MARRIED TO THE ALPHA - Season 1 Episode 67
Damon worked on his breakfast while focusing on his hand under the table that held Talia’s.
Talia’s warmth and delicious sparks calmed his restless mind and heart, and there was some mischief because of the discomfort Talia was trying to hide whenever his thumb moved gently over her knuckles.
Damon was upset at the thought of Marcy wanting to come, and he needed Talia’s touch to comfort him.
Unfortunately, just hand-holding under the table was not enough.
Damon really wanted to hug Talia, and much more, but he knew that this is as far as he can go in the current setting, and it needs to be enough. For now.
“Talia”, Maya called, and Talia’s head snapped at her.
Talia’s heart raced, does Maya know what’s going on under the table? Will Maya and Caden tease her if they know that Damon is holding her hand during breakfast?
“Do you have plans for today?”, Maya asked.
Talia released the breath she was holding. “I have an appointment with Doctor Travis in the morning, and then I will help in the kitchen.”
“How about the afternoon?”, Maya continued probing and Talia instinctively glanced at Damon.
Damon liked this, it showed that Talia is depending on him.
“Talia wants to train, so she probably hopes to start as soon as possible. But she is not allowed to move a muscle until Travis says that she is fine.”, Damon responded.
Maya nodded in understanding. “A walk is fine, right? After lunch, I can show you around. You can see the training facilities, and if Travis gives his OK, we can get you sweaty.”
Talia’s eyes widened and she smiled. “That would be wonderful.”
Damon didn’t like this. Talia, outside, sweating? Without him? “Where are you taking her?”
Maya bobbed her head. “Just around the area. We will start with a walk to the lake and see community buildings on the way, and take it from there.” Maya continued talking to Talia, “The town is especially lively with all the preparations going on. We can stop whenever you feel tired. There is a lot to see and one afternoon won’t be enough. We are the biggest pack in North America, after all. It might take a few days, but I will show you everything we have here.”
“Thank you.”, Talia said and without thinking, she gave Damon’s hand a squeeze under the table. She was excited.
Damon wanted to protest because the idea of Talia not being in his visible range was unsettling, but she was happy, and he didn’t want to spoil it, so he swallowed his objections with the piece of sausage that was in his mouth.
He knew that he has a mountain of work waiting for him and it wouldn’t be fair to keep Talia in her room until he is available to show her around.
Damon was determined to spend time with Talia as soon as he clears up the backlog that’s waiting on his desk. But… where will he take Talia? Forest? Picnic? Romantic dinner? Beach? There are so many options!
However, if he could have his way, they wouldn’t leave the room. Just he and Talia, that’s enough, and any room is fine.
Ignoring Caden’s complaints, Damon accompanied Talia for her appointment with Travis.
Talia was not sure why Caden was in a bad mood because all bickering between Damon and Caden happened through the mind-link and she would probably resume her thoughts about leaving if she knew that Marcy plans to come in a few days.
“Thank you for coming with me. I’m sure you have a lot of work, yet you still took the time for this.”, Talia said to Damon while they made their way through the forest.
“You are welcome. It’s my pleasure.”, Damon responded and gave Talia’s hand a squeeze.
Yes, going in a car will take only five minutes, but he wanted to walk with Talia. It takes longer and he gets to enjoy holding her hand and chatting casually.
Damon noticed that Talia is relaxed when they are outside, just the two of them. He liked that.
In the pack hospital…
With Jill and Cathy, the exam didn’t take long and in less than an hour, Talia and Damon sat in Travis’s office to hear the results and recommendations for going forward.
“You have several markers that are just below or above normal, but it’s nothing too concerning, and I can see slight improvements compared to your previous checkup. Continue regular meals and vitamins and I will see you in a week.”, Travis said. “If you feel anything out of the ordinary, give me a call and we will get you an appointment. In the meantime, I recommend adding fennel, ginger, and cayenne pepper into your food, based on your taste. They will help with appetite and digestion.”
“I didn’t know that.”, Talia said.
Travis noticed that Talia’s tone had a hint of surprise, and asked, “Do you know about the medicinal effects of herbs?”
“A little bit.”, Talia responded humbly. “I know how to take care of simple wounds.”
“Simple wounds? Tell me more…”, Travis asked, unable to contain his curiosity.
In general, werewolves are divided into ones who follow a traditional lifestyle, and the ones who are modernized. The traditional ones will go to their shaman when they are ill, and they use herbs, crystals, and prayers to feel better, while modern ones rely on technology and the latest advances in medicine.
