I watched from a short distance as two wolves approached the tree I had just been at mere seconds ago. One was of a dark amber color, the other a light tan.
They were cautious, sniffing the area thoroughly and making sure no one was around. They inspected the tree and communicated to one another through a pack link.
They had come here for border patrol to make sure no creature crossed into their alpha’s territory.
They inspected the area again, surveying the forest around them, completely unaware of the threat only a few feet away.
I waited patiently as the tan wolf gave up and declared the scent to be old; the amber wolf looked on a moment longer. He was staring right at my beta, who was hiding in a thick bush.
As the tan wolf walked away to continue their patrol, he stopped and looked back at his companion, who had not budged an inch. his ears were pointed forward, tail raised slightly—he was alert.
When the young tan wolf huffed and turned his back, I sprang forward. I sunk my teeth into his neck, and blood burst out. He barely had a chance to yelp before I snapped his neck in my jaws.
The amber wolf spun around, clearly surprised. They were not expecting to be ambushed from behind.
With the attention of the amber wolf fixated on me, my beta and two other packmates jumped out of their hiding spots and lunged for him.
He had no chance to react; one of my pack members dug his fangs into the startled wolf’s hind leg.
He snapped back but was quickly silenced in one fluid movement as my beta grabbed his neck and snapped it.
I dropped the wolf in my jaws as my other pack members stepped out of the shadows around me.
My beta dropped his kill and gave me a slight nod.
The Winter Moon Pack had no idea what was to come. They would either join us or die with their alpha and his family.
I looked toward the center of the territory we would be infiltrating and gave the silent command to proceed with the plan.
As the others raced ahead deeper into the pack grounds, my beta and I stayed back.
I studied the two dead wolves. It was easy to tell that the tan wolf was a simple omega with little to no training, whereas the amber one had some experience.
I scoffed and began to follow my pack deeper into the territory; my beta followed.
Alpha Kade was ignorant. He had not trained his pack properly; they did not know how to fight nor how to track because he lacked the skill to teach them himself.
Moreover, he would not allow strong males in his pack. He feared that they could challenge him for the title of alpha if he did. And that was why he would fall.
He was the alpha only because he had inherited the pack from his grandfather. But since Kade’s reign, they had isolated themselves, stopping all trade and communication with other packs in the area.
Perhaps he knew that this day would come, that he might lose his crowned head if he allowed other packs into his territory. But now, his paranoia was to be his downfall.
His dismantlement of all communication and alliances with other packs had left his family open to attacks.
However, the dense forest and the imposing mountain ranges that circled the territory made it nearly impossible for anyone to attack during winter. Moreover, the March blizzards represented an additional natural barrier.
That was why we were attacking before winter set in.
We planned to take over the pack and their lands. Winter would come soon, so other packs would not be able to come in to try and seize control after we have defeated Alpha Kade.
The only reason they did not attack the Winter Moon Pack themselves was because they wished to keep their paws clean.
Unwarranted attacks were often deemed disgraceful and looked down upon. But for me, attacking the Winter Moon Pack made sense—I wanted revenge.
Alpha Kade had had this coming for a long time, and I couldn’t wait to crush him and his family. According to rumors, his mate had passed away, but he still had a daughter who was just as bad as him.
I wanted to rid the world of Kade’s entire bloodline.
First in my crosshairs was Kade, and then, his daughter.
I was running through the forest as fast as I could in my human form, but I could hear the sound of heavy footfalls close behind. He was close.
He enjoyed this, and I could tell. He kept jumping in front of me to make me change directions, herding me into a dead end.
He was faster, stronger, and much bigger, and he knew this. That was why he enjoyed this chase so much.
As he jumped in front of me again, all I could see was his snarling mouth full of blade-like teeth and his black bottomless eyes.
I stopped and gasped before quickly running in another direction. My feet kicked up snow in the chill air. I could feel him snap his teeth behind me, forcing me to run faster.
I turned the corner around a rock formation and came face to face with a cliff looming high above—a dead end. I could see the full moon looking down upon me. The Moon Goddess was a cruel one.
I collapsed to my knees. I could feel something warm running down my back. The snow under me was turning red, and there was blood running down my arm.
With trembling fingers, I touched the area between my neck and shoulder. My hand came back completely covered in blood.
The wolf that was chasing me stopped a few feet away, blocking the only way out. His lips were pulled back in an angry snarl, and I could only watch as he slowly crept closer.
When he was a mere few feet away, I tried to scoot back, but the stony wall of the towering cliff blocked my retreat.
I looked into his eyes and saw only one thing as he watched me—pure hatred.
He leaped at me. A silent scream escaped my throat moments before I woke up in a cold sweat.
I took a quick look around me. I was lying in bed in my room, and there was sunlight pouring in through the window.
I’ve had that dream so many times, yet I was still terrified of how it would end. Was that my fate? To have my mate tear into my neck and chase me down in glee before killing me?
I trembled at the thought. I needed to stop thinking about it.
A knock at the door made me jump. I was still shaken up over the dream, but once I heard Ethan’s voice, I began to relax.
“Evony, are you up yet?”
I stepped over to the door after slipping on a simple gray sweater and jeans. He glanced down at me, highlighting the difference in size. I was a mere five feet; he was eleven inches taller.
