34. The Greater Good
I woke in the early morning, meeting Basil’s peaceful face. From his steady heartbeat, he was still asleep and I spent those precious moments just watching him. He was a sight to see. His face was rugged, the hard lines on his skin marking the tough roads he had to go through. I touched the scar on his left brows and kissed it. With his hair sprawled all over the pillow sheet, and his beard unruly with sleep, he looked more beast than man.
I didn’t want to wake him but it seemed near impossible with the way his arms were bound tightly around me as were our legs. He stirred a little and the lines between his brows deepening with his frown. He whimpered, shifting suddenly, letting me know he was having a nightmare. Digging my fingers into his hair, I massaged his scalp and just like that, he blew out a content sigh. The lines on his face flattened and I kissed him. Surprisingly, he didn’t waken and I took my chances sneaking out.
Slipping out of bed, I grabbed my slippers before heading for the door. I tip-toed down the corridors and entered the kitchen, thankful that most of the building was quiet. Dawn was approaching and I stared into the forest through a window near to me. When was the last time I actually went on a run? It’d been too long. Basil words rang through my thoughts.
Don’t deny her.
Movement on my left snapped me out of my thoughts and I stiffened, ready to strike when I realised it was only Cena.
“Don’t sneak up on me,” I scowled at him and for once, he smiled. It was the faintest one that was impossible to catch under a human’s eye.
“What are you doing here? I thought you were staying back with Phoenix?” at her name, his cool hard exterior came back and this time, he looked more annoyed.
“I was called to come back.”
“By Basil?” he nodded. “Why?”
“I don’t know much but it sounded urgent,”
How urgent? Not voicing my question out loud, I drank a tall glass of water, handing one over to Cena which he accepted gratefully. I told him I was going out to the woods and he didn’t protest, knowing that we were in the safest parts in Mississippi. Basil’s words on the pack being well hidden from the human population was true; even with my abilities as a wolf did I have trouble finding a clear path. Unless someone told you where to go, you could easily get lost in the woods.
Hiding behind a tree that had a large width at the bark, I stripped naked, stuffing my clothes to one corner where I’d know where to find it. Soon, my skin became fur as morphed into my wolf and sprinted through the forest faster than any bullet made.
She relished in the breeze slicing through her fur and the sun beaming down the earth. Already her mood lifted to heights that I never thought possible. As she chased rays of sunlight and a butterfly fluttering away, I relaxed a little as she gained a little more control, sniffing the ground aimlessly before finding a small pond to lie by.
Resting on her stomach, she lowered her head to her paws and blinked lazily. For the first hour, we enjoyed our peaceful surroundings, the silence of the woods and the smell of the earth saturating the air. Time seemed to run away from me as I knowingly drifted slowly, fatigue drawing my eyes close into a peaceful sleep.
Sometime in my sleep, I must’ve shifted back to my human form as my skin was cooler than usual. I wasn’t fully awake but was aware of my surroundings. The air was thick, dewy on my skin, letting me know that it’d rain soon. Heavy footsteps approached but I wasn’t alarmed, giving I was naked for all to see. Still, I kept my eyes closed and my body hummed, recognising the heat warming my back.
Hands touched my shoulder and I rolled to my back, blinking my eyes open to see Basil looming over me. Trees loomed over us and sparks of rays hit the earth, forming a halo around his head. For a second, I thought I was dreaming, thinking I was in the paradise.
Him calling my name was a distant tune. I blinked rapidly, trying to refocus my senses to hear and see him clearly. Gently, he lifted me into a sitting position on his lap and I covered my mouth to stifle a yawn. He brushed my hair behind my ear just when a breeze flew by.
“You know, being Alpha doesn’t mean you sleep the day away. You’ve got responsibilities,”
I glared at him. “You kept me awake all night,”
His eyes twinkled with mirth and his lips twitched. “You weren't complaining,”
Groaning, I ran my fingers through my hair, resting my forehead on his chin. “What’s the list for today?”
His chest vibrated with laughter and I smiled to myself, kissing his jaw. “Well, there’s the recruitment list for young wolves to sign up to become warriors. Then, we’ve got to discuss schooling for the pups since The Bloodstone can gain the advantage of having all wolf schools. Also, we need to come to an agreement on the precautions taken concerning the hunters,”
Hunters… I blew out a low breath. They were still a threat looming over us like a dark cloud but instead of rain pouring, there would be thunder. A thunder so vicious that had already taken too many lives and one of them was almost my brothers. Those that were lost were with the Moon; their death was not in vain. Never in vain.
“You sent Cassandra off to the police force?”
He nodded. “She’s a skilled fighter, very perceptive in battle too. She’d be an asset and so will Cena,”
I blinked, stupefied. “Cena?”
“He’s needed and a natural born leader. He’s a deadly fighter and knows how to move around without getting noticed. They’ll need his leadership,”
I widened my eyes in surprise. “He’s Alpha?”
“By blood, yes but he refuses to have any status higher than third in command,” He tightened his hold on me. “I was insistent that he’d be my Beta. Something from his past must be putting him off from all this. Despite all of this, he is loyal.”
This only made me more curious about Cena. He was a very quiet guy and barely talked. If he did it was short and clipped but not when it came to my sister. Phoenix… What was she gonna think about him leaving? Knowing that he was Alpha was news; I would’ve never guessed. Did she know?
“What about Phoenix?” I whispered, more to myself than Basil. “She’s going to be heartbroken…”
“It’s for the greater good,” He reminded me, patting my backside for me to stand. “Let’s get back to the pack,”
Quickly getting dressed, we headed back hand in hand. I guided us to the pack-house so I could sign the documents concerning the pups schooling. They’re more like private schools, completing their education from first grade all until they graduate their senior year. There were options to head to college, where they’d interact with more humans, but some decide to stay back and serve The Nobles.
Sending trained warriors to investigate the attack was like throwing them into the lion’s den. I was nervous for them and prayed to the Moon they’d be safe. Basil sensed this and was continuously reassuring me that they were skilled at this and trained to keep them safe. The responsibilities and the impact I could cause was expected, the worry for my people, fearing for their lives, was the worst.