I slammed my locker shut and turned to walk to Chemistry which caused me to slam into Jeremy and drop my books. “Are you part ninja as well? You about gave me a heart attack!” I said as I bent over to pick up my books. Jeremy had the same idea as me because we hit heads as we both bent at the same time.
“Ouch. Okay we are even now, I gave you a heart attack and you gave me a bruised forehead.” Jeremy said as he rubbed his head.
“That is not even close to being the same thing, I owe you a stubbed toe and jammed finger still if we want to even the score.” I said and we started laughing.
“I’ve missed this.” Jeremy said gesturing between the two of us.
“Me too.” I told him truthfully, I had missed his friendship. All those years that I thought I was in love with him had resulted in him becoming one of my closest friends. We hadn’t spoken since the night that he told Troy I would die if I didn’t mark him.
“Have you been avoiding me?” He asked as he playfully nudged my shoulder.
“You’ve seen me every day in Chemistry.” I reminded him.
“I know but you come in at the last minute and as soon as the bell rings you’re out the door. Then that fish has been hanging around you anytime I see you.”
“Stop right there.” I said interrupting him. “His name is Troy, not ‘that fish’. And he can hang around me whenever he feels like it, he’s my mate which you know. You’re right, I have been avoiding you because of this right here. I never thought you would be so rude to someone who was different than you! I don’t even know who you are anymore.” I started to walk away from him. I really didn’t understand how he could be so rude, growing up Jeremy never said a mean word about anyone. He was kind, sweet, and always willing to lend a hand to whoever needed it. It was one of the reasons why I had been so obsessed with him.
Jeremy reached out and grabbed my arm to stop me, “Short cake wait. Please?” I stopped but I didn’t turn around. “I’m sorry.” That made me turn around, I wasn’t expecting to hear an apology.
“I’m sorry I really am, he’s your mate and I should respect that. I’m surprised you haven’t hauled off and hit me for speaking badly about him.”
“If it had been my choice I would have popped him a good one.” My feisty wolf said.
“Violence isn’t the answer always.” I told him.
“Which is good for me because we both know you would win in a fight. But if you ever tell anyone that I will deny it.” He said with a smile. “I also need to apologize for that night, for telling Troy about the mark. It wasn’t my place to tell him.”
“You’re right it wasn’t.” I said. I may still be a little irritated with that.
“I know. When I heard you say that you wouldn’t mark him if it would kill him, that killed me because I knew you would die. I know he’s your mate Annie, but he’s not the only one that is in love with you. I’ve loved you for years, I probably always will until I find my mate.” I started to interrupt him but he held his hand up to stop me. “Let me finish. I know you can’t return my love because of him, I’ve accepted that. But I can’t not have you in my life Annie, can we please stay friends? Like we used to be before all of this happened? You’ve always been a rock in my life whether you knew it or not. I know I can’t have you like I want you but I’ll take you however I can have you.”
His request softened me a little, despite everything Jeremy was one of my close friends and if I was being honest with myself I did miss his friendship.
“Okay, we can be friends. But only friends.” I told him.
“I’ll take it.” Jeremy said with a satisfied smile. “So… have you guys figured out what you are going to do yet?”
“We have some ideas but nothing concrete yet.” I know Jeremy had waved the white flag of truce but I wasn’t going to tell him all my secrets.
“Do you really think your dad is going to accept him as a sufficient Alpha? If your dad won’t accept him, neither will the pack. You will be forced to take another mate.”
“I know, but hopefully it will not come to that.” I didn’t even want to think that right now. My main focus was Friday and going before the Kings and the people.
We were outside of our Chemistry class and Jeremy turned to me before going in. “I meant what I said about being friends, and about I’ll take you however I can have you. But if it does come to you having to choose a mate, I really hope it will be me.”
The bell cut me off before I could respond. I followed Jeremy into class and took my seat. Jeremy would be the better choice over Sam for sure, there would be no competition. Neither of them are Troy though, and I would fight to be with him if it killed me.
“All right class, let’s see who actually did their homework last night. Pop Quiz!” Professor Addison’s announcement was met with a collective groan my own included. I really need to start doing my homework.
That night I was sitting in my room doing homework, hey I may as well finish the year strong, when I heard a knock on my door. “Thou shalt enter” I said.
“Thou shalt enter?” My dad questioned me as he walked into my room.
“English homework, we have to read parts of a few of Shakespeare’s works and I guess I was more into it than I thought.” I smiled and looked over at my dad who was sitting on my bed. It was unusual for my dad to come into my room and talk to me, it usually meant I was in trouble.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I just wanted to make sure that you are really set on making this trip across country to find your mate. There are perfectly good options here for you to choose from.” One thing I appreciated about my dad was that he was straight to the point.
“You mean I have Sam right? Because that’s the only option you have given me.” I responded.
“I still stand by that decision, I think you would be mistaken to take anyone but Sam as your mate.” I pushed down the feeling to roll my eyes and kept listening. “However, your mother and I have had a few discussions on the matter and your mother has changed my mind.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. Mom knew about me and Troy, but there was no way she had told dad. He wouldn’t be as calm as he is now, so I’m not sure where he is going with this.
“Annie, your mother and I have raised you to be a strong, independent woman who is going to be an excellent Luna. You have proved how capable and smart you are on many occasions. With that being said, choosing your mate should not be decided by me or your mother.” I looked at him with a confused expression, was this really happening? Was my dad giving me the okay to choose whoever I wanted, meaning I could have Troy by my side?
“If at the end of the summer you have not found your mate, you will need to choose one. I know I told you that you had to pick Sam, and I still think it is the best option But we are giving you the okay to choose whichever boy from our pack that you would like to have as a mate. Our young men are fine wolves and can be turned into great Alpha’s.”
My heart sunk, I couldn’t choose whoever I wanted, I had to choose a wolf from our pack.
“What if my mate turns out to be a human? What then?” I asked him. Troy could potentially turn into a human, this could be the loop hole I had been waiting for. If I could get my dad to agree to me having a human mate everything may work out.
My dad scoffed at my question, “A human? Why would you want a human that you would have to train? Human’s that turn to werewolves after they are marked aren’t nearly as strong as a born werewolf. You will need to have a werewolf as a mate, end of discussion.” My father stood and walked to my bedroom door.
“I know this is hard on you Annie but there’s the pack to think about. They need a leader, a strong one they can depend on. I hope you can understand that.” He closed the door behind him and my room was silent once more.
There was only one thing I understood, Troy and I would need the Goddess on our side if we were going to make it thru all of this together.