A Wolf’s Tear

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Forty Three: Beauty

How is it that only now all the scum his family tried to subdue came pouring in all at once? Like the dam of secrets they fortified for years just overflowed.

He stood in front of his brother, failing to grasp the intensity of the moment.

“Did you finally come to see me?” Roark cocks his head.

His brows meet together. The nonchalance of Alpha Remmington, his brother was beginning to get under his skin. Patience was always the key and his father often said kindness was a virtue and finding just in every moment was a primary trait an Alpha wolf should possess.

He found it funny considering his father was a big liar and Harrick forcefully and thoroughly sodomized him.

Nathaniel was already fucked over and trampled by a stampeding horde of his father’s secrets. He had no desire of going through that again.

When Nathaniel hadn’t answered, Roark chuckled recklessly.

“I see you’ve met my twin. I smell his blood on your hand. How did that go?”

Nathaniel licked his lip, copying the laugh his brother made. They were twins. He hoped Roark wasn’t equally stupid and maniacal like Harrick.

“He almost killed us both.” He answers.

“Typical of him then. I’m sorry he’s stupid but I am not my brother’s keeper.”

Nathaniel inspected his face. It was like looking at someone he knew all his life. Like he was seeing his father again after months.

“You are Alpha Remmington, are you not? I’ve heard Frank talk about you. It’s your duty first to look after your family.”

Roark grinned mockingly. “That’s very rich, coming from you.”

“And that’s a rather low-blow considering it’s only been two days that I discovered you existed.” He retorts.

His brother stares at him. After a long pause, he had finally speaks up.

“You know, I’ve been eyeing Winston Hayward for a long time. It’s good that you showed up. I was planning to make him disappear.”

His fingernails dug into the palm of his hands.

“Why? What for? Winston is innocent in all of this.”

“Because he is in the way. Don’t think of me as a stupid fool, Nathaniel. The look of that man seems like even he couldn’t hurt a fly. But in actuality, he is a very valuable informant. He’s no spy but the connections he has over humans are jarring, to say the least.”

He was right. Nathaniel never asked too much from Winston. But his brother helped in any way he could to the pack. One thing that he was more than happy to do was to keep tabs on wolves and report them to Nathaniel. Because of this, the likelihood of successful attacks or raids from other packs drastically decreased.

He expected that Winston’s efforts would eventually be caught. That’s the main reason why he made sure to house his brother, to keep him close. But he didn’t think of Alphas personally taking an interest in Winston.

“Is that why you’re here? To slay my brother.”

“Honestly, no. I didn’t even expect him to have been here. It was just a coincidence.”

With wolves, coincidences were nonexistent and he doubts Roark would be the kind of person to do with his plans without prior scouting.

That brought his mind to Selena. Nathaniel could smell her on him. Not that they were doing anything inappropriate but being that close to him, her scent had clung to Roark.

A phantom knife slit opens his chest as he breathed in heavily.

“And what were you doing with Selena?”

His brother’s face becomes serious.

“Polishing the gem you threw in the mud.”

Nathaniel’s heart ceased to beat for a moment. He should have been better prepared for this. When he rejected Selena, he also signed up to watch her be happy with someone else. Still, this pain can’t be erased no matter how hard he attempted to conceal it.

He had no right to vie for her heart but to think that the grimy paws of a Remmington had touched her delicate skin enraged him.

He failed to find the right words to articulate how deep the cut was on his body.

“Why? Does it irk you knowing a precious wolf like her is being kept warm by another man?”

He scoffs.

“What exactly is your plan when she discovers that you are not only a member of the wolves that slayed her mother and father, but you are also their head. You participated in that invasion years ago and then gauged out Talon’s eye.”

He felt a strange sense of confidence after seeing Roark’s composure fall apart. It seemed like he too was unprepared for this confrontation. If he planned on playing dirty, using his rejection against him then Nathaniel had no problem doing the same with his family’s tainted name.

“In time, she will learn to love me. What happens amid war and the casualties within it is no longer my concern. That is simply our way as wolves.” Roark spoke.

Nathaniel nodded.

Although he was right, would Selena readily accept her parents’ murderer as her partner?

Selena is a smart wolf and he had no right to impede on her desires. But the least he could do was save her. Save her from Roark’s betrayal.

“She deserves the world, Remmington. And the murderer of her family isn’t that. Neither am I.”

