What was there to celebrate? My failures, the fact I am pack-less and homeless, that I am raising a baby on my own because the father refused to believe he got with a seventeen-year-old because he couldn’t recognize me as his mate.
“Shift! Please, Everly. I can’t watch you suffer in the rain, please,” My mother begs, sucking in a deep breath. “You can do this, Everly,” I whisper to myself. It isn’t how you imagined shifting, but you need to put your big girl panties on and do what’s required. I tell myself that nobody will be celebrating for you, not anymore, before stripping my saturated shirt off. I hang it over a railing along the far wall before shredding the pajama pants. I look around; it is late at night no one will see me. Even if they did, they wouldn’t pay any attention to the disgraced Alpha’s daughter.
My mother taps on the window, and I look in at my son drinking his bottle in her arms, gazing up at her nice and warm. His eyes get heavier and heavier the longer he feeds on his bottle.
“Thank you,” I whisper to her. She smiles sadly while nodding her head.
“I’m right here. You don’t have to be alone for your first shift,” my mother says, and I nod. Usually, when a wolf shifts for the first time, they go running with their family, they have a big celebration. Me, I was shifting to stay warm, funny how things turned out. I was transitioning out of necessity while everyone else shifted for celebration.
I have been able to feel my need to shift for months; however, being pregnant, I couldn’t change without causing harm to my unborn baby, then it did not have anyone to watch him while I did. This was my only chance, yet I dreaded seeing myself in wolf form. Alpha’s were supposed to be big, but I had been stripped of my title and my Pack.
I hadn’t shifted on my eighteenth birthday like I should have, and all these things affected our wolf’s strength. Swallowing down all emotion, I kneel on the ground, stretch my fingers, and stand on my toes. My neck cracks first, my face twisting and morphing. Everything stretches and moves when I feel the first snap of bone. It was agony, I knew it would hurt, but I never imagined it like this. The first shift always hurts, apparently.
“Don’t think of it, just envision your wolf,” My mother tries coaching through the glass window. It shouldn’t be like this; it wasn’t meant to be like this; Dad always promised mum and him would be there to help me through it.
“Deep breath and shove everything behind it, force the shift don’t wait for it, force it, Everly,” My mother says, and I suck in a deep breath, trying to envision what I would look like. Would I be a sandy color like my mother or Black like my father? A scream tore out of me that turned into a howl as the shift took over when I threw everything behind it like my mother said, bypassing the agony of shifting. Suddenly my hands were replaced with paws, my skin covered in thick fur, my face was more prolonged, my canines felt sharp as I ran my tongue along with them. Looking at my paws and my tail trying to see myself. I appeared to be a strange off-white color, almost a blue hue under the moonlight.
Using the glass to look at myself, I was pure white, my fur one color only small, tiny, and thin. So small, I looked like an omega as I peered at myself. I looked up at my mother in the window, holding my son, one hand covering her mouth in shock. She was shocked at my size, the size of a castaway. I was easy pickings, and my wolf would only get smaller and weaker the longer I went without my mate too.
My father comes over and looks out the window, a stormy look on his face; he is disappointed. I was not much bigger than a german shepherd, which is embarrassingly small. Most rogues would be more significant than me. Was this punishment from being stripped bare of everything? This is what’s left of me? My father tugged the curtain closed like he couldn’t look at me any longer like he was disgusted, and I was too.
Mortified at how weak I was. I press my nose against the glass, and I hear my father walk off when my mother tugs the curtain open a bit before sitting on the couch so I can see my son. Watching him through the glass, wishing I could comfort him but knowing it was best this way. He was safe and warm and, more importantly, dry.
My mother managed to get him to sleep and made him a makeshift bassinet on the couch, and eventually, I fell asleep. My head rested on the brick ledge under the window. When the sun starts to come up, I quickly shift back, putting on my drenched clothes and carefully ringing them out to try and remove some of the water. I had just pulled the sopping wet clothes on when the front door opened, and my father stepped out of the house. I looked up at him from my spot on the ground near the window where I was crouched. He doesn’t even look at me, instead tosses me some cash rolled up in a rubber band.
“I want you gone before I get home, don’t ever come back, Everly,” He says before walking toward his car, not even glancing at me. I reach forward, grabbing the rolled-up cash looking after him.
Despite how badly my heart was breaking, he couldn’t even acknowledge me. I still loved the man. He was my father, and tossing me away like garbage hurt; it hurt severely, making me realize I was nothing but garbage to everyone. The door opens, my mother puts her head out to see if he is gone before ushering me into the house.
My sister comes running out with a backpack and some dry clothes. She hands me a towel, and I dry myself off before slipping on the jeans, shirt, and hoodie she had brought out for me.
“Here, take these,” She says, handing me a pair of her Nike shoes. I slip the socks on before placing the shoes on my feet. My mother was still holding my son like she didn’t want to let him go.
“I rang a taxi to come to get you,” My mother tells me while my sister hands me a bag.
“Some clothes, toiletries, feminine products, girlie stuff. I also put all the cash from my safe in there,” My sister says, and I swallow. “Ava, I can’t take that,” I tell her.
“You might as well. I can’t go to university now anyway. Dad is making me take over the Pack next year,” I suddenly felt guilty. Not only did I f**k my life up, but I ruined my sisters too. Now she was being forced to be Alpha. Ava wanted to go to uni and study some science thing when I was still here. She is wicked smart, and I ruined her plans by getting pregnant. Ava didn’t look upset, though, just like she accepted it.
“Take it, my old phone is in there too, and the charger I will make sure to recharge it every month for you so I can get ahold of you,” Ava says, and my mother nods.
“He doesn’t have to know. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” my mother tells me.
“So, you will come to see us, visit us?” I asked her; hopefully, her face dropped.
“No, you know I can’t, but you can send us photos of. You never did tell us his name,” My mother says.
“Valerian,” I tell them. They looked at me funny, but I thought it went with his father’s name, even though he will probably never meet the man, but at the time, I had hoped, now not so much.
“See, you can send a picture of Valerian to us, and we can use video chat; it will be the same,” My mother says, only it won’t be. It will lack the connection, the physical contact. Chewing my lip, and I nod, not adding my thoughts. That was as good as it was going to get. I was alone; not even my mother was willing to go against my father for her daughter. I shouldn’t have expected her to. It was near impossible for someone to go against their mate.
I never realized how much I missed human touch until I no longer felt it, only my sons. I craved contact, any form of interaction, conversation, someone to talk to that could talk back.
“You okay, Everly?” Ava asks, and I nod, seeing the cab waiting out the front. I take my son, my sister’s bag she packed for me, and the baby bag.
“I will not see you again,” I tell them, letting those words sink in; I wasn’t welcome back here, and they were too scared to come to see me. This would be it. They said they would ring, but we know it will only be texts if they manage that without my father realizing it.
My sister squeezes me tight before letting go, and my mother clutches my face, her eyes filled with tears. “You can do this. You will be alright,” She says, her face lined with worry; she knew with how small my wolf is that I would suffer if anyone came for me. She knew I would not be able to protect myself.
If they knew my mate had also tossed me aside, they would realize I was basically as good as dead. Without my mate, I would slowly deteriorate until there was nothing left, and I won’t be able to shift and be practically human. Once that happens, I am as good as dead.
“Are you telling yourself or me that?” I ask her, her brows furrow; she knows there is nothing out there for us. We were rogue, and nothing good ever happens to rogues; they merely exist amongst the packs, surviving day to day, praying we don’t get picked off by bigger prey because, at the end of the day, no Pack would intervene for a rogue, even if they have a child.