Alpha Dean's POV
"She is not strong enough, Alpha! Forgive me, but she can't rule this pack on her own… you know that!" My second in command, James, tells me once I had explained my retirement plans to him.
It was true… I was retiring.
I am not as strong as I once was and I am now approaching the age of 45. Nobody in their right mind would try and run the second strongest pack in the country at the age of 45!
My wife was no use either since she was two years older than I. She has just recently turned 47, and even if she were younger, I wouldn't allow her to run this pack alone.
The last reasonable option left for the pack is to rely on my 17-year-old daughter Leoni.
She is turning 18 in four days and I am hoping that she will find her mate when she does.
I want the ruler of my pack to be my own flesh and blood and well, she is my only child and therefore my only choice.
The problem, however, is that she's too shy, naive, innocent and quiet – just like her mother.
She can't speak her own mind or stand up for herself… so how will she be capable of controlling this pack?
I have come to the conclusion that she needs a strong mate to guide her through it. Be her backbone if you will.
If she doesn't find her mate in a couple of days at her 18th birthday party, then I will have no other choice but to marry her off to my strongest warrior.
"Yes, James! I know that she is weak…" I snapped out at my beta before continuing.
"My wife and I have always shielded her away from any kind of danger and we have kept her in the shadows all of her life, which I now regret, but with a strong mate, she can rule this pack like the Luna she was born to be!" I tell James, determination lacing my tone as I stand from my office chair.
"Yes, Alpha… will I fetch her for you now?" He asks, standing up from the leather chair opposite me. I nod at him simply and before I know it, he leaves.
I sit back down and wait. After about five short minutes, there is a small, gentle knock on my office door and I know immediately who it belongs to.
"Leoni, my love, you do not have to knock on the door before entering, you are my daughter…" I call out to her. I watch as the handle turns slowly before she enters the room.
She is always so careful and cautious with everything she does. We didn't raise her to be so scared of everything, but we didn't exactly force her to fight her way through life either.
"I'm sorry father. I’m always worried in case I interrupt an important meeting of yours." She mumbles quietly as she sits in the leather chair opposite me.
I smile at her softly and she smiles back up at me making my heart swell. Her long dark hair falls in waves past her shoulders, hiding her beautiful features from the world. She looks exactly like her mother, other than the dark chocolate brown eyes she has which are exactly like mine.
"You can come in here whenever you like, during a meeting or not, Leoni… anyway I called you in to discuss your birthday party on Friday." I say happily, but she just gives me an awkward smile and stares down at her hands.
"Oh… uh I don't really want a party, Dad. I hate when all of the attention is on me…you know?" She states awkwardly and my face falls from a grin into a frown.
"You must have a party, sweetheart… it's your 18th birthday and I need you to find your mate…" I tell her sternly and she just looks down at her feet.
Something is bothering her.
"What is it? What is bothering you?" I question her raising an eyebrow.
I'm her father. I can tell when something is wrong almost instantly.
"Nothing." She mutters out still looking at the floor.
"Come on, Leoni. You can tell me. I'm your father!" I encourage her to tell me and I see her hesitate at first.
"Come on… tell me what the problem is?" I encourage her further before she takes a deep breath.
"It's just that…w-what if my mate rejects me…" She stutters slightly and my heart aches at the thought.
"He will not reject you! I will kill the man if he even dares!" I exclaim angrily making her jump and look up at me wide eyed.
I sigh deeply trying to calm my wolf. He doesn't like when our daughter feels low about anything… especially a man.
"Listen, Leoni. He won't reject you. You are the Alpha’s daughter… my daughter. You are special and beautiful just like your mother. Any male will be honored to have you as their mate!" I tell her softly and she gives me a small smile while nodding her head.
"I need you to find your mate to help support you in running this pack, sweetheart…" I tell her softly again and she sighs lowly while looking away from me once again.
"I'm not good enough to be a Luna, father… can I not just come live with you and Mom? Let someone else take over?" She asks me sadly.
I know that she doesn't want to take on so much responsibility but I will not have a stranger run my pack!
"Leoni Stone! You ARE worthy of being the Luna! Your mother was quiet and shy just like you when I first met her and she has done an amazing job at helping me run this pack! You have no other choice. Your mate will help you!" I demand and she nods knowing that I will not give her any other choice.
