When she's ready

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XX

Leo slams the door of his truck shut. He just arrived at his father’s house. He sighs, it feels like going back in time. Sure, he has visited his father the last few years, but he always went back to the Packhouse. This time it’s different. He grabs his weekend bag from the backseat and shuts the door. Memories flood his mind when he looks up to the house. Until the age of eleven, he lived here, with his brothers and both his parents. When his father was abducted and they thought he was killed, they moved to the Packhouse.

He takes the steps to the porch and opens the screen door to enter the house. “Dad?” He calls out to find out where his father is.

“I’m upstairs!”

Leo runs up the stairs and walks to his old bedroom. When he pushes the door open, he finds his father, the sheets for his bed in his hands.

“Hey dad.” He places his bag on the desk.

“Hey,” Fredric looks at his son and smiles. “It’s good you’re here. How are you feeling about being back in your room?”

“I don’t know.” Leo shrugs and looks around. “A lot of mixed feelings. It’s about thirteen years ago that I’ve slept here.”

Fredric continues to make up his bed. When he is done, he turns back around to look at his son. “Leonard.” Leo looks back at his dad. “I’m glad you’re here. Thank you for doing this for me.” While walking past Leo, he pats Leo on his shoulder.

“No problem, dad. I know how you feel about living in the Packhouse.”

Fredric nods, halts in the doorway and turns to look at Leo. “It’s too crowded. Ever since you freed me from the hands of Verona, I can’t seem to fit in anymore. I don’t feel comfortable there. Here, it’s quiet, it’s peaceful. And it keeps me near all my memories of my loved ones. Especially the memories of the one love of my life.”

Leo sighs. “Mom.”

Fredric nods again. “Exactly. Coffee?”

“Err. Yes, please.” Leo smiles a little.

“I’ll make us some. Get settled in, unpack your things. By the time you’re done, coffee will be ready.” Fredric turns around and walks away. “Don’t get lost in your memories, Leonard. You’re too young to dwell in the past.”

Leo finds himself wandering through the house. His old home. Once, this was all full of light, full of joy, full of sounds of children playing. Now, it’s eerie, it’s quiet, way too quiet. There should be life in this house, but there’s nothing but empty memories.

He walks downstairs to find his dad in the kitchen. When Fredric hears him enter, he turns around and smiles. “Got settled in?” He asks.

Leo nods. “Yeah. It’s strange, being back here.”

Fredric gives him a cup of coffee. “Here, take this.” When he takes the cup from his dad, Fredric turns around again and takes something from the counter. “I’ve got something for you. It’s not much, but I think it will show how I feel about you perfectly.

Fredric gives him a little leather package. A little bag with a drawstring. He looks at his dad with a frown. “What is this, dad?” He places his mug on the kitchen island.

“Just open it, take a look.” Fredric smiles.

When Leo opens it, he gasps. He looks at his dad. “But-”

“Take it out,” His father’s eyes are moist.

Leo holds up his one hand and then carefully shakes out what’s in the little bag. A golden seal ring falls out. “But- That’s-”

“Try it on.” Fredric smiles a little.

“But-”

“Leonard, try it, take it.”

Leo slides the ring on his left ring finger. It fits perfectly.

“It’s your grandfather’s seal ring. He got it from his father when he became eighteen.”

“Shouldn’t Chris get this ring?” Leo frowns a little.

“Your brother has already gotten his Alpha Ring. He doesn’t have to have this ring.”

“Why am I getting this?”

“It’s a token of my gratitude, it’s a token of my trust, it’s a token of showing you how important I think you are.”

“Well-” Leo sighs and rubs with his finger under his eye. When he pulls his finger away, it’s wet. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Then don’t say anything. The look on your face says plenty.”

Leo nods. Then he surprises his dad and hugs him tightly. Fredric pats his son on his back comfortingly. “Thank you, dad. This means a lot.”

When Leo pulls away, Fredric smiles. “I’m so glad you’re here.”

Then Leo turns, grabs his mug and takes a sip. He groans, “this is so good. You make the best coffee, dad.”

Later, Leo is on his way back to the Packhouse. He had forgotten his laptop and some papers he needs to be able to do some administration tonight.

When he jumps out of his truck, he sees Patrick in the distance.

“Patrick!” He greets the man and walks over to him.

“Captain, how are you doing today?” The man smiles friendly.

“I’m doing great, thank you.” Leo smiles. “I’ve been moving some things to my father’s house. As long as Jones is a possible threat to us, I’m staying with him, just to be safe.”

“Really? How is your old man doing? I haven’t really spoken to him for a while.”

“He’s fine. He still feels uncomfortable being around a lot of people though, he prefers the peace and quiet of his house. But other than that, he is doing great. Chris is concerned because of the threat that Jones is, but our father doesn’t really care. Physically he is in top shape, I’ve seen the man lift weights like it’s nothing, while I have a hard time doing the same.”

“That’s impressive,” Patrick raises his eyebrows. “And you’re all muscle, I guess that’s saying something. But his Alpha-genes must have something to do with his strength, right? Oh, by the way, I think that you’d like to know that I just got a message from Elianne saying that she arrived safely at my brother’s pack.”

Leo nods, “that’s good to hear. I hope she’ll like it there.”

Patrick smiles and pats Leo on his shoulder. “Don’t worry about her, Captain. She’ll be fine. She has always loved it there and never wanted to come home. This time will be no different. You focus on you and your wolf. Get that boy reined in again. If Jones is really that of a threat, we need you now more than ever.”

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