From an incredibly young age, I was taught to never trust strangers, no matter their beauty or status. I was told that some people can use their beauty and sweet words like poison, and it could get me hurt. There are people who will want to hurt me for who I am, who I was, and who I may become. There are some who are jealous of me and will bully me to make themselves feel better. Many times, I was told how certain people can and will take advantage of me if they get the chance, but if I work hard and get strong, keep my guard up and be alert, that itll be less likely to happen.

I never knew what any of that meant, and frankly I didn care. Who was I but a low werewolf with naturally good looks and semi to no background that anyone can tell me? I stopped listening to my mother about the age of ten when she told me to start paying attention in training, when she said that getting into fights was the worst ways of gaining attention from people, and when she repeatedly explained how the pack was just trying to help and not make me feel like a complete dumbass. She didn know half of my problems in life, and never would because now shes dead.

My mother is dead and all I can think about is how the Beta became Alpha of the pack. He wasn mean or rude to anyone, especially me. But if I thought my mother was strict, imagine how I felt when he started controlling my life? One thing I hated was being controlled by someone else. Its my life. Its my rules. I hate people trying to take that away from me. The Beta isn even my father and he act like hes the boss. I know hes Alpha, but hes only strict with me, and thats wrong.

My best friend, Jarom, was the only one who defended me. He is the only one who cares about how bad my life truly is. He is also the only one who doesn look at me like Im a piece of meat about to be bought and sold. Brown hair, green eyes, olive skin, medium height, and an amazing sense of humor, I couldn have asked for a better friend. No one else found me safe or cool enough to be around. Jerom respected the rules the elders gave me, but he also let me figure out what I want in life without telling me otherwise. Being twenty-one hasn changed that at all, not that it changed many other aspects of my life either.

Most wolves of my age were out finding their mates and switching packs, most were getting mated and getting drunk. I, on the other hand, sat and watched it all happen with a sour look on my face. I insisted Jarom go out and do what normal wolves do, but he declined and offered to hang out with me for as long as he could. See? A kind friend who cares about me! He doesn complain how we might have to stay home to watch a movie or how an elder might come with us just to pick up some groceries. If anything, he made light of the situation and made everything seem like a joke.

I wasn sure how long I would be able to go on without trying to find my mate somewhere in the world. Alphas of other packs came with unmated males, but none even took a second glance at me, no matter how beautiful I was, because they always found their mates in another woman. It pissed me off. The worst part was I hadn even shifted yet. Im a werewolf and an adult, but no chance of shifting any time soon. I was just another human in the pack, and no male wanted that as a mate.

”Simone? ” Former Beta, Current Alpha Roniston called from his house. I looked over my shoulder at him, my long blonde locks shining in the sunlight. ”May I have a word? ”

Sighing, I got up from a bench I was sitting on and left to see him. Jerom mouthed a good luck before holding up a thumbs up. It didn lighten my spirits because we both knew he couldn come with me. I relied on him as much as he relied on me to keep us both going through the hardships. It wasn like we were in love, but we felt the need to be together all the time since we met at the age of five.

”Whats up? ” I asked Alpha Roniston when we entered his office.

He gave me a soft smile and just stared at me like I was light or hope or something. It was honestly creepy. ”Simone, I know how much youve been sheltered so Im going to let you run around for a bit, outside pack borders. Jerom may go with. ”

”Really? ” I say brightly.

”Yes, ” he nodded. ”But you must be back by sundown. No later. If you haven arrived by then, I will personally bring you back and you will be grounded. ”

I nodded my head and bounced on the balls of my feet. ”I won let you down, Alpha! ”

”I hope so, ” he says with a sigh. Coming around to the front of his desk, he rests his hands on my shoulders. ”Be careful and stay alert. ”

”I will, ” I say and spin on my heel, sprinting out of the house to find Jerom. He wasn far from his own house with his hands in his pockets and posture relaxed. I jump onto his back and squeal. ”Lets go! ”

He laughed. ”Where are we going, Si? ”

”Running! ”

”Alpha finally let you go? ”

”We have to be back by sundown, but yes! ” I exclaim and drag him after me.

In the past, I was only allowed to run on a treadmill or on the track behind the pack training gym. It got boring and pointless considering it was all sand and flat ground. Being able to go run on a real terrain would be different and a huge improvement from all that.

As we ran, I did as Alpha said and kept my body alert for any signs of danger, not wanting anything to go wrong. I couldn waste this opportunity that I was a trustworthy she-wolf who wanted as much freedom as everyone else. I wanted to live my life like everyone else, and any problems would ruin that.

I never knew my father. He died before I was born and was Alpha. Why I hadn become Luna after my mother died was beyond me, but I hadn argued. Living as a Luna would mean responsibilities of the whole pack on my shoulders, no freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I knew Lunas were beautiful and the heart of the pack, but I didn want to be the Luna nobody wanted.

e quiet, ” Jerom said as he slowed his pace to run beside me. ”I thought youd be jumping for joy at the chance of freedom. ”

”Don think Im not! ” I scoff and push him away as he laughs.

When he returns to my side, his face turns serious. ”But seriously, Si, whats up? ”

I smile. ”Just listening to Alphas instructions on staying alert. ”

”You don really think someone would attack you, do you? ”

”Jer, I don know what to believe. Our pack hasn been attacked for decades according to Alpha. We
e a pretty friendly pack, but he thinks someone will attack me for some reason ”

”Do you think it has something to do with your mother? ”

I shrug. ”Why would she have anything to do with me being attacked? ”

”She did seem to be very reluctant to let you go to training on the first day when we were pups. ”

I put a hand on my heart and sighed dramatically. ”Thank the Goddess I am not the only one who noticed that! ”

He laughed. ”Of course, Id notice! We were practically inseparable when we were younger. ”

I give him a knowing look. ”We
e still inseparable, Jerom. It will take a lot more than our Alpha and my mother to keep us apart. ”

”Like your mate? ” he asks lightheartedly.

I stiffen and slow down a little. ”I don have a mate, Jer. No one would want me. I haven shifted, haven seen the world, and it would put me in danger which I guess Alpha Roniston is afraid of. Its what everyone is afraid of and theres no point in trying to deny it. If my mate ever does find me, Ill have to reject him to keep myself safe, it was my mothers order. ”

e going to listen to her? ” Jerom asked in disgust. ”Simone, a mate is supposed to help protect you, not put you in danger. Its why they are made for us. We need someone there when no one else will be, and that is the job of a mate. ”

I shrug. ”It doesn matter. As beautiful as I may be, Im weak. ”

He scoffs. ”Yeah right! ” I give him a glare which he rolls his eyes at. ”Si, you
e not some helpless damsel in distress! You
e a she-wolf who knows how to kick ass when the time calls for it. Im surprised you haven shifted! ”

I give him a weak smile and look up at the sky. ”We should return home. I don this to be the only time I get out. ”

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