Chapter Three: Sacrifice

"You have a lot of nerve threatening me, little wolf." I barely saw those golden eyes flicker before Rollin cut between us, his face drawn tight with remorse and what I could only assume was frustration. His slanted grey eyes pierced into me, and I faltered, despite my best intentions. 

"Stand down, Robin. This is not your fight, his sin cannot be undone, and you cannot save him. I order you to stand down, as your Alpha! You are still the Beta's daughter, there's no reason for you to die here too." 

I knew Rollin was only trying to be logical, and perhaps if the circumstances were different, I would have appreciated the value he put on my life. But right now? I couldn't care less. My brother's sobs were still so loud, and the way everyone shunned away from him twisted my heart into a solid block of ice. A clan that could kill one of their own so easily, well, it wasn't any clan of mine! 

We were so supposed to be family, yet somehow, the clan had lost its way. 

I wanted no part of it. 

I straightened my jaw and glared with all my might. "I will not obey!" I challenged, despite the way the bond with the Alpha tore at the wolf inside me. I fought the urge to drop to my knees, the primal urge to submit to the Alpha's rule churning inside me. It felt like hot irons on my back, ripping my fur that was hidden beneath my spine straight out. But I was stubborn, and I fought back against it with everything I had. 

Rollin looked pained, his peppered hair ragged as it fell into his eyes. "Robin, please."

"It seems the siblings are giving you a hard time, why don't you let me handle them?" 

The Alpha frowned at Morax's suggestion, and for a moment, however brief, I actually believed he might save us. Rollin looked torn. The Alpha had been dear friends with my mother, and I knew I resembled her. I wonder if seeing me die would be too much for him. 

I could only hope it would be enough to sway him.

Until my father spoke up, and I gasped. I had thought he left already. 

"Don't waste your breath on either of them, Rollin, they're a disgrace to their mother's memory. I can always have another child. Let the other clan have their blood." 

His words felt like a slap to the face, and I shook from my stance in front of my brother. 

"How could you?! Don't you dare speak about mom like she would've let this happen!" I felt myself shout, and for a moment, I could have sworn I saw Morax give my father a look of distaste as well. But I must have imagined it, as those eyes were back on me in an instant. 

Instantly, I was overcome with a powerful aura that blanketed my being. It was like being submerged in hot lava, but it was also surprisingly cold, like being dipped in permafrost. The dual reactions were too much for me to try and counter, blood pooling in my hands as I coughed violently.

I gasped as the air left my lungs, and for the first time that morning, my knees buckled. 

"Robin!" I heard Elijah call in what I could only assume was surprise, before a strangled sound met my ears. I looked up just in time to see the Alpha of the Aconite clan grab my brother by the throat. 

Elijah was struggling, his lips set back in a snarl, and I was shocked to see someone actually overpower him. Fear trampled around inside me, and Elijah's words formed tears in my eyes. 

"R-Robin, r-run!" His throat was bent backward, his words gurgled out as he struggled for air.

I knew he was going to die. 

Blood was still escaping my lips, but I knew I had to move. That I had to do something.

Alpha's Morax's other clan members were watching a few feet back, and I looked up at them through the dirt on my face. That's when I saw it. The pristine metal bow sitting hazardously on the ground by a man's feet. He was sprawled out lazily on the ground, watching the scene with a lazy look in his eyes. He was currently facing my brother's broken form, and I knew it would be my only chance. 

I waited for only one second, and then I broke through the aura that shoved me down by my bones. It hurt, horribly so, but I felt my wolf tear straight out of my skin. Blood splattered over the ground in a crimson spray, and out of the carnage, my white paws descended. 

And then, I was running full force at the man who was staring at me shocked. His eyes were wide and he scrambled to his feet, but before he could get up, I pounced. My fangs tore at his leg like a rag doll and he hollered in pain. The sound of his pants ripping loud beneath my thundering growls that rumbled inside my chest.

"ROBIN!" Elijah's voice was more clear but breathless. My heightened senses could hear him being dropped to the ground, and I knew that meant my time was up. 

I released the man's leg, the taste of iron soaking my tongue, and I dove out of the way just in time to miss a spear pierce into the ground where I just was. The side of the blade had swiped my tail.

My heart skipped a beat, and then I was whipping to the side, my prize held securely in my mouth as I suddenly reverted back with a snap of bone. I rolled across the ground, coming up with my legs to form a kneel. I could see my human fingers splayed out again, a breeze against the ripped back of my top--and I had an arrow drawn back on the tight bowstring.

My chest heaved with my exertion, but I kept my aim true. 

It was pointed right at Alpha Morax's heart.  

"Now, what are you going to do with that, little wolf?" Alpha Morax taunted from across the field, his eyes were dark. His next spear was already trained on me, huge enough to slay a serpent let alone my petite frame. It was long and embedded with amber jewels. The weapon would be beautiful in other circumstances; if it wasn't about to kill me.

I could also say the same for the man wielding it. 

I narrowed my eyes, panting. "If you try to hurt my brother again, I'll shoot!" 

The Alpha rose a brow at me, his face rich with a plethora of emotions I couldn't pinpoint. 

He began to twirl the foreboding spear in his hands like it was a baton rather than a hundred-pound weapon. The jerk was taunting me. 

His footsteps weren't faltering, even as I followed him with my bow. 

"And then what? My pack will kill you before that arrow even strikes my chest. You'll be dead, and your brother will die anyway. Who wins then?" The man countered. 

"At least you'll die with me!" I snarled, my heart was racing, but as I stared him down--it was like a trance. I could see every pore on his skin, the way he frowned, the way he circled my brother like he was prey. 

I could see Elijah was trying to figure out a way to get over to me, but he was pinned down. If he ran to me, he would be skewered. If he went around, he'd be stopped by Rollin, and to the left was Morax's Beta. 

"Will I?" The spear spun to the right, hitting dangerously close to my brother's thigh. 

I flinched. 

"I could kill him right now before you even have a chance to shoot. Trust me on that." He snarled. "So why are you fighting so hard?"

His tone was full of confusion, and it struck a chord in me. I didn't realize it, but my hands were shaking. 

"Morax, hurry up and kill her already!" One of the girls on the side of the field suddenly shouted, but Morax held up his hand. 

"Silence, let her answer."

All eyes were on me, and I swallowed down my trepidation. This could be my only chance...

I blinked, long and slow. Steadying my breathing. 

"A.. a family defends their own, that is why I'm fighting!" I paused, watching his features closely. "I know Elijah killed one of your family members and broke something precious to you! And I know I can't ask you to forgive that! But I'm begging you to not take all I have left as that payment!" I racked my brain, trying hard to think of how to keep going. To stall. 

Alpha Morax was drawing closer, I couldn't release the arrow yet. Not with where Elijah was trapped. If he could inch a bit further back, I could shoot and at least he could run. 

I swallowed. "Please!" It hurt my pride to beg, but I had a feeling, I would lose this fight. 

Those golden eyes were unreadable. The monstrous glow was striking and powerful.

'Beautiful' my mind supplied, very much against my current feelings and thoughts on the matter. 

"You said it yourself; I can't forgive someone who killed MY family. So how do you suggest we fix this, hm?" He wasn't smiling. 

His eyes weren't kind. 

Elijah managed to move back undetected, and I let out the breath I was holding. 

"...Take my life instead." 

I offered, watching my brother's eyes widen in horror.

Morax's brows knitted down on his rugged features. 

"Are you suicidal, little wolf?" He suddenly sneered. 

"No, I'm not," I answered. I could see the metal tip reflected in his eyes. And suddenly I let my arrow fly. 

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