Chapter 2: Duties and New Faces
Morning came rather slowly for Kate as dreams plagued her mind throughout most of the night hindering any chance of a good sleep, but eventually sunlight began to appear outside. It looked to be the start of a good clear day to relax and just hang around however she had duties to attend to first, and whatever else was thrown her way. Getting up and stretching she noticed that Garth was not present which puzzled her since he only had duties to perform during the evening.
'Perhaps he went to see his dad or something' she thought to herself before exiting the den to be greeted by the bright new day. The light shined off of her fur as she continued on towards the valley to meet up with her usual hunting group. She didn't feel like doing a hunt already but she had to in order to keep her role in providing for the pack. At least she wasn't the party leader for this week so that was a plus, hopefully it would be quick and she would be able to do what she wanted to which was to go see Humphrey again.
Candu, along with two other alphas named Vik and Sally were waiting at the top of the valley already surveying for any caribou or deer when Kate arrived.
"Good morning everyone" she greeted
"Morning Kate" They each greeted back before looking back down below again
She walked up beside them to see what they were staring at to find a small herd of deer along the far wall of the valley. "Well looks like you guys already found today's kill huh?" She commented
"Yeah let's hope we can bring one of them down" Sally said
"I'm sure they won't be any trouble, come on let's get down there." Vik said before proceeding to jump down to the ledge below the group. Being the leader of the group for the week the others followed behind him and waited for the next set of orders when they arrived at the bottom.
"So how are doing today Kate?" Sally asked coming up beside her as they walked down to the bottom.
"Eh I'm a little tired, but other than that I'm feeling fine" She replied "How about you?"
"Well just looking forward to getting this hunt done with so I can just relax for the day."
"Yeah I hear ya, I could go for a nice nap after this too"
Kate and Sally have known each other ever since they both started alpha school, the two of them shared a den together and after getting to know each other they became quick friends. So after returning home they got grouped along with Candu and Vik which meant they could see each other and gossip while on duty. Kate found that it made alpha duties fun and more entertaining considering she already knew Candu and Vik from alpha school as well.
"How about we both be the ones to make the kill and let the boys lure them to us?" Sally suggested to her "That way we'll quickly get this done with"
"I'm up that, but remember who's in charge" Kate replied motioning towards Vik
"Oh I'm sure he won't mind the idea..."
The group all came to a stop once they reached the valley floor and the cover of the tall grass. Sally told Vik that she and Kate want to be the ones to bring down the deer and he agreed saying that he didn't feel like getting blood in his fur anyway. Everyone got into their positions and waited for the signal to begin, Kate crouched low in the grass beside Sally while Vik and Candu began to close in downwind of the deer.
This was all routine for hunting and with a few tail signals exchanged the deer were now on the run with the two alpha females hot on their tails. Sally jumped onto the back of one which sent it to the ground allowing her to finish it off with no further troubles. Kate meanwhile had her sights focused in on her victim who so far was keeping up a good run away from her. Eventually, and much too long in her opinion, she was right beside it and mirrored what Sally had done to bring down the first one.
She stood on top of the desisted deer and howled out that she had brought one down to the others who she could barely see way behind her, they returned the howl saying that had gotten a kill as well. Kate smiled at how successful the hunt had turned out, it wasn't often groups brought down more than one prey so the pack will be well fed for the next few days. She began to drag her kill back to the others who unknown to her at the time were also dragging their kill to where she was.
The group met up and congratulated each other for their hard work before it was time to bring the food back to the feeding grounds. The sun had made its way up higher into the sky and it was already near mid-day by the time they placed the new meat long side the others in the feeding grounds. They all said farewells before departing to wherever else they needed to be, Kate decided to head back to her den and rest for a few hours.
However she suddenly noticed a small crowd gathered ahead of her in the clearing, curious she made her way around a few of the wolves to figure out what they were all staring at. In the center she found two wolves along with her father all stand there, one of them she noticed had a good sized cut on their side.
"What's going on here?" She asked the wolf who was standing next to her which turned out to be Hutch
"These two were fighting over a piece of meat for some reason, so some of us quickly put an end to that and now your father is here telling them their punishments." He replied
She nodded her head when he looked at her before continuing to watch and listen to what her father told the two wolves. She quickly figured out that the wolf with the bleeding scar tried to take a piece of meat the other wolf had rightfully taken from the pile. The reason for his actions never became clear but to her this was just another fight between two alphas. She looked around the group that had gathered to notice that not a single omega was present, this puzzled her because typically they were around to put an end to fights like this. Much like when Humphrey and a few of his friends help stop the fight with eastern wolves during her first hunt.
She was going to ask Hutch about the omegas but her father had just dismissed the two wolves so she walked over to his side to speak with him. "Just another day being a leader huh dad?" She stated before sitting down.
"Yeah just another day, though this is just another meaningless fight." He replied looking over at his daughter
"Shouldn't the omegas have quickly sorted this out so you wouldn't have to be here?"
