The music pumps from the speakers while aching from the pose I've been, holding for the last hour. John, the photographer kneels down and takes the shot from a lower angle."That's a wrap Petra."
Shaking my arms out. I watch as John consults with the client pointing out what he likes.
"Send those with what would be your choices, John. Petra, for once it was a pleasure working with you."
A finger automatically extends flipping the bird at the client. "I thought you turned over a new leaf," John calls.
"Dream on, he's a prick, you got the shot hours ago," snapping, while I walk behind the divider to change.
Wiping the makeup off, and consider how to broach the subject with my family. My decision not to move back home will not make them happy. Pack life is something, that makes me uncomfortable. I am not one for rules. Nor the horrible one-sided conversations with my father about the joy mating. If, Dad only inkling of my truth?
What I'd been, doing these last two years was avoiding him because it would break his heart to know the truth? I sigh, while cleaning my face then dress. I'm a mess. A werewolf without a wolf.
The enhancements that come with shifting are fading. I believe that is because of concoction Leon sends me.
Now basing myself back in New York, it was time to come to clean. Which will be no easy feat. As I picture the daunting task ahead of me and Dad's ultimate disappointment. Out on the street, I hail a taxi and head towards the hotel.
On my arrival, I walk straight to the bar and order a drink. The TV has a Jet and Stars game replaying. I do love ice hockey, and who wouldn't? Hunky men with a puck add a dash of violence. A winning combination as I ask, no one in particular, "How old is this game?"
"A couple of years." He glances towards me then away his head snaps back. "Hey, aren't you?"
I got up and left. It was too much, to ask for one day to relax without somebody recognising me? Up in my room, I change then make my way to the gym. Still, full of excess energy. Every time, I thought about my shift, which is more frequent since my return to the states. I become so angry, I can't remember if anything Dad said, I didn't pay attention. Switching off, when he said to save my first time, for my mate. That it would be, more special when the time comes. I climb on the treadmill setting it for an all-terrain run while I recall my first shift.
I woke drenched in sweat with stabbing cramps, I thought I would die. Mia, my roommate flitted in and out, of the room. My body contorted, whenever, she touched me. The pain intensified, making me, feel like a pin cushion.
Lost in the foggy pain-filled haze. Eventually, Alpha Leon arrived and somehow coaching me to reach out and connect with my wolf. When I found her, all I sensed was untold hurt. I didn't understand, begging her to help me. She refused.
More bones cracked and realign. Somebody's touch had set off, another barrage of unimaginable agony. Pleading with my wolf I'm scared. But she didn't help me. When my spine bows, cracking, please help me, please I don't want to die! Calling to her my wolf didn't respond.
Even while I could feel her presence, though it felt like a knife was, thrust into my heart. My breaths became shallow I couldn't take any more pain. I want it to end.
I blacked out and when I did wake, it wasn't in wolf form. Mia was at my bedside appearing sad, and we weren't in our flat anymore. My shift took five hours to complete which Alpha Leon had never seen it before. But my wolf was beautiful, not that it matters, I remember at that moment, reaching out not finding her.
To hear she was feral after the shift and tried to attack that she would not submit freely, as she should. In the end, my anger so predominant that he feared they would lose me, to my wolf side. So they tranquillised me before I could hurt anyone.
I don't recall the shift and when I asked why I can't feel her? He said that it would take another day or so before, I could reconnect with her. I stayed for a week, but nothing no one could give me answers. And with a promise not to pass the information on I left. He tried to convince me to tell Dad, but I did not want to disappoint him again. Even when I tried not to, I felt I did.
I keep running until my muscles turn to jelly and want to give out, it is the only way. Switching the treadmill off, I catch my breath as I walk back to my room. The anger is still bubbling deep inside all the time now wanting to consume me as well everything in its path. I strive to be that calm, happy person I had been before the shift. Who I am now is someone I struggle to recognise because; I'm different.
