Pale skin smooth and soft to the touch, strong but supple with curving hips and grappling thighs, the busty female exuded sensuality with every subtle sway of her hips. Her dark blue eyes, like crushed indigo, flashed with challenge and fury today, holding back not a single tremor of the anger she felt. To be bartered like meat! And of all people, promised to that savage wolf! She would not stand for it! The feud between packs had raged for centuries, one holding territory in the valley and the other with massive lands that ranged from the foothills to the mountains. While her pack of valley dwellers was not as large as their rival pack, they were well versed in moving silently through the dense shadows of their forest. An elegant and deadly clan that had not in hundreds of years fallen to another pack.
Ylva Lowe was bristling with a heady uncurrent of bitter rage. The elders had long spoken of trying for a treaty with their neighboring pack, but the Lowe Valley wolves were as stubborn as they were swift and silent in battle. There was no trusting the alpha that commanded power over so many wolves revered for their strength and size. But to think that the solution to their problem would include her! Ylva threw the wooden doors open, her lips set in a snarl, her violent flashing eyes crashing against the sight of the one who betrayed her, sold her, would have her mate their enemy.
"Grandfather!" she growled, her usually husky honeyed-wine voice distorted with anger. The elderly man sitting by his fireplace reading as he did every night barely looked up from his book. Slightly stooped, but still mastering a form of lean grace for one of his age, Elder Lowe did not so much as look at her.
"Ah, I see you have heard the news then," the old man huffed, his mustache ruffling with each word.
"Grandfather, mated! To that...that...barbarian who calls himself a wolf!" Ylva crossed the room and flung an arm up, glowering at her only living relative, "It is a disgrace on the Lowe Valley clan! On my father-"
"Your father was taken by the war, just as he took the lives of fathers, sons, and brothers of that clan," he took off his reading glasses and closed the book to finally look up at her, "He was too hot-headed to do what needed to be done." Her grandfather fixed similarly firey indigo eyes on her. Ylva blinked in surprise. "He led your mother and your uncle to battle and where did it get them, but in the ground?" the old man said softly, opening his book up one more, replacing his glasses, "Do not be as reckless and foolhardy as he was."
The dark-haired female bristled but wisely held her tongue. Her father had been a sly and clever alpha, more than most in the past, but even he had given into fighting their neighboring clan. Ylva grit her teeth. Every instinct in her told her to fight, to never give in. But this wasn't just about her, it was about her pack too. Over the years their numbers had taken many hits, but never one so mighty as the battle that had taken her parents and uncle.
Rubbing her forehead, she glanced at her grandfather. He looked at the clock on the mantle. The hour chimed and echoed in the sitting room. The elder man sighed and put his book on the table by his chair's side. Tucking his reading glasses away, even though he had just got to the climax of his novel, he looked at his granddaughter. "It is time to accept the turn of things, Ylva," he at least looked a bit downhearted for her, "Your sacrifice will bring great good to our pack. The Lowe Valley clan will prosper in peace without having to ever keep eyes on their backs."
The elder gestured for her to follow him and she begrudgingly obeyed. His position and the council's decision was to be respected. Without a firm alpha male to lead the pack, Ylva's mate would settle the upheaval that had taken root in their small clan. A former lover of hers was growing ranks of warriors behind him to petition of the position as her mate and the pack's alpha male. Jevo was more interested in power than the good of the pack, this Ylva knew well. It was only one of the reasons she had decided he was unworthy.
"I shall meet with this leader, but I promise nothing Grandfather," she managed to bite out stubbornly. They both knew she had no choice, but saying it as if she did made her feel a bit better, calming the snarling she-wolf in her.
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