Five separate battling circles connected in a circular pentagon located in a wood clearing. In each one of them, there is a battle, either between Alphas, Betas, or Gammas. The air is intense even with everyone talking loudly, sitting in the wooden bleachers. I sat on the soft ground and leaned my back against a large maple tree.
My eyes focused in on Alpha Hunter fighting off Alpha Ezra. Alpha Hunter's golden hair will glisten every now and then underneath the sun. I snacked on some trail mixes and turned my attention to Beta Ace. It is amazing to see such a slender, yet muscular man moved so fluidly, almost like he was in a dance. The way he bends his back or swipes his legs underneath his opponents seemed to flow like water down a stream. A loud gasp from the bleachers caught my attention. I turned to see a few girls giggling and pointing towards the battling circles.
I followed their line of vision and found myself staring at Gamma Judah. He had just knocked his third opponent down to the ground. Sweat dripped down his jaw, neck and beaded his chest. I tried tearing my eyes away, but I know why the girls were gasping. He's gorgeous with the sweat glistening on his chiseled chest and rock-hard abs, not to mention the deep v-line that ran down his black cotton shorts.
His opponent is unconscious. Running a hand through his thick burnt umber locks, he looked up and the girls literally squealed with happiness. Curling my lips in disgust and unhappiness, I glared in their direction. Can they be any more obvious? It's disgusting. I hate it.
Then I remembered who they were ogling, and I directed my attention to him. Only to find him staring at me. My face dropped, and I couldn't help but be surprised.
His chest rose up and down heavily as he tried to even out his breathing. My eyes dropped down to his natural dark-hued lips. It parted as he took a deep inhale and exhales. Gulping, I blinked and looked away. It took everything in me to not look at him. I will not succumb and be one of those girls.
I directed my attention back to Alpha Hunter, whom too knocked his opponent down to the ground before putting his opponent in a deathlock. Alpha Ezra growled and tried shaking Alpha Hunter off. He lost, and he didn't like it at all. Alpha Hunter, however, was grinning.
Beta Ace, unfortunately, lost to this battle. It was a hard one. The Beta he went up against has a reputable record on his fighting skills and is none other than Alpha Justine's Beta.
And then we were down to two. Alpha Hunter and Gamma Judah.
The round ended quickly, and the new opponents stepped up to the battle circles. This continued to almost halfway through the day. People left, and people came back. I noticed Alpha Hunter, Gamma Judah, and Beta Ace sitting underneath a tree talking amongst each other. Pointing their fingers and gesturing with hands.
A few female juveniles hovered closer to them—laughing and giggling. Their laugh was so obvious that we can all see whose attention they were seeking. Beta Ace looked up first from their tight conversation and gave the juveniles a questioning look. Gamma Judah didn't even bother looking. His back faced them, and he was crouched over while sitting on a log.
He never pays attention to anyone and somehow, I felt a sudden joy in that realization, but it was so out nowhere that I quickly killed it. I stomped on it, stabbed it, and even doused it with cold water. There have to be no feelings. He is Gamma Judah. What am I? Insane?
Snorting, I took a big slurp of my concession drink. I am insane. I can't keep looking at him because in three days I will be turning eighteen. I will find my mate and I do not want any feelings involved. I don't want strings. I don't want emotions to conflict with what I can't avoid which is the mate bond. Feelings for another before you meet your mate is a call for disaster. I can't handle that kind of drama.
But I mean, I can still look, right?
I laughed at my own internal conversation. I'm seriously going to need to get checked. My eyes flew back to the trios who were still talking amongst each other. The girls have moved closer now and laughing louder than ever.
Suddenly, Judah looked up and looked straight at me.
He pointed and gestured for me to come hither.
Well, someone slaps me sideways. He must be insane to think I will listen to him now. I listened to him before when he ordered me to stay and watch him play. That I was to go nowhere but where he was but now, I have to go over to him.
I shook my head.
His eyebrows furrowed, and he shot a glare my way that literally stated, 'get the fuck over here now or else'.
