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Chapter One
A piercing scream filled the air; loud enough to freeze anyone in their tracks. However, the werewolves in the Dylan pack seemed to be unfazed, the only thing that seemed to change was the pace at which they were walking. The piercing screams however were coming from the house at end of the street.
“Hurry, she’s close. Get this to Amber right away.” Called a voice.
The voice belonged to one of the oldest members of the pack, Eloise. She was wildly considered as the wisest member of the pack and even the alpha of the pack often came to her for advice. She was a bit strange and prone to erratic behavior, but her wisdom couldn’t be denied. Pack members were allowed to have their babies in approved human hospitals if they so wished. However, for secrecy and safety reasons most of them opted to have their children at werewolf healing facilities or at home with the help of healers. Eloise was a healer, while healers didn’t possess special magic healing powers; they were gifted in medical skills and finding herbs used to cure various ailments. Often, one could see jars of herbs lined against the walls in Eloise’s apartment and smoke from boiling herbs could often be seen coming out of her apartment.
Another scream filled the air. “I said hurry and I can still you Dave, if she has the baby before we get there, just know your apprenticeship with me is over,” Eloise called as she filled up her bag with more jars and shimmied out of her apartment. Dave, her young werewolf apprentice quickly shifted into his wolf form and bolted away. The screams were coming from an apartment just at the end of the street. The young woman in labor was called Amber, a young werewolf whose mother and father passed when she was just a baby. She had apprenticed under Eloise, learning the skills and knowledge it took to be a healer. It was during this apprenticeship that she had met the Alpha, Dylan. His father often sent him to seek counsel from Eloise when he was still a young werewolf training to be the next Alpha. He met Bella during one of those trips and if anyone asked Eloise, it was love at first sight. They were utterly smitten with each other, and even though Eloise was ashamed to admit it, she had done everything in her power to ensure the love didn’t bloom between them. Bella was like her daughter, and she was trying to protect her from getting hurt but all the sneaking out and secret meetings in the woods and the lake made her realize it wasn’t a battle for her to win. They got married two years ago and Eloise watched the girl she raised become the Luna of the pack. It was a beautiful thing to see.
The sound of chattering and whispering broke Eloise out of her thoughts and into reality. She looked around; she hadn’t even realized that she had gotten to the Alpha’s mansion. There were people gathered around, both in wolf and in human form. Eloise could swear that all members, except those in the patrol team were here. Healers and pack elders were trooping in and out of the mansion, while the guards were trooping around keeping everyone at a safe distance.
“Eloise! Thank God you’re here. I’m not sure how long she can hold on.” Alpha Dylan says immediately she enters inside the mansion.
“Where is she?” Eloise asked, all playfulness gone from her voice.
“She’s in the healing room,” Dylan responded and began to lead her to the healing room.
Eloise stepped into the healing room. For the most part, the healing room was like any other hospital room. It was a pristine room, covered from top to bottom in white, the only colors in the room were the herbs that Dave was now laying out by the side of the bed and Bella on the bed. Even Dave had changed into his white healer outfit. In the corner of the room, there was a steaming pot with some potions brewing in them. Eloise had sent two of her most trusted healers before her to prepare them.
“How do you feel Bella?” Eloise asked without quite meeting her eyes. She needed to keep her head in the game. If she looked at Bella, writhing in pain, she might not be able to conduct this birth safely.
Through grunted teeth and moans of pain, Bella managed a small response. “Like shit, fuck, get this out of me now.”
Eloise smiled a little, Bella only cursed when she was frustrated or scared. Most of the time, people and things bent to Bella’s will but clearly her long pregnancy still hadn’t taught her that her child was stubborn. Just as she was.
“Very soon sweetheart,” Eloise said. She murmured a few words to two of her healers, both of whom had gone to study medicine with the humans. Their role was to learn more not only about human bodies but to gain medical knowledge that could help the werewolves. The healers nodded and Eloise stepped into the same changing room to change.
Dylan stood by the door of the healing room. He knew Eloise’s rules. She didn’t like to be disturbed when in the middle of a session, but Bella was the love of his life. There was no way he was leaving.
“Are you going to stand there the whole time?” Eloise asked without looking at him. She had come out of the dressing room draped in all white, with some black pearls hanging around her neck. She would be muttering ancient words of protection and healing as she assisted the doctors in the process. She began washing her hands and rubbing some purple herb on her hands. The room now smelled strongly of herbs and antiseptic.
“Yes, I know you have rules that even I as an alpha are not allowed to break but I’m not leaving Bella.” He replied fiercely. His voice was almost a growl and even his eyes had shifted.
Eloise took in his disheveled appearance and felt pity for him. Dylan was a handsome young man, with dark brown hair that fell forward in his face and well-defined body to show his strength; he was the whole package. However, right now, he looked to Eloise like a scared man in love.
