Belinda gazed at the portrait of her father hanging from the wall of great alphas.
He was domineering in this picture, she thought, not like the man who liked chasing them around when she and her siblings were younger, not like the man who changed Colette’s, her youngest sister’s diaper. But, looking at this dark, intimidating alpha, with his eyes darkening – as if he is angry at the painter for wasting his time, it reminded Belinda of the man who ordered her to pack her belongings so she could meet with her betroth. An alpha.
She wants to scoff. She is an alpha. She doesn’t understand why her father has to ship her off to another pack just to strengthen their relationship. It was an absurd notion that only she seemed to think was absurd. I mean, I do know why he had to ship me off to another pack, she thought. She was born female. And in their world, females do not have a say in anything.
Of course, this painting was made after her father fought his father for the position, long before he met his mate, her mother. But his dominance and domineering beliefs has tainted her life, and in turn, her beliefs as well.
“Do you really have to go?” Mary asked, while tugging on her dress.
Belinda stared down at her younger sister. In her distraction, she hasn't noticed she had sneaked off of her room. “Yes, Mary. Father’s orders, remember?”
Mary pouted, her eyes brimming with unshed tears. “But why? Why do you have to go? Can’t alpha go here?”
Belinda sighed and sat on her heels, her eyes leveled to her younger sister’s. “You know alphas’ can’t leave their pack.” She tried to explain. Like Mary, she is also frustrated and angry and sad. ‘Why do I have to go?!’ She remembered yelling to her father earlier that day.
“Because you are a daughter of an alpha! If you wished you were otherwise then you are welcome to leave the pack and live as rogue!”
“But you’re an alpha, too!” Mary’s lips trembled.
Belinda whimpered along with her sister. “Yes, but as a female, it is I that should go to my mate.”
At that, tears flew onto her rosy cheeks. “But I don’t want you to go!” Mary flew to her arms, her shoulders shaking as she sob heavily.
“Shh, shh…” Belinda kisses her head of dark curls as she shush her.
She can’t fault Mary for having a pure soul untainted by the unfairness of their world. She still doesn’t understand, it was endearing if their situation was not depressing. If it was up to Belinda, she would hide her siblings from where the pack's ideals won't have any effect on their growth.
She softly grabbed her sister’s head and looked at her tear-stricken eyes. “Sometimes, we don’t get what we want, and that’s okay!” she smiled, her eyes brimming with tears. “I’m only a call away, and I promise I will call as frequently as I can.” she chuckled, and kissed Mary’s forehead. “Help mother with Colette, okay?”
Mary timidly nodded, not genuinely liking her leaving. “Okay. I will make Dy change her diapers,” she giggled.
“Belinda!” their mother called out from downstairs.
Belinda stared at her sister, she stands and took her hand. “Want to send me off?”
Mary sniffed and muffled an ‘okay.’
The walk to the car was silent. And Belinda prayed to the Moon that her meeting would be a disaster, so she can leave the pack and get back home as soon as possible. But her wishful thinking is in vain though. Her betrothal to Alpha Joseph was written in blood, made before both of them was born by their grandfathers - two opposing alphas whose people only wants peace.
Conversation ceased when she and Mary were in sight. Her friends and family, minus her father, were there to see her off.
Her luggage was already beside the car that will take her to Alpha Joseph's pack.
She saw Wynona keeping herself from crying. Her heart is breaking, she won't be witnessing her sister's first shift.
Dylan has an angry look on his face as he approaches her. "I don't want you to go!" he demanded.
She smiled and ruffled his hair. ''We can't always get want we want, Dylan."
He suddenly burst into tears, prompting Mary to sob again beside her. He hugged her stomach. "I'll miss you, Bee."
"I'll miss you, too," Belinda kissed his forehead. She looked at Wynona, "and you."
Wynona looked away, her eyes shining.
Her eyes looked for her mother, she was holding her youngest sister to her breast. "Mother," she approached until they were a feet apart.
"Be good to your mate," she said and kissed her cheek.
