(Zoa uses pronouns - ze/zem/zeirs)
I knew, the second I made eye contact with her. She was mine. My mate.
I had to fight the urge to go over to her right then and there. Stupid Rhiett had scared her with their growls. They were already beating themselves up over it, and the whining was already getting on my nerves.
I have to go.
Okay. I'll keep her safe Alpha.
She knew. Of course Edo had told her.
I swung my legs out of the bed, and glance towards her one last time. She's so scared, she's shaking, and it gets worse when I stand up. I'm not particularly tall, only five-ten or so, so why is she intimidated?
It's because I look and smell like a male.
She didn't like Edo much, but didn't mind Branwyn. Thank the Goddess I could change myself.
I'd put on some makeup, curled my hair, put on some feminine clothes and used pheremone spray to smell like a female. I wished to Goddess that I'd been born female, but I don't think anyone could change that now.
She has a lot of trauma, Ro.
What else is new doc?
I mean... Goddess, how do I put this. She was... assaulted, in there. Violated.
That's why she's afraid of males. They...
I'm starting a fucking war.
I have to, damn it.
At least talk to your Beta and Delta first. Please. If we went to war, you'd be away. You'd leave her.
She needs stability right now. A war is not going to help anybody. Go and speak to Zoa, and Branwyn.
Is she not with you?
She left to find you. She knew you wouldn't take this well.
Have you left her on her own!?
No. I'm with her now. She's not comfortable, but she's tolerating it.
Don't fucking touch her.
I cut the contact, turn to the side and slam my fist into the wall. The bricks crack, flakes of dust falling to the ground, mingled with drops of bright red blood.
"That's not going to help." Says a monotone voice.
"Normally I love your sarcasm, but cut it out."
"It's true. Punching a wall isn't going to get you revenge on Brysin."
"Zoa..." I say in a warning tone.
"Okay, okay, I get it."
"What do I do?"
"Not go to war."
"Redwood have probably discovered what you've done, but they haven't made a move."
"I couldn't give a damn."
"We take this to Moonfell. We call a Council of the Moon. We get your girl to testify, along with that Omega you brought with you, and we take Brysin down, without any bloodshed."
"I don't want him to go to the council, I want him in hell."
"You'd regret it."
"I can promise you I wouldn't."
"I want his fucking blood, and I will not stop until I get it."
"So much for that. I didn't want to have to do this, but you leave me no choice."
"What the fuck does that mean?"
"As Delta, I command the entire warrior portion of Brightfall, after you. I'm not insignificant. I too, can call a Council of the Moon. Backed by Beta Branwyn? It'll be easy."
"You wouldn't dare."
"I would. You won't Command me not to, I know you wont."
"You would try me?"
"Fine. Have it your way."
I spin round to face zem, and snarl. Rhiett comes to a head, and I can feel their need to fight.
"Here we go again." It pushes me over the edge. I shift, and I launch at zem, growling, teeth bared. Zey shift too, revealing a silver wolf with purple eyes. It was beautiful, but my haze of rage clouds my vision and I simply lose control.
"Done?" I glare at zem, then return to wiping the sweat off my body.
"For now. I apologise if I hurt you."
"Only a scratch or so, nothing serious. You really have to let Rhiett out more often, it's bad for them."
"They're making me go insane. You know what happened with the rescue girl?"
"Branwyn told me." Ze looks at me in sympathy, but it just fuels my anger. The pity in zeir eyes infuriates me.
"I know." I forget that Zoa, beautiful Zoa of ebony skin, coiled silver hair and amethyst eyes, had been rejected zemself. If anyone knew what this pain felt like, it was zem.
"Don't be. It's a different kind of pain, no more or less than what I'm sure you're feeling. You can always reject it, you know?"
"What? Why would I-"
"She wouldn't feel it if she didn't have her wolf. Look at it objectively. If you're the only one who feels it, you're the only one who would feel the pain of rejecting her, but it would let you move on."
"I guess I never thought of it like that."
"I wouldn't wish a rejection upon my worst enemy, but if it's the only way for you to be happy..."
"I'll give it a while, allow her to recover. We'll take her to Moonfell, call a council, sort all this shit out between us and Redwood, then we'll think about the mateship."
"That's not going to be pleasant for you."
"I'm aware, but I have no other choice. I don't know how a rejection would affect her, and I don't want to slow down her recovery just to be selfish."
"Well you're back to normal."
"Thank you. Rhiett and I needed that."
"No problem, it's what I'm here for."
"Alpha Rowynn, good to see you. You're looking better." Shilas greets me at the door of the hospital. I'd assigned him to guard her, but subtly so she didn't feel trapped. He often loitered around hallways and the main entrance, having not been introduced to her personally.
"Shilas." I reply with a small smile. "Delta Zoa took the edge off of Rhiett, so now I can actually think."
"Good. Is everything okay? I know this can't be easy."
"It's as okay as it can be." A small pause follows as he accompanies me down the main hall of the Infirmary, before I break the silence for him. He often found silence awkward and uncomfortable.
"As my chief warrior, Shilas, I need your assistance. The girl came from Redwood, as you know, just over a week ago. They must know of our treachery, yet they haven't made a move."
"What do you ask of me, Alpha?"
"Increase patrols. Zoa is already working on informants and intelligence, I need you to ensure that Brightfall is safe. Redwood is one of the few packs that actually poses a threat to us, and the safety of my wolves is paramount."
"It will be done, Alpha. You can trust me."
"I know Shilas. There's a reason you're my Chief."
He smiles, his scar-covered skin pale under the Infirmary lights, grey eyes sharp and sparkling.
"I will do my best, Alpha."
"Good. You are relieved for the next day, to see to these new responsibilities. Have the Omegas prepare a suite for her, near to my quarters please. I'm not leaving her unguarded for a second, there's no telling what Redwood may do."