Book 1: The Pack Doctor
She had returned today as she had promised.
She could not hold back the smile that blossomed on her face as the familiar house came into view.
It was at an ideal distance from the pack house and clinic, shielded by the fence all around it.
The doctor could rush to either one if the need occurred without losing his peace of mind when he most needed it.
He must be home at this early hour, she thought. She imagined him leaning by the kitchen window, drinking his tea, always warm despite the season, just before making his way to the clinic.
This had been his routine for as long as she’d known him. A part of it, at least.
She opened the small gate, climbed the steps to the neat porch, and simply pushed the door open. He never locked it. It was useless.
If a member of the pack or the alpha wished to get in, no lock would stop them. Not that they would disrespect his privacy that way.
She walked inside, feeling happier than she had been in years. Far happier than she’d been before she’d left.
The house was quiet in the early light. This was strange but not alarming.
Although she knew he liked to have music softly playing in the morning, she figured perhaps today he was not in the mood, or he could still be in the bathroom.
With that thought, she turned to the narrow staircase that would take her to their bedroom when a smell made her halt.
Coffee? He hated the taste, so why the hell would he be making one? Not for her, surely. It was one of the things they had in common. They did not like the bitterness, and they opted for tea.
He was into original black tea, and she liked hers flavored.
She headed cautiously to the kitchen and stood awkwardly at the doorway. He was nowhere in the kitchen.
But someone else was standing near the window she had imagined him at earlier. A woman. Her long auburn hair caught the light and almost sparkled.
Her back was turned as she sipped her freshly made coffee. The scent was more potent now and made her insides turn.
She drew a breath and slowly entered.
“Good morning,” she said, her voice coming out less confident than she’d intended, yet still, it was clearly audible in the silence.
The woman with the auburn hair turned around immediately and gazed at her, startled.
“I am so sorry,” she said. “I did not mean to creep up behind you like this.”
The other one smiled at once.
Oh, God! Wasn’t she beautiful! The auburn hair was matched with clear pale skin and bright-blue eyes. She was tall and slender and had an elegant air about her.
If you added the dashing smile to all this, you had a perfectly desirable woman.
She unconsciously blushed. She was no match for her beauty.
“Oh, don’t worry about it, sweetheart. I was just surprised, is all. How may I help you?”
Okay, something was not right here. Why did this woman behave as if she was the mistress of this house? She had only been away for one week. What could have… Suddenly an idea crossed her mind.
“Are you Max’s patient?” she asked politely.
She remembered that sometimes he brought home patients requiring special care, children mostly, but still…
The woman gave her a strange look, then burst out laughing.
“His patient?” she said, trying to stifle her laugh. “No, no. I am not Max’s patient, but you look familiar, I think.”
The woman gazed at her perplexed for a moment, then clapped her hands excitedly as if she had made some discovery. “You are his protégée!” she exclaimed.
“Well… yes,” she admitted uncomfortably.
She felt heartbroken. If he referred to her as his protégée, it meant he only regarded her as such. She was nothing more than all that they’d planned before she left… It was all a lie…
“Max had an early call at the hospital,” the woman spoke again. “We had some minor problems with rogues this past week, and he has been kind of busy.
“Imagine, I have been here for four whole days, and I only saw him once. But now that you are here, I will have some company at last. I was dying to meet you, you know.”
The woman had said all those things in one breath while holding her by the shoulders and helping her sit in one of the wooden chairs.
However, this whole situation was strange. She had known Max almost her entire life. She was already familiar with whatever relatives he had. They all lived in the pack, after all.
This woman was no relative of his. She had never heard about her. Not a single word.
She started feeling a little sick and dizzy as the only option possible began to settle in. But perhaps she was wrong. Couldn’t she be?
“I am sorry,” she finally said, barely recognizing her own voice. “I know nothing about you. Who are you?”
“I am Delta, Max’s mate, of course, you silly!” the woman grinned broadly, gracefully pushing some auburn locks behind her neck.
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