“Do I seriously have to go to this?”
I asked my mom as I looked myself up and down in the mirror in front of me. My mom was bustling around the room in her cream beaded gown, cleaning what was already mostly clean.
“Don’t fight it, babe. You’re going.” My mom replied as she finally stopped to sit on the bed. I had been fighting this party all week. There was nothing I wanted to do less than go to some stuffy party while my dad tried to sweet talk some visiting Alpha. Our pack was small, the numbers had died down a lot and I could tell that dad was worried, but I didn’t know how much. Last year there was a big border dispute with another pack and it had really taken its toll- we had lost most of our protectors and the pack was struggling to stay afloat.
It still didn’t mean I wanted to be sucked into this party. It wasn’t the fun kind, where the pack loosened up and had some fun. It was the kind of party with passed hors d’oeuvres and music that would put you to sleep. And yet here I was, standing in front of a mirror, looking all formal and slightly irritated.
Mom had gone shopping and grabbed me a new dress and while I stood in front of the mirror, I couldn’t stay mad at her. Mom had impeccable taste, even on a budget. I had become a thrifting queen as well. But I knew this dress wasn’t from a thrift store. It was a long, flowy, navy blue chiffon dress. It gathered over one shoulder and twisted under my bust, emphasizing ALL the right places. Navy was my favorite color, partly because I liked the way I looked in it.
I had never thought I was particularly beautiful. I wasn’t bad on the eyes but wasn't exactly the kind to receive a lot of attention. But I had to admit, I was feeling myself. And it was then when my wolf commented.
OF COURSE you’re feeling good, girl we look amazing. I gave a good chuckle.
My mom had taken my dark, chocolate brown hair and put it in a gorgeous waterfall braid and curled it, letting it flow around my shoulders. The makeup was simple but elegant. Some light foundation and a light smokey eye in a shade that made my turquoise eyes pop with a nude lipstick.
My mom Leah, ever the bustling Luna, had been scuttling around all day with preparations for the event. But she always made time for me- to have some girl time to get ready together. I appreciated that time with her.
All of my teenage years I had dreamed about leaving home and adventuring on my own. I graduated high school early and when I was accepted into a good school in Washington I took my chance. I had loved college but when I graduated with my teaching degree, all I wanted to do was go home to the pack in Montana. And so I came home and was loving being a substitute teacher at the local school. Third grade. It was chaos but I loved every single minute of it. Plus, my income helped a bit around the pack. I didn’t technically need to work. As the Alpha’s daughter, I could just live at home in the packhouse until I found a mate. But the little feminist inside me wasn’t about to spend my days sitting around waiting for some guy who may or may not show up to sweep me off my feet.
There was a knock at the door and I turned to hear a loud whistle. It wasn’t aimed at me though.
“What are you trying to do to me woman?” My dad, Alpha Max, exclaimed as he walked up to Leah, planting a kiss on her lips as my mom laughed at him. They were cute. In a gross, PDA sort of way. But I loved how much they loved each other- even after being together for 30 years. “Oh, Addie, sorry I didn’t see you there,” my dad smirked, "but you look gorgeous too sweetheart.” He turned back to my mom, "you both do!” She blushed and smacked his arm. It was then that my older brother Jack walked in.
“Damn girl! We’re going to have to fight them off you!”
I laughed. “Oh shut up Jack.”
My brother Jack was three years older than me and we were best friends. He had met his mate Michelle three years ago and so he had moved out of the packhouse and we didn’t spend as much time together as we used to.
“Where’s Michelle?” My mom asked.
“Downstairs,” Jack’s eyes widened, “She was NOT about to make it up here.”
We all gave a light giggle. Michelle was due any day now. The poor girl was tired, swollen, and miserable.
“We should head down, everyone will start arriving soon. And I need to check in on the food and everything,” My mom said and we all started walking down the hall.
The packhouse wasn’t the fanciest. But it was nice, and it was home. It was a 3- story mountain home- wood paneling on the outside with a big wrap-around porch that looked over the lake in the back. Inside it was bright. The walls were all a warm cream color which stood out against the warm, brown hardwood floors. When you walked in there was a large staircase that went up to the second and third floors. On the other side were a set of French doors that led to a decent size ballroom they used for the random event or pack meeting in the winter. As you walked past into the back the rest of the first level was the common area- it had an entertainment area with a large tv, video games, board games, pool, and foosball. The back wall was lined with books of every kind that I used to take and sit all day on the comfy, oversized sectional. Across from the entertainment room was the kitchen. Gray cabinets and white quartz countertops lined the back wall with a large island in front of it with stools lining one side. The large fridge and pantry held enough food to feed an army and the industrial-sized stove was big enough to cook for one. Next to the kitchen was a dining table built to seat twenty-five. Out back on the porch were lounge chairs and tables for hanging out. Upstairs in the second level were the pack offices used by my dad and the other leaders of the pack. And the third floor was the living quarters for the Alpha and his family. With 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a comfortable living area, and a small kitchen it was a nice place to live.
As the family walked down the stairs to the common area you could hear the bustling of staff as they put the finishing touches on tonight’s party. Mom hurried off to the kitchen where she spoke with the servers and then disappeared to do whatever else.
Me, Jack, and our father walked into the event room and we all took a deep breath, preparing ourselves for the coming evening.