Chapter 1 - Confusing feelings
The moment Winter woke up her eyes lit wit fire and sparks. Today out of all days it was finally the day. She waited so long for this moment and now it was finally here. It was the day that her wolf was ready for mating.
With a bit of luck today was the day she would find her mate. Most wolves get ready for mating in the years between 18 and 25. At the exact moment everything is equal to the day they were born, from the day, the hour to the position of the moon. And tomorrow the 21st of December at precisely 3:05 the moon reaches its full form, like it did exactly 20 years ago, the day Winter was born.
Life never had been easy for Winter; she was the fourth and last child of a long list of alphas. Her being born on that exact moment only made the expectations about her power grow. Her brothers had all been born close around the full moon and they were amongst the strongest wolves know in the world.
Her oldest brother Aster had turned 25 last month and he was ready to take over the alpha position in the pack. Falco and River were 23 and 22 and they both held top positions in the pack. Only Winter was struggling to find her place.
Over the years she had become one of the best fighters in the pack but her father had never wanted for her to take on an important role in the pack. Finding her mate could change all of that. With him by her side she didn’t need to listen to her father she could set her own course and as her brother soon would take over as alpha, she hoped for a chance to prove herself.
Winter jumped in the shower and changed into a pair of black jeans and a lose pink top. While tying up the laces of her boots, she added a cardigan and walked down. As soon as she reached the pack breakfast table everyone turned silent and looked at her.
Aster slowly stood up and made way over to his sister:
“Winter you look amazing, any wolf would be lucky to have you.” He snickered and added a wink.
While Falco and River had always been attached to the hip, she and Aster had been best friends ever since she was born. He pulled the chair out next to him to take a seat.
Her father eyed everything with a look that gave Winter the chills. Breakfast was reserved for family members only and her brothers smiled warmly at her. But ever since that night her parents refused to look at their daughter.
So Winter casted her eyes down to her plate.
“So, what are your plans today?” Falco asked.
“Buying some lingerie to surprise your mate tonight?” River asked with a smile.
Winter served her brothers an eye roll.
“Seriously?” she asked.
“All preparations are made for your birthday dinner tonight. The pack is holding a small barbecue in your honour.” Aster said.
Winter smiled up at her brother, she knew that nothing would be small. The pack loved her and her brothers, they all would go the extra mile for her.
“And I do hope you find him tonight. Although I am pretty sure you will.” He added.
Winter smiled at her brother as a stack of waffles was placed in front of her. She smiled up at the cook and thanked him. She had always felt the need to be kind to everyone in the pack. Her mother used to say that that quality would make a great Luna out of her someday.
After the incident she had rarely spoken to her mother, except for a quick curtsey. She had assumed that her father hadn’t allowed it anymore and frankly she had nothing more to say to her either.
Winter felt the eyes of her father on her, she could feel how he was turning more and more angrier. He didn’t like to have any conversation but about the pack. If they were forced to eat together, then at least the time should be spent useful.
Winter felt an icy chill run over her spine and she knew what was about to happen. Suddenly her father smashed his big fist on the table. A loud bang followed and they all looked up at him. Winter could see how Aster was almost fuming at her father. She softly placed her hand over her brother’s under the table to calm him down.
“Enough of the shit chat.” Her father shouted.
“There are far more important matters to discuss.” He said stern.
“No there aren’t.” Aster coldly replied.
“It’s your only daughter’s birthday tomorrow, the moment she will find her mate. There is nothing more important than that today.” He replied.
“Don’t challenge me boy.” Her father roared.
“I think it’s time you stepped down. You are no longer fit to rule us.” Aster spat as he stood up.
Falco and River immediately backed him up.
“Aster please don’t do this today.” Winter softly whispered.
Aster looked down at his sister, his eyes filled with concern.
“I have to, I can’t stand this any longer.” He answered.
Winter’s eyes filled with worry, if the pack backed up her brother, he would become the new alpha. But if that wouldn’t happen, she didn’t want to think about the consequences.
“Set a date, but not today or not tomorrow. We will discuss this in front of the pack.” Aster said coldly to his father.
“Are you happy now?” her father spat.
Winter knew that the words were directed to her. She grabbed her plate and stood up.
“I think I let you discuss the pack business.”
She did it before her father had a chance to throw her out. Because she knew that that was one more humiliation she couldn’t stand today.
Aster’s voice popped up in her mind.
′Not today. I don’t have the energy for this. And I won’t put you in that spot.′ she answered.
As Winter walked out, she made her way over to where the pack was having dinner. As she pushed the double doors open and walked in, she felt how her mood changed. How she and her wolf relaxed.
The pack wolves were discussing all different kind of things but the ambiance was light and friendly. Her eyes landed immediately on Charlie, Aster’s best friend. He called her over and she took a seat right next to him.
“Hey.” He said as he looked her over.
“Bad breakfast?” he asked, Winter nodded.
“Want to go outside to talk about it?” Charlie asked.
“In a moment, I just want to enjoy my breakfast with the pack.” She answered.
He hugged her tight against his chest.
“I just hope I feel a lot better when I finally found my mate.”
Winter felt how Charlie tensed while holding her. He softly pressed a kiss on top of her head.
