Sticking with Leilyn again. A short while after last week, Olive has shown up and dragged the pair back inside to feed them more (boy, Were’s eat a TON). Leilyn is still enjoying the grumpy act Dell is putting on after she called Byron cute. Then Leilyn learns a little something about Alpha power she’s never experienced before…oh, but that’s just the start, what happens when the pack’s true alpha, and Dell’s father, shows up?:
“Eat up, child.” Olive dropped a plate full of biscuits in front of Leilyn. The moment Leilyn sat, Olive poured a heaping pile of sausage gravy on top.
Even though she’d just eaten two hours ago, Leilyn’s stomach rumbled. “It looks delicious. Thank you.”
Dell plopped down in the chair across the table and glared at his own plate. His mood had notably soured since Leilyn had commented that Byron was cute. Olive’s interruption of their conversation had only served to sour his mood further.
Leilyn’s delight in the situation might have been somewhat egotistical.
“You must be starving. How long were you in that river? I don’t know any Were that would react so severely unless they were in for some time.” Olive handed Dell a plate full of biscuits and gravy. At his grunt, she smacked the back of his head. “Manners, boy. You know better.”
Dell rubbed the back of his head and wrinkled his nose. Still, he offered a contrite look to Olive. “Sorry, Miss Olive. Thanks.”
Leilyn pinched her lips between her teeth to hold back her giggle. As she thought about Olive’s question, the giggle faded into a frown. “I’m not sure. What day is it?”
“Monday.” Dell spoke with his mouth full, earning another smack. He wiped his mouth and sighed. “We found you on patrol late Thursday night.”
Leilyn had left home on a Wednesday, but it couldn’t have been just last week. That made no sense, after all she’d travelled by land first. When she’d first gotten to the river, she’d tried to touch land every day, but then she’d lost track of time. “I’m not certain,” she answered honestly. “I lost track of my days after three or four.”
Dell perked up. “How far east did you live?”
Leilyn bit down on her cheeks to prevent the quick answer that threatened to rise. To save the trouble, she spooned several more bites into her mouth.
When Olive moved back to the stove, Dell half rose from his seat and leaned toward her. “Where are you from, Leilyn?”
Leilyn leaned away from the force of power he put behind the words. The mass of food in her mouth went down her esophagus like a thick lead weight. She tried to fight the need to tell him, but a whimper escaped as the words began to form.
“If you fight, you’d lose, you know that, right?”
She shook her head violently, she’d never lost the battle before. Why was it becoming so hard to fight now? Another whimper welled up and her mouth opened against her will. “I’m from—”
A metal cup hit Dell in the head and the force of his power dissipated. He frowned and rubbed his head again. “Damn it, Miss Olive.”
“Don’t you go cursing in my house, and don’t mess with her. She’s been through a mess’a something. You see that.” Olive narrowed her eyes at him. “She’ll tell when she’s ready.”
Leilyn stared at her still-full plate, all her appetite gone. Nothing was making sense. Not even her alpha uncle had been able to force her to speak. Then again, she’d seen him do the same thing to others in her pack.
“Apologize to the girl,” Olive snapped.
“Sorry,” Dell mumbled.
Leilyn’s stomach did another flip. Another force of powerful energy headed their way. An almost mirror power to the young man in front of her, even more forceful. She trembled and almost fell out of her chair in her attempts to back away from the door. If the world wasn’t turning on its head, she’d try to be stronger. Right now she just wanted reason and sense again.
“Leilyn?” Dell’s brow furrowed and his brown eyes were full of concern when he stepped in front of her. He gripped her shoulders. “Are you all right?”
“I don’t understand,” she whispered.
“What?” Dell didn’t jump when the door opened like Leilyn did.
In the door stood a man that was definitely Dell’s father. The same eyes, the same shaggy brown hair, and the same power.
“Leilyn. This is my dad, Jasper.” Dell stepped aside, but kept a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t know what’s eating her. She just got upset.”
Leilyn couldn’t lift her gaze if she’d tried. Her hands twitched and she took a ragged breath.
“I promise we don’t bite much.” Jasper’s voice carried humor and warmth. The power resonating through the room eased under his laughter, and Leilyn felt she could breathe again. “It’s good to meet you, Leilyn.”
“And you, sir.” Leilyn nearly curtsied, but stopped herself. She never curtsied or bowed. What was her problem? She managed to lift her gaze, but when she did, chaos took over again as another rush of power swept through the room and dropped her to her knees.
Jasper boomed, “What is the meaning of this? Who sent you?”
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