"Robin, holy shit, I fucked up!"
The sound of my brother's voice jarred me awake. His annoying pants of anxiety causing my mood to plummet as I sat up in my bed with a yawn.
The sun was barely peeking above the horizon as the covers slipped past my shoulders.
I wasn't in the mood to deal with his crazy antics today, the goddess only knew that my mom should've swallowed. His insistent whining was enough to wake the dead as he all but stomped across my room.
"C'mon, stop ignoring me, Robin!! This is serious!"
I doubted it.
Popping my back with a stretch, I finally bothered to give my older brother a look. He looked horrible, like a squirrel who got caught in a trap. His blonde hair that was the same shade as mine was messy, covered with dirt and blood.
It only took one sniff to smell the grime.
Instantly, I couldn't help but frown.
"Listen, I have better things to do--like sleep--than to bother trying to bail you out this time. Whatever you did, that's on you! Now. Get. Out. My. Room."
I punctuated each word with a hard poke to his chest, before I pointed at the door.
But he didn't budge, his crystal blue eyes wide with terror. They were so wide that it made me pause in my tantrum. Sighing, I dropped my hand to my side.
"What's wrong, Elijah? What did you do?" My hands were fisting the blanket, wanting desperately to go back to sleep.
The minute he left, I'd throw them back over my head and get some remaining shut-eye.
But I knew as soon as he sat down, that it was a lost cause.
Pulling my legs under my chin, I yawned as I listened to his frantic story. I couldn't follow most of it though, the events making little sense to me as his details ran amuck.
But one thing did catch my barely attentive ears.
"Wait, hold the phone. You left our territory? Why?"
Elijah looked at me, looking completely terrified.
It left a ball of nerves inside my stomach, for the first time since his rantings.
"I... I wanted to see if the rumors were true. The alpha was talking at the meeting yesterday, talking about some new clan closing in down by the rivers. One of my friends dared me to go check it out, see if they're friendly you know?"
I immediately sat up straighter, annoyance filling me up as I thought about just how stupid my brother truly was. Elijah was two years older than me, already blessed by the goddess with strength almost unparalleled aside from the alpha himself and the second in command beta, our father. Yet because of his carefree nature, he was always causing both me and our father trouble. It's been hard enough since our mother passed away, to be honest, things hadn't been okay in a very long time.
Our father had always been a kind and loving man, but he was a changed man since losing his mate. He was ragged and tired, a pale imitation of the father I had grown up with.
So I just couldn't understand why my brother kept taking so many risks!
As if our family's suffering meant nothing to my brother.
Didn't it bother him? That he was always messing something up?
I ended up saying the last part, unable to bite my tongue as he gave me a puppy dog face.
"Look, I'm sorry Robin. I thought it'd be harmless! But I really fucked up."
"What do you mean you fucked up, Elijah! Besides the obvious--you just broke a major rule between clans. We stick to our own, it's how we keep resources fair and you know it. Do you have any idea what that could mean for our alpha?" I hissed the words, disappointed in him.
Elijah shrunk back, sighing as he looked away from me.
"I know, Robin."
I sighed, tapping harshly against my arm.
"Well, go on then. Explain." I grumbled.
Elijah's nervous energy was still present, but after a moment my brother finally spoke.
"I didn't think anyone would believe me when I said I snuck into the clan's territory. And I wanted to impress my friends, ya know? Especially since Stacy was there, and before you even go there, yes I know she isn't my mate, but I can't help but still like her. So I figured, I could at least seem cool to her and the boys. I just needed some proof, it was quiet there, and dammit Robin, I really thought everyone was asleep."
I scowled, unimpressed. "Werewolves are always on guard, Elijah. We have too many natural enemies to sleep without a care in the world. So what the hell did you try to take, are you stupid? You could start a fight or worse, a war!""Dammit Robin, that's what I'm trying to tell you!" Elijah suddenly yelled, and my blood seemed to stand still. "What the hell is that supposed to mean!" I said."I mean I might have already started one." His words were grave, but I didn't want to believe them. I couldn't stop my brows from knitting down, and Elijah couldn't maintain eye contact with me for long. But when I went to call him out on his cowardice, my brother continued speaking."I saw a glowing blue flower, it was like a crystal and it was perfect. I knew we had nothing like it past our border so I took it. But the minute I touched it, I got attacked. I... I didn't know what to do, so I fought back! I didn't even get a good look at him but the next thing I knew, I... Robin, I accidentally slit his throat."Dread filled every pore in my skin, and I found it hard to breathe all of a sudden. Elijah, my playful, annoying, brother--had killed someone? The information wouldn't sink in, and even when I thought I couldn't process it anymore, he kept talking. I didn't know how it could possibly get worse, but it did.