“Well then, come in. Get changed into something and stand with your wife.”
Bella’s contractions were now harder and faster, her screams filled the room. Dylan as besides her holding her hand.
“She’s ready.” One of the doctors said to Eloise.
Eloise nodded and walked closer to Bella. Her entire hand to forearm was covered in that purple paste. She began to rub it all over Bella. Immediately, Bella looked like she was in less pain.
“Alright listen to me Bella, on the count of three, I need you to push. Can you do that for me?” Eloise asked her gently. Bella looked at her and nodded. Eloise felt the tears gather in her eyes.
“Okay. One…Two…Three…Push!” The doctor called out. Bella began pushing. Jake continued to apply that purple paste on her face as she did. Eloise gripped the black pearls and began the ancient prayer and rite for birth.
“Oh, Ancient ones, a cub is born.
Oh, Ancient one, a young is called.
Guide the spirit to the Earth,
Keep the spirit far from the death,
Bathe them in the pack’s pride and dirt,
Preserve the mother and the young.”
Eloise continued this chant with her eyes closed, gripping the pearls as she did. There was a cacophony of sounds in the room; Bella’s grunts as she pushed, Dylan’s quiet reassurance, the doctors all encouraging her to push, giving instructions, and Dave’s labored breathing. Eloise’s chanting drowned them out. The werewolves outside, those in front of the Alpha’s mansion and the elders waiting outside, all murmured the chant under the breaths. The birth of a child was serious business to the pack, an alpha’s child, even more important.
“Okay, I see the head,” called out one of the doctors. The room to Eloise suddenly felt smaller than it was.
“Push, Luna, push.” The other doctor encouraged.
“I’m so tired, I can’t-” she cried out, she sounded exhausted. Beads of sweat rested on her forehead and her face looked pale. She looked more fragile than Dylan had ever seen her.
Eloise opened her eyes and stopped her chanting. She moved away from her boiling pot, hands still gripping the black pearls and moved to Bella. Everyone immediately moved out of her way. She handed Bella a cup.
“Hear, drink this.”
Bella gulped it down. Eloise stared into her eyes, “you’re going to push now and bring your baby into the world. Can you do that?”
Bella drew strength from Eloise’s voice and the strengthening potion that Eloise had just given her. She nodded; not sure she could trust her voice to speak.
“Good. Here, you hold the pearls and don’t stop chanting.” She instructed and handed the pearls to Dave; he took it and immediately began fierce chanting.
“Push for me.” Eloise called and Bella began to push. Outside, the atmosphere was tense. The Alpha’s second in command, went around reassuring people. This delivery was taking longer than usual, and the pack members were beginning to worry.
Back in the room however, the baby had just arrived. After a series of intense pushing from Bella, the baby was finally born. Eloise let the doctors cut the umbilical cord, and she moved away with the baby towards Bella, who had almost collapsed from exhaustion.
“It’s a girl.” Eloise announced, “It’s a girl.” Everyone in the room began to utter cries of joy and Dave was sent out to break the news to the elders.
As Eloise was about to hand the baby over to her mother, she noticed something that made her utter a loud gasp.
“It can’t be!” she gasped. Her eyes widened in shock as she did. Everyone in the room immediately looked at her with panic and concern in their face.
“Come here Alpha, right now. You won’t believe this.” The other healers knew a quiet dismissal from Eloise, and they moved into the changing room.
“What’s going on Eloise?” Dylan asked, his voice was a low growl. He could already feel his paternal love and instinct for his daughter already taking control.
“Look at her arm. Both of you, look.” Eloise instructed and they both did. Surely, gasps followed too. They looked at Eloise, disbelief and shock echoing loudly in their eyes. On the baby’s arm, was a small birthmark of a wolf standing on the moon.
“You know what that is right? That’s the sign of the ancient power heirs.” Eloise said.
The Power Heirs were the strongest werewolves in existent, no one knew how they were chosen but legend has it that every 500 years, the moon scans the destiny of the children to be born and gives this gift to whomever she chooses. Throughout history, the power heirs have been responsible for protecting the werewolves and progressing the pack. Power Heirs were sort of like guardian angels, a force against evil. Nobody knew why a Power Heir was born but what they did know is that it was a thing of immense glory to have the power heir in your pack.
“The moon has blessed us!” Bella yelled and they both nodded in agreement. Eloise looked a little reserved, like she wanted to say something, but she decided against it.
“Go on then, tell the pack. We have a baby girl and a power heir. Glory to the moon, glory to the pack.” Eloise exclaimed.
“Glory to the moon, glory to the pack.” They both responded. Dylan kissed his wife and his child on their foreheads and stepped outside to give the announcement. The healers came out of the dressing room, all of them in awe of the glory bestowed upon them. They cleaned up the baby and the mother, after muttering their gratitude to the moon and congratulations.
