Her eyes opened and she looked around the room. Luna Natalia looked right at her, closing a book in her hands and placing it on her lap.
Jo-anne sighed, not understanding her words for a moment, and then it all rushed back to her, what her own father had done to her. What he had said to her, had wanted to kill her because of what West and T.J. did to him after he bit her. She recalled his hand on her neck and the way he had been crushing it. Her hand moved to her neck. It still felt tender and painful.
“You’re alright Jo-anne. T.J. got to you in time. Like always.”
She looked at her Luna as tears burned her eyes. No he hadn’t, she recalled the feeling of dying, of darkness claiming her, they’d probably had to bring her back from that. Opened her mouth and tried to ask where her father was, but found she couldn’t make a sound. Tried again and it dawned on her she couldn’t talk, had he ruined her voice box, he had strangled her so badly, her tears spilled at the savagery her own father had unleashed on her.
“You’re qoing to be fine.” Luna Natalia told her, reached out and took her hand in hers “A few days, you’ll be able to talk normally again.”
“Why?’ Jo-anne asked through the mind-link.
“Why What? You could be asking a number of questions.”
“Why can’t I talk?’ she asked, her most pressing thought.
She watched as her Luna sighed a little sadly “Your windpipe was crushed along with your vocal cords.”
Jo-anne bit her l!p and closed her eyes, felt the Luna squeeze her hand reassuringly.
“You’ll be fine. Patterson said good as new in a few days.”
Jo-anne just nodded her head, but even that caused pain in her neck at that movement.
“Your father did this to you! Do you know why, child?”
She nodded, he’d told her why ‘Because of the punishment West and T.J. dealt him for biting me.’ she answered her.
Heard her Luna sigh again, opened her eyes and looked at her. She was frowning down at Jo-anne “That is it, what about why he bit you? I don’t think it was because he was punished, he had to know that was coming, Jo-anne.”
‘I don’t know why he bit me.’ and she didn’t, thought he was coming to apologise to me for that, asked to speak with me, I didn’t think he was going to hurt me.’
She seemed to think about Jo-anne’s words, “Well, West is with him, he’ll figure it out.”
Pain and sorrow started to fill her T.J. would likely kill him for this. This was very bad, and she didn’t even understand why it had all started. She didn’t know what West would do, she’d had the weirdest dreams while unconscious. Stupid brain had come up with some weird ass images of West being all soft and caring, trying to comfort her, hell she didn’t even know what to think about her brain producing that image of him k!ssing her all soft like that. West was not that kind of man.
It was a nice dream, to see him look at her like that. She had once craved that man to look at her like that, but he’d never had, still didn’t, would never.
She sighed bloody stupid, oxygen-deprived hallucinations. She was glad it was just a dream, it would have killed Miranda to feel another betrayal.
That thought brought her to wonder why Luna Natalia was here, instead of Miranda.
I thought Miranda would have been the one to be here,’
“Why is that?”
‘Being the future Luna, shouldn’t she be the one here with me?”
“I’m still the current Luna, Jo-anne. It’s my place to be here for now.” the woman was staring right at her, it was kind of weird to be honest. It was like she knew something Jo-anne didn’t but wasn’t willing to talk about it.
‘My father?’ she tried to distract the woman from staring at her.
“In the cells, still alive…for now.” she sounded quite annoyed about it, to Jo-anne.
‘For now?’ she asked hesitantly.
“Yes, he tried to kill you. I’m honestly surprised he’s still alive. Terence, I thought, would have ripped him from limb to limb by now. It seems the man has some restraint after all.”
“I don’t want him to die.’ Jo- anne told the Luna, and she didn’t. For although Jo-anne did not understand why her father had turned on her so viciously, she didn’t want him to die, and she did want to know why, but also at the same time, did not want to know at all.
“Jo-anne,” her Luna tone, “he tried to kill you.
Nearly succeeded. If Damien was still the Alpha in charge, he would be dead by now. West is too lenient with you and your wants, over this.”
“…l just. I don’t’ she didn’t even know what to say right this minute, had some of her dreams been real? Did she at some point wake up tell him she didn’t want him to kill her father? It was all too fuzzy inside her mind. She didn’t know what was real and what was a dream it seemed.
She had grown up here in this pack, knew the pack laws, they were drummed into you from a young age, knew how severely wolves were punished for their crimes, depending on the crime, of course.
Not many went about attacking or trying to kill their family members. Hurting your own family, only hurt yourself, and to kill one meant you would feel all ties to them severe, it was very painful. Though she had not suffered it, she had seen some of her school friends suffer it when there were rogue attacks. To willingly inflict that kind of pain on yourself was nearly unheard of.
