I pull my hand from Missy's sweaty grasp, rubbing it down the side of my dress. Her moral support is nice, but she is adamant about finding Landon.
Sometimes I think she sees more faith in Landon and I's relationship than I do, personally.
“I'm supposed to be looking for Cyrus,” I argue, as Missy drags me through a tight crowd of dancing people. We have just arrived, and it's just past midnight.
Landon is nowhere to be seen, and neither is my supposed date. I'm hardly nervous about meeting Cyrus.
I'm slightly tempted to shoo him in the direction of another girl, and I know Missy would feel obliged to help out.
“Stuff Cyrus, we have an Alpha to look for,” she dismisses. I stop, yanking her back. I wanted to check on Landon, I mean he's my best friend.
But, he's probably dealing with other important things at the moment. And anyway, this will be a tense time for his family, and I don't want to get in the way, or upset them.
“I need to meet this Cyrus okay? I'll find Landon later. Now go and have fun,” I insist, trying to gently push her away by the shoulders. She sighed, and I could tell she was torn.
She's cool to be around, and being alone in crowds is daunting, but I'm afraid she's going to get in the way.
“Fine, but we leave together,” she states firmly. I nod in agreement, yet not quite feeling it.
She's sure to find some male to take her home since she's currently unmated, and there is an abundance of handsome Wolves at her disposal. And with those legs, and that dress, she's quite the catch.
She skips off, and I decide to make a beeline for the refreshments. Apparently, Cyrus is trying to find me according to father, and maybe this will be a focal point for him.
I wander around the table for a moment, refraining from getting a glass of punch from the massive crystal bowl.
The party is in full swing, with dancers and music filling the room to capacity. Many are intoxicated, and flopping around the floor with little to no coordination.
I gaze around, tugging at the ends of my thick, tight dress. The ballroom I'm situated in is decorated and bedazzled, the past Alpha showing off their substantial amount of wealth.
Only he, a former party man would go to the lengths of this current affair.
“By the Goddess Al, I've been searching for you for ages...”
I look up in time, just before smacking into someone's broad chest. I blink, looking up blankly. A handsome man stands over me, dark, smoldering eyes burning into mine. I swallow nervously.
I've never seen him before, although he looks oddly familiar. That floppy brown hair... but that perfectly sculpted body is unfamiliar.
He called me Al, and only very few people know that. Wait... it can't be.
“Of course I have,” he says, looking confused. I watch his dark eyebrows knit together, and I tilt my head. What is this guy even playing at?
“Yeah... Cyrus, right?”
“Yeah, this is our date remember...” I inform him, wanting to snap my fingers in front of his face. He blinks in confusion, then a brooding, angry look forms on his eyes.
I didn't mean to be so straight forward; did I offend him?
“Althea, it's me. Landon,” he says slowly. It takes a moment, before hitting my chest like a jab. I stumble back a bit, my eyes raking up and down his body. Woah, woah… this can't be...
“Seriously?” He looks a little hurt, like I should know who my best friend is. But the thing is, I knew he would change, but not as substantially as this.
Wow, he's not even wearing his glasses anymore.
“I... I mean, where are your glasses?”
“They broke when I shifted, but it's not like I really need them anymore,” he responds. He's obviously proud about his change, but I'm finding it harder to accept.
What happened to the boy I played games with all my life, who I grew up teasing, yet loving. Even his voice is deeper!
“I can't believe it's really you,” I marvel softly. He smiles briefly, before grabbing my arm between his large, soft hands.
I go to protest, as he begins to lead me away from the swarm of people, but I'm curious to see what he wants.
“We need to talk in private,” he explains. I notice that his father is nowhere to be seen at this point. He leads me up a flight of stairs, and I take note of his lavish attire.
His suit must have been recently custom made, considering he never used to be of such strong build.
The upstairs is dressed in a fine array of fabrics and furnishings, that my family could never afford.
I'm led into an office of sorts, with a room temperature that is seemingly colder than downstairs, with all the sweaty, dancing bodies.
Landon seems discomforted, as he turns around, his eyes meeting mine.
“Althea...” he breathes, and my heart stops momentarily.
“How did this happen?” I gesture to his person. He frowns slightly, so creases forming on his forehead.
