Prologue - First Contact
Before to start: A huge thank you to @Adshajira for this amazing cover!
Firstly, thank you for choosing my story. English is not my first language and I am still learning it. I apologise in advance for my mistakes and spelling errors.
Secondly, this story contains difficult themes and is quite dark. So I would rather warn you beforehand.
Everything was falling apart in the Black Moon Pack. Over the past five years, the pack had declined. After the discovery of the terrible truth, nothing was the same. Trust was gone, replaced by betrayal and pain. No one knew if they would be able to rise again or if this was the end of them. It was impossible to deny that the pack was withering away. No one could really forget what had happened and they were stuck in it, with their suffering chefa, unable to forget or forgive. So not able to lead as they should.
Who would believe that this pack was peaceful and one of the strongest in America, just a few years ago? The Beta looked out the window of his office. From here he could see the children’s playground. It used to be full of life, but now it was empty and broken just like the pack. Life was leaving this land, he knew. Was this really what he wanted for his son? No, he had never imagined this. They were both to see their best friends fall away and become a shadow of their former selves. Alphas, like Betas, are co-leaders. His best friend is racked with remorse and is no longer able to be the strong Alpha he once was. His son, on the other hand, had no control and could not overcome his grief. The contact of a Luna would be helpful to him, but he refused to choose another mate, even after the loss of his destined mate. His mother - and only Luna of the pack, did her best but she too was consumed with guilt. She couldn’t forgive herself for being so blind.
Last month he had received a call from the Green Valley pack, they were looking for a Beta. He wanted to offer the job to his son. He wanted his happiness and a secure future for him. Things he won’t have here, in the Black Moon Pack. Not anymore. But would his son agree to go? After all, they were both the same and wouldn’t let their best friends down. And deep down, he knew his son would never leave. Too attached to his friend, to his pack, and to this land. He didn’t even leave to try to find his mate!
They were both active Betas because with two dysfunctional Alphas, they had a lot of work to do and even though they did their best, it wasn’t enough. The pack had lost its flame, its reason for being. The clock was ticking and they didn’t have much time left. The number of attacks and intrusions by rogues increased every month. Members no longer felt safe and began to leave the pack. Last year they had lost over 100 members. He also knew that soon the Alpha would be challenged. It was a matter of time. Yet, like his son, he would never leave his best friends, his home behind. But the situation was becoming desperate and only a miracle could save them. But did they deserve to be saved? He wasn’t sure, he only hoped so.
“Beta Steeve, sorry to bother you but Alphas are not reachable at the moment. Orion is at the border, he wants to be allowed in. He wants to visit his family. What should we do?” Ethan, a warrior, asked through the mindlink.
Orion, the one who started it all...
“Is he alone?” Steeve inquired in return.
“No... You should come.” Ethan replied but Steeve sensed his discomfort.
“We’ll be there in five minutes.” Steeve said before shutting the mindlink.
“Aaron, let’s go! Someone’s at the border asking for entry.” Steeve called to his son.
“Okay, Dad. Who is it?” Aaron answered his father.
“Orion.” He heard his son stop breathing, surprised.
“Orion, you said?” Alpha Sloan asked coming out of his office.
“Yes, Alpha. He wants to visit his family.” Steeve confirmed.
“Why are you the one they contacted?”
“Your mind link is closed, Alpha.”
“Oh... Okay... I’m coming too.” The Alpha stated.
" As you wish, Alpha.”
No one passed through the official entrance anymore. The pack was once a sanctuary for those seeking help. Rogues had always been accepted, as had other species. But that was then. Now the rogues just came to take what they wanted: Women, food, money... They had become weak and everyone knew it. The walk to the border was silent, none of them spoke, lost in their own thoughts. Faces were closed. Ethan and Henry, the second guard at the gate, were surprised to see one of their Alphas. The pack was used to not seeing them anymore as they stayed in the office and ran alone. They bowed their heads in respect to him. Even though he was no longer the great Alpha he had been, his pack members still had great respect for him. Those who remained all prayed for a miracle.
Beta Steeve, Beta Aaron and Alpha Sloan looked at the car and Orion who had his back to them and was talking to a young woman. Sensing their aura, the pair stopped talking and Orion turned to face the Alpha and Betas, hiding the woman behind his back.
“Alpha Sloan, Betas Steeve and Aaron. It is a pleasure to see you again.” Orion bowed his head in respect.
“Orion, why are you here? After so long, why come back?” asked the Alpha.
“I came to see my family, Alpha. I miss them terribly and would like to spend some time here. Would that be possible, please?” Orion replied.
“Of course. Is that your mate behind you?” Alpha Sloan asked and he could see the two warriors shifting on their feet uncomfortably.
“No, Alpha Sloan. I’m not his mate. I’d like to spend some time here too, I have some business to finish here.” the woman said as she came into their view.
Shock flashed across the faces of the Alpha and the Betas.
“Mara...” The Alpha muttered in disbelief.
“If it’s possible, please?” Mara added.
“Of course Mara. This is where you were born, it’s your home.” replied the Alpha.
How would his son take the news? How would he tell him? The Alpha thought but before he could think of a solution, a shadow came out of the wood.
“Mate!” Sage growled, making Mara jump.
This was it! The moment of truth was here: the miracle everyone had been waiting for or the coup de grace that would end the pack for good. Only time would give them the answer. After all, it all started with Orion and Mara, so it was logical that it would end with them. The question is: how?