The rush of adrenaline and the hard pounding of fists to flesh rings loud in my ears. A fighter’s movement is as graceful as a dancer - a fighter’s dance has always intrigued me. The way they move so graceful - choreographed. Feet stomping on the dirt, their arms and legs cutting through the air, and their breath syncing with their movements.
My opponent is not as in sync as the others. His form is sloppy. His legs and arms are locked in position as he waits for my move.
Papa didn’t raise any fool!
Patience is key, and he forgets this as he pushes his fist to my face. The grunt of frustration escapes his lips as I dodge his swing. The second fist comes from the left side and I dodge it as my hip swings to the right and my upper body falls away from the punch.
“Dammit Melany,” my friend Andrew whines and tries to come at me once again.
This time he lets his frustration get the best of him and he swings at me reckless. Both fist swing from the sides leaving his face and stomach exposed.
“You need to protect yourself,” I grin as he moves closer I duck out of his way lunging straight at him.
My shoulder connects with his abdomen and we both fell to the ground. With my body, I pin him to the ground as he growls under me.
“I hate this, you know I can’t hit a girl!” He pouts as I pick myself off the floor and give him a helping hand.
“It doesn’t bother me,” I smirk at him and he gives me his most menacing glare but fails as a smile pulls at the corner of his lips. I wipe my hands clean on my black shirt silences falls amongst the fighters.
“Enough!” The alpha roars and everything goes into a standstill for a moment and then with military precision the pack members turn to face their leader.
Even I have to show him the uttermost respect. Turning with them we bow our heads and then straighten up before him.
“How is training going?”
The alpha is the most respected member of the wolf pack. He is admired or hated. Everyone’s emotions are comprehensible.
Julian Blake is the alpha of the Moonless pack. He is well respected amongst other packs.
Julian is an older wolf and his facial features show it. His salt and pepper hair is windblown and the wrinkles around his eyes add years to his face. The laugh lines around his mouth remind me of a happier time.
“It’s going well,” the trainer announces since no one else wants to speak up to the alpha.
“Good,” his eyes scan the people before him and when his dark eyes fall on me, he arches an eyebrow, as the corner of his mouth quirks up.
What are you doing here?
As for werewolves, we can mind link with our pack members. The alpha can turn it off at will since having twenty or more people in your head at once can drive anyone insane.
Spying on the competition.
He nods and continues talking to the trainer, “I need to speak with you in my office.”
“Yes, alpha,” Sam, the trainer, nods.
Sam has been part of our pack for three years. His blonde hair and dreamy blue eyes have made him popular amongst the girls in the pack.
Alpha Blake walks away just as Sam dismisses the class.
Andrew and I are getting ready to leave when Sam stops us, “Melany,” I turn to look at him, “can I speak to you for a moment?”
“Sure, Andrew, can you get my stuff and I’ll meet you in my room in a few.”
Andrew looks at Sam for a moment and then shrugs before walking away.
“What’s up,” I sigh.
“I know that you’re the daughter of the alpha.” He gulps glancing in the direction my father just walked off in, “But I thought that” he takes a deep breath. His faces pale and he looks sick.
“Are you going to pass out on me?” He shakes his head as fear crossed his face.
“No, I was just wondering if you to want to accompany me to Jessie’s shifting party.” Sam rushes the words and I take a moment to understand what he is saying
“You want me to go to the party with you? As in a date?” I cross my arms as he scratches the back of his head.
“More or less. Unless you agreed to go with someone else.”
“I am going with Andrew and my father.”
“Alpha Blake,” he smiles, “but Andrew doesn’t count. He’s a brother to you.”
“And,” I question him.
“Don’t take it the wrong way,” the frustration he is feeling is burning in his eyes.
“What way am I supposed to take it?” I snap at him. “How old are you anyway? Twenty three? Shouldn’t you be looking for your mate?”
“Well she’s not here, and neither is yours,” he counters.
My hands ball into fists, how dare he?
“Instead of the both of us going solo to this we should go together,” his blue eyes smolder mine.
“I’m not going solo. Now, if you excuse me I have someone waiting on me,” I shove pass him and I can hear him walking behind me.
