A/N: So here it is, the new and improved first chapter of A Wolf and Her Alpha. I hope you like this one much better than the original, because I like it so much more. I just think the original was boring and it got into things way too quickly. Read and review(:
It's been a week since my father kicked me out of the pack. I'm so overwhelmed by the shock of it that I still don't believe it. I mean, my own father kicked his only daughter out of his pack because she made one mistake. It was an accident. I didn't mean for it to happen.
I'd gotten scared at the wrong moment and ran. Ran like I never had before.
We had been attacked. The reason why is still unsure, but I believe it was because they just wanted to take out my father since he was one of the most powerful Alphas out there. A handful of us were taken out during it, and my father blames me for it. He says that if I had stayed and fought with them, the wolves that had lost their lives that day would still be alive.
Now I am so overcome with guilt that I can barely stand the sight of myself, can hardly bring myself to face my reflection anymore.
I'm so alone. I've never felt this lonely before in my life, not even when my mother died of a terrible illness. At least then I still had my father, now I have absolutely nobody.
This whole week I had been searching for a pack to join, for a place to call home, for people to call family, but I was out of luck. Everyone knew that my father had disowned me. To them, I was just an outcast, someone who didn't belong. I was shunned.
But I didn't give up, I couldn't. There were many packs in the United States; one of them just had to take me in. One of them had to accept me. Right?
The pack I was heading for now was located in New Hampshire. Their house was off in the woods, hidden from the rest of the world. I made my way down the path - which was surprisingly easy to maneuver through - that led to their home, finally approaching it.
It was gorgeous, to say the least, and it was huge too. It was an over-sized cabin, made out of wooden logs and everything. It had two floors and many rooms by the looks of it. The sun shined off the many windows that were on every side of the house, each room had about three. It was extravagant and I could hardly imagine living there.
I walked up the front steps and rang the doorbell. A man with the brightest, most electric blue eyes I have ever seen opens the door. His body is toned to perfection, like a male model you would see on Hollister bags, but then again, most wolves are like that. His skin is sun kissed, and it's a beautiful shade of bronze that isn't overdone in the slightest. His hair is shaved down, but I can still tell that it's a nice shade of light brown.
"May I help you?" He asks, looking me over.
"I need to speak with the Alpha. Is he you?"
"No. I'm Jude," he smiles, exposing two very perfect dimples in the centers of his cheeks. "Follow me."
He leads me through the parlor, which is furnished with two brown leather couches, a recliner, a flat screen television, and every gaming console you could think of. These people must be very high maintenance to need all this stuff. He leads me to a door that goes off from the living room, knocking on it.
"Come in," a voice calls from inside.
Jude lets me in, "Someone is here to see you."
He closes the door behind me, leaving the Alpha and I alone. I look around the room, which is very big, but has very little in it. There's one book shelf, a desk, a couch, another flat screen, and a lamp. I figure this must be some sort of study.
I walk over to his desk and sit in the chair opposite him. He takes his time studying me, looking me over a couple of times. So while he does that, I take my time to study him. He's just as gorgeous as Jude. His body is toned to the same extent, but his skin isn't as tan. His hair is longer than Jude's too, and it looks as if he styled it to be messy. It's a darker shade of brown, but it just makes his eyes stand out more, which are a brilliant shade of aqua green.
"What's your name?" He finally asks after a long period of awkward silence.
"R-Raina Collins," I stammer, wondering why I'm so nervous to talk to this man. Out of the entire Alpha's I've talked to, I've never once stuttered while talking to them.
"Collins," he murmurs, his astonishing sea colored eyes boring into mine. "As in the daughter of Liam Collins? The disowned one?"
I nod, already expecting him to throw me out the front door, "Er . . . yes."
"What are you here for?"
"I want to join your pack."
"Raina, I want you to understand one thing. If you join my pack, you fight. There is no running away. No getting scared. You face your fears and fight to protect the people of this pack because this will be your family. You can't abandon your family."
I gulp, the earlier feeling of remorse suddenly coming back to me, "I understand."
"You must also understand that when we train, it is not easy in the slightest and just because you are new doesn't mean that we will go easy on you at first, because we won't. You'll be treated just like everyone else. This means we won't judge you on what happened in your last pack. Unlike most people in the U.S., we don't care about anyone's past; we just take them as they are. Your past may shape you, but it doesn't define who you are."
"I understand," I repeat, eager for him to know that I really do. I've never felt so hopeful since I'd gotten kicked out of my father's pack, since I was disowned.
"Then you will be a part of this pack as long as you don't screw up like you did before," he says, looking down and writing something on a piece of paper that I can't see well. "My name is Knox Wolfe, as ironic as that is. You'll take the room all the way at the end of the hall on the right, you're lucky we had one open."
"Thank you so much," I say, but he just waves it away.
"Go get settled quickly, introduce yourself."
I nod and leave his study, walking back into the living room that is now filled with people. I recognize only one, Jude. The other three I have no clue who they are, but I'm guessing they are a part of Knox's pack.
One of the girls, out of two, looks at me, her long red hair spilling into her gorgeous green eyes. She has fair skin, free of any blemishes.
