Wolf's Den Ch. 04byMissGivings©
Lisette showered, trying to sort out her thoughts. She had no idea who would break into her apartment. She was worried about her brother and Chloe. She hadn't seen either of them since before leaving for Faolchu. Despite her worry for her brother and friend however, Lisette couldn't stop her thoughts from drifting back to Torrin. She couldn't remember a time when she had felt so attracted to a man, not even James. She knew though, where attraction led and she couldn't go down that path again. Lisette couldn't bring herself to take that risk.
James had been so kind to her, at first. Lisette had only been out with James a couple of times, when she lost her parents. He had stayed with her that night, and been with her at the funeral. Even Lucas thought that James was an upstanding kind of man to go through that with them. Things had slowly changed between her and James after that, though. Lisette had needed someone, anyone, to care for her, during those first few weeks after her parents' deaths. When she began to want to return to her life however, James had wanted to continue to handle all of the details as he had when she was not in a position to do so herself. James wanted to answer all of the phone calls, make all of her meals, drive her everywhere she needed to go, and even to bathe her. James' treatment had made Lisette feel like a living doll, without a will of her own. When Lisette began to chafe under James' constant care, James had become angry. At first, he just tried to manipulate her emotions by reminding her how he had been there for her when her parents died, and how much he had done for her. He told her he loved her and just wanted to take care of her. Lisette had felt guilty and had apologized to James. After a while though, the reminders didn't have the same impact, so James had resorted to suggesting that there was something wrong with Lisette that she couldn't appreciate a strong man who could take care of her. Eventually, James had used physical intimidation and threats against her brother to keep Lisette dependent on him. The night that James had admitted to killing her parents though, Lisette had run. She could still feel that echo of horror and revulsion that she had felt that night, not just for James, but for herself as well. She had been the reason that James had killed her parents after all.
Since that time, Lisette had done everything she could to hide from James. She had also done everything she could to take care of her brother. She could never admit to him that she was reason that their parents had died. She could only try to make it up to him. That, of course, was that reason that Lisette had tried to get a job at Faolchu, pay Lucas' gambling debts.
Lisette wasn't sure what to do next. As much as she wanted to hope that Torrin would help her, she knew she couldn't rely on him.
Lisette decided to return to her apartment. She also decided that it would be best to look for another job.
As Torrin watched Lisette make her way to the bathroom, he groaned. Walking with the sheet wrapped around her and her hair disheveled from sleep, she looked delectable. Torrin wanted nothing more than to drag her back to his bed. Nothing more, with the exception of protecting his pack, that is. Torrin had a responsibility to his pack above everything else. Groaning again, Torrin got out of bed and stretched.
As soon as he had cleaned himself up, Torrin gathered his advisors to discuss their guest and the possible complications following her.
Seated at the large round table in the meeting room reserved for such occasions, Torrin looked around the room in pride. In addition to his five betas, the twelve elders of the pack were gathered in the room as well. Not all packs extended such respect to their elders. In fact, Torrin's pack had not done so, under the previous alpha, but Torrin had changed that when he took over the pack. Torrin understood that the pack needed the strength of the mind as well as the strength of the body, in order to not just survive but to flourish. Living with the constant threat of surrounding packs that desired their land and their women, Torrin appreciated the wisdom that the elders could provide. In pack life, one attained power and position through domination of others, usually through brute strength. Torrin had done so when he fought and killed the previous alpha to secure his position as the new alpha.
Torrin was as intelligent as he was physically dominant though, which enabled him to be a strong leader for his pack. One who would last throughout the war, not just to win one battle. Torrin had seen many alphas take over a pack, only to be similarly dispossessed a year later, when another challenged them. Torrin shared the responsibilities and the leadership of his pack, which strengthened the pack and him as a leader. Those who followed Torrin were loyal, they were family.
Torrin addressed Niall first, "What do you have for me?"
"I wasn't able to find much. In fact, it doesn't appear that Lisette Angele, or Lucas Angele, existed prior to two years ago. Since that time, Lisette has been a diligent student at the local university. Lucas, however, hasn't been living as such an upstanding citizen as his sister. Apparently, he has amassed quite a debt recently. It isn't the first time either. The last two times, his sister used what was left of their inheritance from their parents to pay off the debts."
"This time there was no inheritance money left to pay, huh?" Torrin inquired grimly.
"To whom is the debt owed?" Torrin asked, not that he couldn't guess.
"The Gateaux Pack."
Torrin groaned inwardly. Obviously, Lisette was sent by the other pack, to infiltrate and report back any weaknesses, probably as a way to work off the debt. Torrin hadn't realized how much he had not wanted to hear that information, until that moment. "Any ideas on how to proceed with the Angele female?"
"I think we need to continue to dig to find out who exactly she was before she was Lisette Angele." Niall volunteered.
An elder spoke up and advised, "Why don't you use her to feed the other pack the information that you want them to have?"
Just as Torrin was considering this advice, one of the pack omegas came in to deliver a message.
"The men I left to watch the female's apartment have just returned with her brother and friend," Torrin informed the group. "It seems that we will have guests for a few days. We will need to be on our guard, to ensure that they do not learn anything that might be used to hurt the pack or show weakness. Direct any questions that they might have to Niall or myself."
Lisette stepped out of the shower into the steam-filled room. She quickly wrapped a towel around her body as she stepped towards the vanity and wiped a portion of the mirror clear of the foggy steam that permeated the room. Lisette drew forward and stared at her reflection in the mirror. The violet-blue of her eyes appeared to dominate her face, seeming too large amongst her other delicate features.
