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#2 Is that the only reason?

When Nate opens the door to his house, he and Daisy see a blonde boy about their age, dressed only in a towel around his waist, dancing to Elvis Presley the record player is playing. Only when the boy stops shaking his buttocks and turns around for the next beat, he notices his audience and freezes.

“Don’t stop on our account, please continue,” Daisy says, pausing the recording in her phone’s camera.

Mouth wide open, Frank looks from Daisy to Nate. “Who is that?”

“Get dressed first,” Nate tiredly says to his best friend.

“You said no girls. Why is she carrying a bag?”

Nate puts down the glass of water he had filled up from the sink to drink. “My mate.”

Daisy assumes Nate is close with this boy enough to reveal they are mates.

Frank looks happily surprised. “Congratulations!” He walks ahead and hugs Daisy.

Daisy hugs him back to feel up Frank’s ripped torso.

“Stay away from her,” Nate says.

“Possessive already?” Frank says.

Daisy nods, still hugging him. Frank tries to move away but she doesn’t let him go, until Nate pulls her off of Frank.

“Stay away from my friend.”

“But he hugged me.”

“Don’t be rude to your mate, Nate,” Frank says, before turning to Daisy, “I’m afraid you’ll have to get used to him a bit.”

“No problem,” Daisy says, grinning.

Nate grabs her hand and takes her to the second room at left. “This is your room, and if I see you flirt with Frank again, I’ll put you on the couch.”

“I wasn’t—”

Nate closes the door on her and goes to Frank to tell him everything that happened — how he met her at Quentin Creek, him knowing right away she was a rogue, her revealing she’s a former member of the Stantons and that she had run away with their money, and she being adamant that Nate took her with him.

After hearing the full story, Frank says, “Don’t know what feels wrong: you planning to reject your mate one day, or us harboring an ex-Stanton in your house from today? If word gets out we’ll be in trouble.”

“She threatened to expose our bond. We don’t have a choice but to let her stay here.”

Frank smirks. “Is that the only reason? You sure you’re not worried about your pretty little mate?”

Nate turns around and puts away the glass. “It’s not my job to watch her back. She should have thought of the consequences before stealing from those thugs.”

“I feel bad for you,” Frank says, “Even if you were to ignore her past and accept your bond, this would be the worst time to do it. We’re so close to the title match, and you finally have more supporters than Patrick. If truth about Daisy gets out, Alpha and Patrick can turn our whole pack against you in a day with just this.”

“That’s why we’ll have to be careful, keep an eye on her, and make sure she remains out of their sights.”

“We can’t lock her in here, though,” Frank says.

“I’m sure she’ll keep a low profile herself, since she’s on the run. Still, get some of our guys to follow her whenever she leaves the house, and she’s not to cross our packland borders.”

“What about your bond with her? Can you manage?”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Are you really going to reject her?”

Nate pushes back his hair. “A rejection will weaken my wolf now. I need to be strong for the match.”

“And once you become the Alpha?”

“I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”

“She told you she’ll accept your rejection and leave once she finds a new hideout. What will you do if she finds one before the title match?”

Nate scoffs. “No one will be looking for a runaway thief in a packland. She won’t leave this house. There’s no other place she’ll be safer in than here.”

Frank smiles. “Here, as in here with you?”

While Nate throws a glare at Frank, Nate’s phone beeps. He reads the message from his trainer slash mentor, and says to Frank, “Ross is starting a session soon. You coming?”

Frank shakes his head. “Taking Lily out for shopping.”

“You need to stop wasting all your time on your mate and start training more,” Nate says as he heads back to the front door. “I want you ready for when we takeover.”

Frank grins and says under his breath, “Let’s see how you fare with yours first.”

Later in the day, when Daisy comes out of her room, she sees Frank near the dining table looking like he’s about to head out.

Noticing Daisy, Frank turns away. So, Daisy goes and stands right in front of him. “No hugs now?”

Frank says, “You made a big mistake blackmailing him like that, especially when you’re his mate. He will make sure you’ll regret this.”

“I guess you pack wolves all are cut from the same cloth. He said something like that, too. And guess what? That doesn’t mean shit to me. You guys think you know what hurting someone is. But you don’t. Live among the Stantons for a day, and maybe you amateurs will get an idea.”

Frank’s response is drowned by the sound of his phone singing “I’m a barbie girl.”

Wide-eyed Daisy watches Frank hastily take the call. “Leaving now, babe. Will be there in five.”

“Girlfriend?” Daisy asks as she curiously watches him put away his phone back into his pocket.

Frank considers if he should ignore Daisy, but decides against it. Picking up his wallet and keys from the table, he says, “That’s my mate.”

Daisy whistles. “No wonder she seems to have you in her palm. My guess, she ordered you not to change the ringtone after she set it for her number. And here I was, almost taken your threat seriously a second ago.”

Frank realizes it is best in his interest after all to ignore Daisy in the future. As for now, even though he wants to argue back, Lily doesn’t like to be kept waiting, so off he goes to the beckon of his own mate, while wondering how Nate is ever going to be able to handle Daisy who, without a doubt, is a handful.

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