I couldn’t sleep well last night. She is flooding my thoughts with her serene voice, her swift movements, her light-brown hair that surprises you with some unexpected white locks and those brown eyes that could pierce your soul. The border between my own thoughts and Arthur’s is getting extremely hard to make out through all of these images. Meanwhile, Arthur wants to mark her on the spot whenever he sees her. He’s convinced that the Queen marking ceremony has been invented by the human part of the race because leaving your mate unmarked for all the other males to look at is something unthinkable for wolves. Maybe he’s right. Accalia appears to be willing, yet Emily seems… frightened. Regardless, pack rituals must be followed. They play an important part in werewolves’ history and only terrible misfortunes happen to packs that dare break tradition. We have several examples of such packs. For example, there are some that had been cursed by the Moon Goddess to never experience the mate bond simply due to the fact that they defied the law and murdered their Alpha and Luna in a mutiny. Eventually, the members fell victims to unhappiness and depression, leading to their demise. Another such story says that one of the far western packs chose to mingle with humans and move in their city, in an attempt to become modern werewolves. After awhile, the Moon Goddess slowly took their wolf away. As Alpha King, I cannot let any curse be cast upon my Pack, even if that means putting some distance between us for now.
First hour in the morning, a black-eyed Michael came knocking at my door.
When I open the door, he fakes being startled by me, but it is quickly followed by a laugh.”You’ve been summoned.” he says, through the giggles.
The thought of meeting the old guys makes me sigh to heaven and back.
“Thanks, I’ll be right there after I put on some proper clothes. Oh, and… sorry for that.” and I point to his eye.
Michael looks genuinely surprised and smiles kindly: “Don’t worry about it, I accepted the terms and conditions of facing Arthur.”
I nod. I swiftly get dressed and go in the office. Lance, Cole and Andrew are already sitting comfortably on the sofa opposite my desk. Michael was standing besides the door.
“Good morning, Edward. Late as usual I see.” says Cole, the most talkative of them.
“You’re Alpha King now, remember? No more that playboy Alpha son time…” adds Lance.
“Hmph, we’ve been waiting for awhile.” pouts Andrew.
I choose to ignore their common greetings, saying a simple “Good morning. How can I help you this beautiful morning?” while sitting at my desk.
“Of course, of course, let’s get to business. We’re here to talk about the Queen marking ceremony. We have decided that it would be best to postpone it 4 days, so it would be held 8 days from today.” says Cole.
I lean on the back of my chair as I knew this was coming. “I see, you have decided, you say… How did you come up with this specific number?”
Cole smirks and crosses his legs: “It’s specific for a reason. You see, Rachel Greyback turns 18 in 5 days, when she will get her wolf. We were thinking of giving her a chance to get accustomed to it and… hm, how should I best put it…”
“Prove her worth!” jumps Andrew.
“Yes, thank you! Prove her worth!” continues Cole, delighted.
I foresaw an attempt to postpone the ceremony so that I could find another “more suitable” Luna, but they want Rachel to challenge Emily? That’s ridiculous! Arthur growls inside my head, begging me to let him talk. However, Elders are supposed to be respected in a Pack, as per tradition, and unfortunately Arthur is convinced this one has been created by an Elder.
“This is unheard of. You mean to let my wolf sit by and watch my mate walk around unmarked just so you can have your fun? Emily is my mate, the pack’s Luna and everyone’s Queen. There’s no point in waiting! We shall follow the law and hold the ceremony on the first full moon of the month, which is in 4 days.” I spit back.
“She is not suited to run this pack, much less the county!” shouts Lance, straightening his back.
“Hmph, that’s true! I’m surprised her foreign Omega stench hadn’t attracted our patrols’ attention as I heard she went missing last night. No surprise there. After all, once a rogue, always a rogue. Your father would’ve taken care of thi-” blabbers Andrew.
“SILENCE!” I command them, getting up from my chair and walking in front of the desk, leaning on it. Cole was about to say something when my order closed his mouth. “You may be the elders of the pack, but I am the Alpha King. I heard your OPINION, but unfortunately I do not take it into consideration. If Rachel or whatever she-wolf wants to challenge Emily for her rightful position, then they have every right to do so during the ceremony that will be held as per tradition, in 4 days. Did I make myself clear?” and I look each of them in the eye by turn.
Lance and Andrew nod hesitantly, but Cole just stands up and turns to leave the room. The other two follow his gesture. Michael bows his head down as they exit the door, closing it behind them.
