His mother’s voice woke him and it was barely 8am. He dragged his tired a*ss out of his bed and stood under his shower, let the hot water just try and sooth him. Yesterday’s events had nearly killed him, and now he had to deal with Jo-anne having a second Mate. He sighed, could his life get any harder?
He didn’t understand what he’d heard about why Karen had done that crap to them, she had heard it first hand, reacted as he would have, killed the woman. He was glad she was dead. But he had not wanted Jo-anne to do that. She was Such a gentle soul, he’d never want her to have to do anything like that. Hoped she could handle the feeling afterwards.
He was used to killing other wolves, was his job to protect this pack, had been defending it from rogues, as well as other packs, since he had shifted at 16, fighting along side his father.
Like any Alpha would. But Jo-anne never had to do anything like that. He wondered if she was coping, hoped she was. He wanted to talk to her about everything Karen had said, but didn’t want to bring it up at the same time. They both now knew what she had gone through and he did not want her trying to relive it, he didn’t want to relive it.
Sighed, turned the water off, got out, he would leave it for now. If she wanted to talk about it and brought it up, he would let her. Shaved and dressed in light grey slacks and a white short sleeve dress shirt. Fixed his hair, looked at it and wondered if she liked his new hair cut or if she would prefer it to go back to the standard short back and sides. He’d have to ask her at some point.
Was pulling on shoes when his mother linked him again, told him not to rush to go and have breakfast. Jo-anne was a bit upset asked him to leave it, right away, and severed the link. He did not like that he couldn’t go down there and hold her, like he had done last night, but his mother was there and he knew she would not leave.
Was a bloody good Luna to this pack, still made daily visits to that young pregnant she-wolf who’d lost her Mate a month ago. Didn’t loose the pup, which was good. His mother was there helping her through her time of grief, trying to bring her out of the house and get her to return to some semblance of normal pack life, though it could take a good while. She was not giving up.
He tried to mind-link T.J. and got a very abrupt ‘not now.’ reply from the man, then the link was severed. West nearly laughed. He could feel through the link, that the man was clearly not alone, though usually he’d just state give me like and throw a number of minutes at him. Interesting, he thought, wondered if he’d found something to sate his particular needs.
Grabbed food in the pack-house dining hall, breakfast would run til nearly 10 this morning, with all the other packs here, and those that were Mated off would likely sleep in, and want a late breakfast.
Ricky was at Jo-anne’s door. He’d seen that when he had walked down the stairs, as was Beta Ben, he knew Jayden was still in the pack hospital. Patterson would alert him the minute he was released. He wondered how the mans Beta felt about it. He’d not been in the hospital last night, Jayden had gone alone.
Cole was sitting at his table lookinq more than pissed off about something. West sat down and sipped his double espresso, was likely going to need it to get through the day, looked right at his Delta, a raised eyebrow “Ella didn’t come home last night.” he practically snarled at West.
“T.J. was with Jo-anne and I all night, Cole. Maybe she found her Mate, with in the Pale Moon Pack,” West commented.
Cole’s glare did not ease, but he nodded and said nothing.
So Ella was not at home, hadn’t gone home at all, T.J. did not want to be disturbed. Perhaps, finally, those two had come together. Cole was just going to have to deal with it, if that was the case.
T.J. was a loyal man, to any she-wolf he dated. A one woman man at all times. He would make a good mate, even a good boyfriend. West would likely find out what was going on later when T.J. surfaced from his room.
Saw Alpha Anthony walk into the dining hall behind Miranda, had a hand on the back of her neck, looked to marching the girl towards breakfast, she looked somewhat annoyed as did he for that matter. Told her to have breakfast and handed her a plate.
She filled her plate and then turned and looked around the room, spotted him and Cole and walked over to his table to sit, Anthony raised an eyebrow.
He likely had no idea it was just what she was used to doing. West didn’t stop her.
Anthony sat first, pointed to his lap. “Here,” he stated calmly.
“Why, I can sit on a chair by myself, or over there right next to West.” she shot at him.
Anthony’s eyes moved right to Wests’ as his hand shot out and grabbed her, yanked her down onto his lap. “Eat,” he told her.
West raised an eyebrow at the man. That was a bit much, he thought.
“She address’s you, very informally Alpha Westley.”
“Mm.” West nodded “probably because we’ve been seeing each other for the past two years, used to it.” he answered honestly.
