I was running thru the forest as fast as I could, something or someone was chasing me and I could feel them close behind me.
What was that? What time of creature beeped? I ran faster.
There it was again and it sounded closer, I had to get away. I dug my paws into the ground picking up speed.
It was right behind me. Whatever it was, it was going to catch me.
I ran faster not seeing the cliff that was in front of me, I tried to stop but it was too late. I fell over the cliff dropping into the ocean.
It had followed me into the ocean? My intake of surprise caused me to take in a mouthful of water, I choked and sputtered trying to swim for the surface.
It’s right behind me, I can’t hold my breath much longer. I’m going to die.
I jolted upright in my bed just as I was about to die, a dream, it was only a dream. I put my hand to my chest to try to calm my heart that was hammering against my chest like I had just ran a marathon.
I reached over to my alarm clock and shut it off, it was the monster in my dreams and in real life. I absolutely hated mornings and it didn’t make waking up any better. As I laid in bed trying to catch my breath I thought back over my nightmare, I had been having them a lot lately and I usually ended up drowning. I can’t swim very well but I’m not afraid of the water so I’m not sure where these dreams are stemming from. Maybe it was just stress, tomorrow was my eighteenth birthday and for werewolves that was a big deal. Tomorrow I would be able to find my mate, well as long as he was eighteen also. Why we have to wait till we are eighteen to find our mate I don’t know, apparently that’s when the moon goddess things we are mature enough to handle a relationship and everything that comes with it. I hoped I met him tomorrow, just the thought of not finding him made my stomach sink. I’ve been dreaming about this day since I was a little girl and could fully grasp the meaning of what having a mate would be like. Someone who will be by your side for the rest of your life to love you, support you, make you laugh, cook you pancakes in the middle of the night when you’re hungry, just someone who would always be there, no questions asked. Finally there were hopefully only hours laying between me and finding my mate, whomever he may be.
My dad, Alpha William Rogers of the Harvest Moon Pack, swears by the moon goddess that my mate is Sam Baker, the son of our best warrior. Sam is being trained to step into his father’s footsteps and be the top warrior and protector of our pack. The perfect mate for the Alpha’s daughter, or so my dad thinks. Don’t get me wrong, Sam is definitely a panty dropper looks wise, he’s tall, dark and handsome but it’s when he opens his mouth that he suddenly becomes the most irritating and ugly person I’ve ever met. Arrogant doesn’t even come close to describing him, he thinks he is the goddess’s gift to woman and unstoppable. Sam turned eighteen a month ago and has yet to find his mate which my dad thinks it’s a sign from the goddess. I don’t know how but he’s successfully planted that thought into Sam’s head also who now insists on calling me ‘mate’ every time he sees me which earns him a nice growl. I pray that I haven’t ever angered the moon goddess enough for her to actually mate me with Sam, I pity anyone who ends up mated with him.
I do have my eyes on a certain werewolf though, that’s a lie, I’ve had a crush on him since we were cubs. Jeremy Martin, insert mental sigh here. He was six foot even, had light brown hair, hazel eyes, and a smile complete with dimples that made me melt any time I was lucky to be on the receiving end of it. He hadn’t always on my radar, it wasn’t till this one time in middle school when he pulled on my braid that I had worked so hard on that morning that I realized he existed. I wasn’t having anyone mess with my glorious braid, which probably looked awful if we are being honest, so I turned around and punched him right in his snout. Both of our eyes had widened as blood flowed from his nose and dripped onto his shirt. We both knew he would heal but my punch had surprised us both and we’ve been inseparable ever since. So that’s a lesson to all you little girls out there, if you want a guy’s attention just punch him in the nose. Wait, no, don’t do that.
Anyways, our story sounds all cute and perfect right, like one of those corny romance movies? Wrong. He only looks at me like a little sister. One of the guys. His buddy. His pal. I mean he could be just waiting for his mate, but werewolves are allowed to date! Most people, including me, save themselves for their mates and don’t date. But had Jeremy given me the time of day I would have been all over that, but unfortunately I am nothing more than a friend to him. It’s probably another reason I’ve stayed single this whole time, I had always held out hope that Jeremy would one day want me more than as just a friend.
