A/N: Okay, yes, I am alive. Sorry that it's been so long! This fic was written for the pjohoobigbang on tumblr, and it has two more parts that I am posting very soon. You guys can come find me on tumblr somethingmorecreative1. I'm usually always there.
I hope everything is going good, and I hope you like this fic.
Trees blur past as Percy stares out the window. The long, two lane road is near deserted and fully surrounded by thin, tall trees. It's rare that they pass by any stores or homes other than just a few; even those seem to be quiet. The forest here is thinner than his home, which makes him nervous. He doesn't like for the trees to be thin. It gives room for secrets to slip out and enemies to slip in.
He shifts his gaze ahead to stare out the windshield of the truck when Jason reaches out and turns the radio down. The atmosphere goes from peaceful and quiet to tense and difficult in one second.
"Hey," Jason says, voice soft and slow. "We don't have to do this."
"What else are we going to do?" he asks tiredly. They've been having this same argument for days now. "Start a war?"
Jason shrugs, glancing over at him from where he's driving. It's just the two of them. Alpha and Beta. "We would win anyway. You know that the pack would follow you to war if we had to."
"But we don't have to," Percy stresses. He rubs a hand across his face, exhausted from the night before. He had been up late working, and then, when he had managed to fall asleep, the dreams had plagued him all night. "This is the way to fix it."
"But an arranged mating?" Jason says, turning his nose up in disgust. "It's not guaranteed to work, Percy, and it's… it's a bad idea. Especially since you think—"
Percy interrupts him because there isn't a reason to talk about this. He says, "We don't know what I think. It's probably just dreams. We don't have any idea what it is, and we can't just assume that I have a predestined mate out there waiting on me somewhere when I need to have a bonding to secure the alliance now."
Jason purses his lips. They travel down the road in silence.
Percy has been Alpha of his pack for a little over two years now. He was raised to be an Alpha by his adopted father, Paul, after his biological parents died. He has been training his entire life for his own pack, and honestly, it's better than he could have ever imagined. His home is safe, and his wolves are happy. Everything is perfect.
Well, except for one thing.
Percy hasn't taken a mate yet, which is largely in part to the dreams that he has at night about a gray she-wolf. It's an old legend, but some werewolves experience dreams where they encounter another wolf as their mate. It's rare, but the bond between these wolves is like no other. It's stronger than the average bond between mates, like the match is so right that the universe pulls the two wolves together through their subconscious without even knowing the other exists.
He isn't sure if this is what his dreams mean, or if they mean that he should get more rest. Because Percy is an Alpha and needs to protect his pack, he doesn't have time to wait around for his spiritual mate. Ever since Percy can remember, the relationship with one of the packs closest to them, about a hundred miles to the west, has never been good. All through Percy's childhood, that pack has been led by cruel leaders who make rash decisions. It reminds Percy too much of the day his parents died.
He is afraid of having a damaged and tense bond with this pack when the Alpha is a man with no morals and plenty of resources. The only way that Percy can think of to strengthen the bond would be an arranged mating. Even though it's an old practice that not many werewolves use or rely on anymore, the union between an Alpha's daughter and another Alpha is respected more than any other bonding. It's the most sufficient way to ensure a safe relationship with another pack.
The GPS on the dashboard signals their turn, and he realizes that they are only a few miles from their destination. Percy sighs and turns his gaze to the window again.
A few minutes later, Jason turns onto a gravel road. The trees are still thin, but Percy can't make anything out in the distance other than the gate that looms in front of them and blocks the entrance.
Percy never thought that he would be here. He always thought that he would get to pick his mate, fall in love with someone and then have a life with them, with someone he chose for himself and someone that chose him because they loved him.
He takes a deep breath and tries to slow his heartrate. He can't let the wolves of this pack know that he's scared. He can't look weak right now. He has to be strong.
Jason breaks the silence between them and says, "We should see if there's another way."
"I already know the way, Jason," Percy says, voice hard. In the distance, he can see a few of the pack's wolves walking toward them, ready to open the gate for them. He climbs out of the truck to stand in front of it, stance firm and aggressive. Jason takes his place on his left a few seconds later.
Percy lowers his voice as the wolves approach. "This pack is old and traditional. If there's a fight, we fight to the death. Let's try not to offend them, but we're not taking any of their shit."
Jason nods, stance mirroring Percy's. It's good to have Jason as his Beta. He's glad that Jason is here with him now.
