Chapter 2 - The Dark Alpha's Light


“Again,” I order, and the whip cracks through the air as the cry of punishment echoes against the walls. My Delta, Ivan, is whipping a pack member for smuggling alcohol into the territory. Alcohol is strictly forbidden, and this is his third offense, so fifty lashes is the punishment. “Again,” I order the Delta.

The offender is chained up with pure silver while the whip is laced with wolfsbane to inflict the most pain. The man screams as the whip hits his already bloodied back. “Please! Alpha Ambrose!” He pleads.

I am standing behind the Delta dressed in my finest all-black three-piece suit. “What was that, Mr. Landers?” I ask in a cold tone.

“I’m sorry, Alpha,” Mr. Landers cries out.

“Again,” I instruct my Delta. Mr. Landers screams as the whip hits him again. “You are sorry?” I scowl.

“YES!” Mr. Landers screeches. “I am so sorry.”

“I see,” I signal Delta Ivan to stop the lashing for a moment and step towards the man being whipped. I grab his chin and glare into his frightened eyes. “Were you sorry the first two times you were caught and whipped?” I ask. “Alcohol is strictly forbidden in this territory, yet you continually think it’s alright to break my laws.”

“W-we-we were just celebrating,” Mr. Landers whimpers. “Other wolf packs allow alcohol.”

“This is Hemlock Grove, not other packs, Mr. Landers. I have stringent laws for a reason. This pack has a reputation to maintain, and allowing frivolous things like alcohol will diminish that reputation. If you wish to act a fool, you are free to become a rogue and leave,” I say to him.

“I can’t do that, sir. I have a family here,” Mr. Landers whimpers.

“Then I suggest you stop breaking my laws,” I let go of his chin and step behind Delta Ivan. “You may begin again, Delta. Fifty more should suffice,” I order him. “When you are done with the lashes. Lock him up with no aftercare for his wounds,” I say coldly and then walk out of the chamber. My footsteps echo down the long hallway out of the dungeon buried deep underneath my territory. I ride the elevator up to the packhouse to head towards my office.

I step off the elevator, and my beta, Garth, walks up to me and bows. “Alpha,” He greets me.

“Beta,” I respond. I am not buddy-buddy with my beta like other alphas are. Our relationship is strictly for business and the running of the pack.

“We caught the other members of Albert Landers' crew. Gamma Frederick is bringing them in now,” Beta Garth informs me.

I pull a handkerchief from my pocket and wipe my hands clean. “Excellent, beta. Twenty lashes for each one followed by three days chained up with no food or water.” I order him.

“Yes, Alpha,” My beta bows. “I’ll let Fred know.”

“Who?” I lift an eyebrow.

He sighs. “Gamma Frederick,” He responds.

“Good,” I reply. “Carry on, Beta.” I pocket my handkerchief and move toward my office. Pack members stand at attention as I pass by them. I run a tight ship, and respect for the ranked members is of the utmost importance. It was something my father instilled, and I have carried on his legacy. I may have only been eighteen when I took over as Alpha, but I believe I have done a good job upholding this pack’s reputation.

I enter my office and sit behind the desk that belonged to my father and his father before that. The office is painted in neutral tones and has very little decoration. The only picture is one of my father hanging over the grey fireplace. I glance at the portrait. I am told that I resemble Lawson Ambrose with his black hair and dark brown, almost black eyes. I am brought out of my thoughts by the phone ringing. “Alpha Torben Ambrose,” I say into the phone.

“Hey, Torbie, it’s Ty,” My cousin greets me.

“Tyrell,” I growl. “You know I hate it when you call me that,” I snarl at him.

My cousin snorts, “And I am the King, so I can call you whatever I want,” He laughs.

“What do you need, Tyrell? I am very busy,” I say to him.

“Oh, lighten up, Torbie,” Tyrell laughs. “I was just wondering if I’ll see you next week at my conference? You have missed the last three. It’s a bad look when my own cousin fails to make it.”

“I was busy, Tyrell,” I respond to him. “I have a large pack and several lucrative businesses to run. I don’t have time for your parties.”

“They aren’t parties, Torben,” Tyrell scoffs. “They are important meetings to unite the packs of my kingdom,” He tries to explain.

