Blake was up all night finishing her work before sending it off to her editor. She then took a shower and quickly got herself ready for the long day to come.
Dressed in skinny jeans and a baggy, dark blue shirt with a black tank top underneath, and finally put on her combat boots. Tying her hair back into a high bun, she left her room and headed straight into the kitchen.
“Morning,” Ross muttered eating an apple by the island, blocking the view of the coffee pot.
“Coffee?” Blake asked. Ross moved to the side revealing a half a pot of coffee. “Half a pot,” she raised an eyebrow.
“There will be coffee at the training hall. There is no need to waste a full pot,” he said taking another bit of his apple.
“Right. Good thinking,” Blake smiled at her little brother while she stalked the coffee pot. Taking a cup from off the shelf, Blake graced herself with a cup of joe. Taking a sip of the joe, she smiled in bliss, “That’s the good stuff.”
Leaning her back against the counter, she took another sip of her coffee as she glanced up at her brother. Their eye’s meet but was quickly broken.
“Blake,” Ross turned his back to her, “I’m sorry about last night. I just-”
“Don’t worry about it.”
Ross turned around, looking her in the eye, “But-”
“I said don’t worry about it. We’re both to blame. What we went through five years ago- changed us. But you need to know that I care about you and only want to keep you safe. But I also need to remember your a growing boy. It’s only right I give you room so you can grow into the man our parents would want you to be.”
“What about you?”
“Ross, really? I am a Beta. I think mom and dad are happy.”
“Do you really think they would care about titles?”
Blake smiled into her cup of joe, “Maybe, maybe not, but nonetheless I’m successful.”
“You think- you think mom and dad are proud of us?”
Blake looked at her brother, “I think mom and dad would be proud of us no matter who we became.” Ross nodded his head in agreement. Blake stared at her brother, it was clear something was bothering him, so she asked, “Are you alright?”
“Blake,” He said in a whisper, “don’t leave me too.”
Blake’s eyes grow wide at the unexpected comment. Her heart swelled. For a split moment she wanted to tell her brother, her secret but she didn’t have the heart to do that to him.
Putting her cup on the counter, she walked over to her brother and hugged him. Ross was much taller than her, but when Blake wrapped her arms around him, it was like he was the same child she held that day when they heard the news that their parents were gone, forever.
“Everything will be alright,” she whispered not promising anything. “Everything will be alright.”
Eric stood proudly in front of his and Alpha Seth’s pack. With Dolph by his side, Eric noticed that Beta Blake was nowhere to be seen.
What a useless Beta, he thought.
“As most of you know,” Alpha Seth spoke loudly, beginning the speech without his Beta by his side, “The Hunt is just around the corner. This is a very important time of the year. That also means we have to be on high alert. Rouges have already tried to attack us the other day before the King arrived. Thankfully, Beta Blake took care of the matter but we cannot always rely only on one person to take care of the rouges. That’s why today you all will be training at the highest level until The Hunt. Next week all unmated females will be taken somewhere safe until the day of The Hunt.” Everyone nodded their head in agreement. “Do you have anything to add, your highness,” Seth asked Eric, meeting his eye.
“I think you made things very clear, but, I see one person who didn’t hear your little speech,” Eric smiled then frowned. Looking into the crowd, Eric smelled something sweet, breathtaking and intoxicating. How was it he didn’t smell it before.
From the crowd a boy, in his mid-teens, ran straight down the middle of the crowd, making his way to the front. Eric watched the boy. The smell was coming from him.
No, thought Eric. It couldn’t have been, there was no way that boy was his mate.
Eric took a deep breath, no the doy was not his mate but he smelled like Eric’s mate. The boy smelled of pine trees, which was not a rare scent among their kind. It was quite common. But that lovely smell of Eric’s mate was all over him.
Eric made a fist with both his hands and kept them to his side. He couldn’t believe that his mate, would not save herself for him but give herself to a pup like him.
He wanted to kill the boy.
“Ross,” Eric looked at the Alpha beside him, then looked at the boy. Was Ross not the name Beta Blake had said last night. “Where is your sister?” Alpha Seth asked.
“Behind you,” the boy replied.
It took Eric a few seconds for him to realize someone had snuck up on him. Turning around, Eric found Beta Blake picking her ear with her pinky finger, lazily.
“I have to say, either you suck, or I’m just getting that good at sneaking up on people.”
“How?” Dolph whispered.
How indeed, Eric wanted to say.
Tilting her head, Blake smiled, “Missed me.”
For a moment Eric wanted to say yes. She was stunning without all that blood on her skin. And her scent, she smelled like vanilla, coffee and woodsy. It was just the perfect blend for him that he just wanted to roll himself in it forever.
“Blake, your late,” Alpha Seth scolded.
“Ross and I had a brother/sister moment this morning. Cut us a little break will you,” She looked out into the crowd. “So this is what I have to work with.”
“I sure you’re capable,” Alpha Seth said in a teasing manner.
“Very,” Beta Blake replied with a smile. She stepped forward, placed her hands behind her back and stood like a soldier that just got out of military camp.
“Welcome to Black Water,” Beta Blake began in a strong dominate voice. “I’m Beta Blake. I sure Alpha Seth has given you the short speech.” Eric’s pack whispered to each other. Eric nor Blake was surprised that his pack started talking. She never did go back to the meeting last night to introduce herself. “The Hunt has been in our tradition since the beginning. It’s the time of year that all twelve packs come together to find their life mates. Some are fortunate to find their mates, others are not. So don’t feel down when you don’t find him or her. There is always next year.
“All unmated females who have already found their mates please head straight to the main pack house, where our Luna may take you to a safe location before the Hunt begins. You are more likely to be in heat earlier than those who haven’t meet their mates and we don’t want you to a track the rouges. If you don’t like what I’m saying, too bad. No one is allowed to mate until the Hunt begins. Those who brake the rules will have to deal with me. Do we understand each other?”
One male from Eric’s pack spoke up, “And what is a little woman like you going to do about it we do mate with our mate before the Hunt?” Eric knew this male’s type, cocky.
Blake smiled at the boy like he was just the Christmas gift she was waiting to open. “Is that a volunteer I hear?” Blake sang. The Black Water pack members started laughing. “Well then Mr. Volunteer, shall I show you want I do to those who don’t listen to me.”
Alpha Seth stepped behind Beta Blake and muttered, “Don’t kill him, Blake.”
Eric couldn’t tell if she was even listening when she stepped forward saying, “Form a circle everyone. Today you’re all going to witness the day this male will lose to a girl.”
A thick circle quickly formed the small training hall leaving Beta Blake and the male wolf in the middle of it. Eric, Dolph, and Alpha Seth walked into the circle to get a good view of the fight that was about to begin.
“Are you ready?” Beta Blake yelled at the male wolf. “There are no rules to this fight. So use any means necessary to take me down, if not-” she paused for a moment too long before sending shivers down everyone’s back, “you will die.”