He stood off to the side watching as the other five alphas stood in a circle, their selective pack mates and Luna’s just behind them.
There was undeniable tension in the air, as so many alphas were not meant to be in the same room with one another especially not on another alphas property. This so called new alpha was an even bigger idiot than Artemis had imagined.
Shaking his head he crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall just as the doors above the staircase opened.
Artemis scuffed, he’d expected more than a wanna be muscle head. The alpha was barley older than a pup.
A young beautiful woman held onto his arm and he could only assume that this young alpha had found his mate and Luna. Five years ago, that was him, he thought he’d had everything, his life had been perfect.
He now knew there was no such thing as perfection.
Everyone shifted as the young male made his way down the steps, an emotionless mask on his face.
Artemis wanted to laugh, the pup wanted everyone to think he was going to be some big bad alpha.
Alpha Zarek shook hands with all the alphas in the circle, each making small conversation, introductions of important pack members were made, the Luna’s spoke quietly to another seeming comfortably. Artemis watched on with a heavy stare, until the familiar flash of raven feather hair caught his eye.
His eyes narrowed on the two females, the same blonde female wolf from the club was latched onto the female he’d been trying and failing to forget.
Angel stood with the other wolves at the very front, surrounding the alphas. She appeared nervous and almost sick looking.
Immediately he grew worried and his wolf paced in the back of his mind. Both of them wanted to know what was wrong with her.
Without thinking or even caring, he strode forward, right through the center of the alphas circle. His eyes focused solely on Angel.
Gasps rang out along with a roar of a challenge.
When his eyes caught with hers, he watched as those beautiful green eyes rounded and her mouth dropped open. Panic set upon her face as she tried to back up a step.
Her friend Isabel looked up and caught his eyes. Recognition crossed her face before she smiled. He watched with amusement as she held onto her friend’s arm, unwilling to let Angel escape.
He stopped a few inches from them, he lifted his nose in the air inhaling her scent.
This female was something he hadn’t expected. He didn’t want a relationship, he had no use for one but something about her pulled him in and until he figured out exactly what then he was going to take care of her. To start off with, he wanted to know why she looked so stressed and sick.
“Angel, it’s so nice to see you again” he said.
He watched her swallow and as she opened her mouth a territorial growl came from behind him.
Artemis felt the threat slide across his skin, his wolf anxious to be let out. He bristled and turned, keeping his female at his back. Alpha Zarek was trembling, his wolf peeking out through his eyes.
A hand on his back startled him and he turned sharply, snapping his teeth and growling at who ever had dared to touch him.
He instantly regretted it as Angel’s face showed fear and hesitation. She stepped around him wearily.
Artemis couldn’t do anything but stand there as he was shocked. He’d scared her, and had almost bit her. Her touch wasn’t like a mates, it didn’t calm him, so he’d had no idea that it was her who was touching him.
He watched as she walked towards Alpha Zarek. She held her head high, but her eyes were downcast. Her light purple dress clung to her form and he was suddenly reminded of the night they shared together.
He strode forward, catching her arm before she could make it to her alpha. She looked up at him letting out a gasp completely startled.
“Artemis , no, don’t,” she said glancing quickly at her alpha.
Alpha Zarek strode forward, his body inches from hers. Artemis let out a possessive snarl and pulled her back behind him once more.
He stared hard at the alpha. Why was he so protective over this one pack member?
His brow furrowed, he wanted to ask Evangelica but he refused to look away from the threat that was currently a few feet from him.
The tension in the room rose several notches, the power play between them causing the other alphas within the room to shift agitatedly on their feet. Their wolves sensed the two threats, they wanted to show their dominance as well.
Artemis could see this turning into a pissing contest.
“Who are you?” Alpha Zarek asked, his lips pulling back from his teeth in a snarl. His Luna came up from behind, setting her hand on his arm.
Artemis was surprised as the alpha swung back and growled at her, the same way he had reacted to Angels touch.
He masked his reaction but pondered of the implications of the alphas reaction.