He had hazel colored eyes and short dark brown hair. He was cute and often attracted attention from other females in the pack. But not only was he good looking, he was stronger than most in my pack.
He was Beta Jace’s son and my protector; he was next in line to take the position of beta, just as I was next in line for the role of alpha—not that I would ever be one.
“Oh, you’re up! Good. Are you hungry?”
I turned around and slipped on my boots before brushing my hair.
Despite Ethan being the only one who was allowed to be near me, I tried to keep my distance from him. My father hated it when I was around others, and sometimes, he would even get annoyed when Ethan behaved too friendly with me.
I enjoyed having him around because it was better than being alone, but I didn’t want my father to replace him with someone else. I didn’t get along well with others, and Ethan was actually really nice.
I turned around to see him awkwardly fidgeting at my door. I sighed and walked back to him. It was hard even for me to give him the cold shoulder.
“Can...can we just go to the cabin?” I asked quietly while avoiding his gaze. He simply smiled.
He headed down the stairs, and I quickly followed. I could feel some excitement building up within me, but as soon as we reached the lounge area, my excitement died instantly.
My father, Alpha Kade, stood talking to a strange man. The moment he saw us, his stare turned into a glare. Both Ethan and I quickly tried to avoid his gaze and hurry out the door.
Unfortunately, luck was not on my side. My father called out my name.
I stopped at the door, and Ethan looked at me worriedly. He then looked at my father and the strange man, both of whom were now watching me.
I glanced up at them. The stranger had dirty blond hair and golden-colored eyes. I could see his eyes darken as he looked me up and down. I hated that look; it filled me with disgust and shame.
“Yes, Alpha?” I responded quietly.
“Come greet our guest.”
For a moment, I could feel the strain through the pack link. It wasn’t a request—it was an order.
I walked over to both of them with my head down respectfully. Ethan took a step, but my father sent him a quick glare.
“Ethan, you may leave.” Another order.
“Of course, Alpha. I’ll wait for you outside, Evony.” Ethan gave me a sorry look and walked out. It wasn’t his fault; no one could refuse an alpha’s order.
“Evony, this is Kai, son of Beta Jackson from the Yellow Stone Pack. He came here eager to meet you.”
I nodded and glanced at my father. I knew what was going on. He wanted to set me up and send me away to another pack. He didn’t want me to take over the pack. He wanted to stay alpha until the day he dies of old age.
And what better way to get rid of me than to give me away to some wolf from another pack?
Kai smiled and took my hand, kissing the top of it. “So nice to finally meet you, Evony.” I pulled my hand away nervously. I didn’t like him, not in the slightest.
“Nice to meet you too...” I replied and then looked away from them. I could tell that my father didn’t approve of the act.
“Evony, why don’t you go show our guest around? I will tell Ethan you are busy and that he is dismissed for the day.”
I looked at him with surprise, but he only glared back, challenging me to talk back. I nodded and led Kai outside.
I showed Kai around the village and could feel eyes on me from the other pack members. I often found it easier to just avoid acknowledging them and continue on.
I could tell that Kai wasn’t at all interested in the village; his sole attention was on me. I could feel anxiety and dread creeping up my spine.
We arrived at the pack doctor’s office, and I led him inside. The place was empty because the pack doctor was away for the day, attending to a sick pup.
I was relieved that this was the last stop of the tour, and I hoped I could still recover what remained of my day after we go back to the pack house. But my relief died instantly when Kai came up behind me.
“You know, you’re quite beautiful,” he spoke with a low growl, and I quickly pulled away from him.
He simply chuckled and crept closer to me as I continued to back up, but I quickly was closed in and stopped by a wall.
He grabbed me by my shoulders, pushed me against the wall, and started kissing my neck.
Repulsed, I pushed him back. “Stop!”
He seemed a little surprised but quickly got back his confidence. “Feisty, aren't you?” He came at me again, and this time, his hands grabbed at my sweater, trying to pull it off.
I struggled to push him back—he was much stronger than he looked, and I couldn’t make him stop.
“Get off me!”
I was starting to panic. How stupid I had been, bringing him somewhere secluded. No one would be able to hear me or stop him in time.
As soon as I heard the sound of my clothes tearing, I grabbed whatever was closest to me off the medical tray and stabbed him in the arm with it.
He yelled out in pain and backed off, holding his shoulder, where a pair of scissors were now embedded.
“You fucking bitch!” He snarled and menacingly stepped closer. Instinctually, I kicked him in the crotch and ran out of the office.
I knew that it hurt like hell, but I didn’t dare stop. I frantically ran out of the building and back to the pack house.
I looked back to see if he was by chance following me, only to run into someone.
“Whoa, Evony. What’s wrong?! What happened?” Ethan grabbed me by my shoulders and looked me over.
I could feel tears starting to form in my eyes, and I hugged him, hiding my face.
“Please, I just need to get away from here, away from the pack!”
He nodded and led me away to the gardens behind the pack house. I knew my father would be furious once he finds out what had happened, but I wasn’t ready to face him just yet.
Ethan and I sat under the old oak tree, and I hugged my knees to my chest. I was disgusted and unable to get rid of the uneasy feeling I had.
He didn’t question me; he offered comfort by staying close. I could feel his worry, and I was worried too.
I wasn’t afraid that I might have to face Kai again or that he would invoke his wrath upon my pack. I was afraid of something much worse.
I was afraid to face my father.