Chapter One – Three Years
Alcohol, boys, friends, and dancing promised that Eileen's last night being seventeen would be perfect. She'd been going to this select club since she was much younger, and she loved it. Loved how the bartenders knew her, loved how they gave her extra despite her age, and loved how willing the dance partners were. It was such a shame in a few hours all her fun would be over.
Resting against the bar, Eileen's closest friend—as well as partner in crime—Burgundy worked on her drink slowly. "Having fun?" she prompted when Eileen joined her.
"Naturally," Eileen said, catching the bartender's eye. He knew what she wanted. "I just wish this didn't have to end. You're so lucky you're not the Alpha's daughter."
"Yeah, that's normally what people tell me," Burgundy snorted, tossing her rich brown curls back over her shoulder. "Lucky I'm not the Alpha's daughter." The comment was light, and her mouth twisted up into a smile. "My little Eel, you don't know how lucky you are."
She couldn't really remember where the nickname Eel had come from: she'd just assumed it was because of her energy and the fact that it loosely rhymed with her name. She grinned at the word now, enjoying the closeness. Burgundy was a good friend; always had been, hopefully always would be. With the birthday coming up, meeting at parties would end. They'd have to meet up elsewhere.
Werewolf customs had come a long way. They'd adapted to society, keeping some traditions while ditching others to remain unnoticed by civilization. Eileen personally thought it worthwhile to ditch the tradition of "shaping up" after becoming "of age"—her father, however, didn't agree.
She could do the upcoming aging thing. Her twin brothers, a year and a half older, had already quit the parties and drinking. She barely even remembered their rebellious stage.
Of course, they had a shot at being Alpha some day. They'd fight for the position after a long bout of training, and eventually one would take over their little pack. Eileen, however, would never be able to take over as Alpha: she was a female and there were two brothers in line in front of her. It simply wouldn't be.
Despite this, she loved her brothers. Did she harbor ill will for the laws, though?
"You haven't danced in a while," Eileen pouted to Burgundy while she tested her new drink. She couldn't place it, but it was strong; it had to be. With her heightened wolf metabolism, it was a lot harder for her to get drunk.
"It's your night," Burgundy said, nodding her head toward the floor. "Go for it."
Oh, she would.
Throwing her head back and taking the alcohol down, Eileen winked at Burgundy as she headed back out onto the dance floor. The beat of the song was just right; pop, dance, and a low bass that got her blood pounding. The lights were low, flashing sporadically and making everyone look twitchy. She liked it.
A human boy she'd danced with before approached her. He looked average, like most of the human boys. He wasn't as good as some of the werewolves she'd seen, but the only wolves around were under eighteen—over eighteen were supposed to stay away to show their strength—and that meant she wasn't interested.
Batting her eyelashes at him, Eileen swayed on the spot, waiting to see if he'd match her. His hands found a place on her hips quite confidently. He was lucky she didn't feel like biting tonight.
"You're a great dancer," he said, leaning into her.
"Mm," she mused, turning her head away to scan the floor while keeping her hips in motion. She caught Burgundy watching her and dropped to the floor, tossing her head back for effect. Burgundy looked amused.
Though they always went to the same parties and often had the same views, Burgundy was more reserved. She sipped at her drinks all night long and was selective about her dance partners. She could afford the luxury; she'd be allowed to slip out every once in a while to go to a party since she was just a pack member.
The song changed, the beat just as good. Eileen kept dancing, gradually allowing herself to get more into it, twisting her way around the boy. At least he was keeping up.
An irritating buzz swarmed at her chest, and Eileen fished her phone out of her tight dress, taking a step back from the boy. He was staring at the phone in her hands like he didn't quite know what to make of it. Making sure her dress was still in the right place, Eileen said, "I have to take this," and walked back to Burgundy.
"You're a tease," Burgundy informed her when they met up again. This time Eileen didn't catch the bartender's eye. "You and I both know that was a text."
"Yes, but only an idiot with a death wish would text me on my last night of fun," Eileen said, flicking open the screen. "So it must be important." And indeed it was. Sent from one of the twins, it was an invitation to come back home.
Eileen scanned the room before her eyes landed back on Burgundy's pretty face.
"What?" Burgundy asked.
"Debating," Eileen sighed. "The twins want me back, but this place—"
"Is full of humans and average alcohol," Burgundy finished for her. "Your dance partner isn't exciting, I could see it on your face. You've only got a couple of hours left; you might as well spend the next half with the twins."
Grinning, Eileen said, "You're a good friend. What are you going to do?"
"Probably have another drink," Burgundy admitted. "If I see someone I like, I'll dance. If not, I'm probably heading home in a couple of songs." When Eileen raised an eyebrow Burgundy continued, "And I'll either run home or take a cab. I'm covered. Go."
"Don't start ignoring me just because I'm about to turn eighteen," Eileen warned as she tucked her phone back into place. "We're still going to hang out. And you're going to sneak me alcohol."
