It was the morning after she read her brother’s letter that Selena awoke to a loud and persistent banging on her door. Her first instinct was to groan and crumple her brother’s shirt while she glared at the creme white ceiling, silently cursing whoever that wolf was behind the door.
When the knocking didn’t stop, she heaved herself and took charge after she gently laid her mother’s ring on the bedside table. She threw her gaze to the window, dawning her reflection with knitted brows. For the first time in her life, Selena concluded that she truly looked a lot like shit. After she cried herself to sleep, her anger subsided and left only sadness.
Sad that she wasn’t leaving pack Morris anytime soon.
Sad that Nathaniel was going to continue treating her like she wasn’t anything.
And sad that she might never see Talon ever again.
Sighing, she turns on her heels and opens the door. Much to her dismay, Jacob stood behind the door with a smirk plastered across his face.
Her expression turned dark.
“Good morning, Lena.” Jacob pushed through the door. “I’m going to let myself in if you don’t mind.”
“I do mind.” She grimaced.
After what his brother had done to her, Selena was not too keen on trusting the younger and much more energetic version of her mate.
Though her eyes were still sore from crying, it didn’t stop her from ogling at how he was primly dressed. He wore a white button-up shirt, midnight-blue trousers held up by suspenders and a pair of black leather shoes.
He simply looked too proper.
“What are you doing here?” She snapped.
“Nice to see you too,” he chuckles. “Uh…it’s a Saturday.”
“Did you just realize that now or?” Selena widened her gaze as her temper started to slip.
“Okay, okay, Saturdays is when Nathaniel goes around town to collect taxes, pay wages, recruit wolves, settle disputes, and other dealings related to the pack. He asked me to come with him but he’s so boring and strict. I don’t want to come alone. I was thinking you would come and suffer with me.”
Selena almost rolled her eyes at the mention of Nathaniel’s name. There was no way she was going near him and let him see what she had done to her. He had already taken her freedom and heart, she wasn’t too thrilled to lose her dignity and pride either.
“I would like to come but I really need to get back to sleeping.” She pushed him out and slammed the door to his face.
Jacob was fast enough to wedge the tip of his shoe between the door and its frame, making Selena grimace with discontent.
“Lena, I don’t think you should be alone.” He bore a serious look, lips pressed together in a thin line.
Her brows rise in concern. “Why, what’s wrong?”
“Well, you were just rejected, and…”
Before he could say anything, her heart crumpled. Selena saw the sadness in his eyes, the same sadness that Nathaniel wore last night. Filled with regret and ruefulness. She saw him in a lighter shade of gray light. Perhaps Nathaniel was concerned?
‘No!’ That was simply impossible. Nathaniel couldn’t be concerned with a rat’s ass.
She shook her head and cleared her thoughts of that man and returned her attention to Jacob who was still looking at her.
“Are you afraid I might kill myself?”
It was the most obvious question to say. Suicide was not an uncommon occurrence among wolves who were rejected. But even Selena knew that going down that route wouldn’t fix a thing.
It might even make more problems.
Jacob nodded. “Yes.”
“Don’t worry, I don’t plan on killing myself for someone who can’t make up their mind. But thank you for your concern, I’m fine.” She says. “All I need is some time alone.”
“A friend of mine told me that once too, now he’s buried six feet underground. And I’m not about to let that happen to you.”
His pushiness was far worse than Talon. But then again, Jacob didn’t know Selena. She had never considered the thought of suicide. His concern was no doubt endearing but not needed.
“Look, Jacob. I don’t have it in me to kill myself. I have bigger dreams than man’s attention. I’ll be fine, I promise.”
She tried to reason with him but his empty, expressionless stare struck her down.
“Just reconsider it, please. I’ll be waiting for you in the mess hall until nine. If you decide on going, wear something formal too.”
Jacob retreated and left her alone. She couldn’t find any words to describe what she was feeling. She was conflicted and slightly leaning toward the notion of going with him but then again, Nathaniel would be there.
Although, if she were near him to study him better, to understand why he was acting the way he was, she could come up with a loophole to his mental mechanics and finally convince him to accept her rejection.
Selena breathed heavily, thinking softly of Nathaniel. Suddenly, she was thinking of him.
If he was kind enough to wear the face of sadness, the one he wore last night, maybe he would listen to her.
With another sigh, Selena grasped the end of her shirt and pulled it over her head.
Just after Selena finished getting dressed, she regretted her decision of coming. Talon, unfortunately, didn’t pack any of her dresses and only brought her shirts, pants, and three pairs of shoes. But there was no backing down now.
She was walking to Jacob who was staring at her. Wide-eyed and mouth were slightly ajar. His reaction was not what she expected to see. Especially when she wasn’t too confident with the way she was dressed.
“Selena…” He stands from his seat.
“I know, I know. But it was the only dress Talon packed.”
