Crouched low, the wolves on the offensive yellow team hid low. Awaiting the signal that informed them of the runners capturing the boar. They remained immersed in the mud, effectively wiping their scents from the crisp morning air.
“This is a waste of time,” Santiago grumbled.
Lucy, who had been compared to Taylor Swift with her golden locks and fair appearance one too many times studied the complaining wolf. With a click of her tongue at the comment, she kept her eyes peeled on the trees in front. They were sub-sectioned to the side, for now, waiting for an impending attack from Alpha Brett’s team.
Rubbing the bruised swell of his nose Nathan replied, “She probably kept us to the side for a reason.”
“And that reason is that you can’t be trusted. You wolves are so far dominated by your Human skins that you do not realize the importance of hunts like this; this proves our strength. Exactly what you lack.”
Nathan scowled at Angus who purposely kept an eye on the Spaniards. Still angered by their complete disregard for anything other than themselves he moved as far away as he could. Not wanting to be tainted by such weakness.
“I don’t care what he says, isn’t running and sparring every day training enough? How is this even relevant to anything we’ll ever need?” Santiago smudged the paint and cringed, “What even is this shit! This is the last time I’m ever wearing this crap...”
“You sure about that? Yellow brings your eyes out.” Diego laughed while Santiago nudged a smirking Nathan.
“Why you little....”
Diego hummed, breaking the banter between the two. “This beats laps around the pack back at home, where’s your sense of adventure Santiago. Live a little.”
“This is living?! Shoot me please,” He spluttered. “Hugo you got a gun? Surely something of the sort?”
Hugo shrugged his shoulders, "it's not that bad."
Lucy’s detached voice cut through the Spaniards like a knife to butter. “Will you all button it! I am sick, absolutely fucking sick with your useless whining. Shut-up and pay attention.”
“How febril.” Diego purred, only causing Lucy’s exasperation to increase and her wolf to snap its jaws.
“Just how you like em’.” Apollo winked at him.
“I have no idea what the fuck you just said but I suggest you refrain from speaking to me unless you want to wake up with a testicle in your mouth.”
Her face held a sense of emptiness but her words held a dark truth. The males studied her, noticing the change in her from when they had first met the wolf weeks prior. If the bloodshot eyes, nonchalant exterior and lack of emotion were anything to tell by it seemed as if the female in front of them had experienced a mid-life crisis at the age of nineteen. “The hells wrong with you?” Santiago asked, studying her.
Her once twinkling eyes simply narrowed, the spark long lost after her soul had been stolen and trampled on more times than one could imagine. “What’s it to you.” Was her curt response.
Nathan prodded further. “You think a Spongebob reference is going to throw us? We may be from different countries, chica but we’re not that dense.”
Trying to lighten the mood he was confused when her eyes clouded over. By nature, Nathan was a rather thoughtful wolf. Dubbed the jester of his group of rogues, he was one to make others smile. Yet unknownst to him, he was causing quite the opposite for Titania.
Not biting she remained silent, “Not so loud now are we.” He teased but once again got no reply. “I’ve tamed the petardo. Our ancestors will be proud that we didn’t use red flags, look at us breaking tradition.” His easy going voice did not break through to her.
Her attention was drawn back from the lingering thoughts of her caramel skinned beauty to Nathan, who by the looks of things was growing concerned at her lack of response. Concern that should have been directed elsewhere, she thought.
Even easy-going Diego listened in, wanting to know what had caused Lucy, a usually cheerful and bright creature to turn so bitter and angry.
Like approaching a wild animal he asked carefully, “What happened?”
Minutes of silence endured and not expecting a reply, the five were shocked when she did. Deep set anger fading to a pure note of somberness.
“Rejection. My mate rejected me.”
It took strength to stop Lucy from wailing at the pain that admitting those words caused. With the events so raw, a stray tear escaped from her eye but she swiftly wiped it away, not without the males watching it first.
Angus, listening from a distance shrunk into himself at the pain of his packmate, not wishing that kind of emotional agony on anybody.
“Shit, that’s rough.”
Diego shot her a look of pity, one that did Lucy no good. “Um... are you coping?”
“Coping?” She tested the word on her tongue sardonically, “I can’t eat, sleep or keep my mind off her. The bond punishes me almost daily and I feel my soul broken in my chest. I’m barely surviving, is that coping?”
Wordlessly, Nathan remained silent, absorbing the utter torment present in Lucy’s expression.
