“You know what you need?” Alexa asks pointedly. “Sex.”
My head jerks up, my gaze finding my friend who is lounging casually on my bed, magazine in hand. Her head is tipped forward and blonde hair spills across my bedsheets.
Alexa. Our parents were friends before we were. Back in preschool, she was super intimidating, with all the friends and her own personal swimming pool at home.
Our friendship was forced upon us initially, but, on the first day of grade school, we realized we needed one another, and we haven't left each other's side since.
She still intimidates me, though. Not only, in my opinion, is she flawless, but she is so confident and impressive. I was often told I was easy to talk to, but she was another story.
Some people knew me as Alexa's friend, since she was my rock to cling to when it came to the outside world.
Although our looks were completely different, for the most part, we were known as the two A's, and that was that.
“Yes, you do,” she declares. “This magazine says so.”
I watch her somersault off my bed, bringing half the sheets and my pillow with her. She tosses the magazine at me in a whirlwind of pages and tester perfume.
The page she was talking about had a quiz leading to a set of three possible answers.
“If you look here, it says that girls, who like books, bake and won't go out on Friday nights are in desperate need of hot, rough…”
I slam the magazine shut, letting the glossy pages slip from my fingers.
“You're crazy. The world isn't about sex, it's about finding your perfect mate, and falling in…”
“Love,” she finishes, cutting me off. We were good at doing that to each other. “Yeah, yeah, I get it.”
Standing up from where I had been kneeling on the floor, trying to wipe away the stain Alexa's wine left, I toss the magazine onto my desk.
Why Alexa thought those things worked, I don't know, but they aren't about to tell my future.
“I'm willing to wait for a mate, and if that means not going out to get drunk and dry hump strangers, then fine,” I snap.
Alexa rolls her eyes at me. She has just put on some relevant song I haven't caught onto yet, and it just adds to the situation. This isn't the first time we have had this conversation.
It's how it's always been.
“You're just so...boring!”
“No,” I retort, pushing my hair back and straightening my shoulders. “I'm safe and level- headed.”
The eyes roll again, and then Alexa stands in front of me, grabbing hold of my shoulders.
The seriousness in her eyes is a little frightening as she shakes me slightly, as if maybe it would get some sense into my head, but I believe I'm thinking just fine.
“You need to do something crazy...” she says, raising her eyebrow in a way that a serial killer might do when you beg for your life.
Suddenly, she glances at my desk, where she had dumped her backpack the moment she walked in. I watch her rustle around in it, the bottles of wine she brought with her clinking together.
“You're clearly drunk or something,” I mutter, shaking my head at her. “Remember when I let those strangers into my house to stay that time?
“Then they just disappeared, and I was left looking like an idiot?”
That was the time Alexa tried to convince me that having people stay in one of the rooms in my house to make extra cash was a good idea, but she was proven wrong.
It shut her up about things for a while. Until now...
“Look!” she breathes, thrusting a piece of paper in the air. “You're going to apply for this!”
I take the paper. A picture of the Alpha of Love was printed there in color. He looks dashingly handsome, despite the things everyone knows he does.
Under it is printed something about some kind of competition.
“He's given up on finding his mate, so he’s having a competition to see who will become the next Luna! She could be from any pack, including this one. She could be you or me!”
The excitement isn't infectious. In fact, I turn up my nose. “No thank you.”
“Listen Aria, he's the Alpha. The Alpha!” she exclaims, her cheeks rosy. “When do we even get to be near him, let alone in his bed?”
“Never,” I grumble.
Alexa squeals in a way that hurts my ears. She's had a crush on him before he was even named the Alpha, when she found out he’s around our age. I just couldn't believe it...a competition for his love?
“Exactly. If one of us gets in, it means instant wealth and fame. And... a hot Alpha...”
She keeps going. On and on about the man I see as a leader, rather than a lover. I know he plays around with plenty of girls, and admittedly I didn't like that.
Why would I want to go and fight against girls wanting as much as Alexa, when all I want is to find my own mate?
“But what about my mate? That means giving up all hope of finding him,” I say, exasperated.
“Too bad! This is an Alpha! I applied yesterday, and you should too!” she insists, stabbing her finger against the page.
Swallowing, I looked at the small writing. One girl from each pack will be selected. He really doesn't have a type, as long as she has a vagina, I guess.
“Two from each pack,” I echo. “That means we would literally have two in a million chance of being selected.”
“That's my point. The likelihood of you being selected is so low, we would actually have a summer in this pack,” Alexa says, so excited she was basically quivering.
I sigh, glancing out my bedroom window. Snow is falling peacefully, coating the streets with the perpetual winter we live in.
Summer would never come...and I would never be picked for something like this.
“If I do it, will you shut up?” I ask.
Alexa claps happily. “A million times, yes!”
“Fine,” I say airily. “I'll do it.”