tagNonHumanFavor Redeemed Ch. 02

Favor Redeemed Ch. 02


Jeremiah marveled slightly at how calm Amelia was with her statement, "Because you are werewolves." He knew her family had lived across the old state highway from their land for generations, but he had known know of their easy acceptance of their existence, or at least her at least her existence. He wondered if all the popular stories had made people take for granted the power that the race of werewolves had. Or maybe she was just a rare individual. He admired her for the courage, he had smelled her fear and anxiousness but it did not seem to come from the fact that she was in the home of a pack of werewolves.

Reyna, Jeremiah's wife, said quietly, "Yes, there are people who find out about us and fear us. I do not think you fear us."

Amelia, "I do not see any reason to fear you. You do not hunt humans or seek to hurt us. You just seem to live quiet lives, alone, together."

Reyna laughed, "Quiet? Oh honey, you need to spend some time around here. Have you ever been around pups?"

Amelia picked up on Reyna's laughter, thinking of the rambunctiousness of young children. "No, I guess I haven't," she replied with a true smile and the shared intimacy of women discussing children. "If you have litters instead of singles I imagine it could be far from quiet with them all running around." Both women laughed again.

Jeremiah broke back into the conversation, "So I imagine a discussion of rowdy children was not what brought you here." As he spoke Amelia turned her attention back to the Senior Beta and her smile faltered a bit. She hated having to ask for help in the first place, but hoped that her request would be small enough that it would not be an inconvenience.

"I guess I should get to the point. I know that in town your family, or I guess I should say pack, owns several businesses. I find myself in need of employment rapidly. I really do not have the time to wait for applying, and interviewing, and waiting for a job to become open." Her words began speeding up again, a sign of her anxiousness. "I was hoping you had something open that I could get directly in. I used to work at a daycare, so I have experience in that, or I could be a cook or a waitress, or whatever is open. I have had some college classes, but was not able to finish, but I can learn quickly." She finished with a hopeful smile.

Jeremiah blinked in surprise. Given that he had learned earlier when be brought her into the lodge that she had been injured, and that she was married, but her husband was not with her, he expected her to ask for shelter or sanctuary or something like that. Here she was, asking for a job. She was not a teenager; he guessed she was in her middle to late 20's. He found himself very curious about what her story was. He decided that he needed to do a little digging into her past as soon as possible. While she seemed genuine, he was not about to allow any kind of threat to enter his home and harm his family. His instincts were also telling him that she need to stay here and that she needed to meet the Alpha.

Jeremiah spoke, "I think we might be able to find a suitable position. However, I am concerned about your," he paused, "injuries." He watched a small grimace cross her face. "I am also concerned about your husband, since you indicated you are married."

Amelia answered in a very formal tone, "I do not want to drag you into my personal business. My husband will not be a problem, but I do not think he needs to know where I am or what I am doing right now." At her words, Jeremiah and Reyna exchanged a look, but said nothing further for a moment.

"Since the Alpha is not here right now, might we offer you our hospitality until he returns?" Reyna inquired, then continued, "As the Alpha is unmated, and I am the Senior Beta's mate, I am in charge of the household, and I can assure you we have plenty of room."

Jeremiah chimed in, "It will be an honor to have you stay here until the Alpha returns."

Amelia frowned and shook her head, "No, no I couldn't impose. Besides, I need to go into town and, um, well, settle a few things." She watched as Jeremiah and Reyna shared another look. She did not want them to know that she had some jewelry of her mother's that she would need to pawn in order to have enough money to make it until she could get a paycheck. She also needed to find a very inexpensive place to live after she got the money, but she wanted to get the money first, so she knew how much she had. The gas to drive to town and back as another expense, but it could not be helped. She probably should have called first, but she was not aware that the Phelan clan was listed in the phone directory and she smiled to herself at that thought, but it prompted the question, "Should I call first to make an appointment with the Alpha? I apologize if I broke protocol and I know that you do not normally get visitors." She stopped herself realizing she was rambling again from anxiousness. She hated to think that she was here asking for a favor and had been rude.