Talia obviously believes in modern medicine, yet she is familiar with herbs, so Travis was eager to probe how deep are her knowledge and interest.
Talia told him about a few herbs that she mixes to treat open wounds and the ones that are good for reducing swelling and fever.
“Do you want to learn more?”, Travis asked. “There are books I can recommend.”
Travis stood up and walked to the wall shelf where a number of books were arranged. He pulled one thick book with dark blue covers. Based on the worn-out look, it was obvious that the book was used a lot.
“Start with this one.”, Travis said when he gave the book to Talia. “I don’t have many here, but I can always accompany you to the library and help you pick. As you read through it, take notes of your questions and if I don’t know answers, I can help you find them.”
Talia’s eyes sparkled. With his readiness to help and teach her, Travis definitely reminded her of Olivia.
Talia realized that this is one step closer to learning medicine and maybe even working in the pack hospital (if she stays in the pack). This also gave her a reason to reach out to Travis and learn from him, and once they get close enough and she gets the right opportunity, Talia will ask him about working in the hospital.
“Unless you have more questions for me, we are done for today.”, Travis said while his eyes darted from Damon to Talia.
“One question…”, Talia started and nervously glanced at Damon. “Am I well enough to start training?”
‘I don’t want her to get hurt’, Damon said to Travis through the mind-link.
So far, Damon was quietly observing the exam, and this was the first time he spoke, so Travis understood that this was important.
Travis let out a long exhale. He didn’t want to offend his Alpha, but he already said to Talia that she doesn’t have anything serious.
He decided on something in-between.
“There is nothing wrong with you, Talia, however, your stamina and muscle mass are below average. I want you to take it easy.”, Travis said. “I recommend that you take walks and gradually increase duration, distance, and difficulty. While doing that, listen to your body. If you feel a strain, pain, or you run out of breath, take a break. OK?”
“So, I can’t train?”, Talia asked dejectedly.
“I didn’t say that.”, Travis quickly said. “If you want to lift weights, take the lightest ones and work your way up. If it’s running, start with a brisk walk and gradually increase your pace. But no matter what it is, if you feel discomfort, stop. Moderation is the key, and until you gain weight, I fear that if you overdo physical activity, you might faint or worse. Until you figure out your limits, don’t do things on your own without supervision.”
Travis glanced at Damon, and he relaxed when he saw Damon nodding in approval.
On their way back to the packhouse, Talia noticed that Damon’s mood was a bit off.
“Is something bothering you?”, she asked, assuming that it’s workload and that he will tell her that it’s nothing.
“Yes.”, Damon said flatly. “I want you to take it easy and you got yourself not only into training but also into learning about medicine.” Damon gestured toward the thick blue blook that Talia carried in her hand.
Talia was not sure why that would bother Damon. It’s not like she did anything other than ask questions and borrow a book. “I promise to start training slowly, and reading a book is not much effort. I will do it in my free time.”
“If you are reading, then it’s not free time.”
“Is there a problem if I learn things?”
“No, no.”, Damon backtracked quickly. “It’s just that…” He stopped walking and she had to stop as well because they were holding hands. Damon stepped closer to Talia, and she looked up at him.
“I am worried about you, and I would prefer that you consult me before you take on more responsibilities.”
Talia blinked. Is he really worried about her? That would be first. No one ever worried about her.
“I apologize.”, she said. “I didn’t mean to worry you. Is there something I can do to make it up to you?”
Damon’s lips lifted into a smile and Talia’s eyes moved nervously over his handsome face while trying to figure out what he was up to.
Was he going to ask her not to train? Or not to read the book? Ah! What if he asks her to stop helping in the kitchen?
Talia was oblivious to the fact that during breakfast, Damon narrowed down the list of places where he wanted to take Talia, and this was the perfect excuse for him to pick one and go for it.
Damon lifted her hand and placed a small kiss on her knuckles without breaking eye contact, and he enjoyed the sight of blush that invaded her cheeks.
“Come with me tomorrow.”, Damon said, and she felt his breath splashing against the spot he kissed a second ago.
“Where?” Her voice came a bit breathy.
“You will find out tomorrow.”, Damon responded mysteriously.
“Alright.”, Talia agreed reluctantly.
Damon hummed in approval and resumed walking toward the packhouse.
He gave Talia’s hand a squeeze, content that she got used to holding hands. He wondered when the right time will be to move on to the next step. A hug, a kiss, a… ah! He can’t wait!