The next morning, Fletcher came as he had promised to escort Seth and Orion to the meeting he had spoken about before. Seth, at first, was reluctant to take Orion with them, but when Fletcher insisted that Alpha Vincent wanted to see them both, the rogue knew he couldn’t do anything about it. After a moment of thought he decided it would be better to have the girl by his side, that way he could protect her better (not that she really needed protecting.)
Vincent was sat behind his desk, with his father stood next to him when they entered. The two large men were quietly murmuring about a few things- Seth overheard something about going somewhere, so he guessed it was not related to their meeting.
They both looked up as they entered, Vincent offered them both a warm smile and extended an arm to the seats in front of his desk in silent encouragement for them to make themselves comfortable.
Orion was acutely aware that she was the only female in the room, and human no less. Though somewhat shy, she did not shrink away before the men- instead she jutted out her chin, and puffed her chest to show she wasn’t intimidated.
Seth who was keeping a careful eye on his mate, hid a smile. She had always been a force to be reckoned with; her curiosity and stubbornness were her most formidable traits. Even with her confident display, he still pulled her in closer to his side.
He sat down, and she sat in the chair to his left. He wanted her closer but didn’t allow himself to do anything about it; there was a strangeness between them a heated charge, but a forced coolness. Vincent could sense it between them too, raising his eyebrow in subtle curiosity.
“I’m sorry that we couldn’t speak longer when you first arrived, but I imagine rest, food and privacy were things you both needed at the time.” Vincent spoke with an understanding sincerity. “You two are quite lucky, I would think, to have had each other and as mates no less. I would think you’ve come to know each other quite well.”
“In all honesty, no.” Orion spoke, looking to Seth with a soft smile. “I only recently found out that we were mates.”
“I see.” Vincent tried to hold in the surprise behind reserved words. “Well if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from being with Spiraea, and seeing Alpha Adam with his mate Leora it’s this: Mates come in all different shapes, sizes and pairings but they are all special, chosen by the Goddess because she knows what each of us need.”
Seth pondered the mans words. He had never thought of things like that; they were mates and he supposed the Goddess, or fate, may have had something to do with it. Was Vincent right? Had he just been overthinking?
“Well I suppose we’re really here to talk about Damien.” Vincent grunted, the name ‘Damien’ leaving his mouth like poison on his tongue. “His pack is in disrepair and abuse is running rampant. A while ago, I travelled to Alpha Adam’s pack to try to ease the conflict brewing between Damien’s pack and mine over territory disputes. Unfortunately those talks broke down very quickly, especially when I found out he had been abusing my mate and countless other humans on his territory.”
Fletcher spoke up from his place beside his Alpha, he had a notebook in his hands, reviewing notes as he spoke. Orion found it rather interesting how he had completely changed, his joking demeanour aside- this man was all about business.
“As of right now, we are in the process of expanding the human town Willsden Brooke so that the humans on Damien’s land have a means to leave but the only way to stop Damien from hurting the pack any further is to have someone challenge him as Alpha.” Fletcher looked to Seth with an apologetic, yet hopeful look.
Orion was slightly perplexed but she was putting together the pieces- it still confused her as to why Seth had to be the one to do all this. Why couldn’t this Vincent Alpha be the one to do all this?
“Trust me if I could kill the man, I would do it myself but I have my own pack to look after and you are the rightful Alpha.”
“Don’t worry I’ll make sure my uncle gets everything he deserves and more... There’s a lot that he has to answer for.” Seth grunted cryptically in response, the threat raw and primitive in his eyes.
Orion wanted to reach her hand over to comfort Seth, but her mind had halted. This Damien man that everyone was talking about was his uncle? It was times like this she realised that though Seth was her greatest, and only friend and the one who owned her heart, she knew nothing about him.
“Don’t worry about all that for now, for now just worry about getting back into pack life.” Vincent assured Seth, a friendly and understanding smile playing at his lips. His expression grew a little sombre, as he spoke calmly. “I want you both to be comfortable here, I’ll be honest, it will take some time before we can just overthrow Damien and it’s safest that you stay here until then.”
Orion sat there realising how quickly things were changing before her. She knew her life would change when Seth decided to follow Vincent, and she knew this was something he needed. However, it didn’t mean that she wasn’t afraid. Just everything about being in a strange place, with so much to learn with intimidating.
She looked over at Seth, steel-faced and frustrated. Though he seemed to be more frustrated with not being able to more at that moment than anything else.
For 17 long years, Seth had felt the disconnect from his pack, if he had not had Orion by his side then he truly would have gone rogue. She truly was his little north star. But although she had become his pack, it did not stop him from feeling the emptiness every single day from the missing connection from his pack. He was an Alpha, it was in his nature, his very blood to need to be with his people, leading his people.
“You’ve both been living as rouges for Goddess knows how long. You’ll both need time to readjust to pack life,” Fletcher pointed out from his place beside Vincent.
“And its probably a good idea to give you a refresher on being an Alpha.” Sean added quietly, eyeing the rogue carefully. There was a distinct wildness to Seth, a fury in his eyes; if he didn’t relearn what it meant to be a good Alpha, Sean feared he would end up just like Damien.
“My father is right. If you don’t mind, I’d like to mentor you in being an Alpha.”
“It’s been such a long time,” Seth mused, the anger leaving him as he looked over to Orion. “All I’ve had to worry about was looking after her for the last 17 years. I understand the situation well enough now and I’m grateful for your help.”
