I hadn't realized my mother, father and Sabrina had made their way outside at the sound of the black sedan pulling into the driveway. I could hardly contain my excitement at my brother's return home. I thought fluttering to the forefront of my mind that gave me some semblance of hope; maybe my brother would help me skip this horrid ball. If anyone understood my absolute disliking to the thought of having a mate, it was my brother, Derek. The thought made my stomach flutter with happiness, and my wolf grumble angrily.
My wolf, Sierra, only wanted what was best for me. She protected and supported me more than even Derek did, but that doesn't mean we see eye to eye all of the time. Sierra believes it would change my life to have a mate, I happen to agree with her on that front. I know that finding a mate will destroy what bits of me I have stowed away for myself. Having a mate will strip all of that from me and more, and leave me nothing more than some man's play toy and child incubator. The thought of some strange man touching me again made me shudder in fear.
"You alright Claire?" Brandon asked, running a hand through his sandy blonde hair. A look of concern crossed over his face and I stifled a sigh.
"Yeah, I'm just a little chilly." I shrugged, keeping my eyes locked on the black sedan.
Finally, after what felt like an hour, the door to the sedan opened and out stepped my brother. The two of us locked eyes as huge grins broke out on our face. As my brother approached me, I took a good look at his face. He practically glowed with happiness as he made his way towards me. He had the same blonde hair that my mother and sister had, his build had gotten bigger over the months and I wasn't surprised to find that he towered over me. My brother had always been quite lean like my mother, but he definitely had gained some muscle. He no longer looked gangly, he looked strong, just like a Beta should.
My brother ignored the rest of my family for the moment and wrapped me in his arms. With his extreme height he had to lift me off the ground so I could reach him. I breathed in his woodsy scent that always seemed to calm me and give me a level head when I needed it the most.
"Still staying strong I see." My brother chuckled into my hair as he set my feet back on the ground.
"Aren't I always?" I smirked, but he could see the truth in my eyes, Derek always could. A knowing smile played on his lips and I resisted the urge to confess all of my worries to him right there on the spot. Derek always had this calming energy about him, he made you feel like no problem was too big, like you could solve just about anything with a clear head. I wished I could take some piece of that calmness with me wherever I went.
A growl rang out from across the lawn and I quickly took a step away from Derek in shock. A beautiful, tall brunette came out of the sedan with a shocked expression on her face. I scolded myself as I remembered that new mates can become extremely jealous at the smallest thing. I resisted the urge to snap at her, reminding myself that not everyone is miserable at the thought of having a mate.
"Relax Amber, she's my sister!" Derek called over to her, making a light pink blush form on her cheeks. I watched as she made our way over to us. Amber, my brother's new mate, was beautiful. Her brown hair and brown eyes resembled melted chocolate, as well as the sprinkle of freckles that adorned her face. While she happened to be tall, she was still much shorter than Derek, and had an athletic figure.
"I am so sorry! I don't know what came over me." She said to me, sounding breathless, her chocolate eyes met my blue ones and she smiled apologetically.
"It's all good. I'm Claire." I replied, wanting to get formalities out of the way.
I heard someone clear their throat and this time I did roll my eyes. Sabrina stepped forward and made her way up to Derek and Amber, her cold blue eyes roamed over Amber.
"Derek!" She squealed, giving him a long hug and Amber a pointed look. Could Sabrina be any more ignorant. While I hated the idea of having a mate, I cared if Derek was happy. If having a mate made Derek happy, then I already considered Amber a part of the family.
While Derek welcomed the rest of the family, I made my way over to Amber. Hazel and Brandon followed me after saying their hello's to Derek as well. I could hear Derek telling mother and father the story of how he and Amber had met, a story that seemed to be quite interesting.
"Welcome to the family." I smiled at her, and was surprised to see that her smile met her eyes.
"You don't know how much I appreciate that. Derek talked about you loads, I could tell you're important to him." She replied, a look of relief crossing over her face. I could feel my face break out into a grin as well, knowing that no matter how the rest of my family feels, I'll always have Derek. And now I'll have Amber as well.
"See, having a mate isn't so bad." Sierra said smugly.
"Doesn't make me want a mate either way." I replied stubbornly, giving a mental shrug as Sierra huffed.
"Think the rest of your family will be as welcoming?" I heard Amber ask quietly as she snuck shy glances to the rest of my family. I looked on at them and watched as my father clapped Derek on the back, his face beaming with pride that someday he would have grandpups running around, continuing on the family line.
"That depends on how submissive you are." I hear Hazel say, sarcasm dripping from her voice.
"I heard this pack was big on being submissive to your mate, but I didn't believe it. Things aren't like that in my pack, you're more equals than anything." She replied confused. I couldn't help but be surprised at her words. I never noticed how other packs interact with their mates, so I couldn't tell the difference either way.
"Don't let them boss you around though." I stated, my mouth set in a thin line.
"Sometimes men need their heads knocked straight." Hazel laughed, giving Brandon a pointed look that caused him to raise his hands in surrender.
"Oh, most definitely not." Amber replied, a sly glint in her eyes which made me like her even more.
