It was supposed to be a peaceful end to autumn but some people had other plans.
With different packs informing me about rogues being spotted, as the King of the Northern Territories, I had to take action. I was observing the map of the Kingdom where I had marked all the territories that informed me of the rogues rounding their borders, occasionally.
Looking at the map, I could see how it was scattered all around the place, so forming a strategy right now wasn’t feasible, but still, the number was a bit higher on the South-Eastern side. That was one of the reasons I had to contact my cousin Kieran because he ruled the territory in the East.
Erebus – It won’t be very easy. My wolf expressed and I couldn’t stop but agree with his words. He was right. I needed to be patient and scour for more information before forming an opinion.
I then grabbed the files with the information about the packs and started reading. I wanted to understand what strength the packs had so that the rogues were running around those packs.
Even though a few packs were facing the issue, it was a collective issue for our Northern Kingdom.
I heard a knock and I permitted the person in. I recognised the scent, so I was hoping to receive a piece of positive information, but I was ready for both.
“Alpha, I’m not bearing good news.” Kyle, my Royal Beta and my childhood best friend informed me. “Seems like more packs are getting affected by this.” He was equally worried and I knew we had a lot to take care of and this was not going to unfold immediately because whoever was doing this was airing out the news to us, purposefully to distress us.
“I can guess. Everyone must be pondering over the issue and we have to take care of it in a better way.” I told him. “Strategizing with the other Alphas seems like the only option for now,” I answered. I stood up and walked towards the window in my office, darting the farthest my eyes could take me and then into the sky.
“I want to determine what they are searching for, so desperately. No one from our pack is harmed like in the Snow Pack or I would’ve hunted them down.” I growled and Erebus prided on my words. “You did send the invites for the emergency meeting, right?” I asked him, glancing at him and he nodded in response.
“We’re having seventeen Alphas from the state come to the Council. Alpha Bren of the White Snow Pack and Alpha Volga of the Crescent Pack won’t be able to join us. Also, your cousin, Royal Alpha King Kieran, won’t be joining.” Kyle informed me.
“Reason?” I questioned, my eyes now falling on him and I saw his serious face.
“Alpha Volga’s mate, Luna Ana, is to deliver her pup today or tomorrow. So, she didn’t want to miss her pup’s birth. She did apologize but she said she would be visiting once all that is settled.” He informed me and I could understand her concern.
Alpha Volga was a strong female Alpha in current times. She was one of the Alphas who was ecstatic after Kieran had proposed equal rights and acceptance of the same s-e-x mates. She was in that turmoil and when that had passed, only then could she acknowledge her mate. She had been through a lot. After a long time, she was finally blessed to have a pup. With the previous miscarriages her mate had, I could understand her anxiousness.
“Send her flowers, fruits and some helpful items for Luna Ana and her pup. Congratulate her, too.” I ordered him and he nodded. He seemed to have been mind-linking since I saw fog in his eyes.
“About Alpha Bren…it’s a little odd. He said that something was going on in his pack and he couldn’t leave the pack in the Beta's hand, so he sent Beta Bronson to attend the Council in his stead.” Kyle notified me and I exhaled an angry sigh.
Alpha Bren was a strong Alpha but he seemed to be leaning on the nasty side. He always had a different approach to things and often contradicted other Alphas. Despite that, he was a bit spiteful to the other Alphas who had found their mate, since he hadn’t found one yet.
“I would’ve punished him for such disrespect, but Beta Bronson is a lot calmer and more understanding than him. And I’m very serious about this meeting since it’s not an annual meeting but a ‘Requested on call’ meeting.” I answered and he nodded.
“Yes, Alpha. That is the reason I didn’t deny his offer. They will all be arriving by evening.” He informed me. “The meeting will happen at midnight as planned.” He stated, seemingly confident. I was glad to have him as my Beta.
“And what about my lovely cousin?” I inquired and he made a weird face and looked nervous. I knew why he had that reaction, but I always told him not to be bothered by things that were out of control. I didn't push any topic now because we had other things to look at.
“He…he seemed to be visiting the Royal Witch Coven with his mate, King Horatius.” I nodded in understanding. I was glad to have another witch in the family of Royal Werewolves.
I hoped that at least a King would put my horrendous and vicious cousin of an Alpha into line. Though he never said anything to me because we both were cousins, I knew how he treated others.
