Two days later, I was pacing the border as I waited for Scarlett to arrive. I was kinda nervous. Scar had listened many times to my drunken rants and rages about Forest Pack and Lexa. About how she should have executed me and how much I missed my family, my friends, my position, Lexa. It had probably been exhausting to hear me go on and on, but she stayed. She listened and she became my best friend.
But, today was going to be a different story. Here I was back with the pack, in my position, and friends with benefits with Lexa. She’d probably think I lost my head to come back to all of this after everything that had happened. I couldn’t argue with her, I felt that way sometimes until I remembered why I agreed.
Finally, we saw dust appear on the horizon and I shaded my eyes to see better. When her distinct electric purple rover came into view, I stepped over the border and waited grinning like a damn fool. She was coming in fast, but at the last minute, skidded to a halt turning the car sideways and showering everyone in dust and rocks. I shook out my hair as I heard the door open and close. Before I even had a chance to do more than that, I was tackled into a bear hug and swung around. When she let me go, I had to bend over and place my hands on my knees to get my equilibrium back.
I looked up at her there and said, “God damn, woman. You tryin’ kill me or somethin’?”
“I should, Nyx,” she replied haughtily. “After fucking disappearing on us like that. Then to find out your house was blown up. What the fuck did you get yourself into?”
I stood up slowly and said, “The house was a result of payback for a job I did for the Coalition. Ben and I were already here when it happened. And you gotta sign the non-disclosure before I can tell ya anythin’ else, alright?”
She huffed and held out her hand, “Alright, Nyx. Ya got that paperwork for me?”
I reached down into a side pocket and pulled out a small tablet and stylus. Handing it to her, I said, “It’s a standard one. You promise not to reveal to anyone outside the immediate people involved about what you see and hear, the pack has a right to imprison and possibly execute you if you break it.”
She raised an eyebrow at me and said, “Standard, huh? That doesn’t seem standard to me, hun.”
I shrugged, “Okay, it’s standard for the pack. The information is just too sensitive, is all.”
“Mm-hm,” she said as she signed it and handed it back to me.
I put it up and gave her a proper welcome. We climbed into the rover, with me behind the wheel and the guards opened up the gate.
Once we were away from the gate, Scar asked, “Okay, what the hell is goin’ on that got you to come back to this damn place?”
I looked at her out of the corner of my eye and replied, “A month or so ago, I was visited by Lexa’s former Second. He informed me that a large community of people showed up in Manassas without permission and the five teams they had sent to investigate disappeared without a trace. Lexa wanted to hire me, dangling money and unlimited resources. I denied and he brought out the only things that would have ever convinced me to take the job.”
“Ending your banishment, lifting the kill order, and bringing you back into the pack?”
“Yep,” I said nodding. “So, I accepted. I didn’t really care about being a part of a pack again, but I really missed this place more than I’d thought and especially my fams. Unbeknownst to me, a woman that I’d slept with the same night her Second visited me, was visiting the Garrison Commander in regards to the very situation I’d found myself in.”
“Are you shittin’ me, Nyx? The same damn woman you slept with came out of Manassas to do what exactly?”
“To find out what the rules are regarding the pack teams they had taken prisoners. They went back home when he couldn’t help them because they were in the middle of Forest Pack territory. Cut the story a bit shorter, there are over a 100 humans living in Manassas with only 22 Apex who didn’t know they were Apex until just a little while ago.”
“How in Mother Earth, did they not know they were Apex? And where the hell did all the humans come from?”
“Easy. For the last 83 years they’ve resided in a bunker underneath Manassas Town Hall. The humans have no clue that we exist and the ones that have discovered that they’re Apex are learning and don’t understand exactly why we treat humans like we do.”
“I can get under that,” she said nodding, “So, why am I here exactly?”
“The pack chemist developed a neurotoxin that paralyzes the parts in our brain that control our powers and telepathy. The second team launched that into their camp. Everyone over the age of 30 became sick. The neurotoxin spread out from those spots and attacked the rest of the brain causing some terrible side effects like skin lesions and blindness. The worst was that it was slowly killing them off. It affected their leaders leaving kids in charge. Anyway, we offered to create a cure in exchange for the pack members that are held prisoner. Chemist ended up giving me a tweaked recipe that is used to counteract the toxin when we inhale it, which ended up killing 20 more adults.”
“So, this chemist…”
“Was found out, interrogated, and subsequently executed. The Second had bribed her to tweak the recipe that led to the deaths. Also found out that the Second had been leaking personal information on de Pakstoka for the last eight years. An Ice Pack spy had made it’s way into the pack and convinced the Second to help get rid of me and allowing him to take over. Which led to my banishment and shit.”
