Who am I?
I grew up in the Blue Forest Pack of Nevada, the largest pack in North America and the one known to be direct descendants of the Moon Goddess. It was a pack of unimaginably gifted wolves and even amongst them I was an anomaly, considered a freak of nature. Most werewolves, actually all of them up until me, are born human, gain their wolf at sixteen and shift on their eighteenth birthday when they gain access to all of their abilities. I was born in my wolf form covered blue-white fur with one amethyst eye and one silver, yet another thing that I was cast out for. I was despised to the point that my mother's first reaction upon seeing me was to kill me. If it had not been for the Alpha commanding otherwise, she would have done so despite my father's pleas.
The Alpha commanded her to raise me despite that fact she obviously wanted me dead because he was curious about my abilities. He saved my life that day, but every day since then has been a fight for my survival despite the fact that my father is Beta. In am attempt to keep my wolf and me in check, I was stripped of all pack rank and deemed lower than an Omega. All that meant was that anyone in the pack could treat me however they wished without fear of retribution. My mouth only succeeded in making matters worse because no matter how many beating I endured, they could never bend my will, not even the Alpha.
The day that he realized his Alpha command didn't not make me cower, I received the worst beating of my existence. If it hadn't been for my wolf, Selene I would never have survived and there were times I wished that I hadn't. In fact, there was even a time during that beating when I begged her to let us die, but she simply promised everything would be worth it in the end. I couldn't comprehend any time when that particular brutality would ever be worth it, but I had no choice except to trust my wolf. That beating left me with scars that not even my accelerated healing could mend due to the immense amount of wolfsbane in my blood and the Alpha assumed they would remind me of my place. He wanted them to be a reminder that I was absolutely nothing and that my life was tied directly to his good will which was running thin.
That was my one and only gift on my sixteenth birthday and two years later, the scars were still a constant reminder. It would all come to an end after this weekend though. As of midnight I would be eighteen, I would come into my full abilities and I would leave this place in the dust as quickly as my paws could carry me. Tonight was the perfect night for my escape because the Blue Forest Pack was distracted with the celebration they were throwing for the surrounding packs. Tonight was the Goddess Moon, a phenomenon of the wolf community that only occured once every hundred years. The moon would be closer to the Earth than any other time and supposedly it would turn blue when it finally reached its zenith at precisely midnight. It had not escaped my notice that all of this was taking place the night of my eighteenth birthday, but thankfully everyone else in the pack was too oblivious of my existence to even make the correlation.
I was going about my assigned duties for the evening when I suddenly felt a hand in my hair and was thrown violently to the side. Not one to take the abuse without putting up a fight, I spun around with a vicious snarl as my canines elongated and the nails at my fingertips sharpened. I was met with the furious brown eyed glare of Maria who returned my growl with one of pure hatred. "You dare to growl at the Beta of this pack, you filthy mongrel?!" she shouted as her right foot connected with my ribs with all the strength of a fully healthy she-wolf.
A loud crack filled the quiet room along with my mocking laughter and I c****d my head to the side, refusing to show her my pain. Instead, I decided to invoke her fury one last time before I made my escape from this hell hole of a pack once and for all. "What's wrong, mother? Does dad have another w***e in his bed? The two of us both know that he hasn't been able to stand the sight of you since the instant you tried to kill me. What was it that he shouted before the Alpha commanded him not to reject you? Only a rabid abomination of a she-wolf would kill her just born pup," I recalled from Selene's memory of our birth.
She let out a screech something akin to a banshee and I was unable to stop my yelp when my ankle snapped beneath her heel. She then knelt down, her blonde locks mixing with my golden ones and picked me up by the throat, nails digging in and drawing blood. "You should think about the consequences of your actions before you speak, mutt!" she snarled seconds before a furious growl shook the room and I fell unconscious.
I was here at the request of the Elders because they believed the Blue Forest Alpha had become rabid for lack of a better term. He was in charge of the strongest North American pack and they could not risk his bloodlust causing a war amongst the packs. This pack was the only one with direct ties to the Moon Goddess and the Elders would not allow it to be tainted by darkness so the sent me to assess the situation further. I am the Alpha of the Crimson Moon Pack and, while my pack was nowhere near as large as this one, it was made entirely of elite warriors. We may be smaller in size, but I knew for a fact that we could easily demolish Blue Forest. This pack was so used to being strongest that they had grown lax in their training over the decades.
There were over a thousand wolves milling about, but I couldn't focus on them with Atlas pacing around and howling like a mad man. He had been on edge since we had entered this territory and it made no sense because my Beta and his wolf didn't sense anything. Then I caught a whiff of the most intoxicating mixture of bamboo, chamomile and green tea and Atlas's pacing ceased as my head snapped around and a single word fell from my lips. "Mate." I vaguely heard Declan say something, but it was like I was in a trance as I followed the delicious scent towards the pack house. I heard several disgruntled curses as I shoved my way towards my mate's scent, but I could t find it within myself to deign them with acknowledgement.
