They rode back in mostly silence as everyone was lost in their own thoughts. They were about 1o minutes away from home when a vehicle with its headlights on high came up behind them fast.
“What the hell? Some people have no consideration.” Richard muttered as he angled the rearview mirror so that the light wasn’t reflecting right in his eyes. Then he realized that they weren’t slowing down but pulling into the other lane. “Good. Go ahead and pass, you asshole.” Richard muttered again.
Matt knew something wasn’t right and he slid Sam off of his lap and told her to put on her seat belt. Then he linked Stuart and the others in the car ahead of them and told them “We have company. Coming up fast in the left lane with their highlights on high.”
“What do you want us to do?” William linked him back.
“If they just pass, let them go. If they don’t get in their lane and block them. I’m going to tell Dad to slow down a bit. Don’t lose sight of us and no matter what, you keep the women safe.” Matt replied.
“Dad, slow down and let them pass but don’t slow down too much.” Matt told his father. “If they slow down too, slam on your brakes and stop.”
“Sam, if we have to stop, as soon as we do, I want you to jump out and run for all your worth in that direction. We’re almost to our pack land and our men will be coming to get you. Don’t stop and don’t look back. Just keep running until you are back to the pack house. Do you understand me?” Matt took her shoulders in his hands and urged her to look at him and when she nodded, he kissed her gently. “Don’t worry, everything is going to be OK. I won’t let them get to you ever again. Just remember, I love you!”
Matt turned to his mother and said “Mom, if we have to stop, jump and run with Sam. Don’t stop. I’ve already linked up with border patrols to head our way.”
The vehicle behind them was a large pick up and as soon as it’s front fender was even with their back fender, it suddenly jerked into the back of the SUV, trying to run it off the road. Richard managed to keep the SUV under control and then slammed on the brakes. The driver of the large truck was unprepared for that and went several yards in front of them before he was able to bring the big truck to a halt, leaving long trails of black skid marks on the pavement.
The car with William, Stuart and Frank stopped as well and turned their car to block the road. Frank and Stuart jumped out and quickly shifted. Matt quickly mind linked them that Sam said the men might be carrying guns with silver bullets and to be careful.
Sam and Natalie opened their doors, prepared to jump out but Richard said “Wait. Let’s see what they are going to do.”
The truck sat and idled for a minute and then turned around and drove away. Matt wanted to go after them but he wanted to get Sam and his mom home safely first. Everyone was amazed but they all got back in their vehicles and proceeded home.
“I got their license plate number. I’m going to call the highway patrol and report them. Maybe they can pick them up and make them pay for the damages at least.” Richard said when they got out at home and looked over the damage to the SUV. The whole rear fender panel was dented and would have to be replaced.
They unloaded the things the women had bought and Richard and Natalie helped them carry the things up to their apartment. Sam was still visibly upset and shaking, so Natalie and Richard didn’t stick around for long. Matt asked his mom to have the cook send up dinner for them and assured her they would be staying in tonight.
“Go slow and be gentle with her, son. She’s really upset, poor thing.” Natalie said before she left their apartment.
Sam was in the bathroom right off the living room, trying to get herself under control. She hadn’t even really checked out her new apartment when she had come inside but as she stood looking at herself in the mirror she made herself take several deep breaths and told herself “You are going to make some Luna if you react like this every time there is trouble. Pull up your big girl panties and get it together. You have a wonderful man and an amazing new family. Stop crying and don’t be such a coward. Matt said he would protect you and he did. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.”
She splashed some water on her face and washed her hands and made herself presentable before she walked back out to join Matt. She finally took a look around her new home and was truly impressed. The living room was huge and very tastefully decorated. The large sectional tan leather sofa faced a large fireplace with a huge flat screen hung above it. There was a huge gorgeous area rug on the floor with a Persian design, she guessed, of exotic birds sporting deep red, blue and green wings and golden yellow beaks on a jungle background that was deep and plush. There were matching recliners and some dark brown easy chairs scattered around the room which flowed over to a beautiful dining area in front of a wall of windows that overlooked a wide expanse of lawn towards the trees of the lush forest. The fall colors had begun and the colors were magnificent. It was even more so with the sun setting in the sky, turning it to bright red, orange and gold edged with the fading blue sky and fluffy white clouds swept elegantly across the sky.
