You Have Been Invited
“Come on Snow we’re going to be late!” Max called from downstairs. I sighed and responded, “I’m coming!” I grabbed my bag, checked my outfit once more, and ran down the stairs. I had on my black and red plaid shirt, black skeleton leggings with a matching beanie and black combat boots. My long red hair was curled and pinned up in the front, it wasn’t my natural hair color, but I liked it much more. I had in my dimple piercings, shark bites, septum ring and gauges in. I’ve never left the house without them in. My mom says I look weird, but I like them. When I reached the kitchen Max tossed me my phone, and we were out the door. I got in the passengers seat of his 1968 Ford Mustang and buckled up.
“I don’t get why we have to drive when we could run.” I sighed. He gave me a knowing look before looking back at the road, replying,
“You know why last time we did that people freaked out because they saw a wolf in the middle of the woods.” I huffed and looked out the window.
It was early fall and it was gorgeous, the leaves were starting to fall and change colors, the sky was a pretty light blue. Even though it was early, the sun was starting to peek through the trees turning the clouds into a reddish-orange color. I pulled out my black headphones, plugged them into my phone, scrolled through the many songs that I had, and picked Three Cheers For Five Years by Mayday Parade. I started to sing softly along with the music. I always had a passion for singing although I could never sing in front of people. I twirled my hand around on a circular motion, creating a small block of ice. Every shifter is born with the ability to control one of the four elements. Max could control fire and I can control water. I started to shape the ice, not really paying attention. When we pulled up the school, I looked down at the ice in my hand and saw it was in the shape of a Pegasus. The great horse always took me by surprise, and I never understood why I could take the shape of it while others couldn’t. I quickly got rid of it and got out of the car.
I looked around the parking lot, my eyes landed on Jake’s old beat up truck, him and Abby were leaning against it talking. Abby was wearing her ripped up jean shorts with her knee high converse and a black tank top with a jean jacket, her long blonde hair pulled up on a pony tail. Jake had on just a pair of his old jeans a plain white shirt with his Nike’s. I waved goodbye to Max and made my way over to them, when I reached them I pulled out one headphone. “Hey beautiful.” Abby greeted. I leaned against the truck next to Jake,
“What’s wrong?” He asked. I shrugged, “I’m tired and hungry.” They both laughed, Jake opened his bag and pulled out a monster and a small bag of Doritos.
“Aw you love me.” He chuckled and handed them to me. I opened the Doritos and started to munch on them, “Well let’s go inside.” Abby picked up her bag and we made our way inside the school. I tossed the empty Doritos bag in the trash and walked to my locker, Jake and Abby already went to theirs. The first class I had was History with Mr.Ackels.
I grabbed my books and my monster and closed the locker. I maneuvered my way through the kids walking to their class, the kids chatting with their friends in the hallway and kids unsure of what to do to. I opened the door and was greeted by the heat of the classroom, this room was always hot, well this school is too bent up on sports to keep this room cool. I sat down in the back of the room by the window, my normal seat. I opened up my monster and took a sip, I let the cool liquid slip down my throat. When the bell rang the room got quiet and Mr.Ackles walked into the room.
“Sorry I’m late class, please take out your worksheet packets and finish working on pages one through 7.” The class groaned and people started moving.
Whenever Mr.Ackles gave us assignments like this everyone mostly talked to their friends and barely did anything. I don’t really talk to many people, I guess the only people I really talk to is Abby and Jake. People say that we’re an odd group, me being labeled as ‘scene’, Abby being a ‘nerd’ and Jake being a ‘jock’. We don’t really care about labels and we just have fun being together. Then I heard it, it was a loud howl, like a wolf howl but not a normal wolf, a shifter. It was far away and could barely be heard but with my super hearing it wasn’t hard for me to pick it up, and I know if I heard it so did Max. I peered out the window wondering if I could see any movement around the trees. After staring out the window for a while I decided to give up and go back to my work. After History was finally I made it my priority to find Max.
I rushed down the hallway only to crash into someone, I looked up and saw Ashton one of Max’s friends. He held out his hand and pulled me to my feet,
“Sorry Snow, you seem to be in a rush what’s up?” He asked. “Nothing just looking for Max, have you seen him?” He nodded,
“Yeah he’s waiting for you at your locker he said he needed to talk to you about something important.” I thanked him and walked to my locker, just like Ashton had said Max was standing by my locker.
