My eyes shot open as I scanned the room, pulling my covers closer to me. I had a tight grip on the bed sheets as my heart raced. Every time I had a nightmare I would wake up panting, desperate for air. My lungs felt suffocated as if all the air in the room had suddenly run out. My body felt hot like if I was a stake inside the oven, slowly cooking my insides. I breathing was heavy, and my mind was elsewhere. My brain had trouble connecting to reality while my nightmare kept on playing before me. Although I was awake, my mind could still envision my nightmare like a movie. My room was cold, yet my body could feel the heat. I opened the windows and tossed myself under the covers, hoping it would all end soon. It took me a few minutes to calm down and cope with reality.
“It was a nightmare, just that. It never happened and is most likely never going to happen. I am okay” I breathed.
I ran a hand through my hair and tossed my eyes at the clock. It was 4:30, and thirty minutes until I had to officially wake up.
Today was November 23rd, the day of the Mating Ceremony. For some girls, it was one of the most exciting days you’ll ever experience, like my sister Grace. She had been counting down the days until today, unlike me. I’ve been dreading today.
The Mating Ceremony consists of all the mate-less wolves. You are given some time to chit-chat and meet new people and at exactly 12 everyone will be gathered into this huge room and the elders will choose our partners, our mates. When you are mated with someone, you can’t leave them. You can’t divorce them, or separate them. Your only way out of it is death.
I’ve turned 18 this year meaning I had to attend. This was also my sister’s first time going. We were both quite different. I am shy and weak while my sister is more talkative and social. She is obviously my parents’ favorite, just like everyone else around here.
Under the covers, I had a safe place. A place where I remained untouched, unbothered, unknown and unaccounted for. Just me, myself and I. Thoughts and worries sprung in my head, what I’d imagined it’d be like, what I thought my potential mate would look or be like. This thought scared the hell out of me.
Lost in thought, a soft knocking appeared on my door
“Arabella it’s time to get ready.” My mother said through the door.
I had picked out a delicate white dress. There was a soft belt a few inches under my chest and ruffles all throughout the dress. There was soft lace though out the top of the dress. It was just above my knees and the top hugged my body while the bottom puffed gracefully.
I curled my dark brown hair and did my makeup with my sister. She wore a dress similar to mine, yet Grace’s dress was teal and more revealing. She looked perfect.
As time passed, it had gotten dark and after a long day of playing dress up, we were ready. My mother instinctively started telling us how beautiful we were while petting Grace’s hair.
“You do really look perfect, I have no doubts about you getting chosen, Grace.” She spoke.
She then turned to me...
“You too, sweetie.” She said unclear if she believed those words herself.
“Thanks, mom.” I muttered.
My sister and I walked together toward the event. It was held at the Beta’s home, a little less than half a mile away from our house.
“Are you excited?” Grace asked.
“No,” I said, straight to the point.
“Well I am, I mean the other day I was talking-“Grace continued on talking but I didn’t listen. I love my sister and all but she gets wrapped up in her little world, talking about this and that, and the other day this... and so on and so on. I, as always, lost myself in my thought. I guess I was like that too, but I didn’t blurt it out... I guess I simply zoned out.
“Ugh Arabella, are you listening to me?” She questioned, quite annoyed.
“Yeah, yeah of course.” I lied
“Anyways, I was telling you about the time me and -” Just like that I cut her out again. I mean I knew she was talking, I could still hear a slight touch of her voice in the back of my head, I simply couldn’t work the words out. I was too lost in my own thoughts and worries.
“Arabella!“She shook my arm.
“Yeah yeah, I’m listening.” I lied again.
“We are here, I stopped talking like 5 minutes ago,” Grace said very annoyed.
“You know,” She continued “If you really want to get a mate, you have to pay attention, to whatever it is they are saying.”
“Yeah, yeah okay fine,” I said, I’ve had this conversation with my mom and her so many times.
Grace rolled her eyes “Whatever I am so done having to look out for you. If you come out mate-less tonight, you can’t blame it on me... You know I’m actually willing to bet.” She grinned.
I hadn’t even entered and I was ready to leave.
“Look, Grace, I get it, little Miss.Grace has guys lined up at her feet, I get it.” I spat.
I shook my arm out of her hand and walked in. After I had walked in I regretted everything I said to her. I couldn’t hold a grudge, and I knew she was only looking out for me, but sometimes she pushed my buttons or took it a little far... I shook it off, broadened my shoulders, just like mother said, held my head on high, and put on a smile.
I walked around the house, making small talk with a few men. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be chosen, maybe Grace was right. Every now and then Grace and I would share eye contact and then look back at whoever was talking. In front of me stood Micheal, he worked in the hospital, just like my dad.
Micheal began to talk and I paid attention, most of the time. The thought of having to spend the rest of my life with a total stranger scared me. Scratch that, it terrified me. Attempting to flirt was a mistake, because I was terrible.
A she-wolfs existence was to please her mate. I’m not saying in just a sexual way, but us she-wolves have to give pups to our mate, and make sure he is happy in the relationship. Marriage isn’t very important, but it is something we usually do. Although we pass on the big events and parties and the white dress simply because everyone mates on a special date (AKA today) I was able to carry the conversation with Micheal and he asked me to go fetch him a drink. I worked my way up to the refreshments bar and noticed Grace was standing here.
“Hey Arabella, how is it going with Micheal?” She asked.
“Fine, I guess.”
This is how it usually goes with my sister and me, we fight and shake it off in a few minutes and act like if nothing had happened.
“I was able to have a little chit-chat with Alpha Fayland.” Grace bragged.
“Cool.” I said uninterested.
“Could you imagine if he chose me? I actually don’t have doubts, the way he looked into my eyes, I know he fell for me. Like, how could you not?” She continued.
“If you say so.”
“Our parents would be, I take that back, are going to be, very proud of me. Prouder than they are ready are.” Grace played with her hair.
“You go girl.” I said sarcastically.
“You are just jealous you can’t get a guy to take a second look at you.” She spat. She was hurt and I knew it. The tone of voice she spoke in, her way of speaking. She shouldn’t get hurt because I can’t care about everything.
I’ve had enough of her little games and bragging so I got Micheal’s glass of wine and headed over to him. In my little prance over to Micheal, Grace spat “Whatever. You’ll probably never be picked and be a disgrace.” I know she didn’t mean it, she is just a little hot headed, in her own gentle feminine way of course. “Ouch.” I furred my brows pretending to be bothered by her comment while looking back.
It all happened so quickly. One second I was walking and the next I had bumped into someone. The wine flew straight out of the glass and all over the man’s tux. His deep green eyes never left mine making my heart beat faster. I searched his eyes looking for some type of emotion but his faced was drained. He pulled me up, using his strong tattooed arms.
“Watch your step.” He spat.
I was terrified out of my mind because I had just encountered Alpha Everett the scariest Alpha out of them all.
See Alpha Everett was kind of messed up inside. He is dark and twisted, emotionally drained and mentally unstable. Unstable means prone to change, fail, give way or prone to psychiatric problems, sudden changes of mood. So Alpha Everett was emotionally unstable. No one really knows why he is so messed up inside, but it shouldn’t give him an excuse to be how he is. He is reckless and rude. Pathetic and careless. Last month he killed a woman from his pack. I don’t know why but he can’t just go around killing who he wants. It’s childish. His dark and twisty ways might have something to do with his parents being dead and all but it’s no excuse.
So yeah, I was terrified and all but also a little bothered by him.
The rest of the night played out gracefully. I chatted with some men but no one was truly interested in me. I felt like a second choice. As the night played through, the moment came.
The moment of the choosing.