Forever in the Past and Forever in the Future by Neener Beener chapter 34
I leave the coven with a flame of joy in my heart. When I get back to the packhouse and tell everyone the good news, the atmosphere couldn’t have been more celebratory.
I want to do something special for James and Milo as a thank-you. I give Ashley orders to spruce up their homes. Especially James’s house to make it comfortable for Delilah.
I also have her set up classes for the pack, focusing on speciesism and being more open-minded. Not just for MasonCo employees, for everyone. Presumably, other pack members may have mates that are not werewolves. I want to make sure everyone is prepared and respectful of the mate bond, regardless of species.
Ashley takes several omegas to help get the work done at James’s house. Fresh paint, new bed, new linens, dishes, and such. Leaving it just plain enough that Delilah and James would be able to decorate it to their taste. She has the pantry filled with staples and pre-orders perishable food to put into the refrigerator the day before they come home. She doesn’t want them to have anything to worry about.
Marco is one of the warriors who chooses to live in an apartment instead of a house on pack territory. Milo looks in his file to where there are notes about taking care of his parents, who are bit older. He does most of the maintenance and yard work for them and doesn’t have time to take care of a house of his own.
I tell Lenora to have the Sanchez house added to the list of properties our landscaping and maintenance staff will start to take care of it. I don’t want him to have to do the extra work on his days off. He should be able to spend that time with his family if that is what he chooses.
When Ashley takes the omegas to Marco’s apartment, they find a stereotypical bachelor pad complete with second-hand furniture and an unidentifiable smell that needs to be expelled.
“Um, Alpha? ” she sends a mind link. She used my title, which means it is pack business related.
“Yes, Gamma?” I sigh in response.
“I’m going to need a bigger budget for this. Everything Marco has looks like it is second hand and falling apart…and we need a couple of people from the cleaning crew,” she sounds kind of grossed out.
“Granted. Do what you have to do. He deserves it,” I confirm.
From what Carly tells me, Ashley got rid of all the furniture and redecorated the entire place. She even got him a seventy-two -inch television and a new Xbox. I can only imagine how much he’s going to love it.
And because she apparently doesn’t have enough on her plate with all of that, Ashley insists on putting up winter solstice decorations around the packhouse early, so they will be ready when Kas, Delilah, James, and Marco get home. Within a week, much to the dismay of the frazzled house staff, the packhouse is decorated top to bottom. I look around and realize it may be even a little more over the top than what she usually does.
Aside from that, I focus heavily on MasonCo business. Holiday time always results in higher security needs for individuals, events, and businesses. I chip in, contacting our typical seasonal clients and set them up with advisors for this year’s needs. Even the more picky clients are more than happy to hear from me. We have much smoother conversations than years past, helping solidify future business. I remember what Kas had said about power and influence. I can’t help but wonder if the smooth conversations with my clients is the beginning of that.
The day before I leave to pick up Kas, Marco, Delilah and James, there’s a knock on my apartment door. Ashley is standing there with two omegas who are carrying boxes so big, they can barely see over them.
“We’re here to decorate ! ” she says in a sing -song voice as she throws her arins in the air with a huge smile. I notice she is wearing a sweater with a polar bear hugging a decorated solstice tree.
“No one is safe from your festive decorations, huh?” I grumble. In prior years, I have been able to escape having my apartment decorated, but it looks like
that isn’t an option this year. Not that I’m trying to be a Grinch, but I like my space minimal. I am more than happy to look at the decorations in the rest of the packhouse.
“Nope! ” She pushes past me with the omegas in tow, “I want it to be perfect for Kas.”
“Alright, alright. I’m going to give you three the space to do your thing. I will be in my office if you need me. Easy on the glitter, Ashley.”
“Extra glitter. Sounds good! Later!” She called from somewhere deep inside one of the boxes.
I walk to my office and finish up some paperwork. When I’m done, I sit back in my seat, savoring the moment of silence. I look at my wrist, admiring the newest tattoo that said ‘forever in the past and forever in the future’ in a thin script font. My mate is coming home and nothing would ever take her away from me again. I lose track of time as I daydream about Kas being home until there’s a knock on my office door.
“Come in!” I call out. Milo and Reggie open the door and quickly close it behind them.
“Dude, Ashley’s out of control! Bronx, ” Reggie whines, ” She decorated our bathroom. I don’t know what I’m going to do with her!”
“She bought Lenora a shirt that says ‘Tis the season to be pregnant’ and one for me that says, ‘We’re trading our silent nights for a bundle of joy’. Save us! ” Milo adds.
All I can do is laugh, “Guys, you have literally fought in werewolf wars. You can handle a she-wolf excited about her Luna coming home after so many weeks. Plus, she wants to make Delilah feel comfortable.”
“I’ll take another military tour, thank you very much, ” Reggie says, sliding down in his chair.
“Well, you guys can hide out here, but lock up
behind you. I have done as much work as possible, so there shouldn’t be much for you to cover Milo. I leave early, so I will see you when I get back. Now it’s time to see the winter wonderland Ashley has made my apartment into.”
Reggie groans and rolls his eyes, ” She got to you Too! No one is safe.”
“Have a safe flight! ” Milo says as I close the door.
My eyes go wide when I open my apartment door. It looks like an over-the-top department store window. I can’t help but laugh as I pull down swaths of glitter coated garland that are so low I have to duck under them and roll up a red plaid rug in the sitting room. I decide to leave the artificial tree because it looks nice, Kas is going to like it. I also leave the winter-theined hand towels in the kitchen and poinsettia on the dining table.
I’m excited, but I also have an odd sense of calm as I pack my bag. I decide to stay on the calm wave and have dinner in my apartment, knowing its my last few hours of peace I’11 be getting for a while. Once Kas is home, everyone will understandably want to spend time with us. If I go down to the dining room, I will be bombarded by excited pack members. I get ready for bed, feeling lonely and excited at the same time. I know it will be the last time I am ever going to feel lonely again. Kas will be next to me from here on out. Before I climb into bed, I open the nightstand and pull out the little blue velvet box. I open it and admire the ring inside.
“She’s gonna love it,” Saint chimes in. “You think so?” I ask with a smile.
I’ve known her for a long time. Trust me on this,” he reassured me.
“Should I take it with me and ask before we leave the coven or hold out for the winter solstice party?”
“Ugh. What’s the matter with you? Ask her on the morning of solstice when it’s just the two of you.
You know she doesn’t like all eyes on her, dummy, ” he scolds with a growl. “You’re right, ” I close the box and put it back in the nightstand.