MARRIED TO THE ALPHA - Season 1 Episode 82
Talia heard Stephanie say through her haze of conflicting emotions.
“Those two girls forgot this side dish. Can you take it to the dining room? Hurry before they finish with their meal…”
Talia was not willing, but she already avoided several rounds of taking food to the dining room and saying ‘no’ to Stephanie didn’t sound like a good option.
In the dining room…
Maya was in the role of a host because Damon and Caden were still in the study, doing final checks on the security.
Alpha Maddox and future Alpha Axel were at the table with Maya when Mindy entered the dining room.
Mindy was irritated because she planned to make a grand entrance by being moderately late, yet Alpha Damon was still not there, and no one started eating so… she was not late at all.
“Where should I sit?”, Mindy asked, and her sight fell on the head of the table that was empty. “Is Alpha Damon sitting there?”
Maya confirmed and Mindy went in that direction.
Alpha Maddox frowned, thinking that Mindy will sit on Damon’s seat. Who knows what his prideful sister was thinking? She was complaining before dinner how Alpha Damon was disrespectful for not coming to greet them.
Alpha Maddox let out a breath of relief when he saw that she sat on the chair that will be on Damon’s left, but in the next moment, he noticed that Maya’s expression flashed with displeasure while looking at Mindy. Of course, he didn’t know that his sister sat on Talia’s seat, but he guessed that the spot is reserved for someone.
“Mindy, how about you sit next to me?”, Alpha Maddox asked while patting the backrest of the empty chair on his right.
Mindy cocked an eyebrow. “I see you every day, and we came here to expand our network and talk about business. Like this, I can chat with Alpha Damon.” She saw that her brother was about to object, and she lifted her chin. “Are you going to tell me that there is someone more qualified than me to sit by Alpha Damon’s side?”
They all turned to the door to see a figure standing there. It was Talia.
Alpha Maddox was surprised that he didn’t feel Talia’s presence until she got into his visual range. And it was the same that afternoon. Naturally, that made him wish to know more about Talia.
Unaware of Alpha Maddox’s thoughts, Talia’s eyes moved over the table, and she found enough space to place the side dish she was holding.
“Talia…”, Maya called when she saw that Talia took a step away from the table, obviously wanting to leave when her hands were free. “Will you join us for a meal?”
Subconsciously, Talia glanced at the spot where Damon would sit. It was empty. But the seat on his left was not empty and Talia’s heart tightened at the sight of Mindy who projected confidence.
Mindy was dressed up with her hair and makeup done, and she really looked like she belonged there.
When she reached the door, Talia heard a female saying how there is no one more qualified than her to sit by Damon’s side, and now Talia connected that voice with the face, and… she agreed. Mindy looked more put together than Talia ever was.
It shouldn’t hurt, Talia knew that this was coming. She was nobody, a temporary entertainment, a person to keep him company until someone else comes… and now that another woman sat in that place, it hurt, and Talia’s eyes dimmed as she lowered her head.
“Oh, your Omegas eat at the table with you? How generous”, Mindy said to Maya, her words sending needles straight to Talia’s already bleeding heart.
While looking blankly at her own feet, Talia answered Maya’s question in a small voice. “I’m having my meal in the kitchen. If you excuse me…”
Maya let out a dejected sigh when Talia left the dining room.
Alpha Maddox pinched the roof of his nose, and spoke to Mindy through their mind-link, ‘Why can’t you keep your mouth shut?’
‘Did I say something wrong? Omegas eating with ranked members and guests at the same table is progressive. That was a compliment.’
Maddox shook his head. Yes, it would be a compliment, but Maya’s reaction told him that something is off. And this was the second time for his sister to offend Talia.
“Who is that girl?”, Alpha Axel asked while his eyes still lingered at the door through which Talia disappeared.
“She just joined recently.”, Maya responded with her story ready. “Her name is Talia. She came from the North and was looking for a pack, so we took her in.”
Alpha Axel nodded absentmindedly, and Maya saw that Alpha Maddox was also listening intently. Maya wondered if she missed something important because it seemed that both Maddox and Axel showed interest in Talia.
Damon and Caden entered the room and Damon said without sincerity, “Sorry to keep you waiting.”
He really didn’t care, but he said it because he noticed that everyone’s plates were clean.
