Fever Claim

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Wolves are naturally sociable creatures. Being a werewolf, it means I should bear similar characteristics, but I don’t. I find happiness in isolation. I like to climb trees and hide up there for hours. I like to take runs on my own.

I find people complicated.

I find people my age, too immature.

I find that being around people offends me.

Is it that bad that I like being on my own? I don’t know but my mother thinks I have serious issues that need attention.

A few days ago, word traveled all over pack territory that Bethany got rejected by the Gamma. Yes, I listen to the gossip even though I do not interact with people. I still need to know what is going on around my home. It’s good to be oblivious but not all the time.

I don’t understand why she would approach Gamma Judah. He’s a pain in the butthole. The man is always brooding and snapping at people. If I had to compare him to a fictional character, he’s Grumpy from the seven dwarves. I’m just saying the man could use a good smack in the behind every now and then.

Today is a Saturday evening. I finished my homework and just completed another book I found at the school library. My mother isn’t home but at the pack house, cooking. She’s the pastry chef there. The Alphas are very fond of her desserts.

I have nothing else to do. So, I decided to go for a walk.

I pulled on a thick black sweater to match my black sweatpants. Slipping on my converses, I stepped outside. Another weird fact about me, I am not a heater. Everyone else is but I am not. I can’t keep myself warm for the life of me.

Going outside at night, I can hear my feet treading, the cracking of twigs and leaves under my footsteps. A wind blew harshly, and I had to bring up my hoodie to ward off the chill. Looking up into the sky, I can see the moon is out and full. It shined brightly through the thick branches and leaves.

I walked the familiar path. Making my way around logs, tree trunks, and little dips of dirt in the ground. On these walks, I am paying no mind to what is happening around me because one, we don’t get invaded often. Two, we always have someone patrolling the borders. Three, no one is ever walking these woods this late at night.

Tonight, most juvenile wolves are out partying and drinking. Juvenile wolves are wolves who haven’t fully turned eighteen and their mating switch has not switched on. I couldn’t stop my heart from thumping hard against my chest when I realized that in a week, I will be turning eighteen.

I don’t know how I feel about this. A part of me longs for my mate. Another part of me is afraid. Afraid of finding him and he doesn’t like me. I am abnormal. I am the only werewolf in this pack that wears glasses. My mom says it has to do with the fact that I read so damn much, I damaged even my supernatural eyesight. I am a social outcast and introvert. I don’t speak unless I really need to. I am often quiet in groups and people never notices me.

I didn’t realize how deep in thought I was until I bumped hard into a tree, only this tree had heat vibrating from it and had skin. Looking up from staring at the ground, I locked eyes with the one person who I did not want to bump into in this pack.

Pushing my glasses up the bridge of my nose, I pulled back enough to face him. He was wearing nothing but a pair of dark navy shorts. Neither one of us spoke.

“What are you doing out here?” he asked.

I shrugged and looked around us for an escape route. Still deciding what to do, I refuse to meet his eyes. A growl of warning rumbled from deep in chest and a shiver ran down my back.

“Walking,” I grumbled.

“At night?” he inquired, not as a threat but in pure curiosity.

Eyeing a fallen tree that has dried up and carried no more life left, I continued to avoid his eyes. I stuff my hands into my sweatpants pocket, hunching my shoulders. Shifting from one foot to another, I hoped that my silence will tell him to leave me alone because I wanted to finish my walk.

Instead, his fingers connected with my chin and turned me to face him. I didn’t realize how close we were until I am staring deep into his olive colored eyes. The air in my lungs seemed to have left me and I’m left amazed at how beautiful his eyes were.

I pushed hard against his chest and we broke away. I wasn’t aware that there was a tree root behind me. The heel of my shoes connected with the root and I stumbled back. His hand shot out and wrapped around my wrist, yanking me back up to steady me.

Once I was back on my feet, his face transformed into a scowl. His eyebrows wrinkled into a deep V and his lips thinned.

“Go home,” he ordered.

I didn’t need him to tell me twice. I spun on my feet and sped walked all the way home. When I arrived safely in the warmth of the small cabin my mom and I shared. I breathed a sigh of relief before walking to the kitchen and bringing out a large strawberry layered cake my mother just made.

