Caitlin ignored the reprimanding voice of her mother, Cathlene, as she kept moving her hair behind her ears. It was the one part of her body that she still didn’t grow to like yet she couldn’t ignore it. It was stark white but despite its color, it was voluptuous in body and stretched to her ankles, in a wave of curls. Occasionally she would wrap it in a snug chignon at the top of her head or a fishtail. These last few days however, her mother had convinced her to let it air by leaving it unrestrained.
“Your hair is fine Cat,” Her mother soothed.
She grasped her daughter’s hand and dropped it to her side.
“The curls are sharp and they flutter out to fan your figure,” Cathlene complimented. “Stop fiddling and just breathe.”
Caitlin turned her eyes to the floor and managed to give her mom a small smile. She breathed in, blew it out in a steady breath and then squared her shoulders. Cathlene smiled back at her with raised eyebrows and gestured for her to finally join the party. Her father had recently been graced with the opportunity to join the Council of Betas to rule over the current packs present throughout the world. He would represent their own, Providence Moon Pack.
They found her dad, Nathan, surrounded by other male Betas of several packs. Caitlin watched with tiny interest as they all shook hands and delved into talks about business. It wasn’t unusual for her to see him like this, regal and business-like but she didn’t see it often. In truth, she had gotten her father’s traits, being shy in nature and extremely critical. Her mother was the complete opposite, bright and flowery, which she got none of.
“Look at Nathan,” Her mom tsked. “I leave him for two seconds and he ropes in everyone.”
Caitlin laughed. Her father was magnetic despite his traits. She wanted to be like that someday. She was interrupted from these thoughts as her father finished his discussions and came toward them. He smiled knowingly as if he held some secret to share. She wasn’t overly excited to hear any business exploits but she stood rooted next to her mom.
“We’ve been invited to the Mating Event in Australia,” Nathan smirked.
Cathlene’s eyes widened for a brief fraction before they fell on Caitlin. She hadn’t flinched or budged when the word ‘mate’ left her father’s lips. Cathlene pushed him away and ushered Caitlin to the refreshments table.
“Stay here for a second,” Cathlene whispered.
She left Caitlin in a flurry of swinging skirts and flowy tops back to her father and she watched with sad eyes as they had a mini fight. This was another thing she hated about herself to its core: the fact that she was an Omega. Omega wolves were seen as the runt of a pack, the weakest link, the worst of the worst. Even with her father being an irrefutable Beta and her mother a normal she-wolf, she was a myriad of things.
An Omega with white hair.
The combo was unforgivable. Caitlin had to live in scrutiny of the origins of her birth. She had to hide from other she-wolves to keep her sanity and be a somewhat picture perfect daughter for her parents. She also knew they argued regularly about this. Her. The main issue was: would she have a mate? In the Wolf Hierarchy, Omegas were usually left up to themselves to find a mate of their own choosing or remain in solitude. Caitlin soon saw solitude becoming her new best friend.
Cathlene and Nathan bickered quietly to each other to a corner of the large auditorium. Caitlin watched them with aged interest. Her wolf hearing was nothing to write home about but she managed to hear tidbits of their argument from her distance.
“You can’t say that in front of Cat,” Her mother growled with an angry voice. “You know that’s a trigger.”
Her father cursed under his breath and nodded. “I got damn excited! How do I make it up to her?”
“Start by keeping your mouth shut whenever I leave you in a room for two seconds. What are you, a journalist?”
“It’s called Networking, my dear wife,” Her dad responded coolly. “Unlike you I can keep a conversation going.”
Cathlene slapped him mildly on the shoulder. “Apologize and break it to her slowly. We have to find her a mate, no matter what. I can’t imagine my poor daughter being alone for the rest of eternity.”
Nathan nodded. “I want her to be happy,” He paused and took a sip of his wine, “Like us.”
Cathlene gave him a kiss. “Aww, look at that. You are good at talking. Fine, you win this round.”
Caitlin sighed. She knew they were worried but…
“Would you like a drink?”
She looked across the refreshment table and finally took notice of the server holding a glass of champagne toward her. He was dressed in the universal black and white ensemble and his hair was brushed away from his face. She smiled shyly and took the glass from him.
“You seemed lost in thought,” The server continued.
Caitlin quickly thanked him and walked off, losing herself in the throng of people present. She didn’t want to answer any questions, in fact, she was terrible at conversation. She zipped her mouth shut as she moved between the crowd almost at a graceful speed. Her hair molded to her back and didn’t fly around as it usually did.
“Relax mom,” She grumbled to herself, “I’ll be fine without a -.”
Her sentence was interrupted as she ran into a wall. Wall? Caitlin’s hand grasped soft material and the side of her face felt the ever-tiny-movement of muscle. She immediately looked up and her eyes met those of a man. He was at least 6 foot, dressed in jeans and a grey sweater that stretched across the expanse of his chest. His hair was low and the sides but high in the middle, looking super soft and fluffy. His green eyes unwaveringly focused on her.
“What is it Ky?” Came another male voice behind him.
Caitlin stumbled backward on her feet. Her heart hammered in her ears at his close proximity. She needed to get some space between them but failed as her wine came tipping over and splashed across his white sneakers. Another man came from behind the already giant one that stood in front of her and extended a hand.
“Well, what do we have here…” His voice trailed off as he stepped between the two.
Caitlin didn’t exactly understand the predicament she was in but knew something was wrong. The man between them stretched a hand toward her and smiled.
“Might I ask your name Miss.” He started.
Caitlin nodded awkwardly. “Caitlin...Caitlin Bronwen”
The man nodded with some understanding. “Ah, Nathan is your father. What a treasure.”
She took the time to take in his regal appearance. He was dressed in black slacks and a dark red long-sleeved shirt. His hair was brown and straight as a pin with blonde highlights.
“I am Beta Apollo Han,” He introduced with a half sweep of his arm.
Caitlin froze as she realized who the man behind him now was. The man she had crashed into, spilled wine across his shoes was…
“My sincerest apologies, Alpha Kiran,” She stuttered. “I walked without thinking and…”
She was trying to keep her composure but was losing courage fast. Her free hand clenched into a fist and her chest moved with rapid breaths. Beta Apollo tried to snap her attention back but her panic attack had already set in, Her eyes moved frantically between him and the small crowd gathering to see what happened.
Alpha Kiran stared at her with an unreadable expression. He pushed Beta Apollo aside and grasped her gently by the shoulder. Her free hand wound around his waist and he quickly led her out of the auditorium. They stepped onto an empty balcony that was relatively small. They both had to squeeze together to fit. Kiran closed the door behind him and leaned against it, Caitlin facing him with an hairsbreadth space between them.
“No need to worry,” He spoke in a bold voice.
His calm voice swept over her and she had a momentary pause. Her breathing slowed and she felt her mind easing from the chaos.
“My shoes are the least of my thoughts right now,” He spoke softly. “I’m actually concerned about you.”
Caitlin swallowed. What was he trying to say? She racked her brain to figure out just what exactly was happening right now but he came closer, his mouth positioned at her ear.
“I’ve waited a decade to meet you,” He stated firmly. “I don’t think I could be any happier.”