Damon was not in a good mood because with all the guests around, they had extra work related to patrols and security, and he was feeling uneasy the whole afternoon and it was only getting worse.
Instead of being with these people, he wanted to go into Talia’s room and cuddle until he feels better.
However, Damon ignored his guests for the whole afternoon and if he ditches dinner also, it would be super-rude, so he decided to come, eat quickly, and then join Talia.
Damon reminded himself that he is the host, and this is only a day or two, and he shouldn’t be tactless to the point of damaging the relationships between packs.
“It’s good to have you here again.”, Damon said to Maddox, and he glanced at Mindy and gave her a small nod to acknowledge her presence before turning to Axel with, “Where are your guys?”
“Beta and Gamma are with the rest of my pack members, keeping an eye on them. They are excited about tomorrow’s game, and we don’t want to risk any incidents.”
This was the first time for Damon and Axel to meet in person. So far, they exchanged emails and attended video conferences, and a few times when Damon interacted with the representatives of the Midnight Guardians pack in person, that was with Axel’s father, Alpha Isaac.
“Make yourself at home. If you are lacking anything, let me or my Betas know.”, Damon said to what Axel nodded in understanding.
In bigger packs, the hierarchy of ranked members is complex with multiple levels, and that would be the case with Dark Howlers also if Damon had more people he trusts.
The Midnight Guardians pack has a pair of Alphas leading them, Alpha Isaac and Alpha Sophia.
Pair of Alphas means that both mates are equal, in everything. In the Midnight Guardians pack, Alpha Isaac is focusing on external relationships, while Alpha Sophia tends to matters within the pack. Below Alphas are Betas and then Gammas. The other ranked members have specializations like generals (who lead warriors), librarians (in charge of education), etc.
The Midnight Guardians pack is mysterious, and no one knows exactly where their headquarters are or how many pack members they have.
It’s an ancient pack, and there are many stories about it, one more fantastic than the other. Some say that many generations ago, the Alpha of the Midnight Guardians pack was mated to a witch and they have unnaturally long lifespans, and some say that it was a vampire, and there are rumors that they have a fairy bloodline that grants them mystical powers and their eyes glow silvery when they shift into their wolf form.
Damon believes that those stories are rubbish, probably started by the members of the Midnight Guardians pack themselves in order to keep others at bay. After all, the biggest fear is of the unknown, and only a fool would rush to invade territory without knowing who all is guarding it. In a way, Damon admires their strategy.
Damon greeted Mindy officially and sat in his seat. He met Mindy a few times before, but that was years ago when she was a teen, and he was a green Alpha. This was the first time for her to visit the Dark Howlers pack.
“Alpha Damon…”, Mindy stated chit-chat while putting food on her plate. Damon doesn’t care about protocols, but in many packs, no one will eat before Alpha.
“I see that you are opening up to taking in she-wolves who were abused. That’s very admirable.”, Mindy was talking about Talia.
Damon didn’t understand the cause of that comment, so he gave a generic response. “The Dark Howlers pack was always accepting people in need of help. It’s just that some cases are more complex than others and when we feel that we can’t handle it, we reach out to the Blue River pack for assistance. Alpha Maddox is an undeniable expert.”
Damon nodded toward Alpha Maddox who nodded in return. It was obvious that the two Alphas respect each other and their relationship is good.
“It’s good that you can admit that others are more qualified.”, Mindy said with a smirk.
Damon paused cutting the meat on his plate and cocked an eyebrow at Mindy. “This is not about pride, but about doing what’s best for people in need.”
Mindy was saying something, but Maya’s voice in Damon’s head through the mind-link was much louder, ‘Don’t you think that something is missing?’
Damon didn’t get it. ‘What’s missing?’
Maya cleared her throat. ‘Shouldn’t SOMEONE else sit in that place?’
Damon realized that Maya was talking about Talia. ‘Isn’t she having dinner in her room?’
Talia normally ate food in her room, and he didn’t think much about her absence. He was thinking of going to her room after dinner, and he would bring food anyway. He loved to watch her eat.
‘Talia was serving us, and Mindy.’, Maya emphasized this last part. ‘She said that she will not join us at the table, but instead, she will eat in the kitchen. Like an Omega.’
Maya twisted it a bit, but all the facts were there.
Damon had no idea what Maya was trying to say, but he understood that Talia was having her meal in the kitchen.