I imagine that this is sort of what a volcano must look like right before it erupts. I could see the vein on Denny’s forehead pulsating and protruding forward. His face began to glow red and I braced myself for the explosion. But at the last second, I watched him take a few deep calming breaths before he said, “Dad, I am going to need for you to explain to me exactly why she isn’t a good option. I’ve already been sleeping with her. I have always planned on making her my luna, so I am going to need a pretty good reason not to.”
Wow. I was surprised at how cool and collected Denny was there. Looking at him now, I felt proud of him. That was when I realized that my emotional connection I had with him yesterday was gone. It must have just taken some time for it to wear out of my system. It was still a bit weird looking at him, like looking at an old crush even though he had never been one. But the intense feelings were gone much to my relief.
Alpha Scott let out a small groan and shook his head. “It’s not that you can’t take her as your mate. It’s that it will be a bit weird for you to take her as your mate. I have been seeing her mother secretly for years. After her mate died, we just sort of happened. I was planning to announce our relationship AFTER I stepped down as the alpha. Are you certain she is the right person for you? Without a doubt?”
“Damn dad…” Denny turned and looked at me and Joey shook his head in disbelief. “I’ve been in love with her forever. I’m sure. It’s her. Especially now that I have met my fated mate and… it couldn’t work out.” His eyes met with mine and he gave me a small smile. “I would have accepted you though, Clover.”
“Even more reason for me not to stay in this pack. That would be an awkward conversation to have with your luna on how your fated mate is your delta.” I let out a dry laugh to which alpha Scott chuckled at as well.
“Clover, we will not let you go to just any pack. We want to make sure you are taken care of. We want things to be better for you than they were here. We don’t want any of your future pack members plotting to kill you.” Alpha Scott sighed and I watched as he looked at me. “I don’t know how the other packs will receive you. Clover, as a baby the other packs had wanted to kill you. It was only by order of Alpha King Wyatt that you were spared.”
My mouth parted in shock as I stared at him. They wanted to kill me? But I was just a baby. Why kill me? This didn’t add up at all.
“We didn’t know enough about you. Not only are you from the ominous Chaos pack but you are their alpha’s daughter. They were the strongest northern pack, but they were also a pack that had secrets.. The thing is—I can’t tell if you are full werewolf or part… something else—a sheya.”
I swallowed hard. I am an alpha’s daughter? And there is a chance I am part sheya. It was a species from the Dark War that was thought to be eliminated; a very special species that could communicate telepathically with the power of suggestion. Just having them around was dangerous because you never knew if you were being manipulated. So this is why the pack wanted me away from Denny. They thought I was manipulating him. I shook my head and looked up Alpha Scott. “I’m just a werewolf, aren’t I?”
“We don’t know. You were part of the Chaos pack. It was the strongest pack around. They were known to have sheyas in their pack. But there is no way to tell. Sheya don’t have a scent or an energy that can be sensed. Your wolf should be able to tell you though.” Alpha Scott looked at me expectantly.
My eyes suddenly widened as a realization came over me. Sheena. I couldn’t feel Sheena. It was different than the block from before. Before I could still sense her, and she was just withholding her healing. But now it was like she was locked away. I felt myself starting to breathe heavily as I grabbed my head.
‘SHEENA, ANSWER ME!’ Silence. There was no link there. Sometimes a wolf would shield itself after a traumatic event. So many traumatic things happened to us yesterday. We were rejected and then our pack tried to kill us. Some wolves never return after experiencing the loss of their mate. What if Sheena had left me for good?
“Clover?” I felt Denny’s hand land on my shoulder as I began shaking my head. It felt so empty. It was so quiet.
‘Don’t leave me alone, Sheena. Not you too—’
“Easy Clover. You’re going to hurt yourself.” Alpha Scott came forward bending down in front of me.
“I can’t feel her,” I said in a high-pitched voice. I tried to shift and nothing. My mind states racing, oh gods… I couldn’t shift. I couldn’t protect myself. I am living in a pack that wants to kill me. Fear began to seize me at that realization. I was like a rabbit thrown among starving wolves. I was as good as dead. I felt alpha Scott’s strong hands grip my shoulders as he stared into my eyes.
“It is going to be okay Clover. She will be back. She took the time to heal you first, right? That means she waited before going dormant. She is just protecting herself. It took a lot out of her to heal you and yesterday was very traumatic. Give her some time.” Alpha Scott was trying to reassure me but I couldn’t relax.
Time, I didn’t have time. I was living in a pack that wanted to murder me. It was as if he was reading my mind because I watched as he slowly nodded his head.
