Helping the People

My laptop had sat unused for a few days on the table in our room. It wasn’t a desk, and Alex had very few personal belongings here himself. Not that he had much at his apartment but even though we were mystically married I had a feeling we’d always have two separate homes. No matter how much room I made for him in my life – Alex was a drifter. I knew that going in.

And as he said Forever is a long time. I could deal with my personal life later, right now I had work to do and thankfully my love understood. The information Jin sent me was extensive. Three hundred people and then some had called and there was files for it all.

There was a ping on my laptop and I looked at the message.  

> Cross referencing as we speak.

I laughed. “We aren’t speaking.”

> Ha! ha!

I opened up Sage’s program and started looking at his reports and not Jin’s. Not that Jin’s information was invalid, I just trusted Sage to put it together in a better way. And he enjoyed working with me so I never really stopped him.

There was a lot of harassment but no real harm to anyone. It seemed that businesses were being threatened. Schools being notified. And the Venatori weren’t hiding the fact that they were interfering.

“I can’t do anything about human affairs.”  

> I can help.

“Get Trix to do what you can to fix their problems. The Venatori are attacking my people in a way I can’t do anything about.”

> You could make friends in the city. *grin* You could run for mayor.

“Yeah no,” I said. But it was a thought. I’d have to talk to people, could we get the City in on this?  It would make life a lot easier if we had human contacts to things the right way.  “Are there anything in that business that needs my specific attention.”

> No. All appears to be disputes that require no fighting or supernatural intervention. I’ll ping you if it does. Chev is helping too – he’s bored.

“Good man. Thanks.”

> Our pleasure. Dee is doing better, she wants to apologize.

I sighed. “Soon.” I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her soon, but Sage was my friend I would have to sooner or later and we promised to help.

I still had the whole Jin problem, why had she not told me about all this.  Several days and several calls and I was just not hear about it.  I didn’t like it.  I sent a text message to Vin to see me when he got up.  The sun was almost down, but it was a few hours yet.

And that also meant that the twins and Fae needed a place to change at for the night.  Tomorrow would be the full moon and they would likely transition again tonight even though this morning saw their first.  I wasn’t sure how it would all work out now the should still be in the throws of pain and agony of their first shift.

I picked up the phone and called Adrian.  

“About time you called.”  Adrian growled at me.

I sighed, “I think I’m having problems with the help.  I need to talk to Vin and Ant about it.  But I have two things I have to talk to you about.”

Adrian chuckled, “And I have things to talk to you about.”

“You go first.”  I said.

“You sure?”

“Yeah, Adrian.  Let me hear what’s going on.”

“It seems our past isn’t quite so unknown, I have police questioning me about past behaviors and they are investigating my practices.”

“Fuck!”  I said.

“Adrian, I’m sorry.”

“There is nothing wrong Nox, nothing you can do.  But if you could file a statement, get Margo to write a letter that would go a long way in helping this.  My practice is shut down for the inforseeable future and likely I’ll be ruined as a therapist.  Thankfully the side business is easy enough.  I’ll get with Jaxen and see if he can and his lawyers can help too.  He’s likely in the same situation.”

“Maybe, but he’s just human.  He doesn’t need to pick a side.  Let me know how else I can help.”

“Nox, don’t worry about me.”

I laughed, “If you didn’t want me to worry then why did you tell me?”

“You know why.”  Adrian sighed, “So what do you need from me?”

“I called to see if there was anything I could do to help with you and your pack?”

“The pack is your’s Nox.  They don’t come to me even if you say I lead.”

“How do I make you Beta?”

Adrian laughed, “There hasn’t been a beta in the Lone Wolf Pack in history.”

“Well the Lone Wolf Pack hasn’t been tied to a non-shifter in history either.”

“Good point.  I’ll get with Dom figure that all out.  Since you want it official.”

“And the second thing, The twins shifted this morning.”

“What?  They aren’t too young.”

I laughed, “Hello?  Do you know me?  My magic fucks everything up.  I helped them transition, they are boys right now, I think they need to join the pack tonight, and for the next three nights when you guys go out.”

“Absolutely.  I’ll come pick them up myself.”

“Adrian, Rider’s an Alpha.  My alpha.”

“You know this already?”

I laughed, “I think I’ve always know it.  Whenever he’s around he’s got this thing about him.  He’s sixteen and he’s going to need help.”

