It’s enough. I’m tired of this sick psychological game Michael is doing. He’s not feeling well; it’s self-evident. He has also decided to end our bond, but if he thinks it’s that simple, he guesses wrong. I’m stronger than many people think, and I haven’t even shown a fraction of all the power I’ve got within me. Does he want to break our pact? Go ahead, do it. What he doesn’t realize is that at the moment it breaks off, part of his strength and part of himself disappear; I get that power. Everything in this life has a price, and it’s impossible to escape the payment no matter what you do. I think you all noticed when I had to pay with my life, didn’t you? The problem isn’t that Michael is a two-faced liar; no, what stings is that he didn’t come to me to talk about it. I’m not an evil person, and he’s my best friend; of course, his condition is a priority for me. All he has had to do is warn me about what’s to come, aka the pain I feel now that I’m in the pack hospital. My stomach has calmed down, and there won’t be any more vomit at the moment. For the moment, all the trifles are a win for me. It’s not very uplifting to scare the life out of every creature that’s nearby with my blood-mixed vomit. Not that I’m ashamed or anything; it’s not directly my fault that I find myself in this situation, but it’s uncomfortable either way. Blake sleeps on the couch by the window, and Luis lies on the floor next to the hospital bed in wolf form. I guess he feels more prepared if he knows he can protect me quickly if something unforeseen happens. His wolf, Tim, is beautiful and robust. The coat is dark gray, and his brown eyes can burrow into one’s soul. Tim looks dangerous, but believe me; he’s a big teddy bear. Don’t get me wrong; he’s dangerous to most people, but he sees me as his puppy, just like his human form. I have no idea why so many see me as their child, but I’m glad I’m likable. Gratitude is the only thing I can feel for all those who have given me the same love that any parent would do for their child; Mom, Dad, Clare, Matt, and now Luis. Not many people get the love they deserve from their two biological parents, and I’ve been lucky enough to get it out of five people. I love them all as my parents, even though I have fundamental problems remembering my mom and dad at all. The few memories I have left of them, I cling to as if they are my lifeline.
“Aleida, are you awake?” Blake’s tired voice reaches my ears, and I look at him.
He looks tired and rubs his eyes while yawning big. Although many believe that vampires don’t need food, sleep, go to the bathroom, and so on, in fact, they do. Vampires basically work the same way humans do when it comes to basic needs, except for blood lust, speedy reflexes, muscles, night vision, and more.
“Yes, I’m awake, Blake,” I answer, smiling softly at him.
Blake has been a rock ever since I first met him, and it hasn’t changed in the meantime. His loyalty and kindness continue to shine; I’m pleased to be able to call him my friend. At the same time, I can’t help but worry about what’s to come. Michael was also loyal and friendly before; in the end, it turned out that he wasn’t whom I thought.
“How do you feel?” he asks and sits down in the chair next to my bed.
“I’ve felt better, clearly! But I won’t complain either. Elisa gives me the strength not to break down by the split pact.”
And much of Michael’s power.
“Good to hear! Do you need anything?”
“No, but thank you for asking. The only thing I’m hungry for right now is junk food and a shower,” I respond with a yawn that Blake chuckles at.
“You’re the same anyway; it’s a good sign,” he replies, grinning with an amused tone.
“Hey, you big oaf, it’s time to wakie wakie and get up!” I say and push Luis a little, who’s still sleeping on the floor.
He opens one eye, looks at me, closes the eye, and pretends that I haven’t said anything. Blake chuckles at the reaction I get but stops right away when I give him an annoyed look. I get up from the bed and walk into the bathroom to take a shower. It’s quick, and when I get back, Luis is still on the floor.
“Luis! Get up right away; otherwise, it’ll be two months of extra hard training for you,“ I say low in a fake threat.
He jumps off the floor and opens the door for me. I laugh at him and scratch him behind his ear, which he apparently likes by the tongue hanging out at the corner of his mouth to judge. What did I tell you? He’s a big teddy bear, or yes, a dog might be better suited as a description right here. Blake walks next to Luis and me, too. Together we get to the packhouse in no time.
“Luis, go and change,” I tell him before turning to Blake. “Blake, go and take a shower. I’ll see you in my office in ten minutes. You both look like corpses.”