"But… what if I don't find my mate?" She asks, looking into my eyes, hopeful that if she doesn't find her mate I will just let her leave with her mother and I.
"Then I will marry you off to my strongest warrior…" I rush my words out. I know that she won't like my plans but she at least has the right to know about it.
"What? No, you can't?! What if I don't love them?!" She says sadly as tears form in her eyes.
"Hey, hey, let’s not worry about that for now okay? I want you to go with Willow to the mall tomorrow and pick out something to wear for your party? My treat?" I tell her in a rush.
Hopefully, that will cheer her up. She loves shopping, especially for new shoes.
She smiles slightly at me and nods. "Thank you… I guess." She says quietly. I can still hear the slight worry in her voice, but I'm afraid it's what will have to happen if she doesn't find her mate.
She gets up quickly and hurries out of my office, probably going to inform her best friend that they get to go shopping.
I don't usually allow her to go to the mall often because she would become too spoiled and I also don't like her being out of the pack territory.
But when it comes to cheering my daughter up, the mall always works a charm.
She's so naive it hurts. She can't protect herself from anything. Her mother is the same. They are too kind-hearted and scared of the world and the dangers it brings.
Who blames them though? A world of werewolves and rogue attacks? That would scare most females.
I mind link my wife to come to my office immediately. "Tarah love, come down here will you?"
I wait and begin to sort out some of my papers before she bursts through the door minutes later, managing to knock over one of my book shelves on the way in.
One thing that Tarah and Leoni don't have in common is that Tarah is extremely clumsy. She can make a mess without even trying. Unlike Leoni who is always more careful and neater.
She glances down at the books which are now covering my office floor, before looking over to me with an expression of disbelief.
"Sorry… what did you call me down for?" She asks, beginning to laugh at the new mess she has created.
"You’re a true piece of work, woman!" I say laughing at her now too. God, I love her.
"I'm letting Leoni go to the mall with Willow tomorrow to pick an outfit for her party… I told her about the mate plans too…" I inform my wife and she nods in approval.
"Poor thing… I hope she finds her mate for her own sake…" Tarah sighs looking down at the floor the exact same way Leoni had done earlier, making me sigh too.
"I don't want you to marry her off to just anyone…" She finishes and I stare at her for a few moments in thought.
"I won't… I will make sure that it's someone I trust… she will find him, Tarah, don't worry about it." I tell her softly.
I can tell that she is worried sick for our little girl. I can feel her exact emotions coursing through my veins. The mate bond means I basically feel everything she feels, and it's truly heart breaking.
Truth is… I'm worried too… I hope she can handle having a strong male in her life.
I was becoming extremely fed up with all of this mate talk. If I don't find my mate in three days, then I'm basically being auctioned off to the highest bidder.
They may as well sell me at a market like some piece of meat instead of wasting the time to get all the men to fight over me… it would be a lot less hassle.
I'd love to tell my father what I really thought about his plans… I'd love to tell him how stupid he is acting… but I won't.
In reality, I can't speak up to anyone. I really don't like conflict due to an event that I witnessed in my younger years.
I guess when you see something horrific happening to someone else it just kind of breaks you a little… messes with your head… scars you for life.
Back when I was only six years old, I remember hearing a woman yelling for help in the middle of the night.
The yells were quite painful to hear, and to be honest I'm surprised nobody was putting a stop to whatever was happening sooner.
As the female continued to scream, I eventually grew too curious, so I hopped out of my bed and allowed my feet to guide me toward the scene.
I waddled through the halls looking for the source of the noise and I eventually came to a room at the end of the hall.
I simply placed my tiny ear upon the large door at first so that I could listen in more carefully.
I could hear the woman yelling at someone to "Calm down! Please! Your hurting me!"
When I heard her yells increase along with loud sobs and gasps, I twisted the door handle almost instantly to reveal a scene that I will never forget.
It was a very large man and a smaller woman. The man was holding her roughly by her hair, lifting her high off of the ground as her feet dangled beneath her. He was punching her face with his free hand and she was screaming like mad, begging for him to stop and to please forgive her.
