My Arctic Mate

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Chapter 10: A Warning

Luca:

I followed Red’s adoptive father, Dan to a study located in the back of the house. I chuckled to myself, relishing in the implication of the gesture of him having a man to man talk with me. I would indulge him as I could tell he meant well. Ushering me in, he turned up the fire in the corner of the room. Undoubtedly to prevent any unwanted listeners. Pouring us two glasses of whiskey, he gestured for me to sit in a leather armchair opposing his own.

Graciously, I accepted the drink with a nod. He seemed very nervous, this must have been his first daughter to leave the pack. “Dan, I don’t want you to have to worry about my intentions with Red. I have a strong pack, and I fully intend on making her my Luna when she is ready.” I began but he cut me off with a wave of his hand. “Listen - Alpha,” he stammered, clearing his throat multiple times. “Just Luca.” I insisted gently, after all we were to be some sort of family.

“Luca,” he continued, getting right down to business. “I know what kind of man you are from Jac’s letters and you taking him, an orphan, into your pack so freely. And to make him one of your trusted warriors? I could not be prouder if he were my own blood.” He paused, shaking his head, looking at me sincerely. “For that Rose and I will never be able to thank you enough.” He broke his gaze, taking a slip from his glass. “What I need to discuss with you is about Red and how she came to be a part of this family.”

I settled back in my chair, intrigued. Sipping my own glass, I remained quiet, allowing him to continue uninterrupted. “There are a few things you should know about our Red. I’m sure she will tell you herself in due time, but as her guardian, it’s my duty to protect her,” he paused. “And to do my best to protect anyone she chooses to be close to.” He finished meeting my eyes.

“Rose and I found Red wandering alone in a forest in northern Nunavut wearing nothing more than rags when she was eleven years old. She had no memory of her prior life, or how she had come to be there. Since then, we have tried everything to help her get her memories back, but nothing ever worked. We honestly have no idea where she came from and what people her kin descended from.” I couldn’t help but lean forward, enthralled in the story of my mate. No wonder she seemed hesitant when I questioned her about her early childhood, I thought recalling her vague answers earlier today.

Taking another sip from his glass, he continued. “Have you heard the rumors about my children?” he questioned.

I shook my head no, “Honestly, I have not heard much besides what Jac shares with the warriors.”

Dan smiled, almost sadly. “Rose and I chose this life when we decided to open the orphanage, but I regret the life of isolation that has been forced on my family just for being different.” He emphasizes the last word.

“This home is not only for war torn orphans, but also those rejected by their packs for having –“ he took another long sip. “What we like to call additional gifts from the Moon Goddess.”

I shook my head in disbelief. There are others, my wolf murmured. After all this time of searching, I finished his thought.

“How many of the children have gifts? Does Red?” I interjected despite myself.

He simply nodded. “I’m sure they will reveal themselves to you in time, just as Red will.” I swallowed a large gulp of the sweet whiskey.

My wolf was prancing around inside me, the moon goddess blessed us with a mate with gifts, he chattered happily. Not just a mate, an equal. I added, similarly elated at this revelation.

“Rose and I have done our best to raise our children right, forbidding them to not use their gifts around others.” He continued.

My eyes widened, “So they are untrained?”

He hesitated, before nodding. “I know it may sound harsh but what we’ve done was in the hope of protecting them from wolf and humankind alike who would harm them.”

He gulped loudly, “The young children’s gifts are easier to manage, but for Red –“ His words trailed off before taking a final drink form his glass. Standing he refilled mine then his, this time at double the amount.

“Red has trained alone, trying to control herself and subdue her wolf.”

Subdue her wolf? My own growled in my head. This man is a fool, he spat. I remained silent.

“She has done well; no-one has seen her shift in years.” He concluded, his voice lowering.

My wolf seethed inside of me, furious for our mate. I ground my teeth, it is not our place to judge Dan for his actions, he does not understand. I reminded him. He gnashed his teeth at my words, bearing his fangs behind my eyes. I averted my gaze as to not frighten Dan.

Dan sighed deeply, shifting in his seat. “There are legends in this and the northern region, about a wolf made of fire, whose kin brought great suffering to the initial packs of wolves created by the Gods themselves.” I nodded, flinching. I am intimately familiar with this story.

“You need to know that Rose and I have not told any of the children any of these stories.” He spoke, his voice faltering as if losing his confidence in this decision. “We didn’t want them to fear.” he whispered.

“Fear what? What do these stories have to do with Red?” I growled.

He looked up with wide eyes. “I swear if anyone dares to threaten Red or her family, I will show no mercy.” I said through gritted teeth.

Dan gulped, but nodded in understanding. “I’m sure you would, but that is not the reason I bring this up. It is not my place to tell you more before Red has the chance to, but I want to caution you that you need to be wary of those who would perceive her as dangerous, and her wolf as a threat.” His voice trailed off, as if he was worried he was saying too much.

I chucked, surprising Dan. “I am not worried about the perception of wolves from legend.” He raised his eyebrows, waiting for my explanation.

“Dan, have you heard the stories of Alpha Atlas’ youth and his encounters with the Great White Wolves of the Arctic?” I asked.

He mused for a moment, “I do recall a few, I believe they involved Alpha Lucian, whose wolf was granted the power of light itself by the Moon Goddess, but that’s only a legend. It was lifetimes ago.” I nodded in agreement.

While it was widely known that the Alpha wolves, their Lunas, and their pups had extended lifetimes as a result of the power bestowed on them by the Gods, there were stories told to all young wolves of a group of even more elite wolves whose lifetimes spanned generations. Alpha Atlas was one such tale, the age of his wolf even I was not confident in. For the original Alphas, they wolves long before they took human form.

“You see there’s one part of the story that is always mis-told.” I continued, Dan’s eyes growing wide. I met his gaze with an intent stare. “As we both know when the moon goddess blesses our kind with extraordinary gifts, they are not manifested in our human forms, but in our wolves.” He gulped loudly. “As is the way with Lucian, my wolf.”

“How old are you, son?” He asked in disbelief.

At this I chuckled, “I’m old enough to be able to protect her from any threats.” I spoke with resolve.

He still shook his head, taking it all in. But still continued to frown.

“What are you so worried about, rogues? Humans? The pack from legend? I can guarantee that I have faced much more many times over.”

He shook his head, sighing deeply. “It’s not outside threats I’m trying to warn you about. It’s Red herself, and the power of her wolf. I only saw her shift once when she was very young, but her gift was that of pure destruction.”

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