A Wolf’s Tear

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Thirty Eight: Control

Lively runs her tongue over her lip as she watches Selena sit with the strange wolf. They were too far away for her wolf to hear anything. It also didn’t help how the day was far too windy. She grimaced, gravely perturbed and on the brink of shifting to her wolf to snatch Selena away.

“Lively, did you know about this?” Tobias breaks the silence.

None of them at the table resumed eating after the two had left for their ‘talk’.

The Moon knows what they were talking about but all Lively could think of was how that wolf could look so much like Nathaniel, but the colors flipped around.

“Of course not, right, love?” Winston placed a hand on her lap, his green eyes looking deep into his wife’s scared expression.

“I honestly didn’t know.” She answered.

But even if she did, the wolves Selena associated with were not her business. Though she couldn’t help but worry for her safety. She needed to trust Selena but that didn’t mean she trusted that wolf.

“Do you think Luna Highcliff is that girl?” Ulric speaks as he sneaked a small slab of meat into his mouth.

Lively turned to him.

“Excuse me what?” She exclaimed.

Aurora sighs.

“There’s a rumor in pack Albrich. Dorran, he uh… apparently disappears for hours during the day when he was stationed in pack Highcliff. Some say it was because he was secretly seeing his mate.”

“Selena and that wolf?” She groans.

The air around that wolf seemed dense and his hidden scent should be enough for Selena to understand he was big bad news. Though the way he spoke to her, it all seemed like they were more than acquaintances.

Lively bit her tongue nervously.

“Can we trust him?” Winston murmurs.

“What the fuck does that mean, Winston? Of course, we can. I’ve known him for years. Are you accusing him-” James gritted his teeth.

“Calm down, wolf.” Tobias spoke to pacify the oncoming match. “He has the right to be doubtful. Can you remember one time when he didn’t have his scent masker on? I mean, he bathes, sleeps, and runs with that thing.”

Why did that only confirm her fears? Lively’s legs shook feverishly as she slipped her sandals back on and stood. Before she took a step, Winston grasped her hand. She didn’t need any more signal to know he was trying to make her think her actions through before doing them.

Tobias’ phone buzzed alive. He reads the message written on its screen. His composed expression no longer existed.

“Joseph, he’s calling all his wolves home. It’s urgent.” The Beta grimaced.

“Why? What’s going on?” Lively cautiously asked with creased brows.

“He didn’t specify. It just says I’m needed back home while he’s away in another country… somewhere in Europe, I guess. I’m really, really sorry, Lively. I wish we didn’t have to leave so soon after all the effort you’ve done.”

She nods. “You are Albrich’s Beta. I understand completely.”

The wolves around her stood after they finished their plates. Lively sat back down, smiling and nodding while each wolf thanked her.

“I think it’s better if we just let him talk with Selena. If he tries anything stupid, call me and I’ll straighten him out.”

With reluctance, she nodded.

~•°•~

His long legs strode to his office, carrying his weight begrudgingly. He motivated himself, to think deeper and analyze the situation. Things weren’t over, Nathaniel was sure of it. No matter how he put it, there was an impending sense of doom just hovering over his head. His wolf could feel it too.

It could just be his imagination but he could swear to see a silent exchange between Frank Remmington and the wolves who took him to their holding cell underneath the packhouse. Before he acted with his blade, confirmation was his priority.

As pack leader, there was always a sense of fleeting happiness knowing that every one of his wolves was in a capacity to be trusted. In his mind, that was why he was proud of being Alpha Morris.

The assurance of having no snakes in the grass was an uplifting thought, one he sought for.

But right now, he knew what must be done. The well has been tainted and the water poisoned by wolves with cruel intentions. And to restore its purity, a culling of wolves was in order.

In his office, Nathaniel booted his computer on. His fingers typed the names of the wolves that took Frank, all ten of them. It was his duty to screen the wolves that came in his border, or it used to be. A couple of years ago when Lilian had convinced him to give up his duty to screen the wolves applying to be a wolf of pack Morris, he thought nothing of it.

He hoped it was only a coincidence.

