Revenge of the fallen Beta
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All Cara ever wanted was to be able to take her Beta boyfriend Dane as a chosen mate. But when he unexpectedly loses his rank and her true mate comes along, she finds herself torn between the title her mate can give her and the unwavering loyalty Dane offers. With Dane fixated on revenge and stopping at nothing as he ruthlessly schemes and plots to regain his place in the pack and his woman, he must overcome those who seek to play him at his own game. And ultimately, Cara must decide whether to play with him or against him.
Cara sat on a park bench in a large, fenced off garden known as The Commons. It was a neutral zone between two werewolf packs; a place where both packs could mingle and co-exist without restrictions. She stretched her long, tanned legs out in front of her and tilted her head back, enjoying the feel of the sun’s warmth on her face.
A shadow fell across her and she slowly opened one eye, spotting the culprit and swatting him away playfully with her hand.
“Babe, you’re ruining my tan. Move over,” she whined, trying in vain to move the large, hulking figure of her boyfriend, Dane.
Dane was Beta of the Cape Point Pack and oversaw the training of the pack’s military-style warrior army. Cara had always hated his shaved head, but it was compulsory in the army and Dane liked to show the men he was one of them.
She couldn’t fault the rest of his body though. He was tall, with broad shoulders and strong arms that picked her up with ease. His pale blue eyes looked like the sky on a summer's day, yet could turn a person to ice when he was angry. He was the finest male specimen she’d ever laid eyes on, and she knew she wasn’t worthy of him.
“Lucas will be here soon. You should probably head off anyway,” he replied.
Cara sat up and cuddled into his side, butterflies dancing in her stomach.
“You’ll be careful, right?” she asked, locking her piercing green eyes with his.
“Don’t stress. Have I ever let you down before?”
She shook her head and relaxed into him. She knew he was right. He’d never let anything or anyone stand in the way of their relationship before - and many people had reason to. She was an Omega from a working-class family, the lowest rank of all, while Dane was a Beta. Their classist society says they shouldn’t be together, but he was all she ever wanted.
She stood and kissed him once more, waving to him as she left. She trusted him to do what needed to be done, for them and the future of the pack.
Dane spotted Lucas entering The Commons from one end, just as Cara was leaving from the other. He had the build of a werewolf, but unlike Dane, whose body was sculpted from a decade of hard work, Lucas looked more like a werewolf with a full-time office job. Dane grinned at his own joke as Lucas approached.
“Beta Lucas,” he greeted, with a friendly and familiar tone in his voice.
“Beta Dane,” replied Lucas, as both men shook hands. “How’s things?”
Lucas was Beta of the Green Plains Pack. The two held regular meetings together to talk inter-pack business. They had a good relationship, and knew it was important that they did, because above them at Alpha level, things were tense between the young and rash Alpha Patrick and his Green Plains counterpart, Alpha Marcus.
“I guess we should discuss Sarah Morgan,” started Lucas.
Dane stopped in his tracks.
“It’s not looking good,” he said, frustrated. “Patrick wants her returned to Cape Point territory. He wants her executed.”
“Absolutely not!” Lucas growled, his eyes darkening as his wolf protested.
Sarah Morgan was a young member of Dane’s pack who had fallen pregnant to a man from Lucas’ pack to the north. After discovering she was pregnant, she fled over the border and into Green Plains territory. To Alpha Patrick, this was treason, and he wanted her executed to set an example.
“Don’t blame me, blame Patrick,” said Dane, sensing Lucas’ aggression and hoping he could use it to his advantage. “He’s out of control.”
“Just between us, we’re getting very nervous about him.”
“He’s going to set us back a hundred years. All the progress we’ve made will be wiped out,” lamented Dane.
The Cape Point Pack was formed by Scandinavian werewolves forced into exile. Their brutal Viking nature made them the fiercest fighters going around. Their land was gained with a speedy yet bloody invasion that pushed Green Plains back, taking a sizable chunk of their territory. The two packs were sworn enemies for over a hundred years, until headway was made in the last few decades and The Commons area was established.
There was a rising fear that under Alpha Patrick’s increasingly aggressive rule, Cape Point was heading back to those dark days of savagery and isolation. Despite their truce, Green Plains still held a grudge, and it wouldn’t take much for Alpha Marcus to declare war.
“Marcus would have no problem with a war. He thinks we have an advantage with the weight of numbers, despite the strength of your army,” said Lucas.
“With all due respect, he’s an idiot if he thinks that. Have you seen my warriors? It wouldn’t even be close.”
