Made her way back to her room, stood there and worried about her Luna, sent up another prayer to the moon Goddess, that the pup would survive, be healthy and strong. She did not want any harm to come to that baby, she knew how much the Luna loved all of her children. This one would be no different. Loved and cherished.
Stood in front of her canvas and looked at the portrait of West, her Alpha, her previous Mate, now her Goddess-Gifted Mate.. that was a weird thought indeed. Though could feel Clova was happy to look at it. Liked looking at him, she and Volt had Mated often in human form during their previous Mate Bond. Stood back and stared at it, at the empty space next to him and frowned.
“Volt go there.’ Clova piped up and then shot an image of Volt into her mind’s eye. He was standing looking right at them, big and imposing, a large black wolf with brilliant light green eyes, like the light green flecks that were in Wests. His fur had a bit of a cobalt shine in the moonlight. Even more so, in the daylight, she recalled, his wolf stood a good half a meter taller than Clove did.
Her eyes moved back to the canvas. It could actually work. It was a full-length portrait and his wolf standing next to him would look good. Nodded her head, It was also how some of the other packs Alpha and Luna’s were displayed. ‘Okay Clova, let’s do this your way.’ she smiled felt Clova very happy now, chuckled to herself ‘you my sweet girl are crazy sometimes, but this is a good idea.’
Heard Clova chortle and felt her wag her tail some more as she settled down inside her mind to watch. Jo-anne put some music on, twisted her hair into a knot on top of her head, pushed a paintbrush through it to keep it in place and got out her palette and paints ready to start.
Sketched his wolf in roughly and then started to paint Volt. Clova was very happy in her mind as she watched Volt come to life in the painting, snorted and corrected Jo-anne if she thought Jo-anne had made a mistake. She knew what her Alpha Wolf looked like and was going to make sure it was accurate. Seeing as she was painting from Clova’s memory of him, Jo-anne listened to her and made the adjustments.
Was interrupted by a knock on the door, it was West to let her know that the Luna was alright and so were her pups, twins. She felt a wave of relief wash over her and asked him how he felt about it.
There was going to be a 32 year age gap between him and his new siblings.
Laughed when he stated that they had better be boys. He couldn’t deal with anymore sisters, couldn’t help it, the poor man did have 5 younger sisters already. Hoped he would get what he wanted, but who knew? He’d then actually asked her about going to lunch with him. She’d said yes, it didn’t seem all that wrong, though his revelation last night had shocked and confused her, she had let their past go a long time ago, forgiven him for it even.
When she thought about him, he did seem different over the past few weeks, and though she still had no idea of what to do about her two mates, it was only fair to get to know him as much as she was getting to know Jayden. So, she had made the choice to do so, that in itself could be the right choice. She had no idea. But she had also decided all choices she was given, regardless of if it was to do with them or not them, would have to be granted the opportunity to play out.
She still had to talk to T.J. but with the Luna in the hospital, it wasn’t likely going to be today. So she would spend the day doing what she loved, painting. Getting lost in it, and not thinking about either of them, when not out with one of them. Just to give her a break from the drama she now found was her life.
Was still painting when T.J. and West came to collect her for lunch. She had been so completely lost in her art that she had lost track of the time, was not even ready, looked down at herself. “Sorry, I will get changed quickly.” she apologised to West.
“No need Jo-anne.” he smiled down at her, his eyes wandered over her body, taking in her paint, stained jeans and tee-shirt “l kind of like you like this”
“What, I’m such a mess?”
“It’s fine, just wash your hands up so not to get paint on your lunch, and we’ll go. I thought we’d take a casual stroll if you don’t mind?”
Jo-anne didn’t mind actually, it would be nice, the day was warm and if she didn’t have to change she could just go right back to painting, when she came back here. “Alright. One sec.” she nodded to him.
“Can I come in and see it?” he asked.
“No” she laughed and shook her head. “My secret now.” she banged the door shut so he couldn’t come in. He’d seen it before, but now that Volt was coming to life she could at least try to surprise him with it.
Stepped out into the hall a few minutes later, her hands all washed and cleaned, still in her jeans and tee-shirt. If he didn’t mind, that was fine with her, it’s how she normally dressed on any given day anyhow.
They stepped into the pack-house dining room and he handed her a pre-made lunch, a turkey and salad wrap, he also had one for himself and all those trailing them, both guards and T.J. too. Then he held open the door for her to walk outside. They ate while walking. “Where are we going?”
“The foundations for your art studio is laid. I thought you’d like to see it.”
“What?” her eyes widened as she looked up at him completely shocked.
“You look surprised.”
“l just thought you wouldn’t continue with it right now, I guess.”
“Why would I do that? You picked a lovely spot for it, and it’s underway.”
“Considering the situation West.”
