“An army of feral human werekin?” Alpha Trein snorted. “Ridiculous. This is why you called us all here?”
“You were informed of the basics when I called for the counsel. You have copies of the information we’ve discovered.” I leaned forward and glared at Trein, the sanctimonious ass, and growled. “You’ve heard everything we said, and you still doubt the threat? You’re a fool.”
I’d had it up to here with the older alphas who sneered down on anyone younger than them. I held far more power than many of them, which is probably why we’d become the target of the human werekin who had Kraig kidnapped, and why the doctor continued to target us when their original experiment failed.
“This could be a few discontented individuals,” Durant said in a neutral voice.
“It could be far more than that too.” I spread my hands. “There’s no way to know. They’re not in any one territory… and worse, we don’t even know who they are, or could be, because so many of the human werekin are relegated to second-class citizens in our culture. They may be the face of the clans to the humans, but among our own kind, they are kept in the shadows. Why? Because idiots feel there’s some sort of shame they should feel for being born the way they are.”
“He wasn’t born that way at all. Your mate”—Trein curled his lip—“should never have been allowed to live. It’s not natural. He’s not a bonded werekin and the mixture of two souls is abomination.”
Kraig flinched beside me, and I barely restrained myself from leaping over the table and attacking that smug face. “Kraig was a victim! But he is my mate, and you will treat him with the respect that deserves or I will have my beta expel you from this meeting and my territory.”
Park looked all too eager, his fangs bared as he stood by the chairs lined along the wall, hovering close to Ritch.
“We all know why you’re here, and it has nothing to do with my mate or the attack that could be coming. You’ve seen the body of my clan member, you’ve met his wife. She’s alive, yet he is very dead. That, if nothing else, should convince everyone here what we’re facing is no shadow and a very real danger. A bonded werekin’s soul has been stripped from his body and given to someone else.
“If it could happen to him, it could happen to anyone. We need to bring all the human werekin together and talk to them all. Hidebound tradition and blind bigotry”—I cast my glare wide, knowing more than one of the alphas at this table didn’t share the progressive attitude my father had taught me—“have put us here. Everyone born into our clan deserves a chance to make a life for themselves. We need to change our ways.”
“Who died and left you boss?” Price snarled.
Some of the other clans who had agreed with my dad had also eased the restrictions on their human werekin and began to expand their businesses into the human world. The widening territory and additional income the individuals, and clan as a whole, was also apparent. Ritch had told us exactly how hard it was for the members of his old clan to survive the harsh winters that could come, much less acquire luxury items or advanced schooling.
“Besides, we all know why you’re here,” I said. “It has nothing to do with the doctor and his experiments, and everything to do with Ritch being sold to another you by his alpha, who it seems didn’t see fit to come today. They cast him out of his herd, and he refused to accept your claim. I would be more than willing to allow him to live here with my streak, though. He has proved himself, sharing everything he knew to help us learn about this threat.”
“A human werekin cannot just leave their group and join another.” Trein stood up, snarling. “He belongs to my streak, not yours.”
“And yet he was never made a part of your clan. You claimed him, kept him captive, but you never made him one of you or your mate. You have no legal claim to him, and as a cast out werekin, he can petition any clan to take him in. He came to me,” I hissed. He’d come to Park, not me, but as my beta that was the same thing. “So now he’s ours.”
Ritch shuddered, and Park put a hand on his shoulder. My tiger soul was live inside me, furioius at the challenge and ready to take over. If Trein didn’t stand down….
“You’ll regret this,” Trein blustered. “And the rest of you are idiots if you listen to this kit.” He stormed out of the room, and Park waved at the guard who looked inside the open doors. He quickly followed the retreating alpha.
Kraig put his hand on mine, and I stretched my fingers, which ached from being fisted as I confronted Trein. “If any of you believe I’m some nervous kit, and that this isn’t a threat facing us all, then leave now. I only hope that your territory isn’t going to be struck next, and your people won’t be killed and stripped of their souls.”
Price looked skeptical but he didn’t stand up, and neither did the other alphas who were unconvinced. I nodded at the remaining guard to shut the doors. “There just aren’t that many human werekin. Even if they were all changed, that’s a few per clan.”
Kraig leaned forward. “The doctor found a way—even if he didn’t mean to—of bonding two animal souls to a human werekin. What if they found a way to bond a werekin soul to a human?”
Nope. No one's dead, but I but there are a few Deke would like to kill.
Want more flash? Check out these other updates: