The following day, I went for a run before showering and getting ready in black flared pants, a black high-neck top, and applying my signature dramatic eyeliner with some mauve lipstick.
Opening my window, I climbed out, not wanting another run-in with my parents.
Making my way to the packhouse with the memory drive of some training regime and ideas I had, I headed towards the Alpha’s office. I slowed down when a familiar scent hit my nose. Roasted walnuts and honey. A scent that enveloped my entire body and made every nerve stand on edge.
Goddess, please don’t be around.
With each step closer to the office my heart was fluttering with nerves. The last memory I had of Liam tugged painfully at my chest, and it was pretty difficult to breathe.
Raising my hand, I knocked on the door lightly before I opened it and stepped inside, stopping dead in my tracks when my gaze fell on the man in the leather chair. His legs crossed at the ankles as they stretched out in front of him, his elbow resting on the armrest. He was flicking through a file, when his eyes snapped upwards, piercing into mine.
He was so much more handsome than I remembered him… He was dressed in a fitted black tee, that did nothing to hide his bulging arms. Goddess he was even bigger than before. A tattoo covered his upper left arm, peeking out from his sleeve. His hair was styled in a quiff, with a short back and sides, and a scar went down his right eye. How did he get hurt?
But the thing that was most different about him was the coldness in those cerulean eyes. Gone was the warmth that one would have associated with Liam years ago.
He cast one glance over me, sending another gutting stab of pain through me.
Unwanted, but I didn’t care. I would live for me, mates or not.
When it was clear he wasn’t going to speak, I stepped up to the desk.
“I’m sorry, I thought Alpha El would be here, I have some training regimes I put together.” I said as his eyes were back on his file.
“Why were you looking for him? As your Alpha, shouldn’t you be running it past me?” He asked coldly.
He cocked a brow, leaning back.
“Don’t tell me you took this position without even knowing who the Alpha is… Nice.” His sarcasm irked me, but I said nothing.
No one had told me. Surely Kia and Aunt Angela knew…
“Sorry, I guess I’m a bit behind on the latest news. Congratulations on becoming Alpha, I will pray that you can be half the Alpha your dad was.” I said, trying to hide the sarcasm in my voice, displaying a fake smile.
His eyes flashed a deep magnetic blue, and I felt his anger rising.
“You will remember who you’re talking to.” He said icily. “Besides, I don’t have time for some stupid training plans. Discuss them with the Beta.”
My heart skipped a beat at the resentment in his voice when he said ‘Beta.’
“Ok… Sorry for wasting your precious time, Alpha Liam.” I didn’t care that my voice sounded bitter.
I didn’t wait for a reply, turning and leaving the office before he could even reply, slamming the door shut behind me. I stormed down the hall, feeling my irritation growing, great now I had to face Damon…
Although he hadn’t been as bad as Liam, he didn’t really make an effort with me either. On my birthday and on Christmas he would send a message, and when I got injured pretty bad last year, he had sent a small message, but that was it…
That night, not only had I lost my mates before I even got them, I lost two of my best friends. I wish I didn’t go to the ball, if I didn’t nothing would have changed between us.
I was so lost in thought that I didn’t realise where I was going when the sound of a woman’s breathless giggle made me stop in my tracks.
I looked ahead to see a gorgeous woman. I vaguely recognised her. She was leaning against the wall, her hand on a man’s chest as he leaned over her slightly, speaking quietly.
A man whose scent of spiced cinnamon and fresh rain hit me like a storm, and with it, the gutting feeling of pain twisted in my stomach.
His head snapped towards me, and I stared into the deep powdery blue eyes of Damon. He quickly moved away from the woman, and that stung. Why would you do that unless your intentions weren’t innocent?
“Raven… I didn’t know you were back…” He said quietly, his voice sending a rush of tingles through me.
“Yeah, I came last night. I uh, Liam told me to discuss the training regime with you. Umm, take a look at them when you have time and see what you think.” I said, walking over to him, I held out the memory stick.
He looked down at me, and I saw the concern in his eyes. His heart was racing a little as he took it, I let go quickly, not wanting to touch him.
Despite it all, I felt a sliver of guilt go through me for what happened two years ago. I looked away, giving the woman a small smile. She really was gorgeous…
“Hey.” She said,
“Robyn.” She said, holding her hand out.
“Raven.” I took her hand, and she gave Damon a smile.
“Nice to meet you girl.”
“You too.” I turned and walked off, not wanting to spend another minute here.
With each step I took, my smile faded away. Crap, I was meant to talk to Liam about the packhouse…
I didn’t want to ask him again. Maybe I’ll go visit Azura and ask Aunty Red…
That sounded like a better plan!
I quickly left the packhouse, feeling a lot better as I hurried through the woods towards the house that stood a little away from the rest of the pack. A home where I spent most of my childhood memories. An escape from the tension and gloom of my own house.
My heart skipped a beat as I looked around, remembering how I would sit with Kiara under that tree near the river… remembering Liam smacking my ass and calling me bitesize… Damon’s smile when he got everyone some fresh donuts or something.
Don’t think about them.
The saddest thing was, with time, my wolf became disconnected from me too.
I rang the doorbell, and I heard the sound of laughing.
“Mama! Someone door!”
I smiled, hearing Azura’s voice. Damn I shouldn’t have come empty-handed! I even got her a gift from up north. Goddess my memory was ridiculous!
“Raven, come on in.” Aunty Red said the moment she opened the door.
“Don’t mind if I do.” I replied stepping inside and closing the door behind me. “Azura!”
She moved away, looking at me wearily.
“Waven?” She said.
I smiled and nodded.
“Want me to give you a piggyback ride? Or I can be a horsy?”
I smiled, atta girl. I picked her up, spinning her around, making her giggle. She looked a lot like Indigo, and I wondered how Aunty Red coped with that. I kissed her forehead gently before I placed her down on the worktop.
Aunty Red seemed to have been busy cooking.
“Did you end up seeing the boys?” She asked.
My heart skipped a beat, and I swear she knew something.
“Yes, I did.” I said smoothly. Pulling faces at Azura, who burst out laughing.
“That’s great. You’ll stay for lunch, I’m making Sheppard’s pie?”
“I don’t mind,” I hadn’t eaten and I couldn’t cook… “Umm, I came because I wanted to ask for something.” I said, perching on one of the bar stools.
“Sure, what is it?”
“I wanted to ask if I could put in a request for a room at the packhouse.” I said, hiding the nervousness I felt inside.
She frowned, looking at me concerned.
“Angela told me you would probably ask for that. Is everything ok?”
“Yeah, I just think I’m old enough to have my own place.” I said, shrugging lightly.
“Sure, I’ll get someone to set up a room for you there. Liam stays there too, since he’s come back…” She frowned, and I tried not to react to the mention of Liam. “He’s changed a lot, hasn’t he?”
“Surely there must be a reason behind that.” Aunty Red said lightly, popping the tray into the oven before she turned to me, her sharp eyes fixed on me. “Would you have any idea what that reason might be?”