When he saw me he walked up to me, “You heard it too didn’t you?” He asked. I nodded,
“Yeah I looked outside trying to see it I could see where it came from but I didn’t see anything.” I opened my locker and put my books in, “It sounded as if it had some authority.” I looked at him confused, “What like one of the royal family?” I asked. He shook his head, “Not that much authority maybe it was on the royal guards.” We looked at each other and I knew we were thinking the same thing, who’s here and what do they want?
I was brought back to reality when Max’s phone rang, he rummaged through his pocket and pulled it out. “Hello.” He was quiet for a moment, he looked at me and his face paled a little, “Max what is it?” I asked. He didn’t answer. “We’re on our way.” He hung up the phone and grabbed my arm. “Max what’s going on?” He ignored my question and pulled my outside. He opened the passenger door to his car and helped me inside. He then quickly got inside and started to car, his hand gripped the steering wheel making his knuckles white. I didn’t know what was happening but I was scared, my stomach was twisting and turning and my palms were getting sweaty. When we pulled up in our driveway I slowly got out of the car,
Max quickly rushed inside the house, I heard him growl loudly when he entered. The strong smell of a beta hit my nose, no way why is a beta here?
I walked inside, Max was glaring at a man dressed in a uniform standing by the couch. When I entered his eyes looked at me.
“Well you aren’t what I expected but you’ll do.” I growled, “And what’s that supposed to mean?” My mom gave me a look and I calmed down, but only a little. The beat handed me an envelope, there was a red wax stamp of the royal family crest keeping the letter closed. I ripped open the envelope and read the letter aloud.
“Dear Miss.Heart, you have been invited to come to the royal choosing for Prince Ethan.” I looked up at the beta,
“You’re joking right? There is no way I’m going to Engor.” The beta gave me a hard look,
“You don’t really have a choice the king selected you and you have to go.” I clenched my fists together, they started to get cold and ice started to cover the floor. Max slipped and held onto the couch.
“No! Everyone I love is here! You can’t make me go!” I shouted. The ice made it way to the beta, before it reached him he pulled something out of his pocket and blew it at me. I started to get tired and the ice started to retract. The last thing I remember was Max yelling my name before I fell into darkness.
When I regained my consciousness I felt as if I was moving. I slowly opened my eyes and noticed I was in a car, I looked out the window daylight was starting to make it’s way into the window, I looked next to me and the beta was watching me intently.
“Where are we?” I groaned. “We are on our way to the castle of Engor.” Then the earlier events flooded my memories,
“I told you I didn’t want to come here! Where are my parents? And Max?” I asked. “They are in a separate car, oh yes I forgot to introduce myself, my name is Dominick.” I turned away from him,
“Yeah well I really don’t care what your name is.” He sighed and started to rummage around as if looking for something. “Here.” He handed me a coffee and a doughnut. “You need to eat, by the time we reach the castle it will be time for the hearing.” I looked over at him. “Wait why now?” I asked, “First the royal family will see you in your wolf form, then you can pick any animal you wish, the prince will not know who you are.” “Why?”
He thought about it before answering me, “The king and queen want the prince to get to know you as a shifter and as just a normal girl, so if he does mate he will only know the animal form of his mate, he will have to get to know your human side to see if he can tell who his mate is.” He explained.
“Why can’t he just pick them out in their human form?” I asked confused. “It’s all very complicated, ah look we have arrived.” I looked out the window at the beautiful castle. It was a modern looking castle with a large fountain in front of it, there are two sets of stairs leading to the main door. The large space of grass on each side of the driveway had many different colored flowers. I had to admit it was beautiful. My door was opened and I let Dominick help me out of the car, another was behind us and Max and my parents got out. Max ran up to me and hugged me tightly,
“Thank goodness you’re okay, I was worried.” He said worriedly. I laughed quietly, “Don’t worry I’m okay, Dominick even gave me food.” I grinned widely and he chuckled. “You and your love for food.” Dominick walked up to us, another man by his side. “This is Axel and he will show your family where they will be sitting for the ceremony, Miss.Heart please come with me.” I said goodbye to my family and followed Dominick into the castle.
We walked into the castle and walked down the long marble hallway. I looked around the walls, there was many pictures of the royal family, occasionally there would be a window but not a lot.
