I got out of bed slowly stretching my muscles, I sighed looking at my self in the mirror, at least the bruises were going to be gone by tomorrow. The dark rings under my eyes, I start on my hair. Aria ruffled her fur and started pacing.
Are you okay?
I’m fine just anxious and excited
I’m right there with you, we’ve got this
I decided to start on my hair after splitting the bottom half of my hair, I split the top down the centre to do two spacebuns on the top of my head. I curled the back part of my hair pulling some over my shoulders. I stood in my wardrobe for ages deciding what to wear. I decided on black skinny jeans with a brown belt, black ankle boots and a crimson turtleneck tucked in. I knew my mother was going to make a big deal about my outfit but I wanted to be comfortable.
Alright quick makeup then get me some coffee. I applied some concealer, mascara and brushed out my eyebrows. Perfect, I added some lip balm and headed for the door, grabbing a book to read on my way out Dracula seemed like a classic. So many wrong connotations about vampires in literature but it brought me comfort in a way. On my way to the kitchen I was stopped by the young girl from yesterday.
“Hiya Chelsea, excited for today?” She was sitting on the stairs alone in a crimson dress with black tights. Crimson was the colour that represented our pack of Amber Moon. “I am indeed,” I sat down next to her on the steps, Amelia was playing with her hands in her lap. “Excited to meet the Protectors coming to assess us.”
Her smile faded a little, “if you get in, that means you’ll leave the pack? Right?” I nodded. I was a little annoyed she used the word ‘if’, if isn’t an option.
She was chewing the inside of her cheek, she looked up to me with big eyes. “I want to be like you, strong and…” she sighed looking at the floor “no one would pick on me.” I placed my hand on her fidgeting hands “I can do some training with you before until I leave if you would like?” Her eyes immediately flicked up to mine and nodded excitedly. “We will start after the trial tomorrow 6pm don’t be late,” I stood up giving her a wink as I made my way down the stairs to the kitchen.
I got some yogurt and fruit, I wasn’t wanting anything heavy as my stomach kept doing somersaults. I sat at a table reading for an few hours until my mother came in to make herself another coffee, I’d assume her 3rd of the day. She made me a coffee and placed it down in front of me, “Good Morning my beautiful Chell,” she kissed my forehead. I dog eared a page and closed my book, I smiled up at her.
“I’m quite nervous but I’m excited for the arrival ceremony.” I took a sip of my coffee.
“Well I have some preparations to finalise would you like to come with?” I smiled and nodded. I might not be here for a while after this week so I want to spend as much time with my pack as I could. As I got up an followed my mother out she put her arm around me and whispered “maybe you might find your mate.”
I shook my head “you’re relentless and besides even if he was a Protector you know the rules.”
I know my mother wanted me to meet my mate and become the Luna of a pack. After my 18th birthday she took me to all of the packs in the area to find out if one of the Alpha sons were my mate. To her dismay there was no one.
“It could still happen, maybe he could leave the Protectorate to be with you?”
“Mum we have a lot to do and if it happens we will get to it at that stage.” Aria had been frustrating me all morning she was restless which means I might meet my mate today.
She nodded happy with my answer “I’ll take it,” we walked down the front steps of the packhouse. Everything was buzzing with activity, there was a huge tent constructed to house over 500 pack members and our incoming council members. She pulled out a clipboard she had wedged under her elbow she then handed me her coffee mug as she started to tick things off. For the next few hours I helped my mother prepare the children for their welcoming mantra, everyone that was able to speak under the age of 18 would welcome the Protectorate. As the younger ones were still learning about the Council, it was nice to get them involved to understand the importance. The Protectorate came only every 5 or so years, this is why it’s my first time trying out.
Not our Mate Aria grumbled
Yeah, yeah I know
I finished helping some Omegas finish the dining tables, they always would come up with some incredible centrepieces with wild flowers from the surrounding forest. When I noticed my father hovering with Darcy and my mother. I noticed everyone was now starting to gather for the event. I followed my family back to the packhouse to wait for their arrival. It wasn’t long until the 4 black SUVs started to roll up to the house. Once stopped the Protectors got out of their cars, Aria was fidgeting in my mind I tried to push her back.
There were 6 Protectors and 1 Council member, most were male except one female Protector. My father started to walk down the steps clasping his hands in front of himself.
“We welcome you to our lovely home, we hope you enjoy your stay and find some fighters for the Council.”
The looked over the pack for potential, falling short they turned their attention back to my father. The Council member in royal blue robes stepped forward, my father gave a slight nod to the man. This man was 6ft with a slim frame, he seemed ancient with his white hair, purple eyes and fair skin that seemed to be holding onto his bones. It was an easy assessment to make, this was a vampire I noticed it by the smell a few of them were. But my eyes flicked to his necklace which had a ‘V’ sitting in a lovely filigree in gold.
This has to be Vincent one of the new vampire Council members.
“A pleasure to meet you and your kin, thank you for taking care of our stay.” Vincent’s accent was a thick South African accent. Vincent turned to the side to gesture to one of his Protectors, a giant man stood forward with a delicious tan skin and dark eyes.