But all of it could change tomorrow. Jeremy turned eighteen last week and didn’t find his mate at his party, meaning his mate is not in our pack or as I know in my heart, I just haven’t turned eighteen yet. That night had be so nerve wrecking, watching him lock eyes with every unmated weregirl that was eighteen or older. I thought I was going to faint with relief when he got to the end of the line mateless. Tomorrow though, tomorrow could change it all. I can picture how the night will go, I’ll have on my new dress that fits me like a glove. Hair will be perfect. Make up will be on point. I’ll walk into the hall that will be decorated in thousands of white lights, all the unmated males will be lined up along the walkway but I won’t see them. I won’t see them because my eyes will already be locked on Jeremy, and in that moment we will realize that we are meant to be together for the rest of our lives. He won’t see me as a friend anymore but as a woman, his woman. He will sweep me into his arms and gaze into my eyes, ‘It’s you’ he will whisper. I’ll nod in response to overwhelmed to speak as he starts to lean in for our first kiss and I close my eyes in anticipation.
“Why is your face all scrunched up like that?” A voice asked interrupting my fantasy. I sat up quickly in my bed and looked towards my door where my little brother David was standing looking at me as if I had grown two heads.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I told him slightly embarrassed that I had been caught. “And you’re supposed to knock when you want to come into my room.”
“I did knock but you didn’t answer me, now I know it was because you were kissing the air.” He explained as he started making kissy faces at me.
“I wasn- you know what never mind. Do you need something?” I asked him trying to keep my patience in check.
He looked at me with a confused look as he tried to remember what he came into my room for. I gave him a smile as he thought, I didn’t want him to feel bad for not remembering. David was a little slower mentally, it’s rare for werewolves to have complications during birth that result in harming the pups but it does happen. So far he was keeping up with his school work fairly well but we knew as he got older and the work got harder he would need some help.
He snapped his fingers as he remembered, “I came to wake you up!”
“I have an alarm clock for that you know?” I snapped at him, he may be cute but he was still an annoying little brother.
“I know but can an alarm clock tell you that you’re running late and your hair looks like a bee’s nest?” He said as he giggled.
I looked over at my alarm clock and he was right, I was running later than normal. “Crap!” I yelled as I jumped out of bed.
David starting laughing from the door way, “Better get to moving, don’t want any bees trying to land in your hair.”
I threw a pillow at him just as he was shutting the door, “Brothers” I muttered to myself as I rolled my eyes and ran my fingers thru my hair. David isn’t completely wrong, most mornings I’m not looking to hot when I wake up. I look like death most days if we are being completely honest. I don’t think I’m ugly, but I’m definitely not turning heads either. Lumpy where I should be flat, flat where I should be curvy is how I would describe my body, stringy brown hair and dull grey eyes are what finish the look off on my 5’6” frame. It’s no wonder Jeremy only sees me as a friend I thought rolling my eyes. I opened my closet and stared at the contents inside trying to find something to wear for the day, why is it that females can have a closet full of clothes yet have the hardest time finding something to wear? All guys had to do was throw on a t-shirt and jeans, ready for the day! They have it so easy.
I jumped as my bedroom door is slammed open for the second time this morning.
“You’re seriously not dressed yet? COME ON!!! We are going to be late! And it’s your last day as a single woman! Let’s get up and moving! Honestly Annie, I can’t believe you wouldn’t get up early today and actually get a head start. What would you do without me in your life?” Renee started rambling as she walked into my room and all I could do was smile. Renee Lawrence was hands the best friend you could ever have in your life. We have been friends since day one, granted considering my mom and Renee’s mom Dawn are best friends I don’t think we would have had any choice in the matter even if we hated each other. We are exactly nine months apart, me being the oldest and we have been by each other’s side since day one. We know everything there is to know about the other one, even things we don’t realize about ourselves. She’s my sister from another mister as she likes to say. Even though we may act like sisters we definitely do not look like sisters. Renee is a bombshell. She’s taller than me by a few inches, has long wavy auburn hair, gorgeous green eyes, and curves for days. She’s every human and wereguys wet fantasy. She knows she’s pretty but she doesn’t show it like other girls would.
“Don’t you ever knock?” I asked her.
