✔️| The Gift of a Curse {1}

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I wake up to long fingers playing with strands of my platinum hair. With my eyes being half closed, I look outside of the window to see that the sun is still up. I let out a small yawn before I look up to come face to face with my best friend.
Good morning. I hear his voice in my head as he gives me a small rare smile.
“Morning” I reply with a smile of my own.
“Have you been up for long? And when did you get back last night? I did not hear you.” I babble. I Pull myself away from Clay and sit up so I can stretch.
I woke up about an hour ago, but you looked so comfortable I did not want to wake you. Thus, I have been thinking about the alphas that arrive today. He ignores my second question.
“Why do you bother thinking about it? I mean the way I see it, the only thing you gain from doing that is a massive headache; the whole situation is messed up.” I walk into Clay’s walk-in closet and search through the clothes I have in here in case of emergencies.
“Which reminds me, how did the meeting go last night?” I ask once I have picked out an outfit for the day. I place the clothes on the couch by the window and turn my attention back on Clay as I wait for an answer.
Shadow, I need you to give me your word that you will act as if you do not know what I am about to tell you, or else you would be getting us both killed. What I am about to tell you is top secret, the alpha does not want it getting out.
I contemplate throwing a joke at his words, but something in the way that he is looking at me tells me that I have to be serious about this.
“I promise. Clay what is going on? You are scaring me.” I truthfully speak out my thoughts.
There is a reason why the Alpha, Beta and Gamma are all freaking out, and there is a deeper reason as to why the alphas are calling a meeting than the fact that the Amazonians are missing.
“Are you waiting for a drum roll? Tell me what it is, you are both scaring and exciting me.” I snap at him as I sit down on the couch’s arm.
They already have a guess about who is behind the murders, and if I am being honest, their theory is almost too perfect that I believe it is actually true.
“But they have to actually meet for them to have a suspect, right? They cannot just assume that a specific person did it!”
They are considering past murders. Clay looks at me as if I am supposed to know or understand what he is talking about. I, however, am very confused.
“What do you mean?” I ask as I try to look at things from the alphas’ perspective.
Does the name Alexander Cresswell ring a bell? My best friend moves back until his back hits the bed head, and leans on it as he crosses his legs.
“Yeah, if I remember correctly, he is the alpha of the Open Wound pack.”
Yes he is, and according to the alpha, it is believed that he is the one targeting werewolves of high ranks.
“But why would they make such assumptions?” My shoulders drop as I try to process all this new information.
The alpha showed me photos of the people that were killed during the last couple of weeks, and while the method is not similar, they are equally as cruel and barbaric. Alpha Alexander Cresswell is the only werewolf alive who is known to be capable of such brutality.
Alexander Cresswell is the most popular alpha in our time. That, however, does not mean that his reputation is honorable or that he is loved. I have witnessed more than one mother scare their children into behaving by using his name. I do not know what actually happened since people tend to add their own flavor to the story each time they tell it.
According to what Clay told me at the time, a few years back, Alexander Cresswell savagely murdered six male wolves by driving silver nails into their bodies. It is said that he watched them as they painfully bled out and died slowly. The trail that the Amazonians had for him was the fastest in history considering that he did not deny any of the charges against him. His name, however, has not been mentioned ever since.
“If they already have a suspect, then what is the point of the meeting they are holding in our territory?” God, I feel like I was back in school trying to understand a complicated math problem.
They have to decide what to do to stop the killings.
“But that is not their job; the Amazonians exist for a reason!” I am starting to get angry, no one –even a cold hearted killer like Cresswell- deserves to be put at the mercy of the alphas.
I know that Shadow, but people are dying and something must be done.
I take a few seconds to take deep breaths and calm my nerves. As much as I hate to admit it, Clay is right. The alphas may be arrogant and anti-feminist but they care about their people, some alphas put their packs before their own lives.
We have to leave, Alpha Grayson of the Full Moon pack and Alpha Charlie of the Vanished Moon pack are here. Also, the beta has been mind linking me, and he requests that you go home. Apparently, your mother has been worried sick about you since you did not go home last night.

