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High Mountain Pack (Ch. 2)

Chapter 2

It had been a half hour jog back down the mountain and into town and yet I couldn't get the feeling of Aaron being so close to go away. I hated myself for feeling this way. I didn't want anyone to make me feel this way, much less the Alpha. I had no intention of ending up with those kinds of responsibilities. Besides, its not like he would want me anyway. I was far from the most beautiful woman in town and I was to tall. I was only a couple inches shorter then Aaron who was around 6'5". Growing up I was always picked on because women weren't supposed to be taller then most of the men in town. At 6'2" that meant I was taller then most of the men in town, except Aaron. 

Lost in my thoughts and trying to shake the feels I hadn't realized I had already made it home. I could smell the grill going out back and it made my stomach grumble. I decided to try and sneak in the side door and into my room before anyone noticed me. I just wanted a shower to wash away the sweat and the lingering feelings I had yet to rid myself of. Unfortunately, my mother caught me before I could get up the side steps. 

"Aurora!?! There you are!! Where have you been?? You know we have guests coming for the BBQ tonight." she said, in an obviously displeased tone. "Did Aaron find you and talk some sense into you? I really wish you would just decide on a mate already. It's been 3 months since you matured and you act like nothing has changed."

"Yes, Aaron found me and yes we talked. But, no he did not talk 'sense' into me as you put it. I'm just not ready to be mated. I know I'm 21 now, but my life has just started. I want to travel and just figure out who I am before I let someone else decide who I should be. Besides there is no one here that even remotely interests me." I said, hoping to appease her. "How many people are coming to the BBQ and how long do I have to get cleaned up?"

"There are a couple of new bachelors in town that I want you to meet. Mark my words Aurora, you had better be nice to them and at least try to get to know them." she said. "They will arriving in one hour so get washed up and put on your best outfit. I want you to make a good impression."

Deciding that doing as I was told this time was the easiest option, I headed for my room to get ready. I locked my door behind me and took a deep breath. It was going to be a long night. One I was not looking forward to, but I knew I had no choice. 

I headed into my bathroom for my shower and stopped to look in the mirror. How anyone would want me anyway was a mystery to me. Starting with my height and the plainness of my looks I was far from beautiful. My hair never wanted to cooperate. It was far to fine and thick and running a brush through it was sometimes almost impossible. I did like the unique color of it though. It was a strawberry blonde that was almost pink in the right light. My eyes were a emerald green that turned a dark hunter green when I was sad or tired. 

"Well here goes nothing. You can do it. Just put on a smile and the night will be over soon. Or at least I hope it will be." I said, as I headed for the shower.

Half an hour later, I was washed up and dressed and ready to put on a fake smile again. I knew my parents were only trying to help. They really did love me and wanted the best for me. I just hoped that I could convince them to give me the time to figure out what I wanted. As I contemplated just how I was going to accomplish this I finished tying my hair in a braid and headed for the door. 

As I stepped onto the back deck the smell of the BBQ reminded me that I had not eaten yet today. I headed for the table off to left with mounds of food laid out on it. Before I could grab a plate I felt someone step way to close to me. As I looked up his smell hit me like a punch in the gut. He smelt like garbage. I looked up at him and he was staring at me. He wasn't bad looking with black shaggy hair and and dark brown eyes. But his smell was just off. I didn't want to be rude or make a scene so I politely smiled and grabbed my plate. I turned back to the table and started to make way down the line selecting what looked good.

"Your Aurora right? My name is James. I'm from out of town." he said, with a big bright smile. "Your parents invited me."

"Hello James. Yes, I'm Aurora. So your one of the bachelors my mother told me about. I hope that you like it here and that your hungry. As you can see my parents have a tendency to go a little over board while cooking." I said, trying to sound interested. "If you don't mind I'm gonna go eat. I haven't eaten anything yet today."

I headed for the farthest corner I could go to get away from James. He seemed nice enough, but I still couldn't get past the smell. He thankfully went the other way to go talk with the group of guys near the grill. As I sat there trying not to stuff my face like a pig I watched my mother head towards me. She came over and sat down next to me and quietly ate her burger.

"Hey mom, I have a question. Does James smell weird to you?" I asked. "He's nice and all, but he smells off."

"No. I don't notice any bad smell. He seems super interested in you though. See, he's looking over here now. Have you spoken to any of the others yet?" she asked.

"He might seem into me, but I'm not going to get past the smell. And no I have not spoken to anyone else yet. If they smell like him then I really don't want to." 

"You will get up and go speak to everyone one of those handsome young men no matter what you think they smell like. I didn't put this together for you to go hide in you room or take off again and go up that mountain." she said. "Now go!"

"UGH, fine." I said, standing and rolling my eyes. I headed for the group of vultures that my mother invited and braced myself for a lot of questions. As I approached the group, they all stopped talking and looked at me. I felt like someone rang the dinner bell and I was the dinner.

"Aurora, glad you wandered over here. I was just telling the guys here that you and I are already good friends." he said, with a wink. "This is Chad, Dennis, Blake, Dalton, and Tony. We are all hear in hope to get to know you."

"Hello guys. Nice to meet you all. I'm not all that interesting, but I guess I'll let you guys be the judge of that. I'm not sure how much my mother has told you about me, so I guess I will let you ask the questions and I'll try to give the answers," I said, trying to sound friendly. 

Finally after two hours of visiting and getting to know the guys they were heading home. I stupidly had agreed to a date with each one of them. I was not looking forward to any of them at all, especially with James. He had left ten minutes ago and I could still smell him. I wished I could get the smell out of my nose. Saying goodbye to the last guests I headed for the house with my mother. Once in the house, I said goodnight and headed for my room. Thankfully she had done the same. I laid down on the bed not caring that I was still in tonight's clothes and drifted off to sleep. 

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