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Bubble Bath Blunder

After dinner that ended with slightly fewer casualties than usual, Richard left Favian alone to clean the mess up. They didn’t have a housekeeper to assist with chores like that, so it was up to the two overworked men to keep the mansion together.

In charge of bathtime, Richard decided to reward his pups with a little special surprise that came with one of the gifts his employees pushed into his arms earlier that evening. He often heard of human children enjoying the bubble bath experience with yellow rubber duck toys and inflatable boats. 

Living in the Blue Moon Mansion meant that his pups never had the opportunity to explore such luxuries. The werewolves were very careful not to subscribe to anything like streaming services or the internet in the main house to prevent negative influence and stereotypes about humans. Ambrose had all the amenities in his shed that the pups were banned from entering, and all the work Richard and Favian did were using unlimited mobile data from their phones.

Hence, the new scents Darren and Ludwig smelled from the pile of gifts sent the pups into a new frenzy. Oliver was the only pup who wasn’t trying to tear open the gift packages and gnaw on the bath salts. Richard had to hold the two zealous boys by the back of their shirts and exude his alpha pheromones to calm them down.

Sensing their alpha’s dominance, Darren and Ludwig gradually piped down and watched Richard cautiously. The tired CEO didn’t often do it because it was tiring to apply dominance on others, forcing his will onto them. Ambrose always said he had a weak will, and it was true. Other alphas had overbearing egos and pride to back their will, whereas he had nothing.

After the two rowdier pups stopped attacking the new goods, Richard let them go but remained stern as he felt the phone vibrating in his pocket.

“Listen up. I have to receive a call now, but I don’t want any funny business from anyone. Favian will get to know if you misbehave, and I will not save anyone from punishment. Understood?”

Three eager pups nodded their heads, and Richard instructed them to undress while filling the tub. It was easier for all three pups to bathe at the same time. Richard quickly left the room out of earshot from the excited boys to take the call. The number was unfamiliar, but he had a feeling he knew who was calling. After all, there was only one person who had unscheduled business with him tonight. His employees knew better than to call their boss after hours. He didn’t implement new policies and encouraged family time for nothing.

“Hello, Taleman speaking.”

A crossed lady snapped from the other side of the line with a heavy Italian accent.

“Where are you? I’ve been waiting for two hours, but you never showed up or gave me a reply.”

Two hours? Richard wanted to laugh. He never gave Ms Viconti his phone number. Other ladies might have waited for four or six hours before receiving a reply from Favian. This hotel heiress must have gotten help from her father to bypass his secretary. Favian should have sent her a reply already stating that he wouldn’t attend. Of all the obnoxious socialites waiting to get into his pants and fortune, Ms Viconti was one of the worst.

“I’m sorry, I don’t remember having any evening appointments. You must have gotten the wrong number.”

Richard blocked her number, ending the call hurriedly before the hotel heiress could say anything. He didn’t really need her father’s business contact either. Thousands of other hotel chain tycoons looked forward to working with his company exclusively. If Mr Visconti knew what was good for his career, he wouldn’t mix private and professional matters.

Sighing tiredly, Richard listened to the rambunctious yells coming from the tub. He left the pups alone for two minutes, and already they’d forgotten all his instructions. Favian might be right. He was too soft on them.

Rolling up his sleeves and thinking how best to portray himself as an alpha who demanded respect, Richard wondered if introducing bubble baths was a mistake. These pups played with water on a regular day, and nothing in the bathroom was spared. With bubbles, would they try to throw the suds onto the ceiling?

Before Richard could weigh the pros and cons of recalling the bubble bath idea, he heard a high pitched whine before crying and panicked screaming. Feeling his heart drop from his chest, Richard ran to the bathroom, forgetting about the socks he wanted to remove. His pants weren’t rolled up either, and by the end of it all, his clothes might not be salvageable from creases. However, Richard was more worried for the youngest pup, whose crying increased incessantly.

“What have you done?!” Richard heard Darren demand angrily with a growl as Ludwig yelped in pain.

“I didn’t do it! It’s not me this time!” the second oldest pup whined in pain as Richard slid to a halt right outside his bathroom.