After a few short words with her friends and another break down from Mary, she got into the car after her luggage was tucked in the trunk.
Her mother approached her for the last time. "Forgive you father, he just wants what's best for you."
I doubt it.
With that, the car starts and they drove off.
Her driver was her father’s Beta’s third son, Jason - a pack warrior. Sitting on the passenger’s seat was another warrior, he was unfamiliar to Belinda. He was recently mated to a female of her pack. She was seated behind Jason, beside her, another warrior. The silence of the car made it almost unbearable, but the hum of the engine cradled her to a dreamless sleep.
Quiet conversation roused her back to the living. Her driver was talking to the border patrol.
“We have arrived, Miss Belinda,” the warrior beside her muttered.
“Thanks.” she gave a small smile.
After a few minutes, the car resumed.
The view of the forest is not unfamiliar as she lived in it her whole life. But as she is being carried by the car to her new home, she tries to familiarize herself with this view, but the memories of her siblings, of her mother made her depressed. No, she can’t call this new place home.
The car coming to an abrupt halt made Belinda realize they arrived at the front of the pack house.
It’s a giant monstrosity, Belinda thought.
It was an ugly thing. The house looked like it was made in the ancient times - dark colored paint, with dark curtains covering the windows. The roof looked like its last cleaning was a hundred years ago. The only redeeming quality was the giant red roses blooming at the foot of it.
Three people was in front of the giant door. Two big, muscular men, and a small delicate female, her graying hair were set in a long braid that reached her hip. An elder.
Jason opened her door. Surprising her. “Oh.”
Daintily, she made her first step on the gravel. She gazed at the trio. The elder gave her a small smile.
The air was cool. Clean. And if she hadn't wore her favorite sweater she might have been a shivering mess.
The big man on the left walked down the stairs to meet with her companions and helped them with her luggage.
Belinda breathe heavily and approached the remaining duo. The elder is smaller now that they are of equal footing, her head just reaching Belinda’s shoulder.
The elder gave her small nod. “Luna,” she started. “We are pleased to have you with us. I am Elder Rosie, and this here,” she pointed at the man on her left, “is our head beta, Beta Karl Dunst.”
“Hello, Elder, I am Belinda Stevens, daughter of Alpha Stevens of the Red Rocks Pack,” she introduced. The elder probably already knew who she was, it was just customary to have proper introduction.
“Beta,” she gave a small nod.
“Luna,” he gave a terse nod in return.
"And the man helping with your luggage is Mark," the elder continued. "He is a warrior and my nephew."
Silence clouded around them for a few moments. Them watching the warriors with her things. Quiet grunts are sometimes expelled.
“Would you like for me to show you your room, Luna?” the elder asked, breaking the silence.
Belinda almost sighed in relief. “Yes, please.”
“Then follow me.”
The horrendous outside of the pack house did not give the inside justice. It was simple but elegant. The furniture were made of either mahogany or glass, or both.
They were greeted with a wide lounge room, complete with a widescreen television and mismatched couches. Belinda noted the silence.
“The pack is training at the moment, Luna,” the elder said, as if reading her mind.
“Everyone trained?” she cannot help but ask.
Although her father is a misogynistic prick, he equally required everyone to train. Every member of Red Rocks is a warrior of their own right.
“The children, of course, are at school. But yes, everyone in this pack trains.”
The room they gave Belinda is a spacey white room with wide windows without curtains. It faces the training field at the back of the pack house.
“I hope the room is to your satisfaction, Luna?” Elder Rosie inquired.
It was a blank room. Unlived. Belinda cannot help but feel loneliness creeping.
“It is fine, Elder, thank you.”
“The Alpha will meet with you after training, Luna.”
Belinda walked in and sat on the white bed. It was soft. She pressed her palms on her lap and looked at the elder. “Thank you for showing me my room, Elder.”
The elder bowed slightly to her. “You are welcome, Luna.” With those words, the elder closed the door.
The click of the knob, the cold that was slowly creeping earlier immediately encompassed her whole body making her shiver with loneliness.