ALPHA MARCELLUS STORM
“What the fuck did you just say?” Marcellus growled, spitting at the weak wolf in front of him. “You hold my fate in your hands?”
“Yes.” Malachi gulped at the rage-filled golden orbs, suddenly not so confident as the Alpha wolf looked ready to blow.
“Are you threatening me? You dare to threaten me? The Alpha of the Lupum Griseo pack!” He growled, taking another step forward until the tips of his boots were flush against Malachi’s.
Before Malachi could answer, a voice sounded from the group of council members, eager to prevent a fight from breaking out.
“Of course, he’s not threatening you, son.” His dad, elder Maverick and the former Alpha of the Lupum Griseo pack, chuckled in hopes of lightening the mood.
When Marcellus continued with his growling and Malachi pushed through his fear, puffed out his chest and sent the Alpha wolf in front of him a dangerous, daring look. Maverick whistled lowly and pushed himself between them. He knew that regardless of what happened or how out of hand things could get, Marcellus would never lay a hand on his father and vice versa.
“Mars, how about we go talk about this in your office?” His dad suggested, sending a pointed look in the general direction of the pack house, not that they could see that far off into the distance and with all the tall trees and forest obstructing their view.
“I don’t understand what there’s to talk about, dad.” He growled again, allowing his dad to apply pressure on his chest, effectively making him take a step back and away from Malachi whose face had now morphed into a petrified expression.
Marcellus scented the air and was disappointed to find that he hadn’t driven elder Malachi to wet himself in fear, but his wolf reminded himself that there would always be a next time.
Maverick sighed and sent a pointed look to the remaining three council members, Deryck, Paulo and Harriet, all of them just as frustrated and exasperated as him.
“Mars, please. Let’s just go back to the pack house and we can get all of this sorted, okay?”
He wanted to protest and put his foot down, insist that the council would not be able to enter pack lands but with his dad requesting him, he swallowed his pride and turned around, silently leading them back to the pack house.
Despite some of the council member’s best attempts at starting a conversation in hopes of escaping the uncomfortable atmosphere that now clouded over them, Marcellus remained quiet and mind linked Dalton of the current situation.
Very quickly, they formulated a plan to take of the current situation they had somehow landed themselves in and to buy themselves some time while they put the plan in motion, Marcellus purposely walked them around in circles for a while before he took the long route back to the pack house.
Thankfully, no one voiced any protests. Not even his father who didn’t even cock an eyebrow in suspicion or complaint.
Since his office wasn’t big enough to accommodate five council members as well as an Alpha and Beta, they decided to discuss the pressing matters over brunch in the pack house living room, having commanded everyone to stay away from the pack house until further notice.
If he hadn’t compelled the wolves, Marcellus was sure that he would have been subject to many questions due to the sudden demand, but he couldn’t risk anyone finding about the reason as to why the council had made this sudden visit, especially since every other time that the council had dropped by, Marcellus as well as the rest of the pack had been made aware days in advance, sometimes even weeks.
Things were already messy enough.
As they were under his command, none of the wolves were able to answer any questions like they normally would have and for that, Marcellus was grateful.
“I see Mary’s cooking is as amazing as usual.” Maverick chuckled as he sat himself on one end of the long dining table, Marcellus sat on the other end with Dalton to his right and the four remaining council members sat in between.
Much to his dismay, Malachi had somehow ended up on his immediate left and directly opposite Dalton, too concerned with helping himself to the mash potatoes to pay attention to the glares that they were both sending his way.
Son. His dad called out to him through their mind link. Stop glaring at Malachi. That’s just going to make things worse.
I’m not glaring at him. Marcellus denied, though he didn’t stop doing exactly what his father had accused him of, more interested in glaring holes into the side of Malachi’s head than on the beautiful slice of lasagne in front of him.
Maverick laughed aloud from the other end of the table, amused by his son’s antics though no one seemed to even bat an eyelash at the sudden sound. Almost as if they knew that the father and son duo were busy mind linking each other.
If you keep this up, you’re going to end up cross-eyed.
Marcellus paused in his glaring and turned his attention straight to glance at his father, his eyes creasing at the corners as he threw his head back and laughed.
You used to say that all the time when I was growing up.