‘I am a wolf of pack Morris, Nathaniel. My father won the title of Beta and as his oldest, it seems right that I need to contest the title too.’ She proudly spoke, conviction dripping from her voice.

‘Lively Grimes is also competing, you know.’ He answers.

‘Ugh, that wolf. The only thorn on my side. But just because she’s more agile with her blades, doesn’t mean I can rule out the possibility of me winning.’

By the end of selection day, Lilian won by a landslide as Lively decided to go on a date with Winston that day.

She had often grimaced at Lively, noting how she could choose a man over the title of Beta. It led to a bitter but friendly misunderstanding between them.

Lilian of all wolves was a friend, a close one. She was there when the title of Alpha Morris was given to him and there at every single achievement Nathaniel had attained after. She was his right hand and having all these thoughts made him nauseous.

Her betrayal would be grave.

The names, the photos, the addresses, and just about every significant personal record he needed were on his screen. He sifted through them, hawk-eyed and meticulous. There were no inconsistencies. As expected of his Beta, the records were spotless. There were videos including Lilian talking to the wolves and interviewing them. It also showed them signing documents. It was indeed a confirmation. Their membership was legitimate and went it all went through Lilian.

This should have been enough to rock his doubts away.

But that feeling was still there. Wreaking havoc in his depths. It was a big monster that threatened to devour every single thing in its wake.

There was no room for mistakes. To overlook them now would just be plain old stupid.

He locks his jaw, still in doubt.

Records stored in a computer were easily manipulated and doctored. Which meant keeping copies on paper was a rule.

Nathaniel opened his cabinet and drawers. He brought the wolves’ profiles out and spread them on his desk. As he gazed upon the papers on his hand, his heart becomes constricted with the truth or parts of it.

These weren’t Lilian’s handwriting and not her signature. It was some other wolf’s. A part of him was relieved that maybe, just maybe his Beta was indeed innocent. But he also could not rule out the possibility of her being somehow involved in whatever was happening.

His eyes shifted from the computer and the hardcopies. There, he found what was missing. The wrongs and the blatantly fabricated information done to create personas with colorful achievements and backgrounds.

Andrew Holt, Gilbert Suarez, Eric Vaughn, Allysa and Layla Carter, Miles McGinnes, Celine Gomez, Harold Atwood, Jess Buchannon, and Susan Leighey.

Between the stacks of documents, a loose page fell on the floor. A birth certificate for a man from Illinois named Dorran Doyle.

Though after looking for the man’s name on his computer and over public records, it seemed that whoever he died over sixty years ago.

These were the wolves that took Frank in. But with one quick search, all these names were from Albrich and Waterford, and all of them died after an earthquake caused their apartment to collapse. The proofs were articles written about them and their obituaries published online by their families. The worst thing is, none of them were born as wolves but humans.

“Ah, fucking fiddlesticks.” He cusses.

His warranted suspicions were justified, but still, he felt awful.

He had confirmed the spies in his pack and it broke him inside knowing that Lilian may or may not have a part in this.

If he couldn’t trust her, then he couldn’t trust anyone in his pack. At the moment, only he could exact what was going to happen.

His eyes pinned to his axes, sheathed and ready to be drawn from the wall.

~•°•~

Mortal follies, the weakness of everyone. It was the fear of never being enough for just about everything for him. For absolution, blood was a sacrifice, but not his. The blood of those slithering wolves needed to be shed.

He stoned his face, gathering his wits as he walked down the stairs that lead to their holding cells. A flurry of emotions passes through his mind as he felt the sharpness of his axes concealed under his shirt while inside of his boot, a shiv rested quietly ready to be pulled in case he was downed.

Though he excelled in fighting, he respected those who lived.

These wolves have built families. Some of them were fathers and mothers to young children.

He would no doubt be evil to take their lives away without a semblance of consideration.

Arriving at his destination, Nathaniel stood in a well-lit hall, the sides lined with metal doors.

“Alpha Morris, sir.” The wolves greeted in unison.

“At ease, my wolves.” He says coolly.

