It had been only twenty-four hours since I’d been reunited with my brother, and I really really REALLY needed him to go home. After we’d returned from the forest that night Zora had told Alloy to keep an eye on Koda. That alone had been a big debacle. Koda had ranted about being a prisoner and ‘is that how you treat guests’. On and on, I was too exhausted to care, I really wanted my soft pelts and my alpha and go to bed. Zora and I had left him bitching at Alloy - and yes I mean at Alloy since he was the only one saying anything - and went to our den to lay down for the night. Once we were in our den my alpha and I laid down on our soft pelts.
Zora pet my belly as we lay there a soft appreciative rumble rolling from him. “I mated with you with the understanding you would not bare any pups. I only wanted the best life mate, but now that it is a possibility I am overwhelmed with excitement.”
My heart did a pathetic little flip-flop in my chest and my tail beat the ground as it wagged just as pathetically. “You trust Dey’s judgment?” I mean she was saying a male wolf could be pregnant. I wasn’t even going to think too deeply about birth - oh mother how was I going to give birth?
“She’s never been wrong.” There was conviction in his voice that said he believed or at least wanted to believe that I carried his pups.
“I hope she’s right.” I was still scared shitless, but he didn’t need to know that.
So here I was twenty-four hours later in the company of my brother while my mate investigated these so called ‘massive wolves that smelled like blood’. While Zora and Alloy were gone it was my job to keep an eye on Koda. Making me watch my brother was like a squirrel trying to guard a rattlesnake without being eaten. He was currently bitching about the dens in our pack. I don’t know how I survived 20 years of this, had I been so desperate for company? Make he’d gotten worse in the last six months.
“What’s wrong with these wolves? Why are they so damn big? This place is a dump.” Koda ranted, I think mostly to hear himself talk, because he wasn’t waiting for me to respond.
“Koda why did you really leave the pack?” I’d been meaning to ask him that the moment we had sometime alone together. I had a niggling suspicion that he’d left for more reasons than just bordum. Whatever it was I needed to fix it so I could get him back home as soon as possible.
Koda snorted, his white tipped muzzle a lot like mine. We had very similar colors, except where I had blue eyes my brother had bright green. He was a beautiful wolf in both his forms, he was just very selfish. Once when we were very young he’d shown me the most beautiful gemstones I’d ever seen. I’d asked him where he’d found them but he wouldn’t tell me fearful that I’d get any of them.
“I told you I wanted to explore for awhile and I thought I’d just find you while I was out.” He wouldn’t meet my eyes while he spoke, and that was his number one indicator he was lying through his fangs.
“Right, so we’re going to pretend I believe that? I’m happy to see you but I really want to know why you’re—”
“Shut up, who’s that?” Koda interrupted me completely - that was also something he’d always done - some things never change.
“Who? Who are you talking about?” I looked around the dens, but there were a lot of wolves in the camp.
“The blonde she wolf over there.” He pointed his muzzle on the other side of the dens.
Oh no, not her, any wolf but her. Naga was the only blonde wolf on the other side of the dens. She was in her second form, her long blonde hair flowing like it always was in endless waves. She seemed to be talking to one of the other she wolfs who looked like Comira from the distance. “Uh, that’s Naga she’s the alpha bitch— well she was the alpha bitch until well some stuff happened. Anyways you should stay away from her. She wasn’t called the alpha bitch just because of her statues.” I mumbled bitterly.
“Naga huh?” Koda was already jogging over towards the two females. Oh fuck a lizard!
I scrambled after him terrified he’d do something to get me in trouble. He’d always been good at getting me in trouble when he’d been the one doing something wrong. I wasn’t far behind him when he reached Naga’s den, shifting mid stride to walk on two legs instead of four. He had always been good at showing off, that also never changed. Naga and Comira had stopped talking when they noticed Koda. The whole pack already knew about my brother being here, but only the hunting party had actually met him. I had hoped he’d go home before he weaseled his way into my pack. Somehow Koda always had a way of making me feel like his shadow and I didn’t want to feel like that again.
“Well hello there beautiful.” Koda all but purred. Gross.
“Koda, please let’s go I’m not really supposed—”
“So you’re the mutants litter mate. It seems the whole litter was born defective.” Naga sneered.
Yeah well she obviously hadn’t changed in the last two weeks. I’d hoped she’d at least ignore me on the off hand we ran into each other, but that might have been wishful thinking. I mean tucking her tail to me had to be right up there with jumping off a cliff or eating shit. So in essence I’d made Naga eat shit. I have no idea why that made me smile so wide but it did.
“Excuse me bitch?” Koda growled.
Ok, time to leave. “Koda let’s go.” I grabbed my brothers arm to pull him along, but he shook off my hand. Why couldn’t he just for once in his life not be a pain in the ass?
