Kona: Blood of the Gods

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Taking Lead

Kona stood before her pack. She never knew the side effects of a hangover and now, she assessed she was never drinking again.

Her head hurt. Her body hurt. Her emotions were chaotic and her pride was damaged, though not the result of drinking, she probably wouldn’t have thrown herself so recklessly at Tally. So even that, she blamed on liquor. It was the perfect cover.

Alec stood on her left, just over her shoulder. Certain things needed to be addressed and he had brought them to her attention with bits and pieces of conversation Alec had overheard. It was clear that these Lycan had a bit of Lorcan in them. All believing they are superior simply because they were men. Kona was going to love destroying that mentality.

“I am not your typical Alpha.”

It earned a few chuckles and she smiled.

“And this will not be a typical pack. There are things that I want that might be difficult to get but I will survive to achieve it. Are you ready for it?”

“Yeah!” The hollers sounded in the air, amplifying her ego. Their power was hers, like a monster that only strengthened with each arm and leg. She felt invincible.

“My mother is currently a prisoner of a man named Daxon. He has a following of gammas of three hundred. It might seem overwhelming. But they are without an Alpha. They won’t survive an attack by us.”

They celebrated, their jaws salivating in their excitement. Nothing like a battle ahead to make them euphoric.

Kona was relieved by their reactions. As much as Tally, Alec, and Mason wanted her to believe, she wasn’t abnormal. She was a typical Lycan, desiring battle. She wasn’t a monster in this world.

Only in her father’s.

A shout by a man in the back gained her attention, “What do you plan to do about the Seven Alphas in the South?” With a collective agreeance, Kona hesitated in answering. She hadn’t thought about it at all.

Beta Alec replied, “For now, our main objective is Luna Margo. The Seven are headed west. It may be months before we intersect.”

“Nao’s fucking crazy.” Someone commented. “He’s killing our kind while saying the US government is making him do it.”

“We’ll discuss the seven another time.” Kona decided. Alec knew more than she did about them and she didn’t like it. “I want to learn who you are. What’s your name?”

“Warren, Alpha.”

Beta Alec was in her ear, “He helped us escape.”

Kona walked toward him with Alec and Tally on each side. They were protectors, though protecting her from what she didn’t know. She was stronger than both of them but does a god tie their own shoe?

She faced him. He was a massive black man with muscle that seemed too cumbersome to be comfortable. She recalled him on the battlefield yesterday. Part of the reason she won was because of men like him. “Warren, why are you choosing me? I’m a woman. Doesn’t that bother you?”

“You took down Lorcan, Alpha. Woman or not, makes no difference to me.”

“Why didn’t you like Lorcan? It seemed men had it made.”

“Lorcan was a great leader, Alpha. He was good at war and we love to war.”

Howls sounded in agreement.

Warren shifted to Hera behind him, “Your gamma Tally told me you honor mates. Many of us followed you with the hope that you would allow us to stay with our chosen partner.”

Why wasn’t it a surprise to her that the reason she had so many followers was because of Tally?

“Lorcan didn’t allow this?”

“No, Alpha. All women were subject to any man. He revoked mateship when we submitted.” The admittance sounded painful on his lips. Kona could only imagine what it felt like seeing the one you loved being hurt by someone else.

“Gamma Tally speaks true. We honor mates here.” Kona looked around and noticed several couples, smiling to each other, some showing the rare signs of affection. “This brings us to a topic. Consent. For both parties.” There was a cackle from the women but it made Kona smile. “Any man that is accused of rape will be shot.” The feel good moment was abolished by the sudden threat. Smiles fell from faces and whispers filled the air. Kona turned her back, returning to her spot on a rock. She faced them again, noticing the ones that were unhappy with the sudden law.

“Incase the definition is confusing, I’ll clear it up for you.” Kona eyed each cowering man. “No. Stop. Leave me alone. Let go. Back off. Go to Hell. Don’t touch me. If any of these words sound familiar, we have a problem. I am not a typical Alpha. Women will not be used, mistreated, beaten, or otherwise. Women will be allowed to be gammas. Women will be treated equal to men. If any of this upsets you, leave. Because mark my words. I will not be merciful.”

The word fell from her lips before she knew it. ‘I can be merciful. You’ll have to earn it.’

Kona felt her body tremble but she swallowed it, stopping the overwhelming horror before it could take wing.

It happened, one left and then another. And then she lost count. But she stood there, unbothered by their abandonment.

When it was over, twenty men and one woman left her crew.

The ones that stayed however, stood stronger, braver, prouder and that replaced the empty holes in the circle.

A woman eagerly stepped forward, “I want to be Gamma.” She smiled wide, brushing red hair long down her back, “I’m Ciara.” She leaned over a bit, looking behind Kona. “You gonna train me, Tally?”

Kona glanced over her shoulder, surprised and somewhat thrown off guard. She didn’t want to be jealous but yet, the instinct inside her almost made her lash out. Was Ciara the reason he didn’t stay last night?

The immaturity of it wasn’t lost to her. Kona hated it about herself. She was not so insecure and knew Tally better than that. He was loyal to a fault. She didn’t quite understand why he hadn’t stayed but Ciara was not a reason. Kona shoved the upset down, just like she shoved everything else. “Can you fight?”

“No, Alpha.”

“Then we’ll teach you. Any woman that wants to be Gamma must learn how to fight.”

Someone stepped forward and he was quickly asked his name. “Quid, Alpha.” Janis’ brother who apparently has a crush on her. Kona stepped up to him. He was six feet, thick with muscle, and plenty of scars. His form was a typical build for an older Lycan. What Kona was learning was how rare it was to have an attractive face. He was blessed with beauty. He had light chocolate skin and tattoos covering most of his left arm. She didn’t like looking up at him but that was becoming a common thing.

