As we moved into the room, all the people quietened down respectfully. Mentally, I heard all of them, Angie and Oli excluded, whisper Alpha, Alpha.The men were trying not to take in my outfit too much. I smiled and looked each of the room’s occupants in the eye in turn. They understood the signal and went back to their conversations.
“Hey Angie!” I walked towards her between some of the more compacted tables while Kane went to our table.
“Evening Wolvero. Have you been to a party? You look fantastic!” She took in my outfit with a smile.
“Uh huh! Kane and I have just left and Regan’s gone home.” I felt a sudden twinge of emotion from inside me when I thought of him hurting. “Are you doing okay down here?”
“Yeah I’m fine for now” she replied, almost oblivious of the change of atmosphere. “Peter’s working the upstairs bar and Oliver was supposed to be helping him...” She looked pointedly at Oli who gave her a little cheeky smile back. “...but is it okay if he stays down here for a while?”
“Of course he can! Is he a friend of yours?” I asked as I studied his features. His only resemblance to Angie was the rather pointed nose that was the main feature of Angie’s face. That was where the similarities ended. She had curled, greying brown hair, smoky green eyes and she was a bit shorter than me. Oli was almost the complete opposite. Wide and dark brown eyes stared out from underneath long brown hair that he flicked out of his face every once and a while. He was gangly and tall like any of the other teenaged kids in the room; but he should have felt different from the others. He felt strangely similar to them which bothered me.
“Oliver’s my nephew. He’s staying with me for a while.”
“I know him from school. I think he’s in my year. Is this his first day in the Chilterns?”
“Mmmm, yes.” Angie scratched her sharp chin. “Could you maybe find him some friends? I think he will be in Chiltern a while and he is shyer than mice.”
Oliver, who realised we had been talking about him, drifted over to stand behind her. He had always been quite tall and skinny for his age so I had to look up to speak to him. Although I hadn’t ever had any contact with him during my time at school, I didn’t have trouble saying, “Hey Oli! Are you alright staying down here with us?”
He didn’t answer. His shyness must have got the better of him because he flipped his hair back over his eyes and mumbled something inaudible.
“See what I mean?” Angie raised a thin eye brow at Oli and me in turn then she moved towards the trap door to the surface.