"I think we're going to get along swimmingly." I laughed along with Hazel.
After a while of chatting amongst ourselves, my mother, father and sister began to head inside. Before the screen door shut, I could hear my mother calling Derek and Amber inside, telling them to come grab some lunch. I took this chance to ask Derek about the idea that had formed in my mind, my desperate attempt to get out of attending this summer's Moon Ball.
"Derek, before you go in can I talk to you?" I asked quickly, causing him to raise his eyebrow at my worried face.
"What's up, something wrong?" Derek frowns at me, wrapping his arm around Amber's slender waist. I keep my eyes plastered on Derek's face, trying to keep the blood from rushing to my face.
"The Moon Ball... Sabrina told mother that I would try to skip out and now she won't let me. Can you help me out? You know how I feel about all of that." I tried to keep my voice even, but I couldn't help the uneasy tone that had taken over. I watched as Amber frowned at me, then looked to Derek for an explanation. A knowing look flashed over Derek's eyes as he recalled exactly what had happened that night.
"Claire..." Derek trailed off; his eyebrows closely knit together. I could tell that he was thinking long and hard about something.
"Could I speak to Claire alone... if that's alright with you guys." Derek asked, looking between Hazel and Brandon with a serious expression on his face.
"Yeah sure, we're going to be in my car down the street. When you're done, we can go shopping!" Hazel said smiling at me, but I could tell she was still confused.
"Do you mind if Amber stays?" Derek asked sincerely. I could tell by the look in his eyes that if I wanted him to send her inside, he would.
"...She can stay." I nodded, instantly regretting my answer.
"Where to begin..." Derek trailed off, his hand coming up to run through his blonde hair. I noticed the gesture from my father, he would do the same thing when he was stressed out. Their hair seemed to be constantly a mess from all the times they run their hands through it. I kept my mouth shut and rolled my bottom lip in between my teeth; anxiety flooded through my veins as I anticipated what he was about to say.
"Claire... I think finding a mate would help you." Derek said slowly, a sad look coming over his face. I kept my eyes trained on his, not wanting to look at Amber's confused gaze.
"Derek, it wouldn't. I can't give a mate what they want." I replied adamantly, my arms snaking around my body as if I could protect myself from the words he was speaking.
"You might be surprised Claire... Not everyone is like mom and dad. Your mate is made to love you, help you, and heal you. It could fix what's been broken inside of you for so long." Derek spoke softly, but the words didn't lessen the blow of what he was saying. Why did everything have to come down to finding a mate. I felt as though I had no say in my life, what I wanted didn't seem to matter, the only purpose I had was finding a mate.
"You're wrong." I said choked out, turning so they couldn't see the tears that sprung to my eyes. "Tell mother I went shopping with Hazel." I managed to shout as I turned and began walking down the street. Derek didn't try to stop me; he knew that I needed some time right now.
Don't cry, don't cry. I chanted this to myself a hundred times, willing the tears to dry and fade from my eyes. After a few deep breaths, a headache, and a small pep talk, I made my way to Hazel's red Ford Fusion that was parked down the road. I plastered a fake smile on my face as I hopped into the passenger seat, and ignored the confused stares from my friends. The knot in my stomach that was once forgotten, was now growing at an unprecedented rate.
"So... he's going to help you?" Hazel asked in a confused voice, her disappointment shining through her words. I ignored the stab of pain that made its way to my chest and answered honestly.
"No, he thinks finding a mate will be good for me. I disagree, but whatever. I'm just going to try to make the best of it, and if I happen to find an opening to escape then I will." I shrugged as if it was no big deal, but in reality, my insides were reeling.
"That means I'm going too then." Brandon shrugged, giving me a small smile. Something in his eyes seemed different, something was off. I tried to make a mental note to ask him about it when we were alone.
"Dress shopping it is!" Hazel shouted as she put her car in drive and slammed on the gas.
