Beloved Runt: Part I

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7- Oberon Whiteclaw

“Thank you, gentleman. That will be all today.” Another meeting filled with dusty old men trying to dig their claws into me. Sometimes it all seemed so meaningless. What was the point of keeping things in order when one simple event could cause it to all topple over again?

Still the wheel moves on. I nodded to the various officials acknowledging them before leaving. Normally my meeting would go well into the evening, but I had something more pressing this afternoon.

I walked down the palace hallways away from the public view towards to royal quarters. For what I was going to do I would need quiet. I entered my private suite and threw my jacket on a chair, unbuttoning the collar next to let me breathe. I shouldn’t be this nervous. All packs are the same. How would this one be any different? But there was always something nagging in the back of my head telling me different. Hope is the sweetest torture we give ourselves. I was looking for something I was sure did not exist at this point.

I sat on the bed clearing all thoughts and thinking of my uncle. He was up north in one of the more remote packs. Maybe I would find what I was looking for there. It took a few moments but when I felt his connection, I surged my power into it stabilizing the path. I couldn’t hold it indefinitely, but I had enough time to accomplish this task at least.

Your Majesty. No matter how many times I corrected him my uncle always insisted using formal titles unless in the direst or circumstance. It didn’t matter to him that no one could hear us.

Good to hear from you Uncle. How are things with the Ever Green pack? I felt the gears in my uncle’s head turn as he tried to answer my question. Is everything alright? Have there been problems? His hesitancy to answer worried me.

Nothing I can’t handle. He replied. Are you ready? Everything is prepared. I mentally nodded to him and then I felt him open his mind to me.

Slowly his thoughts flowed until shapes began to appear in my mind’s eye. Then the shapes slowly morphed into figures. Soon I was seeing through his eyes as if I was there. We were in a great hall of some sort. In the room with pack members of various ages. Most of them were women. Some even brought their children. I could hear the muffled sounds of someone speaking but couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. I was better at seeing through others than hearing. After a few minutes I could hear my uncle speak to the group and the he began walking through them slowly.

As he passed various pack members I focused intently on each face. They were all variations of the same. Some were older. Others wiser. But they all still had that same tone of ordinary. Well as ordinary as a group of werewolves could be.

My uncle was meticulous in making sure he made it to every part of the room. Some woman were curious at seeing a royal lord and talked to him openly. Others were afraid and shrunk back when he approached. None were whom I was looking for. After my Uncle had finished the second pass I was done.

I pulled back from his consciousness exhausted from the energy I had to use.

Well? My uncle wanted to know if I saw anything.

No Uncle. There was no one I could choose.

Certainly, anyone would be better than marrying that witch of a woman?

I just can’t doom someone to that fate. Once I name someone as my mate, I know they would be in immediate danger. I can’t do that to someone unless I am sure they could survive.

My uncle hummed through the connection in thought. He knew my predicament. I had lost my mate when I was seven. I felt the connection lost as if it was ripped from me. I never even got to meet her. It was kept a royal secret but now that I was King questions were rising and the governors were demanding I make a selection. I had six months before my choice would be taken from me.

The woman they have selected for me is vile and one of the cruelest creatures I have ever met. Her and her family would do anything to hold on to their power including endangering an innocent person. I know because they had done it before. Still I could not let her become queen. Her family’s lust for power could ruin the kingdom. If I did not want her to become my queen I needed to find someone strong enough to stand up to her.

Maybe the next pack then. Uncle interrupted my thoughts. He was helping on my search mission to find a suitable mate. Under the guise of taking census of various packs I am able to visit each pack through him in hopes of selecting a replacement mate to pass off as my fated mate without drawing to much suspician. But so far no one seemed like a reasonable choice. Or was I just stalling.

Oberon, we will find someone. We still have time. I was grateful for my uncle for his words but with every pack visit I was facing more despair.

Thank you, uncle. Maybe in the next pack. He wasn’t ready to give up yet. I would give him the time I had left to hope. When do you think you’ll be arriving at the next pack?

Not for a few days. There is something I want to look into first.

Anything I need to be aware of?

…not yet. That’s interesting. I wonder what could have caught his eye.

Alright Uncle. Update me when you can. With that final word I closed the connection and fell backwards on to my bed. I was exhausted form the whole ordeal, but I had little time to rest before I was expected to make another appearance.

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