Opening her door, Jo-anne found a man standing before her, with T.J. standing just behind him off to his right “Can I help you?” escorted by the Pack Beta to her room. Goddess only knew why.
“Jo-anne, I am Alpha Jayden’s Beta, Ben. He has asked me to give this to you. A gift from him.”
Her eyes moved to the long tube he was holding in his hand. She did not know if she could or should accept this gift. West had gone ballistic and then started a fight with the man’s Alpha the last time he was here. She did not want that to happen again.
Jo-anne’s eyes moved to T.J., standing behind this man and bit her l!p, knew he was here because West had likely sent him, glanced back at Beta Ben before her. “May I ask why he has sent me a gift?”
“Of course you may. Alpha Jayden is looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night at the mating ball” he smiled at her.
Her eyes widened a little. Was this man implying Alpha Jayden thought he was her Mate? If so, that was not going to go down so well with West. Not after all that had happened this week, between him and her. Between Volt and Clova. Just one k!ss from Alpha Jayden had set him of.
Her eyes moved back to T.J. questioningly.
“Please, Jo-anne, accept this gift. Alpha Jayden wants you to have it. He is not at all concerned about your Alpha’s reaction to it.”
Jo-anne nodded, T.J. didn’t seem to be here to stop her, just observing, it appeared. “Tell Alpha Jayden, thank you.” She finally accepted the gift and stepped back to close her door.
“What is it?” Ella asked from where she sat on the couch.
“Probably and art print,” Jo-anne answered as she looked at the tube. “It’s how I send my prints when they’re not framed.
“Well, open it.”
Jo-anne sighed “What if it sets West off? He got into a fight with Alpha Jayden last time he was here, all because the man k!ssed me.”
“What?” Ella was up off the couch and had hold of her upper arms. “Another Alpha k!ssed you, you didn’t tell me that.”
Jo-anne nodded, she hadn’t told anyone, it had been her first k!ss without Clova taking control. It was private to her. It had felt really nice too “Mm, set off an Alpha on Alpha fight out in the hallway. West saw it and was not happy about it.”
“I bet he wasn’t.” Ella grinned at her. “He got an eye full of something he didn’t like. Did you like it?” she sounded so excited.
Jo-anne smiled “I did, and you know West never k!ssed me, not once, during our Bond.”
“That’s because he was stupid. Wow, your first real k!ss, huh!”
“Yeah, it took a long time.” Jo-anne sighed, it had been very nice. West had k!ssed her a lot since then. That k!ss in the hospital from him, soft and tender, had rivalled Alpha Jayden’s easily. It had certainly gone on longer than her and Jayden’s k!ss too.
“Well, open it up. Lets see what it is?” Ella tapped the tube.
“Alright.” Jo-anne sat down and opened it, pulled out the rolled print and opened it. “Sweet Goddess,” she murmured, as she looked at it.
“What is it?” Ella asked, looking at it too.
“It’s canyon art and, if l’m not mistaken, it’s from Antelope Canyon. I went there once with my studies. I loved it out there. Very peaceful.”
It was a beautiful photo. It stood 33 inches by 21 inches, it was full of colour. Purple to Pink, a wave-like rock formation, with a rose pink wall on the left side and then all golden and orange in the background.
“It’s very pretty,” Ella commented.
“It’s beautiful, I have one similar, actually in storage. When my studio is built, I will hang it. It’s my favourite art, that’s not mine, of course.”
“How’d he know?”
Jo-anne shook her head, “I don’t know, maybe read my art bio.” she got up and put it down on the bed, and then up ended the tube. A piece of paper fell out with the details. It was called Burning Twilight, from the Rocks In Lower Antelope Canyon, by Brant Campbell. She sat down and stared at it.
He was the very photographer of her other canyon art print. It was clear to her, that Alpha Jayden had gone to a lot of trouble, to find her a gift that she would like.
“Do you like it?”
“I do, I really like it. No-one has ever given me something like this before. He must have gone to a lot of trouble.” she bit her l!p. Just knew it was going to cause trouble.
“Seems like it Jo-anne.” Ella smiled right at her. “Maybe.. he’s the one.”
Jo-anne turned her eyes on her friend questioningly “I don’t know.l don’t know him.”
“He could be your Mate, you never know” she shrugged.
“Or could not be and just wants something else”
“Like you’re going to give yourself to him!”
Jo-anne smiled at her. Ella knew her well.
Jo-anne had wanted to wait for her Mate so he would be the only one to ever touch her.
Technically, she supposed, after waking up next to West, he was her Mate and she’d never been with any other. So she guessed at this point that was what she’d done. “No I’m not. Not unless he’s my Mate anyway.”
