Wolf in RedbyTasteofHome©
Ashleigh hummed to herself as she tried to brush some of her brown curls into submission in her shoulder length hair. She looked in the mirror in the dim light of her room and stuck her pink tongue out at her reflection. It didn't seem to matter how much brushing she did, it seemed like all it ever did was maker her hair fluffier. She didn't even know why she bothered, it seemed like the more she tried, the more volume her hair seemed to gain. Setting the hair brush down on the top of her dresser, she took a long look at her self n the mirror. Her curly nut brown hair fell around her slender shoulders. The spaghetti straps on her navy blue top, made her pale skin look even paler. If she didn't start getting some sun soon, she could be mistaken for the walking dead. A few freckles danced along her pale shoulders, like constellations in the midnight sky. Her brown eyes, seemed to be made out of pools of liquid chocolate, if any one had ever bothered to look behind her thin wire frame glasses. Not may people saw her eyes, because they spent most of her time spent in a book. Looking at her body frame, she critiqued the few extra pounds that seemed to hang around her hips, no matter how often she tried to get rid of them. They seemed to give her a bit of a curvy figure more then the svelte figure most of the guys in her town seemed to be attracted to. All the books that she read, talked about how guys liked more curves on women, but it just didn't seem so for her. A ringing noise startled her. Breaking her gaze from the mirror she looked down at her cell phone ringing. "Mom" flashed up on the id. Trying not to sigh, she flipped open the phone and forced a smile. She heard some where that a person can tell if you answer the phone with a smile and if you did the call would go better. It didn't seem to work for Ashleigh this time.
"Hi Mo..." started Ashleigh.
"Don't you Hi Mom me young lady! You be better be on you way to Leona's right this instant. If I so much as hear that you did not show up or if you were late, you will be in so much trouble when I get home," yelled Susanna.
"I am on the way,"replied Ashleigh trying to keep and even tone in her voice.
She wished that there was a time that she could remember when her mother didn't seem to yell at her about stuff something. What ever she did or didn't do never seemed to be enough to make Susanna. Some days it got so bad that Ashleigh would slip off into the woods and wait until what ever bug had crawled Susanna's butt that day and died slid out.
"On your way! I seriously doubt that, I bet you are still sitting in your room with a nose in a book, You probably haven't left the house yet," screeched Susanna as she continued to rant at Ashleigh about what it meant to be responsible. Ashleigh tried not to cringe as she grabbed her red shawl hanging on a hook by the door on the way out. Ashleigh tried to shut the door as quietly as possible so the click wouldn't be audible on the phone, and then started to walk away from the brownstone house she called home, trying to close the distance between where she was and where she wasn't.
"I am taking a short cut through the woods," sputtered Ashleigh, trying to cool the verbal wrath of Susanna. It was hard to believe that Suzanne was even her mother at times, since it seemed like they had little tolerance to do with each other, much less little in common in their looks. Ashleigh had long stopped thinking of her as mother,and also called her Mom, to avoid another blow up.
"The woods! Are you insane? You have not sense of direction and you will most likely get lost in the woods and die! If you die I will never hear the end of it from your wretched Grandmother..."
"If you don't want me to be late..."
"Fine, go and die in the words for all I care, but if don't show yo at your grandmothers house, not even death will save you from my wrath!" screamed Susanna before she hung up Ashleigh.
Ashleigh clicked her cell phone shut and dropped it in her pocket and sighed deeply. She could use a little less drama in her life. It seemed like if it wasn't one thing it was another. Susanna would nag at her about getting a job, and then when Ashleigh would look at job, she would hear from Susanna how she should be getting her degree then wasting her time at the animal shelter.
The only respite Ashleigh had was when she visited her grandmother. Susanna hated her grandmother Leona with a passion, but what ever her grandmother wanted, Susanna would bend over backwards to make sure she got. She didn't mind visiting her grandmother. In a weird sort of way, she really liked the time she spent with her. Her grandmother had an aura around here that seemed to command respect among most every one she knew. Then again, it probably wasn't hard, considering they lived in such a small community. Her father ran most of the area business with the mill that he owned. Or at least she was pretty sure it was a mill that he owned. He seemed to be always away on business, in fact, it was hard for Ashleigh to remember the last time she had actually seen her father. Every now and then she would get a call from him and he would send her pictures from where ever he was at. Susanna, whom she only called Mom for the sake of formality in public seemed more concerned with her social status than anything. It wasn't a wonder that Ashleigh preferred to spend her time at the animal shelter working, or taking college courses on line or reading then dating and partying as most people her age did.When it came to socializing with people, Ashleigh for the most part felt completely inept.
