Pack Alpha(4)By: Crissy Smith
Marissa took a drink of the coffee she’d picked up at the last gas station. The hot liquid burned her tongue and tasted like sludge. It wasn’t Starbucks, that was for sure, but she didn’t expect any different in the middle of fucking nowhere. She had flown into Texas International Airport and rented a car to drive the rest of the way to the small town her sister called home. And small town was giving the place a lot of credit. The entire area between El Paso and the Panhandle was made up of tiny towns that even if they were combined wouldn’t be as big as Dallas. There wasn’t even a mall for at least another three hours. Not that she wanted to go shopping but it would be nice to have options. It was still a shock to her how excited her sister Elizabeth had been about moving here, but looking at the passing scenery of trees, trees and more trees, Marissa didn’t get it. What could anyone like about the middle of nowhere? No buildings, other cars, or people around.
Rolling her window down and turning Bon Jovi even louder on the stereo, she concentrated on the drive—not the reason for coming. She dreaded going into Pack territory, but Elizabeth was the only family she had left, and, after finding her mate, Elizabeth wanted Marissa there for the mating ceremony.
That thought brought a smile to Marissa’s face as she glanced at the invitation on the seat next to her. She wanted Elizabeth to be happy, and Greg sounded like a nice guy. She’d spoken to him numerous times on the phone, and he’d always been respectful toward her. And that wasn’t common. A were who couldn’t shift was an outsider. And everyone except Elizabeth had treated her that way her entire life.
Marissa had left the Pack she’d been raised in as soon as she could. Never to set foot in any Pack territory again. That was until later today. Elizabeth, on the other hand, had stayed until she’d met Greg, a member of a different Pack. They had met during one of the few conferences Elizabeth had attended. After the initial meeting, Greg’s Pack had offered her a teaching position at the elementary school and she had taken it. He had been courting her ever since with the blessing of her new Pack Alpha, Gage Wolf.
Seriously, Elizabeth’s Alpha’s last name was Wolf. Could he have not come up with anything better? Maybe tried to hide what he was? Marissa just knew that Gage was going to be an arrogant, cocky, infuriating man. She was not looking forward to meeting him. Greg, however, she was actually excited to get to know.
Marissa chuckled, thinking of everything Greg had done to win her sister’s heart. He’d known he’d wanted Elizabeth and had patiently waited. It had taken Elizabeth a year to agree to the mating ceremony, but she finally had. Marissa knew one of the reasons Elizabeth had been holding off was because of her. Elizabeth was a good person, and, even though Marissa had told her numerous times that Elizabeth needed to live her life as a full shifter, the guilt still hit Elizabeth.
Sometimes Marissa thought her non-shifter status was harder on her sister than herself. Marissa wasn’t good enough to belong to a Pack but Elizabeth still tried to get her interested in that kind of life. It had added stress between the two of them until Marissa avoided Elizabeth’s calls most of the time. That was probably why Elizabeth had gone the route of private messenger.
She hadn’t meant to let so much time to go by without talking to her sister and Marissa always intended to return her messages, but life seemed to get in the way.
It didn’t help that Elizabeth really didn’t understand how Marissa felt about things.
Marissa had the same instincts as any other were and with that came the need for a Pack, but she had given up on that a long time ago. She’d grown up alone and would always remain that way—in the middle, between a shifter and a human. She had many gifts due to her genes—the extended lifespan, the wolf traits and some enhanced features—but not enough. Elizabeth thought Marissa could belong with her. Elizabeth was wrong and Marissa really hoped that she would concentrate on her ceremony and not nag her.
Marissa would put everything she had into this week and the ceremony that meant so much to her only sibling. Even if she would rather have been anywhere else. But she did love Elizabeth, she looked up to her sister, and had to push down the bit of jealousy that she always felt.