“Do you seriously have the gull to say that now after you took away my birthright as Alpha Morris?”

He groans.

“I took nothing.”

Roark shook his head.

“No, you took everything from me. I am our father’s first son with his mate. His real mate. I grew up without a mother and watched my father build his perfect family without me and Harrick. It is within my right to challenge you for the title.”

Nathaniel didn’t have the life Roark had and he could never imagine being the bastard child of a well-known Alpha. He certainly couldn’t fathom how Roark felt all those years of watching from the sideline.

If his father knew about his other children earlier on with his life, what would have happened to him?

Rightful or not, Nathaniel was born in his father’s marriage. He was the one most fit to hold the title.

Still, he couldn’t blame Roark for wanting what he had. The role of Alpha Morris seemed shiny, glittering like gold under a flowing river. But it wasn’t like that.

Pack Morris is a place of improvement. A lot of wolves needed help and many couldn’t survive solely on their own even if they become rouges. Reintegrating themselves into the human world was easier said than done.

Keeping everyone in his pack happily comfortable wasn’t an easy task. But the reward after finishing his tasks and seeing his people’s smile was worth it.

And he was afraid of giving that up.

“It wasn’t my grand plan to be like this. I only follow through with what I am requested to do so. But if I had known and if I had the power to exercise, I would have taken you home.”

“Please,” Roark utters dryly. “It no longer affects me that I don’t have what you have. Pack Morris is a pack run by wolves with demented goals. You are only their puppet. I wouldn’t want to be that.”

“My council of wolves is leashed. Are you implying otherwise?”

Especially with his uncle Andre, everyone funding pack Morris was sure enough worthy of trust.

“We have two faces, brother. One is our human skin and then our wolf. One face is always hidden beneath the other.”

He shouldn’t be surprised anymore. If spies infiltrated his pack, he had a good reason to doubt the other wolves as well. Nathaniel relinquished and saw there was a semblance of truth in Roark’s words.

“I hate to be the one doing this but, I need to take you down.”

His brother grinned.

“You took away my father but now you plan to strip me of my freedom and pull me away from the woman I love. How despicable can you get, Nathaniel?”

Nathaniel froze.

Was he despicable or…evil?

What was best for his wolves was to destroy the problem from its root. Though it struck Nathaniel painfully, he could not waver from his decision. He had lost already and he refused to make the same decision twice.

And as sick and twisted things were, he thought of putting Selena first. He simply couldn’t let this man touch her again.

No matter how true Roark’s emotions for her were, Nathaniel loved Selena too. And even if he couldn’t fully express that, he would always be there for her. Standing under the shadow of her footsteps to keep her safe.

“Despicable or not, no matter what my intention is or what I do, I will always be the bad wolf in your eyes.”

Roark glares at him. The wolf threw a hit on Nathaniel’s jaw, causing him to stagger and fall back.

“You are just like father. All talk, seemingly wanting to peace.” He spat.

Nathaniel gulped noisily as he stood on his feet and regained his composure.

“Don’t get it twisted, brother. I know our father wasn’t an innocent wolf.”

“He was oh so desperately righteous.”

His eyes widened.

“What?”

Roark smirked as he unsheathed his dagger.

“Why do you think I have his scent masker? He came to me all those months ago. Hoping to reconnect and ‘do right by my side’. He offered to take me into his home and introduce me as his own.”

This was new news to him. For all he remembered, his father went away somewhere near pack San Ignacio. What seemed to be a two-day trip became weeks and weeks became a month until he was found dead, stabbed in his chest.

Nathaniel grinds his teeth as his nose flared in anger. He felt his world crashing down on him again.

Even in his last few days, Jacob was still doing something behind their back. But then, what for was all those letters? Did he suddenly have a change of heart? A change big enough to make him alter his decisions?

He may never understand the true extent of his father’s secrets but seeing his mother grieve and cry for him, despite every terrible stuff he had done to her, it seemed like their love was genuine.

And love like his mother and father had was worth protecting, even though how jagged and murky it was on the outside.

“Don’t speak about father as if you know everything about him. I didn’t and I’ve already judged him too poorly.” He spat.

“Still protecting the hide of the man that was no doubt a piece of trash?”

“Your view of him is skewed. I’ve always looked up to him, he was a brilliant man or I so thought.”

Nathaniel forced himself not to laugh. It was only hours ago that he was thrashing his father’s reputation out of spite and anger. Now he was singing his praises. He felt like a hypocrite.