“Nope. I’m not like you whose been scarred for life, so until then I shall fling open all doors.” She told me and I shuddered at the memory. Renee and I have always walked in and out of each other’s homes like they are our own. Well we used to until one day I opened a door and found Renee’s sister and her new mate doing things that virgin eyes should not have to see, shoot, nobody should have had to see that. I now always knock on doors, especially when I am over at Renee’s.
“I don’t understand why you’re always in a hurry to get to school. You hate school!” I grumbled as I brushed my hair. She was always rushing me in the mornings even though she knows I hate mornings, and school.
Renee was half hidden in my closet, throwing clothes at me over her shoulder. “School is a necessary evil yes, but what else would we do all day? Chores? Train? No thank you. I would rather suffer thru a day at school with my friends than home cleaning or out running drills. I hate running.” Unlike me, Renee is a social butterfly and thrives on being around other people. I would much rather stay inside curled up with a book or out running any day.
“There, this is the perfect outfit for you to wear on your last day being single. You need to go out with a bang, show all those guys what they have been missing out on all this time.” Renee says as she plops down at my vanity and starts rummaging thru my makeup. I look down at the clothes she has tossed at me, or should I say lack of clothing.
“Renee I can’t wear this! Especially not to school! I would get detention for sure, and be sent home to change.” My loving, yet sometimes over the top bestie had thrown me cut off shorts that barely covered my rear end and a deep v-neck crop top that showed a good chunk of my stomach and would have showed cleavage if I had any. I only had the outfit because I had been Daisy Duke last year for Halloween, I also had worn flesh colored leggings and a tank top under the outfit so I would be covered. I’m not a prude but I don’t have the body or the confidence to pull this outfit off otherwise.
“Oh Annie, you’re no fun. Come on, it’s you last day to have fun as a single woman! Tomorrow you’ll have a ball and chain tying you down. You won’t want to hang out or do anything fun after tomorrow.” Giving me her best puppy dog face. That’s when it dawned on me, she’s scared that once I find my mate I won’t want anything to do with her. Since Renee is younger than me she still had nine months before she will be able to find her mate. I think in her mind after tomorrow she will have nine long lonely months without her best friend because I will be too involved with my new mate.
“Renee, I’m not going to replace you with my mate, you know that right?” I get up and sit beside her at the vanity. “A mate can’t be what you are too me, I wouldn’t want a mate that’s my sister from another mister! And a mate can’t tell me how I have no fashion sense, or tell me that we both need to go on diets yet shows up the next day with tacos. You’re my taco supplier, I could never cut that off!” I nudged her as we both laughed. “Besides, we don’t even know if I will find my mate tomorrow, who knows, I could end up being an old maid.”
“Your already have a ball and chain waiting for you.” She says with a smirk. “Sam has already proclaimed to anyone that will listen that you are his mate.”
“Ugh do not remind me! My dad and him have this weird bromance thing going on, it’s a good thing Mom is mated with dad otherwise Sam may give her a run for her money.” I said as we both dissolved into laughter at the thought of my mom competing with Sam for my dad’s heart.
“Annie I know you’ve been in love with Jeremy since like, ever. But would being mated to Sam be that awful? I mean I know he’s arrogant and what not but maybe he wouldn’t be so bad as a mate.” I gave Renee a look. “Okay okay, not another word about it then.”
Renee and I agree on ninety eight percent of things, the Jeremy and Sam thing is one place we disagree. Renee knows how I feel about Jeremy but she thinks Sam would be a better suited mate for me. Why you may ask? In her words, “Sam is H-O-T, hot! Jeremy isn’t bad… I just feel like he’s boring!” which usually earns her an eye roll. Looks aren’t that important to me, okay that’s a lie. I want to be attracted to someone physically but he doesn’t need to be the hottest person in the room. I want someone that’s into more than his looks, I want someone who is smart and funny too.
“Annie, what if your mate isn’t either one of them? Have you thought about that?” Renee asked me.
I had thought about it and honestly the thought terrified me. What if my mate was a complete stranger or someone not from my pack or a human?
“I try not to think about it, I just keep telling myself is Jeremy.” I whispered quietly. Renee nodded and gave me a quick hug officially dropping the subject.
“Now, what are we going to do about this hair of yours?”