"Why does it have to be 3AM?" I ask meeting Alpha Aaron near the pack house.
"No one is up yet and we can be back before anyone is... it's best if the Alpha is available for his people... plus we don't require as much sleep... you'll realize that soon." He says then takes off running. I keep up no problem this time. "We're meeting Malak in the clearing between the packs... if we pick up the pace we can get there take a lap around the boundary and back before five... you up for it Alpha?" He asks with a grin. I smile and nod.
We are running so fast the trees are a blur. I feel lighter. The tension that has been building melting away. I see what Alpha Aaron was saying. I already feel more myself.
"Hay Malak." I say as we meet him in the field.
"We aren't stopping boys get a move on!" Alpha Aaron says turning to circle the pack boundaries.
"Hi Alic." Malak responds as we follow his father.
"How's my sister doing in Red Rivers?" I ask as we run.
"Good... I hate being away from her tho... mom will look after her. I think she likes finaly having a daughter... plus gushing over Ruby has been a welcome distraction with all that's happened." He says looking away from me.
"Why would she be gushing over Ruby?" I ask. It seems odd. I get spending time but gushing over... unless! "I'm gonna be an uncle!?" I yell.
"Yup!... that's a big part of the reason I don't want to be away to long... you know why my dad called me?" He asks.
"Nope he just told me we were meeting you this morning." I tell him.
"Well I guess we're about to find out." He says as Alpha Aaron enters the pack house.
"Have a seat boys." Alpha says tossing us each a towel and wiping his head with one. We are panting and sweating. I'm gonna need a shower before any inside training. I already stink!
"Well Malak I called you because I thought you deserve to know what's going to happen with Midnight Moon now that Ti won't be succeeding me." Malak looks at the ground again. It must be extra hard on him losing his twin.
"Alic has become an Alpha." He says and Malak's eyes shoot up to look at me. "He is the king of werewolfs."
"You're joking!" Malak says. "I knew something was off with you but holy crap dude!" I look away. I don't know how to respond to this attention.
"Alic." Alpha says and I look up at him. "You are an Alpha without a pack. I am an Alpha without an Heir... I need someone to take over for me and if it can't be my blood I can't think of someone else I'd want more than you to do it." My jaw drops and so does Malak's.
"You want me to take Ti's place?" I gasp.
"You are the King... it makes sense you would have the largest pack... we still need to find you a Beta and Gamma but yes I want you... you've always been like one of my own... just don't get locked in the dog pound again! I don't think my back could take trying to carry out a full grown wolf!" He laughs and Malak joins in.
"It was one time and you promised!" I complain.
"I didn't use it at your graduation... hay I never promised about an Alpha ceremony! I could have some fun!" Malak is rolling in laughter at this point and my face is bright red.
"Please Alpha!" I whine.
"Begging is not very becoming for a King." Alpha says still laughing. I groan and fall back in my seat. "I'm just kidding Alic... it stays in the past... even tho everyone already knows and it would be hilarious to remind them. I will not do that to you." I sit up relieved.
"I might!" Malak grins at me.
"You weren't even there!" I yell.
"No but it's a great story! I mean a werewolf caught by a dog warden! Priceless!" He laughs.
I'm glad to see him smile... but I also want to knock his teeth out.
"Come on I thought we were friends!" I give him a pleading smile with big eyes.
"Playing the friend card... fine but you can't use that again for at least a month!" He says rolling his eyes.
"I need an answer Alaric... otherwise we may have to combine packs and give it to Malak." Alpha says. Since Malak hasn't taken Red Rivers Alpha title yet we still have a mind link so I look at him.
"What do you want?" I link him.
"Take it man... I never wanted to be Alpha let alone of two packs... Dad's right the king will need a large pack." He responds.
"I guess I'm gonna be Alpha of Midnight Moon." I say and Alpha Aaron smiles.
"Glad to hear it!" Alpha stands up and walks over to me with an outstretched hand. I take it and shake. "I'll announce you at the Alpha banquet next week... I'm going to invite all the Alphas world wide... they will want to meet the king."
