"Lisa," I yell over the saw while walking into our huge workshop.
"What," she yells, hitting the power button and removing her safety glasses.
Lisa blows a piece of blonde hair out of her eyes and glares at me. I laugh. She hates being interrupted while working. And currently, she is ankle-deep in small projects to keep the doors of Twin Construction open.
My gorgeous twin sister is stubborn to the core. She has natural light blonde hair and clear sky blue eyes. She is 5'11" and muscular but not bulky. She could have easily been a model. But she loves MMA and woodwork instead, which we both get from our dad.
"Hey, chill, okay. I bring good news," I chuckle while she continues to glare.
She throws the glasses on a workbench and heads to our mini-fridge. She throws me a water bottle before pulling out one for herself and sitting on the counter.
"Alright. I will bite. What good news," Lisa asks before taking a big drink from her water bottle.
"Landed us a bid. It should be a good chunk of money. Multiple small homes need to be built from the ground up and improvements made to a large main home. The downside is, it's wolf land, and we will be going against wolf companies," I say in between gulps of water.
"We don't work for wolves," Lisa says with a serious expression.
"Dad made that rule Lisa. And Dad didn't have a big loan during a recession. We need this job," I sigh. I'm tired of the same old argument. Dad died hating wolves. He hated that a wolf came and stole his wife.
"What are our other options, Scott? You are the one with a degree in finance. Use that big brain," she pleads with me. I shake my head.
"We are going in circles, Lis. Normal people don't have the money to do home repairs right now. Wolves still do. They own many companies around the world. They are the only business to be had right now. Do you know what I had to do today? I had to let the two news guys go. We couldn't afford them anymore," I say to my sister with pleading eyes. She has to understand that our father's grudge can no longer stand.
"Fine. You hitting the gym with me?" she asks. I nod.
Crap, now she will pound me on the mat since I won in the battle of words.
We both have had boxing and wrestling classes since we were 8. She is the champ of the city. She competes in any amateur competition she can. I like the workout, and I am pretty good, but I don't have the drive as Lisa does. She radiates aggression in the gym. She even beats female wolves in her matches.
It's always funny when a new wolf enters the gym. They see Lisa as a barby doll due to her beautiful hair and face. The female wolves always challenge her for her "champ of the gym title." They don't know her hands are calloused and unforgiving due to all the daily labor. And that her muscles are toned from weights. She can knock you out in a blink, but her specialty is submission. She loves armbars and leg locks.
Tonight is no different. Lisa and I are sparing in the center ring and have been for almost an hour. The owner is like our uncle, so we don't really care about rotating out of the ring for others. Lisa is letting out her frustration on my hands and working up a great sweat.
"Watch your left, sis. You are letting it drop low," I say, pointing out her minor flaw.
We tend to work on her boxing over her wrestling since it's her weakness.
"Oh, how precious. A little human girl is working up a nice sweat," a girl says from the side of the ring.
Lisa and I share a knowing look. Finally, Lisa can let out her pent-up stress on someone else. And I can finally take a much-needed break.
When we were little and competed together, boys used to make fun of me. I was always second and Lisa first. They hated being beat by the human girl but always thought it was hilarious that my sister beat me too.
We were the humans that took on wolves and won. We were special, but I wasn't Lisa special. I knew that and never felt ashamed or embarrassed. I felt proud. My big sister (by three minutes) is gorgeous and kick-ass. As we grew up, I stopped competing. I preferred math books and coaching Lisa.
I jump down out of the ring, knowing I am no longer needed. I take my normal seat in her corner.
"Give her a good lesson Lis," I cheer while picking up my mac book.
I need to get some bids submitted and try to see where we can cut costs in the shop.
"Oh honey, I haven't even begun to work up a sweat," I say in a sickly sweet voice.
I love boxing she-wolves. They give me the best competition. Plus, I hate when people underestimate me due to my species and heritage. So each call-out becomes a lesson in humility for them.
"Want me to work over that pretty face for you, honey," she asks in a voice matching my own.
I chuckle. "Oh, new girl, if you only knew who you were talking to," I say in my head while smirking.
She climbs through the ropes to my domain and makes a show of cracking her flimsy neck. She looks about 19. She is on the thin side and has no real muscle tone to speak of. She has brown hair and hazel eyes. A typical werewolf beauty but nothing special in my eyes. Probably a lower wolf. She stretches her legs and swings her arms back and forth to warm up. I resist the urge to roll my eyes. I toss my sweatshirt and tank top over the top rope. I turn back towards her in nothing but my sports bra and gym pants. I take in her smirking face before calling out to Scott over my shoulder.
