Waking up Fenris already had a smile on her face, despite it being 7:10 AM, and it was all because of the beautiful girl still asleep in her arms. Annabelle had only been living with Fenris for a few days, but it felt right. The two had been able to move Fenris' things around so Annabelle could put what Mary was able to grab away.
Looking down at Annabelle who was snuggled in to her chest, Fenris felt her heart fill with love for her mate. Annabelle who had gone to bed late was deep asleep, clutching onto Fenris and her dark brown hair splayed out on her pillow. She was a princess and Fenris would spend the rest of her life trying to make Annabelle her Queen.
Today is Thanksgiving and it's Fenris and Annabelle's first holiday together, they are celebrating with Lily and Duke's pack. The Carter pack is rather large with around two hundred and thirty seven wolves, but of course not every wolf will be at the pack house to celebrate. This is because Lily encourages the pack to visit family and friends in other packs on holiday, and vice versa. Not many alphas allow this because a wolf may then wish to leave the pack, but because Lily insists that they have that freedom her and Duke are considered the nicest alphas in North America. This also makes their pack members very loyal because they know they have the freedom to do as they wish, as long as it's not illegal.
The alarm went off, blaring an annoying screech that startled Fenris. Reaching for it she hit the button on the top to stop the noise and turned back to Annabelle, who was starting to stir.
"Mmm, what was that noise?" Annabelle groggily asked, stretching her body out on the bed.
"That was the alarm. We have to be at the Carter pack house by 8 AM, so we need to get ready because it takes around twenty five minutes to drive there." Fenris explained sitting up in bed, stretching her wings out and feeling the bones pop around her shoulder.
"What?! Why do we have to be there so early? I'm tired lets go back to sleep." Annabelle mumbled curling her body around Fenris.
"No we can't go back to sleep. Duke is taking Ray, me and some of the hunters to hunt for Thanksgiving dinner. If we want Lily and the chefs to have enough time to cook everything we need to leave early." Fenris said, while trying to pull the covers off of Annabelle, who had wrapped them under herself and was holding on tight.
"Exactly how many turkeys are you guys going to be hunting, because the wild turkeys around here might go extinct with yours, Ray's AND Duke's appetite." Annabelle laughed.
"We aren't having turkey, since you are right, we are having deer, boar, maybe rabbit and anything else we can get." Fenris said, finally getting the cover away from Annabelle and throwing it across the room so she couldn't get it.
"So there's not going to be a turkey?" Annabelle asked, climbing into Fenris' lap and snuggling into her and closing her eyes.
"Ok. I don't like Turkey that much anyways, it always makes me so sleepy."
Fenris stood up with Annabelle in her arms and walked out to the kitchen, pulling out one of the stools with her foot she set Annabelle down on it. Walking to the fridge Fenris grabbed the chocolate milk she had bought the other day and poured two glasses, setting them down in front of Annabelle and where she would sit. Annabelle smiled at Fenris and whispered a 'thank you' before grabbing the glass and chugging half of it.
"What would you like for breakfast? There is a apple streusel and a piece of pumpkin bread with butterscotch chips." Fenris asked walking to the microwave grabbing the bag from a nearby bakery that had their breakfast in it. Putting both on a plate she put them in the microwave to warm up.
"Can I have the apple streusel?"
Fenris nodded, grabbing the plate when the microwave dinged and walked to her seat, putting the plate between them. Annabelle happily grabbed the streusel and took a big bite out of it. Smiling at Annabelle's cuteness Fenris grabbed the pumpkin bread and took a bite, loving the butterscotch in the bread.
Looking at the time Fenris shoved the rest of the bread in her mouth and walked to the bedroom. The weather was already practically freezing so she put on a thick maroon sweater and jeans.
"Come on baby, you need to get ready." Fenris called, walking out of the bedroom putting her long black hair in a ponytail.
Grumbling Annabelle walked to the bedroom and closed the door. Fenris just sat at the counter and texted Ray telling him they'll be there soon, then just went through her social media.
It was 7:40, and Annabelle still hadn't come out of the bedroom. Fenris was bouncing her leg up and down repeatedly, waiting for Annabelle to come out.
Five more long minutes and the bedroom door finally opened, and when Annabelle stepped out Fenris' jaw nearly dropped. Annabelle was wearing black ankle boots, skin tight blue jeans, and a dark green sweater that made her eyes pop. She was wearing a little bit of make up to have that natural look and her hair was down and falling in it's natural waviness. Annabelle had the girl next door vibe, but her eyes gave her that innocent look.
Annabelle walked over to Fenris, who was still stunned, and smiled up at her. "Ready!" she said, walking towards the door.
