Authors: Theodora Taylor
“We’ll see about that. Alisha was the only Alaska princess to work outside the home and I’ll be darned if I let another one of my daughters go the way she did.”
Janelle shook her head at him. “It’s not about you and Mama
me do things anymore, Daddy. Those days are over. I make my own decisions now, and I love my thug king even more for supporting me in them—and by the way, both you and Mama will cease calling him my ‘thug king.’ From now on, you may refer to him as what he is—the ally who saved the Alaska crown. In fact, if you ever disrespect him in front of me again, I’ll be sure to let it be known if anyone challenges the Alaska king, his second is more than willing to abdicate his title on his behalf, no challenge fight necessary.”
She smiled when her father’s mouth fell open. “Yes, that’s right, Daddy. I found that loophole myself in our pledge agreement. And Mag was glad I did, because he’s sure it will make you a lot more cooperative in future business dealings with him. No wonder he’s been so supportive about me going into law.”
Her eyes flashed. “I still don’t know what part you played in what happened to Alisha, but don’t test me, Daddy. At this point, I would. I totally would, I’m that angry at you and Mama.”
“But we didn’t… how could we have known she’d… it’s not our fault!” her father blustered.
The song ended, and Janelle put back on her pleasant princess face. “Time to switch out partners again. Please be a dear and let Mama know what I said about her behavior toward Mag going forward.”
Just in time, Mag came by with her mother, and the switch off went smooth as silk, mostly because her father stood there, helpless and stymied, a saved king who had finally been brought to task by the daughter who’d been slavishly obedient just a few months ago. But Janelle supposed her mother was right. Everything does change when you get your two rings.
Janelle let Mag slow dance her away in the opposite direction of her parents with visions of what the future held in store. She could already see herself helping she-wolves understand their pledge agreements and also helping them obtain divorces if they’re marriages weren’t working out. All while dressed in fashionable suits and designer heels. If only Alisha, could see her now.
A bittersweet sadness stole over Janelle at the thought of her sister who she wouldn’t be seeing again for five years. Alisha was all right. In her heart, Janelle sensed Alisha was all right. But she wished she could confirm it for herself. And though she wouldn’t have changed what she did to help her sister escape Rafe’s clutches, she did regret Mag had lost a good friend and ally because of it.
According to her parents, Rafe had holed himself up in the Colorado mansion and was now refusing to serve in his role as king. And Grady seemed to be fully on Rafe’s side. He turned down her emailed invitation to the surprise second wedding, with a rather nastily worded note that he was too busy watching the kingdom house, making sure Rafe didn’t hurt himself on his now daily drinking binges. Rafe’s response to Alisha’s leaving seemed a little more extreme than the picture her sister had painted of a petulant king who hadn’t gotten his way. After all, he hadn’t gone crazy after Chloe had left, he’d come to Alaska to pledge Alisha.
Janelle was beginning to suspect maybe Rafe’s feelings for Alisha had been truer than he let on during their pledge negotiations, that they’d gone beyond blind and ruthless ambition. But it was too late for him and Alisha now. She was somewhere Rafe would never be able to get to her, and by the time she came back, not only would she get her annulment, she’d have the best lawyer advocating on her behalf for custody of their pup: her own sister.
Still, the absence of both Alisha and Rafe from the second wedding cast a definite cloud over the party.
“So it looked like you and your dad had an interesting conversation,” Mag said, bringing her back to the real world.
Janelle shrugged. “Dad’s not too happy about me going to into law. He thinks it’s unseemly.”
“Then he don’t know from seemly,” Mag said. “I personally can’t wait to strip you out of one of them lawyer suits. Talk about seemly, yeah?”
Janelle giggled. “I’m not sure you’re fully understanding what ‘seemly’ means.”
He chuckled, too, and she felt the deep rumble of his chest against hers and they danced in total peace while a young Michael Jackson sang “Give Love on Christmas Day” along with his brothers.
At least they were totally at peace until Janelle sighed and said, “Poor Dad. First he finds out I’m going to law school tonight, and tomorrow morning I’m going to have to tell him his first grand pup will be a girl.”
She bit her lip and waited for Mag’s reaction. She didn’t have to wait long. “It’s a girl?” he said, taking her by both arms. “We’re having a girl?”
Janelle nodded, preparing herself for the worse. “And I’m seven years older than my mom was when she went into heat. This might be our only child. That means you might not have an heir for your crown when you turn fifty—”
“I don’t care.” He cut her off with a kiss. “Janelle, I don’t care! If it were up to me, we’d only have girls. I don’t want a boy who turns out fucked up like my dad. I’d rather have girls who look and think exactly like you.”
Janelle was touched, but… “That’s sweet of you to say, but this might have serious repercussions, because you won’t have the same options my dad did. I’m not going to let anyone manipulate our daughter into an arranged marriage.”
Mag cupped her face in his hands and shook his head. “Have I mentioned lately how much I like this other side of you, baby? Look at you, already standing up for our daughter and she ain’t even born yet. You’re going to be a great lawyer, and an even better mother.”
Janelle heart melted. “So you really don’t mind?”
Mag shook his head. “Of course I don’t. The only reason I have this crown is because it was the only way to get you. If it goes away when I’m fifty, I don’t care. All I need is you.” He rubbed a hand over her swollen belly. “You and our little girl. This is the best Christmas gift ever. Thank you.”
Janelle kissed him then, not caring who saw what her mother would later call their “vulgar display on the dance floor.” Wolf and Punishment had officially become Wolf in Love in her mind. And it was okay if Mag kissed her back like she was his possession, something that belonged to him and only to him. Because she had chosen him. In fact, they had chosen each other, and she knew without a doubt, for the rest of their time on this earth, they’d belong to each other.
If you liked this story, check out the other books in the 50 Loving State series:
Theodora Taylor reads, writes, and reviews in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When not reading, writing, or reviewing, she enjoys going to the movies, daydreaming, and attending dinner parties thrown by others with her wonderful husband. Feel free to contact her at
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