Seeking happiness

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XL

Yesterday was a black day. After the breakfast where he shared the news about his father, everyone went their separate ways. He gave everyone, including himself some time to process the news. It gave him some time to think over the things that kept him awake at night. In the afternoon, they all came together to take Gabriel to his final resting place. It was hard. He had prepared a speech, but nothing he had written down, could make up for the guilt he was feeling, it just wasn’t good enough. He still feels like a failure.

Today Christopher has planned a meeting with the leading staff, some Elders, and his brothers. Maybe even Alpha Krane could join them. They need to investigate and take some action. He also urgently needs to talk to Jolena. He has a feeling she doesn’t feel like staying away from Litchley for too long. Even though they seem to have bonded a little more yesterday, he still feels she’s hesitant trusting him.

And the things she saw during the fight didn’t do anything good in that part. He really hopes she will give him a chance to show her that he isn’t just a wild wolf, that he is so much more and that he can give her so much more. Chris sighs and gets up from his daydreaming. It’s time to call everyone together.

Christopher walks into the conference room together with his brothers, his leading staff and some of the Elders of his pack. Alpha Krane is also present. “Take a seat, everyone, we have important matters to discuss.” He says, and everyone takes a seat.

“I think we all know why we are here.” Chris sits at the head of the table, he leans forward, leaning on his elbows, his fingers put together. He looks down to his fingers for a second and takes a deep breath.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself Chris, I feel like you blame yourself for this whole situation.” One of the Elders says.

“I was the one responsible for anything that happened after the guards told me that my father passed away.” Chris says, still looking down.

“How could you have known that he was still alive? How could you have known what to do? You had hardly any experience; you were just a boy.” Alpha Krane joins the conversation.

“I had plenty of experience, I have been trained ever since I was a little kid. I was more than ready to take over at any time.” Chris hits the table with his fist.

“But you couldn’t have been prepared to take over in a situation like that, no one is prepared for that.” Evan doesn’t let go.

“Still, I was responsible, I was the one who didn’t order a search party to look out for my father.” Chris looks up. “Now, I’m not going to go into this discussion whether or not I am responsible for the situation we’re in now. I need to talk to you about multiple things, which seem to be connected.” Chris looks around the table, everyone looks at him with a stern face. “There’s the rogue situation. We have captured the alpha, Vince Jones. He is working together with a businessman called Mr. Verona. Yesterday morning I found out that Verona and Jones are related, they are father and son. Verona has pressured me into a deal with him. He threatened me openly. If I wouldn’t agree to that deal, I would have to face the consequences. One of our pack-members happened to be a mole who poisoned me, commissioned by Verona. On top of that Jones has assaulted my mate within her own home.” Chris grits his teeth when he thinks back to it. “Then there is the situation with my father. My father, who was thought to be killed in a fight with a neighbouring pack. Now, we all know that my father is still alive. The letter I received was real, the post stamp on it was from two days ago, and I recognised my father’s own handwriting. My father says in his letter that it was not a neighbouring pack that attacked us, but a pack of rogues.” Chris gets up from his seat and paces back and forth. “Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like these two cases are somehow connected. It is all too much of a coincidence that in both of the cases a rogue-pack is involved, right?”

“You think the rogue pack that took your father, is now threatening you?” Danny leans forward.

“I do.” Chris stands still, right in front of the table, he looks around.

“Then this Jones you have captured should know more about your father.” Evan joins in. “And Mr. Verona is the one who is now keeping your father captured.”

“That’s what I thought too. Now the only thing we need to find out is where they’ve hidden my father. And we need to take out Mr. Verona. I’ve found a way that I don’t need his deal and his services so I’m not depending on him anymore.”

“Did you get a hold of the man in charge of taking over the nature reserve?” Evan asks curiously.

“I did get in touch with the man who is in control of the nature reserve neighbouring our pack lands. He was incredibly happy that someone who’s from around here is interested in the job. He’s helped me to get in touch with the right people and promised to put in a good word for me. Next week someone is coming and is going to see what’s going on around here and hopefully we can persuade him or her to sign the contract at once.”

Leo frowns. “What is this all about? I can’t follow anything you’re saying.”

“You know I am looking for another way of income, instead of the big company in the city. Evan here gave me the idea of taking over the nature reserve that is lying next to our pack lands in the west. With the whole pack we would be conserving the woods around here. Keeping the amount of wildlife in balance, making sure trees and plants stay healthy, etcetera. The things we already are doing, right here on our own pack land. The only difference is that we would get paid for it. Every single pack member that works in the forests will be officially registered as an employee, on top of that, as the conservator, I will earn an extra bonus. All of that will be more than enough to sustain us.”

Leo looks surprised. “Wow, that’s actually a very good idea.” He looks to Evan. “Thank you, Alpha Krane, thank you very much!”

Evan smiles. “You’re welcome, son. I’m glad I could help.”

“Now, back on topic,” Christopher looks around. “I think it’s time for some action. Danny and Leo, I’d like you to work together on this. Take your men and figure out where Verona is hiding, maybe start at the warehouse where Lisa led us to. Do whatever you have to do. If you come across another Pack’s land, enter the right way. Ask for permission and avoid problems. Nick and Evan, maybe you can do the same, but start in the vicinity of your pack lands. I will do the same together with Simon, but we’ll start where the attack on my father took place. I have some allies in the city, I’ll have them on the lookout for a hiding spot over there. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so we have to be fast but thorough. We need to find his hiding place before we can make a plan of attack.”

They all nod. “So, we just look for the hiding place, we don’t do anything else?” Danny asks.

“No, chances are high Verona is not alone. If you go in on your own, you might be overpowered, and we can’t let that happen right now. Before I forget,” Chris looks at his Delta, “Jason, you stay here, keep an eye on everything. I need to be sure the pack is always safe. All higher ranks will be gone, so the heavy task to protect everyone, including my mate, is yours. Now,” Chris claps his hands, “let’s get to work, everyone, dismissed.”

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