Jacob was at a loss for word. In front of him, Selena stood. She wore a beautiful lace dress that showed the body in a quiet and restrained way. The dress softly clung to her waist, exposing the art of her body. The same was also for her slender shoulders and arms, covered with lace, so elegantly wrapped and the hem of the dress reaching just below her knees.
“I think you might have come overdressed.” He nervously chuckles. “But, I’m glad you decided to come.”
“Well, it wouldn’t be that productive if I sat around my room doing nothing.” She jokes. “Plus, what kind of friend would I be if I let you die of boredom? Come on.”
“Yeah, Nathaniel and Katie are already there. Let’s go before they have all the fun.”
Within minutes, they were off to town. With Jacob driving his truck and Selena on the passenger’s seat, staring ahead of the road and readying herself to meet her mate. She was nervous, to say the least. After what happened last night, who wouldn’t be?
But Selena’s drive to break free of the strings of fate that shackled her feet to the ground did not break when Nathaniel denied her of what she is nor did it when she read the letter Talon sent her. It only emboldened her to do better.
If she pushed enough, sooner or later, Nathaniel was going to give up eventually.
Pack Morris was indeed a land with a territory quite large. The pack managed to cover a town filled with wolves, a feat that no other pack has managed to accomplish.
“I’m happy you came. Finally, something to get that stupid man out of your head, right?” Jacob spoke.
Selena slightly smiled. She wondered how would Jacob react if he knew that that ‘stupid man’ was his brother.
“You’ll see Nathaniel is a terrible Alpha in today’s visit.”
“Terrible? Doesn’t pack Morris adore the man?”
Yes, Nathaniel was a terrible man indeed. But on the aspects of taking care of his pack, he was incredibly amazing. No other Alpha has achieved what he has.
“They do, but the way he conducts himself is kinda dicey. He’s broke.” Jacob chuckled.
“I can’t imagine Alpha Stormwind being broke. Doesn’t the members contribute to the pack?”
“You’ll understand when you see him work.”
Jacob turns his attention to the road and didn’t say another word until they arrive at their destination. In front of a neat and cozy-looking coffee shop, the truck halted gently. Wolves covered the streets, busy with their businesses. It was a lively sight that Selena couldn’t help but admire.
It was just like in pack Highcliff. Everyone happy and far from any worry.
Selena exits the car and trains her sight on the grinning wolf who made his way around the truck, his dark blonde hair falling just above his eyes.
“They’re inside the coffee shop.” Jacob smiles.
He pulls out his elbow, looking at her and waiting for her. She rolled her eyes and chuckled, shaking her head before she left him in the cold and entered the shop. Entering, Selena’s eyes narrowed in on Nathaniel. His free smile, unrestrained and cool. Even his normally dark gaze seemed to have taken a new color and turned it into a bright and captivating one. Selena’s heart prickled with a sudden surge of jealousy. Her primal emotions were again getting the best of her and all that she could do was stand and wait.
In the corner of her eyes, Katie stood proud next to Nathaniel while holding his arm. The scene only burnt her.
Jacob followed behind her. He looks at her and offers her a warm smile as he slings his arm over her shoulder. He leans down to her and whispers;
“Watch, remember what I told you? He’s about to do it again.”
She looked at him confused but then trained her eyes to Nathaniel speak to an old woman. She was distressed, panicking, and on the verge of tears.
Is this what Jacob meant when he said that his brother was a terrible Alpha? An extortionist? Nathaniel was much worse than she thought.
“He’s a criminal.” She grumbled under her breath.
“I wouldn’t go that far, my wolf.” Jacob laughs. “Just keep looking.”
She continued her observation and watched Nathaniel secretly hand the woman a cheque. He smiles at the woman and patted her shoulders, giving her a firm nod. Immediately, she embraces him. There were no other words to explain her reaction. Happiness flowed through her excited laughter and Selena felt a tinge of shame once she realized what was going on.
“See what I meant when I said he’s broke? He keeps writing cheques to wolves he knows that can’t pay him back. Hence why he’s a terrible Alpha. Most Alphas would keep the money they earn while this person gives it away like free candy and sometimes leaves none for himself.”
She turns to him. “And he does this every visit?”
“Yes. You should see how Beta Lillian reacts to him, she always blows a fuse when she tries to balance his accounts. Good thing she’s on vacation right now, otherwise, she might scream at him again.”
Her heart grew warmer, feeling guilt enshrouding her chest. He might have a genuine heart after all.
She continues to watch him and for one second, their eyes connect. Her heartbeat quickened as their heated gaze lingered on each other. She wanted to see the same kindness cast down in her direction, but his free smile turned into a furious frown and his eyes transform into a steely stare.
He was guarded but only to her.
Nathaniel turns on his heels and marched towards them. She froze in place. His overwhelming scent made her gulp noisily.