But in honor of his father’s fond memories he had with his father, despite them being so rare and for his mother’s love and respect for his father, he wanted to preserve his father’s image.

He could not let anyone of his blood be disrespected, that was a trespass he was not willing to forgive.

“Who do you think killed him, Nathaniel? He was on his knees, begging for forgiveness. I enjoyed burying my dagger through him and I lavished carving his eyes out like what I did to Talon Highcliff, to Robin, and Larrisa. All of them, shiny names but in the end, pieces of rotten meat.”

~•°•~

Selena stared at the woman, unable to form a response. The woman, dark skin, beautiful green eyes, and curly black hair seemed so out of place. Especially because she was heavily pregnant.

For Selena, the woman was a beautiful view her eyes couldn’t get enough of. There was something about her. The way she stood, smiling so innocently while holding a pistol with her white-gloved hands.

“Finally?” Selena made her best attempt to compose herself.

Her eyes had moved to her sides, studying her surroundings carefully.

She could not leave room for fatal errors.

“Yes,” she chuckles. “Hmm, I thought you’d be prettier. What a disappointment.”

The woman’s comment passed through her head. Her appearance was the last thing on her mind. Though she was aware that she looked like one of the walking dead, her eyes were focused on locating other wolves.

If she only had her wolf, the job would be easier. She could only rely on her instincts.

“Forgive me for not living up to your expectations. But I don’t believe we’ve met.” Selena mirrored a smile.

Her reaction seemed to tick off the woman. Her smile and the brightness in her eyes faded.

Selena was almost confident that it was only her, the wolf, and the woman. She couldn’t sense any other wolf present.

“You see, a lot of wolves desire to be in your place. And I can’t believe a woman like you would waste that. Instead of ‘training’, ugh I hate that word, you should invest your energy in taking care of yourself and looking beautiful.”

Her guard was let down by the sheer confusion she was experiencing. She didn’t understand how and why she was having this conversation. And the sad thing is, the woman sounded serious.

“I don’t really care for my title or for what I look like, it doesn’t bother me that much.”

“Oh, but you should. Women of higher blood such as yourself need to look desirable. And as Lunas, we must look presentable, beautifully perfect with poise, and grace. Maybe that’s why you and Morris aren’t together? He must have been appalled to see what a disgusting-looking mate he was paired with.”

Selena chuckled, still in shock.

“Nathaniel Morris is a man of priorities and I am not one of them. And contrary to popular belief, I was the one who rejected him.”

She wanted to stand her ground but the insufferable woman was testing her and it was working.

Selena felt offended and annoyed. When her mind was desperately thinking of ways to survive, someone was rocking her sanity and tipping it off the edge.

“Madam Remmington, Adrien is home and is waiting for your arrival.” The wolf beside her spoke.

Madam Remmington? Selena’s legs quivered in a strange sense of vindictive delight. In her mind, this was an opportunity for revenge. Though was she really about to hurt a pregnant woman?

Her eyes widen, the dots in her mind connecting as she thought of Dorran. He was a married man. She was still having a hard time trying to convince herself that her friend was the enemy all along but looking at it now, it all pointed to that.

She was Dorran’s wife and was carrying his child.

That realization made her feel more disgusted with herself.

“Tell him I’ll be home tonight to see him. That would be alright for now, wolf. Well, what should we do about her? Obviously we can’t just let her roam free.”

Selena scowled.

“We wait for the Alpha’s orders, ma’am.”

“No,” she shook her head vehemently. “he does not need to know anything about this. I’ll handle this matter on his behalf.”

While they were conversing, planning Selena’s demise, she tried mapping a route back to the main road. She could still hear gunshots being fired and the screams of wolves getting their bones folded.

Her narrow chance of escaping was severely shadowed by the fact they were carrying their pistols. She had no problem with attempting to fight against the other wolf but with the woman, she was second-guessing. The unborn child in her stomach was a shield.

“You plan my death in front of me and yet, I don’t even know your name.”

Selena smiled, playing dumb as her last resort.

She sensed danger leaking from the woman’s scowl. Her inexperience and her injured leg were already a massive handicap and now she wanted to resort to what could be the dirtiest technique in the book.

She planned to bruise the woman’s ego despite not being sure it would work.

The woman smiled calmly though it was obvious that she was more than ticked off than what she was letting on.

