Alexina is twenty-one years old and the future alpha of the Shadow Pack—until an unexpected attack forces her to run for her life, right into another wolf’s territory. Alone, exhausted, and having lost everything, she falls asleep expecting never to wake up, but then opens her eyes to find she’s very much alive. As she makes friends with the alpha’s sister, Alexina begins to see a new life—and maybe even love—unfolding before her in the Mystic Pack.
Age Rating: 16+
I let my eyes flutter shut, surrendering to the warmth of the midday sun. The rustling of leaves in the forest, the cheerful chirping of birds, and the distant laughter of children playing all combined into a soothing symphony, lulling my worries away. The plush beach towel beneath me added to the comfort, cradling my body against the hard ground.
“Hey sis,” Nico’s voice startled me, making me jump. I hadn’t even heard him approach.
Blinking my eyes open, I found Nico standing over me, a wide grin spread across his face. His shirt was off, revealing his chiseled abs, and his blonde hair was tousled in a way that was inexplicably sexy. His blue eyes flickered from me to the pool and back again. Oh shit, what’s he planning?
“Please Nico, don’t!” I shrieked as he scooped me up in his arms. I clung to his neck, knowing full well I was about to be dunked in the pool. But if I was going down, he was coming with me.
I held my breath as Nico leapt off the cement, plunging us both into the cool water. The sudden change in temperature made my body stiffen against Nico’s. The crisp water stung my overheated skin, almost painfully so, yet it was oddly refreshing.
“Damn you, Nico!” I spluttered, wriggling out of his grip as we surfaced.
“Oh come on, Lex, don’t be mad. Besides, you looked like you needed a bath,” he teased, darting to the other side of the pool before I could retaliate.
“You better hope I don’t catch you,” I growled, but he was already out of the pool and sprinting away.
“Love ya, Lex,” he called over his shoulder, leaving me panting at the pool’s edge.
I could have chased him down, but I didn’t have the energy. I’d come out here to relax and catch some sun, but Nico had other plans.
I climbed out of the pool, dried off, and headed inside to change. I was annoyed at Nico for interrupting my solitude, but I knew I’d forgive him the moment I saw him again—maybe after a couple of punches to his arm.
Nico had been adopted by my parents when he was just two years old, while I was still in my mother’s womb. His parents had been killed by rogues, and since Nico’s father had been our Beta, it was only right that our family took him in.
We had to appoint a temporary Beta until Nico was old enough to assume his father’s position, which he did five years ago when he turned eighteen.
As the Alpha’s only child, I was next in line to lead our pack. I wasn’t in a rush to take over, but I knew I’d be ready when the time came.
I’d been trained since I was a pup on how to be an Alpha. My bloodline carried a lot of power, and I needed to demonstrate that I could wield that power effectively.
My father had me on a strict training regimen since I was ten, and aside from him and Nico, I was the best fighter in our pack.
It might seem surprising, given that I’m only five-foot-four, not exactly the stature you’d expect of a future Alpha. But my wolf was an average size for a female, and being smaller actually gave me an advantage in a fight. I could dodge blows more easily and presented a smaller target.
After changing into dry clothes and blow-drying my long brown hair, I was about to descend the stairs when a howl echoed from outside.
I rushed down the stairs, meeting my father as he emerged from his office, a look of worry etched on his face.
“Attack… Attack… There’s an attack!” The frantic cries of our pack members echoed through our mind-link.
The pack house was suddenly a hive of activity, everyone looking to my father for orders. He was barking out commands as people dashed around, but I was frozen in place, the word ‘attack’ echoing in my mind.
It felt like the world was spinning around me. The walls faded into the background, and all I could see was my father, fear etched on his face—a sight I’d never seen before.
I tried to make sense of what was happening. Who was attacking us? Why?
The room began to empty, the crowd thinning from hundreds to just a handful. My mother came up behind me, her hand on my shoulder pulling me back to reality. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying, but she managed a smile.
