When she's ready

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XVI

The next day, Leo is up early. He is restless, he feels his wolf crawling and begging to be released. He knows what his wolf wants, and right now he can’t give it to him. He knows what will happen when he lets his wolf out, he will go straight over to Elianne’s and claim her as his, so no, he is not going to shift anytime soon. It’ll be to his disadvantage, he knows that. The longer he keeps his wolf from shifting, the weaker he will become. Soon he won’t be the stronger warrior he once was, but he’d rather give that up, than make the same mistake of shifting and losing control again.

He decides to visit his father. He lives somewhere deep in the forest, away from everyone. Ever since his father returned from being abducted, he kept to himself, only making visits once in a while. He still has a hard time dealing with being imprisoned for so long.

When he knocks on the big wooden door, he hears his father yell “It’s open!” from somewhere inside the house. He goes in and shuts the door behind him.

“Dad?” he calls out to find out where his dad is.

“In the kitchen!”

He walks over to the kitchen and when he gets closer, he smells the most delicious scents coming his way. “Hey son,” his father greets him with a smile when he walks in. “Come sit.” Fredric gestures to a stool at the island in the middle of the kitchen.

“Hey dad, what are you cooking?” Leo drops on the stool.

“I just made some bacon and eggs; I had a feeling someone would come over, so I made extra.” Frederic places a cup of coffee in front of Leo, then grabs two plates and places them on the island as well. “Here, dig in.”

They are quiet for a while, while they eat their breakfast.

“So, what brings you here?” Fredric asks him. “I can sense your wolf is restless, eager to come out.”

Leo nods. “I’ve found my mate, dad.” He doesn’t look up from his plate, he still finds it hard to talk about it. “But I’ve screwed up big time. I guess you’ve heard from the fire?”

“Yes, I did,” Fredric nods, but he frowns, “but what does that have to do with you having found your mate?”

Leo tells him everything. Finally, he finds it relieving to talk about his problems. He knows his dad won’t judge him for what he has done.

When he is done talking, Fredric is quiet for a minute. “I feel for you, son.” He places a hand on Leo’s shoulder.

“I’ve offered to leave for a while,” Leo says, “so my wolf can calm down and he cannot be tempted to claim her, but Chris doesn’t want me to leave. I don’t have any other option. If I don’t let my wolf out, he will get weak. There’s just no good solution to this.”

“Hmm,” Fredric frowns, deep in thought. “I know that Patrick has an older brother, leading a pack not too far away from here. Maybe he can send Elianne over there for a while.”

“How do you know all that?” Leo looks surprised.

“Well, as you may know, I’ve been the Alpha of this Pack years ago. Think harder Leo, Patrick is Danny’s father, who is the Beta now. When I was Alpha, Danny’s father was my Beta. Patrick took over the Beta-position from his father-in-law because Francine wasn’t comfortable being a female Beta. Times were different back then; women were not as feministic as they are now. I’ve worked with Patrick for years, he was, and still is one of my best friends.”

“But I don’t want Elianne to be punished for the mistakes I have made.”

Fredric points a finger to Leo, “for the mistakes your wolf made, not you. Sadly, our wolves are still mainly savage animals who only live following their instincts. And because you have some Alpha blood running in your veins, your wolf is harder to contain than just a regular wolf.”

Leo nods. They continue to chat for a while, while eating their breakfast and drinking coffee. Leo enjoys being around his dad. He finds it so comforting to have his dad back in his life, to have someone who supports him and gives him advice when he needs it. He had Chris who did his best to be a father-figure to him when their own wasn’t there, but it just wasn’t the same.

Elianne walks over the big open clearing in front of the packhouse. On the edge she sees the black remnants of what once were the houses of Pack-members. They look like charred carcasses, like strange, black skeletons. She shakes her head, who would do such a thing? She walks over to the Packhouse and enters it, she was asked by Alpha Chris to come and see him. He wanted to talk to her about something. She wonders what it could be.

She knocks on his door and he immediately replies. “Come in.”

When she opens the door, she sees that Alpha Chris is not the only one in. Her father, her brother Danny and the Captain are all present and she sees an older man around the age of her own father standing in the corner. Actually, the man looks a lot like the Alpha, only older. She feels nervous, what could this be about?