Their faces did not give any sort of reaction. Well trained to carry on a poker face. But so was he. Despite how his heart wanted to throb, he could not afford to give any kind of indication of doubt. And so, he bottled himself up. Just one strum of his nerves then it would be all over.

As wolves of their caliber, reading the room meant life or death. It rendered Nathaniel keeping up appearances of a docile fool.

“My Alpha, is there something we can assist you with?” The wolf in front of him asked.

He was blocking the way, protecting the cells that held Frank and his daughter.

Nathaniel stretches his lips into a thin smile and patted the wolf’s shoulder, taking almost all of his strength to restrain himself from crushing the wolf’s skull with his bare hand.

“Miles, your wife is calling you. She says your son fell from a cabinet and broke his leg. They’re in pack hospital right now and she asked me to come to get you.” Nathaniel knitted his brows, worriedly looking at the man.

The wolf’s relaxed form started to fall and he began to convulse. It was clear to him that the wolf valued his family here.

“But I have my phone, she hasn’t called me yet,” Miles answers, fishing his phone out from his back pocket.

“We’re three floors underground surrounded by concrete. Cellular services get spotty down here.”

Miles shook his arms, reluctance plaguing him as he nodded.

“Allow me, Alpha Morris. I’ll take my leave and go now.”

He couldn’t grasp how the wolves in front of him would voluntarily throw themselves into war, build their own families without taking into consideration that they would be caught eventually.

It was selfish. Selfishness brought by orders from their Alpha.

But for the sake of families, Nathaniel planned on whittling them down and dealing with them later.

“Of course. That’s why I’m here. Harold, Celine, Susan, your families also require your assistance but I’m not one privy to personal matters. So please, go to your families and return as soon as things are handled.” He smiles.

The tension in the hall was suffocating. He hope he pulled on a convincing act as he watched them communicate silently through small gestures with their fingers.

“Alrighty then, we’ll go. Thank you, sir.” Susan chimes in, sheathing her knife.

His guard was up, cautious as they passed by him. A moment pass by as he stood in wait. Only when the door closed behind did he move, locking it. He cocks his head on the side. The time of bearing and grinning was over. What was left were wolves who had no family in his pack.

They draw their blades at him, the muzzles of their guns facing him.

He no longer needed to restrain his wolf. It was clawing inside of him, howling ominously. He could tell that the spies were shaken by his presence, such a big shift from before.

The beat of his heart quickened as he stepped closer in their direction. He was goading them. Raising his chin smugly while he looked down on their trembling forms.

“Now, before anything happens. Speak and I’ll reconsider things.” He spoke with overflowing hostility.

There were six of them. All well-built wolves who no doubt were as skilled in combat as he was. Though overwhelmed, he was more than prepared to kill them all. He envisioned the steps in his mind. One simple misstep was the end of it all.

“My Alpha, please let’s calm ourselves.” Andrew raised the palm of his hands in the air.

“My wolf, whoever your real name is. You have a wife, don’t you? You claim your name to be Andrew Holt. But whoever that person is, he died when a chandelier split his skull open. Your wife is my wolf, she grew in pack Morris and she is the reason I am thinking of whether or not I kill you.”

Andrew hisses. The color in his face had been drained too. He looks at his comrades, gauging her less than stoic reactions. Nathaniel crosses his arms over his chest, handicapping himself. It caused the wolves to glare at him.

He grins, unfazed as they unlock their pistol’s safety. Good. The angrier they get, the better. He was drawing them in.

“Is this the Alpha speaking or his wolf taking over his human’s skin?” He asks.

“You’d already be dead if I were my wolf.”

He understood the fear in the man’s voice.

Even he was afraid of his wolf. All his life, he was afraid of his wolf. He remembered the first time he shifted and how his wolf would always fight for control over his mind. His wolf was another reason why he couldn’t mark Selena.

He feared that his wolf’s malicious intent would overcome the shine in her eyes and force her to do something against her will. Wolves were the inner strength of its human and his wolf was not an exception.

“Don’t get so cocky, Alpha scum. Your wolf has only just resurfaced. You are a weak doe.” The female wolf, Allyssa, besides Nathaniel grunted.