The next sounds had me clutching my mother’s waist, her hand cupping my face as she pressed my head to her chest. She was trying to muffle the cries and howls, but it was no use—I could hear them all too clearly.
“Backyard now!” My father’s command snapped us into action. We followed him outside.
“Shift,” he ordered, his clothes falling away as he transformed into a massive white wolf. My mother and I followed suit.
“They will be here in a few minutes. I need you to listen to me carefully,” my father’s voice echoed in my mind through our link. I nodded in response.
“We cannot win this fight, Zena. If you stay, they will kill you,” he said, his voice low and grave.
“What do you mean, if I stay?” I demanded, my voice echoing in the still night air. The thought of leaving was inconceivable. This was my family. Even if staying meant certain death, I couldn’t abandon them.
“You have to go, Zena. I can’t bear to watch my own daughter die. I love you, but you need to leave. Now,” my father implored, his voice trembling with a mix of fear and determination.
“Run south. Don’t stop until you can’t run anymore,” he added, trying to keep his voice steady. But I could hear the anxiety seeping through his words.
“No! I won’t leave you!” I declared, my voice resolute. I turned my body towards the ominous sound of the approaching wolves, readying myself for the impending battle.
“Alexina Torelli, as your Alpha, I order you to leave these lands and never return. You will run until you can’t run anymore. That is an order!” My father’s voice was a growl, his words punctuated by gritted teeth.
I was taken aback. My father had never given me a direct order before. My wolf instinctively began to retreat, pulling me towards the back of the property, obeying the command she was given. But I resisted, fighting against the instinct to flee. I couldn’t leave my family. I just couldn’t.
“Please, Daddy, don’t do this,” I pleaded, my voice breaking as my wolf continued to drag me further away. In the distance, I could see the enemy wolves closing in.
“I love you, Zena,” my father whispered, his voice barely audible as he turned to face the approaching threat. My mother’s wolf let out a mournful cry, her voice whispering a soft, “I love you too.”
“I love you both,” I sobbed, tears streaming down my face as my wolf continued to pull me deeper into the woods.
“I love you, Lex,” Nico’s voice came through, strained and tense. I could tell he was in the midst of a fight.
“I love you too, brother. I’ll come back for you,” I promised, my voice fading as the last of my resistance crumbled and my wolf took over.
We bolted south, the woods a blur around us. Suddenly, I heard the rapid thud of footsteps behind us. I turned to see a black and brown wolf gaining on us. He wasn’t from our pack.
As he lunged at me, I nimbly sidestepped, and he tumbled onto the forest floor. I wanted to stay and finish him off, but my wolf was still under the Alpha’s command and took off running again.
Another wolf caught up to us, lunging at my back. I dodged him, and my wolf finally stopped, allowing me to fight.
I circled him a few times, waiting for him to regain his balance. I believed in a fair fight. As soon as he was steady, he charged at me, teeth bared. He was a sloppy fighter, his attacks predictable. I easily sidestepped his lunge and raked my claws across his side.
He snapped at me, missing my face by inches, but it gave me the perfect shot at his throat. I clamped my jaws around his neck, shaking my head violently. His body went limp in my jaws, and I dropped him onto the forest floor. My wolf immediately took off running again.
I had been in many practice fights, but this was my first real one. My first kill. The realization brought me back to the reality of why I was fighting in the first place. That wolf was after my pack, my family. The ones I had left behind.
Guilt washed over me. How could I forgive myself for abandoning my family? What was my father thinking, sending me away like that? What would the pack think of me when I returned? Would there even be anyone left?
I had left my pack, my family, to die. I had abandoned them. What kind of future Alpha abandons their pack?
I knew my father had placed an Alpha order on me, but I wished I had been strong enough to resist it. I felt weak and pathetic. I didn’t deserve to live. I should have stayed and died with honor.