Percy spots other wolves in his peripherals, wolves that haven't shifted into their human form. He wonders how many wolves make up this pack and what the likelihood is that they get out of a fight alive.
One of the wolves reaches forward and unlocks the gate before two more pull it open for them.
He turns his back on them and climbs into the truck.
The air in the room is thick and heavy with tension while Percy and Jason wait for the meeting to start. The Alpha of the pack, a man named Dare, has five wolves in the room with them. They stand guard in various places, two close to the door and the others dispersed in the corners of the room. It's silent other than their breathing.
Percy lounges in his chair, feigning boredom. Everything about this meeting requires him to be in control, especially if he wants it to go his way. He can't look weak in front of any other Alpha, especially Dare.
Dare has been the Alpha of this pack for the last decade or so. Even though he's been the Alpha for that long, Percy hasn't had much interaction with him. Even Paul, the Alpha before Percy, didn't communicate with him often. It's only been through other packs and small, interactions that Percy has learned what he is capable of.
He's an inherently cruel man. He treats his pack terribly, controlling them with fear and hatred, and abusing his wolves when they don't listen. He's been reported to the High Court, which is the only government association they have as werewolves, several times over, but his resources have prevented him from being reprimanded for the of errors. The only thing that would really cause him to get into trouble would be killing or threatening another Alpha.
A few seconds before the door to the room opens, Percy hears footsteps from the hall. He drops his feet to the floor and straightens in his chair, staring at the door intently. He feels Jason tense beside him, and even without turning to look at him, Percy knows that he's scanning the other wolves in the room, ready to protect him if he needs it. It's good to have him here.
The door swings open with a light squeak, and a cloud of cigar smoke floats into the room.
Percy immediately recognizes Dare. He wears a rumpled suit, tie loose and hanging low in his collar. He smells slightly of alcohol and strongly of the cigar hanging in his fingertips. A pair of wire frame glasses sits on his nose. Percy fights the urge to roll his eyes. They're just for show. All werewolves have perfect vision.
Dare is followed into the room by two large wolves, both wearing threatening expression. After them, another older wolf comes into the room. Percy recognizes Frederick Chase, Dare's Beta. He's wearing a dress shirt and a pair of slacks. There are dark circles under his eyes, and his shoulders are taught, like he expects a fight. He keeps his eyes on the wolves surrounding them instead of glancing at Percy.
He knows that Frederick was supposed to be the Alpha of this pack. Right before Frederick was going to become the Alpha, Dare swooped in and stole the title from him, bribing the rest of the pack with money and the promise of power and territory. The Elders of Percy's pack have told him stories about it happening, about how Frederick stepped to the side and let him take his pack.
Now, Percy rises to his feet. Jason stays seated in his chair.
"Percy Jackson," Dare murmurs, dark eyes flitting up and down his body, sizing him up.
"A little young, aren't you?" he asks, walking further into the room and stopping on the other side of the table. Frederick follows him to stand a few paces behind him.
Percy fights the urge to smirk. His face remains blank when he says, "But not inexperienced."
Dare shrugs and pulls out the chair on the other side of the table. Percy sinks down into his own chair at the same time.
"To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" Dare asks, smirking at Percy through his useless glasses.
"I think you know," Percy replies, leaning back in his chair casually. Jason shifts beside him.
"And why should I even bother for an alliance with a pack like yours, Jackson?" Dare asks, studying his cigar lazily. The other wolves in the room are stiff, waiting on Percy to get offended and attack.
Percy studies Dare, a bored look etched onto his face, "You know as well as I do, Dare, that my pack is stronger, less divided. Unlike yours. By the time your wolves picked a side, this territory would be mine."
"So why not take it? If you're so confident it would be that way."
"I have no interest," Percy pauses slightly. "Yet."
Dare looks at him intently, but Percy doesn't waver. He's seen mean and horrible Alphas throughout his life, and he has sworn that he would never treat any wolf like that. If taking over this pack is the only way to secure a safe environment for his wolves, then Percy won't hesitate.
"And you have proposed an arranged mating with an important member of my pack to secure the bond between us, yes?" Dare purposefully glances at the space behind Percy's shoulder. "You feel that this would—"
Percy feels the shift in the room right before he feels a hand on his shoulder.
He jumps up from his chair, spinning around and reaching out to grab at the figure behind him. Percy can hear Jason growling savagely, but he doesn't intervene.
