My ears perk up as a gentle knock sounds from my bedroom door. Rubbing my hand over my face and stretching out like a cat, I start to flutter my eyelids open, only to quickly clamp them shut again and groan as the light seeping in through my curtains instantly stings my sleepy eyes.
“Miss Lily, breakfast will be served in 30 minutes.” The soothing voice of our housekeeper comes from the other side of the door.
I hastily glance at the tiny screen of my alarm clock sitting on the bedside table. It is already 7:30 in the morning, making me ALMOST late for breakfast.
“Thank you, Miriam,” I croak out. “I will be right down.”
Miriam lingers a little while longer in the hallway before she talks again. “Alpha Leonidas asked me to remind you of tonight’s formal dinner," she says although it sounded more like a question.
I scrunch my face up and try to remember which dinner she is referring to.
"The one with Shadow Creek Pack.” Her voice seeps into the room again, sounding neutral.
“Oh, yes. Thank you, Miriam. Will you lay my black off-shoulder dress out for me?” I ask her, already excited for tonight’s festivities.
“Of course, Miss,” she answers and walks down the hall, probably on her way to my brother Axel’s room.
Axel and I are twins. We share a few similar characteristics, both in appearance and personality. This is probably why we are so close.
We both have straight, golden blonde hair, paired with light, baby-blue eyes and fair skin. Axel usually wears his hair in a low-maintenance, Buzz Cut, with short, neatly trimmed hair along the sides of his head and slightly longer, messier hair on top, usually earning him multiple second glances from the ladies.
Our older brother, Cassius, is only two years older than us. Because he recently turned 18, he has already started his Alpha training with my father - the current Alpha of Hollow Stone. Cassius is the first-born son of Alpha Leonidas and Luna Eleanor, my parents, making him the heir and future Alpha of Hollow Stone.
Because of our bloodline, we are all expected to partake in extensive combat training from the early age of twelve years. Being part of the Alpha’s household makes us instant targets; therefore, we need to be able to defend ourselves and our pack. Thus, we all adhere to a strict training schedule consisting of combat training, endurance training and self-defense.
Still lying lazily in bed, daydreaming about meeting our friends from Shadow Creek tonight, Axel barges into my room without even knocking and falls down onto my bed right next to me.
“You are going to be late for breakfast,” Axel chimes in a teasing tone, pointing his index finger at me.
“Nah, I won’t,” I snort. “How long does it take to throw on a clean shirt and some shorts?” I reply mockingly.
“Well, depends on how many clean shirts and shorts you try on before finding the right one,” he teases again cocking his brow at me.
I repeatedly poke him hard in the ribs with my finger. “Aren’t you a smarty pants so early in the morning?”
“At least I have picked out a pair of pants!” he jokes back, still chuckling. With that, I abruptly push him off the bed and listen to his body landing on the floor with a loud thud. Muffling my giggle, I peer over the side of the bed and give him a cocky smile before throwing off my blankets and sauntering to my own private bathroom.
I look in the mirror and splash some ice-cold water on my face trying to rid myself of the last signs of sleepiness.
“You know, mom and dad, along with most of the other Alphas, will be at the provincial meeting all of next week,” Axel casually says, leaning on the doorframe with his arms crossed over his chest.
I just give him a quick glance in the mirror and a smirk in return. I know all too well what he is getting at. Then, without being able to help myself, a goofy smile stretches over my face, and I can hear Axel snickering at my expense from behind.
“You can inform lover boy tonight,” he says suggestively with a wink and a wiggle of his eyebrows.
I quickly finish wiping the last remaining drops of water from my face before jokingly throwing the towel at him and briskly walking out of the bathroom.
Grabbing a dark blue casual t-shirt and a pair of ripped denim shorts from my closet, I turn to see a very mischievous looking Axel tapping the watch on his wrist mockingly.
“Like I said, late for breakfast!” he yells whilst quickly walking out of the room and heading to the dining hall.
“Damn,” I mutter under my breath, throwing my clothes on and rushing out of the room.
On my way to the dining hall, I swiftly put my hair up in a messy bun, taking the stairs two steps at a time.
Mom is going to kill me.
As soon as I step into the hall my eyes fall on our table immediately, spotting my brothers and mother already seated and waiting for me.
Even from across the room, I can see my mom looking pretty annoyed.
Although she is clearly agitated by my lack of punctuality, she keeps her composure in front of the pack members already seated and waiting on my arrival.
The rest of the tables around the hall are also filled. Everybody is eyeing me and waiting for me to sit down. It is customary for the Alpha’s household to receive their food first before anybody else are allowed to start eating.
I hurry through the hall, making sure to keep my head down and swiftly pull out a chair next to Cassius. My mother glares at me for a second before gracefully standing up and lifting her chin.
“Proceed.” Her melodic voice is laced with authority as she addresses everybody in the room.
As soon as she sits down, the loud sounds of chatter and the clinking of cutlery can be heard throughout the hall. Axel looks at me from across the table and snickers under his breath.
“A future Luna never leaves her pack waiting,” my mother says coldly without looking up from her plate.
I just stare at her wide-eyed, not knowing what to say in return.
“Cassius, how is your shoulder feeling this morning?” my mother asks, finally looking up from her plate and changing the subject. Her expression is void of emotion as she waits for his answer.
“Feeling much better, thank you, Mom. Nothing that a good night’s rest and a warm bath can’t fix,” he replies, giving her a charming smile.
Cassius dislocated his shoulder yesterday during a training session, but thanks to our fast healing as werewolves, it should already be fully healed and pain-free.
Werewolves, like us, usually live in small communities called packs. Every pack has an Alpha, who is considered the leader of the pack. In this case, my father. To be a strong and worthy Alpha, one must be from an Alpha bloodline.
In a pack, we see each of the members as family and all decisions are made to benefit the welfare of the pack as a whole. This is usually the job of the Alpha and Luna. A Luna is the mate of the Alpha, kind of like the ‘Queen’ of the pack.
Because I am a female from an Alpha bloodline, there is a very good chance that I will one day be paired up with an Alpha from another pack, making me the Luna of that pack.
Knowing this, my mother is constantly trying to educate me in ‘the ways of a proper Luna’, although I am only sixteen and not completely ready for that role just yet.
It is unheard of for a Luna to be paired up with an Alpha before the age of eighteen, leaving me two more years to fix up my act and start acting like the lady they expect me to be.
The rest of breakfast goes by without any further incidents. After breakfast, Cassius, Axel and I go to our rooms to change into our training attire before starting with our daily training program.