"I can't believe he's making you do that!" she yells at me. I roll my eyes to the heavens. "I know, I am well aware that you are opposed to this but I can't keep living like this!" I yell back. I do not like to shout. But sometimes it is the only way to get the message across. Especially when people do not listen. "Jasmine do not shout at me, I am your sister!" my sister shouts. I chuckle to myself, oh the irony. "Listen, Kamila, I will not sit back and stay in the packhouse forever. I need to get out there and live my life a little and this is the perfect opportunity to let me do that," I try explaining to her. Ever since our father has been introducing new ideas and responsibilities to me there has been a lot of arguing in this house. But this is exactly what I want. Some freedom. "Look, I understand. You want to be free. You want to get out of this city for once. But you are the eldest daughter of the Alpha Supreme and it just isn't that simple," she explains to me. I have heard it all before. I am too precious, too pretty, too fragile. There are hundreds of excuses under the sun to keep me locked away in this house forever, but finally, I have an excuse to leave. "It is not like I will be alone," I begin to negotiate. "I will always have security with me. Plus mother will be joining me too. She knows how to fight just as well as the guards do," I elaborate my argument. Kamila scoffs. "I know you can fight and I know you will be protected, but it is not worth the risk. What if something happens to you? What if something goes wrong?" she questions with her arms crossed firmly across her body. I sigh. There is very little point in arguing with this woman. She is just like my mother, incredibly overprotective and stubborn. "It is not your job to decide what happens to me. Father and I have both agreed that now is a good time for me to start doing some royal duties outside of our pack land. It's not like I am going far either. This is ally territory, I will be in no danger," I explain. And that's that. I am no longer participating in this fight. I have spent enough time trying to convince my father to let me do this, I am not going to spend time convincing my sister the same.
"I'm going to go start getting ready for tomorrow. If you are so worried, come and join me. If not, don't. I really do not care at this stage. I just need to be free. I need to live a little. I need to meet new people," I explain to her with passion in my voice. "Like your mate?" she asks with a raised eyebrow. I pause for a moment. "Maybe," I say with a small smile on my face. "If I stay here all the time I am never going to meet him," I point out. Kamila chuckles. "Now I understand why you want to get out of here so badly," she says with a huge smile on her face. "Just promise me this, be safe. Do not do anything that will put you in danger. We need you. I need you," she states. I mirror her smile back at her. "I promise I will be careful," I say and we lock our pinky fingers together followed by a long, firm sisterly hug. Once we break away from our embrace I give her one last smile before disappearing into the hallways of the packhouse to get ready for the night. Tomorrow is a big day. My father has finally agreed to let me go to the neighbouring pack for a public relations event. My father has been very busy lately with some top-secret dilemmas that he doesn't even share with my mother. As a result, he does not have as much time for smaller events such as this one, giving me the perfect opportunity to show him that I am ready to be out in the public eye. I am 21 now and have spent all my life preparing to be the perfect Luna one day. I will be the greatest leader the Supreme pack has ever had. I just need to prove myself. Only a few things stand in my way of becoming a Luna, not having a mate is one of them.
I do my usual nighttime routine. Brush my hair, take a shower, brush my teeth. All the boring stuff. Just as I am ready to get into bed I hear my mother's voice from outside my room. "Jasmine, are you awake?" she calls loudly. "Yes, come in!" I shout clearly so she can hear me. "I am sorry to keep you up this late, I just wanted to come in and finalize the details of tomorrow before the morning," she tells me. I smile at her with an excited look on my face. She knows just how important this adventure is for me. I do not want to let anybody down. "How do you feel? Are you ready for your first event?" she asks me. I nod. "As ready as I will ever be. It is going to be perfect," I assure her. My mother sits beside me on my bed. "I was just speaking to your father about tomorrow. He does not have time to come talk to you himself today but he will meet with you first thing tomorrow morning," she begins. "Naturally we are all concerned for your safety but both parties involved in the event have improved security. Your father has also hired an outside team for extra security. Some of the highest trained wolves in the country are coming tomorrow to ensure your safety. I would not worry about that if I were you. You can relax and focus on the event. As you already know networking plays a huge part in the werewolf community, especially as a future Luna of the Supreme pack. I need you to speak to as many Alphas and heirs as possible, but make sure you pay enough attention to each one. Engage in conversation with each person who engages with you, but avoid speaking to too many people at once to avoid being rude," she goes on to give me a lot more information about how to behave at the event. It all seems so overwhelming. There are so many rules, so many tips and so many things to remember.
