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Shadows of the pack novel Chapter 89

Lydia's heart pounded with worry as she walked through the pack's territory, her gaze scanning the faces of the wolves around her. She couldn't shake the unease that gnawed at her, the feeling that something was amiss.
"Have any of you seen Ryder?" Lydia's voice carried a note of urgency as she approached a small group of pack members who had gathered near the central clearing. Their faces were etched with uncertainty, their eyes shifting uncomfortably as they exchanged glances.
Tyler who was at the center with Kira shook his head, "No . We haven't seen him."
Lydia's grip on her emotions tightened, her worry deepening. She thanked the pack members and continued her search, her steps quickening.
As she moved through the territory, Lydia's mind raced, her thoughts a whirlwind of possibilities. She knew Ryder was strong and capable of taking care of himself but something just gnawed at her.
Eventually, Lydia found herself in the heart of the territory, near the place where the pack often gathered. Her eyes swept across the area, but there was no sign of Ryder.
A familiar voice interrupted her thoughts. "Lydia, is everything alright?"
Lydia turned to find Knox approaching her with a concerned expression. She offered him a strained smile, her concern evident. "I can't find Ryder anywhere. He's been missing since he went for a run."
Knox's brows furrowed, his gaze narrowing as he processed the information. "When was the last time you saw him?"
Lydia's mind raced, trying to recall the last time she had been with Ryder. "Earlier this morning," she said, her voice laced with worry. "He said he needed to clear his head, that he was going for a run to get some space."
Knox's gaze remained steady, his instincts as an alpha kicking in. "Alright, Lydia. We'll find him. He's strong, and he knows these lands better than anyone. Maybe he just needed some time alone."
Lydia's fists clenched at her sides, her concern refusing to abate. "I know Ryder, Knox. He wouldn't just disappear like this, not without telling anyone."
Knox reached out, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "I understand your worry, Lydia. But we won't jump to conclusions just yet. Let's organize a search party. I'll go out myself, and we'll cover the territory. We'll find him."
Despite his words, Lydia's anxiety remained. She appreciated Knox's attempt to reassure her, but the unease in her heart was a heavy burden she couldn't shake. She met Knox's eyes, her determination unwavering. "I'm coming with you."
Knox hesitated for a moment before nodding, understanding the depth of her concern. "Alright. We'll start from where he was last seen. We'll track his scent and follow every trail until we find him."
He looked into her eyes, "I'm sure he is fine, Lydia. He is one of the strongest wolves I know. We will find him." She nodded even though she felt it was a lie.
"Hey," Shana's voice was gentle as she approached Aria, taking a seat across from her. "How are you holding up?"
Aria looked up, her eyes meeting, "I'm okay," she replied, her voice carrying a note of resolve. "Just still trying to process everything that's been happening."
Shana nodded, understanding the heaviness that hung in the air. "Have you heard anything about Ryder? Is he okay?"
Aria's expression tightened slightly, a fleeting shadow crossing her features before she brushed it off. "He's fine I'm sure" she said, her tone attempting to sound reassuring. "He went for a run to clear his head, but Knox and Lydia are out looking for him, just in case."
Shana's brows furrowed slightly, detecting the underlying tension in Aria's words. "Are you sure he's okay?" she asked, concern evident in her gaze. "You seem worried."
Aria hesitated for a moment, her gaze dropping to the table before meeting Shana's eyes once more. "I'm just... I'm sure he's fine," she said, her voice a touch unconvincing. "He's a strong wolf, and Knox is looking for him."
"I wanted to see Knox," Shana said.
Aria tilted her head slightly, curiosity piqued. "Is everything okay? Did something happen?"
Shana let out a sigh, her fingers tracing absent patterns on the table. "With everything that's been going on, and the celestial eclipse approaching... I don't know if it's a good time."
Aria nodded in understanding. "Is it about Jackson?" Aria asked gently.
Shana's gaze met, "Yeah," she admitted. "Jackson needs to return to his pack soon. And with everything happening here, I don't know if it's the right time."
