Evony stared at the three pieces of mail with trepidation, though there was only one that was really the source of her nerves. Graduating high school in just a few months, this was the moment that she was waiting for, college acceptance letters. The first two, she knew beyond a doubt that she was accepted. Between her exemplary grades throughout her high school career, her volunteer work with the Wolf Sanctuary after school, plus the fact that the dean of one of the schools was a pack member, Evony was a definite shoe-in.
It was the third piece of mail that gave her pause of concern. She met all of the qualifications to apply, but Harvard’s acceptance policy was strict, and even if she got in, the chances of her going were slim. She knew exactly what her father would say, “unless on pack business, an Alpha’s daughter has no business on enemy territory.” But for the best program available for International Public Relations, she just had to try. Still, Evony had to find out if she got in first.
And there she was, in her bedroom staring at the three envelopes on her bed. Evony snatched the first envelope, which coincidentally, was her third choice school.
She continued reading the letter, she was only receiving a partial scholarship, and even though she had no intention of going to the school, it still kind of stung that with her over qualifications, they weren’t giving her a full ride. Whatever.
The second envelope was in her hands before the first letter even hit the bed. “And the runner-up is...” Evony said to herself as she tore through the seal.
And just like the previous school, they were only offering a partial scholarship. Though the amount of money was slightly more, so was the tuition, leaving the balance almost the same amount of money.
Evony blew out the air in her lungs and started a one-sided staring contest with the envelope that would make or break her. She could feel her wolf pacing as Evony herself bit her bottom lip. Evony knew that if Harvard rejected her, or if they only offered a partial scholarship like the other schools, there was no way she would be able to convince Alpha Jermaine Morris, her father into letting her go.
Sitting on the bed now, Evony picked up the envelope that was easily stressing her out. ‘Calm down,’ she told her wolf and herself, though at the moment she couldn’t tell who needed to hear those words more. After a quick prayer to the moon goddess, Evony slowly opened up the envelope that could possibly determine her future. When the seal was completely open, Evony pulled the letter out but closed her eyes before she could smooth out the creases. “Get it together Evony, get it together,“she said just before opening her eyes to skim the letter for the words she was hoping to see.
“Yeeeeessssssssssss” she cried out and jumped off her bed. Evony’s happy dance was uncoordinated but she didn’t care. She was determined to dance like nobody was watching, which she knew they weren’t, but still. This was the happiest she’s been in a long time and nothing could ruin it. Not even the prospect of telling her dad.
Well, shit. That did ruin it.
Evony immediately stopped dancing and looked around her room. ‘Daddy are you busy?’ she mind linked with her father and started changing out of her jeans and t-shirt outfit and chose a navy blue pant suit from her closet. She was brushing her hair into a neat bun when he finally contacted her back.
‘Just finished up a meeting, meet me in my office in five minutes.’
Deciding to forgo the suit jacket, Evony threw on the string of pearls her mother left her over the red blouse, grabbed the three letters, and left the sanctuary of her room. Her heels clicked and clacked as she made her way downstairs to the office of Alpha Jermaine Morris. The few people that saw her in the hallways nodded towards her with the respect of an alpha.
Evony allowed one calming breath before she knocked on his door. His booming voice yelled, “Come in,” and Evony wished she didn’t have to do this.
“Hi daddy. How was your day?” She asked and sat in the chair across from his desk. Alpha Morris scarcely looked at his daughter and continued working on his computer.
“It was fine sweetheart. We worked out several different agendas today, but I doubt that’s what you wanted to see me about.” Alpha Morris finally looked up at his daughter and was pleased that she was dressed nicely. “How’s my daughter doing?” He asked.
Straight and to the point, Evony placed the three letters on his desk. “The first round of acceptance letters came in.” After looking at the first two, Alpha Morris immediately wanted to wanted to get on the phone to both schools and demand a full scholarship for his daughter. One look at her face, He could see that she was nervous for his reaction. He thought she was upset that she only received a partial scholarship. That is until he saw where the third letter came from.
“Absolutely not! I distinctly remember forbidding you from even applying there, Evony Jaymes!” Alpha Morris was inwardly upset that not only did his daughter defy an order, but she also was scared of him at the moment. But her safety was more important to him. “You have no business being on a territory that we are not in alliance with. The Blood Moon pack will keep you hostage on their territory, just for who you are to me. You know good and well that we are about to go to war with them and you want to walk right in there? Have you lost your mind?”
“Daddy I know about the war, but if I go to Harvard, Alpha Nelson would have to grant me a student amnesty, and he’d have to offer me protection.” Student Amnesty was something the North American packs came to an agreement that werewolves who wanted to pursue higher education anywhere throughout the country, could in fact do so without fear of retaliation from the pack that the school or university happened to be in. Applications had to be approved before the student arrived to school or else they’d be considered a rogue wolf. However, once the application was approved, and they always were, a provisional protection and membership to the pack was extended, but only for social gatherings. Also, pack business to both packs was off limits for the student. “And you know Harvard has the best program for my studies, which you already approved of.”
