For once the glaring morning sunlight piercing the darkness of the den didn't anger a groggy Teva. Instead, Teva's head shot up - her ice blue eyes wide and alert with excitement.
The black pup rarely got to spend any time with her parents - her mother in particular ince she was always too busy with Raphael - but today Alcatraz was going to take her out to parts of Aryn she'd never seen despite many solo adventures of her own as a pup.
Teva squeezed out of the den into the crisp morning air. She could see that the sun was still low signalling that she was early to meeting her father but the restlessness had set in. Thinking of nothing else, the black she wolf headed to the edge of the den site where the Alpha of Aryn had asked her to meet him and sat - fidgeting now and then as she looked around for any sign of him.
Alcatraz padded out of his den. It had been a long night, anxiety over Raphael gripping both him and his mate. But he had promised Teva that he would take her out this morning, and he intended to keep the promise. After all, Raphael may be sick but they still had three other children that needed their care, and Alcatraz wanted to take as much of the responsibility as he could, knowing how hard the situation was for Athena.
Alcatraz was a bit surprised as he saw her waiting there, her blue eyes shining with her excitement. She was eager and ready to go, more awake than even he was! He gave her a smile, stifling a yawn as he stopped before her, ”Good morning, Teva. Are you ready?”
Teva immediately jumped up to all fours the moment she caught sight of her father. Her tail wagged behind her - though not intensely. She didn't want to act like Kane. A more composed excitement seemed right for a future alpha.
Teva returned her father's smile, bumping affectionately into his side before trotting off ahead of him. "Mhm!"
She walked a few steps in one direction then in another - unable to contain much of her excitement. "Where are we going today?"
The juvenile was eager to get away from the den site knowing that her mother or Raphael could easily pull him away from her if they called. It made her anxious.
Alcatraz blinked affectionately at her as she bumped him and gave her a nudge with his broad muzzle, and found himself almost completely awake now that he was faced with her excitement. He glanced over his shoulder one last time, as if making sure that everything was surely in order before he left, and then turned forward, walking into the forest, “A border patrol,”
Alcatraz told her with a grin, “There have been reports of a meddlesome coyote pair who have been sniffing around Pinefell. We don’t want them to settle within our territory.”
the Alpha explained. He knew that Teva would be glad for a mission. A good introduction to the job of a Warden without it being too dull for one of her first times out.
Teva felt her heart drop as she watched him look back over his shoulder at the den site. She stopped dead in her tracks, trying to keep her alarm under control. He wouldn't go back now would he? She could feel a mixture of anger and loneliness boiling inside her at the thought. Luckily, everything seemed to be in order as he turned back toward her and then walked past her into the forest.
Teva exhaled a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding in relief as a smile formed on her muzzle. She trotted along side her father. While she had grown, she still wasn't nearly as big as him and couldn't take such long strides with ease yet. She didn't seem to be phased by this as she focused on his words with perked ears."Finally!"
Teva exclaimed with a hint of exasperation. "All those lessons were getting so boring! I can only learn so much from 'examples'."
The young wolf turned her gaze forward, eyes beaming. "Plus they could never really teach me."
She continued rambling on as they got further from the den site. Her lessons had been interesting but she knew that she would have to learn from an alpha how to be an alpha! "Someone who has never been an Alpha can't teach me how to be one."
Teva said proudly, holding her head high as she looked back towards Alcatraz. "Right?"
Alcatraz glanced at his daughter as they made their way through the forest. She looked so much like her mother with her pure black fur, and those pale eyes the color of ice. And she was eager and excited, which pleased Alcatraz. He was not the most affectionate or approachable father there was, but he did find a love for the teaching and mentoring aspect of it. And it was all the more enjoyable if the wolf he taught was as ready to learn from him as Teva was. She made him proud.
He nodded at her explanation, "Lessons are important, but there is no substitute for experience."
He chuckled a bit as she implied that others could not teach her as well as he could, about to modestly assure her that others were just as capable of teaching her despite being internally touched that his daughter thought so highly of his Warden abilities. But then she went on, and he realized it had nothing to do with that.
Alcatraz was never one to sugar coat or withhold the truth, even if it meant hurting feelings. He could care less about that. At least that was the case with most wolves. He glanced at her, opening his jaws to tell her that she had no more chance than any of their litter in becoming Alpha someday, but he found his words died in his throat as he met those wide blue eyes, shining in excitement and longing and life. The Alpha's foresight deserted him then, as a wave of love and empathy silenced whatever he would have said next. Instead he managed to stammered out, "You can learn from each of your packmates, Teva... every wolf has knowledge to share.""Really?"
Teva held her father's gaze with curiousity. "How?"
She cocked her head to the side a little. If his words were true then she needed to know. The black she wolf would do everything she could to become the strongest and best alpha she could be even if it meant learning from those she doubted had adequate knowledge.
Teva briefly turned her gaze ahead of her as she daydreamed about what it would be like as an alpha. She saw herself full grown, standing proud in the mountains overlooking the whole of Aryn where her pack roamed as wind ruffled her thick mane. She would smell the familiar, fresh scent of pine from her perch no matter the season.
A smile spread wide across her muzzle at the image and she could feel excitement about the future pulsing through her as she looked at her father again with a bit more bounce in her step. "Do you think that if I'm a good warden that I'll be an even better Alpha?"
Teva asked, eyes sparkling.
Alcatraz glanced down at Teva, his expression becoming more serious now and his words had a sternness to them. It was becoming clear how little respect she seemed to have for the other wolves of Aryn. He would try to nip this in the bud now, if he could, ”Every wolf is different, and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, for combat techniques you can consult myself of Master Charaka. Mother Teia or Sir Adrian are well versed in the ways of The One and healing. The best hunting techniques can be learned from Master Lawson or Master Hani, and even from the pair each has their own unique way to hunt. You can even learn from your own siblings! Lazarus has a talent for skillful evasion, while Storm and Raphael are both very intelligent. And likewise, they can learn from you; your determination and drive to achieve your goals,”
Alcatraz explained. It was a complex lesson, one that he wasn’t sure Teva would be able to grasp from words alone… what she needed to do was actually be helped
by these wolves. He made a mental note to himself; in the future he would bring another wolf with them when he took Teva out to train, she she could see what he meant.
He glanced at her uncertainly as she asked the question, and then looked back forward, ”I think an Alpha would need to be good at many things…”
he answered vaguely.
Teva wrinkled her nose at the thought of Lazarus being better at something than her - certainly not the message Alcatraz would have hoped had come across. Her thoughts circled around the idea of any of her siblings being better than her at anything. Even Raphael? No. There was no way.
Teva was ripped from her narcissistic thoughts as her father returned to the subject of Alpha. Her head snapped up toward him with attentive eyes. So she just needed to be good at many things? That seemed easy enough! Teva grinned at her father as excitement coursed through her about her future. "I will be!"
Her tail rose confidently and her steps became a more energetic trot. "Just watch!"
Teva ran ahead, jumping atop a fallen log. Turning toward her father, she puffed out her chest and held her tail high in a pose she expected was appropriate for a good leader. "I'll be the best Alpha Aryn has ever known."
Teva declared with a smile spreading wide across her muzzle.
Teva stood by her words. She would make Aryn and her parents proud to have her as their leader.