Tod Leben’s Proving Alpha Status: Opening

[Proving Alpha Status] is a fantasy werewolf novel. [Amazon US].

The ebook will be free on Amazon from March 13th to March 17th. [Free Ebook Sale?]

Please read the [Content Warnings] before tackling this unless absolutely nothing sets you off. It’s dark fantasy. It’s as dark as some, but you’re looking at a Tod Leben for a reason.

Proving Alpha Status’s Opening

(The first two full chapters to get you a full grasp as to this story. Enjoy)

Chapter 1 — Ryan Lycacon

In this world, it’s eat or be eaten.

And I was almost eaten.

I know, I know, my reputation says that’s impossible. But you don’t get it. The quest expectation didn’t meet up with the actualities. I went in unprepared. Foolish, I know. I get it.

I flinch while twisting my body. Considering I was almost eaten, my muscles seem to work. I blink at the bright lights above me. When I get used to the brightness, I find two faces watching me.

I made it back to the hospital. I’ll be safe. Whoever saved me was… Probably those dogs. Talking dogs. Ha! I thought I was hit by a spell that made them talk. But they were the only ones there minus the vampires.

In case you didn’t know, don’t walk into a vampire lair. Definitely unsafe. I went in without a proper weapon or back up. Perhaps Avian saved me. They said any time I was in danger, to whistle. Did I? I can’t recall. I remember fleeing toward town. Would Avian just leave me? It’s possible they would once I was safe. They’ll check up on me in a few if they knew I was in danger recently.

“Do you understand us?” This one has long brown hair. As I look them over, I am reminded of my own coloring and good looks. Just… Curvy. My eyes catch the round breasts dangling above me. That’s because they’re leaning over me. Don’t know them. Can’t recall anyone like that at the closest town’s hospital.

I nod. “Yeah.” I flex my jaw. I was hit hard. Some how I was saved in the last minute. “Avian?”

“Bird? Wrong language. We speak English.” The other person chuckles. I scrunch up my nose staring at them. It’s not my twin, but if they said my brother, I’d agree. Where am I? I’ve never seen anyone with my coloring before. Okay, there was that one time, but it was in vague passing.

Two people who look like my family staring down at me in the hospital? I shift taking in both. Then I notice the room.

I’ve never been here before. This isn’t a normal medical room. A normal medical room is white with shade of pastels. Casting tools and testing kits hide on shelves out of easy reach. This room has a fluffy arm chair in the corner. There is a collection of flowers sitting on a window sill. There are cheery yellow walls. This isn’t the hospital I was expecting.

I try to sit up and feel the binding around my chest. That’s normal. Bindings to keep a person in place while the more painful healing magics are used. Considering the shape I’m in, I’d say that happened. I reach out to tug at the binding.

“We aren’t allowed to release you,” the curvy one says with a soft smile. Who are these weird people?

It’s not that I don’t look human, okay. Same with the two near me. My skin color is golden in hue. My eyes are thinner than what I normally see. My brown hair coarser and straight unlike the normal human wisps. These people are… Like me?

“Can you remember your name?”

“Ryan.” I close my eyes not wanting to see others. I’m not sure how to respond to it. Are there others like me? “Ryan Lycacon.” I laugh. It was a joke. How could I be attached to the power family that manages to control the king? “Sorry. I’m not connected to that family. It was meant to offer an orphan some level of comfort.”

My fake twin tests my forehead. “He seems healthy enough.”

The curvy one replies, “You know our healing rate. It’s on point. I’m more concerned with what’s in his head.”

The twin responds with a laugh, “A true Lycacon isn’t afraid of walking into a vampire den.”

“I didn’t see him shift, Tim. Did you see him shift?”

“Bah. Shift or no shift, he survived.”

The curvy one huffs crossing arms under those breasts still hovering close to me. They’re focused more on my fake twin though. Fake twin is called Tim. Noted. What’s curvy’s name? “Survival means nothing if the brain is fried. We’re here to see if he can take position. If he isn’t of sound mind, what then Sherlock?”