I followed the hypnotizing scent into the pack kitchen and the sight that met my eyes made me growl with murderous intent. My mate was unconscious in the clutches of a woman that was at least forty pounds of muscle and who appeared related to her. At the sound of my fury, the woman turned to meet my gaze with an arched brow as though I were scum interrupting her lunch. "Release my mate right this instant before I personally separate your head from your shoulders!" I managed to grit out while using all my strength to keep Atlas from doing exactly as I had threatened. I wasn't just a werewolf, I was a Lycan so I preferred wolf form and at the moment I wanted nothing more than to shift and eviscerate this b***h.
The woman had the audacity to scoff and shook my mate as her eyes fluttered weakly in an attempt to open. "This useless excuse for a wolf? The Moon Goddess would never see fit to give this piece of trash a mate. She isn't even worth the oxygen she wastes breathing."
Did I mention that I am also the last Lycan who is a direct descendant of Michael Corvinus, the very first Lycan that Selene ever created? That makes me the only True Alpha in existence, meaning my Alpha command can influence absolutely anyone, no matter whose pack they belonged to. It was Atlas's gravelly deep baritone that spoke from my lips and made the room shake with the power of both of our immense fury. "I, Niklaus Corvinus, Alpha of the Crimson Moon Pack, command you to release my mate, Luna of Crimson Moon before I slaughter every single wolf in this entirely useless pack."
The woman released her hold on my mate immediately, a look of sheer terror contorting her features as she realized the magnitude of her f**k up. She cowered like the pathetic b***h she was as I took a menacing step forward. "What the hell is going on here?"
Finally, just the Alpha that I had been waiting for. "Eric, I hereby challenge you to a duel to the death for the right of leadership over this pack. The battle will take place only in our wolf form and shall begin as soon as I have ascertained the well-being of my mate. This challenge is mandated by the Elders, therefore it cannot be denied or refused. I will see you as soon as my mate's awakens, make peace with whatever demons you have because you die upon our next encounter "
There was an audible gasp among the crowd of wolves who had gathered because the Elders had not personally sanctioned a death by combat in centuries. Not since 1759 when the mad Alpha Julias was running Blue Forest and killed any wolf who dared oppose him. They must have thought that surely their alpha was not as horrid as the infamous mad Alpha, but it was only a small step from allowing others to abuse lower ranking pack members to doing it himself. If this was how the pack members saw fit to behave with several visiting alphas present, I could only imagine how much more horrendous it would have been without the prying eyes of outsiders. I could barely maintain the overwhelming urge to go on a rampage through this entire so called packhouse as I imagined what sort of hell my mate had been forced to endure here.
I shoved the she-b***h who had assaulted and injured my mate into a wall with an aggressive snarl and gently scooped my mate into my arms. I nuzzled into her neck, inhaling her soothing scent to keep myself from murder and made my way to the guest suit that I had been shown upon my arrival. Declan trailed behind me, guarding my back so that I could focus on my mate and stood watch outside the door when I entered. I laid her out in the center of the bed and took the opportunity to look her over while Atlas continued to howl in a mixture of joy and frustration. Joy because we had at last found our mate after a decade of searching for her and frustration because she still wasn't opening her long dark lashes.
She looked more beautiful than the images of the goddess herself laid out in the large bed with long golden waves obscuring her torso. I reached out to brush them away to get a better view of her and held her fragile looking hand in my much larger one while she continued to sleep. Her face was the most perfect thing that I had ever beheld with high cheekbones, full cherry colored lips and long, thick lashes resting against her cheeks. Even with her malnourished form, I could see the stunning beauty she would be once she was healthy. She had full breasts and deliciously wide hips with a stomach much too flat from lack of nutrition. I silently prayed that she would open her eyes and give me a sign that she would be okay, but they remained closed.
I prayed to the goddess that my tiny mate was okay while I paced like a caged animal at the foot of the bed. After little less than an hour, Atlas was going insane with the need to be neat his mate so I shifted and curled up next to with my massive head resting on her chest. I gently licked her cheek, hoping she knew I was here for her and that I would protect her from now on. Once I was back in wolf form and close to my mate, it seemed to be enough to soothe my Nevers and I closed my eyes to wait for her to awaken.
Wake up, wake up, wake up! Wake up! Selene shouted while prancing around my head with the unadulterated excitement of a puppy. I pushed the pain that was clouding my thoughts to the side and tried to focus on waking up the rest of the way. I felt like I was laying on a cloud, but when I tried to sit up, I was stopped by a solid weight on my chest and I opened my eyes in frustration completely prepared to fight if I had to. The sight that met my eyes had me struggling for an escape until I calmed myself enough to listen to Selene and heard her growl mate in my ears possessively. The great black wolf had awoken at my struggles and I was pinned beneath the star of the most beautiful topaz blue eyes that I had ever seen. Mate, Selene purred proudly as I stared at the humongous black wolf curled alongside me.
