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II: rogue peace pack

It was already night. The curfew that she placed said that as soon as darkness blanketed the sky, there would be no more wandering children and teens. Only adults with reasonable causes would be allowed.

Her head snapped to the red-headed little girl with a pretty set of dark eyes and pale skin running towards her. Kneeling, she gave a small smile at the vampire, happily taking the hug that the girl offered. Her Raggedy Ann doll around her arm bounced after she released her, the doll’s red hair swaying just like her own. It was easy to decipher that the girl took a liking to the toy because of its hair. They were one and the same.

“Hello, Yuri,” the eight-year-old vampire smiled in response to her. “It’s late. You know you’re not supposed to be out after dark.”

The little girl giggled, unafraid of the woman standing in front of her. “I know, Alpha. Mom’s been cleaning and she’s now resting but I’m not sleepy yet and I saw you. Can you please play with me for a while? Pretty please? I will make sure to put the toys away afterwards. I promise.”

Willow could never say no to the little girl. She was the one that brought her here to the pack after all. It has been two years ever since she left her old pack. Though none from the pack came after her, she still took precautions. She knew how news traveled between packs and it wouldn’t be long until she was being looked for by someone for their own means.

For four months, she wandered around the woods, passing creek after creek, territory after territory, rogue after rogue, and then, she managed to travel to the Middle Mountain Forest. A forest in between the north, south, east and west territory, known for its neutral ground. The stories told were always of warning. Even if it was a neutral ground, the forest was dangerous. Many lurked and there was no mercy for those who crossed it without knowing where they were.

And she did. She got lost and out of nowhere, she found seven kids playing without people supervising them. Six were girls and one was a boy. They were of different creatures and played like the difference never mattered to them. Though everyone lived as civil as they could, some still harbored hate for those who were a different creature than them.

However, the little kids never felt threatened by her, they didn’t even hate her. Yuri was the first one to come up to her and explain where she was, what pack she was in. The Rouge Peace Pack. A secret pack made of vampires, werewolves, witches, and fairies where everybody lived in harmony and took care of each other. Rogues were given a second chance in the pack and she was given that opportunity too.

They never had a hierarchy but after living in the pack for five months, she noticed that everybody clashed heads, never coming to a consensus.

In the end, everybody knew that they needed a leader. After proving herself to be capable of the job, it fell on her soldiers. She was merely eighteen at the time and the responsibility fell on her shoulders. She could not even believe it. How would people older than her and more experienced would follow her? There was no way.

Yet, here she stood—almost twenty and the Alpha of the Rouge Peace Pack.

Soon, she came inside the cabin. Yuri’s mother, Yvonne, a woman who treated her like a daughter, came down with a frantic look on her face. She had the same red hair as Yvonne and the dark eyes that every vampire had.

“Yuri!” Her mother scolded. “You know you’re not supposed to leave the house at night!”

Yuri stared down at her feet, a frown coating her face.

“It’s okay,” Willow interjected before the little girl could cry. “She just wanted to play with me. She won’t do it again, won’t she?”

The girl looked up at her Alpha and her mother, nodding slowly. “Sorry, mommy.”

Yvonne took one look at her sad face and immediately fell soft. “It’s okay, sweetie. Go up, I’ll just talk to Alpha Willow for a second. She’ll play with you once I finish talking to her.”

The girl felt unsure, Willow could tell. She was afraid that she might leave and no longer play with her after she talked to her mother. All of her doubts subsided when Willow gave her pinky to her. “I promise I’ll play with you.”

Excitement rushed in her and she wrapped her small, delicate pinky to her before ascending to the steps happily with her speed. “Yay!”

Willow shook her head. She loved that her and the other kids had a family like this. They would never have to suffer discrimination of what they are as long as they were here. They would just have one another.

The pack consisted of fifty-seven members. Seven kids, thirteen teens under the age of eighteen, and thirty-seven adults. There would be fifty-eight if she was included. With it, she was able to conduct a plan to get harmonized. They were already living peacefully but still, when it had been a month living here, Willow was able to see how disorganized everybody was.

