I woke up with a sigh and shifted my weight in an attempt to sit up. It didn’t matter how much I tried to pretend; I was no longer normal. My accident had happened over four years ago, yet sometimes when I woke up in the morning my mind retracted back to “before”. Before had become the unspoken of time that precedented my accident that caused me to lose my right leg below my knee. It was what we called it as no one liked to talk about it. It was too sad, too horrible.
Shaking my head and rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I reached over to my bedside table and grabbed my prosthetic. As much as I wish I could, I was not able to walk without it. Even with all the magic and witchery in our world, there was no spell for replacing body parts. It was like bringing someone back from the dead-completely forbidden and as such, no spell existed to do such things.
As I attached it and gently stood, regaining my balance and making sure the prosthetic was secure before stepping forward toward my closet to pick out my clothes for the day.
I should introduce myself. My name is Sadie Carlton, and I’m 20-years-old. I am an omega in SilverRock Pack. Being an omega means that I am basically a servant although I am treated much better than one would think with the connotation of the word servant. Omegas cook and clean and do a lot of the background work in order to keep the pack running, but we are not abused like slaves. We are fed, provided housing, and paid for our efforts. We don’t start laborious tasks until we are 16, so we can focus on schooling and our growing/developing bodies. All omegas have the option to attend college and find a different career, but most hardly ever do because they are treated so well.
Ranked positions like Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta are hereditary and are passed on to the same families through generations because of their bloodlines. Mates follow their mates if their mates are in ranked positions, for example, an Alpha’s mate will become the Luna. Once everyone finds their mates, each pack should have an Alpha, Luna, Beta male and female, Gamma male and female, and Delta male and female.
My family was not a ranked family, we were all omegas. My older sister Tessa was studying to be a pack doctor, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Most she-wolves my age were already in college, but because of my accident, I just finished catching up on high school last year and have been taking the past year to just rest and reflect on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Obviously, with my disability, there were a ton of career paths I could not even consider.
One of the main reasons that I was truly biding my time before deciding on a career path was my first shift coming up on my 21st birthday, which was tomorrow. When werewolves turn 21, we are given our wolf counterpart by the Moon Goddess which we can then shift into. We are born with enhanced senses and strength like wolves have, but we cannot change into our actual wolves until we turn 21. Anyway, the reason I was waiting on my first shift was that there was a very small part of me that was hoping that my leg would heal/regenerate when I shifted for the first time. Our wolf counterparts were supposed to give us advanced healing powers on top of everything else. Plus, no one had ever heard of a wolf that was missing a leg, but some werewolf somewhere somehow had to have experienced the same thing I was currently going through. There is no way I’m the only one in the existence of all packs of all the werewolves that was missing a leg. Right?
Oh, I almost completely forgot to explain why I am missing my right leg and must wear a prosthetic. That’s kind of important, isn’t it?
Like I said before, my family is made of omegas. My mom, Magda, is a maid in the packhouse as well as nannying for the young children of the ranked families that live in the packhouse, and my dad, Andrew, is a teacher. Since they actually have jobs, that means that they have paid vacation time built in so that they don’t get burnt out. I already mentioned my older sister Tessa, she is 22. I am the middle child, and then we have a younger brother named Marvin, who is 18.
Anyway, we were taking a family vacation in June four years ago. We live in North Carolina where we have easy access to both the beach and the mountains. We live more so on the beachside, so to mix things up we decided to vacation in the mountains in Boone, North Carolina. We rented a cabin and spent a lot of time eating, playing card games, chilling in the hot tub, watching movies, and just spending quality time together as a family.
However, on one particular evening, we decided to go snow tubing. In theory, it seems like it sounds really simple, right? Well, snow tubing is about as difficult as snowboarding or skiing, which are pretty difficult tasks, to say the least. Marvin and I were sharing a tube; we were 14 and 16 respectively at the time. Somehow, our tube got out of whack and we flipped over with the tube on top of us. Since it is a downhill slope of snow, we were still sliding down the hill with the tube laying on top of us as we went. In an attempt to keep him safe, since we could not see any obstacles, I wrapped Marvin up in my arms. Before we could really process what was happening, we slammed into a rock foot first. Since I wrapped him up, Marvin did not even hit the rock and my feet, mainly my right foot, took the brunt of the impact. The damage was so severe that there was no amount of surgery or magic spells that would save my ankle-it had to be amputated. I’m sure there was some witch out there who was a strong enough healer to reverse the damage that had been done, but by the time we could’ve gotten in contact with him/her, it would have been too late anyway. The bones in my lower leg were also shattered, so the doctor decided to extend the amputation so that it stopped right under my knee.
Marvin tends to blame himself, saying that it should have been him protecting me, not the other way around, but I am glad it was me instead of him. He has a lot of potential on the battlefield meaning that he could become a pack warrior or even a bodyguard for one of the Royal Families if he works hard enough. None of that would be possible though if he had a physical disability as I did. It wouldn’t be fair to him.
Hell, it wasn’t fair to me, something like this should never happen to anyone. A fun family bonding event turned into a nightmare that forever changed each of us. Don’t get me wrong, we are still a close family, and we all love each other, but our relationships have all been strained since the accident. It’s like they all feel guilty and don’t know how to act around me, and being around each other reminds them of what happened, so they keep their distance.
