The strong gaze of the Alpha is heavy and unrelenting as he and Victoria join us in the TV room. I have awkwardly shifted in my chair at least ten times in the minute since he came in. Even Margaret looks uncomfortable.
Victoria on the other hand looks almost smug. There is a look of triumph in her eyes, for what, I am not sure. But I do know that this interaction must feel like a win for her, maybe this Alpha will order Margaret to never see me again, just as Victoria has always wanted. She may have been warming up to having me around, but I can tell she still does not trust me.
Alpha clears his throat causing me to jump in my seat, “What is your name, Rogue?”
“Erica,” I answer quickly, my voice is rough with nerves, “Alpha.” It is an impulse to call this man by his title. I do not know why, but the urge to bow my head takes over and I give in, shrinking into myself. From the edge of my vision, I see his figure stiffen. I shrink further into myself, worried that I might have angered him in some way with my actions.
“Oh really, Jay, you’re scaring her,” Margaret speaks into the silence, no doubt trying to put the room, or rather, me, at ease.
“Margaret, I would like to speak with you, privately. Victoria, keep an eye on this one.” He leaves the room without another word and Margaret follows. She shoots me a worried glance before going out the door.
Victoria plops herself on the couch and gestures for me to sit where I was before. I do so, stiffly. It is as though my spine has been replaced with a broomstick and my hands will not stop shaking or sweating from my nerves. Victoria does not bother to make small talk she changes the channel to the local news station and picks at her nails.
My eyes are on the TV, but I am not taking in any information. I knew that this friendship with Margaret was too good to be true. She may like me, but an Alpha’s word is the law for all werewolves, even Rogues. If he wants me gone and for Margaret to never see me again, then that is what will happen. And there is nothing I can do about it.
I hear footsteps behind me and from the corner of my eye I see Margaret enter the room, but I feel the eyes of the Alpha on me. It makes my skin erupt in goosebumps and the urge to bow once more takes over.
“Come, Rogue.” I stand still stiff as a board and ignore Margaret’s look of pity. My eyes are glued to the ground in front of me. I stop before the Alpha and wait for him to lead me out, but he does not move. My brows furrow in confusion and I steel myself before daring to look up in his face. He quirks a brow, “if you think I will turn my back on a Rogue, you are mistaken. You walk in front of me.”
I am shocked and my cheeks burn, “But, Alpha, I do not know where we are going.”
His mouth tilts into a smirk, “You do not remember the way out?”
I hear Margaret huff behind me, but I do not look at her, I do not know why, but I feel like if I were to look away from him it would be taken as an insult. I give a single shake of my head.
“So, you do know the way?”
“Use your words, Rogue.”
“Sorry, Alpha. Yes, Alpha, I do know the way out.”
He says nothing more but gestures with a sweep of his arm for me to lead the way. I risk a look behind me to Margaret and give her a tiny wave. She looks angry about what is happening but sends me a small smile and a wave before saying, “thanks for keeping me on track of my homework, Erica.” I nod and then leave the room.
The powerful presence of Alpha Jayson is like a warm fire at my back, pushing me to continue on or risk getting burned.
I reach my hand out to open the front door before I remember, “My stuff.” I whirl around to tell him that I need to get my things when, of course with my spine being too stiff and my legs shaking like a newborn foal, I stumble and fall into him. Oh sweet, merciful Lord. His body is rock solid and holds the most comforting warmth. It is a contradiction to everything else I have felt since meeting him. His warm hands grasp my upper arms and slowly, gently, he helps me right myself and seems to wait for me to feel steady on my own feet. My eyes dart up to meet his and there is a warmth there for a moment before that gaze of steel is back. His hands fall from my arms and that comforting warmth leaves immediately and is replaced with awkward tension.
I scramble to remember why I turned around in the first place while still looking into his eyes. They are like dark chocolate, strong and delectable. Staring into his beautiful eyes is not helping, Erica! Get a hold of yourself!
I physically shake my head before quickly glancing around the room. Alpha Jayson is standing in front of me, waiting for me to say what I was going to say before I made a complete fool of myself.
“My stuff!” I suddenly burst out, which seems to surprise him as his brows raise. I awkwardly clear my throat before saying in a much calmer voice. “I mean, well, all my school stuff and everything I need is still in Margaret’s room from when we were working on assignments. May I go get it, Alpha.”
He simply nods and moves back a step to make room for me to pass to get to the stairs. He follows me all the way up and waits by the door while I gather my things. I crouch down and start packing my textbooks, notebook, and laptop into my backpack. I sling it onto my back before grabbing the sweater that I had thrown over her chair and walk back over to Alpha Jayson.
He waits for me to start for the stairs and follows me back to the front door. I make my way to my car and as I am throwing my bag into the back seat Alpha Jayson steps up to me. I turn towards him and wait for him to speak.
“I am not forbidding Margaret from speaking or spending time with you.” I sag in relief. “Just know, that she needs permission from me before inviting you over again. And you are not allowed to be alone with any of my packmates around a full moon. I don’t want to know what happens when you lose control of yourself.”
“Yes, Alpha.” I bow my head slightly and get into my car to drive home.
Well, that went better than I expected.
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