Ch. 39 The Big Day

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September 22
I look at myself in the mirror; today's my birthday. Today's the day of the challenge and the day of Lennox's and my commitment party. My whole family and all of our friends are here. I nervously fix my snow white dress and leave the room. I see Marta and Thompson talking quietly with each other in front of the room she's staying in. They both turn towards me when I close the door. Marta blushes lightly, which is such rarity I almost gasp.
"Hey guys." I greet them awkwardly.
"Happy birthday, sis." Marta replies warmly.
I smile, even though it's not really my birthday. This is the day I want to celebrate every year. Thinking of my real birthday, I'll only think of being taken away. At least with this birthday, I'll share it with one of the best sisters a girl could ask for. "Thanks. I see you two are becoming close." I say, smirking. I've never gotten to tease Marta about a man before, I can't pass up this opportunity.
"Ye-"
We hear a commotion coming from the room across from Marta's. "Jessica?" I call out, concerned.
"I'm going to kick his ass!" She screams before opening the door to continue. "When I'm done with him he'll be a dickless, bloody stump and former beta."
I try not to smile, the wrath of Jessica is not something to take lightly. "It'll wash off." I reply, trying to sound consoling. Liam and Jessica have had a pranking relationship with each other. It all started three days ago when both started daring each other to jump off of the cliffs at the local falls. It was supposed to be a relaxed time, just us enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. However, it seems the two of them are determined to one up the other and that has escalated to pranks.
She huffs. "I don't care! Who puts flour in someone's hair dryer?!"
I shrug, "You did put glitter in all his shower gel."
"Yeah, he said his dick looked like a disco ball." Alpha Thompson adds, making Marta and I laugh.
"This isn't over." She growls pulling open her bedroom door and slamming it shut.
I wince and tip tow past her door. "Later, love birds."
"Shut it, I have more dirt on you then you do me." Marta orders. Thinking about our past I hold up my hands, calling a truce and walk down the stairs. I watch and listen for Lennox, finding him in his office with my dad, Liam, Andrew, Wesley and my brother Travis who is holding his sleeping baby girl in his arms.
"Liam, you are very brave. However, you're very stupid. Jessica is going to kill you."
His eyes light up. "She used the hair dryer? Man, I've been waiting for hours."
"Liam, she threatened to castrate you. You may want to hide until she leaves." I say, seriously.
He shrugs uncaring and I walk to Lennox. I feel Lennox's disappointment and reluctance. "Tell me." I demand immediately, knowing his moods better now and what they mean. If he's ever disappointed or reluctant I know he's struggling with himself over bad news.
"I've been challenged."
"By who?"
"That asshole I dragged from your house."
"Tom?"
"Yeah, him."
"Why would he challenge you? You've already almost killed him once."
"Obviously, he's not very bright."
I'm not nervous, I know Lennox will win but I don't want to see Tom hurt either. "When did he challenge you?"
I see his chagrined look and know he's known for a while. "He still has time to withdraw. Go talk to him."
He groans but stands up. Liam immediately follows after Lennox and they leave the room. "Well, little miss timid has found her backbone. It's good to see." Andrew jokes.
I laugh because it's true. I've gotten more comfortable with Lennox. It's amazing what he'll do for me when I ask, it's like he lives to make me happy. I leave them and find my mothers are in the kitchen cooking and preparing dishes for our mating ceremony. I'll admit it was awkward when my mothers' met, and downright terrifying when my dads' did. However, after talking my moms have learned a lot about each other and managed to put the past behind them.
"Need any help?" I offer.
"No, sweetie. This is your day."
I sit at the kitchen island waiting for Lennox to return. He's been so great lately, I miss him as soon as he leaves a room. We've talked about kids and agreed that we'd start a family after I take classes in carpentry. A local man runs an apprentice program and after sending him pictures of things I've learned to build with my grandfather, has agreed to teach me and help me expand my knowledge. I'm sure Lennox had something to do with his willingness, but he refuses to acknowledge the question every time I ask.
I'd really like to start my own custom furniture business and take orders via the internet. It's only a dream right now, but Lennox is building me a wood shop in our backyard. One step at a time and we'll make it happen.

Alpha Lennox Hall

I knock on the door of my challenger, but not entirely sure why I'm here. It never occurred to me to tell Jocelyn, "No." You can say I'm whipped, but in reality she rarely asks for anything, if I can do something for her I feel determined to do it.
The door opens and Tom stands before me. "You have thirty minutes to withdrawal your challenge." I say to him.
He visually gulps. "I won't withdraw."
I nod. "That's fine. Do you have a pack to go to after you lose?" I question, seriously. I can tell he hasn't thought much about it. He's ambitious and trained to fight; he'd be an asset anywhere he goes. "I've got three alphas in town for my mating celebration, I'm sure one of them will offer you a position. I'll speak to them." I state and turn to walk away.
"Why are you here? If it's not to request from me to bow out?"
"My mate wanted me to come."
He looks away almost ashamed. "If I back out now, I'll look weak."
"That's a hell of a lot smarter than looking beat and pathetic when you lose. Not to mention being completely brainless to challenge your alpha." Liam scoffs.
"It's expected. I have alpha blood in me." He explains.
"Are you sure? Because right now you're sounding pretty weak. If it's your family expecting you to do this, then maybe you should take a stand with them." I reply.
Walking back to the car I hear him race after us. "Wait!"
I look at him, knowing what he's going to say, "I withdraw my challenge."
I nod once, not waiting to make it a big deal. I understand his reluctance to appear weak. It's something any male can relate to. I get behind the wheel and drive back home. It almost makes me smile thinking about making Jocelyn happy.
I walk back to the office thinking that's where Jocelyn would wait. "How'd it go?" Travis asks.
"He withdrew." I reply, simply. Out of all the alphas in this room I was the only one challenged. I thought Wesley would be challenged, but he's really done a lot for the pack in his short time as alpha. He's not only impressed his pack but other alphas as well. Andrew would've been challenged if I hadn't killed Dante. Travis's son is taking over the pack tomorrow and will more than likely be challenged next year.
I hear footsteps behind us and before I know it Liam drops to the floor next to me. Behind him, Jessica smirks triumphantly as Liam groans clutching his manhood. "I guess you should have listened to Jocelyn." I smirk.

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