The compound held a quiet chatter as the sunshine lit up the landscape. Children giggled as they chased each other around the fire pit, people laughed as they did their daily chores, and the tent entrances flapped in the wind. The waterfall down the path filled the quarry below that the pack bathed in and swam in. Most of the compound was empty, with only the women and children left behind while the men went out for a hunt.
Luna Jane of the Proeliator Pack was in the mess hall, built of the logs that used to be trees where the building stood, leading the preparation of dinner. The men had been gone for two days, only a few warriors left behind to care for the women and children. They would usually be gone for a week, but with a pregnant Luna, neither the Alphas nor the pack could be away too long. It put her at too much risk.
Alpha Soren and Silas had left a command that their mate was to not leave the compound, not even to bathe or for her daily walks. They didn’t want anything happening to her while they were away. She had, of course, not listened, but what they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them.“I don’t know how you do it.”
A breeze lifted off the table in the mess hall, rustling the tablecloth held down by the various foods laid across it. Jane kneaded the dough in front of her as she raised her eyebrow. Her best friend and the Beta’s mate shook her head in disbelief.
Jane wiped her face with the back of her hand and raised a brow at Lacey. “What do you mean?” Jane asked, grabbing one of the cloths to wipe off her hands. She shifted and rubbed her protruding belly, feeling a slight kick from her unborn pup.
“I mean, that,” Lacey pointed to Jane’s stomach. “You already have two pups, plus two mates, and you’re barely twenty-two. It just astonishes me that you manage to handle it all on top of being the Luna of one of the most feared packs in the world.”
Jane gave Lacey a pointed look. “Lace, you have six kids, your oldest being twelve. You’re only twenty-eight.”
“Well it’s normal for werewolves to get pregnant at sixteen when they meet their mate.”
“So, it’s normal that I’m about to have three kids at twenty-two.” Jane stated, raising a brow. “And we are not one of the most feared packs in the world.” Jane protested.
Lacey snickered. “Sure. We’re just the only pack still living the way of our ancestors, and our pack name literally translates to warriors. And you take on so much more than normal wolves. You have two mates that are Alphas on top of that, you changed your whole lifestyle to be with them, plus you're about to have three kids. You amaze me every day."
The Proeliator Pack lived in a camp deep into the woods. They built their own lodges, slept in tents, made all of their own food, gathered what they needed, and raised their families to live as wild as they could. It was just what werewolves were meant for. They lived off the grid, off the land, and took care of one another. Jane was the mate of the two twin Alphas that had made a name for themselves. They were feared among many, including the Alpha King. He just would never admit it.
Jane had made a huge adjustment letting go of her career, television, machines, etc. when she mated with Silas and Soren. When their pack had visited hers for a protection detail, the two Alpha brothers had instantly caught sight of their young mate. The three of them were only sixteen, the normal age for werewolves to find their mate, and it was love at first sight. Jane had no idea what was in store for her to live off the land. They all slept in tents, had sturdy lodging in case of bad weather, and only used what they had available to them. She had never imagined this kind of life for herself, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I just mean we’re not one of the most feared packs of the world, we are the most feared pack. If not for the fact that we have never been defeated, if just for the fact that we live a life that other wolves don’t understand. And what people don’t understand, is automatically what they fear.” Jane explained, handing the dough over to one of the elder women who was doing all the baking.
Lacey nodded understandingly. Both women’s heads lifted as the sound of the children got louder. Lacey’s daughters each had one hand wrapped around Jane’s daughter’s hands, helping her up the couple steps of the mess hall. The eighteen-month-old grinned happily when her eyes settled on her mother and her chubby legs sped up as she tried to get there faster.
“Hi, baby!” Jane bent down and gathered Delilah up in her arms.
Delilah nuzzled her face into her mother’s neck and put her arms out to rest over her chest. Jane rubbed her back with a light laugh as Lacey greeted her daughters, Jenny and Fiona. They were eight and twelve and loved helping out the younger kids in the pack. Jane always felt safe knowing her little girl was with them.
“You sleepy, Lilah?” Jane asked rhetorically, knowing the answer.
“We ran around for a long time. She’s probably going to want a nap.” Jenny said, yawning herself.
Jane nodded and started walking out of the mess hall. “Thanks, girls. Lace, I’m going to go put her down for a nap and might even take one myself.”
Stepping down the steps, Jane walked through the camp with Delilah falling asleep on her chest, smiling and greeting everyone she walked by. Two warriors flanked at her sides as soon as she stepped out of the mess hall. “You guys don’t need to follow me everywhere.” She stated as she trailed towards the Alpha tent.
“Alphas orders, Luna.”
Jane rolled her eyes. “Well, they’re not here, so like I said, you don’t have to follow me everywhere. I’m just taking my daughter to my tent.”
“Luna,” Declan, the other warrior and basically her own personal bodyguard, gave her a look. “Alpha Soren and Alpha Silas are already upset about allowing you to take your walks and bathe in the quarry. The least we can do is stay by your side.”
“You told them about that?” Jane knew she was going to be in big trouble when her mates got home. “Jeez, thanks Dec.”
A shrug rolled off of Declan’s shoulders as he opened up the flap of the tent. “I have a job to do, Luna, you put me in a bad position when you ask me to disobey my orders.”
“Ugh, I know. I just hate how protective they get.” She shook her head.
“You’re pregnant and left defenseless while they hunt.”
“I’m not defenseless.”
“In their eyes, when they’re not around, you’re defenseless. You know how males are, especially Alphas, especially when their mate is carrying their pups.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Jane replied and walked into the tent, leaving Declan and the other warrior at their post outside it.
She shuffled to the bed and laid Delilah down in the middle, crawling in beside her. Delilah whined for Jane to pull up her shirt, wanting to nurse. It was only a few minutes of eating before Delilah drifted off to sleep. She inhaled the smell of her mates, pulled her daughter close, and fell asleep at the sound of Delilah’s soft snores.