Both look at me, sniffing the air as I watch them. By their scent, I know they are werewolves and high-ranking ones.
“Alpha Ezra requests your presence at the Packhouse immediately.” The man with dark hair that is faded on the sides growls. He appears to be in his early twenties, and by the authority oozing off him, I can tell he is the Pack’s Beta. His eyes dart to me, and he looks me up and down, a strange look on his face.
Is he angry, or is it shock? I can’t tell, but whatever it is, he covers it quickly. He presses his lips in a line and swallows, turning his attention back to my father.
“This is your daughter?” He scoffs, motioning toward me, not even trying to hide his dislike as he speaks; I guess it is anger. Yep, definitely angry because when his eyes move back to me, his cold gray-blue eyes glare daggers at me as if he wants to kill me himself.
“Yes, this is my daughter, Katya. I am Derrick,” my father introduces himself before holding out his hand. “I didn’t catch your name?” My father says, drawing the man’s attention away from me, that has me wanting to run and hide in the car to escape his intense gaze.
The man grasps his hand firmly. “Beta Mateo, this is Alex, one of our Gammas,” he introduces the other man. He is around the same age, with blonde hair hanging in his hazel eyes, yet he looks more bored than anything.
Both of them are huge, around the same size as my father. But, Beta Mateo has more bulk of muscle and is a few inches taller and is wearing a black shirt and dark blue jeans.
“I hear you used to be a Beta at your old Pack?” Mateo questions, and my father nods. “Good, we could use some help training some of our Pack. If you are up for it?” He asks with a smirk.
My father nods. “Sounds great,” my father tells him before introducing my mother to him. “This is Shirley, my wife and mate.”
“Nice to meet you,” my mother tells them, stepping forward and shaking their hands. The Beta’s eyes keep darting back to me, his anger is now gone, but he looks confused. Every time he glances in my direction, and he keeps sniffing the air, his lips pursed as he looks me over once again, and I notice the points of his canines poke out a little as if he was trying to control his wolf.
“If you follow us, we will escort you to the Packhouse. You can be placed with someone until the property is available,” Mateo explains, turning on his heel and getting in his black BMW. We hop back in our car before following him through the sleepy town. It is quite a large town and way nicer looking than the one back home.
“See how nice they are? This will work out. It has to,” my mother says a little too enthusiastically.
We follow their car all the way to the end of town before pulling down a road and going into the forest for another ten minutes. We stop on a horseshoe driveway in front of a huge sandstone three-storied mansion with bushy green hedges out front. Massive arched windows and vines grow along the stone walls to the roof. I hop out of the car and my shoes crunch on the ground from the tiny pebbles that cover it. I look up at the Packhouse. It is definitely more lavish than the one back home.
Beta Mateo leads us to the white door before opening it and motioning for us to enter. Inside has white marble floors, and a hall stand sits along the wall near the entryway with a big, expensive-looking vase. My mother looks around in awe. Two staircases lead to the landing above, overlooking the floor we were on, and I stare, amazed, as I take it all in.
We walk toward the door between both stairwells. I spy some bench seats next to it, and Mateo knocks on the door before a deep voice tells him to enter. A shiver runs up my spine.
He slips through the door, closing it behind him before returning and telling my parents to go in and for me to wait until called. I wait for what feels like hours before my mother comes out, sitting next to me. The Packhouse is quiet, and no one walks around, and I can’t hear anyone else here.
“He is just speaking with your father, then he will want to speak to us individually to make sure our stories are the same,” my mother explains to me in a hushed voice.
“What story? They banished us because of me,” I whisper to her. He would find out and kill us, or worse, make me leave without my parents. My mother nudges me with her arm.
“Shh, calm down. Everything is fine. He probably won’t ask you much because you’re our child,” she tries to comfort me, trying to calm me down enough that I don’t get us caught. Tears brim and I quickly wipe them away. If I fuck this up, I would ruin our only chance of remaining together.
“What did you tell them?” I ask softly. I have to make sure I got this right. I can’t afford to say the wrong thing.
“They were going to banish us. It’s not lying; it’s the truth. He doesn’t need to know the reason why. You have a wolf, Kat. She will come. You’ll see,” my mother tries to reassure me.
“And if she doesn’t?” I whisper.
“She will,” my mother replies, steel in her voice.
I hang my head. I will be the biggest disappointment to them, which makes my stomach twist painfully.
My father steps out and nods to my mother. She wipes her hands on her jeans before getting up and walking into the office and closing the door.
“He will initiate you into the Pack. It isn’t so bad. You just need to drink his blood, Kat, and you will feel the Pack link snap in place.”
Gross, I think to myself. “What about the old Pack?”
“It will hurt a little once you pledge, like a migraine. I won’t lie to you; it even brought me to my knees,” he whispers, as I hear my mother cry out. My father jumps to his feet, head snapping toward the door. I hear soft murmurs before the silver door handle jiggles, and the door opens. My mother stumbles out, clutching her head. My father was at her side, instantly helping her to her seat.
Nervousness makes me take a step back, not wanting to endure whatever she just had. “Kat, you need to go in,” my mother whispers, pulling herself together, with her fingers gently rubbing her temples.
Fear chokes me and I shake my head, too scared to go in. My mother is the strongest woman I know, and if it hurt her that badly, I know it must be painful.
My father comes over, grabbing my arms and gives me a gentle shake until I look at him. “Kat, we did all this for you. This is the only choice we have to remain together, so I need you to do this for us,” he orders, holding my gaze and I swallow and glance at the door before I nod.
“Is everything alright out there?” The Alpha calls out from inside the room. I look to the door in a panic.
“Please, Katya, once it’s done, it’s done, it stops, I promise,” my father tries to reassure me, yet my mother still has her head clutched in her hands.
I let out a breath and nod. My father steers me toward the door and then nudges me. My hand trembles as I grip the door handle and push the door open. Keeping my head down, I step inside, close it, and look up at the Alpha.
He is looking at some documents on his desk. He has dark hair long on top and faded on the sides. I freeze at the strange look he gives me when he looks up. He sniffs the air slightly, and I wonder if he can sense that I am different. A low, deep growl rumbles from his chest softly as he grips the desk so hard his knuckles turn white. His caramel eyes flicker to the beast residing within him and I have to fight down the urge to run back out of the room.
Hesitantly, my feet move toward the desk. He is very handsome, with a five o’clock shadow, full lips, and a strong jawline. He smells nice too, like the forest after it rains, he has a strong woodsy scent. I would guess he is around his mid-twenties. He watches me for a few seconds when I stop, not knowing if I should remain standing or what to do with myself.
After a few seconds, his body relaxes slightly, and I notice claw marks on his tabletop from where his fingers were. He beckons me closer, and I force my feet to move. His eyes watch my every move. Shit! Can he smell I have no wolf? The tight set of his jaw clenches and the way he watches me with his flickering eyes makes my blood run cold.
He knows, and he is going to kill me.