The Flower Moon Festival
It was the day of the Flower Moon Festival. I had just slipped on the dress that Alessa had bought for me. I was standing in my room, looking into the mirror. Alessa was waiting for me on the other side of the door, but I was too nervous to step out there and show her.
The dress that she had picked for me was definitely not something that I would have chosen for myself; it was much too revealing. I had a silver embellished bodice with spaghetti straps and a tulle skirt that fell down to my knees. Alessa had chosen silver to go with my eyes which I argued are actually a dull grey. She would not listen to me though.
I slipped on the pair of matching silver heels and took a deep breath. I opened that door, feeling embarrassed to be showing this much of my skin. I did not feel confident enough in myself to be wearing something like this.
“I don’t know about this, Alessa.”
“What are you talking about? You look beautiful!” Alessa squealed as she looked me over. “Once we get a little makeup on you and get your hair up, you are going to feel like a whole new woman.”
“I’ll take your word for it.” I shrugged.
I knew that I would never feel the courage that she felt. With her long, wavy dark locks and her bright blue eyes, she was surely a catch for any wolf. Her mate was going to be thrilled when she saw her there with sparkling blue dress that made her eyes shine. She was in for an evening of fairy tales. I was in for an evening of nightmares.
Alessa added some curls to my hair and pinned it up and away from my face. Then we went for a light layer of makeup, highlighting my eyes and lips with a pop of red. Alessa held up a small mirror and asked me what I thought. I looked myself over for a moment and I had to admit that she had done a fairly good job. This was probably the closest that I had ever come to feeling beautiful.
“Thank you, Alessa.”
“Think nothing of it.” She responded, waving me off. “I barely did anything. Most of that is you.”
I rolled my eyes at her comment and chuckled. She was always trying so hard to help me feel better about myself. I hope that her mate does not mind our friendship. It would break my heart if she had to stop spending time with me. I sighed at the thought.
“What’s a matter?”
“Nothing. It’s silly. Don’t worry about it.” I plastered a smile on my face, hoping that it was convincing enough. “Now, let’s go and meet your mate.” I announced as I jumped out of my chair.
“You mean OUR mates.” Alessa corrected.
“Sure.” I nodded and we headed out towards the pack house.
The pack house was where the Alpha and his family live along with the Beta and his family. It is also large enough to house any members of the pack who may be in need, along with any guests who may come to visit. All pack meetings, as well as, any parties or celebrations were to be held there as well. It was the biggest building in our community. I had never been inside and would not be going in tonight either; tonight’s festival was being held behind the pack house in the large garden. Alpha Cosmo had not wanted me to enter the pack house as he said that I was unfit. I never bothered to try when his son took over. I was certain that he would be of the same opinion.
When we arrived, the garden was decorated with all manner of flowers and ribbons, it was absolutely breathtaking. Candles were littered across the tables and twinkling lights were strung in the area, assisting the bright glow of the full moon in illuminating the space. It certainly looked like spring was in full bloom here. I smiled as I looked over the decorations.
As we entered the party, I was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of wolves in the place. I knew that our pack was quite large, one of the largest on the North American continent, I barely saw them gathered together as I was not typically invited to pack events. Seeing so many of them in one space and knowing very well that they all hate me, begins to take its toll. I start fidgeting with the sides of my dress as my nerves take over.
“Just relax.” Alessa encouraged. “You don’t have to stay long. You just have to let enough wolves see you, so that if anyone questions your presence, they can say that you were here.”
“That is true.” I take a deep breath and try to will myself to calm down some.
Though, this does not help any, because as I breathe in, I catch a scent that sends shivers down my spine. It smelt like a cool wind blowing across the open ocean. I had only smelt the ocean once in my life and I was very young at the time, but I am absolutely certain that this is the same scent that I was smell now. It was absolutely intoxicating.
“Do you smell that?” I ask Alessa, nudging her side, slightly.
She tilts her head back and sticks her nose into the air, taking a large sniff as she does so. Suddenly, I watch as her eyes grow wide and she takes another whiff of the scent.
“Yeah, I do. It smells like peppermint and pine trees.”
“What…no…” I say turning towards her with my eyebrow cocked. “I smell an ocean breeze.”
She sniffs at the air again for a moment.
“No. I don’t smell anything like that. All I smell is that peppermint and pine. I have to find the source of that scent.”
“I bet it’s your mate.” I encourage.
“I bet that you’re right. I wonder if he has smelt me as well. You know what…” she asks as she turns to face me. “I bet that you’re smelling your mate as well.”
