Chapter 19 - Let Us Prepare
“Argh!” A high pitched scream jolted my body awake, Drea’s highlighter blue eyes blazed, transforming to silver, blinding the room in metallic light as the air was stripped from her lungs. I froze, watching her. Time stood still as the wind blew a gale outside the windows. my heart burned as she fell victim to the psychic attack, rendered completely still.
Finally, after what seemed like forever - she was released from her encapsulated prison. “Drea, Drea what’s wrong?”
“Violet,” she gasped, spluttered and coughed, attempting to regain control.
Drea had received another warning, only this was more powerful and violent than I’d ever seen. She had almost blinded me with the amount of silver light that poured out of her. Her body trembled as her chest collapsed in on itself - I don’t think I could ever get used to witnessing that.
“Get dressed!” She ordered leaping into action. She dressed faster than I blinked.
“Wait, tell me what you saw?” I called after her, my legs bursting into a sprint, falling into line behind her but she was bolting past Violets room, down the stairs and out to the front of the pack house.
“He’s coming,” she called back, “she’s flowered.” Her eyes swirling to green, the first signs of dawn twinkled on the horizon.
“What?” I questioned, not fully understanding in my overly fragile state.
“Her bleeding cycle has begun Hunter - she’s come of age. The war is upon us, prepare everyone.” With those words, I shifted into my wolf and charged forward, howling to my Beta and Delta.
I made it to the boundary line, only to see in the distance, an 8ft tall beast, solid and muscular, slightly humanoid but also wolf, standing on two feet. His massive claws spread like fingers as his muzzle protruded from his face, his canines dripping with saliva and something else… FANGS!
“Holy shit, is that the Lycan?” Marcus enquired panting heavily.
“Fuck, are those fangs?” Nic questioned.
“You are all seeing this right?” I asked for confirmation from the twenty wolves standing there and Nic.
“Yes!” they all replied at once.
The Lycan craned his snout toward the sky and howled - but this howl was unlike anything I had heard before. It was ground shakingly deep, guttural, primal and haunting, it assaulted our ears and vibrated the trees, it was no ordinary howl… it was a call.
The Lycan had called to our beasts and notified us of impending war. This was it, the time to stand and fight was now, to protect what we hold dear, to claim our territory, our loved ones and our home. With one last satisfied look on warning, he turned and withdrew back to the shadows.
“What?” We looked at Nic as the cogs in his head turned.
“Vampires...” He jumped up and down excitedly.
“What the fuck are you talking about?” I snapped.
“He can’t make a move until nightfall. Vampires can’t leave the shadows, they attacked me through the dark thickness of the forest and that means - we have a day to prepare.”
“You’re a fucken genius Nic.”
“That’s not all I bloody am - I have a plan.” He mounted his horse and speed off back to the pack house, we phased back and took off after him, clearly, he was onto something and I needed to know what.
I arrive back to find Drea moving all the pups and elders into the underground bunkers, along with extra blankets and food. Her eyes swirling silver and... ivory? A colour I had never seen.
“Your eyes?” I was worried.
“Fear...” she stated knowingly, “it will pass once I know the pack is ready.”
“Where’s Violet?” I rushed.
“Still in bed, with a mountain of chocolate,” she replied calmly.
At that moment, as she worked to organise and direct, I could see why she was so perfect - I always knew, but this was so much more. I had been truly blessed with a fierce mate that knew how to prepare the woman for war, “why are you sending more women down into the bunkers?” I was curious, we could use more bodies on the battleground.
“These women are afraid, they are not built to fight, the ones with mates, I have pulled out because they will have a natural instinct to protect one another but the unmated - that are dripping with terror - will only hinder us on the battlefield.” Her assumption was correct, a great strategy, one I was ashamed I had overlooked.
“And, if I asked you and Violet to sit out?” I collected her hand in mine.
“I would decline your request,” she states firmly.
“I thought as much,” she smiled at my pathetic defeat.
“I need you to get some rest though… would you like me to put you to sleep for a couple of hours?”
“I am declining your request,” I mischievously reply.
“I thought as much,” she laughs before heading inside.
