Have you ever glanced at a magazine and envied the picture perfect house's and family's you saw within it's pages? Wishing that was your upbringing, longing to feel the happiness reflected on the faces that stared back at you... Well, that was exactly what I had, emphasis on the word had.
My name is Arabella Wilson of the Midnight Moon pack. I'm a warewolf from a long line of warrior beta wolves. I grew up in the small town of Minnesota and trained my entire life under my father and older brother, who would be the next Beta of our pack. Our pack values kindness, compassion and loyalty. We are a small pack but we are fierce and known for our fearless warriors.
What do most Warewolf women look forward to? Their 21st birthday... A day where you could finally find your mate, the other part of your soul, it was what we have all been told is our purpose, so why should I feel any differently? Even though every time my mother would brag about finding a mate all I could picture was being the compliant little female, laying on my back with my legs spread waiting on my mate to come home each day.
He placed his index finger under my chin, tilting my head back and lifting my face towards his, the grey eyes I had known since childhood staring back at me before they closed lightly, fanning out his dark lashes across his face.
I inhaled the familiar scent of his minty breath as he lightly touched his lips to mine while snaking his arms around my waist closing the distance between us.
I grazed my fingertips up his masculine back, feeling all their thick muscle bands before reaching his lightly damp chocolate coloured hair, tugging on a fistful.
He smiled against my lips in response, gently licking at my lower lip teasingly. I parted my lips against his, inviting his tongue into my mouth, which he feverishly accepted. I felt his tongue caress mine in it's familiar way, anticipating it's actions and meeting every one of it's glides across my own.
He moved his hand from my chin to the nape of my neck pulling my face closer gently to deepen our kiss. I nipped at his tongue playfully, basking in the moment of privacy we had before we needed to leave the room.
"Careful now, if you carry on like that, I may never let you leave this room", he chuckled against my lips while he smacked my ass and gave it a squeeze.
I yelped and took a step backwards with a raised eyebrow and a cheesey grin tugging at my lips.
"Fine, you win" A fake pout taking shape on my face as I spun on my heel and headed towards the bathroom to get dressed for the day.
I stepped into the shower, eager to let the pressure from the warm water massage my aching muscles. My father had increased our training regime, saying that female shewolves were being targeted for some kind of trafficking ring. The thought alone caused bile to rise up my throat. I could not understand what kind of people would be so heartless and disgusting to be involved in this sort of thing. The mere fact that this kind of evil was prevalent in the world we lived in made my insides turn. I had plans to aid the fight against this kind of evil when I became Luna.
I say when, because I know that Bryce is my mate, there is just no way he couldn't be. Bryce is our future alpha and my long term boyfriend of 4 years. We grew up together and have always been drawn to each other since before we could even remember, and with my 21st birthday just around two weeks away, followed by his, I had already begun to envision the feeling of the mate bond snapping into place once the clock strikes 12am, igniting a new fire in our relationship.
Bryce and I knew each other inside and out, I guess that comes with the territory of growing up with someone you ultimately fell in love with. We never seemed to grow tired of each others company. We tried to have a conversation around what life would look like for us if we weren't infact mates, but neither one of us could take it seriously, it just seemed so unlikely. Ranked pack members normally end up mated to other ranked pack members, if it wasn't within our pack we would be mated to ranked pack members of another pack. Even the elders of our pack said Bryce is more than likely my mate.
My best friend Ava had once said that if we weren't infact mates that we would have to learn to be happy for one an other somehow. I agreed with her just to end the conversation, but thinking back on that now while I lathered up my lofah, I wondered how on earth I would survive watching Bryce with some one else. How do others do it? It's not like we never date anyone up until the age of 21. Of cause we do, we live normal lives just like everyone else on the globe. A small tiny part of me I didn't quite understand thought that maybe, just maybe, if Bryce wasn't our mate I could leave the pack and just travel, living my life freely and for myself, not bothering with the whole mate ordeal. I never felt utterly consumed by the idea of a mate like the other females did, I always just assumed it was Bryce and thats the end of it.
I begun to work my favourite strawberry shampoo into my hair, savouring my last few minutes of the hot shower before I had to head out to training again, causing my muscles to twitch in protest.
Being the Beta's daughter, I had an obligation to my pack to be as strong as my family. I wasn't as physically strong as my father and brother, but I was agile, fast and calculating when I fought, able to identify weak spots early on.
I turned the shower off and stepped out reaching for the blue towel that sat on the towel rack to my right while I stared at my reflection in the mirror.
