1 - Alpha
“I know, Dad.” I say, “I just need to return these books to the library. Derrick is with me. Love you.”
I basically punched the hang up button on the way out of the school. Derrick is waiting at the flagpole for me as usual. He laughs at my irritation.
“Dad is so overbearing.” I complain, “He hates the fact that I need to return these books.”
I show my brother the book from the Maximum Ride Series I’ve been reading. One of my favorite authors, James Patterson.
“As long as you’re in and out, I’m sure he won’t be too mad.” Derrick smirks and turns on his car, “I need a book for a report I HAVE to write for English anyway.”
“I’ll be in the historic section upstairs.” My brother says and heads for the stairs, “I’m coming for you in fifteen minutes. Don’t be too long.”
I wave him off and stick my books in the return panel. The secretary smiles at me like she always does and directs me to the fiction section.
“We switched things up for the spring season.” She says, “It’s in the back of the library to the left.”
“Thank you.” I smile and follow her directions.
I run my hand over the big oak bookshelves that have a light layer of dust. The mountains of books bring a stuffy smell to the corner of the library.
I find the Maximum Ride series and groan at the fact of the next book not being there.
“Fine.” I scoff, “There’s plenty of books in here for me to read.”
I scour the shelves for something. Anything for me to read for the next day or two until that last book is returned.
The heat in this particular part of the library is starting to get to me. I can feel my teeth and ears start to elongate. A sweet smell comes over me.
“Lu, find anything?” Derrick appears beside. I yelp in surprise.
“Thanks for that.” I grit my teeth and hold my chest. That scare made my heart jump more than it normally would.
“Woah, you okay?” Derrick catches me just as my body convulses.
My head feels like it’s pounding a new concrete bed. My hands and feet are aching with my ribcage.
“Well, shit.” My brother scoops me into his arms and swiftly runs to the front desk, “I’m gonna borrow this one.”
The secretary nods and bags the book for my brother, “I hope she’s beautiful for you.”
“God freaking hell!” I growl loudly. My voice is animalistic as my mother pours a cold bucket of water over my body.
My family is circled around me in the backyard. I’ve been home for what seems like hours. My bones have been breaking since Derrick put me in his car.
“It’s not her birthday yet.” My mother says, “How can she be shifting so soon?”
“I don’t know, Flora.” My father puts his hand on my forehead and quickly pulls away, “But this isn’t a false alarm. Her wolf is going to be here by tonight.”
False alarms only happen to female wolves. It’s basically like labor for female humans, but much freaking worse. Males just have one painful shift and call it quits.
“There goes the ribcage.” Someone, I can’t be bothered to know who says.
I wince. The stories I’ve heard from my mother and older friends about their shift are horrifying.
One of my friends didn’t want to shift, so in retaliation her wolf forced it. The wolf is one of the smallest in our pack now. My friend also has a hard time walking so she’s homeschooled.
My mother’s wolf came in full swing as soon as she met my father. She was barely fifteen at the time and her body almost collapsed on her from the pain. The curses of being mated to an Alpha.
My wolf, on the other hand, isn’t making this hard for me. I feel as if she knows what I can take and won’t do any more than she needs.
“How long does this usually take?” I ask through cracks in my ribs. My blood flows to the areas most needed in order to help extend the bones and muscles.
“It depends on you and your wolf.” My father sits beside me on the ground. I scream loudly as my clothes begin to shrink around me.
“And off they come.” My mother cuts the clothes from my body with a pair of scissors. When did she have time to get those? A blanket is thrown over me.
“Derrick, shift into your wolf.” My mother warns, “Drax will be able to help better than my wolf or your father’s.”
I envy Derrick when he effortlessly shifts into his brilliant black wolf. Drax wines and lick my cheek softly.
“Let’s see..” My father looks over my body, “Feet..ribcage..hands..neck.. All you need for your shift is your spine and she’ll be here, Princess.”
I have to applaud my family for being so calm. Yes, it’s natural for us to shift, but parents always freak out whenever their children shift for the first time. My parents are just weirdos, I guess.
