13 years old...
She nervously looked up at the stage in front of her sparse pack, she was still grieving from the loss of her parents, and struggling to find balance in her motherly role towards her brothers. She was in the best clothes Arman and the pack could scrounge together for her ceremony. She knew one day she would eventually take over but she expected another decade at her father’s side learning the ropes. Arman was at the front of the stage waiting for her with his hand outstretched towards where she was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. She wiped her clammy hands on her jeans, adjusting the new blouse she had been given, it was a little too big for her, one of the women from the pack lent it to her. Taking a deep breath she began to ascend the stairs, walking with her head held high, focusing on Arman.
“Fellow Silver Moon pack members, I am honored to announce your Alpha, Miss Senna Kemp.” As he finished his announcement she was at the center of the stage, he held her small trembling hand, squeezing it tightly.
Don’t worry Senna, I’ll always be by your side. He spoke to her through the mind link. The small crowd of one hundred people cheered, she saw some in tears, they had lost so much, but she carried the Kemp name, she was living out what her father would have wanted. She was determined to live up to his name. Her eyes scanned the crowd of familiar faces, most smiled but she could still see the sadness in her eyes. Her brothers sat the closest to the front, and her best friend Hendrix along with them. Her wolf purred knowing he was alive and safe, since they found each other after everything happened they haven’t let each other out of sight.
“Let’s begin.” She spoke with her head held high, she took a step forward, detaching from Arman’s grasp, taking out the ceremonial dagger and pricking her left thumb. She turned to Arman, who knelt on one knee in front of her, his head in a slight bow, she placed a bloody thumb print onto his forehead.
“I, Senna Kemp of Silver Moon, am asking for your loyalty to this pack. Do you accept me as Alpha?”
“Yes, Alpha.” He replied, and with one simple answer she felt the power of Alpha course through her body. Her skin alive with goose bumps she took a deep breath realizing she could feel Arman’s life through her link, her power was linked to his life, just as her life was meant to protect his. A line formed coming up the stage, she repeated the bloody thumb print to each, asking each member for their loyalty and acceptance. They ate after the ceremony, her body alive with electricity, she never knew what her father spoke of, when he knew someone died in the pack, how connected he felt to each member and now she understood.
16 years old...
She was playing with her brother Ari in the river, they were joined by others around their age, she always found it hard to relax around the young crowd, she craved to be a normal wolf, to go to school, have a stupid girl crush, go on a date maybe, go to a party. But she had lives to think about. Her actions directly reflect her pack, she had too much responsibility on her shoulders to relax.
Hendrix was the exception, he was two years older than her, and he was her closest friend, had things gone the way it should’ve he would’ve been her Beta, Arman didn’t have children, and Hendrix’s Gamma parent’s meant he was next in succession. They knew each other since they were in diapers, they trained together, she growing up she thought of him as an older brother, but lately she could feel their friendship blooming. He just turned eighteen, his body was tan and defined, he had even gotten tattoos to cover one of his arms, if she was a normal girl she would’ve asked him on a date.
“How’s my girl doing?” He sat down next to her on the bank of the river, they watched as the group of girls and boys slashed in the icy river, trying to get each other as wet as possible.
“Fine, I guess...” She sighed. Leaning into his side as he wrapped a warm arm over her shoulders.
“You look exhausted Senna...if you need help you know I am always willing to lend a hand.”
“Thank you, you’re the only one I feel like I can let me guard down with. I don’t have to act all proper with you.” She looked up and met his warm honey eyes, his light brown hair was tousled and perfectly fit the sexy bedhead look. They’re gaze locked, she could see all their moments together in his eyes, he was the one person always by her side other than her family. When the attack happened, she was convinced he died, she didn’t find him until a month later, they had been inseparable since.
“I want to try something.” He whispered, hugging her closer to him, his other hand reached to tilt her face up towards his, he lightly placed his lips against hers. She gasped lightly, she had never been kissed before, she melted into his warmth as his lips moved softly, slowly against hers. Sighing, he broke the kiss, his eyes sad.
“Drix what’s wrong?” She spoke softly. She always liked him more than a friend but never allowed herself to feel that way. She wasn’t allowed to.
“Nothing, my birthday was yesterday, I was praying and hoping you were mine, but there’s no spark. Damn it.” He looked angrily towards the dark sky.
“You want me to be yours Drix?” Her mind was reeling at what he was talking about, she could be his in secret, he just had to ask, she trusted him with her life.
“Don’t worry about it, Senna. I’ll always be by your side no matter what.” He let out a deep breath, kissing the side of her head before they fell into silence watching the group laugh and play.
18 years old...
