Chapter 14 – Till death do us part

The town of Wolf Lake had grown mysteriously quiet that full moon night. No one walked the streets save for a few humans here and there. The diner was closed as was most of the reputable establishments that peppered the main street. It seemed like something had passed through and swept three quarters of the residents of Wolf Lake away.

But in truth, anyone venturing into the woods would've been surprised at how in opposites, the wolf population had suddenly grown and even surprising the fact that the entire wolf population seemed to be concentrated around the slightly high rise smack in the middle of the woods.

On the high rise with the full moon majestically in the background, stood ten wolves making a half circle facing the crowd, each looking distinguished, but not as distinguished and powerful as the two that stood in the middle – like two pieces of a chessboard, the great black Alpha and his snow white consort. The great black Alpha stepped forward and gave a deep long howl calling to attention all that stood before him.

A hush swept over the crowd and it parted slowly to reveal at the end of it, an impressive gray wolf with a steely determined look in his eyes. Next to him, a caped slim human, her eyes reflecting the same courage and determination as his did. They eyed the 10 wolves in front of them – the council of Elders – as they changed from their wolven forms into their human forms. John Kanin addressed the crowd with a firm voice.

"The council has called this meeting tonight to address the issue of use of the sacred ground. As you all know, Lucas Cates, son of Alphas Willard and Vivian Cates has requested the ground for the flip of the daughter of Sophia Donner. However it has been brought to the council's attention that use of the grounds is also governed by pack rules which means the grounds can be used solely for pack only. As Ava Donner is not of pack, with her parentage not assured, we will have to come to a decision."

Sophia watched in silence as Tyler Creed stepped out of the crowd. She could feel Luke tense up at that moment and she quietly slipped her hand into his and grip it reassuringly. Luke turned and looked at her for a second, calming slightly before focusing his attention on Tyler again.

"Ava Donner cannot be considered part of the pack. We all know that the half-breed Sophia Donner left Wolf Lake years ago and sired her in who knows where with another ungulate. I even question if she can flip because of her diluted blood."

Luke growled and stepped menacingly towards Tyler, only to be restrained by Sophia. He spat on the ground.

"Ava and Adrian are my children and I lay claim on them. Anyone who questions that, can go through me. As for her diluted blood, she comes from the honored line of the Cates and Donners. Lines of heritage which go back to the early days of pack founding, lines which are more powerful than mongrel lines of yours Creed."

"She's still a bastard Cates. That doesn't change anything."

A murmur of agreement and discussion went through the crowd.

Suddenly, silence spread through the group as Sophia stepped up out of the shadows and threw off her hood. Her eyes were shining amber and it even wiped off Tyler's grin. Slowly, she unclasped the brooch that held the cape around her together, and let it slide off her shoulders, revealing her naked body. In a quick motion that drew gasps of surprise from around her, she shifted into a pure white wolf.

Even Luke stared as the white wolf walked up to the council and Alpha. Sophia was a white! But that was impossible, there was only one white in each generation.

Somewhere out of the corner, Sherman called out from his seated position.

"Now I'd say that changes everything. The sacred white outranks everyone and stands only next to the Alpha. Nothing can be debated, so Creed, I suggest you shut up."

The silence cut through the night air as people still stared in surprise before breaking out in a buzz of hushed whispers. The council sat in discussion before the Alpha stood up and the crowd stopped talking immediately.

"The council has decreed that the appeal brought forward before it be passed. Ava Donner will be allowed upon these mystical grounds. However, the council also decrees that to legitimize Ava Donner's claim to pack, the marriage of Lucas Cates and Sophia Donner is ruled. As time is of essence, the marriage will happen tonight at the strike of 12."

Only Sophia's eyes belied her true feelings of shock. She had never expected the council to rule upon her marriage, to force her to join with Luke. The very issue that she was trying to run away from all these years had now been decided without her consent. But it was too late now to escape this marriage. She had to do it for the sake of her daughter. However binding it may be. She owed it to her child's life. Seeking Luke's eyes with her own, she could see the questioning behind the façade of confidence he upheld. Slowly, she gave a short nod indicating her willingness to go ahead with the marriage, and thus, also letting him know that she was not doing anything that she would regret.

That night as the moon rose, with the entire pack as their witness, Sophia Donner and Lucas Cates were formally bound as mates. Traditional vows were exchanged and Sherman brought out the ancient dagger upon which many mates before them had been bound together with. Quickly dragging the dagger across both their palms, he joined them, allowing for both their blood to mix and create a bind that under pack law would be eternal until death do they part.