It felt awkward, cold, and lonely in the den alone, and I was pretty relieved when I woke to Rhen coming down the steps. I slept with my diary inside my pillowcase and the photo tucked inside my bra for safekeeping. It wasn’t like it could get any more crumpled.
“Zara,” Rhen speaks softly, making me blink up at the high ceiling before turning my head to see him place a mug of steaming coffee on the side of the small drop-off into the den. Clothes hung over one arm as he moved to hang them on the back of a chair.
“Get changed. We leave soon. Thane ironed your clothes this morning, so you just need to get dressed. We have an important meeting this morning and can’t be late,” Rhen says before slipping out of the basement. I walk to the side and haul myself out.
I could hear their voices upstairs as I changed into the black slacks and a black button-up long-sleeved blouse. I try to pull the top near my neck together, the zip stopping and creating a deep V when I can’t squeeze it close enough.
I was showing way too much bust in this top, hardly respectable work attire, yet Thane chose it, and I wondered if he realized. Groaning, I looked at my other top, which was all wrinkled and creased and smelled heavily of my scent.
Clutching the top piece closed, I grabbed my coffee where Rhen left it and almost groaned at the taste. I swear I could feel it warm my bones and awaken my soul from its dormant, numb state. I was about to walk up the steps when I remembered my diary tucked inside the pillowcase.
Sighing, I rush back and retrieve it. I dreaded it but knew I needed to get rid of it. So I figured I would dispose of it at work. I would tear out the pages and shred them, and put them in the loading dock bins. It wasn’t worth the risk, and I recognize how foolish I was to keep it. Yet I liked writing, and some of the small doodlings I drew of people inside were the only way to remember their faces.
Time was something I despised. It’s amazing how memories remain, yet their faces eventually leave us, just like their touch and smell, and your memories remain vivid, but their faces slip away, the small features you can no longer picture, or if you can, something about else about them is missing. Sometimes I would draw just so I could keep their faces, so I never forgot. But now! had to throw it away. This diary held far too many secrets, far too many answers.
Tucking it under my arm, I climb the stairs with my coffee and wonder if Raidon had a hairbrush I could borrow. My hair looked like a bird’s nest. I doubted Thane, Leon, and Rhen would own one. They had no need to brush their hair with their’s cropped short. Raidon had long, thick locks I was envious of and the eyes lashes to match them.
The door opens before I have a chance to grip the handle, and Thane nearly walks into me as he goes to storm down the steps. He was in an obvious rush to leave. Clearly, I was taking more time than he believed necessary.
He stops and glances me over before growling when his eyes go to my messy hair before moving to the top that I was almost spilling out of.
His eyes linger longer than necessary before he shakes his head. “You’re not wearing that,” he growls.
“Well, duh, but I wasn’t walking up here shirtless,” I tell him.
“I wouldn’t have minded,” Leon purrs, waving from the island bench where he was eating toast. I roll my eyes at him when Thane walks off down the hall, muttering about my attitude, and I look for Raidon, but he is nowhere to be seen.
“Where is Raidon?” I ask, and Rhen answers.
“Getting dressed upstairs,” I nod, and Rhen turns around, mug in hand, as he sips his coffee, watching me over the cup’s rim. He takes a mouthful before speaking.
“Last door on the right upstairs,” Rhen says, pointing to the roof. I swallow nervously. Was I allowed up there?
“Hurry up. We can’t be late, so finish getting ready,” Rhen says. I nod, sculling the rest of my coffee and setting the mug in the sink before moving toward the stairs. I pass Thane rummaging in the linen cupboard.
“Where are you going?” Thane asks, and I stop one foot on the stairs.
“To see if Raidon has a hairbrush. The one in the bathroom downstairs was gone,” I tell him, and he nods, waving me off and returning to whatever he is doing.
Walking upstairs, I find doors lined on both sides of the first hall. Walking to the end, I find the door Rhen spoke of. It was the last door before it turned to another hallway that opened up to the landing that overlooked the living room. I knocked on the door, not wanting to walk in while he was getting dressed.
When I get no answer, I twist the handle and open the door to find Raidon sitting on the edge of a massive bed, pulling his black leather shoes on. The enormous bed covered an entire wall, and I gaped at it.
Did they all share a bed? I tried picturing them all in it and couldn’t; I knew they were mates, but Thane appeared the sort that liked his privacy.