On good notice, I was happy when I heard he had found his mate. Since we had a Royal Witch in our family, I could ask for their help if there was indeed a war coming. Another species on our side was always leveraged.
“Are all the arrangements made for the stay?” I inquired and he just flaunted with a grin.
“You’ve become a lot better or so it appears,” I commented, folding my hands and Kyle immediately walked towards me putting his hand on my shoulder. I glanced at him and he removed his hand with a meek smile.
“I’ve got to stand on your expectations, Royal Alpha Ares.” He answered, offering me the utmost respect and then he flashed me his tongue. Irony. His earlier well-defined and responsible Beta mode had gone, leaving only Kyle, the naughty man-child, behind.
Kyle and I had grown up together, so it wasn't a difficult transition when Beta Jackson gave his post to Kyle when I became the Alpha, years ago. But it was hard for us to be formal when needed and then casual, but we managed.
My father, Royal Alpha Winston, and Royal Beta Jackson had grown up together and had taken the pack to great heights. That’s why they also believed that if we grew up together, the level of trust and bond would be stronger for the bright future of the pack.
Somehow, their thoughts were accurate. Kyle and I had mutual trust and varied opinions on things that helped us find the best in all respects.
“You have to if you want to stay on this post, Royal Beta Kyle,” I warned him and walked back to my chair, sitting on it and showing him who the boss here was. He folded his hands and gave me a bored look.
“As if anyone could handle your tantrums other than me.” Saying that, he huffed and sat on the sofa beside the window, more like plopped on it, sulking at me.
“You do know the worth of that sofa, right?” I asked him, folding my hands, but he rolled his eyes. He was about to retort something worse but the door was pushed open, without permission.
“The rogues killed a patrol member in the Glow Pack. Alpha Rhode is very furious and will be coming here earlier than the others.” Regan, my Royal Gamma or more like the newly appointed Gamma informed me, panting over and taking deep breaths. He had run over to reach here.
“You could’ve mind-linked,” Kyle suggested to Regan, who seemed like he was shown a new world. Realisation dawned upon him and we both just shook our heads at him.
“Oh, right. I…I’m still not used to mind-linking to the Alpha King.” He explained and gave me a small bow. Former Royal Gamma Reyan had stepped down to give Regan the post. He was just waiting for Regan to grow up to take the spot and leave the pack because he was connected with my father and Kyle’s father. I had bid him and his mate a happy journey.
Regan was sad about their departure, unlike Reyna, his unruly twin, to live in the human world, but he overcame it. And we both have been teaching him things to divert his mind off things.
He was still a learning child for us. He was the youngest among us three. I was twenty-five and Kyle was twenty-four, whereas Regan was a twenty-year-old child for us.
Regan was the shy kid who always wanted to play with us but wouldn’t directly ask us. He would just shadow our actions and learn. He was the quiet type, unlike Kyle who couldn’t breathe without doing drama.
They were both opposites in terms of their temperament, but their motive always lay with the betterment of the pack.
“Calm down. Drink some water.” I insisted to him and he nodded, pouring some water from the jug and gulping the whole glass down.
He was still learning.
“Alpha Rhode is a calm person but such incidents can cause fury.” I professed. “We’ll wait till all the Alphas arrive to discuss all that is due,” I announced to them, and they both got all serious.
We could only wait and tighten our border patrol.
“Ani, I insist you should stay.” Alpha Vincent explained softly to his pregnant mate. Luna Ani was almost heavily pregnant but she was still very enthusiastic. I, being her personal maid, knew how she did most of the work on her own.
“But Vincent, how will you travel alone?” She was already miserable to see her mate leave her behind in such a situation. I could feel her struggle and her misery.
“I will. It’s not a long ride, just three hours, right?” He tried to soothe her, as he caressed her cheek, so softly that I could understand that he was not willing to leave her either.
But he had responsibilities to fulfil.
I didn’t want to witness their sweet romance as I was reminded that I still hadn’t encountered my mate and I was already twenty-two, whereas Luna Ani was nineteen and was already having a pup.
Not that I begrudged her being young, having a mate and soon having a pup, but I resented not finding my mate yet. I had dreamt of him for so long, it felt like he would always be a dream itself.
Every wolf would be thrilled to meet their mate once they turn eighteen years old. I was, too. But as it turned out, my mate wasn’t in my pack.