"They should have but they never came and the other alphas around had to end it" he said with a sigh "You know ever since Humphrey left some of the omegas just haven't been doing their job as well as they used to."
This confused Kate, she thought the omegas were still doing fine even with Humphrey's departure from the rest of the pack, but it appears that she was wrong.
"Well they did lose the one omega that kind of leaded them in performing their job" She admitted, she knew Humphrey was one of the best omegas at keeping the peace along with his friends.
"Maybe I should go speak with them and see what's wrong, our pack will seize to function properly if they keep this up." Winston said starting to get up but Kate stopped him.
"I'll take care of that dad, go back home and relax" She said
"Are you sure dear? I mean you can come along with me if that's what you want."
"No I got this, I'm sure it's just some easy problem to fix, they are omegas after all."
Winston smiled at how his daughter was starting to follow in his paw steps when it came to leading the pack, one day soon he would be able to step down and watch her take over running the pack alongside Garth. "Okay you're probably right about that, I'll see you later then Kate"
With that Winston left to head back to his den while Kate got up and headed to where she knew the omegas liked to hang out on their own. She felt kind of disappointed in doing this because she may not be able to see Humphrey today but at the same time she knew he would be okay with it since she was going to be helping out his former pack mates.
Speaking of Humphrey the young grey wolf was out taking a stroll through the area he's spent the past few weeks at, with really nothing else to do out here he found joy in just taking walks to pass time. This at the same time was helping him build his stamina so that he will be more prepared to begin hunting within the next few days. He felt like he was ready to try and hunt but it would be foolish of him to go for his first kill without Kate around to help him in case he got hurt.
So far being a lone wolf was a bit a drag for Humphrey, it was a totally new kind of life style for him and at first he regretted leaving the pack. However he slowly accepted the choice he made and once Kate found him and learned of her feelings for him he felt that going through with it was all worth it. Still there were many times where he lay in the den he now called home and just couldn't find something to keep himself entertained. He tried thinking of new games to play which helped for a while until he grew bored of playing them, at least he was still able to go log sledding every now and then on a hill that wasn't too far away.
His thoughts were interrupted when he began to hear the sound of something being dragged across the ground along with the crushing of leaves. Worried that it may be a threat he got into a stealth position and headed to investigate the sound without being heard. He came around a small berry bush to find a brownish-grey wolf slowly pulling a deer with them as they headed through the forest. Humphrey's instincts told him to back away and get away from the other wolf since he learned lone wolves aren't usually the nicest to be around.
However he realized that the wolf was struggling to pull the large animal to wherever it was that they were going so he decided to go see if they needed help. Leaving his hiding spot he walked into the small clearing and came up beside the mystery wolf who was still distracted while pulling his kill to notice him approach. Humphrey just sat down for a moment and watched before finally speaking up.
"Hi there, need some help?" He said in a pleasant tone, in a way he was glad to be able to talk to someone besides Kate for the first time in weeks.
The wolf quickly let go of the deer and turned around to face him "No I don't, this is my kill and I'm not letting some other lone try to take it from me." They replied in a stern way
"Woah I don't mean to intrude mister you just looked like you were having a hard time dragging that thing on your own." Humphrey quickly responded
"Well your eyes must fool you because this isn't the first time I've dragged something this size on my own. Now leave me alone, I just want to get this back to my den and enjoy it in peace." The wolf said before taking the deer's neck into their jaws again.
Humphrey didn't think much of what the wolf told him and continued to sit and watch as they struggled yet again to drag it along the dirt.
"Are you sure you don't need any help?" He asked again after seeing the wolf only move his kill ten feet in the past minute.
"Yes I am sure," The wolf repeated lifting their head up "and besides why should I trust you when for all I know you could be trying to take this from me."
Humphrey got up from his spot and slowly walked over to him "Well considering that I haven't attacked you or forcefully taken it, and the fact that I used to be an omega is all I have to answer to that." He said still acting as if this stranger never told him to get lost.
The wolf sighed, sensing that this strange wolf was only trying to help him he decided to give it a shot considering he felt like he really could use the help right now. "Alright fine you can help, and if you do end up being trustworthy I'll even give you a share."
Humphrey smiled at his success, his omegas skills could tell that this wolf needed help and they were correct "Well that's not really necessary but I appreciate it, the names Humphrey by the way."
He held out his paw and waited for the wolf to answer "Jake" They replied shaking paws with him.
"Well Jake, lead the way" Humphrey said before gripping his muzzle on the deer's back.
The two wolves began to work their way back to wherever it was that Jake called home which surprisingly wasn't too far from Humphrey's den, in fact he could see the cliff in the distance. Along the way Humphrey thought about and hoped that maybe he and Jake could become friends, but that would have to be decided once he finished helping him out.
A/N: Ah it's nice to be in the writer's seat again, also I am amazed by the response I got for chapter one and I thank you for the comments even if some are short. As for the next chapter you will get more insight on what happened the day Kate first found Humphrey outside the pack, as well as learn what's wrong with the omegas. Until then I bid you farewell!