Quincy St. Martin
If you do something bad enough, they’ll never ask you to do it again. That’s what my Nana used to tell me.
Somebody yells my name from the kitchen. Jeepers!!!! I think they’ve already discovered those eggs.
Well, my Nana said they might not ask you to do it again, but she didn’t say you wouldn’t get yelled at.
I slowly lower my foot out of the window and onto the ledge. When I find the footing, I swing my whole body out while my hands clutch the window frame tightly.
Yessss!!! I can almost smell my freedom. Freedom, here I come!!!
“There she is,” says a familiar voice from below. I look down to find a few sets of angry-looking eyes.
“Told you she’ll try to escape through here,” adds my fifteen-year-old half sister, Caitlin Rose, her finger is still pointing at me.
Oh, goddamn it! So close!!!
“I can’t believe you can’t even boil eggs without burning them!” yells Luna Bianca.
Luna Bianca is just a couple of years older than I am, and she never liked me before. Now I think she hates me.
“Don’t even bother to come down for dinner tonight. You’ll be having those eggs for the next few days.”
I can hear a few snickers coming from the doorway. I’m sure a couple of them come from my cousin, Joelle, and her gang.
O-kay, burned eggs for a few days. Got it.
So, I can’t cook. Sue me. My Nana tried to teach me. Even she gave up! I did try, though.
Why, just a month ago Gemma, the pack cook, left me in charge of making a pasta dish. I followed her instruction to a T. I swear I did.
It wasn’t my fault that the pasta decided to clump together and the sauce decided to jump out of the pot. The pasta came out in one big clump…or something.
The sauce exploded and popped like molten lava all over the place. It was everywhere! It was even better than our science project at school.
Except that everyone was yelling, and I had to clean up after, and everyone was pissed, and I had to go to bed hungry…again.
They never left me in charge of cooking anymore. Until today.
They must have forgotten that pasta fiasco. I was told to boil the eggs this morning. A lot of eggs!
I think Gemma meant to make deviled eggs, or something. I waited and waited for the water to boil. Oh, I waited for ages!
Then I got tired of waiting. That’s when I went upstairs and decided to read for a bit. When I smelled it, it was already too late.
The smoke alarm was blaring. Black foul-smelling smoke was coming out of the pot. A whole level of the pack house was foggy and smelled of burnt eggs.
The water had totally evaporated. The eggs at the bottom of the pot were all black and crushed. The rest of the eggs smelled burned.
I ran around the kitchen fanning the alarm with the dishcloth, opening all windows, cursing like a sailor.
I really had no clue what to do! Eeekkk!!! Then I heard footsteps coming in. So I ran up to my room and tried to escape through the window, and that’s when they caught me.
I live in a pack house now. They wanted me to be one of the cooks in the house. Not like I’m an Omega or something.
Nope, I’m worse. I’m a human! How does a human like me get to live in a pack house with a bunch of werewolves you ask?
Well, it’s a long story, but the short version is, my mom is a werewolf.
She had a drunken night in town in her rebellion days. Had too much fun with a human. Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo! Nine months later. Voilà! Me!!!
So how come I’m a human, you ask. Doesn’t that make me half werewolf?
Well, technically, yes, but I smell like a human, and I don’t have that inner wolf in me to change into one.
I didn’t get the name of my werewolf whispered to them in a dream, signaling that my change is about to happen in a few days’ time when I was thirteen or fifteen.
So I’m considered a human. Well, that’s just awesome!
Who wants to be a werewolf anyway?
Who wants to change into an ugly, furry…but somewhat cute, yet fierce-looking animal and run free…and have parents who are proud of them and get treated so much better…
Well, not me. Obviously!
I guess that means I won’t be sensing my mate when I turn eighteen in a few days’ time.
Well, good! Who wants a mate who will be so possessive and restrictive…yet so protective and loving, no matter what…
Well, I don’t need a mate! Nope. Don’t want it. Don’t need it.
My mom met her mate a month or so after she had me. She left me with her mom, my Nana, who was living on her own after her mate died not too long before that.
