“Everything’s going in order?” I glanced at Phoenix as she plopped down on the sofa with her legs folded. Over the past two weeks, she’d healed well and the colour in her cheeks had returned slowly but has been taking the role as my Beta well. Not only did I carry a shit-load of weight for being Alpha, so did she.
While I was away, she’d been my pair of eyes and ran over things with me before I could make a final decision. Also, I’d been more in touch with my cousin Dante to make sure everything was finalised. So far, things had been good and most of all, I was pleased with them.
“In the next couple of days, there will be transport for those pups in The Bloodstone to travel here and to other packs to start their schooling in the fall. Also, the process of building schools will take place in at least six months,” leaning forward, she placed her chin in her hands while wiggling her feet in her stiletto heels. “Also, rebuilding homes and parts of the pack-house starts in a week.”
“Perfect,” I murmured, glancing over the piles and piles of paperwork on my desk. She stood to hand me some more papers I needed to sign. I did and lowered it to the box that housed other completed files. I looked at her again, narrowing my eyes. “Did you talk to Cena before he left?”
She puffed out a breath. It was then I noticed how tired she looked. “Yeah, but it wasn’t on good terms.”
I grimaced. I knew this was coming. “I’m sorry, Phee,”
“It’s fine. It’s for the greater good, for our people, the wolves,” she sighed, sitting on the desk. “At least, that’s what he told me,”
I glanced at her neck; it wasn’t marked. As if she knew what I was thinking, she touched the space between her neck and her shoulder.
“I didn’t know,” I murmured, glancing at my fingers as I played with the pen repeatedly.
“I know,” Phoenix whispered, biting the inside of her cheek. “Nobody forced him. In fact, he was willing to leave.”
Cena was very loyal to his pack and especially to his Alpha. It was one thing I found admirable about him. It never crossed my mind his loyalty could affect my sister. If I had anything to do with it, I could’ve drawn him out of the chosen wolves. At least, I could’ve tried. Not only was it too late but no matter the amount of power I had as Alpha, I couldn’t question his devotion to The Nobles. Yes, I could’ve tried to convince him but I didn’t think it would’ve done anything.
“Is he similar Basil in any way?” folding her arms, she tilted her head to the side, her brows furrowed questioningly. “I always thought he would be but he’s been gentle with me.”
“He’s nothing like him. But then again, they both have a lethal aura that can be unnerving to any wolf. His is more tamed.” I said, thinking over my encounters with Cena. I never spent enough time to know who he truly was but that was the vibe I got from him. In other words, his tranquillity was unnerving.
“He’s tribal,” she laughed humourlessly, staring into nothing and it was like I could read her thoughts, knowing what she was going to say. “I always thought my mate would be an Alpha in The Nobles.”
You’re not the only one, sis.
“In a way, he is. He just wasn’t born into it.”
“That never bothered you?”
Fazed by her question, I cocked my head to the side, searching her face for answers she might not be giving. When I couldn’t figure anything, I asked. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“We’re not regular wolves,”
I dropped the pen and pushed forward with my arms folded. “Explain.”
“Our families, our connections… we aren’t ordinary. People never expected us to be mated with them. We are seen as royals. Come on, you think dad and Hunter were happy about Basil being your mate?”
No, if I could recall clearly, they weren’t. I sighed.
“Basil is not an ordinary wolf,” I thought aloud. Standing, I moved around the desk, mirroring Phoenix’s folded arms. “Much more extraordinary than we or any other wolf could ever be.”
Sharp cerulean irises stared up at me. Phoenix was smaller than the rest of us, around five two, so I towered over her easily. I believed she’d gotten her height from our Latina grandmother, Charlotte, as she was small herself.
“I always thought I’d be with an Alpha. I mean that by him having a title and not by blood alone,” she snorted as she looked to the side with a distant look. “Guess that’s a good thing since I can’t have pups.”
“Does that bother you?”
“I don’t want pups, Izabella. I never did.”
My shock didn’t go unnoticed. Dropping her hands to the side, she backed away and her jaw tightened with a hard swallow. I was sure she wanted to, given by how devastated she was by the news. Nothing added up. How long had she thought this way?
I didn’t dwell on my questions too long as there was a loud knock and we both turned to the door to find dad entering. He directed his pearly white smile to the both of us.