As I lean back only half listening to what Sally is saying and try to ignore the pushing in my mind. The throb is becoming too much, and I snap, "What?"
"Your mother and I want to see you this Friday, for a family dinner, Baxter has an announcement to make."
There goes my Friday night. Shit. God, damn, suck up, lying about Chelsea being his mate all these years. Dad should go, wolf on his ass for lying all these years. Images in my mind that my wolf sends almost have me chuckling. I wondered if mum would join in? Smiling at the carnage.
I hear Sally mention my name and I begin to pay attention while she gives me a serious look. "So you keep her out of trouble and the headlines."
"Yep, no problem." I get an elbow in the ribs from David while he shows me a picture of Petra Collins. I whisper. "Pity the poor
the bastard that had to work with her."
Watching his reaction as he nearly chokes trying not to laugh. "Dude that would be you!"
My career takes a nose dive at that moment; Petra Collins is every agent's worst nightmare. "Sally, why are we taking her on? Didn't her last agent drop her?"
"Not, one of her assignments were under ten thousand. She will be grossing well over seven million this year," Sally said. Then she sashays out the room.
Rubbing my face, what did I agree too? Damn, that women could kill a career. Walking into my office, I put Petra's name in the search bar and opening the file on her. Skimming down to her emergency contact details I doubling back that's Sebastian's number she's a femme? Is she Cain's girl?
With another glance at the computer, Petra isn't a little girl, and she is fucking gorgeous. Uncomfortable, I shift in my chair, drawn to her bountiful breasts straining, against the restrictive wet swimsuit. Fuck me, the way she poses on her knees wide, apart. Her back arching with her fingers threading through her hair.
I am in trouble, how the hell... Jesus, I'll end up losing my job. My wolf the dirty degenerate is sending me images while I stare enlarging the picture. At the transparency of what she's wearing. Quick smart, I cling to the edge of the desk praying I don't cum.
As the growls in my head increases. I throw my head back. And almost, howl from the force. Strange? The restraint, I pride myself on went out the window. It is puzzling? I haven't blown my load, like that since, well never. Closing the page, my head hurts from the overload, and with the loud snarls which only increases. Shutting him out as he starts to talk then linking my Alpha.
"What can you tell me about, Petra Collins?"
"Why do you want to know?" He snaps.
"I'm her manager, is she Cain's daughter?"
"Yes, but she hasn't been here in over five years." He sighs like the weight of the world was pilling on top, of him.
I'm pondering his mood and why he has been, so curt with one question that circles. What is going on, who doesn't visit their family? I log into the pack database using my father's password and look for the nearest pack to her address in London.
I find two calling the first one, it was a bust, though they did say to check with Alpha Leon of the Crest pack. To get a straight answer out, of them on the phone, was another matter altogether. Apparently, he's not contactable, until next week.
Damn, I read over her file checking the calendar, over two years ago the trouble starts. First, she misses two important spring fashion shows, in that year. Countless complaints about her mood swings, also two lucrative contracts, down the drain. And she refuses to work with small selection photographers sending off an email to Joseph, asking him to do an in-depth search.
After, a trip to the bathroom I stroll out if the office hailing a cab. I want to observe how everything, is going with the photo shoot, and whether Petra has been behaving herself. As I travel there, I push Petra out of my mind and thought on the more significant problem at hand.
Baxter and his relationship with that sneaky, sly bitch Chelsea. Not able to let him make the biggest mistake of his life, I link him, in a whinny voice, that he hates.
"What!" he snaps. Geez, what is with everyone today.
"Why? Baxter why are you taking my whole weekend away and subjecting me to family time. You know mum is going to bitch at me about not having a mate." About to continue my tirade.
"Dad wants to step down soon, do you want Levi's trained up because I don't. He's too young to be beta."
"Neither of you are true mates. The Council won't approve it," I said angrily. He is hiding something big from me; I could sense it, through our bond. I just hope it isn't what I thought because that would be too painful.
