She was standing in front of her easel. All the things she’d ordered had arrived. T.J. had taken her down to sign for them and help her take them all back to her room, then realised she actually didn’t have a great deal of room in there for her to work in.
Not that she had told him who she was about to paint, even when he’d asked her. Jo-anne had just smiled right up at him, put her fingers to her l!ps and made like she was zipping her mouth shut.
He tried to get her to tell him, then laughed at her and told her he would just sneak in and find out when she wasn’t in the room, if she didn’t tell him. Apparently, keeping secrets from the man was not something he liked, she’d just laughed at him oh that could be a fun game to play with him.
Jo-anne had grinned right at him, pointed to her new door. It had been put in this morning and even had new locks installed, weird it had only had one before but now it had three. “I’Il just lock it. They will keep you out.”
“West will have the master key.” he’d shot right back at her. “I’Il bet I can get him to give me a set”
Jo-anne had laughed so hard “Like he’s going to give that to you. He’s got issues where I’m concerned, remember.” it was not likely, she thought, not after that fight last night and the new order she had on her.
T.J. had actually pouted at her, which only made her laugh more, and then, seeing as her camera was in her hand, had snapped a photo of him and his puppy dog eyes, which had lead to him chasing her around the room, trying to get her camera off of her. He’d grabbed hold of her, completely forgetting about West’s newest Order for her, not to let any man, other than himself to touch her. She’d gasped in pain, as his arm had snagged her around the waist and he’d picked her up off the floor laughing.
Let go the second he’d realised, at her gasp of pain and stepped completely away from her, “l’m sorry.” he’d said, quickly apologising to her “I forgot.”
Jo-anne had sighed and shook her head, it wasn’t his fault, and the second he’d let go, the pain had subsided. “Not your fault T.J.
“I’Il talk to him,” he assured her.
“Don’t, just let it be. It’s not like I’m actively seeking out anyone to have s*x with. So it doesn’t really matter, honestly your like the only male, that does touch me anyway.” she shrugged at him. And it was the truth she realised. Since being here, it was only T.J. who touched her, or West dragging her about, unhappy with her over one thing or another.
He’d stood there and stared at her, then sighed softy “It’s not right Jo-Jo. West will rescind jt, when he realises what he did and the complications that it could cause.
Jo-anne strongly doubted it, but the happy mood in the room was gone now and T.J. headed off to do his Beta Duties. She supposed. She was sitting on the floor setting up her printer and connecting it to her laptop and phone, when he’d come back into the room with Ricky, Wests Gamma, they were carrying a couple of portable tables.
“For all your supplies to sit on.”
“Thank you,” she smiled up at them.
Ricky had stood there and frowned down at her, tilted his head and looked at her, like really looked at her, she’d stared right back up at him and after a full minute, had asked “What?”
“Nothing!” he shrugged “you feel different, different to me since the last time you lived here in the pack.”
“Oh, do I? Probably because l’m not Mated to West anymore,” she hazard a guess.
“Mmm,” he’d nodded, but his eyes were narrowed on her for another 10 seconds and then he left the room with T.J. she heard him say “I’m right, right Terence?”
“Yes,” T.J. had replied.
Jo-anne stared at the door, then shrugged it off. She didn’t really feel any different, was likely to do with being under 18 and Mated to West the last time he’d really looked at her. Or how she’d not felt anything in the last 3 months of being here. He had beer the future Gamma and would of, if he’d seen fit, been able to feel her emotions or lack there of. Though it was more likely that his father, Baden, would have been on that, being the actual Gamma at the time.
Not that Jo-anne had recalled seeing Baden at all, didn’t actually recall seeing anyone other than T.J. or West. She had not cared to either. Jo-anne shook her head to rid herself of those thoughts and returned her attention back to the task at hand, so she could get herself all set up and start organising her palette and colour choices.
Jo-anne had already picked the photo of West, the magic shot. She just had to print it out so she could see all of the inflections and light play to get it right. Despite the current tense situation between them, she was actually looking forward to this project, and was quite excited to be getting back to work.
Loved painting portraits, and why wouldn’t she they were all gorgeous men, she giggled to herself. Had a really good job. This would be no different, she imagined, and the fact that she had managed to get a shot of him actually, for real smiling, it was going to be an amazing portrait.
