When she's ready

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It is a few days later, the Pack has settled back into its normal routine, no one could tell that there was an attack just a few days ago. Everything was quiet and peaceful again. Elianne places some empty crates on the cargo bed of her truck and shuts the tailgate. Her grandma stands next to the driver’s door. “I’ll be gone for just a little while, grandma. I’ll just be getting some supplies from the Packhouse. As soon as I’m done there, I’ll be back.”

Elianne looks worried. Her grandma seems absent minded lately. Ever since the fight was over, she keeps forgetting things, she seems distracted. She hopes it’s just the stress from the fight, otherwise it’s not looking good. Maybe she should talk to her dad about the condition of her grandma.

“I know, sweetheart, don’t worry about me, dear.” Her grandma smiles assuring, but Elianne is still not comfortable about leaving her alone.

Elianne parks her truck just outside the Packhouse. She takes the crates and walks to the front door. Just before she opens the door, she looks up and sighs. The last time she was here, she was in the Captain’s office. She shakes her head, trying to shake off the thoughts. She has no time to dwell in her memories.

She gets inside and walks past the big main chairs into the direction of the kitchen. Just as she turns into the corridor that leads there, she bumps into someone’s hard chest. The sudden force makes her drop the crates to the floor with a thud. Because the lights aren’t on, she can hardly figure out who is in front of her.

“Careful little one,” a deep male voice makes her shiver involuntarily. “We don’t want you to get hurt, do we?” Amusement is clearly heard in his voice.

Elianne looks up, and even though it’s dark, she could recognise the blue orbs looking down at her anywhere.

The Captain.

“Err, sorry, sir.” Elianne quickly looks down again, to avoid his piercing gaze. “I didn’t see where I was going.”

“Seems like you’re making a habit out of bumping into chests,” she can hear the smirk in his voice.

Elianne blushes but hopes he doesn’t notice in the dark. “Err, sir,” she keeps looking down, feeling intimidated by the powerful aura he is radiating.

“Yes, Harris,” he sounds serious. He is back to calling her by her last name, that’s not a good sign.

“Now that I see you here anyway, sir. I wanted to apologise for my behaviour the other day. I shouldn’t have gotten so angry with you. I don’t know what got into me to react like that.” She keeps looking down, her voice becoming quieter and quieter the longer she talks. She feels his piercing gaze boring into the top of her head. “I’m sorry, sir.”

She feels his hand lifting her chin, so she has to look him in the eye. His eyes dark and she can see storms raging in them. “There’s no need to dwell in the past. What’s done is done. You’ve made your point truly clear.” His voice sounds cold and distant. He lets go and takes a step back. Instantly she feels relieved, but also, she feels hurt, somehow. “I won’t bother you, and I expect for you to do the same. You’ll stay with your grandmother and out of my way.”

She is shocked. “Are you giving up just like that?”

“Yes.”

“But, I thought that mates would fight for each other, I thought that without a mate, a wolf has no reason for living? I thought-”

“Keep dreaming, girl.” The Captain steps aside to make way for her to pass by, breaking the eye contact. She can clearly see his tensed jaw and his hands balled into fists, squeezing so hard that his knuckles are white. He starts to walk away, leaving her in the corridor.

“Captain, please, I’m truly sorry.” He halts for a second and she looks at his back, his t-shirt does nothing to cover his hard muscles.

The Captain turns around on his heels and sighs. “Harris, I don’t think you understand the situation!” His eyes are now raging. “What did you expect, that when you say sorry everything is forgiven and forgotten? That everything is immediately fine again? That I don’t dwell in the past, doesn’t mean I want to see you again. You can’t play with someone’s feelings like that! I am an honest man and have a name to hold up. I can’t have a little girl at my side who can’t decide what she wants. As long as you’re still a minor, I am at a serious risk here!”

“You think I am immature?” Now she’s getting pissed too.

“Yes, you are. For heaven’s sake, you’re only sixteen, Harris.”

“So, this is it then,” a stray tear falls down her cheek and she wipes it away quickly. His words hurt, badly.

