Solstice Howl

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Chapter 8

Fear is a trivial thing. A weakness that can consume an individual’s entire life.

I was afraid of the dark as a child.

Not because of the darkness itself, but because of the monsters that can be lurking in it.

Those grotesque creatures that plague your nightmares- even as an adult. I was hysteric in my sleep, the nightmares so distinguishable, I couldn’t retail them in fear of my own words.

Fear can be masked.

But some people, they can smell it even with your best poker face.

Right now, I have no doubts, Markus of the High Council, can sense my prominent fear.

He just doesn’t know what it is that is causing me to quake in my own shoes.

“Do I need to reiterate?” His eyebrows furrowed, still recovering from the other-worldly experience we just endured.

Markus doesn’t show emotion through his words like most common people, he shows it through actions.

A small body movement, like a clench of a fist to indicate he is furious inwardly, but appears calm on the out.

I cleared my throat, afraid that if I open my mouth, a croak will leave.

I’ve never felt this level of fear, he is the epitome of what I was taught to terminate.

Trained for years upon years, countless hours of incessant beatings all for what?

He’d kill me in one swipe of his talon- before I could even take a breath.

“You ask, yet you and I are both aware I know just as much as you do.” I spoke with an almost timid voice.

A tremor of the upper lip.

“Then you are useless.” Calm voice, but raging eyes.

I smirked despite the cold shivers running down my spine.

But he knows everything I do and vice versa, neither of us have the upper hand.

He dismissed me with his words, yet I stood stoic, motionless.

“I would like to negotiate the lives of my people... their freedom.

He barked out a choke of laughter, “You have the audacity to attempt to make deals with me?! Are you not aware with who you’re talking to??”

I licked my dry, chapped lips in trepidation.

Maybe this was a mistake.

Alpha joined my side, his heat emanating throughout me as he grasped my hand in his and squeezed slightly hard- not hard enough to hurt, but enough to show his displeasure.

“Excuse my mate, she is a bit mouthy, she doesn’t know anything Markus, with your permission, we’d like to leave now.” Alpha was a vision of power, his eyes slightly hard gazing at Markus.

Nothing comes between a werewolf and his mate.

“Keep your mate in check for the remainder of questioning and you can leave as soon as it is over.”

Alpha’s eyes darkened, a warning of the rabid wolf lurking beneath his skin.

His entire being was against being disrespected, of being belittled. Yet, Markus of the High Council singlehandedly insulted his capability of controlling his mate.

Markus turned his roguish whiskey-colored eyes back to me, a searing amount of intensity behind them.

“With all do respect Markus, I’m going to take my mate back, this interrogation is over.” Alpha’s voice was resolute.

I held my breath at the furious expression behind Markus’s eyes, desperate to escape his line of vision.

But you have a task to do, Mya.

“Very well, we are done discussing these treacherous humans, you may leave with your mate, Alpha Luka.”

Except, Luka hadn’t of asked for Markus’s permission that time.

“They are innocent!” My exclamation echoed off of the hollow walls, exiting my mouth in a ferocity that wasn’t intentional.

My own disrespect caused me to recoil in fear. Most humans would be executed immediately for such actions, but I’m an Alpha’s mate, a contradiction to werewolf society because of my prior life as a raider.

Alpha Luka grasped half of my body and hid it behind his own, baring his teeth at the soldier-like werewolves who were growling in discontent at my words and the volume of my voice.

Markus scoffed, a frustrating noice that caused my toes to curl, “Breaking laws and stealing supplies is hardly innocent! Tell me girl, do you think it fair for me to let such actions go unpunished when others are tortured and executed for much smaller wrong-doings?”

A retort died on the tip of my tongue.

He smirked, he knew he got me.

“I digress, you are an official Luna in-the-making now-” His tone was almost... bitter.

“Your request will be pondered and deliberated,”

He was lying.

“And you will be notified of these human’s future after it is well thought over.”

He said human as if it were shit on his tongue.

“Let’s go mate,” Alpha tugged on my/his shirt, his eyes beholding emotions that I couldn’t decipher.

I yanked away from him and stepped out behind him, “I need to know that none of my people will be harmed before their sentencing.”

Markus smirked, “What grounds are you standing from, little human? What gives you the right to demand such a thing from me?”

Once again, I didn’t know how to reply. I had nothing over him to blackmail him with, I was empty handed.

“Mya, I won’t ask again, come. You can’t stop this.” Alpha’s grip on my arm tightened as I remained rooted to my spot.

Look at the bigger picture Mya, seek what you are missing.

I glanced around the room, horror-struck human’s faces, sadistic werewolf soldiers, a cluster of regal looking werewolves perched on seats. And then, I spot it, a little werewolf boy dressed in a uniformed blue outfit next to his high class parents.

A very familiar outfit.

If I am completely wrong, I’d look like a crazed fool, and likely be sent to exile.

I’m going off of a whim, off of instinct, and I have to do the hardest thing I’ve ever done, trust
my gut; everyone’s life is on the line.

“What ever happened to your older brother, Markus?” I said to Markus of the High Council in a relatively calm voice despite the roaring emotions dancing in my insides.

Everyone sat in confused silence, safe for the two other members of the High Council.