"Your father will meet you for breakfast tomorrow before you begin getting ready for the event. After that, we have a whole team ready to prepare you for the event. People responsible for your clothes, make-up, hair, and accessories," she tells me. I am one lucky girl. All these people working hard to make me look my best. If I do not find my mate tomorrow I will be devastated. Imagine it, I look the best I ever have and I find my mate who will instantly fall in love with my beauty. Like something out of a fairy tale. I wonder what he looks like. I bet he is kind. "Do you agree?" I hear my mother say, snapping me out of my daydream. "Yes, absolutely," I say nodding. I am unsure what she said but I know from experience that agreeing with her is the best option. "Great, I won't keep you any longer. I will let you get your night's rest before your big day. I am very excited for us to do this together and I am very proud of you for agreeing to do it on such short notice. You will make a fantastic Luna one day," she states and kisses the top of my head. "I am learning from the best," I say and give her a big smile. "Goodnight, I will see you tomorrow when you are all glammed up," she says before leaving my room, closing the door behind her.
I lay back on my soft queen-sized bed and make myself comfortable. I will find it very hard to sleep tonight from all the excitement for tomorrow. Getting all dressed up, meeting so many important people, my first formal event in a royal role, potentially meeting my mate. It is all so exciting for me. I lay in the dark for what feels like over an hour before drifting off to a night of broken sleep. I cannot contain my nerves and excitement. I really hope that everything goes to plan.
The next morning I am woken by the sound of bells as per usual. Except for this time it is significantly earlier and I am quickly greeted by a swarm of people from the packhouse. "Good morning ma'am I hope you slept well," says one of the maids who opens the blinds in my bedroom, allowing light to flood into the room. I stretch in my bed and yawn before coming to my senses. "What time is it?" I question, rolling over and checking my phone. 5 am on the dot. I would do anything for another hour of sleep. "I have prepared some clothes for you to wear for breakfast with the Alpha, the perp crew will arrive in an hour which gives you plenty of time to discuss all the plans with your father," says the maid. I watch as one of our butlers places a perfectly ironed set of clothes on my bed frame. "We will give you a few minutes to get ready, once you are with the Alpha we will set up your room to help you prepare for the event," she informs me. "Thank you, Helen," I say as she continues to straighten up my room for me. That woman is amazing, she is so good at her job and I can tell she really cares about my family. I scroll through my phone for a few minutes trying to find some information about tonight's event. But all I can find are articles about rumours of me going to the event. My father has not officially announced my attendance to the press to protect me from any unwanted visitors. But information always gets out somehow.
"Good morning father," I greet as I enter the dining hall. My father is sitting at the end of a long table with a plate full of food and a newspaper before him. This is his usual morning routine. "Good morning Jasmine, how did you sleep?" he asks me, placing his newspaper down on the table to give me his full attention, "I slept okay, I am very excited about the event," I tell him as I take a seat beside him. "I am glad you are excited, we all are," he assures me and takes a spoon full of his cereal. I look down to find a bowl of cereal that has already been prepared for me, a jug of fresh milk on the side to stop the cereal from getting soggy. I hate soggy cereal. "I take it that your mother has already discussed the additional security with you yesterday," my father states. "Yes, she mentioned that you and the other Alpha have hired some external security," I mention. My father laughs. "You must refer to the other Alpha by his name, Philip," he corrects me. I apologize. "Your mother is correct, I have hired a few personal security members to stay with you during the event. They are the best-trained men in the area, many of them are future Alphas so make sure you maintain your manners and professionalism," he reminds me. I chuckle. "Of course, I will. I have trained for this all my life," I remind him. He smiles. We enjoy our breakfast together while discussing every single detail of the event. I am slightly overwhelmed but I am confident that things will go smoothly. They have to.
