It’s been a week since I’ve talked to my parents and my brother and the gathering starts tomorrow. There is a lot to get done and I don’t plan to help with any of it. I know I’m being snotty but I don’t care, I don’t like this and I’m making it known.
I’ve had no one to talk to as I’ve locked myself in my room for the last week. There was nothing anyone would say that I wanted to hear. I roll over on my back and check my phone.
I look at the time and see its 4 pm and I feel my stomach groan. If I am to escape unmated tomorrow then I’ll have to eat a lot to keep my energy up. I walk down to the kitchen to see my mother baking for all of the current leaders that will be staying in the pack house.
She jumps a little at the sight of me and immediately pulls me into a bone crushing hug. “I am truly sorry Cordelia. I know how much you hate this but it must be done-” I tune out the rest of her speech and gently push her away. I head over to the pantry and hear her exit the kitchen with soft sobs.
I don’t mean to hurt her I just truly don’t have anything more to say to her that I haven’t already said. I hear someone come back in and I turn around expecting to see my mother. I open my mouth to apologize and see my father standing in the doorway.
He looks tired and I can tell the cause is me. I sigh and set my food down on the island. Walking over to the stool I take a seat and wait for the speech I know will be sent my way.
“You remind me of your mother at 18 you know.” My eyebrows raise as this conversation takes a completely different road than expected.
“She was very against the gathering as well. I remember the second I caught her scent at the cabins I was in love with her.” he laughs to himself, “I’ll never forget the first words she said to me. She had evaded me in the forest for 3 hours and I thought I would have to wait a whole year to see her. I had already been sent home the 5 years prior, as she was too young to attend, and thought this was year 6. When I did see her it was as if my whole world stopped. She was and still is the most beautiful women alive.”
He stopped for a moment as if he was back in the forest with her. “I had caught her and she looked me with such fire I almost flinched. She told me if I didn’t take my hands off of her immediately she would never let me touch her again let alone mark her. Spit fire your mother was. She eventually gave in to the pull and I promise you it was the best thing that has ever happened to us. The gathering is a good thing, Cordelia. Please just give it a chance.”
After his speech, he simply walked out leaving me stunned. Talking to my mother now, you have never guessed that she was against the gathering.
Not knowing how to feel I walked back to my room and flopped on my bed. Sleep came to me after a long while and I awoke to Christian pounding on my door.
“Dills lets go. Packs will be arriving soon.” I groan in protest but get up anyway. I shower and pack what clothes I will need for the cabin.
On the way there I see females from the other packs arrive. While I decided leggings and a sweatshirt would be fine most of these females decided to take a dressier approach. I didn’t really care, do you I guess. I’m just not sure how they’re going to run in heels.
I make my way to the Alpha/Beta cabin and go to the room assigned to me. The high ranking cabin has about 25 bedrooms. Each room has two beds and a bathroom. Unless there are siblings the children of the Alphas and Betas of each pack share a room.
My fathers Beta has 3 boys so I get a room to myself. I set my bag on my bed and head down stairs. I walk down stairs to see the other girls mingling and as I am the daughter of the home packs alpha it is my job to make sure everyone is situated. I give the girls a mini tour and direct them all to their rooms. I wait down stairs for them to unpack and busy myself looking out the window.
I hear a cough from behind me and turn around to see a girl wearing a white tank top and short cotton shorts. Her black hair is in a sleek ponytail and her green eyes look me over.
“So...” I drag out to catch her attention. Her eyes snap back to mine as she gives me a tight smile. “I’m Victoria Weston and I’m the daughter of Alpha George Weston.” The way she speaks to me as of I am below her tells me all I need to know. George Weston is one of the few Alphas to only have a daughter. Most Alphas will have children until they have a son. It is seen as a sign of weakness to hand down your pack to a female, especially one that is unmated.
“How old are you?” I ask as calm as possible.
“20. You?” her reply is short and to the point. I can tell she wants nothing to do with me either.
“18. Any idea who your mate will be?”
Her eyes light up at my question like I just offered her one million dollars. She smirks as she begins to talk, “I know actually.”
“If you know who he is then why are you not together?”
“He has been unable to attend the past two years due to pack complications.” she seems annoyed by my further questioning and picks at her nails.
There have been few males who choose not to attend the gathering but only one that sticks out in my mind. Tyler Westwood. There are many packs known for being cruel and his pack was moved to the top of the list recently. He is 23 and has not found his mate yet. He was handed the Alpha position at 17 after his mother died and his father was no longer able to lead.
When he did not find his mate at his first gathering he went ballistic. He destroyed his cabin and immediately went back to his pack. His pack has been terrorizing their neighbors ever since. It only got worse as the next few years he went on still mateless.
This girl was truly insane to want a mate like that. Surely he would be ruthless and mark his mate on the spot.
Before I could voice my opinion and call her crazy the other girls came down and we all introduced ourselves. They were a mixed bag of girls I liked and wanted nothing to do with. One girl, Hailey Marks, immediately struck me as a girl I actually wanted to be my friend. She had her blond hair in a messy bun and like me was in leggings and a sweatshirt. She had the lightest freckles and her blue eyes rolled every time Victoria would speak.
Talk about my kind of girl.
It was later in the evening when I decided to go to bed and leave the other girls to talk in the living room. I wasn’t tired, I just couldn’t be bothered to pretend like I was okay with this anymore.
I heard a knock on my door and before I could say anything Hailey came in a sat on the chair across from my bed. I looked at her with raised brows as she looked around then back to me and shrugged, “Hailey Marks, in case you forgot.”
“Cordelia Adams and I didn’t forget.” She smiles at my reply and continues,
“So, how much do you love the idea of being hunted. I for one think this is the vilest way of meeting the man destined for me. Sure, I’ll get over it and most likely love him but it’s ridiculous I have to be tracked down like an animal ya know.”
By the end of her rant, her blue eyes are looking at me with the same fire I have in mine when I express my hatred for the gathering. I’m smiling like an idiot for sure and nod my head.
“I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same way! What pack are you from anyway?”
She rolls her eyes at the thought of her potentially old pack, “I’m Beta John Mark’s daughter. My father is Victoria’s uncle on her mother’s side. Don’t worry, I’m nothing like Victoria. Thank Goddess too!” I smile at her and tell her that whether she likes it or not we officially friends.