His vision is tinted red, but he gets his hand around his attacker's throat and lefts him up off the ground. The blonde male is young, and his hands claw at Percy's arms, feet kicking to try and reach the floor. This male must be an Omega wolf, a wolf who barely has enough status in the pack to belong. His dark eyes are scared, and Percy growls up at him menacingly.
Jason stands and hovers close to Percy's side, protectively scanning the other wolves in the room. They look as shocked as Percy feels, but they don't get up or move toward them. Dare stays in his seat, smoking his cigar. Frederick's eyes are wide, but he remains in place behind Dare.
"And you tried to have an Omega kill me, didn't you?" Percy says dangerously, shifting his gaze form the young wolf to glare at Dare. "Did you promise him a place in the pack for my death?"
"And if I did?" Dare asks, unconcerned.
Percy grins terribly up at the wolf still in his hand, fear stitched into his eyes as he claws at Percy's arm. He says, "Then I might reconsider the takeover."
There's a heavy pause, and Percy can feel everyone in the room holding their breath.
"Then it's a good thing that wasn't the occasion. Just a crazed wolf looking for some attention. You may deal with him as you see fit." Dare's voice is short, but it doesn't give anything away.
Percy drops the wolf to the ground and turns back to Dare. Jason steps around him, putting himself behind Percy's back to protect him. Percy leans across the table, a low growl rumbling in his chest.
His voice is low when he snarls, "I suggest you make a decision. Agree to my plan or I'll kill you right now and takeover this entire pack."
Dare hesitates, and Percy can see absolute hate illuminated in his eyes. It's a dangerous thing to say, especially when he and Jason are outnumbered, but Percy needs to keep control over the situation.
"Frederick," Dare says finally, voice tight, stressed. Percy flicks his gaze to the other man, who stands up and steps forward at his name. "Fetch Rachel."
Frederick levels a stare at Percy, and fear and dread fill his eyes. He exits the room quickly, closing the door behind him.
Tense silence fills the room for the moments in Frederick's absence. Percy doesn't move from his position at the table where he towers over Dare. His wolf rumbles with pleasure because Dare won't meet his eyes.
Quicker than Percy expects, Frederick reappears in the door, closely followed by two she-wolfs.
Percy straightens and turns his attention to the women.
The first is almost a foot shorter than Percy. Her curves are easy to see even in the baggy sweater that she wears. Her hair is red and curly, also a little frizzy despite the temperature outside. Her eyes are green, and they find Dare almost immediately.
Percy can tell that this is his daughter. She smells like him in the way that blood related wolves do, and Percy can even see some of Dare's features in her face.
To her credit, she doesn't look nervous or scared to be in a room with another Alpha. She glances around calmly, meeting Percy's eyes for the briefest of seconds, then settles her gaze on Dare again.
As far as arranged matings go, Percy guesses it could have been worse.
He tilts his head forward, breathing in her scent again. He'll have to figure out a way to get past how much like Dare it is, but it should—
He catches something else too.
It's a different scent, something so familiar to him that he can't breathe for a few seconds. Instead of being in a room with hostile wolves and high tension, he's in one of his dreams, running through the forest and chasing after her—the gray she-wolf that he's memorized, that he—
Jason nudges him, as if he could tell that Percy was out of it, and his attention snaps back to the present.
Behind Dare's daughter, there's another woman. She's taller and less curvy, and it's obvious from the way her cheeks are hollow that she doesn't eat enough. She has blonde hair that's pulled back into a ponytail. Her gray eyes are settled on him now, and it's the exact pair of eyes that he's been staring into every night since his dreams have started.
Somehow, Percy keeps himself rooted to the floor.
He wonders if this is really happening or if he has finally snapped from the stress of working so much. He supposes he could be imagining this. He doesn't sleep enough, and it could just be his imagination—
Percy quickly pushes those thoughts out of his mind. He knows he isn't making this up; that's her. That's his mate standing right there. He can feel it.
But he—he can't do anything about it right now. He has to get this deal worked out so his pack will be safe. He has a responsibility as the Alpha to protect them.
So he painfully tears his gaze away from her.
Dare growls, glaring at Frederick. "I said to fetch Rachel. You should have left the other one in the kitchen."
Percy freezes instantly, locking his jaw before a growl slips out.
Dare climbs to his feet and walks closer to his daughter, who is apparently, Rachel. Percy notices the blonde look down to the ground.
Dare stares at the blonde with disgust, stepping closer to her than to Rachel. His voice is hard when he says, "I know that you were misbehaving. I told you to stop reading those stupid books."
