I trailed off when I noticed Meredith staring hard at something behind me. I quickly glanced over my shoulder. “What?”
Shannon doing with that group?” Her lips pressed into a tight, thin
line. “And is that Imogene?” Meredith and I might be split on how we
felt about Shannon, but we totally agreed on Imogene.
I turned back to my now-cold omelet and took a bite. “I know,” I said after a second. “Looks like they’re BFFs now.”
scrunched up her nose as she thought. “Why is she with those guys?
Shannon has nothing in common with them. She’s from the Irish pack. And
Imogene? Really?” Meredith stared at them like she could glean answers
off them. “Maybe if we all try reaching out to her, she’ll sit with us
I’d explained what
happened between Shannon and I while Meredith was sick, but she didn’t
understand. For better or worse, they’d been friends since forever.
Their parents were friends and they’d grown up taking vacations
together. Meredith was loyal, almost to a fault, and that meant she
refused to give up on Shannon. “We tried that, remember? It didn’t
“I should go over. Try talking to her again.”
nearly rolled my eyes. Meredith had tried talking to Shannon, and in
her defense—Shannon was still nice to her, but it was a losing battle.
Shannon would obviously rather be with her new friends than us.
Meredith started to stand up, but I grabbed her hand. “I wouldn’t—”
“I have to try.”
let her go as I tried to think of a way to say what I needed to say
without making it worse. “I don’t know. I still can’t feel anyone at
that table through the pack bonds. Including Shannon.”
crossed her arms as she stared down at me. “Whatever happened between
you and her, she wouldn’t do anything to harm the pack. Shannon’s not
capable of that.”
disagreed, but saying so would only hurt Meredith’s feelings. “What if
she thought it would help the pack?” And what if they aren’t part of our
pack anymore? I thought the words but didn’t say them aloud.
a second, Meredith’s lower lip trembled, and I thought I’d gotten
through to her, but then she shook her head. “No. I don’t believe that.
Not at all.”
I kept my
mouth firmly shut. If there was one person I didn’t want to piss off, it
was Meredith. She’d been my friend—no questions asked—from the
beginning. She’d helped me through when all I’d wanted to do was run
away from St. Ailbe’s. And when I’d sucked at running and kept falling
out of windows, she hadn’t made fun of me. Much. “I just don’t want you
to get disappointed.”
“I—” Meredith stopped in the middle of what she was saying, and turned to the door.
took me a second to figure out what was going on, but then Donovan came
into the cafeteria, and started our way. Maybe he’d be able to reach
Meredith, because I sure as hell wasn’t getting anywhere.
laughed at something he must’ve said through their bond. “Donovan is
going to keep you company while I talk to Shannon. I’ll be back in a
There wasn’t any point in trying to stop her.
took Meredith’s spot at the table. He wore sweat pants and a T-shirt
and his black hair was still messy from his run. His clothes gave of the
scents of cedar and grass and dirt, and it almost made me jealous.
Maybe a run would clear my mind. Help me figure out a way around these visions.
“She’s checking on Shannon, eh?” Donovan asked, bringing me back to myself.
“Yeah.” I’d already said my piece to his mate. I didn’t need to repeat myself.
He jerked his chin toward the table in question. “There’s still something off about them.”
My fork dropped to the plate with a clatter, and I glared into his glass-blue eyes. “Oh, come on. We’re not doing this.”
Donovan raised his eyebrows. “Not doing what?”
had to be joking. “I just had this conversation with Meredith. I know
how the whole mate thing works. There’s not a chance she didn’t tell
He gave me a wicked grin, and I knew trouble was coming. “Aye. But what you don’t know is that I agree with you.”
“You do?” Mr. Dawson had been all—everything’s fine. Donovan hadn’t said a word. Why now?
“Yes. I do.”
do you know?” I leaned toward him, lowering my voice. Pesky Weres and
their super-awesome hearing. “Why are their bonds missing? I thought
they couldn’t leave the pack without putting in a formal bid to Mr.
enough. I don’t know what’s going on, but I think you’re going to find
out. If this absence of pack bond is spreading, then we need to find the
cause. Just… Don’t say anything to Meredith until we’re positive. All
Whoa. I didn’t keep much—if anything—from Dastien. “Do you think that’s wise?”
my opinions from my mate?” One side of his mouth quirked up. “Not
usually. But she made her side clear enough with you, and I’d rather not
start an argument that won’t get us anywhere.”
knew? Even the great Donovan—one of the all-powerful Seven—was afraid
of pissing off his mate. The idea was a little preposterous, but then
again—I didn’t like upsetting Dastien either. I’d done it. But that
didn’t mean I liked it. That left me with one last question. “Why can’t
you keep an eye on them? You’re probably way better at this pack bonds
stuff than I am.”
raised an eyebrow. “In case you’ve forgotten, I’m not of this pack. I’m
an alpha, and can use that to overpower and override the pack bonds if
necessary, but this needs more finesse. An insider’s look.”
your mate’s in our pack.” When Dastien bit me, I’d become part of the
St. Ailbe’s pack. I figured it would be the same for Donovan and
Meredith and their mate bond, even if they hadn’t gone through with
their bonding ceremony.
“Doesn’t work that way. I’m already the alpha of another pack.”
“So, what about Meredith? Is she still part of this pack?”
she and Michael decide to let her move to mine. She’ll keep it for as
long as she’s here, and I think that’s best.” He leaned forward. “I’ve
heard through Michael and Meredith, but I want to know what it is you’re
feelin’ from them. I’ve not experienced this before, and that’s sayin’
something to me.” His Irish accent thickened, and I finally knew that
someone else was as worried about this as I was.
don’t know what to say except that I can’t feel them. It’s like they’re
there, but they’re not.” I sighed. “It makes no sense. Which is why Mr.
Dawson blew me off when I brought it up. Shouldn’t you be talking to
him about this? He’s the alpha.”
“What makes you think I haven’t already?”
The tension on my shoulders relaxed. It seemed like a good sign that two alphas were really talking about the problem. “And?”
If they’ve withdrawn from the pack, he’s not feeling it.” He leaned in
closer, speaking so quietly that even I could barely hear. “But last
night, he gave that group of boys from the Canada pack a direct command
and they disobeyed. I backed the command and forced their obedience, but
I shouldn’t have had to. He’s their alpha. It may be that Rupert Hoel’s
influence went deeper than those we’ve caught. There’s still a major
player out there, and I’ve a fine idea who it might be.”
shit. That was bad news. Only someone more alpha than Mr. Dawson could
ignore his commands, and they weren’t more alpha. At all.
“I think you might know. It’s one who got away.”
hit me then. They’d kicked one of the Seven out of the Council. The one
who hated me. Ferdinand. “Do you really think it could be?”
“But you didn’t say anything when I brought it up before.”
took me longer to feel what you were getting at. I like to suss things
out before actin’. Get fully aware of the situation. If you feel
anything else out of the ordinary, let me know. Just be aware that if
that lot wants to leave, that’s fine by me. They’re welcome to go their
own way, but they need to make formal bids to Michael and they’ll have
to tie to the Seven until they find their new packs. It must be done
properly, or they’ll be considered lone wolves. And if they align with
Ferdinand… I’d like those youngsters to avoid that if possible.”
stomach churned, and suddenly I didn’t feel much like finishing my
omelet. If the pack was breaking up, then how were we ever going to
defeat Luciana? We needed to be united if we wanted to stand the
slightest chance of surviving.