Welcome to the town of Crescent Falls. Population, roughly, one thousand. It’s a quiet, sleepy little town; only one main road ran through consisting of a few shops and a couple of locally owned businesses. The rest of the area comprised of housing for the citizens. The only other building of note was the magnificent large old mansion, that sat in the center of the only park in town. This was the house of the mayor, or at least it would be if a human were to ask.
We refer to it as the pack house and it happens to be the home of the Alpha and his family, along with the Beta’s family. That is right, Crescent Falls was just like any other small town in North America, except for one major difference. Crescent Falls is actually the pack territory for the Crescent Moon Wolf Pack. What was considered a tiny town, not even worth mentioning to humans; was one of the largest werewolf packs in the world.
There was nothing for anyone to fear though. Our pack had grown large because of the kindness of our leadership, not because of our brutality. We stayed away from humans as much as possible; preferring solitude over interaction with society. We did not leave Crescent Falls very often and no one came to Crescent Falls unless they had business here, which was rare.
Who was I, you may ask? Well, I am Marvel, Marvel Hala, to be exact. I am the only child of the current Beta Jonas Hala and his mate, my mother, Shirin. Which means that I live in the pack house along with Alpha and his family. It was necessary for the Beta to always be accessible to his Alpha. It was for this reason that the two families shared the mansion, each living on the opposite end.
The rest of the mansion remained empty to allow for room to house any pack guests or pack members who may have fallen on hard luck. The only other permanent members of our household were the future Beta and his mate, who just happened to be one of my very best friends, Aida.
When Aida had found out a few months ago that future-Beta Tyrus was her mate, I was elated. Not just because I was happy for my friend to have found her mate, but also because it meant that we could live together. At least, until I found my mate, of course. Once I find a mate of my own, I will have to leave the pack house to move in with him.
Aida and I enjoyed being able to live together these past few months. Our other best friend, Kiara, had spent most of her time sleeping over in my room that way she did not feel left out. Though, sadly, it seemed that our time may be coming to an end. Today was the day of my twentieth birthday. This was the day that my wolf would finally be able to recognize her mate, if he is in our pack, that is.
You see, wolves have many important days as they grow. When we are ten years old, we begin to have the ability to use the pack’s mindlink, which allows us to communicate with the Alpha, Luna, and our parents in our heads during an emergency. It came in extremely handy when we get our wolf forms as speaking normally is not an option.
When we turn thirteen, we begin to experience subtle changes during the full moons. Our emotions heighten and our wolf senses become sharper. We will begin to see transformations in our body as well, such as, elongated snouts and deadly claws.
When we reach fifteen, we finally shift into our wolves completely. However, we can only achieve this when the moon is full. So, one week a month we are able to shift.
That is until we turn eighteen, at that time we gain the ability to control our shifts, becoming a wolf at will no matter the time of day or phases of the moon. Our bodies are no longer reliant on the Moon Goddess’ lead before becoming who we truly are.
As big as our eighteenth birthdays may have been. The biggest day of all arrives when we turn twenty. This is when the Moon Goddess grants us with the ability to sense our mates. The other half of our souls; hand-picked for us by the Goddess herself based on our perceived needs and strengths.
Being a Beta’s daughter, it was expected that I would find a strong wolf with a high rank. I did not worry about such matters though, I wanted a mate because I wanted someone to love me, unconditionally. I did not care if he was an Alpha or an Omega, as long as he loved me, and I loved him.
That brings us to our current predicament…
My thoughts were rudely interrupted by the scream of my two favorite she-wolves in the world, Aida and Kiara, busting through my bedroom door and jumping onto my bed. I groaned at them but could not help the smile as it formed on my face. We all laughed together as they toppled over onto my bed with me.
“So, Marvel, now that you are officially twenty years old, do you feel any different?” Kiara questioned, after we had calmed down.
Kiara was the last of our group who would turn twenty. Aida had celebrated her twentieth a few months ago and that was when she found out that she was mated to Beta Tyrus. Kiara still had a little time to go before she would be twenty. Though I was not certain that she was in too much of a rush. Kiara enjoyed her independence and I think that she worried a mate might be too much of a drag.
