the first day of many
IT HAD BEEN FOUR weeks since Aida’s parents dropped the ball on her, about her not being human. Her eyes swiveled back and forth as she and her parents drove onto pack lands. The pack was in Massachusetts, so the ride was short, only four hours and for that she was grateful. When they got out of the car the teenager cowered behind her parents, uncomfortable with everyone’s eyes on them. A blond haired male parted the curious crowd, a smile stretched across his face.
He was attractive, she couldn’t deny that, from his blond hair, to brown eyes, and muscular frame, everything about him was perfect. “Blaise! Luciano,” Aida stared at the unnamed man watching as he shook hands with her mother and father. “You must be Aida?”
“Hi,” she waved. Aida was average height for a girl standing at 5′4. Today, however, was the first time she felt insanely short. Her family was a mix of giants and non giants alike, but here she felt like a bush surrounded by a bunch of redwoods.
“I’m Beta King Jason Green,” he walked the three humans towards his office, passing hundreds of people training in hand to hand combat. “Normally if someone joins a new pack the Alpha would sort of swear them in, but our Alpha isn’t around at the present moment.” Aida stared at him, her mind running to the possibility that Beta Jason was lying and maybe the pack’s Alpha had a secret. “As a member of this pack, you’ll go through the same training you briefly witnessed outside. The people you saw out there are around your age, some go to school during the day, others work for the pack but seeing you graduated early you have a few options.
1) register for college either online or on campus or 2) find a job within the pack or in the human community if that makes you feel more comfortable. Either way you just have to make sure it fits with the training schedule.” She nodded, her blue and green orbs surveying the room.
“Could I teach?”
“Training,” she shrugged her broad shoulders. “It’s what I used to do for my parents’ mafia’s.”
“These are lycans,” he stared into her eyes unsure which one to look at, “not humans.” “If you can take down our top fighter then I’ll let you start teaching those who can’t shift. If you work hard enough and improve their skills, you might just become the head trainer.” A smile broke out across her face as she nodded vigorously, thick wavy hair bouncing quickly. “Obviously our best fighter is the Alpha, but I’ll have you fight someone else, someone in your age group.”
The three visitors whipped around as the office door came bursting open alarmed by the intrusion, but the lycan male just smiled. “Talia,” his inner wolf pushed him towards his mate. An arm wrapped around her waist as he buried his nose in her neck, and a light kiss was placed on her mark. It was a typical greeting for mates. “This is my mate Beta Talia Green.
Talia this is Aida DeLuca and her parents Blaise and Luciano. I was wondering if you would show her around the property?”
“Really?” Jason nodded at his mates enthusiasm, watching as Talia pulled Aida up by her upper arm and fled from the office. The tour took awhile, because the grounds were sprawling but she didn’t mind. She was happy to meet someone who she could be friends with. At her old school she was always too focused on school, she did not give herself time for friends.
Nobody at the school disliked her, but nobody really made the effort to like her and she was just fine with that. But she was different now and this change wasn’t one she wanted to go through without friends by her side. “What’s down that road?” The human jabbed her thumb towards the gravel stretch, that seemed to go on for miles.
“This pack is the oldest pack, therefore it’s the royal pack. Our Alpha is the Lycan King, sometimes called the Alpha King. That’s his house, but no one has seen him since he took the position of the King.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve never even seen the guy up close. Obviously for really important cases that get taken to the higher courts, he’ll attend but he sits so far away from people that you can never get a good look at his face. There are legends he has a scar running down half his face from a fight with a hunter, but I guess it’ll remain a mystery.” Aida stared down the road, wondering if she would ever get a glimpse of the castle. Or the King.
“Anyways,” Talia smiled as they entered the training room again. “I hear you’re going to fight Jackson.” It took Aida a moment to connect the dots, but she soon realized that Jackson must be the strongest fighter in this group.
“I guess so.” The pair talked for a bit longer before Jason came out,
“Ready?” He pointed to the mats. Pulling off her hoodie she was left in just a sports bra and leggings. “Jackson!” A lanky brunette stepped out from behind a punching bag.
“This is Aida,” he clasped his hand down on her shoulder. The force was enough to make her knees buckle but she stayed strong, she had to, she didn’t want to seem like the weak human. “She’s an excellent fighter and wants to challenge you.” Someone along the sidelines laughed, but her unnerving glare shut them up instantly. Jackson looked her up and down, he looked hesitant but he never turned down a fight, even an easy win like this one.
