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I was sitting in my office, going through the Pack's daily reports when a guard busted though the door in a panic.

"Alpha, come quick"

I followed him quickly and he led me to the infirmary.

I glanced at him warily "What is the meaning of this?"

He shook his head "Alpha, I can't explain. Doc said it was imperative that I came to collect you"

I nodded and went inside the infirmary.

As soon as I saw who was lying on the beds, I started to get angry.

"DOC!!" I yelled for our Pack Doctor "DOCTOR COLE!!! WHERE ARE YOU?"

The Doctor came out from behind the medicine station with a strained look on his face "Hello Alpha"

"What is this?" I demanded as I saw my four friends unconscious on the hospital beds "What happened?!"

He motioned for me to come closer before picking up the left hand of the closest person to us, which happened to be Mia.

He showed me Mia's wrist and my eyes widened

She had 3 deep gashes on her wrist, gashes that should have healed already because of her full-blooded wolf genes. Not only did she have the deep gashes, she also had a patch of burned flesh under the cuts

"Who did this" I asked eerily calm. I pick up Matt's wrist and noticed he had the same gashes and burned skin as Mia.

I looked at the Doctor, my anger barely contained beneath the surface "Do they all have this?" I pointed to Everly and Shawn.

Mia, Matt, and Everly would have looked like they were sleeping if not for their pale and sweaty faces. Shawn by far, looked the worse. Since he was human, it took longer for him to heal. In all honestly, it looked like he wouldn't last through the night.

"Yes Alpha, they all have this. A Pack member saw them slumped together on the ground outside the Pack house and brought them in" he shifted on his feet "I've never seen anything like this Alpha. Not in my 37 years of experience of being the Pack Doctor"

"You have no idea what's causing this? Was there a breech? An attack?" I asked and he shook his head.

"I highly doubt it was an attack Alpha. No one would be able to take on the Beta, his mate, and the Third at the same time. It would have been a death wish"

I ran a hand through my hair "Has their families been notified?"

He nodded "They're waiting in the waiting room for you Alpha"

This time I nodded before I began pacing. Four heart monitors were beeping in a steady rhythm and I couldn't help but feel a sense of uneasiness for my best friends.

I decided that I couldn't handle this situation alone.

I needed some reinforcements

I plucked my phone from my back pocket and dialed my parents "Rhys? Honey are you okay?" She asked anxiously.

"Mom, I need you and Dad to come to the infirmary right away. It's important"

She agreed before hanging up.

I waited 10 minutes before they arrived

When they saw all four of my best friends on the beds, they tensed.

"What is the meaning of this" My dad asked gruffly "What's wrong with them"

I gave them a brief gist of what Doc told me before showing them my friends wrists. When my mother saw them, she burst into tears.

"Mom?" I asked panicked "What's wrong? Have you seen this before? Please tell me what's going on"

She clung to my father and he gave me a worried look "We have seen this before son but only once"

"What is it? Were they attacked? Poisoned? What's happening to them"

"They're going to be fine Rhys" Mom sniffled "They're just preparing for the next stage"

"What?" My eyes widened "What are you talking about? They changed years ago"

"She doesn't mean the Wolf change Rhys" Dad said "Their bodies are adjusting to their new roles as Protectors"

"What the Hell are Protectors?" I gritted my teeth "And why haven't you told me this before?! I'm tired of being left in the dark regarding my Pack"

Dad gave me the stink eye "Watch your tone" he scolded "We didn't tell you before because we didn't think you needed to know"

He looked at my mom "The war is getting bad. Worse than we imagined"

Mom continued to sniffled "Minnie..."

I was losing patience and hated that I didn't know anything at all "What are Protectors and who is Minnie?"

"Protectors are special Wolf guards that are created from existing Wolves. They are put into place to guard the Females of the Royal Pack. They are usually the closets friends or allies of the Royals they are guarding"

My eyes widened

"When the Wolves were created, although the Royals were gifted with more strength, stamina, and power than the other wolves, it turns out that very few females were born to their Pack. The Goddess that gave the Royals the power didn't intend for that to happen so she granted them another gift. In order to protect the existing females of the Royal Pack, she gave them Protectors. Since females were few and sparse, only the females born in the Royal line received the Protectors"

Mom stepped in "For additional protection, the Goddess only gave Protectors to the eldest female in the Royal Pack. This is to kept them safe from those that wish them harm like Hunters or jealous Wolves. It also protects any other female born into the Royal Line. Most enemies focus their attention on those heavily guarded because they think that they are the most important. Typically once that the eldest Female passes away is when the next set of Protectors are chosen for the next Royal" she started sniffling again.

My mind started processing everything and then my eyes widened "Does that mean that your friend... The Alpha Female... Is..."

They shook their head "No, Carrie is fine. Only those born from the Royal line are given Protectors. Carrie married into the line but her daughter on the other hand..." Dad trailed off.

I started to panic


Mom grasped my shoulder "Kassi is fine dear. This..." She pointed to my friends "is happening because the eldest female born to the Royal Pack has just died. Kassiopeia's Aunt Minerva, Minnie as we called her, must have died recently or else this wouldn't be happening"

I took in a deep breathe "So that means that she... Kassi...Is the only living female of the Royal Pack?"

They nodded "She must be very important too. To have this many guards is unheard of"

"What do you mean?"

"Normally, Royal females have one or two guards. Kassi has four, maybe more if needed. This tells us that she will be very important in the future" Dad said thoughtfully

I ran a hand through my hair "Mom, Dad. I need to know what kind of danger we will be facing. Kassi is my mate and I need to protect her at all costs"

Mom's eyes widened comically before a huge grin broke out on her face.

Dad just laughed "About time"

I narrowed my eyes before I changed the subject "So what will happen to my friends? Will they make it? Will Shawn make it?"

They both turned serious "They should be fine. From what little Nicolay Dimitriou shared with us, which isn't a lot, he stated that their bodies are getting stronger. Since they were not born into the Royal Pack, they don't have the attributes that the Royal Wolves do like the strength or stamina but, if the Wolves were chosen as Protectors, they become slightly superior over other wolves"

"And there are no other females born to the Royal line besides Kassi? No other Protectors"

They gave me a sad look "No, Nico did have a younger sister but she died in childbirth a year before Kassiopeia was born" Mom pointed at my friends "These are the only Protectors in the world right now. Any pevious Protector was stripped of their powers as soon as their Royal passed"

I looked at my friends "How do you know, for sure, that they'll make it?" I murmured quietly.

Dad grasped my shoulders firmly "We don't" he said "But they were chosen for a reason Rhys. The Goddess wouldn't have picked them is she thought they couldn't handle it"

"I hope you're right" I turned towards my parents "When they wake up, I want to know everything about the Royal Pack. I need to know everything if my Mate is part of their lineage. I need to protect her and my Pack. I can't do that if I'm constantly left in the dark"

They nooded in understanding

"We'll try to tell you everything that we know sweetheart but you have to understand, Nicolay Dimitriou was a very private man. Even more so when his family or Pack was involved. The only reason we know what we know is because we were their best friends, and even then, we still don't know a lot about the Royals. In a sense, we're just as in the dark as you are"

This time I nodded "I understand. Just please, tell me what you know so I can be prepared in the future. Just in case something like this might happen again" I walked to the door "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to inform very worried parents about the condition their children are in"

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