“Alpha, what is it? How is the baby? Is everyone okay? The baby and the mother?” Pack Elder Aiden asked immediately Dylan stepped into the meeting room.
Dylan rubbed his hands on his jeans and ran a hand through his hair. He could hardly keep himself from smiling, “Yes. Everyone is fine. We have news however.”
“What is it then?” Another elder asked and murmurs went up the room. Dylan raised a hand to quieten the noise. He cleared his throat and amplified his voice so that everyone within the pack could hear.
“As most of you are aware, we’ve just been blessed with a baby girl. Both the mother, your Luna and the baby are doing fine.” He began, and cries of joy and celebration were heard across the pack.
“However,” he continued, and the noise went down almost immediately. “This is not the only blessing we have received today. Our baby girl has been born with a tattoo on her arm. The sacred sign of the Power Heirs. The moon has blessed our pack not only with a baby but with a Power Heir as well.”
Immediately, loud howls were heard. The pack was elated; even the usually stoic elders couldn’t contain their excitement. A power heir was one of the biggest honors ever and it usually elevated the pack status even amongst other packs.
“A feast will be held tomorrow night here at the Alpha’s mansion in celebration. For now, go home, be merry and have a good rest. We are grateful for your support and love.” He announced and more yells went up before people began to disperse.
Dylan turned around to go back to see his wife and child, he even postponed the meeting with the elders. Right now, he had just one concern. Spending time with the family.
Within an hour or two, the mansion was empty. Healers had cleared out the healing room and the helpers in the mansion had retired to their homes to rest. The patrols were outside but, in that moment, it was just Eloise, Dylan, Bella and the baby. Dylan walked into the healing room almost quietly, except you has insanely developed hearing, you wouldn’t even hear his feet. A skill that came from years of alpha training.
Eloise, however, was not just a regular werewolf and Bella being his mate and his wife was used to his quiet movements and sensed his presence. They both turned their head in his direction.
“Sorry, I thought you might be sleeping babe. I didn’t want to wake you.” Dylan said when he noticed that she was awake.
“It’s fine,” she began as Dylan walked over to her. The baby stirred gently in her arms and continued to sleep. Dylan felt his heart swell with emotion. This was his family now; he’d taken on a bigger role than leading a pack. He was a father. He scooped up the sleeping baby, now dressed in a cute yellow onesie that said, ‘Daddy’s favorite wolf’. Dylan thought his heart would explode. He lay the baby on his chest, and he could swear she sighed. He felt content.
It was Eloise who broke the silence. “Keep her safe, I know everyone is rejoicing at what glory this brings to our pack, but I can’t help but wonder-”
“What danger it brings?” Bella said. Her voice had some of its strength back in it and it was clear whatever Eloise had given her worked.
“Yes,” Eloise nodded in response. The beads on her forehead sounding with the movement of her head.
“I don’t know why the moon chose to bestow this gift and responsibility upon our daughter,” Dylan said. “But what I do know is that we will be there to protect her and to guide her through it.”
“As you should Alpha,” Eloise nodded and took a deep bow. She seemed satisfied with what she had heard. While the lines of worry remained, she seemed a little more at ease. “I’ll take my leave now.”
“Oh, you’re welcome to stay. I even had someone prepare a room for you.” Bella said, longing in her voice.
Eloise smiled at her. “I’ll be back first thing in the morning, there are a few things I need to take care of. I trust you’ll be okay till then?”
“I will. Thank you for your help today.” Bella muttered, already falling asleep. Eloise nodded and walked carefully out of the room, her beads clicking quietly as she moved. The last thing Bella saw before she closed her eyes was Eloise beads swaying gently.
The next morning, the pack was woken by a loud piercing howl. Almost everyone could tell something was wrong. Patrollers and warriors immediately shifted and began to run to the Alpha’s mansion.
Eloise immediately woke up. There was a fire in her eyes and a quickening to her step that no one had seen in years.
“Ma’am? What’s going on?” Dave asked, still rubbing his eyes. Eloise grabbed a jacket from her coat hanger and immediately started stuffing her bag.
“I’m not sure but the baby is in danger. Let’s go.” With that, Dave’s eye widened and he also shifted and together they dashed to the Alpha’s mansion.
Soon enough, they got there, and they saw people, some in human form, some in wolf form crowded outside the apartment. Dylan was saying something, his eyes were blood red and Eloise had never seen him look as angry as he did right now.
“Someone has taken our child. Patrol wolves are checking everywhere now, we shall also be doing a thorough search of the pack as well. Whoever is responsible for this will not go unpunished.”
Eloise felt herself shiver at those words; Dylan meant it. She found herself worrying about the baby. She should have stayed last night. Dylan dispatched more orders and soon there were wolves dashing in the woods; other organizing everyone into a single file for the general search. Eloise made her way forward to Dylan.
