Chapter 1:

The sun had barely risen from behind the cityscape as we drove away from the hustle and bustle of my old life. Rays of early morning sun bounced off Alice's bright red hair and lit her freckled face up like porcelin. She didn't seem to notice that I was looking at her, driving through the last remaining stoplights with a pinched, worried look on her face. 

The city buildings turned all too quickly into lush green trees and cabins that reminded me of the town in which I was born. Highways and open space didn't exist out here, only forest that hid buildings and concealed secrets for the safety of our people. There were a set of gates around the Ravenswood County that had state of the art security, and as we passed by, both Alice and I had to show our tribal tattoos to the tall men who loomed over our car. 

The huge, dark haired guy that examined the tattoo on my wrist- a black wolf with its snout up, outlined in an electric blue to represent the color of my mate’s eyes- gave a small chuckle, before shaking his head as if to get rid of a funny thought.

They let us through, giving us a piercing gaze as they watched us pull away, and the iron gates slid closed behind us before we got swallowed up by the green foliage.

“Ravenswood territory.” I said, leaning back in my seat even farther. The gates protected us, everyone who was part of the pack lived inside them. It was over 50 km across either way, with the town in the middle and the Pack House, home to the Ravenswood family, to the north. 

The forest started to thin considerably, and instead of harsh gravel, smooth pavement led the rest of the way to town.

"Anything new and interesting in town?" I asked, giving my cousin an unimpressed eyebrow raise.

“Same as ever, Beth.” Alice told me, giving me a small smile.

“Of course.” I nodded. Why does that not surprise me?

Alice O'Conner was only a little more than a year older than me, she had just turned 19, and was in her first year of a healing course at the Ravenswood Hospital. She had dark blue eyes framed by long lashes and fiery red hair, with a small nose that branded a small piercing on the side. Her ears had four earrings on each, and Alice was as petite as they come.

I was honestly happy to be living with her; she had been my best friend since we were little, and she had no mate yet either, though by her tattoo he wasn’t in our pack. No Ravenswood wolf had yellow eyes, it was certain, as our ansestors had blue and green eyes. Most wolves were also pack mated, meaning their mates were found among other Ravenswood wolves. It was rare to have any other eye color, but even then… no yellow eyes.

Alice turned at the first stoplight in town, which made me sigh in relief. I didn’t want to go through town yet. What if I recognized someone? What if someone recognized me? I'd skip out on awkward reniouns if I could. 

She took us down a dirt road to the East part of Ravenswood. This wing of the country was for the important pack members. Besides the Alphas, beta and third in commands, of course. It has held our family for generations, and consisted of the healers, teachers, and the fourth and fifth in command. It always has. And once I turn 18, I’ll have to either become a healer or teacher, like Alice, or continue down the fourth in command train my family has had for a long time. Unless, of course, I find my mate. 

The South wing held the shop owners, farmers, builders, and the lower members of the pack, but not nearly the very least.

That was the West wing. They were the Omegas. They were the people in the pack who worked on the farms and in the stores, but they still had an education and were treated fairly. They also had the chance to become farm or store owners if they were trustworthy, and could even become healers if they were gifted. But those were rare cases, and most Omegas accepted that someone needed to be at the bottom. And if they still were treated fairly and equally by the pack despite their heritage, then werewolves were generally good natured about the structure of our pack.