Sighing, I grabbed my trail mixes and drink before making my way towards him. I made sure to walk around the bleachers, away from wandering eyes. When I finally emerged on his side of the field, I walked past the girls who were laughing. They shot glares my way. Sighing even more dramatically, I rolled my eyes and walked over to stand in front of the trio.
"What am I to you?" I questioned Gamma Judah.
"Rose," he replied.
Well, no duh, genius.
"I am not a dog where you will make simple commands I will follow," I pointed out.
Alpha Hunter and Beta Ace smirked at my response.
Gamma Judah sighed before grabbing onto my arm and tugging me towards him.
"W-w-wait, what are you doing?" I lost my confidence the second he yanked me down onto his lap, my legs between his.
"Do me a favor and shut up," he growled into my ear.
I fought the shiver that ran through my body so hard, I almost broke out into a sweat. No need to fight, just have Gamma Judah breathe down my neck and my body heats up like a furnace.
I wiggled in his lap, but his arms tightened around my waist, digging into my side.
"Listen to me, Rose," he said huskily.
"I can listen to you without sitting in your lap-"
Beta Ace laughed.
"I can't think with these girls breathing down my back and hearing their screeching giggles. You will help me in this or so help me god, I will make your life miserable when we go back home," he threatened. Somehow, I'm sensing these threats will not be followed upon.
"Oh yeah, like what?" I boldly responded.
"Like I can make you test subject every gym session. By the time you are out of that class, your whole body will ache."
What in the world? How can a threat sound...sound...god damn sensual? My heart skipped a beat. I gulped before stilling in his lap. His arm relaxed around me.
The quietness pulled me away from him and I turned my head to see the girls walking away begrudgingly.
"They are gone," I commented.
He ignored me and they continued to discuss amongst themselves until I heard my name being brought up. My attention snapped back to them.
"What about me and my mother?" I asked.
Gamma Judah looked at me before his eyes connected with his friends.
"I made a bet with Alpha Justine. It seems that you have impressed her at yesterday's game. She's willing to place a bet with me in this competition. If she won, she wants you as her pack member-"
"Wait--"I have never felt this much anger before.
"Don't worry, we won't lose," Gamma Judah, for the first time, tried to assure me.
I pushed off his lap and glared at Alpha Hunter.
"What am I to you? What is my mother to you? We have provided service for the pack—for the benefit of the pack. My mom and I have never disobeyed the pack rules. How can you do this to us?" It was the first time I have ever spoken up like this but when it comes to my only family member and respect, I hold those two things close to me.
"It's not going to happen," Gamma Judah said once again.
"And I heard you but that doesn't change the fact that you disrespected us. We are not objects or chess pieces. We might not be high ranking officials or bear any titles to our names but we are your pack members."
"Rosemary, don't look at it that way-"
I pushed away from Gamma Judah suddenly, catching him off guard.
"How about I make this easier on you three? How about I make the decision and move out of the pack with my mom?" I growled.
"Not a fucking chance," Gamma Judah snarled back. He stood up too.
I walked away, not bothering to even look back at them. I'm disgusted with them. I'm upset and right now I needed to get away.
I walked away from the competition. The noise slowly dying but the footsteps behind me were not. I know who it was even before looking.
"Don't walk away from me," Gamma Judah demanded.
"Shut up and leave me alone," I snapped.
Suddenly, I was grabbed, turned, and pushed up against a hard naked chest. Thick muscular arms wrapped around me, trapping me.
"Get off me, you dumbass," I yelled.
"Not until you agree to calm down and listen to me," he answered.
After five minutes of struggling, I finally stopped and settled on glaring at him. His dark olive eyes were looking right at me.
"I understand you are pissed off," he said.
"You are damn right I am. When we get back home, I'm taking my mom and we are leaving-"
"You will not be going anywhere." His voice grew low and threatening. His eyes were pits of dark moss.
"My mom doesn't deserve that kind of disrespect. She's a good person. She took care of me. She took care of the pack. She cooked and cleans. She does everything she can for the benefit of the pack. We know what we do might not be much but that doesn't stop us from contributing in the only way we can. She took care of me and I can't—I can't let you hurt her like that. I can't let you treat her that low."