Snorting, Burgundy said, "We'll see," to Eileen's departing back.
Eileen knew they'd be meeting again soon. Her official birthday party was coming up, and almost everyone would be there. The idea of a whole "birthday party" left Eileen less than enthused; she'd have to wear a nice dress and act "proper," something she'd grown to despise.
Daddy had spoiled her.
It had only been too easy. Mother had died during childbirth, so they didn't remember her much. From the stories they heard, she'd been a wonderful woman. However, her death had still left three children with only one parent; a parent who was also in charge of an entire pack.
The boys had been treated well, but they were still boys. They'd been taught to be tough and regulated into potential Alpha's at a young age. Eileen, however, was coddled. When she didn't want to do something, she didn't have to: it wasn't like she was going to be Alpha anyway. This streak had continued throughout most of her childhood. Eileen wondered how it would change when she aged.
Pulling her phone back out, Eileen checked the screen for the time. A couple of hours was right. She debated running home, which would involve ripping her dress, when a voice startled her.
"You never text back."
"I was about to," Eileen argued, waving her phone in front of her oldest brother's face. "Are you here to kidnap me?"
Rolling his eyes, Ethan rested a hand against her arm. "You seem willing."
"Only if there's alcohol," Eileen informed him. "And fun. If you two are going to be boring tell me now and I'll go back in there and keep drinking."
"We have alcohol," Ethan said. "The good kind, too. I can smell you've been drinking the cheap stuff. Didn't you bat your lashes at the bartender?"
Eileen ignored his comment, heading to the nondescript pack car he'd parked a ways out. At least she wouldn't have to run home; they'd probably already thought of that. She climbed into the passenger seat and was surprised to see that Evan, the younger twin, wasn't around.
"He's in charge of getting the alcohol," Ethan said, catching her silence. "Otherwise he'd be here."
When the car started up, Eileen enjoyed the cool air blowing into her face. Dancing had made her hot without her even realizing it. "It wasn't hard, was it?" she asked uncertainly. This whole aging thing had been nagging at her.
"All of it. Giving up the alcohol and parties. The weird test we're supposed to do." When Evan and Ethan had turned eighteen their father had put them through an obstacle course and fights so they could prove they were growing up properly. Eileen didn't like the idea of a bunch of people watching her jump through hoops.
Ethan grinned at her. "You're an addict."
Punching his shoulder, Eileen said, "Stop messing with me. I'm trying to be serious."
"Alright, fine. I will say truthfully, Evan and I never got as attached to alcohol as you have. Cutting it off wasn't very hard for us. And the test?" He grinned mischievously and pressed his lips into a tight line.
Poking him, Eileen said, "What do you know? C'mon, tell me!"
"I'm not supposed to say anything," he said, holding up a finger. "But I'll say it anyway. Since you've got no shot at being Alpha, your test is different. It's just going to be one of those games where everyone competes, like when we were little and they were just for fun. Even if you suck, there's no pressure. You'll do fine, the party will end, and you'll be eighteen."
"Do you know the game?" Eileen pried. This was the first piece of information she'd gotten.
He shook his head. "Dad's keeping it quiet. But we've got wolves of all ages coming around, so I have to assume it's something easy. Probably something to do with speed and accuracy." He let out a low chuckle and Eileen knew what he was laughing about: sometimes her accuracy wasn't the greatest after a night of partying.
"Thanks for telling me," she said, resting back in the seat. "I feel a little better."
"Were you having fun?" Ethan asked. There was a distant sort of curiosity radiating from him. Eileen knew it was because he'd been away from it all for a year and a half.
"Fun enough," Eileen agreed. She'd wanted it to be an epic last night, but in truth, it had been just like any other night. She was glad Burgundy had been there; now she was hoping the twins could make the last half of her night as epic as she'd wanted.
Slyly, he said, "Any boys?"
Eileen and her brothers had an easy relationship. However, they got a lot more of a kick out of teasing her about boys. Eileen typically steered clear of their relationships with girls.
"Maybe one," she said, smiling. "But he was human."
"Our mother was human," Ethan reminded her smugly.
Eileen nodded in agreement and then looked out the window. The twins had gotten their father's strength while Eileen had been more on the stunted side. It wasn't a great concern for the pack since one of the boys would rule, but Eileen didn't like being weaker because of the human blood.
The car slowed to a stop, and Eileen recognized their property. Their house was over on the left, large trees framing the front. Beyond that, the woods started. When they'd all been young, she and her brothers used to hang out in this spot a lot; it was on their property but secluded. They had good memories here.
"You're going to make me sentimental," Eileen sniffed as she hopped out of the car and walked toward Evan. He pulled her into a tight hug before handing her a drink, which she greatly appreciated. They knew her too well.
