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Akela left Archer's office with a heavy heart.

The conversation with the Alphas had ended without a solution. She had hoped they knew what to do, but ended up with a lot of new questions.

She considered shifting for a run to clear her head, but her scent and allegiance was to the valley pack. The lycans on the mountain might not approve of her roaming their territory.
So she walked around the village following the pull of someone she felt the pull towards.

She rounded a corner of the village workshop area. In a building on its own, away from the rest of the houses, one stocky delta was working on some blacksmith craft.
The scent of hot metal was strangely safe and dangerous at the same time.
He looked up and gave her a simple smile as she passed. She nodded back to the wide smile on his face. She recognised him as delta Pete, or bulbous Pete as Diana had decided to call hm because of his broken nose. All the villagers up here had a job, a purpose and a undivided loyalty to not just the Alpha family, but to the pack. Pete was the blacksmith in addition to his role on the defense squad. With another bright smile, he turned his attention back to his work. He continued working on what looked like a doorhinge, his cheerfully whistled tune showing how he appreciated the work.

She couldn't get used to how everybody was so... friendly.
Both up here and in the valley, the packs seemed so open and unlycan. If she hadn't known, she would never have guessed that her two mates were Alpha blood. All the packs they hav visited when she was growng up, had only grudgingly allowed them to stay. But this pack had just accepted her from the first moment.

She stopped for a moment and closed her eyes. The two bonds were stretched in opposite directions.
Zion was in the infirmary.
Somehow she knew he had a child in there. She could feel his empathy for the child's pain. She knew he was smiling, laughing, but she also felt a sore spot in his heart from earlier.

Closer to her she felt Abel's focus on some complicated work. He had calmed down and focused his earlier upset on his work. She decided to go look at what he was doing. His seemed the most urgent upset.

A few minutes later she had located the woodshop. At a table, Abel was stood hunched over a large piece of wood. He was dressed in a pair of workman's jeans and not much more. His bare feet were dusted with wood shavings and sawdust. The bare muscles of his back moved as his hands worked with some kind of carving tool. A hammer and chisel made gentle tapping noises and small shavings were blown to the floor with his breath.

"Hey. I know you're there... I just need... this... bit..." Abel muttered without stopping his work. Akela walked over to see what he was doing and her breath caught.
The whole length of the plank was carved in patterns and stylised figures. She could see humans and wolves.
Abel's hands finished a curved flourish before he straightened his back with a nasty crack and a wince.

"This is beautiful!"  Akela breathed in awe of the complex pattern in front of her.

"Ummm. Yeah. It was meant to be a surprise..." Abel said sheepishly.

"What do you mean?" Akela asked.

Abel stood back and guided Akela to stand at the middle of the plank. And her eyes filled with tears.
The motif was roughly symmetrical. In the middle was a stylised female wolf, made to look like herself, facing an identical wolf, their paws touching. Behind them were other wolves, people and symbols spread out across the plank.

"That's you and Kira. And Zion and me..." he said pointing to two male wolves wrapped around the two females.

"See... Zion is the dude with the hands..." he grinned and pointed to the difference between the two.

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