“He could be.”
Jo-anne sighed, it was nothing at this point.
Do you think he’ll want it back if I’m not?”
“Not likely. A gift is a gift Jo-anne. Most Alpha’s when they give a gift, they mean for it to stay with the recipient.”
She sighed, West had never once bought her anything. Yet here was this stranger of an Alpha, who’d not only k!ssed her, but now given her a gift, might not even be her Mate. “What do you think will happen if I’m not his Mate?”
Ella sighed now, “He’ll leave Jo-anne. Most will wait for their Goddess-Gifted Mate. Most Alpha’s won’t take a chosen Mate. I’m sure he’d still want to pull you into his bed, but you’d be gone the minute his actual Mate turned up. Don’t do anything stupid.
“I’m not that stupid.”
“Sounds like you’re thinking about it though.”
“l guess l just never had any attention before. I don’t know how to handle it, or what to make of it.”
“Don’t read too much into it, okay. Let tomorrow come and see what happens.”
Jo-anne nodded her head, that was the only thing, she could think of to do herself anyway.
“You going to keep it?”
“Yes, if he doesn’t ask for it back,” she nodded.
“What do you think West will make of it?”
“I don’t know?” Jo-anne shook her head, she knew that T.J. had been sent along with Beta Ben, it was clear to her Alpha Jayden was not about to get near her on his watch. The man and his wolf were clearly nuts, possessive over something that was no longer theirs, had a Mate out there, was going to be able to claim her tomorrow even.
She had no where to put it at the moment. So rolled it back up and put it back in the tube, till she could get it framed.
T.J. strolled into her room an hour later. Ella had gone home already. He sank down next to her. “What was it?”
She looked right at him, here it was. She’d not gone to bed solely because she knew this was going to happen. She’d actually kind of been expecting West himself, but no, the man had sent T.J., instead and she knew why, she was more likely to tell T.J. than West. Sighed softly.
“An art print.”
“Yes.” she nodded.
“Why do you need to know T.J. are you curious yourself? Or is West pitching a fit?”
T.J. chuckled at her “He’s not pitching a fit. Is simply curious, but he didn’t think it was wise to come here himself. Volt…” he left it unsaid.
“They have to get over it T.J. You yourself told me he will find his Mate tomorrow. Why is he still like this?”
“Let it go Jo-Jo, the man…” he shrugged. “His wolf, it’s not likely to happen. So what was it of?”
She stared at him and shook her head, reminding herself that in 24 hours he’d be obsessed with another “It’s Canyon Art. Very pretty, I might add.”
“What is Canyon Art?”
“Well T.J, I suggest if you or West don’t know what it is, you go and tell him, to google it.”
T.J. sighed “Just show me Jo-Jo.”
“No. it’s the first gift I have ever received from a man. It’s my business. Or am I not allowed that privilege either?” she shot her question at him.
Saw him frown right at her now. He did not like her telling him no, it seemed. “West is not concerned about it, Jo-Jo, simply curious is all.
“Well, it’s my gift and if I don’t want to tell our mighty Alpha” she said, sarcasm dripping, “then I don’t have to.”
“True.” T.J. nodded. “though you shouldn’t speak like that about your Alpha Jo-Jo, I am the Beta and if I choose to report such disrespect, you will be in his office for punishment. “He stood up.”
“l leave you to it.. As for tomorrow.”
“I’m going T.J., I’ve never gotten to experience a mating ball. If West doesn’t like it! He can put another Alpha Order on me not to attend it. He won’t, however, like what he gets in return, I can guarantee it.”
“Are you threatening him, Jo-Jo?” she could hear the disapproval in his tone, and see it on his face.
“No, not at all.” and she wasn’t, but she could not live here if he was actively going to deny her the right to find her Mate and keep her locked up like this.
“Then what are you saying?”
“Just what I said T.J.” she shrugged. She would leave is what, couldn’t at this moment set foot outside of the pack’s territory without it hurting her. But she could resolve that by going rogue. If he was going to deny her everything, she’d just leave, had the money now to do so. But she was not going to voice that out loud, she’d probably literally end up locked up somewhere. The man had way too many issues where she was concerned.
T.J. left her room with a frown on his face. He did not like her comment or lack of elaboration either. She had not told anyone her thoughts about this, but she couldn’t live constantly confined by him. Better to leave. Surely she could find another pack, perhaps Alpha Jayden would allow her to move to his pack or perhaps she’d simply buy a plane ticket and go back to Seoul. That would be nice.
Jo-anne lay down on her bed and wondered what was going to happen. It was still just a waiting game for the moment.