After I barely finished my second year of college, I had to take care of my mother’s funeral. She died the way she lived life; doing everything she wanted and never really thinking about the consequences. Now don’t go thinking she was a bad mom and that she neglected me or anything like that. Because that’s not how she was at all, she always put me first, second and third. It was just unlucky that she had to have that car accident. Mom didn’t have a lot of family members left; this is because of the fact that she chooses to bare three children of a wolf shifter (I have an older sister and a younger sister), which made her a persona non-grata to most members in her family except her younger sister.
Not only did I have to deal with the emotions and everything else concerning my mother’s funeral, there was also the fact of the official envelop holding the crest of the High Council dropped off at my address a few days later. It held an order for me to go to the Pack House and stay with my dad for the rest of my summer. I was surprised, shocked and mad at the same time; how dare he order me around! Just because he; Sterling Cole was a hotshot with the High Council, didn’t mean he could just boss me around now I was about to turn twenty-one.
In fact, he had several years to get to know me and he didn’t. It isn’t my fault he didn’t want to get to know me back then. “So why does he want to get to know me now?” My auntie just shrugged her small frame when I asked her.
“It might have to do that you are mate-less at twenty and haven’t changed, not once. He might be concerned.” I snorted; there was no way he was concerned for me; he was more concerned about what I did to his reputation. My dad was not only close to the High Council; he’s also the best friend of the Alpha King. One of the few who actually knows what the Alpha King’s beast looks like besides the immediate family members of the Alpha King. My guess is that having a son my age that hasn’t changed or found his mate must be truly embarrassing. Knowing I couldn’t win, I reluctantly accepted the fact I had to spend my summer vacation in a hick town. In the middle of nowhere. With my dad and his frantically-loyal-to-the-Pack-friends.
The Pack lives under the iron rule of the Alpha King, and anyone who stepped outside the rules made by the King will be killed. No matter who you are. That’s why there are so many rumours about the Alpha King; some say he’s a ruthless beast, others say he can be ruthless if need be but otherwise he’s a fair ruler. I don't know, I never met the Alpha King, and don’t want to. The title Alpha King doesn’t necessarily mean that the King is male. There have been a few female Alpha Kings throughout history, in fact, the previous Alpha King is the current’s Alpha King’s mother.
It doesn’t always mean that if one of your parents is the Alpha King and you are the first born that you will automatically become the next Alpha King. There are rules and regulations for that. That’s why anyone who wants to be Alpha King needs to go through several series of tests; medical, physical, metal and lastly magical. As Alpha King, you need to be ready for anything, anytime, anywhere. Because of this, all children within the Pack are being monitored from a young age, this way they would know where to place them later when they grow up and can be beneficial to the Pack.
I don’t think they will be happy with me just joining them at my age. They probably won’t know what to do with me. Hopefully, they will just send me back home. Not that I think they will: once you’re in the Pack, you don’t leave. Ever. That scares me a little. What if I don’t fit in? What if I really can’t shift? What if this, what if that…. It drives me insane not knowing. Even though I didn’t grow up around the Pack, mom always made sure that I knew what to do in case of an emergency or what to do if I needed the Pack’s assistance. Whenever I finished my homework mom would drill me about the Pack’s laws, whom I needed to contact when she got hurt or didn’t come home. I still have the old beaten Pack Law book that used to belong to mom. Every shifter got one of those books; they contained the Pack’s law, history and legends.
Sadly that book was the only thing I had left of my mother. Her parents confiscated everything else; I wasn’t even allowed to keep a picture of her. The goodbyes were short and to the point; there was no love lost there. Everything was clinical and without a fuss. Only my mom’s younger sister cried and hugged me tightly, everybody else huffed in disgust. “You will be fine Archie, I know you will. Do call me whenever you feel like it okay?” she managed to say between tears.
“Yes auntie Moira, I will. I will call you as soon as I get there.” I said hugging her one last time before getting into the Pack vehicle that was parked at the curb. I wrestled a little to get in; I had badly sprained my ankle and was now stumbling around on crutches for at least a few more weeks. The doctor said I should be glad it was still attached to my leg; my sprain had essentially torn all muscle in my ankle. As if being crippled wasn’t an insult enough, one of the guards scooped me up in his arms and carefully arranged me on the back seat.
