Cole sat upright in his seat. “Sirens?” he asked.
The leopards nodded nervously, suddenly noticing his presence.
They backed away to the door.
Cole cursed. “My pack,” he muttered. Then, at an amazing speed I had never seen before, Cole sped out of the house in the general direction of the woods.
In a second he was a blur, just like a how a vampire moved.
That was the true power of a fully accomplished Alpha Wolf. All my doubts about how he managed to rule over a pack spread out throughout a city as large as New York, were answered. He was something else. On a league of his own.
Heavens! He could probably rule his pack from all the way in Alaska.
Valeriya rushed behind him: almost as fast.
The rest of us, followed behind, the fastest we could manage-- me, Riley and Dustin, followed by Ethan and Everest. I couldn’t let Cole reach my family first.
The sight we were greeted with was somewhat unexpected.
A large group of Siren Wolves stood at one end of the clearing facing another group-- ten members of Cole’s pack-- that stood on our side. The two groups snarled and growled at each other.
Both were shifted, white wolves furiously facing off against confused yet cautious brown and black wolves.
I never knew Sirens could be so violent. Apparently, neither had Cole’s wolves.
“Your family?” Ethan asked as he came up next to me.
I shook my head slowly. “No. I have a large family of twelve not fifty!” I whispered back.
“Then who are they?” Dustin asked, from my other side.
I shook my head again. “No idea.”
All I knew was that all these shifters were in violation of territory laws. They were unwelcome on our lands. We had to make them aware of this fact or else other’s would follow and take advantage of our small numbers.
“I thought Sirens don’t travel in packs?” Everest asked, stripping off his shirt. He was gearing up for a shift.
“No. They don’t,” I mumbled back.
I stepped forward, ready to assert my authority-- on behalf of Dustin of course; he was the alpha, I was his Siren and one of my duties was defending our pack.
Alpha Cole Fortis beat me to it. Without batting an eyelash, he sauntered into the center of the clearing, facing the Sirens, effectively standing in between his pack and them.
We would have joined him, really, but I hated to have Cole’s wolves at my back. So we stood a little off to the side of them and also faced the Sirens.
“You’re trespassing. Shift or face the consequences. Your choice,” Cole said. All arrogance.
“Cole, you can’t go around starting fights with everyone who so much as displeases you,” Valeriya said, next to him.
He glared at her and turned back to the suddenly quiet Sirens.
Ethan and Everest shifted besides us. I never questioned why Ethan chose to stand at my side rather than with Dustin. It was just the way it was supposed to be.
The twins, like they were as humans, were identical in wolf form. Large black wolves, with pointy ears and black eyes. They were guarded but intimidating, silently watching the events unfold.
The Sirens parted into two, forming a path in the middle. A smaller Siren Wolf walked forward, head bowed, tail not entirely between her legs, but almost so, and wagging gently. I would say she crawled forward--the way she lowered herself real close to the ground as she came forward.
I suspected what she was, but I was thrown for a loop, Sirens were all submissive, I knew that. But how could there be a Siren Omega? Twice submissive. How?
She stopped in front of Cole and shifted, giving me an opportunity to gauge her age without all the fur. Sixteen or so.
“Riley?” Dustin rasped out.
I saw it too. The girl was Riley’s doppelganger.
They looked completely identical with their white-blonde hair and light-blue clear eyes. They were both sinfully pretty, with tiny red mouths and round eyes. Sharp cheekbones. She looked so much like him it was unsettling.
She fell to her knees at Cole’s feet causing him to take a startled step backwards. For a second I wondered if she was their leader.
The most submissive of the Sirens should get to lead them, shouldn’t she?
But when Riley growled low in his throat-- an angry deep growl that seemed to echo on and on throughout the forest, frozen in that single moment in time-- I understood.
She was an offering of peace. To Cole.
“No!” Riley stalked forward, angrier than I’ve ever seen him, even when he had punched Dustin in the face. “This is our land and we do not tolerate barbaric giveaways.” He glared daggers at the Sirens.
The rest of us four followed behind him; Ethan and Everest watching our backs.
Facing the kneeling wolf girl, my thoughts were confirmed. She was indeed an Omega. My wolf demanded I take charge of the situation. “Get up,” I softly ordered, too afraid that my voice would startle her.
When she did, Riley unbuttoned his shirt and shoved her hands into it. I absently noted the smattering of scars all over her body before Riley finished buttoning the shirt closed. She wasn't that tall and Riley’s loose Saturday-comfort shirt almost grazed her knees.
Focused on his task, Riley didn’t notice the girl watch him oddly. She was probably wondering why he was so keen on dressing her. In a pack, nudity was normalized. I was probably the only girl poor Riley had ever seen naked.
“What do you want?” Dustin said to the Sirens.
One of them shifted and walked over to us. It was a man-- a very naked man. I heard Valeriya hum approvingly, followed by an angry growl from Cole. I was starting to think that those two were more than mere acquaintances.
“We are here to swear allegiance to our Alpha.”
I looked over at Dustin, who turned his gaze to an irritated Cole.
Cole huffed angrily and muttered, “Not me. My wolves don’t walk around in the nud like animalse.”
“Aren’t they animals?” Ethan asked, with obvious amusement.
I turned to him in surprise, drowning out the peace-talks going on behind me. Ethan was still a brown furry wolf. But I had heard him as clear as day.
The wolf cocked his head at me. “What?” I heard him ask, and then I realized I had heard him inside my head. Ethan was my Beta and I had no idea how and when we had even formed a bond.
“The hell?” I thought.
“You can hear me?”
“Didn’t you just hear me?”
“I’m not an Alpha.”
“You’re not an Alpha,” he agreed. “But what if--?”
I was snapped out of the in-head conversation by Riley shoving at my arm.
“Freya, we’re speaking to you. Stop gaping at Ethan.”
I turned back in time to see the Sirens shift into their human forms and fall to their hands and knees, in graceful bows. “Alpha,” they all echoed.
“Who are they bowing to?” I asked.
Even as the answer nudged at my brain.
Even as my inner wolf howled at her pack in answer.
Even as Riley’s Omega fell to her knees at my feet.
Dustin and Cole and Valeriya and every last non-Siren person
present in the clearing gaped at me, I asked stupidly and naively:
“Who is the Siren Alpha?”