"Who are you?" She asks.
"I'm Raina Collins," I murmur, cringing when I say my last name. Just hearing the last name, 'Collins', starts a flood of remorse and sadness to wash over me, but I quickly push it away. I'm done with feeling sorry for myself. I've finally found a place where I can hopefully fit in, so it's time to start being happier.
"Why are you here?"
"She's joining our pack," Jude says, though I'm not sure how he knows that since I never mentioned it to him. "I heard that you've been trying to find another one, but everyone turned you down."
I nod, "You're right."
"Well, in that case," the girl says. "I'm Lyris."
"It's nice to meet you," I smile faintly.
The girl sitting next to Lyris stands, smiling softly at me, "I'm Kineta."
Kineta is a very pretty person, she's Asian. Her hair is thin, straight, and so dark it's almost black. Her eyes are a light brown, whereas mine are a darker shade.
The man with ash brown hair, hazel eyes, and lightly tanned skin grins at me, "I'm Kane."
"It's nice to meet you all. Is this all of you?"
"No, the rest are out training. It'd be better for you just to get settled into your room for now," Jude says.
"Alright," I smile. "Thank you."
I hurry up the winding, wooden stairs and follow Knox's instructions to the room all the way at the end of the hall on the right. I open the door and I can't help but gasp at the sight of it. You'd think that it'd be empty, bare, but it's completely the opposite.
The walls are painted a light shade of pink; rose, I think most people call it. The bed is queen-sized, instead of the twin bed I originally imagined, the sheets and comforter matched the shade of the walls. The floor is carpeted with a plush, white rug. There's an empty, white bookcase against the left wall, and beside it is a bureau that I'm sure is also empty. There's also a desk which is sat right in front of the window with notebooks, pens, pencils, and just about everything else you find in a desk stacked on top, ready to be used. Across from the bed, hanging from the wall, is a flat screen television just like the ones downstairs in the living room and in Knox's study.
I haul the two duffle bags I've been carrying around since I left my dad's into the room; my room. I still can't believe I actually live here. I've never been in a place with so much nice furniture. Back at my dad's, everything was falling apart. The couch in the living room had already lost one of the arms, the only television we had was cracked, and my bed-frame had been missing a lot of the wooden boards underneath.
I drop the duffle bags onto my rose bed and take out my clothes, taking the time to fold and refold every article of clothing, then carefully storing them in the bureau; first lingerie, shirts the next, then pants, then dresses, and finally, pajamas.
"Raina!" Lyris calls from downstairs. "The others are here, come meet them!"
Suddenly, my heart starts beating quickly, hammering against my chest. I can't figure out why my heart is thumping so loud it echoes in my ears. I've already met five members of the pack and they accepted me just fine. So why, all of a sudden, am I so nervous?
Maybe I'm afraid they won't like me. Or maybe it's because I think they will judge me on my past just like everyone else has done, even though Knox assured me that they wouldn't.
I take a deep breath, trying to calm my nerves, and make my way downstairs. When I walk back into the living room, where I assumed they'd all be waiting, there are four new faces among the four that had been there earlier; I'm their tenth member, including Knox.
A girl who is short for usual wolf standard walks over to me, smiling in a nice way. Her hair is long and falls past her bum in soft waves, the color a beautiful, deep burgundy. Her eyes are an enchanting gem green, and they look me over in curiosity. Her body is slim, but it has all the right curves. The way she looks me up and down suddenly makes me feel insecure.
"I'm Aislinn," she finally says, emerald gaze falling on mine. "It's nice to meet you, Raina."
"You as well," I say, smiling faintly.
The next girl that comes up to me has a head full of flaming bronze curls, her eyes a pretty dark blue. The people here are so gorgeous that I can't help but feel like I don't belong here. I don't belong in a place with all the new gadgets and nice furniture or with these nice people. I belong in the wild, a lone wolf. I've been exiled; no one should have to put up with me.
I quickly push the thoughts away though, send them drifting out of the window like they were never there in the first place. I need to stop punishing myself for the mistakes I've made. If I can't accept myself, who will?
"I'm Inari," the girl says, her voice soft like jingle bells.
"It's nice to meet you."
"Pleasure is mine," she smiles softly.
The last two people to come up to me share the same face, same bodies, not a single difference in their appearance besides the clothes they wear. Their hair is a sandy blonde, which falls just shy of their eyes. Their eyes blue like the sea, so blue, in fact, that I could swim in them.
"I'm Hale and this is my brother Kale," the one on the left says. "We're twins," he adds, as if it weren't already obvious.
"I guessed," I smile. "I'm happy to meet all of you."
"Likewise," Jude says.
For some reason, I feel a comfort knowing that Jude is here with me. I've only just met him and I know nothing about him besides his name, but I feel as though I've known him for years. There's just something about him that's inviting, like a mother holding her newborn baby for the first time. Or a lover, opening his arms to embrace his soul mate.
I don't feel nervous anymore. I never had a reason to, honestly. These people are nice. They are the kind of people I've been looking for. The people I can call family. This is the house I've been looking for to call home.
I know in my heart that this is where I belong.