"Don't get comfy. She won't last long. I need a real fight tonight with all our money crap so hurry up," I call out.
"Don't kill the girl, Lis. Keep her going for fifteen so I can send these emails," Scott says with a smile in his voice.
I haven't seen my poor brother truly smile in about a month. He hates firing people. And we both can't lose our dad's construction company. It is all we have left. The stress is eating us alive. But like always, we have each other. A smile crosses my face for my brother. I love his geeky self.
My brother is a stunner. Most of my fights with the she-wolves are because they want to catch his eye. They see us sparing and ignore the similarities in our looks. They see me as sexual competition and not physical competition. They often challenge me, which I don't mind at all. Like I said, good training for free, basically.
Scott is 6'3" and built. Always accompanying me to the gym has done him good. Even though he doesn't much care for our ring time. Scott prefers the solitude of weight lifting over sparing with me. So his muscles are huge. I'm sure some she-wolves mistake him for a wolf due to his size. Scott and I have the same eyes and face but different hair. While I got our mother's blonde, Scott got daddies brown hair.
I look up into the new little she-wolf eyes, and sure enough, she is checking out Scott behind me and sniffing the air. I roll my eyes.
"Twig, he is human," I sneer at her.
Her eyes shift to me and take in my frame. Now that I don't have a sweatshirt and tank hiding my toned muscles, her face shows less confidence. An evil smile comes across my face. I don't need her scared of me. I need her to go all out.
"And he is mine," I say, knowing it will get under her skin and make her angry, which will result in a better fight.
Wolf strength is impressive when they are angry. And it is so easy to make them angry, nudge their naturally possessive side, and boom, ANGRY WOLF.
She openly growls at me, and I laugh. I hear Scott trying to hide his laughter with a cough.
She moves in a defensive stance, and our dance begins. She wants to hit my face so bad, but she is too slow. I work her ribcage, making her tire. I don't want to knock her out just yet. Then I would have to wait on Scott. I practice my footwork using her inexperience to my advantage. I let my stupid left drop like always, and she gets a hit in.
Her hit is weak. Barely turning my head, but it gives her a big head. She grins and lowers both her fists. Big mistake!
My left strikes fast like a cobra, followed by my right uppercut. She hits the mat with a thud and groans. She gets back to her feet, wiping the blood from her nose that has already stopped bleeding.
Lucky wolf healing. But at least that means the match goes on. If I was sparing a human, she would have stayed down.
A few knockdowns later, and the little she-wolf gets the message. I'm top dog here. She tucks tail and calls it a night.
"She lasted longer than I expected," Scott says with a grin from his position outside of the ring.
"What she lacks in skill and strength she makes up for in stubbornness," I chuckle, grabbing my water bottle and taking a seat on the edge of the ring.
"That low left is going to get my awesome sister beat one day," he says while raising his brow at me.
"Tell me something I don't know. I can't keep it up for some reason. It's my flaw," I groan.
Scott chuckles at me and squeezes my shoulder, "ready to hit the weights?"
"Sure," I say, grabbing my tank and sweater.
The next hour is spent rotating machines with Scott while discussing money. We had decided when dad passed to renovate the business. We updated the office and bought new tools that were desperately needed. Unfortunately, we took out a business loan at a terrible time. Six months after our reno, the economy crashed. Customers started to diminish, and so did our savings. We are still in the black, but Scott says it is by the skin of our teeth. (Southern saying meaning barely).
Once we got home, I went to the shower. Scott and I share a two-bedroom house that Dad built for us. It is beautiful and cozy. We each have a walk-in closet and a huge bathroom—perks of having an architect for a dad.
Scott and I both are working on our Architect degrees. Scott already has a finance degree, the little overachiever. I have certificates for electrical, woodwork, steelwork, and plumbing. You name it; I can do it. But certificates aren't degrees! Scott has always been the bookworm.
Tomorrow we go put a bid in at Riverstone Pack. To say I'm not happy about it is an understatement. I hate that we are breaking dad's rule, but I understand my brother's point.
We need to follow the money and give up our father's grudge. I hate that dad raised us by himself. He was broken after a wolf took mom, claiming her to be his mate. Dad did his best to provide for us and taking on both parental roles. He taught us all he knew and made sure we were properly trained in defense.
It broke my heart to lose him to cancer. Scott and I were on our own. And I vow not to disappoint my Daddy.