She opened the door to a very smiley TJ. She’d already heard from Ella, that T.J. had started the Chosen Mates process, that West had approved it without hesitation at all. She was so very excited, and was in the process of moving all of her things into his room, her mother helping her.
“Well now T.J.” she grinned right up at him. So happy for him and Ella. “You’ve had an eventful day I hear.” she waved him into her room.
He laughed “lt was a lovely day, Jo-Jo.” Then his smile was gone and he was all Beta. “Are you ready to go to dinner?”
“Yes,” she nodded.
“Do you want to wear that?” he asked, indicating her jeans and tee-shirt.
“oh, I probably should change.”
He shrugged “I don’t care. West didn’t care, wear whatever you like Jo-Jo, what ever makes you comfortable.”
“Till put something else on.” she had been going to change for West, but he’d told her not to bother.
Jayden might be another story. “Don’t you tell West about that.” she indicated the portrait, she’d been working on all day. It was coming along in leaps and bounds and would be finished in a day or two now. She was really happy with it.
Grabbeda dress from her closet, her white one with the little blue flowers.
“Not that one.” T.J. pulled it from her hands and threw it on the bed.
“Why not?” she frowned up at him.
“You wore that the day you came home. West saw you in that. Any other dress.” He commented.
Jo-anne shook her head. “It’s just a dress T.J.” grabbed another and waved it at him ” This one okay?” she muttered.
“It’s not just a dress, it’s the one he saw you in for the first time since you left. Keep that just for his eyes only, Jo-Jo. And yes that one is fine.” He nodded to the one in her hand.
“I need more room in my closet.” she sighed as she looked at the wrinkles on the side of it and frowned.
“Pick West, Jo-Jo and you’ll have a closet as big as this room to fill up.” he stated, walking over to the portrait. She left him there to get changed in the bathroom. ” It’s the day of the Alliance meetings, you were happy that day,” he called out to her.
“Yes, got me the magic shot, as requested from his..” had been about to say Mate, but that was not the case. ” Well, Miranda, and his mother.” She called right back.
When she stepped out, looked over at him he was still looking at it. “You wouldn’t happen to know what he was smiling about, would you? Looks really happy in those photos I took.”
Saw his eyes move towards her “Yes I do. That for two days you’d been stalking him. Amused him to no end.”
“What?” she frowned. He’d not known.
“Awe conme on Jo-Jo, do you really think the Alpha, wouldn’t notice someone stalking him days on end?” he shook his head and chuckled “Silly woman, I even knew, we just let you.”
“And here I was thinking I’d been so sneaky.” she whacked him on the arm.
“Not where we are concerned, he and I were both curious about your behaviour, much clearer now.” saw him pointing to the portrait. “Has his mother seen it yet?”
“Yes, cheeky Luna, let herself in and saw it, but that was before Volt was in it. So shush, I only put him in it today, a secret. How is she?”
“I can keep a secret. You’d be surprised at all l know and can’t talk about.” he headed for the door.
“The Luna is good, I hear, did you happen to pray for her Jo-Jo? like all those little animals you used to as a child. All those animals you saved with your prayers.”
“Yes, of course I did. Why?” she frowned up at him now.
“No reason,” he smiled.
“No T.J” she closed her door and walked with him down the hall “are you saying my prayers today were answered by the Goddess?”
“Yes, well, something like that.” he nodded.
That made her frown a little bit confused. Did it make sense to her? She thought back to her childhood. A lot of, them little animals, birds mostly had all as far as T.J. or Heath had been concerned, would die. But they never had. Most of them had healed up within a day or two and could be released. Maybe the Goddess did listen to her.
T.J. walked her all the way to the private dining room again and Alpha Jayden was there waiting on her. Smiled at her, slid his eyes over her and nodded as though he approved of her appearance, then walked over to her, she felt Clova snort and turn away, but no aggression, “Hello Jo-anne.” his hand moved up to her hair and then it was loose down her back and he handed her the paintbrush that had still been holding her hair up.
“oh, sorry. I was painting all afternoon.” She smiled.
“That’s alright, but if you can’t afford proper hair ties or clips, I can rectify that for you easily” he waved her into a chair.
Jo-anne sat “No, it’s fine, I just use a paintbrush sometimes, is all. I actually have plenty of money, my art sells for quite a nice price. Good for both the pack and myself.”
“Fair enough,” he commented and went and sat across from her “I thought we could talk about ourselves tonight, we kind of got a bit lost in the arts yesterday.”
Jo-anne smiled that they had, she noted T.J. take a seat, two chairs away sat and pulled out his phone, looked casual and relaxed, but knew he’d jump into action if something happened. “That might be a good idea. Get to know each other a bit better.”
“Good, I’d actually like to ask you about West?” Jayden stated “You’re previous Mate Bond actually.
That grabbed her attention. “Why? It’s in the past.” didn’t see why he needed to know.