“So, you really weren’t at fault,” she said in wonderment. “You were manipulated.”
“Yes. Anyway back to why you’re here…the chemist had nearly completed the formula and it works spectacularly. We have three humans that were injected with the neurotoxin prior to the antidote spectacle. I introduced one of them to the serum about four days ago. Extremely vast improvement. The other two were injected with the serum that same day you and I talked.”
“Okay, sounds good so far,” she said thoughtfully.
“Right,” I said. “There’s a huge possibility that the humans who were hit by the neurotoxin and then given the serum will become Apex a month or so after receiving the serum.”
“But you’re not sure?”
“No, but according to the computer simulation there is a high probability that it will happen. And that’s where you come in. I can’t monitor them myself because I’m heading out to Manassas tomorrow with the serum and recipe book. My sister and I will be staying there to help train the new pack and mages in their powers. Along with other things.”
“You mean you’re willingly turning yourself over to them as their prisoner.”
“In a nutshell. It’s just until the original leaders are well enough and comprehend exactly what they walked into when they opened the bunker. The Forest Pack is willing to talk peace with them, but it’s still about gaining trust.”
“Not to mention they have the largest population of humans this world hasn’t seen in like 50 years.”
I turned to look at her and grinned, “Yep. We want to get this settled before the Coalition can hook their greedy little paws in.”
“Do you trust the current leadership in their camp?”
“I’ve spoken with them and they’ve listened to what I’ve said. The antidote fiasco has been the only issue. That’s another reason why I’m staying. I have to make sure that we give them no other reason to distrust us. I want this to be successful.”
“And it’s got nothing to do with you becoming Second again or that you’re still hooked on Lexa?”
“No, it has nothing to do with those. Becoming Second is giving me leverage and the authority to act as de Pakstoka’s liaison. Lexa and I are back to being friends and lovers, but I have no desire to reclaim her. I guess you could say she’s back to being a notch on my belt.”
“Mmm, and what am I, Nyx,” she practically purred in my ear.
“You, my dear,” I said pulling off the side of the road and pulling her to me, “Are more then a mere notch, Scar. You are something else.”
She chuckled throatily, “And what is it that I am?”
“Indescribable,” I said as I pulled her mouth to mine.
It took us another hour to reach the mansion grounds, but it was worth it. We climbed out of her rover and started pulling her things out.
“So, Scar,” I said getting her attention away from the opulence of the mansion. “I’ve got a room for you set up inside the mansion or there’s an available room in the hospital wing near the humans. Which would you druther?”
She looked forlornly at the mansion and shook her head, “It’s important that I stay near my patients. Makes my response time faster if something happens, ya know?”
“I know,” I said signaling two guards to pick up her things. “Being a responsible adult is a bitch.”
She laughed and grabbed my hand as I led the way to the hospital wing we were keeping the humans. I directed the guards to put her things in a room and then took Scar to meet her patients.
They were all doing remarkably well. The two that were near death were responding slower then the first guy, but I expected that to happen because of close they were to the end. Scar introduced herself and checked their vitals and even got there names, which I didn’t even think of getting. I checked on their brain scans and noted it down so I could put it in a report later on.
When she was done, I escorted her to Lexa’s office to introduce her. There was a bit of a stare down between the two, but they worked it out and were on their way to becoming friends. I handed Lexa the signed agreement and left them to start packing. I picked out clothing that I labeled; workout, everyday, and professional. There was a large pile of work out clothes then the other two combined, but I was going to be prepared to get down and dirty. Training was hard work and things would get messy. My weapons were already loaded up in Sephy’s buggy, so I didn’t need to worry about that. I just needed to find a place to stay, so I headed to Ben’s lab.
“Hey, killer,” I said as I knocked on the door startling Ben and Sephy apart. I quirked my brow at them, but left it alone.
“Hey, sis,” Sephy said nonchalantly, which raised my brow higher, “you get your friend here safe and sound?”
“Oh, yeah,” I replied. “She’s already seen her patients and was speaking with Lexa when I went to pack. How’s everything going here?”
“Everything’s good, boss,” Ben replied, “Seph and I have been going over blueprints of the homes that are still intact.”
“That’s great. In fact, that was why I was coming here to begin with. You find any good leads?”
“Two, in fact,” Sephy gushed. “Ben, can you show her?”
“Sure,” he replied and I was soon looking at some homes that were nearly compounds themselves.
“Are they within the shield,” I asked as I looked at the blueprints.
“Yes. That’s one of the requirements that we were looking for.”
“Yeah. A big enough place to house us and the Manassas Pack. Secluded away from the humans. Large enough area to train indoors and outdoors. A tall enough wall that we can build a ward on to keep humans out and give everyone the privacy they need to use their powers or shift. And enough bathrooms to compensate for nearly 20 weres.”
