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The Code Of The Alpha

The Code Of The Alpha


Last update: 2022-12-09

Chapter 1

  • "Would you hush?"
  • "I didn't say anything."
  • "Well, stop thinking so loud."
  • I heard Mady huff from somewhere in the room behind me, but my eyes were glued in front of me.With stiff and aching fingers, I lifted the small detailing brush from the palette and leaned forward, ignoring the pain in my lower back.
  • Holding my breath, I gently swept the brush along the canvas, letting the beige acrylic paint cover the markings of where I had outlined with a graphite pencil.
  • I let out a long, exasperated sigh of relief as I finished the last upward stroke of the brush. "Are you done? Can I see?"
  • I felt Mady's presence invade the space behind me as she leaned forward to get a better look at the canvas propped against the wall that I sat in front of.
  • "Carrie, that looks great."
  • "I hate painting hands," I admitted, feeling a sudden wave of exhaustion pass over me.
  • "No, it looks really good."
  • I glanced over the canvas that was partially painted and partially outlined with a graphite pencil. An old dusty picture was clipped up at the top of the canvas, serving as my guide to what the painting itself would look like when it was finished.
  • "I'm exhausted."
  • "I don't see why you felt the need to stay up all night doing this," Mady said.
  • "You could just paint little bits and pieces at the time and you would be able to finish it gradually instead of only working on it in bursts of sporadic energy.
  • "That's when I paint best," I argued, throwing my brush into the plastic cup filled with water.
  • I slowly began to get off the stool I had been sitting on for hours, wringing out my hands. Stretching my arms out behind me and in front of me, I felt my spine pop in several different places. Letting out a deep breath, I bent down to grab the back of my calves as I stretched out my back even more.
  • "Besides," I continued, "I have to have that done by their anniversary at the end of next month.
  • I stood up slowly to take one last look at the incomplete painting that would soon be a gift. It was a portrait of my parents as they walked down the aisle, the two of them newly married.
  • She was in her long, flowy wedding dress; her veil billowing behind her and a beaming, youthful smile on her face. He was in a simple black tux as he marched forward confidently, holding my mother's hand. A similar smile was plastered across his face.
  • I reached above me to turn off the light that hung over the canvas.
  • "What time is it?" I asked, rubbing my tired eyes.
  • Mady looked down at her watch.
  • "Almost three."
  • I groaned. "I'm going to bed," she said, yawning. I felt terribly guilty. Her and I were supposed to be finishing up the last season of the show we'd been binging for the past few weeks, but I'd gotten side-tracked with the painting.
  • "I'm sorry, Mady," I said earnestly.
  • " I didn't mean to get caught up."
  • "No worries. I was able to finish my reading for civil procedure so it's all good."
  • I grimaced at the thought of assigned reading.
  • Mady was in her first year of law school. She was studying to get her juris doctorate so she could become an attorney and one day, a judge like her dad.
  • I, on the other hand, was happy with my bachelor's degree in English. It allowed me to live as a professional starving artist, even though I technically never starved since I worked as a part-time librarian and a part-time art teacher at the elementary school.
  • "What time are we leaving tomorrow morning?" I asked her.
  • "I'm planning on being over there by ten."
  • I nodded as she turned to leave the room.
  • "See you in the morning," she said. "Night."
  • Once she had left and I heard the door to her bedroom open and close, I groaned and fell back onto my bed.
  • Ten in the morning was way too early given that it was nearly three and I was just then about to go to sleep.
  • To make matters worse, I hadn't packed yet either, meaning I would be waking up around nine so that we could still leave on time. I always ended up making us late wherever we went and I was determined that it wouldn't be the case tomorrowmorning.
  • Mady and I were meeting our parents at her family's house to go with our dads to a conference. Her father was the Alpha of our pack in southern Oregon andmy father was his Beta. The two of them also happened to be leaders that represented Oregon on a committee of Werewolf affairs in the western United States.
  • Every so often, the two of them traveled to Las Vegas for meetings with other committee members.
  • Normally, these meetings were biannual but they happened as often as needed. With it only being May and they were traveling to their fourth meeting so far this year, I was under the impression that something was going on in the world of Werewolves and pack business that was not routine.
  • However, this meeting fell on a holiday weekend. Because Mady and I had made an executive decision that we needed a break from school and work, we decided to tag along with our fathers for a three-day vacation in Vegas.
  • As I reached over to turn my lamp off, I noticed the dried acrylic paint that stained my hands. Exhausted, I resigned to the fact that I would just have to wash sheets in the morning. I didn't even have the energy to get under the comforter before I fell asleep.
  • It felt like only seconds had gone by before Mady was opening mt bedroom door, telling me to get up.
  • "It's almost nine forty-five," she said.
  • "We need to leave in fifteen minutes."
  • I sat up quickly, my hair falling in my face.
  • "Oh shit." I groaned, seeing the mid-morning rays of sun coming through the window. I threw my legs over the side of the bed and stood up. She disappeared down the hallway as I quickly made my way over to my closet and pulled my duffle bag from the top shelf in a drowsy daze.
  • I haphazardly pulled clothes from their hangers and shoved them into the bag before also taking a handful of underwear out of my drawer and stuffing those into the bag as well.
  • I barely had enough time to brush my hair, pull it back into a ponytail and change out of my pajamas before Mady was yelling that it was time to go.
  • "Just a second!" I yelled back, putting on my shoes.
  • I grabbed my phone from off the bed, sighing as I realized I had forgotten to charge it overnight. I threw it into my purse along with the charger, my sketchbook and a pencil bag.
  • Taking one last look around the room to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything, it occurred to me that I hadn't washed sheets that morning like I'd planned.
  • I shrugged before turning to run down the hallway.
  • "Your shirt's on backwards," Mady told me as she watched me walk towards the front door.
  • I looked down to see that she was right and I pulled my arms back through the sleeves to turn it around.
  • "Did you pack a toothbrush?" she asked.
  • "Yes, mother."
  • "Toothpaste?"
  • I stopped short and Mady laughed as she followed me out of our shared townhouse.
  • "I packed some," she told me, locking the front door behind us.
  • I sighed, thankful that at least one of us had turned out to be a responsible adult.
  • It was a quick, five-minute drive from our townhouse to the neighborhood where our parents lived. Mady's mom and dad lived across the street from mine, as they had our whole lives.
  • I could still vividly remember being scolded by both mothers because I never looked both ways before crossing the street whenever I went over to play. I also remembered the times during high school that the two of us would meet under the cover of night to sneak off to our friends' houses.