I hear a laugh and a bark behind me as I walk away. The desk is full of papers that I have to go through today. Who could guess that a” holiday” consisting of three days in the pack hospital can result in such a mess? Well, it could’ve been worse. I’ve seen Kian’s and Miliano’s workload when they were absent; this is nothing compared. However, they’re two who share the work while I’m one person. Besides, they have two betas and a gamma that helps them; I only have Luis as my beta after Michael left us. This is why each pack has an alpha, beta, and gamma if anything happens. I promoted Luis to my beta when Michael made his choice, and I have yet to bring in someone like my gamma. Documents from the building committee regarding upgrades on our company buildings, proposals for collaborations, development ideas, will it never end? I’ve made sure that the company develops as I want it to and have now started recruiting workers who care for it when I’m not present. But even if they do a lot of the work, ultimately, the responsibility lies with me. It’s only me who can sign documents and accept new changes regarding the pack and the company. Luis can go through the papers and come up with feedback about it but don’t make the decisions. A knock comes from the door, and shortly after, they both come in. Luis has shifted and dressed in his usual clothes. Blake has washed off and looks cleaner.
“Good morning, gentlemen. The holiday is over, and it’s time for us to start working. Blake, I want you and your partners to join us in our training sessions, mainly because you need to learn our routines and build trust between you all. I don’t distrust you or your ability to protect us, but this is mandatory. Please let the rest of them know that the training starts tomorrow morning at five AM,” I say, and Blake bows lightly before leaving the room.
“You’ve been awake for a short while and just fought through a blood pact alive, yet you’re sitting in here in the office as if nothing has happened. There’s no one else who deserves the title of “Queen” more than you do, my dear,” Luis says softly and proudly smiles at me.
“Thank you, papa. It’s easier to stay strong when I know I got you by my side; I pick up power from you,” I answer before hugging him. “Unfortunately, I can’t excuse you from work for being cute. We have a lot to make up for, and I’ve got no idea where to start right now.”
“Hm,” he quietly hums, looking at my overcrowded desk with stacks of paper. “That’s a good question. Sorting should be a good start.”
We take one pile each in our hands and begin to sort the papers in order. It’s quiet in the room except for our small talk from time to time and reports moving around. Luis sometimes looks at me when he thinks I don’t see, and I already know what he’s thinking about. “Who will become the new gamma?” The more time passes, I come closer to the conclusion for the problem, but I can’t advertise my choice yet.
“I’m getting to it, Luis. Don’t worry,” I say without looking up from the papers.
“I haven’t said anything,” he replies confusedly.
“You wonder when I’m going to promote someone to my gamma, and I have one in mind. But I can’t tell anyone else before talking to the person in question; it’s just arrogant. I can’t take it for granted that the person says yes.”
“I’m telling you, there’s no one else who deserves the place you have, my dear,” he says, smiling.
We work well into the afternoon, and before we know it, we get a mindlink that it’s time for dinner. Thankfully, we’ve gotten through the piles, and I’ve signed the majority of the papers. Side by side, we walk down the stairs towards the dining room. I hear the roar long before we reach the room. One of our young members messes with one of the vampires, and when he talks, I get angry.
“Obviously, we have a weak alpha if she lets people like you get into our lands,” he says in a disgusted voice.
I growl soundly when I hear it, and lightning-fast I’m in front of him. My hand takes a firm hold around his neck and pushes him up against the wall. He dangles in the air and desperately tries to get air into his lungs, but I don’t let go. I show my fangs and growl even louder to clarify my dominance. In the end, he shows his throat in submission; that’s right, I’m in charge.
“One more word from you, Barry, and you’re banished from the pack. Have I made myself clear?” I growl into his ear, and he nods strenuously; I let him go. “That applies to all of you, too! They’re welcome here by both me and your beta. They’re here because we need their assistance; the least you can do is respect the choice I made and show gratitude that another species is kind enough to help us!”
“Yes, Alpha,” everyone says, and I nod that they can sit down.
The vampire that the man fought with nods at me in respect with a bit of smile. Blake’s been talking about him, his name is Lucas, and he’s a new vampire. He turned a few months ago and is very insecure, which means he needs someone who stands up for him. I indicate that he can sit down next to me, and he does after a few seconds of hesitancy. I’m angry that one of my members continues to behave this way even though I warned them all about what happens if they go against what I say. He should show gratitude for everything we’ve done for him! We’ve given him clothes, food, shelter, medical care, training, and education, isn’t that enough!? In my anger, I do what I said I wouldn’t do.
“Blake,” I say, and he looks up from his plate. “What do you say about becoming my gamma?”
Cutlery is dropped down on plates, and the room becomes quiet. This is sure to mess around in the pot, and everyone can finally realize that I was serious when I said that we’re allies.