The dining room table would easily seat a dozen people and there was a beautiful crystal chandelier hanging in the center of the table. Behind a wide bar counter was an impressive kitchen. Granite counter tops in a sleek deep gray with pale gray cabinets. Double ovens in the wall, a massive double door refrigerator and a huge farmers sink. All of the appliances were stainless steel and looked like they had never been used.
But the best thing in Sam’s opinion was the huge walk-in pantry, except the shelves were almost bare except for some cereal and snacks mostly. A quick peek in the fridge made her realize that she would have to go grocery shopping soon. A quick look told her that the only thing in the fridge was half a shelf full of beer, an almost empty jug of orange juice and something she couldn’t identify. “Don’t you keep any food stocked up here?”
“I have to be honest that I don’t because I eat all of my meals downstairs. But you fill it up with whatever you want.” Matt said when he found her inspecting the kitchen after using the restroom. He was now dressed in some sweat pants and a muscle shirt and looked very comfortable. He was thankful to be out of the goodwill bin clothes and planned on burning them in the morning.
“So what do you think of your new home?” Matt asked as he leaned his hip up against the counter and watched her run her hand over the granite counter top. She peeked at him from under her lashes and said “Well, what I have seen of it so far it’s very impressive.” She was most curious to see what their bedroom looked like but was too shy to ask.
“Well, come let me show you the rest. Mom is going to have dinner delivered soon so I can show you where to put your new clothes away. While it’s not the birthday night I wanted to give you, we can watch a movie or something on TV. OK?” Matt said as he reached out his hand. He could tell she was nervous and was hoping to show her that she had nothing to be afraid of here, especially not him.
“Ok.” Sam said as she stepped forward and placed her hand in his. They were getting used to the tingling sensations they got every time they touched.
They gathered the bags of clothes Natalie had bought for her today and she followed Matt down the hall to a set of double doors. Matt pushed them open and stepped to the side to allow her to enter first.
Sam’s mouth dropped open when she stepped inside the massive bedroom which was almost as big as the living room. She had never seen such a bedroom. There was a massive four post bed that had to be at least 9 feet square on the back wall with two lovely bedside tables with drawers and matching bedside lamps.
There was a long open backed bench at the foot of the bed that curled up on both ends and lush animal skin rugs, which Sam guessed to be bears, on each side of the bed and one more that covered a huge area in front of the bench. Three doors lined one wall and on the opposite side there was a wall of windows that went floor to ceiling that showed the same view as she had seen in the dining room. It was breathtaking. She noticed that there were bi-fold doors on either side that could be closed over the windows to cut the light or for protection in high wind storms.
Part of the windows were massive french doors that led out onto a small very private balcony patio. She saw a couple of Adirondack lounges with some soft fluffy cushions on them and a small table for drinks between them. There were potted plants that grew up trellises that would be covered with lightly scented blooms in the spring and early summer.
Matt leaned up against the door frame and watched her roam around the bedroom, looking and occasionally gasping at their bedroom. She was standing in front of the windows with the sunset behind her and his heart skipped several beats as she turned around and walked slowly back towards him. “Goddess, she is so beautiful. Thank you for making her mine.” He thought to himself as he watched her slowly approach him. When she was about a foot away, she stopped and looked up at him with a big smile on her face. “So? What do you think?” he asked softly.
“It’s beautiful and very impressive but not nearly as beautiful and impressive as you.” She said and reached up on her toes to slide her hands up his arms to his neck and pulled his head down for a kiss. “Thank you, Matt.”
“For what?” He asked as he slipped his arms around her and brought her closer. She might be small but she fit against him so well as he lifted her to hold her tightly.