She had yet to tell Luna Natalia or even Miranda she’d gotten that Magic shot, still wanted it to be a surprise for them both, and if she told them they would both be down here wanting to see it. Ruíning4er surprise. Though she still had to get that photo of Miranda and West together, she would work on just West for now.
Jo-anne didn’t think that it would take long or be that hard to get a photo of them together.
Miranda quite liked standing next to him, holding on to his arm, she would be smiling for sure, always smiled up at the man. Why wouldn’t she, if he smiled at her behind closed doors, like he was in that photo she had gotten, the girl was likely to melt into a puddle of goo.
It had completely shocked Jo-anne how much just one genuine smile had transformed his face.
It was almost as though he was a completely different person, altogether. Who knew that one smile would allow others to see him in such a different light? That was why she liked being behind her camera actually. Capturing the moments of pure joy, or heartache, her camera had caught many different emotions over the years. But happiness was her favourite.
Whatever he had been thinking about that day out there on the pack-house steps, sure had lit him up, like a kid in a candy store for the first time. She’d have to make sure to give his mother the other photos as well, once the portrait was completed. She’d actually managed to capture a dozen shots of just him smiling, and then there were the ones with T.J. too. A miracle, she supposed. Considering that Luna Natalia had told her he just never did smile, she couldn’t get him too.
She spent the whole next day sketching out lightly on her canvas, the man himself, the background, making sure to get all the aspects right She’d been going to make the background green and fade it out, to match his eyes, but had decided she really liked him standing in front of the pack-house right there on that top step.
Smiling over his domain, so to speak.
Also, she had changed her mind from the cropped version of him, to a full portrait, all of him, she just thought that it looked better, with him all happy and in charge of his Pack. It would also show just how petite Miranda was too. She was almost a foot shorter than him. Always wore nice clothing too, fitted well, and so her athletic figure would be for all to see,
Jo-anne sighed, the girl was obviously allowed to train, had seen her abs, slightly defined and looking good. Jo-anne herself, well though she was tall and fit, did not have the defined muscles most she-wolves had, her figure was good but came across as soft compared to all the others around her. Not an ounce of fat on her, No she-wolves were fat, burned way too many calories for that. But still never had that perfect athletic body, more feminine than werewolf ripped and hotness.
She was standing outside the pack-house a day later, stretching herself a bit stiff from standing in front of her canvas most of the morning. Her camera was in her hand, she was smiling to herself as she leaned on the front of the pack-house’s western corner. She was watching a group of young girls giggling over a bunch of boys.
Teens without wolves yet, well the girls didn’t have wolves yet. They were swooning over the Boys who’d likely just gotten their wolves, and were clearly showing off their new-found wolf muscles to those girls.
She actually remembered doing that herself. Sitting around with her group of friends watching the boys, who’d gotten their wolves. Wow, didn’t they change. It was almost instant, once they shifted for the first time, and then returned back to human form, wow the muscles they had gained.
Some more than others, a lot more sometimes. Due to their linage. Your male friends went from being normal, good-looking to taller and all muscled out, smoking hot some of them. It was a real treat for young teenage girls, that was for sure, especially if one of them was the boy you were dating at the time. Those boys, they all knew it too.
It was likely that the group she was watching, those boys had just shifted for the first time on the last full moon, and they were still enjoying all the attention from their female friends. Ah, the memories of childhood. She knew from her own experience some of those girls were drooling down there, literally, she also knew some of them had likely lost their V cards already to those boys, not that she had ever done that, had been one of the she-wolves that had wanted to wait on her Goddess-Gifted Mate. Not that that had happened in the end.
“What are you looking at?” T.J.’s voice Jo-anne turned and looked right at him, a smile on her l!ps, he was leaning up against the wall next to her “l remember those days.” She indicated to the boys and girls she’d been watching.
“Oh, do you know?”
Yes, even recall your scrawny a*ss, suddenly not being so scrawny anymore.” she teased him.
T.J. chuckled, “l was never scrawny.”
No, he had not been, all muscle all the time, the man had been in training all his life for this position, even without his wolf Lark, a large black wolf, not unlike an Alpha wolf she supposed, but he had this white crescent-shaped moon on his chest part of his bloodline, his mother’s wolf also had one and all his sisters. Showed their royal bloodline.