“Lucy, it’s important that you relax your spine.” My mother warns, “One wrong move, and your spine will shift out of place and paralyze you.”
“Jeez, thanks for the pep talk.” I groan.
I scream out loud curse words as my last spine vertebrae cracks and extends. I can already feel my tail tucked between my legs.
“How long have we been out here?” I ask. My canines make it hard to ask anything else.
“About eight hours.” My father smooths my hair back, “Some of the fastest shifting I’ve seen.”
By the look on Drax’s face, I know I look like some kind of deformed naked mole rat. He’s been here the entire time, just watching me.
My father and mother have been preparing food for when my wolf emerges. Her first instinct would be to supply her body and mine with nutrition from the energy lost while shifting.
My mouth waters at the scent of raw beef, pork and bloodied deer meat. I feel the hair sprouting out in layers over my arms and legs. My hands mold and shape into paws. My mouth becomes a snout.
My head rings with that name until it’s ingrained into my memories. My heart almost explodes from the love radiating through my wolf.
“Beautiful.” My father pets my wolf’s snout, “I’m surprised that you’re black and white just like your old man.”
Before anything else, hunger riddles my stomach and Lyla jolts into action. Her nose fills with the scent of the raw meat behind her in the grass.
I encourage her to eat it, but Lyla refuses. She wants a real hunt.
“Lucy.” My father warns, “This is all you get until I can teach you.”
My wolf flicks her ear in irritation but reluctantly digs her face in for our meal. Her white snout becomes red with blood.
“White body.” My mother inspects, “Black tail, eyes, and paws. Very cute, Lucy.”
My wolf wags her tail before finishing our meal. She turns to meet her new family. Drax is first to welcome her as he licks her bloodied snout.
Lyla rings with joy at her new brother and licks him back. Surprisingly, my wolf is almost the size of my brother’s. Normal females would be about ¾ of the size.
“Lucy.” My father smiles, “What a gorgeous, strong wolf. Our bloodline is such a strong one.”
Lyla bows in respect to her new parents. My mother and father phase in their wolves.
My father’s wolf, Damien, is fully black with white tipped ears. My mother wolf, Fiona, is plain brown with white dotted legs. Derrick’s wolf is the only one who is solid black.
Lyla sniffs and greets Damien and Flora as their new daughter. All of our wolves make sure to take time memorizing each other’s scents.
3 - Scent
“Good morning.” My mother rings in the kitchen. I wave at her absent-mindedly and sit at the dining room table.
“You okay, Lucy?” Derrick asks as he sets the table.
“Lyla and I are gonna square up.” I growl and try not to stab my own head with a fork, “Are all wolves this bad?”
Having Lyla in my head is like sharing a room with an angry bees nest. My wolf is constantly hyper vigilant and aware of everything around us. If I make one wrong move, she brings a surging headache to my attention in order to correct me. Lyla also thinks it’s funny to make me wake up in the middle of the night to raid the fridge for any kind of meat I can find.
“It’s been two days, Princess.” My father pats my head, “You’ll find equal footing.”
“I thought wolves were supposed to help you and even be the other half of you.” I rub my temples harshly, “Lyla is-”
“A newly emerged wolf.” My father interrupts, “Think of her as a pup. Lyla is testing your boundaries - seeing how far she can go until you fight back.”
“Please find your footing soon, Lucy.” My mother puts a plate of waffles in front of me, “You’re eating all of our meat and it’s barely spring.”
“Oh, lighten up Fiona.” My father laughs, “When you shifted, Flora made you eat an entire winter’s worth of meat.”
“Because of you, Dean.” My mother kisses my father’s temple and sits across from me. Derrick is by my side this morning with a pair of sausage patties inside of biscuits. The smell makes Lyla on high alert.
“Derrick.. Can we switch?” I ask. Derrick looks at our parents for back up. He knows my wolf won’t take no from a lower ranked wolf. Especially her brother.
My parents just look at me for a decision to be made. I rub my temples again as my wolf sends a surging headache for my slow pace of getting the meat she wants.