Walking along the path in the woods, Ashleigh tried not to get herself too distracted by all the different things to look at. Most people found the woods boring, but she had always found them to be rather calming for her. And after the shrilly lecture from Susanna, she could use some calm. There were always things to look at and places to discover. Her favorite place in the woods was a small clearing that the only way a person could get to it was if they climbed down a small rock over hang and dropped down. Hidden by the rocks was a small clearing and sweet grass and wild flowers grew. Thinking about some of the flowers that could be found in the clearing, Ashleigh began picking some of the flowers along the path to her grandmother. It was true that her grandmother hated tardiness, but she also loved thoughtfulness. Picking some of the wild flowers that grew along the paths she began to form a bouquet. Perhaps the thoughtfulness would cancel out the tardiness, this once.
An hour later, Ashleigh showed up on her grandmothers front porch. The front porch wrapped around the house in a grand farm house style. The windows of the house were partially open to let some of the cool spring breeze into the house. Pausing at the door before knocking, she, straighten up her hand made bouquet, tucking some of the corn flowers and wild lilies in a little more orderly fashion. It didn't seem to matter how she fussed with the flowers, they still looked exactly like they were, roughly picked wild flowers. Ashleigh could hear her grandmother talking to some one in the house. As mush as she tried, she couldn't hear what they were saying. She could tell by the tone of her grandmothers voice that it was something serious. She hoped that what ever was going on, was not about her. Trying to quell the pit in her stomach, she took at deep breathe and knocked on the door.
Wade could believe it. His life as he knew it was over. Things were never going to be the same for him again, and it was the fault of that white haired stubborn woman sitting in the kitchen chair in front of him. Lady Leona, the undeclared leader of their small town and Alpha of the Pack decreed that he was to mate with her uneducated backwoods grand daughter. It was horrible, it was wretched, it made him want to vomit six ways to Sunday, but there was no way around it. He had the greatest respect for the wisdom and leadership of his alpha, but this was more then just taking one for the team. This was asking him to give up his youth and be tied to one woman for the rest of his life. He could just image that she was some skinny skanky twit that chewed bubble gum and wanted nothing more then to pop out babies and stay at home and do nothing. This was bad. Wade wanted to panic, he wanted to run. Lady Leona just watched him, and it seemed like she knew everything he was thinking if the arch of her eyebrow was any indication. The arch of her eyebrow practically begged him to challenge her on this. It was almost as if she wanted him to fight with him about it, because she knew something he did. Trying to control his panic, Wade took a deep calming breathe, and then another. Once he began to feel centered an in control of his emotions, much less his inner wolf who was getting anxious because Wade was panicking mentally. Taking one last deep breathe and smiled at Lady Leona, before he tried to reason with his Alpha as to why this was a bad idea. The words never even made it out of his mouth when Lady Leona spoke.
"Go answer the door," said Lady Leona a moment before a firm knocking sound echoed through the house.
Wade dropped his head down and dragged himself out of dining room chair and walked to the front door. Perhaps a little break will help him find the words that would convince his alpha that he might not be the right candidate for this sort of task. Surely an older and wiser member of the pack would work out better. The shadow of a woman could be seen in the stain glass window pane that framed the doorway. Wade took a deep breathe and opened the door trying not to cringe at what he was sure was on the other side of the door.
