Newton’s First Law of Motion: If something is moving it will keep moving until something stops it. Like gravity to a baseball or a wall to someone’s head…
My back hits the wall hard. The back of my head follows, causing a stabbing pain to fill my skull. Even though wolves like me heal at a much faster rate than humans, my own ability to heal has decided to take a vacation recently. I haven’t been able to summon my full wolf powers for some time now. I know there won’t be any permanent damage. I will still heal eventually, but that doesn’t stop it from hurting like a mother fucker.
The man with his hand at my throat, is my future ‘mate’. It’s no surprise that he’s angry again. My head is throbbing, and I’m starting to have trouble breathing. I’ve bitten my lip so hard that I can taste blood. I’ve learned throughout the years not to make a sound. If I fight back it fuels his rage. If I show weakness, it brings him pleasure. Therefore, it’s in my best interest to do nothing.
He notices the blood on my lip. The scent of it brings his wolf to the surface. As his eyes begin to glow, he leans forward and licks the blood from my lip. His eyes close and he hums his pleasure. His recent behavior has been beyond strange. It seems like the closer our mating ceremony gets the more unstable he becomes.
He leans into me again, running his nose gently along my collarbone, inhaling my scent. When he gets to the spot where the mating mark is supposed to go, he licks my skin, then runs his fangs over the spot. He bites down just hard enough to cause pain without drawing blood.
I shiver in disgust, but he obviously misunderstands my reaction. I can feel him smirk against my skin as his nose continues its journey up my neck. When he gets to my ear he nips it, then whispers, “You can’t fool me mate.”
One of his hands remains on my throat as he wraps his other arm around my waist tightly, forcing my body against his. “I know you inside and out. I could mark you right now, and you wouldn’t do anything to stop me.” He leans down and runs his fangs along my neck again.
“Is that what you want, princess?” He purrs into my ear. He places a gentle kiss on the sensitive spot behind my ear lobe. He knows what that used to do to me. Now it just makes me feel sick. I say nothing, but my body reacts automatically. I shiver again, as bile rises in my throat.
I know he won’t mark me. Not yet anyway. The Alpha has forbidden it. He decreed that the mating ceremony will take place on the next lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse is also known, to our kind, as the blood moon. I’m sure it sounds super cliche. However, it’s actually really uncommon. Mating ceremonies are traditionally held on the night of the full moon. The full moon is believed to guarantee the Moon Goddess’s blessing on the mating.
Wolves were created by the Moon Goddess. When she gave us life she blessed us with many gifts. Some wolves have even been blessed with extra magical gifts, like healing or the sight. She also created, within us, certain weaknesses. I understand why she did so. In my opinion no creature should be all powerful.
The lunar eclipse is a wolf’s greatest weakness. We receive our magic from the light of the moon. That’s why we alway run on a full moon. It’s the time of the month when we can absorb the most moonlight. It’s also when we are at our strongest. During a new moon, when there is no moonlight, we are at our weakest. With the exception of the lunar eclipse. During the lunar eclipse, we lose all of our powers. We can’t even shift. It’s this weakness that led to the nickname ‘the blood moon’.
My mother once told me the story of how it came to be called that. Long ago when werewolf hunters were still a big thing, a group of hunters in Romania somehow discovered our weakness. They waited for the eclipse to start and then attacked. They slaughtered an entire pack. It’s said that over two hundred wolves died that night. Seeing the decimation of so many of her beloved wolves, the Moon Goddess used the blood that had been spilt that night to paint the moon red. It’s now a reminder to all wolves that we are not invincible, so that we never again become complacent during our weakest moment.
That’s why it’s so strange the Alpha would want our mating ceremony to take place during an eclipse. It would be considered the complete opposite of being blessed by the Moon Goddess. It’s almost like he’s trying to hide this forced mating from her. That would be foolish of course. Nobody can hide from a Goddess.
I’m pulled from my wandering thoughts by a text tone coming from Thomas’s phone. He suddenly releases his hold on me, causing me to collapse to the floor. He pulls out his phone. Then he turns and enters his room, without even looking back. I’m telling you the dude is off his rocker.
This isn’t the first time he’s taken his pissy mood out on me, and if I don’t get out of here soon, it won’t be the last. The psychotic man-child in question is named Thomas Hunter. He is the future Alpha of the Bloodhunt pack. I was born into the Bloodhunt pack. When I was little it wasn’t a terrible place to be.
As the saying goes, I wish I had known then what I know now. If I had, maybe things would be different. I doubt it though. I believe everything happens for a reason. The Moon Goddess has a plan for me, and it doesn’t involve me staying here so I can continue to get the shit beat out of me for the rest of my life. I now know the truth. I’ve come face to face (and fist to face) with the evil that controls our pack. That evil has a name, and it’s Alpha Garrett Hunt.
Wolf packs, like pretty much every other society, are organized into a type of hierarchy. Imagine something between military ranks and high school clicks. A pack’s Alpha rules the pack. His family, the Alpha family, are considered the most important wolves in the pack. Our Alpha family consists of Alpha Garrett, his wife Luna Holly, their son Thomas, and me. That is unless I can get out of here before the eclipse.
