Ella Matthews woke at five in the morning as she usually did. She showered and dressed for the day before meeting her mom in the kitchen of their small cabin for a quick breakfast before work.
"Coffee?" her mom asked as she dragged in.
"Is that even a question?" Ella chuckled before cupping the warm mug in her hands and taking a sip. Her mother walked around the kitchen and gave Ella's shoulders a squeeze. "Happy birthday babe."
Ella looked up at her mother with a smile, "Thanks mom."
"So this morning- I'll do the biscuits if you make the gravy and the eggs," her mom stated as they walked out the door toward the main pack house.
"Deal." Ella replied, yawning.
Ella's mom, Sophie, was the head cook for the pack. She ran the kitchen in the pack house and planned three meals a day, seven days a week for whoever wanted to come. She was an amazing cook, and one of the most respected omegas in the pack, mostly because nobody wants to get on the bad side of the cooks.
Ella on the other hand, was a senior in high school, and was far from respected.
“Don’t forget, after school I need you to help me start planning for the banquet next week!” Ella’s mother shouted as she ran to catch the bus. Ella was late again, having to help clean up the kitchen before school almost always made her miss the bus. She caught it today, much to her surprise. She took a seat near the front and let out a sigh. Ella’s wolf paced in her head. I know... Ella thought to herself. Today is going to suck. But we’re almost done. Two weeks left until graduation.
When she got off the bus she made her way into the high school and instantly lowered her head, hoping to pass through the halls unnoticed this morning.
“Well if it isn’t the birthday girl.” Mariah boomed from behind.
Ella turned around, “Hi Mariah.”
“You’re eighteen now, you know what that means.” one of her minions spat.
“Oh, does little miss omega think she’ll be getting a mate?!” Mariah scoffed. She was daughter of the pack’s Beta and self-proclaimed queen of the school.
Ella gave a smile that wasn’t at all genuine and the bell rang. “It’s been a pleasure as always ladies. Thank you for the birthday wishes.” Ella turned and walked to her locker. Grabbing her books she made her way to her first class that thankfully finished uneventfully. Ella actually made it all the way to lunch without being bothered. “Happy birthday to me.” Ella chuckled at the thought.
Ella closed her eyes and let out a breath before turning, lowering her head in submission as she did, “Mariah.” Ella stepped out of the way and Mariah pushed past her, wrapping her arms around Zane, future alpha of the pack. She smelled something absolutely breathtaking. Like cinnamon and pine. The smell was absolutely intoxicating and it made her mouth water a bit and she could feel her wolf pace. What is that? she thought to herself as she turned around the room. Shrugging she made her way out of the cafeteria and outside to a bench where she was most likely to be left alone.
Ella looked up to see Zane standing above her. “Zane, I-” She trailed off when their eyes met. Ella felt her whole body electrify and she could hear her wolf howling in her head. “MATE!”
Zane broke the silence. “Ella we aren’t mates.”
“So we didn’t just both feel that?” She asked sarcastically.
Zane scowled at her and she realized her mistake. She lowered her head again in submission. “I’m sorry Zane.” He was about to speak again when they were interrupted by Mariah and her gaggle of sidekicks.
“There you are baby!” She walked up and then recoiled. “Why are you talking to that little omega?”
“Leave us alone Mariah.”
She looked up and down at the two of them and then burst out in laughter. “Wait... YOU TWO?! Oh little omega, you aim high don’t you. Zane is MINE you slut.” Mariah slapped her and Ella flinched at the contact.
“Mariah leave!” Zane boomed. Ella looked up at him, their eyes meeting and for a second she thought she saw concern on his face.
“But baby.. she is-” Mariah stopped talking when Zane turned his glare to her. She stomped off, leaving the two of them alone.
“If you’re going to reject me then do it.” Ella spoke defiantly before looking down again.
But there was nothing. She looked up and Zane was gone.
“Great...” She mumbled to herself. JUST what I needed today. Of all the people to be mated to, she had to get Zane Davis. He wasn't a horrible guy but he wasn't exactly amazing either.
When the bell sounded she made her way to her next class of the day when she was pushed from behind.
“We aren’t finished here.” Mariah’s voice was low and cold.
“Mariah,” she started as she got up off the ground, “He’s going to reject me so stop.”
“Yes he is, because why on earth would an Alpha want you?” She snapped. "You are nothing!"
“Exactly. Nobody wants me.” Ella turned to walk away, trying her hardest to fight the tears that were threatening to fall. She didn’t want to admit that she was hurt by the fact that her mate didn’t seem to want her.
She made it back home to be surprised with a cake and a small present. Even though they were at the bottom of the pecking ladder, her mom was always bright and kind.
“I love you sweetheart.” her mom hugged her as she cleaned up before they headed to the pack house to make dinner for everyone. They worked together in the kitchen, making Ella's favorite meal for the pack dinner as a small celebration between themselves. They were laughing and enjoying themselves until Zane walked in. Their eyes met and he walked toward Ella. “I need a minute with Ella.” Her mother nodded and he led her to one of the back offices.