Welcome to Hell
Alpha Maximus’ POV
“Alpha, remind me again why we must come to this run-down pack?” I took a deep breath before lashing out at my Beta and best friend, Terry. Thanks to my wolf, Ares, I have had a migraine since we started this trip to hell. He was excited and sure that we would find our mate this time. The problem is that he is always confident and gets disappointed in the end. “Terry, don’t! Our pack needs this.”
Terry took his eyes off the road to glance at me and, with a visible frown, said. “What got into you today, Alpha? I’ve never seen you in a mood like that. You have not spoken the whole trip.” Massaging my forehead, I said. “It’s Ares. He’s giving me a headache this time. He isn’t letting me organise my thoughts.” Terry’s eyes got wild, thinking my wolf had a bad feeling about this trip. “Alpha, Is he sensing any danger?”
I took another deep breath. “No! Ares wants our fucking mate. He always gets like that on our visits, but Ares is too agitated this time. I had blocked our connection hours ago to give me some breathing, but this stupid wolf is forcing too much to break the wall giving me more and more headaches.”
Terry laughed. “Wait till you tell him you are considering taking a mate in Alliance with another pack. A chosen mate, Ares won’t have it, be prepared for the consequences.”
I looked outside the window. At least the view towards hell was breathtaking. “He won’t have a choice but to obey me. The pack needs a Luna and a future Alpha. I am the one in charge, and we are twenty-five now. We need to mate pronto. He will have to understand his fated mate might never be found.”
Terry snorted. He knew how difficult Ares was. “Good luck with that.”
Two hours later, we finally arrived in hell, or should I say, at the Woodland Pack. Alpha Michael White was all smiles waiting outside for us with a woman and his Beta by his side. “Terry, I didn’t know Alpha Michael had taken a mate.” I asked my Beta on the mindlink. “He didn’t, Max. She is his fucking buddy.”
Michael was in his late forties, and I did not understand why he had not mated yet. Is he still waiting for his fated mate? If yes, he is persistent. I must give him that. I lowered the wall between my wolf and me. We are not in our territory anymore and had to be on high alert. I needed him now more than ever.
“Welcome, welcome, Alpha Maximus. We are delighted to have you here.” His young side chick only smiled at me, and I was disgusted with that. “Thank you. Alpha Michael, my warriors are very excited. You have many she-wolves here, and I am sure they will find their mates.”
Alpha Michael gave me a fake smile, and I knew he was unhappy with the arrangements. He had been pushing for an Alliance for months. But his run-down pack had nothing to offer us. An Alliance with them would not benefit my pack.
“It would be an honour if you were to choose a member of my pack as your mate, Alpha Maximus. The she-wolves are very excited about your presence here.”
Hearing Michael’s comment, Ares released a low growl, and they got startled. “Who this runt thinks he is talking to us like that? The Moon Goddess has already chosen our mate for us.” I rolled my eyes. “Can we get this over with, Ares? It would be best if you behaved, or we take control of his weak pack. If you want to fight, I am all for it, but if not, sit tight there and let me do the talking.”
Ares was a killer, but just like I thought, he went away. He was not here to fight this time. Ares wanted to find his mate. I looked at Alpha Michael, and the man was pale. He, like everybody, knew how deadly my wolf was. “Alpha Michael, It will be best if your Beta finds accommodation for my warriors, and we can discuss business in your office.”
Michael composed himself and smiled again. “Of course, and please follow me. I will have one of the Omegas show you and your Beta the guest quarters. You might want to freshen up before business.” We just nodded. It would be best to rest for a while. I had to endure three days in hell, all for the sake of my pack.
Following the Omega to our quarters, Ares, as expected, started with his observation. “This man gives me the creeps. I don’t like this Alpha! Look at his pack house. If our mate is here, it will take years for us to make it up to her and earn her forgiveness for not finding her sooner and taking her from this awful place. Boy, we will have to work a lot to buy all the presents for her, and I am sure it won’t be enough.”
I groaned at him, ready to break his bubble. His confidence sometimes was amusing. “You do realise she might never be found, don’t you? You might be living in a fairyland, and I will soon have to take matters into hand and break you out of your bubble.”
He released a low growl. “Don’t you dare say that, Max!!! I will not accept any mate but the one the Moon Goddess gave us. I am kind enough to let you take your sluts to bed when you want, but a chosen mate.” He shook his head, delivering his statement. “I will never accept that!”
I had to laugh. Ares thinks he is the one in charge. “Well, buddy, I am in charge here, and the pack needs a Luna. Sorry to say it, but I won’t wait much longer. You have been looking for her for nine years now, Ares. Soon, it will be our fifth year in charge of the pack and five years with a massive pack without a Luna. Our enemies can take advantage of us being pupless and attack. It would be best if you thought about the pack first.”
I moved to the window; from there, I could see the pack’s border. “Ares, I am surprised you are ok to be all this time without a pup or a mate by your side. And are against me choosing a she-wolf to lead the pack with us.”
