Alanis watches everything as I drive us by the packhouse. She is scared yet so brave. How did she survive down there for two years? It is remarkable that she is not entirely insane. I do not think I could have survived the way she did. She must be a very unique young woman.
"Are you alright, little wolf?" I ask her.
Alanis continues to stare out the window of my car. She nods her head and then looks back at me. "I am okay. I think I am overwhelmed, maybe. I am not sure. I have a lot of feelings. I really do not know how to explain it. I feel shame, guilt, and fear, but I am happy to be released from the cage," Alanis says.
I try to understand her feelings. Her family and friends are all gone, and she is still here. I can only imagine the feelings she is having. "Feel whatever you need to feel. Do not lock yourself inside yourself. It will help if you let it all out. You can talk to me, and I will listen," I say.
Alanis smiles at me. "I know that now. Thank you," she says softly.
We arrive at the packhouse, and there are a lot of wolves waiting for us. They are waiting for Alpha Sebastian. One thing about my brother, his people, they love him. He is kind and fair, but he is also a strict leader. He knows how to show compassion and discipline at the same time. I know that is why our pack works so well - His leadership.
"I ... I ... that is too many people," Alanis stammers out.
I reach over and touch her hand softly. "We can go straight to my house. I have a cabin right over there," I say, pointing to a cabin that is across the field from my brother.
Alanis nods her head as she begins to cry. I look back at Raul sitting in the back seat. "Raul, let my brother know where I am going, please. I do not want him to worry about Alanis or me," I say to him. Raul gets out of the car and runs over to my brother. I wait for Alpha Sebastian to wave for me to leave. I would never disrespect him. We might not always agree, but he is not only my brother; he is my Alpha.
I pull away from the packhouse and drive the short distance to my cabin. I see the relief on Alanis as we move away from the large group of wolves. I pull into the small cabin that my brother had built for me. It is perfect for me, as I live alone. I prefer it that way. Yes, I could have mated with a wolf, but I like a life of solitude. I think that is why Alpha Sebastian was shocked when I volunteered to house Alanis. I have not shared my life with anyone since Joshua, and I broke off our engagement, and then there was my sister briefly. She stayed with me after she and Sebastian disagreed over her engagement.
Alanis gets out of my car slowly. I grab my bag out of the trunk of my car and hurry to get to her. I take her hand and smile at her. She seems to have settled down. "You will like it here. My place is quiet, and no one bothers me. There are a lot of places for solitude and to be with the other wolves. You can have as much company as you want or none," I say.
I open the door to my cabin, and she follows me inside. "It is not much. It is just me, but I have a huge bathroom and an extra bathroom. Oh, and the kitchen is amazing. I love to cook, and now I can cook for you," I say.
"It is much nicer than where I have been," she says softly.
"Let's get you settled," I say. I show her to the back bedroom. She looks around at everything and then touches the bed. The look on her face to see a soft bed to lie on is sad. She jumps up on the bed and lies down.
"This is amazing," she says. Her hand brushes over the blanket, and she pulls the pillow under her head.
"I can make you something to eat if you like," I say.
"That would be wonderful. I am hungry and thirsty," she says.
"Stay here, sleep a while. I will cook for us. It is almost morning. I can make us a big breakfast," I say.
I go into the kitchen and get her a bottle of water. When I return with it, she is already sleeping. I set the bottle of water beside the bed for her. I touch her gently and cover her up with a blanket that is resting at the foot of the bed. She rolls over onto her side and is sleeping peacefully under the blanket. I watch her for a moment.
I go back to the kitchen to cook her something to eat. I am starving myself. As I begin to cook, Alpha Sebastian comes into my cabin. I knew he would be worried about my solitude and our guest.
"Hey, brother," I say as I see him come. He walks over to the bedroom door and looks in on her.
"How is she?" Alpha Sebastian asks as he closes the bedroom door where Alanis is sleeping.
I continue cooking and pondering exactly how to answer. "I do not know to be honest with you. She is scared and yet so damn brave," I finally answer him.
"Are you okay with her being here? I know you do not like other wolves very much, sister. If she is a burden to you, she can stay at the packhouse," Alpha Sebastian says.
I shake my head as I cook the eggs and bacon. I slide the biscuits out of the oven before I answer him.
"I want her here. She cannot take the loud wolves at the packhouse. Besides, I might enjoy her company. I have not had anyone around much since.... " I begin to say since our sister died, but I cannot vocalize the words.
Alpha Raymond murdered our beautiful sister; I will never understand how anyone could harm such a sweet wolf. Joy was everything to Sebastian and me. When she married and moved away, it was hard on both of us, but we were happy for her. Now, she is gone. She and her husband are both dead.
Sebastian knows I hide my pain about Joy. When she died, I came back to my cabin and refused to see anyone, not even him. I cried for days and wanted to die with her. It was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life.
"Where are you right now, Julian? You are overthinking," Alpha Sebastian says.
"I was thinking about my Joy, and how much I miss her, that is all," I say.
"She would not want you to do this to yourself," Alpha Sebastian says.
He sits down at the table. "I am not serving you, Alpha. Get up and make your own plate. I have to take care of my guest," I say to Sebastian.
Sebastian begins to laugh. Sebastian gets up from the table to make him a plate of my amazing biscuits and omelets. As he puts the first biscuit on his plate, Alanis screams. He sets the plate down and runs for the bedroom to check on her. I follow him.
When we open the door, she is crying. "Please let me out," she screams. She is dreaming. I rush to her and leap into the bed. I take her into my arms and hold her.
"It is okay, my sweet little wolf. You are safe now," I say, hushing her. She opens her eyes and sees me.
"I am sorry," she cries. She is sorry. What the hell does she have to be sorry for? She is the victim. I hold her until she calms down. Sebastian hands her the bottle of water from the bedside table. She drinks some of the water.
"Julian cooked breakfast if you would like to eat," Alpha Sebastian says softly. Alanis nods her head.
"Yes, I think I would like that very much," she says, still sobbing.
Sebastian helps her from the bed and escorts her to the kitchen. He stays close to her. He wants to help her as much as I do. He pulls out a chair for her and makes her a plate. I do not think I have ever seen him do anything for someone else. At least not since he became Alpha. He is all business, but she seems to have struck a soft spot in him.
He sets her food down in front of her and finishes making his plate. He sits down beside her, and I sit on the other side of her. We eat in silence. I watch him while we eat. He is watching her, taking all of her into his presence. I do not think I have ever seen him captivated by anyone. I mean, even under the matted hair, you can tell she is a lovely young woman, but it is something else there. She is special. There is something about her that is more than beauty or the trauma; something is intriguing.