The arena was basically just an old football stadium that no one used anymore besides for city
functions . The building was huge and well looked after but it was rare for the entire city to participate in
the functions , most packs tended to stick to themselves and besides the annual alpha meeting you
rarely caught everyone in the same place .
But this challenge was all through the media so I wasn’t shocked to see this place packed to the brim ,
everyone crammed in like sardines in a can . Nervousness crept in as we pulled in next to the huge
People walking in and I felt giddy seeing rogues entering a place that was otherwise forbidden to them .
Valen’s men made sure they had entry through his tunnel entrance . Macey and Zoe stood by the doors
next to Tatum and Marcus . Macey was the only one out of us that was still rogue and despite the offers
she refused saying she was happy with her status . Although , I had a funny feeling with Tatum’s
infatuation with her it would only be a matter of time .
Valen would take and accept all the rogues without asking but it was more then that , I may be pack ,
Zoe pack , but we were all rogue , status is given but at heart , we clawed out from the rubble like the
rest of them , bled beside them and took on society exactly the same .
No my village didnt need a pack , this city should be pack , no names , no labels , no designation . One
pack is how it was supposed to be and it should be , everyone free , and free to choose and free to live
. That was what we wanted , just our freedoms , nothing more and nothing less .
Valen grips my knee as Valarian undoes his seatbelt when he sees Taylor and Casey , Casey waving a
snow cone in the air for him . He jumps out and runs over to her , his had no color , just ice , the girls
knew him too well . Valen shakes his head at him and chuckles before looking over at me .
” Are you sure you wouldn’t be more comfortable in shorts , you will ruin those pants shifting in them . I
brought you a set in case you changed your mind , ” Valen says while glancing down at my yoga pants
: I shake my head . I wouldn’t be shifting , it would risk too much , my body would have to change too
much . ” No , I’m hoping he submits in first half , ” ” You realize how hard that is , we are instinctual ,
and you know how these things go , after 10 minutes and the drill goes off everyone shifts , so unless
you got some moves I don’t know , you are gonna have to shift , Love , ” I swallowed . He was right .
No one likes a challenge going on too long , after ten minutes the drill will go off .
That was brought in decades before I was born after a challenge lasted three days while both of them
circled each other looking for an opening . I laugh at that thought , stuff that , best to get it over with .
Then again , I also understood it . What parent wants to fight their child and vice versa . Are you afraid
to show your wolf ? ” Valen asks and I stare at him but he looks away . I tilt my head to look at him . ”
What is that supposed to mean ? ” ” Nothing , I just know you are self conscious about how small yours
is , though when the rogue attack happened you were a fair bit bigger , is that why you never wanted to
train in your wolf at home , “
” Well , you would be self conscious too if you looked like someone’s pet dog and not a werewolf , ” I
tell him ..
” You’re not that small , ” he says and I shrug and open my door .
Zoe and Macey are waiting for me by the entrance and I need them to keep calm , right now . We walk
through the dark tunnel and come out the other end walking along the boundary line . I could see Nixon
and his pack watching . Slasher pack was also here but Nixon and dad stood on the other side of the
massive ring that is etched into the grass with white paint . We walk over to our place when I feel my
head tugged back by my ponytail Valen’s hand wraps around it and pulls me to stop , turning me . His
arm wraps around my waist pulling me against him and he tips my head back . His lips cover mine in a
heated kiss that has my cheeks burning with his very public display .
” Valen ! ” I mumbled against his lips , and he chuckled . He was still laughing when he let me go . He
tugs me along and Kalen rushes in quickly . There was a park at the other end of the arena which is
where he is taking the children to play so they don’t have to watch .
They could because I was training at their age , however , a challenge was vastly different : it wasn’t
mucking around , it was blood , claws , teeth and fur . Messy and terrifying so when Valarian demanded
he wanted to come , we organized for Kalen to watch them at the park and bring them over after . ”
How are you , are you still set to leave tomorrow ? ” Valen asks his father . Kalen stops and pecks my
cheek and hugs his son .
"Yep , leaving at 7am , ” Kalen says and Valen nods .
” Where are you going ? ” I ask him .
” To pick up some supplies that got lost in transit for the hotel , ” Kalen says with a shrug . Kalen quickly
hugs me . ” Knock his ass out , love . Now where are these munchkins of mine , ” Kalen says looking
around for the kids . He points off toward the girls and waves before rubbing his hands together .
He walks off toward them , ” Who wants to race Pop to the park over there . ” he says , pointing off
toward the other end . The three kids look where he points before running off and Kalen chases them .
Valen laughs at his father who could easily outrun them but lets them win .