And really, that statement shocks Percy to his core. It doesn't even make sense. Why would Dare tell his wolves not to read—?
Percy hears the blonde breath a small laugh as she studies the ground. Before he can move, Dare reaches up with his right hand and slaps her, the momentum of the hit jerking her head to the side.
Percy's vision tints red. Before he knows what he's doing, he's stalking forward, lips pulled back to bare his teeth as a snarl rumbles through his chest. No one is every going to touch her like that because—
He crowds in close to Dare on his other side, close enough for his arm to brush the blonde's. Dare is frozen in place, hesitating where he stands in front of the blonde. Percy growls and growls and he can't stop. He can't stop. Not with Dare so close to her. Not with any other aggressive wolf so close to her not with—
"I should fucking kill you," Percy snarls.
Dare's voice is clam and clear when he says, "And why's that? Do you think you like this bitch? She's too wild, won't be suitable for anyone. I'll probably have to mate her myself just to make her useful and—"
Percy can faintly hear the blonde growl, but by the time he realizes what's going on, he has his hand around Dare's throat, dragging him away from both of the women. Percy shoves Dare down to his knees and raises his hand to strike him, but before he can, there are hands on his body, pulling him away from Dare and attacking him.
He throws a punch, knocking the wolf that attacked him to the ground, but out of the corner of his eye, he sees Dare stand and rush out of the room.
"Jason!" Percy growls, going for the door. Before he can get there, another wolf jumps on him, punching him in the nose. Blood drips down his face and over his lips, and Percy shakes the wolf off of him, kicking his body away from him.
Percy can hear Jason fighting in the background, but Percy dashes out of the door anyway. He runs down the hall of the office building, and before he even gets the outside door open, he can hear a car engine cranking and gravelling flying.
Dust is all that's left by the time Percy gets outside.
His chest heaves as he tries to catch his breath and figure out what happened. If Dare ran, then some of his wolves probably left with him. How many of the wolves in the room were prepared to kill Percy today? How many had no idea what side they were on? Only a few of them, maybe three or four out of the seven, actually attacked them. The others stayed still, as if they knew how it would end.
Percy is not overconfident in his abilities over Dare. Dare is a strong Alpha, ready to use cruelty and malice to get anything he needs. But… when an Alpha runs from another Alpha, it's usually for good reason.
Percy needs to move quickly. If he or Jason get hurt, then their pack will be weak.
He turns away, jogging back into the hallway and down to the room where the meeting was held. When he gets there, he notices Jason standing in front of three wolves, who are kneeling, faces turned to the ground. Frederick Chase is standing close to them too, but the two girls, Rachel and the blonde, are standing behind the table. Percy spares a glance at them, where they are clutching each other's arms with wide, skeptical eyes. He forces himself not to stare at the blonde.
"Jason," Percy says. "Call the High Court. We have to tell them what's going on."
Jason glances at him before he pulls his cell phone at and presses it to his ear. One of the wolves kneeling shifts, and Jason growls down at him until he stills.
Percy reaches up and wipes at his nose, hoping to get all the blood. It should be healed by now. Minor injuries never took long to heal, thanks to werewolf genetics. He sniffs and shifts his gaze to Frederick Chase.
"You don't seem to be upset that your Alpha just abandoned you," Percy comments.
Frederick doesn't answer, instead letting the comment hang stiffly in the air. Jason breaks it a few seconds later when he asks, "Are we taking over?"
It's impossible to miss the way Frederick stares at him as he waits for an answer.
"No," Percy says.
Jason frowns, "No?"
"Dare will be back," he says, all of a sudden, positive of this fact. "He's gone to regroup. To wait. And then, he'll come back to kill me."
Jason growls menacingly, baring his teeth at just the thought. "Bullshit. Dare won't ever get close to us."
Percy doesn't respond. Instead, he slowly approaches the women standing on the other side of the room. He stops in front of the blonde and looks down at her.
Her eyes are wide, and her knuckles are white from clutching Rachel's arm. She jerks her head down to stare at the floor. When he sniffs the air again, he realizes that her scent is too similar to Frederick's for them not to be blood related.
That's when he realizes that she's his daughter. The woman is Frederick's daughter, and he still let Dare abuse her? He let Dare say those nasty and derogatory things to her?
Percy's voice is rough when he says, "Why was he mad at you?"