Snarling I let myself be buckled in, not that my snarling impressed him. He looked as stone-faced ass ever. Unimpressed. Whatever. I wasn’t trying to impress him anyway. Once my entire luggage (just a duffle bag) was in the trunk (I had packed several shorts, jeans, shirts, Tee’s, boxers, socks and a few sneakers and slippers into my luggage.), the other guard slid behind the wheel and we were off. I wonder who my father had to bribe to get the car, Pack vehicles are usually only used by The Alpha King’s family or important guests of the Alpha King. There was no way in hell my dad has the power or influences to get me picked up like this.
I never felt the need to get in touch with my absent father; a lot were children had one absent parent so it wasn’t uncommon. I said earlier I have two other siblings; an older sister who is a leopard-were and a younger sister who is a wolf-were. Unlike my sisters I wasn’t born a were; I was born as a human baby with clawed hands and feet. When they heard about me visiting for the summer they were ecstatic; my sisters Maeve and Niamh (you say neave) were already part of The Pack and excited to see me.
I visited them once a long time ago, for some reason the details are kind of fuzzy. The only thing I remember was that it didn’t it didn’t end well. Mom for some reason seemed to hate dad ever since Niamh was born, she wasn’t all that upset when he told her that he would be taking my sisters with him to his Pack and leave me. The useless human child with her to care for.
I can say everything I know, and everything I achieved was all thanks to my mom. I knew for sure that if she were alive she would have fought the order; she would do everything in her power to keep me with her. Until it became clear she couldn’t win the fight, she would hang her head and just drop me off at the Pack boundary. She hated stepping a foot inside that territory. Used to say it was bad for her energy or something like that, mom was very into her Chakra’s and positive energy crap.
I must have fallen asleep at one point because when I opened my eyes, a huge forest surrounded us. One of the bumps in the road must have woken me up; there were a few potholes in the ground. Even though the guard tried so hard to avoid them. I opened my door; ready to walk or stumble on my crutches when the same guard came up behind me scooping me up again. God damn it!
“I can walk on my own you know!” Instead of letting go the guard pulled me closer to his chest. Effectively squeezing me against the hard warm chest.
“Don’t worry, I will take care of you.” He melodic voice told me he was a feline-were.
“I don’t need you to take care of me! I can take care of myself!” The man looked at my wrapped up ankle as if to say right, of course, you do.
“Put the boy down Riley.” Looking away from the amused blue eyes, I turn my head and look at my father. As soon as my feet touch the ground I am swept into a bone-crushing hug “I am so glad to see you again son.” I stiffen in his embrace, I don’t know what to do; hug him back or just play it cool. I chose the latter, easier that way to get a clear picture of where we stand.
The last time I saw my dad was at mom’s funeral. He hasn’t changed much; just less pale and looking better rested. His eyes were sympathetic as he looked at me “Come with me, and I will show you where you will stay.” Dad nodded at the other guard with my meagre amount of luggage followed us to a small simple wooden two-story cabin.
It looked familiar, and for some reason, I couldn’t place it where I had seen it before. I walked in after my dad into a comfortable open plan living room/dining room, with a kitchen unit to the right and a set of stairs leading to what I assume to be the bedrooms and bathrooms. I took a deep breath, held it before releasing it; scenting the air in the house.
To my surprise, it smelled like home, even though I have never been here in my life. The guard followed inside and headed up the stairs, apparently he didn’t need to be told where to go. I tensed as I heard a female shriek and a thumping sound; someone was falling down the stairs. Dad sighed as the person stopped tumbling “Niamh, I told you not to run down the stairs with your socks on. You know you will slip and fall.”
The mass of black hair lifted off the ground and a female version of my dad looked at me grinning. Black long hair which hung down her back in tight ringlets, green playful eyes, sensual mouth and dad’s mocha coloured skin covering a five foot seven frame. Getting to her feet she threw herself at me “Archie!” She screamed at me knocking me off my feet and on to the floor.
So this is what my younger sister grew up into.
After we both got to our feet she noticed my wrapped ankle “What happened to you?” she asked in her lower huskier voice, a clear sign she was a wolf-were.
“Nothing life-threatening” I shrug, she pouted before pulling me in a tight hug.
“But I am glad to see you again brother” she smiled. Patting her head I shook my head
“I wish we could do this under more pleasurable circumstances” Her eyes are full of understanding; even though she didn’t really remember mom or had a lot of time with her, she still loved her.