It was late at night, she’d on purposely waited till this late hour before venturing out of her room. The pack-house was all dark, the lights out, it seemed everyone had turned in for the night. Jo-anne knew Clova was feeling restless and wanted to get out for a run, she had on purpose put it off and waited till now.
Slipped down the omega stairs at the end of the first-floor corridor and let Clova shift her the minute she stripped out of her clothes, she ran off into the woods to just run as fast as she could, being free on the pack’s territory, all pack members were allowed to roam freely in wolf form, always had been able to. She had been allowed to do that even when Mated to West. Thought that had usually brought Volt right to Clova for a good mating or two.
Jo-anne had on purpose put this off for hours, worried that if they came across Volt he would mate Clova again.
Clova didn’t seem opposed to the idea, it seemed either.
Her only thoughts on the matter ‘If my Alpha wants me, I will let him have me.’ So Jo-anne had waited till now, it was nearly 2 in the morning.
Waited to avoid Volt, the pack-house in complete darkness. When she’d glanced out of her room, it was likely that he was up in his room on the 4th floor with his Mate, she’d felt safe to let Clova out.
Found herself by the North Eastern border, face to face with her father’s wolf Jester. He was a brown wolf with black markings on his face and two black front paws, stood a head taller than Clova. Jester tilted his head to the side as though he didn’t recognise her. Jo-anne knew that Clova had new markings on her fur. When she had returned to Jo-anne she had whimpered in pain upon her first shift, as the same pain had gone through her as it had Jo-anne when she had gotten her celestial moons, down from her neck to between her wolfs shoulder blades and her eye colour was also a little different had silvering on the outer edges of her iris’s she did look a bit different.
But still Jester should be able to recognise her. She was his child after all, ‘Dad!’ she mind-linked him so that he and his wolf could be certain it was actually Clova standing before them.
‘Go away, Jo-anne.’ he told her flatly, his voice sounded cold and emotionless.
‘Dad, please. I had to leave.’ she tried to explain to him. She knew she’d given no warning that she was going to up and leave, hadn’t known she was going to do it herself until it happened.
‘Then you should have stayed away.’ he snapped at her and Jester turned to walk away.
She tried again to reach him only to have his wolf turn and snarl aggressively at her. Clova backed away from him slowly, he was bigger than her and knew how to fight, took on rogues when they attacked the border and was a strong wolf compared to her.
Backed away to show his wolf that she did not want to fight him, even lowered her head slightly to show respect to his wolf, but to her shock and then horror, Jester suddenly lunged right at her and bit her right on the shoulder, tore a chunk right out of her.
Clova howled in pain and the minute Jester’s teeth were gone from her, turned and ran away from him. Jester didn’t give chase, just let her run away.
Jo-anne didn’t understand, and neither did Clova. For that matter, why would they attack her? She’d not done anything wrong, she was limping, lame on her left front leg, pain coursing through her shoulder and radiating down her leg.
‘shift us back, Clova,’ Jo-anne told her softly. It would be her shoulder and there would be no limping or trying to walk on it. The wound would cause less pain in human form Clova felt hurt not just physically but emotionally as well, as confused as Jo-anne was about what had just happened.
Sank herself down against a tree, blood coming from her wounded shoulder, painful it was. Tears welled in her eyes, she didn’t understand his response to her. Why would her own father attack her?
‘Jo-Jo?’ she heard T.J’s worried voice come down the Mind-Link.
‘T.J.’ she sobbed, unable to hide her sadness at the situation.
“Where are you? I’m coming.’
“I don’t know,’ she said, looking around. She had not exactly been keeping track of Clova’s movements, they were supposed to be safe within the pack. Not attacked by one of their own. ‘some where between the pack-house and the North Eastern boarder.’
‘Stay there. I go for you.’
“I..I need clothes.’ she told him.
It did not take him long to find her, and he hunkered down in front of her. “Jeez Jo-Jo, what the hell happened?”
She just shook her head, didn’t want to talk about it, he was already looking at the bite mark and missing patch of skin on the back of her shoulder. He’d come in human form fast on two or four feet. Pulled his shirt off and helped her to put it on over her wound, apologised at the pain it caused her, she just shook her head, it didn’t matter.
“Pack hospital now.” he stated, his Beta tone showing, took her right hand in his and walked her off at a hurried pace “who did this to you?” he asked her.
“It doesn’t matter.” she whispered, not wanting to tell him the truth of the matter.
“It bloody does matter, Jo-Jo. Pack members attacking other pack members is unacceptable. You know this,” still in full Beta Mode, she realised.
Jo-anne didn’t say anything, it would just get her father into trouble. She walked next to him, keeping pace with him, her hand in his, holding onto it tightly, silent tears falling down her face. She didn’t even know what she’d done wrong.
Clova had backed away from Jester, to show she was no threat to him, that she had been willing to leave, even lowered her head from him in a submissive gesture. It didn’t make sense to her or to her wolf.
Jo-anne was sitting on the hospital bed in a hospital gown, one arm out of the sleeve, the doctor and T.J. had carefully removed the shirt from her wound. It had become stuck to her on the walk there and peeling it off had caused it to start bleeding again.
T.J. was now standing right there watching the doctor as he set about trying to stop the bleeding and was meticulously cleaning the wounds, a full set of wolf teeth marks over her left shoulder and down on her back.