His wolf tugged at his chest, fingers trembling as Nathaniel’s wolf began to take control of him. He fought inside of him. Not again his wolf will take control during the battlefield. He knew the consequences and all the death that came with it.

“Stoke the flames of my anger more and I can’t promise you anything more.” He warns.

Allyssa draws her blade, plunging in Nathaniel's direction. She grazed the Alpha’s cheek, the blade cutting him. His foot instinctively step back while his knees moved to her stomach. She gasps for air, collapsing as she struggled to breathe. The other wolves charge at him while the two furthest back pull the triggers of their pistols.

With nimble feet, his movements flow like the wind as the shimmering shine of their blades and the swiftness of the fired bullets whizzed around his body with ease. The rush of adrenaline coursing through his veins forced him to dial himself down. The more he loses himself, the harder it was to control his wolf.

“You don’t know the lengths, the sacrifices we needed to do to stand here now. You are nothing but an insignificant pawn.” A wolf from their side spoke.

Nathaniel strikes a wolf down, snapping the female wolf’s neck with a twist, using her body to shield himself from the barrage of bullets coming in his direction.

“How easy it so to bark behind a gun.” He sneered.

He reveals his axes, plunging their sharpness into the chest of one wolf while throwing the other. The ax sliced the air, burying itself into a wolf’s abdomen. There remained three wolves, still struggling to fight. His legs moved to make a precise leap as he pulls his shiv out, gripping the handle as he charges and pushes a wolf against the wall, ramming its pointed tip into the wolf’s heart, twisting it before he threw the wolf’s corpse away.

“Pack Remmington will succeed,” Allyssa murmurs, her hand reaching for the gun that had fallen on the floor.

Nathaniel casts his weapon, pinning Allysa’s hand on the floor. He stomps on her fingers, causing her to cry loudly. It was never hard to kill and her reaction made him shake.

His uncertainty to carry out his duty was all the chance the other wolf needed as Nathaniel felt a blade digging on his back.

The smell of his own blood. The pain on his side. The fear of no longer being alive. The fear of no longer seeing his mate. All of it became an amalgamation of unstoppable force. He felt himself lose the reins he had on his wolf. Overwhelmed, Nathaniel’s vision darkens.

‘Sir, what happens if I lose control?’ He looks at his father’s eyes.

Jacob grimaced, kissing his son’s forehead. A single stray tear leaves a tray down his cheek as he hugged Nathaniel close to his chest.

‘My boy, this training prepares you for that. We will never know what always happens but I will make sure our family’s burden will never pass down to you.’

He sat in his mind while his wolf took over his body. He felt lost and scared. The will of his wolf, its desperate desire for vengeance was an act beyond his comprehension.

He couldn’t fathom the anger in his body.

The screams of the two wolves that remained were chilling. This person who was controlling his body. It was the true Stormwind. Killing so quick, leaving no chance for his enemies to retaliate.

The cries, the cold edge of his darkened gaze subsided. Its long-reaching arms retracted from his body. He was thrust back to control so rapidly and he found himself kneeling on a pool of a red liquid, the taste of blood on his mouth causing him to gag.

He braved himself to bring his eyes up to look at the wolf. Allyssa’s face gnawed away. She had become unrecognizable. Her pale skin was carpeted by her blood.

‘Nathaniel…’ Jacob he spoke to his son.

Before Nathaniel realized what he has done, his blade was deep in his father’s thigh.

‘I lost to my wolf, sir.’

It was the same feeling.

So helpless and restless.

“Nathaniel.”

He felt the vile rise in the back of his throat and come out of his mouth. Disgust rolled up his skin while he heaves and tremble on his knees.

“Alpha Morris.”

With blurry vision, Nathaniel shakily stood confused and lost, glancing at his blood-soaked shoes.

‘This is why we train. Your wolf is far too aggressive for you.’

The vividness of its haunting color made him grit his teeth. After all the years of doing this, why now? Losing control and not knowing what happens is just another fault he saw in himself.

