Chapter 30 - Staining Snow
Werewolves have four rankings - Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omega. Alphas are bred and born, they have the strongest blood, and an Alpha female is the most desired mate for any male, especially an Alpha male who leads a pack. However, there is a random logic that goes into fated mates, two Omega who were fated mates could parent a powerful Alpha child. Like a wildcard, they’re often powerful and unpredictable.
Alice, the woman who stood before me, my sister-in-law, my Luna, my friend. Without hesitant ion is an Alpha female, not as a random card from a deck, but from strong blood. Her mother – another White Wolf, would have also been an Alpha female, and her father was a Beta Male. I shuddered to think of what power she would have possessed, had her father been her mother’s fated mate, the Alpha who she was intended to mate with.
But that wouldn’t have been the woman who stood before me, she wouldn’t have been as humble, as caring, and as logical as the Alice who I knew.
While I was not the first born, the inheritor of power from my parent, I am still an Alpha female, but I can barely live up to Alice’s shadow, I cannot compare. As we tacked deeper into the Mountain Range of the North, closing into the boundary where Nate was last seen, I could feel the strength within her growing, the unbridled lack of control. With the fear of her mates’ pain and looming death, her wolf would want nothing more than to come forth and find and protect him, but her wolf would refuse to – to protect what kernel of him she had left. Their child.
She could smell him before me, her senses heightened so that she could smell his touch lingering on trees and in the melted snow, packed beneath new layers from the weeks that had passed. Her eyes seemed to glow in the night and the shadows, reflecting light and gleaming like head lights, and I only knew, because when ever I woke, she was staring up at the night sky or off into the darkness of the forest.
She looked like she was living a nightmare, like she had just watch Nate die before her eyes. I had seen the insanity that followed from the death of ones mate, I myself witnessing the pain of deprivation, the throbbing in my heart, the need to touch his skin, to smell his scent. But never, never had I seen anything like this. With each passing minute now, her strength grew, and her sanity slipped.
I feared that I had made a grave mistake, I feared that I was now putting the life of my Luna, and future Alpha in danger and that I would face the consequences. I would be carrying a corpse home, if I was alive at the end of this journey.
“Can you see that?” Alice asked suddenly, stopping on the path that tracked near the boundary.
I looked to where she was pointing, “the boundary?” I asked.
She shook her head, “that golden glow.”
Her head snapped to the side and she lifted her nose slightly in the air, “rouges,” she whispered, the word sounding like posion on her lips. I inhaled, and the scent was weak, the sickness and the rotting that an Alpha-less reeked of. When had her sense of smell heightened greater than mine.
“Quick,” she ordered, and I began to strip off some of my clothes, shifting into my wolf. I was never a strong fighter light my brothers and sisters, not like Alice. But I would still defend her, even if my wolf was small.
She unsheathed a small silver knife and dropped her pack to the ground, next to mine, before trotting off into the snow covered forest. The look in her eyes, it was like she was craving the fight, the need to shed blood.
‘Cover my back,’ she linked, and her pace slowed, as she concealed the sound of her footsteps in the whistle of the wind and the creaking of the trees under the weight of the snow that they carried.
I could see them, lingering past the boundary, pacing in the shadows of the trees. But their efforts to go unseen and unheard were pointless, their brown and red wolves, sticking out like sore thumbs in the white of the snow and what little colour stuck out from the occasional rock or uncovered tree.
I hunched down, concealed by the wind that blew in our favour and readied myself to ponce, to go in for the kill on her order. Just as we had all been trained to do so, instant kill on the first blow – making for one less to fight later on. Kill now, ask questions later.
‘Wait,’ Alice ordered, ‘I want to try something.’
I tried to relax, by my wolf was still on edge, wanting to protect her Luna, wanting to lay down her life for her – if we had to, it my wolf would make the sacrifice.
She tucked the silver up her sleeve slightly and gestured for my to follow, stepping loudly and the rouges heads all snapped in our direction, their eyes glowing like candles, in oranges and yellows. They were low class wolves, easy to take on – Alice knew this, and I wondered if she wanted to play with her food before she ate.
“Can I help you boys?” Alice asked, and she leaned against the boundary, her body not moving past it.
My mind flashed to the site of her, last time she was in contact with the boundary. When Hassan, Gina and Gina’s mate had tried to kidnap her – had physically tried to force her over the boundary, how her screams of pain rattled me, how her body writhed in an unseen pain.
But now, she didn’t so much as blink, she didn’t so much as flinch as she used it to hold her weight, leaning against it like it was a tree or a wall. Casually and calming. I wondered if Nate had lifted the order from her, or perhaps she was no longer affected.
I snapped back to reality as the rouges let out a growl, feral and aggravated.
“I hope you don’t plan on trespassing, after all, the Moon Pack is not very forgiving. If I was in a bad mood, I’d hunt you all down just for thinking of crossing the border.”
One of the rouges shifted, and a middle-aged man stepped forward, proudly in nothing but his skin, “Well are you?” he asked.
“Am I what?” Alice asked, her eyes fixing to his as she challenged him, wanting to stain the snow with his blood.
“Are you in a bad mood?” he asked, stepping forward too close to Alice that I let a growl slip from my lips and my wolf hunched, ready to pounce. “That pup is very protective of you,” he smirked, not even looking at me, dismissing me as a threat.
“Yes, I tend to have that effect on my pack members,” Alice chuckled.
“Your pack-“ he started to ask, but his foot had stepped within the pack territory.
She moved like lightning, had I blinked, I would have missed it, had I not watched the silver blade slip from her sleeve and into her awaiting hand, had I not witnessed her arm flick out and slice his body from groin to nose, I would have thought she willed him dead.
Not even the other rouges had yet processed what had happened as their companion bled out, staining the snow with his blood and his skin greying with each second that passed. Alice stood, a slight smile now etched on her face for the first time since Nate had gone, disappeared.
“Yes, my pack.”