I feel fingers poking my cheek, but I try to ignore them.
“Hunter!!” The poking becomes increasingly stronger then it turns to shaking my shoulder. I still ignore it, lying on my stomach and burying my face in my pillow.
“HUNTER!!!” Someone gets on my back and starts jumping, as if I'm their personal trampoline, waking me up. I roll over, making the small body fall off my back, and catch them mid-flight. I start tickling him, causing him to laugh loudly.
“AAAHHH!!! Stop it! Stop it!!!” He shrieks, making me chuckle and release him. I sit up in my bed, meeting the eyes of my siblings, who tried to coax me to wake up for the past few minutes.
“What are you doing here this early?” I ask my brother Theo, who’s been watching the rest with amused look.
He’s 5 years younger than me, being born months after my mom and I came to the pack. After that, my parents have been popping kids like crazy, which is why I have 8 younger brothers.
“What do you mean early? It’s almost noon!” Theo laughs amusedly, making me groan. I barely slept last night, hearing my parents’ activities. Despite having all the bedrooms soundproofed, I can still hear them as if they were in my room. Cons of being a hybrid, I guess. My brothers, though, are pure werewolves. At first I found it weird, but apparently the Undead gene transfers only to the firstborn child. I don’t really care about that. I love my brothers all the same. But since they are not hybrids like me, the soundproof walls work against their werewolf hearing.
I wish I could say the same. Despite my bedroom being the farthest from my parents’, I still hear everything. And let me say this - it's gross.
I get up from my bed, dragging my feet to the bathroom, while my brothers stay in my room.
After a quick shower, I go back to my room, where my brothers are still waiting, making me frown. Why are they still here?
I put on my jeans, skipping the shirt, since I have to go to training later then we all head to the kitchen downstairs, where we find my mom on the counter and my dad by the stove. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mom anywhere else while my dad cooked. He never let her stay away from him for long, always carrying her around and keeping her close.
I’ve always thought their relationship was amazing. Them being so close really rubbed off on everyone in the pack.
But for me it was both a blessing and a curse.
On one hand, it’s great to see the amount love between them even after 20 years together. They complement each other so well. Mom basically controls dad and his wolf – they both will do anything she wants with just a word; and my dad stops my mom’s wild side, keeping her calm.
On the other hand, I yearn to have a relationship like theirs. I feel lonely watching them.
I don’t even want to imagine waiting for my mate as long as my dad did. He waited a hundred years for my mom, cursed and lonely. He couldn’t even look for her, since he was forced to stay in his wolf form for most of the time. Then my mom appeared out of the blue, turning his world upside down. She was – and still is – strong and fierce, not afraid of anything.
I’ve learnt at an early age that my mom is a force to be reckoned with – she’s the first female Undead, the Beast.
But I never liked my mom being called that by the pack and the Deads.
I still remember how I yelled at anyone who called my mom ‘Beast’. It’s quite laughable when I think about it now, but I was just a kid back then, of course I would defend my mom.
So, to honor my mom’s birth name, my dad named their second kid Theo. After Thea.
“How are you up already?! Aren’t you tired?” I ask mom after a while, sitting at the table with a cup of coffee to wake me up. It’s always been baffling to me how they are the first ones to wake up and the last ones to go to sleep, but never look tired during the day.
My dad snorts, clearly realizing I heard them last night. And the night before. And the night before.
“Leo! – mom scolds before turning to me – We’re just used to it. You just have to find your rhythm for the day.” She shrugs.
“You’re absolutely right, my Angel.” Dad comes up to mom and gives her a kiss, making the youngsters cringe and gag mockingly. All of my brothers, except for Theo and Liam, who’s 18 now, still feel uncomfortable watching our parents being so affectionate towards each other. But that does not stop my dad from keeping my mom glued to him and showering her with love.
We eat our lunch in peace after my dad carries mom to the table, sitting her on his lap. This is something he’s been doing ever since we came here. 20 years later and mom still can’t sit on a chair while she eats. I laugh mentally at them. Dad is so possessive of mom that it’s unbelievable unless you see it. Even when my brothers were really small and couldn’t eat on their own, dad did not let mom sit on her own, keeping both her and my brother with him. At first he was like that with me too, trying to make up for the lost time.
Despite not having my dad with us during my earliest years I never really felt his absence with all the stories my mom told me. She never pictured him in a wrong way, even though she got betrayed by him.
Suddenly my mom’s body goes rigid, making us all turn to her.
“What’s wrong, Angel?” Dad questions worriedly.
“We have guests.” Mom answers with a hard look. She’s angry.
Dad tells the younger kids to stay at the house with Liam, while Theo and I go with him and mom outside.
We head out to the clearing, where we’re met by a sight of some man keeping a hold of my second youngest brother, Aaron, who’s crying loudly, obviously scared. Of course he is, he’s only 8.
I glance at mom and I flinch when I see her expression. She looks murderous. I have a feeling that even dad won’t be able to stop her.
She walks up to the middle-aged man, but stops halfway when he presses the knife to Aaron’s neck.
“Let. Him. Go!” Mom snarls at the man, shaking with fury. Dad is right behind her, along with me, ready to intervene any moment.
“You look well, Beast. It’s been 20 years, yet you’re still just like the last time we met.” The man taunts with a smug look. I know my mom looks young, one of the perks of being an Undead. Both of my parents look really young to be honest. Werewolves have really long lifespan, and after they reach maturity at 21, they age much slower than humans – about 1 year every 10 years. That’s why my dad looks around 30 years old despite being over 100 years old, while my mom looks 23 at most. If someone saw us together, they would never be able to tell she’s actually my mother.
“Let him go!!!” My mom ignores the man’s words and growls at him furiously.
“And get killed? I don’t think so.” The man sneers her way.
That’s when I catch it. The distinct scent of a mate. My whole body tenses and I take an imperceptible step his way. It’s not his scent, obviously, but it’s there. On him!!! Dad seems to notice my sudden change.
‘I can smell my mate on him!’ I tell him, distressed. I have an idea who the man is, so I know that once he leaves here, I will lose the chance to find my mate.
‘What?! Are you sure?’ I hear my mom’s voice boom in my head.
‘I’m sure. It’s barely noticeable, but it’s still there. It smells like strawberries and vanilla.’
Mom glances at me over her shoulder with a worried look then turns back to the man with a determined expression.
“Take me instead. The boy can’t give you what you want, but I can.” She states, getting shocked looks from everyone around, while my dad pulls her to his chest, growling lowly.
They seem to exchange a heated argument through the mind link before my mom gives him a deep kiss and walks away, heading to the bald man, who’s still shamelessly using my brother as a shield.
“Fine. Come here and I’ll release him. Don’t try anything funny, I won’t hesitate to slit his throat.” He warns.
As soon as my mom is close, the two guys that came with the bald man tie her up with what looks like silver barbed wire and put a mask on her face, s if to stop her from biting them. I have actually seen my mom bite a rogue’s throat out when he pinned her to the ground, so I get why they would do that, but it’s still infuriating to see them treat my mother like a fucking animal.
Dad is barely restraining himself from lunging at the fuckers, his body shaking in fury, on the verge of shifting. Most of the guys around us are the same, but they know that anything they do could be dangerous. The man has both their Luna and her son in their hold.
Once the two guys have my mom secured, stopping her from attacking, the bald man pushes crying Aaron towards the clearing.
“Try to follow us and I’ll kill her.” He threatens before turning around and dragging my mother away.