“I doubt it.” I say shaking my head.
“Come on. You know that I am right. You are smelling your mate. Don’t you, at least, want to know what he looks like?” She pressed.
I supposed that she was right. Even though I do not think that I am ready to face him as I really do not want to be rejected tonight. I am eager to see who it is supposed to be. He may not be my mate for very long, but I was curious as to whom the Moon Goddess had chosen for me, a lowly mutt. I assumed that he must be an Omega, but I could not stop myself from imagining what he may look like.
“Okay…” I say releasing my breath. “I will go look for him.”
“Yay!” Alessa cheered, clapping her hands. “Do you want me to go with you?”
“No. Of course not. You go and find your own mate.”
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely.” I encouraged with a smile.
She flashed me another toothy grin before rushing off into the crowd, seeking her prince charming. I was happy for her. I really was. I knew that she deserved someone to care for her. I was much less excited for myself. I had to find a way to get a look at my mate without him spotting me in return. If I could just get through tonight, I did not want to be rejected in front of all of these people. Rejection was embarrassing enough without having it witnessed, firsthand, by the entire pack.
I sniffed the air and snuck around the outskirts of the festivities, following the alluring scent. I ducked around that crowds and kept my head low. I prayed that I would track my mate before he caught my scent. I passed several groups of males, huddled together, and I took an extra-long whiff as I did so. None of them were registering with the scent.
I was making my way back around towards the front of the festival, not far from where my search had begun. I was starting to wonder if he had already come and left. The only group left to pass-by now was the higher-ranking wolves, including the Alpha and Beta. Even though no unmated wolves were supposed to bring dates, Alpha Farris had two women draped on his arms. Not a surprise, all the she-wolves would kill to be his mate.
It was not just the power of Farris’ position that attracted them, he also happened to be most handsome man that had ever walked the face of the planet. His midnight black hair was styled perfectly up and away from his face. His golden eyes shimmered, even in the limited light of the night. His chiseled jaw was often clenched but that may be because I only ever saw him when he was angry. His muscles bulged, noticeably, even through his shirt. His toned arms covered in any number of tattoos.
I inched closer, trying to determine how much farther my mate may have been. His scent having grown much stronger, suddenly. I crept along more, carefully, now, certain that he had to be somewhere near by. Then as I stood parallel to the Alpha’s group, it hit me like a smack in the face.
I turned and looked in his direction, making certain to duck behind a few other wolves who were too distracted to notice me. It could not be. It was absolutely impossible. The Moon Goddess could not hate me that much, could she? Why on earth would she ever do this to me? I stood there staring at him. My mouth agape, frozen in my spot. I could not comprehend that this could be who I was destined for. It made absolutely no sense. There had to be some kind of mistake.
As I looked on, I noticed that he had caught a scent on the wind. He sniffed at the air and pushed the everyone away from him. He began to turn, taking another long whiff of the wind. I knew that he had found me. His eyes began to scan the crowd and just before they were set to lock with mine, I turned and rushed away.
I ran out of the party and away from the festival. I put as much distance between myself and the pack house as I could as fast I could. I did not stop until I reached my cabin and slammed the door shut, locking it, once I was inside.
If I had thought that my life was bad before, nothing could compare to this. I was mated to Alpha Farris, the wolf who probably hated me more than anyone else. My mere existence was a constant annoyance to him. His father had raised him with a distaste for me and, as such, he continued to treat me poorly even after his father was gone.
Alpha Farris is going to be so livid when he discovers that we are mates, I will be lucky if he does not murder me on the spot. Alphas require an heir, it is one of the most important things in an Alpha’s life, he must ensure the future and safety of his pack. If Alpha Farris is my mate, then I am the only wolf who can produce his biological pups. But, I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Alpha Farris will not want me to carry his children. I could not imagine the look on his face when he realizes that his pups would only be three-quarter wolf.
I know that the whole pack is going to blame for this as well. They will see it as my fault that the Alpha cannot continue the Elwood Pack bloodline. I will be shunned even more than I already am. They will probably request my banishment from the pack and its lands.
My breathing quickens and my heartrate rises. I clutch at my chest as I feel it tighten. I fall against the door, sliding downwards until I reach the floor. I let the tears fall from eyes, I deserved this cry. It was bad enough that I was going to be rejected by my soulmate, the one wolf who was supposed to love me above all others, no matter what. But now, I was likely to lose the only home that I had ever known. Where would I go? What would I do? I have never been beyond the borders of this land.
