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Chapter18: Brady's Mind


The worst thing about my time in high school is that it was blur even worse is the childhood memories that I seem to have selective memory over. Yet the effect of my choices and actions stuck, in my early years my confidence, friends, reputation soared with all my inexplicable antics. The worst thing about them all was that for most of that time I would be going out of my way to get a rise out of people, make their day or time in class worthwhile.

Usually, this was done at the expense of teachers and other kids especially Malik Larkatos.

What the actual fuck was I thinking?

I don’t remember much but I remember one instance at the meadow and all young pups were gathered for training by Mr. Hannez and his then alive wife. The hard rough bark of the tall thick tree pressed through my skin as I hastily climbed down in fits of giggles running away from my friends in a game of cops and robbers. I was a robber.

I stayed ahead of the cops and the further I ran the more assurance I felt that I was winning and the more inflated my confidence and joy grew in winning. I found another tree larger and wider it could hide me so I ran toward it, the closer I grew to it is the more I spotted with ease the figure that sat slouched it’s back leaning on the thick bark, head buried in a Marlene King book.

His big soft amber eyes widened at the words he was reading, his thick long lashes flattering with the pages he was devoted to, his lips were a little too red a little too full for a boy and I thought the way he smiled was adorable and contagious, I wanted to cradle him and at the time I think I wanted to baby him, never mind that at twelve I was a cub myself.

“Malik” I called looming over him “You’re reading again?”

He raised a small delicate hand over his forehead, squinting those big Bambi eyes at me “Hi Brady, is Mr. Hannez looking for me?” he asked sweeping his gaze at our surrounding a fearful tale in his wide colourful eyes ...Mr. Hannez was popularly known as the discipline head.

No one feature made Malik a guilty pleasure to look at, though his eyes came close. At Alpha camp, everyone and their father often spoke of the colour of a were-person’s eyes and how they were of great importance to Alphas and their subjects.

Malik had always had his mother’s eyes, they would change shades for no reason at all and for as long as I could remember I was simply fascinated and mesmerized by his eyes. The older I would get I would soon realize why, but at twelve-at much simpler times-I just liked to stare at his beautiful features.

Admire them and watch them contort in a mirage of different expressions even if I had to poke and taunt a little. I did it to all my favourite things one year my mother stopped buying me toys altogether because I would wreck and tear into them to see how they functioned. I think I was drawn to his eyes most so much I claimed him as my toy to protect and taunt with whenever I pleased. I was the Alpha’s son, my friends were Beta’s we could even get away with murder if we chose to.

I extended my hand out for him to take “No, but you should come play with me and my friends...we’re playing cops and robbers. You and I can be on the same team” I offered perfectly sure he would accept my offer. This was also at around the time I was starting to notice and enjoy the perks that came with being the Alpha’s son, no one could tell me no and I really wanted to play with him.

Malik scrunched his face the same way he’d done before everytime I’d ask him to hang out, he scrunched his face and put up this whole aura that implied that he was better than us better than me “I don’t like any of the games you and your friends play can I please finish my book now? Pretty please. In silence” he was basically shooing me away with his words. And that upset me.

Without thinking I snatched his book away from him and he cried “Give it back Brady!...Give me back my book!” helplessly he jumped up and down trying with all might to get his book back but to no avail since I held the book up in the air with my right hand and towering height laughing, because the way his voice screeched begging was adorable and really funny not to mention the fascinating swirling rainbow of sea colors in his otherwise brown eyes.

“Stop making noise loser” Tyler snorted at a tear stricken Malik

“He’s trying to get us caught for dodging battle shifting lessons,” Greg said conspiratorially looking behind him.

He sniffed away his tears...barely as he spoke a soft submissive voice that only gave us power over him “I just want my book back and I’ll go away pretty pretty please with a cherry on top?”

“He said pretty please, with a cherry on top” Both Tyler and Greg broke out in fits of laughter.

