Jo-anne’s stitches had been removed and all the art supplies she had ordered, had finally arrived, along with a very unhappy TJ, apparently, humans delivering things to the pack was a no-go. She’d not even thought about it, just ordered what she had needed, and clicked the express delivery button upon payment, sent it right here to the pack’s address.
T.J. had stood there and informed her, all his Beta showing, that any deliveries from humans, needed to be requested and approved of. Jo-anne had clicked the sign for it button, as she always liked to sign for her supplies so that she could make sure, everything she ordered was there and everything was undamaged.
T.J. had driven her down to the gate himself, still annoyed about it, it seemed. He had other things to do, he told her, with the first allied packs meeting’ for West in just 2 days’ time, he did not need to be driving her around, as it was pulling him away from his Beta Duties.
Jo-anne had apologised and told him she could collect them herself. He had just stared at her, muttered something about having to go and lay the law down with her. Obviously, it came from West. Put her in his truck and proceeded to do just that as they’d driven to the gate reminded her of all the rules that needed to be obeyed where humans were concerned.
The human delivery man, Dean, his name tag read. Looked a little more than scared as T.J. had marched about collecting her things from him. She’d smiled at the young man, barely a man she thought, maybe 18 if he was lucky, and told him that T.J. was just a wee bit cranky today. She dealt with humans all the time, seeing as she had lived amongst them for the past 10 years, as long as you were calm and kept your wolf off the surface, they didn’t even notice that wolves were different to them.
She had years of practice, not that she ever really got ma, had liked living in the human world for the most part. The freedom to do as she pleased, when she pleased and with no-one to really answer to, she guessed, had suited her.
Jo-anne couldn’t physically collect the things herself, she had tried to step through the gate as the human was not allowed in pack territory, but found pain had shot through her body as she had crossed the pack line, making her gasp and stumble back into pack territory. The bloody Alpha Order, not to leave the pack, was in effect. T.J. had stared at her for a moment a little confused and then had huffed and shaken his head, then marched himself out the gate to collect her things from the delivery man himself. Very unhappy about it, it seemed.
Jo-anne had tried to mind-link her father a few times but nothing, could not, it seemed. She had heard nothing really, but the lack of her ability to talk to him, likely meant that he was in the cells, punished for biting her. She knew West and T.J. had investigated it. TJ. had informed her as much, told her he had punished the man himself, then he had walked away from her door. That was the extent of her knowledge on the matter.
The look on his face at the time as he’d told her, looked irate to be honest. She had not asked any questions at all, he had still been unhappy with her.
Obviously, because of her not telling him what had happened, she had no idea what her father had told them either, had sent him one mind-link to tell him that she’d told them it was an accident and felt him sever the link the second she’d stated it. Wouldn’t allow her to connect with him after that.
On the bright side, West was too busy to hunt her down himself, and rant at her for not telling him, her Alpha, the information that he had wanted to know, when he wanted to know it. So she had had two days of peace and quiet
She’d actually had lunch with Luna Natalia and Miranda to discuss the portrait of West, that Miranda wanted to present to him as a gift. Luna Natalia smiled at her and then apologised to her for the attack on her, by Heath. Miranda’s eyes had widened at hearing this. Didn’t know anything about it apparently.
Luna Natalia had been staring hard at her and Jo-anne just knew she was trying to pry for information about what had happened that night. Jo-anne waved it off and smiled at her. “Silly me, startled my own dads wolf, what can you expect? He hadn’t seen me in 10 years.” kept her tone light and dismissive.
Luna Natalia had let it go, but had still looked right at her with a disapproving frown.
Miranda had placed a hand on Jo-anne’s shoulder. “I hope you’re alright,” she said a little worriedly.
“I’m fine.” Jo-anne had smiled at her. She knew the girls’ Luna instincts had kicked in, worried about her pack members.
“Goodness I’m sorry, West did not tell me.”
“It was not important, don’t worry yourself about it.”
Jo-anne had smiled right at her. But it still bothered her.
The three of them had taken lunch on the second floor of the library. Apparently, West hardly ever came here, so it was a good place to hold their secret meeting, Luna Natalia now in on it. She wanted a portrait of her son as the Alpha as well. It was a tradition here within the pack.
Though she thought a portrait of West on his own was a better idea. Miranda had pouted at her, still wanted one of the two of them together. Jo-anne liked painting the Alpha with his Luna next to him. It was a good sign to the pack that they were happy. Put forward her idea’s about the poses she’d thought would be good and Miranda seemed happy with them.
They walked about the library, the three of them, to look at the portraits of the previous Alpha and Luna’s of the pack, a little history lesson on each of them from Luna Natalia, looked at the different styles and paint usage. Every single portrait was a solo picture, none of them actually held the Alpha and Luna together, a few of them had them pictured next to their wolf. That was an interesting idea.
