Under the Moonlight

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Chapter 12

Ryder’s POV

The entire ride back to the packhouse, I feel like I’m soaring. Blaire has been worth the wait. She is beautiful, cunning and-

A great kisser, Remus purrs. I don’t say anything. I mean I can’t argue against him.

Alpha, there has been a breach in White Paw Pack. Rogues made it to the packhouse grounds. Nobody was fatally injured, but Alpha Owen wants to meet at the east border checkpoint right now. Harmon and I will be there and so will Owen’s son, beta, and lead warrior. I hear Skylar’s voice in my head, which cuts through all my previous thoughts of Blaire.

I’ll be there as fast as I can. I reply, pulling into a pack members driveway, readying myself to hop out and run to them now. I can see a living room light on in the family home. I’m sure they’re enjoying a nice quiet family night in. If I’m not back by morning, they may wonder why the Alpha’s car is parked outside their home.

I rush to the tree line and strip. The downfall of werewolfism, it’s like Bruce Banner turning Hulk. All clothing ripped to shreds. I stand bare under the moonlight for a moment, taking in the tranquil night. The next moment all that can be heard is the snapping and rearranging of bones.

I take off towards the checkpoint; twigs and shrubs snatching at my sides and dew- collecting on the small amounts of grass here and there- condensing and soaking the fur on my paws. I can smell the group of different leaders that I am rapidly approaching. The White Paw Pack members providing a different scent that mingles with members of my own pack.

In a clearing stand six men wearing nothing but shorts. (Shorts are easier to carry in wolf form.) As I stride up to the group of men I shift and slide into the pair of pants I brought along.

“Hello, Owen,” I say, facing a man the same age as my father. Peppered dark hair, broad strong shoulders, and barely distinguishable forehead wrinkles formed from years of being a pack leader. I nod to each of the other individuals with the alpha. The last individual I linger on, recognizing him but I can’t remember where from. His blonde curls look disheveled, while his green eyes seem to have tired circles beginning to form under them.

I scrunch my brow in deep thought. This feeling is gonna kill me. I’m like 99% sure I know this man.

“Evening, Ryder. I’m assuming your beta here filled you in on some of the details of why we are having this meeting?” Alpha Owen asks.

“Yes, a rogue breech is what I’m hearing. Do you think it’s Vague again? Did it fall within his attacking patterns?” I ask. If it’s just a ragtag group of rogues that happened to cross their pack land and decided to ravage for anything they want, this situation may be simpler than if it’s Vague. But I have a gut feeling this isn’t so simple.

“It follows most of his patterns. They ended up doing similar things, I mean they’re rogues. They’re kinda predictable. But usually the attacks start in your land before they migrate over the border,” the blonde, who I’m assuming is the newly appointed lead warrior, says stepping in to answer the question. He must have noticed my perplexion on not properly knowing him. “My apologies. I’m Michael Bursley, recently appointed lead warrior. Yeager was caught in a situation with a group of rogues and didn’t make it.” I can feel the tension build. The fiery rage for Vague and his group of rogues is a mutual feeling between the two packs.

“We give our condolences,” I say sincerely. “Now, we need to put an end to this. This problem has gone on too long. I mean, long enough we came up with a makeshift villain name.” I chuckle darkly. The few unenthusiastic chuckles don’t aid in lightening the mood.

“Alpha. How do we come up with a plan when we can hardly find any evidence to lead with? His name is Vague for a reason. We have no idea how he tames those untamable beasts. How he can get them to listen to him. The only reason we know there’s a “leader” is because one of his rogues gave the message that their leader wanted him dead,” Skyler says as he points to Harmon, our lead warrior. “And we can’t even determine why or how he knows Harmon. Oh for goddess’s sake, we aren’t even certain Vague is a he.”

I freeze. “Hold on. He knows Harmon.” I state.

“Well, most people around this area know him. Harmon, you’ve been lead warrior going on twenty or so years, right?” Alpha Owen’s son, soon to be alpha, Preston says.

Harmon nods his head. “Ever since I was mated to Rachel in my early twenties,” he comments.

“Well, do all of them have a death wish for him?” I ask the group. They all stay quiet as they think over possible who could want him dead.

“My mate sometimes,” Harmon says chuckling, which causes the rest of the group to crack a grin or chuckle. I know how mother would at times have that death glare for my father when he’s done something that offended her. By the next day, though, they’d be back to talking and joking with each other. That’s what I strive to have with my mate, with Blaire. The ability to disagree but to communicate and find a compromise.

“I’m sure we can all agree that our mates want to strangle us from time to time,” Skler pops off with his usual light spirit. “Besides that, I think we may have start to a solution. Harmon, could you make a list of possible suspects? There is a very slim chance it will even help, but there is still a chance.”

“Of course,” Harmon says. I nod my head in agreement. It’s a good enough start, better than sitting and waiting for attack after attack.

“What should we be doing?” Their beta, James, asks.

“I suggest keeping constant guards on the borders and a curfew. Hopefully we can lower the possibilities of civilians being caught in the crossfire,” I say. “I am planning on instituting those in my pack. You do as you may,” I state to Owen. He nods his head once in understanding. “Other than that, we will wait til we can weed through possible suspects. If anybody receives any further leads, we need to let each other know.” I give a final nod signifying my finish. The White Paw Pack all nod in understanding and each of us take turns shaking hands and saying our farewells.

Ryder, do you actually think this could work? The suspect list is going to be longer than what we probably have time to sort through. You know he's liked by his allies, but anybody on the wrong side of our pack, which there are more than a few, dislike all of us, especially the lead warrior. Skyler begins stating his doubts via the link, fearing others might overhear us.

It's our best solution for now, I simply reply back. We have all shifted and are running through the forest back home. I pray to the moon goddess that we can find a way to end this violence.

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