He looked at Phoenix. “Phee, I need to have a word with your sister. Go,”
There was a command in his voice, one he used when we were little. It wasn’t condescending but just the natural tone of him being our father. She didn’t protest. I guess from his face, she could tell that it was something serious. With one last look my way, she headed for the door.
“Am I in trouble?”
“No,” he chuckled sinking into his seat from across the desk. “Wanted to talk to you about something that Basil told me,”
I frowned. “Oh?”
He leaned back in his chair, scratching his beard with one hand while a thoughtful look crossed his features. I waited patiently for him to continue, playing with my fingernails.
“He told me what he thought about you. That you have the Moon’s essence.”
I stilled. “I don’t know, dad. I’m still finding it hard to believe what he’s saying,”
“What’s so hard to believe?”
Frowning, I watched him cautiously, not knowing where he was going with his question. “Dad, with all respect to his beliefs, this I find a stretch too far. Some of us are lucky enough to be in contact with the Moon but for her to be in the flesh? To be me?”
I didn’t feel any different nor did I feel any sense of power in me. There was nothing new about me. I was just Izabella. Not the Moon or a figure to worship. Just Izabella. But dad didn’t seem too convinced. If I could go further in his mind, I’d probably get a hold of his thoughts. I don’t venture through my families mind too much and they didn’t with mine. Honestly, in some cases, I definitely didn’t want to know what they were thinking at all. But from his look, I was interested.
“When you were little, your mom noticed something different about you,” he said distractedly, recalling the memory. I listened keenly for whatever he had to say. “Whenever she’d pray for a sign for things your brother and Hailey went through, you’d always turn around and say, ‘mommy, don’t worry, things will get better’.”
“I don’t understand,” confused, I shook my head.
“You’d tell her exactly how everything would be alright. Even when she was praying to the Moon, you’d predict just how fine things would be. As you got older, you stopped doing this. For a while, we brushed it off as nothing until…”
He nodded. “When she prayed, you answered. At first, I thought you had her gift. But with everything happening, it all makes sense now.”
Chills crawled up my skin at this revelation. Without a thought, I rubbed my arms, reeling over this news. Why me? Why now? I had many questions but could never find the complete answer.
“And this all links to the next thing I have to say,” He sighed, leaning back in his seat and stared at me beneath his lashes. “There are people who question your win over Tristan.”
My muscles hardened at this news. “What?”
“They say you didn’t win the fight that you haven’t shown enough to earn the title as Alpha.”
At this, my blood boiled, so much where if it was possible, he could see steam streaming through my ears. I did earn the title? What bullshit were they talking about? Tristan submitted willingly. I didn’t back down. I was willing to die before ever backing down. I was deserving of this from birth whether they liked it or not.
“Who?” I asked, annoyance clear in my tone.
“Just talk,” He murmured and from the way he shifted, he felt my anger. “Look, whatever happened out there, we all felt it. Not only did Tristan feel the need to submit, we all did. Some were saying it was some kind of coincidence.”
Grounding my jaw, I said through clenched teeth. “Those who don’t agree with me being Alpha of The Midnight Moon, I want them gone,”
“From the pack?”
“From the Nobles.”
His blue eyes widened and he shot forward while he placed his elbows on his knees. “You know you’re talking about exile, Bell?”
“I’m aware,” I said nonchalantly, shrugging. “Whoever is the first to submit will become Alpha. You said so yourself. Tristan willingly submitted. I will not tolerate disrespect just because I’m a she-wolf. Of course, they’re welcomed back once they have shown complete loyalty to me as their Alpha and leader of The Nobles. Other than that, I want them gone.”
Unable to contain his shock, he stood slowly. I guess he wasn’t expecting something like this from me; maybe from Hunter but never from me. I’d never given him or any others to expect anything so extreme from me. But with defiance to authority comes the development of rogues. Rogues I did not tolerate. Not when they pose as a danger to the pack but to the system that has kept us alive for so long.
He paused, glancing over his shoulder with a questioning brow raised.
“Don’t underestimate me. I will prove you wrong.”
He didn’t say anything but only watched me with keen interest. The door opened and mom popped her head in with her eyes red and puffy with tears but I could feel her excitement. I stood abruptly and dad was by her side within seconds. He touched her face gently and his eyes were questioning.
“What’s the matter?”
“It’s Hunter, he’s awake.”