I could not help but let out a relieved sigh as I settled myself into the front seat of the blue dodge challenger I had rented. I was finally free, free to my own thoughts, my own personal desires.
My father had an arranged a party in my honor, for all the bachelor males from prominent European families to come and sniff me out. I knew my father loved me, regardless I was horribly frustrated with always being the pawn in political negotiations. My instincts were heightened, and something told me that father was planning to marry me off to the highest bidder so to speak. A voice inside me screamed, pleaded with me to escape until I could no longer ignore it, and under the cover of darkness I slipped out of our family castle and ran like hell until I arrived in America.
I allowed my mind to wander as I drove into the hills of Pennsylvania, heading south. The rolling hills and tree covered mountains, the plethora of fresh air made my wolf howl, yes, I am werewolf.
I am from the River Tay pack in Scotland, and my family felt it was my duty to accept the fate of my sex and settle down with a formidable wolf, preferably one with Alpha blood, and start raising pups as soon as possible. My mother and father were the pack leaders, the Alpha and Luna, both accomplished and strong, devoted to the pack and selfless, that was until it came to their only daughter.
My name is Bridgette Ryan, the only daughter of Ethan and Maggie Ryan, sister to Angus, Berit and Blaine. Although my entire family was a shade of redhead, I was by far the most striking and rare. My deep auburn hair, a true deep red, not the accustomed ginger, was long and flowing, falling well below my waist gracing the top of my bottom. My eyes were blue, not a grey, but a vivid Caribbean blue. I was often chastised by people for coloring my hair or wearing color contacts, neither of which was true. .
Memories filtered within my head as I continued the drive to West Virginia, my final destination. My voice, my wolf, had been insistent that I venture to West Virginia. She gave no reason, and all I wanted was something quiet, a lovely little mountain town, not horribly small, yet not large so I could ponder my life. And one hopefully void of werewolves.
My wolf Ciara was a beautiful specimen. She was of average size for a female wolf, however her coat was a deep sorrel red with black and sienna points over her back, ears and over the mask on her face. Her lower jaw was white, along with her chest, down to her 2 perfectly matched white socks on her front paws.
Ciara was a beautiful and passionate wolf and I always felt fortunate to have her as the second part of my soul. It was only our disagreement about having a mate, where lines between her and myself often blurred. She believed coming to America would prove fruitful in finding our fated mate. I was annoyed by her persistence and scoffed at her. Ciara dearly wanted to find her mate and resented the fact I did not.
Girls were meant to find their mate, destined or chosen, settle down and frankly become a breeder.
I was not that kind of girl and never would be. And I’ll be damned if I take a chosen mate to abide my pack. Frankly, I did not want a mate at all, I was perfectly ok with remaining alone.
However, I was acutely aware that my pack, more less, my father would never allow that. I knew that my time had come, I could envision my father’s deep set pale face, his ginger beard and grey eyes, and that hardened glare he was famous for once he found that I had escaped just prior to his elaborate shindig. Oh, he was going to be livid.
Of course, my parents had already lost patience with me. At 22 years old and no mate, my father had taken the liberty of throwing a party in my honor, inviting all the eligible Alpha’s within Europe to come scope me out. The best offer, the greatest alliance and the largest fortune would be the lucky wolf, and I would be traded off like any other valuable commodity in the treasury.
Only a few miles more down the enchanting mountain road before I reached my destination. I had reserved a suite for the next two weeks at the Hampton Inn in Morgantown. I was looking forward to the tranquility, the solace to reevaluate what I wanted in life, and experience something new.
After a hot bath and a snap, I turned on my phone and a multitude of messages and voicemails flurried upon the screen.
[Bridgette, your mother and I are completely disgusted with your actions. We need you to come home immediately and cease this foolishness.] 8:41pm Dad.
[We are worried sick. Where have you run off too! Please respond so that we know you are safe.] 8:45pm Mom.
[Where the hell are you!] 6:45pm Mere, my dearest friend.
I sighed to myself as I slowly began typing out a message to my parents. They needed to know I was safe, although I had not intentions of coming back before my two weeks were over.
[I am safe and taking some time for myself. No need to fret about me. I will be home in a fortnight. Please cease the philanthropy, I refuse to come home any sooner. I understand your frustration and I am sorry. I need to do this for me before I am forced to choose a mate, or hest have one chosen for me. Your loving daughter Britty.]
I frowned as I carefully read over the response to my parents. I refused to even acknowledge my brother’s messages. I would scan over them later. Just because they were apparently the perfect children did not mean I needed to be scolded by my older siblings.
[I will call you later. Love Britty.] I sent Mere. She was probably pacing the castle wringing her hands beside my mother.
Of course, as soon as I sent the messages, the phone began to ring. It was my father. Undoubtably he was furious. I watched the phone flicker, DAD flashing on the screen, reluctantly I answered, which I immedicably regretted when I heard the billowing voice on the other end of the line.
“Bridgette Ryan, where in the hell have wandered off too? I demand you come home immediately! Do you have any idea what you have put your mother and I through? Any idea of the embarrassment you have caused us! The shame?! To have invited all the eligible Alphas from across Europe and to find the girl they were all waiting to see had disappeared without a trace! And not to mention the despair you have put your poor mother through! You selfish girl! Damn you Bridgette!” The heavy Scottish accent was filled with rage and tears began welling up into my eyes from the irate words.
“I am sorry Papa, but I am safe. I just need some time to sort things out in my head.” I was barely able to speak those words as my father went off once again. He was furious, I could feel his Alpha aura bludgeoning through the phone lines.
“I wonder what besieges that head of yours! I demand your return at once. The Alphas are still here and willing to consider you despite your flagrant disrespect. I assured them your beauty alone was worthy of their time.” I could feel my face flush with anger at my father’s words. Once again he was using me as a bargaining chip and I was livid.
“I be not an item for sale father! I am a living breathing being worthy of love and respect, not some pawn to sell to the highest bidder. Tell those Alphas be on their way as I shan’t be coming home soon! Tell mother I love her.” And with that I quickly hung up the phone before he could respond to me. I could see if his face in my mind, his faded grey eyes blazing, his flaming red hair undoubtably matching the current color of his face.
As soon as I set the phone down, the screen lit up and “DAD” once again flickered upon the screen. I pushed the ignore button and quickly shut off my phone.
“All mighty Saints, I need a drink.” And with that, I stood, deciding to find a local club, one that was dark, with loud music and plenty of alcohol. I certainly needed it now.