The Beta's Daughter
The Beta's Daughter
Author: Jemima Forrester
ONE | AWAKENING

I yawned, rolling onto my side. I brushed against Jacob, and his hand began to trace lazy, abstract patterns across my hip. It was getting close to midnight. A slanting beam of moonlight fell across our exposed legs, making them shine silver.

We were waiting up together on the night of my eighteenth birthday. We’d become official members of the Silver Crescent pack at sixteen, and that had been exciting enough – a ceremony held for all of us who’d turned together, with Jacob’s dad, the Alpha, stood in front of the elders on a small wooden platform.

We’d pledged ourselves to our pack, vowing to care for one another and, above all, to preserve the wellbeing of the pack. In our honour, we’d sworn, and his parents, Alpha and Luna, had looked down at us with pride. Ever since, we’d been able to mindlink, and had been permitted to join in training with the pack.

But at eighteen something even more special happened. At eighteen, our true mates were revealed to us.

Not immediately, of course. The Moon Goddess works in mysterious ways, and we’ve been taught from birth to trust in our paths. At eighteen the possibility of finding our mate is finally given: both of our scents mature, and, in adulthood, we may find one another. 

Jacob and I had grown up together, him the son of the Alpha and I the daughter of the Beta. We lived in the pack house, along with the Gamma and his family, a pair of twins called Ayon and Aron. More often than not, though, we referred to them as Double A, or just The Twins. They did everything in sync, and Jacob and I found it a little creepy at times. As they were so close, Jacob and I had teamed up, too. We were both only children, which is rare amongst wolves, so our bond had been formed early.

He lived on the top floor of the four-story house. It was huge, and each floor held a cluster of rooms to suit the needs of the pack and those who lived there. The very top floor belonged to the Alpha and, when he found her, his mate, the Luna. Their floor was home to a secondary library, smaller than the pack library on the ground floor, as well as bedrooms, offices, and a small kitchenette. Those living in the pack house tend to eat together, along with the Omegas who live nearby and serve the food.

I’d always felt bad for the Omegas, having to work tirelessly to cook and clean up after the higher ranking wolves. My birth right as the Beta’s daughter meant that I didn’t have to help, but I did as often as I could. My dad used to sigh at me and roll his eyes, but then he’d smile like he was proud of me. Once he’d whispered that I’d make a good Luna, but I had no claim to that title.

Jacob nudged me, gently pressing his knee against mine. I sat up drowsily, pulling my long, wavy hair up into a messy bun. A few strands refused to cooperate, but I left them be for now. Jacob moved one softly away from my lips, tucking it behind my ear and smiling at me, his eyes sleepy. I smiled back, my brown eyes meeting his heavily-lidded sea-blue ones.

“It’s nearly time,” he murmured, shifting his weight in his seat. We were both on my bed, and I’d been on the cusp of sleep, my legs stretched out across his lap until moments ago. The light from his phone screen glowed against his face, enhancing his already strong jawline and straight nose. He pushed my duvet back, and I leant heavily against his side.   

He ran a hand through his tousled brown hair. I’d always thought that his hair, eyes, and lips softened his face. His hair was always stuck up at some unusual angle, looking as though he’d just awoken from a long and dreamy sleep. His eyes were kind, with the beginnings of small crows feet etching their way into the soft skin around his eyelids. He’d only turned eighteen a month ago, but his lips had similar wrinkles, soft smile lines from years of laughter and teasing. We were best friends, and – fingers crossed – soon to be mates.

Since childhood everyone had expected us to be mates. We’d clicked instantly, and had been inseparable since we’d first met. Of course, our close quarters helped – the Beta and his family lived on the floor just below that of the Alpha, and the small class sizes on the pack territory meant that we’d been together at school as well as at home.

I had to admit that we were cute together. He towered over me, and his Alpha heritage meant that he was broad and well muscled. I was strong, too, of course, but short and I had an undeniable cuteness about my face. To begin with, he’d treated me like a younger sister, but our bond had evolved beyond that as we’d reached our teens.

We were together every day. At sixteen, when we’d become official pack members and had sworn our allegiance to Silver Crescent, training became another part of our daily routine that was intertwined. It was unusual for two wolves to be so close without being mated, but our lives were one.

I always tried to make up for my big round eyes and button nose at training. Every kick or swing told the bigger wolves around me that they shouldn’t dismiss me based on my size, or the spattering of freckles that littered my nose and cheeks. A younger boy had teased me for having long hair the other day. I’d used my swaying ponytail to pull him into a chokehold, and had grinned triumphantly as he’d tapped out, frustrated.

My mum, training alongside me, had winked over at me. Some of these wolves needed to be taken down a peg or two. My dad saw, and shook his head fondly. He’d smiled at my mum, though, and given her hand a quick squeeze before retaking his position at the head of the pack, next to Jacob’s dad.

Recently, the Alpha of the Valley Fern pack, who neighboured us further inland, had discovered the development of a serum which he claimed could force a werewolf to shift back into their human form. His warrior wolves had captured two hunters prowling on their land, and they’d uncovered the serum buried deep in their pockets, loaded into syringes. Since then, our Alpha had increased the number of training sessions we undertook in human form.