“From here on out you are not to be alone. Denny, Jude, and Joey will alternate being by your side at all times. Tomorrow the packs come for the meeting…” Alpha Scott sighed. “It may be harder for you to find a pack without your wolf… The other packs don’t know what we named you. They don’t have to know you were the baby we took in. I think we shouldn’t mention this. We need to get you out of our pack and your best chance will be tomorrow. Tomorrow you will just be our delta Clover who has temporarily lost her wolf after being rejected.”
I felt… I don’t know what I felt. Vulnerable. Scared. Confused. Like a freak? I didn’t know much about the sheya. Was I one? Right now I was a werewolf with a wolf. So what was I? Just a human? I went from being a strong kickass delta to now needing an escort. No, I am not okay. But I have to act like I am. I hate seeing their sympathy. And their eyes were filled with it. Deep breaths. Strong face. I need to act like everything is okay.
I straightened up and held my chin up high. “What is the plan for tomorrow?” I watched as alpha Scott smiled and nodded his head taking a step back from me.
“I’ll ask around the other packs. Let me feel them out. I’m glad you are able to be so level-headed through all of this. Most people end up hysterical when their wolves go dormant.” Alpha Scott took a few steps away towards my door. “I have preparations to look over now. Remember Denny, someone is to stay with Clover at all times.” He then promptly walked out of the room. Leaving us in silence.
The air in the room was thick and I already knew what look Joey and Denny had on their faces before I turned around. They were both staring at me with a mixture of emotions. I knew that our talk wasn’t finished. And that they would have much more to say about me leaving the pack.
“Look there isn’t anything that can be done. I know you both don’t like it. But I don’t have a choice. I can’t live here. What kind of life can I have here?” I decided just to get the elephant in the room over with.
“I understand… but I hate it.” Denny said quietly which I was shocked by. He wasn’t known to be this rational. Although maybe things were different for him now that he knew he could take Andrea as his mate. It was Joey that stunned the both of us though.
“I’m going with you.” Joey’s eyes were locked onto mine as my mouth parted slightly. “I can’t take it. I can’t take not seeing you or knowing how you are doing. I have to be there to look out for you.”
I smiled up at him and shook my head. “Joey, Denny needs you. You are his beta. He can’t lose you too. He is already going to have to find a replacement officer for his delta. Losing you would be too much. Not to mention—this is your pack. They love you.”
“What if I love you?!” Joey interrupted with a low growl.
Okay, I was not expecting that. I glanced over at Denny who was throwing murderous glances between me and Joey. But Joey wasn’t in love with me, was he? Or at the very least I wasn’t in love with him. Not that I couldn’t see myself with Joey. It’s just I could never allow him to leave his pack and abandon his alpha for me.
“Joey, it’s okay. You don’t have to protect me. You may love me, but you aren’t in love with me… right? You care about me like a brother would his sister. But it isn’t in a romantic sense… Besides, I won’t allow you to leave the Sulfur pack. With Denny taking over as the new alpha they need you to be by his side. Denny needs you.”
“You need me.” Joey’s eyes were unwavering as he studied my face. “You don’t have Sheena right now. I know you are trying to put on a brave act, but you are in pain. Don’t you think I know this about you?” He ran his hand through his hair and glanced up at the ceiling. “You really had no idea how I felt about you?”
I chose to ignore that last part. Because if I ignored it then it wasn’t said… right? “Joey, look over at Denny. Look at him.” I shook my head with a small smile. “You can’t leave him. He is the one who needs you… more than I do.” Denny did need Joey. It would be catastrophic for him to replace two officers right before taking over as the alpha.
However, if I was being honest, I needed Joey too. I was terrified of leaving without my wolf. I wouldn’t have anyone to look out for me. If Joey wasn’t Denny’s beta maybe it would be different. But he was so there was no point even thinking about it. And I could see by the look in his eyes now he understood it too, that there was no way he could leave Denny.
“Then stay with me Clover.” Joey said the next words that would shake the storming globe I was in. “I’ll be your family… be my mate.” He must have seen the surprised look on my face because he quickly added before I could object, “Don’t answer now. Just think about it. Please.”
How could I? How could I live in a pack that tried to kill me? How could I raise a family here? Would my children be the next ones they tried to kill? I just couldn’t see how it could work. Not to mention, Joey hadn’t met his fated mate yet. This wasn’t fair to him. And to be honest… it wasn’t fair to me. He was offering me the one thing I wanted more than anything, but the conditions weren’t practical.
Still… I couldn’t bring myself to outright refuse his offer. In fact, I was contemplating it in my head. What if this was my last chance to have a family? Even if it was while living in murder valley. I couldn’t answer him though. I didn’t want to give him false hope, and yet, I was thinking about it. The Sulfur pack was the problem. I could be happy with Joey, but not in the Sulfur pack. Just like with Denny… this relationship couldn’t work.