Chapter 2

“Earth to Thea.”

Fingers snapping in front of my face made my eyes blink repeatedly. When I finally got back from reminiscing the event from six years ago, I realized that I was sitting on the dining chair with Mom’s cooking on the table.

Nathan, who already walked away from the table after bringing me back with his finger snaps, laughed. “Stop daydreaming. It’s night already.”

I scoffed and continued to devour the steak on my plate.

“Did you hear what I just said, Thea?” asked Dad.

Flash backward to five minutes ago. Dad was talking about how Full Moon was approaching. We would do another celebration, but it was the sixth year for our family to celebrate alone as we moved away from Grassmere, where most of Dad’s tribe resided.

“I did, but do we have to do that every year?” I groaned.

“Of course, Honey. It is to show our gratitude to the Moon Goddess for blessing us every day,” replied Mom.

“You should be happy that we don’t do it every freaking Full Moon like we did in Grassmere,” Nathan intruded.

After focusing my eyes on him, I just realized that Nathan still didn’t wear any shirts. My parents never commented on it, but it just irked me so much. I got that he finally became an Alpha, but it didn’t mean that he had to show his body off to everyone.

“Would you please wear some shirts?” I asked aggravatingly.

“Ashborne is a lot hotter than Grassmere, so please get used to it,” Nathan chuckled. “Besides, you’re the reason why we ended up here.”

“Nathan!” My parents shouted almost at the same time.

Six years had passed, but Nathan still held some kind of grudge to me for separating him and his friends. When he officially became an Alpha two years after our moving, Drake, Bryan, Elliot, and Selene finally joined his pack. Because of the distance, they only met occasionally.

After he graduated, Nathan kept working his way to move back to Grassmere. He failed to contact other werewolf tribes because they hid themselves too well. His decision put him in a small argument with Dad, who was worried that what happened to me back then would happen to him.

The day after my first transformation, I woke up on my bed, covered with my blue blanket. It seemed like I passed out and someone from the tribe found me. The wound on my left leg still stung. The handkerchief was replaced by a cleaner bandage, which I knew was the work of my mom.

I was informed that I was hit by a silver arrow. Werewolves could heal, but silver would slow it down and eventually be more harmful than any other wound. Nathan said I should be grateful that it didn’t go through my leg. Dad was raving about how there were hunters lurking in the woods that night, but I didn’t tell him anything about my encounter with a human.

The tribe was in full panic mode, but none of them had the guts to move away again. Instead, they changed the way they celebrated the Full Moon by minimizing tribe gathering and tried to blend in more with the townspeople. Dad was worried too much that he didn’t follow any of the advice. He brought us to leave Grassmere.

I knew it was his way to protect his family, but Nathan didn’t like it. He acted colder to me throughout the years, but chilled down once he became the Alpha of the pack. Still cold, though.

“How’s school?” Dad asked. Oh, here comes the dodge-away-the-awkwardness question.

“Nobody knows I’m a werewolf, if that’s what you’re asking,” I answered in sarcastic tone.

“Thea, we don’t kid around about the prophecy,” warned Dad. “You should still learn how to control your power. As far as I know, you still can’t shift smoothly.”

“Shifting is painful, Dad. I can’t fight pain.”

My bone chilled at the thought of the transformation process. As a kid, it was much more painful, but at least, I had a whole month to get physically and mentally ready for the next Full Moon. When Dad taught me how to control the transformation, I no longer needed Full Moon to turn. But, if I wanted to turn, the pain still soared through my body.

“Yes, you can, Thea. It’s all about training,” he insisted. “Nathan could do it because he trained intensively—”

“I know—God!” I almost slammed the table frustratingly. “As long as I can transform any time I want, I am safe, okay? I will be a normal teenager if you don’t push your training agenda. I’m not becoming an Alpha and I never will—so, please, take it easy on me.”

