"Alright sweetheart, I think it's best if you step away from the training grounds, and go back to the Pack house and help your mother with some chores."
A defiant growl was heard right after the elder finished speaking to his child, she pushed back her auburn locks and slightly glared at him.
"I will not. I'm fine as is right here," she told him, not wanting to leave the training grounds just because her father didn't want her to be exposed to fighting.
"Sweetheart, this isn't the place for you. I understand that this is your first month of shifting, but you're far too young to be exposed to cruelty," he continued, trying his hardest to stay calm as his daughter continuously glared at him.
"I am not far too young! I am seventeen, and I deserve to be treated like every other she-wolf... Just because I am a lot smaller than them, and a bit weaker, doesn't mean I can't train to become stronger."
Her father groaned before pinching the bridge of his freckled nose, his crows feet standing out as his eyes narrowed.
"Come on, Daddy, let me train. The pack members are waiting and I am making a fool out of myself." She begged, hoping that for once her father would stop treating her like a baby, and accept the fact that she is grown.
"Fine. You can train. But if I hear that you are hurt, or that you are crying. I will drag you away from here personally. Do you understand me?" he stated, his dark brown eyes holding no more room for discussion.
His daughter squealed while nodding happily before turning around and running toward the pack members that were waiting for her return.
"You can't keep holding her back, Nathaniel. She needs to learn, and her wolf needs to get to its strongest capacity."
The girl's father - Nathaniel - turned to look at the man while sighing, his gaze quickly returning to his small daughter; the daughter he would give his very life for if need be.
"I know that, Mattel, trust me I do. But look at her... She is so small, and lost. She doesn't know how dangerous our world is, and I fear for her reaction when she finds out."
"Well, eventually, with or without you, she will find out. We all have, it's what comes with being wolf borne. She just has to learn now, while she's freshly shifted so that she knows what to expect later," Mattel told him, gazing directly at the auburn haired girl that struggled to position her body into a fighting stance, unlike everyone else.
Nathaniel chuckled sadly to himself at the sight of one of the pack members helping his daughter fix her stance as she blushed in embarrassment.
"That is true. I just hope she can handle everything. I thought shifting would make her a lot stronger, and appearance wise a bit more bigger built - but she is small, and she is still a little weak, it worries me," Nathaniel confessed, before turning all his attention to his friend.
Mattel sighed while nodding, his hands running through his graying hair.
"Oh, don't be, it takes some time, and you and Kim have been babying her for so long it isn't a surprise that she hasn't changed. But hopefully things might change as her wolf gets stronger, and if not, let’s hope her mate will be a strong man with a strong wolf that can protect her."
Nathaniel inhaled deeply before nodding, his eyes drifting to his small pup that had no clue of the dangers that rested outside of their pack grounds.
The girl stood beside her best friend, Greta, with her brows furrowed and her forehead slightly damp with sweat, due to the heatwave that they were suddenly having.
Her legs were shoulder-width apart, her knees slightly bent, her left foot pointing toward where the Beta stood - mimicking the opponent - and her left shoulder aimed his way as well, her hands were in loose fists.
She struggled to stay in this position, but her wolf kept her balanced and pushed her to point her chin down, and keep her eyes up.
The rest of the trainers were easily standing in their positions, all looking a lot tougher and stronger than her, which intimidated her a bit.
The Beta gazed at them all, taking in their stances, looking for any faults or deficiencies or any weaknesses that the trainers might show, he saw little to none, until his eyes reached the girl with the long auburn hair, and her intimidated eyes that kept going up and down - as if unsure of where they should be looking.
"Claire, always keep your eyes looking up and your chin down. You must always be aware of where your opponent is, because if not..." he paused when he noticed that she averted her gaze to look down timidly, and in a swift second he was before her before she could even notice.
"If not, you'd be dead in a second."
She flinched when she realized that her Beta was in front of her a lot quicker than she could have ever imagined, and it only took one look away for him to reach her so soundlessly.
Her eyes were wide and her head was raised to its highest length resulting in a minor neck ache, and the other trainers snickered under their breaths, other than Greta who gazed directly at her best friend.
"Eyes up. Chin down." He slightly lowered her chin but locked their gazes - resulting in her emerald colored orbs gazing directly before her.
She nodded while blushing slightly and he quickly pulled away from her.
"Alright guys, now we will be pairing up. Find your partners..."
Claire walked out of her bathroom with a flimsy lilac colored towel tucked around her petite body, and another matching towel entangled into her hair on top of her head.
She rummaged throughout her little closet in the corner of her small room looking for a random outfit she could wear for the pack meeting that the Alpha of her pack - Crescent Arc - was holding.