This conversation gave me a headache and I pinch my nose in an attempt to distract my brain.
“Errmm… Is it a good time for me to bring in the 2 pack warriors from last night?” Michael says carefully.
I sit on my chair again and I simply nod at him.
I couldn’t sleep well last night. All I kept thinking about was the feeling of his body when hugging me or his soft hair touching my forehead. I tried to divert my thoughts with plans of keeping an eye on him in the least annoying or invasive way. However, all the uncertainties about the future just made my head spin around even more. I eventually fell asleep for like 3 hours, making me be late for breakfast.
On my way to the canteen, I witnessed two people being brought out from Edward’s office. On stretchers.They looked and smelled as if they had been beaten to a pulp. Nonetheless, when I tried to ask about it, both Edward and Michael were avoiding to give me an answer by either claiming they’re busy with something else at that moment or pretending they didn’t hear my question. Amanda knew nothing about it. Considering nobody assisted me with information, my mind was free to imagine all kinds of scenarios. Could it be Edward’s hobby to beat up people as morning exercise? Did he have an episode of madness and lose control? Did those pack members deserve it? All I can say for certain is that this incident helped reinforce my conviction that I need to find out more about him and his nature.
In spite of this, Edward spent most of the time in his office. I tried to couch surf for a short while in the living room in an attempt to overhear conversations but the walls were too thick. The only way for me to hear faint parts of dialogue was for me to glue my ear to the wall and, let’s be honest, that doesn’t sound feasible to do in plain daylight. It would be quite a weird image for everyone passing through the living room. Hence, I changed my plan and decided to head over to the infirmary and find out what happened with those people from this morning. Most of the people on the street recognized me and bowed their head, others ignored me. I assume not everyone joined yesterday’s dinner. But the lady at the infirmary reception recognized me:
“Hello, Luna! How can I be of service to you?
“Hello! Uhm… This might seem like a strange question, but there were two people brought here about 2 hours ago, a bit roughed up. Can you tell me anything of their condition?’ I leaned down and asked.
She started typing on the computer and then addressed me: “I’m sorry, Luna, but nobody has been admitted during this timeframe for anything. Can I help you with anything else?”
“Huh… no, not really. Thank you…” and I left hesitantly.
What could have happened to those two? They were definitely not dead when I last saw them. With no paths to follow, I returned to the mansion. Just as I entered the door, I almost bumped into Edward’s rock hard chest, who was just about to exit.
“Sorry.” he says, as he makes way for me, revealing a man in his 40s or 50s behind him. “Emily, this is our pack’s Gamma, Antonio Greyback.” The man lowers his head in salute.
“Nice to meet you.” I reply, extending my hand. The man takes out his hand from the pocket and shakes mine firmly.
“Nice to meet you, Emily” he says with a smile, progressively tightening his grip on my hand. Then he suddenly lets go. “We should go, young Edward.” and they exit the door.
I pay no mind to his attitude because all I think about is my chance to search his office. I look around to make sure nobody sees me and I go in, closing the door behind me. The first thing I do is open the window behind his desk, which will act as my escape route. His office is a large room containing a huge desk, a sofa in front of it and a library, about as big as the one in the living room. Besides the door, there are a few framed pictures of couples. Based on the small note on the bottom, these pictures seem to be of the old Kings and Queens. I follow the dates with my finger until I get to the frame meant for Edward’s parents. Both of them have pitch black hair that you can get lost into. I stand there and trace their serious faces with my fingers, as if in a trance.
“Em, don’t forget the reason we are doing this. We don’t know when he’ll be back.” says Accalia, bringing me back to reality. I start looking for a journal or any notes that might help me figure out what happened in the morning with those two pack warriors. I ruffle through the papers on his desk for a while but all I can find that might be of use was two reports of “Imprisonment” dated today. The rank of the prisoners was mentioned as “Warrior” and at the “Health” field, it was written “Unconscious. To be medically observed but doctors should intervene only in extreme cases, such as the prisoner’s life to be in danger.” The “Reason for incarceration” field was empty. At this point, I was pretty sure that they were brought directly to the pack’s dungeon, in which I have no way of getting to for multiple reasons, the most important being that I don’t know where it is.
Accalia perked up her ears and warned me that Edward was coming back, so I decided to flee the scene using the opened window. This path lead to the backyard of the mansion, which was just a vast field of grass and a few trees here and there. Once out, I started running towards the end of the wall. However, the moment I turned corner, I bumped into someone.
“Ow… hey, Emily.”