The dining room became quiet after my quick rant. Before Ashborne, I was this one little kid that was always picked on. The late bloomer, the useless sister, and the daughter my parents probably never wanted to—I’ve heard it all before. It mostly came from Nathan’s friends, but he did nothing to correct them because he agreed to some extent.

Now, after my first transformation, I felt a lot freer. I felt like I had this big space to express myself, not shadowed by my Alpha brother, or pressed by my dad’s status at the tribe as an Elder. Moving to Ashborne had been a great choice, at least for me.

The tense atmosphere died down when the doorbell rang. I glanced at the clock above the threshold to the living room. Five minutes past 8 pm. I was going to guess who in the right mind would come this late at night, but when Nathan ran to the door, I knew who it was going to be.

“Hey, Babe,” Nathan opened his eyes and a girl with long beautiful hair that I had always adored jumped into his embrace.

“Oh—good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Whitlock.”

Realizing that she became a center of attention from the other three hosts, Selene Preston released her hug and bowed a bit. She was wearing a yellow sleeveless shirt with a pair of denim short pants. Her hair was tied in ponytail with a yellow hairband. Standing next to Nathan, she looked completely pale compared to his tanned skin and dirty blond hair.

“Hello, Selene,” Mom stood up and greeted Selene with a warm hug. “Nate, why didn’t you tell us that Selene was visiting?”

“I was just in the town for a couple of days. You know, looking for houses or small apartments,” Selene said.

“Houses?” I chimed in. “Are you moving here?”

“That’s what I’m planning to, yeah,” she giggled. “I’m way past college and stuff so I’m just looking for a job here, in my boyfriend’s town.”

Selene wrapped her arm around Nathan, in which he responded by pecking the top of her head. I guessed, her attempts of being nice to me paid off well—she officially became Nathan’s girlfriend at the very night they visited the spring.

I heard Nathan told my mom about the night the pack went to bail on the Full Moon celebration to go to the spring and proved the fairy tales about Moon Goddess. He swore he didn’t hear any of my howling that time because they were trying to make an offering so the Moon Goddess would appear before them. However, while the Goddess didn’t appear, Selene was convinced that Nathan was her mate.

It didn’t take long for him to agree. The new couple also didn’t have a long time to embrace, as one of the tribe leaders came to the spring and warned them about the possibility of hunters coming there. The group dispersed—and that was the last time Nathan ever saw his friends again before becoming an Alpha two years later.

I always knew Nathan was overreacting about the moving. He was just angry that he couldn’t spend a good time with his new girlfriend that lived hundreds of miles away. He was worried that in the new place, he couldn’t get anyone to join his pack. Thanks to Dad, his old friends and girlfriend finally could join the pack.

“Funny because Nathan was planning to go back to Grassmere,” Mom glanced at my brother. “You really didn’t tell us anything, did you, Nate?”

Nathan rolled his eyes. “I thought you’d be happy if I didn’t go anywhere? Selene agrees to move here, so I don’t have to tell you anything.”

“What about your mother, Selene? Is she okay with that?”

“She couldn’t be happier that I will live in the same town as Elder Whitlock,” Selene smiled.

“Oh, come on now,” Dad, hearing his old title was mentioned, finally got up on his feet. “I’m not an Elder anymore, Selene.”

“You still are for most of us, Sir. You left the town way too soon,” said Selene.

Maybe it was just me, but I felt like she was indirectly calling me out. Of course, Thea was the sole reason why Nathan was separated with his future pack for years and why Dad lost his Tribe Elder title. Thea destroyed this family’s connection because of one single scratch on her leg!

I was taken aback when another fingers snapped in front of me. This time it was Dad’s.

“See, Dad? She never focuses,” commented Nathan derisively.

“Sorry,” I whispered. I didn’t have the energy to respond to Nathan’s childish remark. “What is it, Dad?”

“Change of plan for Full Moon celebration,” said Dad. “I think it would be nice to invite the whole tribe here.”


Related chapters

Latest chapter Protection Status