The loud cry of a siren jolted me awake.
Not wasting any time, I threw on the first pair of pants and shirt my hands touched and ran toward my brother’s room at the other end of the hall.
I crashed through the bedroom door and was relieved to see my younger brother, Leon, unharmed and already out of bed.
“Den-den, what’s going on?” I heard my brother ask above the screeching siren that continued to resonate throughout the whole house and compound we lived in.
“I don’t know, but we’re about to find out. Mom and dad are probably downstairs figuring out what’s happening,” I said while quickly retrieving some clothes and handing them to him. “Now put these on quickly and we’ll go join them.”
Leon quickly put on his clothes despite the tremors clearly wracking his body. The alarms almost never sounded and we both knew that whatever was happening, it couldn’t be good.
We quickly descended the stairs of the pack house and entered the main living room where Kai, my father’s beta, was standing with a handful of disheveled pack members who had clearly just woken up as well.
“Kai, what’s going on? Where’s mother and father?” I urgently questioned as I approached the group with Leon at my heel.
“It’s the Dark Moon Pack,” Kai spat, “those motherfuckers came out of nowhere and killed our men patrolling our borders. One barely managed to sound the alarm.”
“What?!” I felt like the ground was falling out from under me. The Dark Moon Pack was one of our closest allies. The alpha had just visited us a few days ago to celebrate Leon’s fifth birthday.
“But why..?” I began to ask before stopping. Why wasn’t important right now. The safety of my pack and my family came first. We could figure out the why after this situation was dealt with.
“How bad is it? What do you need me to do?” I asked, ready to do whatever was needed of me.
“For now, I need every man and woman able to fight to shift and join the Alpha and Luna out by the pack school. We can’t let them get any further into the territory,” Kai said, addressing the group surrounding him. “Anyone who can’t fight, to the safe house!”
I grabbed Leon’s hand and was about to turn and join the group headed toward the school, when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Quickly turning, I came face to face with a solemn Kai.
“Aiden, you have different orders. Directly from the Alpha.”
I tensed at this, knowing I couldn’t disobey a direct order from the Alpha and not liking the look on Kai’s face.
“You’re to take Leon to the safe house and stay there to protect him,” he commanded. “Stay shifted so we can communicate any updates and orders.”
One major advantage of being in a pack, other than safety in numbers, was that the pack could sense each other and communicate telepathically when in wolf form.
I let out an exasperated growl. “I can fight! I shouldn’t be hiding when I can help!”
“It’s direct orders. We have to protect the future of this pack. That means protecting both of you,” Kai enforced. “Now go!” he commanded as he turned, already shifting as he ran out the door.
Cursing under my breath, I turned to my pale faced brother and tried my best to smile.
“It’s going to be okay. Let’s shift and head to the safe house like dad told us to,” I told him as I led him toward the door.
The need to fight and protect was overwhelming, but I managed to push the feelings down and focus on my brother. Our father was right, Leon needed me.
We both shifted as soon as we hit the threshold and began running to the safe house only a few buildings down from the pack house. I slowed my pace to make sure Leon could keep up and immediately analyzed our surroundings and listened through the pack bond.
Terror gripped me as I noticed the pack bond was… empty. Not completely empty, but the normal crowded network in which I could sense the countless members on the other side was too vacant. Even when we weren’t verbally communicating, I could sense all the members presence as long as they were within a certain distance. I frantically tried to reach into the bond for the connections I knew should be there but were gone.
There were only two ways a connection was broken. Excommunication or death.
Leon and I reached the safe house within minutes while I strained my senses to ensure our safety.
“Open the door!” I commanded through the bond.
The door swung open seconds before we reached it and I heard it slam behind me. As we came to a halt, I looked around at the small group huddled together. There were about two dozen pack members, some shifted and some still in their human form, huddled around the sparsely furnished room. It was made of reinforced steel, designed as an extra layer of protection while the main defenders were scattered around the compound to fight off the enemy.
Apart from myself, there was only one other werewolf who stood a fighting chance if the safe house was breached. Most of those here were either elderly, sick, or too young to fight.
Taking my first real breath now that my brother was safe behind the walls, I turned to face the door and readied myself for any possible threat.
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