Didi Torte lived in a quaint little cottage in a rural area of our pack lands, just outside Winter Moon City.
Felix and I parked a short distance from the cottage.
We crunched through the snow, cautiously approaching the snow-topped cottage.
These rural properties tended to not have fences so we were able to march right up the front porch steps. Everything here seemed innocent enough.
I noticed a plaque on the wall near the door that read: My home is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.
He banged on the door, making the whole thing shake, until I grabbed his wrist and pointed to the doorbell.
“I hadn’t seen it,” said Felix.
I was pretty sure he was lying.
I knew he wanted to scare Didi into being as honest as possible but I was afraid all that banging on the door might prompt her to hide from us.
For some reason, I felt a sudden fear come over me.
It subsided quickly enough and was replaced by massive relief and a bit of gratitude.
Was Chasity writing a pop quiz or something? She seemed fine. The fear had been very fleeting.
Calix would watch over her.
“No intimidation! Charming inquisitive alphas!” I reminded Felix. We would catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Being visited by two Alphas would be intimidating enough without any added aggression. The door creaked open just a smidge and I spotted an orb-like watery blue eye looking at us.
“Are you Didi Torte?” Said Felix, sounding like he was about to make an arrest and read her rights. She opened the door hesitantly.
“Alphas?” She squeaked, seeming shocked. I smiled.
I nudged Felix and he forced a smile too.
“Yes, I’m Alpha Alex and this is Alpha Felix,” I said smoothly, keeping a smile plastered on my face.
“You’re Alpha Romeo’s sons, right?!” She squealed excitedly.
“We’ll ask the questions here,” said Felix gruffly. I nudged him again.
“Yes, we are,” I said gently.
“And you’re Didi Torte, right?” I confirmed.
“Yes, yes,” she said.
“Do come in!” Felix and I stepped over the threshold.
My eyes immediately landed on a large ginger cat with white paws and a white striped tail.
He was wearing a knitted sweater and staring at me with his large orange eyes
“Aww, I’ve always wanted a cat, you know,” I said, making conversation as she shut the door.
“Why don’t you get one?” Said Didi, smiling brightly.
“Mom is allergic to them,” I said.
I was pretty sure Mom was lying about her allergies.
She probably just didn’t want cat or dog fur all over the house.
“This handsome boy is Wynken,” said Didi, grinning as I attempted to pet him. Wynken gave me a blank stare and moved out of reach.
“Aww,” I said, frowning.
“He has a brother and sister,” said Didi.
“Really?” I said, looking around the living room.
Everything was a pale shade of blue: the walls, the squishy sofas crammed into the room and the shelves. Even the wooden floor had a bluish tint to it.
“Blynken,” said Didi, pointing to a yellow-eyed white cat with two grey spots on his head and onegrey spot on his tail.
Blynken darted out of the room.
He had been wearing a sweater too.
“He’s skittish,” she said.
“And Nod!” She said, gesturing towards a small calico cat with green eyes.
“She’s the only girl.” “Aww, she’s lovely. They all are,” I said.
“Is it just you and the cats here?” I inquired.
“Me, three cats, three sons and oh yeah my husband,” she joked. I forced a laugh.
Felix remained stone-faced, refusing to even crack a smile.
I knew he was intrigued by the sweater-wearing cats though.
Growing up, he had always wanted a cat whilst Calix had wanted a dog. I would have been glad to have either. Didi seemed nice enough.
Her huge glassy eyes almost made her look like a cartoon character.
She was very pink in the face with shoulder-length blonde hair and a full-figured stature. “He’s at work, I presume,” I continued, keeping the conversation light for a little longer. Didi nodded.
“Yes, he is. I’m a home-maker so I…urn…stay home. Housework, knitting…” she said, trailing off.
“As a girl, I thought I’d be a journalist, chasing scoops, you know, the investigative, under-cover type,” she said animatedly, miming discretely taking pictures.
It seemed that Didi did not need much prompting.
She was keen to reveal her life story, “I partied a lot in my heyday,” she said with a sigh.
“I was a wild one,” she chuckled, “My mate came into my life and put a stop to the partying. He was right though.
It was high time to settle down.
There’s three of you, right?” She asked eagerly. Felix and I nodded.
“Calix couldn’t make it today,” I said apologetically. She laughed nervously.
“All three Alphas coming to see little old me,” she giggled.
“I have three boys myself.” “Yeah, you said that already,” said Felix. I nudged him again.
Be nice! She’s being nice! She’ll be easy to interview! I said in Felix’s mind. He sighed inwardly over mind-link.
Come on! Turn on the charm! Unearth F*ckboy Felix just for today, I teased. I was never a F*ckboy! Snarled Felix.
Felix tried to pet Wynken, the orange cat, but he too was unsuccessful.
“Are your cats named after that poem?” Asked Felix.
“Yes!” Squealed Didi excitedly.
“You know it?!” We nodded.
Didi giggled and clapped her hands together. Her smile faltered a little.