Watched him just shrug “I will build it regardless. Display your artwork in it, even if you’re not here anymore.”
“Why would you do that?” she frowned up at him now, more than confused by that statement.
“Because l want to is all. I do hope if you leave, you will allow me to. We’ll obviously work out some sort of contract.”
That was an unusual thing to do. If she chose Jayden West should want to get rid of everything that reminded him of her, surely. She didn’t even know if the two packs would stay allied for that matter.
They walked all the way over to it, and there on a table was the design laid out for her to look at.
West had already set this up, it seemed. Damien’s signature was on the bottom of the design “You’re dad designed this himself.”
“Yes, was very excited to give you the perfect place to work from. Even before he knew about you and I.” West turned the page and there was a computerised colour 3D print of how it would actually look’ when finished, the inside and the out.
She couldn’t help but smile “Iit’s beautiful.” there was so much natural lite with all the bi-folding glass doors all along the front. It was cement rendered and he’d even made it different colours down the sides and had a bright red roof, very artistic. “Why the outdoor stuff?” she pointed to the big deck and the chairs on it, then tapped the picture of the fire pit with its half a dozen chairs around it.
“I don’t know, you’d have to ask him that. But it’s all budgeted for, right down to the white-washed stones around that fire pit.”
“Well l love it.” she looked at the picture of the inside of the building, nearly drooled at the size of the bathtub, she did love a good soak in a bubble filled bath. “is it Jetted?” she asked with a grin.
“If not, we can make it jetted.” he smiled at her.
There was the polished concrete floor that she wanted to, and so many shelves on the north wall, with little paints and paint brushes, and there were tiny pallets and tiny little easels on those shelves even. She pointed the details out to West and chuckled “Look what he did.” It was so cute.
He was smiling right at her. “I’m glad you like it.” he then motioned for her to go up and actually walk around in the actual space.
She grinned right up at him now, and then did just that, could actually see herself here. Knew where her easel would go, where the teapot she would make tea in would sit and the variety of teas she would put in would go, smiled and couldn’t stop. Turned and looked right at him, he was leaning on the table with the design on it, smiling right up at her.
“This is where I will make my tea.” she told him and pretended to pour tea from a teapot into a cup, and then to pick up that cup and sip from it, saw him laugh softly at her antics and realised it actually felt nice to see him like that. Moved over to where she would set up her easel by the north wall and all the shelving and stood and pretended to paint “This is where I will paint.”
Found a pair of arms around her wa!st and his chin on her shoulder, his voice soft in her ear “and this is where I’ll stand and watch you paint.” sounded like he was smiling and happy to her.
Felt her heart rate quicken, turned to look at him, he was smiling right at her “right there?” she questioned him, though did sound a little breathless even to her ear.
“l could get closer, but that might.” he chuckled softly “Stop the painting you’l be doing.” then he pecked her softly on the l!ps. “You might get distracted a lot.”
She did not miss his meaning. “I’ll lock the door.” she snorted with laughter.
He laughed out right and it was so amazing to hear, a deep rumble of a laugh. She’d never seen him so happy, not since he was a teenager anyway.
It was really good to see. Was just standing staring at him, couldn’t help it. He’d never laughed like that around her, let alone at something she’d said “I need my camera.” she murmured softly, wanted to capture this moment. His mother would never believe it. Hell she could hardly believe it herself and she was right here.
“You know, a locked door wont keep me out.” he squeezed her just a little “I will.. have the master key.” he was grinning down at her and teasing her and she knew it.
“That’s cheating.” she laughed up at him.
“Just letting you know. No locked door will ever keep me from my Luna.” his voice was suddenly deep and a little on the husky side.
“Oh.” she bit her l!p.
His hand touched her chin “Don’t do that.” He tugged gently until her l!p was no longer in her mouth. “Makes me want to k!ss the hell out of you.” his thumb brushed over her lower l!p and hot sparks seared her l!p, nearly bit it again as her breath quickened, he was still looking at her mouth like he was going to k!ss her.
Then he let go of her a little reluctantly “Let’s walk before I take that k!ss and get carried away.” he commented softly, his voice still deep and husky.
Slipped his hand into hers, she pointed to where the door would go, that would lead out into the woods and he laughed “Out the back door it is.” pulled her over to it and even pretended to open it and step aside to let her pass. She couldn’t help but chuckle and then they were walking into the woods.
Along the very trail T.J. had walked her along.
West walked her all the way to the stone bridge, his hand in hers the whole way, it did feel really nice to just get along with him, to know that he did seem to want to be with her, the things he said, things she’d never dreamed of ever hearing from him.
He walked right up onto that stone bridge and then suddenly stopped and picked her up, sat her down on the bridge’s stone railing “This is my favourite place, to come and think.” He told her “! sit, right where you’re sitting.” He smiled gently at her. She was almost eye to eye with him, she realised.
