26 The Office
I couldn’t have been less interested in work today. My mind is still in bed with my mate. It took every ounce of will power to get up and leave her this morning. Waking up with her wrapped around me felt perfect, with her head on my chest, arm wrapped around me with her bare legs intertwining mine.
Fuck, I need to stop thinking about this before, this guy thinks I’m happy to see him.
A representative from the Crimson Dawn pack is petitioning for a meeting on behalf of their Alpha for treaty talks. I reluctantly agree to hear them out in a couple weeks before dismissing him.
Success has a price, and this is a prime example. Everyone either wants what you have or wants your protection, offering nothing in return.
Still Waters pack was started by my great, great, great, great grandfather when the pack he was in splintered due to change in direction. He had bought a large tract of land here, and when things became unstable he left and moved his young family here. Several other like minded members followed him, hoping for a better future.
It’s a daunting task to take a chunk of land and a group of frightened people and turn them into a pack. Most new packs fail within the first few years, either unable to sustain themselves or picked off by larger packs or rogues. It wasn’t easy in the early years but with sacrifice and determination, they did manage to take root.
Over the years, their hard work paid off. The pack grew in members and resources and he was able to buy up surrounding land. With the birth of a son, his heir, our bloodline was cemented into the books. This promise of a future spawned additional growth.
My father brought a new level of prosperity to our pack, building on all the framework laid by his forefathers. His expansion included upgrading the undersized pack house and eventually building the larger one we currently reside in.
Our pack worked hard and were rewarded for their efforts. We have a state of the art pack hospital, all the amenities anyone could want in a movie theater, game rooms, pools, anything. He expected a lot from his people but in turn he showered them, they wanted for nothing.
Prosperity brings more people, good or bad. It encourages people to transfer in from other less prosperous packs, even rogues may petition. As the Alpha, it’s my job to sort through these people and only take in the ones that will benefit the pack. Sometimes the answer is clear; other times it’s a gamble.
Jace’s parents were transfers from distant packs. By chance, they met here and turned out to be mates. Sara was also taken in, her and her mother were rogues. Her mother refused to join, but on her deathbed she begged my father to take in Sara.
Taking in a rogue child is a small gamble; we knew there was some history that kept her mother on the run, but with her passing the threat died too. Aside from her attitude, she turned into an ideal pack member.
Sara was fierce and determined. In training, she had to be bumped up in several classes as she would beat the snot out of her classmates. I’d put her fighting ability up against any. In combat situations she’s on point always, a calculated captain, but she has always struggled following orders. Even when given a direct Alpha order she can exploit any loophole or grey area.
There is nothing she wouldn’t do for this pack. Socially, well she’s not afraid to tell you what she thinks regardless of if you asked or not.
She finally seems to be coming around with Jess. Ever since challenge, she has been considerably less hostile. I can only hope she has finally accepted Jess as my mate, and her Luna.
A knock at the door brings me out of my thoughts; the door opens to reveal Rob. I pinch the bridge of my nose in frustration.
“Take a seat Rob, want anything to drink?” Sometimes being Alpha means playing nice when you really just want to beat the crap out of someone. Diplomacy seems to take up more and more of my time lately. Running a pack of this size and strength means many applications for alliances, treaties and transfers.
“You look stressed my friend,” Rob says. He sits down and kicks his feet up on my desk. A growl has him removing them a moment later.
“Now that you have a pet, I thought you’d finally loosen up a bit,” he frowns.
“Off limits,” I growl. “That means don’t look, don’t touch and don’t even fucking talk about her.”
Rob throws his arms up in surrender. “Fine, fine, you win.”
“Why are you here Rob?” The frustration evident in my voice, I don’t want to waste my time on this today.
“My Gamma is still pissed about that rogue’s cheap shot, and my Beta isn’t impressed that Xavier pinned him.” Rob is treading on dangerous ground and he knows it. That the pathetic cry babies are griping about losing so easily is telling in and of itself.
What’s his angle? I think I’ll let him play this out.
I lean back before answering, “Well, it’s a good thing New Moon’s Alpha has them well under control.” He’s nowhere near the Alpha his father was, but sometimes you just have to deal with idiots.
“Flattery will get you everywhere Chris.” Rob grins. “What’s the deal with the rogue? You’ve never associated with them before.”
“Not that it’s your business, but he put in a transfer request before the rogue situation started. I’ve just been taking my time to see if he’s a good fit or not.” It’s not technically a lie. As much as I don’t want him around Jess the more I push, the tighter they get. I was thankful he went off to find her and intervened when he saw Rob drag her off.
I was more than pissed to hear Rob has taken a special interest in Jess. I may not get along with Jude but I fully believe his version of events.
“Whatever you say Chris,” he smirks. “We still need to do something about the rogue situation. They are getting bolder and attacking more frequently.”
I nod, Still Water’s size alone is usually enough to keep most threats away. The proportion of warriors is higher than most packs on average, and basic defense training is mandatory for all.
“Have you found anything to act on? So far we have only found traces, no home base to hit. There are far too many around to be true nomads, and the latest attack was too coordinated to be random,” I reason.