“Yes it is. But I believe you were underage at the time. I would like some clarification on the matter.” he nodded.
She frowned at him. “My Mate Bond to West, is not of your concern, it is his and my business.” She did not want to discuss it with him. Understood why he might have some concerns, but it was a long time ago and over long before he became her Mate.
“Agreed it is both your and his business, but as your Mate, I do have the right to know.”
“You’re only my Mate if I choose you to be.” She corrected him, wasn’t trying to offend him, just reminding him she had not yet chosen.
“Incorrect. I am your Mate until you make a decision, between he and I. So could you please tell me about it?”
“And if I don’t want to?” she folded her arms across her chest. He was being so very insistent, didn’t think that he needed to know at this point. If she chose him it was likely she would tell him at some point, but she was not about to go and disclose her and West’s history to the man who did not need to know, if she didn’t choose him and told him, he’d have that knowledge to hold over West and her for always.
“I only want to understand is all. I’m not about to go using the information to try and get you to choose me, I just want to know that he did not force you into that bond.”
“He did not force me into our Mate Bond.” She clarified to him. No, that had been her stepmother, who forced them both. From her understanding of Karen’s words, West and his wolf had resisted and fought against it themselves.
“Then why did you reject him?” he was watching her with narrowed eyes, trying to read her, she thought.
“Again, that is my and West’s personal business, Jayden. If you are unhappy that I don’t want to talk about it, I can’t help that. What I can tell you is that West did not force me into it. I did not force him into it either. We have dealt with it, discussed it even. I was well passed it before finding out he was my Goddess-Gifted Mate. I will be giving him the same chance you are getting.
He was frowning now. Was he trying to get her to think about their past? Perhaps this was his way of trying to sway her. She didn’t know him well enough to know if he would or wouldn’t use that knowledge against his rival.
She did know that any Alpha would use all at their disposal to help sway their Mate to their side, to get them to choose themselves instead of the other.
“It will be me, Jo-anne, you will cho0se me.
“I have not chosen you yet. You seem to think that I will though.”
“Yes I do. You rejected West once before. It is likely that you will again Jo-anne. That is all.” He shrugged.
“So you are going to use my previous relationship with West, against him to sway me. You said you wouldn’t do that.” heard T.J. snort and Jayden glare at him before returning his eyes to her.
“No l’m not, let’s leave it for now,” he commented as their meal arrived and was laid before her. “one of my favourite entree’s I hope you’ll like it. Barbeque Spanish baby octopus. I’ve organised with the chef here a variety of dishes for you to try.
“Thank you.” she nodded. She was happy to try anything once, though didn’t particularly like eating baby anything, didn’t sit well with her. But she would at least try it. Knowing that he had gone to a lot of trouble and was likely just trying to showcase his pack and their preferences, it did back right onto the ocean.
“Do you eat seafood all the time?” she asked.
“Yes, at least once a day, I quite like it.” He nodded “You?”
“I don’t mind seafood, but it was never a staple around here growing up,” she answered him.
“Do you have a favourite seafood dish then?”
She thought about that for a moment. “Maybe seared salmon with a lemon and garlic butter sauce on a bed of wild rice.”
“I could have that made for you on a regular basis.” Jayden smiled “What is your favourite food?
“Roast pork with all the trimmings.”
“Typical wolf..” he chuckled “I’ll broaden your taste buds, that’s for certain.”
“I lived in Seattle for the last 10 years. I have eaten many weird and wonderful things, but somethings just remind you of home is all. Heath used to cook a roast pork dinner once a week when I was growing up, family tradition I guess you could say.” It was a nice memory. It had even continued after he’d met Karen, and after her sisters were born. Every Wednesday night, a nice memory of the family she’d once had.
“Well, I’m certain, that can be arranged as well.
Jo-anne I will give you whatever you want. Know this, you will want for nothing as my Luna. I will spoil you rotten. Shopping trips, to get you dresses and clothes appropriate fora Luna to wear and comfortable clothes, we’ll travel and see many nice cities. Go on long fun vacations wherever you want to go. Spend days enjoying each others company as well. I will get youa car of your choosing too.”
“I have a car now. I quite like it, fits all I need in it.”
“Oh, I did not know, what is it, may I ask?”
She smiled. “Of course you can, it’s a jeep Wrangler.”
He burst out laughing, “Oh, Jo-anne. That is not a car for a Luna.” he waved it off. “We will pick you up something nice on the way home. I quite prefer Mercedes myself and I know there are some lovely ones that would make fora nice suitable care for a Luna.”
There it was again, she thought, his reference to her being his, “Why do you always say it like that, when we go home? Like l’ve made my decision already?”
“Don’t take it the wrong way, it’s just my way of letting you know I want you is all. No pressure, of course, though I do like how it sounds. When we go home,” he practicaly purred it out all soft and slow.
