It was the day of my birthday. I wasn't really looking forward to it like everyone else in my pack. Generally everyone can start finding their mates at seventeen. I didn't have much hope. My wolf never showed up when she was supposed to. Claire and my brother are mates and have planned on marking one another.
I was genuinely happy for them both, even if my relationship to my brother was strained. I wish I knew a way to rebuild it. That way we could all hangout together without all the awkwardness. If I could have one birthday wish it would be for my family to be back together.
I went for a walk through the woods. It was nice out and the sun felt nice and warm against my skin. That's when I smelled it, the most wonderful smell I have ever smelled in my entire life. Pine filled my nostrils and I made my way to where the scent was coming from. I few hundred feet later I saw him.
No freaking way.. Why Moon Goddess, why?! My tormentor? The future Alpha of our pack Crest Moon, Ryder? I watched him as he was training. I watched his muscles flexing and sweat dripping down his body. I bit my bottom lip and slowly kept walking towards him.
He was training in an open field around him and he suddenly froze in place. I froze in my spot, my heart beating crazy in my chest. I could tell he sniffed the air and turned to me. "Mate?" He said but it was more confusing as if he couldn't understand or believe it. He walked over to me and stood over me, I could see him fighting internally with his wolf.
"What a sick joke. You are my chosen mate? No thanks!" He shoved me back and I saw his eyes flash black. It was his wolf fighting for control over him. He closed his eyes and when he opened them they were back to their normal shade of brown.
"You have got to be kidding me, right? A wolfless weakling as my mate? What a sick and twisted joke!" He laughed at me and I felt myself shrinking away from him.
I don't know what I expected from this? It's not like he would suddenly change his ways and love me. I am so stupid to think I would have a chance at peace and happiness. Tears formed and rimmed my eyes and he continued to speak.
"You will never be Luna of this pack. We need someone who can shift and be strong and help protect the pack! You couldn't even protect your own mother! How could anyone expect you to help protect the pack!? You are worthless! I, future Alpha of Crest Moon, Ryder Cunningham reject you Avalynn Jennings as my Mate and my future Luna of Crest Moon."
I felt my heart break and shatter into a million pieces. Tears broke free and streamed down my face. He grabed me up and pulled me to his level. His hands were gripping into my arms.
"Accept the rejection Avalynn! Now!" He shook me and I felt a powerful force over me making me comply.
"I, Avalynn Jennings of Crest Moon Pack accept your rejection as your mate and future Luna." I cried out. I was heartbroken.
He dropped me on the ground and I crumbled at his feet. He leaned down, gripping a handful of my hair to lift my head back to look at him. "You will never speak of this again to anyone. This never happened! Do you understand?"
I nodded my head "Yes, I understand." He let me go and I laid there hurt crying to myself.
"If you tell anyone, I will dispose of your worthless self. You're lucky my father is so gracious to let you stay here. I will ban you from the pack as soon as I become Alpha." He dusted himself off and walked away.
How was I able to feel the pull of the mate bond without a wolf? I don't understand how the Moon Goddess can be so loving to everyone else but me. What did I do to deserve such hatred from everyone? "Why?!"I cried out.
I laid in the field as the sun shone above, regardless of the warming promises of tomorrow my heart was shattering. I was officially broken inside. I laid and cried, really and truly cried for the first time since my mother's death. I laid there with out a care of who could hear or see how pathetic I truly was. It was getting dark and I finally decided to make my way back home.
When I crossed over the walking bridge across the river I stood there and looked down the river bend towards the waterfall.
I shook my head and got the nasty thought out of my head and walked back to my home. When I opened the door Claire practically knocked me down in a hug. I wrapped an arm around her and returned the hug. I looked across and my brother sat there playing his video game.
"Where were you all day? We had plans to go shopping and get our hair done. Oh.. Ava, have you been crying?" She held me out at arms length to look at me.
"Its nothing I just fell, maybe sprained my wrist but I'm fine now." I halfway smiled as she let me go. "I'm sorry I missed today, I'm not really a glitzy and shopping person anyway."
"Its fine your brother has taken it upon himself to cook all of us steaks, with baked potatoes, broccoli, and house salads!" She beamed as she looked over at him. "Oh and I made you a cake too!" She drug me into the kitchen and showed me the cake.
I really didn't deserve someone like her as a friend. I don't know what I would do or where I would be without her. She's been here with me through it all and I am so very thankful to the Moon Goddess for her, even if she gave me the short end of the stick with everything else.
I sat down on the stool at the island and chatted with Claire. She talked about Josh and how he's doing much better. I haven't sat down and actually had dinner with him for over a year. Let alone him actually cooking dinner.
Josh entered the kitchen and kissed Claire on the cheek before moving over to the steaks that were resting on the counter. We watched him prep them with salt and fresh cracked pepper. He dipped the potatoes in butter and rolled them in salt before he wrapped them up in aluminum foil. He had already prepped the broccoli and had it in the steam pot.
He placed the potatoes in the oven and set the timer to forty-five minutes. He opened up the fridge and took a soda. He handed Claire a diet soda and handed me a regular soda.
"Thank you." I popped the top looking at him.
He turned to look back at me and gave me a firm and tight smile with a slight nod. "You're welcome." He said quietly and walked outside.
I imagine he was getting the grill ready to go. I slowly sipped the soda and admired my cake. "What flavor is it?" I motioned to the cake.
"Oh its a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting." She smiled at me.
"Well it's beautiful and looks absolutely tasty." I smiled at her.
"It didn't take me long to do. I did the frosting while the cakes cooled down. Once they were cool I put the layer of icing on, called a crumb coat. Then I tossed it in your big freezer before putting the second layer on and making those designs." She was so proud of her cake.
I was very proud for her, she has a hidden talent and she should be proud of herself. "You should be very proud of yourself for this. Did you take a photo of your beautiful creation?"
"I did and I will post it later." She smiled.
Josh came in and started the broccoli, picked up the steaks, and walked outside to cook them. He timed everything perfectly as it was all done at the same time.
I took a bite out of my steak and it melted in my mouth. It was the best thing I have ate in a long while. "Josh, this is delicious. Thank you." I smiled over to him.
He looked at me and actually smiled back at me. "You're welcome Ava. I.. I am sorry for how I've been absent recently. I'm just having a hard time. First dad then mom and I guess you were an easy target. I figured the Moon Goddess was punishing you? I don't know." He sighed and dropped his eye contact from me.
Tears formed in my eyes and I smiled at him. Claire was chowing down and with a mouth full of food as she smiled the best she could. I knew that this was her doing, giving my brother the push he needed.
I watched as Claire leaned against Josh and finished chewing her food. "Thanks for cooking babe, it's delicious."
He kissed the top of her head and the rest of dinner was ate in silence. Not an awkward drug out silence but for once in a long time, a comfortable one.
As I ate I felt a longing ache in my heart. The dinner with Claire and my brother was a happy distraction but that's all it would be. I watched them both, so in love with one another. I sighed quietly as I pushed the remainder of my food on my plate around. I felt tears forming in my eyes and I quickly blinked and pushed them back. I didn't want them to notice anything was wrong.