one; picture-perfect family
“Caleb! Carson!” Mum yelled.
I rolled over, startled. I yawned, opening my eyes once I had gotten over the initial shock. Today is the day I’ve been waiting for. I’m finally sixteen, which means I will shift and receive my wolf from our Moon Goddess. I’m beyond excited.
I peered over at Carson with a big grin on my face. Although he wasn’t as thrilled as me, he was as white as a sheet. I jumped off my bed, rushing over to him.
“What’s wrong?” I fretted as I sat on his bed.
He dragged in a shaky breath and shook his head. “Come on, tell me?” I urged.
Carson is my twin brother. He nearly died when we were ten. A rogue got into our pack and took him. He was gone for hours before Mum found him on the borderline. Carson never repeated what happened to him, but whatever it was, shook him up to the point he stopped speaking. The only way he will communicate is through the mindlink. It’s only me he will speak to, and it’s only one-word answers or short sentences.
He won’t tell me what happened... I have no idea, and all I want to do is help. I feel useless. Ever since that day, he has been a nervous wreck. He hates crowds, doesn’t like any social gatherings... hence his reaction right now. I know our parents are going to make a big deal about our birthday.
"I don’t want a party." He whispered through our link.
I sighed, draping my arm around him. “Stick with me. I won’t leave your side.” I muttered.
He bobbed his head and sighed. “Well, come on. We need to see what mum wants before she comes up and drags us downstairs.” I grinned at him.
He chuckled a little, and a genuine smile appeared on his face. We made our way downstairs and into the living room.
My eyes darted around the room. I scowled, shaking my head. The living room was nearly full... My dad’s beta and gamma were here with their families.
"You know Carson doesn’t do well with crowds." I snapped through the link with my parents. Carson was standing right behind me. I could feel him shaking.
"You could have warned us," I grumbled.
"Don’t be silly. It’s your birthday. I thought he’d grow up a little and enjoy himself." Mum snorted.
I covered my hand around Carson’s and squeezed. ”It’s ok... it’s your day, too." He muttered.
I turned, furrowing my brows at him.
"No, it’s not ok. They have two sons. They should meet your needs too." I sighed through the link.
“Happy birthday, boys.” My dad slapped our shoulders, grinning at us. I forced a smile and tightened my hold on Carson’s hand.
My dad is the alpha of our pack, The Yellow Stone. He’s retiring when I turn eighteen. He said I’ll take over with or without my mate. They want Carson to be my beta... he’s exactly who I want by my side; he would be who I’d choose if that’s what he wanted, but he doesn’t. Our parents don’t listen, or they don’t care.
"If they say anything to you... block them out, and tell me immediately." I instructed Carson, glancing back at him. He nodded before fixing his gaze back on the floor.
They have no time for him. They don’t try and help his condition. They make things worse by calling him names, saying he should get over it... be a man. I have caught our mum hitting him before because he wouldn’t talk to her.
I think she knows more than she says, but when I ask Carson, he shrugs and says everything is ok. I try to not leave him alone with anyone; I make sure I’m always nearby. In public, we are the picture-perfect family, but behind closed doors, we are anything but.
Things will change when I become alpha. All I need to do is keep Carson safe for the next two years then everything will change. I took a deep breath before making my way over to the sofa, tugging Carson with me.
Mum sat down, leaving only one space beside her. I rolled my eyes, pulling Carson to the other side of the room to the only chair left. I signalled for Carson to sit. When he did, I perched on the arm of the chair. I glanced around the room, my eyes landing on Mum as she rolled her eyes at me.
"Go sit with Mum," Carson said as he looked around the room with weary eyes.
I shook my head when he glanced up at me and gave me a stifled smile. “Are you excited to receive your wolf, boys?” My dad’s beta, Oliver, asked.
I looked over at him. “Yeah, we are. I’m excited to see what colour we are.” I responded, smiling at him.
“Oh, please. You’re going to take after me, Caleb.” My dad smirked. “He, on the other hand, will probably take after his mum/” He added, pointing at Carson.
I rolled my eyes then glanced at Carson. “We’re twins. We’ll twin in wolf form too.” I chuckled, nudging Carson’s shoulder.
“There was a time we couldn’t tell you both apart.” Mum sighed, having a distant look on her face.
I knew what was coming next... “But now... we know you talk-” I grunted and turned to our dad. “What time does the ceremony start?” I asked.
Dad glanced at Mum, who was scowling at me. I stifled a laugh and focused on Dad again. “Eight pm. Your shifting should start around half eight as that’s when you were born.” He smiled.
I nodded. “So, we’ll meet you back here then,” I announced, standing up.
“Wait! Where are you going?” Mum asked, standing up then rushing over to me.
“We have plans with friends.” I shrugged as Carson cowered behind me.
“He can go,” She whispered through gritted teeth before looking back at me. “It’s a special day for you, my love.” She cooed.
I shook my head in disappointment. “You have two sons, mum,” I scoffed.
She paled and looked around to see if anyone was looking. I rolled my eyes as she glared at me. “I’ll see you all later. Come on, Carson.” I nodded at everyone as I pulled Carson in front of me. I placed my hands on his shoulder, marching him out of the room.