“Watch out!” My mother’s voice cuts across the applause.
I turn just in time to see Peter lunge for me. Ezekiel reacts faster. He slams his hand into his chest and then rips his hand back just as fast. My eyes widen as I see the heart in Ez’s hand, dripping blood across the grass. The ex-Alpha sways in front of us, a gaping hole in his chest, before falling lifeless to the floor.
“No!” Brock’s broken voice cuts through me like a knife.
Guilt pierces me, even though I am not the one who killed him.
“You bastard!” The Beta yells.
He runs towards Ez, who drops the heart like it has burned him. When the Beta reaches for my brother, I come up to his side and snap his neck. The crowd is silent as my brother and I stand next to the two bodies, shock on both of our faces.
Applause slowly breaks out, starting as a slow clap and turning into deafening celebration. Our parents come over to us, offering congratulations and words of comfort. My dad, Dane, puts his hands on my shoulders. He holds my face, making me look into his orange eyes, identical to my own.
“Son look at me,” he orders. His face softens as I stare up at him. “It’s going to be okay. You did what you had to do to save your brother.”
“I killed someone,” I reply numbly.
“It will never get any easier, taking a life, but to be an Alpha, you have to be able to do it. You saved a pack from terrible treatment. You’ve given them a chance at a better life, Emmanuel. Take comfort in that.”
“Where is his son? Brock?” I ask him, looking around.
I can’t see him anywhere.
“He took off before we can stop him. Your friend Harvey is trying to chase him down.”
The next hour or so is a bit of a blur. I shower and get treated for my wounds. My ear grows back, and my jaw heals. Ez and I are alone together. We sit in silence, both haunted by our actions.
“We had to,” Ez says gruffly and then coughs to clear his throat. “We had no choice.”
“No, we didn’t,” I agree quietly. “I wish we had.”
“He was never going to let us take over. He would have kept coming back.”
“What about his son?”
Ez’s lips form a thin line, and he shakes his head grimly. “Harvey couldn’t find him.”
“What if he comes back for revenge?”
“Then we deal with it when the time comes.”
“Well? Did you hear from them?” I ask Ezekiel when he comes into our office.
He nods and looks at me expectantly. “Did you?”
“Yes. Their answer?”
“Yes!” I reply excitedly.
“We got in!” He shouts.
We jump up and down and hug each other, acting very un-professional for two of the youngest and most powerful Alphas in the country. Today, we found out that we have been accepted at North Forest University to study Greek mythology. Ever since we were kids, both Ez and I have been fascinated with folklores and mythologies. It’s exciting to be a creature of supposed myth, but it’s also fun to study it.
We both decided that we want to teach, the Alpha role has taught us that. We were unsure what we should teach and then we thought of our love for mythology. We never really got to study it much at school, most of our research happened in our free time from personal choice.
In September, we start our first year at university, as freshers. It’s been exactly a month since we fought Peter Turner and his Beta. Brock has been MIA the whole time, despite us trying to keep tabs on his movements.
The one and only time we had a lead on him, he was boarding a ship to leave the country. Ez and I have been sleeping with one eye open the last few weeks. Hopefully, that’s the last we’ll hear from him
Every Alpha, or Alphas in our case, has to have a trial period. They are given four weeks to lead the pack. After the four weeks is up, the pack members vote whether to keep the Alpha in or not. The council will have to get involved if we are voted out.
Today is the end of the four-week period. The vote is tonight. I’m nervous as hell, whilst Ezekiel, ever the calm one, is confident in our leadership. In the last month, we have made some drastic changes to the pack.
We have introduced more female leadership roles, including a new head warrior, who is non-binary. Although Harvey has been named our Beta, we have a female Gamma and a female Delta.
We have implemented new training programmes to get young girls more involved in male-dominated sectors of the pack, like becoming a warrior or pack doctor.
We have carried out a series of successful workshops and conferences on our teachings from the Moon Goddess. We wanted to reverse the harm Peter had caused by encouraging pack members to reject their trues mates and find better ones. We emphasised the importance of true mates and made it clear that we will not be accepting or supportive of arranged matings.
I believe that we have laid out our values and made it very clear what we want this pack to stand for. So far, we have had a very positive response. The minority who agreed with Peter’s teachings left voluntarily in the first week. Now, we just need our mate.
“Thank you for coming and offering your votes,” Beta Harvey addresses the crowd.
The pack hall is filled with every pack member. There are almost a thousand of them. We are hoping to increase that size. The numbers dwindled when Peter took over, no surprise there.
“The votes have been counted and checked. They have been left on that table for you all to see.”
He gestures to a long table at the side, that has two piles on it. It’s rather amusing, actually. One side of the table has stacks and stacks of vote cards. The other has two.
“The votes have been counted and I am pleased to present to you, your two new Alphas; Alpha Emmanuel and Alpha Ezekiel.”
There is an enormous roar of applause as we step forwards to the microphones. Both my brother and I take a mike in our hands. I nod at him to go first.
“Thank you all so much for your support. I can’t express how much it means to my brother and I that you would deem us worthy to be your leaders. Ever since we were children, we dreamed of having our own pack to lead and protect. We are so grateful to have you.”
I can hear the emotion in his voice as he lowers the microphone and looks to me to continue. I lift it up to my mouth.
“As my brother said, words cannot express how grateful we are. This is our dream and you’ve made it a reality. We promise to lead this pack with dedication and fairness. Over the last month, we have implemented many new teachings and programmes that we believe will better the pack.
“Your voices are heard; your opinions and thoughts are welcome. We have made the decision to form a union of sorts. We would like to ask for ten volunteers, you will act as the voice of pack members. If anyone has a concern or suggestion, anything, really, you can tell one of the union reps and they will pass it on to us. This way, we can remain in constant contact with you all and you can feel as though your voice is heard.”
The idea is met with applause, they obviously approve of it. Ezekiel takes over again.
“If you would like to put yourself forwards to be on the union panel, please stay behind after this meeting and we can discuss further. For now, we want to say thank you again, we are so grateful for you. May the Moon Goddess bless you.”
“And bless you,” the chorus of voices echoes around the hall.
Slowly, everyone starts trickling out of the hall. The seats clear and Ez turns to me, looking relieved.
“We did it,” he breathes. “We actually did it.”
“We’re gonna have a celebratory drink later,” I tell him. “I can’t believe it.”
My thoughts take a sad turn and my shoulders droop.
“You know what would make it even better?” I ask Ezekiel.
He narrows his eyes at me. “Don’t. Don’t think about it. We will meet her when the time is right.”
“I know. I just wish it were sooner. I’m desperate to meet her.”
“I know, brother. I am, too.”
I try to take my mind off of it whilst we wait for pack members to gather for the union rep talk. I think about everything we’re going to do with the Alpha house.
We moved in after two weeks and we’ve been holding off making it our own in case we didn’t win the vote. We want to change it, modify it to make it able to comfortably fit my brother and I and our mate. After growing up in our parents’ house, we know how much space a thruple (three-person couple) need.
Harvey comes over to us and slaps us both on the back. “You did it, you actually fucking did it!”
We grin at him, feeling elated with our achievement. We set out to become Alphas, and that is what we have done.
“You did it,” Harvey says and shakes his head in disbelief.
“You’re the Alphas of North Forest.”