I never got a chance to leave the pack and explore or even discover my mate. I was held here in Starlight Pack, just encouraging everyone’s everyday life.
Our pack was a small and content pack with almost a hundred wolves. Even though small fights flared occasionally, we could be considered a happy pack, mostly. I was delighted now that Luna Ani had appeared. Even though former Alpha Liam and a few others had always been favourable to me, I was bullied and not treated well by many.
I constantly felt like I didn’t belong in this pack. They had obscene comments to make and also declarations that should never be made to an innocent individual.
I never speculated about their problem with me, though. I attempted my best to always accomplish what I was instructed to and also just stay out of everyone’s business but they made it their business to not mind their own business and come at me with bitter words.
I was on the verge of breaking down when Luna Ani saved me for which I'll forever be indebted. And since that day, she has taken me under her wing.
I yearned to find and meet my mate to understand where I belonged. We would appreciate each other and fall in love one day, mark each other, and have a peaceful, burdenless future.
“…end line, I can travel for three hours.” Luna Ani pouted and Alpha Vincent caressed her hair with a small smile. I was brought back from my reverie.
“Six hours for humans and three hours for werewolves.” He clarified and she huffed, turning her face away from Alpha Vincent. Since she can’t shift until she delivers her pup, she had to be reminded that she was human-like for this period.
“You’re being mean now.” She whined and her mate just sighed, almost giving up on this conversation. I wanted to explain to her but I had no idea or experience with mates and pregnancy, so I kept my trap shut.
“Ani, Royal Alpha King is not a patient man and this meeting is crucial to all the packs. As far as I know, it is a bit risky, too. I will be well assured knowing that you are home and safe.” Alpha Vincent cajoled his mate.
It was hard for mates to be away, especially Alpha-Luna, and even more difficult when they were about to have a pup.
“Okay, it’s only about three days. I’ll wait for you here.” Luna Ani frowned but gave Alpha Vincent a small peck. She bid goodbye to him and he left after placing a kiss on her temple.
She darted longingly at the doorway as if waiting for her mate to return to her any moment. I felt terrible for her. I did not want her to feel down, so I concluded it would be better if I tried to divert her.
“Luna, would you appreciate some juice?” I asked her, offering her a smile to make her feel better and she nodded, mirroring my smile. I poured the juice that I had extracted earlier and presented it to her.
“Sit.” She summoned me and I sat on the bed beside her.
Only then did I have a good glance at her state today. Her usual bright blue eyes were gloomy and her skin seemed paler. Her blonde-brown mop of hair was tied in a messy bun and her belly seemed even more swollen.
“What do you think of the rogue issue?” She asked me, sounding anxious for her mate’s safety. I noticed her rubbing her belly because her anxiousness was getting to the pup. I smiled at her, reassuringly.
Lately, many rogues have been spotted around the borders. They were not harming or killing anyone, but their mere sight nearby was already very dangerous. They were seemingly a threat to the pack, no matter the intentions. They could be a lot more vicious, even though we were of the same species.
When I was ten years old, I learnt that there was a huge fight that had taken place between Vampires and Werewolves for the throne of the four kingdoms; Werewolf, Vampire, Witches and Elves, in which the rogues fought by the side of the Vampires.
The end of that war had arrived as expected, with the Werewolves winning my masses. The Vampires and those rogues then went into hiding and the peace of the four kingdoms returned. It was then known that Werewolves were the best rulers of peace between the kinds.
“I believe everything will go alright. You must keep courage.” I responded to her, to calm her down. It was not good for her and the pup. She was eight weeks in and another four were remaining.
“Valentina, I do not have good intuition about this.” She voiced, clutching her belly in distress. I shook my head at her. I held her hand and caressed it softly.
“Don’t worry, Luna. I’ll give you a good massage that will help you sleep.” I soothed her and she nodded. She laid down slowly and I massaged her feet. I was happy to see her relax and give in to the tranquillity of the soft caress on her feet.
I was a no-rank in the pack. I was just…a member. Since I had never shifted, I couldn’t get a rank in the pack. Also, former Alpha Liam, Alpha Vincent’s father, had found me on their borders with a name tag.
Valentina Aurora King
That was the only existence of me known when I was here. He was great enough that he sheltered me in his pack, regardless of how people denied him of his actions. Because of him, I could have this simple life and a normal existence. I never wanted anything extraordinary because I was only to accept what was bestowed on me.