So, my Nana raised me. She was the only one who loved me. I lived with her until three months ago.
She died. Just a few months before I would turn eighteen.
We had so many plans. I still can’t believe that she’s gone.
They’re selling her house, so they moved me here. I guess I should be grateful that they didn’t throw me out on the street.
So I’m living here now with my mom and her family—her mate, aka my stepdad, Jon, and their daughter, Caitlin Rose.
Each family has a unit here with a small family room and bedrooms, depending on how many kids a family has. We all eat together in the big pack dining room.
I have my own room. It’s small. Okay, so it’s tiny and has no window.
I think it was originally a walk-in closet for Caitlin Rose, but whatever. At least I have some privacy. Who needs a big room when I can be like Harry Potter?
It’s after 9 p.m., and my stomach growls. I haven’t eaten anything the whole day today. I’ve been hiding out in my room since the egg fiasco this morning.
“Stop staring at me like that, Oliver,” I warn my best friend. “I’m not a coward. I’m just not feeling like socializing right now.”
Well, okay, so Oliver is an old tattered teddy bear, but he’s got these eyes that can stare you down and make you feel like confessing even to a crime that you didn’t commit.
I turn Oliver to face the wall.
My stomach growls again, and I sigh.
The TV is on in the family room. I guess they won’t be going to bed anytime soon.
I open the door slowly and creep out of my room, careful not to make any noise.
My mom is sitting in the middle of the sofa. Jon has his arm around her. My half sister, Caitlin Rose, is sitting on the other side with her head on Mom’s shoulder.
Mom’s finger is playing gently with her soft brown hair. They’re a picture of a perfect family.
Three sets of eyes land on me simultaneously as I’m crossing the family room from behind the sofa.
That darn werewolf hearing!
I stare at them, and they stare right back. I shuffle my feet a bit, shifting my weight from one foot to another.
“I uh…gonna get some eggs for dinner,” I mutter. Nobody says anything.
“Well, okay,” I add then awkwardly make my way out the door with three sets of eyes still staring at me.
Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to really feel you belong somewhere, you know. To feel like you’re really wanted, not just tolerated.
To be like Caitlin Rose.
Still, I won’t dwell on that. I have a pretty okay life. Real lucky if you asked me.
My Nana loved me. Sure, she’s gone now, but she loved me when she was still alive.
My stepfather doesn’t hate me or anything. At least, I don’t think so.
My mom mostly ignores me, but once in a while, she seems okay with me.
My half sister doesn’t like me, but she’s only a kid.
I make it into the kitchen without encountering anybody. I look around the kitchen and find a big plastic container of burned eggs on the floor near the sink.
I lift the container up onto the kitchen counter and take the lid off. The awful smell wafts out into the air.
They must have saved me all the blackened ones at the bottom and took all the edible ones at the top.
I stare dispassionately at the black matter in the container. My stomach rumbles, but eating this is akin to eating soot.
“Oh, look! She’s going to eat those eggs!” my cousin Joelle exclaims from the doorway.
“We should take pictures of this,” her bitch clone, sorry, I mean her best friend, Kelly, joins in.
“No, take a video!” exclaims another girl.
A group of eight or so teenagers is standing behind them. All of their faces are excited. They are eager to watch me eat the blackened, burned eggs.
All except for my cousin Jorden and his best friend, Trey.
Jorden is Joelle’s brother. Their father is my mom’s older brother, who is also the beta of this pack. Jorden is a year older, while Joelle is a year younger than me.
“Come on, hoover it!” yells Joelle. Her iPhone is at the ready.
“Awesome! We can post the picture so everyone can see it,” says Dan, another moron in the group.
I glance at Jorden and Trey. Jorden has his jaw clenched and his lips pressed together, while Trey avoids looking at me altogether.
I scoop the blackened mash of destroyed eggs, and they get even louder. I see their eyes bright with excitement.
Stupid werewolves! Not enough entertainment in the pack house, it seems. They should get Netflix for this place. My Nana did.