She couidn’t understand it, she knew he loved her. She had a lot of good and wonderful memories.
Yes, things did change a bit once Karen and he had their first born child together. She’d been 9 at the time and kind of qot pushed to the side a bit.
But he’d never hurt her, just more doting over his daughter with his Mate, and when she was 11 and her other sister had been born, she’d become somewhat invisible to him, only talked to her when she addressed him, though he was still kind to her at all times, just left her alone. She’d watched from the sidelines as the 4 of them were a solid family unit, and she on the outside, it had hurt to say the least, but there was nothing she could do about it.
She’d always done as she was told, been a good daughter, even when she’d felt alone and left out. Had been left out when they’d all gone off shopping together or out for dinner and she’d been left at home by herself or they’d gone off without telling her at all and so she’d come home to an empty house.
She’d never complained, felt bad about bringing it up, didn’t want them to feel bad about it, had instead just turned to her school work and her art, and tried to ignore the hurt she felt. Pushed it down and away. Had learned over the years to just go and spend time with her school friends, it was much easier to deal with and not think about it, if she was fully occupied. So she had just filled up her days with lots of other things and always made sure to have plans to hang out with her friends or study with her friends in the pack-house library all of the time, after school, on weekends and during school breaks.
It didn’t seem to bother either her father or stepmother at all, only occasionally had her father asked where she had been. Karen always had chores for her to do and Jo-anne had done them, trying to be a good daughter to the only mother she had known, and had done them without complaints.
Unlike her two sisters who winged the whole time, they had to do their chores.
Jo-anne had just wanted everyone to be happy, all of them as well as herself. She’d always had all the things she needed. Clothes, food, a roof over her head, she just didn’t seem to get the same amount of love and attention her little sisters got. They were doted on, spoiled now, she realised, never went without anything, and were always getting new things. Very spoiled compared to Jo-anne, she now realised.
Jo-anne had not blamed them, they were the children of a fully Bonded pair, and she was a constant reminder to Karen, of his previous Mate, who had rarely even looked at her after she was 12.
Jo-anne could actually recall the day quite clearly when things had really changed in the house. She had been preparing dinner, along side Karen and had accidentally cut herself with the knife. Karen had turned and looked down at her and the cut a half smile on her face, called her a little clumsy with a soft chuckle and then put the tiny cut to her mouth and k!ssed it better, said she would go and get a band-aide, but had just not come back.
T.J. had turned up and pushed through the door without so much as knocking, and demanded to know what had happened to her. She’d shown him the tiny cut, no longer bleeding, and he’d been satisfied. Neither he nor she could find Karen in the house. Seems she had walked out and not come back.
After that day, Karen had become more distant towards her, and just didn’t want to have anything to do with her after that, and nothing Jo-anne did could please her, it seemed.
Jo-anne pulled herself from the memory and sat herself up on the bed. There was nothing she could really think of that would turn her father or his wolf against her, nothing at all, it was all just wrong as far as she could tell.
Dr Patterson came in and looked over her a little while later ” don’t like patching you up all the time, Jo-anne. No more trouble from you, young lady, alright.”
She just nodded, though it had not been her fault the majority of the times she’d been in this hospital or under his care. She could understand him. He checked her wounds and removed the dressings, probed her throat with his fingers gently and she couldn’t help but flinch. It was still painful.
“Sorry it’ll likely be tender and inflamed for a day or two.” Then he sat on the edge of her bed and looked right at her “1 saw last night, when attending to the wounds on the back of your neck, you got some tattoos down your back. Had quite a good look at it actually, hope you don’t mind.”
She shook her head, though they weren’t tattoos. She didn’t care if he saw them or who else did, for that matter.
“West is not going to like it.”
Jo-anne stared at him with a raised eye-brow and just shrugged, it was not up to him what she did with her body, and it wasn’t like he couldn’t see the wolf on her neck, she never hid it. She was actually really proud of the representation of Clova she had designed and had tattooed on her neck.
Even Clova liked it.
“He actually doesn’t like tattoos of any kind on his pack members, just a heads up. Might want to keep your back covered.”
“It’s my body’ she replied through the mind-link, ‘my own personal canvas and I will do what I want with it.’
Patterson smiled, “Well child, don’t say I didn’t warn you then.” he stood, “Come on, let’s get you showered and dressed.”
