3. Witches & Wolves
3. Witches & Wolves
..7 days later..
“Look at that hunk of meat,” Julie sighs beside me from her bean bag, her human nose crinkled as she sniffs the air, watching on at our Alpha in the Den’s kitchen. He was cooking... he loved to cook for all of us and I grudgingly admit he was good at it. I glare at her for moaning about him and she quickly changes tact, “Mmm... bacon and chicken... what, I loved bacon and chicken?!”
“Sure,” I roll my eyes while she closes her own and pictures some form of fantasy about Christian.
“Damn it,” Christian snarls out and throws a spatula into the sink violently after he’s dropped it onto the floor after the three female wolves slinking around him, distract him and nearly trip him up, “Are all the females in heat this week?” he jumps around them and kicks one. The kicked one simply growls back in annoyance, “No!... Away!... Food first... fucking later,” Christian slyly looks up to meet my gaze at this and I glare back.
“Liar,” I hear Jessica growl from beside the fire place from another bean bag, winking at the Alpha, “You haven’t had sex in years, big boy.”
“Shut up or you’ll be cleaning the dishes with a single Alpha Command,” Christian snarls back, while he nearly trips on another wondering wolf, “Get the fuck out of my kitchen!” he snarls and the three wolves annoying him, slink away and come to slouch by the fire with the other twenty lumps of fur.
“Hurry up, Alpha!” Julie calls out, “We’re all dying of hunger here since all the meat ran off... and the berries all shrivelled up... and the vegetables all disappeared...” Julie shoots me a worried look and glances to the shackles locked around my ankles, “You comfortable?” Julie asks me lightly and I snarl back at her, in no mood to talk.
The restraints were curtesy of the Alpha himself.
After all our food vanished in our territory and the air started to smell of death since the full moon, we knew witches were out and about.
Hence, I needed to be constrained the last seven days so I didn’t run off into the forest like a revenge seeking lunatic; which I admit, were my fantasies.
“Don’t look so sour, you sour shewolf,” Jessica, a werewolf with an attitude, teases me, “The scouts will be back soon... with dead witches, hopefully... I’m so hungry I’d eat a witch.”
“So would I,” I agree whole heartedly while I see two different female wolves stretch up and decide to prance over near Christian now that he is momentarily alone in the kitchen.
The heat was spreading. It always did. Seemed to affect one then all of us, one after the other.
I should be naturally annoyed by all the attention my mate was getting but Christian never acknowledge me as a mate and I never acknowledged him as one either. So fair is fair.
“Don’t even think about it,” the Alpha growls at the two new wolves trying to grab his attention by prancing around, pretending to stretch, “Get back by the fire, or you won’t be eating.”
“Other males exist, you know,” I jerk in surprise and my ankle shackles jingle as I spin in my bean bag to see my brother, Finn, freshly transformed from the scout after sliding in through the Den’s tunnel. He’s chucked on a white top and boxers, and he picks up an apple from the long near-by dining table.
Most of the males ran out to do the scout. Most of the females stayed due to their distracting hormones right now.
Almost at once, a couple of female wolves lunge towards Finn, jump on their hind legs and lick his face.
The second best way to get to the Alpha was to go through his best friend.
“Finn,” I acknowledge as he pats the female wolves on the head with a sly grin as he heads towards me, chucking me the apple, “Any news?”
I look at the apple in disgust and throw it back, I wasn’t in the mood to eat.
“I wish you had been there to see it,” Finn murmurs, looking past me to glance to the Alpha.
“Success?” Christian asks as he hacks through some potatoes, “Relay the news, brother.”
“Don’t call my brother, brother, that’s weird, I told you,” I snarl this to Christian even though I usually keep the words to my Alpha, short and sweet... and more sour... and very limited... and sometimes non-existent.
“Yep, the ‘scout’ was a success,” Finn winks to Christian and ushers a lower ranking teen wolf off a bean bag near me. The grumpy, napping wolf rolls off and Finn takes his place to sit opposite me.
“Why the smirk?” I ask as I also notice the quiet in the chit chat around me.
Everyone was starting to listen in.
“There is a reason we had to shackle you up in the Den,” Fin explains, “...we’ve all been sick of your nightmares, Ruby. Not knowing how to help you after the witches were gone. We never knew how to get revenge to help you relax into this pack.”
“Have you been plotting my own revenge for me? It’s a bit of an insult if you didn’t consider me worthy of being a part of the plan,” I can’t help but let my anger rise. Anything to do with my own pack, was my business. I had been the Alpha. I had to avenge my dead.
“We’re lucky the witches came back,” Finn whispers to me, while everyone listens in, “We had something to work with. It just happened that, the human, Jennifer, princess to Darrius, Prince of the Vampires at the Vampire Palace in the city, fought against Eddrick, the evil fairy from the other world... they not only won the war to regain balance in the supernatural world but Jennifer gained a special ability. She is a centre of power between the realms. All supernatural creatures bend to her now. She has a ridiculous amount of power. She can shift to the other world. She can help beings cross over. With a bit of bribing we convinced her to cast a spell and protect the Evergreen Pack Territory from witches... so our food should grow back. Then, with a bit of research, we found out witches sacrifice werewolves so that their souls are enslaved in the fairy world. Like pets. This meant... our pack... they never died, Ruby. They were just stolen.”
This was too much to hear.
“Get these damn shackles off me,” I jump to my feet and spin to Christian, but he’s left the kitchen and he is standing a few feet away. He smirks and throws me the keys. I lean down and undo the iron clasps, kicking them aside as I tremble with a torrent of emotions.
I pace away from the pack, who all watch me, eager for my reaction.
They had all been plotting to help me... all week...
I pace towards the kitchen and back to the bean bags, multiple times.
