The Alpha's Pact
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To save her own people from dying by the same plague that wiped off her parents six years ago, Laurel Kris must step down as the Alpha of the Sacred Moon Pack and make Earl Malory, Alpha of the New Knight Pack the new Alpha while she rules as his Beta. Or she can either marry him and join forces with him to fight the Rogues that are threatening to destroy his own Pack or better still she can forget about Alpha Earl's Pact, the cure and let her people die. What is more important? Her position as the Alpha, her Pack or even her heart?
My daughter will rule in my place
Laurel walked out of the castle furiously, stopping long enough to wait for Kristen who she signaled a guard to call. She was trying to take deep breaths to calm her nerves but it was not working.
"How did it go?" Kristen asked as soon as she got to Laurel.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Kris. Maybe I should have listened to you, I don't know… I… I don't know."
Kristen, sensing that all was not well with her sister immediately, "Hey, don't be too hard on yourself now, I already thought it through, my plan was as good as bad too. I mean you were right, what if they don't mind losing too many men just to get us? And what if we eventually succeeded in taking the men and they ended up pointing the wrong leaves for us to take back?"
"Well, there had to be a way, Kris. There has to be a way." Laurel said again with eyes already clouded with tears.
"He didn't agree to help?" Kristen asked, unsure of what her sister was talking about.
She shook her head repeatedly, "He asked for something in return, Kris. Asked for too much in return."
"Surely you were not expecting he would help us for free? I told you he was going to ask for something in return. What did he ask, is it something we can't give?"
"It's more than we can give, Kris. Way more than the devil would ask."
"Let's hear it. And don't tell me you want to cry, I've told you to get a hold on yourself."
"He asked that I step down as the Alpha and make him the new Alpha while I rule as his Beta." Laurel dropped the bombshell, watching the expression on Kristen's face go from surprise to anger.
"You are joking?" She took a moment to laugh, easing her own tension in the process. When Laurel did not join in the laughter, Kristen looked at her with wide eyes, "That man is certainly a devil if you are not joking, he's worse than a devil. How could a man be so greedy?"
Kristen turned and marched back towards the castle, her hand on her sword ready for battle, Laurel called after her but she ignored and continued towards the door. Laurel had to use a speed she rarely used before she could catch up with Kristen and block her way.
"What? You are not going to agree to that foolish proposal, are you?"
"No, of course not. There is another alternative though, he gave us two options."
"Hm, that's quite generous of him, spit it out already." Kristen said impatiently.
"He proposed that I become his Luna. That means I either marry him and get the cure or give him my birthright for the same cure."
"That guy is a sorry excuse for a man. Wait, how are we even sure they have the cure here? From what I hear they are more opportunists here than you can meet in a lifetime."
"They have it, Kris. They call it Munsil leaf, said it is their own blessing from the Moon Goddess, that it has been around even before he was born."
Kristen nodded thoughtfully, "Then this journey was not totally in vain, now we know what we are searching for, I say we go back and continue our search in the neighboring packs. I'm sure we will find it elsewhere."
"He already shattered that hope too, he warned me against it. According to him, it would be a waste of time as the cure is 'their special gift' too. And stealing it, according to him, will not work too, the leaves automatically become useless if stolen." Laurel said tiredly.
"He's calling for you!"
Laurel did not wait for the last maid to reach her room before she ran out of the room in her night dress, the urgency in their voices told her something was wrong and that did nothing to soothe her already disturbed emotions. She nearly tripped by the doorway when she stepped on her long night dress, she had no time to pick up the hems so she simply ripped it off. She met the first maid in the hall, shrieking in fear and what looked like sobbing.
"What is wrong with my father?!" Laurel grabbed the maid by the hands and asked.
"He is convulsing again, he asked that you be sent for immediately, I'm afraid it's worse this time,my lady."
"And my mother?"
The maid said nothing. Laurel raised a questioning brow at her,
"Lydia, and my mother?"
"The Luna asked that you not be allowed to see her in that condition, my lady. But I'm afraid she is no better than your father, the Alpha."
Again, Lady Laurel did not wait for the last sentence, she raced up the stairs to her parents room, it was buzzing with activities, the healer stood by the door, perplexed. Laurel looked from him to the maid who was kneeling by her father's bed, occasionally soaking him with the water dripping from a piece of cloth she dipped in a bowl lying beside her at intervals.
"Papa!" Laurel ran and knelt by the bed, she took her father's hands in his and placed it in the crook of her neck.
"Mama" Her mother's condition was worse, even the hand that laurel took in hers was covered in sores, little wonder the woman had ordered the maid not to allow her daughters see her like this.
