Chapter 5

The guard leaves and I stay in my room, dreading the moment when Alpha Grant comes home. He said that he'll be here soon, which makes me restless, speaking that I'm in his pack house with my own room. So much for a separate building. I can't lie to myself, the house is beautiful, my bedroom is a dream, and all of these feelings are making my head explode. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to hate it here, I was supposed to want to leave.

The bedding smells like roses; my nose stuffed into the pillows as I lay here trying to collect myself. The soothing scent helps keep my mind off of his at the end of the hall, trickling through my door. It's going to wrap around my ankles and drag me down the hall, locking me in his bedroom for him to find me as a wild animal. His scent is not my friend, but an enemy.

My bags are set off to the side, and I refuse to unpack them, convinced that I won't be here for long. I push the promise to my mother to the back of my head, in no mood to search this place for a phone. Some girls at the pack have one, but I personally had no need for one. Everyone I know is in a three mile radius of me, and yet that number is even lower than expected. I could call my mother. Maybe the dark-haired girl from the gathering—she seems to know me.

Rolling onto my back, I stare up at the ceiling just as I hear sounds coming from downstairs. My heart hurdles forward, pulling me up, causing my throat to swell closed. In a sudden panic, I look for a place to hide before I realize how stupid that is. I'm sure sooner or later he would find me under the bed. Instead, I switch between sitting and standing before deciding to act as if I am unpacking my things. I snatch up a bag and drop it onto the bed, zipping it open and digging for my books first, moving past clothing.

Casually, I place them on the partially-filled bookshelf beside the door, across from the bed, sliding them into their own little spot. I do this very slowly, waiting for someone to come in, checking if I am here.

When the door opens, I shoot into position and slide the second book into place, holding my breath. His scent floods the room, a tsunami washing through, drenching everything. I look to my side to find him entering, and his eyes connect with mine. I swallow and grip the books in my hand tightly.

"You're unpacking?" He questions and I nod. "Alright. I assume Theodore showed you around, where everything is?"

I nod again, lying.

"You're comfortable in this room?"

I nod. Goddess, Rae, say something!

There is a few seconds of silence between us, and my chest feels as if it is going to cave in. He speaks so smoothly, acts collected but reckless at the same time, seems to have everything under control in his life as he is the one in control. This man makes me look like a fool—pretending to put books on a shelf—for what? I can't remember the reason anymore.

"I'll leave you to it," he says.

I manage a weak, "Okay," and then he leaves, closing the door behind him.

With nothing else to do, and being too scared to leave my room, I unpack the rest of my things and find myself listening to music afterwards. I was reading for a good hour or two, and then my stomach started grumbling like a distant earthquake. Trying to ignore my hunger, I blast alternative songs and lay back on the bed as if this will feed me.

After another hour goes by I find myself pacing back and forth, trying to make a decision. Is eating really worth the possibility of running into my mate? The majority of my head says no, the majority of my body says yes, and a few minutes later I am creeping down the hall, heading for the stairs.

It is almost dinner time—the drive taking up most of the day—and I realize I haven't eaten at all. He must know that I require food, right? Even a pet fish has to eat, though I am sure my inevitable hunger is the last thing on his mind.

Holding my breath, I carefully make my way down the stairs, listening for any voices. When I hear two people talking off to the side, I freeze. Once I realize that the voices aren't growing any louder or softer, I predict them to be still and I carry on.

Thanks to Theodore's nonexistent tour skills, I have no idea where the kitchen is. In result, I wander around like a mouse, watching for traps or luring pieces of cheese. Not wanting to go near the voices, I pray that the kitchen is on the other side of the house, and I search there. Suddenly, I hear different voices, feminine ones. Not knowing what to do, I swiftly slip past the open archway of the room they're in. As I hurry past—hoping they don't see me—I notice the room they're in to be the kitchen. From the quick flash of their features, they look to be a bit older, but not elderly.

Not thinking that they are some sort of mistresses, I peek for a second glance. Unfortunately when I do, they catch me red-handed. "Can we help you, dear?"

Red in the face and embarrassed, I shyly wander in with an apologetic smile. "I was just, well, looking for the kitchen."

The more plump woman stands up from her seat at the small table set off to the side, where they were both sitting. "Can I get you anything?"

I act surprised, or confused, it's a mix of both. "I'm sure I can get my own food, if that's alright?"

I know that in the pack house there are people that help run everything. There are ones who clean, ones who cook, and well, that's all I can think of. I don't know much about a pack house, but at least I know this.

"You don't have to do—"

I smile again, and it's a weird feeling. "No, it's alright. I really don't mind. It's what I'm used to, anyways."

