A/N: You all have been absolutely amazing! I never realized how many people read Borderline until I ended the story - then I was amazed by how many "so and so has favourited your story" notices appeared in my email inbox. A bit late but better than never, here is the sequel to Borderline, Junction. At first I was just going to leave you with the introduction, but I gave you another short chapter because the introduction is pretty much rehashing of information. I hope you guys enjoy!
"You know, the sun is in your eyes/And hurricanes and rains/And black and cloudy skies...Oh Lady, luck has lead you here/And they're so twisted up/They'll twist you up, I fear." - Wicked Little Town by Ben Jalen
"Is everyone ready? We're hoping to leave before midnight, please!"
The harried call that echoed around the house came from the front door, where a tall, dark haired man was standing at the foot of the stairs. Jordan, twenty-one, with a shaggy cut of dark hair, had an important looking briefcase slung over his shoulder and was checking his watch with a sense of urgency. His brother Paxton, eight years older and with longer hair, leaned against the door frame, chuckling at his little brother's nervousness.
"They're always late, but they always get here. Relax. Put your stuff in the truck."
Jordan cast one more desperate look up the stairs, then pointed at Paxton. "If they come down, tell them - "
"I will, I will. Hurry along, now." Paxton teased, and with a playful growl the alpha went outside, where his truck was parked and waiting in front of the house.
Paxton looked up as he heard someone thundering down the stairs. Sam, a jovial, curly haired boy of about sixteen jumped the last four steps and pivoted on his heel, calling up to someone beyond Paxton's sight, "Toss it down!"
A duffel bag came flying towards Sam and he caught it with a small "oof". "Okay, got it!" he confirmed.
Another boy joined him downstairs, identical facial structure though a few years younger, with reddish hair cut close to his head, looking happier than he had in the past few weeks. This was Mors, nicknamed Mortimer (or Morty). Sam turned and realized Paxton was standing there -he gave him a sheepish grin. "Sorry, we were doing last minute packing!" he apologized. Morty smiled brightly at the beta. "Sorry!" he echoed. Paxton pointed out the door.
"Your boss man is near the end of his rope." Paxton told them jokingly. "It would be best to pick up the pace, I think."
"We're going." Sam heaved a laborious sigh, tugging at his younger brother's shirt. "C'mon squirt, you can help me load this."
"It's not even that heavy!" Morty whined. "You're just being lazy."
"Hey, hey." Sam warned. "Play nice!" he tried to ruffle his brother's hair, but Morty dodged and was out the door, laughing as Sam tried to chase after him with the bag over his shoulder.
The basement door opened and out came two young boys, around Sam's age. A sandy haired, blue eyed boy was looking over his shoulder with a teasing laugh - his friend followed, face almost as red as his hair, eyes golden brown. Nate, fifteen, and his friend Peter, sixteen, had their bags with them. Paxton stopped them as they headed for the door long enough to ask, "Whose truck are you going in?"
"We're going with Marcus." Nate called over his shoulder. "We're bringing Casper's stuff, too."
"What? Why?" Paxton asked, following them outside. "I thought Penelope was - "
"Penelope doesn't really want to...ah...come with us. Casper offered to take her on his motorcycle." Peter offered by way of an explanation. Paxton's face registered understanding.
"I see." he nodded his head towards the trucks and said, "If that's all, you better get settled. Jordan's anxious to leave."
"Yup!" Nate chirped carelessly and tugged on Peter's hand, leading the red head down the walk. Paxton watched them go, shaking his head. The two pups had become unusually close recently, though it was hardly surprising considering they had known each other before joining the pack.
The thrumming of motorcycle engines made Paxton turn as the twins Casper and Poe rode their motorcycles around the block. Poe's bags were securely strapped to the back of his bike but Casper had no baggage, making room for Penelope.
The twins pulled off their helmets in unison and cut their engines. Casper and Poe were identical, fair headed, freckled, eighteen year old twins. People always had trouble telling them apart, but that was made easier now by the thin scar that cut diagonally across Poe's left cheek and ended at the ridge of his nose - a souvenir from his encounter with a father seeking revenge for the death of his son. Casper could not look at the scar without feeling guilty; because of that, Poe had taken to using Penelope's make up to cover it up.
