— Ylva —
“Why am I doing this?” I asked no one in particular.
“Because Kaden asked you to,” said Sam matter-of-factly. I hate his good reasoning.
“He has a secretary. She’s here. So why am I doing this?”
“Because he needs you to do it.”
“But whyyyyyy?” I whined.
“Maybe Eva is too busy. Maybe she’s sick. Maybe she’s not qualified. Either way, you’re doing this.”
“This is some misogynistic bullshit. I’m a fucking bodyguard, not a fucking secretary. Vaginas doesn’t mean secretary material. Why aren’t you doing this shit?”
“I am. I’m the one reorganizing the whole schedule, and flights, and coordinating with Jayson. This is a team job Ylva. Stop thinking that everything is an attack on your female-hood, or that no one respects your skills at kicking ass. We all do. Kaden probably spent all night all through morning doing calls, and emails, and meetings. We’re all tired. But shit needs to get done, so stop bitching around and finish those calls, so that everything will be ready for us to leave the fuck out of here. In four hours we need to get gone, and I want to sleep the flight off. So stop annoying and delaying me.”
Of course, he was right. He tends to always be right. He probably sees more clearly than most. Doing chauffeur duty all quietly and shit.
Also, he’s one of the most mellow guy I know, so for him to get angry and cuss at me, I must have really pissed him off. I felt a little bad. Not bad enough to say sorry or anything like that, but a little bit bad.
So I got back to the stupid calls.
I hate talking on the phone.
I usually just say a couple of sentences, get straight to the core of whatever I gotta say, then move on. But these are not the type of calls I can do that.
Eva can. She can talk, and talk, and say nothing at all. She can be polite, and coy, and flirty, or whatever is needed, to appear nice, and friendly, and useful. This is fucking politics. I hate politics. Get me stuff to kill, heads to bash in, weapons to use, but flattering someone to get through a conversation? Or worst, smile? No, just no. Give me blood and gore. I hate smiling.
So I got back to the freaking calls.
Mostly, it’s people at this event or whatever this is, requesting a meeting, which we don’t have the time for, and then I set a schedule for a conference call, part of which will probably be during the flight, and the rest when we’re back home.
There’s also a bunch of other calls, dealing with the aftermath of the last few weeks, and preparation for next week.
If Brandon hadn’t been injured, he’d be the one doing this crap.
“Aren’t they cutting it a bit short?” I asked Sam.
He looked at his watch. “Yeah.”
— Darren —
I got up sharply. “Hum.”
Eva stood up next to me, not as fazed as I was.
“We need to go,” said her brother, looking at me. Not scary at all.
“Hum, right.” She turned to me. It took me a few seconds to focus back on her. I believe my instincts were telling me it was a better idea for my survival to keep this guy in my line of sight.
“We need to go. We can call and text. I’m gonna be off next week, so if you want I could come back? Maybe a couple of weeks? See how this works, and if you want, by the end of the month, if all goes well, you can check to move closer. I’ll help you with the move, and job, and finding a place and everything.” She was talking really quickly.
“That would be nice.” Having her all to myself for a couple of weeks sounded really great, but her brother was still watching us, so I tried to curb my enthusiasm a bit. “I guess I might join your pack then?”
She smiled one of those sweet smile. The type you see on children being given a slice of chocolate cake.
“Maybe,” said the Hellhound with an unreadable expression on his face.
She smiled again as if there was no hostility coming from her brother. Maybe there wasn’t. Maybe I was easily intimidated. Maybe it’s the reputation, or maybe it’s just the older brother shtick.
Then she kissed me on the cheek. “Call me,” she said and left, the two men right behind her, not sparing me a last glance or anything. Maybe it wasn’t intimidation after all. Maybe I’ve just become a wuss.
I walked out and back to the main family quarters, and at that moment, it was like I had no direction for my life anymore. My comfort zone was gone. But at the same time, there was a sort of febrility. As the rush you get as you’re preparing to go on a journey. Maybe that’s what it was.
I didn’t dislike this feeling.
I looked at the familiar scenery, and everything was now a little alien. Just like when you walk for the first time a path you know perfectly well in the darkness. You get disoriented. It’s hard to find your landmarks, but at the same time, familiarity is just a step away, and it feels odd.
That’s how I felt right now. Strangely detached. Maybe it was just the thought of leaving soon. Maybe I was just seeing things from a different angle, one I’ve not often explored.
I’ve spent so many years as a child, dreaming of leaving, exploring, finding a place of my own. In my fantasies, I’d rallied a bunch of wolves and built my own pack, or took over the one of an evil or neglectful Alpha, or maybe found a pretty girl inheriting a pack of her own, waiting for me to lead with her. A lot of my boyhood fantasies included becoming an Alpha.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been raised under an Alpha. Another stronger reason is probably that it’s all my father expected of my brother. That it’s the biggest focus my father had on raising us. To have an heir. The rest, it’s like our purpose was unclear. Hell, two of my brothers were raised mostly as backup for the oldest, which is kinda fucked up when you think about it. There’s nothing else much that was asked of us, or expected.
All our life as been evaluated in relation to the possibility of becoming Alpha. So of course, all I could imagine in my youth was to find a pack that would want me, need me. Where I could be what I was born to be.
But the years had dulled the fantasy.
I’ve seen the strain it has taken on Michael. I’m not sure I would’ve been happy in his position. I’ve thought about it. What if I’d been born first? How different would things be?
I’d been angry for a while. Angry at Dad, angry at Michael. But quite frankly, I don’t think Michael is happy.
Maybe he is, but he doesn’t show it much. And he’s going to have Dad breathing down his neck for years to come. Even after he becomes Alpha, Dad is probably going to put his nose in everything until the end.
So getting away sounds really nice right about now. Which is why I’d thought more and more about it since I finished high school. But it’s a bit like bungee jumping, the idea sounds both fun and terrifying. It’s an important experience, but sounds like unnecessary risk most of the time. And you keep walking, two steps forward, another backward until you finally reach the top.
I’ve been at the top for a few years now, but I just couldn’t jump.
I think Eva is giving me a push in the back.
Let’s just hope I’m not going to splatter at the bottom.