Part 10-

Shawn and Sarah joined Sophia and Luke on their run through the forrest. They must've run for an hour, along the lake's northern and western sides. They'd double back and finally came to a clearing overlooking the lake, where they left their clothes. Sophia held her head up high and out as she let out a soulful howl towards the moon, Luke joined in, Shawn and Sarah followed, and then finally they were being answered by the rest of the pack that was out for a run, the forrest was filled with a song of a pack of wolves; it was a welcome cry for their newest member of the pack. It was her pack, it was her family, and it was her destiny. No matter how her father fought it and warned her about it, and no matter how much she was scared of it when she first started the change. Now she accepted it and her place, now she was at peace. Knowing she couldn't leave Wolf Lake did not frighten her or make her clasophobic in the least. Maybe she'd come to feel that way when she's older. But for now, she'd never felt more at home, like she belonged, and a part of this community of Skinwalkers then she did at this very moment.

Returning back to their human forms and recovering their human clothes, they quickly dressed and enjoyed the wolf song that was filling the forrest. The packs' welcoming song to Sophia, she announced her presence and they cried out in joy and sang to her about their love for and declared their loyalty to her and their promise to protect her and the pack. They knew in their hearts that she'd honor them with the same perseverance to their shared duty of "Survival of the pack!" They knew she knew how important it was. They knew that despite Matthew Donner's "promise" to his wife and desire to see Sophia lead a normal, human life. That he, indeed, made sure she learned that singular most important detail about Wolf Lake and the pack. "Survival of the Pack!" at all cost was drilled into Sophia's brain, heart, and soul from a very young and tender age. Even though, he was determined not to let her be stuck here. He still was going to ensure "the survival of the pack" at all cost. Before she even went to kindergarten, Sophia knew the importance and what it meant to ensure the "Survival of the pack". It became second nature to her. It was like breathing. Therefore, when John came to town searching for Ruby. He had asked her all kinds of questions, and if they involved putting the "Survival of the pack" in danger, she'd lie straight to his face. Able to look him dead in the eyes, never faltering, and lie straight out, as if it were the truth straight from God's lips. She had no qualms in this act of deceit, because she knew the cost first hand. She had attended Ruby's twin sister's funeral with Luke. She saw the kind of agony that Ruby and her sister went through when they were preparing to flip for the first time. She even got to watch Ruby flip into a beautiful white wolf. She watched as Willard, as the Alpha, had to follow in his duties and put her out of her misery when she got stuck in the flip. He had tears cascading down his face and begged her to forgive him. Kissing her on the cheek and telling her how much he loved her. He put his big, strong Alpha hand around her neck and with one swift, quick motion; the sound of her neck breaking with one clean snap filled the air. The strong Alpha fell apart and collapsed upon his daughter's chest. Vivian came and with tears silently streaming down her cheek, she rubbed Willard's shoulders for the longest of time. It had always been difficult for this particular Alpha to have to perform that duty of putting cubs out their suffering, he knew it was merciful. But it tore him up each time. He ruled the pack with a soft hand, but he would never allow for the pack to be put in sort of danger. Nor would he abide by any member of the pack to act disgracefully. If, it wasn't for the cancer that was slowly killing him; when his time came. He'd be allowed to remain in the pack, to one day die of an old age. Because of his gentle spirit, but not Tyler. When it came Tyler's time, he'd be killed by the next stronger, younger Alpha. Because Tyler was cruel and was psychotic. It was how wolf packs operated and dealt within their packs. It was a sad time for all. It scared both Luke and Sophia. However, when the change starts there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. Can only pray and hope that you make it through and don't get trapped in the flip. That's why Sophia never would endanger the pack, she knew first hand of why "Survival of the pack!" was the first and most important rule of the pack and Wolf Lake.

While sitting upon two huge blankets. Sophia and Luke on one and Sarah and Shawn on the other one just flanking them with Shawn on Luke's right. They leaned back on their arms and hands, looking up and enjoying the star- filled night in silence for another hour. Shawn and Sarah packed up their blanket and left. Sophia and Luke were sure they knew what they were up to. Shawn had been sniffing around Sarah ever since she flipped. However, before Sophia flipped Sarah was only a female wolf that fell in-between the cracks without a defining title. Not beta, but not omega neither. She fell dead smack in the middle of the no-name group of the younger pack, lost in the crowd. Shawn knew mating with her would raise her status up to Beta, because she'd be mated up. But, ever since Sophia's flip and choosing Luke as her mate- making her the Alpha female, concreting by killing Presley. The mating-up jokes wouldn't be an issue. For a male Beta to mate lower then them meant ridicule by the betas, alphas, and even the omegas and the no-name in- between of the pack. That was why he had been hesitant to approach her in the first place. He had never noticed her until they day she walked into the last period that all younger pack members had to attend with Sherman Blackstone, the Keeper. She was beautiful and she was confident. However, she was below him and if he mated with her, he'd be ridiculed. And that was something he wasn't used to. He was used to be the one ridiculing the ones beneath him. Not now, it was a whole new story. Two strong Betas mating, they'd have strong Beta cubs, that one day could perhaps become Alphas if the circumstances work out. He doubted that his and Sarah's cubs would be nothing more than Betas, because he fully expected that Luke and Sophia's cubs would be next in line as Alphas and for generations to come. Because Luke was very strong, but Sophia was extremely strong-even for a female-fast and agile. He knew she would be something that would live on through her bloodline. Something drastic would have to seriously happen for him or any of his cubs and generations to come to become Alphas themselves. Nonetheless, "Survival of the Pack" was more important then any Betas half-ass dreams of something that's nearly impossible of happening. He had a duty to protect the pack and the Alphas, which came before any and all beta males desire (which was of natural instinct) to perhaps, one day become Alphas themselves. Shawn took Sarah to his house, the Betas house, which flanked the Alphas house-on the ridge just below the Alpha's house, just out of sight-but, close enough to hear and make it to the Alpha's home should any trouble arise. Once there, he explained their mutual situation as betas. And told her about what he thought about her and what he was feeling. He proceeded by asking her to become his mate, instructing her that she doesn't have to answer now but reminding her that she has until her 18th birthday to decide. She didn't answer right away. Shawn explained the benefits and possible Alpha status for them and their cubs, should anything happen to Luke and Sophia (not that they'd do and/or try anything themselves, of course. They were there to protect the Alphas) in the far off future. It was about 2 minutes of silence. But, Sarah told him that she would have to think about it, kissed him on his cheek and then strolled out of the Beta's house and went to her parent's home.

TBC: (Okay, sorry that it turned into something else. But I'll get back to Luke and Sophia. Hopefully, more ungulates and John/Ruby, too)