I pulled my arm away from him. He didn’t fight me. “I don’t want to talk to you!” I wouldn't have gotten far if he really didn't want me to escape. He was probably trying to keep this as low-key as I wanted to. He probably thought I'd yell if he kept me trapped.

He rolled his eyes and muttered something as I walked away. I made my way outside and sat next to Nikki at a table. She eyed me suspiciously.

“What's up your beautiful bottom?” Jason’s eyes were humorous, but he didn’t know he was playing with fire.

When I didn’t say anything to him and just stared him down, he got the hint. He collected his things and walked away from me. “I’ll just excuse myself.”

“Good boy.” Nikki teased as he walked away. She turned her attention back to me. “Want something to eat? You’re a little grouchy.”

Her gaze flickered behind me. I had a millisecond of panic. Mac had probably followed me out here to cause a spectacle. A plate appeared in front of me having everything I love on it. I looked up expecting to tongue lash someone else. But it was dad. He watched me with a twinkle in his eye, daring me to say something sarcastic to him. This was my dad's way for making it up to me for our little argument. Food solved everything in our family.

I straightened myself in the chair and did my best to smile. “Thanks Dad.”

He nodded and took Jason’s old seat. Everyone left me alone so long as my dad was sitting next to me.

After I was done eating, I sat there with my head on my dad's shoulder as he patted my knee. We weren’t saying anything, just sitting there together. It was nice to just watch the pack converse together during Margaret’s party. It was like nothing at all was wrong. It was just like everything should be.

Nikki came over and held out her hand. “We’re going to play volleyball.”

She knew how much I loved the game while we were growing up. I played it through high school and college in my free time. 

I shook my head. “I don’t think so Nikki. I’m not feeling up to it.” Her brows creased and my dad turned to look at me. “What?”

“You can’t bullshit us.” Nikki sat down next to me now. “What’s wrong? You were fine when I got here, was it because of Jason? I’ll hold him down and you can beat him up.” She nudged me with her elbow.

I shook my head. “I’m just a little queasy.”

Nikki rolled her eyes. “I just said you can’t bullshit us.”

I didn’t know what was giving it away. So I just shrugged. “I don’t want to talk about it right now. It’ll just cause a scene and I don’t want that on Margaret’s birthday.”

Nikki eyed me. “Well come play then.”

I sighed and gave in. We all knew that Nikki was going to be pestering me to play until I agreed to it.

When we got to the grassy area, I took a look at the teams.

"Eddy and Jason have to be on the same team." I groaned as we walked up to the groups. "You know they'll get crazy competitive if they're not."

Nikki shook her head. "You boys will be on your best behavior during this game right?" She asked as we were a bit closer now.

They both nodded as Nikki swore them into behaving themselves. Nikki and I joined Jason's team. I was just happy that Mac wasn't taking part in the game.

We all got into position. I would've been setter, but I couldn't jump anymore and playing against werewolves sucked. I knew I had no chance one on one with these people. Jason held his hand out for a "low-five" and I slapped it as hard as I could.

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