I had been summoned as if I were a dog. Me, the alpha of the Hunters, called upon-no ordered-to grant the Forest King an audience.
A mere werewolf dared to demand my presence as if I didn't have a choice to refuse.
He was going to ask for my help because he needed it and yet here he was looking down on me as if I were a moron who couldn't see his true intentions.
I crumpled up the invitation and threw it at the door.
Of course it was a mere coincidence that it didn't hit the door, but a person. I definitely hadn't thrown it at that moment because I'd heard my beta approaching so the crumpled ball of paper promptly smacked him in the face as he opened the door.
Regan flinched as it struck his face and then dropped to the floor. The Hunter had long ago stopped glaring at me because it was just a waste of energy for his facial muscles and I may have convinced him his face would freeze in such an expression if he kept glowering at me all day long.
My beta picked up the paper ball and smoothed it out to a legible state and read it aloud. "Coda, on request of the Forest Kingdom, please grant our King an audience to discuss a possible alliance. Negotiations will be open and we will accommodate you in whatever way necessary to achieve a meeting. We understand you are an alpha and have limited time available and it would be a long distance to travel so we will come to you if you would be willing to grant us an audience. Respectfully, the Forest Kingdom and their King."
Regan folded it and tapped it on my desk. "Well, I didn't think he had it in him to be so polite and considerate. They must need you desperately."
It wasn't my fault that I was intelligent enough to know the true intentions behind the diplomatic words. Maybe the letter in and of itself was polite and respectful but really I could see right through the tricky bastard. It was a good thing these Hunters had me as their alpha, else they'd all be as stupid as my beta and not realize it was a waste of time because they were going to ask for my assistance in a war and ruin our peace treaty with the lycans. "Considerate? Are you fucking stupid?" I asked pointlessly, holding up a hand before he could even object. "Regan, you're fucking stupid," I told him bluntly. "And what did I tell you about glaring at me?" I quipped seeing his sour expression. "Well, whatever it's not like your ugly mug could get any worse."
Regan rolled his eyes, but stopped glaring and uncrossed his arms to brace them on the opposite side of the desk across from me. "It's a requested invitation, he just wants to talk to you. He's even going to come to you and risk traveling through the Old Kingdom."
I scrubbed a hand down my face, blowing out a breath into my cupped hand. "I'm surrounded by idiots," I muttered to myself before giving my beta the 'are you retarded?' look. Sighing, I clasped my hands on top of my desk. "Regan," I sang his name condescendingly, offering him a fake smile, "why do you think the King is suggesting to come here? What's worth the risk of assassination in the Old Kingdom?"
My beta furrowed his brows and opened his mouth to answer.
"No," I said before he could get a word out. "Guess again."
Still my beta insisted on telling me. "He needs an alliance, or at least an agreement that we won't aid the lycans if they break out into a war. He's fucked without that from us so it's worth the risk of traveling through the Old Kingdom."
"Regan," I clicked my tongue and let out a long breath. Then I gave him my best pitying look which was truthfully lacking in pity. "You know when it comes to mating you're fucked. You're not pretty and you sincerely lack a brain as you have just demonstrated."
My beta gave me a dry look and stated equally as dryly, "Coda, I know Cleo isn't around to tell you everyday, but you don't have to provoke me into calling you a cranky old bastard. I'll remind you daily without you needing to insult me."
I ignored him. "I'll give you a hint, the King knows that Cleo is basically my kid so I'm never going to agree to assist him. So why would he insist on a meeting and risk adventuring through he Old Kingdom when he already knows what my answer is going to be?"
Regan's brows knitted in concentration as he actually gave my question some thought. "Because..." I nodded encouragingly, "because..."
"Because?" I dared to have hope he would get there on his own.
"Err..." the beta grimaced, before sighing in defeat. "I actually have no idea why he would do something so stupid instead of just inviting you to the Forest Kingdom."
I knocked my folded hands on the table. "And this is exactly why his plan would work if I allowed him to come here. You guys are unbelievably short sighted."
"For once can you stop being so condescending and just explain?" Regan demanded saltily.
"Alright," I started, flattening my hands on the table, "while he can never convince me to fight against the lycans if he comes here perhaps he might be able to-"
"Convince the other Hunters to break from the pack and assist him!" Regan finished for me. "Which might actually be plausible because a lot of us still hate those lycans' guts."
"Yes, I knew you'd get there eventually," I drawled, completely unimpressed. "I'll make sure to give you another cookie at dinner tonight."
Brushing off my remark my beta pursed his lips. "So what are you going to do? You're not going to actually let him come here are you?"
"No," I answered, "because I still haven't found the cure for stupidity and can't give everyone in this pack a vaccine before he arrives."
"So you're going to save us from the Forest King convincing us to join him and aid him into certain death?" Regan asked hopefully.
I stood up, walking around my desk and patted his cheek. "I suppose it's my duty as your alpha." I left my office, my beta following me dutifully without needing to be commanded to. "I'll be going to the Forest Kingdom to explain some things to to that King. Keep the pack together for two or so weeks, if you can't even manage that then I'll find myself a new beta."
I had faith in him despite my words. Regan may not have been the brightest but he had good leadership skills. My pack respected him and would do as he said. Regan was a strong warrior and he had compassion, making him a much more likable person than me. People truly couldn't appreciate my wit and sarcastic humor if it was at their expense. At least I had taught Cleo well.
"Who do you want me to put your apprentice under for training in your absence?" My beta asked.
I waved my hand. "I don't care. I'm dropping her anyway." While there had been no more female hunters after Cleo, we still had females in the pack and we trained them along with the Hunters and male werewolves in our pack. While not all were graced with the gift of venom we still turned them into spectacular fighters. Unfortunately none of them were good enough to impress me and keep me dedicated to training them.
"Are you taking a break from apprentices or do you want me to find one masochist enough to dare endure your abuse until you ditch them?" Regan sarcastically commented.
I snapped my fingers. "You know what? That bitch Saliva is her name?"
"Sylva I think you meant to say," Regan grumbled.
"Yeah one of the punks who bullied my kid until she whooped their asses," I said, "give her the responsibility of my ex-apprentice. Sucky-"
"Sukkie," Regan corrected me with my ex-apprentice's real name.
"-is also a sorry whelp. She doesn't understand when I'm being serious or sarcastic. My wit is wasted on her."
"So just because she doesn't get your jokes you're dropping her?"
"I also think her eyes are too big and it annoys me that I feel like I'm talking to a bug every time I look at her."
My beta sighed heavily. "Right. I'll just tell her you think she's learning too slowly."
"Just make sure that my pack is till in one piece when I return," I told my beta and twisted around to eye him. "I will be coming back," I warned him, "so don't get any ideas."
Regan saluted me and I knew my pack was in good hands.