Selene trusted him, but life in the pack had taught me that everyone would eventually hurt me and panic enveloped me because I had no way of knowing this wolf's intentions. He seemed to sense my terror at once and his whole form shimmered with magic as he shifted back to his human form which had Selene salivating in my head. He was at least at foot taller than my own 5'3" with jet black hair, golden skin and his own enchanting green eyes. His bulging muscles were clearly visible despite his clothes and I had never seen a man more handsome than him in my whole life. Now that I was fully awake, I could clearly feel the strong pull of the mate bond and the electricity dancing along my skin terrified me because it made no sense. Surely this strong wolf would reject a nothing like me. Had he simply been waiting for me to wait before doing it?
"What's your name?" he asked in a deep baritone that was like music to my ears and made me feel as though I was finally safe.
I refused to allow my guard to drop too low and moved to the edge of the bed to stand despite the nearly debilitating pain. I was proud of myself that I even managed to get on my feet without showing the blinding agony that it caused me. "Let me save you the effort. I, Willow Parthenopaeus, unwanted daughter to the Beta of Blue Forest, hereby reject-"
Before I could even finish the entire word, a furious snarl left him and he growled "STOP," in the most deadly voice that I had ever heard. I refused to be cowed by this man though and straightened to my full, laughably unintimidating height, wincing in pain as I put weight in my barely healing ankle. "Look, I'm not allowed to be in here unless I'm cleaning and I'd really like to leave this place before I get another beating that I'll never be able to heal from!" The entire time that I was yelling, Selene was pleading with me to just please hear our mate out all of the way, but I couldn't risk it.
His eyes turned black while I was speaking and he reached for me, but stopped when I flinched away from his incoming touch. "Who?" When I did nothing but continue to stare at him in confusion, he ground out a full question from behind clenched teeth. "Who hurt you?"
I rolled my eyes at the ridiculous question and crossed my arms firmly over my chest to better protect myself. "Who hasn't hurt me? Look, it doesn't matter who did what. I can assure you that you don't to have a mate like me so please just reject me and get this over with."
He reached for me again, but halted when I shied away once more and let out a sound of pure frustration. "You're my mate. Please stop talking so flippantly about rejection before you drive my wolf insane and I go on a rampage through this so called pack."
Please, Willow, hear him out. He's our mate and he already loves the both of us. I can tell. You may not trust him yet, but please have just a little bit of faith me, Selene whimpered.
It was a sound that I had never heard emitted from her muzzle before and I let out an annoyed grunt before I began speaking again. "I'm sorry, sir. You don't know me, but I can assure you that I'm not the person that you want to be forever mated to. No one wants me, not even my own family so I can assure you that the goddess most definitely made a mistake."
"The goddess doesn't make mistakes and I more than want you, little wolf." He dropped to his knees in front of me and, before I could process what was happening, his giant arms wrapped all the way around me, igniting sparks all along my light skin. With his arms firmly wound around my waist, there was no denying the pull of the mate bond, but I couldn't fathom why he wanted me. "I, Niklaus Corvinus, Alpha of the Crimson Moon hereby accept you as my mate and the Luna of my pack and promise to protect you for the rest of my days."
Selene howled for join in the depths of my mind, but I was still busy wrapping my mind around what he had just said and failing miserably. "Niklaus Corvinus? As in the last surviving relation to the great Alpha Michael, father of us all?" When he simply nodded against my chest, I felt for his aura and knew he wasn't lying to me, he was a True Alpha. "No, no, no. There must be a mistake. No one wants me, my own mother wanted to kill me at birth. The only reason that I'm alive is because the Alpha wanted to see what powers a freak of nature like myself would possess. If I proved useless after I come of age, he was planning on letting my mother finally kill me."
His arms instinctively tightened around me and his growl reverberated through my own chest, shaking the walls with it's ferocity. "What gives them the right to call you a freak and dare to hurt you? What kind of abomination had this pack allowed itself to become?"
This is it. Get ready for his rejection, Selene.
It's almost midnight. Take him outside and let him see for himself what kind of wolf we are. Trust me. He'll know what to do. I rolled my eyes at how blindly she trusted our mate, but decided that I would go with it for the time being and allow him to reject me for himself. "Come with me and I'll show you why this pack cast me aside from the very beginning. Some things are much easier to show you rather than to tell." I didn't wait for a response, simply turned to walk away from him, but before I took a step, I was scooped up and cradled against the warm strength of Niklaus's massive chest. "What the hell are you doing?"
"You want to go outside, fine, but you're injured and I refuse to allow you to do any further damage to yourself by walking down two flights of stairs." He was silent as he left the room and a man who I can only assume was his second fell into step beside him without bothering to speak a word. Niklaus remained quiet until we entered the kitchen where he had stopped my mother from finally killing me earlier and when he spoke his voice was dripping with murderous intent. "When exactly did you turn eighteen?" he gritted out as his arms shook with rage beneath me. As my mate he would obviously be able to sense the fact that I had already gained my wolf and would automatically assumer I had already turned eighteen. If I was anyone else that would have been the case, but not so with me.