✔️| The Gift of a Curse {1}

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Ever since I arrived at the Open wound pack, neither Lorenza nor Brook tried to create a relationship with me. I cannot say that I mind or care about that because I have never had any girl friends; for some reason I always find males better suited to be friends. After all, they do not demand to know about every single aspect of their friends’ life. Females on the other hand, expect their friends to have no secrets; and if secrets are kept then they would get upset, and they tend to try and control their friends’ lives and actions. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is how I analyzed the female friendships back in the Red Eclipse pack.
I find it easier to communicate with males; they are outgoing, they do not get jealous or possessive of their friends, and they connect friendship with understanding.
The first time Lorenza tried to actually get closer to me was right before the ceremony. She wanted to do my hair and makeup, but I declined. Suffix to say, she took it personally. She tried to impose herself on me, but I have always been picky when it comes to the people I get close to. Despite her clingy tendencies, I know she is not a bad person. However, unlike Alec, Josh, and Chance I do not know her well. Thus, I do not trust her. Ever since I basically rejected her friendship, she has been given me death glares.
As for Brook, I did not have any real chance to get to know her. Thus, I cannot say anything about her or her personality. According to Joshua, her communication with the rest of the pack is limited because she is dedicated to her dream job. Apparently, she is the medical examiner’s assistant.
I sit in the kitchen as I watch Lorenza give her mate one of her infamous death glares; they must have had a fight about a female Chance said ‘good morning’ to.
I have to say, I do not like the angry bird one bit. Accalia mutters with distaste.
Accalia, I am not in the mood to talk about my dislike about anyone. I lean my head on the kitchen’s table. I place my hands on my head as I try to shut out every noise around me.
Ever since Alec marked me a few days ago, I have been a little weak. I know it is normal as my body is still adjusting to the mark of an alpha. However, it is quite frustrating to have lazy muscles.
I huff as I fail to ignore Lorenza’s growls and the sound of the eggs that Chance cooks. I contemplate leaving the kitchen and leave the mate couple to their dramas. Sadly, my muscles do not agree with me. The thought of getting up and walking makes me feel like I am about to vomit.
When I hear Lorenza growl again, I give up and pull myself away from the table. I watch Chance turn the stove off and place the eggs on a plate where he had already put some toast and sausages on and put the plate in front of Lorenza despite the rude and ungrateful look she gives him.
I roll my eyes at her; she reminds me of the people in the Red Eclipse pack. I force my body to stand up and I slowly walk towards to the door.
“Shadow, wait.” Chance’s voice forces me to stop right before I leave the room.
“Yes?” I turn around in order to face him.
“Xander mentioned this morning that you are still felling a little stiff. I can help you with that.” Chance gives me a smirk. Thus, Lorenza lets out a low growl.
“How exactly are you going to help me?” I give him an amused look just so I can get on his mate’s nerves.
“Well, I was planning to go to the training field to train for a couple of hours. I would love to have a partner.” He grabs a sausage from Lorenza’s plate and eats is in two bites.
“But you said, you were going to go with me to visit my mother.” Lorenza pouts as she slams her fist into the plate breaking it and destroying the breakfast her mate made for her.
“Lorenza, what do you want from me? Just an hour ago, you told me you want to go visit your mother on your own. You said and I quote ‘I do not want you to come with me when I visit my mother.’ So you go and visit your mother and I will go to train.” The beta starts to become rather angry with his mate.
“Yes, but that does not mean that…”
“Lorenza, I have more important things to worry about. I do not have time for your senseless mood swings and your needy tendencies.” He growls at her before he turns to me.
“I am going to get changed and then we will go. Meet me in the backyard in fifteen minutes.” Chance gives his mate a glare as he passes by her and walks out of the kitchen.
I admit, he might have been a little harsh with Lorenza. However, I choose to stay out of it. After all, Chance is using me to make her jealous. I give the female beta one last look before I too leave the kitchen.
Do you think we will ever be like her? Accalia asks with a hint of fear in her tone.
I do not know about you Accalia, but I will never ever become so insecure to the point that I will get jealous from every female Alec talks or even looks at.
I thought you refrain from judging others.
Accalia points out.
I would like to think so. However, for some reason Lorenza reminds me of the Red eclipse pack; her glares, her body language, the way she talks, and how possessive she is of her mate. All these qualities are why I hate the werewolf nation; why I practically fled from our old pack.
And you hate that there is someone here who reminds you of the past while you would rather forget it.
Accalia continues my thought for me.
That is accurate. I growl as I picture my brother’s and mother’s face. I do not know why I recall their faces, but I do. I close my eyes as I slowly focus on Clay’s and Nick’s faces.
Shadow, just because the Open pack is different from the Open Wound pack, and just because Alec is so different from Oliver, that does not mean people do not have various personalities. Whenever you go, you will find someone you will not like, someone who might trigger you in some way, even someone who mirrors your worst qualities. The trick is you have to remember who you are and what you stand for; do not allow people like Lorenza affect who you are.