I seem to have caught their attention. "Sorry, but are you not—I don't mean to sound rude—but didn't you live in the pack house, at your old pack?"

They think I am Alpha blood. It's not their fault, anyone would. I am surprised they know I am Alpha Grants mate, though. Maybe Theodore did do something useful and he warned them of my presence.

"I'm not from an Alpha Blood line," I say casually as if it's no big deal so they don't feel guilty for asking. "I'm just a—well, a regular." I smile again for effect.

Will I ever become good at simple conversation?

"Oh, I'm sorry for assuming," the woman apologizes and looks to the other, and the other nods in agreement. "Here, let me fetch you something."

I step back and watch her whip up something, letting her really apologize. It is weird to watch someone else make you food, especially when you don't feel deserving of it. All I did was somehow be mated to an Alpha, and suddenly people are cooking for me.

I sit down with the other woman at the table.

"Did you meet at the gathering? I heard we were going over to the Waters Pack for it."

"Yes, we did," I fib, not wanting to explain the entire embarrassing and anticlimactic exchange.

"I'm sure you're family must be very proud that you're mated to an Alpha and all. I only dreamed of such things when I was your age," the woman says, and I have the urge to tell her that it's not what it seems, that I won't be here for long, and that Alpha Grant doesn't actually want me here.

"Yes, my mother was very happy with it," I lie again, not knowing if I should completely remake myself or not. "I was actually supposed to call her later, do you know where a phone is?"

"Yes, there's one in the living room."

We continue to talk about the discovery of my mate and how excited I am, and it tears me apart. I want to run up to my room and wish to teleport back home, back to where I know who I am and what is supposed to happen.

Once eating, the other woman joins in the conversation and I feel as if I am drowning. How's your bedroom? Do you like it? Are you excited to sleep in the same bed soon? I remember when I started sharing a room with my mate. How many children are you hoping for? Have you meant Alpha Grants Beta, Will? Is there anything specific you would like for dinner tomorrow, anything special from home? I can fetch you toiletries and towels and such if you'd like a shower. When do you expect to move into his bedroom? Will your family be visiting? Do you plan on visiting them? Do you have any siblings? Are you feeling well, you look ill?

"I'm fine," I mumble, "just a little tired that's all. Long drive."

The plump woman swipes up my empty plate. "You'd better get some rest then. I'm sure you'll be busy these next few days getting settled in and learning your way around the pack."

"You're right, I should get—" Just before I can finish my sentence, I smell him. It's strong. It's close. I turn to the archway and not even a second later he appears with another man. I freeze again.

"Good evening, Alpha Grant," the plump woman says while the other one acknowledges his presence with a charming smile. "Good evening, Will."

Looking to the other man, I recall his name from the plethora of questions. Will is his Beta.

"How has your day been?" Will starts a conversation with the woman and I feel as if he hasn't quite noticed me yet.

Needing to get out now, I stand up, catching everyone's attention. "Thanks again for dinner. I should, um—"

"Be getting to bed?" The plump woman finishes for me and I nod.

"Yes, that."

As I turn to leave, my eyes meet his Betas and the man seems quite surprised by me. From the hall I can hear him ask, "Now who was that?" But I continue on my mission to the stairs and to the bedroom.

Inside, I am able to relax. Going to the kitchen was a bad idea, and I'll have to remember that for next time. A little later into the night—having to entertain myself through all of it—I think about the plump woman's offer of a shower, well, her offer to fetch me things needed for one.

Earlier, I familiarized myself with the room and discovered that the extra door off to the side leads to a bathroom. It looks to be another closet from the outside, but on the in it is quite cozy. It is not unbelievably spacious, which I like, and I feel good in there. The small window above the toilet has a ledge to place plants and such, and I think I might do just that. The shower glass is a lovely texture that makes me feel as if I am peering through a window while it's raining, blurring everything. The bathroom is my own little nook, and it makes me feel better about showering here. Before I was quite nervous.

Now in a somewhat 'okay' mood, I prepare to leave the safety of the bedroom to find the plump woman. Part of me wonders if she's still here—it being late and all—but I decide to check anyways.

It doesn't take much space between the door and the frame to notice a presence in the hall. Pulling the door back—leaving only a sliver to watch through—I notice the presence to be a girl. My lugs squeeze, deprived of air, and I stalk her as she softly walks towards those large doors that intimidate me to no end.

My free hand balls up as the other holds the door in place. The stranger slips inside the room, and I immediately shut the door, not wanting to look any longer.

That woman just when into his bedroom.

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