Val and Marcus came to meet me in my office, I called up Ryka and Max, their orders were simple - protect Violet at all costs. I knew it would be pointless guarding Drea, she knew how to handle herself, she had been in a war already but that was against humans - this was supernatural, magic and potions, beasts and bloodsuckers.
I could smell honeysuckle just outside my door, the faint sounds of whispering filtered through my exceptional wolf hearing.
“Is it done?” Drea asked Nic.
“Is what done?” I enquired, opening the door.
“You will see,” Nic sang excitedly as he sashayed through the door I held.
“Is what done Drea?” My glare was murderous and demanding.
“Now Alpha,” she purred seductively, “why would I ruin the surprise?” She leant forward to peck my cheek then entered. Whatever they were up to it better be good - damn this teaching her to block business - now would be a good time to not have secrets.
We were hard into discussions when I heard the sweetest voice.
…Wow, my wolf is black…
…What if I just? - Oh nope, wood does not taste nice…
Both Drea and I laughed at the same time, “she’s shifted.” We both vocalised and giddily walked out, hand in hand, to our daughter’s room. Pushing open the door to reveal a pure black furry wolf, whose fur statically stuck up in all different directions, like when you rub your head on a balloon and then lift, your hair goes with it.
“Have you been rubbing against a blanket?” I raised an eyebrow and teased.
The goofiest look adorned her face as her large wet tongue flopped out the side of her mouth, “you are remarkable,” Drea swooned, falling to the floor. Her hands gliding all over Violet’s black fur as Violet head-butted Drea in the need to rub her scent all over her mother and then she rubbed over me - her violet coloured eyes blazing with delight and wonder.
I looked at my two precious gems and knew - no matter what - I would fight till my very last breath to keep them safe and protected from that monster, that evil - that Lycan.
I slowly made my way back to my office, leaving Drea and Violet to their last lesson before the war. Thoughts plundering my brain… fangs, fangs and canines, fangs and canines, canines and fangs. The mouth of the Lycan running through my mind on repeat, how did he receive both fangs and canines? Unless…
I pushed open the door and looked at the men around my desk. “What if the reason he has fangs and canines is not only is he part wolf and part human but what if he is part vampire as well?”
They looked at me curiously until Max spoke, “but he stood in the open when the sun was rising?”
“But what if because he has part wolf and human, he can stand in the sun for short periods at a time?” Ryka offered.
“That’s plausible and if it’s true, it also means he has the same weaknesses right?” Max countered.
“Which means if Drea or Nic can somehow get silver around him - it will slow him,” Ryka chimed.
“And then we hit him with the UV light cannon we got Millie for her birthday last year, to help tan her usually pale features,” Max completed.
“Does Millie still have it?” I asked and we all snapped to Marcus.
“Y-yes,” he left the office heading for his room.
“Ryka, you and Max go around the entire pack and see if there are any more of these UV light things.”
“Yes Alpha,” they thundered away from us.
Jeremy gaped as they left. “Did those to idiots really figure out a solid plan?”
Oscar slapped his shoulder while Val laughed, “who would have thought hey?” Oscar breathes in disbelief.
“I already knew how clever they were.” Drea walks in handing something to Nic than disappears again.
Nic leaned forward and deposited six satchels about the size of a woman’s handbag onto the desk. We looked at him with confusion, “now, don’t get mad...” he started, “...this was done before you became my brother.”
“Moonstone… I can smell it,” I snarled.
“Now you’re getting mad. Yes, these are moonstone pellets, the outer casing can be touched by anyone but once it explodes, the wolf is rendered unable to shift and so they become a target.”
He watched our posture stiffen uncomfortably for a moment then got back to it. “I will place these in the ground - along the front line. If you want to throw one during battle remember, the outer casing is fine for you to touch, just don’t let it explode on you or you’ll end up vulnerable.”
“Why would you bring those here?” I snapped through gritted teeth.