“No,” I whisper, halting mid stride to spin on my heal, “Don’t be so cruel as to get my hopes up. Where are the rest of the scouts?”
“Outside with your surprise?” Finn murmurs.
“After this you better submit to me, fully, shewolf,” Christian growls this at me but he can’t quite keep the satisfied smile from his lips.
“Don’t play with my emotions,” I snarl at Christian, Finn and the pack. This wasn’t funny. It was impossible. This was nothing but a joke, “How could you make me think, even for a moment... that Paige... Lucas... Jerry...” I hadn’t said their names in years.
I refused to believe it but at the same time all the logic said it was true... my pack could be saved.
But then, as I turn in my pacing yet again... three familiar scents hit my nose.
I literally drop to my knees as I hear scraping in the Den’s entrance a moment later. My hands come up to cover my mouth, trembling uncontrollably as I see three wolves bound in through the entrance.
Paige, with the black splotched white fur and grey eyes. Lucas with the one green eye, no right eye and brown fur. Jerry with the blackest fur and blue eyes.
The wolves’ gazes, zone in on me while I’m still on my human knees.
I cry and transform from my human through my clothes, accidentally tearing the material that I couldn’t be bothered removing first. The ripped jeans and red top are left tattered while my red wolf bounds over to my pack mates.
My dead pack mates.
Holy hell, it’s good to see you, Paige growls through my mind.
Ruby, crying? Son of a bitch... am I really back? Ruby, what’s wrong with you? Lucas jokes with me.
Get yourself together, this is embarrassing, Jerry also rubs it in while I head butt all of them, licking their fur and rolling onto my stomach, panting with relief.
I almost feel like I can’t breathe until my emotions all pour out in one sudden, high pitched, sad howl.
It’s a howl I had always done with my pack mates.
No, damn it - Jerry growls, he hated being forced into it. Some wolves found it embarrassing how base and quick the instinct took over.
Within seconds every wolf around me is howling their lungs out. All those except in human form... and very quickly as I stand back up on all fours and lean into my pack mates, feeling like I’m in a dream... the dream quickly ends with the new reality.
“Enough of that,” Christian growls playfully as he steps forward, “You better thank me for this, Ruby, this was my idea. As for you three... I’m the Alpha. If you don’t like it, fight me... but I’m making bacon and chicken for dinner so you can wait for me to finish.”
There is a long silent pause as my pack mates glare at the rival Alpha.
Ruby, Paige, Jerry and Lucas all growl my name to Christian and his playful smirk completely drops off his face.
The defiance is real and Christian yanks off his apron and shoves it at Julie.
He must have suddenly remembered he was wearing it, and felt a little disempowered in the funny outfit that didn’t suit a notoriously feared and renowned Alpha.
“If you think we’re having two Alpha’s under one Den’s roof... you’re wrong. If you want Ruby as your Alpha... you’ll have to find a territory of your own,” Christian looks at me painfully... this was his chance... to say I was his mate. It was also my chance, to say he was mine.
Every other pack member looks on with the knowledge in their eyes.
They all knew it too.
But no one speaks of it.
I shift back to my human, standing naked and tall, proudly while overwhelmed with emotion.
“We’ll be taking our leave, then,” I say, tears still running down my cheeks but my voice steady, if a little husky, “Finn?”
“Sis... no,” Finn puts out his hand, “Where will you go? We went to all this work for you to leave?”
“I don’t belong here,” I growl back, “We’re going to start our own pack. We can be distant allies with the Evergreen Pack, how about it?... or if you want to stay... I can’t stop you from choosing another Alpha, Finn.”
“I’m staying,” Finn whispers and I turn from Christian without looking back twice, “Sis. Wait. Where the hell will you go? You’re acting on emotion.”
“A couple of years,” I growl under my breath, “I haven’t found my place here -”
Christian takes this precise moment to cut me off.
“You haven’t submitted into your place here, Ruby... yet this is how you repay my gift to help you settle in? You can consider an alliance non-existent if you step one foot or paw outside this Den without my permission,” Christian uses his Alpha’s Command, which rubs off on my own.
“I can’t stay,” I say through gritted teeth and I refuse to look over my shoulder, “Finn? Last chance.”
I wait a moment and I don’t hear him move.
I then shift into my wolf and run my way out of the Den.
My three pack mates follow me.
Finn does not.
I keep running, my heart breaking a little as I run through the fresh dirt and perfectly sweet smelling air of the familiar forest. I finally find a road to sit by in the moonlight to gather my thoughts.
Paige, Jerry and Lucas show up seconds after I’ve sat back on my haunches.
How long have you been with that prick? How long has it been? Three days? Jerry asks me and I glimpse at him with wide wolf eyes.
It’s been three years, I answer.
So we’ve lost three years in this realm... that’s crazy... and you’ve had three years with a rival Alpha? The Evergreens... really? Paige asks me, Why do you look so upset, Ruby? You don’t owe them anything.
They helped me but I’ve just been waiting with them until the moment I could avenge you all... now that you’re back... I had to leave... I couldn’t face another second in that pack, I answer but I don’t give them a reason why.
I don’t have to.
Jerry guesses correctly.
I don’t mean to be rude, Jerry pipes in, but he was your mate... wasn’t he? Christian?
Shut up and don’t ever say his name again, I snarl back.
My pack waits and pauses.
They huff out breaths in synch that quickly turn to fog in the cold forest air by the road, impatient for my next move.
What now...? Paige asks.
I’ve been saving a lot of money, I growl back at all of them, I own an apartment in the city. I made it all through winning fights in the city night clubs for werewolves. I made a fortune. We’re going to live in the city. We’ll mark out a small section as our territory... and we’re going to stay the hell away from the Evergreen Pack. Deal?