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Savior of the Wolves

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Chapter 2

Aiden’s POV

I take a final look at them and force a smile for their behalf. They deserve that from me…it’s not their fault that the world is the way it is.

Lately, if I hang out in the dining hall for supper, I get surrounded by everyone. I know I’m their future Alpha, but I’m not today. Today, I can feel their eyes on me. Like most days, I can sense their pity. The young wolves especially. They know they can easily find a mate. Most of them already have and those are the ones who pity my brother and me the most. They know we may never have what they have. Our destiny has been altered. There isn’t a female noble anywhere around here anymore.

Because of the attacks.

Our pack friends are young, without the training I’ve had, so I can’t blame them when they link to the group instead of their mate and share an intimate talk with the entire pack. I have to live with accidents like this. I have to live with their apologies when there shouldn’t be anything to apologize for. I have to live with the intimate touches and longing stares.

I loathe their pity. But they know what I’ll give up if I mate with a beta or delta wolf. What our pack will lose. The protection. How they feel is out of devotion and care, but it angers me. Torments me. More than I have admitted to anyone….even my brother.

So, I keep avoiding the crowds. As much as possible lately.

As I enter the side door to the back of the kitchen, Anna smiles at me and grabs a carry-out box. She puts my food in it and pats my arm with her empty hand, as she hands me my supper to go. She’s almost an elder and I can sense that she has a better understanding of how I must be feeling. She never pries. She does, however, slip me a surprise treat that I didn’t ask for.

I walk silently to the main library unnoticed and take my usual seat in the back, tucked away behind a bookcase, and open the last journal I was reading the day before. I’m drawn to the letters and journals that depict the attacks. The attacks that slaughtered so many female nobles.

The attacks are why I have so little interest in the mundane tasks around here. I can’t make myself interested in whether we patrol in groups of six or eight. In intervals of four or six-hour shifts. My pack...all of them... seems to know their place in the fluid existence of our species. And they are proud of everything that they do.

I envy them. I want to feel pride. But I feel something else.

I turned three years ago, as all wolves do, on my eighteenth birthday. The pain was unimaginable. So much worse than I had been warned. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened. Bones moving, skin tearing, teeth ripping through my gums, and somehow it healed almost immediately as my body transformed instantly from a dark-haired man to a large black and gray wolf.

I remember the pride in my mother’s eyes as she looked at me. I was too exhausted to understand it then, but she saw my father and herself in me. I was a mix of their coats. My father’s fur is jet black while my mother’s is pearlescent silver. Every alpha in my bloodline loses the Luna’s part of their coat once they become alpha. I have no desire to become an Alpha though. I have had little desire for anything at all since I turned.

For after the turn, the goddess has your mate destined for you. You are drawn to each other. I hear others talk. I know that to them the pain of the turn was worth it. They’d do it all over again. Because they found their mate.

But I just got the pain...followed by the void.

I can tell that it bothers my mother. So, I fake it. Almost every single day I fake it. I strut around like I’m proud and busy. Busy with training and studies...because that’s the show I put on for everyone.

Except for my brother.

So, mom is like most adoring mothers. She wants me to be happy. Fulfilled. And lately, she is mothering me to death. As Luna, that is her job and yeah, she does that to everyone for the most part, but I know it’s more with her children. She’s obvious in her attempts to pry. But that’s love, isn’t it? Obvious.

Helping is her instinctive nature. Inbred in her since she was born. She was born to be an Alpha’s wife. A Luna. She was a female noble at birth. A “fem” we call them. She was born from an Alpha and Luna’s union. This marks them for the remainder of their life. As a fem, there’s a distinct scent on them that only a potential mate, another male noble (they are simply known as “nobles”) can detect. It doesn’t matter how far away she is either. Once a fem is of age, something in a noble knows and is drawn to her as though nothing else matters. And for a short while, to a noble, nothing else does matter.

It’s not just the animalistic need to mate. The survival of the pack depends on him finding a mate. So the pull to her is maddening. The goddess made it so strong that he can’t...won’t stop until he finds her.

When a female noble comes of age...it’s magical. There is a change in the air. An entire destined pack can feel her. But no one can find her…except a potential match for her. Another noble. Her potential Alpha or future Alpha.

The inconvenience of it all is that any unmated noble is led to her. He can smell her...track her anywhere. His wolf has one purpose now...and that is to protect her. Her survival is more important now than ever. And until the goddess shows him if he’s the mate destined to imprint with her, he can’t leave her. Because it’s so much more than her survival now. The survival of the species depends on this…on the destined Alpha mating with her to strengthen the pack.

So, the goddess will see to it that each Alpha or noble finds her. Or dies trying. The journals are full of stories of those who have done just that.

That’s the most challenging part, reading the stories, knowing it’s not fiction. The need for someone. To need someone so badly, that death is no longer feared if it means their safety. Dad has that for mom. I see it every day. I believe he’d die without her. I have no doubt. His breaths are no longer for one person. He can’t breathe without her.

Maybe that’s why I am so obsessed with the main library and books so much more lately. There are countless journals. What if attacks like this happened before? Did we miss something?

I have to know...because I am a noble. Just like my brother...just like my sister. I will only be drawn to a female noble. And my brother will be also. We would both long for her. It would tear at the unity of the pack…until the imprinting is complete…with one of us or another noble that we’ve never even met.

It just hasn’t happened yet. For either of us.

For any noble in years.

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