“Lyla, back off!” I slam my hands on the table in anger. My wolf stands shocked in the back of my mind. My mother and brother cower in acknowledgment while my father sits with his arms crossed.
“That’s my girl.” My father ruffles my hair and puts a large piece of sausage on my plate, “you decide if you want this, Princess. Lyla has no say.”
“For the fortieth time, Lu, you’re fine.” My brother groans as he brushes his teeth in our shared bathroom. I’ve been apologizing to him and our mother since breakfast ended. Lyla is pouting behind the barricade I’ve managed to put up for the time being.
“But this is the second time I’ve made you bow.” I argue, “And now mom, too..”
“Dad said not to worry about it.” Derrick rinses his mouth and checks his appearance one last time in the mirror, “Your training will begin the day after your birthday.”
“What if I do it to a teacher?” I shiver, “I can’t imagine what principal Granite would do.”
“He wouldn’t do anything.” My father appears suddenly in the bathroom door frame, “He’s a part of this pack and will do nothing. He and the facility have been briefed of their up and coming Alpha. They’ll make sure you don’t get too out of hand.”
“Dad, seriously?” I groan, “Why don’t you just teach me how to keep my energy down now?”
My father shakes his head, “Traditions are law, Lucy. You’ll learn once you’re sixteen.”
Derrick eyes my father as he leaves for the pack house. It’s barely 7 a.m. and I’ve had enough of today.
“Get dressed, Lu.” My brother pushes off the sink and pats my head, “I need to pack my homework from last night.”
Lyla is not having it when I try to pull something out to wear. She sends signs of disapproval my way when I look at a nice shirt and shorts for today. I groan and wince from the headache.
I pull out a dress my mother bought for me at the beginning of my Freshman year but I haven’t worn it yet. The form fitting top and flowing skirt to my knees wasn’t always my style. I pull it up to my body and glance in my floor length mirror across the room. My wolf purs with approval.
“Fine. You win this time.” I mumble.
The dress fits me better than it did last year. I will fill it out more. Lyla pushes to the front of my mind for confirmation of her approval. She looks through my eyes and nods with satisfaction.
The burgundy color enhances the light flakes in the brown of my eyes. It definitely shows off my figure and cleavage. I figure I can pair this with a pair of thigh high and my converse.
“Lyla, stop.” I grumble. My wolf is definitely sassy, that’s for sure. Complete opposite of me. I’d rather not wear such a revealing outfit to school, but I can’t get another headache.
“Lu, are you ready?” Derrick knocks before entering my messy room. He takes in the piles of clothes at my feet and looks me up and down.
“Don’t ask.” I breathe heavily, “Let’s just get this day over with.”
Derrick takes a deep breath and covers his nose in some kind of disgust. I raise an eyebrow.
“I know I don’t normally wear something like this but you don’t have to be so-”
“Lyla is exposing her scent more.” Derrick explains, “It’s an Alpha thing mom told me your wolf would pull. It’s kind of repulsive seeing as I’m your brother, but other males will be attracted to your dominance.”
“I’ve had it up to here with this freaking wolf.” I growl and fish a light gray jacket and my black thigh highs from my closet. My wolf protests at the weakening of her scent but I push back this time. She submits to me for now.
I pull my hair into a high bun and let a few baby hair wisp across my face. My skin has been fairly oily recently and I can’t help but notice the big red bump on my chin.
“Come on, squirt.” Derrick grabs my bag for me along with my makeup bag, “I know you’re going to want this. I’ll take the highway so there are less bumps.”
“There.” I flip the sun visor up and put a hint of lip gloss over my thin lips. Derrick rolls his eyes and parks his car in our usual spot of the senior parking lot left of the school. I spray heavy amounts of perfume over my chest and upper torso.
“C’mon, Lucy!” Derrick complains, “Couldn’t you have done that outside of my car?”
“And risk everyone smelling Lyla and her musk?” I fix my thigh high one last time before turning to Derrick, “Could you smell me?”
“It’s there, just not as potent.” My brother turns off his engine and releases his seatbelt, “Ask dad if there’s any way to mask it better. That perfume will more than likely wear off outside.”
