**Here we are with episode 5! Keir is starting to figure some things out…things I’m sure you already have. 😉 Enjoy!**
Two weeks in, and I was really enjoying being part of a pack. Which apparently was only a surprise to me. It made sense when I stopped and thought about it. The rest of the pack were wolves who had grown up in exactly this kind of environment, so of course they were comfortable with it. And of course they expected others to be too.
At any rate, everyone in the pack did their best to make me feel welcome and included. It was working. I’d thought I would feel like an outsider, the hired help, the cook and the kitchen cleaner who, despite living in the house, wouldn’t be that involved. But each member of the pack took time out of their day just to chat with me. And slowly and surely, I was learning about them.
Cal liked to linger with a coffee after dinner, chatting about nothing but somehow slowly pulling my entire life story out of me. Gwenna was hysterical and usually had everybody in stitches, and Patrick could eat more than everyone else, especially when it came to pasta. Jorge was meticulous about picking up after himself and everyone else, and Leandra was obsessed with nature documentaries. I could go on about all the little things I was learning, but each tidbit of information I gleaned made me feel more part of the group.
And then there was Eoin.
I hadn’t quite figured out his deal yet. I knew he was, along with Callum, a beta. Second in command of the pack, there to both enforce the alpha’s will and intercede on pack members’ behalf. He took his role very seriously, and the reflected in his manner and expression. While I got the occasional smile or laugh out of him, he mostly wore a neutral expression, giving nothing away.
But he was always around. Like always. Unless I was hidden away in my room—which sometimes I needed just to take a break from the overstimulation of so many people—he wasn’t far from me. At first, I thought he was keeping an eye on me because I was new and he didn’t know if I could be trusted. But after the first few days, I realized he was just there because he cared enough to make sure I was all right. It was nice, if a little strange, and I found myself relying on him more and more.
Of course, that also meant he was occupying my thoughts. It began as trying to figure him out, and then became more. There was no denying he was a beautiful man. I was a sucker for shoulders, and Eoin’s were wide and strong. With his dark hair and eyes, and the natural muscle of a shifter, he was definitely a treat for the eyes. But more than that, I saw the tender way he interacted with the other pack members. A smile wasn’t necessary when he intently listened, offered calm and sage advice, and was always ready with a soothing touch or squeeze. If I wanted some of that directed at me, well, it was just because I was witnessing it. Not because I was touch starved. And certainly not because I was jealous.
The man took up much more of my brain than I should let him. Especially while I was cooking. Twice, I’d almost burned something because I’d been daydreaming. And once I did drop a pan that I’d been about to put on the stove. Thankfully, nothing had been in it yet, but if I’d already added the mound of chopped onions, it would have been a disaster.
Fortunately, for once, Eoin seemed to be occupied elsewhere so I could cook without catching sight of him. That, more than anything else, would get my brain working, thinking about him instead of my task. Even still, I was having trouble shoving him out of my mind while chopping vegetables for a veggie tray. The wolves needed a more balanced diet, and I was determined to get some greenery into them.
A particularly stubborn radish, a very sharp knife, and my wandering thoughts were my downfall. before I even realized it happened, the knife slipped and sliced my finger. I couldn’t hold in the hiss of pain, but immediately wrapped my other hand around the cut and hurried to the sink.
Eoin was suddenly beside me, worry marring his brow.
“What happened?” His voice was gruff, almost angry, but by now I knew better than to think it was directed at me.
“I’m fine,” I assured him, letting go of my hand long enough to turn on the water so I could wash the cut. “I just need a bandage.”
“You’re bleeding.” And weirdly, he sounded almost offended by that, as though it was some how an affront to his sensibilities. I couldn’t help but laugh, just a little.
“Which is why I need a bandage. It’s not deep. Barely a nick. I just need to clean if off, put on a band aid, and I’ll be good as new.”
“Come sit down, I’ll get the first aid kit, and call for Jorge, because he’s a nurse and—”
“Hey.” I touched his chest with the hand that wasn’t currently under the water. There was worry in his deep brown eyes, and I needed to fix that immediately. Eoin took a shuddering breath at my touch and his gaze met mine. “I promise. I’m totally fine. It’s an occupational hazard and it’s not a big deal. Okay?”
“You’re hurt.” It was a whine and it sounded more animal than human. I slid my hand up his chest to his neck, and even though it was a reach, I managed to wrap my fingers around his nape and squeeze. It was instinct, or perhaps it was learned from watching the pack, but it helped Eoin settle.
Andreas ran into the room, gaze scanning for threat, and Cal was right behind him. I took a breath but didn’t move from where I was, knowing that for some reason, Eoin needed the contact.
“What’s going on?” Andreas’s deep bass rumble was soothing for reasons I didn’t understand.
“Keir’s hurt,” Eoin whispered, and there was still that edge of worry in his voice.
“I’m fine,” I repeated, keeping my voice low and soft. I held up my hand. “See? It’s already stopped bleeding. Eoin is worrying for nothing.”
For a long moment, Andreas didn’t say anything. Then he approached us slowly and placed his hand over mine on the back of Eoin’s neck. His squeeze was a lot stronger than mine, but it helped calm Eoin further. Those big shoulders dropped and he shuffled a few steps closer to me.
When he spoke, it was directly to Eoin. “It’s time you told him.”
Eoin shot panicked eyes to his alpha, but then the mask he usually wore fell back into place. He simply breathed for a second or two, then gave a single nod.
But that did nothing to relieve my confusion. “Tell me what?”
2 thoughts on “Flash Fic Friday”
Ha Love it! Tell him indeed
Heh. Someone has been keeping a secret!
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