“No, you were a pip squeak if I recall.” She giggled and dodged the hand that he tried to whack her with.
“Pip squeak my a*ss.”
Jo-anne turned her camera on him. “Show me that a*ss… I bet… I could make a fortune from it.”
He shook his head at her, still smiling, though
“Awe are you a v!rg!n T.J.? all shy about that a*ss of yours.” She knew he was not, the man could have anyone he wanted, not only was he the packs un-mated Beta, he was a bloody Prince in his own right, not that he had ever laid claim to it, didn’t particularly care about it, from what she recalled. But his mother was the youngest princess of the royal family. Never in line for the throne, but it still counted.
He snorted “You know l’m not Jo-Jo.”
She did know he was not, all the girls had oohed and aahed over him as much as they had West for that matter. It was unlikely to have changed while she’d been away from the pack. Especially as he’d seemed to have put on even more muscle now.
Jo-anne took a step back and focused her camera on him, then grinned “Hey T.J. what say you pose for me. I got this idea for a calendar, the she-wolves would all go nuts over.”
“No, Jo- Jo.”
Oh, come on. I bet the revenue I could generate in a week of it coming out, would pay for my art studio in full.”
He shook his head, “No wolf will say yes to that.”
“Why not? The girls will be all hot and bothered.” she teased him. “itching for you to bed them.”
“No Mate would allow it, that is why. Possessive creatures, all of them.”
“Spoilsport, you got that god-like body, you know, and it’s being wasted.”
“Eyes up here Jo-Jo.” he commented, “I’m only looking as a photographer.”
“I hope so. Eyes off my goods, I got a Mate out there somewhere.”
“Me too.” she grinned “I’d pose.” she teased him, all in connotation there in her voice implying she’d do it na*ked.
Her meaning was not missed on him either. He was frowning at her now and she knew why. He was the pack Beta and his Alpha, West, would never allow it. That man had never wanted anyone to see her na*ked. She’d said it solely because she had seen West through her camera lens, coming out of the pack-house.
He was looking for T.J. no doubt, they were always together. Nothing had changed on that front while she had been gone either. West’s eyes had moved in their direction, she’d known he would hear her comment. Wanted to annoy him.
“Oh, I know. No man is ever allowed to touch me.” she rolled her eyes, every word dripped sarcasm, but as she said it something else occurred to her. No man was ever allowed to touch her… hmm. There might be a loop hole there somewhere.
“I’ll talk to him again,” he frowned.
“Again?” she snorted and then reached out and touched his arm gently. He pulled it from her instantly. “Don’t bother T.J.” there had been no pain when she had touched him interesting. But let’s annoy that man a bit more, he wants to alpha order me, I will annoy him with it at every turn.
There are plenty of she-wolves, I can hook up with.
Girls touching me is not a problem.” she smirked right up at him, T.J. clearly didn’t know yet that West was standing and likely listening to every word she was saying, but she did. T.J.’s face was priceless and she snapped a pic of it. His eyes were wide and his mouth had opened in a shocked Oh.
“That’s not funny Jo-Jo.”
“What? I could see myself with a girl, or two even. Their touch I bet would be all soft and sensual.” she dropped her voice to a silken sexy tone for that last part. It was the loop hole she’d thought about earlier, but now she had found another, a more fun one.
“Jo-Jo enough,” he snapped at her.
“What?” she laughed.
“Oh,” she shook her head “Fine,” rolled her eyes and then she leaned back on the pack-house next to him “l don’t need another anyway, I get plenty of orgasmic action on my own,” she smirked and she did “can soak my own sheets some nights, or mornings hell even in the afternoons, sometimes…” she sighed making it sound all dreamy-like, “exhaust myself all on my own.” she smiled at him. It was the truth, her bloody shivers could be so damned strong they could bring her to her knees and sometimes she touched herself to increase the high of pleasure.
She did not need a man or a woman for that matter, likely never would. The look on his face how, he was glaring right down at her, she’d ticked him off, it seemed, though she was fully amused by her own words, mostly because he had no idea just how true her words were.
“I don’t want to hear you talk like that, Jo-Jo. Not ever. Do you hear me?” he grated out angrily at her.
