Luckily, Alpha Dane does not snore. Annoyingly, I wake up at just past eight o’clock. Needing the toilet, I get up and try to open the door.
I listen intently and realise I can’t hear a heartbeat. There’s no one in there. I open my bedroom door, walk to the landing, and strain my ears to hear what is going on downstairs. Everyone is at the dining room table, assumedly eating breakfast. I can smell the faint scent of Alpha Dane.
That dickhead locked my door again and forgot to unlock it when he went back down.
I want a shower. Damn him.
I decide to risk it, I open his bedroom door and step inside. I’m immediately hit by his tantalising smell again. I hold my breath and fumble my way into the bathroom. I blindly grab all of my things, filling my arms with my toiletries. I step back into his bedroom, just as I hear the door open, and the scent of Alpha Dane reaches me.
Well, this is awkward.
I’m stood in his bedroom, in a t-shirt and pyjama shorts, my arms full of my stuff, with bed-hair and sunglasses. I’m almost glad that I can’t see how terrible I look right now.
“I’m so sorry, I just wanted to grab my things. I’ll move to another bathroom,” I blurt out quickly as I slowly approach where I think the door is. It’s silent for a moment. “Sorry, won’t happen again,” I mumble and take another cautious step forwards, I don’t want to bump into him.
“What? You in my bedroom? Don’t count on it,” he jokes cockily.
If I could, I would glare at him. “Sorry,” I mutter again.
I hear the door open wider, scraping against the carpet. “Keep walking straight ahead,” his voice softens as he guides me.
I reach out and grab the wall and step into the corridor. I make it safely back to my room, but I can feel his eyes on my back, watching to make sure I get there. I use one of the spare guest bathrooms to get ready for the day, dressing in leggings and a jumper.
I wait until everyone has gone out on the recon trip before heading downstairs to the library. I know I can’t read the books, so I take my pencils and sketchpad to try drawing by memory.
The library is my favourite room.
It’s nothing like the Beauty and the Beast one, but it’s certainly impressive still. It’s only one floor, but there’s thousands of books lining the shelves and a window seat that calls my name.
I sink into the plush cushions and lean my side against the window. With my sunglasses and bandages on, I can’t see anything, but I can feel the sun on my face through the glass. I pick up my sketchpad and pencils and begin drawing.
At first it’s just doodles, flowers, and swirls. But soon I try drawing my wolf, focussing on her ears and then her nose. I don’t hear anyone enter, but the scent of Alpha Dane reaches me, and I look up in surprise.
“Alpha Dane?” I call out and I hear him approach me.
“You knew it was me, well done,” he praises me.
I feel the window seat dip as he takes a seat by my feet. My knees are bent and up against my chest.
“I recognised your scent,” I reply. “How was the trip?”
“It was good. We got the information we were hoping for, now we’ll put together a plan of attack and hopefully get rid of these hunters for good.”
I like the sound of that.
“What are you doing?” He asks before I can reply.
I lift up my sketchpad, I think in his direction. “Just sketching,” I say and put the sketchpad back on my lap. “I usually read, but obviously that’s out of the question at the moment.”
“What were you reading?” He questions.
I wonder why an Alpha is giving me the time of day. I know I’m the Alpha’s daughter, but really, what does he want? I reach for the small coffee table I keep by the window seat. I like to stack my books-to-read pile on it and it’s useful for keeping a drink nearby. I fumble for the book I want, recognising it by the embossed cover. I pick it up and hand it to him.
“This one. It’s so annoying because I only had a few chapters left,” I tell him, and he carefully takes the book from my hands.
It’s silent for a moment and I hear him flip through the pages.
“Would you like me to read it to you?” He offers and my lips part slightly in surprise.
“Oh, it’s okay don’t worry, you don’t have to.”
I reach to take the book back, but my hand just meets air. “No, I’d like to,” he insists, and I slowly retract my hand.
“Um, well if you want to...then yes, please, I’d love that,” I reply awkwardly and sink back against the window, getting comfortable.
He flicks through the pages, finding my bookmark and clears his throat. “I lay on the bench, shivering, until night lay with me, and the moon struggled to penetrate the canopy above. The leaves were unyielding, hanging on firm in the sudden chill that succeeded sunset; they would not fall yet - not tonight, at least.”
(From the wonderful book ‘When God was a rabbit’)
The sound of his deep, warm voice fills my ears, and my imagination takes over in providing me a vision of what is happening as he reads.
He finishes the final chapters for me, and I sigh happily when he closes the book.
“Thank you so much,” I say quietly and hear him put the book down.
“No problem, little mouse,” he replies, and my eyebrows raise at the nickname. “Shall we get some lunch?” He suggests.
I feel him stand, the seat cushion springing back as his weight leaves it.
I slide off the seat and I’m relieved when I feel his large hand through my jumper on the small of my back, guiding me. He leads me through to the kitchen; I can hear the bustle of everyone chatting in the adjoining dining room.
“I’ll serve you if you’d like?” Alpha Dane offers and I thank him when he places a full plate in my hands.
Feeling brave, I allow him to lead me through to the dining room. The chatter quietens down when we enter, no doubt from surprise that the blind girl has joined everyone.
“Darling, I’m so glad you’re joining us,” Mum gushes as Dane gently guides me into a chair.
The conversation picks up again, and I’m relieved the attention moves away from me. I can feel a pair of eyes on me, emanating from my right, I can smell that it is Alpha Jarren watching me closely. Most of the lunch is finger food and I can eat it easily without having to chase the food around the plate with my cutlery.
