1 week later
No classes. No fresh air. No freedom. No explanation. The one thing consuming my mind is... Alpha Baden.
Our last encounter makes me obsessed with him; not in a good way, either. The memory was fresh; straight after the Prime Alpha told me to stay by his son’s side as was decreed by the judge Ivory, everything basically went to shit.
With no explanation what so ever.
I chased after Alpha Baden and after losing him in the crowd of lunch time students, I eventually found him next to the cafeteria balconies which overlooked the main gates to Half-Moon Academy. He had been in a deep hushed conversation with Corey. Something over the balcony, or someone down below who had entered the Academy had seemed to irk Baden.
Before I could even approach, Corey had seen me and intercepted me. He took me to my dorm in Pack Claw Tower, which is a place I was allowed to reside, and he said, with very little information... that for my safety, I had to be confined to my dorm. Alpha Baden would speak to me when he was ready.
That was seven days ago.
Now; I am both furious, very angry... and feeling crazy. I watch the seventh sunset in the distance from my small window, the shutters always open to let in the fresh breeze.
The sky was purple, green, orange, baby blue and navy blue. A beautiful combination of magic steam from the Sacred Lake and fading sunlight.
I paint it on a cheap canvas with dirty, grubby hands. I always painted okay, but after seven days of nothing better to do, my art skills had improved.
I paint the picture before me, with the forest below, the fields of green, each main road to Noble Metropolis was visible, even the edges of Moon Territory, which were the steep mountains we were located on.
When I finish the painting, I set it aside with the other seven pieces and go to wash my hands in my small bathroom. When I walk out, I stare at my rickety bed, my four tiny blue stone walls... and I almost start to cry again. I had cried a lot this last week.
However, as I feel tears clog my eyes, before any fall to wet my cheeks... there is a knock at my door.
I turn, hopeful for dinner... but as I spin towards the knock, a scent hits my nose.
Spicy, chilli, ripe and intense.
Now I must be crazy.
It couldn’t be Alpha Baden. I had wished his arrival to kill him time and time again... but he wouldn’t have come now... why would he have come now?
I walk to the door, feeling numb in preparation for my full blown fury; the calm before the storm.
I grab the doorknob, I open the door... and I come face to face with the one and only Alpha Baden. He is wearing a black suit for a party, his brown wavy hair to his shoulders, it’s slicked back neatly... and he is holding a single daisy.
It looked like he picked it from the side of a weed.
“I’m sorry,” Baden speaks and I stare at him without expression, while wearing my, ironically, daisy patterned flannelette pyjamas. After a minute’s silence whereby I simply stare at him without expression, he repeats himself, “...did you hear me, Maia?” Baden asks quietly, “I said I’m sorry. Can I come in?”
I continue to stand, my nose slowly scrunching up - and then I burst into a fit of three sneezes. They are so intense, embarrassingly loud and high pitched, but they consume me and when I finish on the third sneeze, I see the tiniest hint of a little smile, curling at the corner of his lips.
I was too furious to know in my moment of raging emotions, that it was a tiny show of honest adoration. Instead, in this moment, I consider it just another mocking gesture.
I lose it.
I close my eyes and I breathe in my wolf. I don’t care that my pyjamas will be shredded. I slowly smile as my wolf pounces forth and consumes my soul; changing me physically next. I shrink, contort and then I’m furry, medium to small sized and snarling with all my teeth.
I admit, the top of my wolf’s head, is equal to Baden’s knee, but I was beyond feeling shameful at this point. I’m about to latch onto his leg, when Alpha Baden suddenly forces his way into my room, walking towards me as he slams the door shut and he starts to rip off his blazer and shirt.
“I see how it is!” Baden growls... and as he strips, it is the only thing that makes me hesitate. When I see the rippling abdominal muscles and ridiculously perfect muscle tone I had imagined underneath those clothes since I found out we were mates... it gives him just enough time to intercept me before I pounce.
Plus, when you transform into a wolf, you only have to take off your top, the pants just float down harmlessly anyway as you shift.
My pause in my attack is what allows Baden to get the upper hand.
He morphs into his wolf... an Alpha wolf, that I have never seen up close nor dared come close to. There was a reason Alpha’s ran away from other werewolves unless they were old enough to be leading a Pack. They were aggressive, formidable... and giant.
Alpha Baden is triple my size with a perfect shade of brown fur all over as his black eyes zone in on me and his lips slowly curl back into scariest snarl I’ve ever seen.
My own snarl, though loud; quickly ceases. I cringe and slowly drop down to my stomach, lowering my head with my ears held back.
As Baden leans down with his huge wolf head, still baring his teeth, I curl my lips back a bit, warning him not to get too close.
I had laid flat in a submissive position. However, I only did it so he didn’t degradingly have to bite my neck and force me down.
So, I had basically just let him think he’s in control.
Baden snorts in my face and he backs off a step, as if he knows what I intended. The moment he does, I quickly scuttle around and sprint into my bathroom where I transform behind a thin wall.
I pick up a towel that still has fresh paint on it and I wrap it around my body. I rather have paint stain my skin than have Alpha Baden get a sneak peek of the merchandise.
Female wolves were always one of two types. Those who flaunted their bodies, wolf and human... and those, like me, who preferred to keep private. There was no in-between and there was nothing wrong about being either way, but I just prefered to keep private.
I turn to stand in the entrance of my bathroom, not expecting Alpha Baden to have shifted back already.
I blush bright as I watch his... you know what... in full frontal view as he just finishes pulling his pants back up. He zips up the black suit pants, slips the button through and pulls through his black belt again, all without taking his eyes off me.