She pulled out a crisp white long sleeved shirt, and an army green overall dress that was made of corduroy material, and reached just above her knees.
After putting on her clothing, she towel dried her hair and let it loosely fall down her shoulders, all the way down to her hips.
She had the kind of hair that always remained straight. She had to use a curler to get the kind of hair her best friend so effortlessly had, and she envied her for that trait.
"Clarice! We're leaving!" her mother called out to her, she sighed when she realized she had no time to brush through some knots nor to apply a bit of makeup on her dull cheeks.
She sucked in her lips and watched them pop out hoping that they'd get a little fuller but they quickly went back into a small pink pout making her let out another sigh.
And she slightly widened her eyes to try to get them to be more awake but they quickly fell back into their basic almond shape.
She shrugged when she realized that these little facial movements weren't going to change a thing, and she felt her wolf get a little restless which resulted in her emerald-green orbs turning a bit more of a darker color; slightly like the dress she wore.
She huffed out before quickly running out of her room, and towards her mother who stood at the bottom of the staircase with an annoyed facial expression.
"Sorry," Claire squeaked out, making her mother chuckle before ruffling up her hair slightly.
Claire’s mother had auburn hair just like her, whereas her father had more brownish hair, her mothers eyes were more doe-like and a sea-blue color, and she had porcelain skin, whereas Claire had more tanner skin which she inherited from her father and the sun.
"Let's go, sweethearts," Claire’s father said as he joined them by the stairwell wearing a clean blue button down shirt, and black jeans.
He took his mate’s hand, and their eyes quickly lightened in color as their skin touched - showing that they were bonded to one another for life.
Clarice was in awe of the mate’s pull, and she didn't hide it as she gazed deeply into their eyes before they slowly began to walk out of their house and to the pack house where the meeting would be held.
"Do you know what this is about, Nathaniel?" Kim asked her husband as they slowly walked through the grounds, and toward the large house.
Clarice walked behind them, listening in to their conversation sneakily - hoping they didn't notice her eavesdropping.
"I kind of have an idea, but I hope it's not what I'm thinking..." he trailed off when he noticed his daughter was right behind them with the ability to hear something she wasn't ready to hear.
So they blocked her out of their heads, and began to mind-link which resulted in Clarice rolling her eyes in annoyance.
They always made her feel like an outsider, and treated her like a baby. She was no longer a baby.
"Welcome Nathaniel, welcome Kim and Claire."
All three family members bowed their heads lightly as their Beta welcomed them into the pack house.
"Hello, Beta Lance," Nathaniel greeted him on behalf of them all, and the Beta smiled warmly before shutting the door behind them.
Clarice felt her wolf begin to stir inside her which made her quickly clench her hands into tight fists - seeing as this is the first month she had ever shifted, and she had a fresh new wolf, she still hasn't gotten full control over her shift, and she fears her wolf coming out accidentally.
"You okay, sweetie?" Her mother asked, as they walked toward the gathering, Claire nodded swiftly before averting her gaze to her flats - needed to be zoned out on something that' would keep her grounded.
"It's the Alpha!" someone yelled out resulting in the pack quieting down, and everyone quickly bowing their heads in respect - the sounds of rustling and shoes scuffing atop of the floor echoed throughout the room.
"Hello everyone. I hope you've all had an amazing day. I know this meeting was called last minute, but I had no other choice but to schedule it right away..." He paused as everyone began to straighten themselves out and raise their head to look at him.
He stood proudly in front of the room, his eyes held power like no other, his hair was slightly graying at the roots, his build was very masculine and his height was tall enough for Clarice to be able to see the top of his forehead.
"What is this about, Alpha, if you don't mind me asking?" Beta Lance asked him, it was slightly odd for the pack to realize that not even the Beta knew what this meeting was about - so it must've been slightly serious.
"Well, tomorrow, during the afternoon we will be getting a visit. All that I was made aware of was that he will be visiting all eastern packs. So he has already visited Dark Crest, Red Blood, Opalescent Sparrow and we will be the last pack he will visit." The Alpha inhaled deeply when he finished, and everyone could sense the slight tremor in his voice.
"Why is he visiting?" a random pack member asked, resulting in a lot of people saying 'yeah?' and an outbreak of side conversations.
"Settle down!" the Alpha ordered, which resulted in everyone quieting down in almost an instant.
"I have no idea why he is visiting. The were-council just said that he will be visiting all eastern packs, and that we should be ready."
"Alright, but who is he?" This time it was Kim, Clarice's mother, who asked a question and everyone hummed in response - they all wanted to know.
Even Clarice was aching to know.
"He is the Alpha of all Wolf Borne's." In that moment a pin could've dropped, and everyone - wolf or not - would've been able to hear it.