Chapter 55: Liberation

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The days following Leanna's return were grueling. Between helping the witches open portals, dealing with the remaining members of Crescent Blood, and settling disputes, Leanna and Phoenix were stretched thin and overwhelmed.

Phoenix's wolf had been restless since her return, whining and aggravated. It was taking too much effort to hold him in and it was only leading to further stress. It was getting to the point where staying awake was a difficult task.

He could sense her all around the house and he'd catch her lingering scent every so often, but never her. It was selfish, he knew that. But with the worst of it behind them, it was the only thing occupying his mind.

A knock on the door tore him from his thoughts and he blinked, sitting up completely, "Enter."

Maire poked her head in, "Alpha, Delta Brandon is here to see you."

Phoenix clenched his jaw at the name, his eyes darkening, "Send him in."

Brandon had been trying for days to see him but Phoenix had dodged his attempts each time. Truthfully, Phoenix didn't want to see him because he knew he'd undoubtedly do something reckless. It wasn't just that the pack he hailed from had tried to kill Leanna, though that was the majority of it. The other reason was that he knew Brandon was once a friend of Leanna's, far before her role as Luna. So it made him that much angrier that Brandon never attempted to help her; no one did.

But he couldn't put off the meeting much longer and he wanted to get it over with so he could take his people, and mate, home.

Maire stepped out of the way, her eyes trained on Brandon as he walked through the doorway. "I'll be right outside if you need anything, Alpha," she said before closing the door with one last glare.

Phoenix leaned back in the chair, his gaze calculating. He took notice of the sweat on Brandon's forehead, the flickering eyes, the way he clenched and unclenched his fists. He was nervous, that much was clear.

The Delta cleared his throat, swallowing. "Thank you for seeing me Alpha," he started, his voice clear and strong. "I know you're very busy so I'll do my best to make this quick. Vincent and Rick were terrible leaders. Vincent spent the better part of the last two years out of sight. Rick did most of the work, and he was a tyrant. What's left of this pack, my pack, is struggling. They didn't want this war, they didn't want to fight. But Rick had a way of making sure his dirty work got done."

Brandon paused, his breath shaky, "I won't go into detail. We have no Alpha. Everyone knows Vincent's child is actually Rick's. Vincent's father is dead and he has no siblings. And I know this is a lot to ask, but I can't spend my life knowing I didn't do my best to help this pack survive."

His interest piqued, Phoenix sat up, resting his elbows on the desk before him and clasping his hands. He had a feeling he knew what Brandon was going to ask for.

"The pack is behind the decision; I wouldn't force them into this. They've been through too much," his voice grew dark, the resentment and rage clear. His eyes flashed, a sign his wolf was trying to come out. "I would like to ask if there's any possibility of an Alpha Ceremony."

A slow, dangerous grin spread across Phoenix's lips. He rose to his feet, the chair sliding against the hardwood floors.

An Alpha Ceremony wasn't as simple as it seemed. Alphas were born, but they could also be created. To create one, it required 3 separate Alpha bloodlines, a full moon at it's peak, and a witch. Most, if not all, Alphas were not particularly fond of giving any wolf the title. They felt it had to be earned, and Phoenix agreed.

"Quite bold of you to ask," he mused, slipping his hands into his pockets. "Alright, let's say I bite and get two other Alphas to join the ceremony. What then? How do you plan to lead? Do you have anyone in mind to make up the hierarchy of the pack? Because without that, without the correct leaders, you face mutiny. Assuming you get through all of that, how do you plan on forming peace treaties? Do you know your local witches? I don't think many packs are fond of Crescent Blood right now."

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