The loss of the small sense of safety that she had nurtured after escaping James was excruciating. That and the worry for Lucas and Chloe were overwhelming. Despite the confusing feelings that Torrin elicited, Lisette felt a measure of comfort from how he had cared for her last night. She knew that leaving this place and the possibility of a job here would be difficult, but she was determined to find her brother and friend and move on the rebuild her independence. She couldn't begin to rely on anyone now.
Lisette quickly dressed in the change of clothing that she had brought with her from home last night, gathered up the rest of her belongings, then left Torrin's rooms to find him and let him know she would be leaving. Unfortunately, Lisette had not been awake last night when Torrin brought her here, so she wasn't sure how to find him.
Lisette wandered the halls until she found an elevator. Lisette took the elevator to the ground floor and stepped out into a narrow hallway. Following the hallway to her left, Lisette found herself in a large room with a fireplace at one end and small seating areas throughout the room. The room was occupied by about twenty or so individuals who were gathered together in small groups in the various seating areas.
As Lisette made her way forward in the room much of the conversation fell silent as all of the occupants turned to stare at her. Blushing at the attention, Lisette turned back to the door, intending to head back down the hallway to continue her search. As Lisette turned, a woman called out to her in a loud voice, "So, Torrin's tired of you already, huh? I'm not really surprised, but then again I don't see what could have interested him in the first place," she continued, deliberately looking Lisette up and down as she did.
Lisette, who had turned at the sound of someone speaking in the silence of the room, took the opportunity to look at the woman who spoke to her. The woman looked to be almost as tall as Lisette, however she had more of an athletic figure, with wider shoulders and hips. The woman's blonde hair was pulled back from a face that was quite pretty. She had wide green eyes, short upturned nose, and a wide expressive mouth.
It was the expressive mouth that caught Lisette's attention as the woman continued taunting her, "If you're looking for the exit, which you should be, follow that hallway to the right and you'll find it." "Good riddance," she ended dismissively.
Lisette felt the blush that had touched her cheeks earlier, flaring into a red blaze as the woman's comments registered. Lisette refused to be cowed by the woman however, so she raised her chin a bit before asking, "Actually, I'm looking for Torrin, does anyone know where I could find him?"
It was the woman's turn to flush red before answering with a sneer, "It's obvious that he wasn't concerned with telling you goodbye, if he left your room without telling you how to reach him. He probably couldn't wait long enough to gather a breath after he rolled off of you last night."
Lisette gasped as the implication of the woman's words hit her. She was struggling to form a response when a man who had strolled into the room during the woman's tirade put a hand on one of Lisette's hips and pulled her close to him. "Now, now, Brigid, I would at least suggest a round two, before rolling this one off of me," he drawled, casting a leering glance at Lisette.
"Care to go a round or two with me before leaving, sweetheart?" the man asked turning to face Lisette and draw her more fully in line with his body. Lisette stiffened and replied, "No, thank you."
When she tried to extract herself from his embrace however, he just pulled her closer and leaned forward. Thinking that he was going to try and kiss her, despite her refusal of his offer, she began to twist away more vigorously. The man just placed his lips against her ear as he intimated, "If I had more time, I would definitely change your mind on this matter." He paused before continuing, "I don't mind a "no", as long as it eventually becomes a "yes". Of course, if you keep squirming like that, your answer will be irrelevant to me."
Lisette stilled immediately and the man began to chuckle against her neck.
At the sharp bark of his name, the man released his hold on one of Lisette's hips, to turn and face the speaker. "Torrin, delightful to see you! I was just making myself acquainted with this lovely female, while waiting for you." Jacques retained his hold on Lisette with one of his hands still on her hip, pressing her against his side. "If I am forced to spend the night and take advantage of your hospitality, I will expect her company for the night."
Torrin looked at Lisette noting her flushed face and wide eyes, then glanced down at the hand cradling her hip. His hands fisted at his side for a moment before he regained his composure enough to answer Jacques' demand, "I'm afraid that won't be possible. Lisette is not part of the pack but my guest, and as such, she is under my protection. If we are to have the pleasure of your visit this evening, one of our pack females will be most attentive to your needs." Torrin raised his hand to beckon Lisette over to his side.
Jacques reluctantly let Lisette escape, "Ah, ma belle, none will be a sweet as you. Perhaps another time."
Once Lisette stood at Torrin's side he turned his attention back to Jacques. "If you will excuse me, I must delay our meeting another few moments."
Jacques nodded, not once averting his gaze from the woman at Torrin's side.
Torrin turned, taking Lisette with him as he walked out of the great room, back towards the elevator that she had taken downstairs.
Once ensconced in the privacy of the elevator, Torrin turned to angrily regard the woman next to him. "What were you thinking, wandering around the compound alone? Why didn't you stay in the room?"
Lisette turned to Torrin, surprised by the heat in his voice. She shot him an icy glare before responding, "I was looking for you. I wanted to let you know that I can't accept the job. I need to go home."
Torrin raised an eyebrow at her. "Back to the home that was broken into and wrecked by God only knows who?"
Lisette sighed, "Yes. It is my home. Besides, I have to find my brother and roommate. I am very concerned about them."
"The brother and roommate who are sitting upstairs waiting for you?"
Lisette squeaked, "What?" in surprise, before throwing her arms around Torrin's neck to hug him in her excitement. "Oh, thank you, for finding them. I was so worried! Where are they?"
Torrin relaxed in her embrace and smiled back at her. "They are waiting for us upstairs."