“Well,” Brett began, unsure where to start. “Let’s just say the packs think Duskfall is theirs.”
Titania’s eyes stormed at the words. “Theirs?”
“You’ve been feral for a month and healing for another. Some wolves have become restless and grown a backbone. You can imagine who.”
“A backbone?” she snorted. “Well, that’s a joke. They think they can take my pack?! Let me at them… let me show them what’s theirs – a dickless future, that’s what they deserve… the lil’ fucking- ” Brett was quick to set her back in the bed as she attempted to detach herself from the multiple wires.
“Okay, hold up! Going after their dicks isn’t important right now. You staying in here recovering is.”
His stern words hit her hard for an unknown reason– his eyes displaying his internal frenzy at her actions. She calmed but her darkening arctic eyes revealed her intent to kill – her wolf’s murderous instincts kicking in hard.
“What about Eóghan?”
“What about him?” Brett half growled lowly, his eyes subtly narrowing.
Regarding his reaction, she observed him silently for a moment, trying to piece his behaviour together. According to Brett, she had been absent for nearly a full two months and with five foreign Alphas on her land, it was a long time to be out of action. With that, came a lot of unknowns.
Her analysing gaze had Brett on edge. “What?” he asked; a slight pink tinge decorating the harsh contours of his face.
She rolled her eyes, ignoring the green sin that coated his last words and once again focused on business. That’s how she always operated. Easy and practical.
“Are the wolves that are disobeying Duskfall’s orders in the cells? I know Eóghan and Garth would deal with that in my… unforeseen absence,” she questioned.
Brett caught the anger he held for Duskfall’s leadership in his throat as he composed himself. Of course he was enraged with the leadership adopted by the so-called ‘ex-Alpha’ but who was he to comment? He was a Duskfall wolf now and had to respect the wolves that were now above him.
“It wasn’t as easy as that,” was the response he could come up with. Defeated he continued, “Uh, Eóghan has done the best he can considering…”
Her sharp tone left no room for lies or false pretences. Titania demanded answers and answers she would get. While her head ached from the sheer amount of thinking that she as doing, it didn’t take away from the fact that Duskfall was her home. One built from blood, sweat, tears and steely will. A legacy that was hers and hers alone.
“Brett don’t look away. If there’s something I should know, then tell me. This is my pack and I won’t take bullshit as an answer.”
Brett leaned back in the stiff plastic chair and looked Titania over. She didn’t look ill, not in any way shape or form. She sat, even with a migraine, alert, ready and asking the hard questions. If Brett were in her position, he’d surely be asking for another hour of sleep and medication.
Relenting and deciding she was fit for the information, he told her everything: from the lack of leadership to the packs slowly turning on Duskfall due to her rescue and Nathan and Athdara’s place in the cells, all while Titania kept a straight face. All emotion filtered through her eyes at the blatant disrespect and betrayal from the wolves she had taken in. As he finished, her eyes were an inferno that promised pain.
“I’m not in this pack for… not even a month and a half and this is the result? Useless males and their macho fuckin shit…” she mumbled the last part as both of her hands palmed her forehead. “Get me out this bed, I’m gonna kill them.”
Brett shuddered as the feral came through the crisp blue of her eyes demanding and dominant.
It took him and a quick mindlink to Doctor Craig and Angus, to restrain Titania as her wolf fought for control – the craving for blood and justice on the tip of her tongue. Her face began to shift as her voice turned gravelly. The wolf prevailing in its takeover of her conscious as its intent flashed through her skin in furry pinpricks.
It was not happy.
While she strained against the males, Doctor Craig managed to inject her with a needle of concentrated drugs which, after a few moments, had her lax in her bed, the wolf relaxing back to its dormant state.
Titania slumped against the crisp sheets as the fur receded. The blue of her eyes back as they rolled to the back of her head; her eyes lolling shut as her muscles slackened.
Doctor Craig exhaled a sigh of relief. “What on Earth happened Brett?” he asked as he made quick work dabbing a cotton bud to the juncture wounds as he reattached the loose IV’s.
