After coming home from school, there was nothing better than going to the gym to work out my sore and achy muscles. Sitting for hours just made me antsy inside. I was a werewolf, it was in my nature to be sprinting around the forest, running around freely.
I had to pull it out for just a little longer, though. Once I graduated high school, I could take online university courses, and work around my own schedule. After that, I could devote my life to serving my pack under the leadership of my brother.
I headed straight to our pack gym, set to get a start on my fair training regimen. I tried to work out at least 3 hours a day, and rotated around different aspects. Today was my upper body and cardio day; I needed to keep up my physique so I could protect the pack.
Popping in my earphones, I scrolled through my playlist, looking for some motivational music to pump me up and allow me to feel badass.
Hm, what am I in the mood to listen to today?
I finally settled on a Stromae song. He was one of my favourite musical artists of all time, and as a Québécois, I was happy to have him as a representation for French music.
“What’s good, little bro?”
It was my older brother, Nicolas. He was leaning against the doorframe of the pack gym, chewing on a piece of gum.
“So, pup, how was school today?” Nic asked me teasingly as he watched me do my crunches.
“You know, I’m only a year and a half younger than you,” I retorted, but my tone was light-hearted. The two of us, like all siblings, poked fun at our age differences. I was a pup. He was an elderly, wrinkled wolf. The teasing was never ending.
“You’re still a pup,” he shrugged, and popped a bubble.
“And you’re still short.” Nic was definitely on the smaller side for an Alpha. Standing at 6’0”, I was quickly catching up to his height, and would soon become taller than him.
“So, you want to duel with me once I’m finished my upper body exercises?”
“Nope,” he said, shaking his head. “I can’t. I’m heading out to a pack meeting soon, 12 minutes to be precise.”
I had nearly forgotten about that. “Right, the one in Ottawa.”
“Yes, that one. It’s going to be pretty big, there are going to be hundreds of packs from all across Ontario and Quebec.”
“Sounds intense. Well, represent our pack well.”
“As always,” he said confidently. “Anyway, anything new going on with you?”
“Apart from school, no, not really. I mean, there is a party that Malcolm Groves is hosting soon, and I’m debating whether I should go or not.”
“You should go.”
“What?” I was shocked Nic was prompting me to go. He was quite popular back when he was in high school, but he never really went to any parties himself.
“Listen, Ben, one day the pack will take over your life. But that’s one day, not today. While you still can, take the time to enjoy yourself, find out who you are. That’s probably one of my biggest regrets.”
I blinked, setting down my weights. My arms were already extremely sore from my workout, but it was the good type of pain that meant I was pushing myself enough.
“I’m serious, Ben,” he gave my shoulder a squeeze. “Don’t overextend yourself. It’s not good for anyone involved.”
‘Nic, Bennett,’ a voice came calling to us in our minds. It was our father, the Alpha.
‘Yes?’ Nic was already alert and on his feet.
‘Meet me in my pack house study as soon as possible. No need to rush, though, this is not too urgent.’
The two of us headed over to our father’s study, which was located a few blocks down the road where our pack house was located. It was a large, Victorian-style building that blended into the Montréal architectural atmosphere.
I wondered what this meeting was about. Was it about Alpha duties? I shook my head; if it were, then he probably wouldn’t have asked me to come.
Now, as the youngest son, it was highly unlikely I would be inheriting the Alpha title. Unless Nic died sometime between now and the birth of his firstborn child, Alpha Bennett would cease to exist.
I suppose the fact didn’t really bother me all too much. Nic had been preparing his whole life for this, and I knew he would make a great Alpha. I couldn’t have been any happier for him.
I stood quietly at the side while Nic and dad spoke business.
“I’ve brought you here to discuss some news about our pack.”
“Of course,” Nic said, suddenly switching to his serious side. “Is there a problem?”
“None that we currently know of, no. I’ve been taking a look at our population and growth statistics. Our pack numbers have grown exponentially within the past decade.”
“I’m not surprised, dad. We’re one of the most stable packs in Quebec, if not all of Canada.”
The statistics didn’t lie. Our pack had consistently been rated among the top for its leadership, quality of living, and security. We made sure to take good care of our pack members and emphasize cohesiveness. As a result, we worked as efficiently as the Romans, minus their slavery and torturous disciplinary techniques.
“That certainly seems to be the case. Of course, this will mean quite a bit of responsibility on your part, Nic. You are departing soon for your meeting in Ottawa, and without a doubt, this topic will be brought up.”
“Of course,” Nic said proudly. “Don’t worry, I’ve been studying everything about our pack, and all of our neighbouring ones, too. I’ve got everything under control.”
“Good, good,” the Alpha said before he turned to me. “As for you, Bennett, are you set to instruct and lifeguard a swim training session for the pups later today?”
“Oh, yeah,” I nodded. “I’m good to do so.”
“Excellent. Your shift will start at 6, and end at 11. The recreation centre, not the pack training centre.”
“Sounds good,” I gave him a thumbs up. “I’ll be on it.”
A knock on the door interrupted our little meeting, and our pack warrior, Philippe, stuck a head through the door. There was an anxious expression on his face, and all three of us immediately became guarded.
“I apologize for any interruptions, but we’ve got a visitor on our territory, Alpha.”
“A what?” My head shot up at the news, and I turned to my father worriedly. Nic clenched his fists determinedly.
“A rogue, sir. He was caught lurking just outside Mount Royal Park.”