After she took her position, she laid out a plan where fairies were to be healers, given that they could heal injuries with their abilities; witches were to create a safe barrier surrounding the forest they had lived in, making sure that no uninvited guests would be able to step inside and cause chaos; werewolves and vampires had shifts on being guards and enforcers.

The rest who didn’t become healers, warriors, or protectors were the builders and teachers. They created a small school for the teens and children, teaching them basic history, math, English, and other supernatural how-to guides like: controlling one’s emotions, using abilities well, and defending oneself just in case danger came knocking. It definitely brought a sense of calmness to everyone knowing that there was a routine in place.

Their pack was growing, especially with some rogues coming and asking to be let. There were rumors about the pack so it wasn’t surprising when some would come and ask for sanctuary or a home. Cabins were built by everyone who could help, making sure that there were homes that those who are new could take. Even if they were limited in supply sometimes, Willow was grateful that everyone still gave their all no matter what.

Yvonne cupped her face in her cool hands. “You look tired. Russel told me that you haven’t eaten anything for three days now.”

Russel was the Beta of the pack. He was in his mid-thirties and still looking twenty-seven due to werewolf aging. The old man was gruff from the inside and out with his brown hair and eyes, showing off a beard. He definitely gave her a hard time when she was new. The man didn’t trust easily and Willow understood completely.

After she was given the title, she wanted Russel to be the Beta. At first, the old man refused but soon gave in when his sixteen year old witch daughter, Ina, showed support towards her and told her father to accept the title. He did after a day of deliberating.

Willow shook her head. “I’m fine. There was a request for another cabin since the teens are growing fast, the whole place is getting crowded so I’m trying to deal with it as much as I can.”

“I know,” Yvonne took her hands next. “You work yourself too hard and you don’t eat for the sake that the teens would have extra food. You’re starving yourself.”

It was the truth. The forest was big, filled with tons of animals that they could have for dinner; but because there was a problem with rogues who didn’t belong in their pack all over the place, Willow could not take the chance of sending a lot of people to hunt. Instead, she and the vampire Gamma, Juno, along with two werewolves and one more vampire would go.

Danger lurked outside. Fallen rogues were sometimes spotted if they would travel far for the hunt. Not only were they more dangerous than rogues who were cast out due to their insubordination or their wicked ways, they were more trained on those that belonged in a pack. It was said that the rogues were called fallen due to their humanity being obliterated. Lone weak wolves who had lost a mate were more likely to befall such fate.

The strength that each of them held was enough to carry the hunted animals and feed everyone for two meals a day but Willow had to sacrifice her food. She had a much larger appetite than anyone else which was unnatural and because of it, she had to hold herself back and make sure everyone was satisfied. It was a food russian roulette. Either she ate on that day with little to enough food or not at all.

“It’s fine,” she told her, shaking her head dismissively. “The vampires aren’t a problem since the witches provide blood and so are the witches and fairies since they have an appetite of a human but we have more werewolves than any of the other creatures here. The teens growing up need more nutrition than anybody else. They need all the food that they could have to sustain their wolves.”

“Any other way that they could have that and you could eat too?”

She didn’t have an answer that would satisfy the woman. “You know me, I need to eat more than anyone else and I can control my hunger better. It’ll be fine.”

“For the love of the Sun God’s sake, Willow. You’re nineteen. You shouldn’t have to be like this.”

“Yeah and the alpha of the pack. It’s my job to worry, protect and provide. I’m still strong, don’t worry.”

And she was. However, her wolf wanted to break out and finally hunt. She may still be stronger than anyone else, but her strength lessened. It didn’t matter if she would eat tons of rabbits or fishes by the creek, she was starving already.

Yvonne sighed, knowing that if Willow had set her mind on something, she could never convince her to change it. “Okay.”

Giving her a curt nod, she pointed at the couch. “Go sleep. I’ll take care of everything.”

Without much of a protest, the woman complied.

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