West was ready to beat the living hell out of T.J, Jo-anne was telling him she had come back for no-one but him, had the choice to die or come back, and came back only because T.J. had been str!pped of his Goddess-Gifted Mate, when she was born, to be her protector it was already killing her to know her life had done this to him.
You could see how much she hated this knowledge, when she had come back, she had ripped right into herself and him to try and get that mark off of her and him, so distressed the minute she had woken up about it, and now here he was compounding on her pain.
He had been completely shocked into silence at first, hearing that their own Goddess had str!pped T.J. of his Mate for this to work, he’d been four when she’d been born and he’d already been granted a Mate, and their Goddess had str!pped him of her, just to save Jo-anne’s life, it was either very cruel or very needed.
Even he knew Jo-anne would never want that, told T.J. as much, told him she’d rather have died out there in the snow, than to have him Mate-less.
No wonder she had reacted so violently upon waking up.
Had come back not to find her own Mate, the way she’d looked at him when she’d said it, so apologetically, she’d not wanted to hurt his feelings, didn’t even care about her own happiness, was clearly ready to give everything up for T.J., bloody woman knew no bounds when she loved something.
Now to hear T.J. yelling at her, that she was his sister, stunned her into silence. Didn’t know what to make of it. This was not the time, nor the place for that conversation, let alone the way to announce it.
West tried to get T.J. to realise what he was doing, what he’d said. If Jo-anne was already distressed over a man being Mate-less because of her, finding out that man was her actual brother, was only going to increase her pain and distress. Could the man not see that? Realise that?
West saw the moment that Jo-anne believed him, watched pain fill her even more. Saw T.J.!’s realisation of what he’d done and that it was now too late to take it back. How his one angry moment had gotten away from him, his need to claim her as his actual sister had likely been eating away at him for years.
Now in this moment, his anger had gotten out of control and he had screamed it at her. He could see the man damn near panic as it dawned on him, that he’d only increased her pain and anguish over the situation, saw him try to apologise, saw the regret in the man, when he realised what he had actually done. But it was too late. He could not take it back.
Then she was up and gone, bolting from his office, at not just a run, but fled, at full Alpha Wolf speed. It still amazed him how fast she was. Tears had been running down her lovely face, as she left the three of them in his office.
“You stupid bastard.” West had snarled at him, getting up “Why the hell would you tell her like that? and then he too was gone from the room, following her scent, goddess only knew where she was going to go. Found both Ricky and Cole outside her bedroom door. Thankfuly, she hadn’t fled the damn pack in her distress.
“What the hell happened?” Ricky asked.
“Go and ask the pack Beta.” West snapped and pushed into her room, the door never bloody locked still. Closed the door and was about to take a step forward, stopped and looked right at her. She was looking at her hands, and they were both glowing.
Then just screamed with all she had, as she turned her hands and hit the couch in front of her, the damned thing exploded and shards of it went flying all over the place, from what he’d read up on about creatures with silver eyes that glowed during the use of their power, it was likely from what he’d just witnessed she was part witch. They could harness powers to do all sorts of things.
She was kneeling on the floor sobbing into her hands now, likely all her distress at hearing T.J. who was her actual brother, was Mate-less and she blamed it on herself, because she was born of all things. Not something she had a choice in. Was now so over whelmed that she was unable to cope.
West could see that her whole body was shaking, it was too much for her to take in, she had too much going on at the moment, and this news, compounded on her. He walked over to her, and knelt down right in front of her, not particularly worried about her using that power on him, she’d never actually hurt anyone. Wasn’t who she was.
Slid his arms around her and pulled her sobbing body into his chest just to hold her, comfort her as best he could. Felt her cling on to him, crawled right into his lap. West sat himself down properly on the floor and just held onto he, as she cried, so much pain in her.
Blamed herself for T.J. being Mate-less, he knew it, knew it was also not her fault. She had not actively chosen this for him. Would never have.
Now the guilt was going to eat her alive, she didn’t want to live with this knowledge, came back to rectify it. To find a way to get him his Mate. Had been given a choice, she’d said, if she chose right, the Goddess would grant her the right to pick him a Mate and then the Goddess herself would grant it
Jo-anne had said, that only one could be happy. His eyes moved to the list on the wall, as he brushed his hand through her hair. The people on the list; himself, Jayden, T.J., Ella and then the word Mother. That made him curious. She did not even know who her real mother was.
Maybe something else had been said by the goddess, something she’d not yet gotten around to telling them due to T.J. stupidity. Only she would know, unless she’d told Ella. That girl had come with her to the office, had smiled right up at T.J. Ella already knew, he knew it. Jo-anne had confided in her, it was Ella’s hand writing on that piece of paper, he sighed. Jo-anne had come back into a sh!t storm, her powers trying to emerge, her Alpha wolf trying to claw its way into full authority.
T.J., Mate-less, Jayden had tried to forcibly Mark her and tried to force her to submit to him. And two Mates.
