However, at sixteen, she found his work dreadfully boring and was not inclined to help him at all. He liked to go on about how she needed to learn these things to prepare for when she became Alpha, but she couldn't bring herself to care. Sure, she wanted to be Alpha, but when she was forced to help him file things it just turned her off to the whole idea.
"I think I'd rather go get my butt kicked by Markus. Are we done yet?" Sincere groaned, flippantly tossing a folder onto his desk. Her father rolled his eyes and shuffled it into the pile that was next to him.
"We started twenty minutes ago. You were the one who said you were bored. I'm giving you something to do. Besides, Markus is busy training Icarus today," Declan stated, absent-mindedly chewing on the end of his pen. Her mother said it was one of his bad habits.
"Yeah, but when I say I'm bored I don't mean I want to do even more boring stuff. I was just trying to get you to let me go to Suki's house," she said. Declan snorted at her remark and handed her another file to organize. The papers were in disarray, making Sincere wonder how he got things done when she was little and unhelpful. Suki wasn't home anyway; she was training with Blake and the other apprentices. Her dad didn't need to know that, though.
"You're allowed to go to Suki's house, but I know that if you go there you're going to try to sleep over for the fourth time this week. Don't even try to deny it," he said. Sincere groaned again and flopped onto the couch that he had in his office. The office her father had in the packhouse was much larger than the one in their own house, which didn't make much sense to Sincere but she had never questioned it anyway.
"Dad, it's a Sunday. If I sleepover at Suki's today it'll be easier for me to get to school tomorrow. Plus, if I get more sleep, I'll do better work," she argued. He rolled his eyes yet again.
"That's exactly what you said the last four times. School doesn't even start until tomorrow. If you're really that bored, go play with Ruxin. That kid has energy for days. I'm sure he'll entertain you," Declan replied. He was referring to her four-year-old brother. He was almost exactly like Icarus when he was that age, but ten times worse. He was hyper and energetic and had absolutely no regard for his own safety. Sometimes just being in the same room with him for too long made Sincere tired.
"I'd rather bash my head in with a stick. How come Icarus never has to help with paperwork? He's going to be the Beta," Sincere added. Blake and Jade, the current Betas, were unable to have children. Since there was no one to inherit the Beta position, it automatically went to Icarus. Unfortunately. That is unless Sincere chose someone else when she became Alpha. But it was a very messy process.
"You know how he is. The boys just have too much energy. You know, you're making me feel really bad about myself. Why do you hate me?" Declan asked, feigning mock hurt when she rolled her eyes.
"Fine. If you're really that bored, you can go train with the group of apprentices that Blake is training right now. But once they get to the advanced stuff only spar with Blake!" Declan said, yelling the last part because Sincere had already bolted out the door.
Blake was basically a second father to Sincere. Since he had never had children of his own, he had taken on his role as Uncle very seriously. He was much closer to her than he was to Icarus and Ruxin, probably because Jade usually hogged all of the boys' attention. She spoiled them far too much.
"Whoa, watch it. Why are you in such a rush?" Tana, her mother, breathed as she gripped the handle of the staircase carefully. Her other hand was splayed over her swollen stomach. She often complained about being six months pregnant, probably because it wasn't planned at all. Her father tried to insist that it was a blessing but her mother wasn't as pleased about it. She was coming around, though. Plus, Sincere was really hoping she would get a sister.
"Dad said I could train with Blake and the apprentices," Sincere explained, tying her golden curls into a ponytail.
"Really? He said you could train with the apprentices right now? Is he aware that Blake is training the senior apprentices, as in the hormonal teenaged boys and girls that he didn't want you training with before?" Tana said, quirking an eyebrow at her. Sincere frowned at her mom and crossed her arms.
"Come on, what he doesn't know won't kill him. Suki and Lucas are even out there. He trusts them," she said, widening her eyes as she pleaded with her mother. Tana let out a chuckle and shook her head.
"He trusts Suki, actually. Lucas, not so much. But you know I won't tell him. If you get caught, though, that's your problem," Tana said, yelping when Ruxin shoved past her and raced up the stairs towards Declan's office.
"That damn kid. Ruxin! Get back here! Push me one more time and I'm sending you into the forest to find your own way home!" Tana growled, effectively stopping the pup in his tracks right outside Declan's door. Sincere stuck her tongue out at him and laughed when he frowned at her.
When Sincere got outside, she found Lucas and Suki almost right away. Lucas stood out because he was the only boy out there who had almost platinum blonde hair. Suki was almost always with him because she didn't feel comfortable with anyone else.
They were on a break when Sincere got to them. Blake was busy talking to one of the warriors, Eric, so he didn't notice her right away.
"So she returns. It's so unfair that you get a private trainer. Markus is so much nicer than Blake," Lucas groaned, flopping back in the grass as Suki laughed at him.
"Blake isn't mean if you follow instructions. You're just being a baby," Suki said, picking some grass and tossing it on his face. Lucas huffed and swatted her hand away, brushing the grass off of his face.
