“You aren’t trying hard enough. I think you need some motivation. Stilts said, turning his head to look at the minotaur. “Let him run her down.”
“Hell no!” Demetri growled.
“She needs a push and, besides, she has her wolf.
She will heal just fine.” Stilts said, looking back at me.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me little man…” Kai snarled as he stared at Stilts.
“You can all act this way, but we need her to get a handle on her powers. She is in her head too much. She needs to react and not think.” Stilts stared at me. I watched as a smirk spread over his l!ps. I knew that look didn’t mean anything good. One second, he was there, the next he vanished. Then the minotaur bellowed out loudly. I saw Stilts whip his cane in its direction and a spark flew out. The beast was now at a full angry charge and heading in my direction.
Okay, I didn’t want to become flattened like a pancake. Stilts was right, I would heal and be fine, but who wanted that? This should be easy, right? I just needed to connect with my sheya powers like I did before. Alright… do something. I watched as the beast drew closer and closer. Anytime now. Stop beast… stop. Why isn’t it working? Why can’t I feel it like I did before?
I closed my eyes and braced for impact. Suddenly, something crashed into me and grabbed around me as a rushing breeze blew past me. I opened my eyes to a ch3st. I looked up to see Kai holding me close. His eyes were laced with concern one moment and then anger as he flipped them in the direction Stilts was.
“What the hell?! This isn’t a game. This is my luna!
” Kai growled angrily.
“No, it isn’t a game. How much time do you think we have? She needs some tough love.” I felt Kai grip into me protectively as a low growl left his throat.
“It’s okay Kai. I have to get this down.” I said and he looked at me with disapproving eyes.
“Sion would never allow this.”
“Good thing Sion isn’t here then.” I gave him a crooked smile and he sighed.
“I won’t watch you get hurt.”
“It’s not like l want to get hurt.” I laughed, but he clearly didn’t find it amusing.
“Yeah, I’m not down with this plan either. Odell snorted, crossing her arms next to Logan.
“Well then i suggest–“I stopped talking as I watched several people come walking up the hill.I thought Doug had told them to stay away from this area.
“What is going on?” Demetri asked as he trotted over towards me. He kept his body to the side so that it blocked me. It was at this moment I realized that even Demetri was not fully trusting of the pack.
I watched as Nadine and Doug walked with stiff agitated movements. You could see the two of them talking back and forth but in a tone that was too quiet for me to pick up. Nadine looked livid and Doug looked well I couldn’t tell how Doug looked. There seemed to be a lot of different emotions on his face. His eyes met with mine as they both continued to approach me.
Careful.. you might be the acting alpha, but I serve the pack’s true leader. Demetri growled as l stepped next to him.
I’ve got this.” I said as I tapped his side gently. L looked back at Doug and Nadine and quirked one of my brows up. “Is there a problem?”
There is Doug said as his eyes drilled into mine.
“Its about to be your problem.” Nadine growled as she stepped closer to me.
“I don’t know what is going on… but if you don’t back away from my Luna” Logan growled and I lifted up my hand to stop him.
“Let’s see what is going on.” At the very least I thought we should hear him out before they go all blood lvst. I looked back as Doug and his amber eyes settled on me.
Can we talk… privately? I heard his voice enter into my mind. I think it will be best to talk to you alone…first.
So, talk. He was already talking to me privately through the mind link, but for some reason this wasn’t good enough. I watched as he pursed his l!ps and looked out in the distance. I didn’t understand this. My brows pinched together as I tried to study his face. He met with my eyes and offered me a small smile.
“Give me a moment to speak with Doug alone” I said, hearing the immediate objections. “I wasn’t asking.” I continued to look at Doug and he held a smile, nodding his head at me to follow him.
“Clover- Odell protested, but she stopped with just one glance from me.I know none of them like this, but I was just going to talk, I didn’t understand why he wanted.to talk this way, but I was sure there was a reason.
I followed behind Doug, glancing behind me once to reassure the others. I watched as Kai and Logan paced side to side while Odell kept her eyes fixated on me.
“Thanks, Clover:” I looked back at Doug, who continued to slowly stroll through the field.
“What is this all about?” l asked. He remained quiet, slowly walking farther away. The sun shined on his hair as the wind played with his golden strands. He finally stopped walking as we reached the far end where the trees greeted us. He turned around and looked at me. I stood there quietly waiting for what he was going to say. He didn’t say a word, instead he stepped into me and wrapped his arms around me.
“Just hold still..”
He whispered, but that wasn’t enough for me.
I tried to push him back again, only he held onto me firmly.
“Please… trust me.”
“What are you” 1 started to say as I felt a tear land on my cheek. He was crying! I stood there shocked as he held me close. What was going on?
His words were not what l expected.
“Run away from here. Run away from this life.
Disappear where you can hide and be safe.” I felt his arms squeeze me into him gently. He was holding me as if I was someone precious, he was saying goodbye to.
I pressed back from him and looked up at him. He kept me captive in his arms but left enough gap so that I could look up at his face. “What are you talking about?
“They all just want to use you. All of them. You can’t trust anyone. What happened to your mother… we can’t let happen to you. There is a spy here Clover. I don’t know who it is, but I am certain one is here. They have probably already made them aware of our location. A fight is coming. You need to run and not stop. Disappear from the world.”
I glanced back at the pack members in the distance. “Wait a minute. What is al l that about?”
Doug sighed. “They want me to claim you as my mate. It is either I claim you or they want a battle for the title. That is why I brought you away from everyone.