“For everything. First you rescued me from a rogue and then today from my old pack, bought me all kinds of wonderful new clothes and now you have offered me a wonderful place to live and I can’t even think of what else right now.” Sam said as she pressed her lips to his.
Matt loved the feel of her lips, so soft and sweet. He hated to pull back but much more of that and he would be carrying her to the bed and ravishing her and knew he needed to go slow with her.
“Well, you’re welcome but I really didn’t do much. Come on. Your closet is over here. Let’s get your clothes hung up and by then dinner should be here.” Matt said as he sat her down. He was dying to let her slide down his body but she was sure to feel the hard on he had gotten just watching her, so he bent slightly and set her back on her feet.
Matt led her over to her closet which was the door in the middle of the three. Matt opened the door and carried her bags inside. Sam slowly entered the massive closet and whispered “Wow!” On the right was a long pole for hanging up long clothes.
Against the back wall was a built-in vanity with mirrors surrounded by round light bulbs that could be dimmed or set so bright they were almost blinding. In front of it was a bench seat that two people could easily sit on with a blush, tuck and roll cushion.
The left side of the closet was lined with drawers for lingerie and things that didn’t need to be hung up and cubby holes in various sizes for shoes, purses and such. Sam was sure that she would never be able to fill this massive closet and figured that they could always turn it into a nursery unless Matt’s closet was overflowing with clothes.
The thought of them having kids caused her to blush and she hid her face from Matt until she could get her emotions under control. Together they put away everything that Natalie had bought for her today and it barely even put a dent in the closet but Sam laid her brush and comb and the small bag of cosmetics that Natalie had insisted she would need on the vanity before she turned to look at Matt, who was leaning up against the door frame watching her. At the look on her face, he became concerned because she had tears in her eyes.
“What is it, my love? Why are you crying?” He said, stepping towards her.
“I’m just so happy. If you only knew where I have been sleeping for the past 6 years you would understand how overwhelming this all is. My closet in the laundry room was so small I couldn’t even straighten out all the way. The utility room bathroom was a small sink across from the toilet and the shower was so small I would bump my head and butt on the walls if I dropped the soap.
I had two outfits to wear. One was the most hideous maid’s uniform that hung on me like a sack because it was too big. The other was some of Ralph’s old khaki cargo pants from when he was a kid and a faded old t-shirt that I salvaged out of the throw away box that was also too big for me.
The only shoes I had were some old sneakers that I had to keep taped with duct tape to hold them together. The only reason I had underwear was because Aunt Mae insisted that I have them for my birthday or Christmas. When I finally got some boobs, I had to make a bra out of an old tank top and some elastic from a pair of shorts that were ripped beyond repair or wrap my chest with cut up pieces of old t-shirts which is what I normally did because it helped hide them. These damned things attract attention.” She said, poking one of her boobs with her finger.
“My comb was one that someone had thrown away that barely had any teeth left to it and I used an old scrub brush as a hair brush. When my parents died, I wasn’t allowed to go home and collect any of my stuff and they threw everything personal in the burn pit and burned it all. All of my parents’ pictures, papers, clothes, everything. I’m sorry but I just feel so happy right now because in less than 24 hours, you have turned my world completely around and I don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to thank you enough for all you have done and are doing for me.” Sam said as tears ran down her face in earnest as she spoke.
As Matt listened to her, his heart was breaking at how she had been treated in the past and couldn’t believe that anyone could be so cruel to this wonderful, beautiful young woman. He was in front of her in two long strides and he picked her up bridal style and carried her into the bedroom. He sat down on the bench at the end of the bed and held her close as he comforted her.
“I hate that you have been treated so badly in the past, my love, but no one will ever treat you like that again. Tomorrow I have something I want to show you and I’ll need your help to figure out what things are. One day soon I’ll need you to be brave and tell the council everything they put you through. I’m sure that once they hear what you have to say, they will remove him and his Alpha and your cousin as leaders and disperse the pack. Your uncle, his son and their Alpha will be punished for what they have done.
