Chapter One - Human Attendent
“This is a bad idea,” I warn Anya, my best friend, as she climbs up the rickety ladder to our old treehouse. We hadn’t been here in a few years and now all of a sudden she was feeling sentimental and wanted to come back here. I heard the suspicious creaking of the ladder and watched her with an eyebrow raised. “I can’t wait to see you fall.” I chuckle, crossing my arms over my chest.
“Whatever,” Anya said back and although I couldn’t see her face because her blond curls were blocking my view, I could bet her face was red as a tomato. The last time she had fallen off the ladder she broke her arm. “I’m not gonna-”
As if struck with ironic luck, the step she was on snapped and sent her tumbling. Panic pang through my chest and made my wolf surface as I instantly was by her side to catch her before she fell. I pushed my wolf back as I looked Anya over terror stricken face. Although I know she would have survived the fall, I always felt protective over her. She was only human, and she was one of the most clumsy people I know.
“You’re welcome,” I say to her as I put her on the ground. She looked up to the treehouse and frowned.
“Thanks,” she grumbled, crossing her arms over her chest. “I really wanted to go in there and see what I left behind. We’re gonna have to get an actual ladder and climb up there…” she trailed off before her face lit up and she looked over at me. I could see the gears turning in her head and I knew I wouldn’t like it. “Could you give me a boost?”
I gave her a scoff and looked at her like she was crazy, “The ladder literally just snapped from underneath you, what makes you think the actual tree house will hold up?” If she wants to look in there this bad, we can get a ladder and come back. I trust that more than the structural integrity of the treehouse.
“Please, Rory,” Anya begged, giving me a sad look, “there could be so much cool stuff up there! Think about the momentos, or the posters- ooh! I bet that’s where my One Direction cd’s went!” She droned on excitedly, but her voice was cut off as I received a group mindlink from the Alpha.
‘Everyone between the ages of 17 and 20 make their way to the Dining Hall for an emergency meeting.’ Alpha Christian said through the link before it was cut off.
I blinked and my eyes adjusted to see Anya staring at me intently. “Who mindlinked you?” She asked in awe as she stared at me in amazement. It took little to ‘wow’ her, and she was always very intrigued about my species.
“The Alpha, he said there’s an emergency meeting for some of the pack members,” I tell her, wondering what it could be about. Probably preparing us for our mentors. I’ll either be paired up with my brother or my dad. “Come on, we can figure out the treehouse later.” I say and start walking off and she is in tow beside me.
“Am I allowed to come to the meeting?” She asked excitedly as we walked through the woods that divided my pack and the edge of her backyard. I thought about her question and shrugged. Alpha Christian had always had a soft spot for humans. He was about as intrigued about them as Anya was about us.
He probably wouldn’t mind. “He said everyone between 17 and 20, and you’re 17 so that includes you,” I told her with a nod. I love using loopholes.
“I love coming to these things!” She said with a squeal as we continued on our way. She came with me to most of the meetings I went to. We were constantly hanging out, and I’ve found she is one of the only people I can truly trust. “I wonder what it’ll be about. Maybe it has something to do with Grant? What if they’re trying to find someone to imprint-”
I let out a loud laugh as we walked into a field that led towards our pack
building. “Yeah right,” I scoffed at what she said. “I’m pretty sure they know he’ll probably never settle down.” Grant Whittaker, the next Alpha of our pack, also was the biggest player of our generation. When he took the mantle as Alpha, I worried he would mess it up. “I think it’s about our mentors. We’re getting to a point where the next Alpha and his Court will be chosen.”
“So, will you be working with Damon? Or your dad?” Anya asked as we walked across the field. I could see other young teen pack members piling into the Dining Hall.
“They’ll decide for me, but I hope I’m with dad,” I mumble to her, feeling my stomach knot in irritation. After the last conversation I had with my brother, I needed a little time to cool down. Before I could think about it for too long, I changed the topic. “I think I’ll be ready for my Beta training. That work is nothing compared to that of the Alpha.”
“Of course you think it’s difficult, it’s a man’s job,” Grant’s arrogant voice sounded from behind me and I rolled my eyes, but tried to pay him no mind. He was trying to get a rouse out of me, but I didn’t wanna give him that satisfaction. “You know, it’s disrespectful to ignore your future Alpha.” He caught up beside me and I didn’t have to look at him to know he had a cocky smirk on his lips.
“You’re not my Alpha yet,” I tell him, shooting him a simple glare. Grant used to be a decent kid, until his first shift. Because our parents worked alongside each other, we would play a lot as children. Now, he’s an asshole that only wants to get his dick wet. “Besides, respect is earned, not given.”
He dropped his head close to my ear, “You seemed to respect me a few months ago,” he said with a chuckle and I scoffed, jerking my head away from him.
“Don’t sound too proud of yourself, Grant. I’ve had better,” I tell him and I hear Anya let a little gasp from beside me. Unlike him, I didn’t care to be quiet about it. If he was going to bring up the past, then I would tell the real truth about it.
