Chapter 13

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Dante had been disappointed that Seven had wanted to eat alone, but he wasn't really surprised. He was starting to realize that it would take quite a bit of time to draw her out and get her to be comfortable around him and others. She had been a slave, mistreated and beaten for a year and a half, so he understood that she had trust issues and emotional scars. He wanted to help her, he wanted to accept her and claim her as his Luna.

He spent a little more time in his office after dinner, continuing to sort through some of the notes of his investigation in the past, and became more convinced that the rogue attacks weren't random and had been orchestrated by someone. But, he was no closer to identifying who that was, or who Seven was in relation to any of it. He decided he was done for the day, and made a plan for what he was going to start with in the morning, and then he headed up to his room. While he was taking a shower and getting ready for bed, he couldn't help but want to see her. He also wanted to confirm she hadn't snuck out again, so he quietly opened the door to her room. As soon as he had, he could hear her heartbeat pick up and begin to race. More than anything he wanted her to not be so afraid of him. He closed the door and returned to his room, and went to bed, for a restless night.

Seven sat up with a start, something had woken her. She looked toward her door, and realized the sound she had just heard must have been someone leaving her room, because there was a tray of food, right inside her door, steam still coming off some of it. She felt refreshed, not remembering the last time she had slept so soundly through the night. She didn't even have her nightmare last night, which had been a frequent occurrence. She grabbed her tray of food, and ate everything she had been given. She was setting her tray on the floor outside of her room when she saw Dante coming up the stairs toward her. He smiled when he saw her, and she started to smile in return, but then quickly caught herself, and just stood up, waiting for him to come up to her.

Dante couldn't help but smile when he saw his mate leaving her tray in the hall. She was stunning, and already looking much healthier than she had just a few days prior. Her auburn hair was long and flowing, no longer the tangled mess behind her head. Her brown eyes were bright, and sparkled when she looked at him. Her soft skin, that had been dirty and marred with bruises and scars when he had first found her, was now clean and a light creamy tan, and even the scars looked less noticeable. Her dainty frame looking less weak and luscious curves beginning to form in all of the right places. And she almost even smiled at him as he approached her. That was the closest thing to a smile he had seen her beautiful lips make, since he had met her. His breath hitched for a moment, at the sight of her standing there, as he took in the beautiful picture she made, looking back at him expectantly. It took all of the restraint he possessed, to keep himself from walking right up to her and kissing her in a passionate embrace, and a flush crept up his skin, at just the thought.

Dante bent down to pick up the empty tray that Seven had just brought out of her room. He felt it would be a good idea to have something in his hands to prevent him from pulling her into an embrace that she most likely wouldn't appreciate.

"I have to go to the training grounds today" he began to say to her, as she leaned against her doorway. "Please make yourself at home, you can go all over the pack house if you'd like. There are just bedrooms up here, you and I are the only ones on this floor of this wing. All of the pack house residents are on the other side of the house, but everyone has mandatory training today, so nobody but the kitchen staff will be in the house all morning."

She just blinked at him, understanding everything he was saying, but suddenly very curious about the pack, and how big it must be for there to be another wing of the pack house for all of the residents. But she was grateful to hear that they wouldn't be in the house this morning. Now that she was feeling more comfortable in her current circumstances.

Dante continued speaking, "If you get hungry you can find anything you might need in the kitchen, or you can ask Lucy to make you something" and he winked at her, when he said that. "There's a media room too, if you feel like watching a movie or playing pool or something, and then there's a gym down in the basement."

She seemed to actually smile at him this time, and she was actually looking forward to being able to explore the pack house, without worrying about anyone else being around.

"Please" he started speaking again, "don't go outside. I've told people that you are here, so they won't be attacking you or thinking you're trespassing, but I would appreciate it if you stayed here. Just so I know you're safe."

She looked up at him and nodded, agreeing to the terms he had requested of her.

"Thank you," he said. And then he turned away and took her tray back downstairs.

Seven was excited for the first time since she had been here. Her curiosity didn't allow her any time to wait. She quickly got dressed in clothes that had been left for her, finding a pair of leggings and a long t-shirt. She quickly braided her long hair in one long French braid that went half-way down her back, and she put on a pair of sneakers. She quietly opened her door, and stepped out, listening for any sounds, and heard nothing. She walked quietly to the top of the stairs and stopped to listen again. Still no sounds, so she proceeded down the stairs until she reached the bottom, and she stopped to listen again.

She saw the front door where she had come through the few times she had entered the pack house, and across a hall is what she assumed must be the kitchen. She walked quietly over, and peered through the doorway. It was actually something like a sitting room, so she walked through and saw both the dining room and the kitchen on the other side. After a quick peek into those rooms she walked back through the sitting room and into the front hall. Past the staircase she had come down, the hall continued into what she could tell must be the pack dormitory wing. It appeared to be a long hall with stairs all the way down at the end, and several doors along the way. She didn't feel comfortable walking down past the other wolves rooms, so instead she went past the stairs in the other direction.

There was a large living room with a TV and a few couches. Then there was a hallway leading down a corridor with a few more doors and a large archway at the end. She walked down the hallway, and the first door was open, and appeared to be like a library. There were a few desks, a couch, a fireplace and the rest of the walls were covered in books with a few bookshelves scattered throughout the room as well. She made a mental note that she would be back to look at this room more. Further down the hall was a bathroom, so she continued along and found another room that appeared to be an office. She could smell Dante's scent very strongly in this room, and she noted that he must spend a lot of time in here. The room appeared to be in a bit of chaos. Multiple stacks of files scattered around the room and on the desk, as well as open file cabinet drawers, and she inadvertently shook her head a little in disapproval at the mess.

She continued down the hall, and found a stairwell right before she reached the archway at the end of the hall. She passed the stairs and went through the arch and into what she identified as the media room. It was huge, and had multiple couches, at least three different large TV's, a pool table, a ping pong table and a set of shelves with several more games. The room was obviously well-used, and after walking around it for a few minutes she stepped back out and paused at the top of the stairwell, peering down. She found a light switch and the stairs were immediately illuminated. She crept down quietly, and found at the bottom a well-stocked gymnasium. This room was even larger than the media room. There was an area for cardio, with several machines geared toward that, then there was a large section with weight machines and sets of free weights. Past all that, there was a large space with mats that she assumed was for sparring, and beyond that was another open area, for general fitness activity.

She hadn't exercised for pleasure in a very long time. There was plenty of exercise to be had back in Luther's territory, as the chores and tasks they had kept them busy and moving all the time, but she relished the idea of just exercising again for fun. She immediately got onto a treadmill and began to run.

Seven ran, lifted weights and worked out for a few hours. When she was done, she felt better than she had since she had left home. She felt a little piece of her old self, and almost felt happy. She decided she should probably go take a shower. Dante had said that everyone would be gone at training all morning, but he hadn't specified when people would be coming back, so she figured she would head back to her room before they arrived.

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