Now dry your tears and let’s go find out about dinner and then we’ll watch any movie you want. OK?” Matt said. He really wanted to just lay her down and show the pleasure he would bring to her life and her body but now knew without a doubt that he was going to have to go really slow with her.
As they walked back down the hall to the living room, hand in hand, Matt linked his mom to find out what the hold up with dinner was about and she answered that it would be up in a minute. “Can you send up some cola’s or juice too?” He linked back and Natalie said she would be sure to include them. “Don’t you want some wine?”
“Sure.” Matt answered and realized that might be a good idea. Hopefully it would help Sam calm down and relax a bit. It never occurred to him that she had never had an alcoholic drink before.
As promised, dinner arrived a few minutes later. There were two plates covered with silver warmers, a bottle of wine with glasses, a full six pack of cola as well as a full jug of apple juice and another of orange juice.
Matt directed the maid to serve the dinner and to store the juice and soda in the fridge after asking Sam what she wanted to drink.
“Water is just fine.” Sam replied as she followed them to the table. “Something smells really good.” She said as Matt helped her with her chair. “Goodness, so fancy. I feel like I should have dressed up for this.” Sam giggled as the maid lifted the warming covers off of their plates.
Underneath was a huge helping of spaghetti and meatballs the size of golf balls. The maid set a basket of garlic bread wrapped in a cloth napkin between them and asked if they wanted Parmesan cheese. Sam looked at Matt curiously and waited for him to answer since she had never eaten spaghetti before, at least not like this. Most of the meals at Red Moon pack consisted of beef, pork or chicken and sometimes veal with potatoes and basic vegetables.
Cook Betty had tried to serve something different a couple of times but had been beaten because Uncle Lou had called pasta inedible paste and anything with a lot of spices gave him heartburn so she only had salt and pepper and some basic herbs like basil and thyme to cook with. He insisted on fresh made bread daily and crusts had been a large part of Sam’s diet.
Matt opened the wine and set it on the table to let it breathe and then looked over at her. “What’s the matter? Don’t you like spaghetti?” Matt asked.
“I don’t know. I’ve never had it before.” Sam whispered in embarrassment. She did not want to insult anyone but had no clue how to eat the stringy looking dish.
Matt was amazed! “It’s delicious and one of my favorites. Try it.” He encouraged her.
“How do you eat it? One string at a time? Or do you just eat these?” she asked, poking at meatball lumps covered by sauce, wondering what they were.
“You can eat it all. Here watch me. Draw some of the noodles to the side of your plate with the fork and then twirl them a bit. Slide the spoon underneath and twirl some more until the noodles are not dripping too much, lean forward over your plate and put it in your mouth.” Matt demonstrated, keeping his first mouthful small so that she would get the idea.
Sam followed along as he demonstrated and then watched him lift the fork to his mouth and close his eyes as he began to chew. She lifted the fork of noodles to her nose and sniffed and then stuck it in her mouth and her eyes got wide as the delicious spicy sauce hit her tongue. She closed her eyes as she savored the mouthful of the best thing she had ever tasted.
“Oh my goddess! This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life!” Sam breathed as she opened her eyes and saw him grinning at her.
Matt poured some wine and tested it and then filled his glass and then hers. “Well, that’s one thing we have in common then is food! Here, have some wine.”
Sam sat straight up and reached for her glass as she said “Oh boy! I’ve never had wine before but I’ve always wanted to try it. This was one thing that never got left behind was wine.” She smiled at him as she raised the glass to her lips. She was shocked when she inhaled and smelled blueberries. She took a small sip and licked her lips with the tip of her tongue and Matt had to swallow the groan that he felt building in his throat as he watched her.
“Oh this is really good too. Oh this is the best birthday dinner ever! Thank you!” Sam smiled widely.
“One more surprise. Taste this!” Matt said and passed her a slice of garlic bread.
