Pack Alpha(9)By: Crissy Smith
“I accept your apology,” Gage said quietly. “I might not know everything you’ve been through but I do understand that you haven’t always felt welcome with our kind. I expect you to tell me if you have any problems. I’ll get the Pack to give you some space but you will have to interact with them.”
When he’d finally spoken, she’d been so surprised that she’d lifted her eyes to meet his. Why would he even want her to talk to them? She was confused and it was really hard to concentrate, having him so close.
For a brief moment she regretted what she was. A shifter unable to change, an abomination, someone who should have been drowned at birth. She’d come to terms with it a long time ago but Gage was making her wonder what could have been if she’d been normal.
This was why she hung around with humans. They couldn’t hurt her with their words and the fact that none of them would truly accept her.
“I’ll be on my best behavior,” she said softly. Maybe she wasn’t as badass as she pretended but no one other than herself and Gage would have to know that.
“Very well then. Now, I believe your sister is downstairs about to have a fit with us up here arguing, so I suggest we finish this another time.”
Marissa dipped her head in acknowledgment, relieved that he would leave now. Maybe he was just as unsettled as she was.
Gage walked out without another word to her. Marissa sat on her bed and thought about what had just taken place. She looked up at a sound in the hall and saw Elizabeth standing at the entrance to her guest room with wide eyes and a frown.
“Don’t start,” Marissa warned.
Elizabeth shook her head. “Gage is a nice man and a good Alpha.”
Marissa smiled even though she felt her face wanting to crack. “I’m sure he is,” she lied.
Gage wasn’t surprised at the knock on his office door, though it did annoy him. Logan opened the door and walked in without hesitation. He grinned at Gage as he sat and lounged on the couch.
“What?” Gage asked, not in the mood for any more games tonight.
“Sam said he ran into you after you met with the Boyd woman.” Logan paused for dramatic effect. It was something Gage usually found amusing. Tonight wasn’t one of those times. “He said you seemed agitated.”
Gage snorted in response. “I am not agitated.”
Logan nodded, his expression growing serious. “No, I didn’t think so. If you were agitated, you might be pacing your office liked a caged…wolf.”
Gage didn’t miss the twitch in Logan’s lips. His second in command kept the smile from his face this time, but barely. “I am not pacing.”
“No. Absolutely no pacing going on here,” Logan agreed too easily, proving that he was finding too much humor in messing with his Alpha.
“I have had enough with foolish talk for one night, so knock it off.” Gage barely kept the growl out of his voice.
Logan’s blue eyes sparkled. “Things didn’t go so well with Elizabeth’s sister, I take it?”
Gage snorted again and went back to pacing. “She’s rude, stubborn, and…”
Gage swirled around. “How do you know she’s beautiful?”
To Logan’s credit, he kept a straight face giving only a careless shrug. “A lot of the men were quite impressed with her.”
“She is not here to be hit on by every available male in the territory,” he said strongly. Too strongly even to his own ears.
“Well, since she was raised in a Pack, I don’t think this behavior is that new to her,” Logan predicted. No doubt trying to be helpful.
Gage didn’t respond.
“Being raised in a Pack, she already knows most rules and our laws,” Logan continued.
“Oh, she knows the rules all right. Knows how to ignore them.”
Logan nodded as if he understood. “It’s not the first time you have encountered a rogue or undisciplined wolf. What makes her different?”
That question was what was bothering Gage. “I don’t know what caused it. There’s more to her story than just leaving her Pack because she didn’t feel comfortable not being able to shift. Or a break-up. There’s a pain deep inside her and I want to know where it comes from.”