Why couldn’t the gods make her taller?

“I understand your woman power stance and I have no problem with much of what you stand for. But women aren’t fighters.”

“Your sister is a fighter.”

“Defense is not fighting.

“Fight me.”

The order was clear but Quid did not step forward. He instead unconsciously backed up, trying to speak but failing.

She didn’t push it. She was simply trying to make a point. “This mentality that women are useless is going to change, starting with us. I was born with Alpha blood in my veins. If I can exist then all preconceived ideas of Lycan society are lies.”

“We aren’t as strong as men.” A woman interrupted. “How do you think we can fight on their level?”

“You don’t have to fight if you don’t want too. But any woman willing to take the chance is welcome.”

Quid continued, “I’ll spend half my time saving their ass and probably get my ass killed in the process. I can’t trust them.”

“But you are already trusting a woman.”

“It’s different.”

“Why?”

“You were born what you are. You are asking them to change what they are.”

“‘Born what they are.’” Kona quoted. “Leylanni.” Stepping to her side, nearly nudging Tally out of his place, the thin black woman stood tall with her head high and her back unflinching. Scars were dominant over her skin, discolored, thick, and many. She was a frightening sight and yet, Kona couldn’t be prouder to have Leylanni on her side.

Quid uncomfortably looked away, “Cave pack wolves are different.”

“There is no cave pack. There is one pack. Mine. Women have been misplaced in our society. But here, in my pack, they are no longer lost.”

Janis was tugging on his arm, whispering in his ear but he ignored her, eyeing Kona, almost challengingly. Kona didn’t back down.

“I’m not in disagreement, Alpha. But physical strength will always be an issue.”

“Then maybe we should part ways.”

Quid stood firm, “No. I’d like to stay. See what you can do.”

“Then you’ll be the one to teach the women.”

Quid scoffed, cackling, glancing around. Until he realized Kona wasn’t kidding. He cursed under his breath and Kona moved on.

“I want you to separate yourself by your talents. Hunters. Scouts. Trackers. Fighters. Wanna-be fighters. Care-givers.”

She watched as they divided. She could see where she was weak. What needed to be strengthened. To her disappointment, she didn’t possess a tracker, no wolf to find her mother.

To her surprise, a man stood in the company of women as a caregiver. She eyed him but unwilling to expose him, she dismissed them, “Let’s break up camp. We move out in five minutes.” They couldn’t stay any longer incase one of the men that left the pack decided to form a coup.

Alec leaned in, “You’re doing a great job.”

“I know.” Kona approached the older man. He acknowledged her, meeting her. He was different then the others. His skin was tanned. His hair black and eyes just as dark. She knew from TV he was Hispanic.

“Lenny, Ma’am.” He answered her unasked question.

“Lenny, what do you do for the pack?”

“I’m a teacher. I was tutoring Lorcan’s children.”

Kona stalled. All words fell from her lips. Of course, there were more than Lukas that existed. Lorcan had eight wives. No telling how many children he fathered. Lorcan had been a father, a husband, a friend to some. He was loved. And she had taken from them, like Daxon had taken from her.

“Where are those children?”

“Please, Alpha--”

“I’m not going to hurt them. Are they okay?”

“The Lunas knew how to escape.”

Kona nodded, thankful for that. There had been so much craziness that she wasn’t sure if they had ended up in her path or not. She didn’t know what her wolf would have done if she had seen them. “I’d like you to teach me, Lenny.”

“I would never assume to know more than an Alpha.”

“I was sheltered from Lycan life. I have questions. Would you answer them?”

“To the best of my ability, ma’am.”

Shes stepped away but then, turned back to him, “Do you know of the prophecy?”

“There are many, Alpha.”

“The one about me.”

“I’ve heard of one about a female Alpha. What makes you think it’s about you?”

She liked him already. She smiled, thanking him and moving back to Tally and Mason. She avoided Tally’s gaze so obviously Mason awkwardly flicked his eyes back and forth, wondering what had happened. The uncomfortable silence was even worse. Tally wouldn’t look at him either. If he hadn’t known any better he would have thought something happened between them.

Kona popped her head up and Mason froze, “What do you want to do in the pack?”

His brows knit, “What do you mean?”

“What are you going to give to the pack? What talent, skill, purpose?”

Mason looked at Tally, completely thrown off guard by the sudden question. He had never put any thought into it. No one had ever asked him or insinuated that he would have to bring anything to the table.

“I’m...your brother?”

“You still need to help in some way. It’s not a free ride.”

“Since when?”

“Since we left the compound. Did you think we’d get a house and live happily ever after?”

“Where is this coming from?”

“What? Are you kidding?”

“You’re acting as if you know what you’re doing. But you have no freaking clue. Don’t come at me--”

Kona snatched his arm, flung him over her shoulder and he landed with grunt on the ground. She kneeled beside him, leaning in to viciously whispering, “Don’t talk to me that way, Mason or I swear to the gods, I’ll break your arm next time.”

“What the hell has gotten into you?” He growled back.

“You are disrespecting me in front of my pack.”

“It doesn’t mean you can be a b--”

“Alpha Kona,” Tally interrupted. “I’ll talk to him. We’ll find a place for him.”

Tally observed as she stood, a strong, fierce expression on her face. She ignored him despite listening to him. She turned to the women tending to the fire. He knew there would be some kind of reaction from not staying yesterday but he thought perhaps he’d get a ‘thank you’ or something like it. He kept her from making regrets. Didn’t that deserve applause?

Tally reached down and lifted Mason to his feet.

“Can you tell me what the hell that was about?”

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