The bag of black fur was sitting there in my mind. “I do think about the pack. They will benefit more from a fated mate than from a chosen one. It won’t be the same, Max. The dedication a fated mate will give us, and the pack will be much greater. You have to understand that, kid. And, of course, I miss having pups and a mate running with me, but we still have to look for her, Max. I will not have another taking her rightful place.”
I settled my bag on the table and was ready to end this banter with Ares. We would never see eye to eye on this subject. “What I do understand is we need to mate Ares. Enough about that! My head is about to explode. It is your last trip. I will make an Alliance if we don’t find her here when we return to the pack.”
With that, I lifted the wall between us. I could not listen to him any longer. I needed a minute. It is the same speech over and over of how wonderful a destined mate would make us feel for the rest of our lives.
“Alpha, all the warriors are sorted and are already socialising in town.” I was glad that while Ares was bothering me, Terry had sorted the men. “Thanks, Terry. Let them know I want to see everybody at the dining hall tonight. This good-for-nothing Alpha Michael is going all the way to make us happy. We better play nice with him. I am sure he will try to take advantage of our men if they find their destined mates here. And I’m not in the mood to give him anything extra.”
“No worries, Alpha. I will let them know dinner is mandatory tonight.” Terry laughed. Not only he but also my warriors were on the same page. They will not want to stay behind if they find their she-wolves. “Good. I will see you downstairs in ten. Let’s get the business sorted.” With that out of the way, I closed the mindlink.
When we got to the office, Alpha Michael was with the she-wolf on his lap and fondling her breasts. It was 4 pm, and somehow, I felt that was the only thing he did the whole day, and he let the pack run itself.
I cleaned my throat, annoyed that he did not sense our presence. How he came to be an Alpha was beyond me. Both were startled, and the she-wolf fell from his lap to the floor. “Alpha Maximus. I thought I would see you only at dinner. It was a long journey.”
“I don’t mind it, Alpha Michael. As I said before, I can stay only for three days. It will be best to start getting all the business settled first.” I motioned to Ger and said. “This is Ger, my head warrior.” Now that I had to lower the walls between myself and Ares, he was ready to jump on his observation. And, of course, nothing escaped him.
“I don’t get that, Max. His pack is collapsing, and we are going after him to get things back in place. He should be pronto in his office with his warriors talking strategy and eager for our help. Instead, he is here playing with a she-wolf before an Omega serves him a drink.”
“We knew he was a fool before we came here, Ares. Why are you surprised with what we found now?” Ares was pacing in my mind. “I am not feeling good here, pal.” That made me stay alert. “Are we in danger? The warriors are drinking in town. If you feel something, Ares, we must leave to help them.”
He shook his head. “It is not the pack. I think it is our mate.” I snorted. “Not that again, Ares. I need to concentrate here, pal. I can’t have my walls up the whole trip. It is not safe. I need you with me the entire time, and you are giving me a headache. Can you drop that off till at least dinnertime?”
He lifted his ears, searching for something. “I think our mate is not ok. I can feel it.” I sighed. He was losing it now. “How can you feel that if you haven’t even met her yet, Ares? You know, the lack of a mate is making you crazy. Good thing I will fix it when we return from this trip to hell. I need to breathe sometimes, you know it, and you are making it difficult this time."
“Max, is everything ok? You are spacing out.” Thank the Goddess. Terry interrupted the stupid wolf on the mindlink. I was so deep in Ares’ banters that I did not even realise that some Woodland warriors and the Beta had arrived at the meeting. I needed to concentrate, and I knew people were starting to notice it.
“Sorry, Terry. Ares is not giving me a breather. Going on and on about wanting his fated mate. And how no money in the world would make her forgive us if we found her here and didn’t come for her sooner.”
Terry laughed. “Oh, God. He got it bad this time. Has he smelt her scent in the air, at least? I snorted. “Please, do you really think I would be standing here if he had got even a wind of her scent? We would be miles away searching for it.”
Ger, Terry and I came up with a strategy for the rogue problem. I cut the mindlink with Terry and started giving my input at the meeting. If everything went as expected, my ten warriors would not have to stay much longer in this hell and could return to the Blue Moon sooner than they expected.
Of course, Alpha Michael went on and on about me leaving only ten warriors behind to help his warriors. He failed to understand that ten of my skilled warriors were equal to his pack in strength. I was sure his good-for-nothing warriors would not do the heavy lifting, and only my ten wolves would be able to resolve the problem.
Later at the dining hall, we met nearly the whole Woodland pack, and as expected, we did not smell our mate. Of course, Ares still had his hopes up as at the leaving party on Saturday, we would be able to see the whole pack, and she could be there. But, to be honest, I had lost hope years ago.
“Kid? Tomorrow, you need to let me out when we are helping with the pack. I can sense our mate further if I am in charge.” Ares puffed up his chest, trying to convince me. I had to laugh. He had lost it entirely now.
“Ares, there is zero chance I will let you be in charge in human form. You will scare people for no reason. You are the deadliest wolf in this century. They heard all the stories, buddy and let me tell you a secret. They know all the stories about you are not only stories. They are true.”
I got into bed in hopes he would let me sleep. “The party will take place soon. If our mate is here, we will meet her there. Now let’s sleep. We have an early start tomorrow.”