(Song: “Who Do You Think You Are” by Kiana Ledé & Cautious Clay)
"On Monday, I will be announcing Jaxon as the new Alpha," Dad states, sipping his morning coffee. "This will give our give our pack plenty of time to prepare for his ceremony on Friday during the Full Moon."
"Are you f*****g kidding me?" I yell, slamming my fists on the countertop.
Mom looks away, avoiding my gaze. She never sticks up for me when I need her to.
He shrugs. "I don't know what you want me to say, Melanie. I gave you a chance to prove yourself in the Alpha Academy. Now you know that it's not because you're a female, you just weren't good enough. Jaxon's scores are consistently better than yours. He's faster, stronger, and worthy to be Alpha, unlike you."
"Damon-" Mom whispers.
"No, she needs to hear the truth. I will not tolerate her disrespect."
He scowls at me, his eyes growing darker by the second. "You disgust me. Stop acting like an entitled brat," he hisses.
"Entitled? I've spent my entire life working my ass off to please you, to earn the title that would automatically be mine if I were a boy!" I scream. My voice is thick with emotion.
Jaxon is the son my dad never had, and I am the daughter he never wanted. After I was born, my parents spent years trying for a male heir. When my dad realized it was never going to happen, he began to resent me. I should have seen this coming, he was never going to give me the title as Alpha, no matter how hard I worked for it.
I can feel my body begin to vibrate as my wolf threatens to take control. "I...I can't believe this!"
"The decision has already been made. Jaxon will take my place as Alpha and you will stay in your place and never question my decisions again, understood?"
I see red, but I know that I'll just be digging a bigger hole for myself arguing with him.
I run outside, shredding my clothes as I shift into my wolf. Because of my Alpha bloodline, I'm bigger than the average wolf. My soft, black coat gleams in the sunlight as I race through the forest. The trees are buzzing with life; small animals scatter in all directions at the sound of trigs and leaves crunching underneath my paws.
My wolf, Nina, is so happy to be free. She purrs loudly, vibrating our entire body.
Suddenly, I sense somebody running up behind me. Before I can react, a giant, black and gray wolf tackles me onto the ground.
Get the f**k off of me, Jaxon! I growl through mind-link.
He snarls, his canines inches from my face. Good morning to you too, Mel.
I quickly push him away. What do you want?
His bright, silver eyes study me. Somebody's in a mood today.
I'm pretty sure my dad already told you the news, I scoff.
Oh, so that's why. I never would have thought Melanie Stokes was a sore loser. There is humor in his voice.
I bare my teeth at him. f**k you.
Just give me a time and location, baby girl.
Don't call me that!
Well, you'll be calling me Alpha soon. He sprints away before I can attack him.
Instead of following him, I head to the training grounds to blow off some steam. I quickly shift and change into a purple sports bra and shorts. I do some warmup stretches before running a few laps around the track outside.
I have spent the last six months in Alpha Academy, which I can only describe as pure hell. After graduating high school, which I did a year early, Future Alphas from all over the country come to study and train for their roles as leaders of the pack. This year I begged my dad to give me a chance to show him that I am worthy of being Alpha, and with the persuasion of my mom, he sent both me and Jaxon. His mind was already made up from the beginning, though. My dad has had his eyes on Jaxon since we were kids. He was always going to be our next Alpha.
My fist goes straight through the wooden dummy, sending pieces flying in all directions. "f**k you, Jaxon," I growl.
"Who's f*****g Jaxon?" a cheerful voice asks from behind me.
"Hey Bliss," I mutter, walking over to pick out another dummy to destroy.
Bliss is my one and only best friend. We've known each other since we were in diapers. She has long, black hair, hazel green eyes, and the body of a coke bottle. I only hope to one day be as gorgeous as she is.
"What's wrong with my bestie?"
"Ask our new Alpha," I throw the dummy on the ground, punching it repeatedly until it's just a pile of wood.
