Chapter 2: Unwelcome Visitor

1270 Words
“Do I have any say in this?" I demand, to no one in particular. I don't want to be banished, but I have no desire to work for a werewolf, even one that looks like him. “So we're agreed?" Alaric asks Lavinia, ignoring my question. “As you wish, Alaric. Raven, you will not be permitted to cast powerful spells without the express permission from the coven until further notice," Lavinia declares and a deep resentment for her boils up in my blood. She has been trying to find a reason to control my power for some time now and I've given her the perfect excuse. I nod at her in acknowledgement and then look over at Alaric. He has a blank expression on his face so it's hard to read him. “I trust you will keep a tight leash on your coven from now on. Another act of aggression towards my pack will void this agreement and we will be forced to retaliate," Alaric replies firmly. She bristles at his comment but nods curtly. He grabs my arm and pulls me out the door. “Hey! Let go of me! I can walk on my own," I say. “I have a lot on my plate, dealing with the fallout of your 'accident', so we need to move quickly," he replies curtly. “Do you really need me to work for you right now? It's the middle of the night. I can report to you in the morning," I argue. “Report to me? I need you to be around at all times, so you're coming to live with me," he says. I stop in my tracks and struggle against his grip. “No! I'm not living with you! I barely agreed to work for you. You're changing the terms. I refuse!" I exclaim. He pulls me up against him and growls dangerously. My body temperature starts to rise at the close contact. “Let's get something straight, Raven. The terms are whatever I say they are. Unless you'd like to take your chances with Lavinia? She seems to be your biggest fan," he remarks caustically. I huff in frustration. He's got me between a rock and a hard place. The hard place being him. His muscles are like steel and I feel hot all over. I shove myself away from him and give him an annoyed look. “Fine, but you can at least let me get my things. All I have are the clothes on my back!" I retort. He chuckles and shoots me a cocky grin. “You're welcome to get rid of those too, if you wish. I won't stop you," he replies. Is he flirting with me right now? I can't help my blush but I'm irritated that he's making me feel this way. “Be reasonable," I plead. “You can get your stuff in the morning, I have things to do that take priority," he says shortly and pulls me along again. We meander through the border of our lands, a wooded area that separates the witches from the werewolves. “Why did you offer to have me work for you as my punishment? What do you want from me?" I ask him curiously as we walk. “I have many needs and I will make sure you are acquainted with all of them very soon," he replies cryptically. The way he says it suggests tasks that are of an intimate nature and I panic. As inexplicably attracted as I am to him, I didn't agree to anything like that. I stop walking and back away from him. “I will not sleep with you in payment for my crime. I'm no w***e. And I wouldn't try forcing me, or it will end about as well as it did for your friend," I say vehemently. I feel my power tingling at my fingertips. He turns to me with an angry look and stalks towards me. I back up into a tree and he gets so close our noses are almost touching. “I would never force myself on a woman. I know you witches don't have high opinions of werewolves but contrary to your belief, I'm not an animal," he says in a low growl. I swallow nervously but I'm relieved to hear him say that. He stares at me intently and I find myself getting lost in his eyes. My mind is screaming at me to get as far away from him as possible, but my body tells a different story. My lips part and I lick them involuntarily, causing his gaze to lower to my mouth. “Raven," he whispers. My name on his lips sounds seductive and it sends a shiver down my spine. My body aches for him to touch me at the same time my mind revolts against the idea. His hand starts moving towards my face and then he freezes abruptly when we hear shouting. He backs away and motions for me to follow him. We break out of the woods and see a crowd of pack members forming with angry mob-like expressions. “What's going on here?" Alaric says loudly with an authoritative tone. One of the older pack members steps forward. “We were just about to come after you, Alpha. We thought the witches took you or killed you too," he says. “No, Sam. The witches and I came to an agreement. I took one of their own to come work for me in repayment for their transgression," Alaric announces. There are murmurs of shock from the group. “Alpha, I mean no disrespect and I'm not questioning your decision, but they killed our Beta! I thought their punishment would be more...severe," Sam says cautiously. “The Beta attacked the witch first, without my permission. It is my understanding that he was killed accidentally when she was defending herself. That being said, I told them that another offensive move on their part will result in retaliation on ours. But let me be clear, I will not tolerate any member of my pack attacking a woman, witch or otherwise," he makes his statement to the entire pack and they all nod their agreement. They are all staring at me like I'm an alien from another planet. I feel uncomfortable but stand my ground with my head held high. I won't let them think they can intimidate me. Alaric turns to me and winks so only I can see. Is he trying to put me at ease? He turns back to the crowd to address them one more time. “This is Raven. She is going to be working for me now. She will be a member of this pack for the time being, so you will treat her as such," he declares. Their veiled hostility tells me they will do what he says but they will never see me as one of them. Alaric nods at me to follow him and we make our way towards his home. When we go around a bend, a massive structure greets my eyes. It's a huge three story home in a traditional style with a wrap around porch. We walk up to the front door and before Alaric can turn the doorknob, it swings open and a beautiful blonde woman stands before us. She has a big fake smile on her face that falls when her eyes land on me. Her expression turns nasty and her face screws up like she's smelling something foul. “Who the hell are you?" she says aggressively.
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