Wait… Sherlock? Tim Sherlock? Or is Tim a nickname? Or is Sherlock a nickname? This isn’t what I’m supposed to be thinking about. “Name.”

Both of them look down at me. “Huh?”

“Your names. I don’t know you.” I shift wanting the bindings off. Perhaps a meal. Can I request that? Normally it’s a pain in the neck to get food in the hospital. So many papers need to be signed. I typically wait until I’m allowed to leave.

The curvy one presses their hand to their breast. Just above the interesting part. “I am Sarah Lycacon.”

“Timothy Lycacon,” my fake twin comments. “We’re your cousins.”

“Blood lines mark that anyway.” Sarah motions to Tim. “We’re brother and sister.”

So the debate was more sibling rivalry. … Wait a second?! Lycacon? “Where am I?”

“Lycacon compound. You’re home, Ryan. We’ve been waiting for you.” Sarah offers that soothing smile again.

It’s not gonna work. I don’t have a home. I’ve never stayed in one place long enough. I never fit in. I must’ve hit my head more than I thought. This is a dream. Has to be. There’s no way it’s anything besides a dream. Pinching though only makes me hurt. “I’m sorry… What?”

A new person walks into the room. I thought these two look like me. Now I see a real twin. No wait… Their eyes… They look older. But I don’t see the grays or wrinkles. I’m so confused. This dream is insane.

I need to wake up.

“How is he?” This new person sits down on my bed near my waist. It forces Tim to back off. He grips my wrist checking for a pulse. Then he tests my forehead. “No damage?”

“Healed either physically or magically.”

“He’s an idiot either way.” The new person stands up glaring at me. What did I do? “Why did you go into a vampire lair, Ryan?”

“I was asked to? Well… No. I was told to deliver a letter. It makes sense now that she said it had to be delivered before dusk hit. I was late. I made a mistake. Not the first time.” Not the first time I almost died. When you have little to live for, taking on the most dangerous missions only makes sense. The easy stuff can be for people who have families, friends, hope.

The orphan left at the church of Lune isn’t listed.

“He doesn’t know us at all. His first stare was like he saw a ghost,” Tim says.

“Bah.” My older twin clicks their tongue and holds a hand to mine. It’s close enough for me to grasp, but far enough I have to try. I give him a light squeeze. He returns the handshake harsher. “Anthony Lycacon. You may not know me, but I’m your older brother. When Grandpa gets here…” Anthony rolls his eyes. “Gah, that old man.”

“Even you call him Grandpa.” Tim smirks. “Shouldn’t he be Dad?”

“I refuse him ever since he put Ryan up at the Church. Fuck the church. Have you seen what we’ve been dealing with? He should’ve came back a decade ago anyway. What now? A thirty year old who can’t shift?” Anthony glares at me. He growls more than speaks, but I can understand it well enough. “Can you shift?”

“Into…?” I stare back confused. This dream is really strange. I’d much rather a sex dream right now. I glance about the room. Brother, cousin, cousin. Sex dream isn’t gonna happen. Fuck me.

“See! This is what we have to deal with.” Anthony throws his hand at me. “Piece of shit kid who can’t tie his shoes.”

“I can do that.” I chuckle. My brother made a joke at my expense. I never had that happen before. Anthony glares at me again. Arms crossed over his chest. I now note the fancy attire. The two with me are basic cloth and leather. Strong and sturdy. Not shocking for a medical staff. My “brother” is dressed to impress. Lycacon family tree is high on the society ladder. It’s just rare you meet one. The letters and words about them is… It’s creepy.

And many said I looked just like them. But I never met one until today.

And I’m not sure what to think. Is this really my family? Can I consider this home? Where am I? No one knew where the Lycacons lived. Just that it was immense and well protected. Like people trying to find the place die before they get word out.