He's the definition of an Alpha now, like he would fit in with the rest of them, even if he is the youngest.
“I phased. You were right, I'm better now,” he concedes, a smile lighting up his face. I'm struck by his indifference. There is a bitter, sour taste in my mouth.
Is he the same Landon, because if not, he's surely not better than before.
I was cut off, as the door to the office opened with a loud creak, making Landon and I jump visibly.
Fierce, intimidating and plain angry; Landon's father stood at the door. I'd met him once before, and at that time, he had yelled at me for intruding into his son’s life.
Ever since his presence has scared me, so making a break for the door seemed like a pleasant alternative to the situation.
His face is edged with scars, or as Landon explained; are what he calls lines of knowledge. He's been this pack’s Alpha for years, and apparently saw the War.
Years ago, Werewolves lived together, as one massive unity. That was until one Wolf decided he wanted to split from the pack, and be his own Alpha.
Many fought to the death, till eventually thirteen packs were formed, believing in different things.
They followed their own rules, but every month, the Alpha's meet in the middle, and discuss the happenings of the packs.
“Landon! What are you doing alone with an unmated She-Wolf?” Landon's father, Clarke's, voice abruptly entered my thoughts.
My vision shot up, to where Clarke's brooding glare shocked me into submission.
“Father, she's my friend,” Landon argued. Landon's size was considerable compared to his father's.
The Alpha blood that runs through him allows him to no longer cower to his father's stern words, but to come back with a response equally stubborn.
“How many times have I told you! Stay away from my son,” Clarke yelled, turning the frightening conversation back at me. I blinked, surprised by his outburst.
Sure, I should have listened, but I do love Landon, even if our fathers hate the ‘barely-there' relationship we share.
“I'm sorry sir,” I respond meekly. No use standing up for myself. It's smarter to be reasonable, especially around two hot headed males. One ex Alpha, and one Alpha.
I could feel the heat in the room, see Landon's clenched jaws and fists, see Clarke's rapid breathing.
The conversation was directed back onto Landon. Georgia must be another girl Landon's been paired with. Was she beautiful? Blonde, perhaps brunette? Tall, or maybe even short?
“Downstairs, with her girlfriends,” Landon muttered.
It couldn't be more obvious that Landon was frustrated that we had been interrupted from a crucial conversation that could further make or break our friendship. It was true, though.
Because I wanted to sneak out the door before Clarke sent his son to his room, or something slightly more drastic.
“I should go...” I excuse myself. Landon frowns and shakes his head at me, while Clarke curtly nods. I reach for the door handle, but Landon's hand on my shoulder stops me.
I shiver; it feels so good when he touches me.
“Al, don't go,” he says softly, but his voice is stern. I shake him off. No way am I sticking around to hear the inevitable argument that's about to go down.
I slip out the door, ignoring the protests I can hear Landon throwing me through the door. I sigh, running my hand down my face.
The party will run through till late morning, but who knows how long Cyrus will be here for.
Reluctantly, I gather my wits and trek downstairs.
I can see Missy across the room downstairs, dancing with some blonde-haired man. She looks like she's having great fun, while I'm stuck in a glum mood.
I wander around for a while, praying time would go faster so I could kick off these heels, when I feel a soft hand on my shoulder.
“Look Landon, I don-”
I trail off, turning around to see it isn't really Landon behind me. Dark blue eyes gaze at me from behind clear glasses. He smiles at me warmly.
I swallow, my mouth suddenly going dry. I nod slowly, not able to take my eyes off his. His forehead is covered with soft looking black hair. He tilts his head slightly.
“Nice to meet you, I'm Cyrus,” he introduces himself. I'm a little surprised. I expected Cyrus to be a total geek, coming from a guy that wanted to be in the Wisdom Pack.
I continue to blink, unable to form proper sentences or even words. I'm never this shy around many people, but for some reason, Cyrus is intimidating.
“So, you’re the girl Father won't stop going on about,” he muses, chuckling softly. Of course. I bet my father and his father have been setting us up for a while now.
“I guess so,” I mutter. He smiles in response showing off his dazzling white teeth. He suddenly takes my hand, making me jump. I can't help but compare his touch to Landon's.
“Shall we dance?”
I nod slowly, pushing Landon out of my head as I allow him to lead me onto the dance floor.