“Just one night is all I ask, Arman, I just need one night as a normal girl.” She was standing behind her desk, dressed up her hair styled, she was in a dress for god’s sake and he was refusing to let her leave. She wanted him to look over the pack for the night so she could have a night off. One night off is all she asked.
“Senna, just stay in the pack, it’s safer, have an all out rave, just do it here.” She sighed crossing her arms, pacing behind her desk, she wanted to go to a club, that was it, was that too hard? Just one night, dancing, maybe drinking, flirting with boys. One night where she wasn’t the Alpha. Arman was always in the background making sure everything went smoothly. But she wasn’t a new Alpha anymore, she just needed a night to breathe. But like the over controlling father figure he was she knew she’d regret going against him. Despite her Alpha role her wolf always seemed to back down to Arman...another issue for another time.
“I know it’s hard for you Senna, but please remember who you are, what you are. If you got drunk you could be easily taken, rouges are everywhere once you’re outside of the boundaries. It’s for your safety, the packs safety, party but just do it here. Please.” He had his back to her, he was fixing her a tea in the small kitchenette in her office. Passing it to her she could feel the fight in her dissipate, her body relaxed and she drank the familiar tea.
“You’re right Arman. I’m sorry. I just...wanted one night, one night of experiences to live off of.” She sighed dejectedly. She grumbled her way back to her house, she officially lived by herself this year, and she had wanted her own retreat away from the pack house. Hendrix was waiting on her couch dressed to the nine’s in black slacks, a grey button down straining at his muscles, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows showing off both of his tattooed arms.
“Access denied. No clubbing.” She grumbled, slumping next to him on the couch.
“You are the Alpha, you know. You don’t need to take his orders. You could make him agree.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know but he played the guilt card, and I can’t party with that on my shoulders.”
“Well m’lady, I will make you the best in the boundaries club there is. Just give me two hours and it’ll be ready.” He smirked at her before walking out her front door, scrolling through his phone.
Two hours later the top floor was decked out in lights, booze, and snacks. Some pack members donated their speakers, Hendrix gathered as many young people as possible above legal limits and packed her top floor to the breaking point. She danced and sang to songs for hours, adrenaline pumping through her veins, she didn’t drink she didn’t need it, she was buzzing from the energy of just being around people.
A hand slid around her waist as she swayed to a slower more sensual song, she didn’t need to ask who it was seeing his inked skin on her frame. He swayed behind her, pulling her against his chest, this was a night she never wanted to forget, and she was willing to take a risk tonight. She turned around, linking her arms around his neck as they swayed, they had such chemistry together, they never fought, they thought alike, they were perfect together, they always had been.
“Kiss me.” She whispered into his ear, she felt his hand pull her in closer, even though he sighed.
“Senna...you know we can’t.” The conflict in his eyes confused her, she knew he liked her, she knew he wanted to kiss her. She was tired of her title stopping her from happiness. She wanted a life and to be Alpha.
“Hendrix...” She made eye contact with him, watching his reaction, before she smirked, thinking of his words earlier. “I’m Alpha remember?” His face was confused, before understanding washed over his features, she thought he would be more upset, but seeing none of that she proceeded.
“Hendrix, I want you to kiss me.” This time she let her Alpha tone through, he had to obey, and obey he did. His lips were on her in a fiery passion, he lifted her up so he was able to hold onto her by her thighs never breaking the kiss. He walked out of the club scene, finding her empty bedroom, the music still pounding behind her closed door. They fell onto her bed, her senses were overwhelmed with what she was feeling it felt so right to be with him this way. She began to unbutton his shirt when he froze. She looked up and saw the pained expression on his face.
“We can’t Senna. It’s not fair to you.”
“Screw being Alpha Hendrix, is that really why you won’t be with me? I thought you were bigger than that!” She yelled at him in frustration.
“No, I love that you’re Alpha, but you’re not mine to take, we aren’t fated together. You know that, you’re eighteen, I’m twenty, we know we aren’t fated together. It’s not fair to get emotions involved and then rip them away one day.”
“Fate? Really what bullshit are you spitting, how can you know if you won’t give us a chance? We’re perfect together.”
“You’re not my mate, Senna. It would break your heart, the day I found her. I can’t do that to you. I rather be your best friend than to hurt you.”
“I guess even on my birthday I can’t escape too much can I?” She whispered more to herself than to him.
“I’m going to be alone forever. I can see it. I thought that at least you would love me.”
“Senna, I do, but you’ll find your match one day. I know it. And he will be your mate.”
“You’re my match.” She grumbled.
“No sweetie I’m not. No matter how much I wish I was.”
