Hood

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13

I coughed a bit, looking at him. “Are you sure this is safe?”

“Of course. Trust me. People will hate you but if they try to harm you while I’m around, they will be getting an earful from me.” Phillip grabbed my hand, pulling me closer to his side as we approached the house.

The house was huge. It was the size of a mansion.

I choked on my words. “This is a pack house?”

“The entire town is made of werewolves and we’re in the same pack. This is where we hang out. What did you think a pack house was?”

I looked at him. “Not this.” I gestured to the mansion in front of me. This was going to be quite the meeting.

We walked up to the door and he walked right in, tightening his grip on my hand. He pulled me with him and the people inside gave me looks. They were not remotely kind in any way.

Phillip pulled me through the hall but people continued to watch me. “Filthy human,” a woman muttered behind me.

I chuckled to myself. “You’re half filthy I take it?” I didn’t look at her. She didn’t need me to shoot a glance at her for her to know it was directed at her. She heard me.

I heard a growl in response but Phillip pulled me closer to him, taking me to a large game room. It looked absolutely incredible.

There were colorful lights and comfy gaming chairs. There were multiple gaming consoles and a large flatscreen TV. In another corner, there was an entire computer system. This room was a dream come true to any gamer.

“Travis,” Phillip yelled to one guy.

He looked back and smiled big, jumping out of his chair and coming over to us both. “Hey, Phillip, my man.” He looked at me. “Oh, I see. Is this her?”

I looked at Phillip. “Who’s this?”

He cleared his throat. “This is Travis. He’s my friend at the pack house. He’s basically the only wolf that doesn’t judge me for having a human mate.”

Travis chuckled and shook my hand. “Nice to meet you. He says you’re a badass at fighting back.”

I looked at Phillip and Travis, not sure of what to say.

Travis put his arm around me. “No worries. You’ll have to get used to the other assholes here. In the meantime, I challenge you to a game.”

“What kind of game?” I narrowed my eyes.

He sat down in a gaming chair. “Any game you pick, sweetheart.”

“Don’t call me that.” I sat in the chair next to his.

Travis looked at Phillip. “She is feisty, isn’t she?”

Phillip shrugged. “She speaks her mind.”

Travis grabbed some games and showed them to me. “Which game would you want?”

I smirked, looking through them. “Mario Kart. You up for a race?”

“If you like racing, we can also play Road Rash.” He sat back after putting the game in the slot on top of the Nintendo 64.

I grabbed a controller as did he, and we both picked our characters. I chose Mario due to the red colors. Travis chose Wario. “Get ready to lose, Hood.”

I swallowed, trying to shake away the feeling of anger. “Right back at you, Mutt.”

“Hey,” Phillip said with a pained voice.

I looked at him. “It’s not serious. If he can call me Hood when Hood is a serial killer, I can call him Mutt. Fair?”

Travis furrowed his eyebrows. “Hood is a serial killer?”

I gave Phillip a look. “What is up with this guy?”

“Travis doesn’t get out much. He’s addicted to video games. But he’s a good friend.” Phillip nodded his head.

I looked back at the screen.

The countdown started as we raced around the beach. I followed the track and avoided the bananas but captured anything that gave me an upper hand. I used my abilities to throw things at other players and slow them down, passing by.

I threw my hands up, shouting when I made it in first place. “Don’t underestimate a human my friends.” I smirked.

Travis switched the game out with Road Rash. I chose the girl motorcyclist this time. Travis picked the main one with the blue shirt and blonde hair. “I’ll win this.”

“Keep dreaming.” The race began and I started riding, using my weapon to whack others off their bikes and get ahead. I was extremely good at driving in this. I had to be if I was going to win.

“Why did you bring her here?” a girl asked behind me.

Travis paused the game and looked back at her. “Uh oh.”

Phillip stood. “Why didn’t I bring her here? She’s my mate.”

“I don’t give two shits. Reject her. What about those who don’t have a mate? They’re werewolves and they deserve love more than she does,” she replied.

I laughed to myself. I finally stood from my chair, looking at the bitch. “You’re going to force him to be with a girl he doesn’t want to make you feel more comfortable? It’s his future, not yours. Let him control it.”

“Keep your mouth shut,” the brunette growled.

I stepped forward. “I don’t think I’m going to listen. It’s me your insulting and I will defend myself. I don’t control my species and he doesn’t control his mate. So what if he has feelings for me? You can’t make them go away. It’s not up to you. Whichever god you believe in is responsible for this. Are you saying your god is wrong in picking mates? Are you questioning your god?”

“Don’t you dare.”

“Dare what? Bring up the truth? You’re the one saying your god is wrong. I don’t even believe in your god and I still believe he made the right choice.” I gave her a small smirk, enjoying the anger growing on her.

“She. The Moon Goddess is always right.”

