Part One

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The night was dark, darker than any could remember as the bitter winter winds tore through the moonless sky. Everyone knew death was imminent but the sudden and inexplicable death of a great, fearless leader left many pondering just one thing.

How?

Wind whipped at what few leaves lay anchored to their branches, the colour long gone just like the warmth of a bright summer's day. Growls could be heard near and far as two solitary male wolves stood surrounded by many others a sense of uneasiness settled amongst them.

The two wolves stood as if sizing each other up. One had an obvious advantage, his size far exceeding the other but on rare occasion that never seemed to be an issue.

Both breathed heavily as they rested from their brawl, the smaller one looking worse for wear. Both wolves had matching eyes, the light colour almost matching the thin covering of snow that dusted the ground, their fur both the colour of sand but speckled with bits of white and grey, in many ways the resembled wild animals but as the smaller wolf bowed in defeat the other waited patiently.

The small wolf sat on his hind legs, his eyes searching the ground but in the blink of an eye his wolf form disappeared to be replaced with that of a human, a young man covered in tattoos standing stark naked on the cold winters night. "I concede brother," he spoke bitterly; "you are far more superior than I." He didn't believe his words as his conscience weighed heavy with defeat.

A few seconds later the other wolf transformed, his large bulky wolf giving way to a broad shouldered, well-muscled man whose eyes glittered in amusement, the smirk on his face cocky as his ears heard the sweet sound of victory.

Another human dressed warmly approached the larger man, "you have all witnessed the defeat of Luce, second son of our previous Alpha Riordan, to his older brother Kane."

Roars of approval and wolf howls quickly went up around those gathered, "Kane is our new Alpha effective immediately, everyone present submit to him now if you wish to remain."

The man that held Kane's arm quickly released it as he bent on his knees in front of the large, silver eyed man. As the new Alpha cast his eye around the darkened area he saw shadows falling to their knees in submission to his greatness. All knelt, all but one.

"I will not submit to you. You may have won Kane but you will never be my Alpha, never!" Luce yelled his displeasure of having to yield to his older brother; he would never do such a thing.

Before Kane could protest and drag his disobedient sibling to be punished Luce surprised everyone by shifting back into his wolf form and disappearing off into the dark, cold night.

"Would you like us to go after him Alpha?"

As Kane pulled his eyes away from the direction in which his brother ran he frowned and shook his head.

"No leave him, if he comes back catch him, I'll make an example out of that little shit."

Days after Luce's defeat saw a bitter sweet day for Kane. Not only was it his father's funeral but it was also his formal inauguration and coronation as Alpha of the Northwood pack, not the most powerful or largest pack but Northwood was known for its fighters, its protectors and its reputation for making examples of anyone that crossed into their territory and Kane would not be changing a single thing. He liked the way his father ran Northwood and he saw no reason to change that.

As Kane sat in his new office looking through notes and documents pertaining to the various packs around their region a knock came at the door.

Two large double storeyed windows sat either side of his dark wooden desk. The double storied room was grand by all means and its walls were filled with shelves and shelves of books, Kane's father taught him the importance of information and knowledge, something he would continue. The floor was carpeted, the wine coloured wool reminded him constantly of dried blood which then reminded him that he had lives to protect, people under his authority to keep in line, a pack to run and care for and as a twenty four year old bachelor he was by far the youngest and largest Alpha to take power of Northwood. None doubted his ability but many doubted he even had a beating heart.

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