The Marking by Destiny Diess

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She’s sure everyone can live together. But when her father and this wolf-pack leader clash, she’ll have to choose a side…

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A thunderous roar burst through the forest from behind Dad’s Mercedes-Benz, conquering the light hum of its engine. Heart thrashing inside my chest, I stared into the rearview mirror with wide eyes, scanning the mammoth oak trees until I spotted the first few shadows of the wolves bolting behind us.

“Drive faster,” I said to Dad, adrenaline rushing through my veins. I loved watching them run.

Dad pressed on the acceleration, jerking the car forward. I rolled down the window, letting the wind blow back my brown locks, and glanced out into the Witver Forest, catching sight of the enchanting golden eyes of the largest wolf amongst them all, the alpha.

When he caught sight of me, he howled to the setting honey sun and sprinted closer to the car with his pack, his claws scraping against the black asphalt with every leap. I reached out the window to stroke his fur, but before I could reach out, Dad rolled up the window, forcing me to yank myself back into the car.

I clutched my arm and frowned at their slowing figures in the rearview mirror, their snouts pointed to the sky and their howls reverberating through the car. All I wanted was to be able to run free with them in their forest and live in peace, but someone didn’t find that acceptable.

Knuckles white on the steering wheel, Dad clenched his jaw and shoved his foot down harder on the acceleration, throwing me backward against his leather seat. “You know better than to touch those filthy animals, Mae,” he sneered.

After balling my hands into fists, I flared my nostrils and glared out the window at the setting sun as we flew by the thousands of trees and toward the city.

“Don’t you?” he asked me.

Knowing that he wouldn’t let this go, I sank further into my seat and mumbled, “Sorry.”
While I loved Dad, I hated him sometimes. He couldn’t see past his own prejudices.

A deafening silence spread throughout the car, the engine’s continuous hum giving me some sense of peace and calmness amongst his madness. He relaxed his hand around the wheel and turned on Witver’s most conservative radio station.

“Welcome back to our segment of Witver Without Wolves. All through the night we’ve been keeping you updated on the riots that these filthy animals and their blind supporters are participating in throughout the city. And, let me just say, they’re digging their own graves out there, igniting towns with lies about the wolves, saying that they’re civil creatures when all they do is kill. Our world is brainwashed. Werewolves should never live in a society with humans. Protect yourselves. Stock up on all the silver bullets you can get your hands on. Kill on sight. Our trusty police force is on our side. Those men and women are the true heroes, not those radicals trying to procreate with another species.”

Rather than listening to this bullshit, I clicked off the radio station and glared through the shiny windshield glass. Dad tightened his grip on the leather steering wheel once more and cleared his throat, merging onto the highway toward the city. If he didn’t want to live with the wolves, I didn’t know why the hell we lived in the middle of Witver Forest. He could live in a city high-rise with other humans, but, no, he had to find a gated neighborhood with people just as insane as he was.

And I was done with it. Done.

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