The crumpled letter remained in the trash where it belonged, according to Titania, who had not spared it another glance.
She’d memorised the details, planned it and now focused her attention back to the everyday running of the pack; which always had an issue of some sort, be it lack of game for dinner, territory breaches, patrol rotas or the most dreaded to Titania: paperwork and documentation. How she despised filling out countless meaningless forms and yet it was where she found herself most.
Sat behind her varnished oak desk with her usual sour expression, she tore her gaze from the ominous letter in the bin and signed another slip of paper.
Hours passed. Sign this. Approve that. To her, while it was a task that caused her own brain to melt at the repetitive drivel; it let her somewhat breathe. She didn’t appreciate too much social interaction between other’s and the time to herself served her well.
Titania needed the time to herself before the ceremony or else she’d break some bones: just like the last one she attended.
The arrogant male knew his place as soon as she tore into his scrotum. As if she’d allow the male’s advances. She was not näive - not anymore.
He was lucky Eóghan had interfered and she missed the jugular; and despite how desperate her wolf was for blood she backed down, recognising that her rash actions could have caused a war between the packs. Although, inwardly, she knew her wolves would come out on top.
But those who knew of Titania and her claim to fame knew not to engage in romantic or sexual relations, or touch her in any such a way.
It came to no surprise that the wolf met the consequences of his wandering hands and none paid him any pity. Stupidly, got you nowhere. Stupidity left you with one ball and twenty stitches to your penis.
A knock echoed through her office and she looked up. Garth and a few other warriors were standing in the doorway awkwardly and even as intense as Garth was, he refused to meet her eyes. A dark sliver twisted her stomach as she could sense something amiss.
Tapping her claws impatiently off the desk she awaited with cold precision. She never gave, she only took.
“We encountered a stray rogue on the borders and followed the order to kill on sight,” Garth ran a hand over his forehead, “and believed that was it. Turns out it was an ambush, six rogues against two wolves on patrol, Orig and Henry. Minor casualties on our side but the pair left one rogue standing, assuming that you’d want to interrogate him.”
She sat back in her seat. Puffed proud at the callousness and strength of her wolves. Henry and Orig were not ranked, or even fully seasoned warriors but had carried out an attack, an ambush of all things, putting thought above bloodlust and she almost growled in contentment.
Oh, how she’d have fun with the one who didn’t get away.
Awaiting her answer with a thick muse of tension in the air the wolves anticipated anger, fury almost but Titania sat there. Face blank, body flax and if it wasn’t for the telltale spark of morbid excitement that flicked beneath her artic eyes, it would have been awfully difficult to spot her mood.
The wolves let out a breath they didn’t realise they were holding.
She continued, “Send for Olig and Henry and tell them I want to talk to them about the attack after they are fully healed.” She tapped her chin in thought, pride from her side didn’t come about often and she felt a need for a celebration.
“Dinner tomorrow will be a feast, roast one of the hogs.” She caught the males anticipation at such a request, for meat was always carefully utilised, never thrown together in haste; unless it was an occasion or another event of high standing.
Silencing the males drooling she sent them a sharp look, indicating they leave but a male from the back, with a dark caramel complexion and even darker eyes, spoke out.
“What do you want us to do about the rogue, Alpha?”
An interesting question indeed. What did she do with him?
With the ceremony only two days away, she decided a couple of days confined in her dreary and certainly not hospitable cellar would loosen the rogue’s tongue. And if not, she definitely had methods of her own to do just that.
The rogue could wait, for now.
“Chain him in the cellar. No food, water or sunlight until our return from the Elder ceremony.”
Without protest the males sauntered off with a nod, once again content with how their Alpha handled situations which would make most females squirm. Titania needed to be tough, especially after the questionable string of men that had shaped her younger years.
And she’d never make those mistakes again because mistakes like that got you killed or worse. In Titania’s case - emotionally and physically scarred.
The knowledge of the rogue tied up in isolation calmed her wolf. Who, as usual, was demanding blood. What a vicious beast she was and one that never strayed too far from the surface.
Eóghan, who had overheard the conversation came in seconds later, covered in paint. Titania knew of Ramsay, Eóghan’s younger sibling and was neither surprised nor amused at his appearance. But she pursed her lips and kept quiet.
The male recognised her look and simply rolled his eyes. He couldn’t help the antics of the seven-year-old that was of his own blood. He didn’t expect his Alpha to understand the bond between siblings as she’d never spoken of any, but from the looks she shot him it was easy to notice the sharpness they held. Maybe contempt? He’d never know and would probably never find out.
“The apprehended rogue tried to escape, he’s been knocked unconscious and chained up.”
Raising her brow at such disobedience; she vowed an agonising death for the wolf who continued to rebel despite capture.
“Fool. Did he really think he could escape singlehandedly, against my pack? I swear I’m still yet to meet a half intelligent male.”
Eóghan coughed, “Lucky for you that you have one for your Beta.” He teased.
“I do question that.”
She motioned to the pink and yellow splodges that adorned the fabric of his shirt. He’d even managed to smear some on his kilt, thanks a lot, Ramsay, he thought.
Smiling slightly, despite the mocking in her voice; he knew not to push too hard but still enjoyed the moments, although rare, that his Alpha slightly, and ever so slightly opened up. He could tease and she would barely react. Maybe a condescending chuckle or a slight smile but nowhere near as volatile as she was to other wolves who treated her as such.
“I’d be dead if I didn’t have the head that I do on my shoulders. I’m sure Duskfall recognises my intelligence.”
She huffed, drawing a long breath through her nose and rolled her eyes pointedly at her Beta.
“Of course they do. Regardless, arrogance does not suit you Eóghan but I will say that you’re better than most,” His lips tilted upwards at her comment, “and that’s all you’re going to get. I’m not here to stroke your ego.”
Eóghan was happy with that and his wolf glowed under such praise from his Alpha.
“Fine by me Alpha.” He diligently grabbed half of the pile of paperwork loaded neatly onto Titania’s desk and dumped them onto a spare desk in her office.
She sighed at the mess he’d now created but was grateful for the help. Not as if she’d ever ask in the first place.
“Keep grumbling and I’ll leave you in peace. We all know how much you enjoy paperwork.” Eóghan said, knowing fine well what her answer would be.
Titania growled lowly at his response but refocused on the mound of work that needed to be completed before her trip. Her conversations with Eóghan were always the same, and for her, it had now become a familiarity.
“You are mighty lucky that I am entertained by your company.” She flicked another finance document to the side, while the motion was mirrored by Eóghan.
“That makes just you and Ramsay, Alpha.” He smiled fondly at the mention of his brother.
At that, a throaty chuckle made its way out Titania’s chest. Eóghan was a peculiar taste to most; and like her, preferred his own space than to socialise with others. Maybe that was what made them such compatible companions.
That, and the past that they shared.
Saying by her side, both spent the early hours of the morning signing, reading and organising. Eóghan continued pestering Titania and Titania reacted by threatening Eóghan.
All that disturbed them was a solitary, melancholy howl from their captured rogue.
A wolf who would not stay alive longer than a couple of days.