Everyone in the SilverRock pack treated me kindly and everyone was always trying to help me, but I knew everyone only did that because they felt sorry for me. I could see it in their eyes, and the way they would immediately stop talking or lower their voices when I walked by. People opened doors for me and offered to carry things for me not because they wanted to be nice people, but because they felt bad for me. For some reason, holding doors open or carrying things for me helped appease their guilt for being normal, for having nothing wrong with them.
All I want is to be treated like a normal person (er, werewolf). I’m drowning in pity when all I really want is just to belong, to be normal, to be a young adult. I was in the prime of my teenage years when it seems like I had my youth ripped away. I had to grow up quickly and mature far beyond my years in order to develop the emotional strength needed to survive losing a limb in a world where physical strength, ability, and agility are what are truly valued most. Don’t get me wrong, I can still walk and do some basic fighting, but I am nowhere near normal.
Normal and before, both words I hold with reverence and wish for every day.
But that’s enough self-loathing and reflecting, I thought to myself. After picking out my clothes, getting dressed, and tying my shoes, I was ready to head down for breakfast. Until I picked a career path to study in college, I spent most of my time helping my mother nanny the babies and young children of the ranked families. Because of this, we actually got to live in the packhouse along with the other omegas that cooked and cleaned here.
However, as I opened the door, I was met with the shocked image of my mother standing in the doorframe with a concerned expression.
“Mama, what’s wrong?” I asked her, beginning to get nervous as well.
“The Prince and Princess of werewolves are coming to visit SilverRock pack. They are of age and are in search of their mates, so they are traveling to as many packs as they can to increase their chances. That means everything needs to be the tip-top shape and all hands on deck for cooking and cleaning.” My mom explained, grabbing my hand in a panic.
The Prince and Princess were coming here? No way!
Sadie POV While werewolf society is composed of individual packs led by Alphas and Lunas, we do have patriarchy that rules over each of the packs. There is the King, Queen, and their children. The Prince and Princess are twins, Rosie and Rylen. Right now, they are in search of their mates because the King and Queen are ready to retire. Because there are two heirs to the throne, each twin is going to take half of the country to rule over to reduce the workload and so the King and Queen do not have to choose which child will rule while the other gets nothing. However, the mates of the Prince and Princess will need to first become a Prince/Princess and be trained in the royal ways before they can take over the throne, which is why they are traveling about desperately looking. The Royal family is very kind and wants the best for all werewolves, so they are loved by everyone. It is an honor to host them, but we do need to show them a good time out of respect for them. M
Rylen POV SilverRock pack was one of my favorite packs to visit. They always took good care of us and treated us like normal werewolves instead of kissing the ground we walk on (or more accurately, our asses) just because we were royalty like most packs do. They were respectful and kind, and Rosie and I both appreciated their efforts in treating all pack members the same and with dignity, even the Omegas. SilverRock’s system is something that we would definitely like to see implemented in more packs around the country. Honestly, Rosie and I both wanted our mates to come from this pack, which is why we included them in our tour at the last minute and incorporated it as our first stop. “What are you thinking about, Ry? You look like you are having a very deep discussion with your brain over there, and I’d love to pick it.” My twin sister, Rosie (short for Rosalie-our parents wanted her to have an elegant name but she prefers the nickname of Rosie because she thinks it fits
Rylen POV "That was fun, but I'd be lying if I said I was not looking forward to having the rest of our meals cooked for us. This pack has the best cooks! I swear they're even better than the professional cooks we have at the palace." Rosie was babbling as we headed back up to our room. We had just eaten at a lovely little Italian restaurant in town that had great wine and good food, but it could not touch the quality of the food we were provided whenever we visited SilverRock. It was getting late, so we decided to return back to the packhouse and turn in for the night. To be completely honest, we were both already anticipating the delicious breakfast that would be awaiting us in the morning. "It's probably the mom and pop shop vibes that we get here. Their cooks use homemade recipes that have been passed down for generations, whereas our cooks have lost touch with the passion for cooking and they just make food." I commented. "You're probably right. I wonder
Rylen POV I woke up feeling like I had slept for whole days instead of about 8 hours. As I hopped in the shower and tried to pick out a nice outfit from what I had packed, I mindlinked Rosie to see if she was awake and ready to go down to breakfast yet. She nagged me, saying that it was way too early for this shit and that she was going to be a few minutes, but if I wanted to go on down to wait for my mate, she would understand. Although I did not want to admit it, I was a little nervous to go down by myself. However, the longer I waited to go down, the more restless my wolf became, so I forced myself to man up and headed down the stairs instead of taking the elevator because I was struggling to even stand still. As I walked into the dining hall, I was immediately hit with her intoxicating scent. I took a deep breath to really take it in, and was instantly calmed and whisked away to my happy place. I looked around to see if anyone else in the room was sniffing the
Sadie POV Even though the night before was an emotional roller coaster between the joy of my first shift and then finding out that even in wolf form, I still had to wear a prosthetic, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. I had pleasant dreams of a raven-haired man with aquamarine blue eyes and him saying that he could not wait to meet me soon. Even though I was at peace because of my dreams, my wolf was restless and was pacing in my head. For some reason, she wanted me to hurry down to breakfast; maybe she was super hungry after shifting for the first time last night. I obliged and decided to head downstairs, figuring I could help mom and the other Omegas with breakfast anyway. Normally, my mom does not cook meals or do much cleaning, but when we have guests of honor she is usually one of the ones recruited to help out because of her hospitality. No one was downstairs yet, so I just hung out in the kitchen with Calliope, one of the omegas who alwa