Ok. I know it's been forfreakingever since the last time I posted. I'm sorry. Life throws you curves, and if you get hit, it hurts.

Humphrey stood in front of his pack, looking proudly at his pups. "Today is a very important day," he said. "Today, some of you will be tested to see if you are worthy enough to go to Alpha school."

His pups gasped. "Already?" they asked.

"Yes, already. You and your friends from Savage's pack are now old enough, and the time of year is right for us to start. It'll be a long journey, but it'll be worth it. We are going to go visit our family up in Jasper. The alphas there will train you over the winter, and then we'll come back and get you afterwards."

"You aren't staying with us?" Emily sounded hurt.

"We can't. We have to stay away so that you learn not to rely on us," Kate said. "We wish we could stay with you, believe me we do."

Aatu looked mischievous. "So there won't be adults telling us what to do?"

"Just the opposite. There will be adults who are much stricter than us telling you what to do. They'll tell you when to do everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. When I was in Alpha School, it was fun, but it was really hard," Kate told him.

Savage spoke up. "But first you have to pass a test to see if you can go be trained to be an alpha. We've prepared a small den site a good ways from here. You will have to stay there and act as a smaller pack without the adults. We have already chosen who will be in what positions on each day. If you succeed in staying there a week, you will be able to go to alpha school. But there is to be no playing around. You have to all act like alphas the whole time. If you are caught acting differently, your peers are to drive you from the 'pack' and back here to us."

If Sean had not had fur, he would have been pure white. This was going to be hard; he knew that for a fact. He had always goofed off and played around. A whole week of acting serious? He wasn't sure he could do it.

Aatu sat there confidently. He knew he could do it. He was always serious and ready to work. The work would just be a little harder this time. This would be a cake walk.

Emily looked around. She hoped that everyone get along well enough to survive the week without any mishaps. She really hoped that no one would get hurt.

Ashley, Razor, Fang, and Sierra looked at each other and nodded. Sierra and Fang stepped forward. Sierra spoke. "We would like to go ahead and drop out of this competition. We know we want to be omegas. There is no reason for us to try if we don't want the reward."

The adults nodded. "Smart thinking. Is there anyone else who wants to be an omega?"

No one stepped forward. Sean stood there thinking. If he became an alpha, he wouldn't be able to be Sierra's mate. Should he choose love or power? Humphrey could see the wheels turning in his head.

"You alright?" he asked his son.

"Yeah, just trying to make a hard choice."

"The girl or the job?"

"Yeah. How'd you know?"

"Kind of obvious. You're all ready to go try to be an alpha, then Sierra drops out of the race and you get that look on your face like 'oh crap.'"

"Am I that see through?"

"No. I just know my kids well. I don't think anyone else noticed."

Sean breathed a sigh of relief.

"So which is it going to be?" Humphrey asked.

"I'm going to try and be an alpha. There's no guarantee that I make it, but if I don't try and Sierra turns me down I've failed doubly."

Humphrey licked the top of his head. "That's my boy." He stepped back so that he could talk to all the pups that were going to participate in the test. "Now, you all leave when the sun reaches the top of the sky. If you are not gone soon after that, you will be disqualified from the running. You may or may not be able to try again next year, it all depends."

The pups nodded. They knew that they were ready.

"Are there any questions?" Hutch asked. When none were given, he continued. "There is an extremely obvious scent trail to the other camp. It starts about a mile from this camp. You must be in the camp by night fall. We well treat you as a rival pack. If you get into a fight with one of us, do not go for a killing blow as if you were really going to do it. Immobilize the enemy and force him or her to surrender. They will have instructions to surrender if you put up a good fight. If you are 'killed' during the week, we will mark a tally. You have three tries. If you 'die' three times, you are disqualified for the year. Everyone must border patrol and hunt. We expect at least one kill from the five of you together. All it has to be is a calf. Other kills will be counted, but not as heavily as the killing of a calf or bigger. We will be watching you all week. You won't necessarily see us, but we will be there, the whole time. If something happens that is life threatening, and we don't come to help, yip three times as loud as you can. The rest of you make sure the sound gets to us. Does everyone understand?"

"Yes sir," the trainees said. "We're ready."

"Good. You have until the sun is all the way up to prepare. After that, good luck, and don't you dare take from our food pile."

It's been a LONG time I know, but here's another chapter, no matter how late it is. This story will continue.