"Dyl, there's one more thing you'll need to accept, that I've chosen to be with Chelsea. We want to settle down and start a family I only, wish you could be happy, for us."
"What about your mate?"
Baxter snaps, "It's rare, to find your mate, and besides the Council is pushing, for it."
"I don't care what they want! Why do you want to throw your chance away? Jesus, I don't want my mate just yet, but what if Nana was right?"
Pleading with my brother, "What if we share ours even if it's really, rare. Are you willing to hurt, me, her, and ultimately, yourself?"
I'm horrified at the thought he is going to mark Chelsea. What did I do wrong, for him to keep hurting me purposely? Bax is my twin and we shouldn't be like this.
"I have to do this we've been together for three years it's time. I'm twenty-nine. I want children Dylan," he responds sadly. "I think she died years ago."
That was not something I would contemplate or even consider, as I said, with hope, "What if she's young? Baxter what if we just have to wait, till she's old enough to claim. Did you even consider that?"
"Yeah, I did Chelsea, and I have discussed it at length many times, I love her bro. We want a family, we can't-do that until I mark her."
The finality in his tone made me pause. This is all her idea to push his buttons to get what she fucking wants. "Fuck you can't be serious!"
I block him fuming at his selfishness when it came her and then his complete idiocy, on the subject.
She had a mate, once and he had been human and didn't survive the change because he was, too sick. The dire warnings she did not listen to.
I recall Chelsea telling him that he would survive, then they would share a long life together, psychotic bitch! She should have shot him; it would've been, less painful.
As the cab stops, I climb out and walk up the stairs I entering the studio inside everyone is packing up. "John did Petra show up; how did it go?" As I glance around agitation.
"Done and dusted, four hours total. Petra's a moody one, we must've gotten her on a good day."
Walking home I was rope-able thinking on what Baxter said, but why would he not think about his mate. If we share a mate, and he marks Chelsea. Our mate would always feel incomplete and so, could I apparently. Now facing the prospect of living with Baxter's choices I decide it is not in mine, or my brothers best interest to stand idly by. It is time to take action.
I grab the nearest thing and throwing it in frustration. Dylan has me second guessing if it's the right choice. I've lost count of how many times this conversation has come up with me. It's as unsettling as the first time.
It's not like I haven't tried to look, for my mate in the past. My work demands that I travel to other cities and countries but I'm unshakable in my belief she died that night.
Could I put it off mating her again is that what I want? Thinking on Dylan's words about sharing it's possible we shared everything even Chelsea at one time.
She met her mate one night when she was at work then went through her change soon after. Chelsea believed it would cure him of cancer which had spread throughout his body. In excepting the bond, Chelsea sealing it by marking him and starting the change he would never survive.
After he died Dylan, wanted nothing to do with her. Saying Chelsea should have let him pass peacefully commenting; it would have been a long, painful death. In his eyes, she killed her mate whom she claims to love most horrifically. When he came to me with the news, Chelsea had been waiting for him. Two weeks after her mate's passing I didn't listen.
Dylan has said, repeatedly she's not who I think she is and that she's been playing me and I just couldn't see Chelsea behaving like that. I knew how giving, even selfless she could be with her patients. Spending her free time with those that have no one. Now it's causing a massive rift between Dylan and I. He thought Chelsea didn't want her, true mate how wrong could he be?
Chelsea and I had picked up where we left off, and for the last two years, she keeps pushing for us to mate. For the chance to have children with me, and I'm proud she has chosen me. When Chelsea goes into heat next week, I am planning to be with her this time. Typically, I would leave, for two weeks and now I'm confused.
Locking up my office I leave work earlier than I usually, do with the thought of surprising Chelsea at home and she should be going for work soon, her shift starts at eight. When I arrive at the apartment, it's empty. Disappointment rolling through me while changing with the intention of tracking down Dylan wherever that may be?