I gulp. ALL the Alphas! To meet ME! In a WEEK! I think I'm gonna pass out!
"Ummm... mind if I escort Malak home... I think I need to run." I say having a near full blown panic attack.
"Go... process... I'm gonna start Trent's training that you so happily volunteered me for... come back when you're ready and you can join us." Alpha says.
I turn to Malak and nod. We go straight outside and into the woods. Once we are alone Malak turns to me.
"Before we shift I need to talk to you." He says putting a hand on my chest to stop me. He lowers his hand and looks away.
"I don't want to be Alpha... that was Ti's dream... us doing it together made the idea bearable but without him... Would you accept me as your Beta?" He asks. My jaw drops. Can he do that? I mean he IS an Alpha.
"How would that even work?" I ask.
"I found a copy of the original True Beta story... I know the words. I can give you my Alpha and become a true Beta... I'll get a sick grey coat! Plus you could take me and Ruby as your Betas so she can keep her True Beta status. If I become Alpha she will be Luna and will no longer be a true Beta... I think she likes the grey coat... it ties her to her family." He explains.
"So we'd still combine packs." I say... that seems like a hassle.
"We could run it like mom and dad did... but we'd have training in the clearing between packs so both can train together. People can choose where to live and all... it won't have to change much but Yea we'd be combining the packs." He says.
"What will your parents think of this? You will be ending their Alpha bloodline... are you sure you want to do that?" I ask.
"I'm sure I don't want to be Alpha... I'm sure I'd do better helping you... I'm sure my wife would be safer without a target on her back or the pressure to produce an heir for me... I'm sure I don't want my kids worried about who will be Alpha! I don't know about my parents but I've never been more sure of a decision in my life... will you accept me as your Beta?" He rants.
"Yes... when do you want to do it?" I ask. Its not that I want to take the pack but he's my friend and I want to help him.
"Now... before anyone else finds out." He answers.
"I'll say the words then we both cut our hands and shake while you say."I Alpha King Alaric Steven Grayson accept you Malakai Maverick Rose as my Beta." That simple." He says pulling out a knife from his pocket. He was planning this.
"Ok let's go." I say.
"I... Alpha Malakai Maverick Rose hereby relinquish the abilities and authority as Alpha from me and my progeny to you Alpha King Alaric Steven Grayson. I pledge myself to you and your pack submitting to you alone and taking the position of your Beta for as long as I draw breath." He says cutting his palm. I do the same and grab his hand.
"I Alpha King Alaric Steven Grayson accept you Malakai Maverick Rose as my Beta." I respond.
I can feel the power of his Alpha bloodline flowing into me. I feel almost drunk on it... I really need to run now. Once the surge of power ends I drop his hand.
"Wow!" We both gasp in barely a whisper.
"How do you feel?" I ask him.
"Free." He says smileing. "But also like I'll do anything for you... it's kinda weird... overwhelming loyalty... I mean I was always on your side but now... it's like a driving force in me."
"I know what you mean! I always felt like that! As soon as your dad accepted me all I wanted to do was take care of the pack... as a kid I couldn't do much but every fiber of my being was for the pack." I tell him.
"Every ranking wolf feels that way." We turn to see my father staring at us. "What were you two thinking?"
"Hi Dad." I smile at him but his stern look shuts that down.
"Did you even talk to your parents before giving away your birthright?" Dad asks Malak. He looks at the ground.
"No sir." He mumbles.
"If this is what you wanted they would have understood... we could have held a ceremony. They could have attended... supported you... you took that away from them. How are you going to tell them now? Just wait until they notice the grey coat and then say "oh wonder how that happened?" What were you thinking!" Dad scolds him.
"Don't get me started on you boy! You who should be king! Sneaking around like an adolescent pup! You should have stopped this! Been the voice of reason! Your impulsive acts hurt people Alaric! Alpha Aaron just gave you his pack... his life... and you turn around and spit in his face! This is his son and you took his power! What about Lilly! She fought hard to keep her Alpha! To pass it on to her son and you took that! You ended her family line! I don't care if it was his idea you did it!" Dad yells at me. I glance at Malak who looks like he is about to cry.