“You’re meant to be keeping her safe while she recovers, not provoking her,” Eóghan grumbled. “I didn’t realise that was such a hard task…”
The sarcasm irked Brett as his canines elongated, “Don’t push me, she deserved to know what’s happening in her pack. Can’t blame me for her justified anger. Look at the state of Duskfall.”
Eóghan and Brett squared up as they stared each other down.
“You wanna deflect some more Brett? Avoid all responsibility? Or is being a Duskfall wolf below you? Let me just bend over and let you kick me, add to all the motherfuckin’ shit I’m doing while you cosy up in ere’!” He motioned to the cabin around them.
“I left my pack to help-“
“Yes, you fucking did and you won’t stop harking on about it! It’s not a heroic thing to do - you left your pack behind! Now what sort of leader are you to criticise me?”
Brett growled, his wolf rising at the mention of Ash Crescent, “What did you just say?”
“You heard me; you don’t get to judge us on your golden pedestal while you abandon your own pack.”
Spittle flew between the two ex-Alpha males as they spat and cursed at each other. As the testosterone rose, the air becoming heavy with the weight, Doctor Craig shot Angus a desperate look. Titania did not respond well to the bravado being flung around.
“That’s enough lads,” Angus interjected. “Go spar it out like wolves, bout’ time you’s stopped your bitching.”
Feeling his fangs poke through his gums, Brett motioned his head outside. His desire to release some pent-up frustration evident as he clenched and unclenched his fists in anticipation. Giving Doctor Craig a glance, he knew Titania was in good hands and that was all he needed as him and Eóghan made their way to the spar rings; to show off their power while settling their petty squabbles in the way their wolves knew.
Angus dutifully went back to his position on patrol leaving Doctor Craig to rebandage and resalve her back in her morphine-induced sleep. He knew that sedating her every time her wolf showed was not sustainable, but what was the male to do? He was out of options and answers until he could study her further. For a feral wolf going through recovery was still a mystery to the Werewolves. With that last thought, he updated his scattered, and rather unorganised notes, and took his leave - praying silently to the Gods for help.
He was only one man, after all.
Alfonso watched Brett and Eóghan leave the remote cabin. His crooked teeth in a tight smile as he motioned for his wolves to lay lower in the dense shrubs.
Their wait had paid off. Within nine days of scouting and gathering intel, Alfonso finally got his answer: Titania’s location. Courtesy of wolves on the border patrol. She was the final pawn of his chess game that needed to be taken out. And taken out she would.
With controlled glee in his eyes, he motioned his band of five wolves forward. Any more, aroused suspicion. To avoid this, his Beta kept up appearances with their pack members around Duskfall. Many of them about to challenge for the Alpha position, giving Alfonso precious time.
We wait until the doctor has left, then we go. Three of you watch the perimeter from here while I take Nathan and Matíus with me. Got it?
The wolves nodded their heads to their leaders mindlink while Alfonso repeated himself to Nathan – the only one without the packlink.
Clean and easy. Wait on my signal, it’s time to finish the estúpida perra. His eyes scanned the perimeter as the doctor finally left. Finally…Go.
The wolves followed their orders as they jumped into action. Nathan tagged along after his uncle as they approached the cabin. While grateful from his escape from the souring cells, he did not like being kept in the dark.
All his previous packmates had urged him with comraderie– a nice change from the scowls his presence usually received. The whispers of acceptance tugged at the numbness inside. They knew he was vulnerable, with a broken heart influencing his ability to think straight.
But while his feet mindlessly followed, one thought prevailed. What weren’t these wolves telling him?
He voiced his confusion to Alfonso, to which he received a harsh scowl. “Don’t bother asking me that. Can’t you see, we’re rewriting history. Now just listen and stop asking pointless questions, sí?”
Before Nathan could reply to Alfonso’s even more confusing response, Matíus opened the cabin door and Nathan received his answers.