She doesn't look up at him when he speaks. In fact, she doesn't even move. Percy wonders if she's been told not to speak to the Alpha before.
Frederick breaks in and says, "Answer him, Annabeth."
Annabeth, Percy thinks. That's her name.
It's fitting for her. Percy studies her intently while she looks down at the floor and then, finally, she murmurs, "I was reading."
He blanches, "Reading?"
He regrets raising his voice even the slightest amount because Annabeth flinches. He forces himself to calm down, but disbelief and blatant hate seep into his voice when he says, "He punished you for reading?"
Jason interrupts when he mutters, "We should do a takeover. These wolves don't even know how to breathe without being punished."
"Our Alpha was strict, but he was not cruel," Frederick breaks in, as if he's not lying through his clenched teeth.
Percy growls lightly, "He just insulted and hit your daughter in your presence, Frederick. My elders remember when you were supposed to be the Alpha. Maybe things would have been different if that had happened."
He seems to collapse in on himself, the truth settling on his shoulders like a dead weight. He looks over to Annabeth, and Percy watches the miserable expression on his face settle there, like it's been under the surface this whole time.
"What are you doing here?" Dare's daughter, Rachel, asks suddenly. "Why are you here if you're another Alpha?"
"We're from the pack west of you. We were originally planning on forming a bond with one of your wolves to keep the alliance in place," Percy pauses, realizing that now, he doesn't have that. Dare ran, and it took away all chances of an alliance. "Seeing as you have no Alpha, then that's impossible."
A heavy pause fill the room, right before Frederick breaks it and says, "We have an Alpha. Me."
Percy narrows his eyes.
"As Beta, I can step in to fill my Alpha's absence," he explains unnecessarily. Percy knows the rules, but as he explains it, Percy can see the idea taking root in Frederick's mind. He wants this. "The pack is my responsibility now that Dare is gone."
Percy studies him for a few seconds. He seems serious. The light in his eyes is slowly coming back, and his shoulders straighten, as if the idea of protecting his pack is bringing him back to life.
"Fine," Percy says. "I'll support your takeover of this pack. I'll pledge that it's a good move for the members of this pack."
Surprise fills the room from everyone in it. All eyes are on him as he speaks.
He pauses. Then, "But I have one condition."
Frederick takes the bait, not even hesitating when he says, "Name it."
Percy turns his gaze back to Annabeth, who stands beside Rachel, gray eyes up and watching him curiously. He nods to her before looking back to Frederick.
He says, "She's coming back with me."
The door closes behind the others, leaving only Percy and Frederick in the room. Jason went outside with the others, and Rachel and Annabeth were sent back to the Alpha house.
Frederick doesn't waste time. He turns to Percy and says, "Why?"
Percy frowns. "Did you see the way that Dare was looking at her? When he comes back, he's going to try and kill me, and he will probably take her away and claim her."
He can't stand the thought of it. He can't stand the thought of leaving her, his mate, here with this broken pack, open and defenseless against Dare. What if he comes back? What if he comes back and hurts her? What if—?
Percy doesn't even know Annabeth, but he knows that she's been mistreated and that she deserves better. Her Alpha hit her for reading. There's no telling what other punishments she's had to deal with while her own father sat to the side and didn't do anything to stop it.
She deserves better than this. She deserves everything, and Percy just wants to give that to her.
"And you have no intent of claiming her for yourself?" Frederick asks, eyes narrowing.
Percy clenches his jaw against his suggestion, as if Annabeth is just something to be claimed. He doesn't even know her, and he knows that she's the most important thing in the world to him now. His voice is rough when he says, "And if I did? After all, I came here for a bonding with the Alpha's daughter."
"She's not being bonded to you."
Frederick hesitates, but he relents with a sigh. "Yet."
"We're not having the ceremony yet, but she is coming back with me to become part of my pack. I'm not leaving her here for Dare to just come back and get," Percy explains fiercely. His wolf is relentless. Neither of them can stand the thought of Annabeth being hurt by anyone.
And earlier when Dare was close to her and touching her and talking to her, Percy couldn't see straight. It was like something was touching him. It was disrespect. It was unacceptable. No one touches her—
Percy is surprised by his wolf's ferocity on the subject, but he agrees with the beast.
"And when she doesn't want to? What will you do then?" Frederick challenges. It isn't worth much. Percy can already see the defeat in his eyes.
"Somehow, I don't feel like there's a reason for her to stay here either."
A/N: Thanks for reading! Leave a review!