The next course arrived. Oysters kilpatric, 5 of them on her plate, this she’d had before, quite liked it and ate without issue. “What do you like to do Jayden, when not filling your Alpha duties?” Watched as his eyes slid right over her and she knew what he was thinking “Other than the obvious.” she half smiled.
He chuckled softly “I don’t mind going dancing. Do you like dancing?”
“l do actually. Used to hang out with my human friends and go dance clubbing all the time.”
“Good. My pack has two dance clubs, one for ranked members and one for regular members.” He nodded.
“My father set that up, you’d have to ask him. He smiled and shrugged “I go to both. I’m not fussed about the separation.”
“Do you have many she-wolves in your pack, that you’ve bedded”.
“I won’t lie to you. There are a few. But it is to be expected I am an Alpha Jo-anne I have needs.”
She did not doubt that “I just thought you’d sate them outside your pack, so no issues with them when you bring your Mate home.” She shrugged.
“There will be no issues, I assure you, everyone will be informed of who you are and respect will be given, demanded. If any fall out of line, I will banish them for you.”
“You’d turn a she-wolf rogue for disrespecting me?” That was not right. That would put their lives in danger.
“If I thought she was a threat to you, yes.” He nodded “So now that you’ve brought up the subject, may I enquire about your lovers?”
“Just West.” she confirmed.
“No one else at all. Its been a long time since you were with him.”
“Just West.” she nodded was not going to tell him it was just a week ago. Didn’t think that would go down so well. Picked up the wine glass on the table and sipped it. It was a nice fruity wine. She liked it.
“This is nice.” she commented, trying to change the subject.
“Thank you. I thought you might like it.” He smiled right at her. Seemed to get that she didn’t want to talk about it anymore.
Their main meal arrived and Jayden changed the topic, told her not only did he like dancing, that he actually enjoyed walking around in his museums, relaxed him, found it therapeutic when stressed out. Was happy to take her on a private tour of all his art galleries and museums. It was a nice thought to be honest. They were things she enjoyed doing.
After dinner, he took her dancing, down at Maxi’s had booked the place just for the two of them for an hour apparently, and she got to dance with him. He was all smiles and full of charm as he waltzed her around the floor, samba danced with her too. That was fun, the man could indeed dance and it was nice she had lots of fun, could feel her reservations about him melting away as he stood with her in the middle of the dance floor, slow dancing with her.
Jo-anne liked that it was just the two of them, just him. Actually, his wolf, Loch, was not present and so it didn’t seem to bother Clova, her wolf was just lying in her mind, her head on her paws, said nothing at all about Jayden being so close to her and touching her while they had danced. She could actually see them getting along even. No anger at all from him tonight. A little annoyance, but that had passed quickly.
“Times up.” Jayden sighed softly, looking down at her “the crowds coming in”. He stepped them off the dance floor and they headed back to the pack-house. He walked her all the way to her door.
Tilted her chin up “This was really nice. I know we could be good together, and it is what I was. Jo-anne. Don’t doubt that for a single second.” Then his l!ps pressed to her forehead “I will not k!ss you how I want to, it might incite Loch’s possessiveness.” he chuckled “Good night.”
“Good night.” she nodded and he walked away.
Found herself under T.J.’s gaze. “What?” she muttered. She was confused herself, it was complicated having two mates, and she knew T.J. would want her to pick West they were friends.
“Nothing.” he said finally, “Get some sleep Jo-Jo.” and then he walked away.
She sighed and retired to her room. A part of her had really not expected to end up having a nice time with Jayden, but then again they had gotten along yesterday too. Yes, the bvttheads, but he was an Alpha and they were used to getting what they wanted.
She was more confused now than before though.
West had been all charm and fun. Smiling and laughing with her, and then that k!ss, she sighed.
He’d never k!ssed her like that before, so soft and gentle, all passion.
Then there was Jayden so much in common with him, everything in fact, only his anger bothered her, but everything else was a match.
She flopped down on her bed and huffed. She had no idea what to do. She didn’t know, lay there and tried to feel out what she wanted. She knew Clova was all for West, but Jayden was more like her, she did not know why the goddess made people choose, one mate was more than enough, Why two?” she muttered some time later and got up to head for the shower.
Crazy goddess loved playing games with her wolves, it seemed.
She stepped into the shower and stood there.
She was about to get out when a hot shiver shot up her back, reminded herself to stay focused and not call for West, felt it roll through her body goddess it was amazing and so strong today. She was sitting on the shower floor with her head tilted back and her eyes closed just letting herself calm down after wards even Clova was all stretched out.
‘This is going to shock whoever we pick.’ She muttered.
‘Heard Clova snort and chortle They’ll have to deal with it.’ Jo-anne finally got up off the floor. ‘Yes they will,’ she thought as she dried off and put pyjamas on, wondering how long they would be able to hide it from them. Crawled into her bed tired yet happy.