I’m giving you the chance to run. I’ll hold them off as long as I can. Run so that you can live. Your parents… they were good to my family. It is because of them that I am here. I’m an unwanted hybrid. Part vampire and part wolf. Your parents gave my parents a place to live without worry. My father was your father’s officer. The Nova pack naturally shifted into my care when I was of age.”
“Doug, I’m not going anywhere. I’m here to fight.
I’m here to end this. Those people are my friends and l love my mate. I trust him unconditionally. I won’t run in fear. I will eliminate what should be feared”‘ I watched as he shook his head with a frown.
“Clover, the pack has a way of doing things here.
They will make you run the gauntlet to prove you are worthy to be their leader.”
“What if l just hand the title over to you-“
“1 don’t want it. I am not a leader; I am an officer.
This is your pack. Most of them want you to claim it but like l said it isn’t safe. This pack is dangerous because I don’t know who the mole is.” I could see his eyes pleading with me.”l can’t keep you safe here. You have to leave”
“l can keep myself safe.” I stared up at him, still seeing tears in his eyes. “What are those tears for?” He was acting like I was just given a terminal sentence.
“You don’t deserve this. I tried so hard… I wanted this pack to be your safe haven”
“Are you certain there is a spy here? How do you know?”
“Some time ago ll sent out an expedition group.
They were searching for more answers about what is going on right now. It was shortly after we encountered the voidless for the first time. They vanished and we never heard from them again. They left in secret. No one knew outside of our pack. The chances that none of them ever returned tells us the enemy had annihilated them. All of them? Not one made it back. I already had my suspicions before, but this cemented it. The only others who would have known about the expedition were the omegas serving us that night. Which one though?” I watched as he shook his head. I am not going to lie… hearing omega had me thinking of Hazel.
Which was probably silly. There wasn’t a connection there… right?
Okay one thing at a time. “So you don’t want to be the leader of the Nova pack?” I watched as he shook his head.
“No, I mean I can if it will help you but..”
“I think we can give them a choice. If they want to come with me to the Chance pack they can–“
“Like I said, it isn’t that simple. You have to run the gauntlet and prove you are their leader first.”
“What is this gauntlet?” I asked and listened to him sigh.
“You will have to fight against the top pack warriors and win against each of them.
“Can’t l just fight against you?” I watched as he titled his head to the side in deep thought.
“If l challenged you for the position of Alpha… then yes.”
“Good we will do that:.”
“But if I lose..”
“As the winner I can determine your fate?”
I watched as he smiled, nodding his head. “They know how I fight though. I can’t hold back. You understand what happens if I win, right?” I shook my head.
I get kicked out?” His amber eyes looked at me as he slowly shook his head.
“You would become mine. That is why the gauntlet would be the better idea-“
“Not if we potentially have a fight heading our way. We need to end this fast” Yeah but-
You cant beat me”I said certainly and watched as a crooked smile reached his l!ps.
“You havent seen me fight. Remember l an not a normal wolf.”
I smiled as I looked at him. “What a coincidence, neither am I was talking about more than being part sheya I was also connected to Sion and, through him, Anubis l had Anput’s powers in me. I felt them stirring inside of me. I imagine they were responding to Sion and what he was doing now. They wanted to be by his side and were waking up.
I can’t just let you win.
I snorted and stepped away from him. “l just hope your ego doesn’t take too big of a hit when this is over.
He laughed. “My ego? You are overly confident., aren’t you? You do know l was chosen as the leader here for a reason. Clover –
“Like I said, you can’t win against me I was confident. I could feel it in Sheena’s bones. She was ready for the challenge and so was I. There wasn’t a chance that I would lose. No matter what. I wouldn’t belong to Doug. Besides… it was a moot point. If by some crazy reason l lost. the moment Sion returned it would be over. He wouldn’t allow it. He would challenge anyone on my behalf and kill if he had to. Not that it would come to this. I had alpha blood, and this was my-pack. Nature alone gives me the advantage.
The wolf part in him will want to submit to me.
As we walked back to the others, there was a part of me that wondered if this was what he wanted all along. I had trust issues. However, if this was the case, all the more reason to put him in his place. I was a trained fighter and had real experience. No matter what challenge he presented, I could win against him. I was certain of it. I could see all the curious eyes on us as we approached. My officers instantly came to my side as Doug moved to face the Nova pack.
“l challenge Clover to the position of leader of the Nova pack.” Doug said loudly, making the Nova pack cheer loudly. My officers were not happy though and Nadine roared ferociously at Doug.
Demetri grabbed my shoulder as he glared in front of him.”You don’t have to do this.”
“He can not win against me.” I said, feeling a dark energy encircling me. Sion felt closer suddenly and| could feel his energy elevating. He was fighting. I felt the wind swirl around me, bringing me the faintest hint of his scent. Something primal in me was sparking to life.
Something new… and powerful. For the first time, I felt Sheena and my sheya powers at the same time. They were being embodied by a dark cloud in my mind.
I opened my eyes to see Doug shift into an enormous light blonde wolf.
“Stand aside.” I said calmly to my officers. Energy was twisting inside of me, combining with the others.
Usually, I stopped it, I kept it separated but this time I embraced the change. The moment I did, everything felt clearer. There was a mental clarity that almost knew what to do.
Doug charge at me. It was at a speed that was almost hard to keep track of…almost. Yet in this moment l couldn’t help the smirk that reached my l!ps as I connected with Sheena.
Quick and easy? l asked and Sheena snorted.
Slow and domineering. Sheena answered as black wisps enveloped me. A moment of darkness… and then I stood on four feet. The blonde wolf leaped towards me as I reared up to clash against him. Not as a wolf, not as a sheya, not as Anput… but as all three.