“C’mon Hunter, you have the worst reputation, I hadn’t heard from my sister in weeks, truthfully, I thought she was locked in a dungeon and I’d have to fight to save her.” As much as it pained me, I could see his point of view, “you have an entire pack of tortured wolves with no humanity left, its time to stop thinking of them as kin and start thinking of them as mindless, murderous beasts because that’s exactly what they are.”
God damn the elves, I had to take Nic’s warning into consideration, he was right, these wolves had no sanity left and they had to be stopped. Nic held out a pellet for me to touch, which I hesitantly took - I had too - he was Drea’s brother and Commander of the High Elven Guard, he had been in wars, many actually and I had no choice but to trust him. Amazingly it did not hurt me in any way.
“Jeremy shift,” I ordered him to phase into his wolf, he looked at me solemnly but done as I requested. “How long will these last?”
“Until the moonstone is washed away with water.”
“Over by the window Jeremy.” I pointed, you could tell he didn’t want to do this but I had to test them and better him than me. I threw the pallet and it hit his chest, exploding and covering his fur, in an instant he was heavily panting in human form, “can you move? Are you alright?”
“How… dare you?… I feel… like I’m… trapped under… immovable steel.” He heaved, desperately trying to move, Nic walked over with a pitcher of water and ran it over his chest, dissolving the moonstone dust particles and allowing Jeremy the freedom to shift freely again.
“Wow, that’s amazing” I commented.
“There’s just one thing, even when you return the wolves to human form, they will still be mindless killing machines, you will still have to take their lives, there will be no way to allow their sound minds to return. According to the history books, once a wolf goes full beast mode, there is no cure.”
“I understand.” The truth was I did understand, every wolf is warned the moment they shift about the loss of your humanity and how if that happens? The wolf will live as he was intended, wild and uncontrolled, in his or her, primal animalistic state.
We had only a few hours left before sunset and we were ready. The fight was due to come to us, once they break the barrier, we would fight on our own turf and we will win. I was still unsure of the role Violet had to play in all of this, the only thing I knew for sure was that the Lycan was after her and Drea had stated she was to be on the field and by her side - at all times.
Ryka and Max were also to give their lives for hers should it come to that? But I prayed it wouldn’t. Here we are, gearing up to go head to head with a gigantic unknown predator that has been taunting us from the shadows for months.
I had prepared The Mountain Storm pack for all kinds of battles, we had some of the fiercest warriors known to wolf kind but they had not fought against kin without humanity, I feared for their own state of mind and wellbeing.
Walking into our room, I found Drea preparing her weapons. She wore a long, dark green, two panelled, velvet skirt, one panel at the front, one at the back. Her blade belt held firmly in place with silver jagged edge blades hilted upon each hip, her thighs exposed on either side, yet she strapped both legs with what looked like smaller blades, her moonstone satchel and other miniature weaponry and her flail secured to her back with her sword. Her top - a simple velvet green camisole, her silver cuffs and wristbands as well as her silver leafed headdress, her blood red hair braided off her face and down her back. She looked divine, regal and strong, “ya know, I’d feel more comfortable if you weren’t covered in silver.”
She spun in fright, “I know, I’m sorry, but it’s not just wolves, it burns Vampire’s as well.” She returned her gaze to the darkening sky through the window.
“You have all this weaponry but barely any armour to cover your skin?” I observed as she tightened her cuffs.
“I do not need it, you fight without it.”
“What if something happens to you?” I implore with tears gathering in my eyes.
“Then you protect Violet.” She stated firmly.
“I won’t survive if I lose you, Drea.” She closed her eyes breathing deeply as if she were committing my words to memory.
“This war is not about us,” returning her focus once again to the window.
“I do not care!” My voice rising in anger, “look at me?” She turned her head with a guilty look plastered across it, “don’t shut me out because you fear what’s about to happen.” I cupped her face in my hands, “I love you, I will give my life to protect yours.”
A wayward tear rolls down her cheek, as her eyes transformed to ivory. “I have never had so much to lose before, I’m afraid for the first time in my life,” she admitted capturing my lips.
I pulled away, stroking her face with my thumbs, my heart clenching painfully as we gazed deeply in each other’s eyes.
…Alpha we are ready… Val my Beta mind links me.
“We can do this… it is time!”