If someone had told me months ago that I was going to be in a quasi-pack consisting of a mysterious werewolf and a powerless witch, I wouldn't have believed you. If my parents knew the truth about why I’d left my pack they would immediately put me in lockdown. The other witches, werewolves, vampires, and otherworldly beings are probably laughing at our expense—the group of rejects, I’m sure they’re calling us… even if Sean is an attractive wolf that everyone thinks is a normal human. Right, like a human would enter NPS.
The sound of the ticking clock my dad got for my mom years ago echoes in the silent dining room. My parents are eating their meatloaf in silence, while my brother tries his best to avoid my eyes. I’m staring straight at one of our family photos hanging off the opposite wall, behind my brother’s head. Davis is goofing off in the back as mom and dad smile widely at the camera. My eyes are downcast and my smile is insincere. I remember that day clearly. It was a week after my first shift and I'd recently learned about the Real world and all its secrets. I hated the new school that my parents had immediately transferred me too and I hated what I'd become. The picture was also from before I met Jason, that didn't happen for another week.
"Meredith?" mom’s voice jolts me back into the present. She’s staring at me with her hand held out. “Pass me the potatoes, please.”
“Sure,” I murmur, passing her the large bowl. “Hey mom,” both her and dad look up expectantly. I know that Davis is avoiding me because of my decision against the pack, but I don’t know why my parents are so on edge. “Have you always been with the same pack? Have you always run with Lawson, Greg, and Jemma?”
“Yes,” dad answers for mom, his voice powerful in the silence. “Most wolves stay with their original packs.” He puts his knife and fork down. “Is this about your fight with Jason? About you leaving the pack?”
I stare at my two parents. Mom’s perfectly done hair and nails, dad’s slicked back hair and dark blue eyes. How much did they know about my personal life? “How did you know about me and the pack?”
Mom clears her throat. “Meredith, there aren’t many packs around here, so it isn’t hard to hear a few new, interesting things every once in a while.”
“Actually,” Davis finally says, his voice cool. “Jason approached them to try and get you to rejoin the pack, but as we saw this morning you are better than our pack.”
I frown. “That’s not true,” Davis shrugs and looks down at his barely eaten dinner. I wonder if Jason also told my parents why I left the pack. “I didn’t agree with their beliefs, isn’t that enough reason to leave?”
Mom nods slowly, considering my words. So Jason hadn’t told her. If he had, she wouldn’t have been so understanding. “Okay,” she finally says, exchanging a glance with my dad. “We’ll give you a chance to find a new pack and think your decision over. Jason may care about you, but he won’t always be waiting.”
A chortle from Davis draws our attention as he gets up from the table, leaving his nearly full plate behind. “She already has a pack,” I gulp as I see his lips forming the words. “She’s running now with a stranger that no one knew was a wolf until this morning and a witch.” He spits when he says “witch” and turns abruptly towards the foyer and up the stairs to his room, nearly knocking over an old vase full of lilies.
“Davis!” I yell before looking over at my frowning parents.
“A witch?” Dad asks, his voice low. My mom’s eyes are slightly glowing a soft blue, matching the paleness of her eyes. “What are you doing with a witch?”
“That’s pack business,” I answer shortly, but a snarl from my mom who is slowly shifting due to her anger stops me from getting up from the table.
“You are a mere teen, what are you doing with a witch?” She tilts her head, analyzing me through angled eyes. Her teeth have already transformed, showcasing a row of sharp teeth. “Even the newest of wolves know not to mix with them.”
“She swore loyalty to us,” I explain. “She will not do anything to us.”
“Did we not read bedtime stories of our ancestors to you?” Dad asks, his voice deep with revulsion. “Did we not teach you who to deal with and who to avoid?”
“Well,” I say simply, trying to hide the goose-bumps from seeing my parents’ slow change, “this is the twenty-first century and I think we need a change in rules.”
Mom snarls, but dad holds her back. “We will trust her just this once Honey, but if the witch fails us then you will be severely sorry.”
I lower my eyes and get up from the table, hearing my parents’ disappointed voices whispering in the now nearly empty room.