We ran for hours, covering at least four hundred miles. My paws were raw, my throat parched, my breath ragged, and my heart pounding. Finally, my wolf collapsed on the ground.
I lay there, eyes closed, waiting for death to claim me.
The day seemed to drag on. It was only half past noon, but it felt like it should be almost five. I was usually good at keeping myself busy, but today, I couldn’t find anything to do.
My patrol shift started at one, so I decided to start early. As I walked out the back of the pack house, I saw Lex sunbathing by the pool. It had been a while since I’d teased her, and now seemed like the perfect time.
A grin spread across my face. This was going to be fun.
“Hey, sis,” I said, startling her. She must have been deep in thought not to have heard me approach.
She studied me for a few seconds, trying to figure out what I was up to. I glanced from her to the water and back again.
“Please, Nico, don’t!” she screamed as I scooped her up in my arms.
She clung to my neck, preventing me from throwing her in as I’d planned. But it didn’t matter. She was getting wet, even if it meant I was too.
With a powerful push, I launched off the cement, sending both of us soaring into the cool, crisp water. I felt her body tighten against mine as the cold water nipped at our skin.
Once we surfaced, she shoved me away, ready to give me a piece of her mind.
“Damn you, Nico!” she growled.
“Oh, come on, Lex. Don’t be mad,” I coaxed, quickly swimming to the other side of the pool to avoid her wrath. I wouldn’t put it past her to try to drown me—she was pretty pissed.
“Besides, you looked like you needed a bath,” I teased.
“You better hope I don’t catch you,” she growled again, now swimming towards me.
“Love ya, Lex,” I called back, reaching the side of the pool. I placed my hands on the cement and catapulted my body out of the water, making a beeline for the woods.
I expected to hear her chasing after me, but once I was well into the woods, I glanced back to see her hastily drying herself off with a beach towel. I couldn’t help but chuckle—she was so mad at me. I was in for it when I got home that night.
I slipped off my now soaking wet shorts and hung them on a nearby tree. They’d be freezing cold by the time my shift ended, and I shuddered at the thought of putting them back on. I contemplated going back to the house for dry ones, but decided against it. Wearing the wet shorts was a whole lot better than risking running into an infuriated Lex.
I shifted into my wolf form and took off into a run, heading for my patrol path. I reached the path within minutes and started my usual patrol routine.
I was only about ten minutes into my patrol when I heard the howl and the alert was sounded.
“ATTACK… ATTACK… THERE’S AN ATTACK!” Frantic calls from other wolves echoed through our mind-link.
As soon as the words came through the link, I heard the sounds of wolves fighting coming from the forest. I immediately took off in the direction of the closest sounding fight.
My eyes widened as I took in the scene unfolding before me. I could see maybe only ten of my own pack members going against twenty or so wolves from a different pack.
I pushed my wolf to run faster as I heard the yelps and cries coming from my pack members and the other wolves as the fighting intensified.
I was just a few feet away when something hard hit me from the side, knocking me to the ground. I got back to my feet and came face to face with a brown and black wolf.
My lips pulled back in a snarl, baring my teeth before I lunged at his throat. He didn’t have time to react before I caught his throat, biting down hard before ripping out a chunk of skin.
The wolf collapsed to the forest floor, gasping for breath. The hole in his neck made it impossible for him to breathe properly.
I left the wolf there to die as I took off toward my other pack members. I jumped on the back of one of the wolves that had my buddy Terri pinned to the ground.
After getting him off Terri, I took off toward the fight, ready to help someone else out.
I was going toe to toe with another big brown wolf when I heard the alpha command radiate from Alpha Ryne telling Lex to run.
“I love you, Lex,” I said, trying to keep my voice even. Not only was I in the middle of a fight with this wolf, but the thought of never seeing Lex again had my heart breaking into a million pieces.
“I love you too, brother. I will come back for you,” I heard her say as she shut off her mind link and disappeared.