A snarl ripped out of the man, all possessive like even Miranda’s eyes widened at the sound he made.
West shook his head, smiled “She is yours.” He stated to the man, making sure Anthony knew West was not about to try and claim her for himself.
“You’re fvcking right she is.”
West saw Miranda smirked now. As she ate, bloody woman was going to be a handful for her Mate, she was annoying him on purpose by coming here to sit at Wests’ table, wanting to be punished by him, it seemed.
“I have also found my Mate.” he told Anthony to ease the man’s worries.
“What? Who?” Miranda gasped, sounded very excited.
“Jo-anne.” he told her.
“Oh my goddess, West, that is great. I like her too” then she suddenly frowned up at him “Did you know before?”
He nodded as he drank the last of his espresso.
“That’s why you left me weeks ago?”
“Yes” he nodded “When I scented her, I left you.
“You should have just told me.” she huffed ” would have accepted him, I’m not mean West.”
“Would you have gone back to your father’s pack?” he countered, and he didn’t think she would have kept his secret, either bloody woman was a chatterbOx.
Watched her lean all the way back into her Mate, almost like she needed comfort from him.
No.” she shook her head.
Saw Anthony frown at her reaction. West was definitely not wrong, something was really going on there, and not good, whatever it was. “Then best I didn’t tell you hey. I think the man would have sent someone to collect you. Likely your brother.”
Watched her visibly shudder with what looked like revolution, then muttered, as she buried herself into her Mates chest “l’m never going back.”
“No you’re not. You’re my Luna, you will go home with me, I’ll deal with your family later when we get home.” slid his arms around her, she did appear to be upset, and his tone was calm and caring, though the look he gave West was a little on the worried and questioning side.
West shrugged and shook his head. He did not know. Miranda had not disclosed what was going on. Some of it, yes, but not the truth that much he was certain of. “Take good care of her Anthony, she’ll make you mad, likes to be punished.” He smirked at her.
“West!” she yelled at him, all indignant like.
“What just helping you out.” he chuckled and saw her jaw nearly drop to the floor. Yes he was smiling and laughing, it was going to take his pack members some getting used to.
“Don’t talk about my Mate that way.” Anthony frowned at him.
West nodded “My apologies, Miranda will make a great Luna. She is very sociable and my pack likes her. I’m sure yours will too. A good wolf she is. Congratulations on finding your Mate.”
“Thank you.” Anthony nodded.
“l should go though. My Mate, unfortunately, has 2 Mates.”
“No way.” Miranda shot up at him.
“Yes, I have to…” he shook his head it was not going to be easy to win her over.
“West, let me talk to her, I’m sure I can sway her in your favour. You were a good man to me.”
West snort at her. “Was 1? I don’t think so! Jo-anne and I have history.” he touched his neck, the scar from her previous bite, and saw Miranda’s eyes widen again.
“Good luck Westley.” Alpha Anthony nodded, he understood the meaning, they both did. Mated and rejected once before by the woman. Then fated again to the same woman. It did not happen often.
But he was dealing with it, though it would have been easier if the Goddess hadn’t seen fit to gift her to another as well. One that was more aligned to Jo-anne. Challenging him, West thought, to see if he actually did deserve her.
‘West my office, in 15 minutes please, son.’
‘ls she alright, mother?’
‘Better I got her to chuckle at least. Just going to have breakfast. I’ve linked Patterson. He’ll send Jayden now as well.’
‘Alright.’ West acknowledged 10 sons
He stood 15 minutes later. “Well, it’s time to start fighting for what I want. Please excuse me. Miranda, congratulations, I do hope l will get an invite to your Luna ceremony and I would love to hear about you and Anthony’s first pup. I know mother would too.”
She blushed as Anthony stated “we’ll be working on that pup right away.”
“You’ll get her West, I know you will.” She smiled up at him.
“I hope so.” he nodded and walked away. Walked into his mother’s office, Ricky and Ben were both standing outside of her office, one on each side of the door, no surprise. He saw her sitting on the couch, her hair was pulled up into a ponytail, made her look quite a bit younger than he knew she was. She was wearing a pastel coloured summer dress and flats, no make-up, he noted, she looked tired still, likely shouldn’t be out of her bed right this minute. He would have to have Patterson convince her bed rest would be a good idea.