“What can I do for you, Alphas?” She asked nervously. Before we could respond she began offering treats.
“I have apple pie, and ice cream to go with it! I’ll fix it right up.” She said.
“No apple pie for me, just ice cream! Thanks!” Said Felix. What the f**K.
Felix! I chastised.
You said to be charming, said Felix.
Yeah, showing up uninvited to interrogate someone while you eat their ice cream is the very picture of charm, I said sarcastically.
“Nothing for me, Mrs Torte!” I said politely.
“Oh, please, please, Alpha, call me Didi!” Said Didi.
She scurried through a nearby door into what must be the kitchen.
Felix and I sank into one of the squishy blue sofas.
Didi returned, setting a tray down on the coffee table and sitting in an armchair opposite us. She had brought two bowls of vanilla ice cream despite my refusal.
Felix also had a slice of apple pie in his bowl despite refusing the pie.
She was definitely the kind of Mom who brought snacks and meals to her sons’ rooms even when they said they weren’t hungry.
Felix promptly took both bowls and both spoons.
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes while he tackled the ice cream.
“Should I bring more?” Asked Didi eagerly.
“No!” I said quickly.
We had chit-chatted enough.
The ice should be broken by now.
It was time to get down to business.
“Sorry to drop in on you like this out of the blue but it is very important!” I stated. Didi nodded.
Felix tried the pie.
“I’m told that you were a good friend of a woman by the name of Chalice awhile back?” I asked tentatively. At the mention of “Chalice” Didi stiffened immediately “What can you tell me about her?” I asked gently. Didi was wringing her hands.
“Alpha, to be frank, I know Chalice is the mother of your mate, little Chasity,” admitted Didi. I straightened in my seat.
Felix stopped eating.
Well, that was easy, said Felix in my mind. She’s an open book.
“But I don’t know where Chalice went! She just deft,” confessed Didi, shrugging.
“Right, but what happened before that?” I asked.
“She was tense leading up to her leaving. We were friends.
We partied together.
We skipped school together.
We even got tattoos together!” Said Didi, laughing and looking away as the nostalgia hit her. She showed us her tattoo of a full moon with a snake curled around it.
I committed the image to memory. I would sketch it later.
“So Chalice has the same tattoo?” I confirmed.
“Yeah,” said Didi, nodding.
“Hers is on her ankle though and mine is here by my forearm,” explained Didi, her fingers tracing her tattoo.
“I was wild back in my day.
We liked to gamble at The Lucky Toad.
A group of us, me, Chalice and Deidre Binx. We were inseparable at one point.
We took care of each other. We had our vices.
Chalice had pissed off her dealer and the Casino Owner! She owed both of them money, f**k, Continued Didi, her expression growing sombre.
“Was she ever threatened by either of them?” I asked.
“By her dealer, yeah, not the casino owner, he considered her small potatoes,” said Didi with a dismissive flourish of her hand.
I would think the casino owner would be just as mad as the dealer if he got stiffed, said Felix. Yeah, you’re right, I admitted.
Casino owners did not tend to take kindly to gamblers who could not pay off their debts.
She might have had a good relationship with the Casino Owner or he might have felt sorry for her or something, I reasoned.
Either way, finding the Lucky Toad Casino Owner would be easy.
Finding Chalice’s old drug dealer on the hand… “Who was her dealer?” I asked.
“A guy who went by the name Casper,” laughed Didi as she reminisced.
“They used to call him Casper the Unfriendly Ghost,” she chuckled, slapping her knee, as she burst into a fit of giggles.
Felix just stared at her. I gave her a faint smile.
“I didn’t know his full name or his real name,” Didi said.
“You know if he still deals?” | asked.
“Of course! It’s a small town,” said Didi.
“Got a number or an address?” Asked Felix, getting straight to the point.
“I’ve got both!” Said Didi.
She called out the number and the address for us.
I guess we’ll be paying Casper the Unfriendly Ghost a visit, grumbled Felix in my mind. Yeah, and we need to check out the Casino and its owner.
This is the second time The Lucky Toad has been brought up. There just has to be something there, I reasoned.
“And this Casino Owner? Name and number?” Asked Felix, straight to the point as usual. Didi bustled about looking for her cellphone.
She found it in between the cushions of the armchair on which she had just been sitting. She looked through her list of contacts.
I was suddenly struck by the fact that she had known the number and address of Casper the Dealer by heart. Maybe she had not cleaned up her act quite as much as she had claimed.
“Here’s the number for The Lucky Toad casino,” said Didi, showing us the number on the screen of her phone. I jotted it down.
“His name is Alexi Franck,” said Didi, referring to the Casino Owner.
“I don’t have his personal number but uh he’s even less friendly than the unfriendly ghost I told you about,” She warned.
I noted all of that. Alexi Frank.
Lucky Toad Casino Owner. Hostile.
“Thank you, Didi! You’ve been an amazing help!” I said in earnest.
“It’s a pleasure,” said Didi.