“Ah Dominick perfect timing I’m guessing that you are Miss.Snow Heart. Welcome to Engor my name is Ms.Jules.” She held out her hand, I took it and shook it gently.
“Now you can control the element of water right?” She asked. I nodded slowly.
“Good because water is up next come, come you must meet the others.” She led me into a room where other girls were sitting and laughing with each other, I noticed that there was a group of three girls sitting in the corner, they all had snobby looks on their faces. Great it’s going to be just like high school. I sat down alone, I had my back leaning against the cool stone wall. Two girls walked up to me, “Hi I’m Jade and this is Chloe.” I smiled at the two of them. Jade had an Australian accent, she was tan but not brown, she had short red hair and he face was cover with freckles, Chloe had a much more simple look, she was short and looked about fifteen, she had long black hair that went down to her back and bright blue eyes, she had a long scar down the right side of her face, it looked as if she was attacked by a bear.
I smiled slightly, “Hi I’m Snow.” They turned the chairs in front of me around and sat in them, “Well it’s nice to meet you, where are you from?” Chloe asked, she had a soft quiet voice.
“I’m from New Jersey what about you two?” “I’m from Australia and Chloe here is from Asia.” Before I could reply Ms.Jules walked back into the room,
“Okay ladies I need you all to come with me.” I stood and stretched slightly. The three girls from before shoved their way through the other girls went to the front following Ms.Jules. She led us down the long hallway, I stayed behind not really in the mood to talk to anyone, I was still upset that I was dragged here by force. Chloe noticed I was walking slower and came up beside me, “You okay?” She I asked, I sighed.
“No not really, I didn’t want to be here so I guess I’m not really excited about this whole thing.” She smiled softly, “I know what you mean, I can tell you one thing I know he isn’t going to mate on me.” I looked at her confused, “How do you know?” She smiled widely and pulled something out of her pocket. It was a picture of her and a boy, he had short hair blonde that was spiked up and he looked tall, they were laying in the grass on a blanket.
“So you already mated? Is he a shifter too?” She took the picture and shook her head, “No he’s human his name is Jason.” She slipped the picture back in her pocket, “Wait if you already mated why did they bring you here?” She shrugged.
We stopped in front of a large door, it was a mix of red and black, there was two guards standing in front of the door.
“Now I’m going to call your name and when I do I need you to give me a name, a name that when you are in your animal form we can call you it.
“Why can’t you just use our real name?” I asked.
“The whole point of a choosing is to see if the prince can tell who is mate is, it’s easier to notice your mate in one of their animal forms because the smell radiates more,” I nodded and she continued to speak,
“Now when you go in there we are going to call the name you give us and where you are from, when meet the royal family later tonight you may not tell any of them where you are from or the name you give me do you understand?”
She looked down the line and we all nodded. “Now I want everyone quiet while I call your names, Kathy Madders, United Kingdom?” A shortish girl with brown hair looked up, “Um Raven.” Ms.Jules nodded and wrote on the clipboard she was carrying. “Natalie Porter, Europe.” One of the snobby girls smirked and popped the gum she was chewing, “Majesty.” I rolled my eyes, I really hope he doesn’t mate on one of the eight of us, that means I be stuck with them until the ceremony.
“Snow Heart, United States.” I thought about it for a second before answering, “Shadow.” She smiled and went on, “Chloe Jones, Asia” Chloe stuck her hand in her pocket before answering, “Spirit.” I look at her, “Did Jason give you that nickname?” She smiled and her face started to turn a light shade of pink. “And finally, Jade Mascove, Australia .” I saw Jade standing a little away from me, “Uh Fang.” Ms.Jules wrote on her clipboard once more,
“Right now the royal family will get to know two of you forms your wolf and any one of your choosing so shift into your wolf form please.” One by one the girls shifted into their wolves, I closed my eyes and clenched my fists slightly, I felt my bones pop and take form, when I opened my eyes again I could see Ms.Jules looking at me strangely, “I’ve never seen a wolf like that.”
My belly and down my legs is white with black stripes, my paws and tail is pitch black, my back is black and goes down my sides in stripes, my head is is black and down my muzzle black stripes cover most of the white. I looked over at Chloe, she had russet colored fur, under her muzzle was black and so were her paws, you could still see her scar on her face and muzzle.
“Alright now ladies I want you all on your best behaviors.” The guards opened the door and we slowly started to walk into the grand hall.