“Nox if that’s the case, then he’s your beta not me.  You have never ever submitted to my wolf.”

“But he’s not part of the Lone Wolf Pack.”

Adrian laughed, “No and the Lone Wolf Pack will be dissolved into whatever you call your pack Nox.  You are the Lone Wolf Pack.  You embody what it means to accept everyone no matter what. The Lone Wolf Pack is no more if you submit to Rider.”

I let out a long deep breath, “It’s not so much submit as yield, and obey.  He is my alpha.”

“And you are his omega.  Your pack is lucky, two close omegas.  You will be a strong pack if you can protect two.  I will guide the youngling.  He will need that help in the beginning.  I will be over as soon as the nice officers let me leave my living room.”

“Call me if you need anything.”

“Will do.  See you soon.”  Adrian said hanging up.  What a fucking mess!

Not Just Us

Home was easy once everyone was packed and the house closed up for the summer. At least that’s how it’d look to the rest of the people out in the Hamptons. We’d probably be back but you never knew. And with my new so-called position I didn’t really know much of anything anymore.

Ant shadow walked us all home and the kids fell into routine. They all went to their own rooms and they unpacked then went straight for the kitchen even though we had eaten only a few hours before – habits, or whatever. Didn’t really matter.

Jin was sitting in the living room working on her laptop when we walked in. She looked up and I saw surprise slip past her face for a moment before she was up and moving. “It’s good that you came home,” she said. “I’ve become your answering service it seems.” She wasn’t happy nor displeased with it but she was annoyed a little. “When you get back into savior mode let me know. We have a lot to talk about.”

“We absolutely do have a lot to talk about.”  I said calmly.  Alex squeezed my hand and made his way into the kitchen as I stepped into the room that had been regulated my office.  Jin followed me and shut the door behind me.  She didn’t look concerned and she should.

I sat down in my chair and she decided to stand like she always did.  “How come you didn’t call me the minute people started trying to contact me about these issues?”

Her jaw dropped in sudden realization that I knew all about what was happening.  “Darwynn called me, told me there were multiple issues with in the pack, and that the word on the street was other races were getting harassed to.  And I can confirm that there is meddling going on since my children have no where to go to school.”

She didn’t stammer.  “I didn’t think it was important enough to tell you.”

“How many calls?”  I asked.

“There are over three hundred as of this moment.”

“So what number would constitute an emergency to you?  Five hundred innocents being harassed?”

She just stared at me.  “Next time you get more than a handful of calls all of similar nature I need to know immediately.  Or I’ll find someone who isn’t afraid to interrupt me even more than you do. Now tell me what’s going on. Did you catalog them? What’s most important?”

Jin nodded. “I don’t know what you’ve considered more important but yes I’ve broken them down by race, and by problem. Both to help you understand things.”

“In the computer?” I asked.

Jin nodded. “Yes.”

“Send me the files,” I said getting up. “Keep answering as if I’m not here, until I can figure out what to do.”

Jin nodded. “Nox. That’s not all.”

I sat back down. “What else can go wrong?” I growled to myself.

“Reginald’s people called, as has Dom’s and they both have had point blank been asked to kill you for complete territorial rule over all of New York.”

“The Venatori can’t offer that. Not even for killing me.”

“I’m fairly certain they haven’t tried contacting any of the vampires yet. But they will.”

“I knew about the assassination attempts already, but the Venatori are trying to get the whole community to rally against me.”

“It seems that way.”

“And you keeping this from me is not helping that matter.” I growled. “Did they say what they were going to do?”

She shook her head.  “No.  But they told you, so that has to be good news.”

I shook my head. “I don’t know. That’s a tempting offer. I might try to do it.” I grinned at her. “Let me deal with the people first, then I’ll worry about all the death threats.”

I sighed as I left the office to go to our room and grab my laptop, Alex fell in step beside me in the hall. “I should check on Benji.”

I nodded. “You should. And any other New Yorker you have a good working relationship with.”

“No one I care about,” Alex said. “Everyone I care about is already your friend.”

“Well if you want to help I could use a person who’s good at talking to people.”

Alex grinned wrapping his arm around my waist. “Are you asking for my help?”

I smiled. “Alex, can you help me deal with people?”

“Sure, what are we dealing with?” Alex said proudly, his chest puffed out a little bit.

