His or My High Horse
Week two of working with my staff as left every part my body cover in bruises. I couldn't tell where the black and blue end with one bruise and where another bruise began. I wish I had at least inherited the werewolf healing gene. It takes only a few hours to a few weeks depending on the injury the wolf would receive for them to heal. My body taking days to heal as any human would. I started wearing long sleeves under armor shirts and long leg yoga pants to cover the bruises. The disgusted looks or wince looks I receive from others walking home from practice or to get food made me feel insecure.
"Why have you been hiding from your unit," mom asked coming down with her staff. I raise to meet with her staff. Each day she pushes her true strength more on me. She refuses to let me have it easy because I'm human. In the last few days, she has been using her werewolf strength more. Each day I block a little bit more of her attacks.
"I don't," I snapped through my teeth. I can barely focus on the fact she said something then on what she said. Is she barely using her strength so much she hold a conversation? I block her staff and spin to go low to her hip. She blocks lows. No surprise there.
"Why do you not breakfast with anyone or only eat with Kate at lunch? You only eat supper with your dad and me. Why are you refusing to connect with the pack," she asked. Slamming her stick into mine and forcing a blunt attack to my stomach. I jump to the side. Her staff rams into the side of my rib cage. A week ago I would still be taking that attack in the stomach. The attack usually made me feel throw up my last meal every time. I lost track of how many times she hit me or worn me out until it made me puke from exhaustion.
"Do we have to talk about this now," I snapped ramming my stick into her side. She winces and blocks the rest of the attack.
"Break," she shouted declaring the match off. A common word to end any type of training off among the wolf matches. "You said you would try to give this pack one more shot," she reminded me of my words. I walked away grabbing my towel dapping the sweat off my face. I grab my water bottle and drown myself in water. I didn't stop drinking until I felt refresh.
"I came back for you, dad, and Sam. The pack either ignores me or doesn't want me here. Why don't you guys see that" I asked?
Before the training started I'm in the unit's common area for breakfast with the girls. Kate tried to lead the conversation for a few days to get everyone more comfortable with me being there. I would try to ask questions to get to know them. I received a lot of yes or no questions ending further conversations. They show no interest in getting to know me. Eventually, the girls stop showing up to breakfast and I could tell Kate hating they are bailing on us because of me. I started to tell Kate breakfast made my stomach nauseous before training and I decide to skip it. The girls the last few days started eating breakfast again as a unit knowing I wouldn't be there. That stung quite a bit. Their bond made me miss the tight net of girls at college we would eat every meal with each other. Kate made up the time at lunch with me and I would only get stares from other pack members as we ate. Nothing said fun being looked as you're an outcast as I try to eat lunch with my friend. Supper I ate with my parents and Sam would sometimes join us. No one outside mom and dad would talk to me or a pack member would ignore me and only talk to them.
"You need to get them to notice you," she snapped.
"Oh, they notice me. They just not want me near me, "I snapped back hating this conversation. It as if I'm a child again. I'm not trying hard enough to get the other pack to talk to me or I need to try bond with the pack better. Mom and dad would tell me these things when it came apart I might not shift. The other kids also notice a lack of me shifting and the bullying became worse.
"Make them see your apart of the pack," she said with more sympathy.
I started putting my water bottle and towel into my gym bag. Its clear training is done for the day. If I wasn't eating, showering, or sleeping I am training with mom. "I don't want to be apart of the pack," I barked back frustrated she still not getting it. I can't be apart of something I not made to be part of.
"Fine, switch topics. Sam, what is he doing wrong," she let out a breath. I pause with tying my bag and looked up at her surprised.
"What do you mean, "I asked.
"Have you notice how your brother is around the pack," she asked.
"Yeah, he acts like a frat boy from school," I answered. Sam truly acts he going to inherit a kingdom the way he runs this pack. The only thing missing is a crown. He uses his title to attract girls to give him attention and to make each other jealous of his attention. He barks out orders as if little kid is giving all the demands and the pack should follow orders only because of his in charge. If the pack member isn't pretty enough or if it is not one of his warrior wolves he doesn't pay attention to any other pack member. For the most part, he is a shit show waving a crown around. Sam as future alpha doesn't look promising.
"What is a frat boy," she asks looking confused at the term.
"A man child who thinks the ground he walks on should be kiss and all should love him because he exists," I gave a theatrical explanation.
"Sounds like your brother," she murmurs. I giggled at her comment. At least my parents are aware of how he acts. "How do you change these frat boys," she asks.
"Most the frat boys come from wealthy families and will never change," I explain.
"Well, that isn't good. What if these families did something to change that would they do," she asked.
"I don't know. Tell them to give off their high horse," I suggest not knowing the answer.