“When did she go missing?” Eloise asked as soon as she was close to him.
“Somewhere between 3a.m. to 5a.m. this morning. 3, was the last time Bella saw her. 5 was when we noticed she was gone.” Dylan answered in a clipped tone. He was in no mood for chit chat and Eloise could see him gearing up to go and join the search.
“Where’s Bella?” Eloise asked.
“Inside. Mad at me for not letting her go to look for her child but she can barely shift as she is. I am not letting her put herself in harm’s way. I will find my daughter.” Dylan growled.
“I’ll go to see her inside.” Eloise added and Dylan nodded in response. Just then a commotion started outside. They both turned and began to walk in the direction of the sound.
“Where Alpha Dylan?” someone asked. Dylan recognized that voice, it was the head patrol wolf, Henry. He also recognized two familiar scents in the air; one smelled faintly like his daughter. The other like a girl he used to have a thing with before Bella. Dylan growled. He didn’t even want to believe what his head was telling him.
As if on cue, Bella burst out the mansion in wolf form, nearly knocking over Dylan and Eloise. The crowd immediately parted as she made her way towards the source of the commotion. Behind her there were two she-wolf guards holding a robe, running to catch up with her.
Before Dylan or even the guards could catch up to her, Bella had knocked the woman the guard was bringing in down. She shifted and the guards handed her robe. Bella tied the robe sharply and dragged the woman up from the floor.
“Where is she?” Bella asked quietly, and everywhere immediately became silent. Her voice sounded very much like a storm brewing. Even though she had shifted back, her eyes were in wolf form, shining a dangerous bright yellow. Bella looked terrifying in a way that was almost comical. She was standing before her pack, half naked in a robe but the look in her eyes was feral. Even Dylan stopped in his tracks.
Her recognized the woman on the floor, her name was Sasha. They’d had a brief thing in high school, but Dylan broke it off when she started to get weird. It was then that he met Bella. Sasha had never taken the breakup well and it even seemed like the trajectory of her life went off after it, but Dylan didn’t have the heart to kick her out of the pack. Bella even encouraged him not, suggesting that she was just unwell.
Sasha raised a hand to her nose, it was bleeding. Bella had hit her hard, there were tears on her face and her lip was injured. Her clothes look torn in various places but those weren’t as a result of Bella knocking her down.
“I’ll ask you one more time, where is my daughter? I can smell her over your filthiness.” Bella said through gritted teeth. Her hands were clenching and unclenching besides her.
“I swear I don’t have her.” Sasha cried and Bella punched her straight in the face. Everyone gasped. Their Luna was usually very loving, and nonviolent. This was a shocking contrast. Blood poured out from Sasha’s nose.
Dylan rushed to them, holding back Bella. He too was angry but for now, this was not the way to deal with it.
“Lie again, I fucking dare you. Lie again.” Bella yelled. She was struggling against Dylan, but his grip was strong.
“I took her, yes,” Sasha began, wincing with pain. Her voice cracked as she spoke. Bella glared at her, as did Dylan. If looks could kill, she’d have died immediately. “But I don’t have her anymore. I swear.”
“What does that mean?” Dylan asked her, his voice boomed like thunder.
“I came in and took her, I don’t know. It was impulsive and I was jealous. Why did she get to be the one who had your kids? So, I took her, and I ran into the woods. I didn’t even know where I was headed but I was running; scared to get caught.”
“That was when I was hit from the back. I stumbled but I didn’t fall. I was still holding the baby in my hands; I thought I’d been made but I didn’t smell any werewolves. That’s when I realized that I’d just been hit by- “
“Vampires.” Eloise completed. Nobody knew when she’d walked up this close, but everyone turned their attention towards her. There was a collective gasps and yells of outrage and anger.
“Is that true?” Dylan asked Sasha and she nodded. “What happened to her?”
“They grabbed her from me; they said they could tell that she was a powerful child. That she had Alpha blood. I couldn’t get a good look at their faces when they grabbed her because of how swift they are but I am sure there were from Moon bane coven.”
“You let them take my daughter? You let vampires go with my daughter and you dare to live?” Bella yelled. She was about to shift again but Dylan caught wind of it before she did. “Don’t,” he whispered to her.
“Everyone, dismissed. There shall be another meeting come this evening. Henry, make sure she is locked up in the prisons. I don’t want her to be away from sight for a minute. When you do that, come and join me and the elders in the meeting room. Eloise, you are to join us as well.” Dylan instructed. Still holding Bella, he reassured his pack of their safety and instructed them to return that evening for a meeting. Dylan however could feel his head spinning. If his child was with the vampires, who could tell what had become off her now? Regardless, there was only one thing that could happen now and that was war.

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