“I have over three hundred people who the Venatori are harassing. I need to get through the list and see what I can do anything about, and what I can’t. I would like you to get in touch with all those close to us to see what’s going on with them, and if we can help them any.”

Alex stopped and looked at me with confusion. “You want me to ask more people if they need your help?”

I stopped with him and nodded slowly at his question. “If I can help the leaders help their people then yes, the more hands working to get the Venatori’s fingers out of the pie the better.”

“So what if that isn’t what happens, and you just get more work?” Alex asked.

“A price I’m willing to pay?” I shrugged. “I’ve always helped the people, but I’m one person. I can’t do this many at the same time I need help.”

“I’m not saying I won’t help.”

I laughed. “I never thought you were Alex. Dom, and Adrian will help their people. The vampires too, we need to stop the Venatori for harassing our friends. And they can help us stop them from the rest.”

Alex shook his head and sighed. “You know the world doesn’t work that way right?”

I shrugged. “Nope.” I grinned at Alex. “Will you do what I asked?”

He nodded. “I think you are just making more work for yourself but yeah. I’ll get Ryan and Ant to help me too – since they know the people better.”

“Okay. I might steal Ry from you though, talk about some things.”

Alex laughed. “Not about us I hope,” he teased.

I grinned and leaned into my love and whispered, “I have this boy, who I’m all sorts of dying over. So cute, so hot, I just want him to fuck me all the time.”

Alex kissed me and pushed me away,.”You’re a fucking tease. Now go away before I do all those things.”

I laughed. “Maybe I don’t want to go away.”

Alex growled, “Pretty boy, if you don’t…..”

I kissed Alex hard and he groaned against my mouth and we broke apart breathless. My hands were clenched at my sides and I could see the strain in Alex as well. The vacation had reinforced one thing – we couldn’t get enough of each other.

But by sheer iron will we walked the opposite direction of each other and went about our mutual tasks.

Change of Plans

AJ keeps saying that we are going to be doing a romancey story in August. Something fun and easily written. But then we have book 6 sitting in the winds. BUT AJ thinks we are going to keep on editing and in addition to that she’s going to work on a coding project.

There is a big reason WHY she wants to do this, but I’m not allowed to say.

However AJ is keeping tabs on it on another blog — though it’s not updated regularly and AJ hasn’t posted in a bit about it. But it’s meant to track her changes through the process of making the app.

While I’d love to say AJ is working on her writing app, or her epic ebook app she isn’t. She went with something a little more easily defined and less work. One of the apps AJ has always wanted to do is an all encompassing notebook/journal type system. Everything from meal plans and grocery lists, to do lists, reminders, birthdays, a journal, a calendar system — a small list of would be nice to haves.

But it’s not quite so complicated as that RIGHT now. AJ’s going for the simple approach of making an online bullet journal. The basic core concepts of a bullet journal online. You can check it all out at her new blog.

Pool Side Cuddling

We had dinner and Rider took all the kids, and wolves too with him.  Seraph went with them though she looked back and me pleading not to have to spend time with them.  But she went.  And Rider had proven that he was an Alpha to everyone.  He commanded, the little ones follow.  He was sixteen and he was going to need help.  I hoped both Adrian and Dom would assist.  But Dom might not.

The rest of us went our separate ways.  Ryan was doing the kitchen clean up.  Ant and Izzy went off to be alone.  Me and Alex sat out by the pool in the same lounge chair.  Kissing and cuddling under the sun.  Alex’s hands wandered lower and even though he didn’t like to share, he still got a thrill out of public sessions.  His hands were cool against my hot skin.  “Full moon?” Alex asked.

I nodded, “Yeah.  I think Rider pulled from me more than the boys.”

Alex chuckled, “You do have power to spare.”

“I wish I didn’t.”  I groaned out as Alex’s hand grabbed my cock.  

“So easy pretty boy.”  Alex whispered as he bit at his favorite spot on my exposed neck while he brought me closer and closer to the top.

My phone rang, and we let it ring.  Both of us ignoring it until it went to voicemail.  But it wasn’t long before the phone stated ringing again.  It happened two more times in immediate succession before Alex stopped and grabbed my phone, “What the fuck is so important you can’t leave a message?”

“Well hello to you too.”  The voice said.  “I need to speak to my King.”

