71 7 0

I did not have opportunity to torture Laurent some more, because we soon had to leave for the weekly pack meeting that Laurent had planned tonight. We walked side by side to his parent's former house, where members of the pack were rushing inside. It was already my third pack meeting, but I still felt shy around all the other werewolves. It felt like I was intruding a large family.

When we arrived inside, I immediately spotted Gerard sitting quietly at the front of the room, watching everybody chat loudly between themselves. I headed toward him to thank him for taking care of me when I shifted, Laurent hot on my heels.

''Hi, Gerard!'' I greeted cheerfully, shaking his hand politely.

I did not know why, but I strongly liked the old man. He was a comforting person to be around.

''Dear Jade, I'm glad to see you in good shape!'' he told me with a genuine smile, before nodding more seriously in Laurent's direction. ''Good evening, Alpha.''

''Gerard, I already said you didn't have to call me that'', Laurent reprimanded with a small smile. ''It embarrasses me.''

''What can I say, I'm quite old-fashioned when it comes to a pack's hierarchy'', Gerard retorqued with a grin.

I wondered if alphas usually made their pack members call them that. Beside Gerard, I had never seen anyone call Laurent alpha. He obviously did not appreciate the term. Laurent did not act superior with others, which I admired about him.

Laurent excused himself to go greet other pack members, so I sat beside Gerard as he questioned me about my early shift. I explained to him everything, and he began telling stories of strange cases he came across in his career as a doctor, which fueled my curiosity, as I listened to him with wide eyes. Anna and Sebastien soon joined us, while Justin sat further from us on purpose. I was growing tired of him ignoring me. We could still be friends, even if I was Laurent's mate!

The meeting started, and pack members began discussing about uninteresting facts with Laurent at the head. The majority did not seem to be aware of the gravity of the situation with Thomas, as Laurent was remaining very secretive about it. He probably did not want them to know about the danger he was putting himself into, and personally, I did not want them to know every detail of my life. They looked like nice people, but they were not my family. Not yet, at least.

The meeting was short, that time, and Laurent seemed tired. When everybody began rising from their seats, I took my chance and headed quickly toward Justin. He had to stop avoiding me.

''Hey, Justin'', I called out, appearing in front of him.

He stared at me warily with chocolate eyes, seeming uncomfortable. He was dressed in a simple black t-shirt and jeans, looking cute as usual, but it was now impossible for me to find him attractive. Laurent Eastwood completely occupied my mind.

''Hey...'' he trailed off, his gaze set on the ground.

''I'm truly sorry, Justin'', I apologized with hopeful green eyes. ''I had no idea Laurent was my mate. I just learned about it.''

''Yeah, congrats for your first shift'', he said sweetly, finally meeting my eyes.

''We can still be friends, you know'', I tried with a smile. ''Laurent won't mind. He knows nothing will happen now that I know he's my mate.''

Justin remained hesitant as he fidgeted on his feet.

''I want to, Jade'', he agreed while giving quick glances where Laurent was standing, speaking to a middle-aged man. ''But I'm not sure he has forgiven me yet.''

I frowned, displeased by Justin's fear of Laurent. Sure, Laurent was the alpha, but he would not hurt Justin for no reasons, I was sure of it.

''Don't worry about it, he's fine with it'', I said confidently. ''Anyway, it was more my mistake than yours. You had no idea about what was going on between him and me. And he wants me to have friends here.''

Justin seemed a little bit relieved by my words and gave me a more genuine grin.

''Well, it's true that it sucked, losing my homework partner'', he agreed, and his cheerful attitude made me happy. ''I could definitely use help for studying my finals. If Laurent is okay with it, of course.''

''Call me, and I'll be there!'' I smiled at him before we said our goodbyes.

I did not need Laurent's permission to hang out with friends, I found the idea very condescending and unfair. However, for the sake of Justin, I would still talk to him about it, so I could be sure that he would not lash on Justin again.

I walked back to Laurent to see if he was ready to go home, feeling lighter now that I was reconciled with Justin. His face lightened up when he perceived me approaching, and he nodded at the man he was talking to. We left together, and I noticed some suspicious glances coming from pack members who were likely questioning our proximity. The only people who were aware of our bond in the pack were Anna, Sebastien, Justin, and maybe Gerard, if I remembered the knowing smirk he had on his face when he had talked to us earlier.

''Laurent'', I wondered curiously when we entered the house. ''Does the fact that I'm an alpha's mate change anything about my status?''

''Well, it makes you the alpha female'', he answered casually while removing his shoes.

''What does that mean?'' I asked cautiously.

''In normal circumstances, it would mean that you would lead the pack with me as an equal'', he responded with hooded eyes. ''But since I most likely won't be there, it makes you the rightful leader. ''

''What?'' I exclaimed stressfully. ''I can't lead a pack!''

Laurent turned to me and put a calming hand on my shoulder.

''You can refuse the title and give it to Anna'', he suggested. ''But you should wait before you make decision. I think you could make a great leader, once you grow accustomed to our way of living.''

I shrugged, not sharing his opinion. I could make maybe an okay leader, but nothing more. My dream was to become a doctor, not a kind of politician. If I had to chose, I would certainly become a pack doctor like Gerard. However, I did not want to argue with Laurent about that tonight, so I followed him upstairs as we both prepared ourselves to go to sleep. I laid on my mattress, trying to ignore the urge to join my mate in his bed right beside me.

The StalkerWhere stories live. Discover now