The fighting continued for another good hour before I felt the bonds between Alpha Ryne and me break. Moments later, a new voice came into my head.
“I, Alpha Garrett of the Knight Pack, have killed Alpha Ryne. The Shadow Pack is now under my command,” he spoke in a cool, even voice, as if the graphic scene around him didn’t bother him one bit.
He called out an order to cease all fighting and any wolves remaining alive from the Shadow Pack were to report to the pack house immediately.
I could feel the new bonds starting to form between my wolf and Alpha Garrett as I made my way to the house. My wolf growled in agitation—there was no way to stop the bonds from forming.
I didn’t want to be tied to this new Alpha. I would never serve him. I would rather die than join a pack like his.
The Knight Pack was known to be a ruthless, heartless pack with no morals at all. There was no way I was going to let my name be associated with that pack.
I reached the clearing behind the pack house to see many of my pack members already gathered there. Most of them looked terrified or sad from the loss of loved ones.
“Good, now that you are all here, we may begin,” Alpha Garrett said, standing on the back porch of the pack house. “All members of the Shadow Pack have two options.
“Option one is that you leave this land right now and never return. You will leave only with what you have with you.
“Option two is that you stay and continue your normal lives now as part of the Knight Pack. These are the only two options you have, and you must make a decision right now.
“Your decision will be final, and anyone who is still left standing here in five minutes will be killed,” Garrett finished, waving his hand in the air to indicate that our time started now.
I turned on my heels and headed for the back of the property. I didn’t care if I had to leave with nothing—it was better than staying here.
I studied the faces of my pack members as they made their way back to their houses. Most of them looked ashamed that they had made the choice to stay.
I really couldn’t blame them, though. Most of them had families that they had to look out for. They couldn’t just up and take off with no food, money, or clothes.
“Not you, Nico!” Garrett’s voice echoed off the trees in front of me, causing me to turn and look at him.
He was still standing on the deck and motioned for me to come to him. All I wanted to do was wipe that smug grin off his face.
I trudged back to the pack house, my heart heavy with uncertainty. I found myself standing before the deck, waiting for Garrett to reveal why he’d summoned me. He’d already given us the option to leave, so why call me back?
“Where is Alpha Ryne’s daughter?” His voice was deceptively calm, but I could sense the simmering anger beneath his composed exterior.
“How the fuck would I know?” I retorted, my words laced with venom. Even if I knew Lex’s whereabouts, I’d die before I’d betray her to him.
“Find her!” His command to his men was sharp, the barely contained anger now spilling over.
“I know that if she’s alive, she’ll come back for you,” Garrett said, a smile playing on his lips as he managed to push his anger back under the surface.
“That’s great because I won’t be here,” I retorted, turning to leave. Had he really called me back just to ask a question he knew he wouldn’t get an answer to?
“You don’t have permission to leave, Nico. I can still use you,” he said, settling into one of the deck chairs.
“I’ll never serve under you,” I growled, my wolf reinforcing my words with a low rumble.
“You either stay and serve under me, or I’ll order the slaughter of every single living member left in this pack,” he threatened, rising from his chair.
“What’s your choice now?” His smile was chilling.
I wanted to rip his heart out right there on the deck—tear it out and stomp on it until it was nothing but a bloody pulp. How could he be so cold, so devoid of emotion, so unaffected by the death that surrounded him?
My pack was full of innocent people, mostly women and children now. I couldn’t abandon them to die for no reason. I knew I had to stay.
“Fine,” I conceded, feeling utterly defeated.
“Good to hear. I knew you’d come around,” Garrett said, turning to walk back into the pack house.
I was reeling from what I’d just agreed to, but I had no other choice. If I hadn’t joined Garrett’s pack, he would have killed every single member of mine.
I tried to push the weight of my decision from my mind, to think of something—anything—else.
My thoughts drifted to Lex. I wondered if she’d made it out alive. I could only hope that she had found safety somewhere. My only hope was that one day, I’d see my sister again.