“He’s busy right now.”

“You are free to keep playing with him while I talk to him but it’s important.  Like life or death important, Alex.  His life.  And others too.”

I took the phone from Alex and he growled.  But he hunkered back down and his hand went back into my shorts he was going to take Darwynn up on his offer.  I groaned as I answered the phone.

“He’s really going to do it?”

“Seems that way.”  I said through the pleasure.  Darwynn was going to get a show.  “What’s up?”

“Jin hasn’t told you?”

“Told me what?”

Darwynn sighed, “There is shit going down here.  We have some wolves who’ve sworn loyalty to you winding up in jail under false charges.  Dom’s at his wits end and I can’t keep the ones from your new pack in check either.  They all want to run.  Nox something is happening down here.  The Venatori are rounding up all your supporters or making their lives hell.”

Alex’s hand stopped and he growled.  “Fuck.  I need to go call Benji.  He keeps calling me but won’t leave a message.”

I nodded.  He leaned over and kissed me softly, “Sorry for teasing you pretty boy.”

I chuckled, “I’m not.”

Alex just rolled his eyes and shook his head as he went to go find a quiet spot to talk to his friend.  Griffin came out of whatever bush he was hiding in and sat down next to me.

“Your game done?”

I nodded.  “Darwynn, see what you can do.  I’ll get with Jin later to figure out why she’s been keeping this from me.  We’ll be home as soon as the kids get back with the wolves who transitioned early.”

“What?”  He asked surprise filling his voice.

“Lake and Rider transitioned this afternoon.”

“They aren’t still working through it?  First turns are all day affairs, and hey are what?  sixteen?”

“I helped them through the process and yeah, they are sixteen.  Riders a clear alpha he’s going to need help to learn the pack ways.  I don’t know who’s going to challenge him.”

“No one’s gonna challenge the King’s brother.  But I got him.  I’ll teach him.  Swear to him, but I’m yours.”

“I appreciate both, but if Rider needs your full support to do this, do it.  Rider will always have mine, so we’d be good.”

“Alright.  I’ll see what I can do around here until you get back.  But Nox, that’s not the only reason I called.”

I waited for Darwynn to continue and we sat in silence for a while before he sighed, “I don’t really know how to say this.  But your head is worth a pretty penny.  The Venatori are personally hiring assassins to kill you.”

“I know there has been three rather poor attempts on my life already.”

Darwynn growled, “Do you know who?”

I shook my head, “No man, Griffin saw a sniper outside my house, but we’ve not seen anyone since.”

“A new guard?”

“Yeah.  An old friend of Alex’s.”

“An old friend huh?  That’s gotta be fun.”

“It’s better now that I put him on the ground.”  Griffin growled at the memory but he was smiling as he did so.

“Alright.  Darwynn, the boys need to run with the pack tomorrow, you can arrange that with Dom and/or Adrian?”

“I can.  I’ll do that while I do the rest of this holding the fort down.”

“Thanks.”

“No problem, man.”  He said then hung up the phone.

I tucked my phone back in my pocket and looked at Griffin, “Do you enjoy watching?”

He chuckled, “Not my thing.  I didn’t see anything once I realized what was going on.”

“Alex isn’t going anywhere Griffin.  He married me in the strictest sense of the word.  Tied by soul and magic now, and a byproduct of that are the twins inside Isabelle’s belly.  This isn’t some con he’s going to leave eventually on.  He’s here for the long haul.  You need to either get on board, or go. I’m not threatening you.  I’m just stating a fact.  The Alex you knew, he’s not there anymore.  At least he’s trying not to be.  He changed his whole world for me.  And I’d change my whole world for him.  But it’s not so easy when prophecy dictates my life.”

“Prophecy huh?”  Griffin laughed, “The chosen one.  King, and whatever else the fuck you are.  I’m involved now, and you prove to be at least competent enough.  I don’t see what Alex sees in you.  Sure the pretty face and fucking hot bod but the rest was never Alex’s thing.”

“You mean the selflessness?”

Griffin nodded, “The good Samaritan.”

“Yeah, that’s all me.”  I said standing up, “He’s always claiming I’m a bad influence on him.”

Griffin nodded, “Bad, yeah right.  But he’s happy.  I see that.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen him that happy, not even when it was him and his mom.”

