“Stop being a pussy and climb down from the tree, Silver. You are a wolf, not a feline,” I howled, pounding the trunk, wishing it was her face. Stating she’s a wolf isn’t accurate, because the woman hasn’t shifted yet. She’s flawed and has been since birth.
“You want me? Climb right on up here and retrieve me. Or are you too scared, Jarek?”
“Fine! I hope you rot up there! You are an ugly freak! You wouldn’t be missed! I am the one destined to lead this pack in the future. Nothing scares me! I absolutely won’t go up there to save your ass! I hope you slip and snap your neck!” I shout, clenching my fist.
The crazy woman climbed the tallest tree in the forest to escape me, and she’s hugging the damn thing as if her life depends on it. I’m not bending over backwards to get her ass down. If I don’t, though, my father will beat me senseless.
‘Fetch the fool. I’ll aid you,’ my wolf Trex snarls, striding back and forth in my mind.
My claws emerge. My irises are dark gold, and a roar falls from my lips as my canines emerge. He dominates, and we are up the tree in a flash. She doesn’t protest or put up a fight. She clings to me. Her head burrowed into my neck, crying as he brought us to safety. Trex’s adoration for Silver is boundless, while mine is non-existent.
‘She’s secure. I’m assuming control Trex.’
‘Hell no. Not until we make it back to the pack house. I’m not permitting you to lay a finger on her.’
“Thank you for rescuing me, Trex,” she whispers, nuzzles my neck with her nose, then whimpers.
‘You’re a traitor,’ I grumble as he carries us through the forest until we reach the pack house.
He doesn’t release her until we’ve reached the dining hall. We are a quarter past due, so all eyes are on us. Judging from the menacing look my dad is sending me. I am certain he will punish me tonight. It’s obvious that I’ve done something to her since I’m partially shifted, and she’s clinging to me.
“I won’t utter a word, Jarek,” she whispers, hops down, and strides over to her seat, and I follow.
“What have you done to her this time, Jarek?” Father growls.
“It wasn’t Jarek, daddy. I was practicing stealth techniques and didn’t notice how far up I had gone in a tree. He guided me to safety, daddy.”
She flings her hands around in the air like a jackass. What a remarkable performance. She is so convincing; I’m saved, my ass. Her radiant silver eyes glance my way, and she smiles. They flit to gold, then to blue, and bile churns in my stomach. That shit isn’t normal. For once, her ears are a typical human size. I wish she could control her eyes, though. I blink and look away before vertigo renders me unconscious.
Despite her entrance into the world partially transformed into her wolf form, she has yet to unlock her wolf. We werewolf shifters gain our wolves when we turn sixteen. I have had Trex for a year now. She came of age for her first transformation three months ago, and still nothing, which makes her uglier than she was before. The damn woman is stealthy, though. I’ll give you that. My father has been coaching her with the other members of the pack since she was fourteen, and she outshines me sometimes. In two years, I’ll be an alpha. The primary action would be to oust her.
Fibbing isn’t something I do well. Particularly with the alpha, my adopted father, Maximilian, who can see right through me. I shouldn’t have attempted to lie. Jarek appears to be on the brink of vomiting. He can’t tolerate the sight of me, ever. He despises my existence. I don’t give a flying rat’s ass anymore. In two years, I plan to be gone. A great distance from here, far from him.
I hope I never become a wolf. I strive to safeguard my liberty from being bound and linked to someone. A lupine hunts for its fated mate at the ripe age of eighteen. I’ll reject mine so I can have my independence. I’d rather suffer in pain and be alone than breed. Of course, I won’t have to worry about that if I never transform.
I’m convinced the moon goddess put me on this planet as punishment for something I did in a past life. Why would she make me an ugly freak to get rejected by my birth parents and everyone else around me? Why would she give me eyes that expose my emotions? Blue is my human shade, and gold for my non-existent wolf. Who knows where the silver-colored glint of my eyes originates from?
As if my eyes weren’t bad enough, then come the ears. Any time I’m angry or scared, my lupine lobes emerge, and I look more like a dreaded Faye. The older I get, the more they stay beneath the surface, though. I’ve learned to collect my bearings to keep them from coming out. It was impossible when I was younger. My lupine ears were on constant display because of the constant bullying from my brother and his asshole friends, Xillon, and Zane.
What makes things worse is my traitorous mind and heart. Who the hell has a raging crush on their tormentors? Me, that’s who. Jarek’s my mindless brother. He has broken me. I’m convinced he treats me the way he does because he’s jealous that I get more attention from our parents.
I hardly eat much from my plate because my stomach is in knots.
“Can I be excused? I don’t feel well.” I cringe when all eyes swing in my direction.