I keep my focus on Joelle’s big forehead, and my lips stretch out into a grin.
Thwack! Bull’s-eye!!! The room falls silent.
Joelle has a big glob of egg pulp in the middle of her forehead. The black goo with a little bit of gray and yellowish mush is now dripping down her face slowly.
Then it falls onto the floor with another thwack, splashing black goo. Her friends jump back.
“Aaarrrrgghhhhh!!!!!” Joelle’s voice breaks the silence. Her friends are staring at her in horror.
Some boys snicker, while some, especially Jorden and Trey, struggle to keep from laughing. Jorden flashes me a proud smile before he turns to hide it.
“How dare you, stupid human whore!!!! I am so going to make you pay for this!” yells Joelle.
She suddenly advances. Her hands are tightly balled into fists at her sides. Her hazel eyes flash and darken. Her posse, Kelly and a few other girls, step toward me.
While Joelle looks furious, Kelly and the others look gleeful. Their eyes glint with cruel delight. Oh uh…they’re going to kill me.
I scoop another handful of the burned eggs, ready to launch at anybody who dares to come near.
“Hey! What are you kids doing here?” snaps Old Mr. Maddox, our former Alpha.
They stop in their tracks and quickly lower their heads in submission. Even though Old Mr. Maddox is no longer our Alpha, he still emanates alpha power.
At least that’s what I understand from what I hear. I don’t feel the need to submit to anybody, not even to the current Alpha.
Nana said maybe that’s because I’m a human.
“What’s going on here?” he asks again. Old Mr. Maddox is really old, though he is still tough looking.
His face is all wrinkly and leathery tanned as if he’s been in the sun for too long.
“She did this to me,” says Joelle, pointing at herself.
“She must have a good reason to have done that. You lot must have been bullying her,” he says. “Now, get out of here. Leave the poor girl alone.”
Something in the way that Joelle glares at me before she scuttles away with her friends warns me that this isn’t over. I notice Jorden hanging back.
“What are you still doing here?” barks Old Mr. Maddox, glaring at Jorden.
Jorden flashes me a worried look before he disappears through the doorway.
“Are you okay, Quincy my dear?” asks Old Mr. Maddox, turning to look at me with concern.
“Uh…yeah. I’m fine…thanks,” I notice he’s moved in much closer to me now. Much too close. Before I can take a step away, he places his hand on my back.
There is something in his eyes and the way he looks at me that creep me out.
“You poor girl.” His hand starts rubbing up and down my back. My skin crawls.
“I’m okay. Really I’m fine.” I move forward, trying to get away from his seeking hand, but he steps in to press his body to mine. Oh, fuck! I mean, fiddlestick!
I pull away while forcefully push him back. Suddenly I don’t care if I will get punished for being disrespectful to a high-ranking werewolf.
Luckily, he lets me go.
I duck and place the plastic container with burned eggs near the sink and leap out of the kitchen.
He chuckles. “Have a good night, my dear Quincy.”
“Yeah, have a good night, Mr. Maddox!” and go suck an egg or a lemon. Or better still, go jump out a high-flying airplane without a parachute!!!
I sprint away and encounter my cousin Jorden hanging around in the hall between the kitchen and the stairway.
He looks relieved to see me. We nod at each other, and I climb up the stairs as quick as my legs can carry me.
I jump straight into my small bedroom and lock the door. I never like the way Old Mr. Maddox looks at me. He’s been giving me this funny looks since I was twelve.
His mate is still alive. The former Luna has been bedridden for years now.
I don’t know how she got that way, but somebody ought to put a leash and a muzzle on her husband.
I lie down on my small bed, hugging Oliver. My stomach growls, and my skin still crawls from the way Mr. Maddox touched me.
I feel like taking a shower and scrubbing my skin of his touch and smell, but I don’t want to face Mom or Caitlin Rose again tonight.
“I’m not feeling very social tonight,” I explain to Oliver. “What am I going to do, Oliver?”