"There was so much blood, Robin, it was everywhere. On the f-flower, on the ground, I panicked and ran, and I forgot to put back the rose. I heard the howls, I could hear them chasing me. I was scared, I didn't want to die! So I threw the flower, Robin, and it just shattered everywhere. There was suddenly this bright blue light, it covered the entire forest. I panicked and ran until I couldn't stop running, straight past the border. I didn't stop until I was in the village. But Robin, I killed someone and I think I... I think I broke their..."My brother's words were coming out in harsh gulps of air now, and I grabbed his shoulders, trying to anchor him. My words were just as shaky as I pressed him to continue. "What do you think you broke?"I could see my blue eyes reflected in his, and they were just as terrified. "Robin, I think ...I broke their moon goddess artifact. The light inside it, it was just like ours. The one inside the temple."My whole world crumbled at his words.
But as if the goddess was punishing us for my brother's crimes, at the first streak of real light that broke in through my window, alarms tore across the skies of our village.The bell chimed in a deafening roar that had us both freezing in place. The Alpha was calling an emergency meeting.As much as I didn't want to believe it, I knew it wasn't a coincidence. Without moving a muscle, my tongue which weighed a thousand boulders finally moved. "You don't breathe a word of this to anyone.""But Robin," he started.I cut him off, harsh as I stood from my bed. "Not a damn word. Okay?" Elijah looked defeated when he finally shut up. "And here, put this on. Hopefully, it'll mask the smell." I tossed one of my more beat-up jackets to him, oversized. With any luck, it'd fit. I watched as he struggled to get on the jacket, but he breathed out in relief as it covered up the grime on his clothing. It looked a bit too tight in the arms to be natural, but it would have to do. My shoulder's squared as I grabbed my jacket and I heard my brother sigh from behind me, his sins a horrible weight on my back as I stepped forward.I knew that we would be facing the Alpha as soon as we left our home. I just didn't know the actions I was supposed to take when I did so.
My legs felt like they were suddenly made of molasses. I knew I was walking at a regular pace, but my surroundings felt surreal as my pack raced towards the sound of the alarm. I felt like my chest was heaving, but no one glanced at me in wonder--none the wiser to my struggle. A part of me, however small, hated Elijah for putting me in this situation. But as we came upon the domineering sight of our father standing tall beside the Alpha, I knew a much bigger part of me wanted to protect him. No matter how dumb he was, or what horrible mistake he had committed, I knew I'd have his back. I could only hope it wouldn't cost me. I took in a rather large gulp of air as we entered the crowd, and I could feel Elijah basically hovering into my back. It was ironic really, considering I was the younger one. But when the big oaf tried to mold into my side, I drew the line. A swift elbow to the ribs and a hiss later, and I cast a glance at him. "Get it together, dumbass." "Ow--ow, I'm tryin
"You have a lot of nerve threatening me, little wolf." I barely saw those golden eyes flicker before Rollin cut between us, his face drawn tight with remorse and what I could only assume was frustration. His slanted grey eyes pierced into me, and I faltered, despite my best intentions. "Stand down, Robin. This is not your fight, his sin cannot be undone, and you cannot save him. I order you to stand down, as your Alpha! You are still the Beta's daughter, there's no reason for you to die here too." I knew Rollin was only trying to be logical, and perhaps if the circumstances were different, I would have appreciated the value he put on my life. But right now? I couldn't care less. My brother's sobs were still so loud, and the way everyone shunned away from him twisted my heart into a solid block of ice. A clan that could kill one of their own so easily, well, it wasn't any clan of mine! We were so supposed to be family, yet somehow, the clan had lost its way. I wanted no part of it.