I was a strong mixture of both my parents. I had long, shiny, golden coloured hair that cascaded down my back in waves, curtesy of my mother, and striking blue eyes curtesy of my father that were almost a translucent aqua. I guess you could say I was fit from all the training in my life. I had long legs, and curves in all the right places. I smiled as I thought of how Bryce always commented on my ass, clearly his favourite feature of mine. I dried my body, grimacing at the stiffness in my back as I reached for my toes.
I then towel dried my hair before I wrapped the towel around me and exited the bathroom, not surprised to find Bryce had already left the room. Bryce trained extra hard, the duties of becoming the next Alpha weighing heavily on his shoulders. He came from a long line of successful Alpha's, leading was in his blood.
I grabbed my bag off the bed and took out my grey gym tights and sports bra before struggling to get the tights up my slightly damp thighs. Once I was dressed I went to work brushing my hair, I sighed as I worked through some of the knots, wondering why I kept it this long in the first place. Giving up on the last knot, I braided my hair in a single plait that ran down my back, slipped my trainers on and headed for the door. No need for make up, I would just sweat it off in the first fifteen minutes anyway.
5 weeks later
I stared at the fire place in my room, entranced by the fleck's of light dancing across the glowing red ambers. Shifting my gaze to the whiskey glass that sat in my right hand, I lifted it to my lips and drained it's contents. Inviting the burn that slithered down my throat while I wondered where the f**k my life went so wrong.
I had lost count of how long I had been sitting here staring into the fire, hoping it would some how speak and give me a solution.
I closed my eyes with a deep sigh and pinched the bridge of my nose as images of her crossed my vision. Annoyed with myself I forced my eyes open and stood up from my black leather arm chair, running a hand through my hair while I started to pace the room.
I made my way towards the table where my whiskey sat and watched absentmindedly as I poured myself another glass, anything for a distraction from the one thing that plagued my mind. Her.
"If I didn't know you any better brother, I would say this whole thing is actually getting to you" my brother's voice pulled me from my thoughts.
I shot him a warning glare as I popped the lid back onto the whiskey decanter.
"Luckily you know me then", I shot back while a predatory grin tugged at my lips.
He rolled his eyes.
"If father finds out that you have a mate, all hell will break loose, quite literally" he chuckled while taking a seat on the black leather armchair, his blonde hair falling over his face, unphased by my threatening demeanor.
"You know, I could help you out and take care of this little problem for you" he offered, I snapped my eyes to his, eager to hear how he could help.
"I could just kill her for you myself, there would be no more mate problem and no more threats to your reign you know..." he trailed off, noticing my body turn rigid at his words.
Unable to control my instincts, a low growl escaped my lips, my once honey coloured eyes now a burning shade of fiery red, a warning of what threatened to come out.
"you will not touch her.. no one will" I snarled, a mixture of anger and my feral instincts swirling thick in my veins.
Surprised by my reaction, my brother raised an eyebrow at me as he leaned forward.
"It seems the mate bond has already sunk it's claws into you, and if you don't act fast brother, you will find yourself lost to it forever, the longer you leave it, the stronger it grows" he snorted, waiting to hear if I had a better plan besides letting him killing her.
I had to hand it to him though, he was loyal to me in his sick and twisted ways. Our other brother on the other hand, not so much, reminding me of the need to keep this little secret to ourselves. I can't have anyone find out about her.
"I have to find out why I was paired with a warewolf in the first place," I sighed, keeping my tone even before I chugged back another sip of whiskey.
My brother looked down at the floor, something he did often when he was deep in thought while I shifted my weight on my feet, feeling uncomfortable at the conversation of how to get rid of her. It stirred something within me that was unsettling, and to be honest, I didn't f*****g like it.
"Well as much as I'd love to f**k around here all day, I actually have to get back to work, so when you come up with any kind of plan, just summon me," he stood up giving me a lopsided grin that seemed to mirror our father.
And with that he was gone in the blink of an eye. Telepathy being a normal right of passage in my family.
I touched my lips to the cool crystal glass containing my whiskey to take another sip, the contact reminded me of the feeling of her cool lips against mine and the unmistakable tingle of electricity that ignited at their touch, all of which now seemed to now be etched into my soul... if I had one.
Angered by the control this mate bond already had over my instincts and the way they seemed to call out to her, I spun on my heel and launched my glass straight into the fire place, glass, fire and destruction in it's wake.
I took a deep breath trying to calm myself before I tore the entire loft apart, something I actually did regularly. Flopping back into my black leather arm chair in defeat I ran my fingers through my hair and continued to stare aimlessly into the fire.
After a few moments, I leaned back and closed my eyes, hoping for sleep to take over, but instead I was met with more vivid visions of her and the translucent blue eyes belonging to my mate.