Chapter 28: Old Pack And Meetings
I groaned as the light filtered in through the crack in the blinds.
“Come on sleepy head.” A deep chuckle rang through the room.
I opened one eye and saw Ares standing there, smiling down at me.
And I couldn’t help but notice he was where a button up long sleeve shirt. But the buttons were completely undone giving me a nice view of his six-pack.
“Enjoying the view?” Ares said as he buttoned up his shirt.
“Well, I was.” I said as I closed my eyes again.
I felt the bed dip and arms wrapped themselves around me and pulled me into a warm embrace.
“Come on baby. Let’s go get breakfast.” Ares said softly.
My eyes popped open. “Now we’re talking.”
Ares laughed at my enthusiasm. “I knew that would wake you up. I’m making pancakes.”
“You cook? Wow. You just got so much hotter.”
“I know.” Ares smirked. “Come on.”
I let out a yelp as I was suddenly pulled from the bed and I wrapped my arms around his neck to keep myself from falling.
“Don’t scare me like that.” I said quickly as I still had my death grip around his neck.
“I could get used to this.” He growled softly.
‘You and me both baby!’ Artemis howled.
“Food.” I said giving him a look. Ares pouted and I kissed the tip of his noise, instantly making him smile.
“Your wish is my command, my Queen.” Ares bowed, keeping me in his arms.
“Oh wait.” I said as I struggled to get out of his grip.
He set me down with a huff and pouted at me again.
I stood up on the bed and motioned for him to turn around.
He instantly knew what I wanted and smiled as he quickly turned around and motioned for me to hop on. He caught me effortlessly and placed his hands under my butt so I wouldn’t fall down.
“Onward!” I shouted.
Ares shot off out of our room and down the stairs. How we didn’t fall, I have no idea.
He skidded to a halt as we made it into the kitchen and I couldn’t breathe because I was laughing so hard.
“If this is what it’s going to be like living with you guys, I’m moving out.” Apollo teased with a smirk.
“And to think that you actually liked me.” I teased back as Ares set me down.
“I do.” He nodded. “It’s just your cheerfulness makes me want to throw up.”
“Someone’s a negative Nancy.” Janus commented.
“I’m a lot happier when I have food in my stomach.”
“You and me both.” I agreed.
“I get it!” Ares groaned. “I’m cooking the pancakes right now.”
Apollo gave me a high-five and we sat down at the table.
“So tell me more about this ceremony.” I said as everyone sat down except for Ares.
“It’s basically when you are crowned as the queen and you can officially have the title.” Ares explained as he grabbed the eggs and milk. “You get your own crown and everything.”
“Your coronation is going to be awesome!” Apollo said excitedly. “You get to see this awesome sword that Perseus uses to tap your shoulders. It’s huge and very bright. Got jewels on it and everything.”
“He uses a sword?” I asked confused. “Is that usually how a queen’s coronation goes?”
“Who knows?” Apollo shrugged. “But that’s how it is to become an Alpha Queen.”
“But you’ll get all dressed up in a very fancy dress with the help of the elders in the pack, then the coronation takes place, then at the end, we have a feast and a ball happens.”
“A ball?” I asked confused. “Like a game?”
“No.” Janus said slowly and then the realization hit him. “Oh, that’s right. Uh, a ball is basically a very big dance. But the gowns that they wear are really over the top. Big fluffy dresses, rhinestones on every outfit, you’ll see.”
“Oh! Okay.” I said as I felt my face getting ready.
Way to go Athena.
“Perseus will make you repeat the oath.” Apollo added.
“You mean I have to talk?” I asked worriedly.
“It’s going to be okay. You guys will have a ton of time to practice.” Ares reassured me. “So you’ll walk in and up to the stage, sit down next to me while Perseus does his little speech thing, he’ll call you over and I will walk you over to him and then sit back down. He’ll have you repeat the oath, he’ll touch the sword to your shoulders and announce you as the queen, everyone stands when he does that and claps for you. Then I’ll walk back over to you and take your hand and then we’ll bow to everyone. They’ll clap some more and then you and I head out into the ballroom where the food is set up in the front half and the dance floor is open in the back half of the room. The servers will bring the food to us because it’s not a buffet type thing.”
“That’s a lot.” I said after he was finished explaining everything.
“Don’t worry.” Ares winked. “Next week we are going to be practicing that a lot so you have it down airtight. You got this.”
“There’s nothing to worry about. The oath is just you repeating what he says. He’ll first ask you if you swear to uphold the rules and all that stuff. All you have to do is say ‘I do’ and then repeat the oath that he tells you. You’ll be fine.” Janus said.