Normal teen girls are scared that when they are asked out on a date by a boy, their father would come after the boy with a shotgun.
Now imagine my situation when a male asks me out, and it does not end well they can either face the alpha head-on or risk being banished.
I take the steps two at a time and pull open the screen door, “hurry I don’t have all day.” I bellow at Sam as he takes a leisurely pace up the porch.
“Come on Melany,” he smiles at me, “I didn’t crash and burn that bad,” he remarks.
“No,” I question, “ask my father that. He heard everything,” he gulps again and I can see him squirm. “He’s waiting for you!”
I hold the door open and he walks inside, “he’s on the third floor to the end. Knock and wait for him to invite you in.”
Pushing past him I head to the second floor and walk into my room where Andrew is laying on my bed.
“What was that all about?” Andrew looks over at me and I shrug sitting next to him.
“He wanted me to go to Jessie’s shifting party with him tonight,” I roll my eyes.
“And you said yes?” He scrunches up his face.
“No! I said no.”
You tell that cocky jerk, my wolf agrees.
“Why make such a huge scandal when he’s not even my mate.”
In my species we have mates. Mate is technically your soul mate. Another half. The missing piece of your puzzle. When we find our mate we start the mating process which consists of three steps.
One, on your sixteenth birthday wolves, normally, shift for the first time earning their inner wolf. Your inner wolf is like your conscience but with a mind of its own. This is when you are on the hunt for your mate. I happen to earn my wolf when I was nine years old.
When you transform for the first time it is a milestone, something to celebrate - that is not what occurred when I shifted. It was more of a nightmare but instead of waking up it - it was my reality.
Andrew and I were playing in the front yard of the packhouse where we thought we were safe. Keyword thought! My father was inside conducting a meeting with the other alphas when a teenage rogue snuck past our patrolmen. He made his way to us eyeing us like prey. We were too entertained with our game of tag to realize what was happening.
There are a few ways to become a werewolf. One, this is the most important one, it has to be in your bloodline. You cannot turn just by being bitten! That is just a myth. It is passed down from generation to generation.
Two, the werewolf gene does not come into play until it is invoked like the coming of age which is sixteen or when you are in danger. Not just any danger though it has to come from something supernatural. If someone points a gun at me and shoots, I would not automatically shift.
The rogue had its mindset on attacking us. When he made his move, is when my wolf burst through me. It was a scary experience one second I am running away from Andrew not wanting to get tagged and the next thing my body drops to the ground. I wither in pain. It was as if death was upon me, my insides twist and tear.
My mind was the part that hurt the most, someone else coming into your head and not controlling what they say or think they are their person.
The scream of pain turns into a howl and my nail elongate into claws digging into the ground. I fight with my mind as my body convulsed and fur burst through my body. Andrew stares at the scene unfolding before him screaming for my father.
The alpha always knows when someone in his pack has turned. They have a sixth sense and they feel part of their pain. When Andrew screamed for him he ran out of the house to aid his daughter.
My werewolf self-was just a red little furball - a pup. The rogue taking advantage of the distraction goes after Andrew. It shot out of the trees like a bullet running straight at him as I lay on the ground trying to make sense of what was happening. The door to the packhouse burst open.
An indescribable whimper that came out of my father gave me the energy to jump forward and take his attack head-on. The rogue’s teeth tore into the skin of my right shoulder. He held me for a few seconds but I swear those were the longest seconds of my life. He shakes me around tearing the tissue in my shoulder he then precedes to throw me to the side like an old chew toy.
My father shifted followed by his beta. My father went after him. The events after that are still a blur but Andrew has always worried about me since then. My father stayed by my side for a week helping me nurse my arm back to health. I was young and scared to let my wolf help me heal so I healed so much slower.
Andrew sits up from my bed his hair is flat from the back, “The only reason it would be a scandal is if you let it become one. Well, I guess we should get ready for the party.”
“Let’s go celebrate my father’s pack getting bigger,” tucking a strand behind my ear I sigh.