Jeremiah sensed her anxiety had increased further. What he knew Amelia was not aware of was the telepathic conversation between him and Reyna. They had both agreed that someone had hurt her and that the debt their pack owed to the Beckett family meant she would not be leaving her tonight. Based on the fact that her car had been loaded with what looked like all her worldly possession it was obvious she was not going back to her home, and it was unthinkable that she should go to a hotel or some other place. Though she was clean and kind, nothing she had looked especially new, and both assumed that money was probably a precious commodity. Additionally, there were the injuries that someone had inflicted on her and the thought of someone harming her made Jeremiah's protective instincts rise.

From Amelia's comments, both Jeremiah and Reyna suspected that she had been physically abused by her husband and was running away. Jeremiah privately thought that he would never understand a man hurting his wife and Reyna, picking up on his thoughts reminded him that humans did not often respect their spouses the way wolves respected their mates. She tried to lighten the mood by suggesting the bond that mates shared made them much more sensitive and considerate.

Jeremiah knew that could probably go ahead and grant her request, and find her a job within the many companies the pack owned. Amelia would be an asset in some of the businesses because she was already aware of them being werewolves. However, Jeremiah's instincts told him that she needed to meet with the Alpha, so he continued to allow her to believe that this was necessary. He also wanted to give her a chance to heal from her injuries and what was probably a very difficult time. And if she was truly hiding from an abusive husband, not only would she have the pack's protection, but it was very unlikely that her husband would venture onto the pack's lands so she could have the separation for a time that she probably needed.

Jeremiah, in an effort to ease some of Amelia's tension said, "Amelia, there are no protocols for you, and no appointments. I am only sorry that the Alpha does happen to be away right now. What you ask of us is a small thing in comparison to the large debt this pack owes you, not only for the service that your family once rendered ours, but also by keeping our secret. It truly would honor us to have you dine with us tonight and stay until the Alpha comes back. He should be back by tomorrow morning and then you will not have to drive into town and come back to meet with him."

Reyna agreed, "Please, it really is not any trouble. We keep rooms ready for visitors and so it is no imposition at all."

Amelia continued to shake her head. "No, really I must be going into town. If the Alpha will be back in the morning, if I come in the afternoon, then do you think he would be available?"

Reyna and Jeremiah looked at each other yes and again, and Reyna asked, "Is it because we are werewolves that you do not feel comfortable staying here?"

Amelia looked back and forth between them and noticed the concern on both their faces. "Oh no, it's not that at all," she rushed to say. "I just really don't want to impose and I do have business in town."

Reyna stood up and said, "It's alright, honey, we just wanted to be sure. I can understand why it might be a bit," she paused as if searching for the right word, "unsettling."

"No really, it's fine," Amelia assured her again.

Jeremiah could tell from the look on her face that she really did plan to leave, but he really did plan to keep her here, but he did not want her to feel like a captive. Through his thoughts he asked Reyna, "What can we do to keep her here, but not as a prisoner?"

He could almost hear a laugh in her thoughts as she responded, "Sabotage her car of course." Jeremiah's smile lit up a little and he mentally connected with one of his beta's who had been a part of the welcoming committee.

"Alec," he mentally called to the beta, and received the telepathic response, "Yes Sir?"

"Can you do something minor to our visitor's car so that it will not start, but won't be permanently or badly broken."

"Yes Sir" came the reply again, but in a definitely puzzled tone. He would not question the request, but Jeremiah could tell that he definitely wondered about it.

Jeremiah returned his thoughts to the room in time to hear Reyna ask, "Well, will you at least have a snack before you go?" The offering of refreshments was familiar to Amelia, it was what her mother had taught her a good hostess always did. She knew that these people honored her for something done long before her birth and that made her a little uncomfortable. She truly hated to "cash in" on "the debt" but she was truly out of other options. At this moment she missed her family even more and wished she listened to the lessons her mother tried to give her more while she had had the chance. She wanted to linger just a little while longer and pretend that these were actual friends, and not just people whom she had to ask help from.

"I would like that," Amelia responded.

"Well, let me go see to it." Reyna replied and walked out the door.