He had to remind himself that this was not the time to feel this way. Even if he was disoriented and on the verge of collapsing on his own vomit, he breathed deeply, burying the dark thoughts deep in him.

“Nathaniel, are you okay? Can you hear me, sir?” A female voice blares in his ears. Though he couldn’t figure out who it was as a garbled static noise grip him while his eyes remain blurry. “Hey chucklefuck, wake up.”

“Lilian?” He asks.

Once the fog in his vision cleared, his Beta’s image come to him. Her left eye was missing and in her hand was Miles’ severed head, the wolf he sent to be with his family.

“Glad to have you back, Alpha.” She laughs. “I see you made good work of these wolves.”

“What happened?”

She shrugs.

“I came to your office and saw the files you were looking at. Pathetic attempts to copy my handiwork. That’s why they were all more than happy to volunteer to cage that Remmington prick and his bitch daughter.”

Though he was finally cleared of his doubts for his Beta, he was concerned for her well-being too.

“Your eye, Lilian. It's missing.” He shook his head. “Did that wolf take it out?”

She throws the head on the dead bodies on her feet.

“No, Henderson did. He left me bleeding on the floor after he shot me twice. If not for my husband, then I would have been already dead.” She mutters.

“Blake Henderson?” He widened his gaze.

“Yes, of course, Blake Henderson. Who else? That Remmington spy took off and I can’t seem to find him anywhere.”

A humorless chuckle left him. So it was Blake all along. He was the culprit. The Remmington spy and not Lilian. It still bothered him how someone he had known for years and would fight for was a spy after all this time.

“Wait,” he turns for the doors, opening them one by one, and was greeted with empty rooms. “Frank, he’s not here and so is his daughter.”

“Fuck.” Lilian groans. “They must have snuck him out. It’s been four hours since his arrest and he must already be out of our state. Damn it. I should have known better.”

“You wouldn’t have known, Lilian. They acted too well.”

She grimaced.

“Blake is the least of our worries, sir. Didn’t you get the string of messages?”

His chest begins to heave, gray eyes narrowed at Lilian.

“What messages?”

“Pack Highcliff is currently holding onto their last defenses. Wolves from pack Albrich stationed there are manning the fronts while Alpha Highcliff has booked the first jet back to his state. Half of pack Waterford has fallen and now belong to the Remmingtons while Pack San Ignacio has been completely overtaken.”

Nathaniel shook his head. “No, no. That can’t be.”

How could the Remmingtons invest so much time and money? With an attack this large, it would have taken them months or years for this to come to fruition. And not to mention the unimaginable amount of funds needed.

If they had targeted the most powerful packs, smaller packs would have been attacked as well.

“And what of pack Pack Albrich?” He gulps.

“Based on the information I gathered, he is missing in action. His last recorded appearance was near Detroit. It just seems fishy that he disappears while his pack is safe and sound.”

His brows meet. “Joseph too, huh? But then why are his wolves protecting pack Highcliff?”

Lilian groans.

“Talon could also be working with them. He is a two-face, sly wolf. And a smart one at that. It could be that everything he was saying was all lies.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.” He locks his jaw. “The wolf cares for Selena too much. I doubt he would do something to further jeopardize his relationship with her.”

“You and I both don’t really know him, Nathaniel.” She warns.

Nathaniel couldn’t fully sit on that case when Lilian’s blatant abhorrence for the Alpha wolf was slathered in her words. He seemed like a good enough wolf. But his Beta was right. He also wasn’t all that familiar with Talon. It would be safer to remain doubtful.

Lilian’s radio attached to her hip screeched loudly.

“...up…breach…now.”

Their eyes connected. Nathaniel became more sobered. Lilian takes her radio, pressing the receiver.

“Ten-one, wolf. The signal’s weak here. Kindly repeat that, over.”

“Beta, Pack Remmington. They’re here, dozens of them.”

He didn’t need anymore say as he bolted past Lilian, running as hard as he can. Of all the wretched time he needed his wolf, it was now resting after it took over his body and exhausted its strength.