“And you’ve settled on these two?”
Ben nodded and said, “Yep, these two are the prime choices.”
“Okay, so give me the pros and cons of each compound.”
They did and we finally settled on the one that was to the east of the town hall and away from where the humans were residing. I left them to go back to whatever they had been doing before I got there and went in search for who ever was going to be leading the transport and moving company. I found them already loading up the trucks with furniture and cleaning equipment. I let them know that we’ve decided on a place and that tomorrow Persephone will be supervising the move in. They nodded and off I went to find Chef.
That was where I was when Scar and Lexa found me. Scar hopped on the table beside me and snagged my salad. I growled menacingly at her, but she only laughed and started eating it. Lexa had a little more decorum and actually asked. I huffed and slid a plate of steamed vegetables at her. I at least got to finish my steak without either of them trying to take bites out of it, too.
“I just don’t get it, Nyx,” Lexa said shaking your head. “How can you eat it seared like that? It takes the flavor away.”
“It enhances the flavor, not detracts, Lexa love,” I replied. “Some of you just don’t have as refined a palate as I do.”
Scar laughed, choking on the salad, “Refined palate, as if. You once convinced me to clay bake a salmon and I threw up after taking two bites. That shit was nasty. I swear you eat like a human sometimes.”
“Hey, that’s an insult. Take it back,” I said narrowing my eyes at her.
“Nope,” she said as she hopped off the table and began backing away. “Cooking your meat, that’s just plain repulsive. Only humans do that. Can’t get the right amount of protein and such, cooking it.”
I made a lunge for her, but Lexa tackled me from behind and Scar ran around the other side of kitchen, cackling.
“Lexa, what’re you doing? The woman just insulted me. She has to pay,” I said as I struggled to untangle my legs from her.
“I’m sorry, love, but you do like your meat weird. Definitely, human-like,” she said laughing at me.
“Sonofabitch! Really?! The two of you?,” I said as I continued to struggle. “This is what I get for introducing people. I swear y’all wait for this to happen and then gang up on me. This is so not cool!”
“What’s not cool,” someone asked from the door.
When I saw who it was, I groaned because it was Dani. Could my night get any worse.
“Not you, too,” I moaned. “Please tell me you’re not going to criticize the way I eat meat, too?”
“Oh, we’re having that conversation again,” she said laughing and kneeling down to help hold me down. “Lex, how many times have we had this conversation?”
“I think since we were two, maybe,” she replied with a grin.
“Whoa, whoa, wait,” Scar said as she came back over. “Are you telling me that she’s been like that with her meat since practically day one.”
“Yep, pissed her mother off real good, too. She’s the only one in the family that does it. Even Sephy eats her meat raw.”
I was starting to get annoyed, but at the same time I was enjoying myself. Couldn’t help myself with three very beautiful women holding me hostage.
“Alright. Alright, you win,” I said as I relaxed. “I eat my meat weird. Happy?”
“Not quite, sugar,” Scar said as knelt beside me. “Ya see, me and Lexa got to talking and…”
“And,” I prompted.
“And,” Lexa said as she got off my legs, “We’ve decided to give you a night you’ll never forget.”
“Ooh,” Dani said gleefully, “Got room for one more?”
“For you, Dani? Always,” she said giving her a caress.
Scar leaned over me and kissed Dani who in turn fondled Lexa’s breast. I lay there enjoying the show and then they started getting more into it, leaving me out.
“So, what,” I said pitifully. “All I get to do is watch. That’s not a night I want to remember.”
They broke apart laughing and finally brought me into the mix. It really was a memorable night.
I woke up in a tangle of bodies that was actually difficult to extract myself from, but when I did, I sighed in relief. I walked into the bathroom and discovered that I was sore, but in all the right places. I smiled as I stepped in the shower and was still smiling as I dried my hair and put it up in it’s usual braid. I leaned against the doorframe in my towel as I watched the three of them sleep. For whatever reason these three women were determined to love me and make sure I knew they would always want me.
I sighed and got dressed. I regretfully woke them up so that they could get doing what they did best. They tried to get me back in bed, but I wasn’t having it. Laughing, I walked out of my bedroom and headed to the kitchen. Chef was busy cleaning up the mess we had made last night and I cringed.
“Sorry, Chef,” I said as I grabbed an apple and hightailed it out of there and headed for the safety of Ben’s lab.
“You know, the whole mansion could here y’all last night,” Sephy said from the bed, making me jump.
I blushed, “Um, you did?”
She grinned at me wickedly, “Well, yeah. Kinda hard to block out the sounds of furniture breaking, glass smashing, various sounds of pleasure, howls, and did I here a cat yowl?”