"Oh damn I'm sorry-" she trails off, making sure to keep her distance from me.
I destroy three more dummies before I feel even a tiny bit better. By the time I'm done, I'm covered in sweat and panting hard trying to catch my breath. I sprawl out on the ground.
She walks closer now that there isn't a chance she'll be hit by a big ass splinter. She looks down at me. "Want to grab breakfast at the diner?"
"Sure whatever," I mutter, getting up throwing a towel over my shoulder and heading to the showers. After washing off some of my anger and disappointment, I find Bliss in her car waiting for me. I stare out the window as she drives, watching the buildings blur past us. "You think he would've ever picked me?" I ask with a choked voice.
She sighs loudly. "Honestly no, your dad is a huge d**k. He probably chose Jaxon just because he's a huger d**k than himself."
"Probably," I chuckle. Her answer actually makes me feel better.
We quickly arrive, thanks to her reckless and illegal driving, and find a parking spot in front of the building.
Donna, our favorite waitress seats us at a booth. I order some Avocado toast and orange juice while Bliss gets three orders of short stacks and two coffees.
I eye her suspiciously. "Let me guess, Patrick will be joining us?"
She looks down at the table, her face turning red. "Ugh I'm sorry Mel, I can't stay away from him for too long."
"I know, a slave to the mate bond," I mumble. "I hope I never find my mate. That s**t looks miserable."
"Here you go girls!" Donna exclaims, placing our orders on the table.
"Thanks Donna," we say in unison. After she walks away, I dive into my food. I deserve it after the morning I have had so far.
Bliss shoves a forkful of pancakes into her mouth. "Don't you think you'll find your mate at the Mate Ball?" she asks curiously.
I scoff. "I'm not going. It's on my birthday too, you think I'm falling for that trap?"
She scowls at me. "Now Mel, you know it is mandatory for all werewolves to attend each year after you turn nineteen until you find your mate. Your dad is going to force you to."
"It's my birthday, he'll understand," I insist.
"You know he won't," she mumbles, taking another bite.
Her head suddenly snaps in the direction behind us. "Baby!" she exclaims, getting up and jumping into Patrick's arms as he walks through the diner door. They sit back down across from me.
"Hey Mel," Patrick greets cheerfully.
"Pat," I mumble, rolling my eyes.
"Baby, I've missed you so much," Bliss whispers, kissing the sweet spot of his neck. Patrick starts sucking her face off.
I pretend to gag as I quickly look away. There is no way I would ever act like some lovesick puppy over a guy. Even if I find my mate, I vow to reject him on the spot. Because of my bloodline, my mate can only be an Alpha and that means I'll become a stupid Luna, a housewife washing dishes and raising pups. I would rather die alone than do that.
Mating to an Alpha also means I will have to join his pack instead of ruling the pack that is rightfully mine as Alpha Damon's eldest child. Instead, my heritage was being handed to some cocky asshole just because he has a p***s.
Speaking of cocky asshole…
My eyes lock on him as I watch him get out of his car through the window. He walks into the diner with his best friend, Ameer, on one side of him while on the other side, he has his arm around one of the pack sluts, Kaylee. It just proves that he'll stick his d**k in anything, but he is Alpha material, right?
As they walk past, the smell of cinnamon and vanilla smacks me in the face. It's overwhelming nonetheless sweet and mouthwatering. I didn't know they made perfume that smells like French toast. No wonder all the unmated males were all over Kaylee; she reminded the poor bastards of food.
They are seated across the room from us. I swear he must be stalking me or something since this is the second time seeing him and the morning isn't even over yet.
My eyes lock with his, but I quickly look away. I can feel the heat burning my cheeks.
Shit! Why is he even looking at me?
"Hey Bliss, I think I'm going to leave," I mumble.
She finally breaks away from Patrick. I can only wonder how she went so long without coming up for air.
Her face crumbles like a used tissue. "No Mel, please stay! I promise not to kiss Pat in front of you if it makes you uncomfortable-"
I shake my head. "I'm not talking about you," I whisper, "the asshole is here."
