I knew something was up when the boys let me walk to Max’s by myself. Ever since the Kelsey incident and the fight, one of them has been glued to my side. The only time I get a break from them is when I go to the bathroom and when they have to leave my house for the night. My aunt Dahlia had to do an awful lot of convincing that I would be safe with just her guarding me before they would even think about leaving. At one point they were trying to convince her to let one of them sleep on the couch. She put a stop to that right away. Plus, there was no way any of their parents would have let that happen.
Color me surprised when I received that text from Max telling me to walk over to his house. I stayed hyper aware the whole ten minutes it takes me to walk there. I started using my shifter senses. Any sight, sound, or smell I don’t recognize doesn’t get past me now. After everything that has happened I would be a fool not to be prepared. I still haven’t officially been christened the new Alpha Queen. I would bet money that everyone is waiting for the outcome of the impending war.
I wouldn’t name someone my queen, just to have her perish in battle. You would end up right where you started, queenless. The smart choice would be to wait. I’m not sure I’m even ready for that title. I feel like haven’t earned it. No, there is no question about that; I haven’t earned it, but I will. If anything positive has come from everything that I have been through, it’s that it’s made me stronger. If I’m going to be their queen, then that is something that I need to continue. I need to learn how to be queen. My aunt Dahlia and Elder Harris said they would help me...us, learn what we need. My phone beeps signaling a text message.
Max: Move those little legs faster. I’m getting impatient.
I roll my eyes.
Me: Well, if you would have waited a minute, I would have been knocking on your door. I’m outside on your porch.
Not even a minute later, Max opens his front door and is standing in front me. A hum of appreciation escapes my lips. Blue jeans, an open red button-up shirt revealing a white tank underneath, and his signature long blonde hair completes his look.
“You know a ride would have been preferable. It is the middle of February,” I chastise.
“I know, angel, but this is one time all of us needed to be together. Otherwise, one of us would have been there to give you a ride.” I sigh. I can’t even pretend to be mad at them. It never works. I can’t stay angry at them long. “Come on inside before you freeze anymore.”
I step into his foyer. I don’t make it far before he tugs on my wrist and pulls me into his body. I love the feel of his arms around me. I feel safe, secure, and loved. I feel that way with all of them. They give me the strength that I need when I can't seem to find it for myself.
I look up into his blue eyes, there’s a mischievousness to them, more so than usual. My body is flush with his. He gives me this half smirk smile. I follow his eyes as they gaze over my face, landing on my lips. It’s a silent question he is asking me. One that he already knows the answer to. He graces me with a full smile before he descends. His lips press against mine. The kiss is quick and not at all what I was expecting. Normally, we would be making out in his hallway to the point one of the other boys would have to come searching for us. He can see the disappointment on my face when he pulls away.
“We’ll have time for that later. But for now, I need you to close your eyes.” I eye him suspiciously. “Trust me, angel; it’s nothing bad.” I roll my eyes and do as he ask.
“I swear, Max; if you’re messing with me, I’ll sick Graydon on you.”
“Relax. I promise, I’m not messing with you.” I feel his hands cover my eyes.
“What are you doing?”
“Making sure you can’t peek.” We walk slowly together his hands over my eyes, him guiding me. Suddenly, we stop. “Now keep your eyes closed until I say open.” I felt him move his hands from my face, but I kept my eyes shut. “Open your eyes, angel,” he whispers.
I slowly open my eyes.
I’m standing in the middle of Max’s living room with my mouth agape. All the boys and their parents, my aunt, and Cat are here. There are two giant gold balloons in the shape of a one and eight in the middle of the room with dark blue and yellow balloons scattered around the living room. The furniture has been moved and sits along the wall, leaving the middle of the living room open.
“Wh-what is all this?”
“Did you think we would forget your birthday, sweetheart? You only turn eighteen once and you deserve a celebration,” Zeke says as he walks over to me.
I’m embraced in his arms before I can say anything more. After my mother died, my birthday was no longer celebrated. I never did or went anywhere special. This is my first celebrated birthday in eight years. To be surrounded by the people who love and care about me, is everything. I can’t hold in my emotions any longer, and I start to cry. Zeke pulls back enough to gaze at my face.
“No crying allowed today,” as he wipes the tears from my face.
I smile, “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to.” He chuckles, the sound is like music to my ears.
“You got me there. Come on, let’s go celebrate.”
We did, and it was amazing.
I just got home from Callie’s surprise birthday party. Let me tell you, it was so much fun ganging up on Max with her. Serves him right too, you can’t go around picking on people and not expect retaliation. Maybe now, he’ll think twice. Celebrating Callie’s birthday is just what I needed to take my mind off of everything that has happened in the last couple of weeks.
Callie was there the night this strange entity appeared before us and gave me the power of having visions. I am now the new prophetess. Callie and her guys are happy about the change. I can’t blame them after what Kelsey did. I have first-hand experience with her. She wasn’t always like this, but something changed in her. To this day, I still have no idea what caused this reaction. We haven’t seen or heard from her since the fight with the North Pack went down. There are a few still in town, but they have been model citizens. I’m going through the motions of getting ready for bed, when it happens.
Callyn is standing front and center with Lucian, Zeke, Maximus, and Graydon behind her.
“You can’t win against us.”
“See, that’s where you’re wrong. Even if I fail, there will always be someone to take my place,” a faceless voice says.
“If that’s true, we will stand up and defeat anyone who dares threaten the safety and livelihood of shifters.”
A maniacal laughter fills the silence. “I don’t plan on losing. You see, I brought some backup.”
A figure walks forward removing the hood of the purple cloak they wear, revealing a woman.
“Who the hell are you?” Graydon questions.
“Yeah, I’m gonna need more than that,” Max says sarcastically.
“How about I just show you?”
Elbows at her sides, palms up, fingers bent, she starts to chant. Her head falls back, eyes closed. There is a white light that starts to build in her palms. The more she chants the brighter the light gets. Her eyes snap open, and she lifts her head. She moves her palms forward, facing Callyn and the boys. No warning was given before two orbs of white light are blasted, hitting Callyn and her mates.
It takes a moment but the light fades. A motionless Callyn, Zeke, Lucian, Graydon, and Maximus are left in its wake. The same evil laugh can be heard.
“Come Circe, our job here is done. Let’s go make the world ours.”
I come out of my first vision. “Holy shit.”