Nathan was in his third week of a broken heart. He had been through many stages of despair; anger, misery and now depression, the epiphany of his past actions. He stayed a hermit, fearful of the consequences that would arise if he stepped foot in the centre of Duskfall lands.
He hunted for his meat but it was clear that the lack of care for himself was showing on his body. He’d lost muscle definition and his wolf was barking in his mind, insanity was surely not far away. His mind was in turmoil and as he lay in his cabin bed. Blankly looking at the ceiling he came to a stark realisation. His actions, his stubbornness, was what had brought this upon him. There was no pity, no friends or even family that he could rely on. Many of his previous friends, except Hugo had ignored him knowing that association with him was a death sentence for them also. Not that Nathan could blame them.
He rolled out of bed, knowing that while sleep was a tiny reprieve of the constant pain; he needed to hunt for his dinner and fill up his water tank from the nearby spring. Eóghan had been smart in his housing arrangements: out the way, secluded but sustainable.
Nathan sighed, a hand tiredly running over his face. “This is the life.”
A sardonic chuckle escaped from his lips as he realised that his life was now an empty shell. For the next few hours he managed to sort out his water supply and catch a couple of trout, it would do... since winter had started and he really needed to focus on building up his food stock.
So there he sat, at the small wooden table of his barren cabin contemplating the point of life itself. Then he drifted painfully to the memory of Titania. The broken bond flailing and trying to reform desperately. It only served to make the pit in his stomach feel worse, preventing him from eating any more. Nathan pushed the half full plate away with a deep sigh, hands finding his overgrown tresses as a few tears escaped his eyes. What made it worse was the claw marks he had found on the trees around his cabin. Which inevitably belonged to her and ever since, the paranoia of being watched. Even spotting her wolf lurking in the shadows of the night. That, or surely he was going mad. But instead of telling a desperate Beta of the fact Titania had been to his side of the territory; he let them wonder, like the stubborn wolf he was.
If he was to mope in solitude then so would they.
“Nothing? It's nearly been a month Eóghan.” Brett was pacing his office, already in a foul mood from the unrest that had consumed his morning. The Rosevelt pack, from south England, had been causing a commotion but when questioned weren’t giving him the answers he wanted. Frustrated at the lack of co-operation and from the fact he had lost Titania, Brett was on edge.
Eóghan on the other end of the telephone line simply sighed and ran a hand through his hair, “It’s not from lack of trying. Apart from the odd carcass, there’s honestly nothing that I can track.”
“Is the pack not searching?”
Snorting at the absurd statement Eóghan replied, “The whole pack searching for a feral wolf? You know what happens when a wolf loses it and I can’t put others at risk of her attacking. Not to mention that she’s an Alpha, surely you know we can’t do that Brett.”
“I understand that but the longer we leave her the less chance we have of getting her back... if at all! Winters coming and even being the strong wolf she is, you know her chances are slim without a pack.” His pacing had turned into full on stomping. His wolf was antsy and not helping his already frazzled state of mind.
Agreeing with the Alpha male Eóghan shook his head, beads chinking like mini wind chimes in the stuffy office. “I’ve been training Nathan.”
Brett held his breath and anger back at the memory of the Spaniard. Garth and Angus had informed him that the male that had picked a fight with him, and left with a black eye, was Titania’s mate. A sorry excuse for a man at that. A strong female like her did not deserve such a flimsy and weak-willed male by her side.
“And what good do you think that will do?” A finger pinched the bridge of his nose. “A few weeks of training does not make an Alpha wolf.”
That fact was not unknown to Eóghan but what other choice did he have? The mate bond, a rarity, and dream for most was special and definitely had the chance to bring Titania’s humanity back. “I know, but what other choice do we have.”
Garth entered the office with a scrunched face, hearing the conversation about his previous Alpha. He originally came to check up on Eóghan as he could tell the male was struggling with his past, but he wasn’t oblivious to the phone calls that had transpired between him and Brett.
Garth took a seat while Brett growled, him and his wolf did not like that answer. “I propositioned to Titania. I gave her the choice of picking me.”
Hearing Brett on the other end of the line, Garth nodded to Eóghan who was looking confused. He didn’t know that the male of the volcanic islands wanted Titania as a bondmate officially for he had shown interest, like many others, but they craved power and influence, not companionship.
“You asked her?”