Standing in front of him was a girl around his age with fluffy brown hair, wearing a red wrap and blue jeans. Her glasses were slightly askew on her face, and her cheeks were a little pink from either the sun or exertion, he couldn't really be sure. Her eyes were wide behind her wire frames and seemed to be some sort of color brown. and her soft pink lips seemed to be shaping an O of surprise. Wade stared at her. He wasn't sure what to expect, but this wasn't it. He was expecting a skinny flat chested she beast of a woman. Not this bookish looking woman with a chest that made him think of grapefruits. Large delicious grapefruits. A throat clearing sound came from behind him, and he broke his gaze from her chest and looked behind him.Taking a look at the girl before moving out of the door way, he realized that she wasn't expecting him to be there at all. His presence was a complete surprise. He could tell Lady Leona was there, raising that eyebrow at him again behind his back. Wade stepped away from the door way to let this unexpected morsel in. Glancing back at the brown haired book worm, he saw her look straight at her grand mother and smile as she tried to slide past him. He was a bit surprised. Most women would fall all over the chance to chat with him alone, or shyly flirt with him. This one seemed to be trying her best to pretend that he wasn't there. It irritated him. He wasn't sure why, but it did.
Wades heart sank a little bit, despite this girl being at least decent to look at, she didn't want to have anything to do with him. He would be mated to a nun . He had to wonder if this was just a joke. A cruel joke on him to deflate some of his ego. Just like a woman to plan something like that. Wade scowled at the thought having something so important as mating being held over him as a joke. It was mean and not something any member of the pack should joke about. He watched as Ashleigh tried to slip past him without touching him. He refused to move, even thought it would have been the polite thing to do. He saw her eyes flicker up to him briefly and then back towards Lady Leona. Lady Leona just stood their smiling and looking at them expectantly.
As Ashleigh moved past him, he could smell her scent. She smelled like cinnamon, cloves and oranges all wrapped into one. She smelled awesome. This was not good. It seemed like even his hormones were against him. Smell of her made him want to sink his teeth into her in all the worst ways. He tried to remain calm and impassive as she queried a glance his way before making eye contact with Lady Leona again. For this being a joke, they seemed to put a lot of effort into it, thought Wade as he watched Ashleigh interact with Lady Leona.
"Grandma, I am sorry I am late. I got a little bit distracted on the walk here with all the flowers that are in bloom, I know how much you like lilies, so I thought that I would try to at least gather a bouquet as a way of apology" said Ashleigh.
Wade noticed how she kept one eye on him as she was talking to Lady Leona. It was interesting. It seemed like she was trying to size him up and didn't know what to make of him.
"That is awfully sweet of you, my dear. Forgive my rudeness, but have you met Wade Blackwell yet?" asked Lady Leona making a point to focus their attention on Wade. Wade tried not to scowl at introduction. He watch Ashleigh as she seemed to take a bracing breathe and looked straight at him with a forced smile. "No, I don't think I have. I am Ashleigh, Leona's grand daughter, how do you do," said Ashleigh politely.
He watched her as her as she struck out her hand for him to shake. After a moments hesitation and an evil glare from his Alpha, he quickly gripped her and in a loose shake. There mere whisper of her skin touching his caused his eyes to open wide. It was like touching a live wire. The power the coursed through the contact left him feeling a little slack jawed. He would never have guess by looking at her that she would have any sort of power at all, except to possibly help a person find books in the library. Peering at Ashleigh through hooded eyes, he saw shock register behind her thin wire frame glasses before she dropped his hand and turned to her grandmother.
"Do you have a vase I can put these flowers in?" asked Ashleigh. There was a stressed tone to her soft voice as she peered at her grandmother.
"Yes, top shelf in the kitchen, I'll show you and perhaps we can all have a cup of tea and talk. There are a few things I need to talk to you about," said Lady Leona lightly.
Wade watched Ashleigh narrow her brown eyes slightly at her grandmother as she followed Lady Leona's retreating form into the kitchen. Could it be possible that Ashleigh didn't know about the Alpha's plan to have them mate? Wade perked up at the idea that she might not know and therefore put up a fight about it. Who married complete strangers these days? No one. Watching Ashleigh follow the Lady Leona in to the kitchen, he followed some distance behind. Checking out Ashleigh, he realized that life might not be as bad as he thought. If this was a joke, then Ashleigh wasn't in on it, and if it wasn't, well he might not like being mated so young, but he certainly couldn't wait to taste some of the curves that Ashleigh seemed to be so well endowed with.