“Ah, well. This is embarrassing. I am Mirabella, Luna of pack Remmington.”

She smiles. “You have a beautiful name.”

Too bad her personality reeked of dog shit and urine, Selena thought.

“Thank you.”

“And your skin, it’s breathtakingly flawless.”

“It better be. I take pride in my appearance. It is what makes me a woman.”

Selena groans, her grin forming into a mischievous smile.

“What a shame. You have the personality of a spoiled toddler.”

Mirabella scowls. She tucks her pistol back into her holster and moves in Selena’s direction. She raises her hand and hits Selena’s cheek. The stinging pain left her smiling. Pissing Mirabella off was only one part of her plan.

A simple sleight of hands resulted in Selena taking the wolf’s pistol and pointing it to her.

“Madam.” The other wolf exclaims as he pointed the muzzle of his weapon at Selena.

Selena’s heart raced. She was pinned between the two of them.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have the upper hand. The wolf could trigger his gun before her and she wouldn’t even notice it.

“Keep calm,” Mirabella spoke. “Everything will be okay.”

She stepped behind Mirabella, using the woman as her shield.

It didn’t feel right to endanger the baby too but it was needed to be done.

She couldn’t risk herself. Losing now meant all her efforts meant nothing and the duty of seeking revenge for her parents would fall to no one’s hand.

“I… I will do it.” Selena thrusts the gun’s muzzle on Mirabella’s temple.

Her fingers quaked as she maintained a hardened but faltering expression on her face.

Could she really take a wolf’s life? It was thought that kept circling in her mind. Training to kill was easy but to do it was a different matter.

“I have to admit, I didn’t think you’d be brave enough to touch me.” The wolf spoke. Not a single strand of worry in her voice.

“Speak again and I will blow your brain out.” She threatened.

Mirabella chuckled.

Selena was not that gullible as the wolf pulled on her skirt, drawing the dagger from her thigh holster and slashing at Selena. She stepped back and ran for a nearby tree for cover.

She gasps as Mirabella’s lackey fired a round of bullets.

Thankfully, she was okay, Mirabella failed to cut her and at least now she had a gun to defend herself but then again, Selena was a terrible shot. She was more versed with daggers than pistols.

“You know, a woman should always know her place. We are dainty creatures, fragile, and deserve to be praised and worshiped. Let the men do the dirty work and if you so as much lift a finger to help, are you even a woman at all?”

“Your warped perception of womanhood is so wrong on so many levels.” Selena held the gun against her chest as she leaned on the tree.

“I’m only speaking facts. No one wanted me when I wasn’t pretty, now they practically bend to my will and at everything I say and ask. Beautiful gets you everything that you want.”

Selena peeked around the tree’s bark and saw that the wolves were slowly approaching her direction. Quickly, she dashed deeper into the forest and hid behind a fallen tree.

She needed to get as far away as she could and cover her tracks.

“Beauty is wasted when those who gaze at it have no taste.”

Mirabella scoffs. “You say that because you’re not pretty enough.”

“I don’t have to be what you think I need to be. I’m comfortable enough to look like a troll, are you?”

Selena vaults to clear distance only to meet the other wolf, grabbing her arm. She retaliated and shoved the palm of her hand to the man’s chin. His grip loosened, giving Selena leeway to kick his groin. Though to her surprise, the wolf didn’t move. It seemed as if the wolf had testicles of steel.

Her eyes widened while the wolf bared his teeth and charge at her. Selena managed to haphazardly avoid the string of fists and fast-moving kicks sent to her. She predicted his movements. She was familiar with his movements, they were almost the same as what Dorran taught her.

“Wolves like you deserve the heel of my foot,” Mirabella mutters as she watches from the side.

She didn’t mind the trash Mirabella was spouting from her mouth. Her priority was staying alive and evading the wolf’s attacks.

‘Use your environment, Selena.’ She remembered Dorran’s teaching.

Selena grimaced. She didn’t want to keep listening to Dorran but they were the only viable option she had.

She swiped at the man, causing him to step back. She took the chance to lean down, grabbing a fistful of dirt and leaves, and threw it at him. He grunts as he furiously attempts to clear his eyesight.

With her heart racing, Selena cocked her pistol and fired at the man. The bullet pierces the skin between his eyes and the back of his head erupted.

“Fuck.” Mirabella cusses.

Selena watches as the man fumbles to the ground, blood seeping out from the hole on his forehead.