I enter my family’s house with a heavy heart knowing that it would take my mother less than two seconds to be rooted in my face demanding to know where I have been.
“Shadow Prior, where have you been? I have not seen you since yesterday morning, and you have been blocking me from your mind!” Just like I predicted she appears out of thin air and starts yelling at me.
“I was out, and why were you worried? If I had died, you would have felt it.” I reply with a bored look on my face. Just like Clay, I stopped caring about my family and how they feel or what they think a long time ago, and they know it.
“You know that any talk of death is forbidden in this house, and you did not answer my question, where have you been?” I raise my eye brow at her then walk past her to go to the kitchen.
“You will never let any of us live in peace, will you?” I can hear Stefan’s yelling before I can see him; he enters the kitchen the same moment I open the refrigerator door.
“What have I done now?” I murmur as I look through the food not bothering to look up at my older brother.
“I do not know Shadow, let us see. I should be next to Oliver welcoming the alphas right now but I am here because my sister cannot bother to send a mind link to tell us where she is.”
What the hell is wrong with them? They are acting as if this the first time we stayed out of the house without telling them! Accalia spats angrily.
One thing I love about my wolf is that we both share the same carelessness towards our family. If she still felt any shred of love for them, then my life would have been ten times more complicated; I cannot imagine having to live with world war III in my head every single day.
I do not know Accalia; I mean why do they do anything? I reply before shutting her off.
“Oh please, you were not worried about my well being. You were just concerned about me ruining your reputation.” I mutter bitterly as I take out the milk cartoon and the orange juice bottle.
I am aware that I can end this senseless and non-existence concern for me by telling them that I was with Clay, but I just cannot bring myself to give them the satisfaction. After all, I did shower at Clay’s to get his scent off of me so they cannot know that I was with him. Thus, I choose to hear whatever insults my so called family throws my way.
“You have to stop this Shadow.” My mother enters the kitchen and grabs both the items that are in my hands.
“You are not a little girl anymore; you have to think about your future. What would be your mate’s reaction when he learns that his mate has talked and communicated with half the male population in the Red Eclipse pack?” she tries to get to me, but her chance at doing so has died a long time ago.
Both she and Stefan have proved themselves unworthy of my attention and emotions. My little conversations with the pack’s males started as a way to both express my anger when it got too much to bear and prove to my family that I will no longer be the obedient girl they were so proud of.
Eventually, it became a habit of mine and something I was known for. Needless to say this is the vital reason why people despise me. They are ignorant and underdeveloped; they consider it shameful for a female to talk to a male.
“He would reject me.” I simply and sarcastically reply with a shrug as I take a banana from the fruit bowl on the table. I sit on one of the chairs and look at both my brother and mother with cold eyes.
“Do you realize what you are saying right now Shadow? You would be bringing shame to our family if you get rejected!”
Another thing I hate about the werewolf community is that if a she-wolf is rejected it would dishonor her entire family. In my opinion, there is nothing more racial than that, since rejection does not affect a man’s reputation.
“Well then, I guess it is a good thing that I do not care about what happens to either of you.” I eat my banana and I ignore the glares that I receive.
“Shadow, I am your mother, therefore, you will do what I say…”
“Or what?” I give her a challenging look. She looks at Stefan asking for help but he just lets out a dry chuckle.
“Do not bother mom, once a disgrace always a disgrace.” He aims to hurt me with his words, but I have heard words way sharper and I am still standing.
“Right, so why not you leave this disgrace alone? Why not focus on your pointless and miserable lives?” I ask as I throw the banana peel in the trash. I take a bottle of water from the fridge, and walk out of the kitchen without giving either of them a second glance.
Once I reach my bedroom door, I reach for the key that is in my bracelet to unlock the door and then lock it again once I get inside. I do not have any priced possessions in my room, but I want my family to think that I do so that they do not look in the right places if they choose to search for my valuables.
I throw myself on the bed once I see it; I woke up only about two hours ago and still, I feel tired.
Are you okay? Even though Accalia is practically a part of me, I know that she is the only person aside from Clay that actually cares about me, and I care about her.
Yes, I am fine. I just need a moment of silence I guess.
Are you scared?
Why would I be scared? Accalia please do not tell me you are afraid of Oliver!
The thought of my wolf being scared of that bastard makes me want to pluck out my eyes.
First of all, his name is Alpha Oliver. Second of all, of course I do not. I might respect him, but that does not mean I find him intimidating.
Then why did you ask that?
Even though our conversation seems to lack an objective, I am glad to have proper conversation with her. I do not remember the last time we spent hours just talking about little things.
I was talking about the killings and the possibility of Alpha Cresswell being guilty. I remember how much you were shaken up when the rumors spread about the crime he committed.
‘The triple crime’ –as most people call it- happened a year before I became the person that I am today. Hence, it is safe to say that I was actually terrified of him. I had this crazy idea that he would sneak into my room at night and graze ling sharp nails in my eyes. Now that I think about it, it was quiet unrealistic and stupid on my part considering I live in Sydney, Australia and he lives in Dublin, Ireland.
People believe that I have turned cold hearted, that I became incapable of emotions. They, however, prove themselves ignorant for not noticing that the only change that happened is that I became stronger. The ones who say they are incapable of real emotions are liars. No one, not even the supernatural, can prevent themselves from feeling. Pain, happiness, grieve, ecstasy are all inevitable emotions. Whoever fails to see that have not experienced life at its worse.
That was many years ago Accalia, things are different now, I am different.
I know shadow, but whenever you are faced with multiple emotions, it just… it never ends well.
I know her well enough to know that she is talking about my rebellious tendencies, which happens to be one of the very few things we contrast on. She wanted her mate to love and want her, and at one point I wanted the same thing. As time passed, however, my priorities changed, hers did not.
I choose to block her because I am not in the mood to have another fight today. Since I got showered and changed my clothes at Clay’s house I literally have nothing else to do. Therefore, I get off the bed, take out my red backpack, the one Clay got me last month when he was sent to the city, put a notebook, a pen, and my half charged phone in it before going to the window.
I choose to avoid any further interactions with anyone living under this roof. Thus, I climb down from the window.
What are you doing? I try to mind link Clay but his mental barrio is up, which means he must be with the alphas.
Seems we are all alone for the rest of the day. I say to Accalia as I head for the river at the south border.

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