It all happened faster than I could comprehend.One minute I was kneeling, my arm shaking from the release of my arrow. The next, my back was slamming hard into the ground. Dirt flew past my vision as the speckles faded to white."You have a lot of nerve, girl!" The harsh sound of his whisper didn't miss my ears, and I gasped for air as I was met face to face with Morax. He was much bigger when he was directly on top of me, his stout shoulders encompassing as he pinned me to the ground. I was stunned by how quickly he had moved, one minute he was leisurely pacing, the next he was somewhere else altogether. It was like it had all happened in a blur.My breathing was harsh and shaky.I reached up to hit him in the face, but he slammed my wrist back down against the earth. That's when I noticed the deep smell of blood in the air. I blinked, and the crimson liquid dripped directly onto my face. My eyes traced over his features—and that’s when I saw it. There was a large open gash on the A
"Ugh!!" There was a loud clang of metal, and then I was bouncing off the bars and onto the ground.The impact from the fall bruised my butt, and I glared ahead into the ever-present darkness that accompanied me these days."Goddammit!!" I yelled, feeling the itchy and raw feeling well up in my throat from disuse. I stumbled to my feet, locking my knees as I prepared to charge again. My legs were stinging, a result of the constant bruises forming against my skin. Before I could launch myself at the metal bars again though, I heard the door open. My dry mouth opened, desperately. "Brandon! Just let me out please, it's been days. What am I going to do? Run and get myself killed? I'm better than that, I promise I won't run!" I pleaded, my dry throat sounding gross and unappealing to my ears. I needed water, badly. Time was hard to keep track of with the blindfold. I knew Brandon visited at least once every other day, I'm not sure if it was out of his kindness or not, but the Beta w
When the door creaked open on its hinges, the air escaped my lips.It was beautiful.Everywhere I looked there were lush green leaves, beds of bright flowers, and wooden cottages that lined the area outside the prison. It was a large area with tall wooden fences, the grass high enough to sweep at my ankles. A bird chirped happily amongst the branches, and then a squirrel skittered up the bark of a large willow tree.It was naturalistic and glowing with life.I fought against the urge to smile, not even realizing when I had stepped past the Alpha. The grass tickled my toes while the sun beamed down on my face. I lifted my neck toward it, bathing in it. My wolf, which I could finally feel again, was practically prancing beneath my skin.It was an odd sensation.My wolf didn't have a voice, it wasn't a separate entity or being within us. It was like... an arm or a limb, you could just feel it. Like it was a part of
"Is this my new cabin?" I asked in awe, stepping into the door that finally gave way to the key. The planks that made up the floor were sturdy beneath my feet as I made my way inside. The creak of the wood echoing inside my ears.The cool brown interior looked polished and it glistened in the sunlight that poured in from the doorway. The little twists and swirls of the aged woods playing with my vision. It was like I was staring at a kaleidoscope of the previous trees lives. The little lines waving at me as I stepped over them. It was still hard to adjust to all the details when I'd spent over a week in the darkness. Nonetheless, it was beautiful and I admired the view. "Wow, it's ‘a huge!" Timmy all but jumped in excitement, and I found myself slowly nodding in agreement. I was surprised, too. The cabin was way more accommodating than I was expecting, like I was a new resident rather than a lowly prisoner playing at f
"UP, UP, UP, RISE AND SHINE EVERYBODY!" The chorus of groans were a clear reflection of how everyone in the field felt right about now, and for once, I almost felt like I could forget I wasn't part of this clan. The faces of strangers bound together and relatable when I saw my own feelings reflected back in them. We all stood, somber in rows as the light barely breached the chilly skies.I watched as a bird landed on a tree branch, its little beak just now beginning to chirp.It was so early. We had beaten them to their songs of dawn.I frowned.Fatigue was heavy in my bones, and I felt brittle and tired despite my young age. I tried hard not to let a yawn escape me, my body begging me to go back to sleep. Getting to sleep had been hard, especially in my new cabin. All I had been able to think about was Elijah. I couldn’t help but wonder where he was and worry if Morax had even kept his word. My mind had played tricks on
"I understand you're upset, Morax. But I'm your best friend, don't you trust me?" I watched as the Alpha of the Aconite clan sized up his beta, their stare down intense as some of the younger pups whispered amongst themselves. Everyone in the training group looked lost. A young pup that had bright red fur tripped over a hurdle, too focused on the tension between the two males. It was funny to see.But I couldn’t say I was fairing any better. I was wondering what the tension was about too, and I was surprised to feel a boiling sensation well up inside me. I felt angry, I realized, on Brandon's behalf. The man had stepped in and broke it up—what else could his impossible Alpha expect?"I won't say anything here, but we both know why I can't take your word right now." Morax practically sneered.I frowned. His amber orbs were glowing in the morning light, and Brandon's face was scrunched into a sullen look. I wasn't used to the expression. Without using my brain, I stepped in front o