I smiled.  I didn’t want to say what I thought about his mom.  Alex felt the same way deep down, but he loved her too.  Just like I loved my shitty mom too.

Alpha of the Pack

Griffin and I were getting along so much better after I put him on the ground.  I wasn’t the pansy he thought I was.  Though his thoughts betrayed him, he was waiting for the con to be up.  And while I was well aware of how this all started with Alex, we were past it.  I was happy, he was happy and this wasn’t a con.   But Alex was a con man.  May be reformed but still a con man – my con man.

We walked up to the house, the boys in wolf form were already stalking around Ryan at the grill.  He’d become the hunted.  I watched as Rider rallied his brothers to calm down.  They’d become more aggressive around the food.  They had to be starving.

Griffin ushered me into the house and Alex was smirking at me, “Your con man eh?”

I grinned at him, “Always mine.  No matter what you do.”

Griffin looked at me and then back at Alex.  “That has got to get old real fast.  I hated when he’d respond to my thoughts like that as a kid.”

Cass was flinging herself around my legs and climbing up my body, “Daddy likes it.  If Alex wasn’t in his head, he’d be sad.  And I don’t like Daddy sad.”

“I don’t like being sad either.”  I agreed with my daughter as I flung her up to my hip so she could sit carelessly in my arms.  I pressed a kiss to her cheek and she giggled.  “Were you good for Alex?”

“Daddy!  When am I ever not good.”

Both Alex and I guffawed at her proclaimed innocence.  She was the worst out of all eight of the kids… it was eight right?  Fae, Quinn, Matt, the twins made five and three little ones… fuck with two on the way.  Ten fucking kids.

Alex groaned and Cass was giggling.  “We have a big family Daddy!  You aren’t even counting you and Alex.  Uncle Ant and Uncle Ryan.  And Alec and Vin, even Jae and Seraph and I guess new guy over there too.  But I don’t know if he’s staying.”

“Stay out of his head.”  Alex and I said at the same time.

Cass pouted.  “I’m good.  He’s the one projecting.”

Alex chuckled, “You are a little, Griff.”

He looked at me and then back at Alex.  “So when’s the con over?  What are you getting out of this.” Griffin asked.

I sighed, “It’s not a con.”

I walked outside to help Ryan with the boys and finish up our dinners.  It smelled great.  I could still hear them talking.

“It’s not a con.”  Alex said.  “It’s not.”  Alex sounded incredulous, like Griffin didn’t believe him.

“I’m supposed to believe Alex Kennedy has forsaken everything he’s ever known for what a good fuck.”

“He’s more than a good fuck.”  Alex said.

Rider head butted me and was growling.  “Fine.”  I said to him.  “But Alex hasn’t even told him we are married, or living together or anything permanent.”

Rider continued to growl.  “Feed him before he bites me.”  I said to Ryan who was laughing.

“He’s right though, don’t listen in.”

I rolled my eyes, “They listen in all the time.”

Ryan shrugged, “You’re better than those pesky telepaths.”  He ruffled Cass’s hair who slid down at the onslaught of abuse.

“Hey! I ain’t a wolf.”

“No just a cutie pie.”  Ryan said chasing after her.

I sighed as I took the spatula from Ryan as he scooted past me.  I guess I’d feed the wolves then.  There was a cooler beside the grill where Ryan was cooking.  Inside I found several more steaks, most of them unseasoned for the boys.  I pulled them out and tossed one to each of the large wolves.  They’d need more, but for now one would do.  They devoured them while I gauged the meat on the grill.

Ant joined us on the patio.  He sat down on a lounge chair and kicked back like he owned the place.  I chuckled to myself.  “Don’t get too comfortable.”

“Why?”  He asked, “You gonna kick me out?  You and your boy toy want some alone time?”

“We do want that, but no, Griffin saw a red laser light while we were on the run.  Said it could be a reflection, but he didn’t want to take any chances.  He suggest we go back to the City where we can control things more.  But I told him the boys have two more transition days, and I’d rather do it here than in the City since they don’t want to join the pack.”

Ant laughed, “It’s not that they don’t want to join the pack, they don’t want to leave you.  Rider is afraid of what everyone else will do to his family.”

“I hate you telepaths.”

Ant chuckled again.  But I went on.  “He’s an alpha, Adrian will accept that.  I think Dom might press the issues.”