And putting this argument to bed once and for all. My worry is that Dylan won't even want to talk to me after today? I hurry, out the front door I try and sort out what I want to say. "Dylan," I call pushing against the block he has in place and keep probing until it drops. "Meet me at that sports bar on fifth please," I say, missing my brother after choosing to be with Chelsea.
Images that start flooding into my mind of a small Auburn-haired chick between two guys.
"I'm at the Silken Touch you see what I'm watching right now?"
"I'll be there soon." The connection closes then I change directions jumping in a cab heading towards downtown. It's one of four places in the city where we can be our true-selves and have no fear of discovery as only our kind could get in.
"Are you coming? You'll miss the show if you don't get here soon. This femme is coming into her heat."
With her head flung back face obscured by the one kissing her a hand slides between her legs. This is on the dance floor. The dress inching higher as the other guy palms her tits.
" Fuck that was hot! Bax speed the fuck up dude." There's an edge to Dylan's voice. I put it down to what's going on in the club.
The cab stops at the mouth of the ally, and I climb out this would be, the first time in two years since, walking in there. My promise to Chelsea not to come here anymore fly out the window. But it's for mending this mess and if I keep telling myself that the guilt doesn't feel as bad.
After I enter, the scent of rampaging hormones that permeating the air hit me like a ton of bricks. It has my wolf growling in anticipation of the night ahead as if! I walk around until I find Dylan at a table in a dark corner while pulling up a chair. "You'll thank me for this watch the monitors up there bro."
As I scan the room looking up. "What are you talking about?"
I'm silent as I watch a dress drops to the floor now two femmes are completely naked. As two guys walk into view. "Why is that on TV Dylan? Does she know everyone's watching surely she can't know, I mean this is wrong?"
I stand to leave he grabs my arm pulling me down. "You need to see this she knows everyone's watching, in fact, she gets off on it.
So, I do as he asks not sure why it's so important to him I still have that niggling feeling something's not right. Fuck, that's so grotesque but fucking hot, and mesmerising and I'm aching.
"It's twisted, but it's good, for you to watch," Dylan comment drawing my attention as he glanced, down at my bulging crotch. "It affects everyone in different ways."
Isn't he ready to grab the first person and fuck them too? Looking back up I'm hard as a rock watching that's the one thing Chelsea never let me do. "I still haven't you know?"
Dylan's gazed on me now, "seriously you're missing out bro." Smirking. "But that up there has been, used by too many."
How could he speak so callously? Does he know her? Watching again as they're changing positions, and I'm yet to glimpse her face. As a hand goes to her hair. The wig comes away. The femme doesn't seem to notice the camera zooms in from another angle. She came up for air, and I'm frozen. It's Chelsea watching as she reaches around the guy and pulling him closer.
" I'm sorry, Bax, you've spent years avoiding me, that bitch has been here every heat. Chelsea knows about the cameras they usually keep them off her face. When she came in here tonight, I asked them to record it. But on the bright side guess, I won't need to show you that now." Dylan doesn't look sorry, he looks sad, "I've been trying to tell you. You wouldn't believe me."
I got up saying, "you knew all this time and didn't come straight out with it." I'm seething while moving away from my brother.
"Baxter, would you have believed me? You know what she did to her mate. Damn it, I told you she was no good, and you cut me out of your life, for that fucking hoe! Don't blame me? Because some skank blindsided. What did you expect me to do? It's the first time you talked about having kids."
I walk out of the club and thought about what he said. Dylan was right I didn't listen worse still I cut him out of my life. Does everyone know but me? Well, I guess they do now! After hailing a cab to go back home, it's the last place I need to be. But I want her out of my life. Chelsea is in, for a rude awakening. Sending a text to Milo and Sampson asking them to come around. A sickening rage building inside at the thought of what she has been doing behind my back. I'm such a fool to put my trust in her.