I growled playfully as I circled him. He was bigger than me, and stronger than me for sure. But then again, he always had been, and I'd been training with him my whole life. If I hadn't gotten used to it by now it was my own fault. My father's black wolf growled back at me in a smirk. I was a werewolf, and an Alpha's daughter at that. As far as the ranking system went, that was as high as you could go. It was the leader of the pack.
I watched for the twitch of muscles that would give away my father's next move. Finally I saw his hind legs tense. I anticipated his attack and dodged it easily. I stayed light on my feet and spun quickly to nip at his back ankle. He managed to avoid my teeth and rammed his body into mine. We tousled for a good ten minutes; both of us trying to get the upper hand and neither of us succeeding.
"Eli! Kennedy! Dinner is ready!" My mom yelled from the porch with my adorable little brother, Micah, on her hip. My dad and I broke away from each other. He trotted over to me and ran his wet tongue over my cheek.
I growled and rolled my eyes as he chuckled. I went behind the trees nearby and shifted back. I threw on the shirt and shorts I had stashed there. I pulled my hair into a loose bun as I emerged.
"Good job today, squirt. You almost had me that time," my dad smiled as he put an arm around my neck and pulled me to his ribs.
"Dad," I groaned as I pushed away from him. He chuckled as we walked inside. My best friend in the whole world, Jessie, was sitting on the couch, flipping through channels. I ran over with a smile and jumped on him, knocking the couch over in the process. We laughed as we began to tussle in the living room. Jessie and I had been attached at the hip since my parents took him in after his parents died when I was about four years old. We did everything together.
"Kennedy-Estella and Jessie Razzoré," my mom yelled. We looked up simultaneously to see my small, but very scary mother glaring at us with her hands on her hips. "Knock it off. Kennedy, get upstairs and shower right now. You smell like a wet dog," my mom ordered. I smiled and skipped over to her and placed a kiss on her cheek.
"Love you, mom," I said sweetly. She only rolled her eyes.
"You can tell me what you want after you shower," she replied knowingly as I darted up the stairs. I took a quick shower and dressed in a pair of yoga pants and a keyhole tank top. I threw my fiery red hair up in a high ponytail and let my curly damp hair fall down my back. I ran back downstairs where Jessie was waiting for me. I jumped on his back and he gave me a piggyback ride to the kitchen. My mom set the last dish on the table as she looked up and shook her head at us.
"You would think you two were six years old instead of almost 18," my mom scolded. My dad laughed as he set Micah in his booster chair.
"Oh relax, Cupcake. Let them be kids while they still can. Stella is going to be getting serious about being an Alpha soon so she can goof off for now," my dad said before kissing my mom's head and sitting at the table. "Speaking of the future Alpha, I want you to attend the Alpha Conference this year. It's six months away so we have a bit of time, but we're hosting it here this year. Since we have the home-court advantage, I want to announce our decision to pass of the title of Alpha to you at the Conference this year," my dad explained.
"Honey, you don't think that we should maybe give it a little time? Allow for more training?" My mom asked nervously.
"She's turning 18 before then, and the other Alphas will find out eventually. Best to get it over with now," my dad answered her. The conversation turned back to small talk as we ate our dinner, but the tension of the upcoming announcement lingered in the air.
After dinner, I went to my room and got ready for bed before reading a book while lying in bed. My door opened, catching my attention. I smiled when I saw Jessie. He came in and sat on my bed with me.
"Hey," he said.
"Hey," I replied back. He sighed and looked at my hands before he took them in his. He didn't look like his normal, happy, chipper self. I took one of my hands out of his to touch his cheek lightly.
"What's wrong, Jess?" I asked. He sighed and closed his eyes as he leaned into my hand.
"I'm worried about you," he admitted softly as I stroked his cheek with my thumb. I chuckled. He looked at me confused.
"Why are you worried about me?" I asked as I pinched his cheek lightly. He pushed my hand away and didn't smile like he normally would. He was actually annoyed with me. Something was wrong with my normal Jessie.
"I'm serious, Kenny," he snapped. My smile fell as he stood and began pacing. "After your dad announces that he's passing his Alpha title to his daughter, all hell is going to break loose. They're going to try to kill you," Jessie said. I sat up further on my knees and caught his wrist as he passed again.
"Hey, Hey, come here," I said as I pulled him into a hug. He sighed before his arms wrapped around my waist."I'll be okay... we'll be okay," I tried to assure him. I pulled back enough to look at him. I pinched his cheek gently again as a small smile graced my lips.
"Plus, we'll always have each other no matter what, right?" I asked. The corner of his lips pulled up slightly before he pinched my cheek back.
"Right," he agreed. "We should get some sleep. We have school tomorrow," he said before he let go of me. I held on tighter and pulled him to the bed. I laughed and wrapped myself around him like a cobra.
"Sure," I chuckled. Jessie huffed before he laughed with me.
"What are you doing, Kenny?" He asked. I loosened my hold on him as he turned to face me.
"Sleep here tonight," I said softly. He smiled and set his head against the pillow next to me.
"We haven't slept together since we were pre-teens," he noted. I touched his cheek before running my fingers through his hair.
"Well, that was because you had a nightmare... and I've also grown boobs since then," I joked to try and lighten the mood. Jessie chuckled and rolled his eyes. "I love you, Jess," I sighed.
"I love you too, Kenny, and I will never let anything happen to you. I will protect you with my life... Beta's promise," he said.
"I'm a big girl; I can handle myself... Alpha's pride," I reminded him. He only smiled lightly.
"I know," he said. I turned and got comfortable as Jessie turned off the lights and got back back in the bed.
"Goodnight, Jess," I said softly.
"Night, Kenny," he whispered as his arms wrapped around me protectively.