Chapter 2: Pack
“Alpha Nickolas is holding a pack meeting. He’s declaring who his mate is,” Mama tells me, fixing my appearance as I glide through the door, tripping a little on the step, having returned from an exhausting day.
Mates. Maybe the most advantageous factor of being a wolf. The fact that they can know who they truly belong with, their soulmate. We humans have to go through life, through different relationships in hope that we’ll be right this time, that this man or woman is who we’re meant to be with. Or maybe, because we don’t have mates, maybe we don’t have ‘the one’, maybe we’re destined to look for many types of love. But I adore the mate idea, the feeling of truly belonging with someone, feeling safe in their arms, their wish to make you happy and vice versa.
But I’m human. The chance of a werewolf mated to a human is rare, mainly because compatibility of soulmates should at least be based on the same species. I could never imagine telling Eddie about wolves and him not freaking out. I wouldn’t even be with him if I were a wolf.
Mama drags me out the door, quite literally as she frantically tugs on my arm in order for us not to arrive late. At pack meetings, we stay at the sidelines, hoping we are invisible and willing ourselves to shrink into nothingness.
Of course, being human, my scent is wildly different to others, making it impossible for me to stay completely in the shadows. The previous Alpha welcomed me into his pack when my mama brought me home, however, under new management, Alpha Nick hates me, detests all humans.
“Today is a momentous occasion for me,” Alpha Nick begins, his voice echoing throughout the hall. “I have found my mate, right here in our pack.”
Wolves can only smell their mate when they turn of age, seventeen. Alpha Nick has been waiting a few years, so his mate must be just of age or maybe they've known for a few months if she belongs to this pack.
“Here she is,” he declares. A tall beautiful girl joins her mate and Alpha, her glossy hair cascading over her shoulders and hazel eyes glistening in the lights. Victoria. A girl, a wolf, who has bullied me every day of my life.
We’re the same age, making her and her friends my tormentors in my childhood, still so now, although with school, I see them less. But that doesn’t change the fact she will become the Luna, the female leader of this pack, as she is mated to the Alpha. And, like her Alpha, she has a detestation towards humans.
I fall asleep with my thoughts in turmoil, images swimming in my head uncontrollably. What usually plagues my dreams seizes to exist in this picture swirl. Wolves appear, a particular wolf emerging, piercing blue eyes with black fur. Those eyes capturing me like a spell, entrancing me in an endless sea of blue and green and yellow. Then they leave just as they came. Those eyes burned into my mind.
I dress for school, kiss my mama goodbye, and walk through the streets of pack territory. It’s a medium-sized pack, with a fair amount of land separating us from the humans by chunks of woods in which they have guard wolves in. I pass them every day in order to leave.
However, this time, the new couple seem to be at the borders on patrol today, milling with the gamma of the pack, the third in command.
“Look who it is,” Victoria says, throwing a stone at me. Why? I have no clue. I whimper a little at the impact of the rough object, however, instead of standing my ground like the rebel inside of me is willing me to, the responsible side deems it wiser to take their abuse on the chin, weighing the probability of which method would make them stop. “Are going to cry?”
“Luna Victoria, may I pass?” I ask politely as she blocks the way. She drags Alpha Nick to her side to obstruct my exit even more, just out of spite. What a bitch. I just want to get to school.
“Humans and wolves don’t mix. I don’t even know why you’re still here,” Victoria hisses. “They especially don’t mix with weak little bitches like you.” I should say you’re the bitch, and that would be obvious because she is a wolf, but I remain silent, my eyes begging for her to let me be on my merry way.
“Alpha...” I appeal to Nick, who holds the same stance as his other half. He raises his eyebrow in question, as if he’s clueless as to why I’m pleading with him.
“We can kick her out, right? Since you’re the Alpha,” Victoria suggests wickedly, a sly smirk plastered on her face.
“My parents allowed her to stay. They wouldn’t like it if I reversed a definitive decision they made. But then again, do I care?” Nick acts as though he’s contemplating it, although it’s obvious he wants me gone.
My mama always advises me to keep my distance from any of the titled wolves, all wanting to revert to the old ways and killing humans who are on their land, though by wolf law, it appears legal. Humans and wolves don’t mix, that’s their mantra.
“Go,” the Alpha allows.
I zip past them, speed-walking carefully as to not trip over my own shoes until I’m out of their sight line and breathe a sigh of relief once I’m away from the pack. I don’t think I’m safe there anymore. They want me gone. And Nick is the Alpha, and Victoria is the Luna. They can do anything they want, no matter what anyone says. My mama can’t protect me from them, which is why she always tried her best to keep me away.
Having gotten through the whole day with a couple of slips at school, it’s an achievement for me. I’m almost celebrating however I barrel through the front door and flat on my face. The sniggers I hear in front of me informs me we have company. I compose myself before I push off the floor and back up onto my feet.
“Alpha, Luna,” I greet as my eyes widen upon seeing their faces. They stand beside my terrified mom, her expression aching with desperation and sorrow. I give her a look, but I can’t understand what’s going on.
“We’re banishing you from the pack. Since you’re human, you don’t have any real ties that will break when you leave, but your mom won’t be going with you. You can say your goodbyes because you’re leaving tonight,” Alpha Nick declares stoically, as if he isn’t telling me I have to leave my mom and I’ll be forced from my home.
Where will I go? As isolated as I felt in this pack, it was still my family, my home. And they’re kicking me out?
“What?” I ask, astounded. They were discussing it this morning. I just hadn’t thought they would go through with it so soon.
“Rory,” Mama calls out, taking my hands in hers with tears streaming down her cheeks. I can’t even bring myself to cry, knowing that feeling pain is just the reaction they want, which are my emotions inside. She slips me an envelope without them noticing and I pocket it, wondering what it is about. I guess, perhaps a goodbye letter, or maybe she has a plan.
The pack stands, watching as I’m banished from pack territory, drove out across the borders with the Alpha, Luna and Beta pushing me along. They didn’t even allow me to take anything, and my mama couldn’t stop this. A wolf gets banished from their pack is actually painful, the pack ties having been severed.
Once we’re across the borders, we enter rogue territory, and I question why I have to be left out here. They remain silent, an amused expression on all three faces as they notice my frightened one. These three are evil and sadistic.
A sharp knock to my head and I tumble to the ground, my vision blurred and the throb in the back of my head mind-numbing. I cry out as I’m turned onto my front, pinned down by the Alpha’s large hands at my shoulders. His full body weight crushes me, his knife trailing along my jaw. His still amused face wears a devious smirk which my lower lip trembles at the sight of.
“What are you doing?” I ask in an almost inaudible whisper.
“Why, little Rory, we’re getting rid of you permanently,” Nick tells me in a cunning tone. “I can’t have your pretty little mouth telling someone about wolves, about the pack. Humans can’t be banished, humans have to die.” With no more warning and no seconds left, the metal digs right into the skin of my neck and slits it open.
I feel the need to cling to my neck, to try to get breath, to stop the blood spewing all over my hands. Before everything goes black, their smug faces are painted into my mind. They killed me...