He smiled gently at her, was happy to see her, as was Volt. She didn’t smile back, just kind of looked at him, appeared confused, whether it was because he was her Mate and she didn’t know how to feel about that or because she had two Mates he didn’t know. Jayden was not here yet, he noticed.
“How are you feeling?” West asked her, sitting in a chair across from her.
“Alright, I suppose,” she answered softly, could at least look at him. Though she’d not really been all that shy in the last month, had looked right at him, right in the eyes many times. She didn’t seem afraid of him, or weary even upon coming back, he was hoping that would go in his favour. She’d said she’d gotten past everything, had therapy and was all good. He was really hoping she was.
“I’m glad, I still would like to know why you hurt yourself.” and he did want to know. Didn’t like at all that she had torn into herself.
“What? When2” his mother gasped, sounded more than horrified.
“When she woke up, mother tore into her own back, yelled at T.J. to go away.” his eyes met Jo-anne’s “No explanation yet.” looked at her in the hope she would be forth coming, but she didn’t.
“Oh, I understand.” his mother seemed to calm down right away, looking at Jo-anne, whose eyes met hers. “Perfectly acceptable reaction I think.
“To what?” West prompted.
“Not your concern, son. If Jo-anne wishes to disclose it to you, she will.”
West’s eyes moved back to Jo-anne. She couldn’t, it seemed, hold his gaze. He sighed, didn’t like it at all, but it was very clear she had confided in his mother, so at least she was talking about it to someone. He didn’t want her going all quiet and 7 bottling it up, needed her to talk to someone. His mother was a good choice. Perhaps he could find out later. It did bother him though, and he knew it was bothering T.J. even more.
He stayed in that chair across from Jo-anne as they waited for Alpha Jayden to arrive. It didn’t take much longer, appeared to be all healed from his fight with T.J. got his a*ss kicked by the Pack Beta.
That must have been humiliating, West thought, somewhat amused.
He looked right at West, then at Jo-anne sitting opposite him. She did not smile at him either. His mother called the man right to her desk and demanded that he explain himself. It did not seem to West that Jayden wanted to do that. When he did, ticked her off to no end, that no Marking rule had already been in place, West had abided by it. So had Volt actually. His mother was expecting all her rules to be followed.
When she threatened to have him removed from the pack for being an arrogant, selfish a*ss-h0le, his wolf had surfaced and snarled right her, all Alpha aggression. West had gotten to his feet instantly ready to stop the man, but Clova beat him to it, shot herself right between his mother and Jayden. Her eyes were really glowing now.
There were waves of heat pouring off of her, as she stood her ground and snarled right at Alpha Jayden, her Alpha Aura was also rolling off of her right at the man. Clova was fully pissed off. Only once had he seen Clova like this, but the threat to her own Luna seemed to set off all her Alpha instincts. This would be the first time Alpha Jayden was getting a good look at Clova, West imagined.
He’d only seen it once himself, when they’d tried to take on T.J, but this West thought was something else entirely. This was Clova in protection mode, not attack mode, seemed to be holding herself in place instead of just charging gun hoe into the fight.
Hearing Clova tell Jayden to “Back off” The man actually had the good sense to do so, he took a full step backward. It was clear he did not know what to expect from her, didn’t know about her bloodline, but he was definitely getting a good dose of her Aura rolling at him, not that it was making him even in the slightest bow down, not the full force of it West supposed. If Jayden thought he was going to get a submissive Luna, he was only now just realising how very wrong he was.
“Apologise.” Clova growled menacingly at him, then her claws were snapped out of her and West shot between the two of them. She was ready to actively fight Alpha Jayden, as she had been T.J. her claws had come out that day, dug into the ground, in fact, to give her leverage to shoot herself forward, at full wolf speed.
They had needed Belinda that day to calm her wolf down and bring an end to the conflict. West needed to bring an end to this right now. He didn’t want her getting hurt and he was pretty darn sure Alpha Jayden, Mate or not, if Clova went him, would defend himself and injure her. West didn’t know if he could bring Belinda into this. He had no idea if she was ready to be outed, to the room. Her Luna or her family seriously doubted it.
“Shh..” he would try and calm her first. He knew without a doubt that Clova would not harm Volt, and his wolf was of the same opinion, she might go West himself, but he doubted that she had rubbed herself all over him last night. Happy to see him as her Mate as much as Volt it appeared.
