Saffron

"Great!" Logan interrupts. "What movie should we watch?" He sounds excited and completely oblivious to everything that's going on around him. He starts suggesting movies I haven't heard of, and I'm so caught up watching him and enjoying the deep timbre of his voice that I almost miss the moment POW enters the dining room.

When I hear the Pissed Off Wolf's deep, scary voice, I freeze. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be socializing—especially with his son—or if I'm expected to sit alone or maybe with other Omegas. The last thing I need is for POW to get suspicious and not let me go to school today.

I watch him greet Luna with a kiss on the cheek. He asks her something and then gestures at the plates on the table, his surprise obvious. Luna tells him something, and POW looks around until his eyes land on me. I gulp and quickly look away.

When I look back, POW and Luna have both picked up their plates and are headed to the sideboard. There are a few other adults at the head of the table, but none of them make a move to get up. The Jacobses are there too, with a pimpled kid who's otherwise an exact replica of Mr. Jacobs between them.

My attention drifts back to POW, and I watch him serve himself a heaping pile of food. Luna does the same, and the two head back to the table. The moment they take their seats, the other adults get up as one and head for the sideboard as well. The kids all sit at the table, waiting until the last of the adults has taken their seat again. Then, chaos erupts as everyone grabs their plates and lines up to get food.

I pick up my own plate and stand in line with the other kids. When I reach the sideboard, I start piling my plate high with steak, eggs, bacon, ribs, a mushroom omelet, and three burger patties. I don't know when my next meal will be, especially if I run away before lunch, so I paln to fill up on breakfast.

When I get back to my seat, I sneak a peek at POW out of the corner of my eye. He's talking with a few kids my age and isn't paying me any attention. Luna, meanwhile, is making the younger kids laugh. Nisha is giggling at whatever Luna is saying and Nicki laughing so hard milk is coming out of her nose. The sight is so hilarious I grin.

Everyone else at the table is laughing and having fun. It's exactly like what I've pictured pack life would be, and it fills me with longing for a life I know I can never have. I wish I could freeze this moment but the best I can do is enjoy my one opportunity to b a part of it.

For the rest of breakfast, I pig out on food and listen to Logan, Zara and Jasper discuss movies. I'd say Jess, too, but she just picks at her food and stares off into space, and since I've never been allowed to watch TV or go to the movies, I stay quiet too.

When everyone is done eating, kids start filing out of the dining room. Jess ditches a plate of uneaten food and heads off without saying a word. Logan, Zara and Jasper are too busy arguing about some actors I've never heard of to notice.

"We should go." Zara looks around the mostly empty dining room.

The three of them get up, still arguing about actors, and I quickly scarf down the rest of my omelette and follow. Inwardly, I groan and wish it wasn't time for school already. This is the first—and possibly last—time I've ever hung out with wolves my age and I wish it didn't have to end.

"We can take my car," Logan suggests.

"Give us five minutes," Zara agrees, grabbing my hand and pulling me out of the dining room. She looks back once when we reach the doorway and shares a smile with Jasper, before leading me across the foyer.

I follow her upstairs and grab my backpack from my desk. "Does my hair smell like sausages?" I ask, pulling out my hair tie and taking a sniff.

"Nah, you're fine."

"You sure?"

"I'd tell you if you smelled, Sof. I promise!"

I believe her, but I'm still paranoid enough to change shirts and run to the bathroom to splash water on my hair, hoping it will get any remaining smell out. When I'm done, we head downstairs and wait in the driveway.

We hear the music seconds before Logan drives up in a red sport car. The top is down, and Jasper's in the front seat next to him. Both of the boys are wearing sunglasses, though Logan pulls his down to wink at me.

"You go first," Zara tells me, and I climb in the back.

As soon as Zara's seated, Logan revs the engine. He's about to take off just as POW emerges from the house and walks directly towards us. Logan immediately turns off the car—and music—leaving us all quietly watching POW.

"Keep an eye on Saffron today," he tells our group, before giving me an indecipherable look and heading back to the house.

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