Seth understood the worry of the two men before him, he himself knew that as things were he could possibly take Damien in a fight, but to deal with the consequences afterwards? He had not even finished his own Alpha training before he had been chased out of his pack, and he had spent the last 17 years unbothered about taking care of a pack. There was no way he would know what to do.
He was incredibly grateful to the help that Vincent was offering, because if he hadn’t Seth wouldn’t have known how to ask. It frightened him to think that he could possibly take over from Damien, only to become just as bad as his uncle was. He also hoped that this would be a moment of learning for Orion too, for her to learn what it meant to be apart of a pack- to be a Luna.
“It’s smart business to make friends not enemies,” Fletcher spouted in his usual cheerful tone.
“What my Beta means to say, is that you have an ally in us. Once you’re ready to lead, we’ll find a way to take down Damien together.”
Seth was more than ready to start this mentoring. However with all the chatter of the Alpha’s Luna Ceremony going on, he supposed it would have to wait a while. Not that he minded, with the way things were between him and Orion, he figured a few days to sort things between them was probably a smart idea.
Orion collapsed on the sofa where she had spent the night, sitting with her legs folded beneath her as she turned to Seth. She had learned quite a lot from the meeting with Vincent, things that she felt that Seth should have told her. She didn’t want to keep learning about him from rumours, or group conversations.
“So, this Damien guy is your uncle huh?” She looked over to him, his form sat comfortably in an arm chair to her right. “Y’know I wish I’d stop learning about you through your conversations with Vincent. Sitting there hearing you talk, I realised that I know nothing about you. Can you imagine that? You’re my best friend, and we’ve been together 17 years, and still I know nothing about you.”
“I’m sorry, it is crazy.” Seth sighed scratching his chin. How had he been so selfish? Had they really gone all that time without him ever sharing who he was with her?
Orion knew that Seth was a man of little words, and for a moment she feared she had asked too much from him. She knew his past was something that affected him greatly- she had seen him suffering, all times he would wake in the middle of the night afraid, the times when he cried when he thought she couldn’t hear him. But Orion trusted him with her life, and she wanted him to be able to the same with her.
“You deserve to know, I know that. I’m just not sure- I mean, I’ve never spoken about it.” Seth clenched and unclenched his fists repeatedly, the rage and emotion building within him as he thought about things.
“It’s fine, you don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to. I just want you to tell me the important things, so I don't have to learn about you by listening to your conversations with someone else, you know?”
Seth’s burning gaze tore into her, their eyes clashing in a fierce battle. Every inch of Orion just seemed to heat up below those dark eyes as the air itself seemed to come alive and spark between them. She felt alive, a complete livewire with his eyes on her.
She wondered if he felt it too; that charged, static electricity that seemed to bubble in the atmosphere between them. It had been that way since their encounter the day before, the almost kiss that they had shared seemed to hang over them.
“I’ll tell you.” He grunted quietly. There was a small part of him, the boy he had been at 17 whom had wanted to talk about it for a very long time; every day that he held it in, it seemed to eat at him, leaving him hollow and empty and a little less everyday.
Seth leaned forward in his seat, his elbows rested on his knees as he clasped his hands together. A small sigh escaped his lips, a sigh of resignation, of a tired man. He looked back to Orion who had turned to him, giving him her full attention.
“It started long before I was even born. My grandfather was the Alpha of the pack, he was strong, intelligent and liked to do things his way. Traditionally, the Alpha title goes to the first male heir, which would have been my uncle Damien but my grandfather believed that my mother, would have made a better leader so he passed the title to her.”
Orion furrowed her brow listening intently, she wanted to memorise every word that he said. It was not very often that he spoke this way, and she loved listening to his voice so she listened with an eager ear, devouring his words greedily.
“My mother first met my father at an international conference of some kind, he was a pack warrior to one of the Israeli Alphas. Since my mother was due to become an Alpha, he moved here and ruled together for a while before they had me. My mother died, when I was a teenager in a hunting accident. My father, the Luna, decided to take up the position of Alpha until I was of age but Damien didn’t want that. There was no way he could win in a challenge, so he had my father murdered.”
“How do you know he-”
“Everyone knew. My people loved my parents, nobody had any reason to hurt my dad, except him. After that, I knew he would come for me next. I was 17, and a threat to his position, but I knew that I couldn’t take him in a fight so I ran away, I planned to come back after a month or so to take back my position but something happened that night that I didn’t count on.” He looked up at her, somewhat awed as he stared at her- and he was. He had looked at her, but he had never really seen her before; how beautiful she was!
“What?” She looked up at him, her eyes seemed to glow as she listed to him, enchanted by his words, his expressions- him.
“I found you.” He smiled. Seth’s breath caught in his throat as his eyes caught hers. Those eyes, fuck, those eyes glinting in the light- had they always been so bright?
Orion’s skin grew even hotter, the previous energy encompassing them once again. They had touched a new door in their relationship that was now ajar. The need they both felt to be around each other was growing in its passion.
Seth felt it too, and he didn’t know how to feel. For a long time Seth had convinced himself that just being with her was enough and Orion was always to afraid to try to deepen their relationship; neither of those things were enough reason to keep them apart anymore. They had proven themselves wrong, and broken new boundaries.
“Thank you for telling me,” Orion smiled. “And... I’m glad you found me.”