He was calling her names such as a "bitch… fat whore… a dumb slut" and other things as he continued to beat her senseless for a further few minutes.
I stood there shaking, unable to move, unable to look away, and it wasn't until he tossed the woman to the ground, giving her one final kick to the stomach that he even noticed I had been standing there, watching him the whole time.
"Shit… Leoni… sweetheart… please don't tell your father about this… run back to your room little one…" He told me. His tone changing completely.
I was stilled on the spot for a brief moment, breathing heavily before he began to approach me.
I immediately took off running down the halls, screaming as loudly as possible. I didn't want this man to hurt me like he hurt that lady!
At that moment in time, I wasn't planning on telling my father anything but as I reached the last bend before my bedroom I ran in to a solid, hard leg, which knocked me backwards and onto the floor.
"Leoni! Why the hell are you out of your bedroom at this time of night!" My father bellowed as he lifted me up from the floor.
His shouting made me cry even harder than what I already was and he immediately realized that he had scared me. Let's just say he has never shouted at me since.
I saw the man from earlier run up behind me minutes later and the man froze almost instantly in his tracks when seeing his Alpha holding me.
"Alpha… I… I uh…" He tried to get his words out but couldn't. I looked up to see my father giving him a death glare and I whimpered clutching onto his shirt.
"Explain now!! And do not fucking lie to me, Ian!" I heard my father yell out at the man who I'm assuming was now called Ian.
"Well… Alpha sir… my mate and I got into a bit of a fight…" He spoke shakily and my father tightened his grip around me.
He probably thought that I had been hit or something.
"And how the fuck does that involve my precious child?!" He barked and I knew that he was really angry since he kept swearing. He tries his best not to swear in front of me.
"She opened my bedroom door… She saw me…uh hitting my mate, Alpha… my greatest apologies, sir…" He said shakily again.
"Did you fucking hit my daughter?!" He demanded his answer as my mother appeared from behind him gasping, curious as to why my father was questioning this man about hurting me.
"No, sir! I would never hurt your daughter!" He pleaded and my father glared at him.
"Did he hurt you, Leoni?" He asked me in a much softer tone. I shook my head as a no. He didn't hurt me physically… mentally maybe yes.
"If you abuse your mate again… you will be banished from this pack and you will be considered a rogue! I do not want my daughter seeing or hearing of such violence ever again!" He demanded.
"Yes, Alpha. My wolf took control and I apologize to you and your daughter. It will not happen again." Ian rushed out before he bowed his head slightly and ran off.
End of flashback.
However, Ian did abuse his mate again and he was soon banished from our pack like my father had promised. His mate, Cara, who is still a part of our pack today, eventually found the courage to reject him as her mate.
She was a kind gentle woman and the moon goddess blessed her with a second chance and she was able to find another mate three years later who now loves her very much.
However, I will never forget the memory of Ian. Ian was the type of man who I never wanted to have as my mate. Ian was the reason I was so shy and quiet and scared of the world. Ian showed me that there is evil in the world.
The look in Cara's eyes when he had her hoisted up in the air was a look I have never seen before.
Loss of hope and fear.
"Girl! Are you ready to go? Your father said I can drive us there and back!" Willow suddenly came bursting into my bedroom more excited than ever.
Willow was my best friend and the second in command (James') daughter. We were both born in the same year and grew up together since our fathers were so close.
"Yeah, I'm ready. He said you can pick an outfit out too and it's all on him!" I said excitedly making her jump up and down clapping her hands.
Willow was the only person I could open up to about anything. She has been my best friend since we both could walk.
I wasn't as shy around Willow as compared to the way I was with everyone else, although I was still fairly shy compared to average people.
"Come on then let’s go!" She demanded, gripping my hand and dragging me out of the house and toward the car.
"You’re going to break my arm!" I protest as we approach the car and my arm starts to hurt due to her death grip.
"Get in already!" She said letting go of me eventually and rolling her eyes.
She. Is. Crazy.
I laughed and got in the car as we proceeded to drive toward the mall.
Willow turned 18 a couple of months back and she hadn't found her mate yet which worried me.
Willow didn't seem to care in the slightest however as she shrugged it off and continued to live her life with me by her side. Easy for her to do since her father isn't a complete psycho.