— Kaden —
Eva’s been bouncing all the way to the car.
It was nice to see that silly smile plastered on her face. But I’m pretty sure, she’s going to be useless for a while. It took her ages to grow out of her teen drama, and to take anything seriously, and she looks like she’s about to gossip about her love-life with her friends until she passes out. I’m probably going to have to send Marie with her to France to make sure she stays on track, then ask her and the team to pick up the slack for a few weeks after, at least.
She was getting kind of good at her job.
A lot of she-wolf just decide to leave everything for their mate when they find him. I did hear her say that she wanted to stay, but when it came to work, I’m not so sure. Then again, the guy has nothing but a name, so it’d be easier if they both work, but she’s an adult, I can’t force her. Besides, even if she keeps working, she might not be into travelling as much if it means being apart.
This is not the best time for this.
But again, I guess it never would have been.
There’s a little pang in my chest, as my freaking little sister is getting her mate first.
It sucks. It sucks balls.
Sam had the car ready and Mads was loading the luggage in the truck when Ylva rushed to smack the cellphone I gave her yesterday in my chest then wiping her hand on her pants like the thing was covered in poop.
She looked pissed.
I mean, more than usual.
I guess she didn’t like doing dual duties.
She slid into the front of the car next to Sam and Mads eyed her like she was doing this on purpose, which was probably the case. So Mads had to be at the back with Eva and I.
Even as spacious as this car was, it was a little tight with Mads and I. Mads said nothing. Eva was still beaming like an idiot and looking at her phone every fifteen seconds. I don’t know if she was looking at the time or possible texts. I mean, we haven’t even left yet, he’s not going to text this fast. Or maybe she’d already started her gossip column and was waiting for the incoming storm.
When the car began to move, I just laid my head back, closed my eyes, and went to sleep.
I was jerked awake by Eva two seconds later.
I looked outside a little confused.
Mads and Sam were moving our luggage to the plane, Ylva was nowhere to be seen and we had made the whole hour-long journey to the small airport we were using. The car was parked on the tarmac not far from the plane, and Eva, seeing I was awake, left the car to join the others.
My muscles had started to really ache now, the strain of the last few days catching up to me.
I moved slowly to the plane. I think I’m getting a little too old for this crap. I don’t do lack of sleep as well as I used to, and my muscles don’t keep up as well either. But again, I’m not training as much as I should lately. Maybe I should readjust my work-out routine. Or just not do battle for more or less three days straight. That’s what a sane man would do.
The plane had a few seats at the front, a couple of bunks in the middle, then a kitchenette and an office at the back with a pull out bed. It wasn’t what you normally see as a private jet, a little smaller than the fancy one you see on television, but it did cover all the essentials. I bought it nearly ten years back, and I use it often enough that it paid itself.
Eva was already sitting in one of the big chairs at the front. She had earbuds on and was texting furiously while smiling like it was the greatest moment of her life.
It’s hard to believe it’s the same girl who said a couple of years back that she hated it when one of her friends would find a mate, and she’d never let something like that changes her. She already walks like a five years old going to Disneyland, bouncing around and grinning hopelessly.
I grabbed Ylva’s arm as she passed me by. “Any messages?”
She looked at me like I was declaring my interest in a career as a ballet dancer, which is … with disgust.
“A bajillion,” she said. “It’s on your desk.”
I sighed again.
“Can you walk me through it?”
If I didn’t know her better, I would think she was about to skin me alive.
“Ylva, I’m tired. Don’t make me beg?”
She reeled in shock. She turned to my office, and I think I saw a little guilt on her face. I guess ‘beg’ is not a word I usually employed, but I’m too freakishly tired to pull rank right now. And it wasn’t just physical exhaustion either. Maybe it’s dwelling into the whole mate thing that got to me, maybe it’s the talk with Eva. I hadn’t planned on telling her about my health. I told no one until my last heart attack. Sam was there, Mom found out and told Dad. Since, I had a few talks with them, and there’s the Doc who knew some of it, but that’s it. Ylva doesn’t know either. None of my sisters knew. If Eva spread it around, it could leave a trail of hurt and chaos.