"Laurel darling… is that you? I told you to stay away until…" Her mother's voice trailed off as she began gasping for breath.
"Shhh… Mama, I can't be away from you now. Hush now and save your strength, you'll be fine."
Laurel could not stop the tears that trailed down her eyes, soon she was sobbing and shaking herself. Her parents! Her lovely parents! Just a few weeks ago they had been hale and hearty. She had been living her normal life in the castle, how they had gotten infected with the strange illness was still a mystery to even the healer who could not even ascertain the cause of illness nor the cure.
Her parents' health had since deteriorated rapidly, it was now so bad that her mother's body was covered in sores and her father was constantly coughing out blood. They had one thing to be thankful for, the sickness was not communicable, her parents had contacted it at the same time.
A walk in the garden, maybe? Nobody could tell. They had returned home that evening, taken lunch with the rest of the family, gone to bed and woken up screaming.
The Pack was in chaos following the strange illness of their Alpha and his Luna. Alpha Kris, Laurel's father, was convinced of one thing, there was no way he was going to make it out alive. He reached for his crying daughter's hand. She rose immediately and peaked up at him.
"Papa! Do you need something?"
"Your mother… How is she… doing?"
"She is doing just fine papa, she'll be fine in no time, you both will be. Just hang in there, will you?"
The sweet girl, Alpha Earl sighed, ever optimistic, ever willing to help. With the brave heart of a leader, who better to take on the position of the Alpha of the Sacred pack than his brave daughter?
"Laurel, darling… I'm so sorry, I never imagined I would be leaving you with so much responsibility at this young age. Remember what I told you about the will of the moon? It has a plan for all of us even before we were made into existence…" He paused to cough, blood.
"Shhh papa, I don't think talking is a good idea now."
"Listen dear girl, you'll make a great leader. Remember everything I taught you about leadership and management? Take it to heart and let it guide you now… I will do my best to protect you from where I am, if that is even possible." The cough now was loud, so loud that it attracted the healer and the maids who were never far from the door.
"Alpha Kris!" The healer called as soon as she stepped into the room. "Lady Laurel, I advise you let the Alpha rest now"
"Let her be. I wish to speak with her!"
He grabbed her hand with all the strength he had left, to the healer and the guards by the door, he yelled, "Gather every soul in the castle by that door, I have an announcement… to make"
"Papa, the air will be too stuffy for you."
"Laurel… it was never my intention to saddle you with so much burden at such a young age… I can't say how deeply sorry I am" He coughed again, this time the blood splashed on Laurel's face.
She wiped it off with the back of her hand and sobbed loudly, by now almost all the maids, guards and servants in the castle were gathered by the door.
"Your sister. Take good care of her and guard your pack with your life. As I told you before, your senses will heighten as you grow and one day you'll find your true mate. Until then, you have to be strong, my dear girl, guard the pack with your life and never take any chances…"
He gasped. Laurel shrieked.
"I'll do the best I can from where I'll be" He managed a smile.
"Papa, you'll be fine, Kristen is convinced she'll come back with a healer soon, hang in there for a bit, okay?"
"Henceforth…" The Alpha was no longer addressing her, Laurel noticed that when she felt her father take her hand in his and lifted with the last strength in him.
"My daughter, Laurel Kris, shall rule in my place as the Alpha of the Sacred Pack!!!"
Even as the crowd at the door cheered and booed, the king couged, gasped, coughed again and gasped for air. To his daughter, he said the last thing.
"I love you my dear girl, tell your sister… your mother and I love you both dearly"
His hands went cold in hers.
Laurel turned to look at her mother, she met the healer's eyes. The eyes were telling enough.
"I'm sorry Lady Laurel, the Alpha and Luna are dead."
Laurel knew that a part of her died with them then, but she had no tears to shed, she simply went still.
Chaos in two Worlds
When Kristen Kris returned to the castle the next week, it was to the news of her parent's death. Her elder sister, Laurel Kris had sent word for her to return to the castle the next week, not informing her of their parent's passing. Somehow, on the journey home, Kristen knew that something was amiss, what she did not expect however, was the news of the death of her both parents. She had hoped at least that one of them would be alive for a while longer. Even though her mother's condition had been worse than her father's, she learnt that her father had died first.
Sitting beside her sister now, Laurel could only sigh in exasperation. She had no time to mourn because there was a lot to do in the castle in preparation for their parent's burial. The ceremony had been delayed due to her absence, but now that she was back, everything was kick-started.
"I am not ready for this." Laurel muttered for the umpteent
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