I was born hidden from the world. Our pack lived high up in the mountains, surrounded by acres of forest. We lived happily in our seclusion, enjoying the nature around us.
When I was born, my mother and father were so excited. They had been trying for years after having my brother for another child. I was their miracle. I was also their nightmare.
At the age of three, I began showing signs of having a special, rare ability.
I was a healer.
Healers were rare in the wolf community. And to have a healer in a pack was powerful. My ability terrified my parents for a long time. It still does, but now they’ve grown used to it and I think they hope I’ll find a mate within our pack. It’s the safest option.
My alarm went off early in the morning and I rolled over with a groan before getting up and ready for the day. As a healer, I helped in the clinic as the receptionist and to treat the occasional bad wounds. I walked out to the kitchen to find my mom sleepily nursing a cup of coffee.
“Coffee?” She asked, still half asleep.
“I’ll get it... you might tip over,” I teased as I grabbed a mug from the cupboard. I took a sip of the warm liquid before looking around the room. “Where’s dad?”
“He already left for the day. Something about helping the protectors this morning,” my mom replied as she attempted to straighten herself with a stretch.
“Titus still sleeping?” I asked sarcastically, knowing my older brother was most likely passed out.
“Mhm... oh, I should probably wake him. He has training in twenty minutes,” my mom said before taking another sip and trotting down the hall.
I grabbed my bag and walked out of the alpha apartment and down the stairs of the packhouse. I walked outside and down the road, watching the protectors warm up on the field.
I caught the eye of my father who jogged over with a smile. “Good morning, squish.”
“How on earth are you so chipper? It’s 6:30 in the morning,” I asked with a sideways glance.
My father gave an innocent shrug and a soft tap on my arm before jogging back to the field.
When I walked into the clinic I set my bag down and headed to the backroom to start a fresh pot of coffee. I stood against the cabinet with my eyes half shut as I waited.
"Morning, Em!" Matt chimed as he walked into the room.
I jumped a bit at the sound and gave him a good glare, "That was not nice."
"But it was funny..." Matt chuckled as he threw an arm around my shoulder. "How are you doing?"
"Good, just not quite present yet. You have a couple of appointments this morning, but nothing else until later," I replied as I grabbed a mug from the cabinet.
"Good, good," Matt said absently before stealing my cup of coffee and leaving the room.
I watched him leave the room, shaking my head at him before pouring another cup. I liked Matt, he was a nice guy and I would be lying if I said I didn't find him attractive. His dirty blonde hair and chocolate eyes were warm and inviting. He had always been kind to me and had taught me a lot since working in the clinic. He was several years older than me, but I hoped he would end up as my mate. I liked that we both helped people. But I wouldn't find out for another week, on my twenty-first birthday.
Can he be our mate? Pleeeaase? my wolf, River, whined as we watched him walk away.
"Only one more week," I whispered to myself before walking out of the backroom to take my seat at the front desk.
I looked up with a smile as the bell on the door rang. "Good morn- Dad! What happened?" I hollered as I walked around the desk and helped one of the limping boys he was walking into the clinic.
"These two yahoos thought it would be a good idea to start a fight they obviously couldn't finish," my dad replied with irritation.
"Alpha, good morning. Looks like we've got some nice gashes here," Matt stated as he walked out, pulling on some exam gloves.
We walked them back to an exam room and tables to be checked out. I watched as Matt cleaned and dressed their wounds. "These should be healed by this evening, but I want you to keep them clean until then. Got it?"
"Yes sir..." they both replied quietly.
As they jumped down from the exam tables, one of them groaned in pain. "My chest..." he moaned.
Matt and my father helped him back up and they found a couple of broken ribs. They all turned to me and I gave a small smile.
"Our turn," I whispered, my wolf purring in reply.
I stood beside the table and closed my eyes, rubbing my hands together. When I opened them I placed them on his chest above the broken ribs. Warmth flowed from my hands and I held them there for a few moments before lifting them.
"Better?" I asked with a smile.
"Much. Thank you," the young protector grinned.
My father squeezed my shoulders before helping them out of the clinic.
"I still can't get over how you do that," Matt said as we watched them leave. "It's an amazing gift."
"Thanks," I replied quietly, knowing it caused more problems than solved them.
Only the people in our pack knew my secret. The pack was sworn to secrecy by my father. The command of an Alpha was final and in this case, punishment for breaking that command was severe. I didn't like that, but my parents insisted it was to keep me and our entire pack safe. "Wars have been waged for far less," my father would always tell me. And I was special, I would have every alpha in the world on our doorstep to try and either mate me or steal me away.
But in a week, I would find my mate and I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.