Shift into what?

“We don’t exactly tell the world we’re werewolves, Ant. Give the kid some slack,” Sarah says.

“If he arrived at eighteen like he was supposed to, I would’ve. Instead we got the snot nosed brat and her mom.” He grunts.

“Your mate would whack you a few times for that comment.” Sarah grins eyes twinkling at Anthony. “Should I tell her? I would love to see Lydia beat the snot out of this snot nosed brat.”

“Watch your tongue.” Anthony growls at her. “I’m letting Grandpa know this guy’s worthless.”

“We have little else, Ant,” Tim calls after Anthony before the door shuts completely.

“Word came in. Bindings are released.” Sarah helps me gain a level of freedom. Not sure how she gained word, though. “And food has been ordered. Anthony agrees you are who we think you are. Next to prove the current situation isn’t impossible.” Sarah stands up tapping her pants as if dust was there. It just gives me a nice view. “I’ll get the tray. Want anything Tim?”

“I’m good for now.” Tim waves it off as Sarah leaves with a bounce. Better than Anthony’s stalk. “So… Ryan… What did we miss these last three decades? Well, you only left at three, so it’s just shy of three decades.”

I blink staring at him. I can’t recall anything from back then. Who would? What type of terrible parent leaves their child at a church? “I’m two seconds behind you right now.” I sit up stretching a little. The bed doesn’t squeak beneath me which is nice. Strong and capable. I love a good bed. I wonder if there’s a creature open to playing in one. I shake off that idea.

“Is that normally the case for you?”

“No. But I woke up in a state of shock. Give me a minute.” I stare at my cousin. We look so alike. When people said I looked like a Lycacon, I thought it was a joke. Like when they said I’d get a thick blanket for bed. It was always just a ratty little thing. Didn’t offer warmth at all. “Okay, you and Sarah are my cousins. I’m sitting in my original home: the Lycacon compound. My father dropped me off against my brother’s wishes at the Church of Lune.” I pause staring at him. Tim waits. “We’re werewolves?”

This dream is a bunch of levels of messed up. The only werewolves I knew about were the wild ones who were more wolf than human. Just crazed wolves that seemed a little more aware of human words and life than normal.

Avian brought up the fact werewolves were more complicated than that, but… I didn’t believe or understand them. Like how?

This is how. An entire compound hidden from the world. Do werewolves have their own society? What am I supposed to think right now?

“Yes.” Tim stands up to pace a little. “We have high hopes for you. Anthony isn’t… He’s not the same. This is his second mating. That’s unheard of. Living through a mate’s death… But we needed him to. You were missing. If you showed up back then… Anthony would have died. He’s been unstable since.”

“Hopes? In me? To do what? I don’t have any of my supplies. I’m caught off handed right now. I don’t even think I could man handle anything stronger than Anthony. He had a strong grip. I thought I did well in arm wrestling. Damn.” This is the feeling of being the little brother isn’t it?

Tim reviews me. “We try not to interact too much with humans. Various reasons you’ll realize as you get to know your real strengths. You never had the chance to push as hard as you could. Everything high quality for humans would’ve been easy for you. But they offer teachings we don’t. That’s why Grandpa placed you there.”

I blink. I really wish I could wake up. Or a hot piece of something walks in willing to play. I’m open to suggestions. Glancing at the door does not cause someone to walk it. In my normal dreams, the general thought would get someone walking in. Nightmares would be someone like the High Priest. Ugh. Great dreams would be… I pause staring again. They were something like me. Strong and able. Someone I lean on and trust. I never met them before. I wonder who they could be.

“Are you trying to grasp everything? I’m probably not the best to ask. People normally refer to me as meat shield not brainiac. Sarah would know more. Or Ant. If you get past his… thoughts on the matter. I wouldn’t think Grandpa is the best… He’s one sided, and it’s normally not the one you wish it was.” Tim pauses tapping his chin. “Ant’s mate. She’s a smart one. She has allowance to run all the circles, too.”