Once they are gone , I turn around to face the pit and the place falls silent when my father steps over
the barrier and removes his shirt , handing it to my mother . I suck in a breath and Valen grips my
shoulders giving them a squeeze . ” Breathe , you got this , ” he says , yet my eyes were on my father ,
images of training with him when I was kid skipped through my head
. When I regarded him as my hero , but now I was no longer a little girl , he was no longer larger than
life , but despite that his size and physique remained the same . This man was a giant , and powerful . I
swallow down the dread , remembering when he accidentally broke femur in training when he punched
me a little too hard , one punch and he snapped it like it was chicken bone . I shake the memory away
before tugging my shirt off , I had a sports bra underneath and my shirt would give him something to
grab a hold off . My mother stood beside Nixon looking at us nervously and as I was about to walk onto
the field , I felt a hand grip my arm . I stop when I see it is Ava . She stares at me . “
Dad’s left knee is bad , he has had two surgeries on it , watch his hooks , but if it comes to his wolf
back out ! I will take your place , I am not good at hand to hand but , ” she glances at our father
nervously .. It was clear she was petrified of my father , she hated training and it scared the crap out of
her . Ava was not violent by nature , she wasn’t trained the way I was , she was daddy’s princess while
I was his warrior . ” Ava you don’t have to get in there , and you aren’t ,
” I tell her and she swallows again , though I knew she would get in there if I asked and she would take
a beating happily for me , a beating isn’t needed here , victory is so I knew this was on me . Ava grabs
me and hugs me .
” I know ! ” she whispers , and I pull away from her and look at her .
” I know , and you back out or I will , ” she looks at Valen standing over at the sidelines .
” Who ? ” I ask . ”
” Macey and Zoe , ”
” You can’t shift , ” Ava continues .
” I don’t need to , I can beat him in this form , I was born for this Ava , trained in his image for this , I
haven’t forgotten , I will win , ” I reassure her .
” You better , if not stand down , your people will understand , they won’t see it as a failure , ” she says .
” No , but I will . You haven’t been with us as long , you haven’t seen the half of it , this will change
everything , now I am asking you , as a sister , to keep your mouth shut , ” she pressed her lips in a line
and nodded .
” Left knee , and try to keep on right side , his vision isn’t the best in that eye anymore , beat him before
the shift , if you’re in trouble I am telling , ” She says walking off and I sigh before turning to my father .
Once inside the circle there was no backing out .
My father stood in the center waiting , arms folded to see if I would step in ” Back out Evie , you don’t
want to do this , ” Dad says to me and I shake the shudder that rippled up my spine as his aura washed
over me and stepped inside the circle .
He curses and shakes his head but takes a stance . I moved closer and on his right , watching how he
shifted a little more and I realized Ava was right . His vision on that side wasn’t the best and he growled
and I saw his eyes go to her off the side . She waves to him before he turns back to face me again .
Nixon calls out to him but my father ignores him . The whistles went off while we sized each other up
and when he didn’t charge at me or make a move , I knew I would have to be the one to initiate the
fight so I did .
He blocked my punch easily and ducked under my arm which left him an opening to my ribs but he
didn’t take it . Nixon yells at him to fight , but dad goes on the defensive . After a few minutes it was
starting to irritate me . I caught his left knee three times but he never swung back .
When I went to kick him again , he caught my foot which left me in a bad position and he growled
angrily at me . ” Submit , ” he snarled at me before punching me in the thigh . I groan , feeling it bruise
and stagger back when he lets me go . My eyes go to the huge digital display 4 minutes before we
would be forced to shift .
” No , ” I growl and Dad growls back at me before spear tackling me and the air catches in my lungs as
I am airborne . I am waiting for his crushing weight to smash me into the ground but at the last second
he twists , and I crash on top of him instead of being crushed under him . I sat up shocked and
punched him while he pulled me closer in a headlock , which left me struggling to get out of it , my fist
connecting with his ribs , and the side of his head , yet dad was only holding me .
” Fight back , I am not a little girl , ” I tell him . ” Wrong , you’re my girl , my pregnant girl , ” he snarls
before rolling me off him . I get to my hands and feet . ” What are you doing John ! ” Nixon roars from
the sidelines . My father ignores him and gets to his feet . He glances at the clock . ” Stand down ,
submit ! ” Dad says and I clutch my knees while he is trying to catch his breath . ” I can’t ! ” I tell him
looking at the crowd of rogues .
” John ! Stop playing with her and take her fucking out ! ” Nixon booms across the field and I glance
over my shoulder at him .
My mother is standing beside him , her face pale as a ghost and I turn my attention back to my father .
He looked torn .
” Please Evie , ” he whispers and I take my stance and he growls taking his before we start fighting
again , or I do while he continues playing this stupid game of just blocking and dodging .