His eyes widened at the sight of his fated lying unconscious on the hospital bed. Inhaling her enthralling scent did nothing for his wolf as he thrashed inside. The numbness threatened to overspill without his orange poison to take away the bite of the overwhelming emotions.
“Alpha,” Matíus handed Alfonso a serrated knife from the bag he carried on his back, “I’ll stay by the windows and keep watch. We don’t have long.”
“Don’t remind me cachorro.” Matíus bared his neck at the power thrown by his Alpha who reprimanded the young wolf. “I know what I’m doing,” Alfonso hissed.
Titania’s finger twitched as the flare of dominance infiltrated her solace. Unknownst to the intruders, Titania’s eyes rolled slightly behind her lids as the males bickered amongst themselves.
Motioning for the wolf to take his place by the window with a shrewd glare, Alfonso instead turned his attention to the wolf that stood starstruck in the door’s entranceway. His eyes were glued to the peaceful figure in the centre of the room.
“Get away from the door! Someone will see you.” Alfonso sneered, grabbing Nathan’s arm hard as he shut the door behind them. A quick scan of the cabin’s surroundings had him exhaling deeply, for he was still in the clear. For now, but not for long.
“Take this,” The serrated knife made its way into Nathan’s palm as Alfonso wrapped his hand around it. “Show us that you’re worthy, a man, a part of the Se de Sangro pack. It’s your time to prove to us that you can be something…”
Alfonso’s whispers floated in Nathan’s mind as he took in the sight of his mate. Her skin had taken on its usual soft glow and she looked well. Certainly, in comparison to the last time he had seen her. Scabs adorned her skin, but she didn’t smell of death and rot. Instead, he could feel the strength that lay just beneath the surface.
“What?” He eyed the knife and Alfonso’s eagerness, his gaze showcasing his insanity. “You want me to?...”
“What do you think?-” Alfonso quickly corrected his tone at the frown upon Nathan’s face, adopting instead his trademark manipulative smooth snake-like baritone. “Yes, it’s silver. A stab to her heart and this will all be over. The pain will go and you’ll be one of us. A truly powerful wolf. What you rightfully are.”
His mind repeated his words. Power. Rightfully his. No pain. A dangerous cocktail as he battled with his own priorities within the battlefield that was his head. Was he even capable? He’d killed a male before, but this was different. She was a woman and lying unconscious in a hospital bed.
While Nathan weighed up his options, Alfonso patted his shoulders and leaned into the shell of his ear, “She killed your friends, your cousin with no remorse. Do you think they deserved that?”
Nathan shook his head solemnly, his eyes showcasing the grief that continued to haunt him.
“Then this is karma, it’s justice. Do it for them, your fallen sisters and brothers.”
With the tell-tale fury running quickly through his veins, he approached Titania and hovered the knife directly above her heart. If she opened her eyes, she would be sure to see the anguish and tears freefalling from their trapped imprisonment.
Never had Nathan felt such conflicting emotions. While the past two months had him walking around like an empty shell, in this moment he felt alive. Emotions, feelings, and sensations coursed through his system that gave him a heightened sense of euphoria.
Convincing himself it was the right thing to do, he muttered between choked sobs, “This is…right. Proper justice. They can finally…rest in peace. Be happy…”
Alfonso quickly agreed with him to speed up this interaction. Matíus gave Alfonso a widened glance as he dutifully reported, “We’ve got company.”
Struggling to control his ire towards Nathan, he prodded, “It’s now or never, avenge them. She doesn’t care for you, she’s nothing.”
Nathan’s hand visibly shook as the tears cascaded freely onto Titania’s skin. His wolf was fighting him, snarling its displeasure to the human’s decisions.
“Alpha, we’ve got to hurry…”
Stress and pressure took over Alfonso’s movements as he cursed, rushing towards Nathan with his cane as he gripped the hand that encased the knife.
“Madre de Dios, I’ll do it myself,” he spat before plunging the silver-tipped knife into Titania’s chest.
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