I curled myself, tightly, into a ball on the floor and cried myself to sleep. My anguish engulfing me like a tight blanket. The Moon Goddess had really screwed me this time.
I awoke early the next morning, to a pounding noise coming from the other side of my door. I groaned as I stretched, my body aching from laying on the cold, hard ground. I rubbed my eyes, as I sat up, groggily. I could not imagine who would possibly be here this early after such an important event the night before.
“Mysti! Open up!” Alessa’s voice crept in through the closed door.
“Should have guessed.” I chuckled under my breath.
“Mysti! Hurry!” She cried out again.
“Okay. Okay. Hold on.” I grunted as I reached up behind me to unlock the door.
As Alessa pushed her way inside, I stood up, straightening my dress. I wished that I had, at least, taken a moment to get out of this outfit.
“Oh my Goddess, Mysti, you are never going to believe it!” Alessa cheered as she saw me, clearly not noticing the state that I was in, which I was grateful for.
“What happened? Did you meet your mate last night?”
“Yes, I did and you are never going to guess who it is!” She squealed, her excitement bubbling over.
I was surprised that she was here after having met her mate. Mates tend to be inseparable when they first find each other.
“Who is it?”
“No way!” I breathed. My response came out as though it was excited, but in reality I was devastated. Beta Deene was Alpha Farris’ second in command and his best friend. I had not had very many interactions with him, but I was certain that he would not want his mate hanging around a wolf as lowly as me. Especially not after I am rejected by the Alpha. But I would not be selfish, this was not about me, this was about her happiness.
“Congratulations Alessa! I am so excited for you!”
“Thank you! I cannot believe that I am going to be the female Beta! It is like a dream come true!” She continued with her glee and listened on, happily. I wanted to bask in her joy and celebrate with her while we were still allowed to talk.
“Oh my goodness!” She suddenly stopped and brought her hands to her mouth. “I’m sorry, in all my excitement, I totally forgot! What about you? What happened when you found your mate?”
My smile dropped instantly and I fought the tears that threatened to spill from my eyes. Alessa noticed my reaction and stepped forward to give me a reassuring hug.
“What happened? Who was it?”
“Oh, Alessa, it is awful. The worst possible case.”
“Oh no! Did he reject you already?! Tell me who he is, and I will go kick his ass!” She proclaimed, jumping into a fighting stance.
I wanted to laugh, but given the circumstances, I was hard pressed to find the strength in me to do so.
“Alessa…” I took in a deep breath and let it out slowly before continuing. “I am m-mated to A-alpha Farris.”
Alessa mouth fell open in shock. She stared at me wide eyed. I was certain she was processing the gravity of the situation just as I had done last night.
“This is great!” She announced as a smile spread across her face.
“What?!” I responded in shock, unable to form any other words.
“This is the best thing that could have happened! I am mated to the Beta and you are mated to the Alpha! We are going to be the top two females in the pack!”
“Earth to Alessa, no we aren’t. The Alpha is not going to accept me as his mate.”
“You don’t know that, Mysti. Things may change when he finds that you two are fated to be together. You could change the whole mindset of this pack! If a mutt is mated to the Alpha, then they would have to treat half-breeds better! No other family would have to go through what yours experienced. You could change everything!”
“That is a nice thought, Alessa. But it is never going to happen.”
“So, what are you planning to do then?”
“I will hide in here and stay out of the Alpha’s way. When he finally figures it out then I will just pray that he rejects me in a kind way. Preferably, with as few members of the pack watching as possible.”
“You know…” Alessa started with some hesitation. “If you are really eager to get this over with and you want to do it as privately as possible…you could always try scheduling a private appointment with him in his office. At least it will just be the two of you there.”
I considered this for a moment. I had never attempted to get a meeting with the Alpha before. I was not even entirely certain how I would go about it. Though I was sure that Alessa could help me figure that part out. It was a viable option.
“I will think about it. It would be nice to have the rejection done more privately.”
“Or been in privacy for when he jumps on you and rips your clothes off.” Alessa teased with a wink.
I merely rolled my eyes in response.
“Well, you better make your decision soon.” Alessa mentioned, causally.
“Deene told me that Alpha Farris scented his mate last night at the Festival. He knowns that it is someone in the pack and he is going to start looking for them.”
“He would never think to look out here.” I respond with confidence.
“Maybe. Maybe not.” She shrugged.
“Great. Just freaking great.”