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Mate. Something every werewolf looks forward to. The thought of finding someone tailor-made by the moon goddess for you alone in the entire world is exhilarating. At least it was for me. For a while. I waited for what felt like forever. Everyone finds their mate once they turn eighteen. I'll be eighteen in a few days. I wanted to keep myself for my mate. To be pure but who was I kidding. Nobody could have prepared me for who my mate was. Not even my adoptive parents. The alpha's son. Maverick Tatum. The same boy I used to think of as a scum after watching how he treats the female in the pack. That same boy was my mate. I'm Ares Powers. My parents said they found me in the woods with my name engraved in the wood of the beads I was wearing. They have tried taking off the beads multiple times when I was growing up. They couldn't. They took me to the pack seer and he said only my true mate can help me remove the beads and unlock my wolf's highest potential. I wonder why my birth parents would want to keep my powers locked. The day I found out Maverick was my mate was the same day he rejected me. In front of everyone. The next day, I was banished from the pack. I swore to get my revenge then. But until then, I have to find a way to unlock my wolf's full potential because my mate turned out to be unreliable.
“Wake up! Wake up!”“Isn't it too early?”I ask Athena groggily. I wonder why Athena's so preppy in the morning. Athena is my wolf. I've had her since I was sixteen. Which was weird because everyone else shifts at eighteen. Each time I try shifting in someone else's presence, I feel my bead tighten around my wrist and stop my shift.I remember my first shift. I was terrified. I thought it wasn't supposed to happen until two years. I had no one around me to help me through it. I was alone.It happened when I was taking a breather by the little pond I found. It wasn't as painful as everyone claimed it would be. I haven't mentioned it yet to anyone. Not even my adoptive parents. It's bad enough I'm taller than all other girls my age, I can't become the pack freak who shifted at sixteen.“It's our birthday! Yours but we are one so it counts as ours”I startle awake. Eyes wide. It's my birthday. Technically, it's the day Jules and Damon found me. I was about 2 months old when they found me and took me in as their own.“It's our birthday today. You know what this means”“We find out mate today!”I say with Athena. Okay now I'm excited. Hopefully my mate adores me the way Damon adores Jules, my adoptive parents. The thought of it alone sent me into a state of euphoria.I take a quick shower and head to the living room. Mum and Dad live two blocks away from the Pack House. “Happy birthday sweetheart”Dad hugs my shoulder and kisses my head. I love his head kisses. I smiled so wide I was afraid I'd split my cheek in two.“Thanks dad”Mom and Ashley walk in at that moment.“Happy birthday baby”Mom kisses my cheeks as she hugs me. I watch as Dad's eyes come alive as she walks in. To this day, she's still the most beautiful woman to him.“Big day huh. You'll be getting your first shift and hopefully meeting your mate in the pack.”Mom says as she sits next to Dad. He wastes no time wrapping his arms around her and kissing her head too. “Morning Dad”Ashley voiced. I won't say we don't get along but I can't also say that we do. We are at a stalemate. “Morning princess. Won't you wish your sister a happy birthday?”“She already has you both fawning over her. What could she possibly need to hear from me again”“Ashley! Would it kill you to be nice”Dads face twisted. He doesn't like Mom angry. And he certainly doesn't tolerate anyone that makes her angry. That includes us. He gives Ashley a look that spells ‘fix it before I fix you'.“Arrrggghhh fine. Happy birthday Ares”“Thank you. It means so much to me that Mum and Dad made you say it.”I said with a saccharine smile that I know she hates.“Good. Can I leave now? I'm meeting up with My friends”“Sure princess”“Thank you”Ashley is a year older than me. She still hasn't found her mate yet. My birthday is probably a reminder of hers. She went round the pack and couldn't pick up his scent after she shifted into her wolf. When she shifted back and still couldn't pick up his scent. She bawled her eyes out. I had never seen her cry so much.“Can I leave too? I'm hoping to go sightseeing around the pack”“Is that what we are calling it now?”Mum wags her eyebrows at me then shares a look with Dad.“Please can I just leave”I cringe. I am beyond mortified at this point. I don't need my parents knowing I'm going out to find my mate.“Sure. Enjoy yourself. When you get back we'll cut your cake”“Thanks Mum. Bye guys”As soon as I shut the door, I'm hit with this wonderful scent of pine and earth. All I wanted to do at that moment was follow the scent where it led. My heart starts beating fast and my hand becomes clammy as I follow the scent with shaky legs.Athena was more excited than I was. She wouldn't stop howling in my head. As I turn towards the cool kids spot. My heart skids to a stop at what I see. I find my mate nestled in the arms of Ashley. My own sister.The pain. I felt betrayed. I'm finding it hard to process my feelings. I can't make sense of what's happening at the moment. I thought everyone was supposed to stay loyal and expectant of their mate. This can't be happening to me.He turns to me and looks at me like I'm some alien. “Can't he smell us”“He can. Brace yourself Athena.”“So it's you”“That's all? That's all you're going to say to me!. For goodness sake. UNWRAP YOUR HANDS FROM HER!.”I might not like Maverick but that doesn't change the fact that he's my mate. “You don't tell me what to do. Besides, I'm your Alpha.”I feel the change in the air. He's trying to make me submit. Athena rises to the surface and joins forces with me as we fight back.“SUBMIT!”“No”Everyone else around us submits, including Ashley. I refuse to back down.He senses that he might lose to me and utters the only word that knows will break me.“I Maverick Tatum rejects you, Ares Powers as my mate and future Luna”I felt a part of my heart break at that moment. The pain intensifies. I lost concentration at that moment as it felt like the world just shifted under my feet without notice. It took all of my willpower not to break down. Athena let out a painful howl in my mind. I almost joined her but I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me like that.I never liked him in the first place but the moon goddess still felt he was the right match for me. I guess the moon goddess makes mistakes too. Everyone looks at me. Their looks range from pity to smugness. They never liked me anyway. I was the stray. The freak. The one with no explained origin. I don't care for the looks they throw my way. “I Ares Powers accepts the rejection”A look of surprise, and dare I say pain flashes across his eyes. I guess he wasn't expecting that I would accept.I fear I'm past my breaking point and swiftly run away. I'm not going to break down in front of them. I'm not going to give them a reason to mock me or pity me. I feel enough pity for myself already.I don't make it to my secret spot before Athena wanted out. I shift immediately. Athena's howl opened the floodgates. I spent the night at my secret spot. I walked home the next morning with hopes of eating away the feeling of rejection.I see Alpha matt, Maverick, my parents and Ashley sitting in the living room. I spot a fresh mark on Ashley's neck. A mate mark.
I turn to Maverick and see he has one too. My heart shrivels up at the sight.“Hello Ares”“Morning Alpha”He must have found out about my little spat with his son yesterday.“Are you here to apologise on Maverick's behalf?”Maverick turns to me so fast that I almost hope he breaks his neck. Dad gives me a look. He's Wondering why I would disrespect the Alpha like that.“No. That's not why I'm here”What other reason could make him leave his house that early. I already don't like where this is going. What he says next becomes my undoing.“I just wanted to inform you that you have 24 hours to leave the Pack before you are thrown out or worse.”I stand at the door aghast. I'm lost for words. I expected anything else but that to come out of his mouth. He couldn't possibly mean it. I swallowed the lump in my throat so I could speak.“I'm sorry?. I-I think I
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