"Oh, I'm sorry Luna, I assumed-"
"I know. It's quite alright. Happens all the time actually. Everyone automatically assumes that since I'm female, I'm not the leader. Always assumes it's one of the males I'm with. Probably going to happen another twenty times over the next few nights." I give him a small smile.
"Well, Luna Jackson, can I know specifically what area your pack lands cover? I'm the alpha of the Flaming Wolves Pack, down in Alabama. My lands cover most of Alabama and stretch over into Mississippi."
"My lands are the old rogue lands in Tennessee. My land crosses over into Missouri and Arkansas. I believe Alpha Norris's pack lands are the only thing that separate us."
"Indeed they are, Luna Jackson." Alpha Norris said from behind.
"Jacob!" Ruby finally found her voice. Much to the displeasure of his guards and her mate, Ruby ran and practically jumped onto Alpha Norris.
"Hello, Ruby." The old alpha laughed as Henry growled. Causing Alpha Norris's and Alpha Morrick's guards to growl back. Both alphas raised their hands, signalling it was fine.
"Ruby..." Henry growled out.
"Oh... sorry Hen. This is Jacob Norris. He helped me, Am, and Tina out a lot when we were just starting out. He's like a father to us."
"And you three are like the daughters I never had. Speaking of which, is Tina still going around gathering recruits?" I nod as he smiles a crinkly sad smile and turns toward Alpha Morrick. "Alpha Morrick. It's a pleasure to see you again. How's your mate and the pups?"
"They're all doing well, how's things going on your end?"
"Better than expected."
He had lost his mate and pups to hunters a few years ago. It was a sad story. Especially since he didn't find his mate till later in life and had barely had half a decade with her.
"Luna, I'm interested in perhaps working with you along side Alpha Norris. Shall we arrange something?"
"Of course. However if your beta is that aggressive towards my beta's mate I'm not so sure it would be a good idea for our communication to go through him." The wolf who'd started this whole conversation was still glowering at Henry. At the mention of him, or maybe his alpha mind-linked him, he looked away.
"No worries. We can work something out during this conference. Please. Let's talk later. I've got to go say hi to a few others. See you." With that, him, his guards, and his beta walked away.
"That was intense." Ruby muttered from Henry's chest where her face was currently buried.
"Don't worry wolf-boy. I'm not going to steal your mate." Alpha Jacob laughed.
"Sorry... I just found her today."
"Of course, I understand. But let her go a bit. She needs oxygen." Henry looked down at his mate and let his grip on her loosen some so that she could pull away enough to breath.
"Hello everyone! I am Alpha William Paul of Golden Paw pack. I would like to officially begin this Continental Pack Meet and welcome all North American packs. Please, enjoy the next few days as it is more than just business. Again, welcome all!"
With that, wolves through out the Hall clapped and howled. Most used this meeting to either meet their mates or gain business deals, at least that's what I've gathered so far. Hopefully, it's going to be just business deals for me.
'Why don't you want to meet our mate?' My wolf questioned me.
'Because. Mates are troublesome. Look at Ruby and her mate. She's hardly her fiery self. When that alpha came up, she didn't do anything.'
'So? We won't be like that. Our mate is going to be strong, like us, and we w-' she cut herself off.
I smell something. Something like pinewood and snow. Like... home.
"No! Father! Alpha! Please! Help me!" I don't know why I begged. They never helped. Mother was beating me again. my older brother had joined in and he was drunk. He had a broken glass bottle. Hopefully they wouldn't hit my face or my ribs, where Father kicked me last night.
"I think you need to sleep outside tonight! What you did was horrendous! Why couldn't you have just done as you were told you ungrateful piece of forgotten trash!
"No! Brother! Mother! Please.. Not outside... It's so cold.."
"Too bad for you then." With a cruel smile, they dropped me outside with a swift kick to the ribs and threw the broken bottle at my exposed middle.
Why don't they love me? Its so cold.
"Luna? Luna!" Ruby was tugging my arm.
I had slipped into a flashback. Pasting a smile on my face, I look at Ruby, "Yes?"
"Can me and Henry go grab something to eat? We won't leave you alone for more than ten minutes." He eyes pleaded with me to let them go. But they also told me they'd be gone for more than ten minutes. Guess I'm on my own tonight.
"Go ahead." They're mates. Let them be mates.
"Thanks, bye!" And they were disappearing into the crowd.
"Well, Amrey, it seems that Ruby has finally gotten a mate. When'd it happen?" Alpha Jacob was still standing near me.
"Earlier today. He and his friends were all rogues. Survivors of the power hungry Red Rose pack. They's wandered into my territory, George and Leo found them. They recognized each other immediately. We'll hold the ceremony after I get back to officially add them to the pack." I explained with a smile.
"Congrats. Your pack just got bigger." He smiles. I swear this old man was always smiling. "Shall we dance?"
"Sure." With those two gone, I knew no one else personally. I might be Luna but I'm quite shy.
As I dance with Alpha Jacob, I began to smell the scent again. Pine and snow. Unlike back then, it was comforting to be around. I enjoyed the scent.
'Mate?' Lea asked me.
'Doubt it. Probably just that old pack doc's pups.' I had fully given up on ever finding him. Lea hadn't.
Lea humphed and stuck her tongue at me.
As the hours went by, the sunset's light disappeared, replaced by the New Moon's darkness. Fireflies came out in abundance in the garden beyond the huge windows and strings of lights lit up the entire place. I ended up dancing with a few other alphas and formed a couple of work-in-progress contracts with them.
After stumbling off the dance floor and towards the fruits, I picked up the scent again. Pine and snow. It was fresh. I followed it.
And Lea perked up at what we found at the end of the trail. She pushed forward and made me say it.