Good point, Itsy Cat. I had forgotten about Aunt Bea's human husband. Jennifer could probably stay on as Alpha female for a while, since Derek is probably not close to being mated (keeping fingers crossed for Julie at some future point). Jennifer can actually be reasonable, as some of her interactions with Kate have proven. She's also a good fighter (look at what she did after Daniel died). In Curran POV 2, he made the statement that he allows the Alphas to run their clans. Daniel apparently became Alpha by consensus after the previous Alpha died. He wasn't challenged, but he had already proven himself fighting prior to becoming Alpha. After the events of the past few books, the Pack has suffered some serious losses. Curran may discourage a lot of challenges at this time. Derek is ambitious, so I think he would want to be Alpha, and be on the Council. He has shown loyalty, discipline and analytical ability. It seems to me like you have to grow up fast in the Pack, and Derek is very mature. Plus, as someone pointed out, he's been outside of the normal wolf pack structure, since he was working directly for Curran. That could be a plus, as he won't belong to any particular clique or faction. Politically, wolves need to have someone that Curran trusts representing their interests. The Bouda clan has already got a deal with the Consort, so the wolves really need some kind of counterbalancing clout. Of course, it's Ilona and Andrew's world, and I could be way off base. Can't wait to find out.