Jacob, as the soon-to-be Alpha, had been too busy helping one of the young warriors into an offensive stance to notice. I like to think that he would have approved of my imaginative method, though.

I could feel him tense next to me. He took my hand in his much larger one and began rubbing soothing circles into it. I got the feeling that this was to soothe him more than me. As soon as it struck midnight, we’d know if the Moon Goddess intended for us to be together or not. A lifetime of being certain that we were hung in the balance.

We’d never kissed, having never quite let ourselves reach that point out of respect for our future mates, on the slim chance that we weren’t destined to be together. We loved each other, though, and we’d cuddled our whole lives, naturally letting our bodies align, feeling them sink in to one another with a feeling of safe familiarity. Jacob was my home, as much as my pack was.

“Arienne,” he whispered, his lips brushing against my ear. I shivered. “What if we aren’t?”

“I don’t know, Jake,” I mumbled back. I moved my free hand so that it lay atop our conjoined ones. The darker brown of my skin melted into the tan of his. I looked up at him and bit down on my lower lip. “We have to trust that the Moon Goddess knows best.”

“But what if she doesn’t?” He asked, his voice so quiet I had to strain to hear it, even with my ultra-sensitive wolf hearing. I moved so that both of my legs were swung over his, shifting my weight into his lap. I kept our hands entwined, though, and let my tired head flop against his chest, just below his chin.

“We have to trust her.” I spoke into his t-shirt, talking quietly as though afraid I’d break the spell between us. “She’s never been wrong before. Our whole lives, everyone has assumed that we’d be mates. Your mum has been giving me guidance on being a Luna for as long as I can remember.”

I smiled to myself. Jacob’s mum, Liliana, had started to subtly give me bits of knowledge regarding what it meant and took to be Luna of a pack years ago. The first time was at a large pack gathering, where she’d pulled me aside during dinner to tell me to listen carefully to her welcome speech, as it would likely be something I’d have to do myself in the future.

I’d listened attentively, my eyes never shifting from her. She was a powerful wolf, but with a motherly softness that I was sure Jacob had inherited. She oozed self-respect, though, and I yearned to have such an essence about myself one day.

“My dad said that if we weren’t mates, we should both reject them to be together.” He laughed, and I felt it rumbling deep in his chest. “He wants you to be my Luna, Ari, and I want that too.”

He punctuated his sentence by pressing a delicate kiss to my forehead. My whole body tingled, and I was certain that we were right. We had to be mates.

“We’ll find out in a minute,” I whispered, looking down at his phone screen. The background was a photo of us, captured by my best friend Rosa. We’d been out in the woods, pacing the perimeter of our border, and her boyfriend Joshua had jumped out at us. Jacob had screamed, and I’d laughed so hard that my lungs had hurt. He’d caught on quickly, and Rosa had taken the photo at the exact moment that it had clicked for him.

I was bright red in the face and doubled over, and he was looking at the camera with wide eyes, his mouth in a perfect O shape. I smiled down at it, remembering that day fondly.

Jacob’s dad had requested more wolves working the perimeter due to an increased number of Rogue sightings. We’d just turned sixteen, and were eager to demonstrate our allegiance to the pack. Rosa and I had been to the gym together when the mindlink came through, and we responded to our Alpha keenly. As we headed to the showers we devised our plan, and she mindlinked Joshua to let him know.

It also marked the first time we had shifted after being sworn into the pack. It was ceremonial to allow our wolves to come forward together for that first time, but since then we’d had no opportunity to do so again. At the ceremony I’d been in a flurry of thought and conversation, and overwhelmed as the mindlink opened for the first time. As the second highest ranking young wolf, I’d been the second to shift, so I hadn’t got to see Jacob in his wolf form.

When the photo had been taken we’d just reached our post, and were yet to shift. Moments after we’d all changed, allowing our wolves to come forwards, giving them physical form. I’d expected Jake’s wolf to be brown, like his hair, as I was – my brown fur and chocolate eyes matched my human body, but he was a silvery-grey wolf, standing much larger than I did. His dark eyes did remain the same, however, and looking into them was strange. I could see his soul, almost, bared to me in his animalistic form. He’d mindlinked me then, and I could almost feel his raised eyebrows even though I could of course not see them.

You make a cute wolf, Ari, he’d said, and he sounded smug.

I would’ve rolled my eyes if I could have, but instead I shot back through our link.

You’re not so bad yourself. I could almost feel his smirk radiating off of him.

“Arienne,” he hissed. He looked pointedly at the time. The clock on his phone read 11:59. I tensed against him, and he pulled me close.

“How do we know?” I asked.

“We just do,” he murmured. He took one of my hands in each of his, and squeezed gently.

Then the numbers changed. 12:00. Jacob’s fingers squeezed tighter. My eyebrows narrowed, and I looked up at him, confused.

Nothing had happened. My breath stilled, and I looked up at Jacob. We froze.

Comments (5)
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Kara
Not meant to be
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Mayang King
Love love it
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ingrid segun
love love story
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