The younger warriors are slowly getting stronger, and I am so proud of them. They have all come so far from hesitant growls when ordered to fight each other and have all been taught to utilize their abilities based on their biological status in order to best fight their opponent.
For example, my Omega soldiers are quick and since they tend to be leaner and built smaller, they know how to use the strength of their opponent against them in order to find the vulnerable spots on their body. As an Omega myself, I have mastered this technique and it's refreshing to see my fellow Omegas doing the same. Other packs don't know how to utilize the hidden strength of an Omega and often ban them from fighting, but mine utilizes them.
We didn't in the past, but my mother, our current Alpha, decided that we needed to have everyone capable of fighting. Those who don't want to be full time warriors are still required to attend one training session a month starting at age seven in order to have the ability to protect themselves so if there were to be an attack, they could hold off an attacker until they were backed up by a warrior.
I watch a young Omega taunt one of the Betas and easily avoid her claws as the Beta tries to catch her. The Beta growls with malice, but the Omega is quicker and dodges her jaws, sliding underneath the Beta and biting her stomach. The Beta sighs and rolls on her back, showing that the Omega won and that she is acknowledging it.
That's how our training fights go; we don't want to maim each other, so even if true injuries are sustained, we don't ever bite with the intent to harm near the stomach or neck.
They both shift back and the Omega, Brianne, pulls on her shorts and sweatshirt, skipping around the irritated Beta.
"Oh goddess, stop gloating," the Beta, Cyndi, grumbles, ruffling Brianne's mousy brown hair. "You are insatiable."
I smile at the pair; the two are mates, and it is fairly new, as I know Brianne just turned seventeen.
"Then stop holding back," Brianne shoots back, picking up her water bottle and taking a long drink. "I'm not trying to beat you every time, but you're making it too easy."
Cyndi catches me watching them and sighs. "I'm sorry, I'll work harder," she mumbles. "Good morning, Alpha."
"Future Alpha," I correct her, as my mother is still very much in control of the pack. "And it's alright to be hesitant right now, Cyndi. You're new mates and you don't want to hurt her, but I have worked with Brianne and trained her myself. I promise she's difficult to catch and cause any harm to."
Cyndi relaxes a bit. "Thank you, Sage," she says, and Brianne is grinning at my approval of her mate's fighting.
"Alright!" I call, getting the training group's attention. "You're all dismissed for lunch and to go about the rest of your day. Those of you whom I have spoken with already about training with the pups afterwards are to be back here in an hour."
They all begin to leave or complete their fights before shifting back and dressing up. My closest friend, Zach, sits beside me in the clearing where we train after he's changed back.
"You're working them hard, Alpha," he says, mocking me with my future title.
I scoff and shove his shoulder. "I still have a few years before mom steps down and I have to take over, so hold off on the title, alright?"
"Okay, no need to scold me," he says, but there's still a wide grin on his face. "I'm so excited to train the babies. They're so little!"
Zach is an Alpha, but he definitely gives off a more traditional Omega vibe, not that anyone really pays much mind to traditional roles here. He's lucky to be in this pack because in another one, he would most likely be expected to be a warrior and leave his mate and pups at home, but he doesn't really want that.
When he finds his mate and has kids, Zach is eager to be the best father every since he didn't have one to look up to. He wants to stay home with his pups and his mate and put his family above all else, and I am committed to ensure that will happen.
He's in line to be my future Beta, so he will be able to do some of his work from home and be able to take care of his pups and when they get older they can come on patrol with us. It's a job he can handle and balance with his family life, and he's my most trusted ally.
"You're great with kids so you'll be great training them," I comment, and Zach's smile widens. "Come on, we should eat before we have to deal with the gremlins."
Zach pouts. "They're special little babies! Don't call them gremlins!" he exclaims as we stand up and walk back toward the pack house where Zach and I were both raised.
Me, because my parents are the Alpha and Luna.
Zach, because his mother died and his father abandoned him on the edge of our pack grounds.
My dad, our Luna, is busy cooking lunch when we get back. Everyone who lives in the pack house is without parents or one of the higher ranking members. My parents live here, along with the current Beta and his mate, and then all of the younger wolves who were saved by our pack or found on the edge of our grounds.
Once they reach adulthood and/or find their mates, they move out of the pack house and into the other houses in the pack. They obviously still have the support of the members who live in the pack house, but there's only so many people who can live here.
Zach gets to stay even though he's an adult because he's my future Beta and he attends pack meetings to train and learn how best to do his job.
"How was training?" dad asks me as he puts bowls out on the island in the kitchen. "Zach, could you please go get the pups for lunch?"
Zach grins and runs off.
"Hands out of the fruit!" dad growls as I try to steal a berry. "Use a spoon, Sage. I raised you better than that."
I huff and use the spoon he holds toward be and dish some fruit onto my plate. "Fine, fine, fine," I grumble as mom comes downstairs and kisses my dad on the cheek, making him blush.