The tub was full of water as he instructed, but it was also full of white soapy bubbles floating in many directions. On the floor, big fat tears were streaming from Oliver’s reddened eyes as he continued rubbing the soap out. Ludwig and Darren, who didn’t know any better, tried to help their youngest batch brother by washing the soap out with more soapy water, making Oliver cry harder.

Without thinking, Richard snarled and snatched the youngest child from his brothers, carrying him under one arm over the sink and pouring cold water over his youngest son’s head, gathering water in his other hand to rinse the soap suds from Oliver’s eyes. The cold water startled Oliver, who couldn’t see but as soon as Richard washed those bubbles away, the youngest boy stopped crying almost at once.

His eyes were very red, and Richard examined them. Oliver might need eye drops after this. However, he was currently out of danger. With that, Richard turned his attention back to the guilty-looking older pups who stood there awkwardly, not knowing what they did wrong.

Threading a hand through his hair, Richard felt bone-deep exhaustion creeping on him. It wasn’t their fault that they didn’t know any better. He didn’t give them enough instructions or educate them about human things. The CEO had too much on his plate, and he felt slightly remorseful over neglecting his pack. Even if they were not his biological children and were forced upon him by the useless Fenrir guardian, he still had responsibilities as alpha and a father figure to these wolves.

“Listen up,” Richard spoke in a levelled tone, not giving away how he felt at the moment. His boys needed to learn this lesson and grow from it. “Bubble baths are fun, but they can hurt a lot if they get in your eyes and taste awful when you drink them. It’s only good for an external wash. What the both of you just did to Oliver could have made him blind.”

Hearing how serious their actions were, both boys paled. Even without their ears and tails, Richard knew that they would be drooping and curling around their bodies if the extra appendages materialised. From downstairs, Favian, who had heard the screams and cries earlier, came upstairs to see Richard scolding his pups without raising his voice. Their guilty faces and the messy bubble bath scene told the secretary everything he needed to know.

Playing the bad cop, Favian cleared his throat to let Richard know he would take over the punishments now that the scolding was over.

“Double homework for those who cause more mess and trouble from this point. I will also ground anyone else who causes Oliver to cry again tonight. No running out of the mansion until the next full moon.”

Ludwig’s jaw dropped open, hearing that there would be double homework and grounding until the next full moon. The pup felt targetted by the punishment when Favian directed a glare at him.

“That’s not fair!” the blonde werewolf protested. “Nine days of getting trapped in this small house?! I didn’t make Oliver cry this time! He cried on his own!”

Hearing how Ludwig described their mansion, Richard wanted to cry. Did this boy even understand how much this property was worth? Not everyone could afford to live in a twelve-bedroom property with a vast forest as their backyard that included several mountains. His ignorance could hurt some people without knowing, and Richard made a mental note to incorporate common sense into their education.

“If you would like to be grounded now for talking back, you’re free to be my guest. It’s double homework for now, but it’s grounding if I hear anything from Richard about trouble in the bath. Not even Ambrose can talk me out of it.”

Hearing the ultimatum and groaning about the additional homework on Ludwig’s end, the boys reluctantly stepped into the bathtub and let Richard shampoo their hair. Favian carried Oliver out while his boss bathed the pups. Oliver’s eyes were red, not just from the crying. The inside of his eyes was bloodshot. That bubble bath must have traumatised the kid now.

Getting the eyedrops from the medical supply, Favian gently pried the youngest pup’s eye open and rewarded the child for being such an angel compared to his older batch brothers. Favian didn’t like to admit it, but Oliver sometimes reminded him of Richard when the CEO was younger. They even liked the same flavour of candy which made Favian wonder how Oliver wasn’t his biological son.

Consoled by the candy in his mouth, Oliver beamed and agreed to let Favian take him upstairs for his bubble bath. The child was so forgiving and didn’t hold any grudges against his brothers, who put soap in his eyes while trying to help him. Sometimes, Favian wondered why omegas had the kind of power in them that could make people want to protect them despite being so weak.

Although the pups have not developed their scent glands, it wasn’t hard to guess their hierarchy upon maturity. Favian sighed. If only Ambrose could get rid of that old-fashioned mentality about what defined a good alpha, beta, delta, omega and gammas.

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