“Why T.J. are you a prude?” she raised an eyebrow, she wasn’t done yet., “Who’s to say I don’t have a draw full of v!brators and s*x toys, to help me out.”
“Enough.” he snapped at her, a warning edge to his voice. “Don’t talk like that.” he turned and stalked away from her.
Jo-anne allowed her eyes to follow him, she was still smiling, very pleased and amused with herself. West was looking right at her, her eyes met his for only an instant and then she just turned and walked away, sashaying her h!ps as she walked off, and laughed to herself. He looked suitably annoyed to her. Good.
Not only had she annoyed him, she had found two loop holes around his Alpha Order, one she could hook up with a she-wolf and it wouldn’t cause her any pain, and interestingly enough, she could touch a male wolf, he just couldn’t touch her.
Now that was interesting indeed. Would have to think about that some more.
She had blatantly stood there and let him know she had found away around his order.
Probably going to get an impromptu visit later on, but that else was new? Besides, her canvas was covered by a black drop cloth, so even if he did stalk into her room he wouldn’t see what was on it.
That was her only concern right this minute. His annoyance or anger over what she had said. Well, what else was new?
She headed off into town to get a cup of tea, was on her way back when she turned her head at the sound of her name “Jo-Anne.” It was her father. “May I have a word with you?”
She had not seen him, since Jester had bitten her. He had blocked all her attempts to mind-link him since then as well. Didn’t want to talk to her, she nodded to him. Didn’t know what to say to him to be honest.
Was he here to apologise for attacking her? To explain why it had happened?
He walked right over to her, his eyes were on hers the whole time, it was a little weird she couldn’t read his facial expression at all. Didn’t see it coming when his hand snapped out and he grabbed her around the neck and was suddenly squeezing her throat with all he had. Pain ripped through her at his touch, along with the actual pain of what felt like him trying to strangle her.
She gasped for air, not understanding, he was attacking her again. Why? What had she done to deserve this? His other hand was now around her throat, as he pulled her close to his face and stared rig into her shocked eyes “Do you know what they did to me?”
No she did not know what his punishment had been. She opened her mouth to try and talk but couldn’t get any words out, his grip on her throat was too tight. Felt herself getting lifted off the ground and her cup of tea and camera fell from her hands to the ground as both her hands were clutching at his, she couldn’t breath and pain was wracking her body at his very touch.
She was trying desperately to pry his hands off of her neck, needed to breathe.
“I’ll pay you back for every lash and every hit I took,” he growled menacingly at her, saw Jester surface, was clawing at his hands, and tried to kick out at him, her strength was nothing compared to his, and her lack of oxygen and the pain of another man, that was not West, touching her was excruciating and stopping Clova from being able to shift her, it was al too much, even for her wolf.
Then his claws were out. She tried to scream but couldn’t, felt as his claws punctured into her skin pain ripped through her, and she knew in that moment he was going to kill her, Jester was lending him all his strength, they were going to kill her and she didn’t even know why.
‘Father please.’ she opened a mind-link to him to beg him to stop.
“l kill you for it.” he and his wolf snarled at her.
If was too much, she couldn’t hold her arms up anymore to fight him any more, to weakened from lack of oxygen and darkness was tinging her vision He really did mean to kill her, was killing her.
Then she hit the ground, lay there unable to move, darkness still at the edges of her vision, could feel her mouth open and close as she tried desperately to svck air into her lungs, to draw even a single breath. She couldn’t, nothing was working, no matter how hard she fought and struggled to breathe, she could not make air pass to her lungs. Could feel Clova panicking inside her mind, seemingly unable to aid her either.
Could feel her wolfs desperation as she was trying to force their human body to shift, but could not was cut off from it. Then pain ripped through her whole body as she was picked up off the ground. “l go you Jo-Jo, stay with me.” T.J’s voice seemed to be yelling at her, but it sounded very far away, as that darkness crept further into her vision.
I can’t breathe.’ she mind-linked him.
“Hold on, Jo-Jo please. I got you,” he was moving fast, something was seriously wrong with her, darkness was filling her vision so quickly rushing towards her now, yet she still could not breath, no matter how hard she tried.
T.J.!’ she whispered down the mind-link sadly, Clova was gone to the far reaches of her mind and darkness claimed her.