“I can’t believe I entertained two Alphas impromptu today!” She squealed.
Felix finished the last of his early morning dessert. “Chasity is a lucky girl!” Squealed Didi out of the blue. Felix and I exchanged a glance.
Instinctively I knew what he was thinking.
“Why not leave her with you for instance?” I wondered if Didi knew that Chasity’s Dad was our Mom’s stepbrother.
“Me?!” Said Didi incredulously. Felix nodded.
“Oh no!I…! was a mess before the boys were born and before I met my husband and mate. My boys are younger than Chasity.
She was nine years old when Chalice had to go on the run. That was long before my boys were born.
I was…! was in rehab at the time,” she admitted, bowing her head in shame.
“Congrats on being clean,” said Felix, giving her a genuine smile. Didi smiled.
Felix could be really thoughtful sometimes with sometimes being the operative word.
“It’s an ongoing struggle,” confessed Didi.
“Hang in there,” I said with a smile. Suddenly, my body stiffened.
I had an inkling of what was going on “I need to use your bathroom!” I said quickly.
“Ok,” said Didi, looking alarmed by my panicked expression.
“That explosive diarrhoea just hits him out of nowhere.” I heard Felix saying as I shut the door. I slid down the wall and sat on the floor despite my germaphobic thoughts. This was a stranger’s bathroom but I could not help it.
I stifled a m*oan as my member hardened unprovoked and then, just like that, I exploded with pleasure.
I barely had time to pull my pants and boxers down so I would not ruin them.
I spurted a strand right onto the floral wallpapers *t! Thank goodness I had a small spray bottle of disinfectant in my pocket.
I tried my best to rid the wallpaper of the stain but it just didn’t look normal.
I moved the huge potted plant in the bathroom a bit to the right to block the stain. I washed my hands and tried to compose myself.
I had not been expecting that.
I knew mates could feel physical pain if their mate was ever unfaithful which was very rare but this was the opposite. My triplet brothers and I belonged to Chasity and she belonged to the three of us.
Felix was outside happily telling a pack member about my alleged bouts of diarrhoea. He had not felt it because he was not fully bonded yet.
Chasity’s mark on my neck was still radiating pleasure all over me.
By the simple process of elimination, I was pretty sure she had just marked Calix.
“One more thing,” said Felix taking a deep breath as I returned to the living room.
How do I ask her about Chasity’s Dad being our Mom’s stepbrother without telling her in case she doesn’t actually know? Said Felix.
“What can you tell us about Chasity’s father’s family?” I asked. Didi looked dumbfounded.
“Um, to be honest, I was Chalice’s friend more than his. He seemed alright.
They seemed a good match.
It’s just that…that time in my life…well, those memories are a bit blurry if I’m being honest, I’m afraid,” she explained.
“Because of the drugs,” she clarified.
“If Chalice told me anything about her mate’s family then I don’t actually remember it,” admitted Didi.
“She must have mentioned it in passing but I was strung out a lot back then,” she mumbled.
“That’s okay,” I said gently.
“You’ve been a big help,” I said, getting to my feet. “Thanks for the ice cream!” Said Felix, standing up too. “Come back anytime!” She called as we let ourselves out. I drove Felix home.
“See you later,” I said.
“Huh,” said Felix.
“Territory dispute meeting at Beta Keaton’s house,” I said.
Tm just gonna present what we already decided as a group about expanding our pack lands and absorbing willing rogues.”
“You’ll get your chance to present on Wednesday,” I told him.
“Oh joy,” said Felix in a deadpan voice. I chuckled.
“Calix will go tomorrow and then we’ll all go on Thursday,” I explained.
“I can hardly wait,” grumbled Felix.
‘TH swing by Luna’s school after the meeting at Keaton’s,” I said.
“I wanna pick her up!” Whined Felix immediately. I laughed.
“You sounded like Calix just now!” I said, surprised.
“Watch yourself,” said Felix grumpily.
“I just wanna take care of my lady!” He said, rubbing his palms together as his eyes lit up with excitement at the thought of Chasity.
“Same here,” I said with a shrug.
I couldn’t wait to be alone with Chasity again.
I kept touching her mark on my neck, tracing and retracing the outline.
I shivered in delight whenever something brushed against the mark including my own fingertips. I could not wait for Chasity to wrap herself around me again.
I looked at Chasity’s mark on my neck in the rearview mirror.
I could not hold back the smug smirk that spread across my face.
“Rub it in why don’t you,” grumbled Felix as he spotted me checking out Chasity’s mark on me.
“She’ll mark you soon enough,” I said reassuringly.
I hoped he would not freak out when he realised she had marked Calix. I frowned, realising Calix must have kept her home from school today.
We needed to have another serious talk about the importance of our Luna’s education. Felix was frowning at me, his eyes on the mark on my neck.
“She’ll just mark you after she marked me, her first and foremost, her favourite,” I teased.
I shut the door and drove away whilst laughing out loud as I watched a shocked Felix sitting on his behind in the snow.