“I didn’t know you two…” Anya awkwardly trailed off as we made our way closer to the Dining Hall. Why couldn’t we just be there already?
“You said you didn’t wanna hear about my mating partners,” I told her, and it was true. After the first time I told her, she didn’t like the fact I was doing it and I wasn’t in a committed relationship. However, it’s different for werewolves. When a female is on her heating cycle, the only thing that helps is sex. Sure, it can be a romantic thing, but for our species it’s needed more than just that.
“Yeah, but Grant!” She said in a high pitched voice, which made Grant chuckle. “I never would have thought you two would ever… y’all are just such a weird duo.”
“I was on my heat and I was drunk, I would have slept with anyone,” I groaned, wanting this conversation to be over with. It shouldn’t matter if it was with Grant or not. He was there and I was in need. It’s not like I’m gonna court the guy.
“You tell yourself that, but I remember the way you were screaming my name. Deny it all you want, but I know we’ll fuck again-” Grant started saying and I let out a growl, bringing my wolf forward as I turned to him. As angry as I was, my wolf was fond of his. They always had gotten along.
“Grant, I’m finished talking about it. Like you said, it was months ago. So, drop it.” I give him a hard look, and he stares back at me, his wolf flashing in his eyes. His body heat radiated off of him and I could tell he was trying to intimidate me with his powers. A thin layer of fire surrounded his body, blocking him from my touch.
Though his powers were strong and very damaging, they were no match compared to mine. I would risk burns to my hands, but with one touch of mine I would be able to make him see his worst nightmares. My powers allowed me to make people see what I want them to. It’s a hard thing to practice, because no one wants to play guinea pig to my affinity.
“Come on, Rory,” Anya tugged on my arm, breaking me from my thoughts. “Let’s get to the meeting.” I was ready to get myself burned to prove him wrong, and I’m sure she could tell what I was gonna do.
I calmed myself and let her pull me to the entrance of the Dining Hall. In a way, she was like my conscience. I could hear Grant calling from behind us, but we hurried inside before he could catch up. He would need to stand outside for a moment to cool down and let his fire distinguish before he could come inside.
In the Dining Hall there were most of the other teen pack members already in there, talking amongst each other. My eyes went to the small stage on the far wall, where Alpha Christian stood beside his wife and someone else whom I didn’t recognize.
As if reading my mind, Anya spoke up, “Who’s that lady up there with Alpha Christian?”
I shrugged and looked the lady up and down. She wore a fancy attire that I didn’t know how to explain; it was almost otherworldly. Her hair was pinned back in a braid and she wore a silver emblem pin on her left breast. The symbol looked almost familiar, but I can’t place where I’ve seen it before.
“I don’t know, but she looks important,” I murmured to Anya quietly. Anyone around us would be able to hear us, but there was too much chatter and commotion for them to hear us from over here. “I don’t think she’s from this country, I’ve never seen anything like what she’s wearing.” The best way to describe it is a dark red dress with a cape. She stuck out on the stage like a sore thumb, and I could tell Anya and I weren’t the only one’s wondering who she was.
Around us I could hear whispers to one another about who she was. Everyone was curious why we were called here and what did it have to do with this lady. This probably wasn’t about our mentor training then. What could it be?
“What if Grant IS imprinting on someone?” Anya siad and I raised an eyebrow, looking at the girl. She had head held high and her hands clasped in front of her. She didn’t seem like the kind of girl Grant would go for, but then again he went for me too.
“Well, this’ll be a sight to see,” I murmur and although I doubt it, I ponder if they were imprinting. If they were, and if she were an Alpha, that meant we might be joining packs with another pack. This would be very interesting.
Grant was the final person to join before Alpha Christian began. “Young pack members, we have a member of the Wolfsbane Pack joining us today with an exciting opportunity. This is Lola Coleman and she’ll be explaining.” Alpha Christian stepped back and the girl - Lola - stepped forward. Once he had mentioned the Wolfsbane Pack, everyone’s ears perked up.
The Wolfsbane Pack is the most powerful pack in the world. It held society of the Lycan breed, the very first of our kind. Although, most of us referred to them as the Legendary 13.
“Hello,” Lola had a wide smile on her face as she looked around at everyone. I had a feeling she was judging us. “The academy at Wolfsbane is recruiting new members, and this pack along with two others were chosen. You all will have to go through a five day screening, each day dedicated to different objectives.” The murmur of others around us got louder, many of them excited with this offer from the Wolfsbane Pack. Even Anya was nearly bouncing up and down beside me.
“Do you think they’ll remember us?” Anya whispered excitedly into my ear and I let out a little groan as she reminded me that we had visited the Wolfsbane Pack once. More correctly, we visited the Council Meeting House. I was 12 when I had gone and it was because I had exposed myself to Anya as a werewolf, which was a big no-no in our society.
“Definitely not, I barely remember them, it was so long ago,” I tell her, not really wanting to think about it either. It had been such a scary moment, being judged in court by one of the Lycans. I’m not sure who it was, but I remember it was a woman. They let me off easy, on the fact that it had been my first ever shift and Anya swore a blood oath to never speak about it.