She sneaks a glance and grimaces. "s**t, and he's with Kaylee. When did they start dating?"
"What's wrong with Kaylee?" Patrick asks way too loudly.
We both shush him. "Babe, just drink your coffee," Bliss suggests, sliding the cup his way.
"How could my dad choose that over me?"
Yes, he's a good fighter. Yes, he's intelligent and has good leadership skills. Yes, he's gorgeous. Yes, his perfect features could dazzle any girl. He is at least 6'2", with rich-chocolate skin, green eyes that have you feeling like you are floating on a cloud when you gaze into them, and short, curly brown hair that-
Wait, what am I talking about again? Oh yeah...how much I hate him. He's a smug, little asshole that doesn't deserve to be Alpha.
"I told you your dad is just a d**k," she said, snapping me out of my thoughts. "Remember how he acted after you got your wolf?"
I cringe at the memory. The day I got my wolf when I turned sixteen, my eyes changed from brown to violet. Dad immediately despised how my eyes made me stand out. He was already ashamed of me, so to him, I had no business bringing more attention to him or myself. Nobody knew why it happened, but I guess the Moon Goddess was like, "How can I make her father hate her more?".
"It's going to be so humiliating when he announces him as Alpha," I mumble, burying my face in my hands on the table.
"I know, but we'll get through this together," she says soothingly.
I peek back up at her. "And then what, Bliss? Find my mate, become a housewife, and live happily ever after?" My voice is so loud that the very few people in the building, including Jaxon and his crew, look my way.
Her eyes widen. "Mel-"
"Just f**k my life," I snarl, "I need some fresh air."
I get up and storm out of the diner. I lean up against the cool, brick wall and take a deep breath to calm my wolf before we end up destroying something or someone.
"I see you're still in a bad mood," says a familiar, annoying voice.
The smell of cinnamon and vanilla overwhelm my senses again. I guess he is the one walking around smelling like a slutty breakfast.
He leans against the wall beside me.
I roll my eyes. "Maybe if you would stop stalking me, I wouldn't be."
He scoffs. "Please. I just keep running into you by accident."
"Well, you won't have to worry about that soon," I mutter, kicking the ground.
"And why is that?" he asks curiously.
Our eyes meet and I immediately look down.
"Why do you care? You'll be Alpha soon and you can continue f*****g all the pack sluts your heart desires, that's if you even have one," I growl.
His eyes darken as he traps me between his muscular body and the wall. He places his hands near each side of my head, our faces only inches apart. His warm, sweet breath fans against my face. "Is that so? You sound jealous, baby girl," he purrs. His hand runs along my arm, sending tingles throughout my body.
"Jaxon, get the f**k away from me!" I push on his chest, but he doesn't budge. Instead, he gets even closer. I freeze as I feel his breath on my neck.
"You're always so mean, Mel. It's like you're just begging for someone to f**k that little attitude out of you." His voice is so deep and velvety in my ear, I can't help but feel a pool of warmth between my legs. I pray that he doesn't smell my arousal.
"I'd rather die!" I hiss, pushing on his chest again. He sighs and drops his arms. I rush past him and go back into the diner.
Bliss looks at me with growing concern, but I shake my head.
I don't even know what happened out there, but I didn't plan on telling anyone else about it. The way he made me felt just then was…embarrassing.
A few minutes later Jaxon comes back in to rejoin his table; his expression deadpan.
I listen closely to their conversation.
"What was that about?" I hear Ameer asks.
"She's just stressed about the final we have in the Alpha Academy," he mumbles.
"Aww poor girly, all that stress can't be good for her," Kaylee chimes in.
I scowl at him from across the room and he shoots me a cocky grin in return.
"Asshole," I mumble, knowing he can hear me. I turn my attention back to Bliss and Patrick.
I can still feel the heat of his gaze until the moment we leave.