I love you Accalia.
I smile at her wise words.
I will take your advice, but first I want to invoke that she-wolf. I smirk as I focus on what Lorenza might be thinking about Chance training with me rather than the pain that shoots through my body with every step I take.
Of course. Accalia mutters unimpressed by my words.

“So, how does it feel?” Chance asks me as he blocks my fist from reaching his face. If I am not feeling like my muscles are being ripped apart with every move I make, my fighting would have matched his.
“What do you mean?” I ask him with a pant.
”Well, if you think that the news of Xander marking you has not reached every ear in the territory, then you are incredibly naïve.” The beta chuckles as he delivers a hit to my fist. Although I can tell that he is not using his full strength. The only reason I do not feel insulted is because I can barely stand up.
“I never cared about what others think, it takes energy that I do not have.” I manage to trip the beta to the ground.
“Okay, but it seems like something is bothering you.” The beta pulls his arms behind his head; he does not bother to get up. All the while he maintains eye contact with me.
“Says the man who lashed out at his mate not even half an hour ago.” I give him a pointed look as I put my hands on my hips.
“That is a long story.” He mutters. I feel his rage starting to resurface.
“I am willing to hear if you are willing to share.” I note that Chance is completely different compared to Nolan. The gamma has made it clear that he does not like me. Therefore, I have kept my distance from him. I would never wish for anyone to impose themselves on me, thus I never want to do it to others.
Chance on the other hand, seems to have a free spirit. He laughs at least ten times a day and he has a cheerful aura.
“When I was eighteen years old, Xander Nolan and I started our two year prohibition of being the three top titles in our pack. Six months into the prohibition I met Lorenza, she was a fourteen year old she-wolf who was training to become a warrior. Since my wolf had completely matured by that time, I knew she was my mate. However, I chose to keep that information to myself because she was still young.” I sit on the ground next to him as I hear him tell me his story.
“As the years passed, I noticed that she has some qualities that no man wants in his mate, at least I did not. She was jealous from the littlest and the most stupid things, she was possessive of her things in an unattractive way, and she had a list of insecurities that I honestly did not have the patience nor the energy for.” If your own mate says these kinds of things about you, then you must have some really rotten qualities.
“When she turned eighteen, I made it my mission to stay away from her. I know it makes me sound like a bad person, but I did not want her as my mate. She is not a bad person, but like I said I do not have the kind of patience and energy that being her mate would require. Alas, the whole thing with Amara had already come to pass by then. Thus, the barrier did not provide enough space to prevent her from catching my scent.” He pulls himself up into a sitting position and crosses his legs under his body.
“You seem rather upset that you are with your mate.” I note.
“Does that make me a bad person?” He gives me a series look.
“No one can control their emotions Chance. Although I do believe that you should be honest to Lorenza about them.” For a second, I put myself in the female beta’s shoes. Even though I do not like her, I do believe that she deserves the truth; everybody does.
“I tried; it did not take.” His eyes turn black for a few seconds before they turn back to normal.
“Care to elaborate?” I give him a raised eyebrow.
“One night, she managed to track me down, and she cornered me in the woods. You should have seen her face, she was ecstatic to finally find her mate. Mal, my wolf, was happy that he found her as well. I, however, was devastated. I tried to explain my feelings to her the rational way, but she claimed that I was nervous to finally meet her and she kissed me before she ran off. The next morning, I find her lying in my bed with all her stuff already organized in my room.”
Apparently, she does not know what ‘no’ means. Accalia says.
Or she does not know how to handle rejection.
“Honestly, if I was in your place I would have murdered her at the spot. Nobody gets to screw up my freedom. So what did you do?” Even though I can see the resentment in his eyes since it has been two years since he has been with her.
“I did not know what to do; it is like she could not hear me whenever I told her the truth. I went to Xander and Nolan, I told them everything. They did not know what advice to give me since neither of them had found their mates by then. But neither of them liked her ever since they learned all about her behavior. I also had told them about her years prior. Nolan ignores her, but Xander tolerates her because she is a really strong warrior.”
“So you just accepted her imposing nature and adjusted to having her as your mate?”
“Not quite. I do not know if you noticed, but she does not bear my mark, and her scent is not identical to mine. I believe that is why she is becoming more intolerable with every day that passes. She reckons that the more persistent she gets the faster I will accept her. I am not an idiot, I know that the pack talks about it behind my back. However, I will never agree to spend my life with someone I do not love; someone whose personality is… I do not even know how to describe it anymore.” He mutters bitterly.
“What about Mal? Does he agree with your perspective?” Even though Accalia and I are practically the same person, we still had different opinions regarding certain topic over the years. However, we always respect each other’s perspectives. Also, we also manage to reach an understanding when we disagree about something. I do not know if that is how it works with other werewolves.