“But still.” I groaned. “I have a feeling I’m going to mess up.”
“You won’t.” Ares laughed as he placed the pancakes on a plate and set them on the table. “I have a couple of meetings today so I won’t be back until late tonight. But you could with if you would like.”
“Did you still want to stop by that one pack on the way to the meeting?” Janus asked as he grabbed a couple of pancakes.
“Yeah.” Ares growled softly. “I don’t like that alpha. Something’s up.”
“Who?” I asked confused as I picked up a piece of pancake with my fork.
“Alpha Rick of the North Forest Pack.” Apollo said.
Once he said that I started choking on my pancakes. Ares ran over and immediately started patting my back and I spit out the piece that I was choking on.
“Are you okay?” Ares asked worriedly as he rubbed my back.
“I’m good.” I said quietly as I rubbed my throat.
“Do you know him?” Apollo asked skeptically.
“What? No.” I said quickly. “It just went down the wrong pipe.” I laughed nervously.
Apollo gave me a weird look. “Sure.”
“But, uh, I actually am doing some training today with Perseus. Yanno. To help my fighting skills.” I lied as I stood up. “But maybe the next meeting I’ll go with you. Sorry babe.”
“Okay.” He said sadly. “But once you get crowned, you have to come to meetings with me.”
“Will do!” I shouted and with that, I ran out of the room.
“That was really weird.” Janus commented.
“Yeah.” I nodded. “Do you think she knows him?”
“She did say she was from a pack in the north. But there are hundreds.”
“But did you see her reaction?” Apollo pointed out.
“I’ll ask her later.” I said as I sat down to eat. “Because right now we have to finish eating so we can leave. We have a long drive.”
After finishing our breakfast and getting dressed, Apollo, Janus, a couple of guards, and I hopped into the Yukon. A couple of hours have gone by and it was actually a pretty quiet ride for the most part.
“I get that you have a weird feeling about this pack, but do we really have to visit them.” Apollo complained.
“Yes.” I said sternly at which he rolled his eyes. “There is something weird about that alpha and I don’t like it.”
“His Luna is pretty weird too.” Janus added.
“I don’t think they are actually mates.” Apollo said.
“What makes you say that?” Janus asked.
“I don’t know. It’s just the way that he looks at her.” Apollo shrugged. “I’ve seen the way Ares looks at Athena and Alpha Rick doesn’t look at Luna Megan like that. And I’ve heard of wolves appointing someone else as Luna.”
“Do you think he hasn’t found his mate and he got tired of searching?” Janus asked with a disgusted tone.
I scoffed. “You should never get tired of searching for your mate.”
“That I agree with.” Apollo said pointing at me. “It’s an asshole move so I can see him doing that.”
“Or maybe his mate rejected him and he had to find someone else.” Janus suggested. “I could that person rejecting him.”
“You and me both.” I laughed.
A couple more hours and we have finally arrived at the outskirts of Alpha Rick’s territory.
“Should we stop and get out?” Apollo asked.
“Just keep driving.” I told him. “He can deal with it. And besides, it’ll be nice to surprise him.”
“You’re so mean.”
I shrugged. “What can I say? I don’t like the guy.”
We made it about a mile or so on his territory before we were stopped by two wolves.
“This guy’s security sucks.” Apollo commented as he put the car in park.
The wolf on the right shifted and growled. “Get out of the car.”
“Let me handle this.” I smirked as I opened my door.
“Stop!” He growled at me.
“Excuse me?” I asked as I got out of the car.
Oh man, I wish I had a camera.
The guy’s face instantly turned white and he looked like he was about to poop his pants.
“Al-Alpha King A-Ares. I-I didn’t know i-it was y-you.” He stuttered.
I raised my hand and waved him off. “Just coming through. Thought I would like to stop by and see how everything is going.”
“Y-Yes, my King.” He gulped. “W-We’ll lead you t-to Alpha Rick.”
I nodded my thanks and got back in the car.
“That was priceless.” Apollo laughed as he put the car in drive.
We all laughed as the two men led us to wherever Alpha Rick was.
“Athena would have been laughing at that.” I said with a smile.
Her laugh is damn cute.
“We’ll have to tell her about this when we get back tonight.” Janus smiled.
“Why is scaring people so entertaining?” Apollo asked with a smirk.
“Beats me.” I shrugged. “But I hope I get to do it again.”
The wolves walked out of the heavy brush and stopped in front of their pack house. They both shifted back and grabbed the shorts that two others ran up to them with.
Apollo parked the car and turned off the engine as everyone piled out.