“No, but perhaps a joint sweep will flush them out.” Cooperation is expected between allies but I’m not pulling my forces hours away on a blind goose chase, leaving my pack undefended.
“When you find something to act upon we’ll be there but we aren’t going on a fishing expedition,” I say with finality.
His face hardens at clearly not the answer he wanted.
I can feel Jace trying to link me, so I stand signaling an end to the meeting.
“Of course, I’ll keep you updated,” he says taking off.
‘We may have a problem,’ the hesitation is clear in his voice.
‘I’m in no mood Jace, out with it,’ just what I need more problems.
‘Sara went after Jess again this morning, said some things you’re not going to like. They got into a fight, which is when Xavier got there, I arrived a minute later. Took both of us to pin Sara, by the time we got it under control Jess was gone.’ Jace isn’t done, he’s holding back I can feel it.
‘What else?’ I grate out.
‘She took your bike, and we don’t know where she went. I called Jude, he hasn’t seen her and Xavier is at her place, no sign that she’s been home yet.’
My jaw locks as my temper explodes. ‘What the fuck Jace!? You were supposed to watch her and take her home. Is she hurt?! God dammit man, one thing, I asked for one fucking thing!’ I’m beyond furious, as my body trembles in anger. At some point my desk went flying.
Great, now I need a new fucking desk too.
‘I think she’s fine, I didn’t see Sara land a hit, but she might have hurt her hand breaking Sara’s nose,’ he laughs.
‘Get Sara downstairs before-’
‘Already done, she’ll be under lock and key until you say otherwise, and we have trackers out everywhere looking for Jess,’ Jace assures me.
It is barely enough to pacify Cyrus. He’s itching to take over, he needs to know that Jess is safe, and I’m right there with him.
Where would she have gone and why wont she answer her phone?
Jess: Borrowed a bike and took off to catch up on work two towns over, will be home later on tonight. Thanks again for everything, heading back on the road, shitty cell service here, don’t work too hard :)
So sure, she texts me like nothing is out of the ordinary.
I call and get no answer.
Straight to voicemail, she’s probably in a dead zone.
Fuck! Texting it is.
Me: Call me as soon as you get this.
She’s going to ignore that for sure, God I need to mark her so I’ll be able to link her already. This is fucking ridiculous!
I fill in Jace, ‘She texted me that she’s taking care of something out east in a dead cell zone. Send patrols past the border east to keep an eye out for rogues.’
She’s gonna be the death of me yet.
‘Got it,’ Jace sounds as relieved as I am.
A knock on the door has my teeth grinding, “Come back later, I’m booked full today.”
Someone has a death wish as the door opens anyways. Completely unbothered, Derek walks in, scans the ruins of my office before smirking at me. “Bad day, brother?”
Leave it to my brother to show up unannounced, weeks ahead of schedule. Just what I need right now, more stress.
“What are you doing here!? You’re like two weeks early,” I grumble.
“Is that anyway to talk to your big brother? Alpha or not I’ll still whoop you,” he says with a big grin.
I groan as I take in my trashed office. In my fit, I flipped my large oak desk, crushing the chairs and reducing everything to firewood.
I liked that desk...
“Sit.” I gesture to the only intact furniture left in my office. Two small couches sit off to the side by the window with an oak coffee table between them.
“So what’s got you riled up so much?” he smirks.
“Just one of those days,” I say, running my hand through my hair. “Pack dynamics have been off a bit, I’m having issues with my head warrior.”
“What’s Sara done now?” he laughs.
“Same thing she always does, whatever the fuck she wants. She’s gone too far this time, Cyrus wants her out.”
“Calm brother, you guys have a long history. Don’t make such a final decision in anger,” he cautions, dark eyes locked on mine.
History or not, Cyrus will not tolerate his mate being disrespected, and I can’t disagree with him.
Derek has always been the voice of reason for me, though a hot head when it comes to his own life. I nod considering his words.
She’ll stay locked up for a few days before I make a final decision.
Derek leans back on the couch, throwing his arm across the back as he eyes me suspiciously. “What’s different?”
“What do you mean?” I deflect, trying to sound unaffected.
He can’t possibly know about my mate.
“Just the same old, dealing with more rogues who are working together. And that idiot Alpha from New Moon is expecting me to use all my resources to do their dirty work.” Technically not a lie, but it’s not having an effect on me like Jess is.
“That’s actually why I’m here,” he says with a smirk.
“You’ve come to assassinate New Moon’s Alpha?” I tease, raising a brow.
I can’t say I’d be sad to see him go.
“Next best thing, help you dig to the bottom of the rogue situation, you’ll have to settle for the consolation prize,” he jokes as a dark grin takes over his face. It’s no secret how he feels about rogues, though there’s good reason for it.
The last consolation prize I received was quite enjoyable, I grin. It was perfect till Jace showed up.
God his timing is fucking ridiculous.
“Spill it, I know me solving all your problems is great and all, but it doesn’t get that kind of a smile.” He grins triumphantly, leaning back waiting for my answer.
Things with Jess are tenuous at best, the last thing I need is him messing things up. “Later brother, let me take care of some business first.”