AN: Last chapter! I know, that's pretty sad, huh? Anyway, I have good news, though. The first chapter to my new story "Guardian of Fire Island" is now up and running. So, please, check it out when you can and let me know what you think. I'd really appreciate it. Also, thanks so much for the encouragement you gave to me for this fic. I hope you enjoy!
Ethan quirked his head to the side in question and mild concern. Why would Ross request that he take a look at Myles? Was he hurt in some way?
Wait, he was holding up his paw earlier. Did he sprain it, or...?
Even Chance looked concern as he looked at Ross with both eyes open. As the Alpha of his pack he had a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of his pack mates. With Raven's reign of terror over, he was certain that there will be some scars to heal.
"Did something happen?" Chance asked as he made a move to sit up, being cautious of the bandages around his torso.
Ross pressed his lips together in annoyance before breathing an irritated sigh. "Raven wasn't too pleased that we failed in our mission."
Chance's reaction to the answer gave the indication that he wasn't surprise, nor happy about it at all. "I see."
Ethan, however, wasn't entirely sure what it meant. But from the two older wolves' reactions, he guessed it wasn't good. "What does that mean?" he asked.
"Raven was very...cruel to his pack," Chance explained as he slipped his legs over the side of the bed, reaching for a pair of pants to wear, Ethan helping greatly with his movements. While Ethan wanted Chance to rest as much as possible, he also knew that Chance wouldn't just sit idly by when one of his fellow werewolves was in pain.
"A failure always results in punishment," Chance said with a great amount of anger on Myles and Ross's behalves.
"Myles is hurt," Ethan said with a frown on his lips. "Where is he?"
Suddenly, they heard a yelp from down stairs, most likely from the kitchen area. Immediately, Ross's eyes widen and turned on his heel, leaving the room in a hurry. He was no doubt frantic to get to his mate's side to help ease his pain.
His concern growing, Ethan helped Chance into a set of pants and then to his feet. With one arm around Chance's waist to steady him, Ethan used his other hand to snare a few left over bandages that were sitting on his bedside table. He then helped Chance descend the stairs, moving slowly as not to cause him further pain as well as open any healing injuries.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Ethan watched as Ross practically drag Myles out of the kitchen, the shorter male insisting that he was fine, that there wasn't anything to worry about.
"Myles," Chance said with a light air of exasperation in his voice, removing his arm from Ethan's shoulders to lean heavily against the wall.
Myles immediately dropped his chin to his chest upon hearing his name. "I'm sorry Alpha," he said softly, refusing to look at Chance in the eyes as he cradled his wrist against his chest.
"It's alright," Ethan said softly, soothingly, in a nurturing parental kind of way. "You've injured your wrist."
Ethan made a move to take his hand so he could assess his injury, but Myles flinched and drew away from him. "It's nothing," he said.
"No more of that," Chance suddenly commanded, moving to step from the wall.
Myles winced subtly, almost unseen, but Ethan had caught it and was certain that Chance did as well. "Yes, Alpha."
Carefully, Chance approached the brown-haired male and placed his hand on his shoulder, standing next to Ethan, making himself appear less intimidating and more approachable.
"You're not under Raven's command anymore," he said in a kind tone of voice. "You don't have to be so fearful. And call me Chance that is the name I prefer."
Slowly, Myles lifted his head to gaze upon Chance's face and he blinked a few times. Then, the tension from his slender form began to drain away. He appeared more at ease, even satisfied by Chance's words. "Yes, Al-I mean, Chance."
Ethan couldn't help but smile at how attentive and placid Chance really was. He genuinely cared for his fellow wolves. They truly are meant to be, aren't they?
"Let me have a look at your injury," Ethan requested as he made another attempt to take Myles' wrist in his hand again. This time, thankfully, Myles didn't pull away. Though he did look a little ashamed when Ethan pulled back the sleeve of his jacket, his eyes widening in surprise.
Teeth marks? It appeared as if someone had bitten him savagely on the wrist.
So this was what Chance meant by punishment. No wonder Myles was so scared and Ross so nervous of him. If he did this to his own pack, his poor sister never even held a possibility of defeating him.
Pushing down his anger, Ethan set about the task of cleaning Myles' wound, cleaning the puncture wounds the best he could before placing disinfectant and clean bandages around his very tender wrist.
"How bad is it?" Ross asked, lingering close to his mate's side.
"I'm going to need to keep a close eye on it," Ethan said as he checked the tightness of the wrapping. "There is a chance of infection. So let me know immediately if you feel feverish and have cold chills, alright?"
"We're allowed to stay here?" Myles asked him with a light air of disbelief.
Ethan, however, looked confused. "Of course you are."
"This house is now a part of my, no, our territory now," Chance explained to their fellow wolves. "This can be where our pack will stay." He then turned to Ethan a smiled. "Is that alright with you, my mate?"
Ethan returned the smile with one of his own, truly grateful to hear those words. "Yes, that's fine."
Ethan now spent most of his time in his human form as it was much easier to help others in need, but he so enjoyed lounging around in the sun, curled up against Chance's side as they relished in each other's company.
Which, funnily enough, was exactly what his now closest friends were doing; Myles and Ross were lying on the edge of the veranda, Ross' head lying on top of Myles, the two of them sleeping. Like most mates, they were highly affectionate with each other, but were forced to hide their mateship from Raven, their once ruthless Alpha.