"I didn't think about her... I didn't consider my own mother... how am I gonna explain this?" He mutters under his breath. I wrap an arm around him.
"I'm sorry Malak... I should have said no." I tell him as he cries.
"Go back to our house... I'll call Lilly over... you can tell them together." Dad says and storms off.
"I'm sorry Alic... I should have thought this through... I'm not sorry we did it... but we should have gone about it differently." Malak says as he turns towards my house.
"Yea... I just hope they forgive us... I'm now legitimately heir to Red Rivers but your Dad could take away Midnight Moon... that's my home... I don't want to leave it." I say.
"I'm with you wherever you go... I basically just tied my life to you." Malak responds.
"We really don't think before we act do we?" I ask and he chuckles.
"Never have." He as answers as we enter the house and sit in the living room... well this should be fun.
It took 5 hours before Dad mind linked me to come to Alpha Aaron's office.
"Let's go Malak." I say and we head out.
"What is going on boys! Clayton won't tell me a thing just that Ruby and I need to come over right away and I wasn't having a pregnant she wolf running here so we had to drive! I hate long car rides so this better be good Malak!" Alpha Lilly rants.
"You might want to take a seat Lilly." My dad says and she sits on the couch next to Ruby.
"What's going on baby?" Ruby asks Malak. He just looks at the floor.
"How do you want to do this Alpha?" Malak asks me in a whisper. I think a moment.
"Shift... it's the most concrete way to tell them... they will know what it means." I tell him and he nods. He takes off his shirt and shorts and shifts.
"What the!?" Alpha Aaron yells.
"Malak! Your fur!" Ruby gasps.
"Malakai Maverick Rose! What have you done?" Leave it to the momma to use the middle name. All of the sudden the attention shifts to me.
"You took his Alpha!" Alpha Aaron yells. "You are King! I'm giving you my pack and you had to take my son's position too!?"
"Alpha!...I... I'm..." I stammer.
"Alic how could you!?" Alpha Lilly's turn to yell. "My family has nothing! I worked so hard to preserve my family's bloodline and you took it! Do we mean nothing to you?!" I can hear the pain in her voice.
"I'm... I'm sorry Alpha Lilly... I didn't think... I..." at this point Malak has shifted back and redressed. He cuts off my rambling.
"Its not his fault... I begged him to do it. I didn't want to be Alpha. He was helping me. I'm not sorry we did it... but I am sorry to hurt you... I love you momma... I know you fought for this but I'm still here. You have a bloodline it's just now a Beta one... it's better for me... come on I'm Beta to the King! Isn't that good enough for you guys?" He rants.
"We love you Malak." Alpha Lilly says coming up to hug him. "We accept your decision... I just wish you would have talked to us first... I wish you trusted us enough to."
"I'm sorry momma... I trust you... I just... didn't want to let you down... I know how much being Alpha means to you. I thought it would be easier... I guess I just wasn't thinking at all." He mumbles.
"Well this changes everything." Alpha Aaron says walking over to us. "Alic... are you sure you can take over both packs?"
"I'm sure I won't be alone... I'll have a couple of amazing Betas and the best elder council I could ask for with you three leading it... I'm not so pompous to believe I can do it all or that I am somehow above everyone else but yea... this is my home... I can lead them with your help." I say. Alpha Aaron smiles at me grabbing my shoulders.
"That's my boy... well said Alpha King... we will begin planning your Alpha ceremony and for the joining of the packs... you said Betas so I'm assuming you will appoint Ruby as well... you still need to decide on a Gamma and Delta. We will announce you at the Alpha banquet to the world but we should have something to inform the packs first. There's alot to do boys let's get a move on!" Alpha Aaron lays out the plan. It's overwhelming honestly. I don't know what to think but I'm pretty sure it's right. I can do this! I can be...
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