Kendall grabbed his fishing vest from the back of the chair and headed out of his office, thanking the Goddess it was Friday and a whole weekend of much-deserved solitude awaited him.
A week dealing with the aftermath of yet another renegade attack on the Seattle Pack’s property would be enough to sap any alpha’s energies, but combine marauders with two weddings and you have the perfect storm. Kendall would’ve rather confronted murderers and thieves than doling out good wishes and smiles to the newly-married couples. The look of happiness on those faces mocked his true feelings regarding mating. Although he couldn’t prohibit people from looking disgustingly cheerful in his presence, they could, at least, show a fucking bit of respect for him. He wasn’t asking that much, was he? But no, members of his pack insisted in getting hitched and wanted the alpha to perform the ceremony.
He was already closing the heavy wooden door of his office when the phone on his desk rang, interrupting his morose thoughts. Any call coming from the landline meant business, so he lowered the handle and stepped into the large foyer, eager to start his weekend. Every month, he reserved a few days away from the pack, and only Little Wolf, his beta, knew his whereabouts. Kendall never went far—his sense of duty wouldn’t allow him to forget his responsibilities—but he was free to get drunk without anyone pitying him.
“Are you going to answer that?” Little Wolf asked from the veranda.
“It’s past five pm.” Kendall walked past his beta, who lounged on the comfortable glider bench with a cold beer handy.
“It’s still ringing.” Little Wolf looked over his shoulder.
Damned their sensitive ears and that blasted phone.
“It’ll stop.” Kendall grabbed his cowboy hat from the hook on the porch column.
“It could be important.”
“They’ll call back on Monday.” Kendall brought a finger to the brim of his hat and lowered it to shield his eyes from the afternoon glare.
The long days of summer made for good fishing and hunting trips, or just good, old-fashioned hideouts from society. A man deserved some privacy to nurse a hangover, and he couldn’t wait to start his drinking project. The vest and the poles hanging from the frame of his Rubicon Jeep were just for show.
“I don’t know about that.” His beta scratched his mane, his brow furrowed. The persistent rings cut through the peace and quiet like screeching banshees. “Did you turn off the answering machine again?”
“It’s the fucking weekend.” They had this conversation before and agreed to disagree on the holiness of Saturdays and Sundays. “The pack has priority, but the rest of the world can go—”
“I’ll go and see who it is.” Little Wolf raised his big body to his full height and stomped inside, taking a long swig from his beer.
“Suit yourself.” Kendall walked to the front of his Jeep and grabbed the bar to hoist himself up on his seat. His foot itched to press on the accelerator, but he waited until his beta reappeared at the porch. It might be important and Little Wolf would call him soon after while he was driving.
“So?” Kendall leaned out of the door-less frame, giving his friend a raised brow and added a scowl for good measure.
Little Wolf stopped under the shade of the porch, a smug smile on his large face.
“What did you do?” Kendall growled.
“I accepted Juliette Kewada’s invitation for you.”
“You did what?” Kendall purposely didn’t answer Juliette’s email about the Summer Solstice Celebration organized by the Honolulu Wolves, her pack. He didn’t want to fly to Honolulu for the weeklong party and spend the entire time fending off questions about the disgraceful end of his betrothal to Aimee.
Even though almost a year had passed since his dear brother stormed in and stole his future bride, people still felt necessary to pester Kendall with friendly advice and unrequested words of wisdom about the Hunger. No, he definitely didn’t want to hear anything else about how Ax and Aimee didn’t have a choice because the Hunger marked them as soulmates. He didn’t care about old folklore or fated mates’ tales. His heart lay broken in his chest and only darkness resided in it.
Little Wolf answered his rhetorical question with a shrug. “I couldn’t say no.” He finished his beer before adding, “She says, ‘He’s coming, right?’ and you know how those alphas are, they’re all bossy and make demands, and I says, ‘Of course. He wouldn’t miss it for the world.’”
“I’m going to have your hide—”
“Some Hawaiian diet will do you good.” Chuckling, Little Wolf winked at him. “I don’t think there’s another woman from here to Seattle that you haven’t bedded already.” Little Wolf reached down into the beer cooler to pick up another can. “You need a change of scenery.”
“And you need to find another pack and soon.” Kendall floored the accelerator and left before he would strangle his beta.