Lycans were coming.
You want to talk about how dangerous a werewolf is… they have nothing on a Lycan. Bigger, faster, stronger wolves that are driven by instinct. They take what they want and fight if you look at them the wrong way.
And they were coming here.
“Elle! Get your fucking ass down here!” Rhett Prescott wasn’t a very patient Alpha. For the life of me, I’ll never know why my mother married him. Now that she was gone, I never would.
I pushed through the heavy door to my room and down the hall to my stepfather’s office. As I ran, golden shafts of light from the setting sun beamed in through the tall arched windows. For a moment I could pretend that I was out under that light, enjoying the sunset.
“Yes, Alpha Prescott?” I forced myself to hide that I was out of breath from rushing to his office. The older wolf stood behind his desk as his daughter tightened his tie.
His brown hair was mostly grey now, slicked back away from his face. Rhett’s suit was good at hiding the slight pudge to his gut these days, but he didn’t go running during the full moon as much as he used to.
My stepsister angled her head to look at me, assessing me with her pretty sea-glass green eyes. She looked down at my bare feet on the carpet and sneered. Then she shrugged her high blonde ponytail over her shoulder and flattened her father’s collar.
“Have my office cleaned by the end of the night, and then remember to stay in your room.” Rhett looked over my flowing dress and bare feet with the same air as his daughter. “So uncivilized,” he scoffed.
“Stay in my room?” I gasped. “For the night? But I’ll miss the full moon.”
Rhett rolled his eyes and gestured for Octavia to follow him. “Stay up here for the whole weekend. Do you know how many Alphas are going to be here? I can’t have them seeing my wild stepdaughter running around without any goddamn shoes on.”
“Not to mention the Lycans are coming too.” Octavia walked past me and twirled her finger in a strand of my dark hair. “We don’t want to sully the Prescott name by putting our worst foot forward.”
Octavia was only a few months older than I was, but in your early twenties that didn’t matter much. We were exact opposites in every way, and it wasn’t hard to imagine that we never got along very well when I moved in.
Her hair was long and straight, as light as sunshine, with green eyes and golden skin. Not to mention her body was basically skin and bones with long legs. Octavia was the perfect daughter and the female every good for nothing wolf in this pack wanted.
My hair was as black a raven’s feathers, my eyes were blue, and my skin was pale. I was short and my curves showed that I liked to sneak extra muffins from the kitchen when the Prescott’s weren’t watching.
If my stepfather had his way, he would never see me again, but a dying wish kept me under his care.
“I… I understand.” My eyes went to the floor, showing respect for my Alpha and agreeing to his terms.
They didn’t want me to be seen by the guests at all this weekend. An entire weekend essentially locked up. It was a punch to the gut, but this wouldn’t be the first time.
And with the Lycans coming… I should have known this was going to happen.
“You know how I like my office spotless, Elle. Don’t disappoint.” Rhett held up his finger in my face, a warning.
“Oops.” Octavia’s shrill voice followed the sound of shattering glass. Rhett rolled his eyes and exhaled noisily. The sight of the scotch glass that Octavia had knocked off the bar near the door made my gut sink.
“The guests will be arriving any minute now. Let’s go, Octavia.” Rhett commanded his daughter, but she was already swaying her narrow hips in her silk dress to follow him.
The heavy door to the office slammed shut behind me. I couldn’t take my eyes off the shattered glass on the floor and the remains of the scotch inside staining the rug.
After a shaky inhale my body dropped to the floor. I landed hard on my knees and barely felt the tears staining my cheeks. Then I began picking up the broken shards.
Not all werewolves had full moon parties like the Prescott’s. But when it was an important meeting with Alphas, and special guests like the Lycans, there’s no telling just how deep in the revelry they would go. The moon would pull out our inner beast and the booze and music would make tonight unlike any other.
Sitting on my windowsill after cleaning Rhett’s office, I could hear the music across the mansion. It was so loud I almost couldn’t hear the stray howls from wolves running through the woods around the house.
From the fifth floor, I looked out over the massive maze-like garden in the back that separated the Prescott house form the woods. I hummed along to the beat of the distant music and scanned the hedges and fountains down below.
Only the light of the full moon illuminated the garden and I tried not to frown at the spot where my mother’s moonflowers used to bloom. Every time I caught the moon in the corner of my eyes my skin would itch with the need to change and run. But my wolf was caged just as much as I was.
“They’ll get so wild at the party, I bet they wouldn’t even notice if I slipped into the garden tonight.” I didn’t recognize my voice as the words tumbled past my lips. Eyes wide at the forbidden thought, I stood up from the window and took a step back.
Then a wicked smile curled my lips and a spark of excitement flickered in my gut. It was foolish, but it was true. Rhett and Octavia would drink and party with their guests until the sun rose and I knew they wouldn’t step foot in the garden.
And it had already been hours since the guests arrived. They would already be so under the influence and pulled into the power of our inner beast they wouldn’t recognize me even if they thought they saw me.
I held back, but only for a moment. Staring out my open window into the darkness below. It was a taste of rebellion and freedom that I wanted. That I needed.
So, I took a deep breath and stepped out the window.