His breathing was labored and his knees shook while he held on to the steel banister, pulling himself up. Further and further, he ascends to the ground floor while his mind continues to spiral down.

With the Remmingtons in his pack, his border patrolmen have fallen no doubt. His stationed wolves disarranged and his people. The wolves who didn’t know how to fight.

Nathaniel hastens his speed with Lilian behind him. He jolts at a quick pace, running to the foyer. In his wake, four dead wolves with decapitated heads lay on the marble floor. Must have been Lilian’s work. His Beta was sure a piece of some work.

“Nathaniel, that smell.” Lilian’s voice was of a scared child.

“I know, the smell of foreign wolves.” He mutters.

“No, you don’t understand. I smell your father… and a Remmington’s scent mixed in together.”

He looks over his shoulder and saw the frightened look on his Beta’s face. Only one person could carry on that kind of scent. He started to run faster than he knew was possible.

That smell, more of a Remmington, less than his father’s. There he was, the secret sibling. He hoped more. He hoped for kindness. He hoped that today, he was going to reconnect with a sibling he never knew existed.

As he enters the large open hall, he saw his young brother, Jacob, standing in front of a stranger. The stranger, whose hair was raven dark, eyes a stark shade of blue. The wolf did not mirror Jacob senior at all but he carried a semblance of the old Alpha’s scent.

“How dare you bring your slimy wolves here? Hasn’t your pack caused enough damage?” Jacob’s angered tone clapped like thunder.

Nathaniel watches in horror as his brother draws his dagger. Instinct kicks in and he runs to his young brother, pulling him behind. He gulps and felt Jacob’s wolf ready to maul the blue-eyed wolf in front of them.

Whoever this wolf was, this was not the man in the photos.

Could it be that his father bedded with another wolf, a Remmington? Disgust overcome Nathaniel’s taste buds as he placed Jacob behind him.

“Nate,” his brother murmurs, the quiver in his voice stoking Nathaniel’s wolf. “Wha- that wolf. He claims to be our brother. Is… he the man in father’s letter for you?”

Jacob had read the letters. He could only imagine what was going on in his brother’s head.

He wanted to clear his brother’s doubt. But how could he when he was confused too? After all the photos that he received, there was only one. But his father had trysts with many different women. He could have fathered dozens of bastards by his seed.

“Ahem,” the wolf clears his throat. The sicking facade of his affluent, snazzy clothing, suit, and tie, complete with a well-creased pair of pants. He was clearly not looking for a fight. That at least paused the cogs in his mind. “As I was saying, here I am, finally home and this is the reception I get? Dear me, don’t tell me our father raised you as barbarians, elder brother.”

Nathaniel locked his jaw and forced himself to not retort harshly while holding his tongue.

‘Elder brother.’ The wolf says. Hearing him say that just made Nathaniel angrier.

“You should understand that your arrival has caused a stir.” He says.

“Oh, come now.” He laughs freely. “Don’t act so detached. We have the same father, after all.”

Jacob pushed Nathaniel aside.

“Don’t stretch your liberties out of proportions, wolf.” Jacob warns, raising his voice.

“Jacob, let me handle this.” He calms his brother, only to be faced with a stare so sharp it could cut diamonds.

“Screw that, Nate. I’m sick and tired of being on the side and now a wolf struts in here claiming-”

“I don’t need to claim anything. Our wolves attract, that paternal bond is strong between us.” The wolf steps closer.

“One more inch and I will end you.” His brother warned again.

Nathaniel placed a firm hand on Jacob’s shoulder. His brother’s unbridled anger was palpable. His body was shaking.

“End me? I haven’t even introduced myself yet.”

“I’d rather you remain a stranger.”

The wolf’s blue eyes shined in amusement.

This was a game for him and Jacob was taking in the bait. That shine. It was the lust for control. The derangement of being hungry for power.

“Then, let me first introduce myself. I am Harrick Remmington. Nice to meet you, brothers.” He smiles.

~•°•~

Hey everyone. I'm here to squeeze in the next update!

I hope you liked the chapter! Please consider leaving a vote or comment! Let me know all your predictions, lol.

Love,

Jino <3
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