After she left Jeremiah looked at her again. He wanted to talk to her to find out her story. He would actually have a background check done on her this evening, but it could wait for a few more minutes. "I do not want to be indelicate, but I get the impression that money might be a bit of an issue for you. Could we maybe give you something to tide you over for a while?" As soon as he said it and saw the look on her face he knew he'd said exactly the wrong thing. She had actually blanched, as if someone had struck her.

"No, thank you," Amelia said tightly. "I believe in working for what I get."

Jeremiah tried to back-pedal and mentally called to Reyna to come back and help. "I didn't mean any offense Amelia. I just want to help you."

"If I can just get a job quickly, that will be help enough." Amelia said.

Reyna came in as Amelia responded and said, "Jeremiah, what have you done to upset her?" Even though she knew perfectly well what he had done, thanks to their bond.

"Nothing," Jeremiah said in a defensive tone.

Reyna turned to Amelia and said, "He may be a werewolf, but he's still a male, and the species does not seem to matter, but they can still put their foot in it sometimes."

Amelia couldn't help but smile. She would have thought from all the stories about werewolves and mates that they would be constantly differential to each other. She wondered if it were true that they could communicate telepathically and feel each other's emotions. But, it seemed that women tended to bond together against men, no matter what the race.

Jeremiah spoke up, "Now wait a minute, two against one doesn't seem fair."

"Like you can't handle two of your beta's at a time," Reyna quipped back. "How can you complain about two women?"

Jeremiah laughed and noticed that Amelia laughed too, "Well, there is that. But I won't go up against the Alpha unless I've got at least three to help me out."

Jeremiah did not know it, but he stirred Amelia's curiosity about what the Alpha was like. She imagined him to be a fatherly figure who was a wise and good patriarch to his pack family. It would be good to have a fatherly-type person to talk to. Maybe she would even ask him for protection, though she did not think she would need it. Certainly not from John, her husband.

A few minutes later the same young woman who had been asked to find Reyna entered with a tray bearing glasses of lemonade and some small cakes. The cakes reminded Amelia of her mother as she remembered making similar treats with her. She was offered a glass, which she gladly took, and a small plate with a cake, we she set down on the desk. She had not eaten that morning, partly due to nerves. Now that some of her anxiety had dissipated, and as the pain relievers she took that morning began to wear off, Amelia began to feel the aches and pains in her body.

Reyna asked, "Have you lived at the old Beckett house your whole life?"

Amelia responded, "Pretty much. The house belonged to my mother's family and she and my dad lived in town when they first got married, but my mom was my grandparents only child. They died when I was young and so we moved back to the house."

The two women continued to chat, with general small talk. Then, as Amelia finished she stood up carefully, and both Reyna and Jeremiah watched her with concerned looks. Reyna tried one more time to convince Amelia to stay, but Amelia still declined. They led her back out to her car, which she realized she had not locked. She carefully climbed in as her bruises were beginning to make themselves known. She would have to find something to drink and more ibuprofen soon.

Amelia tried to start the car, but the engine just made a clicking sound. She tried again. She couldn't believe her luck. It was almost enough to bring her to tears. If the car was broken and had to be repaired, she didn't know what she would do. It would certainly eat into her money and she had to have a car to get around.

Jeremiah came down from the steps and asked, "Is something wrong with the car?" There was a note in his voice that made her look at him and wonder if this was somehow his fault, but certainly it couldn't be.

"It won't start," Amelia said, stating the obvious.

"Would you like for me to try?" Jeremiah asked.

Amelia looked at how full her car was with all the dearest possessions that would fit in the space and looked at how tall he was compared to her and said, "I don't think the seat will go back any farther, but thank you for the offer." She wondered if she would have to get it towed, and how much that would cost in addition to the repairs? Would the werewolves even let a tow truck onto their property?

"Amelia," Jeremiah said recapturing her attention. "One of the businesses we have in town is an auto repair shop, but it is next to impossible to get a tow truck out here due to the winding of the entrance road. This evening the pack members that work at the shop should be back and I'm sure that they could take a look at your car and let us know what is going on. We keep several vehicles here and several of the pack members also like to tinker so I'm sure the tools would be here to fix it. It's probably just something minor that won't cost much to fix."