“Her name’s Lydia. Anthony’s mate, I mean.” Tim drops into his chair again. “How long will Sarah be?”

“Food sounds good.” I try to relax. Maybe this isn’t a dream. But how did I end up here? “I was given a letter to hand to the vampires. I was supposed to only visit near midday. If I did that there would be no fear. Still the price paid was high. I should’ve guessed vamps since they change when night falls.” I rub my face. “How am I okay? I cannot say this is heaven since I don’t have ladies begging for a chance. My dreams go rather one way, so I’m not expecting it to be that either.” I pause to look over at Tim. He looks nervous fidgeting. “How did I manage to reach Lycacon Compound? Where is it?”

Tim probably offers something, but my body forces me to lie down. Against my will, I end up back asleep. Mana banks are low. I used magic to heal then. Did I use my paladin training to counter the vampires? There’s been a few cases where I don’t remember the battle but ended up only blood covered the next morning. And exhausted. Once in a bed, I typically sleep for three days.

But that was only possible on the full moon. I was impossible to kill on the night of the full moon. Even those vampires wouldn’t stand a chance. Lune protects me.

Was last night a full moon?

“My son!” The loud abrupt voice has me awake. It’s jolting. The person behind the deep annoying voice shows off excitement and joy. They’re only one step away from dancing. I’m too tired for this. “Sit up, sit up. Make your papa proud.”

Whether I want to or not isn’t an option. I’m forced to sit up. Sarah has a tray ready for me. It doesn’t look piping hot, but should be. They didn’t try to wake me when it arrived then. And I slept through the smell? Yeah, I tapped out my mana. That’s the only thing that denies me waking up to delicious food. I grab the tray.

My ‘papa’ stares at me as I eat. “I heard the play by play last night. I look forward to seeing you shine.”

I stare at him unable to speak with the food in my mouth.

He keeps going anyway. I don’t need to talk in this conversation it seems. “My son returns home after nearly thirty years. He proves his worth in battle by facing off against a master vampire and her cohort. Steals the show, even by calling on the moon to burn them as if the sun.” He sighs. It’s a happy sigh like you just finished the best slice of cake.

Cake sounds good. When I finish the tray, I’ll ask for some. Can’t be impossible to find cake.

“Not perfect in any sense, but when they took your blood, it burned them anew. Using the moon like that… Reminds me of my youth.” He holds up an arm flexing the muscle. He may look young, but thinking it over, this guy can’t be. Has to be at least sixty… No seventy. If Anthony remembers me going to the Church nearly thirty years ago, he has to be older than forty. And this guy is our father. At least seventy. He doesn’t look a day older than thirty though.

Might explain the fact I haven’t seen grey hairs or wrinkles like most in my age group.

“I don’t see why you don’t qualify for everything.” He slaps my knee. “Ant is just being difficult. So what if you haven’t figured out everything werewolf? You’ll pick up on that stuff soon. We’ll get you a mate and nothing will look wrong leading the pack as alpha.” The man stands up. He turns to Sarah still looking chipper. Too chipper for me. “Sarah, please escort him to the arena in an hour.”

“I will make sure he gets there in time.” Sarah salutes.

“Good, good.” This man turns back to me. “We have a lot of catching up to do. But first, we need everyone to know you are the future Alpha. The family has waited far too long.” He nods and dashes out calling for someone.

I turn to Sarah. I haven’t finished eating. I didn’t get a word in edgewise. Did I even need to be in the conversation?

“That was Grandpa. Well… He’s actually your father. Most people don’t know his name is Brian, though. He wouldn’t expect that out of you. Either Grandpa or Dad would suit. He doesn’t mind when I call him Uncle.” Sarah grins.

I swallow my food. “I always thought I was an orphan.”