“Alpha Rick should be done with some business shortly.” The man spoke.
I nodded and looked around.
Everything and everyone still looks the same. But I still have a bad feeling and I have to find the source of it. Even if that means tearing this place apart.
“What the hell is this?” I heard a voice growl. “Who did you idiots let onto my territory?”
We all turned around and saw a very angry Alpha Rick storming this way.
“This ought to be interesting.” Apollo smirked.
“I’m sorry.” I spoke firmly. “Should I have called first?”
Alpha Rick’s scowl dropped and I could physically see him gulp. “A-Alpha King A-Ares.”
“Hello.” I said as I looked down at him.
“What a pleasant surprise.” He chuckled nervously.
“Indeed it is.”
“Dumbass.” Apollo snickered to Janus, causing them both to laugh.
Alpha Rick glared at them for a second, before dropping it.
“They were passing through.” The wolf spoke up. “Alpha King Ares wanted to stop by to see how everything is going.”
“Great.” Alpha Rick mumbled. “Everything is okay here.”
“I see that.” I said skeptically.
‘Can I just kill him?’ Zeus asked. ‘One less idiot in the world.’
‘No.’ I said. ‘Even if we wanted too, we can’t do that.’
‘Oh, I want too.’
“I do believe congratulations are in order.” Alpha Rick smiled after an awkward silence. “It’s been buzzing around that the King found his mate.”
“I did.” I said giving him a forced smiled. “The coronation will be held in two weeks.”
“I bet she’s excited.”
“She is.” I confirmed.
“Alpha King Ares.” Megan said surprised as she walked over to us. “I-I didn’t know you were coming.”
“Just stopping by.” I corrected. “I’m on my way to a meeting and I had to go past your pack. Thought I would drop by just to see how everything is.”
“Well, it’s really nice of you to drop by.” Megan smiled. “And hello Royal Beta Apollo and Royal Third Janus.”
“Hello.” They both said in bored tones.
‘Guys.’ I groaned. ‘At least try to act nice.’
‘I don’t know if I can.’ Apollo commented.
‘I agree with Apollo.’ Janus said. ‘Have you seen this place?’
I ignored them and turned my attention back to Alpha Rick and Luna Megan.
“So who’s the lucky gal?” Megan asked with a wink.
I chuckled. “I can’t say her name yet. At least not until the ceremony.”
She nodded. “I respect that.”
‘She respects something? That’s a first.’ Apollo said surprised.
“What does she look like?” Megan pressed.
“Short.” I said. “Long, wavy brown hair and beautiful brown eyes.”
“Really short.” Apollo corrected laughing. “But she’s awesome.”
“Everyone is really short compared to us.” Janus laughed.
I watched as everyone laughed, but Alpha Rick looked deep in thought.
‘What do you think he’s thinking about?’ Zeus asked confused.
‘I don’t know.’ I said truthfully.
“She sounds pretty.” Megan said.
“She’s pretty fun to be around too.” Janus admitted. “She’s like a little sister to me.”
I smiled proudly. I’m really glad that everyone is getting along with Athena. I know that Janus was a little skeptical at first, but he’s really come around. He and Athena have a pretty tight bond now and I couldn’t be happier. I noticed that Hecate was really her only friend so it’s nice that she has someone else. Athena and Apollo are pretty close too, but not as close of Janus and her.
‘Even though she would be perfectly fine with just us.’ Zeus huffed.
‘Oh stop.’ I laughed. ‘She needs more friends. And Janus is the perfect big brother for her.’
“I’m glad that everyone loves her.” Alpha Rick said forcefully; almost like it pained him to say it.
“We do.” Janus answered eyeing him.
“She rocks the sword.” Apollo continued oblivious to all the tension.
“Like an actual sword?” Megan asked.
Apollo nodded. “She beat our swords teacher in sparring on the first try. She totally kicked his ass.”
“Hate to break up this bonding time.” Atlas spoke up. “But if we want to make it to the meeting on time, my King, we should really get going.”
I nodded. “He’s right. Come on guys.”
“It was nice of you to stop by.” Alpha Rick said with a forced smile.
“Oh trust me.” I said as I stared down at him. “I’ll come and visit again.”
“Oh great.” He mumbled under his breath hoping I wouldn’t hear.
I glared at him and hopped in the car.
“Let’s go before I open this door and beat him to a pulp.” I growled as I buckled up my seatbelt.
The drive to Alpha Dan’s territory took about another hour or so.
Alpha Dan was a very good friend of my dad’s and him being an ally to our pack, we’ve stayed in touch. I met him several times when I was young because my dad always took me to his meetings. Dan was practically an uncle to me. Perseus was basically my second dad though.