His mate’s touch was supposed to calm him and yet when the Luna set her hand on him he reacted badly. Which only meant that the Luna wasn’t his actual true mate, this was his chosen mate.
So who was his true mate? Had she passed away like his own mate had?
“Alpha Zarek” he called drawing the attention away from the Luna back onto himself, “I am Alpha Steele” he said presenting a relaxed demeanor.
The entire crowd around them became silent and still as they realized how threatened their lives had become as the notorious alpha Steele stood in the middle of their gathering.
Alpha Zarek didn’t react as expected, and Artemis figured he’d obviously never heard the tale.
No matter. The wolves around him obviously had as the alphas gathered in the room began to slink away, gathering their mates close and slipping out of the door.
Once a wolf lost his mind, he rarely came back from it and if he did he wasn’t the same. Usually after a few weeks of trying to readjust it became obvious they simply couldn’t handle it and they were put down by the Alpha or someone of higher status.
Artemis had managed to hold on by the small grip of his claws. He wasn’t even sure how he’d done it but here he stood.
Clayton came to stand by his side along with Malcom as all three shielded Evangelica from Alpha Zarek.
“You’re standing in the way of something very important to me Alpha Steele. I suggest you tuck your tail and step aside” the young alpha sneered, his eyes glinting dangerously.
Artemis surprised them all by throwing his head back and letting out a loud boom of laughter. Pack members flinched and stepped back, their eyes lowered to the floor, some even keeping the door in their line of vision.
“Artemis , it’s fine. He won’t hurt me” she said peeking around the side of him.
He watched curiously as the alphas eyes lit up slightly as he got a view of her and then it hit him.
He scowled, his face devoid of all signs of amusement, crossing his arms over his chest he bulked up in appearance and growled, “What kind of alpha are you?”
There were a collective of sharp gasps.
Alpha Zarek snarled but didn’t defend himself.
“You left your true mate for a chosen?” He scoffed ignoring the snarl from the other alpha, “I didn’t think much of you before, and now you’ve given me legitimate reasons to”
Artemis knew the alpha was holding back by a thread, he knew the young alpha didn’t want to start a war but at this point he didn’t care. What wolf in their right mind would throw away their true mate?
This young wolf didn’t deserve either female.
“Get off of my land” he said continuing to visibly shake.
Artemis gave him a sly grin, “gladly” he said before he grabbed Angels hand tugging her after him.
The air around her smelt of complete fear and he wondered if that was because of him or the situation. Or both. He’d scared her, he knew that, but he regretted it and when they were alone he’d apologize.
“You will not be taking my mate from me!” Alpha Zarek roared. Artemis watched the Luna bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling as tears trekked down her face.
“You have a mate and she’s standing right next to you.” He stated calmly.
As Alpha Zarek clearly wasn’t going to back down without a fight, Artemis let go of Angels hand and stepped closer to Alpha Zarek, “Do you challenge me?” He asked.
In that moment everything about Artemis Steele screamed aggressor, his body shoved off a thick hot wave of dominance causing even Alphas Zareks pack to fall to their knees. His gray eyes flickered with specks of silver as his wolf wanted to put this disobedient pup in its place. There was room for only one alpha here, and that was Alpha Artemis Steele.
“Elijah” the Luna spoke, her voice cracking as she cried, “Don’t do this. She’s not worth it. You’ve got me and the pack.”
Artemis never looked away from his opponent but he spoke directly to the Luna, “Make no mistake female, Evangelica is worth it, far more so than you are. So I would suggest you hold your tongue”
She shrunk back but not before daring to look at his angel.
“Don’t” he barked, spit flying.
She shrunk farther back, letting the pack members hide her from view.
“So, is that a challenge I hear?” He asked, “because I will give you one and only one warning Alpha Zarek, I will not walk away once your belly has hit the ground and your neck is bared. I will kill you. I fight to the death, because if you can not beat me for my position and land as alpha then you’re not worthy of it or the title. Decide,” he said.
Artemis was hoping he’d agree. He wanted to rip into his flesh and tear the meat from his bones. He wanted to gift this beautiful female with the remains of her worthless mate.