CHAPTER ONE -The Day Before (Part One) I woke up early in the morning and jumped out of bed right away. I was excited. Really, really excited. Tomorrow was my birthday. Tomorrow I would be eighteen, and I would meet my wolf. I couldn't wait to shift for the first time. People say it is painful, but I didn't worry about that part. It would be just for a little while, and it would get easier later. I could survive a little bit of pain. I wished my parents were here to see me shift for the first time. It had been eight years since they died, and it hadn't gotten any easier. They were killed in a rogue attack. Rogues were werewolves that didn't belong to any pack. They became rogues by being exiled from their packs for committing various crimes. Some of them choose to leave their packs and live like rogues. That was rare, though. We wolves were pack animals. We didn't like being alone. When a wolf chose to become a rogue, it was mainly because something terrible had happened to them in their pack, or they had lost their mate, gone crazy, and left the pack. The rogues lived alone. They didn't work with other wolves. But when they attacked our pack, they were working together. It was very odd. After that night, our Alpha learned about a rogue wolf who had gathered other rogues to attack various packs. They called him the Rogue King. The attacks hadn't stopped since. They attacked ours and other packs multiple times. On the night of the attack, rogues tried to kill our Alpha's son. We were celebrating his 18th birthday and his first shift. He was supposed to start his training to become the new Alpha and take over the pack. However, that night, rogues killed his father, our former Alpha Luke. He was forced to become Alpha right away. And he did a fantastic job. He finished his training early, and he made our pack one of the strongest ones. My father was Alpha Luke's Beta. He and my mom died protecting Alpha, Luna, and their son. That was their job. After their deaths, my brother Andrew became Beta. He and our Alpha had been best friends since childhood, and now they run our pack together. My brother was a fantastic Beta; and an even better brother. He was 17 when our parents died, and after that, he had to take care of our pack and me. He never complained. He took those responsibilities and did the best he could. And he did great. He always made sure I was safe and taken care of. I finished high school a few months ago, and all I had to do now was train. After the attacks, my brother and our Alpha decided that all pack members must train to be able to defend themselves. The rule in our pack was that we all must go through high school. It was something similar to a human high school, but we learned about werewolves and our pack's history, pack laws, and everything needed to help the pack function properly. For example, if a wolf was interested in working for Alpha, he or she would have to learn more about running the pack. If a wolf was interested in agriculture, he or she would have to learn about plants and our crops to help sustain our food supplies. If a wolf was interested in defending the pack, he or she would have to learn about defense techniques and attack formations; they would have to spend more time training than the rest of us. I had chosen to help the Alpha run our pack. It was natural to me. My brother was Beta, and I wanted to help him as much as possible. So, I learned all about pack laws and everything else needed to successfully run our pack. The Alpha, Beta, and pack healer were the only ones who left the pack to train for their positions. They went to different packs where they learned everything needed for their positions in a pack. The training lasted for about a year. Considering our pack was attacked and our former Alpha was killed, our new Alpha and Beta finished their training in only a few months. The pack needed them, and it had to be done quicker than usual. I missed my brother when he left, but I knew it was something he had to do. We had to train every day, but tomorrow I got a day off because it was my birthday and my first shift. It was a special occasion. The first shift was essential because you met your wolf and your mate. Mates were essential in wolf culture. A mate was your special someone, picked by our Moon Goddess. It was the connection of two souls. Your mate became the most important thing to you. You started to love them instantly. You wanted and needed to be with them and protect them. My brother still hadn't found his mate. And neither had our Alpha. So, until he did, his mother, Gloria, still held the Luna title and did carry the Luna duties. She had a hard time after her mate, our former Alpha, passed away. She almost didn't make it. She didn't eat, sleep or do anything. That was what happened when you lost your mate. Your will to live would just go away. However, she recovered, and she was an excellent Luna. I loved her a lot. She helped my brother and me after our parents died, and she and I had a special relationship. She was like a mother to me. I asked her to be present for my first shift. She accepted and gave me a big hug. It was a big deal to be present for a wolf's first shift, at least in our pack. Each pack had its own tradition, but in ours, only the wolves you choose get to witness your first shift. And it was an honor to be chosen. I chose my brother, Luna Gloria, and my friends, Amy and Jacob. They were all honored and excited for me. I couldn't wait to shift. It will be amazing. And maybe I will be luckier than my brother and meet my mate soon. I had to go to training soon, so I brushed my teeth, took a quick shower, and got dressed. I wore my black tights, training bra, gray hoodie, and black Nike sneakers. I tied my long brown hair into a ponytail and went downstairs.
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