Rage stood at the large window, looking down at the men, his men. He wondered if they understand what was happening, truly understood.
The warriors dashed around, weaving through the fabric structures. Preparing for the battle, oblivious to the war that loomed, hanging like a stake on a string being dangled in front of a dog.
Large tents lay sprawled along the grass land, engulfing the green with white. The tents would act as barracks for the men, for as long as they were here. The tents were closely set together, closer than Rage would have liked, but it couldn’t be helped. They had done well with putting the land to use, the men would be fine until they returned home.
“What’s the plan?” He fought the urge to cringe as the female voice grated on his ears. Why was she even here? She wasn’t needed, none of them were.
He turned to look at the others in the room. The pack Beta and his son sat quietly waiting for him, more than likely they would not have spoken at all. His brother and cousins watched him, eyes observing every move he made, as if them looking close enough they would see all his secrets. They wouldn’t, not behind the shell that contained everything but the strongest of emotions, usually anger.
It was the blond that sat with her arms crossed, hatred in her eyes as she glared across the room from him, that made his nostrils flare in irritation. He really wanted to teach her a lesson, but she was female, and he wouldn’t teach her like he wanted, like he would any male that spoke and acted the way she did. He would never raise a hand to a female unless they attacked first.
Maybe he should have Allison do it for him, the female sure needed to learn her place and how to speak to others.
"The plan, is simple,” emphasizing her words back to her, he stared her down. She couldn’t last thirty seconds before looking away from his intense golden stare. She was all bark and no bite. “we scout the group, taking note of repetitive movements, schedules, gain in-tell. Once we have that, we will find the best time to attack, and chase them off the land, kill as many as we can, and have a group follow the rest,”
“Why follow them? Everyone looked at the beta’s son, most with confused looks at the dumb question.
“Because, without a doubt, this is not all of them, and most will be dumb enough to run to base, leading us right to the leader of this group,” his mouth dropped into on O with final understanding that this issue is bigger than the squatters.
Rage looked over the group, shaking his head at the blond and the beta’s son. They were too old to be so untrained, Fang and James knew more about this and they weren’t even of age yet.
With another shake of his head, he turned back to the window, eyes this time falling on the group of training warriors. He knew that they would be ready, his men were ready, for the battle that was to come, but were they ready for more?
“We need to prepare for more than just one battle. There is a high chance that this will be the beginning of a war,”
“Yes, High General,” the duo of voices belonging to the brothers behind him. He ignored the slap on the high-five, closing his eyes. Taking deep breaths, silently counting to ten.
“You are dismissed,” he ground out when no one moved to leave, at his words he heard everyone stand, moving, chairs scraping, footsteps making their way out the door and down the hall, branching in different directions.
Rage knew he wasn’t alone, the heartbeat, the soft breaths, her scent.
“Everything alright Ally?” turning, he found her still seated, looking at him with a smirk.
“I was going to ask you that,” he smiled slightly.
“I’m fine,” she stood, slowly approaching him.
“Doubtful,” she smirked, her gold eyes shining, nearly the same color as her hair in the sunlight streaming in the window. He jumped slightly when she reached out, grabbing his chin, moving his head from one side to the other. With a tisk she released him, her eyes sharp as she looked into his, “Did you at least mark her?”
Rage took a step back, shock covered his face, shocked by her, how? Why? What?
“I smelled her on you,” she said rolling her eyes at his stone like stance, “It was faint, but you know. I have one of the best noses,” arms crossed her chest, her look hardened at her cousin, “Did you claim her? Mark her?”
Rage gulped after a moment, recovering from the frozen shock that nailed him in place. Fingers slid through curls, snagging on knots, only a slight distraction from the question at hand, the question that made him unable to look her in the eye.
He stared at the ground and shook his head, not wanting to see the disproving look he knew she was giving him.
“How stupid are you?”
“I will, I claimed her, and will mark her, when all of this is over,” he risked looking at her, her eyes softening.
“Does that mean you will be coming home?” The hopefulness in her voice could not be missed.
“Yes, Ally, this means I will be coming home,”
With a high pitch squeal that sounded a bit like “yay”, she threw herself at him, her arms wrapping around his shoulders in a tight hug.
“You are going to be the first of us to be mated,” her smile blinding, “I would have never guessed,”
“I wouldn’t have either,” he had never wanted a mate, never felt the urge to settle down. Not until Willow blew into his life, tangling him in feelings and a future he never expected.
When this was all over he had a life waiting for him, a mate waiting for him and though he didn’t want to admit it, he had a place in the pack.
He had claimed his place without even trying, had become the General, took over the army without realizing it. It seemed his family was right, he was fit for the position, better than he probably would have been as Alpha.