I sighed as I pulled my suitcases out from under my bed, trying to keep the tears from falling down my face. I didn't want to admit that Allie was giving me a run for my money with training. I had a stack of books delivered to start my studies for Elven culture and I knew my mom was doing her best to explain our culture to my sister, despite how horrible this all had to be for her. After all, she was the one who had to face yet another product of my fathers infidelity. I had to admit that dad and I had a newfound silent respect for one another during this whole situation. It wasn't that my father was necessarily against Allie as a whole, but there was a sadness in his eyes when he looked at us.
His presence at training had become virtually non-existent. I bitterly wished that I could just disappear the way he did.
"Hey, bitch." A voice said from behind me. I jumped, despite myself, wiping at my eyes to hide the pain that threatened to spill over.
"Are you here to help me pack?"
"Psh. I don't do manual labor, Princess."
"Don't call me that," I snapped, slamming the lid of my suitcase open. "Until Allie is ready to take over, I'm still Pack Leader." I looked up at my right hand and best friend, Tarron, taking in her fierce charm and chaotic outfit. Sequins and black were always her thing, but today, she looked like she was about to attend a funeral.
"Wolf, Elf, you're a Princess either way." She sighed, curling her legs under her as she sat next to me. "Believe it or not, none of us are thrilled to see you leave." She added softly, picking at her nails and shooting me a pointed look.
"I know, I know. This doesn't just effect me." I recited for the umpteenth time that day.
"I mean, shit, you get to run to go away and be a literal princess. Nothing exciting ever happens around here. You're large and in charge." Tarron looked around, wrinkling her nose as she took in Allie's things thrown about. "Does she not realize there aren't going to be any maids coming in to clean up her shit?"
"Give her a break. She's not used to this yet."
She whistled, holding up her hands as if she didn't know what came over me. "Sorry, I wasn't aware you had already changed your tune." I winced at her words. "A few hours ago, you were acting like she was the enemy. I'm just trying to pick a side."
"I'm not sure I'm the right side to be choosing. I kind of treated her like shit earlier."
"Well," Tarron held up her hand as she usually did when she was about to make a point. "She is way too hot for her own good, no offense, she is way out of her element, she is stealing the hottest guy in our Pack, and she was just handed the keys to the castle so to speak. So yeah, I wouldn't automatically want to braid each other's hair either."
I couldn't help but smile slightly, loving my friend more than I wanted to admit.
"I think you should give her a chance. She's actually going to be here, you know? I can't help you get out of trouble when I'm gone."
She nodded, knowingly, and grabbed a stack of photo albums I had pulled out to take with me. Just because she would get my room, my future, and my mate didn't mean she got my past too. I knew I would need constant reminders of home when I left.
"She did say she had a hot friend back home. Apparently they she was friend zoned, but I think there's more to the story. Maybe you still have a few weeks left to make the move on Cage. And even if you don't, at least there is fresh meat for you at the castle."
Ever the optimist, my dear friend was.
"I don't think I'm going to jump on the first guy I come in contact with, Tarr." I snorted, shoving the pictures into my bag.
"Well, nothing is stopping you. Unless you decide you're into girls all of a sudden."
I shot her a look, causing her to shoot her hands up again in defense.
"Get out of here. Go get to know Allie. I've got shit to do."
"Okay, okay. I'll leave you alone. But just so you know, there's a party tomorrow night. A mixer, of sorts. I know that's not normally your thing but..." she shot me a smirk and wiggled her shoulders suggestively. "It'll be fun! Break some rules before you leave."
I threw a pillow at her and laughed, considering my options. "We'll see. Let me sleep on it."