Clova did not look like she was going to back down or settle though, raised his hands up, palms facing her, a non-threatening gesture “Calm down Clova.” He kept his voice soft and gentle, though the growl he copped bothered him a little, Volt did not attempt to surface, they both knew it was not them she was mad at.
When she finally did recede and give Jo-anne back control, she looked from him to Jayden and then just turned to his mother, dismissing the both of them nor apologising for her wolf either told his mother Alpha Damien needed to be in the room.
That surprised him more than a little. Told his mother Clova would be more comfortable if he was here.
Nothing else was said until his father turned up, he walked right into the office, smiled at his Mate and then walked right over to the couch and sat down next to Jo-anne and smiled at her, so familiar in the way he addressed her. They had a good relationship, West realised. She had been gone from this pack for 10 years, but still had a proper Alpha, pack member relationship with his father, respect given, he noted on both sides.
West had never asked his father about their meetings, or how often he saw her in the city. Likely more than he thought. West had tried to stay away and ignore it for the most part. But now it seemed, there was still a good firm pack bond between them.
Though West now knew that Jo-anne had been through therapy and it had been his mother and father who had organised it, he had no idea, what kind of relationship was between the three of them.
He should probably find out, he thought. Likely it was a very good one, with the way her wolf had reacted to protect his mother and then to request his father.
Jo-anne had also assisted his mother with her Luna duties when asked to do so, and she had done it willingly, he believed. Now Jo-anne was requesting that his father be in the room, Clova more comfortable. Perhaps the three of them were very closely bonded, seemed almost to be a family bond.
West knew both his parents had always liked Jo-anne, but had never really paid any attention to their actual interactions or the relationship between them when she had been his Mate previously. He really was an a*ss-h0le and not just to her, it seemed.
West thought it was a good idea that he would get to spend time with Jo-anne, a private dinner.
Jayden did not. His mother offered both of them a meal alone with her, well a chaperoned meal.
West smirked “I don’t need a chaperone, I’m not the one who tried to claim her by force.”
“I lost control.” Jayden snapped at him. “You would to, if she smelled like another.”
“She did smell like you, when I took her back to her room, yet I didn’t try to take her choice away from her. Just you did that.”
“I’m an Alpha and I want what is mine.” he shot back.
“She’s not yours unless she chooses to be. So far, all I’ve seen and heard is Clova, doesn’t like you at all.” West smirked at the man, and it was all he’d seen. Clova was more than happy with Volt though.
“Well, Jo-anne rejected you once before, Westley, she’s likely to just do it again now, isn’t she, so likely to be mine and not yours.”
West’s jaw tightened, he couldn’t get into a fight with this man, but wanted to punch him right in his face, didn’t, it was the truth. She had rejected him and he was worried that she would again, how could he not be? He was an a*ss-h0le, though he was trying to show her he’d changed, could be the kind gentle man she deserved.
“That was a completely different situation, to now.” he grated out.
“Yeah, she was underage at the time. How’d you manage that, by force, Westley?” Jayden smirked right back at him.
“Enough.” his mother snapped at the two of them. They were heading for a full-blown fight and she knew it. “This is not about either of you. And right this minute, neither one of you are showing your Mate a side she might like. Just two egotistical Alpha’s who are being selfısh and not even considering her feelings in the matter. Only concerned with pointing out each other’s flaws to her.”
West sighed, she was right, but the man irked him in more ways than one. Looked at Jo-anne, frowned, she didn’t even look like she was listening, appeared to be zoned out, thinking Goddess only knew what.
His mother was right, he was constantly not putting his best foot forward, just reminding her of what Alpha Jayden had done to her and she didn’t need that, already knew what he’d done, wasn’t likely to forget it in a hurry. Considering she’d had to scream out for help to stop it.
He apologised to his mother for his behaviour, noted Alpha Jayden huffed in annoyance and then also apologised. No Alpha likes to apologise, their word was law, and their actions generally un-challengable, unless in anothers Pack, which he currently was.
West also noted that the man had yet to even apologise to Jo-anne for his actions against her.
That was interesting, it’s the first thing he should have done considering she was supposed to be his Mate. Perhaps Jayden was just a charming and laid back man when around others, but this was his true personality. West never put a front on, all his allied packs got the same stern, surly attitude, he was who he was and they just had to deal with it.
