The itch in my crack wouldn’t go away. The thing is, I never had butt itches unless I was sweating a lot. I wasn’t even nervous. But now, I had that embarrassing itch making me jerk and shuffle to try and remove it... while I was in a college presentation with a hundred eyes watching me.
My hand starts to tremble holding my memory cards.
The Half-Moon Academy was tough.
“Please continue the speech, Ms. Royale...” the teacher addresses me formally while she sits beside me on a stool with an impatiently bored look on her face.
“The lethal f-flowers, Wolf’s Bane, of our territory were, uh, ambiguously hidden for centuries, sorry, the uh, the history of our flowers were ambiguously hidden, stored away in an attic. The attic of a werewolf librarian, Scott Growlot –” this has everyone laughing and interrupting my speech instantly.
I glare at the semicircular raised lecture theatre containing too many smug faces at my lapse in confidence. Werewolves were generally very judgemental.
But, I can’t blame their humour.
Scott Growlot sounded like Scot Growl-a-lot, especially when I said it in such a rush.
I open my mouth to continue but my nose suddenly crinkles and my eyes water a bit as a full-bodied scent filters through into my nose. It’s so intense, I sneeze three times.
Argh – that sweet chilly smell could only be from the one and only-
“Alpha Baden,” the teacher beside me nearly trips as she stumbles to her feet and bows her head as a door to my right swings open. I wipe my eyes and look.
The open door to the lecture theatre shows Alpha Baden, standing with his six Guardians. They try to follow the Alpha into the room and he looks disgusted that they even attempt to accompany him.
The scowl on his face is so raw with emotion I almost laugh. Almost.
He slams the door on their faces, making my teacher Rose and myself, jerk a little in surprise.
I bow my head and the scent finally settles in my nose and I don’t need to sneeze anymore. My eyes clear up and instead, my eyes fight a strange desire to stare at him.
Damn it, I hated my body sometimes. It was always so sensitive to rival pack smells.
“I need a Maia Royale? Something’s come up in the High Tower,” Alpha Baden is standing behind me now, speaking to the teacher, while my ears prick and my mouth forms an unexpected ‘o’.
There was only one reason I’d ever be called to High Tower.
I spin on my heel and don’t dare to face Alpha Baden as I instead speak with Rose.
“I think there’s been a mistake,” I whisper to her, “My family would never –”
“They have crossed over and they will pay the price, you’re their only representative and their only chance at salvation,” Alpha Baden speaks to me as if he speaks to everyone else. Professional, un-emotional and neutral... basically he had that natural way of making you feel like a worthless piece of nothing from the nothing-universe of nothingness.
I do not meet his gaze but I can see him at the corner of my eye... not even looking at me.
Instead, he is watching Rose, who I glance at now.
Her mouth is opening and closing while the class look on in silence and with intense interest.
“E-excuse me, Alpha,” she bows her head again but quickly raises it, “Why did you come to escort Maia when the High Tower have Guardians all around the Academy to fetch her?”
Did I mention Werewolves were the biggest gossips? Like, I mean the biggest and the baddest. The absolute worst.
I am too nervous about what the Alpha will say... I haven’t told anyone I’m from an enemy pack; a pack that lived in the gutters of Cave City. They lived on drugs and selling their werewolf blood to stay alive. I got a scholarship to come here.
Anywhere, even an enemy pack, was better than living in the one I came from. So, why not Pack Moon, the number one werewolf pack who owned Half-Moon Academy which housed families and students of multiple packs that made alliances with them.
I glance up to Alpha Baden now.
No one knew what Pack he came from.
He was one of the hundred or more Alpha’s in the Academy that needed escorting... otherwise if Alpha’s were let loose on other Alpha’s... they’d be a lot of blood and not much consolation, let’s just say that.
Hence, Guardians were necessary to stop blood baths happening on a daily occurrence.
“Are you in a place to ask such questions?” Alpha Baden asks mockingly with a raised brow as I sneakily glance at his mane of dark brown waves and his jet black gaze.
“You are not the Prime Alpha,” Rose murmurs, “You are a student Alph–”
"Yet, I am still in a position to make your life hell if I ever ascend higher... aren’t I?” Alpha Baden growls this threateningly and then glares at me after I’ve bowed my head and I think I’ve gotten away with perving on his perfect bad-boy face, ”Move,” he snarls this and it’s definitely directed at me.
I spin and drop my memory cards on the floor, quickly making my way towards the exit and his Guardians. I slip out and stand with them while my eyes are still down cast.
I hear Baden stalk out behind me and growl as he faces his Guardians, “She’s all yours to escort, I have better things to do than babysit some random... a random that smells gross, by the way...” wow, that last part was definitely directed at me.
“We simply have to ensure her arrival,” one of the Guardians complain and Alpha Baden literally walks up to stand nose to nose with the shorter man. Unfortunately for Guardians and everyone else on compass... all Alphas, whether jerks or good men or women... they were always, always taller than everyone else.
“...and you simply have to ensure that your life is kept within the confines of your very carefully chosen words, Corey,” Alpha Baden growls this low enough, and all his Guardians back off as Baden turns and stalks away.
“That prick,” one of the men next to me whispers under his breath once Baden is out of sight.
“Is he always like that?” I ask, glancing up to see the shocked expressions of all six men.
“Yes,” they all growl and we start to walk off while I’m glad Alpha Baden is gone.
“So... who is he?” I ask, “If you don’t mind me asking. Everyone always says he used to be an Omega without a pack... or that he might have come from Pack Claw or Pack Blood -?” my question is soon answered by Corey.
“What? No!” Corey turns to me now, “He’s Pack Moon. He’s the Prime Alpha’s only son. And our burden...”
"What? But why does no one know this?” I ask, confused.
“Telling people is forbidden, he makes it known he wants no one to know his origins,” the Guardian shrugs, “Only we do, and a few others...”
“So... why would you tell me?” I ask, confused.
“Did Baden not tell you?” Corey looks at me solemnly as we start to walk, “Your family crossed over into our territory unannounced. The twenty members and... regrettably... you as well... um... how do I put this? You and your family are all set for execution in three hours. I’m so sorry... Maia... rules are rules. I told Alpha Baden it doesn’t matter anymore what you know anymore... again, my deepest condolences. I regret every time I hear that a wolf will be punished for another’s crimes.”
What happened to my only family’s salvation?
As much as this is shocking to the core, my mind can’t help but think...
...so, Alpha Baden was a liar too.