I stop in my tracks as I slowly swerve my head to the right, “Uncle Victor?”
I haven’t seen my uncle since I was 12. He and my father were not on the best of terms once my father was chosen to lead the pack. He disappeared for years and I never asked my father where he went.
I didn’t know what the deal was with him and his men so I didn’t mention what I had overheard while in the trunk.
“Lyssa, I’m pleased you remember me,” he says with a smile, but it’s not an honest one. He continues, “My apologies for bringing you in here under these circumstances. But I hear my brother’s health isn’t exactly up to par with where he once was.”
I decide to keep quiet, not sure where this is headed.
“Do you know what he plans to do with the pack once he’s gone?” I shake my head no in silence. My wolf telling me to not divulge any details.
“Well little one. He’s bringing in an outside force to take over. Didn’t even ask his good old brother if he wanted to take a crack at it.”
My uncle was about 6 years younger than my dad, but the stories I heard were enough to make me understand why he wouldn’t be an option. He was a violent man. Took no mercy, brutally penalized any transgression. He never had any children. His own mate refused to get pregnant when she found out what type of man he was. He beat her into submission to the point that she took her own life shortly after I was born. I didn’t know what his plan was, but I wanted to play my cards right.
“Uncle Victor. I wouldn’t take it too personally. He didn’t even mention me in his plans and I’m his own daughter. I haven’t been in touch with him and his pack since I was 17. I frankly don’t care what his next steps are” I lie. But it’s also not a full lie. I really never planned on coming back fully. I’ll admit, I was furious when he handed over the reins to a stranger, but my short days with Damien made me think of a potential future with him and I leading our groups together.
“Lyssa. You’re a woman. I wouldn’t expect your father to be that big of a fool to give you the chance. But his own brother? To pass me up? That’s stupidity”.
My fists are clenched, but I let it go. If my father was the traditional man of sorts, his younger brother had him beat. My uncle would never bow to a female in his life.
“Uncle Victor. As you said, I’m just a female. How could I possibly be of assistance to you?” I spit his words back, wondering why I’m wasting my time here.
“Lyssa. I want you to find out who his next successor is and kill him.”
I stare at him with my mouth wide-open. “Why? I haven’t been around there in 10 years. Why would I waste my time with this?” Is he crazy? I think to myself. Why would I get involved?
“Because I have your mother.”
It’s the evening now and I finally finished the tour of The Volki grounds. They’re massive and I’ll admit, I’m impressed. Their Beta showed me a tour of the place, Alpha Vladimir brought me up to speed, and I spent most of the day shadowing their training grounds, their setup, and introducing myself. Most of them knew who I was at that point, and I figure a friendly approach would be best to ensure a smooth transition.
I start to head toward the cabin when I see a younger woman, about Lyssa’s age, run towards me.
“Um, hi Alpha Damien. My name is Mara. I’m Lyssa’s best friend” she states, a bit flustered.
“Hi Mara, pleasure to meet you. I think I may have caught a glimpse of you coming out of the cabin this morning, am I right?”
“Oh yes..that was me” her cheeks get a bright pink color. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but have you seen Lyssa by chance? I’ve been trying to call her to um..discuss some news I had this morning, but she hasn’t been picking up and it’s very unlike her to go so many hours without a text back”
I notice she’s worried and if she’s her closest friend, I trust she knows something is going on. I glance down at my phone and I notice it’s almost 8pm and she hasn’t arrived, nor has she sent me a text.
“Mara, she mentioned she was going to the office to pick up a few things and come back. Do you know where she works? I could drive down there and make sure she’s ok”
“Yes I do. Please let me come with you. I’ll grab my mate Alexei to join as well. He’s um..very cautious about letting me go outside of pack grounds”
I look at her a bit perplexed. Knowing how this pack treats its women, I casually mention to her that if she’s in trouble she can reach out to me.
With that, she smiles, “Oh no Alpha, Alexei isn’t like that. I’m just..um.. Pregnant...so he’s worried”, and she smiles.
“Oh congratulations Mara. May the Moon Goddess give you and your baby a blessed life together” I smile.
“Thank you! Ok let me text Alexei and have him come over and we can head out”
I wait for Alexei, bring my Beta Nate, and all four of us head to Lyssa’s office. We ask the security guy at the desk to give us permission and with some persuasion, he takes us to the floor. I get to her door and realize her backpack and laptop are on the floor, but she’s not there. My chest constricts and I boil with range. My wolf knows something is wrong. Mara looks at me worried. My Beta Nate sniffs…”Alpha, there are two male scents here. Someone grabbed her”.
Before he can finish his sentence, I’m rushing out the door, calling her father Vladimir to ask for answers.