"Lucien, I don't think this is a good idea," Katherine said as she fiddled with the end of her blouse.
"On the contrary, I think this is a great idea," Ignus counteracted and Katherine rolled her eyes. Lucien was dressed in a fine suit with Lana, Xander, Desmond, and other members of his pack following behind him.
"We won't find her on our own," Lucien said.
"And some of these guys would do anything to get their hands on a weakness," Katherine said, to which Desmond nodded his head.
"Speak carefully, Alpha," Desmond said and Lucien merely nodded his head as he entered the large conference room. Alphas and Betas filled the tables that formed a large rectangle around the room.
It was rare for Lucien to make a request and having made a desperate plea for help, he was answered by every pack he could grab a hold of. With a little help from his more powerful friends of course. Small or large there was a pack from every part of North America and that was just how Lucien wanted it. All of the werewolves stood up upon Lucien's entrance and once he got the head of the table, everyone simultaneously took their seats.
"Good evening. I know some of you came from places far away, some of you were busy, and some of you have never even heard of the Umbra Pack. I thank you for your time," Lucien said respectfully. "Let me get straight to the point..."
Lucien poured himself a glass of whiskey. He hadn't been out of his territory in so long, and he'd flown all the way to Seattle to meet with the packs.
"Alpha Lucien," Ignus' voice called from outside the room. "You have visitors." Lucien found himself raising his brows. Ignus was never that formal. He turned around and watched as the door to his room was opened and in walked a close friend of his and an unfamiliar woman with him.
"Alpha Cross," Lucien said with mock respect. The Alpha chuckled at him and Lucien immediately felt the other aura surrounding the woman with him. "Luna."
"You said this guy was chill," the woman said, smirking. Lucien grinned and found the Alpha in front of him chuckling as well.
"He is. It's been a while, Lucien," the Alpha said and Lucien chuckled as they got in for a quick hug.
"This must be your mate," Lucien greeted as he got a better look at the Luna. She had soft blonde hair and piercing blue eyes and Lucien noticed the small bump on her stomach. "Congratulations."
"Thanks. Call me Elair. Luna's a bit much for Maddox's friends," she said with a smile and Lucien grinned.
"I was surprised you made it," Lucien said as he turned to Maddox, the Alpha himself.
"You barely ask for my help. We may be the big bad pack of the group, but Macabre helps its friends," Maddox replied.
"That and we aren't busy. Search parties are the least Maddox will have me do," Elair added. "Would you mind if I took a seat? I've been getting winded quicker than I should be." Lucien nodded and they all moved to the set of couches that sat across from each other.
"It's because of the children. I told you to take it easy."
"Mind your damn business, Maddox," she replied as she took her seat.
"Children?" Lucien mused and Elair nodded as she caressed her stomach.
Lucien watched the two of them with envy as Maddox caressed his mate's hands. It didn't help that they looked like perfection together. Years of knowing Maddox Cross, Alpha of the Macabre Pack, and finally he meets his mate. They looked like a portrait, with Maddox in his all black suit and Elair in her white dress.
"The person outside earlier, he wasn't a wolf was he?" Elair asked, surprising Lucien. They had all made sure that Ignus smelled just like one of them, which wasn't hard to do given how long he'd been living in the pack house.
"Bloodhound," Lucien answered and Elair paused before nodding.
"Not unheard of, I guess, pretty rare though," Elair said casually, surprising Lucien. "But having a bloodhound on our side makes this a bit of an even playing field."
"Scare me?" Elair asked and she simply shrugged. "There are things much scarier than bloodhounds."
"Looks like Macabre always has so little to fear," Lucien commented and he suddenly noticed a certain darkness pass over the Luna.
"We've been through quite a bit actually. But that's not what we're here to discuss," Maddox said, clearing his throat. "A friend of ours can try to track down your mate... albeit in much less ordinary circumstances." Lucien chuckled.
"Nothing is really ordinary when it comes to you and your pack," he said, earning a smile from the two.
"We're just extremists," Elair said with a wink before she hastily stood up. "I know what it's like to not be close to your mate. I know what it's like to be kept away from them." She said as she placed a hand on Lucien's shoulder.
"We'll search for her like one of our own." Maddox said and Lucien could do nothing but bow as the two of them said their goodbyes and left. As soon as they were gone, Ignus crept his way inside and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Never knew you were the type to make friends with such intense people," Ignus said.
"They practically sniffed you out," Lucien said with a laugh.
"Yeah, no shit, that Luna gave me a look that could kill," Ignus said as he brushed the back of his head. "But it's good to know we have strong people like that behind us."
"You think she's okay?" Lucien asked and Ignus breathed a sigh.
"Considering Ezra hasn't shown up all guns blazing, I think she's still putting up a fight," Ignus replied with a shrug. "Keep your hopes up Lucien." He added, noticing the sad look that glazed over Lucien's eyes. Ignus had learned the Lucien was good at hiding away, but it was the subtleties that let him down.
"Tell everyone we'll be leaving for home soon," Lucien said and Ignus nodded his head simply. By this time, Ignus had already accepted that he was basically like Lucien's secretary. "Have your hounds gotten anything?"
"You know I'd tell you if they did," Ignus said simply and Lucien nodded as he poured himself another glass of whiskey. Ignus took that as his cue to leave and he couldn't help but sigh as he closed the door behind him. Despite Lucien's exterior, he was an emotional mess, which made Ignus worry even more on Auden's behalf. Lucien had cut up a ton of Auden's clothes and dispersed pieces of it to almost every werewolf they came across. The Alpha meeting was no exception.
Lucien was desperate and it wasn't hard to see.
You okay? Hera asked and Ignus managed to smile.
Same as usual. Anything new?
I wish. Hera replied. Dalton's empty-handed. Thankfully Lucien's bond hasn't shattered.
Ignus didn't respond. Lucien's bond with Auden was their lifeline and even now, he knew it was as thin as a piece of thread. They didn't know when it would snap or if it was stronger than it seemed. Regret often swallowed Ignus up faster than anything. He'd dragged Hera and Dalton in his fight, broke things off with Celia, instigated contact with Auden, stopped her from marking Lucien, and his decisions made him doubt himself.
I can feel your pain, Ignus. Calm down. Hera suddenly said and Ignus shook his head.
Let me drown in it sometimes.
We've got bigger issues and an Alpha to console. Might wanna get that in your head first, otherwise Ezra will gain the upperhand.
Ignus shut her out. He didn't need a pep talk, he needed to think, it was the only way he could cope. He only hoped he wasn't wasting time thinking rather than acting.