I get to the pack house and run straight for the hospital to see my dad. Tears already in my eyes to see him in such a state, I rush over to him and hold his hand.
“Papa! How are you? Mara told me you had a stroke and I came over as quickly as I could”
“Lyssa honey. I’ve missed you. I’m doing well” he says, his voice breaking slightly. “Nothing can take an old Alpha like me sweety” he says as he pats my head. His eyes start to wander and I can tell he has something serious to tell me, “Lyssa, darling. I have something to confess to you. I should have told you sooner and I know this isn’t the best of times, but it’s either now or never. I have reached out to Alpha Damien of the The Claws Pack to help lead this pack for when I’m not here anymore”
I am stunned. I knew my father always wanted a male figure to lead the pack, but to go outside of our own pack for a leader?
“Why Papa?!” I exclaim. His eyes squint a little at my higher voice, but I couldn’t ease the anger this time. I had heard of Alpha Damien - his brutality was beyond measure. He became alpha at age 19 when his parents relinquished leadership and has been squandering packs left and right to seize up territory.
“Sweety, Lyssa, he’s the strongest Alpha I know. I’m afraid if we put a Beta in charge here, Damien would only attack us first and take over. Fresh leadership makes us a target for attack. I figure reaching out to him as a peace offering could save our pack members in the long run from an all out war and hostile takeover”
I was shaking. I was angry at my father for not even giving me the chance to prove myself to lead and just makes this pact behind my back!
“Papa! I was your best leader and fighter before the Blood Moon Ball. I was fighting Betas twice my size. I fight better in my human form than any male pack member we have and yet you still choose to hand us over? To hand me over? What will be his expectations of women of our pack? What will he expect of our members? His reputation precedes him - he’s dangerous, cocky, arrogant. Even I know this and I haven’t been involved in Werewolf matters in the last decade!”
My father sighs and looks at me. I know he did it for the pack’s interest, but it still pains me that he didn’t even take me into consideration.
“Lyssa honey, I want you to behave and show your respect. I’m in a weakened state and this is in the best interest to prevent future bloodshed. Alpha Damien is coming tomorrow and that is the end of the discussion. Now go and let me rest and we will continue this at a later date. You’re excused” he says in his Alpha command as I hunch my shoulders and leave.
I haven’t been connected to this pack in a decade. But I love some of my childhood friends here and my father. I was nowhere near ready to hand over my family and friends to a prick like Damien to do what he wants with them. I was ready for war.
I arrive to Volki’s pack with 5 of my best men: My Beta Nate, Gamma Mike, and my top 3 warriors. We are ushered in by a border patrolman to Alpha Vladimir after I state my presence.
Alpha Vladimir is sitting at his desk, looking fatigued, tired, but with a sparkle in his blue eyes. I remember my father speaking highly of him. They fought rogues together back in the day. Alpha Vladimir knew of me from when I was a boy, but this is the first time we are meeting face-to-face as Alpha equals.
“Welcome Alpha Damien” he smiles warmly in my direction and we shake hands. “I hope your travels were easy. I’ve set up living arrangements on our pack territory for the duration of your stay”
“Alpha Vladimir, thank you very much for your hospitality. We will be staying for 2 weeks. I want to learn of your pack as much as I can and ease the transition out of respect for your leadership and my father’s friendship”.
“Very well” he states back. “Let’s have some lunch. I’m sure you and your men are hungry after all of your travels”
We head down the hall to a massive dining area. Alpha Vladimir’s Russian reputation is on full display. The elegance of his halls, his homes, are astounding. I see his men practice fighting outside and they are a force to be reckoned with. I notice only men are fighting..quite the difference from my own pack where both men and women are taught fighting skills as soon as they are old enough to shift. It’s always better to have everyone prepared during an attack.
I walk into the dining hall and sit. As soon as I’m settled, the food arrives, all on display in gold-plated dishes. I smirk, the Russian wealth might be another secret perk to this agreement afterall.
I start to dive into the food, only to hear a burst through the door.
“Vladimir! You were supposed to stay in the hospital bed resting! What are you doing out entertaining guests?!” She schrieks. I laugh a little, thinking what woman would have the guts to talk to an Alpha like that.
As I turn, her scent hits me like a ton of bricks before I see her face. She smells of hyacinths, so sweet, unique. As I catch a glimpse of her face, my jaw slacks. She has gorgeous brunette hair past her shoulders, a little waved, with rich hazel eyes. Her lips are plump, red, juicy. Her face is a bit flushed at her aggravated state. She’s about 5’6”, but all muscle, from what I can tell from her white top and tight jeans. My wolf yelps “Mate”.
“Ah Lyssa, love. Please, it’s no trouble I’m alright. Please calm yourself and let me introduce you to Alpha Damien. Alpha, this is my daughter Lyssa”
Damn. I heard of his daughter being a beauty, but fuck, she’s jaw-dropping. I stand to shake her hand and her eyes are shifting from hazel to green as she tries to control her wolf.
“Hi Alpha Damien. I’m Lyssa. I hear you’ve been given the incredible opportunity to take over my father’s pack. Well I hope you are indeed worthy of such an incredible gift because I sure as hell am not letting my family be led by a brute”
Her father’s jaw drops, and I smirk. “Well hello Lyssa, pleased to meet you. I don’t think you have to worry about that. In the time I’ve been here, I haven’t abandoned my pack for a lifestyle change”. I smile while I watch her eyes brimming with anger, hinting that I know she hasn’t been in the picture for some time.
I turn away from her, turn to Alpha Vladimir and state “Alpha Vladimir, it is with the utmost respect I take on your pack members and am pleased to learn of your traditions while spending time with your daughter to help with the transition.” I walk away, wondering if her time in human form prevents her from seeing me as her Mate. I laugh to myself, ah, this should be fun.