Chapter 1. Mine
She groaned. It was eight AM and she had been hoping to sleep late in anticipation of what was bound to be a tiring and late night for her. Previous Claiming rituals could sometimes be an all- night affair and this year would probably be no different.
Brie stretched and headed into the adjoining bathroom to shower. She tried to be brief in there as there would probably be many more showers to be taken here by the Alphas of the neighboring packs.
The pack members were to be housed in tents outside the pack house, but in deference to their clout, Alphas were welcome to stay in the pack house or Alpha’s house the day before The Claiming- and afterward if necessary.
Brie thought over her outfit choices. She wanted to wear her normal everyday choices which usually consisted of shorts and a t-shirt or tank top, but it might be thought disrespectful to the Alphas if she were not to wear something nice to greet them. She was their hostess after all just as her father played host.
Brie nodded at the white and blue flowered print dress with the asymmetrical skirt and nodded. Nice enough for the Alphas and Lunas, but free and easy enough to do her duties in.
Nice enough for the Alphas and Lunas, but free and easy enough to do her duties in
Hopefully she wouldn’t spill on it and render it useless. Brie had been known to ruin a dress or two while making a pot of coffee. And if the steadily increasing noise from below was any indication, there would be plenty of coffee to be made. It sounded like a small army was congregating downstairs- and they had their marching orders.
Her dress flowed behind her as she went down the stairs and while listening in on their loud conversation.
“I hear he has been ill and could not make The Claiming today,” said one Alpha. He was a short man with graying hair and a mustache. His Luna was beside him and she was startling. Although she was clinging to him like he was a life raft, she had to be half his age- and devastatingly beautiful. She appeared to twenty five to thirty years old whereas the small man had to fifty if he was a day.
“It’s a shame. I hear he is quite outstanding as far as Alphas are concerned,” another Alpha said.
“Very handsome and so young to be Alpha,” another mentioned.
“His father is ailing and he has taken on all the responsibilities of the pack, though he is only twenty two,” someone stated.
Brie interrupted and met her father’s eyes who appeared to be deep in thought and not paying attention to the conversation. Something was weighing on him, Brie could tell. She also knew that he wouldn’t tell her if she asked, so she settled on introducing herself to the guests in the room.
“My apologies for keeping you all waiting,” Brie said. “I trust that everything is to your liking so far. If not, please make me aware and I will see to your needs. My name is Brie Fontaine, daughter of Alpha Roland Fontaine.”
Brie was overly formal, as many were with the Alphas of the packs. She nodded her head in deference to their standing in their packs and offered them more coffee.
“Your father has been most generous, Miss Brie and we have been fed and watered sufficiently.” The little Alpha with the young Luna said. “My name is Alpha John Witherspoon of the Silver Claw pack. This here is my Luna Emily Witherspoon. I suspect you will meet my children in due time.”
Brie nodded and smiled as he shook her hand. She made the rounds in the room and then made her way to her place by her father’s side.
“Good morning Father,” she said, still in formal mode in front of the other Alphas and their mates. “Did you need me to oversee any of the preparations for this evenings events?”
“No, Angel. I have Beta James and Gamma Edward on it.” In fact, Roland wanted Brie nowhere near the festivities until absolutely necessary. She would have plenty to do here in the house until then and he didn’t need any of the visiting pack members to get any unsavory ideas in regards to his daughter. He didn’t know them from Adam and as far as Roland was concerned, it could stay that way.
His wolf scratched at the surface with all the unfamiliar scents of the unknown wolves and he would have done anything to be able to phase and take a long run in the woods as his wolf to clear his mind.
Brie excused herself to make breakfast and she made quick work of her cereal so she could attend to her guests.
As she ate, she watched their other pack members out the kitchen window as some set up for the evening and others simply talked or made up their tents in the long grass in front of the pack house. She saw that a handsome blond male of about her age and a female of her pack named Liza were very aware of each other and she wondered if they were mates.
It sometimes happened that the mates would meet each other before the festivities commenced, but for the most part Alphas kept their unmated pack members separate from the other packs.
Brie sighed as she washed her bowl and spoon and then dried her hands on the towel next to the sink. She was loathe to use the dishwasher as it simply made too much noise. The noises coming from outside was enough to disturb her usually tranquil home life. She found herself longing for the silence her quiet home held when it was only her father and she.
The day passed in a dizzying blur and she kept vigil, watching the ceremonies preparations taking place from afar. It seemed that all the festivities were happening to someone else and she was simply watching it all through an ever- changing television screen that resembled the windows of her home.
At seven PM, the house was relatively quiet and the Alphas and Lunas had gone to their respective packs to speak with the unmated about their decorum and what would be expected of them.
The unmated already knew, but the Alphas figured there was always one in the bunch that would try something radical and pretend they simply hadn’t been warned about their possible misdoings.
Brie walked up the steps to her room where she would prepare herself for The Claiming. She had her light green shift dress laid out on her bed since this morning but she wished to wash the day away. To start fresh.
Hopefully after tonight, she would have a place in this world, a mate to whom she would be beholden to.
It was an old- fashioned idea, but custom is highly honored in the werewolf community. Just as a Luna was expected to deliver pups and a male heir to her mate, all female mates were expected to honor their mate and supply them with said pups.
As forward thinking as her father was, she knew that she was expected to do right by her mate and she wanted to start the process with a clean slate.
She washed again and brushed her teeth for good measure. She hoped her mate would do the same. Nothing like meeting your mate and having their breath stink as they attempted to mark you.
After a too short shower, Brie blew her hair dry and put on her shift dress, foregoing the undergarments as the dress might be shed soon enough and the extra layer of clothing would be an unnecessary and time consuming issue.
The shift was thin but the night was warm and she felt no need to cover herself up before heading to the clearing that was prepared for the unmated. She let her hair lay straight down her back and unencumbered.
She put on sturdy nude colored leather sandals and made her way down the stairs where her father was waiting in his own Claiming attire
She put on sturdy nude colored leather sandals and made her way down the stairs where her father was waiting in his own Claiming attire.
The men usually only wore bottoms to The Claiming and left their chests bare. Whether it was for convenience or pride, they usually went with shorts or pants only to the place of Claiming. As Alpha, Roland felt the need to wear something on his top and had opted for a muscle tee over his khaki shorts.
Seeing her father made her nervous. She wanted a mate but did not want to leave her father alone.
“You look beautiful, Princess.” Roland said quietly and Brie ran into his waiting arms.
Her eyes pricked and she shuddered as he held her like he used to when she was little and had nicked a shin on a rock.
“What’s wrong, Angel?” Roland asked.
“I don’t want to leave you,” she said and her eyes filled to the brim with tears. This land was her home and she wasn’t ready for anything else. She and her father were all the other had left. Her heart broke a little to think that this may be the last time she left this house as her home.
“Don’t worry, Angel,” Roland said to his Brie. “You will always and forever be mine.”