I swear I am one huge fuck up. Chase is only trying to be a friend and a better shadow for me. The shadows before him did not work out for a reason. Now that I have one that does not see me as a weak human I somehow manage to screw it up.
I cost him his job! For what? To piss off a person I had no chance of winning in a fight.
Once Chase is out of my room I feel as if we are somehow closer. Even though I did hate him in the beginning, and I mean hate him, he somehow grew on me. He is being put up for evaluation so that only means one thing—my mother has someone up her sleeve.
I need to be on my A-game and show my mother that I can do it all on my own or at the very least with Chase as my shadow.
It seems as if I try really hard and stop letting the thought of having a shadow around me that Chase and I could, maybe, possibly be friends.
I relax into my bed and taking a deep breath I notice that there is a soft scent in the air and breathing it in it hits me—it’s Chase’s woodsy aroma, the scent of pine, riverbed, and fur. It makes me feel safe and sound as I let my tiredness take me under.
The trees rush past me as I run through them. The wind makes me feel alive, even if it for a moment.
A large wolf burst through the bushes but there is no fear in me. I stare at it for a moment and continue to run.
The smell of wildflowers invades my senses as I come to stop. The wolf does the same. I inhale deeply as I allow myself to get lost in my own world.
There a peace within me because of the wolf beside me.
I don't want to leave. The wolf starts to fade away as the whisper gets louder.
"Melody," my name is soon followed by a hard shake of my shoulders.
“Five more minutes,” I groan as the light suddenly burns my eyelids and I hiss grabbing my blanket to cover my face.
“Get up!” The voice invades my once peaceful sleep.
“No!” I whine as I am now able to open my eyes under the safety of my blanket. It is morning for sure but who the hell is trying to wake me up so damn early.
“I made you breakfast, it's your favorite,” her voice sounds sweet and alluring.
“I’m not that hungry,” I say as I slowly lower my blanket and look at her, my mother. My mother is ready for her day it appears as if she has been out. A thin cotton hoodie wraps around her, her fierce red hair is tamed into a tight ponytail, and her grey eyes look straight at me.
“I would rather have you fed for some of the things that we have to discuss and I am not taking no for an answer do you understand Melody Julia Hunter!” Oh shit, she used my whole name.
“Yes Alpha,” I answer and she narrows her eyes at me I know that she hates it when I do not call her mom or by her first name but lately, she has made me feel like the rest of the pack members might as well treat her the way she deserves.
“Melody, stop that!” She snaps at me.
“Stop what?” I retort and her eyes set ablaze the anger that I am inflicting within her.
“You don’t call me alpha understand,” she seethes and an involuntary shiver runs through my body.
“Yes ma’am,” I say and her eyes widen.
“You’ve been hanging out with Chase more. He is rubbing off on you,” she looks at me as if waiting for me to deny our friendship.
“Speaking of Chase I have to get ready we have a training lesson this morning,” I look at my alarm and it states that it is 6:25 am, “and I am running late.” I fight my blankets off of me as the cling on to me like a clingy child.
“Well I will be waiting for you downstairs you’re not avoiding our talk!” She walks out of my room with the grace that belongs to a famous ballroom instead of my bedroom. My mother has the grace of a dancer but from the stories that my father tells me, that has not always been the case.
I manage to escape the captivity of my blankets and drop on my ass as I pull it hard. I call it a win even though my ass is probably going to be bruised later. In record time I am showered, hair is still wet but brushed, my mouth is minty fresh, and I am sporting my converse, sweats, and tee-shirt look.
“Melody!” My mother yells from downstairs and I turn to look at the time, 6:42 am. Grabbing a scrunchy off my vanity I walk through my door and head downstairs where a delicious aroma wafts over me—Bacon, waffles, maple syrup, coffee, and banana bread.
I walk inside the kitchen and find my mother sitting at the island with a cup of joe in her hands. Her eyes take me in and she motions for me to sit in front of her with her eyes. A plate is already set for me and of course, she would put a glass of milk and orange juice. My father would have made me tea or at the very least let me have some coffee.
Walking to the island I sit down and avert my eyes from her staring down at my plate. Bacon and eggs.
Devouring the unborn as never really appealed to me!
“So-” does she want me to outright tell her what she wants to talk to me about?
“I wanted to talk to you about some important things,” she takes a sip of her coffee and then looks back at me, is she nervous? “I wanted to be the one to tell you-” I pop a piece of bacon into my mouth knowing that I will be losing my appetite soon, “that we are looking into getting you a new shadow. Someone more-”
I cut her off, “Suitable. I’ve already had this conversation. Can I be honest with you, mother,” even the word does not settle well with my mind, “don’t you think my father should be here as well since this does have something to do with his offspring as well.”
I can see my mother throwing the mug to the side as her anger gets the best of her but as usual, she is calm and gently puts down her mug on the counter and turns her hard gaze at me.
“Your father and I have discussed this and even though we both do not see eye to eye he has decided to entertain my idea,” she whispers rather calmly but I know that there is an undercurrent of anger in her tone and I nod at her. The knock at the door makes me slide down my stool and walk towards the kitchen entryway but pause before going any further.
“He only entertains your ideas to keep you happy but I know that he hates being stuck in the middle of us. That’s why he is working double so that he can get some rest from our bickering and I don’t think that’s fair, for him anyway.”
I walk out and make my way towards the front door. I pull it open and Chase is there with his windblown hair and white tee shirt and black workout pants. He greets me with a huge smile that I reciprocate.
“Mornin,” he seems to be in a good mood this morning.
“Morning,” I beam back at him, “um I want to ask you something,” I walk out the front door onto the porch and Chase moves aside making room for me.
“And what is that?” He runs his fingers through his hair and shakes his hair to add some volume to it? I have no idea.
“It’s kind of hypothetical!” I look over at him from the corner of my eye. He scrunches up his eyebrows and then shrugs.
“Shoot!” He seems to entertain my crazy thoughts.
“Let’s just say, hypothetically,” I walk down the steps with Chase on my heels, “that one day we are being attacked,” Chase nods as I paint a picture in his head, “I still have you like a shadow and I am still wolfless, vulnerable, human, you would protect me, right!”
“That’s my job, pup!” I roll my eyes at his nickname.
“Okay, but, remember hypothetically, the person attacking me was someone we all trusted?"
"That wouldn't matter to me," he states coolly. "It could be my best friend going after you my job is one thing. To keep you safe. That is what I would do."
"What if it was my mother?” An involuntary growl gets caught in his throat and he snarls shaking his head.
“What the fuck Melody,” he snaps at me and I can see the mental pain I am putting him through. His face contorts into one of anguish. His hands press hard against his head as he tries to physically comfort the pain that I mentally inflicted.
“Just answer it,” I ask him turning on my heels to face him as he has stopped walking and is trying to calm his breathing. His eyes appear to want to darken but Chase is not allowing his wolf to push through.
“You’re single handily going to rip me into two, I’m bursting at the seams with your stupid question. Why the hell would we ever be in that situation?” His voice is laced with anger at the predicament that I am putting him in. This is a battle that I feared.
“Just answer me,” I snap at him and I see that his eyes are darkening, his wolf is winning. I can see the answer written on his face but I want him to say it.
“My wolf would stay loyal to his alpha,” he hisses. So he would side with my mother, “but my human form would protect you.” He would attack his alpha to keep me safe. "The alpha would not hurt a single hair on your head as long as I am breathing."