“Err, hello Alpha, you wanted to see me?”

“I do.” Chris smiles, “come in, shut the door and take a seat. There’s some things that I wanted to discuss with you today.”

Elianne does as she has been told and takes a seat across Alpha Chris. She looks at Danny, who has a large bandage on his neck. He looks sweaty and feverish; shouldn’t he be in bed? Danny looks at the Captain as if he is about to eat him alive, it is obvious that he is furious. Then she looks at the Captain, who sits beside her. He doesn’t look at her, he stares into oblivion.

From the Captain she looks at her father, who looks very calm and gives her a reassuring nod.

“Elianne,” Alpha Chris gestures to the man in the corner. “This is my father, Fredric Anderson, the former Alpha of this pack. You may or may not have heard about him. He is here for his wise advice.”

The man called Fredric nods friendly at her. So that’s why they resemble each other so much. Now that she looks better, she even sees the resemblance with Leo.

“As you may have heard,” Alpha Chris continues to talk, “we have Leo here who has a hard time controlling his wolf. He has told us that he has recognised you as his mate. Because he can’t claim you yet, his wolf is trying to take over control and just do it whenever he has the chance.” Elianne nods, everything he is telling her is nothing new. She has heard a lot of stories about male wolves who go ballistic because of not being able to claim their mate.

“Because we don’t want to force a mating on you that you don’t even recognise yet, we have to act. Now. If we don’t, things could go running out of hand.

Your brother Danny here already wants my brother’s head for kissing his little sister, so I want to prevent any more friction between both parties. I assume you can understand.”

Elianne nods again.

“Leo has offered to move away for a while, until you are of age, but I cannot miss my best warrior. So that leaves only one solution.” Alpha Chris is silent and everyone except for Leo looks at her expectantly.

“You are expecting for me to move away?” She looks at the Alpha with wide eyes. “Why me?”

“Because you don’t serve an important task here within the Pack, Elianne,” Her father responds. “Other than taking care of Grandma.”

“Where should I go? I can’t live on my own, I’m only sixteen!” Elianne gets up from her chair, upsetly swaying with her arms. Tears fall on her cheeks. “Why am I the one being punished for this?”

Leo gets up too, looking agitated too. “This is why I offered to leave! She is only sixteen, her father is still responsible for her! I am twenty-four, I can take care of my own! Don’t punish her for my mistakes!”

Chris sighs and rubs his face with his hands. “Sit down, both of you.” He looks tired.

“You know it’s only fair to send Leo away. He is the one going out of control, not Elianne.” Danny’s look is murderous. He is sweating excessively, drops of sweat running on his forehead.

“Danny, are you alright?” Chris looks worried at his best friend. “I’m going to call Adina; you look like you could pass out any moment.”

“No! I want to finish this meeting first! I have the right to know what happens to my little sister,” Danny says angrily.

“Danny, calm down.” Patrick lays a hand on his son’s shoulder. “You should go and see the doctor.”

“Just finish this meeting already, send the prick away!” Danny says through gritted teeth.

“If I recall correctly,” Fredric interferes and steps forward to get everyone’s attention. “You, Patrick, have a brother, Alpha Richard, living not too far away from here. Am I right?”

Patrick nods. “Yes, that is correct. He’s still Alpha, his son Damon hasn’t taken over as of yet.”

“What if you send Elianne over to your family? She actually knows your brother and his family, so that is a bit easier on her. You know she’ll be in good hands and she will be taken care of. You can visit her anytime and she can continue her warrior-training over there.”

Patrick nods, “that is actually a pretty good idea.” He looks at his daughter, “Elianne what do you think, you have a fairly good bond with Patricia, one of Richard’s daughters. Do you think you’d like to go and visit them for a while?”

Elianne thinks a little before she answers. “I think it is better than sending Leo away.” She steals a quick glance at him and sees that he shakes his head.

“It’s not. I should be the one going, not you Elianne.”

“Danny, what do you think?” Chris looks at his Beta, who’s looking worse every minute.

“I think it’s a good middle ground, but only if Elianne is okay with it.” Danny says sternly.

Elianne nods and gets up. “I’ll pack my things and be on my way.”

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