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Chapter 4 Potatoes

  • The sun peeked over the mountains. Soon, it would light up the fields and splash over the houses. This was my favorite time of day. The animals were still sleeping, no one was out of their bed yet, and the quiet that fell over the pack in the night still lingered. I took a deep breath and smoke billowed around me as I exhaled.
  • I’d been living in this Goddess-forsaken world for thirteen years. I was young and far from naive. We’ve been here in the Clear Mountains pack since we were found. That was three years ago and I hadn’t changed much since. I did my best to stay away from others. I tried not to make friends but Devin liked me, and he was hard to shake. I didn’t care about the opinions of others. I had my sister and that was enough, that’s all I needed. My goal was to live a quiet life, make it to adulthood, and protect my other half, my good half.
  • The story was that I was the Alpha’s bastard son from the next pack over and that was what kept us safe. No one knew I was the criminal that killed his father, killed the beta, and fled in the middle of the night.
  • When the warriors of this pack found us, I told them that we were thrown away, tossed out without care. They believed every word and took us in. They pitied me and even though it disgusted me, it was what kept my sister safe. My sister struggled, she missed home and she didn’t know why we couldn’t go back. She wanted love, care, and parental affection.
  • At first, she was jealous of those with parents. I did everything I could to give her what we never had. I promised she would never even notice what we were missing. I gave her doting affection, love, and cared for her as both a guardian and a brother. It was hard not to notice the rumors that spread about us. We were told that our relationship was far from natural, but I ignored them. I wanted my sister to wish for nothing.
  • I may have showered her with too much attention but they didn’t know what was unnatural. I knew firsthand what that was and I’d never do that to her. I wanted her to stay the way she was, kind, spoiled, and ill-tempered. I wouldn’t want her to change, I wouldn’t let anything happen to her. It wasn’t until recently that she realized we didn’t need parents for that.
  • The neighbor’s door swung open and Mitch walked out and took a seat on a wooden chair.
  • “I need you to cover for Liam,” Mitch said as he pulled on his boots. “He’s ill and I need you to take on his duties. It’ll only be for today.”
  • Liam was Mitch’s nephew and he worked the fields like Devin, tending to the vegetables and farming. I’ve worked under Mitch, the butcher, since I came to the Clear Mountain pack. He was suspicious of my familiarity with the blade but after my feigned innocence he didn’t question me. Under his watchful eye, I practiced slicing, dicing, and killing.
  • By the age of eleven, Mitch gave me my own blade. Other than the gift of life, it was the first time I received anything and I soon became attached to it. I kept her clean and sharp, making sure to have her on me at all times.
  • I agreed but I grumbled the entire walk to the field. It was only for one day. I liked working in the butcher’s quarters. I didn’t like change but I never questioned Mitch, he was one of the only people I’ve ever respected.
  • Devin perked up when he saw me. He hadn’t shifted yet but I could see wolf ears standing up and a tail wag as I made my way towards him. When I blinked the ears and tail were gone. Before he could start talking or ask me about why I was there, I asked him to lead me to Liam’s post. I tucked the vegetables into one bag and the potatoes into another. I made sure to take the vegetables first and leave the potatoes for last.
  • After I dropped the vegetables off, I came back for the potatoes. Load after load, I delivered them to the packhouse. It wasn’t until the last load that I saw her.
  • I’d walked past the gate when the packhouse door opened. My gaze landed on her as she walked out and my mind went blank. I forgot what I was doing.
  • One look at her and the weight on my shoulders lightened, the air in my chest was gone, and a warmth I couldn’t remember feeling before washed over me.
  • She was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. Her long brown wavy hair cascaded past her shoulders, her skin was tan and looked silky soft. My gaze paused on the black ribbon in her hair. Smooth tan skin was sheathed with white embroidered polyester and chiffon, her butterfly sleeves running down to her wrist. The material ran down to the floor, hiding her legs. Her eyes were downcast, I couldn’t see what color they were but I wanted to know. Something screamed from the depths of my soul. I needed to know everything there was to know about her.
  • I dropped a sack of potatoes, the large spuds spilled from the bag. They were all over the floor. I didn’t notice that I had dropped them at first. It wasn’t until her big brown eyes looked up at me that I was brought back to the present. My jaw was hanging open and something was fluttering in my stomach. Her words, although quiet, were laced with worry. Why was there fear in her eyes?
  • “The potatoes, quick, my father is coming!” The pretty girl said.
  • Before her words registered and before I could decide if I cared about her father, the packhouse door opened and the Alpha walked out. Shit. There was a menacing aura around him and I knew if I didn’t hurry up, I’d be fucked. Chances were I already was. I dropped to my knees and fumbled with the potatoes. I kept my head down and silence filled the courtyard. The sound of his footsteps neared and I held my breath as I reached for the last potato.