She sipped and stared at the twins over the rim of the glass. They were nearly identical. Ethan was slightly stockier with a stronger face; his eyes had a way of pinning Eileen on the spot that Evan's didn't. Otherwise, they had the dark blond hair, cut short, and the sun-kissed skin.
"She said there was a boy," Ethan informed Evan as they both sat down on different flat rocks. Eileen found one across from them.
"Human?" Evan guessed. Ethan nodded, making sympathetic puppy eyes in Eileen's direction. "Don't worry, there will be plenty of wolves at your birthday party," Evan grinned.
Well, no shit. "I don't need a boy," she informed them. "And if this is what you call a party, it sucks."
"Oh, don't be like that." Leaning forward, Evan pressed his hands together. "We thought we'd relive the past a little bit. Remember when we were always playing truth or dare?" Eileen nodded, except in her mind it was all dares; that's what she got for having brothers. "We thought we'd play that again."
Lifting her glass, Eileen said, "That's really only going to be fun for you guys, because I'll be out of it."
"I'll let you go first," Ethan said, leaning back and stretching as though preparing for it. "I'm sure you still want revenge for the last time we played." Last time there had been another person in the group, someone Eileen didn't exactly want to remember. The dare had involved the two of them together, another thing Eileen didn't want to think about.
Narrowing her eyes, she said, "Yes, that would seem right."
Her choice wasn't just punishment for him. She broached her normal boundary and prompted him to reveal a little bit about any of the girls he had a crush on. He'd clutched at his chest as though it pained him to speak about it, and in the end Eileen really hadn't wanted to hear everything he was saying. He was appreciative of some parts that Eileen just took for granted; she'd never think of some of the girls in the same way.
Taking a different path, she sent Evan into the freezing water of the boundary line without any clothes on. Even though werewolves ran on the warmer side Eileen knew it affected him, and he was glaring at her as he walked back over, tugging his shirt on and rubbing his arms.
And then it was her turn to have something done to her.
"Go easy on me," she said uncertainly as they both leered at her. She wasn't very sure about leaving the club for this; she tended to go easier on them with the dares and then got her butt kicked for it.
"We already decided on what we want you to do, for old time's sake," Ethan said smugly. "Go across the boundary line."
Eileen waited. "And?"
"And bring us something back," Evan said breezily.
Lifting her chin, Eileen asked, "Like what?" Without breaking into any houses, there wasn't much she could grab.
"Just a rock," Ethan said nonchalantly. "That should do." When she started grinning he said, "And don't try to trick me. If you grab a rock from this side of the property I'll know; our sense of smell is better than yours."
"Yeah, yeah," Eileen said, waving him off. "I'm on it."
When they were little, any time they'd crossed the border just for the thrill of it, they'd been wolves. So, sticking to that custom, Eileen moved behind one of the large trees and pulled her dress off, stepping out of her heels next.
Shifting didn't hurt her. It was fluid, and she wasn't injured, so there was no hitch. She stepped back out into the clearing, letting her tongue roll out at the twins. They didn't stare at her new silver form; they waved her on.
This was going to be too easy. She didn't want to think about him after everything that had happened, but she did. Once upon a time there had been an Alpha's son on the lot next to their property. His parents had died and the son had gone elsewhere without a trace three years ago. The Alpha's house had been abandoned while the Beta ran things. With the Alpha's son gone, sneaking on and off would be nothing.
Besides, the two packs weren't even enemies. No one cared if she was over there, and the Beta wasn't much of a threat.
When she reached the stream that acted as the boundary line, she cleared it in one jump. Now that she was on the other side, she had her pick of rocks. Rolling her eyes, she wondered why the twins had picked this of all dares, not that she was complaining. At least she wasn't standing in cold water or attempting to prank someone.
Moving further onto the property, personal preference called Eileen to look for a rock that looked… unique. She was finding this task odd in her muddled state; rocks weren't special, but she felt the need to not just grab any of them.
Irritated with herself, she clamped her jaw around the rock closest to her. They were boys, and they hadn't been specific, so why should she worry about the details? Personal preference whatever: a rock was a rock. They didn't like the rock they could go grab a new one themselves.
Musing on that thought, Eileen wondered if she'd make them do that next time around.
Lifting her head, she studied the abandoned house. Someone must have been coming in and cleaning it, because it didn't look too bad, even after three years. The stillness of the woods around her caused her fur to bristle, and she turned around to head back.
But she'd been wrong about what caused her fur to bristle. Instinct had tried to warn her she wasn't alone. A figure stood in front of her, directly in her path.
The Alpha's son was back.
Hello y'all! I decided I wouldn't leave y'all hanging... and it wasn't against the rules, so here I am! :) Only catch at this point and time is I'll probably update FP slower so if you'd like to read the chapters as they come out on Fridays search for me, Massey, (or Legacy) on Wattpad.
Anyway, yes, this IS another werewolf story! Hopefully you can tell the style's a bit different from Al's. I'd like to think I've improved. I also hope you enjoyed this chapter!