Now finding out T.J. was her brother, Jo-anne was not stupid, they’d told her already she was an Alpha-blooded wolf, so she would know or quickly figure out that Belinda was her mother, it was only a matter of time for that to dawn on her. And she was trying to figure out her two Mate’s, had to choose between them.
West had no idea how she was coping with all of this. Could very well be the reason that her powers, which had laid dormant all this time, were emerging and at an increasingly rapid rate. She was likely an emotional mess on the inside, he’d seen that her powers were interconnected with her emotions, mostly when she was angry and loosing control of herself, did they spring forward.
But when he’d stepped into this room, the way it was just her hands glowing, she had been looking at them, turned them away from her, let it all out through her hands, nothing about her had been glowing at that time other than her hands, either she had some control of it or she just wanted to destroy something.
That scream that had ripped out of her, it had been filled with everything she was feeling, she’d lashed out with her hands and her powers had shot out of them, destroyed the object she’d been focused on. Then it was just gone. And she’d been sobbing. Had let it all out.
West sighed, he had to lessen the burdens on her somehow, take some of the pressure off of her.
Did not like the thought of how distressed she was.
Did not like seeing her or hearing her cry for that matter. Rested his chin on the top of her head and told her softly that it was going to be alright.
That he would do whatever he could to help her through this, and he did mean it, just wanted her to go back to being happy and smiling. Like she had been before she’d woken up, to this colossal mess that was now her life.
Didn’t want to see anymore tears, or hear anymore crying. It was breaking his heart to know he at this minute. Hell, at every moment, could do nothing but just hold her in his arms, he couldn’t fix it all for her, and he wanted to.
Not only was he her Mate, he was her Alpha and it was not just his desire and need, it was also his job to help her. To protect her, to keep her safe from harm. He’d not been able to do that ever. Not back then, not in the last month, not even now. He could not stop her from being in pain.
This pack. Her pack, caused her nothing but pain and trouble. He sighed sadly, no-one here deserved her, she loved everyone and she was always getting hurt for it. Even now Belinda was worried the Royals were going to come for her and take her away. She was not safe here. If they did come, he, West, would be powerless to stop them. If they wanted to take her away, they would just order him to hand her over. And he would have no choice but to do so.
Felt Volt snarl at him, knew he did not like what was coming, West stood up, taking her with him. Carried Jo-anne across the rubble-strewn room, realised it almost looked like their old room upstairs, put her down on the bed gently, she was kneeling before him now, her face was still tear streaked, her eyes red and puffy.
West touched her face gently, brushed her tears away as he tilted her face up to look at him, searched her pretty eyes for anything other than pain and sadness right this minute. Even looking up at him, one of her mates, there was nothing else.
Her guilt was eating her alive, it was going to consume her every waking moment and there would be no joy, no happiness, not for her here with him, not in this pack.
“I love you Jo-anne. So I do this, to help you.”
West did not like Alpha Jayden’s treatment of her at this point, but he’d never really seen the man inside his pack or out of it be anything but capable and respected. His pack liked him, everyone liked him, West only didn’t like him because he was now his rival where she was concerned.
‘Cole get Alpha Jayden, bring him directly here now.’
He’d heard from T.J. how much they had in common, how those two had talked about art and had gotten lost in it, how they had gone dancing and she’d laughed and smiled, been happy with the man as he had twirled her around on the dance floor, she really did like him on a deeper level. They were a better match than he was for her.
West had not been good to her back then, he had not deserved her, had broken her, hollowed her out and though she had told him she had forgiven him, wanted him to forgive himself, West doubted that he ever would, and looking down at her now, so sad, so distressed. She had to stay away from him, he had to get her away from this pack.
“You should choose Alpha Jayden, Jo-anne.” he told her softly, “l’m not the one who can make you happy, or protect you. Don’t choose me, you, were right, it’s not likely to work out between us, it didn’t back then, it likely won’t now.”
Saw her eyes widen slightly as she took in what he was saying “I’ll make your choice easy and bow out. No more confusion. Go with Jayden and be happy. He is just like you, all art and museums. The two of you fit together.”
West’s eyes moved to the door as it opened and Jayden walked in, his Beta following him, glanced at the destruction of the couch, said nothing, wolves could be furiously angry at the best of times, then his eyes moved to her and West and he frowned at West. Didn’t like the way West was touching her, he supposed.
West did not care, he was letting go of the only woman he’d ever loved, the only woman he would love, there would be no other, he already knew that.
T.J. and Ella’s child would take over this pack one day.
Turned his eyes back to Jo-anne, saw tears there, brushed them away. “Don’t be upset.” He leaned down and k!ssed her softly “Just go and be happy, Jo-anne. I just want you to be happy. So I will not force you to make a choice between the two of your Mates. I love you enough, to let you go, so you can be happy.”
Stepped away from her, felt Volt recede away to the dark recess of his mind, looked at Alpha Jayden “You harm one hair on her head. I will kill you and I will know, because my Beta will literally feel it.”