“Selena, Jacob,” her name softly rolled off of his tongue. She breathed heavily, looking into his saddened gray eyes that exposed more than it hoped to hide. “Good morning.”
“Indeed, what a good morning. Especially seeing the both of you…” Katie chuckled. “Well, so well dressed. A simple get-up would have had sufficed, but the two of you look like you’re about to go on a wedding.”
“Huh, as groom and bride, I hope.” Jacob jested, earning him Selena’s elbow digging into his side.
He winces in pain.
She glares at him.
“It’s the only dress I have. I apologize for coming overdressed.” Selena contained her shakiness as in front of her, the tall tower of flesh that was Nathaniel loomed and hawked over her silently.
He was keeping a very close eye, making her shudder. Never had he looked at her like this before? With so much intent and weight, Selena felt suffocated by him. She wanted to hate him more but the sprouting bud of conflict in her heart pulled her away from her feelings of hatred towards him.
“Hmm, not at all. The more the merrier.” Katie tugged Nathaniel’s arm, snapping him from his stare. “Don’t you agree, Nate?”
“Yes, of course, it’s time that Jacob learns the Alpha’s trade.”
Jacob shook his head. “Me? You know Winston’s the better choice.”
“You’re right but his blood is not of a Morris. Though I wouldn’t be too shy about breaking tradition again. I feel much comfortable with him leading the pack than you.” Nathaniel spoke.
His eyes rake Selena’s body, sending a cool shiver to travel down her spine. It shouldn’t be like this, she thought. She wasn’t okay with him ogling at her while his fiance was near. But deep inside, Selena wanted him to look and take her. To say something and quell the hunger inside of her.
The confusion in her body was gnawing at her emotion, causing her scales to become unbalanced.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t trust myself with the pack either.” Jacob chuckles. “But anyway, let’s go. I was hoping to go and show Selena around town once we finish for the morning.”
He turns to Selena with a kind smile on his lips.
“Thanks, Jacob. Since my stay in pack Morris will be prolonged, I’ll need a tour.”
“What are we waiting for then?” Jacob looped his arm around her’s and dragged her out of the shop.
With no other words said, the day started so fast. The town they were in was named Beakly’s Hope. Or as Jacob likes to call it, Beak’s. The town was adorned with lots of small businesses some ran by wolves and surprisingly enough, even humans. It seems as though they’ve built a small community of humans and wolves living together. It was another rare occasion as some would seek to drive the others way.
As they keep on hopping from shop to shop and wolves after wolves, Selena did what she came to do. She kept an exuberant amount of attention to Nathaniel to find a fault, a speck of dust under the foliage of achievements he has amassed but found none.
She wanted to see something in him. A nasty and egregious side to him to help her feel that her anger was justified. But as she continued to observe him, she saw nothing but his kindness towards his people.
The small exchanges between him and his people were all but nasty. He was kind and fair to them, even those who had nothing to offer as tribute, he waved it off as if it was nothing.
“I admire my brother,” Jacob murmured.
Selena was afraid she was starting to admire Nathaniel too.
“I think I can see why.” She replied.
“He’s the wolf I look up to now that our dad’s gone. Nate and dad always had the best relationship but our old man never looked at me.”
She didn’t ask why. Selena understood how his father would feel discontent with Jacob. He came after Eliza gave birth to Winston. The feelings they were under and the thoughts that shackled them prevented them from passing anything.
“You’re a good wolf, Jacob. I mean, you were worried about me enough to pull me into whatever this is. That’s something.” She says.
“I wish it were that easy, Lena. My brother smiles through anything, even right now.” He grimaced. “Something is bothering him, I know.”
Selena furrowed her brows, pointing her eyes at Nathaniel. Though it hurt too much to see him smile at Katie’s kisses, there was nothing but content in him.
“He seems quite happy with Katie, what do you mean?”
Jacob pauses and clears a good distance between them, leaning down to her.
“Don’t get me started with Katie. She’s the reason why my brother is unhappy. Katie is a good wolf, Lena. Though like every one of us, she hides her grimes. Just because she’s sick doesn’t mean she gets all that she wants.”
Selena moved her lips to speak but before she could, Nathaniel’s loud voice boomed ahead, causing her heart to burst with sudden fright. She turns to where his voice was and saw blood all over Katie’s chest. Her ink-black hair sprawled all over the ground while she reaches up to Nathaniel’s tear-stained cheeks.
Her heart quickened from the scene. As she stood in place, everything around her narrowed down to the wolf barely breathing.
Hello everyone! I hope you're doing well. ✨
I apologize for not updating as much as I'd like to. I'm trying to juggle between this book and my other book which is almost coming to an end! But I have been having a hard time to write “Wavering Storms” so I've been focusing on this story instead!
This chapter ended abruptly but don't worry! Chapter Nine is finished writing and will be published tomorrow. 💜
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