1*Amos POV

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***A/N at the bottom***

"Amos, are you going to join us in the discussion, or just continue to sit there and stare into space?"

Oops, looks like I zoned out, yet again. It's not my fault, honestly. I'm just going crazy thinking about my mate. I don't even know their name or what they look like yet. Don't even know their gender and already I can't stop thinking about them. I think it's love.

"Yeah, sorry," I mumble my reply with a slight smirk, ignoring the snickers of my group-mates.

Don't you know? Us weres are only schooled for eight years, then broken off into groups of 10 to learn, train, and do "community volunteer work" together for the rest of our teen years. So, until I turn 20 in two years, I'm still stuck with these wild people.

"Like I was saying, at the beginning of next month, we're going to go clean up around some of the older buildings that are still in use on the other side of town. We'll be there for about 9 hours doing work so I'll need your parents signatures, not like they'd say no," He scoffs, like that would be ridiculous...because it would. Believe it or not, we still have to get parental permission for trips that last more than the 8 hours we're usually at school for, even though we're all 18, some members even closer to 19 years old. And it's not like any of our parents would say no, they love getting rid of us for a few hours. Even the group members who don't live with their parents anymore have to get signatures. It's nonsense to me, but I have no say in the matter, so whatever.

The 'town' that my group leader, Vego, is referring to, is the town next to our pack land. To get to the area he's taking us to, we will have a 40 minute ride to--and a 40 minute ride back from--the ugliest part of the town. The ugliest part of the state, most likely.

Where we will be going is a place where clean food is rare, dirty drugs are common, and the people that live there are generally too poor to afford... well... anything. I have no clue why that part is still in commission, it's not like anything good actually comes from there.

Vego is a good man and a good leader, but I think he's overestimating our ability to make that place look anywhere near decent.

"Why the hell do we still do this shit? Those smelly poverty-ridden leaches out there don't appreciate what we do to make their nasty ass brick caves look good. If we really want to get recognition for our good deeds, we should be puttin' our time and strength into building something around here that people will actually appreciate!" Someone states loudly from my left.

"It's not about recognition, Ace, it's about giving to others," I explain, annoyed at my group-mate, and, I suppose, best friend, for being so rude ALL the damn time, but wondering something similar, myself. I mean, I wouldn't say it out loud like Ace would, because quite frankly Ace doesn't give a damn what comes out of his mouth usually, but I'm thinking it too.

"That's right, now go home. I have stuff to do, scoot." Gee, okay, Vego, o wise and thoughtful leader.

The group leaves and we walk back to our individual houses. In our pack, the pack house is only for the highest ranks and their families. Alphas, Betas, Gammas, all those. It's like a college sorority or something. We're all part of it, but only the elites live in the house with the name on it.

I live about a block away from the pack house. When I arrive home, I'm greeted with the scent of pizza. No... burgers. No... both. Pizza burgers! I kick my boots off at the door and shuffle toward the kitchen where the smell originates. Our house is really homey and lit in just the right places to give it a warm glow. It's also rather large, which I guess it has to be to house three families.

My family, consisting of my dad, my mom, and me were the first ones to live here. Then, my dad's brother, my uncle Jay and his mate, Helena, moved in with their daughters Salna and Marcy. A few years back, my dad's sister, Tia and her human mate/husband, Grayson, along with their young son, Rory came to live with us.

It's a full house and usually pretty loud, but never boring, so I can handle it.

"Muffin, you're home!" my mom shrieks when I walk into the kitchen where she is putting food onto plates with help from Helena.

"Mmhm. You guys make pizza burgers?" I ask, because food first, conversation later.

"Yes, sugar, go wash your hands it's almost dinner time," Helena responds to my question.

So, I clean up and go back to eat dinner with my family.

I think the only thing better than my mom's pizza burgers is my mom's burger pizza. My mama definitely knows how to combine foods. Her pasta bagels? divine. And don't even get me started on the sloppy joe chicken tostadas she makes. Pure heaven.

"Pumpkin, how was group?" my mom asks me once the whole family is seated in the dining room. All the women in my family use pet names when they talk to anyone, and, although it can be embarrassing, it usually makes me feel loved all the more.

"Oh, it was pretty good. We have to go to the other side of town to clean up some of the buildings. Another one of Vego's community service projects," I reply before taking a huge bite out of my pizza burger.

Sweet Jesus that's delicious.

"Ole' Vego always tryin' to help them unfortunate folks. Ain't like y'all get nothin' from it," Grayson comments. He comes from a long line of hillbillies that actually are harder to understand than him. It's difficult to decipher his speech and he talks in southern similes a lot, but he's nice and treats his family well, so I like him.

I shrug, "I don't know. He keeps saying it'll balance out any bad karma we have or some other hippy saying."

"I call bullshit," my uncle Jay starts, "He got into trouble a few years back and was ordered to do hordes of community service hours. I think he's still got some left and he's just bringing the rest of you along for the ride."

I shrug, yet again. I never know what's going on, I just nod my head and go with whatever anyone says.

"Continuing. Amos have you thought of where you're going to look for your mate? You've got to get a move on with that business." Ok, dad, chill I just turned 18, no big rush.

"Haven't thought too much into it." That's a lie. But a little white lie, and it's not like anyone really needs to know what I think about, especially when it concerns MY mate.

"Sweetcakes you have to think about that. I want grand babies as soon as I can get 'em. Amos, this is serious, just go from place to place and you'll smell her when you're near. It's not that difficult, you just have to be willing to go," My mom just called me by my real name. This must be more serious than I imagined.

I don't really need anyone telling me to look for my mate. Nobody wants to find her--or maybe him, which would put a damper on the whole 'grand babies' idea--more than I do. They probably think I'm just not interested in finding my mate, but it's the opposite. I want to find them so much that I can't think straight enough to figure out where to start searching first. It's like my brain is clouded and my thoughts are a big jumbled mess that can't be separated long enough for me to form a plan.

"I'll figure it out, don't worry. I need your signature for the trip we're taking in a few days, though. Nine hours, so you know." My parents nod and we continue to eat dinner with small conversations going around the table.

***I'm editing this story so hopefully I can start writing it again. I'm also adding a bit here and there, so if you want to catch it, read the updates. If not, please ignore for the next few hours.***

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