I heard a popping sound and a soft whine and I turned to look to see Rider shifting back.  “Rider, dude, you shouldn’t do that until later.”

He groaned as the pain subsided.  “I’m okay.  I can do that can’t I?  If I’m an alpha.”

I nodded, “Yes, but now Lake and Fae need to stay in form longer cause you pulled on their power too.”

He nodded, “They’ll be okay though, right?”

Again I nodded.  “Don’t do it too often.”

He shook his head, “I won’t.  But I’d rather talk to you myself.”  He grabbed a towel that was left over from swimming and wrapped it around his waist and grinned at me, “I still need more food though.  I’m starving.  I caught a strange scent too, gun, oil, powder something.  We should go home before the full moon.  We can go with Adrian on a run tomorrow night.  Ant can take us, and everyone else will stay with you.”

I handed Rider a mostly rare steak from from the grill and he smiled happily, “Thanks.  But tonight we should go home, with Lake and Fae as wolf.  In the morning they’ll shift back, and we can call Adrian.”

I sighed, “Everyone gets a say.”

He smiled, “Who’s everyone?”

“Ant, you, Alex, me, Ryan, and Griffin I guess.  Jae and Seraph too if they want to chime in.”

“Why does Rider get a say and I don’t.”  Cass called from her hiding spot around the corner of the patio.

“Because you are five.”  We all said and then laughed.  

“Ant?”

“I’ll go with the majority.  I don’t need a vote.”  Ant declared, “I’ll protect Nox however he needs to be.  Ry, Jae and Seraph don’t count – Griffin either.  We go where Nox goes.”

“So you, me and Alex.”

“You include the boy awful quickly.”  Griffin said.  Their conversation apparently over.  

Alex came up behind me and looked over my shoulder at the food, “How come he gets to eat?”  He did a double take at Rider, and then the boys still chewing at their rare steaks.  “Is he supposed to be a boy?”

“He’s alpha.  And that’s why he gets a say, he leads the pack if you hadn’t noticed.  We don’t change, we don’t rank in therian hierarchy.”

“How does he know that though?”  Alex wondered as he stole a piece of Rider’s food he was slowly cutting and chewing as if it were going away.  Or more likely so that he didn’t devour it like his wolf brothers were.

I shrugged, “It’s gotta be in the power he has now.”

I pulled a steak off the grill and piled on some grilled veggies and handed the plate to Alex.  “Here you eat.  Did you hear the conversation?”

Alex nodded.  “I did. I’d love to stay for more sand and sun, but we probably should get you back where it’s safer.  But we’ll finish today off.  Go back tonight.  Is that acceptable?”  Alex looked to Rider.

He nodded.  “I’ll take everyone to go play in the sand one last time.  Hunter can stay with you?”  He asked.

Alex nodded, “Yeah, we can make use of him.  But you take one of the bodyguards.”

“Seraph will come with us.”

Our wolf bodyguard started to bristle with defiance, but Rider’s power rose with her inkling and she clamped her mouth shut.  It seemed she didn’t want to make an issue of it.  Rider smirked and looked up at me.  “You will still keep me in check?”

I nodded, “Either I or Alex will make sure you don’t abuse your power with carefully worded concern.”

He grinned, “Okay.  I am only sixteen.”

“We know.”

So that was settled.  We were going home later tonight.  But there was still some time for some fun.

Long Run

I stood up and Alex didn’t hide it while he watched me move elegantly up.  He smirked when I offered him a hand up.  He took me up on the offer and I pulled him up with ease.  And he made me work for it too.

He sighed, “I don’t think I’ll ever be as strong as you.”

I grinned at him and pulled him closer,”If you keep going with Ryan you will.  You’ll do be stronger and faster than me.”

Alex smirked, “I think I might like that.”

“I know I will.” I bite my bottom lip and dropped my gaze to his.  It was submissive but it wasn’t to the floor.  It was an effort.

Alex leaned in and kissed me hard.  We broke apart with a furry head to my hand.  Rider was getting impatient.  “I gotta go.”

He laughed.  “He’s pushy lately.”

“He is.”  I kissed Alex again.  “I’ll be back.  See if you can get Ryan to cook us all up some steaks with a few rare rare ones for the boys.  They aren’t going to hunt so they’ll need the protein.”