“I heard that wolves from other packs are coming down.” He smiles, “Hopefully no one wants to fight because I will drop them.”
I bite down on my lip and fight off a fit of laughter.
“What if a girl wants to fight you,” I burst into laughter and Andrew rolls his eyes.
“Nah, I have the best fighter wrapped around my arm.” He wiggled his eyebrows. I love how he puts me in the category of the fighters and doesn’t say I’m the best female fighter.
The Moonless pack is growing every day but the important members are the old-timers. They believe that women should be at home feeding and nurturing our future fighters and the males handle all the business.
Thankfully my father never agreed with that and has been training me to since I shifted.
Andrew goes into his room and I am left alone to get myself ready. After a nice shower, I decide that I want to be myself. The leather around my arms sends a chill down my spine. The leather jacket fits me nicely and the black skinny jeans and black boots complete my outfit.
There is a knock on my door as I finish pulling my hair into a ponytail.
My father walks into my room, his eyes take me in and there is a sad gleam in them, “Red, you remind me so much of her,” he sighs.
I never met my mother she died giving birth to me. Arabella was her name and from what people tell me I got my fierce red hair and stormy grey eyes from her. My attitude and personality came from my father but I guess that is what happens since he was a single father.
What am I supposed to tell him?
He loves me to pieces but I hate that when sadness overtakes him by the mere sight of me. Like I said mates are our soul mates and when one of them dies the other one rarely lasts long after.
The town’s elders have been to the house over the years checking in on him making sure he is still in control over himself and his wolf. He stayed alive because I had no one to care for me. No grandparents, aunts, or uncles so he fought off his depression to stay here and take care of me.
“Are you ready to go?” His voice softens over the years I sigh and nod at him again.
“Alpha Blake,” Andrew is just outside my room, “how are you on this fine evening?” Andrew loves my father and vice versa.
“I’m good sonny,” he ruffles up Andrew’s gelled hair and before he complains my father claps his hands. There is a slight disgust in his eyes, “you left my hands sticky with that goop,” without another word my father rushes into my bathroom.
“Well I would have warned you if you gave me a heads up,” Andrew yells in my father’s direction.
After Andrew fixes his hair and my father cleans off his hands we are off to the party. My father will just say his speech about how happy he is to have ‘insert name’ join our pack and blah blah. Then he will be back home conducting another pack meeting, training, or off on a patrol.
I have been to so many of these that they all end up being a blur why should this one be any different.
My father leads us to Jessica Erring’s house which is walking distance from the packhouse. Our town is surrounded by trees for easy coverage from humans. The leaves crunch under our feet as we walk through the dense forest. Jessica is a few years younger than me but I remember seeing her around the school. Loud music is coming from behind the house as we make our way over.
The bonfire is lighting up the dance area where people are grinding on each other. My father rolls his eyes and gestures he will be with the older people. The deejay is dancing along when a few girls go to him wanting to request a song.
“Bye,” I say to him as he makes his way away from all the teenagers.
“God,” Andrew’s eyes are huge as he watches the people dance with each other, “this is unpleasantly hot,” he smiles at me.
Andrew is like a newborn at the party. Everything fascinates him. He does not come out much you see. He is living with us at the moment. His parents kicked him out when he first shifted.
Andrew got his wolf on his sixteenth birthday. His parents were euphoric, but that was short-lived. When Andrew shifted for the first time he destroyed his home and attacked his mother. His father shifted as well and dragged Andrew outside.
Andrew was not prepared to have someone as strong-willed as his wolf sharing the same mind and body. Once outside Andrew ran away from his father and into town. We are supposed to keep our kinda secret so running into town in a panic does not help that.
At the time my father’s mind linked with Andrew’s. He ran out on me while we were having dinner. A rare occurrence having dinner with my father, it was not the first time he ran out on me. But it was the first time someone other than my father tried to mind linking me.
I sat frozen in place as the images of a terrified Naomi, Andrew’s mother, cried as Andrew went after her.
Then the images of panicked humans running away from a crazed wolf appeared. My wolf urged me to help him. She pulls me out of my chair. I ran as fast as I could to my best friend shifting when I stepped out of the house. That was the first time I ever shifted without feeling a thing. We both wanted the same thing, and that was to save our friend.
