There is a knock at the study door and the door opens without waiting for a response. Annabelle, William’s mate and Kai's mother, the luna walks in. Without saying a word of greeting, she walks around the back of William’s chair and starts kneading his shoulders in a massage. William leans back in the chair, closing his eyes and enjoying his mates touch. He has a stress headache sitting just behind his eyes, the loud slam of the door and the destruction of the wall by his only son is not helping at all.
"Don't feel too bad, it is only six months, he will learn from this experience whether he likes it or not"
"I know, I am not feeling bad, we had it tougher than he does and he still complains more than I ever did"
Annabelle laughs, her pretty brown eyes look down at her mates peaceful, handsome face. If she couldn’t feel his stress through the link, she would actually believe that he was fine with the whole exercise.
"I still remember you complaining quite a bit. Don't worry. The more he complains, the more it means he needs it"
"Do you think he will understand?"
"Of course……..one day in the very, very, very distant future"
William sighs in frustration and Annabelle hides the smile that is threatening to blossom on her lips.
"So for now I just let him hate me?"
"What else are you going to do? You have made the decision, you can’t back down now. He will be fine"
An alphas decision is final. If he was to back down now, it would be hard for him to get any respect from Kai in the future. William just has to believe that he is doing the right thing. He just has to stick to his choice and not take Kai's hatred personally.
Out in the forest, the trees rush by the black wolf's copper eyes in a blur. His legs pump faster and harder, trying to get distance from his problems, but unfortunately, no matter how far he runs, he can never outrun his problems. Kai will never admit it, but he is scared, he is terrified, he has to go from something so powerful and so free to something so…...not.
Kai has never been weak, he has never been helpless, so to voluntarily walk into such a state is just too much.
He thinks about just keeping on running, just leaving forever, never to return, just becoming a rogue. To live for himself, to follow his own rules and take his own path. While that solves a temporary problem, it also brings a whole list of new challenges. He will never get to live up to his birthright, he will never become the alpha of Misty Dawn, he will have to leave his home, his family, his friends and everything he has ever known.
It is just not worth it.
What would happen to his pack if he were to take such a selfish route?
Kai knows that he can survive six months. If anyone thinks that he can't handle such a small thing, they are very wrong. Kai is stronger than that, he is more determined than that.
Kai runs for the entire night, his muscles don’t even feel the strain, he is beyond feeling at this moment, sorrow outweighing the physical discomfort.
At dawn the big black wolf can be seen stalking back toward the alpha house. The closer he gets, the slower his steps get, the heavy burden, the deep sadness crushing him.
Every step is drawn out, his large paws so heavy that they seem to drag on the ground, his heart hurts. He doesn't want this, more than anything in the world, he doesn't want this.
The black wolf with copper eyes stands staring at the alpha house. He was so resolute only moments ago, but now all he wants to do is turn tail and run.
The morning breeze brings with it an icy chill, his skin doesn't feel it, Kai just feels cold in his heart.
The big black wolf throws his head back and howls, a mournful, sorrowful howl, filled with all the endless loneliness that he feels.
The black wolf shifts, revealing a naked man, his head is downcast, every inch of his body is chiseled to perfection. A forlorn figure, loneliness seeping out of every pore. The solitary back can make anyone's heart clench.
"Goodbye my old friend"
A whispered voice filled with heartache.
Kai walks forward step by step, like he is walking to the execution room, in a way he is. He tries to take it like a man, he tries to be strong, but all he wants to do is cry, for the first time in his life he just wants to sink to his knees and cry his eyes out.
He doesn't hear the voices around him as he sits in the chair in the study, he is not even sure how he made it into this room. It is all just a faint buzzing. While he has resigned himself to his fate, it doesn't mean he doesn't think about running every ten seconds.
William looks at his son, who looks like his soul is gone. The expression on the face of his own flesh and blood nearly makes him take back his words, take back his ruling, William swallows hard, trying to dispel the lump that has formed in his throat. He has to tear his eyes away from Kai’s face, he cannot handle the depressed expression, he cannot look into the copper eyes that look so lost, the usual power and confidence that always burns bright in their depths is extinguished and it breaks William’s heart. He wonders if he ever looked so bad back then? Probably comparable, seeing it from the outside hurts more than going through the feelings himself.
William is surprised that Kai turned up at his own fruition and it didn't end up a hunt and capture, he feels a blossoming of pride. There are three other people in the room except for the father and son duo. Annabelle is present and a little old lady with a younger lady.
Kai doesn't look at any of them. He couldn't care less. To him they are just faceless blurs.
William demands his son as he points at a chair at the edge of the room that is bolted to the ground. Kai looks at the chair and then at the door, still trying to work out the better option, he reluctantly stands up from the office chair and walks to the chair that his father has pointed to and sits down. The old lady and the young lady proceed to fix the silver shackles to Kai’s ankles and wrists.
Kai's skin instantly bubbles and burns under the contact of the metal but he can’t feel a single thing, he doesn’t look at the damage at all, just staring blankly at the ground, lost and alone. William stands before him, his fists clenched at his sides as he looks at his despondent son. William keeps his voice indifferent and full of authority, he doesn’t want Kai to know that he is regretting his decision, because he doesn’t want Kai to play on that knowledge, because it would only take a few words for William to cr*ck and take it all back and it would do no one any good for William to do that.
"Future alpha Kai are you ready and willing?"
"I am ready, but far from willing"
Kai’s voice is filled with scorn but his eyes are still firmly trained on the ground. He doesn’t want his father to see the fear. If he looked up he would see his father's regret, yet the two sets of copper eyes don’t meet, therefore they never know what the other is thinking. Both alphas are so filled with pride that it makes it impossible for either to back down. William raises an eyebrow and shakes his head. Kai snorts, what a surprise his father disappointed once more, but how could he possibly be willing?
Kai pauses, unfazed by his sizzling skin. His voice is determined and filled with the confidence that he doesn’t feel.
"I, future alpha Kai, am ready and willing"
He says the last part through gritted teeth, but it is still enough. The old lady explains to the young lady very carefully, her voice is soft yet her indication and hand movements are oddly amusing. William explains to Kai as the ladies are whispering amongst themselves.
"She is passing on the knowledge so that she can do it for the next generation of Misty Dawn alpha's bloodline"
Kai scoffs, disdain dripping from his voice.
"Do you think I will do this to my kids? I am not that sadistic"
"I am just doing what is best for you"
"Best for yourself dad, get it right"