It was six in the morning and R.J. has been up two hours now in the biting cold upon her father's strict regiment he had her on since she was eighteen. At four, he starts her off in a ten-mile run around the perimeters of the pack grounds. Five in wolf-human form then shift into her wolf form for the other half; after the run, were laps in the private man-made lake. The past Alpha of Black Heart pack, Raymond Macallister believed that strength in both mind and body along with great leadership makes an outstanding alpha.
As he stood before his twenty-four-year-old daughter, he watched his daughter fought his four best warriors till she or all four men are down for the count. Raymond never believed in mock fights because in battle or attacks their enemies don't allow their victims to go free after a little scratch.
"Focus R.J. What the fuck are you doing? " he shouted at her as she allowed herself to be attacked from behind, the wolf pinning her down, clawing at her arm as a sign of his dominance over her. R.J. gave a quick look to her father and saw the look of disapproval in his eyes since she was sixteen. Pushing the wolf off, she resumed her training wincing as she moved her arm. 'Sorry Alpha' the wolf apologized with regret in his voice.
'Gotta learn right' she replied sending him a reassuring smile.
"What was that? Are you smiling at your attacker? You think a smile is gonna disarm him." her father shouted once more. The condescending tone in his voice made her confidence drop, she visibly flinched as he took a step towards her, "D-Dad it was.. I was..." she started.
"Wasn't thinking. Get back to work, you have thirty minutes left and I want all four wolves down."
"Yes Dad" she replied weakly and got back into position. R.J. didn't succeed in completing her father's order which awarded her harsh criticism before her own men. She kept her head held high, eyes emotionless and body stiff as he dealt with everything she did wrong right back to her face. Over the years she has learned to block him out and not let his words get to her. If she shed a tear more harsh words came, to him his only daughter would never be a great Alpha as he was. Raymond saw himself as the best when most saw him as a tyrant.
Winding down his speech he came and stood before her, his green emerald eyes met her blue-grey eyes much like her dear mother's. " Tonight at eight. You will have dinner with Alpha Sean's son. Don't embarrass me." that was all he said before stalking off.
R.J. stood staring off at the distance, the only sounds that can be heard were her heartbeat and the shifting of bones as wolf returned to man. "Get the kit Jesse" one man ordered as he approached his dear Alpha. Gently, he moved the strap of her sports bra to assess the damage done to her arm by his brother Mark. "It's healing quickly but I will still clean and cover it up," he said softly. Jesse came up with the first aid kit and looked over her to see if any more damage was done to her body. All four men surrounded her, protected her while they tended to her wounds. She said nothing and they said nothing also. They grew up with R.J. went to the same school, same birthday parties, and had dinner at each other's house. As purebred wolves, their training was rigorous and had to always strive for the best but it was different for her. She had to be the best. The alpha's children had to be above them all.
"Charlie has chosen your work clothes already. I will be out front waiting for you. Jesse and Mark will accompany you to dinner." Ryan explained as he placed the last tape over the gauze.
Frankie the quietest of them all called out to her, stiffly she turned to him, her eyes soften as he gave her a small smile. "It's alright. You are doing great. We all love you as our Alpha, he may not see it but Black Heart love you just the way you are" he said pulling her into his arms. Kissing her on her temple, he rubbed her back wanting her to relax before she got ready for work. They each kissed her cheek before leading her back to her house. As they stepped out of the trees into her large backyard, she softly thanked them before going into the one place she felt safe and where she can be herself.
Her best friend Charlotte was waiting for her in the kitchen with a hot cup of coffee and breakfast on the countertop with a warm smile on her face. Watching her friend who was more like a sister ate her breakfast quickly she spoke, "Date huh? Haven't been on one of those since you were what sixteen?"
R.J. gave a quick glance to her blonde friend and kept her head down, "Guess you didn't count the past eight Alpha's sons in the past year." she teased with a small smile to her lips. Charlotte seemed pleased by the little effort of showing her once playful nature. "Pshhhh. Those were practice, maybe this son can be the one you waited for." Charlie said with a bright smile. R.J. shrugged, she wasn't getting her hopes up neither was her wolf, Kara. Their logic towards it all, if one of these arranged dates turns out to be her mate, she would no longer be the dominant leader of Black Heart. Her father and his friends were all alike, a Luna wasn't their equal she would be below them and have no say in whatever problems the pack faced.
"Yeah maybe he is." she returned with a smile, "C'mon time for work. Ry would be outside waiting"
Dressed in a black pencil skirt ending above her knee, a gold chiffon halter top, a cropped jacket, and black and gold pumps, R.J. stood before her floor to ceiling mirror practicing her smiles. A smile can change anyone's day even your own, the words her mother recited to her before any gathering at the pack, kept with her after all these years. "When will one change my day," she said to herself before heading downstairs. Charlotte waited for her by the door, as she noticed R.J she proceeded out the door to the waiting car. They both sat in the back with the radio on, listening to whatever tunes it belt out. R.J took in the view as they drove through the neighborhood onto the main road that leads to the highway. With Ryan knowing the shortcuts to get into the city, they didn't find it as a surprise when they reached the parking spot of Robinson Industries. Besides her own home, work was another safe haven temporarily. The company was once her maternal grandfather's, it started off as a company distributing and making computer parts for major models then made a transition to video game console parts. Her uncle Sebastian branched off into game production. He was the one who taught her everything there was to know. Both father and son planned ahead for game designers who wanted to have their creation known by assembling a team for advertising, designing, marketing, and testers. Robinson Industries made a name for themselves over the years and was now known as the go-to company to have your name known. Whether is a new game for mobile devices or consoles they can make it happen.
Her father never saw fit that R.J is handed the company, in his words 'she will burn it to the ground'. Three years later she prove him wrong when her grandfather gave up the reigns willingly. Sebastian helps out from time to time whenever he was stateside but he preferred to stay in Japan where the magic really happens. She wanted to follow him upon his request but circumstances occurred and she was left to handle it all.
"Good morning R.J. we have a great day ahead today. Two of your clients' games are completed and ready to be tested, I've already notified them. Two focus groups have been assembled all would be here for nine. At 11:30 you have four new client meetings, one console, and three apps." Tiffany her assistant went into her morning rundown as she stepped into the colorful lobby, on monitors were new games being advertised and the designers' portfolio. The walls were of orange, blue red, and purple; framed pictures of hit games decorated the walls. The seating area were white modern couches with character throw pillows, people milled about in their own way of dress. There wasn't a strict dress code, comfort was the main goal due to every department can be working long hours, and heels and suits can be a hassle.
Charlotte waved goodbye to her friend as her own assistant lead her up to her own department. Design. If it wasn't for her great eye and leadership the developers would be lost. Making up to her office on the top floor she sat and stared out the window thinking about her date later on in the day.
'Do you think this one wo be our mate?' she asked her wolf. Kara huffed at the question and found calm in the view her human was showing her.
'I really can't say.' Kara replied.