“Oh, Ares.” Dan’s wife, Sarah, said softly as she hugged me. “It’s so good to see you.”
“Hello, Sarah.” I smiled as I hugged her back.
“Let’s take a look at you.” She smiled as she pulled back slightly. “My, my you have grown.”
“Just a little bit.” I winked.
“A little?” She teased. “You weren’t nearly this tall the last time I saw you!”
“Maybe I grew a couple of inches.”
Sarah laughed and stood on her toes to peer over my shoulder. “Is that Apollo?”
“Sarah!” Apollo yelled and lifted her up into a hug.
“I think Apollo just stole my wife.” I heard Dan sulk to my left. “I knew I smelled a wet dog.” Dan joked as he hugged me.
I pulled back and chuckled. “I think you were smelling yourself.”
“It’s so good to see you, Ares.”
“You too Dan.” I nodded.
“Let’s talk business?”
“Ooh!” Sarah clapped. “I have some lemonade and small sandwiches left over in the fridge if you guys would like some.”
That caused Apollo to perk up.
“Food?” Apollo asked.
Sarah laughed. “Same old Apollo.”
“If I ever turn down food, I want you to shoot me with a silver bullet.” Apollo laughed. “You guys go to the office, I’ll help bring the food.”
“Such a gentleman.” Sarah commented as she and Apollo walked to the kitchen.
“Should I be worried?” Dan asked as we made it to his office.
“No.” Janus laughed shaking his head. “I’m sure he’s only being nice because she offered him food.”
“I forgot how much that boy likes to eat.” Dan joked. “It’s amazing how he hasn’t exploded yet.”
“Oh trust me.” I said. “We are all waiting for that to happen.”
“I heard that.” Apollo growled as he walked in with the sandwiches.
“You boys be nice to him.” Sarah said sternly as she placed the glasses of lemonade down.
“Yeah! What she said.” Apollo nodded once.
I rolled my eyes and turned back to Dan. “You and Sarah coming to my mate’s coronation?”
“Well of course!” Dan smiled. “We wouldn’t miss it for the world. It’s nice that you finally found your mate.”
“Me too.” I smiled as I thought of Athena.
“Mates are the greatest thing in the world.” Dan smiled as he stared at the doorway where Sarah left. “I don’t know how I would survive without her.”
“I now know what you mean.”
“Anyway.” Dan sighed. “Business time.”
“Right.” I said. “The rogue packs are starting to get larger.”
“I’ve noticed.” Dan sighed as he rubbed his temples. “We’ve had a couple of problems with them but nothing that we couldn’t handle.”
“Us too.” Janus nodded.
“We’ve managed to break apart one pack, but that just caused more of an uproar.” Dan spoke. “Another rogue pack got mad at us for that and retaliated. We beat them, but didn’t break apart that pack.”
I growled. “I don’t get what their problem is.”
“They want control.” Dan shrugged. “And they’ll do anything to get it.”
“We’ve gotten more patrol.” I said. “Especially now that I found my mate. Don’t want to risk anything.”
“That’s understandable.” Dan nodded. “All we can do is keep staying on our toes and be on the lookout.”
Janus and Apollo both agreed.
“Oh. Before I leave.” I remembered. “What do you know about Alpha Rick of the North Forest Pack?”
“Not much, really. Squirrelly little kid.” Dan said as he thought about it. “Why do you ask?”
“I was doing my yearly visits and I got a weird vibe when I went to his territory.” I explained.
“We all did.” Apollo said speaking up. “He’s just weird.”
“I agree with you there.” Dan said pointing at Apollo and then turning to look at me. “I haven’t really spoken to him. I’ve seen him at a couple of meetings all the alphas have in this area. But other than that, not much. I’ve never had a problem with him.”
“Shoot.” I mumbled.
“He always acted weird though.” Dan mentioned. “I’m pretty sure he has a problem with authority.”
“That I can agree on.” Apollo said. “I’ve noticed that he’s always rushing us to get off his territory.”
“We visited him again on our way here because we would have passed him anyway.” I explained. “He didn’t look too happy to see me.”
Dan laughed. “He never looked happy during the meetings. But then again, who isn’t?”
“There’s just something about him.” I said as I rested my chin on my hand.
“Who?” A girl’s voice asked from behind us.
“Hi, sweetheart.” Dan smiled as his daughter, Victoria, came into the room.
“Alpha Rick.” Apollo answered.
“He’s a creep.” Victoria said as she made a face.
“What?” Dan asked angry.
