The days turned bitter as the frost rolled in. Low clouds created an eery mist upon Duskfall lands, despite being so high up in the mountains. The ground was starting to harden, unable to support agriculture while snowdrops popped up here and there signaling the official start to the winter season.
“Any trace of her?” Garth asked Eóghan, who sat observing the warriors in training.
With a hand running through his beard he wearily shook his head, grunting under his breath as a warrior fell to the floor.
“Get up and keep going!” He shouted coldly at the Spaniard who shot him a look. Not that the Beta cared, for he had had enough of the childish aura that surrounded the egotistical wolves.
He was growing sick of the spreading revolt, each Alpha wanting Duskfall for themselves. With warriors and untainted DNA, it came to no surprise that many were back to challenging for the title. Unluckily for them, Eóghan and Garth were not going to bow down.
Garth plopped down beside him, “After two weeks? This is not looking good. Not at all...”
“You’re telling me.”
Both males observed their training session, coaching the males and improving their overall technique. Since the months in natures purest form, it was clear to see the increase in stamina and endurance, a start, Titania would say but not enough to withstand winters cold tendrils.
A sour thought to Eóghan who only wished for Titania’s return. He did not deem himself fit to aid these wolves through winter, he hadn’t with his last pack and that thought itself utterly terrified the male.
He was not what Duskfall needed. Titania was. And that was why he spent his nights endlessly searching for his lost Alpha, trying to find something, anything to indicate if she was even alive. Alas, so far he had come up empty.
Sensing Eóghan’s pacing wolf and noticing the dark rings under his eyes, he laid a hand on the male’s shoulder. Letting calm work it’s way through the brief contact. Unfurling his shoulders, Eóghan let out a deep breath.
“I’m not cut out for this. I can’t emotionally go through with it again. What if the past repeats itself? What if-”
“You can’t think about it that way. Titania made you her Beta for a reason.” He cut Eóghan’s rambling, “We both know her judgment in terms of the pack is undeniable. On herself, however, is another matter of fact...”
“As much as I value your efforts Garth I know what being an Alpha means and I’m telling you right now that I can’t”. In a quiet whisper, he let a fleeting moment of weakness take over, his demons plaguing his mind. “It would break me.”
Remaining silent, Garth let one of his closest companions have his minute of weakness uninterrupted. Everyone went through pain in one form or another. Some showed it openly and others, like Eóghan, hid it from the world until it simply got too much.
“You’re a worthy male Beta, we’ll make her proud.”
Splitting ways and letting Eóghan wonder, Garth went to check on the females. His wolf still in mourning and his jesty attitude had all but disappeared. Work had to be done to secure the lands for the winter to come and he was determined not to let the one that had ultimately saved his life, down.
A mellow undertone had continued to flitter through the pack grounds. The frost chilled the forest and mountains around them but the loss of their headstrong, stubborn leader had frozen many of their hopes for survival. While everyday life carried on, something felt stale. Even with all four Alpha’s present, none filled the space with dominance such as Titania.
Alpha Brett had been informed of Duskfalls current dilemma but due to the storms further North he couldn’t get a Ferry down. As much as he wanted to- it was simply impossible. But with his burning determination for Titania to accept his proposal, and belief that he could bring her back from the edge; he vowed to do what he could. For starters, he had made sure to keep in contact with the ranked members of Duskfall, making sure that they had all the provisions they needed.
Alpha’s of the wild stick together.
Staying recluse in her Alpha’s cabin, Lucy remained curled in a small ball refusing to move. Her wolf clung to the fading scent of Titania. The beams creaked with the icy throngs of the wind, reminding Lucy that she truly was alone. After searching endlessly for her mentor with no luck she had retreated within herself but knew one thing and one thing only: she would never give up.
She whispered to herself, ”I am strong.” A small whisper in the emptiness of the living room.
Nick nacks and offerings had been made, a few flowers here and there. Titania’s favorite vegetable covered the dining room table, cards, hides, and offerings of all shapes and sizes took up what had once been a moderately barren room, excluding Titania’s desk.
She could picture Titania with pride in her eyes at that one statement. Lucy imagined the adamant woman who had been an inspiration to many within the pack. Arctic eyes gleaming at her. Telling her with a pointed expression to move and stop moping. Something that Lucy had become quite good at and her Alpha was right.
She was strong. She had seen Titania and what she was capable of with so much heartbreak in her life. With one rejection she would do the god damn same. Stand up for what she believed in and get it with the remaining breath she had left inside.
No more sulking, she thought. Time for action.
It didn’t take her long to arrive at her mate’s cabin. She scrunched her nose at the stench of sex that wafted out but knocked regardless. She would get answers, a rejection was not enough to deter her and after losing one of the closest wolves in her life she knew well that life was short.
A few minutes passed and as she raised her fist to knock again her mate came into view. She was a timid thing, hiding under a veil of chocolate hair and as she laid her eyes on Lucy, they widened. Obviously not expecting her to appear at her very doorstep.
The girl just stared before righting herself and looked outside anxiously. Eyes darting around. “W-what are you doing here?”
Lucy could see the sheen of sweat on her mates caramel complexion, her heritage adding a glow of beauty. Tingles shot through Lucy as her wolf purred. With a slow gulp, she forced words out her mouth.
“I want answers. I think I deserve them, no?” Lucy held her voice firm and could see from the shake of her mates shoulders that she was scared.
“Well now isn’t the best time, my mate-”
Eyes vivid Lucy’s wolf growled, “I’m your mate. Not him, never him.”
Lucy’s mate took a step backward, cautiously avoiding eye contact. Lucy shivered as she watches her mate bare her neck, submitting to her wolf. She really was a delicate flower and her wolf relented as her fear saturated the air.
“Marigold, no matter what you say you’re mine. I don’t care if you won’t believe it but get the idea that I won’t give up out your head. I will fight for you.”
Marigold’s eyes remained indecisive and unsure; continually darting around to make sure nobody was watching. “I can’t do this, I’m already bonded.”
“And? My mark will cover his.” Lucy spat, “I’m your true mate. The one destined for you- why can’t you see that?”
With a tortured expression Marigold stood aside and let Lucy in, afraid that her neighbors would overhear. She couldn’t afford for her bondmate to find about her true mate, not only would it destroy him but he’d come after Lucy. He’d kill her.