"I was told when I get older, all my fears would shrink. But now I'm insecure, and I care what people think."
~Twenty-One Pilots, 'Stressed Out'
Today is the day.
The day I officially become the Alpha of the Silver Woods Pack. My father, Silas, has been prepping me for this day my entire life. The day I finally make him proud by being the best Alpha I can be.
I know he says he'll be proud of me no matter what, but I know that's not true. I know it.
I know it.
I know it.
'Your father will never be proud of you.'
"Yes, he will," I mumble, glaring at my own reflection as I finish with my tie. "As soon as I prove myself as Alpha, he'll be proud of me."
'We're going to be Alpha!' My wolf, Elias, chirps happily in my mind. 'We're going to lead the pack! This is so exciting!'
I shake off the negative thoughts, refocusing on getting ready.
'Everything is going to go smoothly,' I respond to Elias, mostly reassuring myself. 'I rehearsed the ceremony with dad, I know every step. It'll be fine.'
'Of course it'll be fine! This is going to be the greatest day of our lives! Do you think we'll find our mate?'
I smile to myself, smoothing down my short red hair. Thank goddess I opted to shave yesterday, because my hands are shaking too damn much and I probably would've cut myself if I did it today.
'I hope so,' I think back hopefully. 'I bet he— she'll be beautiful.'
'Or he,' Elias points out. 'There's nothing wrong with our mate being a guy.'
'Yes, there is. You know it. Everyone would be disgusted. Your father would be so disappointed.'
Swallowing thickly, I try to shake the disembodied voice out of my head. It's been years since the voice appeared, constantly by my side. It's kind of like Elias, but Elias is nice to me.
"Easton! Are you almost ready?" My mother, Celeste, calls from down the hall. "We need head down soon!"
"Coming!" I shout back, doing a final check in the mirror and slipping on my black Italian-leather shoes.
In our pack, it's tradition that the oldest child of the current Alpha is introduced as the official leader of the pack on his or her 18th birthday. The induction ritual is performed at night when the moon is full, and our connection to our Moon Goddess is the strongest.
Luckily, we don't have to travel far to get to where the coronation will be held. Our pack house is six stories, and resembles a large, white mansion. Kind of odd to have a mansion in the middle of a forest when we're supposed to be inconspicuous, but whatever. It was the decision of my ancestors to make the pack house gaudy.
My family lives on the top two floors of the pack house. The fifth floor is where our living room and kitchen is, and it's typically where we spend a lot of our time. My younger brother, Leon, loves watching TV with my dad, and I've been learning how to cook with my mom. She once told me that it was her dream to become a chef, but once she became Luna, she didn't have time to pursue anything else. My mom claims that she's fine with it, but I know she misses cooking. Hence, why I've asked her to teach me how to cook.
On the sixth floor are all the bedrooms. Typically, only the Alpha will live there with his Luna and children. In the past, when the new Alpha is inducted, the former Alpha and Luna will move out of the pack house. I don't plan on making my parents and brother leave, though. There are too many bedrooms for just me; plus, I'm pretty close with my family. Unlike most guys my age, I actually like living with my family.
The fourth floor is an open ballroom where various events are held. That's where my coronation will be. There's also the Hall of Alphas; a hallway with portraits of every Alpha in our pack's history. My stomach bubbles with excitement that, after tonight, my photo will be up there as well.
'How wonderful that this pack will be lead by the most insecure, soft-headed Alpha that has ever existed.'
"You don't know that," I say out loud in a snarky tone. "Have you met every Alpha in the world?"
Of course, the voice doesn't respond. It tends to say one thing and vanish, never answering any of my questions. I wonder if other people have to deal with their inner voices being so rude.
'I've told you, not everyone has an inner voice, or whatever you like to call it,' Elias points out sassily. Since the wolf literally lives in my mind, he's the only one who knows about my inner voice. I've considered telling my parents about it, but something tells me it's not something I should talk about.
I roll my eyes. 'Fuck off.'
Anyway, in my opinion, the fourth floor is the most exciting floor of the pack house. The second and third floors are primarily offices that our higher ranking wolves use, including my own. The first floor was renovated to resemble a hotel lobby; again, too gaudy for my taste. I know our pack is wealthy, but do we really have to flaunt it? That's one of the things I'm hoping to correct once I start as Alpha.
Finally satisfied with my appearance, I leave my room and meet up with my mother in the hallway. She smiles at me, looking absolutely radiant. Her long, dark red hair cascades down her back, complementing her fair complexion. Her green eyes — which were passed down to me and my brother Leon — twinkle with pride as she looks me up and down.
"You look very handsome," she nods approvingly, and I smile while offering her my arm. I escort her from the elevator, down to the fourth floor. Taking a deep breath, I mentally prepare myself to become the next Alpha as the elevator doors slide open.
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