“I said no! And that’s final.”
“But daddy, they’re offering a full scholarship. I won’t have to pay for anything or apply for a loan.” Evony only had one last play and she hoped that this would be her saving grace.
“Money is no object Evony. I have money, and you have a trust that you just came into control of that more than covers the tuition. And besides if I wanted to, I could call either of these two schools,” he held up the letters of the schools Evony had no interest in going to, “and have the Deans change your status. But you are not going to Harvard.”
Alpha Morris slammed his fist on the desk, and Evony knew there was never going to be a better time to try to sway his opinion. She was never going to the school of her choice with his permission. Downcast, Evony picked up the three letters from the desk and started to make her way out of the office.
“Uhh, before you leave, I do have something I’d like to discuss with you.” Alpha Morris’ tone was a lot calmer than she had expected after such a blow up. Once she sat back down in the chair she had previously vacated, she looked back at her father’s face. It was very evident that she was not going to like what he was going to say next, and she could tell that he knew it.
“As you know, we have been in negotiations with us and the Grey Sky Pack, but we have finally come to an agreement to a new peace treaty.”
Evony watched her father carefully and waited for him to continue. When he didn’t, she added, “Great! That’s wonderful news.” She tried to smile but even she felt it was too tense to be sincere. She started to rack her brain on why her father would be informing her about the negotiations when he had never included her on the talks before. Every time she had accompanied him to the Grey Sky Territory, he always sent her off with Vanessa Daniels, the youngest daughter of Alpha Daniels. They were close enough in age that they had become friends, but she couldn’t see how that would matter to the treaty.
“-And the announcement will be made at the banquet in a week.” Shit, Evony realized that she made a grave error in letting her father continue talking while she wasn’t paying attention.
“I’m sorry, father. What announcement?”
Alpha Morris sighed impatiently and she inwardly cringed because he absolutely hated having to repeat himself. “Your engagement to Alpha Daniels son, Alex. The announcement will be made at the banquet.”
“WHAT?” She tried to think of any interaction that she had with Alex Daniels. He was the arrogant older brother to Vanessa, three years older than herself, and didn’t care that people saw him as the playboy. He was an asshole to his sister and anyone who didn’t treat him like the prince he was – which included Evony. Her wolf whined at the prospect of being anywhere near him. “Absolutely not. I’m not marrying him.”
“You will marry him. You are the Alpha’s daughter and this is for the good of the pack.”
“I most certainly will not. I am your daughter! I am not the pack. I am not a bargaining chip that can be cashed in to garner peace. Silver Fang is not even at war with Grey Sky.” Even as she said the words, everything started to click in place. She glanced at the wall where her father had been monitoring Blood Moon’s ever increasing borders. Her pack, Silver Fang was definitely the richest, but it appeared Blood Moon was making a play to become the biggest pack by swallowing up the smaller packs in its vicinity. “These were never peace negotiations, were they? This is to seal an alliance.”
“Blood Moon is out to destroy our way of life and we have to stop Alpha Nelson.”
“And if I’m already married to Alex Daniels, what do you plan to offer for the next alliance? My first born? You’re being so archaic that this is a new low for you. You are not my father.”
“BUT I AM YOUR ALPHA. YOU WILL MARRY ALEX DANIELS AND THAT’S AN ORDER!” Evony and her wolf submitted, even though both of them tried to fight the Alpha’s Order. Her father had never had to command her using the force of the Alpha until now, and as she bent her neck towards him, she truly hated him for it.
Evony’s eyes burned as she tried to hold the tears back, but even she could feel it was a losing battle.
“And when will the wedding be?” Evony sneered, not caring if her hatred seeped through.
“Alex has been attending one of the colleges in his territory and for that matter so will you. That way the two of you can get to know each other better and we’ll allow the new couple to make that decision.”
“How thoughtful of you.”
However, Alpha Morris continued as if she hadn’t interrupted. “But it would be best if it’s done at the end of the semester, but no later than the end of the year.” She watched as he returned to whatever had him captivated on the computer screen even before she came in. She couldn’t believe he had effectively dismissed her so coldly.
“I was truthful before, when I said you are not my father. Because my father would care that his daughter had dreams. In fact, my father would treat his daughter as a human being, as the child that he had raised from birth. As someone that he loved. Not as someone he’s so eager to get rid of and pass of to someone who won’t even treat her right. I hate you for this. And I hate Alpha Morris.” That was all it took for the tears to start pouring out of her, and Evony took the final steps to leave the office. However, just before she closed the door, she could have sworn she heard her father say something, that she was sure that he hadn’t meant for her to hear.
“You aren’t my daughter.”