Meili pursed his lips. “Riley called me over. Pack work or something.”
I chuckled under my breath, faced them and served up the cooked sausages. “Patrol," I corrected. "It’s important. We trust you, okay?”
“Okay,” he said, but his shy eyes betrayed how much that meant to him.
There was a knock at the door and before any of us could rush for it—we all loved answering the door to the new house —Dustin yelled out the he had it.
He walked in, all sleepy eyes and messy bed hair. “Look who we have here.” He ushered in Everest, Ethan and Vee.
She took the seat closest to where I stood which happened to be right next to Freya. Freya smiled like she always did, but Vee looked away and folded her hands in her lap.
After placing all the breakfast on the table, I took my seat next to Vee and gave her a quick side hug. She melted into it, but pulled back as soon as I did.
“Who’s on patrol today?” Dustin asked.
“Meili,” I answered as I heaped a plate with meat.
“I’ll go with him,” Everest said.
“No, thank you,” Meili shot back.
Everest carefully lowered his fork and leaned back in his chair. He narrowed his eyes at the young wolf. “And why not?”
Meili huffed. “I don’t need you bossing me around, holding my hand like a baby.”
“Not at the table,” Freya pleaded, at the same time Dustin groaned: “Not in my house.”
I placed the plate in front of a fidgeting Vee. “Ignore them,” I said too loudly, so that they could hear.
“Fine,” Meili, said standing up. “Thanks for the breakfast, Riley. Let’s go, Ever-change.”
Everest glared and then shoved handfuls of food into his mouth before trailing after Meili.
“I’ll head out too. I have to help out at the Café today.” Ethan stood and went on his way.
The twins’ and Marie’s café had opened and it was a hit. Vee worked there too, but only during the week.
The rest of us finished up with our food in silence. I liked it. It was peaceful. Vee did not bother us. She was our Omega and we were some of only people that could treat her right.
The pack still looked down on her and despised her, but they hadn’t hurt her again since that day that Freya had warned them not to.
“You’re pregnant,” Vee mumbled into her tea cup.
I froze, my stomach getting fuzzy.
“Me? I mean of course me. How do you know that?” Freya asked.
Dustin was darting his gaze from Freya to me over and over again.
“I’m an Omega.” She turned to me. “Are you happy?” She tilted her head to one side
How could she not tell with how wide I was grinning? “Of course I am. Thank you for telling us.”
She nodded. “Can I sleep on the couch? I don’t feel so good.”
Freya shot to her feet, ever the protective Alpha even if it wasn’t always welcome. “No, you should use the spare room.”
The “spare” room was one of two, and it was specially put aside for Vee. We chose not to tell her because we knew it would freak her out.
Freya led as I pulled Vee along.
Of course there was a knock just then. Of course it was the worst possible person. The whirlwind.
I opened the door and frowned. “Zach? What are you—”
“Where is he? Where is that good for nothing, wolfboy?”
He tried to push his way through, but I refused to budge.
Zachary was taller than me and wider than me. Very muscular for a witch. He was lethal and handsome in equal parts. I sighed. He was hot. Very hot.
“Mate?” It was a soft sort of musing little sound.
My blood ran cold the second I heard it. I turned to her, forgetting Zach completely. “Vee? What did you just say?” I was kidding myself of course. I had heard her loud and clear. “He can’t be. You’re mistaken.” But I knew full well that shifters did not make mistakes about such things.
Zachary was looking intently at her for a beat,then turned back to me. “Tell Dustin to stay away from Minnie. I shouldn’t tell him a third time.” He started to walk away.
Vee shot forward so fast she was a blur, and grabbed his arm.
He gave her a strained look. He looked her over; her hair and eyes. “What are you?”
Freya pried Vee away from Zachary and tucked her protectively behind her.
“She’s an omega. And she’s not for you.”
Zachary glared and I growled.
“Don’t look at her like that,” I warned.
Zachary smirked, His gaze darted between Freya and me, until it finally settled on Vee. "I don't want her anyway." He shook his head and in a blur, vanished from our doorstep.
Vee let out a sad little whimper.
Freya squinted at him. “Do you even care?”
He placed a kiss on her forehead. “I knew you could handle yourselves, little minx. Plus Zachary can’t do anything that would get him into too much trouble with Nanny Marie so I knew you were good.”
Vee trailed off and went into the living room to lay on the couch.
“Who is he?” Freya whispered.
“Nanny Marie’s son. Minnie’s older brother.”
“We know he’s a witch too,” I pointed out. “Can he really be Vee’s mate?”
Freya sighed. “Wolves can’t make mistakes about that.”
“Neither can coyotes, thank you very much. So what do we do?
Can we keep them apart.”
“It would kill her.” She frowned. “C’mon, he can’t be that bad.”
“He’s the worst!” Dustin and I grumbled at the same time.
I could not trust Vee with Zach. I just couldn’t. But without him she’d get the mate fevers and die. I could not lose her either.