"Markus is training Icarus. I just came down here to escape paperwork. My dad is so overbearing sometimes, it's so annoying," Sincere grumbled. Suki and Lucas weren't very high-ranking wolves, but in this pack, it didn't matter very much. Her father judged wolves based on how hard they work and how they are as a person. A lot of other Alpha's didn't agree with that, but he had told her time and time again that he didn't care.
"Sounds boring. But look on the bright side: you get to go back to school tomorrow so that means no more paperwork. Well, it means homework, but it's still a plus because we get to see Ophelia, Christopher, and Waylan," Suki said. Ophelia, Christopher, and Waylan were good friends of theirs who were from other packs. Since the South Bay, Cedarbrook, Riverstone, and Dark Wolves packs all shared the town in the centre of their territories, all the children and teenagers from the packs went to school together. It solidified their alliances and warned rival packs that they couldn't mess with them even if they wanted to.
Ophelia and Waylan were from Riverstone, where her Uncle Devon was the alpha. Christopher was from South Bay, which was where her old family friends were the dominant family. Sincere hadn't spoken to them since she was twelve. Her parents had tried to get her to come when they went to visit them over the years, but Sincere wanted nothing to do with Asher. Sure, she saw him around at school, but that was as much contact as she wanted with him.
"Alright, get up! I want you all to make three laps around the northern border!" Blake called out. Lucas let out a groan and heaved himself up, whining about how his legs were already tired.
Sincere moved to follow her friends but was stopped by a strong hand on her shoulder, yanking her back. She was about to berate whoever had held her back but stopped when she saw that it was just Blake, raising an accusatory eyebrow at her.
"What? I'm staying fit," Sincere huffed. He rolled his eyes and crossed his arms, clearly waiting for the real answer. Blake didn't need to threaten her. He knew she would tell him eventually.
"Fine. Dad's being super overbearing lately. He always wants me around to do paperwork and it's driving me nuts," she told him. Blake let out a small laugh and shook his head. Blake and Sincere's dad were close, but Blake was always willing to take Sincere's side if he was being unreasonable.
"Your dad is just stressed. You're getting older. Any dad would be worried about your well-being. I think he just wants to keep you as his little girl for as long as possible," Blake said. Sincere rolled her eyes and kicked at the grass irritably.
"He's getting super protective, too. He keeps growling whenever Lucas is around. He knows that Lucas is just my friend. I've been friends with Lucas since we were little," she argued with a frown. Blake chuckled lightly at her antics. She knew she was being a bit over dramatic, but she felt like her dad was suffocating her.
"We're just wary, okay? We know what young boys are like. We were young boys. We don't want you getting hurt," he said.
"It sounds like you're the mother in this whole dynamic. Is mom taking your place instead?"
"Sincere! I told you not to train with this group!" She heard her dad holler from the front of the house, storming towards them as Blake laughed.
"What? I said I would train with apprentices. You never asked who," she objected. Declan narrowed his eyes at her and grunted as Ruxin ran into the back of his knees, screaming when her dad picked him up.
"Sin likes the boys! Sin likes the boys!" Ruxin chanted, laughing when Sincere growled at him.
"Shut up you vermin," Sincere snapped.
"Watch your mouth, Sincere," Declan grumbled.
"You're not being fair, dad. I just want to train with my friends. You let Icarus train with his friends!" Sincere argued. Declan handed Ruxin to Blake, who immediately put the hyper pup on the ground and watched him run off towards the packhouse.
"Icarus is thirteen! Plus, as bad as it sounds, I trust that girls won't harass him as boys will harass you!" Declan snapped. Sincere growled, her wolf pacing around as she felt her anger rise.
"No, you don't trust me! I'm not a pup anymore! I can handle myself!" She snarled back, only increasing her father's rage. She didn't care, though. She was angry. She couldn't hold her tongue.
"You have no idea what kind of danger is out there, Sincere. Not one clue. Go wait at the house. I'll deal with you later; I have things to do. And don't snarl at me again," he growled, whirling around and storming off just as her mother made her way outside, watching her mate run off into the packhouse.
"Did he have the boy talk with you again? He's coming from a good place, trust me. He just doesn't express it properly," Tana explained, smiling at Blake and giving him a nod of greeting.
"Of course you'd side with him. You know he's being irrational. It isn't fair that he's trying to prevent me from hanging out with Lucas and my other friends just because they happen to be males," Sincere whined, clenching his fists at her sides.
"Calm down, I'll deal with him. You can hang out with your friends. We've been having a rogue problem lately, that's why he's so high strung. Doesn't help that you mouth off to him whenever you can either, missy," Tana replied. Sincere frowned, opening her mouth to respond but closing it moments later when she realized she didn't have anything of substance to say in response. Tana grinned when she saw it.
"Just be understanding. And cut the attitude, got it?" Her mother said. Sincere sighed and nodded.
"Now, go back to the house, I need to chat with Blake," she said. Sincere nodded again and walked off, quickly joined by Ruxin, who grinned at her and grabbed her hand to pull her along faster.
Sincere had a feeling she was in for it later.