Sarah fidgets. “It’s common for someone in the family who can reach alpha status to earn rights as a paladin. You were picked from the main line. That isn’t normally the way of things.” She looks away. “A lot of things happened while you were gone. Even before you were gone. I know your memories were blocked before leaving.” She sinks picking at her arm. “It’s complicated.”

“Catching on to that.” I smirk at her. “I have a ton of questions. But the first is: Is there cake?”

“Still hungry?” She chuckles standing up. “I’ll go see what else I can get you. Don’t worry, if I can’t help you get to the arena, someone will. Promise.” She ducks out of the room.

Arena…? This place is strange. I yawn and lie back. My tray is finished. I met several new absurd people. I returned home? Is this home? Can this be called home?

Perhaps it’s more captured. They found me and took me in claiming I am…

We look too alike for me to play that game. Although, there is no guarantee they aren’t trying to catch me in something. Alpha… I wish I asked Avian more questions about werewolves. They probably had a feeling when I brought it up the first time. We never quite fit in with the normal crowd. Neither of us could pull off average human. Their skin was a touch darker than mine and their hair long, black, and straight did not match up with the wispy strands common among the humans we traveled.

But, they knew their family.

I was always jealous. If this is truly my family and they have a need for me, I… Cooped up and caught isn’t my typical lifestyle. Can I pick this? What’s Alpha?

Chapter 2 — Stacy Agentha

You’d think after a decade here, I would be used to the size of the place. I lean against a building scanning things. Pack was called.

I don’t know why I’m rushing over. I won’t be given the option to enter. I’m not a Lycacon.

I guess the reason I’m not used to the size of the compound is because I wasn’t allowed in most of it. It was only a few months ago I was able to reach everywhere. Minus the main house. I still can’t enter that. Most can’t though, so I’m on level with a general family member.

Why is it that I’m still not marked family?

It’s frustrating. I never hear about a pack meeting unless Grandpa calls for it or Mom lets me know. I’m so tired of it. Grandpa called a meeting. Everyone is supposed to be going.

Not me. I’m still not a Lycacon. I’m not a family. Even a decade later, I’m still a visitor.

A decade of minimal practice with my shifting abilities. I’m denied most of my shamanistic works as well. Father taught me before we fled. And he visits occasionally, too. He refuses to leave the earth and resettle until he knows I am safe. He suggested I return home last week.

It’s tempting. Can I make the trip on my own? Will I be marked future alpha walking back in?

I was that. The previous alpha’s daughter who had all the necessary skills for shaman head. I was going to be named on my eighteenth birthday. I had proven everything. I had my first shift at seventeen. The moon offers that readily. I could call upon spirits and use all the components. I can even accept possession. I have no trouble with them actually. My life is never under threat.

Here… Here, I’m a nobody. Part of me doesn’t want to give that up. I was afraid as well as excited to be named Alpha.

I think I’d fear it now, because I have so little new talent to consider. I don’t have my proper forms. I can’t call her outside of the moon. We chat often enough, but…

I wouldn’t be a proper alpha.

The day before I was to be named… Dad died. Alpha died. Mom and I fled. I was too young to take the title. And I would have been forced into a mating for stability. It was a mess.

I had my first kiss a few weeks prior to that. I was looking for a mate. I had to properly weigh options since I was picking the future alpha, the person who’d lead at my side.

I sigh. These thoughts have been drifting in and out often. Wandering the compound does that. I’m slowly making my way to the arena. I can enter after and ask Mother for everything. Grandpa doesn’t tell you everything. He tells you what he thinks you need to hear. In this case, I’d need everything. The truth to the matter. That’s Mother.

As I turn a corner, I spot a hulk of a werewolf exiting a building alone. They’re new…

Wolf screams that’s a wolf. I trust her. She seems to guess this person is special. By looks, I’d say Lycacon. Wonder if they have to go through all the nonsense I do. Perhaps not take a decade, but…

“He’s gorgeous,” I drool. I pause noting those weren’t my words. Wolf took over again. I bite my tongue so I cannot speak. If I am specific about denying voice, she can’t speak. It sounds like Wolf wants this one as a mate option. Wonder if the werewolf walking away from us wouldn’t mind the suggestion.