“You and I both know that, but Marcus is too optimistic. He sees it as an easy opportunity to decimate your pack and regain our lost territory. He can easily blame the crazy neighbour to the south for being out of control if the Alpha King asks questions,” Lucas exclaimed, the worry evident on his face. “I don’t want it to come to that. I don’t want a war wiping out both our packs.”
“Neither do I. We need to think of a way of stopping it from getting that far.” Dane suggested, planting the seed of doubt he and Cara had been plotting for a while now.
“Easier said than done,” said Lucas. “But tell Patrick we won’t be returning the girl, only for her to be executed. This could be war.”
Dane sat outside Alpha Patrick's office, tapping his foot as sweat beaded on his forehead. Glancing to his left he noticed Head Warrior, Henrik Paulus, looked even paler than usual, his eyes fixed on the floor as he drummed his fingers on the armrest.
He tried to think of Cara to calm himself down. She hated Patrick with a passion. He was the ringleader of the bullies when they were in school, and he ran his pack in the same way now.
As a lowly Omega, Cara had copped her fair share of torment over the years at the hands of Patrick. When she and Dane met, it was love at first sight for both of them. He could still recall the way her cheeks turned pink as she smiled shyly at him, and couldn’t forget the way his heart had hammered in his chest.
She told him he was one of the only people in the pack who had ever looked at her and saw her for who she was, rather than her rank.
He would do anything for her.
“It’s supposed to be hot on Sunday,” said Henrik, pulling Dane from his thoughts of Cara.
Dane shot him a cold, dark stare.
“The weather? Seriously? With everything going on, you want to make small talk about the weather?”
Henrik immediately regretted his attempt at cutting the tension in the air.
Dane was a formidable man. Not only was he Beta, he was also the strongest fighter in the pack, and as a result he’d earned a deep respect from the warriors. The warriors respected Dane more than they did the Alpha himself.
The click of the office door opening broke the awkward conversation. A petite brunette she-wolf exited the room, adjusting her housemaid’s uniform and blushing as she spotted the two men.
“Come in, boys,” shouted Alpha Patrick.
As Dane and Henrik entered the office, Alpha Patrick zipped up his pants and took a seat behind his large mahogany desk, looking rather pleased with himself.
“She’s a terrible housemaid, but she makes up for it in other ways,” he said with a smirk.
Alpha Patrick was a medium-sized, yet muscular young man. He had been responsible for reinstating a hard line law and order regimen to the pack that had been abolished over a hundred years ago, and was known for making rash decisions.
Dane and Henrik made their way over to the desk, casually taking their places on either side of Patrick as he held court.
“When will people learn?” complained Patrick, holding up a few sheets of paper. “I’ve just had to sign off on the execution of three more wolves who didn’t feel like following the pack’s rules.”
“It’s their lucky day then, I guess,” said Dane flippantly. “We'll tear those orders up after the coup.”
“Coup? What are you–”
Before Alpha Patrick could even finish his sentence, Dane and Henrik simultaneously sunk their hidden daggers into his neck and chest. They twisted the blades as blood started trickling out, before removing them.
“What are you doing?” said Patrick breathlessly, aware that the wounds were most certainly fatal.
“Giving the people their pack back,” answered Dane.
Patrick lunged clumsily at Dane, disoriented and woozy from the blood loss. Dane responded with a hard punch to his jaw, shattering it on impact. Patrick’s head landed on his desk with a thud, finally lying still as a pool of blood formed around it.
“That's for Cara,” said Dane with an icy calm.
With Patrick now slumped on the desk, and most certainly dead, both men ceremonially drove their blades into his back and headed for the exit.
“We did it!” said Henrik, relieved.
“It was Cara’s idea. I think she’s just stopped a war.”
Cara poked her head into the bathroom, where the shower had been running for the last forty minutes. Dane's hulking, naked body took up much of the glassed off shower area, and he had his forehead pressed against the cold tiles. She knew today had been hard for him.
She was sure they’d made the right decision, but knew Dane well enough to know he’d be going over everything in his mind a hundred times, wondering if there was a better option than taking Patrick’s life. Murdering your Alpha was no small thing, after all. She knew the pack would support him and would be happy to be taken in a new direction.
Cara noticed there was no steam rising from the shower, and quickly rushed to turn the tap off. Dane was freezing cold, with goosebumps spread across every inch of his hard, muscular body, but he was so deep in thought that it hadn’t even registered with him.
As she handed him a towel and watched him dry off, a thought jolted through her mind. It was something she
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