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“Are you excited for tomorrow?” asked Alpha Roland of his only child and daughter.
Brie shrugged and answered, “A little bit. More anxious than anything.”
Her father smiled a little as he fiddled with his paperwork. He had seemed distant for the past few weeks and, in turn, had become more silent and introspective as The Claiming ritual hurtled ever closer.
“Nothing at all to be anxious about, darling,” Roland said offhandedly.
This was the most he had spoken to her in the past few days, and Brie practically jumped at the chance to talk to her only living parent.
“But what if my mate turns out to be a shit?” she asked bluntly.
Roland’s eyes turned stormy. “Then he’ll have me to contend with.” He fisted a form in his hand before releasing it as his anger got the better of him for the briefest of moments.
Werewolves nowadays were the minority. It was sometimes challenging to find a mate, and elders from the different packs across the country had come up with a supposed solution. If a female—or male—remained unmated by the age of 21, he or she would attend The Claiming, where all single of-age male werewolves would meet with the single of-age she-wolves from across the continent in hopes of finding their mate. If they did not find them at the start of ceremonies, the females would be set loose in the woods to be “claimed”.
“Claiming” would merely consist of the women shifting to their wolf, being given a ten-minute head start until the males all phased and were let loose upon the fleeing females. They could claim any unmated female attending as their own.
Barbaric, yes. One step above a caveman knocking a woman out, hefting her over his shoulder, and bring her to his cave.
The claimed women would have to be marked that night and mated within a week or be set free to attend the next year’s Claiming. But that rarely, if ever, happened.
The heat was what got you.
Brie smiled at her overprotective father. Ever since her mother’s passing at a rogue wolf’s hands eight years before, Brie felt like mother to the pack, and many treated her as Luna, though she was yet unmated. She was the closest thing that the pack had had to a Luna for the past eight years, and Roland hoped for his daughter to find a suitable mate. He was to attend The Claiming himself this year as well. The man was getting older and needed a Luna and son to carry on leading the pack when he would no longer be able to.
Roland was not necessarily concerned for himself. He was sure he would be able to smell a good female from miles away. He would surely find someone fitting at The Claiming, by hook or by crook.
His daughter…well, she should have only the best in a mate, he would make sure of that. She had Alpha blood in her, and she deserved better than all the Alphas-in-waiting he had met with from the nearby packs.
This year, The Claiming would take place on his own land, and he intended to make sure his Luna would be strong and self-sufficient. Brie’s mate would be staunch and virile. His Alpha blood would flow through her line and give her many sturdy pups to carry on their bloodline.
He looked over at his daughter. She was the spitting image of his late wife at her age. Flowing, pin-straight, silvery hair that hung to her waist, and light blue eyes the color of cornflowers. She was curvier than his wife was at that age, but favored her in most every other way.
“What will you wear for The Claiming?” Roland asked his daughter. The women needed loose clothing in order to strip quickly for their shift.
Brie brought out a light green shift dress and held it up to her body. “This should do. It’s a little old, but still serviceable.” To be honest, it was the only shift dress she owned, and it was a piece of clothing she didn’t mind soiling or even ruining irreparably.
“You will look beautiful in whatever you wear, angel.” Her father’s voice was soft and intent, but the look in his eyes was far off.
Brie was happy her father was seeming to be coming out of his doldrums and speaking regularly again. She felt lighter than she had in weeks now that he seemed to be getting back to normal.
Granted, Alpha Roland was never one for many words, but there had been days recently when he spoke only through the mindlink to his pack, and the silence in the Alpha’s home was deafening.
Brie yawned and looked at the time. “I’m going to bed, Daddy. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow and I need the rest.” Brie hugged her father close and gave him a kiss on the cheek. She stepped out of his office and walked the single flight of steps up to her room. She drifted off into a peaceful sleep while her father sat in his desk chair, thinking.
In fact, Roland was far from okay. He had merely made some small talk with his daughter since he knew she was concerned about him. He had caught her looking at him with a disturbed expression on her face when she thought he wasn’t paying attention, and he knew his silence was to blame.
He had been thinking for weeks of a way to get his daughter out of The Claiming. As far as Roland Fontaine was concerned, no man would ever be good enough for his little girl. She was strong and made to be a Luna. He had even gone to several nearby packs to check out the Alpha’s sons as possible mates. None had struck a chord, and each time he came home, he grew more morose and closed off. He had been thinking over the past few days of something almost unheard of, and hated himself for it. Roland had made it a point to speak with an elder the previous week of his dilemma.
“Well, it certainly is not completely unheard of,” Elder White spoke through the pipe he held up to his lips. “Rare, but not unheard of.”
Elder White lit the pipe and puffed a few times contentedly. He did not show it, but he was a bit shocked at what his Alpha was asking him.
“Would there be…complications of any kind?” Roland asked, his face etched with concerned.
“No, Alpha. Werewolf DNA is not like human DNA, and does not present itself to be harmed by inbreeding in such ways as human genetics does,” White said and nodded his head. White felt wolf DNA was by far superior to any other.
The Elder continued. “Like the breeding of horses and canines, our DNA can be strengthened with inbreeding. Humans do not possess such...flexibility in their strands.”
“But I’m her—” Roland started.
“Father—yes,” White finished for him. “Do not fret to believe that what you are thinking of doing is unnatural or taboo. The family trees that can be so easily soiled in the human race are not the same as the ones we share. Alas, it has become more and more frequent as our race becomes ever more hunted that we have to mate where we can.
“If you feel that she would be averse to this coupling, please let her go to The Claiming undisturbed by your intentions. There is a mate for everyone, and if she is claimed, it is best that she make do with the hand she is dealt. She is strong. One of the strongest women I have known. If anyone can hold her own, it is Brie.”
Roland dropped his head to his chest and sighed. He could not let Brie be claimed by just anyone. If there was none that would suit her and he himself could not find a mate, he would be forced to claim her for himself.
A/N: As you can tell, this story is going to deal with some serious taboo issues, incest being one of them. Please don’t leave a nasty note stating I am sick in the head or whatever. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. And leaving review that is just a series of nonsensical letters and giving me one star isn’t going to bother me, so go ahead and leave your crap review. This story is not in full here on inkitt. It has been purchased and will be paid only after a certain number of chapters. Please do not leave your complaints here. I have other books that may be more your style that you can have a look at as I tend to be diverse in my writing.
Sorry to have to be a bit bitchy about this, but I am tired of people coming down on me about this type of issue. ‘Flowers in the Attic’ dealt with this type of taboo and so does ‘Game of Thrones’. I am not suggesting I am on par with the writers of either of these shows/books. I am new to writing complete novels but hell, so was Agatha Christie when she wrote her first book. Everyone has to start somewhere. The hate I get sometimes is irritating but will not keep me from writing. So if you’re here with hate in your heart, turn around because it doesn’t affect me.
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