“At the party. My intentions have been made clear but I merely suggested, I did not push. She was meant to give me an answer before all of this...” His voice grew deeper. An urgent knock on his door drew his attention away as his Beta entered.
“Alpha Brett, The Rosevelt Alpha is demanding to see you.”
The man straightened as his Alpha’s eyes lit with fury. He had no time for such petty Alpha’s and their mind games when Titania, the female he had cast his eyes upon was alone, feral and broken out in the wild.
His reply was blunt, “Tell him he can wait. I’ll be down when I’m ready.”
His Beta nodded and swiftly left. Avoiding his usually calm Alpha’s recent temper. Alpha Brett was not impressed and his once foul mood was made ten times worse.
“I apologize Eóghan but I’m having problems with Alpha Jared. I’ll call you back once-”
Shivers erupted down Eóghan’s spine and he quickly interrupted, “Alpha Jared?”
“Yes.” Brett was none too pleased with the rude cut-off.
Clogs whirred in Eóghans mind, he did not realize how close the bitter Alpha Jared was. Nathan had said that he was the one who had planned the attack many moons ago and now he was causing issues in Alpha Brett’s pack. Something wasn’t right and Eóghan was determined to find out what was going on.
Trying to appease Brett he calmed down. “Titania killed Alpha Jared’s son. He was her second bondmate so can you keep an eye on him. He was also the one who orchestrated the ambush on Duskfall before the Elder meeting in July.” He took a deep breath, “I don’t like the sound of this.”
Brett stood up hastily. “I’ll see what I can do and I’ll call you back.”
He placed his mobile down and advanced, none too gently, down the slate stairs. Raised voices could be heard emanating from the living room, recognizably an Alpha which was going to be on the receiving end of his anger. His Beta and Third were holding back Jared who, even with his slicked back hair and deep-set eyes, much like a weasel, was not a man to underestimate. He was as slimy as they came, never lifting a finger of his own to do the dirty work and rather had others to do it for him. An intitled man of little class. Much like his father before him.
“Well well well,” he began, “Finally nice of you to be available. People will start to think that you’re too important for the rest of us.”
Brett didn’t miss the smugness of his tone but he wouldn’t pander to the man and instead kept his impassive mask in check. “Remember who’s land you’re on Jared.”
He ignored the cold stares from the Ash Cresent Beta and Third and continued to poke the Alpha. He smirked, a gleam in his eye as if he knew something that the rest were not privy to.
“Of course it’s yours,” his smirk grew wider, “The last thing I’d want to do is offend the host Alpha.”
Growing impatient at the man in front, Brett got straight to the point. He was not a man that was kept waiting.
“What was so urgent that you disrupted an important meeting?”
Ice cold eyes clashed with gleaming orbs filled with malice.
“Meeting? You mean conversing with a certain mainland pack?” He inspected his claws obnoxiously while Eóghans warning rang loud and clear within Brett’s head.
“I was going to ask why you’ve declined my pack the right to hunt. It’s been months and we’re growing restless.”
Brett knew this was an attempt to get under his skin and after his previous remark; he also realised that the wolves had been spying on his calls to Eóghan and most likely the other Scottish Alphas. He’d have to contact them immediately.
“As I’ve told you, the herds have grown smaller this year.” The accusation in is tone was not missed.
“And that was not my fault...” Jared bit back.
Gritting his teeth without acknowledging him, Brett continued, “We can’t hunt or we run the risk of demolishing the herds. How many times do we need to have this conversation for you to understand that you’re threatening all the packs on this island.”
“So what do you expect us to do then Alpha?”
His lips tilted upwards as he hummed his disapproval. Jared was a man of constant complaint and he and a few others of varying other packs were starting to become unruly and full of unrest. So much so, that they were starting to challenge Alpha Brett’s rule.
Brett’s Beta, Kalïs, humpthed at the idiocy. “Look outside, we have plenty of vegetables and preserved meat to do.”
Brett agreed, “If we hunt the herd then winter will eat us alive.”
His Gamma slid a dramatic finger across his throat in a motion that signified the seriousness of the situation.
“So be it.” Jared sneered, a hand fixing the collar of his pressed shirt as he left the males. None too happy with the constant rebuttal.
Little did they know how his manipulative mind worked and it was in overdrive at the spiteful intent he had planned for the Scottish Alpha’s.