Evan fell over a twig laughing and toppled over Tyler who then fell too hands wrapped around their ribs and I joined in on the laughter barely standing straight even the onlookers from afar rushed closer to join us where the fun was.

Malik acted like such a toddler huffed and stomped away from the meadow altogether crying rivers of tears for his big brother Mateo. We scrambled off before Mateo would come and discipline us, no one liked to be punished for having a little fun and it seemed Malik was hell-bent on getting us in trouble all the time.

A few more incidents happened after that but a little over three years later I grew closer to his twin sister Malia, one time we were over at her house supposedly in an assigned were-wolf group study with her and my friends but all we did was talk about myths and politics around a bonfire, the discussion turned toward the origins and conspiracies of twins.

“Malia how come you don’t ever hang around Malik?” I wondered out loud

“We hang out, just not when you or any of you idiots are around” she playfully threw pebbles at each of us

“Right because we’re baaad influence?”

“No it’s because we’ll teach him how to be a man, gods forbid.”

“Ha-ha and the games we play are too much for him”

My friends mocked teasing with exaggerated eye rolls, hand and hair flip gestures.

Malia scowled then smacked Tyler on the back of his head “Because he doesn’t like any of you idiots and I can’t say I blame him”

For some reason which I summed up to be ego at the time, it hurt my feelings but I masked the pain with a joke “Well we don’t like him either” the joke earned me a high kick from Malia and howls of approval from my friends and a snort from Danielle who had just arrived.

Another time I was at a football game, I’d scored the winning goal for my team everybody cheered me on yet instead of thinking of the after party or the girls or the praise my mind was enveloped with make believe images of those soft gentle eyes looking into my own with awe and admiration. I tried to scan for him in the field when that didn’t work I strained my abilities to find him, that didn’t work too.

Eventually a fresh shower later on my way to the parking lot I found him alone leaning over Mateo’s car his face was yet again buried in a Nicholas Sparks novel his teeth captured his full rose colored lower lip. I was sixteen then and utterly curious in exploring his body, I’d been fantasizing about him for the past years but he hated me and that Friday after the game in the parking lot I decided to shoot my shot, regardless of my nerves.

“What’s up?”

He dropped his book with a slight yelp....startled.

I crouched down to help him with it and even as I handed him the book back he hadn’t replied me, instead his expression was unreadable which made it all so nerve-wracking.

“Did you see me in the game?” I tried, working my way up to ask him to the party, be his friend, figure out if he swung that way...but one look at me and Malik scoffed “Really?” he said

Before I could reply a football swirled in the air and hit him on the head, he toppled over and fell into my arms the guys from the football team howled, whistled and sauntered toward me with excitement and I suppose a few of them thought they were saving their captain from the scrawny kid with the infamous little dick.

“Yo Scram” Tyler ordered Malik who huffed and left on foot before his friend Danielle who I thought was his girlfriend at the time followed him.

That very day I went to pick Malia up for the party, when I saw Malik coming up I jumped out of my car hoping to finish what I’d started but he very deliberately walked around me with a wide arc clearly avoiding me, my heart sank but I was stupid and I should’ve done more in fact I did try harder even after he had supposedly found a mate.

I once heard our pack’s Oracle refer to eyes like his saying eyes that blushed in colour come intensity, honesty, gentleness.

Oh, how wrong we both were.

Perhaps this is what the gods’ meant to teach me; to be a true Alpha, not one ruled by weaknesses of the heart or trite politeness to a pretty boy they watched suffer on the sidelines. But to be an Alpha of great spirit and noble ways who could accept defeat and trust the gods’, for nothing occurs without their reasoning.

“One last time and I’m asking as your friend not your Beta. Are you sure you want the bond broken?” Greg’s voice was firm and strong enough to break me out of my reverie.

“Yes, I can’t bear this pain of rejection anymore. It’s humiliating to me and the rest of the pack.”

“Alright then, let’s go to a bar and make a ceremony of this hard, impossible decision,” Tyler said

“One last time man, a’yu sure?” Evan tried once more

“I swear on my fore father’s graves Yes I am.”

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