Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 11
“Saffron,” POW snaps, and I stop halfway between his desk and the door. “Why don’t you have a seat?”
I hate that he makes it sound like a question, as if I actually have some sort of choice. I have the urge to point that out, but I manage to stay quiet and head for the brown leather couch like a good little Omega. I pick the corner that’s closest to the door—and furthest from POW—and perch on the edge of my seat, ready to jump up at a moment’s notice.
POW ignores me. He flips open his laptop and begins to type, like he’s already forgotten I exist. After several seconds, I begin to relax.
When I first walked into POW’s office, I was too nervous to pay attention to my surroundings, but now that he’s busy, I have all the time in the world.
POW’s office is actually quite beautiful. The mahogany desk and brown leather chair stand in stark contrast with the dark green walls, as does the brown leather couch I’m perched on and the one along the wall directly across from me. There are also two matching brown leather chairs to my left, one on either side of a huge fireplace.
My eyes drift up to look at the giant painting hanging above it and I jerk my head away in horror. Oh Goddess, how can anyone frame that thing and hang it in public?
“That used to belong to my father.” POW looks up from his laptop. For a split second, he actually looks embarrassed, but then the look is gone and I wonder if I imagined it. “I know it’s a little…” he gestures at the painting a few times, seeming at a loss for words.
Gross? Repulsive? Shouldn’t be allowed in public? I sneak another peek at it, and it’s even more awful the second time around. The two gray wolves are literally staring at me out of the framed monstrosity while they… while they… oh, I can’t look. I snap my head away and give all my attention to the book cases along the opposite wall.
How can POW work in an office with those wolves staring at him all day? They’re not just animals, they’re Wolves, like us. The difference is subtle, but anyone of my kind can tell by the slight differences in shape and size and the spark of intelligence in their eyes. I don’t even have to look to remember the rest, the image engraved in my mind. There are two wolves and the bigger of the two, the male, is standing on his haunches behind the female, his front paws wrapped around her hips. It’s like having a painting of two people doing it doggy style, or in this case, Wolfie style.
“I’ve been meaning to get rid of it for years, but my father loved this painting.” POW slams his laptop shut and stands, pushing back his chair and rounding the desk to join me.
Suddenly, I forget all about the painting and wish I’d chosen to sit on one of the chairs instead of on the couch. If I had, I’d be closer to the door and there’d be no chance of POW sitting next to me.
It’s just my luck, too, because POW heads straight for the couch I’m on. He makes a move to join me, far enough that another person could fit between us, but I still try to shift away. I think he notices my discomfort—or decides he doesn’t want to sit next to me either—because he suddenly switches direction and heads for the fireplace. He grabs one of the chairs and places it directly in front of me, cutting off any chance of escape. Then, he takes a seat facing me and raises an eyebrow.
“I’m not going to hurt you, Saffron,” he tells me.
Now it’s my turn to raise an eyebrow. Except that would be a sign of rebellion, so I stop myself at the last second.
“Tell me. How do you like the pack house?”
“It’s okay,” I mumble, wondering what he expects me to say and why he even cares.
POW nods. “And your room?”
“Not too much of a mess, I hope?” POW asks. “I know Zara can be…” he pauses.
I shake my head, looking down at my lap. POW sits silently for a few minutes, as if waiting for me to continue.
“I cleaned it,” I finally blurt out. I want him to see that I’m not lazy, like Dad—that I’m a good, hard worker—and that he has no reason to hate me.
“This is your home now, Saffron.” POW sighs.
And your prison, I add silently. At least for today… Tomorrow, I hope to be long gone.
“If you ever need to talk, you can come to me,” POW continues. “My door is always open.”
I glance at the closed door and I can’t help myself. I think it’s a mix of nerves and exhaustion, but a giggle escapes before I can stifle it.
POW glances at the closed door as well and does something I didn’t ever think possible. He smiles.