Jo-anne stared up at him a little shocked at the thought he was going to shower and dress her. West would not like that, he’d had his hand on she realized, he’d touched her and it hadn’t caused her any pain. Had West taken back his Alpha Order?
She didn’t know.
He smiled and then chuckled “The nurse will come in, and once you’re all dressed l’m happy to release you. Clova is doing a good healing you. Just be patient a few days, okay.”
She watched as the man’s brown eyes glazed over and a minute later he looked right at her “T.J. said you can’t go without an escort, so he’ll send someone he trusts to walk you back to your room and you’re to stay there for now.”
Jo-anne nodded that was likely to be expected after what happened. She wouldn’t argue with it. Wouldn’t mind the escort from here to her room in the pack-house. She’d never felt unsafe here before, not inside her pack, not even out in the human world actually, always just knew things were always going to be alright. But right this minute she was still on edqe and could use the escort.
She got off the bed and went to the bathroom, looked at her neck in the mirror, and felt tears well up once more. She could clearly see the defined hand prints around her neck, her own father’s hands at that. He was in the cells right this minute, tried to reach out to him via the mind-link to get some answers.
Frowned when she couldn’t, it wasn’t like before, when he’d blocked her, it was almost like he didn’t exist to her at all. Had they loaded him with wolfs-bane and chained him with silver? Her eyes met her own in the mirror, as her tears spilled ‘why’ she whispered sadly in her mind, heard Clova whine softly.
Was provided clothes to wear, and when she looked at them, they were her own she realised, someone had been to her room and gotten them.
Her own clothes to wear. She dressed and brushed her long hair, pulled it up into a pony tail. Clova, it appeared, was sleeping now, tired from healing her, needing rest. She would be for a few days, until she was fully healed.
Stepped out of the bathroom to find Jonathan, the former pack Beta, leaning on the wall by the door to the suite, his eyes moved right to her neck and he sighed.
“You should just let T.J. and West kill him. It’s what Damien and I would have done girl, even against your wishes.”
She shook her head and just felt sad about it, but to hear him say against her wishes, she guessed that part of her weird hazy dream was actually real, she had asked West not to kill him and he’d agreed apparently.
“Come on then, back to the pack-house with you.” he opened the door and let her walk out ahead of him.
Jo-anne could feel his eyes on her a few times, and saw other pack members stop and stare at her, as well. They were all moved on by Jonathan and his commanding Beta tone as he stated “Move on.” at them, every one of them bowed ever so slightly and moved away, he still held power in the pack. Just had retired.
Walked her all the way to her room and opened the door. It was unlocked, which shocked her a bit. She’d been keeping it locked since her Canvas was being worked on. To her surprise, inside her room were two of her friends, Ella and Julie. They both looked right at her and then just got up and walked over to her and hugged her. She stood between them.
“I’ll leave you in their hands.”
The three of them turned to look at him and he smirked, he looked just like T.J. right this minute, just an older version of him. “Now girls don’t go doing anything.” his voice dropped suddenly Naughty.” and then, to their shock, he snapped a picture of the three of them.
Ella laughed and reached out to hit him. He grinned and backed out the door, winked right at Jo-anne right before he shut the door. That was a bit weird, unless he knew about West’s current order on her.
Both girls looked right at her questioningly. She shrugged but smiled and they both laughed. “Men, all of them, got filthy dirty minds.” Ella giggled. Can’t half see where Terence gets it from though.”
She shook her head.
“Like father, like son.” Julie agreed.
The door opened once more and he, Jonathan, snapped his fingers. “Come on girls, your young and fun,”
“Perv.” Julie shot at him.
He grinned “Just trying to cheer someone up, now Jo-anne I forgot to tell you, Terence will be dropping by, possibly the Alpha as well, they will want to have words about that piece of s**t they have in the cells…now be a good girl and do what is right.” he looked at her pointedly and then he was gone.
She knew what he meant, to give her permission to kill him.
Jo-anne didn’t like hearing him talk about her father that way, despite what he had done to her, the man was still her father. There had to be an explanation. Perhaps T.J. would take her over there to see him herself. Maybe she could get him to tell her what had happened? Why he’d done this to her?
If they couldn’t, that was. She just knew those two were over there likely torturing her own father and it pained her. She knew only a part of them would be looking for answers.
The other part, their primal animalistic side would just want to beat him and lay down their power over him, show him who was in control and put him in his place.
A part of her wondered if they had already gotten the answer and were now just beating him for the sake of it. She sighed no it wasn’t like that, he had committed a crime and they would be punishing him. Though she could well imagine T.J. would enjoy it.