“You really have no idea. Finding her was the best feeling imaginable, something I’ll never forget, but to have someone reject you, your one true match cuts deeper than you think. I’ve never felt so empty. My life feels as if there’s no purpose to it. In reality, there isn’t. Just a childless, mateless future for me.”
The males were taken back, “My dad was rejected, he said that it gets better.” Joking aside, Santiago offered some background, hoping it would bring comfort- if any to her.
With renewed anger, she snapped her head to his. “It gets better? Better? I’m crushed and it’s only been a day! How the fuck I’m going to last any longer is beyond me.”
“No. Until you know what I’m going through you can’t say jack-fucking-shit. Don’t ask me what’s wrong then dislike the answer I give. Fuck right off bastairds.” She cussed in Gaelic.
Hands up in surrender Santiago backed off, “Fine. Don’t say I didn’t try.”
Her eyes burned, “Don’t what Nathan? Pretend I’m all fine and dandy or indulge you in exactly what you want to hear; that rejection doesn’t destroy you from the inside out. Newsflash, it does. So which is it, huh?”
Nathan pleaded silently for her to stop but with all guns blazing and her wolf riding her emotions hard, she couldn’t stop herself.
Her distaste for him doubled, “You are the densest wolf I have ever met. Rejecting your mate? I should know! Spineless.” His eyes flew wide as his companions turned to him quizzically and seeing their expressions she went on, “Even more so when your mate is an Alpha.”
She let the statement hang as the Spaniards threw questions to the male. He sighed, knowing his time was up. Giving Lucy a cold side-ways glance he answered his friends, “I found my mate when I first got here.”
“You’re gay?!” Diego hooted, slapping the male on the back. “Nothing wrong with that is all I’m saying. If you’re happy I’m happy blah blah blah but good for you!”
An observant Hugo rolled his eyes, “He’s not gay, stupid.”
“But....” Santiago also wore an expression of confusion while Hugo shook his head at the idiocy of the wolves. Throwing a glance to Nathan he sat smugly, “It’s Titania isn’t it?”
"Alpha Titania to you,” Lucy added hotly.
At Nathan’s hard expression Santiago, Diego and Apollo all stared at him in complete shock. “You have got to be kidding me....”
Angus howled. The signal to get them into position. “The Alpha has mind linked me, the boar has been killed and broken down but the opposition has a leg. We are to get it back.”
Lucy sent Nathan a grim look before getting into position. Nathan glanced over Lucy’s sullen appearance and wondered just how much Titania was affected by the rejection. Had he crushed her very soul? Would he ever know? It's not as if Titania was forthcoming with her feelings.
Titania caught the opposition swiftly. Having mapped every rock, tree, and incline she could easily predict her competitor’s strategy. She knew well that Alpha Brett would have his own plan as he was strong-headed when he wanted to be. That stubborn determination stemmed from when they first met and ever since, she never underestimated the male.
Her group, with red paint, barrelled towards the center. Taking out wolves as they went, leaving a trail of unconscious bodies in their wake. Sprint. Scent. Stealth was their strategy. Her groups objective was to power through the middle and take out as many wolves as they could, denting the number of the other team. It was a slow but rewarding process and Titania’s wolf managed to release some of its pent up frustration. But even a hunt couldn’t detract from what really lay hidden beneath the surface: a broken heart.
With Alpha Lumiere and Alpha Louis by her side, they took out the entirety of the middle block. Numbers of around forty wolves lay scattered around them. She kept her wolves to attention. A slip now would not be tolerated, not when they currently they had the upper hand in this hunt of strategy and wit.
Trails are laid, Colton informed her over the mind link, returning to the home line.
Make sure you take different routes back.
Laura saluted Titania, got it Alpha.
Conversing with her warriors she pulled back. Wanting to protect her runners while they headed rearward. If her calculations were correct, if the yellow group; lead by Angus and the blue group; lead by her Beta could join and gain back the missing leg, then they were in for a strong win. She was impressed with the efficiency of her planning but could sense, call it a gut feeling that Brett had an ace up his sleeve. The infuriating male always did.
It was a message from Angus which froze her. Stupid brat. Alpha we have lost the western side, we have a breach, back-up needed....Brett’s here.
An evil smile took over. She had predicted an ace up his sleeve and there the male was, heading for Titania’s weakness; her mate. Unknownst to him although. What a sneaky and incredibly lucky wolf, she thought, somewhat delighted at the prospect that the male would play dirty and throw a curveball at her.
That was how the wild was and one had to play by her rules to succeed.
“Warriors station at the line. I’ll take twenty with me while the rest of you protect the other groups.” She ordered while the men scattered, “It's time to take back what’s ours.”