Raidon looks up as he ties his laces. “Everything okay?” he asks, moving to do the other.
“Can I borrow your hairbrush?” I ask him, not wanting to step into the room. He points to a door, which I see is a bathroom. “Can |-“1 point to the door.
He nods, and I quickly rush into the bathroom and find his hairbrush in the holder. I grab it and start ripping it through my hair.
“So you all share a room?” I call out to him.
stands, he walks toward the bathroom and stares at me in the mirror.
“Thane’s letting you go to work like that?” he asks, his eyes on my br**sts in the mirror.
“No, of course not,” Thane says, coming up behind him and answering before I can say anything.
“Try this one.” Thane says, handing me another blouse, but this one was made of stretching fabric that was clingy. I take it from him, waiting for them to step out, but they don’t.
“Put it on, Zara. What are you doing?” Thane growls, snapping me out of my head. Okay, then, clearly, they are watching me change. I quickly unzip the blouse and tug it off, and Thane takes it while I pull the other one on. This one fits like a second skin, but at least I was covered.
“Better and fix your hair,” Thane snaps, about to leave, when he stops looking Raidon over. He clicks his tongue.
“Where is your tie?” he demands.
“Come on, I am wearing the damn suit. I don’t need the strangulation device, too.” Raidon says, but Thane shakes his head, moving toward the walk-in wardrobe beside the bathroom and coming back out. Thane presses his l!ps in a line before clicking his fingers at Raidon when he just stands there.
“No,” Raídon growls when Thane wraps the tie around his neck before using it to jerk him closer. “Behave, I am not in the mood,” Thane growls, pecking his l!ps, and Raidon rolls his eyes while Thane fixes his tie before walking out.
“Do your hair in the car. We are going to be late,” Raidon says, grabbing my hand when he spots me watching them. He leads me downstairs and to the garage. I climb into the back seat with Raidon and Leon jammed between them both and rubbing shoulders with them.
“What time will he arrive?” Leon asks, glancing at his phone screen.
“At 10 AM. We need to find the pack files,” Thane says, navigating his way through the streets.
“You have a meeting today?” I ask them, wondering who with that Thane was so irritable.
“Yes, and you will behave, no throwing yourself at his damn feet Zara, and keep your damn pheromones in check. I do not feel like fighting this asshole because of your Omega instincts.” Thane states, and I blink, forgetting to take my suppressants. Thane’s eyes go to mine in the mirror. Just as Leon sniffs me and l!cks his l!ps.
“She didn’t” Thane growls.
“Yep, she forgot,” Leon declares, snitching on me.
“F**k, we will be damn late,” Thane snarls about to rip the car around.
“I will be fine. I have been around you lot for days. I should have some resistance, right?” I ask
“Are you sure?” I nod when Rhen reminds him we have some descenter at the office, anyway.
“I mean it Zara, you act like a.”
“Omega?” Rhen cuts him off. Sure, piece of cake. I will just switch my DNA; not an issue! Asshole, I thought to myself.
“Not a problem. I hate Alphas,” I say without thinking. It was an off-hand comment when I froze. Stupid word vomit. I declare hate alphas while sitting in a car full of them. Smart move. Leon chuckles and nudges me.
“You really are trying to earn those browny points today,” he taunts.
“I didn’t mean,” I shake my head and don’t bother finishing defending myself. It would be pointless.
“Is that your way of saying you like us?” Raidon chuckles. “Are we the exception?” he laughs.
“No, now you’re putting words in my mouth. You four are tolerable, barely!” I tell him. “Besides, if I can control myself around Thane, I will be fine. No alpha in this city is as potent as him.” I say, rummaging through my handbag for my name tag.
“He’s not from the city. He is from the Obsidian pack, an alpha of alphas, so stick close and don’t tick him off,” Thane says, and I almost throw up at his words.
“Obsidian pack?” I squeak without meaning to.
“You’ll be fine. We won’t let him hurt you. He’s in our territory, anyway. He wouldn’t dare,” Thane growls, thinking my fear for the alpha was because of his reputation and not because I also have that alphas serum in my veins.
Thane’s should be stronger since I had his last, and I have been around him, but how would I handle being between two alphas or alphas my body is wired to? Thane was hard enough and his pack.