"Zara, can I talk to you for a moment?" Alpha Patton peers into my bedroom.
"Yes, Alpha." I jump to my feet, my heart racing about a mile a minute. "W-what do you want to talk about?"
There is no reason for the pack Alpha to be at my bedroom door; at least, no good reason, though I can think of a few bad ones. More than a few, actually! Plus, every second he's here is one second less to finish my math homework, and I'm running out of time.
"This really is a mess," Alpha Patton says in surprise as he examines my room.
"I'm sorry, Alpha."
"You know the pack rules, Zara. Your room must be kept tidy at all times," Alpha Patton lectures as he steps over a pile of clothes and makes his way inside. His tone conveys his disappointment, and I feel a lump grow in my throat.
"Yes, Alpha." I lower my gaze in shame. It hurts to be reprimanded by my Alpha. Hurts to have even more proof that I'm not good enough.
Oh, why can't I be more like my best friend, Jess? Her room is so clean you could probably eat off the floor, while I'd just be happy if I could see the floor. Which I can't, because it's a mess, just like every other part of my life.
Why would the Moon Goddess ever pick me to be mates with Jasper—the pack Beta and most perfect Wolf alive—when I'm such a failure? All I'd do is drag him down with me.
I fight back the tears that threaten to fall and force myself to focus on Alpha Patton. He's managed to make his way across the room to the window, and he's frowning as he watches the front drive. If he was here to talk about the mess in my room, he'd have punished me and left... so why is he here? Does he know something else? Is he taking his time? Waiting for a confession? I gulp as my panic builds until I feel like I might throw up.
I know I'm in trouble, I just don't know how much trouble, and for what. I've broken so many rules lately—and told so many lies—that I've actually lost track. Alpha could be here to talk about my room, or the real reason why I quit the cheer squad, or the sneaking out—or the other sneaking out—or the stuff in my car, or...
I don't know how things got this bad. This time last year, life was so perfect. Everything at school was great, I had the perfect boyfriend, my best friend was always happy and bubbly and full on life. Now? Now, my entire life is falling apart, and that's not even the worst part.
"You're not in trouble, Zara," Alpha surprises me by saying. "Unless there's something you'd like to confess to while I'm here?" He turns away from the window to face me and raises a questioning eyebrow.
"N-no, Alpha." I bow my head. If I told him the truth—any truth—it would only make things worse.
"Very well." Alpha looks at me in amusement. "Your room is actually going to come in handy."
"Yes. Now there's a girl downstairs who's around your age. She'll be staying with our pack, and since you don't have a roommate, I thought she could stay here."
"Here? You mean with me?"
I look around the room and feel a little sick. Even if I clean faster than I've ever cleaned before—even if I get all my friends to help—it'll still take forever. I'd never be able to finish it in an hour, do the rest of the math problems, and get all the way to town in time. I am going to be in so much trouble if I'm even a second late. Like, worse trouble than I'm already in. If Alpha ever found out, or Jasper, I think I'd die.
"Don't look so worried." Alpha chuckles. "I won't ask you to clean your room."
"You won't?" I look around again. How does he expect some girl to stay here with me when my room looks like this? I mean, I've got a whole pile of stuff on the other bed. It's an even worse mess than it usually is. I've been constantly panicking and running around so I could keep so many secrets, and I've been low on time. I ended up throwing clothes and shoes and textbooks on the floor all week. I figured I'd be gone on Tuesday, and then it wouldn't matter, but now...
"I'd like to bring the girl up here and order her to clean your room for you."
"What?" I gasp. "I can't do that!" To anyone. Not even my worst enemy.
"Yes, you can." Alpha Patton turns to stare out the window again.
"But Alpha, I don't really think that's fair..."
"Don't question me, Zara. I'm your Alpha, so do as I say. Go downstairs, bring your new roommate up here, and order her to clean your room."
"But..." I hesitate. I know it's a direct order, and if I obeyed, I'd make it into town on time, but it just feels so wrong.
"Go," Alpha snaps, making it an order this time... and order that my body rushes to obey even as my mind hesitates.
"Oh, and Zara," Alpha calls as I step out into the hall.
"Yes?" I peer back, my heart in my throat.
"Your new roommate... her name is Saffron."
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1. Did you like this bonus story?
2. What was it like being inside Zara's head?
3. Should I write more bonus stories?
4. Is there a POV, or scene, you'd like me to write?
5. How about the moment Zara actually meets Saf, from Zara's POV?