He sighed and closed his eyes. I watched him try to control his emotions. A minute past by before he opened his eyes and looked at me.
"You're right. Your mother deserves better. She doesn't deserve to be treated that way. Hunter can be stupid sometimes but don't hate him. He is not a bad Alpha. He is still learning, and you have to learn to forgive him for the things that he will do wrong in the future. Leaders are not born knowing what's right or wrong already. Leaders are born still learning everything that we are. We all make mistakes," he reasoned.
"I still think he's an asshole," I grumbled.
Judah dropped me back onto my feet once he realized I wasn't going to make a dash for it.
"He made a mistake, but you can trust that I will not lose that bet. I will win. Your mom and you are safe and will not go anywhere," he promised.
I looked at him. Why did he look so sincere? Why wasn't there any hate or malice in his eyes? It's so different looking into these pair of eyes. I've never seen them before and now that I am, my heart feels like it is bursting.
I blinked before looking down at my feet.
"Ok," I replied.
The next few battles were tough because only the best was saved for last. Alpha Justine tapped out even before had a chance to fight with Alpha Hunter but that was because she was still young and learning. Her father was still ruling as the official Alpha of her pack. Alpha Hunter was different. He won the next two matches and came in first place for Alpha competition. Alpha Justine's Beta won first place in the Beta competition.
And then there was Judah.
The second to last battle was a hard one. He went up against Alpha Ezra's Gamma who was so much older and a lot more experience. He popped Gamma Judah's right arm, but Judah put him in his place. Alpha Justine gained one point with her Beta and Alpha Hunter gained one point with his win. Now, Gamma Judah had to win the bet.
However, Judah put Alpha Ezra's Gamma in his place and with just one arm. His fight wasn't over though. After the fight, Alpha Hunter had to pop his arm back into place, but healing could take hours.
"You will be fine?" I asked.
Judah's tired eyes met mine.
"You're afraid I will lose?" he asked.
"I'm afraid you will get hurt," I responded before I realized what I said. I slapped a hand over my mouth. "I mean, I'm afraid that you will lose and my mom and I- "
"I'll be fine, Rose." He did not sound convincing. He sounded like he was in a lot of pain.
"I mean, it's okay if you can't do it. My mom and I can go live with Alpha Just- "
"Not a fucking chance," he growled.
"Ok," I stopped but felt like I needed to say something and so I mumbled a, "Just be careful."
His last fight was with another Gamma who was almost twice his size. His arm was as big as my two thighs together. I shivered underneath the intensity in this Gamma's eyes. He looked like he was ready to kill.
"Don't underestimate Jude, darling." Beta Ace smirked my way, noticing how I am cowering so hard.
"Why?" I asked.
"Judah is a hard man to get to know but once you get to know him well, you won't have a problem understanding his actions and thoughts. He's a very complex man but he is every bit as good as he looks." Alpha Hunter replied.
"Out of us three, he is the one who doesn't mess around. Always focused and always learning," Beta Ace added.
I turned back to Judah who looks badly beaten right about now.
"The way you are looking at him, people might say you like him." Alpha Hunter laughed.
I turned to give Alpha Hunter a scowl before looking back just in time for Judah to take the upper hand. Easily taking up the opportunity to pivot underneath the giant's arm and hitting hard on his ribcage. The roar of pain indicated that the giant might have a broken rib or two. And just like that, although bloodied with bruises, Gamma Judah took the upper hand continued to hold the upper hand.
Knocking the Giant to the ground happened in mere minutes. It didn't take long before the Giant was unconscious, and the crowd rumbled with victory cries. Alpha Hunter slapped Beta Ace on the arm happily. Gamma Judah slowly made his way towards us, clutching his side.
"Fuck, that was hard," he grumbled before casting his eyes towards me.
Again, my heartfelt like it was about to burst underneath those intense and raw olive eyes.
YES, ANOTHER ONE. Lol. This one is almost 3k words. Hopefully, it will make you feel a little bit better?