The art class was relatively silent with only the sounds of brushes on easels and pencil on paper. Gracie was beside me totally focused on her work and completely ignoring me.
I always thought when I found my mate; it was going to be fucking awesome. Having somebody love you no matter how many times you screw up, not having to be afraid they'd cheat on you. But here I am. With a human for a mate.
I don't hate her; quite the opposite. But it hurts to have your soul joined with somebody else's and love them so much and not have the same love returned.
It hurts. It hurts when I have to shadow her when I want to be right beside her, holding her hand, it hurt that I had to beg her to even be around me, it hurt when she chose to sit with Ciara over me, it hurts when were sitting right beside each other and she pretends I'm not there.
I hate that it hurts.
The last bell rings and I look down at my sketchbook; not surprised to see yet another drawing of Gracie. I hate that I'm acting so weak just cos some girl isn't paying me attention. But then she's not just some girl.
I shove my stuff into my bag before turning to her "You ready?"
"I don't need you escorting me. So, thanks, but no thanks" She rolled her eyes and slung her bag over her shoulder.
I didn't bother replying, I was following her whether she liked it or not. She huffed when she realised I wasn't backing off and headed out of the class. I smirked and followed her.
"Dude, meeting at the pack house. Lets go." Mason stopped me as I got of the building; Gracie, a few yards ahead.
"I'll meet you there. I have something to do" I weaved through the students in the car park until I was just a few meters behind the blonde.
"So, where did you move here from?" I asked as we got out of the school compound.
"Uh, okay, do you have any siblings?" I tried again.
Still no reply.
She whipped around and marched up to me "Don't call me that! I don't have to answer to you. I don't know what you're trying to do with me but I have a fair idea. I'm not one of those girls. So, please leave me alone! You have a game this evening, so go and practice or something!"
She is so pretty.
I realise she just told me off, called me a player and told me to stay away from her but all I noticed was how absolutely beautiful she was.
'Dude where are you?? The meeting's about to start' Mason mindlinked me and snapped me out of my thoughts and then her words actually settled.
I gritted my teeth. She was already way ahead of me but I easily caught up to her.
"Look, Graci- Grace. I'm sorry. I'm not trying to do anything with you. I just want to be friends. I'm sorry for following you and all. I don't think you're one of those girls. I really don't Grace." I paused "If you want me to stay away from you, I will."
There were so many lies in my little speech. I am trying to do something with her, I'm not sorry for following her, I certainly don't 'just want to be friends', and I sure as hell won't stay away from her.
She paused and then continued walking again without looking at me. I still followed her. When we got to the last bend to her house, she stopped and turned to me.
"Mississippi." She said "I moved here from Mississippi." And then she turned the corner.
I stood there for a while and made sure she actually entered her house.
'Calm your pants down, Mace. I'm neither the Alpha nor the Alpha-to-be. The meeting can start without me.' I mindlinked back before heading into the woods and shifting.
The meeting had started by the time I got home. My dad was up in front of the pack and beside him was my brother; Jared.
He stopped talking when I entered and everybody's eyes were on me. Jared shot me a frown. I ignored them and went to stand beside Ryan and Mason.
My father; also known as Alpha Jackson, continued whatever he had been saying; "We have set the date for the ceremony to be two weeks from today where I will be handing over Alpha duties to my son Jared."
"And he and his beautiful mate will be crowned the Alpha and Luna of the Blood Moon pack."
"In other news, the new Alpha of the Red Blood pack has invited us to his territory to renew our peace treaty with him and a few of us will be leaving this weekend."
The Red Blood pack was the pack in the next town over. Story is that there had been a terrible war between their pack and our's many years ago and the elders eventually intervened with a peace treaty which we had to renew once every year and/or when a new Alpha comes into power.
I tuned out as I usually do at these meetings and plugged my earbuds into my ear.
Mason nudged me when the meeting was over. "Where were you??"
I shrugged "I had something to do"
"With Graaaccciiieee" Ryan sang; wiggling his eyebrows.
"Shut up" I snapped "And don't call her that"
He ignored me and turned to Mason "You know, its still early but I can tell he's going to be totally whipped."
I rolled my eyes.
"You're going to have to start acting more responsibly" Jared said, coming up to us.
I didn't need his shit right now. I stuck a smile on my face; That's your role, remember, brother. You're the Alpha
He smirked; his black hair, neatly gelled back with not a strand out of place "Grey-"
"I have a game to get to." I pushed past him and went up to my room.
I took a quick shower before the guys and I got in my car and headed back to school.
And as I got onto field; realising how much I'd missed the euphoria that came with being on a football field with lots of people cheering you on, I looked up into the bleachers and I stopped in my tracks. Because there she was; smiling right at me.