“Many of you will not make it, but everyone is required to go through all of the trials. It’ll take the mentors maybe a week or two to go over everyones trials, so after you return from Wolfsbane Academy and on the slight chance you were accepted, you’ll hear between that time from your Alpha,” Lola guestured towards Alpha Christian, “here. With that said, are there any questions?”
Numerous people began shouting questions at Lola, but my attention was turned to Anya. “Should we ask her if I can come?”
I gave her a bewildered look, “What do you mean ‘if you can come’? Anya, it’s gonna be seriously dangerous over there, it’s no place for a human.” I told her quietly and although a look of hurt flashed over her face, I gave her a serious look. “Lycan’s are different from werewolves. Their wolf is more in control of the decision, and if something were to happen and one were to get angry, you wouldn’t be able to protect yourself.”
“I won’t make any of them mad, I promise! I just really want to be there, I want to see the Legendary 13,” Anya said in awe. I opened my mouth to comment, but she beat me to it, “and meeting them when I was young doesn’t count. I didn’t know anything about them!”
That was true. After the trial was when Anya and I became extremely close and I opened up to her about our history. She was a fan of the Legendary 13, the 13 Lycans who fought the Gods from banishing the werewolf race. Now, there were only seven Lycan’s left. I do wish she would be able to come, because I’m sure she would enjoy the trip more than me. She would know more about the history and culture of werewolves than me at this point-
“Like, what if I'm one of their mates?” Her words made me narrow my eyes towards her.
“That’s the reason you wanna come? I thought you wanted to come for the history, not the dick,” I scoffed and her face flamed up, knowing that people around us could hear me. Though, no one was paying us any mind. “Anastasia, you have really bad ideas, but that was your worst one yet. Lycan’s don’t let their mates have any power. They are possessive and jealous, and they are going to expect to change you.”
Despite my words, she still had a happily glazed look over her face. “Yeah, it’s so romantic. They have one person destined for them; a soul perfect for them and their wolf.” I hated how optimistic she was about this. She saw red flags and went right for them. “It’s different for you; werewolves don’t have that soul mate-”
“Yeah, we have the choice of our mates,” I told her, which was a lot better than what the Lycan’s had in my opinion. “You get to build a bond with that person and actually truly love them, not some destined bullshit.” My words had no effect on her. I sigh, “I’m pretty sure all of the Lycan’s have found their mates.”
Her look of elation deflated and she now looked saddened. “Really?” She said in a small voice. I wasn’t certain, but it felt right. The Lycan’s were thousands of years old, so it was unlikely that they hadn’t met their mates by now.
Before I could say anything, a female voice interrupted us. “I thought I smelled a human.”
We both looked up to see the member of the Wolfsbane Pack, Lola, standing in front of us. She had her gaze focused on Anya in awe and wonder, though she looked pristine and proper in her stance.
“I’m Anas-” Anya began to introduce herself but Lola cut her off.
“She’s adorable, is she yours?” Lola said, ignoring Anya, as she turned to look at me.
I blinked, not understanding her question. “Do you… are you asking if she’s my daughter?” I asked slowly, not sure what to say.
Lola let out a laugh and shook her head, “No, is the human your attendant?” She said, as if that were any less confusing. Obviously she could tell by the look on my face that I didn’t know what she meant. “We have a lot of human attendants in the Wolfsbane Village, but there’s not as many at the academy.”
This made me raise my eyebrows. “What do the attendants do?”
“Well, for those who can afford them, they usually help with chores or studying.” Lola shrugged, “though, most of ours don’t talk. They have a charm for that, so that they won’t spill the secrets of our species. You should look into that.” She gave Anya a look.
I don’t think I like her. “You charm your humans?” I ask incredulously, feeling there was no way I was hearing her right. That seemed immoral, and close to slavery. I glanced at Anya and she had her lips pursed and looked a little pale.
“Yes, with their permission, of course,” Lola said as if it were nothing. “Humans will do anything for payment. Plus, it’s not permanent, it’s just until they do the blood ceremony.”
“Oh, I’ve done the blood ceremony,” Anya said in a sigh of relief. “So, I was her attendant, could I come during the week trials?”
Anya had more balls than I would at this moment. “I don’t see why not, I’ll just have to let the High Priestess know that you’ll be attending for…” Lola looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
“Aurora Jackson,” I said quietly, not liking the sound of my full name. It was too long in my opinion.
“I’ll let her know that you’ll be attending for Aurora,” Lola said with a nod and I had a feeling she wasn’t used to talking to humans. “If there aren’t anymore questions, I’ll head back to-”
“When is the week of trials?” Anya asked suddenly and I sent her a look. This was a question she could ask Alpha Christian.
“It starts next Monday.” Lola said, allowing the irritation to show in her voice before she walked away. Yeah, I didn’t like her.
“Next Monday!” Anya gasped out in excitement and she looked at me. “I’ve gotta get my stuff packed- I have to let my parents know I’ll be gone!” She said suddenly and looked like her mind was racing on what she was going to bring with her.
I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I was a pack-the-day-before type of person.