“At first, Mal was actually delighted to find his mate, and for a while he actually liked her possessiveness. However, a few months later even he, the animal, started to loathe her possessiveness. We could not make a move without her watching us like a hawk! She was treating us like an object that she tried with all her might to control. For a while, I stayed quiet afraid of upsetting her, but eventually I became fed up with her behavior and I no longer tolerated her presence.”
It is official, I do not like her. Accalia says for what feels like the tenth time in the past hour.
Please Accalia, do not become agitated over Lorenza. I am not in the mood to turn right now.
“I am getting a feeling that you have your eyes on someone.” I smile at the beta.
“Actually, I do not, at least not yet.” I notice the blush that appears on his cheeks.
“Does that mean you are searching for love?”
“I am, but it hard to do that when you know every female in this territory.” He growls.
“And being detained probably does not help.” I give Chance a knowing look.
“You are right. At first, I allowed Lorenza to stay in my room. However, when she started to become suffocating, I had Xander order her to move to another room since she did not listen to me.” He smiles at his words.
“You must love that memory.” I chuckle.
“You should have seen her face. She wanted to fight back, but she did not dare defy her alpha. That however, did not stop her. At night, I would wake up to find her in my bed. Therefore, I threatened her to tell Xander since my words seemed to fall to deaf ears. Believe it or not, she has not entered my room since.”
I can sense his loneliness, but I understood his point of view. I would have never given Alec a chance if I did not believe in my heart that he deserves one. After all, his personality is why I allowed him to mark me. If his personality was anything like Lorenza’s I would have ran away from him without hesitation.
“I know I am not an expert on these kinds of things, but do you want to hear what I think?” The beta only gives me a nod.
“If being with Lorenza is against what your heart wants even if she is your mate, then you should not be with her. You will find someone who will love you the right way when the right time comes. Although, I am curious about something, why not go to her mother and have a rational talk?“
“Like I said, my words fell to deaf ears, and when I tried to talk to her mother, I discovered who Lorenza got her personality from. Thus, I decided that I am going to hurt her just like she had been hurting me.”
“Meaning?” I give him a raised eyebrow.
“Meaning that if and when I find the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, nothing will stop me from leaving her. She never cared about my feelings, and she put her needs and desires before mine. The way I see it, she deserves the same treatment from me.”
“I cannot lie and say that that is not cruel, but I am not the kind of person to interfere with others’ business. I also cannot lie and say I would not do the same thing if I were in your position. That is what I used to do when I was in the Red Eclipse pack.” I chuckle as I remember all the things I did to get back at my previous pack.
“You know, when you first arrived, I had a feeling that we would become good friends. Turns out I was right.” The beta stands up and offers me his hand. I take it and he pulls me up to my feet.
“Thank you Shadow, I can see why Josh and Nick consider you their sister.” Chance whispers in my ear as he wraps his arms around me.
“What can I say; I am the best person you will ever meet.” I chuckle as I hug him back.

After talking to Chance, Alec demanded his presence in the pack house. Thus, he turned into his wolf and ran away, while I started to walk towards the waterfall. As I pass by a group of warriors, Owen’s voice stops me in my tracks.
“I hope you remember me.” He jokes as he approaches me. I have heard quite a few things about his sense of humor. Thus, I decide to play along.
“Unfortunately, I cannot say I remember you.” I chuckle at the look he gives me.
“For someone who saved the entire pack, you are surprisingly funny.” He readjusts his hat.
“The hat must make things difficult; I think you should take it off to make training easier.” I point at his rather elegant hat. I also remember the first time I met him; he was wearing the same hat. Back then, I did not pay it any attention, but now I find its presence extremely eccentric.
“It has a sentimental value. So, I prefer to always wear it.” His aura changes and his body stiffens; he becomes tense; nervous actually. I give him a look, but I choose to not comment on his sudden weird behavior.
“You know, it was really heroic of you; to give up your freedom to be with your mate.” He breaks the awkward silence that fills the air.
“I suppose it is.” He starts to make me feel uncomfortable that I wish to be as far away from him as I can. I do not why, but I feel like there is a hidden message under his words.
I do not trust him.
Neither do I Accalia.
“Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for what you did for my pack. I am really glad that you made it your business to help us.” He gives me a smile before he runs after the rest of the warriors.
Not even a second after he leaves, I feel heat against my chest. It is so intense that I feel it almost throbbing. I look down to see my necklace glowing red.
Do you remember what does red mean? I ask my wolf.
It means we are being lied to. Accalia growls.
What?! Are you sure? My heartbeat quickens.
Yes Shadow I am sure.
I change my destination and I start running towards Joshua’s house. Once I run into the house, I make my way towards the sound of murmuring until I am in Joshua’s living room.
“Shadow, what is wrong?” Both Joshua and Nick get off the couch and give me perplexed looks. Their expressions tell me that the calm has passed, and the storm is about to arrive.

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