"Are you taking Penelope?" Paxton asked Casper for confirmation, and the elder twin nodded. "Yup. I'm putting my stuff in Marcus's truck. That okay?"
"Of course. I was merely inquiring." Paxton ran a hand through his hair and squinted up at the house. "Speaking of...where is the lady?"
Casper shrugged. "I haven't seen her since breakfast."
Paxton sighed. Some of Penelope's neighbors were watching them from their windows, brows creased in the familiar, "that girl from across the street has men over again" look.
Penelope always maintained that she didn't want rumors to spread throughout the town, either about the pack boarding in her house or the unfortunate incident that had them packing for a trip, so she encouraged them to lie low - but people did talk, and word did spread.
Penelope either didn't know about the talk or she pretended not to know, but the pack had heard the gossip. They didn't mention it to her, and neither did her two confidants - Julian Kincaide and Charlotte Russet, the former who knew and (grudgingly) accepted the idea of lycanthropes living in his best friend's home, and the latter who knew practically everything bar the word "lycanthropes".
Paxton turned his head as the front door opened, and out came nineteen year old Marcus, sullen-faced. He was looking more and more surly as time went on, but Paxton felt no sympathy. The dark haired lycan had crossed a line with Penelope, and he was getting the cold shoulder from the girl as well as a hard time from the rest of his pack.
"Is Penelope in there?" Paxton asked, annoyed at the girl's tardiness.
Marcus nodded. "She's locking up the house." Without another word he jangled his keys with irritability and strode past Paxton to his truck.
"C'mon you munchkins!" he bellowed at Nate and Peter. "It's unlocked!"
Nate yelled something back at the lycan that Paxton didn't catch, but it was no doubt in response to the awful nickname.
Paxton visibly relaxed when Penelope Rowley appeared in the doorway, putting down her suitcase in order to lock the front door, testing it before coming towards him. Her hair had grown out a bit, dusting over her ears, but the eighteen year old hadn't grown at all from her short stature. She had bags under her eyes and she flashed him a very weary smile.
"Sorry, sorry." she apologized breathlessly. "I was just getting things together..."
"It's no problem," Paxton cut her off smoothly, taking her suitcase. "You called Julian?"
Penelope nodded. "Yup, he's going to check on the house every once in a while. The screen door's still giving me crap."
Paxton stopped her. "Are you sure you're okay to ride with Casper?" he asked her seriously. Penelope rolled her eyes.
"I'm fine, Paxton, it's not like I'm bulging out of my pants or anything." Penelope poked her stomach affectionately.
Sure, Penelope was only a couple weeks pregnant, but Paxton still worried about her. The whole pack did. They knew she was embarrassed about what had transpired between her and Marcus, and about her foolishness regarding safety, and most of all about the fights that were occurring. Marcus was angry at her silence, and Penelope was hurt by his betrayal. They fought constantly, not discrete enough in a house with eight other werewolves in it.
"I'm ready. Do we have enough time to make our flight?" Penelope started walking again - Paxton trailed her with her bag.
"We are in good time. But you know how Jordan worries."
"Oh, I know." Penelope laughed. "Tell him I'm sorry, would you?"
"Will do." Paxton tossed her bag in the back of Jordan's truck and the two parted ways. Casper smiled at Penelope and patted the back of his motorcycle. Paxton watched the girl as she climbed delicately on and wrapped arms around the elder twin's waist after taking the spare helmet.
"Everyone's ready." he told his alpha, and Jordan nodded.
"Do we have tickets?" the younger lycan asked worriedly. "I put them on your dresser, but I - "
"J, relax." Paxton put his hand over his brother's mouth. "I have everything, you have everything. Just drive. We can call Dad if anything goes wrong."
Jordan nodded, looking sufficiently reassured. Sam made a noise of impatience in the backseat and Paxton looked severely at him over his shoulder.
Jordan didn't need to be so worried about the tickets - they could still get on the Asteri jet with just their ID. The children of Saturn, leader of the lycans who fronted as one of the world's most powerful businessmen, were easily recognizable, and the pilot was only expecting ten passengers - the nine lycans and Penelope.
Jordan checked over his shoulder to make sure everyone was there, and then drove away from Penelope's house.
They were headed for McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, en route to New York, New York, the home of the top lycan pack on the continent.
A/N: Thanks for reading!