“When did you get that?” he asked her.
Jo-anne turned to look at him, his eyes were on her back, her hair was pulled down the right side to keep it out of the doctor’s way and he was obviously looking at her celestial moons. He couldn’t see them all, likely just the top one and part of the second one was all.
“Years ago,” she answered him simply. Truthfully, he probably thought it was a tattoo, she and Clova were the only ones to know it was not. He said nothing about the markings, curious in all likelihood was all.
“I have to report this Jo-Jo. Who attacked you?” he asked again.
She just shook her head slightly. “It doesn’t matter”
“Yes it does. You will tell me. Or you will tell West.” He stated flatly. Je-anne closed her eyes. West would find out anyway. “Can we just let it go T.J. please just this once, you don’t have to tell him. It’s not that bad.”
The door to the room banged open and West was staring right at her. Jo-anne didn’t even need to open her eyes to know it was him, she could feel anger rolling off of him. She knew what his anger felt like, had spent two years Iiving with it, it was an unmistakable feeling for her.
“Jo-anne?” he asked, controlled anger in his voice.
“Yes Alpha,” she replied, but did not look at him, responded to his Alpha tone though.
“Who did this to you?” he asked directly.
“No-one,” she whispered, she didn’t want to tell him any more than she did T.J.
“She won’t tell me either,” T.J. responded to his Alpha’s unspoken question.
There was a long silence in the room, and when she finally did look up, she found West just standing there watching her. He said nothing. Jo-anne just knew what was coming, he was debating with himself whether to Alpha Order her to tell him. Why he debated with himself she didn’t know.
She knew that he would do it in the end, didn’t care.
Her l!ps were sealed, the only way she would tell him or T.J. for that matter would be if one of them ordered her to tell them, she was not going to volunteer the information.
West would punish her father for this. West might not like her, or having to deal with her, but he was the Alpha of the pack now, and TJ. was right. Pack members attacking other pack members for no reason would be punished. If she said anything, West would haul her father in and punish him likely severely. Jo-anne didn’t want that, she just wanted to know why Jester had attacked them? Why had her father sounded so cold toward her?
He stood as did T.J. and waited, just staring at her,” She’ll need some stitches, Alpha.”
“Do it.” West stated flatly, then he turned and left the room. T.J. followed him out of the room.
It surprised her that he didn’t order it out of her. He’d never had a problem ordering her before. Why not now?
A dozen stitches she got, Clova would heal her up as good as new in a few days, the doctor told her. He was looking down at her. “Been a long time, Jo-anne, since you were in this hospital.”
Her eyes moved to his. “Has it?”
“You don’t even remember, do you?”
“Guess not.” she shrugged, had a fair idea of what he was talking about, but at that time she had not cared to know who was taking care of her, hadn’t cared about anything.
“You need to talk to Westley about this.”
“About what?” she was a bit confused. Was he talking about her past or the bite.
“Who attacked you? I don’t like seeing you like this. I’d prefer not to have to patch you up again.”
“Alright.” she nodded, she too would prefer not to have come here to be patched up again.
“So you will tell him then, who it was.”
“It was an accident,” she said but didn’t believe it. Wanted to believe it, really wanted to believe it.
“Hmm…” he left the room after taking all the bloodied and used wound care products with him.
Jo-anne put her arm back through the sleeve of the gown and fixed it properly, West walked into the room a few minutes later and closed the door behind him. Here we go, she thought.
“Jo-anne, please… tell me what happened, how as the Alpha, can I assist, if you don’t let me” he sounded quite calm to her.
She sighed “l startled another wolf and it bit me. That is all that happened.” she answered, hoping he would believe her.
“Alright. Who was the wolf?” he enquired almost casually.
“What does it matter? It was an accident!”
Jo-anne knew he was trying to be calm in order to get her to tell him what he wanted to know. She was not so stupid. Saw as he rubbed his temples and waited, it was his tell, she’d picked that up long ago, it meant he was unhappy about something.
His green eyes moved right to hers after a minute, then he walked over and sat right on the bed in front of her, looking right at her.” I will not punish them, if it was, as you say, an accident.”
She didn’t believe that, it took him all of about 5 seconds to realize she didn’t believe him either, shook his head and sighed “I’m not going to order the information out of you Jo-anne. I do need to know what happened.
“Your side and theirs though.”
“l already told you, I startled them and they bit me by accident.”
“I don’t believe you,” she heard him state, and then he got up. “I’ll investigate, shouldn’t take that long, seeing the time of night, not many out and about, border patrol mostly.” he walked to the door.
Jo-anne wondered if he’d already gotten the information. He certainly was hinting at something and mentioning border patrol likely meant he knew something, but she would not tell him, and if he did investigate the matter? What would her father tell him?
“No shifting until this has been addressed,” he told her right before he left the room.
T.J. returned her to Her room, then stood there and stared at her long and hard. A frown on his face. “You’ve changed while away.”
“I grew up T.J. that’s all.”
“Hmm, you used to trust me,” he commented, sounding a bit hurt to her own ears.
“I do trust you,” she told him honestly.
“Then tell me Jo-Jo, who was it?”
“No.” she answered him “I’m tired T.J.”
He stood there and stared at her for another full minute, then turned and left the room. She was tired, she realised, tired and confused. Clova was in the back of her mind, she felt sad to Jo-anne.