My life seemed perfect. I had a home, a family, friends, an education. But I had never quite fit in.
My father was the Alpha of the Clearwood pack and my mother was his mate. I was the Alpha's first born child yet I was female. It was unheard of for a female to take over the pack so my parents had had another child. My brother, Lucas.
He was my parents' pride and joy. They loved him and gave him everything a 9-year-old could ever want but that didn't change the fact that by the pack laws, I had a stronger claim to the title of Alpha than he did.
My father was ashamed that his role may go to a woman and he made that very clear to me from a young age.
My mother used to tell me before bed that I would make a wonderful Alpha and I would prove them all wrong. I held onto those words of encouragement every day of my life.
From a young age, the boys were trained to fight and defend their pack whilst us girls were taught to cook and clean. I hated it. I was useless at sewing and cooking and baking and all the things women were meant to do. Though my mother tried and tried to teach me, I just couldn't grasp it.
I wished to join the patrols defending the pack borders. I wished to learn to fight. I dreamed of being the best fighter in Clearwood history. I dreamed of saving the pack and becoming an Alpha everyone both feared and admired.
Every pack member high in the ranks was male, my father's Beta, Gamma and guards, and all the women were below. Insignificant and unnecessary.
I would often shift and watch my brother train, picking up what I could from my hiding spot in the brush.
I had been caught once or twice and there was never any use trying to run away. The whole of the pack's wolves were grey, white or black. But my wolf. My wolf was different.
It had auburn fur and piercing green eyes. I was instantly recognised. I was the weirdo, the outcast.
My father hated me shifting and showing off my wolf. He said it was bad enough that my human hair of deep red and glowing green eyes stood out, he didn't want me parading around my strange wolf too.
Whenever he called my wolf strange, she would surface and I had to fight to keep control of my body. Sometimes she would win.
It just so happened that today was one of those days.
I returned home from school late having snuck over to watch the boys train. As I walked through the door I heard my father yell from upstairs,
'Macy, come here!'
I bounded up the stairs, two at a time not wanting to keep him waiting. I knocked once waiting for his response before I pushed open the door and entered.
'Your wolf was seen at the edge of the woods near the training rings today... Again'
I lowered my head, cursing myself for being spotted. So what Claire, my wolf snapped Quiet! I retorted
'Care to explain,' my father asked.
'It was nothing, I just went on a run.'
My father raised his head from his work and looked me in the eyes. The voice that came from him was no longer my father, but my Alpha.
'What were you doing at the training rings, Macy?!' he growled
Claire forced me to lowered my head in submission to my Alpha as I replied,
'I was training.'
He stood from his chair reaching his full height which wasn't much taller than me, but felt like it was, and glared.
'Training? For what?'
'I want to learn how to fight,' I murmured
My father sat back down as he chuckled loudly.
'You. Fight. You will never be a warrior, Macy. Never.'
I bared my teeth to stop my tears from falling as he mocked me again and again.
'How many times do I have to remind you that you are nothing? You are a whiney little bitch who does not belong here. It is only thanks to my mate that you are still here.'
He never referred to his mate as my mother whether that was to remind me that he wished to disown me or just to make me feel unwanted, I didn't know. I gulped, bracing myself, knowing what was to come.
He raised his fist and sent it hurtling toward my face. It hit my jaw sending me reeling backwards into the wall. An almighty crack sounded and an unbearable pain engulfed my entire right side of my face.
He stalked over to me menacingly and snarled,
'If I hear you have been 'training' again, your jaw won't be the only thing broken. And it won't be healing as quickly as it is now'
He turned on his heel, dismissing me with a wave of his hand.
I exited, closing the door behind me before sprinting down the stairs towards the door. I was almost out the house when my mother called out from behind me.
'What did your father want?' she asked without looking up from her baking.
'Nothing out of the ordinary' I muttered.
She raised her head from her baking and suddenly her eyes were scanning me from head to toe, landing on my jaw which was surely out of place.
Automatically, she dropped what she was doing and hurried over to me, assessing the damage.
'I thought he stopped,' she murmured quiet enough that my father wouldn't hear from his office.
'No, he will never stop.' I replied bluntly and just as quietly.
I watched silently as tears escaped her eyes and she swiftly brushed them away. I tried to sidestep her to leave the house but she grabbed my shoulder firmly.
'I'm so sorry,' she stammered
I offered her a brisk nod in return and hurtled out the door.