“Which always devolve into parties full of debauchery, Tyrell. You know I don’t divulge that sort of thing,” I tell him. I can sense my cousin rolling his eyes. For the king, he is not the most serious person I know.

“Gods, Torben, you are such a stick in the fucking mud. It’s okay to loosen up once in a while. You used to be fun back when we were kids,” Tyrell whines.

“Yes, Tyrell. I had fun, but then life happened, and I found myself running a thousand-member wolf pack,” I snarl.

“Are you coming to the conference or not, Torben? You don’t have to party even though it’s my birthday next week,” Tyrell huffs.

I ponder for a moment. “I will only attend the meetings, Tyrell,” I tell him.

“Fine, be that way, Torben. Be sure to bring your mom and Mina. My mom is looking forward to seeing them,” He sighs.

“Mother will be thrilled,” I respond. “I have to go now, Tyrell. I’m sure you have lots of work to do yourself, your majesty,” I say and hang up before my cousin can respond. I turn my attention to the computer and get to work.

I am interrupted an hour later when my mother barges into my office. Anyone else in the pack would be severely punished. “Mother,” I scowl at her.

She scowls back, “Oh, quit your scowling, Torben. I just came to see if we are going to the conference next week?” She sits in one of the chairs in front of the desk. She looks lovely in her flowy white dress with brown hair cascading down her shoulders.

“Yes, Mother, we are going,” I mumble. “Is that the reason you barged in here?”

“Sort of,” She shrugs. “Becca called me and said you told Ty we were coming, but I needed to confirm.”

“Really?” I let out a dry chuckle.

“I was hoping you would say yes,” She rises from the chair and wanders around the office, brushing invisible dust off the shelves. “Rumor has it that many of the Alphas will be bringing along their single daughters,” She smirks.

“Mother,” I grumble. I know what she is leading to.

“It would be nice to have another woman around to talk to,” She continues making her way around the office. “This place could use some color.”

“Mother, you have plenty of women to talk to like Mina,” I mention my younger sister.

“Mina may find her mate soon,” She faces me. “And I hope you find yours,” Mother stares me down.

“You know how I feel about mates, Mother,” I say to her.

She wanders to the fireplace and looks up at the portrait of my father. “I don’t know where you got your notions about mates. Your father and I were very happy, Torben. We gave each other strength. He gave me you and Mina.”

“When the time comes, I will choose a strong female to give me an heir,” I inform her. “I have a lot of work to do.”

“I know you have this thing about maintaining your father’s reputation, my son. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose all of your humanity. I know there is a lonely heart deep within that hard exterior,” She says while moving towards the desk. “You were once a happy child that reveled in the sunshine. Don’t lose yourself completely,” she stops in front of the desk.

“Are you done, Mother?” I mumble.

“Oh, Torben,” She touches my arm. “My handsome Torben, you need the other half of your soul whether you think so or not.”

I say nothing, and she sighs. “I will see you at dinner, Mother.”

She shakes her head and grumbles while walking out of the office. I glance at my father’s portrait. He has the same stern look of authority I see in myself. I can’t let finding my mate distract me from what I am doing. I see other members with their mates. Part of me longs for that, but I have a reputation to maintain.

‘I want my mate,’ My wolf Set suddenly speaks up. ‘You know I won’t accept any other female besides my mate.’

‘I know,’ I reply to my wolf. Unlike other alpha males, I don’t indulge in mindless sex with random females though I am not a virgin. I find myself far too busy to enjoy the company of she-wolves. And I have been dreaming about a light brown she-wolf. She makes Set go crazy while we run through some foggy forest. I shake my head. “I have to work.”

I spend hours in the office before doing my rounds. I then speak with my beta and gamma before going to the top floor of the packhouse. I eat a quiet dinner with Mother and Mina before going to my end of the alpha suite. Mother and Mina have their space, and I have mine. I shower and then sit in my favorite chair by the fireplace. I turn on some Mozart and pick up my favorite book, “The Once and Future King.” I have read it so many times that it is falling apart. I could order a new copy, but this one belonged to my father, and his scent still lingers on it. I read until my eyes droop and my tea is empty. I retire to my bed and fall asleep to dreams of the brown she-wolf.