"You're not one of us, go." Alpha Zacharia bellowed as he elongated his claws and scratched the skin off the back of my right shoulder.
"Argh!" I screamed as blood pooled my body and dress, covering the soil beneath me. I was on my hands and knees crying, ashamed that I had been cast out of my pack.
I heard Alpha Zacharia howl - he had made his decision and it was final. I looked up, desperate to catch someones eye, desperate for someone to feel pity on me and speak up. But no one dared. Once an Alpha made a decision, questioning it meant challenging him - and no one dared challenge our Zacharia.
It was past midnight and the moon was full in the sky. Tonight was the night of the Mating Ceremony. The night were she-wolves who were in heat would parade and dance around the fire pit, trying to find their mate. This was my third Mating Ceremony since I came of age and went into heat.
It was also my final chance.
My final chance to prove to my pack that I, indeed belonged here, that I, indeed were a wolf, and I, indeed should live.
Yet it was past midnight and I couldn't find my mate. I was now twenty years old and hadn't even shifted into my wolf form once.
I didn't belong here.
I scanned my pack who were circled around me still in their dresses and suits. None of them showed any pity, just disgust, confusion, and surprise. Everyone thought I should be cast out or killed anyway.
Now they got their wish.
Alpha Zacharia had ripped the skin from my back that had the tattoo of our pack on it; the Winter Crest Pack. Wolves identified each other by their tattoos. No tattoo meant no pack, which meant no good.
The crowd started to disperse. Those who found their mates went into the pack house to mate, those who didn't went to the woods for the after party. I tried to get up but my wounds were too deep to actually help me move. I had three deep gash wounds that started from my neck and tip of my shoulder, and travelled diagonally to the back of my ribs. My dress was half torn, and I had to leave this territory otherwise the Gamma would see to it that I be killed right here.
I wiped my tears, took in a deep breath of courage, and used the last shred of strength to push myself off the ground. I was not dying tonight. I was in dire need of bandages, a shower and a change of clothes but all of my things were in the pack house, which I no longer had access to.
Maybe Liam would help me?
He's a volunteer at the Pup house with me, he's my best friend and my most trusted person. After my parents died when I was ten, I met Liam at there. He was a few years older and scary, but to me he'd always been kind, always had my back. He was an orphan staying at the Pup house too. Once you hit sixteen, you're no longer really considered a pup in our pack so you kind of have to find a way in life for yourself. Liam became a trainer, I became teacher. But we both still volunteered our free time to the Pup house, since we know the struggle of not having a family.
My wounds soaked my dress and if I didn't patch up, I would bleed out here. I need to find Liam, he's the only one who would help me. But damn it, he can't! It would be an act of betrayal.
Moon Goddess, help me...
Pull yourself together, Aleyna.
I closed my eyes, spread left arm out and let my instincts point me to the direction I should walk to. Once I opened my eyes and found my bearings, I took off my heels and walked towards it, not looking back and accepting my fate.