I shrugged. “Okay, then we don’t have a problem. You’re saying she made the right pick for Phillip. I’m his pick. I’m the human he got mated to and I’m not going anywhere. I didn’t have any feelings for him either but now I’ve started to grow some. It’s working out.” I gestured to Phillip. “He’s an amazing man. I’d be stupid enough to turn him down as my mate. I choose not to reject him. He won’t reject me.”

He charged forward but Travis jumped out of his chair and grabbed her, holding her back. “Jessie, no. Don’t you dare do this. It’s not right.”

She pointed to me. “None of this is right! Why her? She’s a damn human.”

I stood my ground, clenching my fists. I was always ready to defend myself. It had grown on me.

“You are not the Moon Goddess. You don’t get to choose who is mated to who. It’s not your decision,” Travis told her.

Phillip came by my side, nodding. “He’s right. None of us get to decide. It just happens and we learn to accept it or tolerate it. I choose to accept it because Shani is more than I could’ve asked for. No, she’s not a wolf. That doesn’t define her. She is still in control of her personality and if I have to say so, I say she’s more like the wolves than I am. She’s a fighter. She’s opinionated. She’s outspoken. She’s got fire in her and she will defend herself.”

“Damn right I will.” I crossed my arms.

Phillip looked at me. “She’s stronger than I can ever be. She puts up with the things that go wrong in her life. She knows what you guys have been doing. She knows you’ve sent wolves after her. She still came here despite knowing her life is in danger. She’s brave.”

Jessie shook her head. “Wait, who sent wolves after her? We haven’t sent any wolves after anyone.”

Phillip looked at her and Travis. “Yes, you have. She’s been fighting wolves off for over a month. She never kills them but when she walks away, someone does. Someone here is sending wolves to kill her and framing her for the murders.”

Travis shook his head. “No, Phillip, we haven’t. You know the code. Some wolves may disapprove of this but it’s against code to kill a werewolf’s mate.”

I looked at Phillip. “Wait, if they aren’t sending wolves after me, who is? Who’s then framing me?”

“I don’t know.” Phillip was in complete confusion.

Jessie looked at me. “I swear we aren’t sending wolves after you. We hate you but we can’t kill you. It’s against the pack code. We are not allowed to kill mates of werewolves. It’s completely wrong. It betrays the Moon Goddess to the fullest and we could never do such a thing.”

I sat down, trying to understand what I was hearing. “So it’s totally against the werewolf code or whatever to attack me, hurt me, and kill me?”

“Yes, I just said that,” she said with annoyance in her voice.

“If everyone in this town is a werewolf and they follow the same pack and code, who is trying to kill me?” I stroked my chin.

Phillip bent down to my level. “We will figure this out.”

“Will we? Will we do that before they kill me?”

Travis walked over. “You have my support. I won’t let anyone kill you. Phillip’s mate is also someone I will defend. I have a duty to help him protect you.”

“I can protect myself.”

Phillip looked at his friend. “She doesn’t like the phrase that indicates she needs to be saved or protected.”

“Then what the hell am I supposed to say?” Travis asked.

Jessie took a deep breath. “Well, you idiots can figure out who is doing this. I have to go back to Jason.”

I looked up at the sound of his name. “Whoa, Jason?” I stood quickly. “No, this...” I shook my head. “Jason. Jason is my brother. He’s my twin.”

“No, he isn’t. He doesn’t have siblings,” she argued.

“Take me to him. Now.”

She wanted to say no but she wanted to be right more than she wanted to say no. I followed her to another room and we walked into the room. “This is Jason.” She pointed to a guy in a chair.

He turned around and I dropped my jaw. “You have got to be fucking shitting me.”

My twin sat in the chair in front of me. My anger boiled inside, rising to the brim and beginning to spill.

Jason stood up and put his hands up. “I can explain!”

“You better fucking explain everything and it better be a damn good excuse you lying piece of shit,” I yelled at him.

Jason rubbed his face. “Shani, we moved here because years ago, I found my mate here. I joined the pack. I had to move to be with Jessie.”

“You’re a human.”

He gave me a nervous laugh, shaking his head. “No, I’m not. Our parents were a human and a werewolf. Dad was a human while mom was a werewolf. They moved to a human city to hide it. They were eventually caught and killed. I got mom’s side and you got dad’s.”

“No, no. All this time, you lied. You said werewolves didn’t exist.” I pointed to him.

“I didn’t want you to fall into the same fate as mom and dad.” He came closer but I backed away. I couldn’t look at him.

“You brought women home. You’re cheating on Jessie.”

Jason looked at her. “I’m not. Those women are decoys. I didn’t want you to know I was serious with a woman. You’d begin to question everything and me and I couldn’t handle that. Sally is an actress. We set it up.”

I wanted to hate him for lying. I wanted to beat him for lying to me all this time. As much as I hated my brother, I realized I could use his help. If my twin brother was a werewolf but I wasn’t, he would be a great voice to keep me alive.

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