“Yes.” The Captain clenches his jaw, turns back around, and walks away. “At least for now.” He mumbles quietly, but Elianne is still able to hear it.

She shakes her head when she picks up her crates. Well, that went well, but not really. His words hurt more than she anticipated. She deserves it, though, for treating him the way she did.

She quickly walks into the big kitchen in the Packhouse, where she was told that she could pick up the things she needed.

After putting everything in her truck, she sees her dad talking to Danny at the other side of the open clearing in front of the Packhouse.

When he sees her, he waves and gestures to come over. “Hey, little one,” Danny is the first to greet her and he gives her a big hug.

Then when she pulls back, her father looks at her, “hello Elianne.” She can feel the tension between her dad and herself.

“How are you doing, little one?” Danny wraps an arm around her waist and pulls her close. With his other hand he ruffles her hair, just as he used to do when she was younger. He doesn’t notice the tension between her and their dad, or he just decided to ignore it.

She shrugs, “I don’t know, fine I guess.”

“You’re not too shaken up from the attack, are you?” Danny looks at her with a little concern.

“No, I’m good. I actually kicked some guy’s ass.” She says proudly.

“So, I’ve heard. The Captain was full of praise about you.” Danny smiles, he looks at her proudly.

Her eyes widen in surprise. “He was?”

“Yes, he was,” Danny frowns, “why wouldn’t he be? From what he told me, you defended yourself greatly.”

Elianne shrugs and looks at the ground.

“Is there something you need to tell us, Elianne?” Her father’s words sound stern, a frown appears. She feels his piercing gaze on her.

“Err, I don’t know,” Elianne keeps staring at her feet.

“Elianne,” Danny pulls her a little closer, “you know you can tell us anything, right?” He sounds concerned.

“I know. I screwed up.”

“What did you do?” Danny doesn’t give their father a chance to speak.

“The Captain kissed me. Then I hit him in his face. Later he came back and told me I am his mate, and I hit him again. I tried to talk to talk to him earlier to apologise, but he doesn’t want to see me.”

“What? Leo kissed you? Does he know that you’re only sixteen? When I see him, I’ll punch his face! He’ll know what happens when someone touches my little sister when I’m done with him!” Danny’s face reddens with anger. He turns around to walk away.

“Danny, wait.” The voice of their father is stern, the frown on his face says he means business. “He already came to me, he already apologised, and he has asked me what to do.”

“What?” Elainne looks surprised at her father.

“What,” her father shrugs, “just because some people can’t behave as adults, doesn’t mean that others can’t either. I advised the Captain to stay away and give you some time to cope with the news. He regretted his decision to kiss you, but you know how our wolves are, sometimes they are hard to contain. I don’t think it is wise to act on the mating bond for now, not as long as Elianne is underaged. It could give him an unbelievably bad name and that is the last thing we want. His job is way too important, we have no one else who’s able to replace him. Maybe it’s better if you can stay with your grandmother for a while longer.”

Danny frowns and looks at his sister. “Elianne, what do you think of all this?”

She shakes her head and shrugs. “So, he responded the way he did just now, because you told him to stay away?”

“I don’t know what he said or how he said it. I just told him to leave you alone until you’re of age and you’ll be able to see for yourself who your mate is. But you could have just hurt him, you know, when he came to you to apologise. Rejecting someone can make their wolf do all kinds of things.”

“Well, I think it is only wise what dad told the Captain. I don’t know how I would be if this was about my little Eleanor.”

“Speaking of,” Patrick changes the subject smoothly, “how is my little granddaughter?”

“You know, as sweet as a five-year-old can be.” Danny sighs and shakes his head. “Little Ella has quite the temper. I don’t know from whom she has that, but damn, the tantrums she can throw, unbelievable.”

“Don’t give into them, hold down your foot. Otherwise, you’ll get problems when she gets older. Just look at your sister here.” Patrick starts to walk away with Danny.

“Excuse me,” Elianne folds her arms in front of her chest, mockingly. “I’m still right here, I can still hear you.” When she looks around, she sees Leo, preparing for warrior training.

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