I sat behind my desk, took out Brandon’s work phone that Ylva’s been using and looked at a small notepad she put on my desk, flipping through the page.
Five freaking pages of messages.
“Those with the little stars are those that looked a bit more pressing, the rest I told them would be called back today or tomorrow.” She flipped a page. “David called.” She pointed at the note. “It sounded important.” Right next to David’s message was ‘John Thomas’ with ‘6X’ written next to it. I pointed at that message.
“The guy called six times,” she said.
“Alpha Thomas?” I asked. “From Stonewillow?”
“Maybe I should have known about that one. That was our host.”
“Ylva,” I chastised her.
“I’m not a secretary.”
“I asked for help, not a change of career.”
She looked down a bit.
“I’m gonna start with this one. Giving that I might be taking his son away and all.”
“He’s Eva’s mate.”
She looked a little disgusted. Ylva never had a great opinion of mates. Mostly because when she met hers, things went a little downhill. She kept it quiet. Most don’t know she even found him. She rejected him, they both moved on. He’s married now. She’s definitely not.
“That explains why she’s grinning like an idiot.”
“Did Alpha Thomas say anything to you?”
“Not much, just that he wanted to talk.”
“Okay. I’ll call. Don’t go too far. I wanna go through this as fast as I can, so that I can lay down a bit.”
“Do you need help with that?” she asked with a little smirk.
“Maybe,” I conceded.
“I’ll grab a drink. I’ll be back.”
“John Thomas,” the man answered.
“Hi, this is Alpha Kaden Devon. I just received your message.”
“I called a few times. It could have been nice to talk in person.”
“We were short on time, and my assistant has been injured and sent home. My bodyguard took the calls and didn’t forward any. It’s my mistake, I didn’t give much detailed orders in that regard. Hope this doesn’t cause a rift between our pacts given the situation.”
“Not at all. My son only told me an hour before you left. It was short notice for me too.”
“These things are always a little unexpected.”
“Of course. Maybe this could be a good opportunity for us to work together.”
“Maybe.” I got a lot of that lately and I’m not as eager as I used to be.
“Maybe I could talk to you about—”
I cut him. “I haven’t been home in a few weeks, I’m in the plane and don’t have everything with me. How about, whatever proposition you have, you email it to me, I’ll check it with a clear head and come back to you then.”
“Of course.” He sounded a little deflated. I gave him my email.
“As for your son—” I began.
“I’m going to talk to him. I’m sure your sister will love it here.”
“I’m sure. I’ll ask her to contact you when she knows the exact date she’ll be leaving to visit.”
“She’ll be visiting?”
“Yes, for a few weeks. If you’re okay with that?”
“I hope you didn’t think she was moving in?”
“Isn’t it the way of the she-wolf?” I didn’t like his tone.
“I’m not very conservative. Neither is my family. I heard her say she wanted to stay, and he mentioned he was interested in coming over. If he does, unless he betrays any of our laws, he will have a place in my pack. But I will not force my sister to leave. She has a career. Your son, doesn’t.”
“He’s working in my company.”
“As a mere intern accountant. A job he doesn’t even like. That’s a waste of potential. He has no strings attached, she does. If they want to do it this way, they have my support, and I hope yours as well.”
There was a small silence.
I continued, “If it’s gonna be a problem, I will go against Eva’s visit.”
“It isn’t,” he said curtly.
“Good. Now if you excuse me, the plane is about to take off, and I have a few calls to make before I loose cell signal.” I hung up.
So, the father is old school. The son didn’t sound like it, but I guess I’m going to have to keep an eye out. There’s more than a few she-wolf who got tangled in difficult situations in conservative families. I don’t want her to push to be with a mate who’s going to make her miserable, and it’s a lot harder to keep an eye out when it’s happening on another continent.
I dialled David’s number.
“Hey man,” he said.
“Hey. What’s up?”
“A shit storm.”
“Great,” I said sarcastically. “Tell me.”