Alpha

Rachel lives and breathes the world of magic. As an heir to the throne of a secret werewolf culture, she stands in the doorway to the spirit world, staring in the face of things her pack can only imagine. That is the way. Her parents understand, as does the next Alpha, Andrew, her predestined soulmate. But when the scale is tipped out of balance, they're both placed in a race against time to save their pack and everything they have ever known, plagued by a question of morality: What is right? Or, more importantly, what's wrong?

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1. Rachel

 

I can remember. I will remember.

My earliest thoughts, hours after I was born. I am the heir to our culture, destined for greatness like my parents before me, and their parents before them. We were...more. Not gods, certainly, but standing in the threshold of the spiritual world and basking in that grace.

Our people were the wolves, already in tune with the spirit of the wild. My family was simply a purer, more potent specimen. No human had wed into our line, not since before we joined with the animal spirits. That was the design of whatever lies beyond the threshold, and so each of our generations were born with two children: one boy and one girl. My brother was seven years older than me, and already training to become the Alpha. Myself? I was destined to be a queen. What else would I be doing?

~~ * ~ * ~ * ~~

“Hyah!” I cried, throwing Heather to the ground with little effort. Behind me, a familiar throaty chuckle sounded, followed by a slow clap.

“Very impressive,” praised my brother, Andrew. He appraised me with watchful eyes before a grin broke out on his face.

I kicked him firmly. “You know you're not supposed to see this!”

“I know, I know. I admit, I couldn't wait until the Choosing to see you in action,” he confessed, no trace of guilt in his voice or on his face. As I continued to glare, he sighed, repentant. “Look, I'll forget what I saw, okay? I've waited too long for your Choosing, Rachel.”

Heather huffed and pulled herself up from the floor. “That eager to be a married man, Andrew?”

He fixed her with a stern look, one only an Alpha could provide for a misbehaving pup. “I suppose you could say that. Anyway, Rachel, I'm headed to the Moon-grounds early. I'll see you by Saturday, won't I?”

I deliberated to draw it out, because I knew he hung on my every word, even after all this time growing up with me. Finally, I had to sigh and let him off the hook. “Alright. I'll be there on Friday.”

Though he tried to hide it, he exhaled in relief, grinning again. “Bye, Rachel.”

“Bye,” the word escapes me quietly after he leaves the room, my breath still gone with him. Sixteen years, and he still amazed me.

Heather giggled. “You know, I have to admit, if it were anyone else, I'd think you had issues.”

I smile and hold my head a little higher, remembering my place. As a queen, by the Alpha's side.

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