After eating, I excuse myself back to the library. Damon joins me shortly after and we spend the afternoon together. I eat dinner with everyone, which is slightly trickier because it is pasta, but I manage. The Alphas sit at my end of the table and ask me questions about my life and my likes and dislikes. I’m confused as to why they’re making such an effort with me, but I like talking to them.
Getting ready for bed is much easier tonight as now I have my own bathroom. I take my glasses and bandages off and sink under the covers.
I wake the next morning and sit up in bed, rubbing my eyes. I blink them open, and I grin as light filters through in my vision. Everything is still blurry as hell. I’d walk into a wall right in front of me, but at least I can now tell you what colour that wall would be.
I pull on another jumper and leggings, this time I’m confident with what outfit I’m wearing because I could see the colours of the clothes. I brush my hair and clean my teeth before making my way downstairs.
I’m spreading butter on my toast when the scent of Alpha Jarren hits me.
“Good morning, Alpha,” I greet him and take a bite of my toast.
“Good morning, Leilani,” he replies, his deep voice still has a visceral effect on me, I was kind of hoping I’d be used to him by now.
I meet up with Damon after breakfast and he takes me for a walk around the territory, his arm linked with mine.
“What do the Alphas look like?” I ask Damon, curious to know. They’re all I can think about at the moment. I have a horrible feeling I have a childish crush.
Damon snorts with laughter, I don’t know what’s so funny. “Um, I guess if I was into guys, I’d say they are attractive,” he muses. “Alpha Jarren is slightly taller than Alpha Dane, but Alpha Dane is broader.”
“What colour are their eyes? Hair? Skin?” I press and I know Damon is going to tease me for this.
“Wouldn’t you like to know? Someone fancy them?” I ignore his teasing and wait for him to answer properly. “Fine, they both have yellow eyes, but Jarren has black hair and Dane has silver hair,” he informs me.
It’s not uncommon for shifters to have non-human-coloured eyes and coloured hair, but it does make it harder for us to blend in around humans when our eyes could be anything from purple to red and our hair could even be blue.
“And their skin?”
“Tanned. I don’t know how to describe them Lani, just wait a few days and you can see for yourself.”
I’m impatient, but I know I will get to see them soon. Hopefully tomorrow or the day after with the progress my sight has made today.
Late in the afternoon, I’m back in the library, holding a book close to my face.
“Can you read that?” Alpha Dane asks me, and I jump, I was too engrossed to realise he has entered the library.
“Um, not really, but I can make out the lines now, which I couldn’t do this morning,” I reply proudly.
“That’s great, your sight should be returning soon then,” he states excitedly.
I make out his very blurred form as he sits on an armchair next to the window seat. I squint at his form, and I’d guess he’s wearing a t-shirt, because I can see two blurry, tanned lengths that must be his arms. He has golden, olive-toned skin.
“Hopefully,” I reply and close the book.
The realisation suddenly dawns on me that whilst the Alphas have been showing great interest in me and asking lots of questions, I have not been returning the interest.
“Tell me about you and your brother,” I ask him. “When did you take over the pack?”
“Five years ago, when we turned eighteen,” he replies. “It was a probationary period at first and our father still guided us, but we’ve been leading it by ourselves since we were nineteen.” I’m going to ask more, but he continues without encouragement. “Our mother died when we were young, I think we were the only thing that kept our father going, gave him a purpose, you know? But I know he misses her every day, they were mates after all.”
“Have you met your mate?” I ask him but he counters my question with a question.
“Have you met yours?” He asks curiously and I shake my head, no. “You’ll find him soon,” he says with confidence, and I feel grateful for the reassurance.
After eighteen, most wolves start yearning for their mate, knowing it won’t be long before they find them. I realise he hasn’t answered my question and I wait for him to continue.
“My brother and I know that we are going to meet our mate soon,” he says, answering my unspoken next question. “We know that we will share a mate, we’ve shared everything our whole lives, it’s how we function.”
Alphas don’t usually share, they’re usually possessive and territorial. But with twins, it’s different, they don’t see each other as competition.
“What do you think she will be like?” I ask wistfully, the question comes out before I’ve really considered it.
This might be a tender subject for him.
“Hmm.” He pauses for a moment, considering his answer. “Clever, funny, kind, beautiful, everything we want and need,” he muses, and I smile at his sweet words, but he ruins it by continuing. “My brother and I are very used to being in control, hopefully she can handle us.”
I laugh out loud at his words. “You want a mate that is obedient?” I ask him amusedly. “Follows your every order?”
“We’re Alphas, everyone follows our orders.”
Does he not hear himself?
“I hope the Moon Goddess sends you a defiant mate who challenges you both,” I confess through my laughter, and I can feel the irritation rolling off of him.
“Why would you that?′ He demands and I laugh harder.
“To teach you two a lesson! You might be Alphas, but your mate is your equal. Your commands won’t work on her,” I finally admit when I’ve sobered up and stopped laughing at his arrogance.
“She will be our equal, but like I said, we like control.”
“We’ll see about that, Alpha. I can’t wait for you to meet her.” I grin and pick up my sketchpad and grab a pencil to start drawing.
“Neither can I,” he says softly.
A moment later, I hear the door close behind him. Did I got too far with my teasing? I probably wasn’t acting as the best hostess, but I couldn’t help it.
I eat dinner with Damon in front of the TV and end up falling asleep. At some point, he wakes me up and I manage to get myself into bed.