“Thank you for coming on such short notice,” Noah greeted his father and the Elders when they arrived.
“Not a problem. We were already planning to stop by to make sure everything is going as planned with Rachel,” Zeke answered for the group.
Noah followed his guests into the living room, taking a seat next to Mitchell on the sofa. Rachel had joined them as well, and once everyone was seated he prepared himself for all hell to break loose.
“I wanted everyone to meet as soon as possible to announce that I won’t be mating Rachel as originally planned. Rachel, you are a lovely woman and my decision doesn’t reflect negatively on you in any way,” Noah turned towards her with an apologetic smile.
“You agreed to this Noah, you can’t back out now,” Zeke growled.
“Watch it old man. I’m still Alpha of this pack,” Noah growled harshly, and Zeke had the decency to look sheepish. “I will not be mating Rachel because last night I claimed my true mate, her brother Mitchell.”
The Elders all began shouting at once. Their horrified and bigoted comments enough to tempt Noah to violence if they didn’t shut the hell up soon. To his credit, Noah’s father, hadn’t said anything yet, and Rachel sat in stunned silence while Mitchell’s steadying presence offered support.
“Enough,” Noah snapped. “I will address your concerns one at a time.”
“You can’t possible mate him, it’s unheard of.” Unsurprisingly, Zeke was the first to speak.
“It may be unheard of but let me assure you that it is very possible because we are already mated. Has your eyesight gone bad? You can clearly see my mating mark on Mitchell’s skin.”
“What about uniting the packs? If you aren’t going to mate Rachel it’s obvious you don’t have the best interest of the pack in mind.”
“That won’t be a problem, the packs can still unite. It must have escaped your notice that Mitchell and Rachel are siblings. I’m not answering any more question, we are going around in circles. Mitchell is my mate. End of story.” Noah was having a hard time controlling his wolf. It wanted to tear the Elders to shreds for doubting his mate.
“We will see how long you remain Alpha,” Zeke hissed.
The hairs on the back of Noah’s neck stood up. “Was that a threat, Elder? Let me assure you that I am fully capable of defending my status as Alpha and protecting my mate.” The power coming off Noah crackled in the air, demanding they turn their heads and submit to him. “I take care of my pack. I put their needs above my own. I was even willing to attempt to mate a female for them. You are the ones who are betraying the pack. Alphas are always stronger with their fated mates at their side. You will not tell me that I can’t mate Mitchell Goddamn it. He is my mate.” Noah felt his skin crawl as his wolf tried to come forward to eliminate the threat to his mate.
“Let’s take five minutes to cool off before something happens we’ll all regret,” Mitchell said as he stood and began to pull Noah towards the kitchen. His mate was seconds away from shifting. Before the kitchen door had time to swing close, Mitchell spun around and trapped Noah with an all-consuming kiss; the kind that makes you think of nothing else. After a couple of minutes, Mitchell pulled his mouth away. One minute Noah was about to kill someone and the next all he wanted was to find a bedroom and take his mate.
“Better?” Mitchell asked, his voice husky from their kiss.
“Hell yeah, let’s do that again.” Mitchell chuckled and turned to lead Noah back into the living room. “That’s not fair. First you get me all hot and bothered and then you make me go back to a room where I want to strangle half the occupants.”
“Think of it this way. The sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can go to bed.”
Noah followed Mitchell back into the living room. As far as he was concerned, this meeting was already over. The only question left to answer was if there would be bloodshed or not.
“I have a suggestion,” Zeke announced as soon as they were seated again.
Noah raised an eyebrow. He didn’t like the tone of Zeke’s voice, the man up to something. “I’m listening.”
“The obvious solution is to hold an Alpha challenge.”
“What!” Mitchell’s efforts to calm Noah shattered.
“Noah, just hear them out,” Mitchell whispered forcefully into his ear. Since Noah wanted heads to roll, he would have to be the one to keep the peace.
“We will select three wolves who we feel are better suited to the position of Alpha then you are to challenge them in the ring. Whoever wins will then fight your brothers Nathan and Nicholas. If the contender beats all three of you, then your family will no longer be the Alpha family, and he will be Alpha,” Zeke continued.
Noah wanted to gut the pompous ass. He watched as his father’s body stiffened and then relaxed. His father knew none of the challengers would defeat Noah. There was no reason to worry about his younger sons.
“All right. Choose who you want on these conditions. Once I beat the wolves you choose you will leave us the hell alone. From this point forward, anyone who doesn’t keep their mouths shut about my leadership, my mate, or any other same sex matings that occur, will have to find another fucking pack.” Noah would rather gut them then make a deal, but Mitchell obviously wanted to do things the old-fashioned way so no one would ever challenge them again.
Once they had selected a date for the Alpha challenge, the Elders left. Noah, Mitchell, Rachel and his dad were the only ones who remained. Rachel and his dad had been quiet throughout the entire meeting and Noah turned to Rachel now. “I am sorry things had to work out this way. I had intended to follow through with my promise to mating with you, and your brother had decided to leave, but I couldn’t let him go.”
“You have nothing to apologize for. I understand completely.”
Rachel looked disappointed but not terribly hurt and Noah was relieved. It wasn’t her fault and he didn’t want to cause her any pain. “You can stay as long as you like.”
“Thank you, I’m very happy for the two of you and will take you up on that offer. Unless you had something else to discuss, it’s been an eventful morning and I’d like to go to my bedroom and rest for a while.”
“No, nothing else, thank goodness.”
Rachel smiled at them pleasantly before headed to her room. Now the only person left to deal with was his father.
“I’m proud of you son. You stood up for your mate and what you believed in.”
“You’re not upset?”
“No, son. I want you to be happy, and it’s obvious that this young man does that for you.” To say Noah was stunned would be an understatement. He’d thought that his father agreed with the Elders’ plan to arrange his mating. “Yes he does Dad, more than you know. Thank you for understanding.” Noah was exhausted, and it wasn’t even ten in the morning.
Copyright © Vanessa Sims, 2015-2016