West turned and walked out of the room. It was the only way he could reduce her burdens, one less thing for her to worry about right now. Saw both Ricky and Cole standing staring at him, the door had not been closed. They had seen and heard what he’d said, Ricky looked a little on the sad side even.
“You may go. She does not need guards anymore from this pack.”
“West?” Ricky reached out to touch his arm.
“No.” he shook his head and walked away to his office. To be alone. There was no-one in here, he was alone. How it was supposed to be, how it had been for 10 long years, how it would be for many years to come.
Was probably just going to hand the pack over to T.J. the minute he and Ella produced an Heir in all likelihood, hell it would likely be sooner than that.
Did not really know what he was going to do with his time then.
Likely work in Olympia, run his airline and be just that little bit closer to her, not that he would ever see her again. His parents would surely understand. They’d have to, and if they didn’t, well, they could try and wrest control of the pack back from T.J. and reign for another 20 or 30 years until the twins were old enough to take over.
Turned as his office door banged open and slammed shut with such force it rattled in the hinges, a fuming T.J. was standing glaring at him.
“What the hell did you do?” he roared at West and then was across the room and shoving him up against the wall.
“I did what I had to, to help her, Terence.” he stated simply.
“How the hell can I protect her from here, if she’s hours away? I will never get to her in time to save her. If she’s hurt or in trouble.”
“She’s going to find a way to release you, Terence, so it won’t matter.” and he knew she would.
“I don’t want her to,” he yelled right in West’s face. “I want my sister in this pack. I just got her West. I don’t want to loose her.”
“Not your choice, Terence. If she goes, she’s made her decision.” He’d not rejected her, would never, had simply stepped back to allow her to leave him once more.
Got shoved even harder up against the wall, heard the plaster C***k behind him “You just handed her over to him, told her to go, Ricky and Cole came upstairs and told me you did.”
“l did bow out yes.” West nodded “Jo-anne has too much going on, Terence. Too many choices to make, she is so upset, so distressed. I just want her to be happy. Jayden is well suited to her. You said it yourself on more than one occasion, they get along really well. He can make her smile and laugh.”
“And you didn’t? I saw her myself, happy in that studio, not even built yet, and was already smiling about being in there. Smiling at you, you did that, made her happy. I’ve seen the way she is when you k!ss her West, she loves you deep down.”
“It’s just the Mate Bond Terence.” he shook his head.
“I call bullsh!t…she did not know about the bond in the hospital. When you k!ssed her, she k!ssed you back, all melted into you, like she freaking belonged there. And how many times did you crawl into her bed? Once you told me she called for you. That too was before she knew about the Mate Bond. Don’t you tell me it’s just the Bond, it’s not. There is something real there and you know it..” he was shoving West even harder now. “You’re just scared, you will hurt her again.”
“Yes Terence, you’re right,” he admitted. “I’m freaking terrified inside, I’ll turn on her, its what I always did. There is a real possibility I’ll do it again.
I don’t know why I did it, no one understands… I have a temper, she’s seen it, felt it, doesn’t need that again. What if I do lose it and try to hurt her again?”
“She’ll bloody kick your ass, is what! She’s stronger than you now and that power of hers, she will likely punish you with it. Maybe she needs to knock some magical powered sense into your brain.”
“You’re a fool, Terence. Still, you try to convince me, to, Mate your sister, when you should be keeping me away from her at all costs.” he shoved Terence off him with all he could muster and snapped “Just let it go, I’m not good for her and you know it.” it hurt enough to let her go he was over being lectured about it.
“If you say it West,” T.J., glared at him.
“I don’t deserve her” West stated flatly. It’s how he’d always felt, nothing had changed. Loved her but did not deserve her.
T.J.!’s fist was in his face a second later, the full force of it. West staggered back several steps and just glared at the man, but he did not hit him back, this was a fight he could no longer even attempt to get into. He knew T.J. was looking for a full-on punch-it, out fight but West could not do it wouldn’t last one minute against the man now.
Saw T.J.’s eyes go from anger to recognition in an instant, when Volt didn’t appear at the attack on him. Grabbed him by the shirt and yanked his face right into T.J.’s “Where is Volt?” he was peering hard into him.
West knew both T.J., and Lark were using their Alpha ability to sense out his wolf. “Gone.” West stated flatly, “Deep recess of my mind, likely not coming back.” he told him truthfully.
“You bloody fool,” he roared at him, shaking him, “See what you did, killed your own wolf.”
“Get off me Terence.” he slashed at the man’s hands, and stalked away from him to his desk, to sit himself down. He knew what he’d done. Had felt Volt leave him before he’d even left Jo-anne’s room. He was the one who had to live with it, would live with it, a good self punishment for all his acts against the woman he loved.
No-one had ever punished him for being Mated to her. No one had punished him for hurting her with his alpha orders. No one even punished him for breaking her spirit. So it was time he did it to himself, Iive wolf-less and alone. That was his punishment, he had already accepted it. His punishment already granted by the Goddess, Volt was gone, so far down, West could barely register him at all, it was only a matter of time before he was gone altogether.