I nod and open the door slowly. To my luck, the wind is slow and not knocking anyone down this morning. Moranna is waiting for me in her white Porsche as usual.
“Jeez!” She holds her nose, “Your wolf doesn’t play, does she?”
I groan and bury my face in my hands, “Of course you can smell it.”
“I’m your Beta, Lu.” Moranna states, “The only one of the pack to know anything before anyone else. It’s only natural.”
My friend rubs my back and compliments my outfit. She enjoys when I dress up on the rare occasion that I do. Moranna is in a plain sweater dress with a pair of tights and heels. Her hair is pulled to the side and out of her eyes.
“Anything new?” Moranna asks, “With Lyla, I mean.”
“Other than her being a huge pain in my ass, no.” I say through my teeth, “She’s the complete opposite of me, Moranna.”
“I’m sure your gears will mesh together sooner than later.”
We push through the front doors of the school and everyone immediately whip their heads in our direction. Most males look at my outfit with seductive eyes, while females bow respectively.
“I hate this.” I whisper to Moranna. She giggles and laces her arm in mine. This girl always enjoys any attention from anyone.
“X=4 when Y=6.” I answer when called on by Mrs. Gilbert, my algebra teacher. She nods when I’m correct and is quick to avoid eye contact. I can’t even talk to the teachers without them submitting.
“Hey..” A whisper comes from behind me with a tap on my shoulder. I turn to see Franklin Putnam, a regular ranked wolf, staring right into my soul. I look him up and down in irritation.
“What?” I ask.
“There’s a party at my brother’s house tonight.” Franklin looks down to my chest and back up to my eyes, “I think you should come.”
I narrow my eyes and raise an eyebrow. Lyla is enjoying everything that is happening today. My wolf is definitely a cheeky one, but I refuse to play along with her games.
“It’s Tuesday, Franklin.” I tap my finger on his desk impatiently, “Any party on a school night is not one I prefer to go to.”
Just before I turn back around, Franklin stops me, “Fine. If not tonight, then what about friday? Everyone in the pack will be there. You can bring anyone you would want.”
I look at his hand on my forearm, Franklin wisely removes it when I pear back up at him, “Thanks for the offer, Putnam, but no thanks.”
The rest of class, I can feel Franklin’s eyes on me with persistence. I have to keep myself from ripping his head off in the middle of the lesson. The rest of the class is quiet as I tap my foot.
As soon as the bell rings for lunch time, I gather my things. My bag is just thrown over my shoulder when Franklin appears in front of me outside of the classroom. I roll my eyes and laugh at his arrogance.
“Why won’t you come to the party next Friday?” He asks.
“I thought it was tonight, Frankie?” I cross my arms, “You can’t fool me, Putnam. Just because I’m an Alpha wolf doesn’t mean I’m going to let you hump me until I find a mate.”
Franklin is at a loss for words. I don’t blame him, I didn’t think I had that in me either. Usually, I’d shy away from males and politely reject them. Lyla has made me gain some kind of stubbornness overnight.
“Lu, is everything okay?” Derrick appears behind Franklin with Moranna on his left. They both look pissed and ready to fight.
“It’s fine, Derrick.” I step past Franklin and sigh heavily, “We’ll be there next Friday. Just send me the address on the pack’s website.”
Derrick and Moranna follow after me to the cafeteria. They both look worried and mad that I’d even consider something like this in my condition. Lyla could strike with the wrong move of a pack member.
“What’s next Friday, Lucy?” Derrick asks. His voice is deep and low. Moranna just sticks by my side, waiting for my answer.
“Franklin’s brother is having a party.” I say lightly, “He invited me.”
“You’re joking, right?” Derrick scoffs, “Any wrong move Lucy, and-”
“Derrick, stop.” Moranna intervenes, “Lucy knows what her capabilities are. Besides, a party may be what her wolf needs to let loose for a night.”
My brother looks Moranna up and down briefly. His eyes fill with an emotion I can’t grip as he turns away.
“Fine.” My brother says, “But Moranna and I will be coming with you to make sure nothing happens.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”