Life is about choices, life is about making choices, life is about adjusting to your choices. You decide if you adjust well or make it worse. My mother always told me this when I eat,it was her way of telling me to watch my weight and ration my intake of basically anything. I tried to not let it get to me and live best I could.
I was was not the best actor and even with an excessive amount of effort I did not succeed.
I exhaled loudly as Gina jumped on my stomach bouncing and twirling her hair happily with a grin on her face. She always got overly excited for my birthday,like we were celebrating together.
I didn’t like my birthday, ever since I was seven when my father left. He promised me birthdays, said it was the only day that he was allowed to come by my mother. Except he never came always told sappy stories about patching things up between us. Bullshit to me.
“Gina,you’re going to burst my ovaries.” I mumbled sleepily only for her to cover her ears and cower like a little child. She was way past that age, eighteen to be exact but after a car crash when she was fifteen this was her. Her seven year old self. Curious and selfless.
The family shunned her out labeling her an embarrassment to their clean title. Gina and I were alike in that sense,I was an embarrassment too. I was fat by my parents standards, we were meant to be the super humans and I was fat with no super natural abilities.
Mother never had space for imperfection, I spent my whole life believing I wasn’t good enough. I never was going to be good enough unless I starved myself but that didn’t do much, loosing barely a pound wasn’t enough.
“But you’re going to find your mate.” She sulked and I had to force an optimistic smile. I wasn’t going to find a mate, not like this, fated or not men didn’t want girls like me. I was a few sizes too big to be good enough not to mention the fact the I failed to reach most people’e chins.
“Yes, and he’s gonna whisk us away to his castle where we can get you your own room and anything you want.” She smiled widely and started ranting about all the things she wanted. All pink and purple and unicorn themed.
After she finished running my ear off she ran off to her shared room with Malice her twin and I stayed to shower. It was a sluggish morning, I was twenty one. Old enough to finally leave the house but only with a mate.
Mother had made that very clear she didn’t want to loose her manual labor dog. And there wasn’t anything out there for me. So I wasn’t really bothered.
I whipped up some breakfast with the family still preparing upstairs. We had a big family, seven girls still living here and I was the oldest of them. All our relationships were linked only through our mother except for the twins. Mama was what we could call loose,but she wanted to raise children alone. Her latest boyfriend Flyn was nice in a way. He was a stealthy businessman who went around bankrupting other business’s for his to succeed.
Mama liked him for his money and he was in his own way in her league, wealthy and well over sixty taking pills to get it up. I was never really one to judge but Flyn wore a yellow ‘judge me’ sign and I couldn’t help it.
“Good morning, big sis.” I smiled placing the last plate on the table and waiting for everyone else to come down.
They were all excited, extra excited dolled up and looking like princesses. Not because it was my birthday but because on this day that I was born Jessica was getting married. She had found her mate last year and they were getting married. It was a choice in this society, most superhumans did get white weddings but werewolves don’t believe in that.
I doubted anyone but Gina would remember my birthday. I didn’t try remind anyone because then they’d know that I was mate detectable and I could detect my mate now. The laughter that would follow if they knew he was rejecting me. Too much for one day.
I sat down in my seat and breakfast started with chatter and laughter. I had to disappear quick and get dressed for the wedding, Jessica was mated to one of the pack warriors, the strongest one and was filthy rich now. Unlike all my older sisters she hit a jackpot Bryce was sweet and handsome. I would be jealous but me next to him would be disgraceful.
Jessica decided that we’d all be bridesmaids all ten of us. We had different dresses, mostly because Jessica was a designer and worked with features that the dress could enhance. Mine was low on the cleavage my boobs squashed against the fabric. It was off shoulder and a bright lavender colour flowing after my back.
I would say to all my sisters Jessica was the one I bonded the most with. Hence I wished well for her, she was the black sheep during her time. She met her mate late and my family had already decided he wasn’t a thing.
I was happier than she could ever be when he bumped into her at the local market. He looked casual then and my eyes widened when he grabbed her and pulled her away cavemen style.
I thought she was being kidnapped and jumped at him to let her go. That same day I met the Alpha King and Royal Beta, I had to be restrained to stop from attacking her kidnapper. I was too embarrassed when it was explained to me who he was and why he had grabbed my sister. I ran home with red cheeks of embarrassment.
Jessica and I talked about him all night, how nice he was and how perfect he was. I lived vicariously through her and gave input when she asked a question. It was a working system.
I huffed when the pill bottle was empty, I looked around kneeling and opening boxes for a new pack. They were finished, I face palmed myself for not making sure there was more. Gina needed those pills, if she didn’t get them she’d at some point go super psycho and ruin the wedding. Jessica would be ecstatic to witness a disaster like Gina going bipolar and bat shit crazy.
But I wouldn’t be able to handle such backlash.
With finality I stood up and grabbed Gina and pulled her into the car. It was an errand car since mama felt we couldn’t all get individual cars. I didn’t mind there wasn’t many places I could go, the castle and then back here.
Gina smiled as I buckled her in and once again went to imagination land as she told me about her dream room. I figured we’d have to drive to the wedding after I raid the medicine cabinet in the wellness wing of the castle.