Adrenaline coursed through her as she trembled uncontrollably. She was revolted with her actions. The moment her finger caught the gun’s trigger, she was unsure and now that she had killed a man, Selena was shocked.

Is this how it feels like to take someone’s life? That overwhelming sense of guilt was undeniable, corrupting her mind and breaking her apart bit by bit.

All her life, all she had done was sloppily defend herself. Wave her blade in front of her to scare away the wolves that threatened her.

But to kill someone was a new experience for her.

It boggled her how most wolves kill without an ire of doubt in their actions.

Perhaps she was just too soft?

The sound of her pistol going off was still echoing her ear as she breathed in and out heavily, eyes widened, staring at the dead body.

Her whole existence was breaking down.

Mirabella’s feet shuffled against the forest floor, causing Selena to squeeze the trigger again. The bullet whizzed to the wolf’s shoulder. Selena panicked even more as the thought of hurting the baby plagued her.

“You bitch.” The wolf cusses.

Selena entertained the thought of possibly finishing Mirabella too. Though she was still shaken and afraid after she had shot a man dead, she was unsure if she could do the same thing to a pregnant woman.

“Don’t come any closer.” She stutters as she spoke, her hand trembling with her gun.

Even if Selena fired a non-fatal shot, Mirabella losing blood would still adversely affect the child.

Selena’s brain was split between two decisions. How could she even think about giving this wolf leeway? If not for the child, she could have gone through her anger and not thought twice about ending the wolf. But if she was so shaken after taking down the other wolf, what would become of her when she shoots her?

“Or what? You’re gonna shoot me again?” Mirabella mocks.

She bit her lip, readying her finger on the trigger.

“Is this just a pastime thing to all of you?” Selena mumbles. “Hunting down wolves for fun?”

The wolf took another step closer, prompting Selena to fire a warning shot.

She scoffs. “There’s really nothing fun about this. I don’t enjoy getting shot.”

“Then go.” She says.

Selena wanted nothing but to see the wolf running away, not fully prepared to have the child as another casualty.

What would Nathaniel do in this situation? He had shown her that that killing wasn’t always the only way when he incapacitated the wolf that had attacked Selena by stomping on her face.

How was she supposed to do the same thing to Mirabella?

“Go?” She chuckles, taunting Selena by taking another step. “I don’t go away unless the job is done.”

Hesitation carpets over Selena. How do other wolves do it? To kill so effortlessly and not mind the consequences of it.

If only she knew how to darken her heart just enough to give her the strength to enact the only thing her will was pushing her to do.

Before she had noticed it, Mirabella charged with her dagger, knocking Selena’s pistol away from her hand. The dagger cut through her chest seamlessly.

“You really shouldn’t steal another Luna’s Alpha. That’s just rude.” She says.

Selena heaves for air, her sight flickered, and saw darkness enamoring the sky above the canopy of tree branches and leaves.

“I… didn’t even know about you.” Selena whispers as she began coughing blood.

Mirabella grunts and deepens her dagger and twisted it before pulling it out. She drops Selena’s body and flicked her blade to remove the blood that stained it.

“My darling wolf, retribution is warranted on those who snake their hands on things that belong to me. No harlots touch the man I own.”

With that, the sound of Mirabella’s feet moving away was the last thing on her ears. The light in Selena’s eyes start to fade as the pain from her chest started to seep into her senses. However, that pain was almost meaningless when fear started to devour her whole body.

Her life was slowly being sucked out of her. The crimson red stain on her shirt looked like a horrendous sight. One that she was eager to forget about.

She couldn’t fully grasp what was happening. The pain had done away and all that remained was a cold and numb sensation.

Her frailties have led her here. No justice was served because she failed to make the right decision.

She was scared of dying. To not do right with the words she spoke and the promises she made herself. To not know what it would feel to love and have a family of her own.

To not love the way she knew how to.

To not feel a spark in her heart again the way it did when Nathaniel kissed her.

Selena takes her last breath, remembering the warm sensation of Nathaniel’s embrace before her eyes closed.

~•°•~

Hey everyone! I'm so sorry for this late update.

Also, I know Mirabella is a pos. Her personality is inspired and loosely based by Momo Nishimiya of the Anime “Jujutsu Kaisen”.

What did you think of the chapter? If you enjoyed it, I’m so excited to share what's going to happen in the next chapter!

Love,

Jino
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