“This is Julien, he will be taking any questions your fighters might have.” Julien held a strong defensive pose with his hands clasped behind him. All of the protectors could have seemed like bikers, jeans, boots and basic t-shirts, the only thing keeping them together was their Protector bind which was a gold bracelet small but laced into the skin.
He gestured to the rest of the group, “Mitch, Seralina, Beau, Gregory, Phylum & Leo.”
Seralina’s eyes flicked to mine and held them for a moment, she made a face I’m not sure if it was shock or excitement but I gave her a kind nod.
Vincent continued “Marcel, is our Head of the Protectorate for this district but he will be here in early hours of the morning, he was called away for some business near by.”
My father smiled and began to speak, “with all of our introductions out of the way let the ceremony commence.” A group of kids was ushered up the steps of the house to perform the mantra for the Council;
Protecting our hearts and souls,
The Council knows how to make us all one whole,
They keep us safe and strong,
No famine or war,
Only peace is our call,
Vampires, Werewolves, Witches and Fae,
We are all here to stay
There was an applause and Vincent seemed to be smiling at the children as he applauded “Brava.” There were a few other ceremonies including the moon some sage and blood it was very simple but by the time the bonding was finished it was night time.
My father turned back to the pack “Now, we feast.” There was a roar of excitement and he turned back to me, “want to show them to their rooms?” I smiled and nodded walking down the steps towards the Protectors and Vincent.
“Welcome again to the Amber Moon Pack,” I said strongly, they all stared at me studying me. “Would you like me to show you to your rooms?”
“That would be lovely it’s been a long day.” Vincent smiled the Protectors were silent.
I turned around and led them into the packhouse walking up the steps when Amelia fell into step with me. Jeez this kid is asking for it… I don’t want to make myself look like an idiot in front of them. However, on the Protectors last visit I guiltily did the same thing with my father I was also 16 at the time. We silently walked to the top floor as I have room allocations.
The Protectors immediately went into their rooms which left us in the hallway with Vincent.
“You are applying aren’t you?” He studied my response, which instantly gave it away.
“I am indeed, I’ve waited years for this … Sir.” I wanted to slap myself, Sir? Really? That’s what I came up with. I glanced at Amelia who had a face of determination she had great posture.
Vincent smiled and nodded turning his next question to Amelia, “and what of you little pup? Do you think she’s able?”
Amelia looked from me to the Council member, she spoke confidently “Sir,” I winced, this going to be ongoing now. “Chelsea is the strongest challenger our pack has, I’ve seen her fight multiple times; she poised with her fighting techniques and she’s fast, doesn’t miss a step.” I smiled at the little pup as she continued “… she’s also training me.” I guess I should have known she would throw that in, if I made it into the Protectorate there was a chance she could do her trial early when she came of age.
“I look forward to seeing you tomorrow,” Vincent smiled cocking his head to the side.
“It won’t be easy,” I hadn’t noticed Julien was back in the hallway and Seralina was at her door.
I quickly turned my eyes back to him, “Oh I hope not I enjoy a challenge.” Seralina laughed lightly smiling at me, “I’m excited to see what you can do, we need more women on base.” She was a light brunette with some greys her hair was a short pixie cut, beautiful large brown eyes with Arabian features. She stood about 5’ 9” like me, but from her scent she wasn’t a werewolf, maybe a fae. I noticed a strange scent surrounding them all it was like a warm caramel with notes of cinnamon.
I shook my head to continue. “I’ll be back up in half an hour to escort you to dinner,” I smiled at them one last time and decided to get out of there fast before Amelia said anything else. We both bowed low until Vincent was gone, I quickly made my way down the stairs Amelia still on my heels.
I stopped turning to the small shewolf, “that took a lot of courage young pup,” I tightened my jaw as she averted my gaze. She fumbled with her hands, she was nervous around me. I placed my hands on her shoulders “you did well but next time please tell me first.” She smiled at me “I just wanted to show you I could be brave too.”
I nodded turning back around I continued to the kitchen I decided to get some coffee just to wake me up a little. My stomach had been doing somersaults all day, was it the trial I was nervous about? Maybe. I sighed leaning my head forward onto my arms on the counter.
I checked my watched realising it was time to go get them for dinner. As I arrived in their hallway they were already waiting, “Hungry?” I asked Seralina.
“Starving, we traveled the entire day without stopping for food,” she had a slight
Turkish accent it’s so beautiful I could listen to her speak all the time. Maybe if I’m lucky I might get to.
I smiled politely “well let’s not keep you waiting,” I led them out to dinner where my father took back over. The feast was lavished with a fine array of different international foods to cater to everyone’s needs. After I had finished my dinner and the dancing begun I retired to bed giving a low bow to Vincent and the Protectors.
“I’m excited to see what you can do,” Seralina beamed a smile at me. I smiled back “thank you I need my sleep and prep time,” I replied politely. I noticed Julien eyeing me inquisitively, he was looking at me from top to toe. Was he checking to see if I can handle the trial? Or is he checking me out? I felt my face go a little warm as my cheeks went red, I bowed one final time leaving to my room.
I did some light stretches and strength exercises before I had a shower to soothe my muscles and crawled into bed passing out instantly.
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