Chapter 7- Power Struggle
I wanted to slap her well-manicured hand away but I knew more was expected of me. Sebastian’s and Caius’s shoulders were tightly wound waiting for my response to her presence. Instead of giving her the handshake she wanted, I merely nodded my head in her direction and looked away. Caius’ s small smirk didn’t escape my notice. I was being petty but I didn’t care. If Sebastian had a problem with it he could tell me.
The depth of my silent fury at Magnolia Birmingham was concealed to all but my mate. He could feel the waves of hostility I felt towards the blonde and the streak of possessiveness I felt for him. Now that I had a mate I wasn’t going to let him go without a fight. He was mine. The Moon Goddess had chosen him for me and me alone. I would not share.
I watched Sebastian interact with the top ranking wolves of our pack and tried to mimic his level of attention to what was being said but his lips kept pulling my focus. How was I supposed to concentrate when he’d just kissed me the way he did? My body was present but my mind was lost in the memory of his lips on mine. He certainly knew what he was doing. And just like that, Lyla, the green eyed monster had reared her jealous head. He must have had plenty of practice with those...
“What do you think, Lyla?” Sebastian asked.
I quickly reigned in my thoughts and focused on what he’d asked. “Uhm, what?”
Magnolia’s smugness was like a bucket of ice water being poured over me. If I wanted to keep my position as Luna I’d have to work for it. Being Sebastian’s mate wouldn’t hold the rank for me forever. I needed to demonstrate I was worthy of leading the pack alongside him and that meant being present and an active participant.
Thankfully, Caius repeated the question. “Do you think we should cancel the events for the remainder of the week since we had a breach of security at last nights moon party?”
He was seriously the best.
I opened my mouth to answer but Magnolia spoke before I was able. “We should cancel the rest of the festivities, Sebastian. We don’t want a repeat of what happened under your father’s leadership.”
Sebastian visibly bristled. I had no idea what happened under his father’s time as Alpha but Sebastian and Tiberius didn’t like her line of thought.
Tiberius’s growl drew the attention of nearly everyone. He stalked towards Magnolia, his frame three times her size. She visibly shied away from his approaching figure. His body shook from the effort of restraining the shift that threatened to take over. Sebastian looked on, not saying a word. No one was saying or doing anything. What would Tiberius do once he reached her?
I cleared my throat but no one looked my way. I subtly began to shift my position closer to Magnolia, ready to protect her from Tiberius’s wrath. I disliked her immensely but that didn’t mean she deserved whatever punishment was lurking behind the intensity of Tiberius’s glowing eyes.
Sebastian’s head swiveled in my direction and firmly shook his head. I could feel the pull of his Alpha rank behind the small movement but surprisingly I was able to ignore it. The shock was what kept me in place. Instead of trying to be a shield for Magnolia I decided to answer the question that had been asked of me.
“I think we should keep up with what has been planned and find a way to root out the rogues using some of the upcoming events. It’s the smart play. Canceling would be a waste of an opportunity.”
Tiberius stopped his slow pursuit of Magnolia. Her whole frame continued to shake. I nearly scoffed aloud. She had no place in this circle. She was weak. How had Sebastian thought she was worthy to lead by his side?
Sebastian looked away from her as well. His raised brow let me know I had his attention.
Tiberius turned his full attention towards me. “And how do you suppose we lure them out?”
“I have an idea which I will discuss with Sebastian first and if we agree then we’ll bring it to everyone else.”
Hell, I had no clue on how to lure them out but he didn’t need to know that.
Tiberius and I locked eyes. Who would look away first? His smug smirk irked me beyond reason. It only angered me further. This was a clear power struggle to all who were present and I wasn’t about to concede to this sly silver fox. I would outrank him once Sebastian and I claimed each other whether he liked it or not and he would fall in line.
I could feel Sebastian’s pride in me like a second skin. His emotions poured through the mate bond, so easily discernible. What would it be like once we were fully mated? What would it be like to be able to feel another person’s every thought and feeling? Was I ready for that?
Tonya cleared her throat. “Titus and I need to oversee the rest of the pack’s training. We’ll catch up once Sebastian and Lyla discuss matters.”
She had picked a side for both her and her brother with that one sentence and I was grateful.
The situation diffused a bit with their parting.
Caius drew our eyes to him. “The rumors going around about half breeds being on pack land are true. They were the ones at the moon party last night.”
Sebastian’s face hardened.
“How do you know?” I asked.
“We traced one of them to a bar in the next town over. After a bit of time with Titus, he admitted to being on our land. Even though we got confirmation of their presence at the party it was all we were able to get before he managed to escape. Five of his pack mates found us before we were able to get more.”
“How did you know he was a half-breed?” I asked him. I’d heard half breeds smelled different but who knew if that was true.
“Other than the obvious smell, his mark was visible. This particular rogue likes to mark his half breeds. He’s been so successful at turning humans that he’s been able to turn at least forty.”
I gasped and Magnolia hissed. My next thought hit me straight in the gut. I had an idea on how to lure them out but the thought of doing it left a sour taste in my mouth.
Sebastian paced behind me. “Is it them, Caius?”
Magnolia, Tiberius, and Sebastian were waiting to hear his answer.
“Yes, Alpha,” he replied.
Sebastian’s fury nearly buckled my knees. It was a tsunami of emotions that was all consuming I felt I would drown in them.
What was going on? I was lost. There was a piece of information I was missing. Half-breeds were looked down upon but the emotions coming from Sebastian didn’t make sense.
“I don’t understand. Why is there so much animosity towards half-breeds? It wasn’t their fault they were turned against their will. Don’t they deserve the same rights that we do? They need a pack to show them the right way. If they’re being trained and looked after by this rogue then, of course, they’re going to break our laws. They don’t know any better. How can we judge them based on a way of life that we are purposefully subjecting them to?”
I needed them to accept half breeds if I wanted their help in implementing the acceptance of half breeds into our society, into our packs. Especially if I was right about Caspian.
Caius sighed at my opinion. Magnolia rolled her eyes and Tiberius grinned like he’d just won the lottery. Sebastian on the other hand left. After a pitying look from Caius, he followed Sebastian who was now mingling with the group of barely dressed she-wolves. My jealousy threatened to surface.
Magnolia left to train with Tonya and Titus who were demonstrating different defensive positions with the juvenile wolves.
Tiberius and I had been left alone.
“Interesting thoughts, Luna,” he sneered the name mockingly.
Goddess, what was his problem?
His black eyes gleamed dangerously as he continued, “seeing as his parents were killed by half-breeds. In fact, half-breeds created by the very same rogue that managed to infiltrate our lands once again.”
The blood drained from my face. I had inadvertently shoved my foot in my mouth. The information hadn’t changed my opinion about half-breeds but if I’d known I would have had a gentler hand in giving my take on it. Sebastian’s feelings now made sense.
I turned away from Tiberius’s mocking sneer. Even before I took a step towards Sebastian he turned and shook his head. He didn’t want my company right now. A heavy weight settled on my chest. How was I supposed to fix this if my mate didn’t want me around?
Instead of pushing my company on Sebastian like my mind was screaming at me to do, I left the training field in search of Caspian. There was a theory he needed to hear.