Plopping down in a seat by the dinner table, with a fork in my hand, I dug into the baked good. I eat when I am feeling overwhelmed or a little bit of anxiety.

A picture of his eyes flashed through my mind and I dug for a bigger piece of cake and stuffed into my mouth. I didn’t realize he had such beautiful eyes. They were beautiful when they weren’t glaring and filled with hatred. It startled me and scared me altogether.

Half an hour later and I have downed half the cake my mom just made. The front door opened, and my mom came in a second later.

“My god, Rose, did you eat all that? You are going to get a stomachache,” she cried as she tossed her keys and purse onto the sofa.

My mother has strawberry blonde hair like me. We look very similar and sometimes people mistake us for sisters because we look so much alike. My father is dead, at least that is what my mother told me. She doesn’t say much about him, only that he loved me a lot. I have never seen a picture of him.

She stood next to me and eyed the dessert before turning to me.

“Why are you feeling anxious?” she asked.

Of course, she would know what I was feeling. She raised me.

“Nothing,” I mumbled before digging some more and eating it.

“Uh huh, right, tell that lie to someone else. It doesn’t work on me, pup,” she replied.

Huffing, I threw the fork onto the table before standing up. My mother’s hands grabbed me before I could escape. She sighed and turned me to face her.

“C’ mon, who did it?”

“It’s that dumb Gamma,” I grumbled, unhappily.

“Is he messing with you again?” Her concerned face transformed into a smile and her eyes brightened at the mention of Gamma Judah’s name.

“Mom! He’s a jerk. You are supposed to take my side. I am your daughter.” I reminded her.

She smirked, “I know, you are. I also know that he has the hots for you.”

My mom winked at me before releasing me and walking into the kitchen. Oh, she was a ton of help. I grabbed the fork I threw and sat back down in my seat. I began eating the cake again.

“He does not have the hots for me. Do you remember how many time I came home to you crying? Did you not see how much I was suffering?” I cried.

She chuckled and continued to busy herself in the kitchen. She moved to tie her hair up into a bun before pulling on an apron around her waist.

“You are being overdramatic, Rose. A boy doesn’t tease unless he has reasons too.”

“Yeah, because he hates me,” I protested, jabbing my fork into the cake.

"Or he likes you,” she wiggled her eyebrows.

“Who are you? What have you done with my mother?” I exclaimed in falsified horror.

She clicked her tongue and gave me an exasperated look.

“I am your mother,” she scolded me.

“Prove it,” I threatened.

She laughed before walking to a cabinet and pulled out a large mixing bowl. She knows I am joking but she’s playing along.

“When you were five, we went on a hike in the woods. There was no bathroom nearby and you really needed to go to the bathroom to poop. So I took you around a bush-”

“Ok!” I shouted in horror.

She laughed harder before walking to her pantry and grabbing her baking ingredients, piling them in her arms. Feeling my anxiety leaving me, I stood up and walked over to her. Wrapping my arms around her waist, I pressed my cheek to her back.

“Thank you for making me feel better,” I replied.

“I am always here for you,” she answered.

She placed a hand over my hands that were around her waist and patted.

“Why are you baking at this hour? It’s almost midnight,” I asked.

“I am just about done. I just have to bake some muffins for you guys before you guys head to Dark Moon,” she answered.

I almost forgot. All juvenile werewolves who are going to turn of age soon will be traveling with their soon to be Alpha, Beta, and Gamma to Dark Moon territory where we will all get a chance to meet other packs. The main goal behind this five-day trip was to establish pack ties and connections as well as the opportunity to find your mates.

I released her before walking out of the kitchen. She hummed a small tune as soon as she felt me leave the lower level and walking upstairs to my bedroom.

There, I stripped out of my clothes and bra with the exception of my underwear. I walked to the closet and pulled down an oversized t-shirt from the hanger in the closet to put on. Feeling more comfortable in my environment, I walked to the window and stared out, exhaling slowly.

My eyes scanned the small clearing of our backyard until I saw a familiar shadow in the woods. Blinking, I zoomed in on the shadow, but it disappeared. Figured it was my imagination, I closed the green curtains that reminded me a little of Gamma Judah’s eyes before turning to my bed and slipping underneath.

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