When Charlie and Winter made their way outside over towards the training grounds Aster joined them. Before he said anything, he engulfed his sister in a big hug.
“That bad?” Charlie asked.
“You have no idea.” Aster answered.
“He challenged dad.” Winter almost whispered.
“You did what?” Charlie looked perplexed at his best friend.
“I challenged him for the alpha position.”
Charlie started to laugh loudly.
“Finally, that took you long enough.” He said.
“Challenge is set for Friday.”
“So, you need to make your rounds around the pack.” Winter stated.
“Yeah and I need to work on the list with changes.” Aster added.
“Things will change around here.” He said with a smile.
Her brother had taken Charlie with him to make rounds inside the pack and to listen to people. Since Charlie was about to become Aster’s beta that made a lot of sense to Winter. All though Aster had smiled mischievously at his sister, as if he knew something she didn’t.
Winter had been practicing her fighting skills all day with the rest of the pack. She felt exhausted as she walked back over towards her room. She saw Aster and Charlie talk to some girls and felled her wolf stir inside her. It was almost as if she felt jealous of the girls Charlie was talking to.
She took a moment to admire him, she had always liked him but not in that way. Now she took her time to look closer, she felt almost attracted. He was sculped like a god. His blond hair was combed back, his short beard was trimmed to perfection.
As she was studying him, he turned around and his grey eyes crossed hers. She felt how as he looked at her, she heated up entirely. A blush crept up on her cheeks and she quickly walked away.
Winter took her time to shower and calm down from the interaction with Charlie. But her mind kept going back to the way he looked at her. She fantasized how it would feel wrapped in his big arms. Kissed hard and full of passion by his beautiful lips. Her wolf was purring inside her mind, liking those thoughts as well.
Winter took a cold shower hoping it would cool her down, there was no way Charlie was her mate, he would have said something to her this morning.
Winter took her sweet time to prepare herself for the dinner. She dried her long brown curls, put some light makeup on and sauntered over to her wardrobe. She settled for some black lace lingerie, hoping that if she would meet her mate, he would like it a lot.
She went through her closet and settled for a skin tight black dress. The back of it was deeply cut, making it elegant yet sexy. She braided her curls sideway, otherwise her back would be completely covered. She grabbed her black converses and looked at herself in the mirror. Her wolf got all exited and started to bark in her head.
Her wolf hoped that Charlie would like it as well.
′Stop it.′ Winter commanded.
′We need to find our mate; we need to focus on that.′ She said stern and her wolf whimpered a little.
As Winter made her way at the party all of the pack members she crossed greeted her politely. She took her time to talk with each and every one of them. As she saw Robin, she relaxed a bit.
Robin was Aster’s mate and Winter liked her a lot. She would become the new Luna and there was no doubt in Winter’s mind that she would do great.
“You look hot as hell.” Robin said and a blush formed on Winter’s face.
“I hope he notices it too.” She added.
“Wait what? What do you mean?”
“Nothing.” Robin chuckled excited.
“Here are my two favorite girls in the world.” Winter heard suddenly.
She felt how Aster’s big arms wrapped around her and Robin. He pressed them closer and they both smiled.
“What are you wearing?” he suddenly asked as he looked at his sister.
“A dress.” Robin replied.
“She just wants to please her mate. Don’t make a big fuss out of it.” She added.
“He will like it.” Aster replied with a big smile.
Winter studied them both for a second.
“What are you guys keeping from me?”
She felt how her wolf got more nervous inside her. They were clearly keeping something from her.
“I wanted to ask you something else, from the moment I challenged dad.”
Aster continued and Winter looked up at her brother.
“You have my support, you know that.” She answered.
“No, it’s not that.” Aster fiddled with his hands nervously.
“Just ask her already.” Robin ushered him.
“Winter Hope Whitefortis”
He took a dramatic pause and she eyed him seriously.
“I want you as my beta.”
Winter looked with open mouth at her brother.
“Wait What?” she said for the second time this evening.
“You can’t do that; Charlie is supposed to be your beta.”
They both snickered at her.
“Tonight, everything will become clear, but just consider my question.”
Winter looked over around the pack and right in that moment Charlie looked right at her. His eyes darkened instantly as he saw her and Winter felt how a blush appeared on her face. He was talking to a long beautiful blonde pack member. She clearly wanted him, touching his chest and his arms every now and then.
Winter’s wolf started to pace in her head, why was she so affected by what Charlie was doing? Why did she notice him all off a sudden? Winter’s eyes went over his body, his darkened grey eyes, his beautiful torso, his long-muscled arms and they stopped at the bulge in his pants.
Instinctively she liked her lips and she cursed herself for not being able to contain herself. As Charlie saw what she did his jaw clenched and his eyes almost bored themselves into hers.
Her wolf was so excited to walk over towards Charlie, that Winter felt no other option than to do so. His eyes roamed freely over her body and she felt his hunger on her. Her wolf almost purred from excitement in her head.
And then it all stopped, Charlie took a step forward and kissed the blonde full on. Winter felt how she and her wolf were taken aback by his gesture. She didn’t know what to do, she felt so confused. Her wolf wanted to rip the blonde apart. Winter saw no option other than to take off and run.