The time has come. In a mere few hours, the ceremony is expected to start. The pack has been called to prepare while we have been finishing up the remaining plans on our end. Max and Kyda have taken their place at the table while I am sitting with Lyssa next to them. Farther down is Alexei and Mara while the rest of both my warriors and Max’s are surrounding us surreptitiously to jump at the sign of any trouble.
I hold Lyssa’s hand, trying to steady her breathing, until I hear one of the border warriors mindlink us “Alphas, prepare. Intruders have been spotted at the border at the weakened location”.
I sense a shift in the air. This is much earlier than we anticipated as the full pack is not yet here and the rethroning ceremony has yet to officially start.
I look at the rest of the men at the table and sense unease before Alpha Vladimir speaks, “He has something up his sleeve. We need to be prepared. My brother never plays by the book”
We will ourselves to stay still at the table until we see Victor approach from the shadows and I hear a gasp from Lyssa, “Mama”.
He has come with more men than we anticipated and before we make a move, we look around and are surrounded. I look to Vladimir and he nods, silently letting me know he has mindlinked the rest of the pack to stay indoors as we try to limit as much bloodshed as possible, but he does call all male warriors forward within a safe distance to fight if necessary.
I look at Victor as he slowly approaches Max, anger in his eyes as he motions for one of his warriors to grab him. Before he does, Kyda growl deepens as she slices his throat before his hand makes contact with Max.
“Victor” I hear Alpha Vladimir speak. “To what do we owe the pleasure”
“Ah brother. I have heard of your recent frailing health. Frankly I was surprised to see you lasted this long without your mate nearby. Perhaps a crushing blow would be to announce your daughter has abandoned you as well will be the final straw?” He smiles as he looks towards Lyssa.
He moves to make a step before Lyssa stands up, “Not so fast Victor. My mama. We had a deal”
Victor stills, pondering for a moment before ushering in another warrior of his holding a woman. She looks a bit frail, but her beauty matches Lyssa’s and there is no doubt in my mind that this is her mother.
“Mama?” Lyssa turns to her. I see the older woman turn, with a glint in her eye as if she is pondering if she knows her own daughter.
“Mama. It’s Lyssa. Your daughter. What happened to you?” She is struggling to hold back tears, but there is unease in her voice as her mother makes no gesture of recognition.
I stand next to Lyssa as I eye Victor before he speaks to me now, “Ah you must be the little one’s mate. How interesting. I didn’t think she would pair given her absence”
I say nothing, my jaw flexing, deciding that the less I speak, the less information I can give to our enemy.
“What have you done with her you sick bastard?” Lyssa is screaming at him while she charges towards Victor. I try to grab her hand, but I am too late. She shifts and starts attacking, a howl so loud from her that signals the beginning of the battle.
I mindlink Alexei to take her father out of here, but it’s useless. Alpha Vladimir shifts and is quick behind his daughter, ready to defend her. Alpha Victor’s warriors go for Max, mistargeting the true replacement which we use to our advantage.
As soon as three warriors step to Max, Kyda slices through two of them while I shift and take on the third.
There is an invasion of men, more than we had anticipated, but now with Kyda and Max shifted and fighting alongside my wolf, we cut through bodies as they swarm us. I take a few moments to turn to Lyssa and see her father is already relatively weakened from Victor’s attacks, but what I see next brings chills to my very depths.
Before I realize what is happening, Lyssa’s mother has shifted and is running towards Alpha Vladimir, and before I can alert them to what is happening, she sinks her teeth into her own mate’s neck.
I hear a piercing scream and feel through the mate bond Lyssa’s torturous cries. I cannot run to her. I have 3 warriors on my back attacking. I look to see Max and Kyda fighting as well as worry and panic begins to seep into my veins. We had prepared for the ultimate weapon - Victor - but we miscalculated our truest weakness of all, Lyssa’s mother.
I smell the stench of blood as I see my father bleeding out, attacked by my own mother. I feel my world shattering as I debate to attack my own mother or Victor. Would I lose the only family I have left tonight?
I look at Victor before I scream, “What the fuck did you do to her? Why doesn’t she remember?”
I’m grabbed by two of his warriors in my moment of weakness. I look around and see the others are busy with their own enemies. I see Damien trying to shake off the warriors and come to me before I mindlink him “Stay put Damien. Now. If I lose you too alongside my own parents I will lose my fucking mind. Trust me”
I see him battling with what I’ve just said, but already more of Victor’s warriors are keeping him busy before I refocus on my mother.
As I’m held by the warriors, I look at Victor with pure hatred before I turn towards my mama. “What have you done? You attack your own mate? Your husband? My father? What has Victor done to you?”
Before I turn to Victor, I hear my mother’s agonizing pain. I turn as I see her body throttling on the floor. I look towards my uncle to get answers, but he seems just as confused as I am. I take his moment of pause and quickly kill the two warriors holding me and come to him with pure hatred in my eyes.
I growl with an intensity that I didn’t think was possible. Wolves all around bow in submission besides the Alphas next to me. I call all my warriors through the mindlink to encircle us before I shift to my human form. My body covered in blood, I speak, “I need two medics to grab my father and mother off the floor. Make sure my mama is cuffed with silver.”
As I see my uncle’s warriors try to get to my parents first, I hear my voice sound inhumane as I shout, “Stop!”, making his men stop in their tracks as I see my uncle stammer, looking at me.
“How is this possible? How do you command my men?”
I chuckle, as I notice his warriors’ submission while I motion for my own men to get my parents out of here. Make sure you keep my father alive. I nod to one of the medics before I look at my uncle.
“Shift you pathetic bastard.” I watch as my uncle shifts in human form before my eyes.
“Uncle Victor. I think it’s time you meet this pack’s true Alpha. This bitch.” as I snarl.