The Hale family weren't that well known.
Mom and dad never joined the PTSA at our schools. As far as Beacon Hills knew, Mr. Hale worked long hours and earned a bunch of money at whatever he did. Well, we had to have money if we wanted to keep the hou-mansion.
There were thirteen members of the family in total, all living in our giant house. Dad was a quintessential worker. He lived for his job. He had the characteristic black hair and smokey grey eyes. Mom told us when he was younger, all the girls in town fawned over him. Now, they talked in hushed tones about the tall dark and mysterious man that lived with his giant family in the woods.
Unlike most of the family, my mom didn't have dark hair, but long, beautiful red hair. Compared to Dad, she was much shorter but still managed to tower over others in the few times she stepped out of the house. Mom and Dad met while at college. They fell in love, married, then moved to Dad's hometown.
They had three kids. I was the youngest and was small for my age - which the others never let me forget - with the patented Hale eyes and my mother's red hair.
Derek was my older brother by seven years at seventeen. He was well known for getting into trouble at school for fighting and skipping class, but he didn't care. He had Dad's good looks and the girls fawned over him the way they had Dad, but he never paid any of them any attention.
Laura was the older and less conspicuous one. She was eighteen. An average student, an average girl. Some of the kids at school thought it was strange the way she never made friends or went out, but our whole family was undoubtedly strange.
Mom's younger brother, Peter, worked at a small law firm. Peter was the fun uncle. He was the one that would take us out for ice-cream after a hard day at school. He and his wife were my favourite relatives.
Aunt Isobel was very passionate, with a big heart and a refreshingly open mind. She was the kind of woman that always saw the best in people. My mom always said Peter and Isobel were true soul-mates, cut from the same stone.
Dad's older brother was David. Whereas Peter was the uncle we all went to, David was the uncle we shied away from. Standing at 6' 5", Uncle David had an imposing silhouette and an even harsher tongue. He and his wife, Sara, constantly got into fierce screaming matches about the most innocuous of things. After a day or two of icy exterior, they would make up only to start an argument about something else. Their kids, Cindy and Cassadee, were twins, both thirteen. They were seen everywhere together and couldn't be separated. After an incident in kindergarten, they started being home-schooled.
Lastly, there was Aunt Jenna and her sons, Daniel and Jason. Jenna was Dad's only sister, with the trademark Hale hair and eyes. Her husband had been killed in a car crash ten years ago, and she'd never re-married. Jason and Daniel were the same age as Derek, but they far from got along.
Being a family of werewolves, we were far from a normal family, but we were happy.
But when I was ten years old, something happened that changed my life forever...
"If you don't move your ass, we're gonna leave you behind, runt!"
I rolled my eyes at the threat that was shouted up the stairs as I tied the laces of my sneakers. Laura had no patience for anything and was kind of a control freak, which I suppose was to be expected. Being the eldest child of the Alpha, Laura was next in line to be lead the pack, taking the place from Mom when she was too old to lead us.
But that didn't give her the right to be bossy all the time.
I jumped up from my bed and ran down the stairs, hearing mom berating Laura for her language and Derek snickering at her misfortune. One of the advantages of being a werewolf was the enhanced senses, hearing for example; I knew where everyone in the house was and what they were doing. The disadvantages? Well, we couldn't get away with anything with our parents being able to hear us from the other side of the house, and the enhanced sense of smell was unfortunate if I happened to pass by someone's trash.
"Ready," I announced, joining my two older siblings at the front door. "And don't call me runt."
I was the youngest in the house, which really sucked to be honest. Especially when Derek and Laura inherited our parent's height and I barely came up to Derek's elbow.