And you used to believe me every time. Maverick chuckled as he helped himself to some green beans before passing the bowl around the table.
How was I supposed to know my own father had been lying to me my whole life?
Oh, you’re still as dramatic as you used to be.
And who do you think I get it from? Marcellus cocked a playful brow at his father before he picked up his fork and decided to enjoy the food before it got cold. From where he was sitting, there was no point ruining or wasting perfectly good food for an annoying man who was clearly eating as much as he could, almost as if he hadn’t enjoyed a home-cooked meal in months.
Definitely your mother. It’s all those soaps she used to watch. Maverick chuckled before raising his glass in the air, a silent toast just for the two of them. May the Moon Goddess grant her soul peace.
May the Moon Goddess grant her soul peace! Marcellus raised his glass in solidarity and they both emptied its contents, sending up a silent prayer for the former Luna of the Lupum Griseo pack. I’ve missed you, dad.
I’ve missed you too, son. So much. His dad smiled softly at him, his eyes glistening slightly with unshed tears as he stared back at his son.
Why can’t you come visit more often? Marcellus sighed, already knowing the answer as he had asked his father this very question many times before.
I would love to, you know that. It’s just hard for me to be back here without your mother. There are just too many memories. You understand, don’t you?
I do, dad, He sighed and bowed his head so his dad wouldn’t be able to see the evident sadness in his eyes. I just miss you, is all.
Momentary silence sounded through the mind link as Marcellus waited for his father to say something but when a few more moments passed and there was still nothing, he sighed and decided to eat something before all the food disappeared. With all the travelling that the elders had done this morning, they had certainly worked up an appetite.
How about once all of this is over? I’ll come over and stay for a bit. His father sounded quietly, his tone hopeful.
His head shot up at that, so fast that he probably would have given himself whiplash if he wasn’t a wolf, his eyes wide in surprise at his dad’s sudden words and his mouth stuffed a big slice of lasagne.
Really? You mean that?
Thanks, dad. Marcellus murmured quietly in gratitude, a wide grin on his face, feeling like a little boy on Christmas where his father had finally gotten him that mountain bike that he had been asking for the past couple of months. While he was now too old to ride it and would probably crush the poor thing with his weight and size, he kept it for the memories and perhaps, he would be able to pass it down to his child one day.
That’s under the assumption that Anastasia is going to forgive you for being such a dickhead.
Marcellus coughed to cover up the chuckle that escaped him, ignoring the weird looks he received from both his father and his Beta.
How about we get started on business? His father sounded through the mind link; his voice wary as he knew this was a very touchy subject for his son.
Marcellus groaned aloud but didn’t bother answering through the mind link as he did so instead by speaking aloud, addressing everyone around the table.
“How about we address the elephant in the room?” Marcellus asked loudly, turning his eyes to linger on every single person around the table but especially the wolf on his left. “Why are you forcing me to take a mate?”
“Technically, we’re not forcing you to take a mate but rather, we’re just speeding along the process.” Malachi grinned as if his logic made perfect sense even though Marcellus had never heard such bullshit in his life before.
“I don’t see any difference in those two things.”
“That’s because you’re being stubborn.” Malachi replied nonchalantly, not even bothering to look up from his food as he spoke.
“As if you guys are being very accommodating in your terms and conditions either.” Marcellus snorted, sitting up straighter as Dalton nodded his head in agreeance, backing up his friend and Alpha. “I don’t understand what the big issue is anyway.”
Elder Harriet – or rather, Aunt Harriet as she and her mate, former Alpha and current council member elder Deryck had always been good friends with his parents and so they had watched him grow up – perked up in her seat, addressing the Alpha directly with a respectful nod as she spoke.
“Alpha Marcellus, how about we start off by answering all of the questions and apprehensions that you may have?” Harriet suggested, the first person to speak sense.
“Thank you, elder Harriet.” He smiled gratefully at her and shot her a cheeky wink before turning his attention to the other council members around the table, including his father. “Like I said before, I don’t understand why I’m being pressured into finding a mate right now. I’ve been running the pack with Beta Dalton to help me for the past ten years so why do I suddenly need a mate now? And why have I got so little time to do it?”