I laughed weakly and said, “Um, Scar is a werepanther?”
“And no one complained?”
“Um, she’s, um,” I stammered and then glared at her. “You know what, you’re too young for this.”
“Oh, please,” she said rolling her eyes, “I’ve already been to my fair share of orgies, Sis. You started off pretty young too, if what mother says is true.”
I opened and closed my mouth because I could think of nothing to say to her, which was a first for me.
“So, Mom was telling the truth,” she laughed and couldn’t stop. I went and sat in the chair, glaring at her as I munched on my apple.
Ben came into the room and saw Sephy laughing her ass off and me glaring daggers at her.
“Um, hey boss,” he said as he carefully let himself in. “Your, um, women are looking for you.”
“My what,” I said, sitting up and spitting out a chunk of apple.
“Um, you know, the three women, you, um, spent the night with?”
I growled and he backed himself into a corner, which got Seph to get serious and put herself in front of him making me stop. I stood up in surprise and mumbled sorry and got out of there. I shook my head trying to get rid of the idea that maybe Ben and my sister…Nope, was not going to think about it.
Seph, can you make sure everything’s loaded up on the trucks, including my bike? Have Ben give you something to make sure nothing’s been messed with or the people there that are coming with aren’t gonna start shit when we get there.
You’re not going to hurt Ben, are you?
No, sweetheart. I’m just embarrassed about last night.
You know, you shouldn’t be.
I know, but it’s kinda different now. Hard to explain. Please just get the trucks ready?
I found them lounging in the sun room having coffee and gossiping with one another.
“You know,” I said as I entered, “I’m not so sure it’s a good idea to leave you around each other.”
“Why,” Lexa asked as she handed me a cup. “Afraid that we’re all going to get into trouble with you not here?”
I chuckled and took a sip, “The opposite actually. I’m afraid that y’all start trouble without me here.”
“Oh, darlin’,” Scar drawled. “Cats and dogs do know how to get along and play nice.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” I said as I sat down.
Dani got up and sat on my lap and started nuzzling my neck and said, “Well, the good news, ladies, is that we have marked her well and good. Nyx, honey, you’re not gonna get rid of us that easily with just one shower.”
I groaned as she bit just beneath my earlobe.
“Easy, Dani,” Lexa reprimanded. “She still has a lot to do today. We need her to be able to move with minimal soreness.”
Dani sighed and stopped, but stayed on my lap. I drank my coffee as I listened to them talk above me. I didn’t mind, I was quite comfortable enjoying the four of us like this. I even had a brief fantasy of us doing this in the future on a more permanent basis.
Sis, the trucks are loaded and we’re ready to head out when you are.
Ben ready, too? He’ll be bringing in the drones and driving the truck back here.
Yep, all we need is you.
Alright. I’ll be there in a bit. I’ve got to stop by the lab and pick up the serum and recipe book.
“Sorry, ladies, but duty calls,” I said as I scooted Dani off of my lap. “The trucks are ready to head out. They’re just waiting on me now.”
Dani pouted, but relinquished a goodbye kiss. Lexa and Scarlett both hugged and kissed me goodbye with a reminder to check in frequently. I promised and headed to the lab to get the serum and book. With them in my hand, I finally got into Sephy’s buggy and we were off. I radioed ahead to let them know we were on our way. I got a big old ‘okie-dokie’ from Raven and a see you soon from Clarke.
“Wow, they really hit you with their markers last night, Nyx,” Sephy said as she pulled her head out from behind the windshield.
“Don’t remind me, Seph,” I grumbled. “This will take days to rid their scent markers from me.”
“Mom really wasn’t kidding when she said you really made an impact on women.”
“No, she wasn’t,” I sighed. “I’m back in the pack for less then a week and I’ve got three, that I swear, want to do more then mark me.”
“I know you’ve told Lexa that you weren’t interested, but would it really be such a bad thing? To be claimed?”
“Right now, yes, it would be a bad thing. I’ve got more important matters to focus on then who I want to spend the rest of my life with or even if I want that right now. I’m hoping that you’re not that eager to settle down yet either.”
“Oh, no. I’m still having too much fun, but I am finding that I’m already playing favorites.”
“Um, could you guys not talk about the whole claiming and having lots of sex around me please,” Ben said uncomfortably from the back seat.
I turned and looked at him and replied, “Sorry, Ben. It’s just the way the pack is. I’ve told you this, but we’re going to stop. I know how uncomfortable you get.”
“Yeah, sorry, Ben,” Sephy said looking at him through the review mirror.
“Thank you,” Ben said relieved.
We stopped talking about it out loud but our conversation still continued the rest of the trip.