John, the Alpha, leans between the headlights of his car, watching as three black cars slowly approached from the path between trees. Gravel crunched beneath tires, the flash of lights as they curved over him momentarily blinding him.
He waits as the cars park before him, spreading out in three directions. Two of the lights dim to nothing while the center car remains bright.
The door opens and six men step out; two from each. They are large, towering at over six feet eight, muscular and intimidating as they approach him from the opposite end.
“There’s close enough.” John speaks and the men halt, hands clasped behind their backs formally.
The center man wears a pressed suit, sharp angular face broken by a jagged scar that runs across his right eyebrow. Glowing amber eyes regard him cooly.
“John,” the baritone of his voice reverberating through John’s bones as the man closes the space, holding a large bear-like hand towards him.
John clasps it, feeling the weight of his beefy hand completely encompass him. “Silas.”
The hand shake is firm, and slightly overwhelming. John knows not to fear the creatures that stand before him but it is nearly impossible. Had he not had the boy on their side, his pack was sure to be devoured years ago.
Silas’s calm eyes slant over John’s eyes and towards the twenty men all lined up behind him, shoulders hunched forward in attack mode. His eyes sparkle in amusement, “It seems you brought your whole pack for a peaceful meeting.”
“One can never be too sure.” John retorts and the chuckle that replies is that soft, rolling thunder that billows across the dark skies on a stormy night.
They hover before each other.
“Where is the boy.”
“The money first.”
Silas stills and smiles, slight tilt of his vicious mouth. He nods his head and one of his men steps towards the range rover, opening the back seat and pulling out two large black duffel bags.
The bags are dropped at his feet.
“Five hundred thousand?” John inquires as he gestures for one of his men to pick and count with a currency machine set on the hood of his car.
Silas nods vaguely.
“Forgive me,” John speaks flatly as his men begin feeding thick wads of money into the currency counter, “but we must confirm first.”
Silas’ shoulders rise in an off-handed shrug. His gaze lingers on each fearful face, nostrils flaring ever so slightly as he inhales the mild terror -- their scent stirs his beast which awakens, certain blood lust at the images of sinking his twelve inch canines into their soft flesh. He smiles pleasantly when John turns back to him, satisfied glint in his greedy eyes.
“Bring the boy.”
One of the car doors open and a man leans in, he steps back with a small thinned figure unconscious in his arms.
Silas stares at the unfamiliar boy, seventeen years of separation. He looked different, much like every other time he saw him. The boy was lanky and slightly malnourished looking, sharpened features bruised with discolored welts and internal damage.
A cloth had been wrapped around his eyes, what looked like blood tears dried on the hollows of his cheeks.
“What happened to him.” Silas questioned, although deep down he was aware of their mistreatment. The abuse, both physically and mentally. But this was new -- it looked as though something had been done to his eyes.
“Surgical procedure,” John explains as the bags of money are zipped shut. At the sight of Silas’ narrowed eyes, he continues, “The boy has been aloof with my ten year old daughter, they are mates but my pack forbids it. So we did what we had to do.”
They severed the mate bond, Silas realizes.
The news comes as mild shock to him. One of his men picks Xander from John’s side and carries him back to the waiting car.
“They are no longer mates.” John finishes, “do not carry me for a fool. I know you have been trying to kill my daughter due to the mate bond, what I did was far more reasonable.”
“Has his vision depleted.”
“He will heal,” the man corrects quickly, perhaps sensing a slight shift in Silas’s protective stance. The permanent injuring of a future Lycan Alpha would lead to inevitable war.
“The procedure was necessary. My daughter will be relocated away from the pack and your future Alpha can be found for another mate. We all know your kind does not breed with ours, so its a win-win situation.”
Silas inhales cold night air, studying the man before him in silence. Finally, he nods and steps back, “It has been a pleasure, John.”
Silas pauses, head tilting over his shoulder regarding the man who seems so timid before him.
“Word has spread,” John begins, “of the Lycans attacking and claiming neighboring packs.”
“Yes.” Silas hums nonchalantly, “We are expanding.”
“You have occupied three quarters of the woods and more.”
“My pack should remain untouched through your expansion.”
The left side of his faint red lip tugged upwards creating a sinister smirk on his god like face; casting a spell of evil to eyes that dare look his way, “We’ll see.” He approaches the waiting vehicle.
Entering the co-driver seat, Silas leans back, staring at the small Alpha who still stands on the path.
“Looks like he just shit his pants,” Andrew, his beta, chuckles low and deep as they back out of the forest and onto the weathered road leading back home.
“Good,” Silas glances over his shoulder at the back seat where the boy is sprawled out on his side, unconscious. His torso is naked, save for the ripped, bloody boxers. He stares at the splotches of scarred skin along his chest and abdomen, arms... as though someone had splashed wolfsbane on him.
“They really did a number on him.” Andrew comments, glancing at the rear view mirror.
Silas straightens in his seat, “They did.”
“All in due time.”
The drive back is silent, a stretch that lasts for six hours as they cross onto Lycan territory -- the Blood pack that begins five hundred kilometres from the North, spreading all the way South.
The walls that mark their territories ascend fifty feet from the ground, spikes and barbed wires guarding the top. Numerous patrol men prowl about in the shadows. The fifty tone steel gate appears in the distance and the car begins to slow as three army men descend from the gate, approaching them.
Silas lowers his window and one man holds out an iPad. He presses a palm onto it, a line swipes beneath him and the light flickers green.
The guard bows and steps back, gesturing for the gates to be lowered.
Beyond it is the city and thousands of Lycans awaiting the boy’s arrival.
Silas glances over his shoulder at the still, broken teenager. He would eventually heal, then grown and finally thrive. For this was his original home, and they were his people.
“Welcome home, Alpha.”
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