I should have just stuck it out, eaten my food and kept my mouth shut. Sitting next to Jarek has my nerves skittering all over the place. I can’t get over what just happened in the forest. The reason I had initially climbed up that tree is because he had chased me through the forest on his dirt bike. I’m afraid of what h’s going to do to me later on, when no one else is around.
Dad snarls, and mom rests her hand on his shoulder to ease him.
“Go ahead, honey. I’ll be up in a bit to check on you,” mother says with a smile.
Jarek glares at me. I know I’m making things worse for him, but I don’t care. He can kiss my ass. He shouldn’t have tried to run me over with his motorcycle.
I ascend the stairs to the third floor, which is where my bedroom is. With a loud bang, I shut the door and turn the lock, praying he won’t bother me for the rest of the evening. Observing my reflection in the mirror, I shudder at seeing my wolf lobes standing tall and powerful. My deceitful eyes flicker uncontrollably. If it weren’t for my eyes and ears, I would be beautiful. I am not ugly by any means. I punch the mirror, and a crack goes down the middle.
“Bloody perfect,” I growl through my teeth, and tears well up in my eyes.
I fling myself onto my bed. Clutch my phone, launch a music app, plug my AirPods in, and cry myself to sleep.
I’m startled awake when my mattress dips from someone’s weight. I pull up to defend myself, thinking it’s Jarek. My eyes widen when I almost punch my mother in the face.
I remove my AirPods and blink a few times to clear the fog from my moments of slumber.
“Sorry, mom. You scared me.”
“I had to get the key to your room. Why did you lock your door when I told you I would come to check on you? You’ve been crying, honey. What’s going on?”
“I’m a freak, momma. I hardly have any friends. Guys overlook me. My brother despises me. I don’t fit in here. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. My wolf doesn’t even want to grace me with her presence. Look at my eyes and my ears, mom. I wouldn’t even be able to make it in the human world. Why didn’t you just let me die? Why did you have to save me?” I scream, and tears stream down my cheeks.
“Oh, honey, you are not a freak. You are beautiful. The moon goddess made you special. You are strong, gifted, and extremely intelligent. He’s jealous of you because you are so much stronger than him in many ways,” she says quietly so no one can overhear—damn shifter hearing.
“He’s my son, and I love him, but he still has a lot to learn to be alpha someday. Dad is with him now. I know he did something to you. You need to tell me what happened. Don’t lie to me,” she requests, pulling me tightly against her. She removes the band from my hair and smooths it over my shoulders.
“The new guy, Dante, that arrived last week, was flirting with me after school. With me, mom. Can you believe it? He asked me out on a date.” I giggle and shake my head.
“Jarek must have been eavesdropping or something, because he appeared moments later and demanded for him to get away from me because I’m a wolfless freak. He remained unfazed, though. He refused to budge, so Jarek broke his nose. In retaliation, I kneed him in the balls and took off running. He chased me down on his motorcycle. I climbed a tree to escape him. Mom, I’m convinced he was determined to abandon me in the tree. If it weren’t for Trex, I don’t know what the outcome would have been.”
My body shakes as chills shoot down my spine.
Mom’s eyes glazed over, and I knew she was sending a mind link to dad. Great, I should have kept my mouth shut. I’m in for it now. There’s no way he’ll let this slide. So what? I hope dad whoops his ass. Let him come at me. It’s high time I stop being afraid of my brother and take up for myself.
“Dad’s going to sort out your brother. Tomorrow I say we have a mother, daughter’s date. It would help if you had a new wardrobe. We’ll get your hair styled so you can wear your hair down. You have such beautiful hair, Silver. We could book a facial, a pedicure and a manicure. Everyone will fall all over you. If you want guys to notice you, you must give them a reason to do so. Having your hair tied up in ponytails and wearing dark clothes constantly won’t cut it, dear,” mom breathes as she glides her fingers through my tresses.
“A makeover sounds good. I guess my tomboy days should end.”
We chuckle, and my mother cuddles me affectionately.
“I’ve waited patiently for this day. You stopped letting me doll you up after you turned eleven. But now you are a young woman. You need to show them what you are made of—kicking their asses along the way. If needed, okay. Violence isn’t the answer, but if you are being bullied, do what you must. Let no one belittle you. Especially your arrogant brother. Catch some Z’s. I want to set off early in the morning,” mom says as she embraces me, kisses my forehead, and exits my room.
Tomorrow brings a clean slate and a new me. I am beautiful. I am resilient. I’m downright amazing, and everybody in the pack will come to understand that. Jarek and his friends can eat dirt. I’ll have them eating out of the palm of my hand in no time.
Thank you for giving Tethered Souls a chance. Enjoy your reading. Feel free to leave comments and feedback throughout the book. Have an amazing day! Sapphirian J ❤.