After all of these years with them being together and loving each other, my dad still gets so flustered around her. It's honestly adorable but sickeningly sweet at the same time, so I just continue to eat my berries.
"Sage, we need to have a meeting later today," mom says, catching my attention because we usually only meet on the weekends and have a lot of advance on the meetings.
This is definitely out of nowhere.
"Is it that urgent?" I ask, trying to gauge how important this is.
She nods. "You and Zach will have to miss training the little ones today."
Mom has never encouraged skipping out on my duties, and as one of the the head warriors, training is one of my biggest responsibilities.
"Okay... it's after lunch then?"
"Yes," she says, and my dad hugs her to calm her down. "Nothing has gone wrong yet, but we may need to plan a raid."
Our conversation comes to a halt when Zach comes back with a pup on his shoulders and a few more following him with great admiration. All of the pups love Zach even though many left on the edge of the grounds were originally scared of Alphas.
I pull Zach aside and tell him the change of plans. I can tell he's disappointed but he understands and goes back to helping the pups dish up.
If I wasn't already twenty two and Zach twenty, I would think we could possibly be mates, but neither of us felt a bond other than friendship. I still don't know where to look for my mate, and I really hope I won't find them when I'm older and they're way younger because I want that connection that all mates have. However, running off and taking two years to try to find my mate isn't really an option right now because I'm committed to my pack and I don't want to let them down.
If I really wanted to, I know I would have the support of my pack, but I'm a rarity as an only child and I want to be a good leader to this pack when my parents are done.
However, I want a mate and someone to lead the pack with. Alpha, Beta, Omega, whatever; I just want them to lead with me so that I'm not alone and so I have that special someone in my life.
Zach and I are among the group that was asked to attend the meeting, and it's a smaller group than usual. Oftentimes all of my other head warriors are invited for discussion, but it's only my mother, my father, his Beta, Matthew, his mate, Pauline, myself, and Zach.
"I'm sorry to disturb you all on such sudden notice," mom says, looking at the clock. "Our final guests should be here soon."
As she says that, the door opens and an Alpha and Omega both walk in, the Omega nearly hiding behind the Alpha. They're both male and the Alpha is trying to encourage and soothe the Omega, but the latter is so anxious that it's putting me on edge.
"Thank you for meeting us," mom says, smiling kindly at the pair.
I recognize the Alpha; his name is Nolan and he's one of our ambassadors who visits other packs to secure our alliances. He's years older than me so I never trained with him but I have hosted sessions he's been at. He's incredibly strong and very respectful toward myself and my family.
"This is my mate, Charlie," Nolan says, sitting down at one of the seats and trying to get Charlie to sit beside him, but the Omega blatantly refuses and sits on his lap instead. "I found him three days ago when I was visiting the Alpha of the Eastern Mountain pack. It was meant to be a simple meeting to discuss our alliance when their pack found unrecognizable Alphas on the edge of their land. I sensed my mate and their pack helped me to get him and captured two of the Alphas.
"They both seemed terrified when we caught them and they didn't try to fight back against us. They instead told us that they belonged to a fractured pack made up of orphaned Alphas who were raised for the sole purpose of raiding and kidnapping Omegas. The cost of disobedience and running is being tracked down and killed; they offered us a location if we promised their protection and taking down the group who leads them. Charlie was almost of their victims, so I respectfully ask that our pack joins with the Eastern Mountain to take down this corrupt pack. They are raiding packs and taking Omegas, and their own members are being abused."
Mom hums and looks to me. "Sage, what do you think?" she asks. She has been asking for my opinion a lot lately to help with my training to be the Alpha, but this is a different situation.
"Our pack has plenty of available space and we're still building and expanding. I personally feel that we should proceed with a raid in order to save the Omegas who are there against their will. If the Alphas are being abused as well and have been raised that way, I believe they should be observed to ensure they won't hurt our pack mates but be offered another opportunity to be part of a pack." I pause and look around, pleased that everyone is agreeing and nodding. "However, we should meet with the Eastern Mountain pack's Alpha first to get their assistance and opinion."
Mom has pride in her eyes when she looks at me, as does my dad. "I agree," she says, standing up. "Nolan, we would like you to come with us as you have been the closest to this problem. Charlie may stay here with my Luna and he will be safe."
Charlie looks extremely against the idea, but Nolan kisses the side of his head and calms him down.
"You'll be safe here," Nolan promises. "When do we leave, Alpha?"
"Sage will gather the head warriors and assign groups to patrol while we are gone. We will leave in a few hours, so all of you go grab a few items," mom orders, and I leave to complete my task with Zach by my side.
He's quiet and I think it's because he knows that he could have been in the situation the Alphas of the pack we're raiding are in and it's causing him anxiety. Zach is such a good and pure soul, and all he wants to do is help others.
"We'll save the Alphas and the Omegas, Zach. I promise," I assure him, and he casts me a small smile.
We don't talk for the rest of the walk to the training grounds.