Gliding over to mat they stood across from one another, circling. From the short interaction that they had together she knew that he was impatient, and with her stalling he would strike first. And he did, he aimed right for her head but she ducked and struck his ribs. A roar escaped his lips as he felt them break on impact. Breaking someone’s bones with one punch was something that her father had taught her.
Jackson stuck a leg out and she tripped, bringing him down with her like she had learned. Wrapping her legs around his neck from behind she watched his face turn blue. It was only until the faint, tap tap tap, of his hand on the mat did she stop. Unraveling her legs from his neck, she stood up offering him a hand. No one spoke, they were shocked that a little girl, a little human girl, could take down their best fighter in a matter of minutes.
“Well Aida,” Jason had to pick his jaw back up off the floor, “looks like you’re going to be our next trainer.”
Aida stood in her new apartment, brown boxes stacked on top of one another surrounding her. Her space on the top floor allowed her to have the perfect view of the flat grounds, dark forest, and looming mountains. Turning away from the window she went back to the boxes, her goal to have them all unpacked by tonight. Other than the soft music seeping through her ceiling speaker, the flat was quiet. A knock on the door echoed through the apartment, startling her in the process.
Bare feet padded across the heated tile floor as she headed for the door. “Hey,” Talia and Jason grinned at her, his arms were full of bags, while Talia stood empty handed.
“Hi,” Aida said from the doorway, the door partially cracked, confused as to why the two Betas were there. “What are you doing here?” She cringed at her words, as they seemed a little harsher than she had anticipated.
“We come bearing gifts,” Jason lifted the bags of groceries. “Mind if we come in?” Aida hesitated and then stepped aside, they seemed friendly enough.
“This way,” her long toned arm lifted in the direction of the kitchen.
“We figured you wouldn’t have much in the way of groceries, so we went to the store and picked up a little bit of everything,” Aida’s eyes widened. “What, don’t tell me no one’s done anything nice for you before?” She shrugged, turning her attention to the massive amounts of food covering her counter. They really did bring a little bit of everything. From the fresh fruits, veggies, frozen dinners, non perishables, and of course an array of junk foods, Aida would be set for weeks.
“I’ve only ever had one real friend growing up and that wasn’t until the end of my freshman year in high school,” her back was turned to them, as she attempted to find places for all the food but she could tell by their silence that they felt bad. “It was my choice. I decided that school was more important than having friends, I didn’t want or need any distractions.”
“So does that mean I can be one of your first friends?” Talia stared at Aida, her brown eyes wide with excitement.
“Yeah, I guess so.” A squeal left the female Beta’s lips as she attacked her new found friend in a hug. “Do you want you,” Aida paused unsure of how to continue. “Do you want to um maybe stay for dinner?” Talia nodded vigorously, red hair flying everywhere.
“I would love to,” Jason smiled, “but some of our warriors just came back and I need to meet with them.” Waving Aida watched as Talia and Jason kissed each other goodbye. They were perfect for each other, that much was obvious.
“When did you meet Jason?”
“Five years ago when he was doing his search, he was sixteen and I was fourteen. I come from a different pack, The Lunar Eclipse Pack." Talia had a smile on her face as she recalled her first meeting with Jason. “On a lycans sixteen birthday, their pack will typically throw a party so they can find their mate. My brother was having his birthday party, when Jason quite literally came crashing through the woods.
Everyone knew he was the royal pack, so no one dared to move a muscle. When he shifted, the women in my pack went nuts, he was only sixteen but he looked a lot like he does now, just a little leaner. He stood at the edge of the forest, his nostrils flaring like that of a wolf who knew their mate was nearby and then he walked right towards me—not caring that he was butt naked, or that my entire pack was watching—and then kissed me. My parents were more than thrilled that I had found my mate, my brother on the other hand was furious. He said that I planned it all and took his day from him.
“I joined this pack when I was sixteen, we marked each other shortly after my arrival.”
“I thought only the females got marked?”
“For werewolves only the female gets marked but not for lycans; each mate bears a mark.”
“That’s really cute though,” Aida commented, “how you guys met.” Talia let out a dreamy sigh, her mind clouded with thoughts of her mate. The two lycan females stayed up the rest of the night drinking wine, laughing, and chatting. As Aida listened to Talia’s slow controlled breathing she couldn’t help but smile. This was the most normal she had felt in two years.
Maybe living here won’t be so bad after all.