Though all of the former Luna’s potraits were hung directly next to their Mate and Alpha, to show them together. Only Alpha Damien’s portrait did not have his Luna next to him, guess it was still hanging in the woman’s office downstairs. Though there was a space made available for it, she noted.
Luna Natalia stated quite calmly, this was the pack’s tradition and that is why she thought it was the best option for a portrait of West by himself. Trying to convince Miranda, Jo-anne thought, she would paint what she was told to. She did like the idea of West smiling in the portrait, though admitted it was very unlikely to happen.
The damned boy won’t smile. No matter how hard I try, he will not smile.” she shook her head and huffed, annoyed with her only son it seemed.
Jo-anne just shrugged it off. She’d never seen the man smile either, it was nothing new to her. Had turned to Miranda “perhaps you could get a shot, privately on your phone and flick it to me.”
Miranda had laughed softly and shook her head. “No, he doesn’t like me taking photos of him, it actually makes him quite mad.” she replied.
“Then I will do my best, might take me a while though,” Jo-anne had nodded.
“You’ve got time dear.” Luna Natalia smiled at her. “There is no real rush.”
Jo-anne had frowned and queried about the up-coming Luna Ceremony for Miranda, wanting a time line, as it could take weeks to perfect a portrait and get all inflections and skin tones, tattoos and markings correct if the person had them that was. West had never had any the she’d seen back then. And from what she’d seen of the man, nothing above the neck, who knew what was under that shirt of his.
Then there was also the problem of getting a picture of West smiling, if his own mother couldn’t get him to smile, and Jo-anne knew that she was not going to be able to do it either. How was she going to get that one magic shot?
Luna Natalia had simply smiled at her “It won’t be this coming full moon, so you have time. I’m holding a mating ball for the triplets. They turned 18 just over a week ago.”
“A mating ball?” That surprised her. Wouldn’t the
Luna’s Ceremony out weigh that?
“Yes” she’d nodded.
Jo-anne had never attended a mating ball. They had been held regularly but she had been under age when here, so had not been allowed to attend, only those 18 and over being allowed. Then, once Mated to West, had been informed very bluntly by him. That she would be staying in their room the entire time, not allowed to go anywhere near it. Though he had attended every one of them, she herself had not ever been allowed.
Not like she didn’t see the other visiting packs, or come across their Alpha’s and pack members the day before and the day after, during meal times. Though T.J. had always been in her company and if he had been unavailable, West himself had been with her. It was the only time the pack actively saw them together during their Mate Bond and only at meal times. Their room had not had a kitchen, so she’d had to go downstairs to eat.
It was pretty much an escort from their room down to eat and then straight back to their room. Looking at other pack members or them looking at her had pissed the man off, she’d learned quickly to keep her eyes on her plate or would have been faced with his angry scowling all the way back to their room.
She’d never really understood that about him, likely it was more a Volt thing, wanting to keep Clova away from the un-mated males. They were not allowed to shift when there were visiting packs either. His wolf had loved hers, that much she did know, their bond had been good and strong.
“Am I allowed to attend that?” Jo-anne suddenly asked She’d never found her Mate and was now an un-mated she-wolf of eligible age to attend the ball.
“of course you are Jo-anne.” Miranda smiled at her like it was a silly question. “Why wouldn’t you be able to?”
However, her question had been directed at Luna Natalia, who was now looking at her with a frown on her face. “I would ask Westley that question, Jo-anne.” She finally replied after a minutes contemplation.
“Oh, so it’s for Ranked members only then?” she no longer held Rank.
Jo-anne nodded, she got it. He’d never let her before, might not now either, not even his own mother knew the answer to that question. The man had issues where she was concerned and his mother obviously understood that about him.
“l bring you.” Miranda piped up “What can he do?”
Jo-anne smiled at that, that would definitely get her around him, “You promise?” she laughed.
Saw a rather worried look pass over Luna Natalia’s face as she looked at Miranda, but ignored it.
“Yes.” Miranda smiled right at her “Everyone had the right to find their Goddess-Gifted Mate, not even an Alpha can deny you that.”
That was true “I’ll have to go shopping for a nice dress then. Is there a dress code?” she directed at Luna Natalia.
“Cocktail dress and suits for the men. I want my girls to look beautiful, when they find their Mates. But not so good, that it will be like how they would look for a Luna Ceremony or their introduction to another pack will be overshadowed.”
“You’re thinking an Alpha will connect with them.”
Luna Natalia nodded “Triplets are rare, especially identical like my girls, so it is likely they’ll end up mated, highly ranked. I only invited packs with un-mated Alpha’s for this one Hopefully it will go well.”
That was true. They could all likely end up mated to the same man for that matter, or they would be split up and she rarely saw or heard about that. Usually twins or triplets of the same s*x, all ended up within the same pack.