I, however, was on the fence about the whole mating situation. On the one hand, I had dreamed of finding my mate since I was a little girl, like every other she-wolf. I had also been witness to how happy finding Tyrus had made Aida. Their life together seemed so perfect. There were plenty of other examples of that same kind of love throughout our pack; the kind of love that was beyond compare.
Though, I had to admit, there was a small part of me that sided with Kiara. I was an independent she-wolf; I had dreams and ambitions of my own. What if my future mate did not support that like I hoped that he would? Not to mention, I had been trained as a warrior since I was a young pup. I had seen many other warrior females meet their mates and then never return to training again. Their mates did not want them to risk themselves in a battle, which I understood to a degree. But I was the daughter of a Beta, I was no weak wolf, and I would not stand idly by while my pack was under threat, no matter how my mate felt about the situation.
I shrugged in response to Kiara’s question. I did not think that I felt any different. I certainly had not sensed my mate yet. Everything was about the same as it had always been. I assumed that it would remain that way, at least until my mate and I discovered each other.
“Well, your scent is different. It’s stronger like it’s trying to beckon someone. Same thing that happened to Aida’s.” Kiara teased.
“Either that or you REALLY need to take a shower.” Aida added.
I gaped at her and mocked offense. Aida and Kiara, both, burst out in laughter.
“Hey, no one told you guys to come into my room and climb into bed with me.” I chuckled.
“We had to come wake your lazy ass up. Come on! We need to go for our morning run.”
“Alright.” I answered stretching out my limbs. “Let me throw on one of Enzo’s old shirts.”
I elected to wear something old and baggy that way I would not have to over dress just to get nude again in the woods. It was common for females to walk around in just a large shirt or loose dress. Just as it was common for the males to wear nothing but shorts.
“Speaking of Enzo…” Kiara began to tease. “Do you think there is any chance that he could be your mate?”
“Wouldn’t that be perfect!” Aida squealed in excitement. “Then you would be the Luna and I would be your Beta! You would not even have to move out of the pack house! Plus, you’ve had a crush on that boy FOREVER. It would only make sense.”
She was not wrong; I had been crushing on Enzo for as long as I could remember. After all, he was the most handsome male that I had ever seen with his soft chestnut hair and enticing green eyes. He had a body that would make a Greek God envious, as he was chiseled to perfection. Not too bulky, but definitely not thin or wiry. Moreover, he was set to be the next Alpha of the Crescent Moon Pack. If he was not such a womanizer, then he would have made a great mate for any she-wolf.
“Yeah, right, Enzo barely even knows that I exist. If it was not for the fact that we live in the same house, I don’t think that he would even know my name. As it is, he never refers to me by my first name, he always calls me Hala.”
When we were young, Enzo and I were very close. It was easy to be best friends because we were the only two children who lived, permanently, within the pack house. It was common for Alphas and their Betas to only have one pup, as it was necessary for them to focus their time on the pack as a whole. They produced an heir and then stopped; while other families in the pack tended to be much larger.
As we grew older, Enzo and I slowly began to go our separate ways. He was more into boy things and I liked to do girly stuff, at least, every once and awhile. Then one day, without warning, we stopped spending any time together at all. He quit calling me Marvel and only referred to me by my last name. He barely even looked in my direction. I had no idea what I had done wrong to cause him to become so distant. I never learned the reason, but, sadly and stupidly, no matter how cold he became towards me; my feelings for him never changed. I know it was ridiculous and I hated myself for it, but I could not help it.
“She would not want to be mated to that prick anyway.” Kiara scoffed, sensing my disappointment as I thought about Enzo. “He is SO full of himself. He thinks that he is the Goddess’ gift to she-wolves. Gag!”
I giggled at Kiara as I finished getting ready. Aida merely rolled her eyes. She still fantasized that we would be the two highest ranked females in the pack together. Nothing wrong with dreaming, I guess.