Chapter 9 - Her Alpha's Orders

Jo-anne POV

Calling her new employer Ji Ah, and trying to explain to her that it was now no longer possible for her to come and work for her at the art gallery was not fun. She had been really looking forward to this job, and it had taken a lot to get this job secured, not just interviews but contracts and phone calls to Alpha Damien. Who wouldn’t approve anything or even consider a contract until she had received confirmation of getting a job.

Now the only thing she could tell Ji Ah, was that, due to unforeseen circumstances back home, she could no longer take the job, and apologise profusely.

Jo-anne had also had to call the Art gallery’s Director, who was displaying her own Art Exhibition, and apologise to her as well, that had not gone down well at all. Jae Hwa had gotten quite angry with her, because Jo-anne was supposed to be there already, her exhibition due to open the day after tomorrow. Jae Hwa had pulled Jo-anne’s Exhibition altogether.

Insisted that she’d breached their contract and informed her, in no uncertain terms, that Jo-anne would be required to pay the full price of the setting up, pulling down, storage and repacking fees, plus shipping it back to the States. Among other things, and then there was an actual breaking of contract fee to boot.

Jo-anne had sat on the bed and listened to her, she had demanded an address to send the bill too. Jo-anne currently didn’t have a billing address and the only thing she could do was to send it back to the Pack care of Westley Carlton. Her new Alpha. It was his fault this had happened and so he could foot the bill, which she knew was going to run into the thousands.

If he didn’t like it, his father would have to step in and sort it out, seeing as it was actually his fathers' contract that Westley had breached.

Her apartment was again another nightmare. Alpha Damien had already paid for the first and last months' rent and now was about to lose all that money too, it seemed. All because his son had Alpha Ordered her apparently, not that he had said those actual words to her, to not set a single foot in Korea, and she found herself unable to literally put a foot on the ground without excruciating pain shooting through her entire body.

She begged the real estate agent to send all her things back to the Pack's address, couldn’t pay for it on the spot and asked them if they could do it C.O.D, the answer had been ‘no’, so she had then had to ask them to call her contact in the States her previous Alpha, Damien Carlton and sort it out with him themselves. Assured them he would sort it out and then prayed that he would.

The man would likely have no choice, it was his contract that his own son had breached, though whether he knew that or not at this point was another matter altogether.

Her phone had rung several times, unknown numbers to her, so she had dismissed them each time. She had bigger things to worry about and was not about to deal with stupid telemarketers or crank calls. Checked out of her hotel room and headed into the city, she had to find a cheaper place to stay and book herself a room in the city. Some place with easier access to public transport for travelling to and from work once she got a job.

She had thought about going back to the Pack, but with what had happened between Clova and Volt, she didn’t think it was a good idea at all. Jo-anne had no idea what had happened between West and Miranda afterwards. Could only imagine a massive argument, and it had not escaped Jo-anne’s attention that Miranda was an Alpha-blooded she-wolf, she did not want to get in a fight with the woman.

There was no way Clova would win, they were just a patrolman’s daughter, nothing special. Would obviously apologise, but could not explain why it happened, it had been Volts doing as far as she knew. Volt had wanted to Mate Clova and had stalked her to do so. Whether West would admit that to his Mate she had no idea. But it wasn’t like she could make his wolf Mate hers. He was the Alpha. No-one could make him or his wolf do anything they didn’t want to do. That had to go in her favour right.

So for now, she intended on staying put here in Singapore, though she really did need to pick up work and quickly so. She’d emailed Steffan Lang those photos of his wife along with an invoice seeing as he’d insisted on paying for them, and he’d emailed back that afternoon with confirmation of payment, so she had a few more hundred dollars to her name.

She spent the afternoon in an internet cafe trying to find a cheap place to stay until she could get a job, probably take a week or two, and booked a room at a place called Fragrance Hotel – Oasis, then to save some money, had strolled along to the place, a very long walk to, but save her some money, checked in and flopped down on the bed a little exhausted from the long walk and pulling her suitcase along behind her the whole way.

Woke up to find her phone flat and had no way to charge it. Had to go and find a store to buy and a power adapter to plug into the wall socket to charge her phone and plug her laptop into, then sat and started job hunting. Had looked up Steffan Lang. He was the CEO of a large advertising company.

Wondered if the man had any use for her skills, looked at the company’s information and hiring process. Nothing was advertised, but she thought it wouldn’t hurt to send her portfolio. She had already spoken to the man himself and he had asked for her business card.

Pulled up her Linguistics and Language portfolio and translated it into Mandarin and sent both the English and Mandarin copies to the company’s HR department. Then she did the exact same thing with her Arts portfolio, in case there was an opening for a photographer within the company. You never know.

Sent a short email to Steffan Lang himself, to explain what she had done and hoped if a position became available he’d consider her application. Prayed he didn’t think she was overstepping boundaries, but what could it really hurt? Only say no, at the worst.

She was not expecting a reply at all. He would be a very busy man, she could imagine. Looked up a few of the local art galleries and decided to spend the rest of the day with her camera and found herself at the Cuturi Gallery, spent an hour and a half just looking at the beautiful artworks. Took several pictures from the open air patio of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Then wandered off to find Aliwal Street to look at the street art it was famous for, and take some more pictures. Loved it, so bright and colourful. Then off to a place called The Vintage Camera Museum.

Then went to the Gardens of the Bay, and spent the remainder of the day in complete amazement and awe of the beautiful park and by the Goddess, the most beautiful thing she had seen, the Singapore solar-powered trees, walked all over the place, stopped and ate at a local food truck and waited for night to fall so she could see it all aglow, in all its glorious splendor.