"How do we take your brother off his high horse," she asked.
"Why are you asking me," I asked unsure why my opinion matter.
"Nothing your dad and I have done as change, but made him cockier. Extra responsibilities, more patrol runs only made the attitude worse. He has respect from his warriors, but the rest the pack not so much, "she explains.
"Take away his horse," I declared.
"What would be his horse," she struggles to understand the terminology.
"His title as Alpha heir. That's his crown or high horse. Take that away and show him what it's like to be an everyday pack member. What are common jobs around here he doesn't do? Give him the jobs of a lower rank wolve and make him more relatable I suggest. Humans relate best with people they have something common with. If you want him to reconnect with the pack make him do something the pack can relate too, I suggested.
"Interesting. I'll talk to your dad about it. Take rest the day off and go bond with your unit as I think about your brother," mom suggested.
"Um, okay if you're sure," I said.
"Your mom told me to take you to the care center after breakfast. Did you get sign there for your shift job this month? " Kate asked as we walk back to the dormitory after a morning run. Kate told me, I need to build up my endurance to become faster with the Bo Staff. We have been running the last two days and I'm can do one-eighth of the miles she normally runs. Living with the pack is like being around athletes who have been trained for the Olympics and they except you able to keep up without training.
After dinner every day I shower and I passed the fuck out because I'm too tired to do anything else. Each morning my arms and legs burn from being a push so far with the training. Yesterday, I took the day to sleep and soak in the tub to relieve some of my muscle pain.
"I guess. I don't know why she didn't tell me," I confess. The care center is where the pack's youth go when the parents can't watch the kids. Baby to five-year-old goes to the care center. Six to twelve are homeschool and start simple combat training. When kids are twelve, they fully focus on combat training and home-school in their free time. Most werewolves are required to fulfill their high school training and do a form of specialty online training for a job. "Little kids aren't my forte," I give a disgusted face and not looking forward to working there.
We went back to the dormitory. We shower and grab some cereal bars on the way out. Kate took me to a small building off the pack lodge. There are three rooms for children. Babies, toddlers, and young children are sorted into each room. We walk into the large hallway that connects all three rooms. Standing there I see a disapprove Sam and my mom. "I gotta go help the healer. I'll see you for lunch, maybe," said Kate. She took off like a bat out hell. Did I miss something? I walked up to Sam and Mom.
"Thanks, Sis for volunteering me. I need to be out with my warriors not in here babysit the rugrats," Sam scowled.
"These little rugrats will be one in the pack's future someday," I replied.
"Exactly, Spencer. Sam, you need to connect with all members of your pack, not just the warriors," mom replied. Sam scuff and said yea, whatever. Oh yeah, I have real hope for this pack's future.
"Spencer, you seem to be having a hard time connecting with any pack members who aren't your family or Kate. Kids trust easily and are open to making friends with anyone who plays with them. They are pack members just much as adults. Maybe this is where you can start to connect with our pack again, " mom explained. It felt like a punch to the stomach. Sam and I are being taught a lesson.
"Sarah, here are my kids. From Monday to Wednesday they'll be yours for the next few weeks. They both need to get off their high horse," my mom said. A light brunette hair short woman waved and shack hands with both of us. She introduces herself as Sarah and directed us to the baby room. I eye mom as we head into the room and she only smirked as Sam and I as we follow Sarah. Mom betrays me with my reference. What did she even mean I have to get off my high horse? I merely being honest with myself the pack didn't want me here because they and I can't relate.
There are five babies currently in the baby room. Sarah gave Sam and I run down how to dethaw breast milk. Sam gave a disgusted face when Sarah explain the bottle warmer. I learn all the babies are breastfed even when the mom couldn't supply their own child. Another mother would help and donate breast milk to another babe. Changing diapers need to change frequently. My mouth dropped to the floor when she told babies could be change up to eight to twelve diapers a day. Man, babies are pooping machines? I scrunch my nose at the thought. Babies need tummy time and need a lot of human reactions. After an hour of running down basics, Sam and I are on our own. "Why did you get me into this Spence? You'll pay for this," Sam warned as he changes a poopy diaper.
As a response to the lovely boy, Sam is changing pee like a fountain. I burst out laughing seeing Sam get pee on his clothes. His threat seems meanless down. Two other babies woke up crying from my laugh. Shit! It isn't funny anymore. I'm currently feeding one child and the other two are starting to get fussy. "Well, we are gonna have to team up to get through this," I sigh heavily knowing I'm already gonna pull out my hair.
"I'll feed them if you change them," Sam said looking down at his pee covered pants.
"Promise," I replied.
