"Fuck," I groan, rubbing my forehead.
"The Beta's daughter, training since you could barely walk, and you're still clumsy as hell. Make it make sense." Caleb laughs, crouching down next to me as he studies my forehead.
"Shut up." I snap, getting to my feet.
"Race you to the oak tree." Caleb grins challengingly, and without waiting for a response, he ducks behind a tree to shift.
I grumble in response, moving behind a tree myself and pulling my clothes off before shifting into my grey and white wolf.
Immediately, my senses are heightened and my body feels stronger, more powerful. I take off running, darting through the forest and dodging trees and boulders, loving the way the wind blew through my fur and the damp forest ground felt underneath my paws.
I could hear and feel Caleb right behind me, and I push myself forward, breaking from a sprint to a gallop.
When the Oak tree that stood in the middle of the village came into my line of vision, I force my legs to run faster, and finally came skidding to a hault near the tree.
Caleb's light brown wolf reached me less than a second later.
"Got you!" I mind link him, letting my tongue hang out in a pant, my heart thudding erratically from the run.
"Shut up." Caleb bared his teeth at me playfully, turning around and trotting back into the woods to where our clothes were.
I follow, and we shift behind trees and pull our clothes on.
"Keira, get home for dinner, honey." I hear my mother in my head.
"On my way." I respond, before turning to Caleb.
"Mum wants me home. Do you want to stay for dinner?" I ask him as we walk down the hill towards our small pack village.
My pack, Blue Moon wasn't the biggest pack out there. With only two hundred something members, we were nothing compared to the neighbouring packs that had more than a thousand wolves.
We were small, mostly unheard of, and lived in harmony. Our Alpha Thomas, was a kind, pleasant leader. Overall, we didn't have much drama around here, if you don't count the pack war they had a few years back.
Members lived in small compact houses that littered around the huge clearing that we lived in, hidden deep inside the woods. The Alpha's house and the pack house stood in the middle of everything along with the oak tree.
Caleb and I walk down the path side by side, approaching my house. I let us in, and find my mom in the kitchen, cooking dinner.
"Hey mum." I approach her, kissing her cheek before sitting down at the table, and Caleb slides into the seat next to me after greeting my mum as well.
"Hey honey. I'm almost done." She says, switching off the stove. "Kaden and Natalie are coming over for dinner."
Kaden was my older brother, and Natalie was his mate. They lived in a few houses down from ours, since they were mates, they got to have their own place.
Growing up, it's just been me, Kaden and my mum. I met Caleb when I was just three years old, when his family joined our pack after theirs was destroyed during the pack war, and we've been inseparable since.
My dad died during the war. He was the Beta to our pack, and he left to fight when I was eleven years old. He was a strong, kind hearted man, loved by his entire pack.
I only had vague memories with him, since he was mostly away for his pack duties. I miss him dearly.
My mom raised me and Kaden alone, with no complaint. The way my mom continued to love and be loyal to my father even when he's been gone for years now, was living proof that the mate bond created by the Moon Goddess between wolves was real.
My mother still spoke of him as the love of her life, and she grieved alone and took care of us alone, she never batted an eyelash towards another man.
The front door opens, and the footsteps were heard. Kaden appears in the doorway, his arm wrapped around Natalie.
Kaden and I basically looked like twins, although he was twenty seven, six years older to me. We both had our mom's brown hair and tall, lean bodies along with tanned skin and grey eyes inherited from our father.
"Hey squirt." Kaden wraps me in a hug, and offers Caleb a slap on the back in greeting, before going over to hug my mom.
"Natalie!" I grin, extending my arms to her and she laughs, hugging me tightly.
Natalie and Kaden have been best friends since they were young, and she was there for him when our father died. When both of them turned twenty, they discovered that they were each other's mates. It couldn't have been more perfect.
Me, on the other hand, turned twenty one a few months ago and I still haven't found my mate. He's not from this pack for sure, because if he was, I would know by now.
I wasn't big on the idea of mates. I knew they were real and true, I have two perfect examples right in my family. But I wasn't pining for my mate, or actively trying to look for him. I was sure that he would arrive when the time's right.
Kaden helps my mom set the table, and she places a big bowl of steaming shrimp alfredo pasta in the middle.
"Dig in." My mom smiles, and we didn't need to be told twice.