Amelia blinked to herself wondering if he had read her mind and all her worries. Reyna came down and stood next to her mate and slipped an arm around his waist. "It looks like we get to keep you for a little longer," she said with a smile.

Amelia again wondered if she had somehow known that her car was going to break and before she could stop herself she asked, "Can werewolves see the future or read minds?"

Reyna chuckled slightly as she answered, "Well, seeing the future, no, though there are some that seem to have good instincts about certain things." She glanced at her husband. "But, to answer the reading minds, now that gets a bit tricky. Come inside, let me show you to a room, let's get some of these betas to move your back around to the back where the garage is, and I'll answer any questions you have about werewolves." Reyna was so friendly and likeable that Amelia found herself easing out of the car and being led back into the house.

Later that night as she laid in a guest bedroom, Amelia wondered if she had found herself a new friend and for the first time in a long time she drifted off to sleep and pleasant dreams.

Back in his office, Jeremiah was on the phone speaking with Alpha Brendan, informing him of their guest.

"I think she's been abused by her husband and is running away from him." Jeremiah told the Alpha, and heard a growl in response.

"Well she's with us now said Alpha Brendan, we will certainly protect her."

"There's something else my Alpha," Jeremiah said, and due to his tone and formal address, Brendan paid particular attention. "I believe that it is important that she meet you and know that you support her. I don't know why I feel this way, I just do."

Brendan had known his Senior Beta for many years and knew of his "instincts" and how important listening to them could be. He thought for a moment and said, "We are already most of the way back, we will go ahead and push on and should be in a little after midnight. I am sure that Josh will be very glad to get back to his mate. I hated to pull him away while she was breeding."

Jeremiah heard something in the background through the Alpha's cell phone that sounded like Josh listening in on his Alpha's conversation and agreeing that home would be welcome. Jeremiah smiled to himself, having had a mate who was breeding before as well.

"He may think he wants to come home, but give him 24 hours back in her company when she's this close to her due date and he'll be ready to head out again. Pregnant women can be rough," Jeremiah quipped back, though he knew it was all in jest. "My Alpha I look forward to having you home." Jeremiah and Alpha Brendan finished their conversation and disconnected.

Jeremiah again picked up the report that had been compiled for him on Amelia Calhoun Sloan. She had been the oldest of four children. Her family, consisting of her parents, a sister, and two brothers, had died in a car accident while Amelia was away at college. It appeared that she had dropped out of college at about that time and soon after had married John Sloan. It also appeared that they had lived off money from the estate, but that someone had gambled away most of it and the house that had been in her family for years was mortgaged and was now being foreclosed on. He wondered how much of the financial woes were due to Amelia and how much were due to her husband. In searching out the husband, he had found more disturbing details. He had been arrested several times for getting into fights and had apparently been hanging around with a very unsavory group of people in town, namely the local loan shark, who was also known for having secret gambling establishments. It appeared that Amelia had tried to get a few jobs, but had only had them a week or two before she quit. She had not actually been seen in town for a while, though a few people knew who she was. Jeremiah wondered if she had any friends at all?

Finally he sighed and got up to join Reyna in bed. He hoped that Reyna had been able to get the boys down without too much of a fight.

After midnight a set of headlights, wound their way up the road to the lodge. Alpha Brendan and his accompanying Beta's were very glad to be home. As they pulled in front of the house to go around to the garage, a scent caught Alpha Brendan. It was the most wonderful feminine scent he had ever smelled. "Stop," he said and puzzled Josh, who was driving, did so. He hoped out of the SUV before it had completely stopped and ran up the steps, he followed the scent to Jeremiah's office and then to the dining room, and finally, to the guest bedrooms. His heart began pounding as a suspicion began to form in his mind. He came to the door of the bedroom and opened it to find moonlight spilling across a form in a bed who jumped and squeaked in surprise at the intruder. The moment he looked at her Brendan knew that after years of searching, he had finally found his mate.

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