The first two weeks of on baby duties and toddler duties as left me scarred from ever having children of my own. Babies need to be fed and change for nearly every two to three hours. It seems once we got through all the babies and have them laying down in the three-hour window. We starting the process all over again.
The toddlers are miniature drunk adults. The hardest part is keeping themselves from killing themself or others. I lost how many times I pulled a small item out their months and I could not understand where they found it. Each day in the toddler room Sam and I would vacuum and scout out any chuckable items. They seem always to find something to put in their month. Communication barrow is another struggle. With babes it is easy. Are they hungry, wet diaper, tired, or want attention.
With toddlers is struggling they want the orange or red crayon and they wanted the purple wooden block. I could only understand every seventh word they say and felt it coming a game of charades. Potty training is a whole other thing. Change a liquid poopy diaper on toddler trying walk away is a nightmare. I went home everyday washing my hands. it felt my skin drying out. It seems I couldn't the smell of the wipes out of my hand.
The only reason Sam and I survive this is because we are working as a team. We got to the point we could point or use grunt noises for the other one to help. We are in the last week of working at the care center. Four and five-year-olds think they know more about the world then I do. They love to argue or throw a temper if they didn't get what they want or if they had to share a certain toy. I told Sam quite a few times he couldn't use his alpha tone on them. It wouldn't even work because they couldn't shift. He had a harder time with the kids then me because they didn't want to listen or take orders from him. We had to get creative to get the kids to follow directions by making everything a game or make it into a song. Seeing my little brother the Itsy Bitsy song in a super man's cap with a doll tie to his belt had been the hilarious thing I've seen in a long time. Sam in his off time seems to be dodging any female who isn't mated or blood. I think he got a sense of what happens after sex. I chuckle at the thought.
"Spencer, can you get Sophia ready to go? Her mom will be here soon, asked Sarah walking by with a clipboard marking a name by Sophia. Each kid had to be signed in and out every day to make sure no one gets forgotten as closing time.
"Sure thing," I said. Sophia had been one little girl I've been clicking within the four and five-year-old room. "Hey, Sarah can I ask you a question," I asked.
"Yeah," she replied politely.
"What do you think of painting the kids' rooms? The walls only a few pictures hanging up on the wall. I notice the pictures are hanging from the adult point of view. I wonder if we paint animals or do a fun theme for each room at the kids' level. These rooms are more for them and us," I realize then I'm ranting on.
"That would be a great idea. They open this new care center a few years ago, so nothing really decorated for the kids. We could only do one room for the weekend at a time. I may be able to find some people. Do you have to be in charge of the project? I'm not able to take on much more outside the normal care center needs and I would need to talk to Alpha," she said tapping her pen against her mouth as if she's thinking. Did I know anyone to help? Um, no. Sam, wouldn't step in the care center more then he has too. Mom and dad would be too busy and Katie is working hard on her apprenticeship right now to help me.
"I can see who I can find. I'll see Dad tonight, so I could ask him if you like" I suggested.
"Oh, that'll be great. Let me know what he'll say and if let me know what weekends you can do it and the plan you have for each room. Oh, this is gonna be exciting," she squealed.
"What's going on?" asked a woman with pink hair standing in the doorway of the four and five-year-old room.
"Spencer had a great idea of redesigning the care center for the kids. She's looking for assistants," Sarah replied.
"That'll be great. Your the alpha's daughter right? I'm Sophia's mom," the pink-haired lady woman.
"Yeah, did you transfer in? I don't think I've met you yet," I asked not recognizing her face.
"Yeah, my husband from this pack. My name is Carmen. Sophia has been really enjoying help watching her this week. Would you mind having dinner with our family some night? Carmen asked.
"Um, sure. I'm free Friday night if that's okay," I said.
"Great. We'll save you spot at the dining hall. Sophia, sweetie is time to go, "Carmen called.
I walked back to the dormitory thinking what hell did I get myself into. I thought Sarah think would be a great idea. I didn't think she would put me in charge of the project. I wanted this for the kids. I know they would really enjoy it, but I don't who I'm gonna convince to help me.
A group of wolves ran over the path and stop abruptly watching them run all fours. There's about fifteen running by. I could spot the recently shifted because of how underdeveloped their muscles were. The mature wolves had built up their muscles and strength. A gray adult wolf is all gray but its left ear and this end of its tail are black. Their pattern is different from the pack's normal color patterns. They must have transferred in. This wolf is beautiful. I almost wanted to reach out and touch it. I forgot sometimes there is a person under that fur. I realize had reached out my hand. I pulled it back to my chest. The wolf huffed and took off with the other wolves.
Seems many of you are enjoying this book. Working on the next chapter now and possibly have it out this week.