Grabbing Annabelle's wrist Fenris stopped her and turned her around, her lips colliding with Annabelle's in a fevered kiss. Annabelle wrapped her arms around Fenris' neck and moaned into Fenris' mouth at the intensity of the kiss. Holding onto Annabelle's waist Fenris detached her lips from Annabelle's and kissed her way down to her neck, latching on to the skin there and sucking, she could hear Annabelle moaning in her ear as she repeated the action in a different spot.
Pulling back slightly Fenris looked down at Annabelle's neck and smiled, seeing two very distinct hickey's on her mates neck. "Now everyone will know you're taken."
"What?" Annabelle asked, confused and panting, eyes slightly dilated. Not saying a word Fenris smirked, leaned down and kissed each hickey. Annabelle's eyes widened, "You didn't!" Fenris smiled. "Damn it Fenris! Now I have to go cover these with make up and that's going to take me forever!"
"Don't cover them then." Fenris replied, shrugging her shoulders.
"Fenris we are about to have a Thanksgiving feast with the alphas of the Carter pack, my sister, and your best friend. I am not about to show up with a hickey on my neck." Annabelle said, exasperated.
"Look, I know it's sort of a possessive thing to do, but I don't want you to cover them because I want any unmated person there to know that you are taken. I know you have your mate mark and that you are faithful, but that won't stop some from trying to get in your pants. I can't stand the thought of someone flirting with you." Fenris said, holding Annabelle and kissing her lightly on the mouth.
Annabelle looked at Fenris, her green eyes narrowed and staring into Fenris' red and gold. [She's the only person who I've ever met that can look into my eye's like she's not afraid.]
After a long wait Annabelle sighed, "Come on, we're already late." Annabelle said, pulling out of Fenris' arms and walking to the door. "Oh, and Fenris, I will get you back for this." Annabelle winked, and left the apartment. [Oh Goddess what did I get into.]
The entire car ride to the Carter pack Annabelle spent pretending to be mad at Fenris for the hickey's. Honestly Annabelle was a little mad about the hickey's, but she liked that Fenris was being a little possessive. However Annabelle needed to make sure that possessiveness didn't get out of hand, a little bit is fine but Annabelle is her own person and she doesn't want to feel like she is being controlled.
Getting out of the car Fenris ran around to the passenger side and opened the door for Annabelle. Standing up Annabelle closed the door and went to walk up to the house when Fenris hugged her from behind.
"I'm sorry, please don't be mad at me anymore." Fenris whispered.
Smiling Annabelle kissed Fenris on the cheek, "I'm not mad." she said, putting her hand on Fenris' cheek and looking into those crimson red and gold eyes. "I'm still going to get you back though." Kissing Fenris on the cheek again Annabelle walked up to the main house.
Walking up Annabelle could see many people off to the side making what looked like about seven large in ground fire pits. Looking close she could see they were made out of the huge grey cinder blocks with a big pile of coal off to the side.
Walking in the house Annabelle could hear Lily yelling out orders to people on what needs to be done.
"Oh Annabelle! It's great to see you dear, how have you been?" Lily asked, seeing Annabelle and coming up to her wrapping her in a hug.
"I'm doing fine. I don't know if Mary told you but Fenris and I officially got our mate marks!"
Lily squealed, "Oh Honey I am so happy for you! Where is it, can I see it?"
Annabelle blushed, "I-It's on my stomach."
Lily saw the way Annabelle blushed and looking down she could see the two very prominent hickey's on the girls neck. Knowing the girl would be embarrassed at the mention of the hickey's and seeing how shy she was with the mark, Lily decided to change the subject. "I'm happy for you. Now come with me and we can get started on cooking." Lily said walking towards the kitchen.
Walking into that kitchen made Annabelle dizzy. The kitchen was one of the largest she has ever seen, with enough room for the twenty people running around in every direction to work on all counters comfortably. A quick glance around she could see that the wolves were working in teams of two and threes. They were making fresh bread, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, deviled eggs and more.
"Wow Lily everything smells so good, but I'm not much of a cook so I don't think I'll be able to help that much." Annabelle said, looking at the food tempted to sneak a bite.
"That's fine, you can help with prep and setting out the food, plates, and utensils." Lily said, reading through a recipe. "Right now we need to get everything prepped for when the hunters come back with the deer or boar."
"How many people are coming for the feast?" Fenris asked, walking into the kitchen with Ray hiding behind her.
"There should be around seventy people coming. Most from our pack but a few from other packs." Lily said, walking up to Fenris and hugging her. "Happy Thanksgiving Fenris." Turning to glare at Ray, "What are you doing in here Ray? I told you after you ate half a pie you weren't allowed back in here." Lily scolded her son.
"Mom I was hungry, I said I was sorry." Ray whined.
Lily just rolled her eyes with a smile on her face and turned back to Fenris. "Are you ready for the hunt? Duke was wanting to catch at least seven animals."
"Yeah I think I am, just waiting on Duke."
