Tribute to the Alpha
Tribute to the Alpha
Author: N Chandra

Chapter 1 - The encounter

Rhiannon made her way through the shrubs, she circumvented the huge field that she had just been walking in. This was the best time to be up and about. She was 18, she was a pretty girl with porcelain skin, dark brown hair, and striking green eyes.

The vibrant forest beyond, the clean, crisp air. The dew-wet grass that made up the lands around the castle somehow made the day ahead seem easier to get through. 

It was such a contrast to the dark castle where she lived with her father the Duke of Allendale, her stepmother, and her half-siblings. She was usually ignored by the rest. It was quite apparent no one liked her. She was the unwanted daughter of a mistress after all.

She sighed in happiness, there was still time until the sun was up in its full glory.

Before the farmers and workers would arise. Their busy figures roamed about the place as they carried out their early morning duties. And then the day would truly begin.

A low mist hung over the fields, blocking her view to a few meters. She could barely spot the outline of the forests and the mountains beyond.

There was something almost unreal about the turfs this morning.

A soft, animal growl behind her alerted her. She stopped in her tracks. Her stepbrother Alfred, one of the few people nice to her in the household had warned her not to run if faced by a stray animal. It would make them chase her.

Besides, she had no idea what kind of animal was behind her. She stiffened and turned slowly, cautiously looking over the wide, open space.

There, crouching low in the fields, a short distance from her was a grey wolf. She gulped and backed away. It had crept up noiselessly toward her, it stood quietly looking at her with its grey eyes.

It did not appear to be on the verge of attack. Rather, it lowered its body fully to the ground like a pet dog. As if to signal, it meant no harm and watched her with doleful eyes.

It looked like a young wolf, perhaps still a juvenile. She chuckled,  The forest around the keep's grounds had long since been full of such beasts but she never saw them venture so close to the castle.

She observed the wolf, it was breathtakingly beautiful. This one looked bigger and healthier than any of the other wolves she had ever seen -- but perhaps that was due to its proximity.

"Hello there?" she said aloud,  with a slightly nervous smile.

She did not want to frighten it away nor she wanted to go closer. It didn't move, just stared at her calmly.

 She took a cautious step towards it, it didn't move. Feeling encouraged, she took another step towards the beast.

"What a pretty thing you are, you better runoff, or else father will have you killed like the others", she said sadly.

 "It would be such a shame. You are beautiful."

The wolf twitched its ears as if following her words. It extended its right paw as if offering it for her to hold. She laughed, she had always been fascinated by wolves, unlike her half-sister Margaret she wasn't afraid of wild animals.

Fascinated by its ice-grey eyes, she touched its paws. The wolf seemed to like it. It wagged its tail like a dog.

" I hope you are not considering me as your next meal, are you hungry?" She asked.

The wolf simply looked at her.

She reached a hand into her woven basket and took out a piece of stale bread.

She threw it in the wolf's direction, "there you go, that's all I have right now."

She wanted to fondle its silky coat but if she did not return soon her absence would be noted by everyone.

"Bye wolf," she said, and with some reluctance, she turned and left. Walking briskly towards the castle.

"Where were you?" The nan asked her as soon as Rhiannon crept through the back door into the kitchen.

"Nan, you know I do this every morning, then why this frown." Rhiannon grinned at her.

The old woman clucked her teeth in disapproval. 

"Don't push your luck lass, if duke catches you someday, he would whip you," the old nan said.

"But you won't let that happen, isn't it nan?" Rhiannon grinned at her.

"Look what I collected today, lots of mushrooms." She passed the basket to the old woman who just shook her head at her.

Rhiannon climbed up the stairs toward her tiny room. She could hear the voices of people residing in the keep, slowly getting up from their slumber.

She preferred to keep away from everyone, to herself. The duchess hated her, for obvious reasons. The Duke barely talked to her, as she was thrust upon him by her dead mother. He didn't want anything to do with her but he could not ignore his blood. Some men didn't care about their bastards but the Duke of Allendale had some compassion. Perhaps, he did love her mother, Rhiannon would never know. Nobody talked about her mother, she had no idea who she was.

Her earliest memories were of being raised by the old nanny. One of the only people in the keep who showed some affection towards her. Apart from the old nan, Alfred, her 15-year-old half brother was also kind to her.

Vasilios, looked at the retreating figure of the girl as she ran towards the looming castle. He came upon her accidentally.

He wasn't supposed to be on these grounds. His father the Alpha of the Arcadia Empire had given strict warnings not to leave the state boundaries, but he didn't listen this time. Had he not done so he would not have stumbled upon this human girl, his mate.

His wolf jumped around in circles, not wanting to leave without his mate now that they have found her, and what a beauty she was.

He could not get over her beautiful green eyes and luscious figure, however, there was a problem.

He never wanted a mate, she was a human. As the future Alpha, he was forbidden from getting a human mate.

That's how the tradition was. Alphas were always pure blood, finding a human mate was rare, in the empire but here he was whiffing the last traces of her intoxicating scent.

"Vasilios, where are you?" 

He heard the telepathic call of his brother Arios.

"We need to leave, Vasilios," Arios's voice boomed in his mind.

He howled into the morning mist and ran away, towards his brother. His wolf protested, but he had learned to keep him in check.

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