Ethan pressed his lips into a thin line. He had only met Raven once, fleeting, but because of him, everything changed. He changed and traumatised so many lives.
In one night his whole life was turned up on its head. He lost his sister who had been led astray by her own self-importance, which ultimately cost her her life. The lost of his sister was tragic and he had often wondered if things would be different if they hadn't got into a petty little fight and if he hadn't ran outside to avoid her.
But, as terrible as it sound, he had gained so much more than he could have imagined. And he gained a mate, someone he felt he had known all his life and knows, without a shadow of a doubt that they'll always be together. Furthermore he had gained a new family who were like him. He also had new opportunities to help as many of his fellow werewolves as he can.
The younger and new wolves to their pack had taken the habit of referring to him as Alpha as well. While Chance was the leader of the pack, someone who made the decisions within the best interest of his pack, Ethan was the caretaker. He used his natural empathic abilities to help his fellow werewolves, both in his pack and unrelated, wandering wolves.
Since the death of Raven, Chance's pack had only grown stronger and larger in size. While he wouldn't allow every werewolf they encounter to join, he did allow those who proved their loyalty to join.
"What is it?" Ethan asked as two light brown wolves raced up to him, their ears perked up and tails wagging excitedly. They were sibling wolves, exactly one year apart and the youngest of their pack.
"There's a new wolf in the area!" stated Sero, the younger of the two.
"I think he's hungry," Cadin, his older brother explained, his nose scrunching up cutely. "He's awfully scrawny."
New wolves in the area were hardly a new thing these days. Most of the time, however, they were merely wandering through, on journeys for their own mates to find and needed temporary shelter and perhaps a warm bed to regain some strength. And there are still some curious wolves that had heard of the Legendary White Wolf and wished to meet him for the sake of it.
Any who dared to ask him to be his mate instead were promptly dealt with by Chance.
But most of the time these new wolves were lost and injured, having just discovered their own werewolf tendencies and didn't know how to handle them. They needed guidance and an understanding shoulder to lean on.
But most importantly they needed food in their bellies and a roof over their head.
"A new wolf, hmm?" Chance questioned as he trotted over to them in his wolf form, his midnight coloured fur still as impressive and beautiful as it was when Ethan first saw him. "It would be best to greet him, yes?"
Ethan nodded and the two little wolves raced off into the distance to show the way. He stayed in his human form while Chance walked beside him, easily reaching up to Ethan's hips in height. And as they walked, Ethan gently placed his hand on Chance's back, running his fingers through his fur.
He had no idea that his life would turn out like this, but in reality, he couldn't ask for anything better.
"Here he is!" Sero shouted as his brother nudged at a thick shrub at the base of a large tree with his nose. "He won't come out. He's scared."
Ethan approached the half-hidden wolf cautiously and slowly, showing that he was not a threat and neither were the wolves that were accompanying him. Although Chance appeared to be at ease, he was still guarded. One could never be too careful.
That was why Ethan was so fearless right now. He knew Chance would protect him if anything should happen.
"Hello there," Ethan said as he made eye contact with the shadow hidden wolf. "Don't be scared, we won't hurt you."
"That is correct," Chance said to the cowering wolf. "Allow us to look at your injuries, and perhaps give you something to eat. You must be tired from your long journey."
"I...I couldn't," the hidden wolf finally murmured.
Clearly, he was new to the area and judging from his size and the way he was trembling, Ethan hazard a guess that he was new to being a werewolf as well.
"Oh, it's alright," Ethan said as he crouched down in front of him, the two little wolves on either side of him, edging playfully closer to him. "This is a neutral area; no harm will come to you. Although, I can't guarantee that with these two hell-raisers here."
Far from being offended, the two young wolves laughed, the older of the two even crouching down on his front haunches in a playful manner, growling at him.
Chuckling softly, Chance nudged the Cadin away, stopping him from being too playful with their new guest. "That can come later," he said after receiving a whine of disappointment. "He needs food and rest now."
Smiling warmly, Ethan lifted his hand and presented it to the currently unnamed wolf to sniff if he desired. It was the universal way to prove that one was not a threat.
"My name is Ethan and this is my mate, Chance," he said as Chance sat beside him, looking as tall and proud as ever. "Can I ask for your name?"
The wolf was silent, seemingly still very skittish, his eyes darting from between Ethan and Chance. But, finally, he rose slowly upon his four legs and ever-so slowly stepped out of his hiding spot, stepping into the sunlight.
And when he did, Ethan had to bite the inside of his cheek when he saw the colour of his fur; it was dark red, his feet a muddy brown. But his eyes were a bright yellow, fearful and uncertain.
"My name is Reda," he finally answered, his ears folding back. "And...I don't know what's happening to me."
Hearing the fear in his voice really pulled at Ethan's heart strings and a smile reappeared on his lips. He was right, Reda really was a new werewolf. "It's alright. You'll be safe with us. Won't he, Chance?"
"Yes," Chance said with equal warmth. "Come, let's see what we can do for you."
As Reda moved to walk beside Chance, the taller and stronger wolf waiting patiently for him, Ethan knew that despite everything he's been through, it will be alright now.
And he couldn't be happier.