Elder Paulo, the former Alpha of the Moon Shadow pack and Alpha Romano’s father was the one to speak up.
“I understand that the circumstances are unfortunate but it has recently come to our attention that you don’t quite have the pack as under control as we had previously been under the impression of.”
“And what do you mean by that?” Marcellus frowned as he frowned deeply and crossed his arm over his chest, his food long forgotten now.
Paulo pressed his lips together firmly and turned his head to glance at Maverick, silently asking him to explain the situation, hoping that he would take the news better if it came from his own father; lessening the blow, somewhat.
“Son, there’s been a complaint about you lately but since we can’t really talk about it, let’s just leave it at that.”
Any other time, Marcellus would have slammed his hand down on the table and demanded to find out the identity of the person that had dared to file a complaint about him, however, because he already knew that it was his mate who had sparked the fire, he made sure to keep his lips sealed.
When Marcellus sighed but didn’t try to purse the situation further, Dalton sent him a lingering stare but he avoided his gaze.
“Other than the complaint, are there any other concerns with me running the pack without a Luna?”
“Well, studies have shown that most wolves that go without meeting their mates for so long have a much higher chance of eventually losing their mind.”
“I heard most.” Dalton was quick to point out. While he was completely on board with the Lupum Griseo pack having a Luna after having gone without for ten years, but he wanted nothing more than his Alpha and friend to be happy and ultimately, a wolf would never be as happy with anyone as they would with their mate.
“I don’t understand the need for this question-and-answer session.” Malachi groaned in frustration and reached a hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose. “We’re the council. We make all the decisions around here so why are we wasting our time here?”
A small argument sounded around the table as Malachi’s complete disregard of the sensitivity of the situation had triggered Marcellus and after a few chairs had been thrown over, a few broken glasses now littering the floor, they all decided to cram themselves into his office, having dragged a few dining chairs into there so there would be a seat for everyone.
“I feel like you’re being prejudiced against me.”
“Why do you feel like that?” Deryck asked, his eyes trained intently on Marcellus.
“Because I’m not the only Alpha that is single and running the pack without a Luna.” Marcellus insisted for what was not the first time, having resorted to crossing his arms over his chest as he stared back at all the council members.
“Are you comparing yourself to Alpha Orpheus?” Malachi snorted from the other side of the room, the only person in the room refusing to take a seat.
“Why? Have you got an issue with that?”
“Okay, okay.” Maverick groaned aloud as he rose to his feet, sending a warning look to both of the men. “Since we can’t all seem to agree, we’re just going to have to lay it all down on the table.”
Harriet, Deryck and Paulo all hummed in agreement, just as tired as him after all the back and forth between Malachi and Marcellus, both during and after brunch.
“Like we mentioned a few weeks before, we expect you to find a mate if you wish to keep the Alpha title and if you fail, we’ll have no choice but to strip of the title and opening up the Alpha position to an open challenge. You can either find your moon destined mate or take a choice mate. Either way, it doesn’t matter as long as by the end of it, the Lupum Griseo pack has a Luna and you have a mate.”
The fuck they’re going to take our position away and give it to whoever they want! His wolf roared loudly, his hazel eyes burning a deep gold at the clear threat.
When Marcellus refused to answer or even acknowledge their words, too busy in a deadly staring match with Malachi, Dalton spoke up.
“How much time do we have?”
“One month from today.”
“We’ve already narrowed it down to two potential females so there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.” Dalton spoke up, making it known that there would be absolutely no reason for Marcellus’ Alpha title to be taken away from him.
“Well, since that’s all sorted, we should be on our way.” Malachi chuckled from the other side of the room. “We wouldn’t want to over stay our welcome, now would we?”
With all the different ways that he had planned this conversation panning out in his head, Marcellus had sincerely hoped that he would be able to come out of it on his own terms, not conforming to needing to take a mate within the time limit set for him by older wolves who meant absolutely nothing to him – apart from his father.
“Dad?” Marcellus spoke quietly, calling out to his father in one last attempt to change his fate, the hope evident in his tone. “Is there nothing that you can do?”
Maverick sighed deeply and ran a frustrated hand down his face, “Son, as much as I don’t agree with the decision, it appears that I’ve been overruled.”
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