This was not the first time it had happened around others. She had no idea why it happened, and there was no pattern to it at all. Although it was mostly an early morning or middle of the night thing, her shivers could come on at anytime of the day or night. She had experienced it at all times of the day and night.
The drive was thankfully uneventful. One shiver, it seemed was enough this morning, the gate was closed like normal. Pulled up and got a very shocked look from the guard on duty, he’d actually been one of the ones here the day she’d left, had stopped her car from leaving, she realised, heard her formally reject West.
“Jo-anne?” he asked
“Yes,” she answered his question “Alpha Damien request I come. Please open the gate.”
“Of course Lu…Jo-anne.” he stumbled over his words, nearly called her Luna, she realised.
The gates opened and she drove through. Nothing, it seemed, had changed that much in 10 years. She parked her car in the visiting pack’s parking, off to the side of the pack-house. T.J. was already coming down the stairs at the front of the pack-house towards her, grinning right at her. Gosh he’d gotten so much bigger. And wow, a head full of dreadlocks all tied back neatly.
She hopped out of the car and smiled right up at him “T.J.” he picked her clean up off the ground and hugged her tightly, she hugged him back. “You got big.” she laughed.
“You’re a sight for sore eyes Jo-Jo.” he laughed right back and then put her down. “Now let me look at you.”
Jo-anne turned around for him and smiled as he indicated for her to turn once more. She did and he laughed again, “That’s my good girl.”
“I’m no girl anymore.” she teased him.
“I can see that. Turned out lovely too.” he reached over and flicked her long cinnamon brown hair with a finger “let your hair grow too. Suits you.”
“Hey what is that?” he frowned, tilting his head slightly to the left, grabbed a fist full of her hair and tilted her head over to look at the right side of her neck.
“Oh, my tattoo.” she smiled up at him.
“Marred you pretty skin.” he frowned at her now.
“ It’s Art. I designed it myself. It’s Clova.”
“Hmm,” he let go of her hair finally. “Might not want West to see that Jo-Jo, he won’t like it.”
“Why would he even care?” she frowned up at T.J.
He shrugged “The man is not a fan of Tattoos, is all.”
“That’s his problem, not mine. Its not like he’ll be looking anyway.” she shrugged.
“Hmm…Alpha Damien said I was to bring you right to his office.”
“Alright.” she nodded.
T.J. moved her hair to cover her neck again and then looked right at her. “West is in there Jo-Jo.” he stared at her for a moment.
“ Whatever it is T.J., it’s fine.” she told him.
“Has a girl on his arm. Just thought you might like the heads up.” he told her. She could see worry in his light grey eyes.
“That’s alright T.J. I’m glad he’s happy and found his Mate.” she smiled, was genuinely happy for him.
“This way, then,” he nodded.
“Wait.” she turned to her car and got out the present she had bought for West. It was his birthday after all. She couldn’t come empty-handed. Saw T.J. raise an eyebrow at her but say nothing.
She was walked into the Alpha’s office. Alpha Damien was sitting behind his desk in his chair, he smiled right at her and she greeted him with a smile back “Alpha.”
“Good to see you again, Jo-anne. Wh at have you got there?” he asked.
“A birthday gift for West.” she told him, still smiling.
Her eyes moved to the man in question, Westley Carlton, tall at 6ft 6inches, compared to her 5ft 10, almost a full foot taller than her. She looked up at him, her ex-Mate, he was standing off to the right of his father’s desk. His dark green eyes were locked onto her grey ones, he stood wearing a pair of dark grey slacks and a light grey button-down shirt, suited him. There was no smile on his face, he looked impassive, she thought. She smiled up at him, a genuine smile.
“Hello West.” it had been 10 years since she’d seen him, or spoken to him. He did not say a word, she walked over to him. “Happy birthday.” she held out the gift she’d purchased for him. His eyes moved to it, but he did not take it. Unhappy she was here, Jo-anne thought.
Put the gift down next to his father’s desk. “I’ll leave it here for you. If you don’t want it, that’s okay, you can throw it away.” her eyes moved to the beautiful woman on his arm. Smiled right at her and extended her hand “Nice to meet you, I’m Jo-anne.”
“Hi. I’m Miranda.” she smiled right back. Appeared very friendly.
“That’s a pretty name.” they shook hands.
Jo-anne took a step back and looked at them as a couple. He’d finally found his Mate and she was a beauty. “You two look really good together. I’d love to take some pictures of you.” she offered. She had her camera in her suitcase, never went anywhere without it.
“Oh, I would love that. West darling what do you think?” Miranda turned her smiling face up to him, she was more than a foot shorter than him, it would look really good, like he was her protector.
West, however, did not say a thing, but that impassive look turned into a frown. Wow, he hadn’t changed much. Though his hair cut was new, he had both sides of his head shaved and his dark blonde hair was slicked back with hair gel. A new look. She liked it, suited him, she thought absently, made him look more imposing as an Alpha, she thought.
“Well, just let me know, Miranda.” she smiled at the woman still looking up at West with hopeful eyes. Turned her eyes back to him, “Congratulations West, on finding your Mate.” and she really did mean it. Though it must have only just happened, the girl was not Marked by him yet.
“Alpha Damien, you wanted to see me?” she turned her attention back to her Alpah.
“Just to make sure you arrive,” he stated, “you may go. T.J. will show you to a room while you are here.”
“Thank you Alpha.” she bowed slightly and turned to T.J. smiled at him “So, where you putting me?” she teased him as they left the office.
He cleared his throat, “Don’t say it like that Jo-Jo.” He closed the door after glancing inside “first floor, no balcony.” he commented.
She sighed it had been 10 years. “You know I live on the 3rd floor with a balcony, I Seattle right.”
“Alpha’s orders,” he murmured.
Jo-anne shrugged “So T.J. What’s on down at Maxi’s tonight?”
He laughed “You want to go dancing?”
“Yep and catch up with my friends, I’m only here for the Ceremony and then off to Korea.”
“What?…Since when, the Alpha has not given permission for that.” he was staring at her now.
“Yes, he has. I got a 2 year contract out of him.”
T.J. frowned down at her as they walked up the stairs. “Oh, you mean Alpha Damien then.”
“He is the Alpha.” she chuckled “Who’d you…Oh.” she realised he had been talking about West.
“Hmm, I doubt West will agree to that contract.”
“Not up to him T.J.” she stated, and it wasn’t the contract was with her Alpha and that was Damien, West’s father. He couldn’t over rule it. “So you going to come out tonight then, up for some dancing?”
He laughed down at her “You sound like your old self…you know before.”
“I know, all good here, I assure you.”
T.J. hugged her. “I’m glad, I was really worried about you Jo-Jo.”
“Don’t be, I’m fine now. I promise.” she smiled up at him.
He nodded and then looked right at her, like really looked at her. “Clova is with you!” he stated, sounding shocked.
“Yes.” she nodded “Dancing?”
“Sure pick you up at 9.” he opened the door for her and showed her into her room, a simple room for visiting wolves. 1 bed, 1 bath and a comfortable couch to sit on. That was it. She had a view of the path down to the training grounds but that was pretty much it. Used the mind-link to contact a few of her old high school friends and organise them to have lunch with, and then dinner. She also found out a few of them wanted to go to Maxi’s that night too.
Excellent everything was falling into place, it was almost like being a teenager again, though they were a little shocked to hear she was back in the pack, they all seemed happy and willing to hang out and socialise. It actually felt good to be home. Perhaps when she returned in two years everything would be just fine. She might just have a look around and see where was a good place for her art studio to go, while she was here.