I had permission due to my nursing experience. I worked with medicine everyday and had a key. That was one thing I thought my mother would be proud of but she shrug it off like it was nothing. I could never make her proud at this point I was no longer trying. Good grades and not getting pregnant but who cares.
I pulled Gina up with me and we went into my office, the pills were easy to find and I checked out three packets, stuffing them into my purse after making Gina take two.
I walked out of the office turning to lock it mindlessly when I bumped into a hard body. I fell back but he caught me and we stared into each others eyes both shocked at the result of our fingers touching. His eyes dark brown almost black and emotionless. The sparks ran up my arm numbing it.
“No fucking way.” He muttered and roughly pulled away from me. He was wearing a dark suit his hair blonde and styled to the side. He had a sharp straight nose and thin lips. He was handsome.
“I’m Cooper, and I would appreciate it if you told me your name.” He had a smile on his face and I grew a bit of hope thinking he wasn’t going to reject me and instead compliment and smile with me.
“I’m Anniela Shadow.” He smiled and brushed away a piece of hair from my face. His smile slowly faded until it was no longer there.
“Great. I Cooper Parker Shaw reject you Anniela Shadow as my fated mate.“I felt a sharp ache in my chest and even though I expected it I was hurt. I wasn’t in any way pretty, I was average, below average height and above average weight I would be more surprised if he didn’t reject me.
“I accept your rejection.“I muttered lowly and looked at Gina who had a smile on her face like she was watching a love story take place.
“Great we agree, but also the moongoddess busy playing games with me. A fat bitch are you for real.“I found it in myself to smile as he walked away. Gina didn’t say much on the ride there but when we got there she was whisked away by guest and family members.
I was stranded alone waiting for a reason to go home and cry. My chest still ached, it was dull from accepting the rejection so easily but there none the less.
Just then the reason of my heartbreak walked towards the bar I sat at. I took no time jumping off my stool and hiding behind a wall. He wasn’t alone and had a tall red haired woman next to him holding his hand. they looked so perfect it almost hurt.
I watched through a slit in the wall as he reached down and mumbled something in her ear to which she giggled and kissed him on the cheek.
“What are we looking at or is it more who are we looking at” I flinched and jumped back a squeal leaving my mouth.
I gasped at the man before me, no way was I looking into the eyes of the Alpha King. I cast my head down as he smiled at me. It was rare to bump into anyone more than a commoner even in the castle.
“Oh a man did he break your heart, should I rough him up for you. I know damn well it would do him good.” He begun loosening his tie and pulling the sleeves of his dress jacket up. I pulled his hand so that he wouldn’t show through the little hiding spot. His skin felt like fire and his arm was heavy with muscle, I found myself holding on a little tighter in the case that he overpowered me and charged like a bull.
“No please don’t do that, everything is fine.” I lied letting go of his hand when I felt like he wouldn’t go ‘rough’ up my mate, well ex mate now.
He was a tall man at least 6′5 with a broad build. Next to him I looked like I stopped growing at the age of thirteen and only moved horizontally. He wore a black suit with a flower in his pocket the colour of my dress. It didn’t help that he had a meaty build, muscle straining from every corner of his form.
When I came to the realisation that I was checking the Alpha King out and that he’d just offered to mess a guy up for me. I shuffled on my feet bowing respectfully. I spared a glance at my mate, he was too engrossed in shoving his tongue into the mouth of the woman with him to notice I wasn’t behind the wall anymore.
“I’m sorry, Alpha King.” I shuffled on my feet nervously. The way I could get banished for doing anything in this kingdom. I had just touched him without permission, I certainly had a death wish.
“Sorry for what?” My eyes instinctively met his, my head raising and my neck craning at his height. It was normal for wolves in power to be taller and more built than the rest, they had to protect everyone if they had small shoulders they would’ve broken by now. I tried not to chuckle at my own thoughts.
“For bumping into you. And touching you.” My eyes were cast down again. The intensity in his blue eyes was too much for anyone of my caliber to endure. If you were to look into the eyes of a man as intense as he you’d have to be better than me, taller, stronger, prettier and not fat.
“He doesn’t deserve you, Annie.” My head shot up to notice he had come closer to me, close enough for me to smell his pine scent. His chin was dusted with stubble, adding to his manly look. I was a crazy psycho for feeling safe around a stranger but who would blame me.
“What?” My voice came out in a squeak a nervous squeak. The last time I talked to the Alpha King I was trying to claw at one of his warriors. It was understandable to try and save someone you care about from being grabbed in the streets. I never imagined that the kidnapping would’ve led to her wedding.
“I said he doesn’t deserve you Annie but with your permission I can go thank him for giving me a chance with you.“My mouth opened wide almost touching the ground. I was too shocked to register him move closer and reach his hand out to close my mouth with a smile.
A shiver ran up my spine at the fire of his touch. I was stuck in place staring at him in bewilderment.
“Come on let’s get your sister married.” He pulled my hand into his and dragged me away, it didn’t register for a good minute that he was holding my hand. The Alpha King was holding my hand. And for some reason he knew me.
