Choice was always a tug and a pull in a female's life. The debate of life-mates was controversial and a constant source of tension within packs.
It came with the fall of the old faith within the packs; where they believed that fate had paired each wolf together. A childish notion. An attempt for alphas to keep control of their populations and control mated pairs from causing power struggles.
It was easy to see that the notion of true-mates had been used by Alpha's as a way to control the population around them. The opportunity from breeding powerful wolves offered many rewards. Alliances, Powerful Heirs and a sustainable legacy.
They truly believed that they could control fate. The entire thought that mates were pre-destined was a farce. The Goddess controlled many things, but choice was not one of them. Free Will was their most sacred aspect of life, the one right they were born with and the one they would die with.
To take away choice was to take away their most basic rights.
It had happened before time and time again. Females were always seen as less than males. Helpless and Pathetic.
Females of the old ways were no such thing. The power of choice when choosing a life-mate was huge. Each wolf had a certain aptitude towards an opposing wolf, a common chemistry and attraction that showed compatibility. A common attraction helped with the initial meeting towards potential pairs.
Adelaide had never experienced it herself, she was never destined to pair with another, but she had seen it so many times within the pack and the Moon Valley. Choice bonding's were stronger than 'fated' ones. The bond was weaved into the very soul of the individual and could only be broken by death.
The complexity of mate's was what she had been pondering over in the hours since the arrival of the unexpected female. The full story behind her arrival had yet to be told as she was taking her time to cleanse herself per Georgia's demands.
A tension had settled over her that she had not felt for some time. The idea of not knowing what was happening or what was to come unnerved her. As the Conduit it was her position that allowed her to foresee events that were to come, and it had filled her with a finality and understanding of how things were meant to be.
As time was passing, she grew silent as she sat in front of the fire of the den. She listened to the crackle of the fire as she stoked it and let her senses reach out into the woods as she closed her eyes.
She could hear them.
Hear them roaming the woods in their direction. The snap of branches and the crunching of snow filled the air as the barrier snapped and snapped again and again. It rolled through her ears and she could do nothing to stop it.
She couldn't stop what the Goddess had permitted.
Adelaide could hear the murmurs of voices as they gathered around the clearing and within the trees. Too many voices, too many wolves. The pack lands were not built for such numbers, Moon Fang had always been smaller in numbers than the other packs.
The Goddess had sent her home to heal and now she was being given another task. Something had changed. Something had drastically changed. She hadn't completely healed from the damaged she had endured through all those years of service.
But she could heal no longer and there were things to do.
Adelaide stood from her crouch and looked up to the portrait sitting above the mantle. The golden eyes of her mother stared back at her, the warmth that she felt from the eyes like a caress against her skin. Her mother had always been so strong and had always known what to do in times of need.