I can't say that I absolutely hated the idea of dress shopping with Hazel and Brandon. I'm not overly girly, but every now and again it's nice to feel beautiful. Hazel on the other hand radiated pride when it came to her amazing sense of style and I quickly realized how lucky I was to have her help. Every dress I picked up she seemed to notice some flaw within the piece of fabric. One dress made my eyes look dull, the next dress didn't compliment my skin tone, the next dress made me look boxy. It was a never-ending stream of advice and comments that I couldn't help but be grateful for.Brandon on the other hand seemed to love every dress that I tried on. Each time I stepped out of the dressing room his eyes would roam my body and his typical smirk would play on his face, and each time I rolled my eyes at his usual flirty self."This one is it Claire, I can feel it." Hazel shouted proudly from the dressing room as she slipped on a baby pink, floo
I woke up that morning with a smile on my face. For once I wasn't woken up early from the screaming of Sabrina or my mother. Tonight, was one of the rare nights where I wasn't woken in a panic by my reoccurring nightmare. I'm sure they let me sleep in as I had no choice but to attend the Moon Ball. The thought of the Moon Ball chased my smile away and instantly made me feel as though my world was already crashing down. I gripped the hem of my oversized t-shirt and tried to take a few calming breaths, but nothing helped the knot of unease that had been settling in my stomach. I couldn't place my finger on what was causing this absolute anxiety, but I knew it had to do with this stupid ball.I stayed in bed like this for a few more moments, gripping my t-shirt as if it could save me. I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed that I could just sleep through the day, sleep through the ball. It wouldn't have been such a big deal if it was only my pack that attended. I knew no
If I thought it took Hazel forever to get me ready, I hadn't seen anything yet. I sat back on my bed, careful not to ruin Hazel's masterpiece as she so skillfully called it. Hazel and I chatted back and forth about what her future mate would be like. I was a good sport and tried to be supportive of my best friend."He's definitely going to be taller than me, there's no doubt. Oh, I do hope he has blue eyes though! I love a blue-eyed boy." Hazel cooed from the bathroom and I gave a short breathy laugh."I'm sure he's going to be everything you're looking for, he's your mate after all." I shrugged, putting some carefully placed happiness in my voice as I sent a quick text to Brandon.Me -6:02pmYou ready for the ball?Brandon -6:03pmBeen ready. Mom wanted me ready three hours early, don't know what for though.Me -6:04pmHazel attacked me with makeup and a curling iron,
"You are mine." His deep voice announced, growing deeper with each word.I resisted the urge to laugh hysterically and look behind me, as if he were talking to some other girl. If it was any other man, I would have taken off running on the spot. From the cold and detached look in Alpha Killian's eyes, I was afraid he would enjoy the chase far too much. In that moment I sent a silent prayer to the Moon Goddess, asking her what the hell was going on. Not only did I not want a mate, I was given the most dangerous mate in our history.My heart sank to the floor as I realized my story would not have a happy ending.I watched frozen in place as Alpha Killian closed the distance between me and him. He came to a stop a foot in front of me and looked down on me. It was then that I noticed the two men who had followed him all the way over to me. They looked nothing like what I expected the Blood Moon Pack to look like. In all accounts they were attractive men, bu
Alpha Killian P.O.VI begrudgingly made the decision to attend this year's Moon Ball. Finding a mate had once been at the forefront of my mind, but after years of no luck, I quickly pushed the thought from my mind. Finding a mate had been a strong desire of mine in the past, now it was a simple necessity. If I were to maintain control over my pack, a mate would be crucial to that plan.The trip from the Blood Moon Pack to the Southern Pack had only taken a few hours, so I kept my distance until it was time to attend the ball. I couldn't help but enjoy the frightened glances from the rest of the people who had also attended the ball. Being the feared Alpha was something I preferred. If you were known across the word as the most vicious Alpha to ever exist, who would dare challenge you?Females and males alike were submissive to me, never daring to piss me off.I sat at a large table pushed towards the far wall of the canopy, knowin
Alpha Killian's P.O.VWithout a word I followed Claire's parents to their home. I was thankful for the silence, even though him and her mother continuously exchanged nervous glances. I sat Claire's unconscious body in the passenger seat and buckled her in, making sure my skin hadn't come in contact with her own. The drive to her modest and aging home was short, which gave me some time to think.I couldn't help but steal a glance or two at her peaceful face. For the short time I had known her, I had only seen three expressions on her innocent face. Frightened, embarrassed, and frustrated. Watching her sleeping face, you could truly see her innocence shine through. I took a mental image of the peace on her angelic face, as I knew her innocence would not last long in the Blood Moon Pack. I almost felt sad at the thought of my little mate suffering the Blood Moon Pack, but I quickly set myself straight, expelling all emotion for this little creature
*Disclaimer - Some Mature Content is present in this Chapter.*I spent the rest of my day in the living room with a solemn looking Hazel, a brooding Brandon, and frightened Amber and Derek. Even Sabrina spent some time with us, leaving only to go meet up with her newly found mate. I was surprised to hear the news, Sabrina's mate was the beta in a neighboring pack. I couldn't help but feel happy for my little sister. Finding a mate was everything she ever wanted and it relieved me to hear how kind and loving her mate was. I listened with a smile on my anxious face as she told me all about how smitten he was with her within the first thirty seconds of them meeting. While my future may be unclear, it calmed me to know that my brother and sister were well taken care of.I couldn't keep the smile from my face as Hazel told me all about her mate, Garrett. I could tell as she spoke of him, how she already seemed to miss his presence. One glance at Brand
*Disclaimer - Some Mature Content is present in this Chapter.*I picked Claire up from her home, refusing my Beta's offer to do the task for me. My wolf was anxious at the thought of seeing her again, especially after what had almost happened last night. All through the night my wolf plagued me with thoughts of this little creature. I couldn't seem to wrap my head around how she could possibly be a wolf. When you looked at her you saw this small, fragile little thing.My wolf growled possessively as he laid eyes on the boy sitting much too close to our little mate. He growled, wondering how he had the audacity to sit so close to my mate of all people. The love in his eyes for my little mate was clear, but when I looked into her own I could see she hadn't felt the same, if she even acknowledged the feelings at all.I watched as Claire trudged outside, towing her luggage behind her. I felt a small amount of amusement watching this litt