He knew how to be fair and make a good deal. Was just up front and no nonsense about what he wanted.
When Jo-anne got up and just walked out of the room unannounced, everyone stopped talking and watched her, still seemed to be in her own world to West. She opened the door to the office and stepped out the door, then looked down the hallway, looking for someone or something. Then asked Ricky where T.J. was.
West simply shook his head, those two were so very connected, it didn’t really shock him that she was looking for the man. The reaction to him last night obviously passed and now she wanted to see him and likely talk to him about it. It did surprise him a little that she turned to leave altogether though.
His mother questioned her and the look on her face said it all. She had not been here in this room, had indeed been else where, thinking about something else altogether. West sighed, whatever had made her rip into herself last night and shove T.J. away, was bothering her as much as it was T.J., it was clear to him that was what she was thinking about seeing as she asked where the man was.
Not even having two Mate’s to sort out seemed more important to her.
Told them as much, she didn’t think she needed to be in the room with them while he and Jayden argued it out, then she just turned and walked away down the hall, away from both him and Jayden, backing up her statement.
“ls she honestly just leaving, just like that Jayden snapped irritation clear in his voice with her walking away. West smiled, found it a little funny to be honest, the girl really just did do as she pleased. Ten years on her own, definitely had changed her. “Yes, it’s what she does, her own thing.”
Jayden may think he was the better match for her, but he did not know her at all. In the past month, West though annoyed with her and had been angered by her himself, had learned she would do as she pleased regardless of consequences, didn’t even seem to think about them at all. Just went about doing what she wanted when she wanted to, and was shocked by others’ opinions or reactions. Like she didn’t expect them to have one at all.
Ten years away from pack life, she was completely used to making her own decisions and not having to report or request permission. If she wanted something, thought about doing something, just got up and did it.
“She needs to come back in here and pick one of us,” Alpha Jayden stated flatly.
“There’s no rush.” West returned, as he watched the man closely.
“Not for you, you’re in your own pack. I have to be away from mine, until she makes a decision.
“You can’t rush these things, Alpha Jayden.” his mother informed him, “and if you are going to try to do so, you’ll likely find yourself rejected.”
Alpha Jayden was staring at his mother now.
“She won’t go back to Westley. Once rejected, always rejected,” he snapped.
“I don’t know about that,” his father interjected with a laugh “I’ve seen, right here in this pack, wolves reject each other, only to regret it and be drawn back together and end up Mated once more. Can’t live without their Mate sometimes. Just need to talk it out mostly.”
“Only rarely does that happen.” Jayden sounded more annoyed than before “I need this sorted out so I can take her home.”
West siqhed “I think you are too sure of yourself, Mother, I think Jo-anne should be allowed to have breakfast on her own or with her friends then lunch and dinner with each of us respectively.
What she does with her time between meals should also be up to her. If she wishes to spend that time with either of us to get to know us, we should allow that. A chaperone I believe is a good idea. In case Alpha Jayden decides to just take her against her will. Let me know what Jo-anne wants to do. I am happy to let her choose for herself.” He turned to leave his mother’s office.
“Oh and you think, acting all, like your okay with this is going to win her?” Jayden bit out. He’d not missed the fact that West once again had stated he wasn’t to be trusted around their Mate.
West smiled right at him “You don’t know her like I do. She’s had a lot going on since she got back. Needs time to think about things, you will just push her away. So be my guest Jayden. I’ll stand by and wait for her, with my arms wide open.”
“You’re an a*ss-h0le at the best of times, Westley. She knows this already.”
“Ah, yes she does.” West nodded, “but at least she already knows this about me. If I so choose to be, I can be a perfectly charming gentleman.”
“So what, your going to act all charming to try and win her?”
“Isn’t that what you’re doing?” West smiled.”
Act charming. I too can play your game. Only I’m not actually playing. Jo-anne is the only one, who can bring out my softer side and I’m going to let her see that. Good luck keeping up your charade.
Don’t think you’re as charming as you always make out you are.” he told the man. Calling him on his act, that he had seen up until now.
Then he turned and left his mother’s office. West did no longer believe that Alpha Jayden was the laid back man he’d always shown other packs that he was. There was another side to the man no-one saw, well likely his pack, but they all showed respect to him. West now wondered if the man was a brute who only acted all polite, laid back and charming when away from his pack or had visitors on his pack. It was possible.