After dinner, I am escorted to my room which is now packed with people. They have set up additional lights in the room to allow for better lighting when doing my hair and makeup. A long zipped up black bag is hung up on my door. I think it is my outfit. I can't wait to see what it looks like. "Welcome gorgeous," greets a man with a suit on. "My name is Ray and I am responsible for your look today. I have a fantastic vision which will make you the best-dressed person at this event," he informs me. "I look forward to seeing your magic at work," I state and shake his hand. He seems to be very pleased with my words as he guides me to my chair. I sit down and three people crowd around me like bees crowd around their queen. One person inspects my skin, checking its type, texture and condition. Another person pulls my long blonde hair out of its bun and runs it down my back, running their hands through each strand to inspect it further. A third person compares different colour pallets to my tanned skin and green eyes trying to match the best colour pallet for my complexion. Then they start working their magic, starting with make-up, a bronze look with a touch of blush to add colour to my face, long lashes and some highlighter to add some dimension and glam. My hair is curled down my back with a few strategic plaits placed around the top of my head resembling a crown made from hair, pinning loose strands out of my face to reveal it as much as possible. It takes a few hours to get every detail right but when everything is done I barely recognize myself. "I look incredible," I gasp when I finally see my reflection in the mirror. This has certainly boosted my confidence. All I need now is the dress. The part I am most excited about.
"Are you ready to see the dress?" Ray asks. I almost jump out of my chair in excitement. "Of course, what do you have for me?" I question. I follow him to the door on which the dress is hanging on, Ray unzips the bag revealing a stunning golden gown. The dress is off the shoulder with a beautiful v-line top. The body seems snug and decorated with fine golden details and threads. The bottom of the dress is flowy but holds a curvy shape. It glistens in the sunlight giving off a radiant glow. "It's incredible," I compliment as I inspect every inch of it. "It was specially made for you for this event," says one of the designers. "We have paired the dress with some gold jewellery to give you the ultimate golden girl image," she explains. "You will be the star of the event, quite literally," states Ray with a wink. Some of the women help me get into the dress, lacking up the back of the corset body to exaggerate my curves. I feel like a million dollars as inspect myself in my full-length mirror. I cannot believe this is me. "You look stunning," compliments a females voice from the door. I turn around to find Kamila standing at the door. I give her a huge smile. "Can you believe it? Don't I look like a princess?" I question, giving her a slow spin to show off every angle of the incredible dress. "You look like a trophy wife," she jokes and winks at me. "All the attention will certainly be on you," she adds. I know exactly what she is suggesting. If my mate attends tonight's event, there is no way he will miss me. People will be able to see me from a mile away. "Mother wanted me to tell you that she is almost ready now, you will be leaving in about 30 minutes so she needs you to hurry up and finish getting ready," she informs me and the crew. "Only a few more details left and we are ready to go," says Ray with a smile on his face. He sprays me with some fresh perfume and helps me straighten out the dress and jewellery. Finally, I slip on a pair of heels to complete the look. "Viola, a real-life princess," he states.
I can feel my heart race in my chest. I am so excited but also extremely nervous about this event. It is only natural for me to feel this way as so much is at stake. If this goes well my father will finally let me take part in more Alpha duties. That is my dream after being sheltered from the world for so long. All I have done with my life to date is go to school and keep quiet on pack land. I can't even remember the last time I left the Supreme pack grounds. This has to go well. And it will. I will do everything in my power to ensure that happens. This is it. My opportunity to shine and I am doing just that. Quite literally. I meet my mother outside, she is wearing a stunning white gown and her dark hair is twisted into a beautiful up-do. She is decorated with some of her finest jewellery. As Luna Supreme, she is expected to wear white to formal events and she most certainly pulls it off each time. We say goodbye to my father and sister before getting into the limousine. As expected, it is just as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside.
"You will do great Jasmine. I believe in you!" calls my father as we drive away from the mansion. I wave at him and blow him a kiss. I take a deep breath. He believes in me. I cannot let him down.