The whistle at my side has me stiffen. Alicia isn’t the worst, but she is by no means a friend. There are very few people I trust in this compound. I just don’t distrust her. Anymore anyway. She trusts Grandpa enough to believe his words about me. “Damn, Stace. I didn’t think you’d ever aim for a mate hiding in your cupboard.”

It’s not a cupboard. It’s not a hovel. I have a small home I made near the gate out. It’s not the safest place, but I have plenty of room for my plants. I’m normally left alone. “I wasn’t refusing so much as everyone refuses me.”

Alicia looks like a proper Lycacon. I’m different. My hair is black-black. Neither of us are like the human’s hair that wisps, but my hair looks sleeker almost. Lycacon’s skin is this bright golden color as if the sun itself exists under their skin. Mine is closer to moonlight. My old pack matches well with me. I do not match in the normal sense with the Lycacon. I stand out.

Our builds are similar, though. She’s bulkier by a touch because of training. I barely receive any. A werewolf looks like a werewolf after all. I return to my stare of the new Lycacon. He’s far away now. I couldn’t even call out to him.

“Who is he?” Alicia scans the same person I am. “Ah. Grandpa is introducing him shortly.” Alicia grins my way. “See ya later, Stacy. Arena time.” Most of the pack loves the arena times. It always means something good is happening. Pack comes together for a reason. Things get sorted or explained. Sometimes, it leads to a battle.

I never went. I only get to hear about it afterwards. I am allowed to watch the battles. The rings have been reachable for a few years now. “No idea.” I say it long after Alicia has left me. It didn’t matter. We’re not friends. She normally chats to gain knowledge for later. She knows I speak with my mother and Grandpa. I get knowledge. I hold it and use it. So several use me. Supposedly, it means I can lean on them.

But Alicia like most turn away from me if I try to meet them during an event. Like dinner. It’s safer to eat alone in the corner. Eat quickly and move on.

“Found you!” Being hugged from behind isn’t abnormal. Only because of who it is. Her moonbeam skin matches mine. We look so similar. She’s just far better as a wolf than I am. Part of it has to do with the fact she’s several decades older than me.

No surprise since she’s my mother. I look over my shoulder to see my mother staring forward. She’s linking with someone. I only hear a few people by mind. I have to be specifically connected. “We have things to chat about afterwards. Come in when the doors open.”

“After the rush, you mean.” I chuckle.

Mother releases me. She scans me a moment before sighing. “You really need to come out of your shell, Stacy.”

“Mom…” I’m thirty years old and still get scolded by my mother.

“I told you. Until you gain a mate, I’m going to torture you.” She wags a finger at me. “And you still haven’t gotten one. What did your father say?”

“Ugh.” Dad chatters with me often enough and Mother knows that.

“After the crowds leave, come in. You’re free until then.”

“Alright Mother.” I huff watching her speed off. She’s good for a wolf. She’s decent as a shaman. And everyone trusts her.

Because she’s Anthony’s mate. My mother is Lydia Lycacon. I need a mate to join the pack.

It’s because I have alpha blood. I’m a threat. I’ll always be a threat. I ignore the tears while moving forward. It’s such a far distance, there’s no way I’ll still be crying when I reach the place. With the warmth of the season, the moisture will be gone too. Not like anyone would care.

“I should go back home,” I whisper during my walk. Then I sigh. If I knew whether Keith had a mate or not, I would. My little brother is a decade my junior though. Another year. He should be fully mated and marked as Alpha. Then I’ll return. I can last another year. I have to.


You can buy the ebook or paperback of Proving Alpha Status on Amazon (US).

If you have any specific questions about any of my books, let me know. I am always willing to talk about my work.


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