Alex nodded, “Sounds good.  But I think he’s one step ahead of you.”

Alex grabbed the door knob to be the chivalrous man he was but the door didn’t budge despite the fact that it was unlocked. 

I sighed, “I put a locking rune on it.”  I wasn’t sure of the rune that would cancel that rune.  I stood there thinking while Alex was tapping his foot with a smirk on his face.

“Don’t worry about it pretty boy, Cass and Quinn are on it.”

“On what?”  I asked.

“Unlocking the door.”

I heard giggling on the other side of the door.  “Daddy, did you lock yourself in?”

I muttered, “I hate you.” to Alex, “How are you going to open the door Cass?”  I asked concerned.

“I’m not.”  She shouted through the door.  But the door knob turned and it opened.  Revealing a very happy to see Laker Matt.  Both of them were on the floor, Laker’s wolf having tackled his mate to the floor and was licking him like crazy.

“Come on Lake, let’s go for a run.”  I said.

Rider’s wolf pushed his head against Laker and the young wolf moved.  Rider passed by Matt and gave him a quick nuzzle before Rider was nuzzling everyone else.  He was still an overly affectionate wolf even if he was alpha dog now – maybe because of it.  He was always looking after everyone.

Alex sighed.  _He’s really going to be lording over us now isn’t he?_

I chuckled and smiled at Alex.  _He’s still sixteen.  We are still mostly the boss._

“Mostly.”  Alex laughed.  He leaned over and pressed a kiss to my lips, “Go run.  I’ll hold down this fort.”  Both Cass and Quinn were giggling behind ‘ewwws’.

I rolled my eyes.  “Come on you three.  Stay with me and don’t draw attention to me.  Rider it’s your job to make sure the other two behave.”

There was a soft yip of agreement and we all left the house to go for a good long run down the beach.  I was still a little awed by the fact that my brothers were both full fledge werewolves.  My mother had been a carrier but had never turned.  I wondered if I’d stayed around if she would have.  She wasn’t a born therian like the twins were.  At least she wasn’t here to call them monsters.

The thought of my mother feeling the same way about her boys drew my heart down as we ran the length of the beach.  I had three werewolves and a bodyguard with me.  If the Venatori thought to take another stab at me now they’d be stupid to do so up close and personal.

But now would be a great time to take my family captive again.  Though that hadn’t been the Venatori.  The New World Order was just as keen as finding me dead sooner rather than later.

A wolf rammed into the back of my leg and I tumbled to the ground.  Rider’s big black fur covered form towered over me.  He gave me a soft growl and the other two wolves came to pace around me.  Griffin was there with a stolen beach umbrella and placed it between me and the street beyond.

“It might have been just a reflection, but there was a red light dancing over you looking for a shot.”

I sighed as I sat up. “I can keep bullets from hitting us.  Or me, but I can’t do it for all of us while we run.”

Rider nudged me in the direction of home.  “You need to run.”

He nudged me again in the same direction.  “I can protect myself.”

He nudged a little more firmly than before and growled.  I sighed, “Fine.”

“Ryan will take you out again.”  I stood up wrapping air around me as thick as my thigh and as tightly compacted as I could make it.  Nothing was getting through that and I felt suffocated inside the air tube.  “Let’s go.  We can still run home.”

They all followed with ease.  “It might be best if we got back to the city where we have more control over who has access to you.”

I sighed.  “It’ll be better to keep them out here were we can run free.  Three days of the full moon.  Then we can.”

Griffin sighed.  “We’ll see.  Your safety is my first concern.”

I slowed to a walk so we could talk, “I’ll let you and the rest decide, but Alex gets final say.”

“You put a lot of of faith in Alex.”  Griffin said as he slowed with me.  The wolves ran around circles around us.

“It sounds cheesy, Alex is my world.  It’s my goal in life to make him happy.”

“That is cheesy.  He’s not worth it.”  Griffin chuckled.

“He is.  But that’s why he’s mine and not yours.”

“That sounds like jealousy.”

I shrugged.  “A little bit.  You knew Alex before.”

Griffin laughed.  “We **are** just friends.”

“Yeah I know.  Like my friends.  It’s not the benefits, just the friendship.  I never got to remember a young Alex when it mattered.”

“He liked it that way.”  Griffin said. 

The house drew into view and we sort stopped talking but it wasn’t awkward.