"Well he should be in the back getting the trucks together. They're hunting on the eastern part of the territory which has a more wooded area."
"Alright." Fenris nodded and turned to Ray, "Come on." she said, walking out the backdoor with Ray on her trail.
"Annabelle before you get started if you want to talk to Mary she's in the living room helping watch the pups." Lily said, walking over to look at the green beans.
"OK." Annabelle said, walking out the kitchen and down the hall to the living room.
The living room had two large foldable tables with around two dozen pups seated around them, drawing little hand turkeys. Annabelle saw Mary off to the side on the couch with the pups that didn't want to draw, watching cartoon specials like Charlie Brown. Two little ones were curled up on Mary their eyes glued to the TV.
Annabelle waved over at Mary to get her attention and after a second Mary looked over, smiling at Annabelle. Mary went to get up but Annabelle waved her down and walked over, trying not to trip over a child.
Walking behind the couch, so she wouldn't block a kids view, Annabelle leaned over the back and gave her sister a hug. "Hey Mary."
"Hey Annabelle when did you get here?"
"Not that long ago. Lily has me prepping in the ki-"
"OH MY GODDESS WHAT ARE THOSE!" Mary yelled, pulling the two kids off of her and jumping over the back of the couch grabbing Annabelle's head and yanking it to the side.
"Sshh be quiet." Annabelle whisper yelled, blushing because of the many kids who were now looking at them.
Releasing Annabelle's head Mary grabbed her shoulders so she couldn't escape. "I saw you like two days ago and those weren't there. Now you show up and have two hickey's on your neck, and they look rather fresh." Looking around for a second Mary grabbed Annabelle and dragged her in the hall away from everyone. Mary looked over Annabelle with a more somber expression, "Now on a serious note. You told me that Fenris now knows everything about what happened with Johnny and how he tried to force you to have sex right?" Mary asked in a 'you didn't lie to me right' tone, to which Annabelle nodded. "Good. I want to make sure that Fenris is treating you right, so I want you to tell me if she is trying to pressure you okay?"
"I told you that Fenris is very caring. I already told her I'm not ready to have sex and I don't know when or if I'll ever be. She said that she doesn't care and no matter what she will always be there with me. Fenris has never done anything to me I didn't like or want to happen again. Yes I was mad about the hickey's but that was because she didn't want me to cover them, but I like that she wants me that way even despite everything I told her."
"What do you mean by that?"
Annabelle sighed, "Every time Johnny would do something I would feel like there was this grime on me and the more he did it the more I felt it get thicker. It was like this invisible weight on my skin that no matter how often I scrubbed would never wash away. I guess some part of me thought that once Fenris found out what he did, she would think I was disgusting or something and not want me." she said, shrugging her shoulders.
"Oh Annabelle that's not true."
"I know and Fenris told me that our relationship is based off more than just sex. So she'll be ready if I am, but it isn't needed for us to be together."
"I'm glad that you feel safe with her. I know she's your mate and Ray's best friend, but you're my baby sister I need to know you're safe. After not knowing that mother had been abusing you, and Johnny attempting to **** you, I feel terrible and need to make sure you are safe all the time. So for awhile I'll be constantly bugging you on if you're okay or not."
Annabelle smiled, a tear rolling down her face, and hugged her sister. "Okay. I love you Mary."
"I love you too Annabelle."
Wiping their tears the two sisters hugged one more time when some of the female wolves came looking for Mary, two of the pups had shoved crayons up their nose and they needed Mary to help watch the other kids.
Laughing at the franticness of the woman Annabelle went back to find Lily in the kitchen, and walked over prepared to help with prep.
Seeing Annabelle is back Lily waved her over to a area on the counter that had about two sacs of onions, two sacs of potatoes, and a bucket of bell peppers on it. "Alright Annabelle this is honestly probably the worst task to do right now, but it needs to be done. All of these need to be diced and/or peeled, they will be stuffed in the deer so you don't need to cook them or anything. When you're done just put everything in these buckets." Lily said, pulling out five large pickle buckets. "If you need any eye cover for when you cut the onions tell me and I'll grab you some goggles. Any question?" Annabelle shook her head no, and Lily walked away.
Looking at everything she needed to do Annabelle realized her hands are going to be sore by the end of the day. [Well better get to it.]
*about an hour later in the middle of the woods*
Fenris and the other wolves had been tracking a herd of deer for the past ten or so miles in their human form, all only wearing an undershirt and sweatpants despite the cold weather. Ray and Duke were quietly challenging each other on who's going to get the first kill. At the twelfth mile marker some of the wolves had picked up the sent of some boar and Duke told them to try to hunt down two large males.
Now around fifteen miles in Fenris saw the first deer about two miles away from them. Signaling to Duke, she pointed in the direction of the herd and held up two fingers, he nodded back and relayed the info to the others. Seeing that they are up wind from the herd, the wolves make a wide loop around so they are down wind when they shift and the deer don't notice their scent.