When we reached the outskirts of town, my father had Andrew, his jaw clench on his neck, as Andrew’s wolf snapped at my father.
Melany, go home.
My father was in full alpha mode, I whimper in protest.
I can help him, father.
I didn’t move closer as I feared he would take it as a challenge. You never disobey an alpha - even if he’s your father.
He’s dangerous, he attacked his mother. My father growled at me.
Andrew had not spoken through the whole ordeal. He was in the darkest corner of his mind replaying his mother’s face over and over. Her wide eyes, jaw dropped, and pale as a ghost. Her son attacked her. I know what my father is planning on doing next.
He’s part of my pack, you banish him you banish me.
The words lash through me and my father’s body stiffens his white and black wolf stares into my eyes.
Are you being serious? You don’t know what you’re saying!
You know he is the closest thing I have to a sibling, and he’s scared just look at him.
He went after his mother and then came out in public where he could have hurt an innocent bystander.
Andrew was taking this all in, his frantic wolf calming down.
He could have, we all could have but look he’s fine, and no one got hurt.
My father’s jaw loosens up on Andrew’s neck and he slides to the ground. With his tail tucked between his legs, Andrew makes his way towards me and lowers his head knowing full well I am the reason he is still here.
My father was livid with me, but he understood. He knew that he couldn’t banish Andrew and I would be okay with it. He is my brother and my father knew I would raise hell if my best friend banished. Andrew and I run back to the packhouse. In the backyard I talking him back into shifting into his human form.
That was what made my father even angrier. I was in my human form and trying to convince a recently shifted wolf to come to his senses. Andrew cried and whined as he fought hard against his wolf. My father being the alpha felt all his pain and came out to help me. He told me that Andrew was afraid of hurting me and that I should back off and let him handle it. Andrew and my father’s bond grew stronger after that night.
My father ordered Andrew to choose to either move to the packhouse or leave the pack. Andrew’s father clarified he wanted nothing to do with Andrew. He cannot trust him and he does not want to lose his mate just because his son cannot control himself. You can guess what he chose. He has not talked to his parents since the incident but I know he misses them. He saw my father as his father figure always trying to make him proud.
“Hey,” an olive skin girl makes her way towards Andrew, “care to dance?” Andrew glares at me before making his way towards the girl.
Please don’t make fun of me.
That’s my job.
Andrew can’t dance to save his life and he knows it but he must think the girl’s hot to embarrass himself.
“Just like I thought,” the voice booms from behind me, “you’re alone.” Sam walks up as his arm brushes against my jacket.
“Good thing I can be on my own,” I hiss.
“You want to dance?”
A smile creeps across my lips, “I can also dance on my own!” Looking up at him I see the utter confusion etched across his face.
“Move aside,” shoving him away from me I make my way towards the dance area swaying my hips and shoulders to the song.
Dancing has always come easy. The music runs over my body and I move with it.
“You can go home,” I emphasize to Sam as I move through the crowd hoping that he gets the hint and leaves me alone.
The crowd does not hold me back as I walk through it making my way to the other side. There are tables set up with drinks, food, and desserts.
“Now that’s the reason to come to a party,” free food.
My wolf agrees and my mouth waters. Dig in!
“The alpha is about to about to take over the mic,” the deejay says and I roll my eyes. He barely got here.
Scanning the table I settle on a hamburger as the screeching noise of the mic makes me cringe.
“This is Alpha Blake wanting to congratulate Jessica Erring gaining her wolf.” I allow my father’s speech to fall into the back of my mind as I prepare my burger.
“Melany,” Andrew is by my side, “I should have known you would get food.” Looking him over I see his cheeks are red and his button-up shirt is unbuttoned at the top.
“Take it,” he is eyeing my burger as if it were the last drop of water in the desert.
“Thanks,” he smiles at me taking my burger, “I’ll get us some drinks.” Andrew walks straight into the still crowd.
“Mind making me one,” my teeth grind together. I swear I tried being civil.