Under the Alpha is the Beta. The Bloodhunt pack’s Beta’s name is Sean Tyler. He’s what I would call walking talking shit on a stick. I’ve come fist to face with him too. Unfortunately for him, it was my fist and his face. The beating I took for it almost killed me, but I have no regrets. I’m still curious if the reaction would have been the same if they had known what Sean tried to do, that earned him his trip to the infirmary.
Under the Beta are the Gammas. The number of Gammas in a pack depends on the size of the pack. Our pack is the largest pack in Tennessee. It has five gammas. The Gammas’ job is to command warriors. Each Gamma has their own squad. The rest of the pack members are considered Deltas.
My family were Deltas. Even within the Delta rank there is a hierarchy. Your place in the pack is determined by the strength and dominance of your wolf. My parents fell somewhere in the middle of the pack ranking, not the weakest but also not the most dominant.
Traditionally, wolf pups end up with a similar ranking to their parents. That never really bothered me though. I had no desire to be anything other than the Delta everyone believes me to be. Nobody needs to know how dominant my wolf really is. Surprisingly she agrees with me on that point. That should have been my first red flag. Usually a wolf can’t control the need to exert their dominance when being challenged. It turns out my wolf and I have more control than most. That control has saved my life on more than one occasion.
Everything began to change my freshman year when I met Thomas. We locked eyes as soon as I entered the building my first day, and I suppose in that moment, my fate was sealed. Since then, he has been adamant that I am his mate. I’ve never understood why. There are very clear signs if someone is your mate, and I have never experienced any of them around him. But in the words of Taylor Swift’s song “Fifteen”, “When you’re fifteen, if somebody tells you they love you you’re gonna believe it.” The jokes on me. I should’ve paid more attention to the rest of the song.
Thomas was a Junior at the time. He was the quarterback of the football team, future Alpha of the pack, very physically appealing, and he wanted me. I said I had no desire to rise in the pack hierarchy, and that was the truth, but in my defense I do love football. I knew from the beginning, despite what he said, that he wasn’t my true mate. My wolf, Serafina, made that very clear. Her feelings about him weren’t hard to decipher. She really did not like him.
One of her biggest issues with him, at the time, was him claiming we were his mate. She knew we had a true mate out there, and we would not disrespect him by claiming someone else. However, he quickly became my best friend. We spent all of our time together. In the end, I ignored her negative feelings and convinced myself that he loved me.
Maybe, in his own sick twisted way, he does love me. Why else would he go to all this trouble to force me into a mating? He made me feel special, and I fell for it. I ignored so many red flags you’d’ve thought the British were coming. By the time I realized my mistake it was too late. I was trapped.
Not too long after I finally agreed to be his girlfriend, I got to meet his family. Luna Holly is by far one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Alpha Garrett, however, acted strange and creepy around me from the moment I met him. He made me seriously uncomfortable. When you meet an Alpha you’re supposed to submit and bare your neck, but when I tried to submit to Garrett it set Serafina off in a rage. She totally lost it.
She had never acted that way before. It was like she was trying to tear through my skin to get to him. She was out for blood that night, and I wish I’d’ve let her have it when I had the chance. Instead, she and I came to an agreement. I agreed to not submit to Garrett, and she agreed not to rip his throat out.
Despite the fact that my wolf was content not to submit, I was terrified. Not submitting to an alpha means you are challenging his dominance. It could, and would, automatically lead to a fight, which I suppose was Serafina’s goal to begin with. However, Garrett completely ignored our disrespect. I know he didn’t miss it though because his eyes began to glow gold. Holly noticed too. I could hear her heart beat increase and smell her fear.
Thomas, on the other hand, had a totally different reaction. He radiated anger, but I also scented his arousal. The whole thing was super awkward, but the moment passed, and the night carried on. Looking back I realized that if Thomas had really cared, then his reaction should have been similar to his mother’s. That was just another red flag I completely missed.
Not too long after that night, Alpha Garrett went to speak to my parents about me moving into the pack house. For obvious reasons, my parents denied the request. I was still in high school and they thought it was best for me to live at home. I knew nothing about him going to my parents until later, but I’m glad they said no. I wouldn’t have agreed to the move anyway.
In the end, none of that really mattered. A couple of months later, both of my parents were killed in an accident. That’s what I was told anyway. My parents were the only family I had. Alpha Garrett, being the kind and generous leader, people think he is, offered me a place to stay in the pack house.
This was unusual seeing as our pack house was usually reserved only for high ranking pack members. To explain his decision, he announced to the pack that I was Thomas’s true mate. The Alpha told everyone it would be good for me to be close to my future mate while I grieved my loss. That was the day I became the future Luna of The Bloodhunt pack.
Strangely enough, the timing was perfect. Thomas had just turned 18, which is the age when you’re officially able to recognize your true mate. Nobody questioned his claim since he was expected to find his mate. I was only 16. I couldn’t officially reject his claim because, as he continued to remind me, it was technically still possible that we were mates. I just wasn’t old enough to see the signs.
So here I am, 20 years old, and about to be trapped in a mating not sanctioned by the Moon Goddess. The mating ceremony is scheduled to take place anout a month from now. I have to get out of here before it takes place, or I will be trapped in this hell hole forever.