“Yeah.” She nodded. “When Sophia and I went to that meeting with you and Beta Michael, he was hitting on us.”
“Why wasn’t I aware of this?” Dan growled.
“Dad.” Victoria laughed. “It’s okay. Sophia really drilled it into him that we weren’t interested.”
“You didn’t punch him, did you?” Dan groaned. But I’m pretty sure we both knew the answer.
“He deserved it.” Victoria shrugged. “She can hold her own. Why do you think I’m making her my Beta next year?”
“What did he say?” Janus asked.
“I can’t really remember because it was a while ago. But it was pretty pervy.” Victoria told us. “He’s always been like that. He’s a weird guy.”
“Just great.” I said rolling my eyes. “Just want I need.”
“I’ve also heard that he’s pretty sexist.” She added. “There’s also a rumor going around that he beat his mate.”
“Megan?” Apollo asked.
Victoria shook her head. “No. I don’t think that’s his true mate.”
“I knew it!” Apollo smiled in victory.
“Then who?” Janus asked.
This just got interesting.
“No one knows.” She explained. “No one has seen here and no one from that packing is talking about it. They won’t comment on anything. But then again, it’s just a rumor.”
“What if it’s not?” I asked.
“There’s no way of finding out.” She said.
“We should look into that.” Apollo said.
“We definitely will.” I promised.
“So, are you ready to be the alpha?” Janus asked trying to break the silence.
“Yes!” She exclaimed. “I can’t wait for my birthday next year.”
“She will be a perfect alpha.” Dan smiled proudly.
“I’ve been training for it ever since I can remember.” She laughed. “I’m so ready and I know I’ll do a good job.”
“You deserve it.” I smiled. “You’ve been a really good help during the meetings.”
“Thank you.” She smiled warmly at me. “That means a lot coming from you.”
I smiled back at her. “Well, we better get going. Got a long drive back.”
“It was really nice to see you Ares.” Dan said as he stood up and shook my hand. “Come back any time.”
“We will.” I said. “Can’t wait to see you guys at the coronation.”
“Oh, that’s right!” Victoria smiled. “Wait. Can I come? Please, dad?”
“You’re gonna have to ask Ares.” Dan laughed.
“Of course you can.” I said. “You are going to be the future alpha of this pack after all. And I’m sure you and my mate will hit it off.”
“Yes!” She yelled jumping up and down, but then stopped and cleared her throat. “Uh, I mean. Thank you for the invitation.”
We laughed and said goodbye once more before leaving. I can’t wait to get back home and see Athena.
‘There’s no way she could have survived.’ I thought to myself.
I mean seriously. She was too weak of a person to survive against hunters. Unless it wasn’t hunters who found her.
I jolted upward as a knock on my door scared me.
“Come in.” I said clearing my throat.
Zack walked in and sat down in the chair across from me. “You called for me?”
“Yes.” I nodded. “I have a mission for you.”
“What kind of mission?” He asked eyeing me carefully.
“A spying mission.” I answered. “I will give you the funds and the warriors to execute this perfectly.”
“This sounds fun.” He smirked. “Who’s the target?”
“The Alpha Queen.”
Zack’s smirk fell instantly. “You have got to be kidding me!”
I growled a warning. “Don’t raise your voice at me.”
“I’m sorry, alpha.” Zack said, bowing his head. “But that’s a suicide mission.”
“It won’t be if you don’t get caught.” I retorted.
“Alpha.” Zack started. “That’s going to be impossible. That castle is going to be heavily guarded at all times. Even more, now that her coronation is this week.”
I held up a hand for him to stop talking. “There is a very important reason as to why I’m asking you to do this.”
“And what is that?” He asked.
“I think that Alpha King Ares’ mate is Athena.”
“Athena?” Zack asked shocked. “As in the one who knocked you out and ran away.”
“They very one.” I growled. That bitch.
“Why would you think it’s her?”
“King Ares was describing his mate because her identity has to remain secret until the coronation. But the way he described her made it sound like Athena.”
“How so?” Zack asked as he leaned back in the chair.
“Really short, brown eyes, and long wavy brown hair.”
Zack looked at me weirdly. “I’m sorry to rain on your parade alpha, but that sounds like a lot of girls.”
“True, but what if it is Athena?” I pressed.
“Alpha.” Zack sighed. “I’m not trying to sound mean, but I think you’re a little obsessed.”
“I just have this feeling.” I growled.
“Just do it!” I growled using my alpha voice.
Zack jumped and whimpered as he put his head down. “Yes alpha.”
I smirked. I’m going to find you, Athena.