“The only defective bitch here is you. You call my litter mate a mutant again and I’ll feed you a harsh reality, ugly nag.” Koda barked angrily.
My heart jump in my chest. Had he just defended me against Naga? I noticed her eyes widen and an ugly look pass over her face, Comira growled behind her in warning. Oh right regardless of his defense we needed to stop this while we were still—
“Who do you think you are?” Naga took a offensive step forward.
“I’m the one telling you to go fucking jump off a cliff.” Koda stepped towards her with the same aggressive stance.
Their growls were getting louder and I felt my adrenaline start to rush into my body. It was the same way I felt last time right before I lost control. The way I felt when I needed to protect someone. Reflexively I touched my abdomen. Had I instinctually known then? “Koda, please.” I really begged. I hated Naga don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t want to find out if I’d actually eat her like I think I was going to last time. Comira whined behind Naga feeling aware of the rising tension. She had been the most wounded in our last scuffle when my teeth and buried in her shoulder to pull her off my leg.
“You’re lucky my brother is here. Next time I’ll make sure you piss on yourself, nasty bitch.” Koda snapped already walking away from the females and back towards my alpha den. Avoiding eye contact with the two I followed close behind him and kept quiet. Relief wasn’t even close to the right word for what I was feeling — Nope there wasn’t a word for it.
Please Mother, if you really really love me make Koda go home. I’m begging you.
So that was day one to kick off my time spent babysitting my brother. Day two I wouldn’t say was worse, but nothing is worse than being near Naga. I mean being stung by a swarm of bees while Koda stole their honey wasn’t the worst thing to happen to me. I did have a swollen muzzle for a few hours. My alpha had licked my face all over soothingly and it had been pure bliss. I’d get stung a thousand times over to get that level of attention. Day three I ran for my life from a pissed off moose when Koda tried to tip her over when she was sleeping. Thank god I was able to climb trees as quickly as I good. Fucking hold moose farts that had been one pissed off moose. She’d bit my butt cheek pretty hard and I’d had a hard time sitting after that. My alpha was more than willing to lick that better too, and I’d really really enjoyed when he’d licked all over for a long time. Sorry I’m losing focus— what was I talking about? Oh! Koda right. Day four I was pecked by crows - don’t ask. Day five I really don’t remember what happened, I think I’m lucky to be alive. Day six I hide in my den, no soul brave enough would enter my mates den, and even with all of Koda’s posturing I think he was intimidated by my mate. Now you might be wondering why Zora hasn't been upset about my vigorous activities with my brother and I’d be lying if I said I’d told him the truth. Each white lie I told him to keep my brother out of trouble burned on the back of my throat. Even though I wanted Koda to go home I didn’t want him to be chased off by my alpha. I loved my brother….he just made it very difficult.
There was another reason I’d kept everything about my brother from my alpha. He’d been very busy trying to track the blood wolves in the forest. Everyday they went out looking for new leads but they couldn’t find where they were. It was obviously stressing my mate out. He’d been lost in thought more than once in our den. He’d stayed in his four form the other night, not bothering to shift. It hadn’t stopped him from tying with me, and I had to admit I loved being connected to my alpha in both of his forms. Sexy beast. Anyways. With the threat of some unknown wolves trolling around the pack border I didn’t want my brother’s antics worrying Zora.
Laying in the den I dozed. The last few days had wore me out more than I thought was possible. I hadn’t realized how much I needed to recuperate after my Koda’s extreme games. I was just about to drift off into another dream when my ears flicked forward, catching the slight sounds of growling outside my den. Curious I sat up and listened as the growls turned into a familiar rumble.
“I have been meaning to speak to you.” Zora rumbled, the same commanding intensity in his tone that he used with the pack.
“Why?” Koda, mother could he sound any more disrespectful?
“Ira has omitted a lot of truths to protect you this week. I understand why he is protecting his foolish litter mate, but that does not change how I feel. I am going to give you an ultimatum. You either return to your birth pack, or I send you back.” A shiver rolled down my spine, making the fur on my back stand up. Zora’s threat was very different from the loving mate who cuddled with me every night.
“You’re bluffing. If you hurt me you’ll hurt Ira. We are brothers. I’ll go home when I feel like it.” He didn’t even sound phased by the conversation.
MOTHER FUCKING WEASEL TITS KODA! Sorry mother to use your name like that, but I was going to kill him, Zora didn’t have to bother!
“You amuse too much. I have to consider Ira and our pups. If removing you ensures my mate and pups are safe I won’t hesitate.” Zora growled this time, his ire starting to show.
Silence followed for a solid five minutes. I was started to get nervous. Should I go out there and make sure that everything was ok? I was about to get up when Koda finally spoke up.
“Are you fucking insane? Ira isn’t a female.” Koda was growling now.