“Now, I have had garlic bread and I love it. Thank you.” Sam said as she bit into the warm crusty slice of bread. “Yours is much better than what I’ve had and it’s nice and warm!”
Sam was so happy right now. They sat and ate companionably as Matt told her some funny stories about growing up in the White Feather pack. She found out that Stuart has been his best friend since they were in diapers together and that William had been a “partner in crime” on the many adventures they’d had growing up. He also explained that Frank had come to be in the pack from another pack when he was 15 and had suffered somewhat like Sam herself had been through.
“How did he get his scars?” Sam asked. “They don’t look like mine.”
“He got struck in the face with a sword that had wolfbane on the blade. The ones on his stomach are from a rogue attack that nearly killed him. His father actually poured wolfsbane tea on his wounds, hoping it would kill him but Frank is really strong. The ones on his chest and back are from being tortured by his father with a silver knife.” Matt said.
“His father was a cruel, sadistic man who went insane when his oldest son was killed by a hunter while protecting Frank. His father blamed Frank for his death and beat him almost to death then killed Frank’s mother and two younger sisters in front of Frank who was chained with silver and already injured so badly that he couldn’t do anything to stop him. Frank passed out and his father thought he was dead so he ran out into the woods and shot himself in the head. Frank finally managed to get free and not knowing that he was dead, he ran. He figured he would be blamed for his family’s deaths.
We found him on the edge of our land, barely alive and brought him home. It took months for him to recover and he still has night terrors about it. That’s why he has his own place away from the other houses. He has become a really loyal member of our pack and a good friend.”
“Somehow knowing his story makes him seem less scary and more like a kindred spirit.” Sam said quietly, her heart sore for how she had reacted to the man when she had first met him.
“Stuart may be my best friend and is incredibly smart and is a good fighter, if I have to go into a fight, I’d rather have Frank at my side. The only time he really has ever scared me was in battle. He’s ruthless. I would say if there was anyone I had to depend on to protect you, it would be Frank.”
When they finished eating, Sam only managed to eat about half of her dinner but there had been a lot on the plate. “Your cook is going to be thinking I didn’t enjoy the food but I just can’t eat another bite. It was really delicious!” Sam said as she pushed the plate away and drank the rest of her second glass of wine. She was feeling pleasantly light headed.
“Ah, so I guess you don’t have room left for cheesecake?” Matt smiled at her and raised the wine bottle to refill her glass and Sam accepted the wine but refused the cheesecake.
“Not right now but you go ahead if you want.” Sam said.
Matt took their plates into the kitchen and came back with a small plate of cheesecake. “There’s another piece of this in the fridge if you change your mind or get hungry later but if you leave it too long, I’ll eat it.” He chuckled as he wiggled his eyebrows at her. “Cook makes excellent cheesecake. In fact she’s never made a dessert that I don’t like.”
“Ah, so you have a sweet tooth! Good to know when I get in trouble.” Sam giggled at him.
“You? Get in trouble? Hard to believe!” Matt teased. He loved to hear her laugh.
“When I was little, I was quite the little scamp. At least that’s what my dad always called me. Sam, the scamp. I loved to explore and was always getting dirty. My mom used to get so mad when I would come home with my clothes in a mess from sliding down the hill or chasing bunnies in the woods.” Sam shared.
“I bet you were a wonderful child. How come you were chasing bunnies? Were you hunting?” Matt asked.
“No! I could never hurt them. I just wanted to cuddle them. They are so soft. I remember when I was about 6 or 7, we had a show and tell day at school and one of the kids brought in some kittens that his mama cat had given birth to a couple of months before. I begged my parents to let me have one but they said that a kitten just wouldn’t make it around a bunch of wolves. I was so disappointed and cried my eyes out. I wanted a pet so bad.” Sam shared.
“We have cats and no one bothers them. They help keep the mice away and they are so cute to watch when they are kittens.” Matt said and saw her eyes light up. He knew she would want to see them but that would be for during the daylight hours.