Looking over the herd Duke signaled to the the seven deer they were going to attempt to kill. Knowing Fenris was stronger and could take down a deer by herself he pointed at her and then at the large buck somewhat in the middle of the herd. Nodding that she understood Fenris walked off to the side and shifted into her large black wolf.
After the shift Fenris shook her fur out and stretched her limbs. Making sure her wings were tucked tight against her, Fenris crawled forward to the edge of the herd and laid down. Watching, Fenris saw the other wolves, already shifted, get in position and wait on Dukes signal.
Minutes tick by and Fenris has her eyes set on the buck as well as looking out for Duke. Finally his large brown wolf shoots out and nips at the ankles of a nearby buck, signaling to everyone that the hunt has begun.
Leaping over a doe Fenris dashed toward the large buck, who was running away from her. Catching up to the buck Fenris lunged towards it and clamped her massive jaw down on its backside, ultimately toppling it and herself. Releasing her grasp Fenris jumped out of the way of its antlers and dove at the bucks neck. Latching her fangs on it Fenris bite down, feeling the warm sticky blood pool in her mouth, but didn't let go. Shaking her head in an attempt to break the neck Fenris could feel what fight the buck had left slowly leave him till he was dead.
Sitting down next to her kill Fenris bowed her massive head and thanked the animal for it's life and thanked the Goddess for a good hunt. Raising her head Fenris saw they were able to kill six of the seven dear they had gone after.
Duke and Ray trotted over to her, blood covering both of their muzzles. Duke, being the parent type he is, checked Fenris over to make sure she wasn't injured. Satisfied everyone was okay Duke picked up one of the deer and started to drag it back to the trucks. Fenris and Ray both followed suit and grabbed the deer they had killed and followed after Duke. At the point where some of the other wolves had split off Fenris saw them sitting there with two large wild boars at their paws. Duke nodded at them and motioned for them to follow with their kill.
*Time for Thanksgiving dinner*
Everybody who had showed up at the Carter pack house had received a plate and was seated either at a table or in the grass, waiting on the alpha.
Standing at the head table with Lily, Ray, Mary, Annabelle and Fenris, Duke stared at his little family then at his pack. "This year we have many things to be grateful for. We are grateful for all the new life brought into the world, we are grateful for the prosperity of the pack. I myself could never be as grateful as I am right now for I have a truly amazing pack, and an even more amazing family. My luna, who is the keeper of my heart, loves me for me and I love her for her. My son who has become such an amazing young man has found his mate who is such an amazing woman. Last but not least, a girl who I see as my daughter has found a light in her darkness, and I hope with everyday that darkness shrinks." Duke announced to the pack, raising his beer in the air, "I hope you all have an amazing night and remember something you are grateful for, no matter how small. Enjoy!" he finished, taking a big sip of the drink.
Everyone gathered clapped and started to dig into the food on their plates.
Just as everyone at the head table was about to eat Lily stopped them. "Before we eat I want everyone to go around and say something they are grateful for. Since Duke already went I'll go next. I'm grateful for not only for my family, but the extension of it. Mary, Fenris, Annabelle, I see you all as my daughters and want you to know that if you need me I am here for you."
Standing up Ray looked at everyone, "I'll go next. I'm grateful for Mary, she is the person that completes me and I couldn't love someone the way I love her. But I'm also grateful for this pack, I can be myself here and no one judges me for it. They know I am their future alpha, but they never stop me from being a kid. I've seen packs where that happens and the future alpha either ends up miserable or power hungry. So I'm grateful." he said, looking at everyone then sitting down motioning to Mary.
"I'm grateful for Ray, he is the kindest man I have ever met and I wouldn't want anyone but him. I'm also grateful for my sister, I love her with all that I am. Everything she has been through has shown me that there are people out there who can destroy us, and I'm grateful that she had people there to help her."
Fenris stood up and awkwardly cleared her throat, "I too am grateful for Annabelle. I never thought I would find my mate and now that she has come into my life I realize that she is better than anything I have ever wanted in a mate. I am also grateful for my friends, until recently Ray was my only friend and Lily and Duke were like my parents. Now I can say that I have two friends, and a mate, that might seem small, but it's more than I've ever had." she said, sitting down.
Annabelle kissed Fenris lightly on the lips before standing up. "I'm grateful for everyone here. You have all not only stood by me, but you've loved me, fought for me, and helped me. I have always wanted this in a family and I couldn't have asked for a better family to have than all of you. So thank you."
Standing up Duke grabbed and raised his glass. Following his lead everyone stood up with their glass in hand. "Happy Thanksgiving!" he yelled and howled at the moon, soon the whole gathering was echoing the howl back.