“I said... Maia... I’m sorry,” Baden speaks again, as if he is genuinely sweet... which is all the more suspicious, “...you have an odd, I mean, beautiful but different coat to your hair, it’s -” the last thing I want is to hear him try to compliment me with a compliment he couldn’t find instantly, so I cut him off.
“Tell me why you’re really here,” I hiss quietly, while Baden’s eyes slip past me to spy on the interior of my room. His gaze focuses on my paintings and his eyes widen... I think he appreciates my art work... that frankly wouldn’t exist if he didn’t make a deal to have his Guardians force me into my dorm for a whole week.
“I...” Alpha Baden has to tear his gaze away from my art work to meet me icy glare, and he pauses before putting on a professional, cool tone, “Grand Tower is hosting a Mating Event. A ball - for everyone. Will you, kindly forgive me... and be my date?”
I can barely comprehend the question.
One week hating me.
Now, one week later seducing me. In plainer words... something was off.
I didn’t know if it’s because Baden didn’t sound completely genuine, or he was just uncomfortable, or if he was forced to seek me out and he was barely holding his vile self inside, just beneath the surface?
When I say nothing, I see his cheek twitch and I can’t help but smile a little.
“Come to the ball with me?” he asks again, this time, with fully forced joy, ”Please?"
“No,” I answer, shaking my head, “Before you ask again... no... and before you ask a third time... no. But, I will say yes - if you tell me the truth.”
“What truth?” Baden asks, his eyes appearing guarded, his tone unsure.
“You’re unbelievable,” I whisper, in a hiss.
“A lot of girls say that to me,” Baden smirks, a true emotion finally shining through as he replies too quickly.
“I didn’t mean it in that way,” I snap, “Tell me what’s going on. Tell me why I was forced to be isolated in my dorm for seven days. Tell me why you’re pretending to be sweet to me now... you might not know me and I might not know you, Baden... but I’m not stupid. I know you’re hiding details from me. Tell me what I want to know, and you’ve got a date.”
Alpha Baden pauses, he almost opens his mouth to tell me what the issue is but then he shuts his lips.
“There’s a Head Guardian rounding up every student, to make sure they go to the ball, they’ll be at your dorm in twenty minutes. I’ll see you there, Maia,” he answers dismissively, while he turns from me and puts on his shirt.
After he ignores my question, I watch him casually button up the white material before grabbing his blazer.
I was impressed he remembered by name, but I was unimpressed that he didn’t seem to think I was worth engaging into conversation with.
I mean, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt here. I was his mate but I was also a stranger.
Clearly, being a stranger was more important in regards to how much he could trust me.
Yep, he had every right to treat his mate like crap, lie to her, avoid her and ignore her.
Which brings me to the same point I had been dwelling on for seven days straight.
What the hell was Alpha Baden’s problem? Couldn’t he give me some credit? If I asked a question, I’d like an answer. Being dismissed and ignored was horrible, it made me feel worthless.
I watch him leave and the moment he exits, I see his six Guardians outside, looking terribly guilty.
I slam the door on all their faces.
After taking in three deep breaths, the tears finally fall.
I stay still, glaring at my brown door, hoping that I soon find a solution to all this. This situation was slowly driving me insane.
“...Maia?” I jump when I hear Corey’s voice directly on the other side of the door.
“I told you I don’t want to talk to you, Corey,” I snarl through the wood while I angrily wipe my tears away, “Go. Away.”
“I’m sorry too, Maia... but you will be forced to go to the ball, whether you like it or not, once the Head Guardian comes to fetch you. It’s best you get ready and we’ll see you down there. Give Baden a chance... please... you’ll have to forgive him if you want to have a chance at progressing positively.”
“The last thing I want is your advice,” I growl, while in the throes of fury.
I hated my life right now, I hated it so much.
I had never asked for this.
Why did I deserve this horrible Alpha as my mate?
“We’ll see you there,” Corey’s voice is further down the hall, but I quickly call out.
“Wait!” I lay my palms on the door and rest my forehead against the wood.
“Yes, Maia?” Corey’s voice is on the other side again and I’m happy he’s returned to hear me out.
“Give me a hint, please,” I whisper, hoping he hears me, “Tell me what’s wrong... why was I hidden for a week... why will I be allowed freedom soon?”
“I’m sorry, Maia, it’s complex,” Corey sounds unsure but he also sounds close to giving in and telling me something.
“Please,” I bang my fist on the wood, “Please don’t leave. Tell me something. Anything I can work with.”
“I am under strict instructions to tell you nothing and I can get into major trouble for going against Alpha Baden’s wishes,” as Corey explains it, I give up, knowing he won’t say anything against the Alpha he protects. But then I hear this through the door after a short pause, “...Maia... his rival will be at the ball. You have to stay away from him. Do you understand me? Stay away. The only Alpha you may speak with is Baden... for the love of my life, please, Maia... I am begging you, don’t react in a way that shows I have told you anything. Pretend you know nothing... and stay by Baden’s side. It’ll be a disgrace for both of you if you wander off.”
I don’t reply and Corey walks away.
Now it made a bit more sense.
There was only one other Alpha out of the hundred in the Academy, that was considered another direct runner-up for Prime Alpha.
His name was Chase... and he had been studying in Noble Metropolis for the past few years. He was infamous for his physical strength.
It was also common knowledge that Alpha Baden’s childhood best friend... was Chase... and they had grown up glued to each other’s sides.
But something had gone wrong by the time they hit college - and now?
They were more than just rivals...
...they were the worst of enemies.