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I stood against my locker with my two twin best friends, and cousins, flanking my sides, yawning as the human boy stood in front of me yelling, cursing, and spewing nonsense.

AJ looked at me, her face scrunching in concern, while a smirking EJ texted on his phone.

“And this is why no one wants to date you” the boy sneered, his face changing from bright red to a deep purple color “You’re a cold, heartless bit...”

Before he could finish his sentence, EJ quickly tucked his phone in his uniform pocket and grabbed the front of the boy’s neatly ironed uniform

“Tsk Tsk Ronald” EJ shook his head “Didn’t your mother ever teach you that name calling is bad? Especially towards girls?”

The boy swallowed

“EJ, let him go” I sighed as I ran a hand through my dark brown hair “He’s not worth the headache”

EJ released the snooty rich kid and returned to his original spot at my side

I took a step toward the boy and he flinched when I reached out to fix his wrinkled sweater vest

“Your absolutely right” I smiled brightly “I am cold and heartless on top of the many other things your little pea brain is saying about me right now”

He paled

“However, one thing you’re wrong about is the fact that people actually think they have the chance at dating me” I pulled his tie up higher and he choked a little “So sorry that you and all the other little boys around here aren’t man enough for me”

I patted his cheek hard and walked away.

AJ and EJ were at my sides immediately

AJ rubbed her temples “Do you always have to humiliate them whenever they ask you out? Can’t you just say no like a regular person?”

“Where’s the fun in that Sis” EJ nudged his sister “Besides, Preppy had it coming. He’s been talking about fooling around with Sin ever since they became lab partners”

I groaned

“Can we please stop talking about him? We’re already late as it is and if we aren’t home in the next five minutes, our parents are going to kill us”

“Since when are you worried about deadlines?” EJ smirked “I thought you showed up whenever you pleased?”

“Yeah well, when your dad threatens to take away your truck, you learn pretty fast to not test his patience”

EJ snickered

“Are you guys going to the ball tonight?”

They raised their eyebrows and I sighed

“Yeah” I said in resignation “It’s not like we have a choice”

“How’s your Dad holding up?” EJ asked “Because Mom’s been sniffling all morning”

“Dad’s well,” I bit my lip “Dad. He’s holding it together for us but there’s this haunted look in his eye. We know he’s hurting but he refuses to acknowledge it”

“Matthews” AJ sighed “They’re a stubborn bunch”

I snorted “You got that right”

We waved a goodbye to each other before jumping in our respective cars.

I smiled when I hopped into my beautiful 1969 restorative Ford truck.

“Hi baby boy” I cooed as I turned him over.

The engine roared to life and I sighed happily as I exited the school’s parking lot, unknotting my tie as I drove home.

My baby was a birthday present from my Dad when I turned sixteen and passed my driving test.

I take great pride in this truck because when I first got him, he was nothing but a sad bunch of rust. It wasn’t until my dad explained to me that we would be building him from the ground up did I get really excited.

I loved working with my dad because he was the only really one that understood me.

Of course my mom understood me but it was a different kind of understanding and relationship. She understood me in ways that my dad couldn’t relate too because, well, he’s my dad and a guy.

Fifteen minutes on the gravelly and bumpy road, I arrived at my destination.

“I seriously need to talk to dad about the road being paved” I muttered as I traveled forward.

I groaned and winced on every bump my truck hit.

I slowed down and smiled when I saw our moderate Pack house come into view.

“I’m home”

Some of the younger kids came into view and were playing football in the road. When they saw my car coming, the paused and waved.

I stopped and a few ran up to my car

“Hi Serenity!” Henry, my favorite 6 year old said as came to my window

I ruffled his hair “Hey Hen, how you doing?”

He beamed “I’m good! My brother’s are teaching me how to play football like them!”

I looked at his three older brothers behind him and waved

They blushed and waved slightly back before stealing the football from Henry

“Hey! Give that back!” He yelled before taking off “I’ll see you later Serenity!”

“See Ya bud!” I yelled back

I started my car back up and drove past the Pack house towards a two story brick home

I parked the car quickly before getting out and running to the front door, nearly slamming it open.

“I’m home!” I yelled as I hung my keys on the key rack

Mom came from our kitchen wearing a long and poofy ball gown while putting one of her earrings on

“Hi sweetie” she kissed my cheek “Hurry up and get dressed, we’re already running behind”

“A minute later and she would have lost all her car privileges” Dad said, walking to where we were standing to hand mom her clutch.

I stuck my tongue out at him “But I didn’t”

“Not this time Missy” he grinned evilly “But sooner or later you’ll mess up and I’ll be there to collect”

“You’re evil” I muttered “Like the Grim Reaper or Satan”

“You haven’t seen evil” He chuckled and ruffled my hair “Hurry up firecracker, we have to stop and see your Uncle before the ball”

I nodded before climbing the stairs to my room

When I was on the last step, I paused to listen in on my parents quiet conversation.

“How are you doing Kade?” Mom asked with worry in her tone.

“I’ve been better” Dad sighed “But I still miss him”

He spoke quieter ” I remember holding him in my arms when he was born, vowing to never let anything harm him and then something did. On my watch. Do you know how that feels? Even to this day, seventeen years later?”

“Oh honey” Mom’s sympathetic voice floated up to me “It wasn’t your fault. Ethan chose to sacrifice himself in order to save everyone else”

“But why?” my dad choked out “If only I was closer...If only I would had got to Kassi first...”

“Then you wouldn’t be here” Mom said softly “And Ethan knew that we needed you. He knew that his nephew and niece needed their father”

My heart ached for my father.

He was always so strong and dependable, so hearing him say such weak and vulnerable things was something foreign to me.

