Chapter 1: Meeting
I turned my face towards the sky with a deep sigh, as I sat on the edge of the pack’s territory enjoying the feeling of the rain running over my face.
I loved the rain, loved the sensation of the water washing away every stressor as I regained control of myself. I closed my eyes mentally drawing the water to me feeling the calming pattering of drops on my face. Rain was like the universe’s way of righting all wrongs.
Days like today there was plenty for the universe to make right.
‘We haven’t been forgotten, we just haven’t found her yet.’ My wolf, Brooke, whimpered in the back of my head.
‘Sure.’ I said unconvinced as I slowly opened my eyes to look out over the ocean watching how every insignificant drop hit the surface. I sighed, running my hand through my shaggy hair, brushing it out of my eyes.
‘Richard.’ Logan’s voice boomed through our mind-link, causing me to flinch.
‘Yes, Alpha?’ I responded respectfully.
I would have said something more sarcastic to my best friend but I could feel other consciousnesses listening to our conversation. As Beta and I would never set an example of disrespect with others around. When it was just us there was no hierarchy. We were true brothers in that sense.
‘Have you finished patrol yet?’ His voice was dripping with formalities and I absently wondered if he was prepping for a meeting or if he had just finished one.
Logan was really bad at transitioning from professional conversation to casual; it always took five to ten minutes for him to make the transition.
‘Yep.’ I said casually. ‘You need me back at the house?’
‘No, actually, there’s a rogue near town and I need you to verify it’s not a danger to the pack.’ His voice was slowly losing it’s tense tone, clarifying that he had just finished a meeting.
‘Sure do you want me to scare them off?’ I asked, feeling Brooke bristle with excitement.
‘That might be best, but I’ll leave it up to you.’ His exhaustion was suddenly palpable.
‘Everything okay Logan?’ I asked, suddenly concerned.
‘I’ll talk to you about it when you get back. Trish is almost out of lemons, could you get some?’ He said and I could visualize him ringing out his hands the way he always did to motivate himself.
I chuckled remembering that between being the alpha and his mate being seven months pregnant, Logan was bound to be exhausted.
‘Of course, let me know if there’s anything else.’ I said smiling to myself.
With that I took off running. In seconds I was in the forest that bordered the beach. I could feel each blade of grass against my bare feet and I loved it.
‘Shift!’ Brooke whined.
I shook my head in one quick jerk. It was my turn.
Suddenly a chocolate brown wolf flanked my right and an ash gray she-wolf on my left.
‘Zane, Rowan.’ I acknowledged them.
Then rolled my eyes of course Logan would send back up. I could just hear him saying better safe than sorry for the millionth time.
The she-wolf, Rowan, nodded in response to my greeting.
I saw a flash of red and orange and was suddenly concerned that there might be a fire, but I smelled no smoke.
‘Shift Richard, there’s two of them.’ Rowan said her grey fur shimmering metallically.
I pause momentarily to strip my shorts and store them with my shirt around my ankle. Then I let Brooke take over. I shuddered at the familiar heat that shot through my body as I shifted. The others hadn’t waited but it didn’t matter. I was bigger, faster, and stronger than both of them.
I overtook them quickly, racing ahead and chasing the flame that through Brookes eyes I could now see was a small she-wolf. I could also see, Rowan was wrong. There were three wolves. The she-wolf used her nose to urge her young pup forward, but I could smell a male too.
Suddenly the she-wolf’s pursuer leapt out of the trees next to her biting down on her right flank. Her pained howl filled the forest. Brooke growled furiously, ramming the wolf in his ribs. He flew through the air smacking against a nearby tree, the young maple snapping under the pressure.
The male wolf was large with a sandy brown coat and blood staining the fur around his muzzle. He sprung to his feet, snapping his razor sharp teeth at my neck. I evaded the attack easily and we paced slowly back and forth snarling and snapping as we sized each other up.
I was careful about keeping myself firmly between him and the she-wolf who was cowering behind me.
I was bigger than him but he was faster. The she-wolf whimpered and I instinctively glanced at her. Taking advantage of my distraction he lunged, biting down hard on my front left leg.
I yelped in pain as Zane, finally catching up, bit down on the wolf’s neck throwing him off of me. I flexed the leg before tentatively stepping. It would be sore, but I was already healing quickly.
I forced the raindrops nearest to the rogue to combine and freeze solid before shooting directly at him. He whimpered in surprise and pain as the pelting shards repeatedly rammed into his face.
I lowered my head farther, snarling at him as he pulled back trying to get away from the onslaught of ice. Of course, with a simple push of my mind, the ice balls followed him. They pushed him farther and farther away from the girl.
The stranger not liking the sudden change in the odds started backing away slowly before snarling at the she-wolf. He relented regretfully, turning and running away back towards the border. I wanted to be sure he was completely gone, but I had to figure out who the other wolf was and whether she needed to be made to leave as well.
‘Zane, make sure he leaves the territory!’ I growled still staring after the rogue.
Zane nodded his large brown head, before taking off after the stranger.