It was so beautiful night and day. Couldn’t stop smiling, didn’t even mind when it started to rain. Oh, she was definitely coming back here again, likely to spend a lot of time here just sitting with her camera, she thought.

Stopped walking to answer her phone, was bumped into by a couple hurrying out of the rain, and fell down and scrapped her knee, waved the couple off, with a smile and accepted their apology. Clova would heal her in no time. “ Hello.” she managed to answer the phone.

“Miss Morris, it’s Steffan Lang.”

“Evening Mr Lang.” she greeted him.

“Turn to your right,” he told her.

Jo-anne turned to look to her right, and saw him standing by a car with an umbrella in his hand and smiled, raised a hand to him.

“Come this way. My wife Eu-Meh spotted you, we were here. It is her favourite place.”

Jo-anne nodded “Alright.”. She walked over to him, his wife smiled at her as he opened the car door.

“Get in Jo-anne, I wanted to ask you something.” Eu-Meh told her.

“Of course.”

“Hop in, we’ll all go and have dinner together.” Eu-Meh stated with a smile.

“I’m a bit wet.” Jo-anne in formed her and she was had been strolling along in the rain.

“It’s fine.” Eu-Meh waved it off.

Jo-anne got in the car and strapped her seat belt on. Steffan got behind the wheel and they drove off. “It’s very beautiful here.” Joanne smiled at her.

“It’s my very favourite place. I noticed…” she smiled right at Jo-anne “you were taking photos.”

“I was pretty sure that I got some great shots today and this evening.” Jo-anne looked right at her “Do you want to see them?”

Eu-Meh laughed softly “Nothing gets past you, I see.”

Jo-anne chuckled, turned her camera on and moved it so that Eu-Meh could see the photo’s she had taken. She had taken a lot, it seemed. Not even Jo-anne had realised till right now just how many she had taken. Had just let herself fall into shooting what ever took her fancy without a care in the world.

They ate at a restaurant called LAVO, an Italian place and Steffan seemed happy enough to let her and Eu-Meh just chat and look at the photo’s and discuss the option of Eu-Meh purchasing a few of them from her. Then they insisted on driving her back to her hotel.

Steffan raised an eyebrow at her. She just shrugged, “Limited funds,” she explained.

He nodded “I looked into you. Korean Art Exhibition about to start.”

“Unfortunately, it fell through at the last minute. But yes there was supposed to be one.”

“Come to my office tomorrow, bring those pictures for me to look at. I need a present for Eu-Meh.”

“Alright, what time?”

“I’m free at 2pm.”

Jo-anne nodded, told him she would be there and headed inside, to lay down on her bed and smiled to herself. What nice people. Already paid for photos and now, by chance, she would be able to sell some more. She loaded everything from her camera to her laptop and scrolled through them, picked out all the ones Eu-Meh had liked and then added a few more that she herself liked.

Smiled at the ones she’d taken with children blowing bubbles and having fun, she’d taken a seat and captured some of the bubbles floating up in front of the giant trees. Eu-Meh hadn’t seen those ones, and added them to the file.

Jo-anne really liked them, beautiful, almost magical, definitely whimsical, she might just frame one or two herself to go in her place when she got one, might even paint one, she thought, or 2 or 3. Really did like them, could do a whole series, she thought, just for herself.

Arrived at Steffan Lang’s office ten minutes early, not wanting to be late, give a good impression. He nodded to her, when she was shown into his office, no smile she noted, all business she thought, probably very busy.

Jo-anne kept it professional as well. He looked at the pictures and selected a few of them, told her of a place she could have them printed right there in the building and that he would like to have one of them framed today. Knew of a place, but she would have to stay and wait, bring it back to him. It was Eu-Meh’s birthday and they were going out for dinner.

Asked if she could bring it right to the restaurant, once it was framed. Jo-anne nodded, then looked down at her attire, grey slacks and a blue blouse and wondered if it was suitable for walking through the type of restaurant he would likely take his wife out to for her birthday.

“I’ll have a dress ready for you and I’m certain Eu-Meh would love for you to stay for a drink before she and I have dinner.”

“Thank you.”

She was given the details of the framing place and informed he’d send her in a car, surprised her “just taking care of you, in a new country and all.” he’d added.

Jo-anne told him it wasn’t necessary but he insisted, seeing that he was the one rushing the job. She didn’t argue. Just let him.

“I’ll have the driver pick up the dress while you wait for the framing. I’ve called ahead already and they are waiting for you.”

“Thank you.” she smiled at him.

The man did like to get his way, it seemed, and was prepared to do anything to surprise his wife. It was very sweet. She left on her mission smiling to herself, it was good to work, seemed that lady luck was on her side.

The dress provided for her was an A-Line, V-neck, asymmetrical chiffon cocktail dress with a ruffle in what the tag said was vintage mauve in colour. It was very pretty. She was wearing small black heels, so they were okay with the dress. Checked her appearance, her hair was up in a ponytail, she pulled it out and braided it loosely down and around the right side of her body, pulling gently at the braid to enlarge the sections, neatened it around her face and picked up the framed photo and headed into the restaurant.

Was shown to the table where both Steffan and Eu-Meh were seated, she sat down and smiled at them, handed the framed print to an apologetic looking Steffan.

"What's wrong?” she asked him.

“I’m sorry Jo-anne...I had no choice.”

She frowned at him, not understanding what he meant or what was going on. Turned to look at Eu-Meh, who looked a little nervous to be honest.

Then she felt a hand slide down her neck, right to her mark spot, then a pair of lips hit her ear “Jo-anne.” West’s voice filled her ear and his scent hit her.