He was my Superman, the rock of our family, and seeing him like this made me doubt my own strength.

There was only one thing that made him like this.

The Annual Memorial Ball for the fallen of the Wolf Moon.

The Wolf Moon occurred when I was one and my brother was five. It was a war that broke out between Hunters and Wolves in order to take control of the Goddess Selene on the Wolf Moon, a Moon that some speculated allowed Selene to talk over the body of one of her descendants and walk the earth for one night. When she took over that person, they were believed to acquirer the powers of the Goddess.

However, that wasn’t the case.

The Wolf Moon was actually a moon used to help prepare the next Queen of the Wolves assimilate into her role as a true leader and Wolf.

In this case Selene’s own descendant, the Wolf Queen herself, Kassiopeia Dimitriou Scott born of both Hunter and Wolf Blood, was chosen to lead the next generation of wolves into an era of peace.

Just when the Hunters were about to kill her, my Uncle (one of her best friends), Ethan Matthews sacrificed himself in order to save her.

Every year around the time of the Wolf Moon, both my dad and Aunt Taylor’s usually happy and strong disposition always turn melancholy.

Mom told me that the moment my Uncle died was the moment that a little piece of them both died with him. He was their brother, my aunt’s twin, and I think they never really recovered from the ordeal, even if it happened seventeen years ago.

“SERENITY! HURRY UP! WE HAVE TO HEAD OUT OR ELSE WE’LL MISS THE BALL!” My dad yelled from the bottom step.

“I wouldn’t be so lucky” I muttered under my breath “OKAY! I’M GETTING DRESSED!! GIVE ME TEN MINUTES!”


I quickly undressed and slid my red gown on before grabbing the matching heels, clutch, and earrings.

I threw on some make-up before fixing my curls from this morning.

There was a knock at my door and my brother Tristan poked his head in

“I’m done!” I said as I finished putting on the last earring

My brother just stared at me, giving me an amused look

“Dad’s gonna have a heart attack” he said before holding out his arm to me “Hell, I’m having a heart attack and you aren’t even my kid”

I walked to him before pinching his cheek and accepted his outstretched arm “I can’t be that little girl with pigtails forever Tris”

“Try explaining that to Dad” he muttered under his breath “Anyways, let’s go over some rules for tonight”

I groaned and tried to pull away but he held on tighter to my arm.

We began walking slowly toward the stairs

Like the tortoise and the hare slow

“Remember, don’t accept drinks from people, especially guys...” He started “Remain in eyesight at all times. When you want to dance, make sure you tell one of us who you’re dancing with. Don’t wander off, avoid all the old sleazebags, ignore all the haters, and most of all, try not to kill someone if they disrespect you. You know how pompous some Alphas and their sons are”

“That was one time!” I defended

He gave me a pointed look

“Okay” I slumped my shoulders “Five times but it’s not my fault that those Alphas chose to not teach their sons how to fight”

He laughed “They do! You just punch like you’re an MMA fighter out for blood”

I snickered as we finished walking down the stairs

When my dad saw me, he frowned

“You look beautiful sweetheart!” My mother gushed, pushing my loose hair back “Oh Kaden, doesn’t she look beautiful?!”

He ignored her question “What happened to the other dress?”

“What other dress?” Both my mother and I asked at the same time

“You know, the one she used to wear” he made gestures with his hands “It had a long poofy skirt with flowers on it and sleeves and a top that ended just below her chin”

My mouth dropped wide open “I wore that when I was like thirteen!”

“Well good” he smiled “It should still fit! You haven’t one bit changed! Go and put it on. We’ll wait”

I frowned, My mother gasped, and my brother coughed awkwardly

“Kaden!” she hit him repeatedly with her clutch “You can’t say things like that!”

“Like what?” he asked generally confused

“She has changed and mature!” My mother said “She has a grown woman body now!”

My father frowned and glared at her while my brother choked on his saliva

I groaned, embarrassed by the topic of conversation “Okay! I think it’s time to go now!”

“We’re not leaving until you changed into something a little more appropriate” Dad said

I looked up at him with puppy dog eyes “I’m not changing”

“Serenity...” he warned

“Dad...” I retorted, hands on my hips

He groaned “I didn’t even approve of this dress”

“You don’t need to approve of my fashion choices” I said “Everything else, yes, but not my fashion choices. Just be glad I’m not like one of those girls that wears a short dress to expose her who-ha in order to get attention”

Dad choked and rubbed his temples before facing my mom “This is your fault”

“How is this my fault?!”

“Because you make gorgeously stubborn kids that like to talk back and don’t listen to me”

Her eyes lit up and she started laughing

“You’re not too bad looking yourself” she winked and he smiled

Tristan and I started to make fake vomit noises

Dad shot us a dirty look “Out! All of you! Before I change my mind!”

I kissed his check “Thanks Dad”

He tried to frown but his smile broke through.

I walked out with my brother but could still hear their conversation from behind us

“I told you didn’t want a girl for this exact reason!” he whispered “She has me wrapped around her pinky finger! Why did you give me a girl!”

“Maybe you should ask yourself that buddy” she patted his chest “I just carried her”

“Besides, you should have never put out in the universe that we we’re having all boys” Mom snickered “Because look what happened. It came back and bit you in the behind”

He grumbled

“And why did we name her Serenity again?” he asked “Because were I’m standing, she’s everything but serene and calm”

I snickered

Tristan opened my door

“Oh, one last rule” he said before closing my door

I looked at him and groaned “What is it?”

“Try not to rope AJ and EJ into your little prank this year” he warned “Because Queen Kassiopeia called saying that they’re still trying to get the blood out of the carpets and curtains”

I laughed and he shut my door

Ah, let the games begin.

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