“You’re very different West,” she acknowledged to him. This was not the man she had been Mated to ten years ago.
“You make me feel different, Jo-anne, happy. I feel happy for the first time in a very long time.” He tucked a loose strand of her hair behind her ear.
“I’II make you happy?” she asked, a little shocked, she’d never thought that would ever have been possible.
“Yes, I will not…” he tilted his head slightly and she knew he was trying to find the right words ” Hold anything back, anymore.”
She sat staring up at him, he was indeed very different. Very much that man he’d been before her.
He was staring right down into her eyes as she looked up at him. “May I k!ss you?” he asked softly, felt Clova raise her head and wag her tail a little.
Jo-anne did wonder what it would feel like, nodded her head. “Yes,” she answered, just as softly.
Felt his hand slide along her jaw, hot sparks trailed his touch, his fingers brushed down her neck and then slid around to the nape of her neck, so very gentle was his touch, so very slow, his eyes never left hers “You’re so beautiful.” he whispered as he lowered his mouth to hers.
Pressed his l!ps against hers, soft and gentle, just like how he was touching her, the tip of his tongue slid along her lower l!p and then his teeth nipped gently pulling at her lower l!p. Her mouth opened and her eyes fluttered closed as his tongue tangled with hers slow and soft, felt herself lean into him, both her hands found their way onto his chest and she k!ssed him back, it was hot and sensual.
Felt his other hand slide around her wa!st as he stepped closer to her, pulling her gently to him as well, heard Clova suddenly purring so very loudly that it was vibrating her chest.
West chuckled right into her mouth and it broke the k!ss. Jo-anne blushed and chuckled right back
He slid both his arms around her and hugged her, then looked down at her, still fully amused “Don’t ever be sorry for Clova. She’s adorable.”
“Thank you. I do love her so much.”
West stepped back and popped her back on the ground. “Better step back before Volt takes fulI control.” though he was still smiling. She knew it had not been Volt k!ssing her, his wolf was all Alpha aggression. That k!ss had been all West, slow and sensual like the last time they’d been in bed together.
“Probably wise.” she nodded, trying not to think about that last thought.
He slipped his hand into hers. “l should get you back. I do want to talk to you about something, but not out here.”
“About?” she asked as they started to walk back.
She saw as his eyes move to the three men all standing at a distance watching them, she had completely forgotten that they were all there, saw both T.J. and Ricky smiling at her. Ben was not, she bit her l!p and looked away. Never before had she been out in public k!ssing like that. Suddenly felt very embarrassed.
“Pack stuff. Heath for one.” West said as his hand reached up and took her chin. “Don’t do that.”
He tugged her l!p from her mouth. “I really do find that not just cute, but one hell of a turn on.”
“Sorry.” she looked up at him and was a little shocked by his statement, so open for all to hear, changed the subject and resisted the urge to bite her l!p again. “Is Heath alright?”
Saw West shake his head. “I don’t think so. There is something, pack business we need to discuss. I’ll probably let you see him tomorrow.
“Really?” she stopped walking and turned to face him.
“Yes,” he nodded “Come on, we can discuss it later in private.”
“Thank you West.” and she meant it. She knew it must be difficult for him to allow this, knew as the Alpha and as her Mate would likely desire nothing more than to kill Heath for what he had done to her.
Hadn’t only because she had asked him not to. West walked her all the way to her room, when she turned to look up at him to say thank you, she’d had a really nice time, found his mouth on hers, surprised her a little, it was firm but closed mouthed and only lasted a few seconds.
“Thank you Jo-anne, for giving me a chance”
She nodded up at him. “Thank you. I had a nice time.” she admitted to him.
He smiled down at her, bowed his head slightly “That is all | want for us, to get to know each other properly and have a nice time doing so. I’ll see you later”.
Jo-anne nodded and stepped into her room.
She had not really expected anything like that from him, nor did she expect to have a nice time, thought it was going to be just as uncomfortable as last night. Had hoped it wouldn’t be and it hadn’t.
Had been able to play with him out at her studio’s foundation. He was nothing like the West she had known before, that was clear to her, and the way he just talked to her so openly, he’d said he wouldn’t hold anything back and she now believed him, had not heard or picked up on one insincere inflection in anything he’d said.
Leaned on the closed door and touched her l!ps. The way he had k!ssed her, so soft and gentle, it was really nice. Goddess, shook her head. Pushed off the door and sighed. If Jayden was this charming, how was she supposed to choose between them?
Walked across the room and turned her music back on, swaying to the music gently as she got back into the zone to paint again. Brush in hand, palette in the other, singing softly to herself, along with the words she knew.