Jo-anne sat with her friends, they were a good distraction, chatting about different things in their lives, how Petra’s youngest had shoved a crayon up his nose at his older sister’s insistence that he couldn’t get it up his tiny nose and he’d tried to prove her room, and he’d had to have it removed by the pack doctor, jammed it so far up there it was damned near irretrievable. Not funny at the time, but now a few days later, Petra thought it was hilarious.
They sat and discussed the up-coming mating ball, and the dresses her two friends were going to wear, how they hoped they would find their Mates, that they were sick of waiting, then that started them all talking about the Alpha’s who had been here and were all giggling.
T.J. strolled into the room and smiled at Ella and Julie, “ladies may I have a moment with Jo-Jo.”
They’d both gotten up and headed out. Ella had bumped herself right into him, put a hand on her ch3st and looked right up at him. “Oh, sorry Beta.” she batted her eye lashes up at him, she watched as T.J.’s eyes moved to the woman’s ample breasts and then smiled at her as she turned and walked away, the woman was shameless. Watched as T.J. swat her right on the bottom and she turned with a fiend shocked Oh expression on her face, T.J. winked right at her, she was a gale of laughter as she walked down the hall way.
Jo-anne raised an eyebrow at him.
“She’s cheeky that one,” he smiled at her as he closed the door, “likes a good spanking.” still unable to talk replied through the mind-link ‘One of your girls?”
“No, actually I have never.”
‘Why not? Seems open to it.”‘
“Come on Jo-Jo, that’s Cole’s little sister, he already warned me off, not to, years ago.”
‘So if he hadn’t?’ she queried.
He smiled “honestly.” he thought about it. “really like the girl, she would likely make a good Mate. Shame she hasn’t found one. I’m not going to ruin her for that man.” he wiggled his eyebrows at her suggestively.
Jo-anne smiled, Ella was a cheeky one for sure, did want a Mate too. Just was over waiting for him to turn up, and had come to the conclusion she didn’t have one out there, so was now playing the field at will.
“I think you really, like her.”
He actually nodded, “1 do like her, she’s absolutely lovely, but” he shrugged, “not my Mate.”
Jo-anne sighed, so many un-mated wolves in this pack and she was certain, that Luna Natalia had held regular mating balls. It was curious as to why so many were un-mated. She too, did not have one. Half her friends didn’t have one either.
“Something was wrong. She just knew it. it.” T.J. sat down next to her and looked right at her. Here we go, she thought, watched him switch from her friend to the pack Beta, a subtle difference, but one she could not only see in the set of his jaw but the feel of him too.
“Heath is still alive, though I am unhappy about.”
‘He’s my dad.’ she sighed down the mind-link
“Not anymore, Jo-Jo, not after this.” Yes, T.J. he will always be.’ she corrected him.
He was frowning at her now. “He ran and went rogue Jo-Jo, he’s not a member of the pack anymore, just a prisoner.”
Jo-anne felt her eyes widen at his words. Her own father had gone rogue, he’d been born into this pack, as far as she knew, had a Mate and 2 other daughters here to look out for. How could he abandon them just like that?
‘Karen and my sisters? she asked, worried about them now.
“Fine, as far as I know. Though Karen, I imagine, is very unhappy about being Mated to a Rogue, their bond is still intact. Not a fun thing. Let alone one being..” he didn’t finish the sentence.
Tortured, she knew that had been what he’d been about to say, your Mate could feel your emotions through the bond if the channel was open and your Bond to them was strong enough. ‘Can I see him?”
“No.” he narrowed his eyes on her “Why, on this goddess gifted earth would you want that Jo-Jo?”
‘He’s still my father T.J’ she replied, it didn’t matter what he said, the man was her father would always be.
“No, he is not. Not anymore. Stop referring to him as such or I swear, I’ll have West severe that bond between the two of you.” he grated out at her sounded very angry “I don’t want to ever hear you call that man your father again, do you understand me?” he was yelling at her now. So very angry about this.
She reached out and touched him ‘TJ please understand.’
“No Jo-anne,” he shot to his feet, “I can not. He is not your father.” he roared right at her, and then stormed out of the room, slamming the door.
Jo-anne’s eyes were staring at the closed door.
‘Jo-anne’ the man had never, not even once ever called her by her full name before. She also could not recall a time when he was angry with her like this either.
Had been mad the night she’d gotten tipsy and insulted his Alpha, but he was the Beta. It was his job to get mad about stuff like that, and they’d both yelled at each other. But this was new, that had been more than mad. More than anger. He was furious with her, it seemed.
What was she supposed to do now?