In that moment I knew that with my life, I would avoid the man. Whether I’d have to move or leave the continent I was not going to see him again. I didn’t want to see him again.
“Actually I have to go find Jessica.” Without waiting for him to answer I pulled my hand away and ran in the direction of the bridal suite where Jessica was touching up her make up with the rest of my family gathered around her fanning at her beauty.
She smiled when she saw me but after studying me for a second. She had a big sister smile on her face as she invited me to sit beside her on the vanity.
“You look beautiful, Jess.” The family slipped away until Jess and I were left alone. She indeed looked like a princess her long white dress had beautiful lace and held a lot of diamonds with a crown like veil.
“Thanks. Why do you look like you just saw a ghost.” She pulled my hand into hers all sisterly watching me for the slightest twitch. She knew me well enough to know that even though my resting face was stun, I was at the moment shocked.
“Um...I found my mate. He rejected me just like I knew he would.” She frowned and pulled me in for a hug. It was weird now being so intimate with her. I wasn’t fond of hugging, I never hugged people. I always found it weird, most people liked it for reasons unknown to me.
“Oh, I’m sorry Annie. He’s an idiot for letting you go. He doesn’t deserve you.” It seemed everyone was being blind today. Everyone but Cooper. His decision is respectable I wouldn’t want to be mated to me. If I was a man I’d also reject me too. Two people had declared that he didn’t deserve me, in all honesty I didn’t deserve him.
“Yeah well. It was expected, I don’t get to be in love. Jess, it’s my birthday for Christ sake and no one knows. What man in his right mind would want to be with me fated to or not.” Just then Jessica squealed excitedly and stood up to her drawer.
“I know it’s your birthday, so does Bryce. I figured you’d want a cake on your birthday and I live too far away from the house to make a visit and you probably would freak if I exposed you. And I got you this.” She pulled a gift bag from the drawer and gave it to me. I excitedly took it and opened the parcel.
It was a ballgown, a dark blue off shoulder and cleavage enhancing ball gown. Jessica was beaming waiting for my reaction, I was more confused than excited now.
“Jess, I can’t wear this anywhere.” She smirked knowingly yet said nothing. The church bell rang and she pushed me out the door and I had to direct myself to the alter where the other girls waited.
It seemed all my older sisters couldn’t make it and the two youngest refused to participate in the activities there was only five of us now.
The door was closed and the groom himself stood by the door having the Alpha and Beta at his side with another man I didn’t recognise.
Bryce looked good his navy blue suit suited him bringing out the glow of his grey eyes. The man was sweating as Beta Alex gave him a cloth to wipe his face. I held back a chuckle, he was shuffling around nervously. The sight was something to feast on.
“Hey Gina, how are you feeling.” Gina smiled, she was taller than me and talking down to her like I did looked weird for those who didn’t know her condition. To me it became normal, routine even.
“Jess got extra cake for your birthday. She promised that if I didn’t trip she’d smuggle me some without you knowing.” I laughed a little, her seven year old self was too innocent to not tell the truth.
“How about you ask for some of my birthday cake.” She nodded eagerly but frowned looking behind us. Her eyes became curious and I turned around to meet the Alpha King.
He had a smile on his face as he saw Gina, she was beautiful. Slim figure and beautiful tanned skin. I willed my thoughts away from the idea, no one was taking Gina away from me. All she had to do was continue taking her pills and talking to people regularly and she’d be back to normal in no time.
“I’m walking you down the Isle. My lady.” I smiled dismissively, of cause I didn’t mean to but sometimes my real emotions just spill out randomly.
“Sorry.” I muttered and moved my attention back to Gina who watched us curiously. I met his eyes this time, making sure I wasn’t too obvious about my dislike towards our recent conversations. The man was a confusing puzzle and I didn’t have the patience for it.
“You can stop apologising and go on a date with me.” My eyes widened but Gina squealed loud enough to bring attention to us. She turned her eyes to her shoe and whined about how it was too long and she’d fall on the heels. She covered up well and people soon looked away from my second interaction of the day with the Alpha King.
“You don’t want to go out with me.” I muttered quietly, I had learnt from my mother. Learnt from everyone that I was nothing special. I was by the words of my mate a ‘fat bitch’ and not worthy of a man or even friends.
I was fated to a life where slowly my sisters would find their mates, Gina would recover and be able to identify her mate and then I’d really be alone because mama will be with another man and I’ll be left at home alone in a house with no people. I would one day die and no one would really notice.
The more I accepted it the better it was for me to endure. It was just easier to know and understand my situation. Unworthy of anything good, everyone’s gonna walk out of my life and if I start putting it in my head now it will get easier later.
There’s always a story about Princesses and gowns and Princes.
Then the story about an evil witch with agendas.
Never has there been neutral fairy-tale were the Princess isn’t so princessy and doesn’t look flawless when waking up or even just during the day.
A story where she looked like me. But still fell in love,brought a King to his knees with her personality. It wasn’t a fairy-tale, much less a reality.
And I knew that.