Aria's eyes softened, empathy radiating from her gaze. "Shana, there's never really a perfect time for these things, you know? Life has a way of throwing challenges at us, especially in times like this. But you deserve to do what makes you happy."
Shana's shoulders sagged, the weight of her decision pressing on her. "I know, it's just... I don't want to add to the chaos that's already happening. The celestial eclipse, the tensions within the pack—it feels like there's so much at stake."
Aria reached out, placing a comforting hand on Shana's. "I get it. But think about it this way: in the midst of all this chaos, finding happiness is even more crucial. And you deserve to be happy, Shana. Knox wants that for you too."
Shana's gaze dropped to their joined hands, her fingers tracing the pattern of Aria's skin. "I just don't want it to seem like I'm abandoning the pack when they need unity the most."
Aria squeezed Shana's hand gently, her voice steady and reassuring. "Shana, switching packs doesn't mean you're abandoning anyone. You're still a part of this family, and we'll support you no matter what. It's about finding where you belong and where you'll thrive."
Shana looked up, meeting Aria's eyes, her vulnerability exposed. "I'm scared, Aria. Scared of the unknown, scared of what might change."
Aria's smile was warm, filled with understanding. "Change can be scary, but it's also the catalyst for growth. And you won't be alone in this. Knox and I, everyone in the pack—we'll be here for you every step of the way."
Shana let out a soft sigh, a mixture of emotions swirling within her. "Thank you, Aria. You always know how to put things in perspective."
Aria's grin was genuine, a twinkle of mischief in her eyes. "Well, someone's got to keep you sane, right?"
Shana chuckled, her tension easing slightly. "I appreciate it."
"Just remember," Aria's voice grew more serious, her gaze unwavering, "you deserve happiness, Shana. Don't let fear hold you back from finding it."
With a nod and a grateful smile, Shana leaned back in her chair. "Thank you, Aria. You're right. I'll talk to Knox when he gets back, and I'll make the decision that's best for me."Dr
Rebecca's heart raced as she made her way back to the pack territory after yet another secret meeting with the Alphas. She had been walking with a purposeful gait, her mind preoccupied with the information she had shared and the plans that were being woven. But just as she was about to slip into the shadows, Seraphina's voice cut through the night air, stopping her in her tracks.
"Rebecca," Seraphina's voice was firm, authoritative, and laced with concern. "Where have you been?"
Rebecca turned slowly, her heart pounding as she met the intense gaze of Seraphina.
 "I was... just out for a walk," she replied, her voice carefully neutral.
Seraphina's brow arched, her eyes narrowing as she assessed Rebecca's demeanor. "A walk?" she repeated, her tone skeptical. "And you left your pup alone?"
Rebecca's guilt pricked at her conscience, and for a moment, she faltered. She glanced away, her mind scrambling to concoct a believable lie. "I left him with Sophia" she finally said, her voice attempting nonchalance.
Seraphina's expression remained unreadable, her gaze steady. "Rebecca, we're all in this together. You know that secrecy and divided actions only breed distrust."
Rebecca met Seraphina's eyes, her own guilt mirrored in the depths of the Luna's gaze. "I know," she said, her voice tinged with remorse. "I just... I didn't want to burden anyone else."
Seraphina's features softened slightly, a mixture of understanding and sympathy in her gaze. "You and I are thesame. We are trying to earn our place here."
Rebecca nodded, "I know. I'm sorry. I need to get back the my pup now."
As Rebecca was about to offer a relieved smile and retreat, Seraphina's next words froze her in place. "Rebecca, how soon do you want your death?"
Rebecca's heart plummeted, her shock palpable. She stared at Seraphina, her mind racing to process the implications of those words. "Wh-what?" she stammered.
Seraphina's gaze remained unwavering, her tone steady. "When Knox realizes that you're betraying his pack, he won't take it lightly. And punishment for your betrayal will be death."


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