" Can I keep you?"
"Only if I can keep you Izzy"
"Do you think we'll be best friends forever Shadow?"
"Of course we will silly!I will be the Alpha and you are my Beta Izzy,we will be together forever!"
For ten year old Isabella,an alpha promise made by her twelve year old friend Shadow was like a blood oath, once made,nothing but death would break it and she smiled at that,looking up at him as they stared at their village from the top of their hideaway,she knew he would keep her safe forever.
The savage sounds of growling shattered their peace and Isabella clung to Shadow in fright as chaos erupted below.
As the two youngsters watched on in horror,the invaders coated their village in red,the sounds of gut wrenching screams and growls shattered the air,and it wasn't long before the heavy coppery stench of blood clogged their noses.
"Bella you need to stay hidden,stay here and don't come out until I call for you."
"Don't leave me Shadow!" Isabella's violet eyes were filling with tears,as she watched her friend shift effortlessly.
As an alpha pup Shadow first shifted at ten and was accustomed to his wolf Malik whereas Isabella had yet to meet her wolf,so she was helpless to aid in defending their village,and deep down she knew that he had to leave her.
Screwing up her face she lunged at him and gave him the biggest hug her tiny frame could, whispering "Come back to me safe Shadow."
And with troubled eyes she watched as her friend took off down the hill towards their village,both completely unprepared for the mayhem soon to follow...
Isabella waited for what seemed like ages for her friend to come back for her, the screams were so horrible she felt her tears soak the earth around her and when she thought she could bear it no more and she had to go back to the village to see for herself, a single howl pierced the air followed by dead silence.
In her heart she felt the shards breaking, the howl from the Alpha letting their pack know that his family had experienced death which could only mean one thing, either the Luna Abigail or her son Shadow no longer walked this earth.
Isabella sunk to her knees, the gaping hole in her heart too much for her to handle, it's Shadow she thought, it has to be, otherwise he would have come back for me, he promised, his Alpha promise.
Her broken hearted sobs wracked her small frame,consuming her so completely, they masked the sound of footsteps and she was unprepared for a hand to touch her shoulder "Mija...Isabella we must leave now,quickly!"
It was her father, the packs beta and behind him her younger brother Mikhail, sister Raeann and their mother,bloodied and bruised but okay, her family had made it, and they had come for her.
"Why papa? Why are we leaving, there has been a death, I need to know who it was?"
Father's eyes looked at his eldest daughter and something unreadable passed them before he knelt before her, "Oh Bella, you already know who it was Mija, you can feel it in your heart, now we must go,trust Papa, we must leave now, it's not safe for us here."
Isabella allowed herself to be dragged up and watched numbly as her father shifted quickly, his dark grey wolf bending down so she and her siblings could scramble onto his broad back, he looked to his wife with a nod and she shifted as well.
Amidst the chaos and aftermath of the brutal ambush, the pack Beta and his family faded into the night and left behind the remains of the Howling warrior pack and ventured out into the unknown.