“I am not unstable. If you took the time to observe your brother you’d realize his scent reveals everything. Ira is not like other wolves. He is special and I do not want anyone around him that will treat him like he is less than.”
“And you think I treat him like less? Your whole pack ignores him, and that nasty nag makes his life a living hell whenever she finds the opportunity. But I’m the one who doesn’t observe him enough?”
I got up. Their argument was getting heated and I needed to intervene. I didn’t need them fighting. My life here was my own and while it wasn’t perfect yet it was my own. Koda needed to go home if he wouldn’t abide by the alphas rules.
“I cannot interfere with Ira and the pack.” Zora said in a low tone that seemed almost pained. “I cannot force them to accept him, but I will shield him and love him entirely to keep him here.”
I fell back on the pelts absorbing the shock of my mates words. He loved me? Not once since we’d mated had he said he loved me. I wanted to hear it again, I wanted him to say it while he was tying with me, while he was laying beside me in our den. I wanted to say it to him!
“How is it even possible for him to have pups?” Koda finally said.
“You wish to know how my mate body holds my pups?” Did I hear a hint of sarcasm in Zora’s voice?
“Yeah never mind I don’t want to know. If it’s true and you’re not insane, then I’m not going anywhere. My brother needs me if he’s going to have pups in this pack.” Yeah, somehow he was using me to stay I think.
“If that is the case Alloy will be watching you from now on. Whatever he needs to do you will accompany him.”
“Oh great saddle me with horse wolf.” Koda grumbled.
A snorting laugh came out of my mate. “I see where my Ira inherited his attitude.”
That’s wasn’t fair!
Zora rubbed his hand up and down my belly, the soothing hand lulling me into a light sleep. I hadn’t brought up his conversation with my brother, and a part of me wanted to keep it to myself. I needed to stop lying. Even if I thought I was doing it for the right reasons, I shouldn’t lie to my mate.
“I accidently heard you talking to Koda.” Might have been an accident but I didn’t stop. Did that make me a bad wolf?
“You did? I apologize for interfering with your sibling, but I knew you were keeping things from me and I didn’t want you to get hurt.” He continued to rub my belly as he spoke.
“I’m happy that you care about me that much, but I’ll take care of Koda. I promise he won’t be an issue.” Probably shouldn’t make that promise if I can’t keep it….
“Do not worry about your litter mate. Alloy will keep him contained. He needs something to focus on and I think your brother will prove a good task for him.”
Was that relief I felt wash over me? Yeah it was. Thank mother I didn’t have to babysit Koda anymore, one more day and he might have killed me and my pups from pure exhaustion. Or killer moose. Both of those were highly possible. Warmth filled my whole being as I pressed my muzzle under Zora’s chin and curled close to his body. These moments were the little piece of heaven I’d always dreamed about when I was younger. To have a mate that loved me was— “I love you.” I mumbled into his throat. I started to drift off to sleep as the comfortable position lulled me.
“I love you, Ira.”
I think I might have heard him say that but it could have been a dream.
A distant terrified noise woke me.
Panting I sprang up the sametime Zora did, both of us looking towards the dens entrance. The sound had been horrible. Shaking I looked at my mate for some confirmation. What should we do? What had made that sound? “Alpha?”
“Stay here, Ira.” He shifted into his wolf skin nudging me with him nose. “Do not come out of the den.”
He trotted out leaving me in our bed completely lost. What if something bad happened to him? Terror started to build up like a trapped volcano. How could I stay here if something could happen to him. I wasn’t a chipmunk hiding in the trees! Jumping up I followed after Zora outside of the den. Outside in the moonlight I saw Alloy and Koda, Alloy standing protectively over my brother who for once in his life was utterly silent. Other wolves from the pack had come out of their dens to see what had caused the commotion, but stayed back.
Scanning the forest line I didn’t see my mate and I began to feel the terror wash over me. If anything happened to him my heart might physically stop. I start towards the forest with every intention of going after my mate.
“Ira, stop.” Alloy growled roughly.
“I’m not leaving him alo—” I stopped when Zora walked out of the woods, the smell of blood sticking to his coat.
“Zora.” I rushed over to him on four legs afraid something had happened to him. Up close I could see his black eyes were flat the far away look in his usually burning gaze made my gut cramp. I shoved my nose into his fur ignoring the sickly smell that somehow drenched him. “Zora what happened? Are you hurt? Let me check you?” I licked his muzzle as I begin to shake with an adrenaline rush.
Alloy and Koda approached along with other wolves in the pack. Their curious murmurs started to build among them. “Alpha what was it?” Alloy spoke up above the chatter causing them all to quiet.
Zora blinked clearing away the dazed expression. “It was Comira.” He paused as if still digesting what he’d just saw. “She was ripped apart.”
A lone mournful cry of one female wolf broke the silence among the pack.