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, floor length gown. As she stepped from the dressing room even Brandon's eyes widened in the slightest bit. The baby pink gown fell to the floor in an ocean of lace and silk. The neckline was extremely low, highlighting the bits and pieces Hazel had no fear showing off. Somehow the light color seemed to make her dark eyes pop and her skin resemble smooth marble.
"That is the one." I nodded in absolute approval as she twirled in a circle.
"I don't quite trust your opinion but I can take a compliment either way." She smirked at me jokingly and I stuck my tongue out at her.
"Well, what do you think?" Hazel turned to Brandon; her hand placed on her hip as she gave him a stern look. I could tell from Hazel's face that she had already made her own decision on this dress, so Brandon better give her the right answer.
"That's definitely the one. I didn't even know you could look attractive." Brandon smirked while Hazel fumed at his meaning. I met Brandon's eyes in an effort not to laugh and he shot me a quick wink.
Hazel retreated into the dressing room to throw on her normal clothes and emerged with her pink gown neatly tucked away in one of those weird dress bags.
"Alright, your turn now. Let's get to work." Hazel huffed, scanning my body up and down as if she were analyzing every curve and angle of my body. I could feel my face flush under all of the attention and jokingly brought my hands up to cover my breasts, which were already covered by my shirt.
"Oh, very funny. We need to find a dress that shows off them curves." Hazel smirked as she turned and made her way back to the dresses.
If I thought Hazel was bad before, I was completely wrong. I must have tried on over a hundred dresses and did over a thousand poses in those dresses. Each time Hazel would deeply analyze my body as a glazed look came over her face. None of the dresses I had tried on managed to gain her approval. Just as I was about to give in and choose one at random, she called out to me.
"Now THIS, this is one you need to try!" Hazel shouted, rushing up to me with a gorgeous blue dress. I could already tell that the dress would show my bare shoulders and give a plain view of my neck. I smiled deviously, already liking the idea that this wouldn't please my parents. Showing an unmarked neck off like that was just calling attention to yourself. I could already see Sabrina wearing her long sleeve, floor length, long neck gown. She would look beautiful either way, but I knew she would wear it to please our mother.
The dress Hazel handed me was a beautiful baby blue color, the same as my eyes. The top of the dress, that ran across my chest, was covered in luscious blue flowers. The gown trickled to the floor in an ocean of silk and waves. I knew as I ran my hand down the soft fabric, that this was the dress I wanted. I gave Hazel an approving nod and made my way into the dressing room.
I finally emerged from the dressing room, smoothing my long chocolate hair down my back and running my fingers down the length of the dress. I heard a slight gasp and instantly looked into Brandon and Hazel's shocked eyes.
"Damn girl. I'm so good I impress myself." Hazel beamed at me, her head bouncing up and down in approval. Brandon's eyes roamed the length of my body, but this time it felt different.
"Wow Claire. You look absolutely stunning." Brandon forced the words out, a small smile playing on his face.
"Girl, I know you don't want a mate. But whoever he is doesn't even know how lucky he is." Hazel confirmed, looking over my body yet again. I felt a scowl form on my face. My body is my own, whoever my mate is can go be lucky with someone else. When Hazel said this, I noticed Brandon's face seemed to drop.
"Lucky." I thought I heard him mumble to himself.
"Okay so I'm going to come to your place tomorrow around 5pm to get you ready for the ball!" Hazel beamed, giving me a small shove towards the dressing room. I didn't bother voicing any disagreement, I knew she wouldn't listen. Any chance to do full glamour makeup made Hazel vicious.
After changing and purchasing our gowns, we stopped by a few stores and repeated the entire process only with shoes and accessories. Our little dress trip had taken up all of the day and the knot in my stomach grew larger than ever. Hazel demanded that I get loads of beauty sleep and do some fancy hair mask she had purchased me. With a little grumble I agreed, mainly because I was looking forward to sleeping. Brandon had been quiet the entire ride home, and I couldn't help but wonder why.
Once we pulled up at my house, I hopped out of Hazel's car and made my way to the front porch. I noticed Brandon had hopped out as well and followed me, a strange look coming over his face.
"Claire..." Brandon trailed off, looking uneasy. As the sun was beginning to set, I noticed his eyes for the first time. While his shaggy hair is a sandy blonde color, his eyes weren't the typical hazel color I had been used to. As the sun hit his eyes, I could see the flecks of green that swirled beneath them, also tinged with a warm caramel color. The small scar above his upper lip seemed to stand out as he bit on his bottom lip.
"What's wrong?" I frowned, looking at his tense posture.
"What happens to us if one of us finds our mate?" Brandon asked, his deep voice growing quiet as the words left his mouth. Confusion became clearly written on my face as I tried to understand exactly what he meant.
"Well, I have no intention of finding a mate, and obviously Hazel is excited to meet hers. How do you feel about finding a mate?" I asked him, my lips turning down at the thought of me finding a mate.
"I think that we should be free to choose our own mates." I heard him speak quietly. I looked at my best friend and saw some distant sadness within his multicolored eyes.
"Unfortunately, that's not how it works." I sighed, knowing if I had the choice, I would choose to not have a mate. The thought of freeing whoever was forced to be bound to me made me feel light and happy. I knew the truth though, if you reject your mate, you live a life worse than death. Constant pain, sadness and sorrow you've never known. I can't say I know of any wolves that lived a long life after rejecting/being rejected by their mates.
"If only." I heard Brandon add quietly as he turned back to Hazel's car. I watched him walk away, feeling awful for my friend. He deserved every bit of happiness as Hazel did. I wasn't sure what I deserved, the longer I thought about it, the more confused I felt. Did I deserve to fall in love and be happy? My wolf shouted 'yes, we do!' so many times when I asked myself this question, and each time my mind would drift back to the possibility of being hurt. I knew in my heart that I couldn't handle being hurt again. At that moment I made a clear decision in my head, one my wolf absolutely disagreed with, but I didn't care. I would sooner die than ever be hurt like that again.
The rest of my night was spent laughing with my brother and Amber as if no time had passed, as if he had never left. I forgave him for not helping me out, I couldn't stay mad at him after all. After what seemed like hours of laughing, telling stories to Amber about our childhood, I finally made my way to my bedroom. Wanting nothing more than to go to bed, I reluctantly did as Hazel told me to. I peeled my clothes off and hopped into the shower, making sure to use her fancy hair mask that smelled of vanilla and lavender. Once I was finally clean and dry, I hastily put on an oversized t-shirt and practically collapsed on my bed. The knot in my stomach forgotten once more, sleep consumed me moments later.
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
*Claire's P.O.V*We sat in silence for the next few hours. I was doing everything I could to silence my wolf's perverted thoughts. I couldn't help but find them equally tempting as well. I couldn't stand how the mate bond made me act. I had just met this man last night and I was already willing to crawl into his bed.Something had to change. I wasn't sure how long I would last until I finally caved in.I pushed any thoughts about Alpha Killian out of my head and tried my best to think of anything else. I wondered what Hazel's mate was like, what she might be doing at this time. I wondered where Brandon's mate could possibly be and why he hadn't found her at the ball.My thoughts consumed me for awhile, and I had hardly noticed as we hopped on an exit from the highway."Are we here?" I asked softly, not daring to turn my eyes to Alpha Killian. I didn't want to deal with the feelings his silver gaze would provoke, and my wolf w