Part of the Alphas of South Forest-Universe: Rosemary isn’t talking to her mates, Emmanuel and Ezekiel. The twins are going crazy from the cold shoulder their mate is giving them, can they get her to forgive them? Emmanuel and Ezekiel are in the doghouse, or Wolf-house so to speak. Their mate Rosemary is furious with them, can they earn her forgiveness? There’s trouble in paradise for Rosemary and her twin mates. It’s going to take some time for this thruple to work through their problems.
Age Rating: 18+
“Hi, Grandmother. I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last visit; it’s been a bit hectic looking after the pack without the boys there,” I tell her with a sigh.
I’m sitting in my usual place, a bench near her grave. Absentmindedly, I run my fingers over the velvety-soft moss that is growing on the armrest.
“I’m still going to church, you’ll be pleased to know. The fellowship church will always feel like home to me, although I work in the Templum a lot.
I help answer any spiritual questions pack members have with Livinia; she says I offer a different perspective from hers, and it’s good for them to hear different ideas.
“The boys are—well, I don’t actually want to talk about them really.” My heart throbs in my chest painfully at the thought of my mates.
“They’re still away, doing a lot of good from what I hear. I’m mad at them though, and they know that.
“They should never have stopped me from going on the trip with them. It’s been almost a week without them now and it’s starting to hurt my chest.
“It’s crazy—I physically ache by not being near them. I don’t think that’s fair for them to put me through this. They should have let me go with them.”
I try to think of everything else I wanted to tell her this week.
“Beta Harvey is my form of communication with them; he went on the trip too and gives me daily updates. They’ve tried to call me, but I refuse to answer.
“The first few days, they blew up my phone so much that I had to turn it off! They keep trying, but they know they will only hear from me through Harvey.
“Oya’s wedding is very soon. She wanted a big affair, which isn’t surprising if you know Oya. A shifter getting married is strange, but Oya loves extravagance.
“I’ve seen most of the plans and it’s going to be a huge wedding, her poor mate. Mind you, the only thing expected of him is to show up.
He’s had very little input in the wedding plans, and I think he prefers it that way.
“I’m meeting Ruthie after this to have a catch-up, then I have a meeting with Hector this afternoon. It’s all rather busy really.
“I should be able to come back next week sometime, perhaps before the wedding.”
I wish my love to my grandmother and then shove my hands into my pockets to find my phone.
As expected, there are over ten missed calls from Emmanuel and Ezekiel. I clear the notifications and stow my phone again.
If they didn’t want me to ignore them, they shouldn’t have left me behind. They knew how I felt about being left out. This is their own fault.
Two weeks ago, a pack across the water asked for assistance from the Forest packs because humans were trespassing on their territory and getting too close to discovering the truth.
Alpha Jason of the East Forest Pack offered his help, along with my mates from our pack, the North Forest Pack.
My in-laws, Leilani, Jarron and Dane, the Alphas of South Forest, offered their help, too, but it seems Jason and my mates have it covered.
The problem with humans trespassing is that it has to be handled differently than when rogues trespass.
Rogues respond to violence; it requires simple but forceful strategies to remove them from pack land. Humans, on the other hand, can never find out about our kind.
The process of leading them off the scent is harder. It requires patience and careful planning, and takes a lot of time.
I already knew that when my mates offered to help. I put myself forward, reminding them that I am the most patient out of the three of us.
Having been raised around humans, I thought that I would be able to provide the most insight on the situation. They disagreed—they thought it would put me in unnecessary danger.
They tried to dress it up as “we want you to stay and look after the pack,” but they could have just as easily asked Beta Harvey to do that.
I thought my mates would become less protective after they’d marked me.
We are completely connected; we can feel each other’s emotions through the bond, and we can tell when one of us is in pain.
Naively, I thought that would all be enough for them, but they’re still as possessive as they were when they first met me. Part of me finds it flattering and hot, but the other part of me hates it.
I meet Ruthie at a café in town. She stands up to greet me, kissing my cheeks and rubbing my back.
“I took the liberty of ordering you a chai latte,” she says, gesturing to the frothy drink in front of my chair.
“You’re amazing, thank you.”
“How are you doing?” Her lips twitch with amusement. “I’ve had no end of calls from my cousins, asking for updates on you.”
I roll my eyes and take a sip of my drink. “They’re overreacting so much, I’m sorry.”
“They’re worried about you, that’s all.”
“Then they shouldn’t have left me.”
Ruthie nods in agreement. “They should have taken you with them. I don’t understand why you didn’t go. You don’t need their permission!”
“I know I don’t, but when there’s two of them, it’s very hard to argue.
“They gang up on me and then they use distraction tactics, and suddenly I’m naked and I forget what I was even fighting for.”
She scrunches up her nose. “Ew. That’s sneaky of them.”
“It is! I need to wear a chastity belt during our next argument.”
“That’s gross.” She shudders. “Let’s change direction. When are they coming back?”
“They will have been gone a week tomorrow. I think they said it would be two weeks to lead the humans away and destroy any evidence they’ve found.
“They need to make sure that the data hasn’t been sent anywhere else, too. That’s what Harvey is currently working on. He’s hacking nearby systems to see what has been shared.”
“Humans,” Ruthie mutters and then looks at me. “Sorry. No offense.”
“None taken,” I laugh. “It’s a messy process. I imagine they’ll be back in time for Oya’s wedding, which is next Saturday.”
“I can’t believe she’s getting married. What a human tradition.”
“She loves the idea of a fancy party and wearing a white dress. It’s happening in a Templum, though, not a church. The reception will be in the pack hall on her mate’s territory.”
“From what you’ve told me about Oya, it sounds like it will be a hell of a party.”
“It will be. That reminds me, I need to pick up my bridesmaid’s dress this weekend.”
“Bridesmaid?” Ruthie wiggles her eyebrows. “The twins will be all over you.”
I snort in derision. “If I let them. At this point, they’re not touching me with a bar pole.”
“Wow, they are well and truly in the doghouse, aren’t they?”
“Like you wouldn’t believe.”
In my mind, a relationship is built on mutual respect and equal responsibility. I was tag-teamed by them, and the decision was taken away from me.
The one thing I have left in my control is whether I give them my attention or not, of which I have chosen not.
It’s hurting me to do it, but it needs to be done. I can be damn stubborn when I want to be.
I chat with Ruthie a while longer and then I have to rush back to the pack house to meet Gamma Hector. He and I have been running the pack together for the last week.
The office in the pack hall that houses my mates’ desks now has a third desk in it—mine. It sits squarely between their desks.
It makes the room a little more crowded, but I wanted the message to be clear: I am just as much an Alpha of this pack as they are.
Hector and I take a seat, and both of us have our laptops in front of us.
“How are things looking this week?”
“All good from my end. We’ve had a couple of members request leave for holidays. I’ve approved because they were no crossovers.
“Patrols have been going smoothly, no trespassers or foreign scents. Only thing to note is that we have a request for a pack transfer. I’ve emailed you their application.”
“Any thoughts?” I ask him as I pull up the email.
I scan over the details. It seems a rogue is seeking sanctuary from an abusive ex, who is human. Easily handled.
“It looks legit. I’ve done some digging and I think they could really use the protection. We’ve got room.”
“Okay, send the acceptance confirmation and set them up in one of the guest houses. We’ll give them a temporary four weeks to see how things go.”
“Okay, I’ll sort that. Anything you wanted to discuss?”
“Yes, actually.” I lean my elbows on the table. “Let’s talk about my mates.”