Some times attached to other twins or triplets. The goddess was usually kind to them in that way.
Jo-anne spent the next two days stalking the man himself, from a distance, of course, her camera in her hand, but the man had rarely left the pack-house, or his office for that matter, and when he did, he never just strolled about, always off on some Alpha business. Jo-anne had her own mission and so, when he was out of the pack-house, so was she.
Her mission appointed to her by the current Luna and the future Luna, to sneak about after him and try to get that one photo of the man smiling. A magic shot, she’d aptly nicknamed it, because she thought it was going to take a miracle to get it. Sent up a prayer to the Goddess herself to give her that one perfect shot. She just needed one.
The damned man was never in one place for long either. So she constantly had to be at the ready. West didn’t seem to notice, her sneaking about and around the pack after him with her camera. It was a good thing on her part He was way too busy and preoccupied with making sure everything was ready for the 3-day visit.
There were Omega’s all over the first floor, she noted, getting rooms ready for the quests. She’d heard 10 Alpha’s were coming, quite a lot, and that they and their Beta’s would all be staying on the first floor, now that was interesting to her.
She was definitely going to get to see them, and she was going to take the opportunity to hand out her portfolio to as many of them as she could and offer her services to them.
She would likely recognise some of them, due to already having been hired by a few of them, but some she would not know, and she was pretty certain there would be allied packs with new Alpha’s, so she wouldn’t know them, some of them would likely be around her age too.
She knew already that they would all be damn fine to look at, Alpha males, bloody handsome devils, the lot of them, it seemed, they were from her experience a very photogenic bunch too. Might just have to point her camera at a few of them while they were here, she thought, with a smile to herself.
Laughed softly at the thought of making a calendar of all Alpha males, half naked, from the waist up, damn that would sell out so fast. Single she-wolves would love that, was chuckling to herself about it when she saw West come out to stand on the pack-house stairs, his hands in his pockets as always. Wearing black slacks and a deep blue shirt, a black tie, he was likely waiting for the first Alpha to arrive Today was the day. West’s blond hair was swept back. He’d recently had a trim, she noted through the lens, his head was tilted down slightly looking at the ground.
Jo-anne was some distance away under the shade of a tree, her eyes on him through the lens of the camera. He looked up finally and to her shock, one corner of his mouth was tilted up in a smile. The magic shot she was looking for right there.
She pressed down on the camera’s button and held it down to capture it all, reeling off consecutive shots, capturing every movement so she could have multiple shots to choose from. Sweet Goddess, it was the first time she had seen the man smile since childhood. It lit up his whole damned face, reached those green eyes of his and everything.
Look at that, the man was actually very handsome. She nearly couldn’t believe it, would not have believed it if she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes, watched as his eyes moved around the pack and she froze. Would he see her?
His eyes never met hers, ‘few’ she sent up a prayer of thanks to the Goddess, watched through the lens as T.J. appeared and walked over to West, as they interacted, got a few shots of them actually smiling at each other. Then a car rolled passed her and his smile was gone in and instant, back to that impassive grumpy look he constantly wore.
Jo-anne turned her eyes to her camera, stared down at the screen and smiled happily, she had actually achieved her mission, couldn’t believe it. The man did know how to smile. Wow, he almost looked just like his father when he smiled, though he had his mother’s hair and eyes for that matter.
Oh, she was going to keep this under wraps, no-one was going to see it. Her little secret for now. Till it was painted anyway. Jo-anne glanced up at the pack-house as she stood up, only to find T.J’s eyes right on her.
‘Why do you look so happy Jo-Jo?’ he asked via the mind-link, sounded amused himself to her ear.
‘None ya business.’ she grinned and turned to walk off up the path next to where she was sitting, noted he was still watching her ‘Go be the Beta.’
T.J. snorted laughter down the mind-link at her and then cut it. He did have Beta duties to attend to and she knew it.
She no had to get them printed out, but how to do that without anyone else in the pack seeing them? Damn it. Her photographer gear was not here yet, still en route back to the pack. It would likely take weeks, and she didn’t want to wait that long before starting.
Sank down in her room on her bed to shop for new printing gear and quality photopaper, all that she would need to start her work, was about to hit the express shipment button, when she realised she was about to order a delivery from the human world, better get permission.
‘TJ’ she mind-linked him ‘I need to get an art delivery.’
‘Fine, I’m busy being a Beta.’ he teased her.
‘I know’ she laughed ‘it will come in 2 days, it says.”
‘Alright, I’ll inform West later’ he cut the link, his tone all Beta again.
She’d likely interrupted him but had to get permission for her delivery, could get in trouble for that, she thought, but he seemed like he was back to normal with her. Good, she didn’t like it when he was all Beta and cranky with her. Shades of West, she saw when he was like that.