The woman with bright, luscious, red hair finally spoke after silently observing for the most of the meeting, “Markus, how does this mere human know about Roman?” She said it quietly enough that only myself and the Alpha next to me could hear.

Markus stumbled to collect himself, his wild eyes snapping to me in fury; if looks could kill, I’d be six feet under.

“Your request has been evaluated and your people will not be touched, you are dismissed Mya Collins, Luna-to-be of the European Continent.”

My heart raced, all of the secrets I have yet to uncover.

Just who is Markus and how are we connected?

I spared one last look at the High Council, Markus sat back on his throne with a gaze of molten rocks, searing me with its heat. The woman with the most prettiest hair I’ve ever seen, but one of the most manliest faces, regarded me beneath her wide nose in a curious gaze, not in any way hate-filled. And, the ebony man stood smirking at me, winking playfully as I made eye contact with his fiery eyes.

I turned my back to them as Alpha Luka escorted me out of the doors with a vice grip on my waist, many questions plaguing his mind.

Mine as well.

••••••••••

“What the hell was that?” Alpha demanded in a cold tone, his need to know everything about me reflecting off of his words.

“I do not have to answer to you.” I spoke behind chomps of my food, not bothering to try to hide the mushed food from his gaze.

We were in his large, pack house’s kitchen, the bustling chefs gone after Luka’s wave of his hand.

The ride to his house had been silent, the four of us deep in thought as one of Luka’s chauffeurs drove, warriors flagging the side of the car in their wolf form.

Alpha always has to be protected.

Nova sat to my right, her looming wolf standing behind her chair as she noiselessly ate her food.

I had requested for her to eat brunch with me, not wanting to be alone with Alpha Luka.

“Mate, you have to tell me, or I can’t protect you.”

I scoffed as I swallowed noisily, “Your protection is the last thing I need.”

Nova glanced at me in alarm.

His snarl had me looking away from my food and to him, “Tell me, now.”

Once again, his sweet, coaxing side was gone. Replacing him, the Alpha that everyone knows and are familiar with.

Quit pushing him, or he’ll snap, Mya.

Even though telling him anything was the last thing I wanted to do, I reluctantly relented some untrue information.

“When I was younger and we were learning about past history of werewolves, I had looked into secret documents and found some of Markus’s previous life, thus why I knew about his secret brother.”

I spewed complete bullshit, but he was practically eating it out of my hand.

If he were a cartoon, he’d have hearts in his eyes as he gazed at me.

That was the longest sentence I’ve given him since he stole me.

“My couple hours for the day should be almost up,” I quipped as I slurped the remaining food from my bowl obnoxiously, grating the werewolf’s sensitive ears.

Luka cringed and slightly turned away from me to let off the strain on his ears, and Nova’s clingy wolf unconsciously growled at me, causing Luka to let out a snarl.

“Stand down, Nicolas!” Luka shouldered Nicolas away from me in rage and dominance, separating him from my line of vision.

I inwardly smiled at the distraction away from me, in disbelief that he believed my story.

Nova was looking at me with curiosity, she obviously knew I was lying, and was wondering just what happened back there.

“Do you think we could take a walk around my garden before you retire for the day?” Luka asked after his growling match with Nicolas, which resulted in Nicolas baring his neck in submission.

I didn’t want to agree, but nodded despite it, ready to be done with him for the day.

He held his hand out for me to take, and I ignored it in his entirety, getting up on my own and walking past him.

He caught up easily and looked at the side of my face out of his peripheral, trying to appear inconspicuous.

But, he couldn’t have made it more obvious.

“Tomorrow, we will be hosting a ceremony for you.” He told me, gauging my reaction.

I kept a blank expression as I looked forward, a set of double wooden doors with beautiful engravings opened, revealing an even more beautiful garden.

The garden had a whole assortment of flowers, their colors resembling that of a rainbow. A cascading waterfall stood in the middle with multicolored fish swimming in it, and the scent of plant hit me like a slap of the face.

A terrific slap to the face.

“What would we be celebrating?” I distracted myself from the wondrous garden so he couldn’t see my awe.

But, it was futile, he saw my extolling face, and was smiling excitedly because of it.

“Our mating,” my negative reaction had his smile wavering.

“You can’t be serious?! I just met you!” I exclaimed, causing two doves perched on a branch to fly away from the loud noise.

“I can’t be more serious, it is the tradition of my pack,” he is frowning now.

“What is it about me that you hate so much? I’ve never been so patient and gentle with anyone as I have with you, and yet, you despise me with your entire being.” His tone grew angrier the more he went on.

I smiled coldly, “Your kind killed my people, took over our freedom; we had to resort to fleeing and hiding. You killed my mom, I would never want to be with someone like you.”

A flicker of hurt crossed his face before his cold expression replaced it.

“Do you know your expectations as a Luna?” He asked after a pregnant pause.

I did not, and I did not want to know because that would mean that I’d have an awareness of them.

“Support you?” I formulated my answer as a questions, which is pretty much all I know about Lunas. They rarely interfere in fighting wars with their pack.

A mischievous emotion twinkled behind his eyes, “Come, I’ll escort you back to your quarters.”

He’s withholding information, and something told me that I’m not going to like what he has to say.

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