“We’re perfect for each other, you can’t deny that. Why else would we be so drawn to each other?”
“You know the signs Senna, despite our connection we don’t feel them.”
They sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity, eventually he left her to wallow in her own personal pity party, he kicked everyone out, cleaned up some of the mess. Her heart broken, her mind reeling, she was staring at her ceiling replaying what happened. You’re not mine, we’re not fated, we’re not mates. Bullshit. If he refuses to be at my side then no one will be. Blocking the pity party out of her mind she dug through her secret box under her bed, she had a candle she bought off a local witch, a special piece of paper made from special bark of a white oak, and charcoal to write her wish.
She wrote on the scrap of paper the charcoal smudging as she wrote, her hands shaking, trying to push back her tears.
I wish to forget everything about mates, and fated pairs. I wish to harden my heart against romantic love.
Hendrix came into her room as she was lighting the candle, he stood in the doorway watching her.
“What are you doing?”
“Fixing a problem.”
“I wish to...” She was interrupted when Hendrix ran to blow out the candle in front of her.
“Are you crazy?! You shouldn’t even have that magic shit.” He growled lowly, attempting to snatch the piece of paper from her.
“Stand in the corner.” She growled, using her Alpha tone. When he was securely standing in the corner of her room she lit the candle again.
“I wish to forget about mates and fated pairs. I wish to harden my heart against romantic love.” She spoke as she lit the paper a flame, Hendrix was shouting at her in the background but she blocked him out, she was determined, this was better, no heart break for her, she could keep Hendrix as a friend, and she would be a better Alpha, no distractions.
She was watching her pack fight on the stage, Hendrix and Ari were the leaders on the battlefield, Hendrix for his skill in hand to hand combat, Ari had finesse with weapons. Both were needed to have a well rounded pack army. Her days as Alpha got easier as she got older, she was almost twenty two now, she limited her friends to Hendrix and Talia. Talia was one of the best female warriors, although as Alpha she could beat the male warriors easily, Talia made sparring fun, especially when they went on long 12 mile runs.
She watched as females ran to their males as training ended, Ari had a girlfriend this year, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. She was happy for him, but indifferent to the couples. Her heart was numb, it didn’t know what it was missing, so it wasn’t craving it. Once a month her and Hendrix coordinate a night to let loose, watch a movie, play a game or something of that nature. He saw how hard it was to be Alpha all the time with no breaks while she was younger. So if she had something to look forward to she kept a little more sane.
She loved being an Alpha, she was proud, she was happy with her pack, they were strong, they looked out for each other, and were resilient. Arman had been bugging her about Alpha conferences the last few years, but she didn’t feel they were necessary. It wasn’t mandatory to go, it was just a way to build alliances, she didn’t need alliances, she made sure her pack was self reliant, alliances are what lead to the downfall of her father’s pack. When their largest alliance became corrupt and decided to take out their competition.
She was in her office working on paperwork, reviewing the packs expenses, tallying that against the profits they made. She was wanting to expand her land, invest in higher tech equipment but that all needed money. A knock interrupted her work, Hendrix popped his head in holding a bathing suit on his finger tips.
“Fancy a dip?” Today was their monthly release day, and she needed one, her wolf had been restless for some unknown reason, causing her to not sleep at night.
“I thought I would never get an escape.” She chuckled. He followed her to her private apartment in the pack house, she had two homes, one in the pack house, and a separate house. She liked the flexibility. When she needed extra space she had a place to run to.
Slipping into the bikini in the bathroom, she gazed over her skin, she had gotten a new secret tattoo, it was in white ink, so it was only visible in certain lights, right under her right breast on her rib cage, protected. It read, just over her heart. Throwing a cover up over her bikini she stepped out to see Hendrix with a backpack filled to the top on his back, his tank top hugged his ripped torso, his black and grey tattoos covering his arms up to the shoulders.
They snuck out of the packs boundaries, hiking for about an hour to the west of their territory, no one claimed this side of the forest, she had been considering it since there could be a lake on her property. A breeze blew past her, carrying a delicious scent, it was familiar to her wolf but she couldn’t place it.
“Mm...something smells good.” She mumbled softly, tilting her head up to try to catch the scent again. Sandalwood and spice whipped around her.
“I don’t smell anything besides the other wolf pack.” He shrugged.
“Weird.” She shrugged, ignoring her anxious wolf trying to give her a headache.
“Maybe they were in the forest and you smelt them, they’re about 30 minutes Northwest.”
“Maybe...it’s passed now. Let’s go swim.” Reaching the lake she stripped down to her black bikini, before she could put on and sunscreen Hendrix had her over his shoulder screaming as he ran straight for the lake.