Ire emanated from Titania the rest of the way back. After the ambush on the yellow group, they held the lead but some wolves buckled under the pressure. Leaving cracks in their defences and it did not help that some wolves, lost to their wolves, tore the carcass to shreds. Ruining the game and leaving it without a victor despite Titania holding the advantage.
Her mood was reflected by the rest of her team. Who were none too pleased themselves. As Santiago had said, what a waste of time.
She had witnessed the mess that her yellow group was in. Alpha Brett seemed to have targeted them specifically, perhaps realizing the Spaniards would be less attentive to the hunt. Nathan was in even worse shape and she couldn’t help but take note of every injury that crossed his body. Her Alpha instinct was only getting worse and she knew it wouldn’t be long before her wolf would start to ride her, demanding her to protect her own.
But that was an issue for another day.
Alpha Brett had appeared beside her, covered from head to toe in nature and other questionable substances with a rather smug smile on his otherwise cold face.
“That was eventful.”
She was furious at the lack of obedience and instinct from her yellow group but expecting none the less from the wolves, she cursed. “I have never seen such a failed attempt at that game. These wolves have less control than I initially thought...”
“Living with Humans can do that to a Werewolf. Give them time, they will soon adapt to the ways of their wolves.” Brett advised.
“For their sakes and the sake of my patience, it better be soon.” She held back a groan as another headache started to pound into her head.
“Miracles can be made. Look at Garth.” He smirked, referring to her Gamma.
Back in his prime, Gath was nothing less than a troublemaker. Causing anything from brawls to full out destruction whenever it suited him. Having come from a questionable background in which he refused to speak of, he grew up with his grandparents in the city of Glasgow. He lived in one of the poorer areas and participated in gang life, even spent time in juvie for a small amount of his life. Eventually leaving due to his shift, he sought out Titania and very nearly died trying to reach her pack. Garth made it, and she welcomed him to the pack. Miracles could be made.
Titania rubbed her temples as she made her way through the packhouse. “Garth is a headcase and I question his very mental state.” Brett laughed at her analysis, “but he tried and tried hard. Some of these wolves are here for the sake of it, not to master their inner animal.”
Brett replied, “Maybe something closer to home would interest them? There must be a different angle.”
“That may be the smartest thing I’ve heard you say.”
Scoffing, he hit his bare chest with his hand. “My mother always said I was an intelligent boy.”
Titania sneered, "don't push it." They continued walking to the packhouse in step, "now I'm questioning your mothers judgement.
Broaching her personal space for a few seconds, he whispered low only for Titania. Letting his warm breath hit off her neck. “I’m not an Alpha for nothing.”
She snapped teeth at him and he chuckled at her prickliness. Inside, Titania’s emotions flickered. The bond punished her and punished her hard at the slip in her guard. Despite the appeal of the male beside her the bond prevailed; ensuring that she only thought of one wolf: Nathan, her only true mate.
“Watch your step, Brett. Out.” She shooed him, controlling herself as he tried to follow her to her office. “I said out.”
“I may be a Werewolf but I’m not a common dog. I don’t follow commands unless there’s something in it for me.”
A scowl in place, she gave the infuriating giant a glare that would fell a lesser man. “Wipe that smirk off your face or I’ll do it myself. The way you act, I’m half- no fully positive that you have a domestic dog somewhere in your ancestry.”
“Harsh Titania. Very, very harsh.”
She waved an absent hand at him, attention already focused on papers on her desk, another formal letter sitting there in all its glory. “Get over it. You’re a man, go do something productive.”
The smirk never left. With a primal look that suggested much more than what he was letting on, he closed the door. Leaving the flustered Alpha female to herself.
Forever surrounded by insufferable males with too much testosterone, she mused.
She remained in her office until nightfall; unintentionally missing meals, not that she felt hungry in the first place. The severed bond filled her with an emptiness that swallowed up any other feeling, including her need to eat. Pen in hand, she organized the weekly shop, finances and mind linked Garth over local herd numbers. Mapping progress graphs over her newly acquired wolves, she came up with a new plan of attack, much like Brett suggested.
Using the paperwork, a task she used to despise, she let the menial work fill up her time, knowing that she wouldn’t have been able to sleep regardless. Lucy soon entered and from one look in her eyes, Titania let the youngster join her. Silently grateful, Lucy helped her Alpha file, staple and photocopy her way through the stacked pile of documentation.
No wandering thoughts, just vacant minds struggling together to find momentary peace. Two hearts ruined beyond recognition.