My brow furrowed as I stared at the letter, reading their demands.
To the leader of Black Trail Pack,
Without permission of the Alpha, you received over one hundred members of White Moon Pack into your territory and pack. This serious crime, along with the crimes you committed in attacking our warriors on our land, brings us to this. Return our people or face the consequences of war.
You have until tomorrow morning to reply or expect an attack on your borders.
The White Moon Pack
I stared at the letter in disbelief. "We didn't attack them.. they attacked us! This is ridiculous, we need to show this to my mother."
Ryder shook his head, "We need to protect our people."
I stood from my chair, "Showing her will protect our people! Maybe she can talk some sense into them!"
Ryder huffed, "Fine, I will let her speak with them. But I will not put our people at risk." He turned to Callum, "Send word back to White Moon that Luna Kendra requests a meeting with the Alpha of White Moon Pack. We will meet at the western border in an hour."
Callum nodded his head and left the room. I walked to Ryder, resting my hand on his arm, "Ryder, what are we going to do?"
He shook his head, "I don't know. We are outnumbered. They have more warriors, more trained fighters, more everything."
I kissed his head as my mother walked into the office, "Beta Callum said you wanted to see me?"
Ryder handed her the letter. She gasped as she read it before looking up at us, "You want me to talk to them..."
I nodded my head, "See what they are willing to compromise. None of our people are leaving these borders, it's not an option. But neither is war. Our people will be massacred."
My mother frowned, "I'll meet with them, I just don't know if it will do anything. I tried to get them to see reason before I left. They wouldn't listen to me, it's why I left."
Ryder stood up, "But now your mate has gone a week without you. He might see reason now that he knows what his actions have brought."
"Maybe," my mother whispered.
An hour later, I walked with my mother and Ryder to the border. We stood in silence for a few moments, the tension in the air was palpable. Our heads all snapped up when we heard rustling in the trees on the other side of the border.
"Hello Alpha Ryder, Lunas. I assume you are here to negotiate the return of our people," Austin said darkly as he walked out from the treeline.
My father followed, his eyes darting to his mate. "Kendra..." he said quietly.
"Hello Mason," she gave him a small smile before turning to Austin. "Austin, we are not coming back."
Mason growled, "You have no right to keep my mate from me, Ryder!"
Ryder stood tall, "She is not a prisoner. She came here of her own free will and can leave whenever she chooses."
My mother stepped forward, "If I come with you, will you stop this crazy feud?"
Austin's eyes darkened, "And what about the other hundred wolves stolen from us?"
I stepped forward, irritated with my brother. "Austin, we didn't steal anything from you. You chose this when you decided to let your pride get in the way of an alliance. They left because you have become this dark, cruel animal,” I hissed at him, angry at the divide in my family.
Austin stepped forward aggressively, "Just because you are a Luna now does not mean you get to speak like that Adara! May I remind you that I currently hold the power to destroy your little pack?"
Ryder stepped forward, "Then let's make a deal."
Austin squinted his eyes at him, "I'm listening."
"Let's have an Alpha challenge. To the death. Winner is Alpha over Black Trail. Loser.. well that's obvious. Then you'll get what you want... the fight you’ve been waiting for."
Austin's eyes darkened as a sly grin crossed his face, "Deal."
I gasped, "Ryder, no!"
He turned to me, "This is the only way to protect you, to protect our people."
I shook my head, "But... what if..."
He smiled, his eyes piercing mine, "Have a little faith love. I'll be alright."
He turned to Austin, "Tomorrow morning at dawn. We will decide the fate of Black Trail."