• Creative & Artistic || Artistically inclined, Cat displayed natural talent at a young age. She stood head and shoulders above her classmates in elementary school, receiving high praise for her work from teachers. It was commonplace for her papers and worksheets to have drawings in the margins and she was constantly doodling on anything she could find. She is never without a sketchbook and pencil and can frequently be found people watching, drawing strangers unawares. When the pack opened up the tattoo shop, she took an interest in tattooing and honed her skills through a lot of trial and error. At this stage in her life, however, she has mastered the art and people will wait several months to a year to be tattooed by her.
• Passionate || When something or someone ignites Cat’s passionate nature, she goes all in, dedicating her time, energy, thoughts, and emotions to whatever it may be. Sometimes this can backfire, however, as she's often willing to go down with the ship, if she believes in something fiercely enough.
• Diligent & Dedicated || When challenges arise, many opt to throw in the towel and cut their losses, but this is not Cat's first instinct. Rather, she has the benefit of her far-reaching vision to help her through. She views challenges as puzzles in need of solving and will pour herself into finding a solution. When the task at hand is meaningful, it gives her a sense of purpose and courage to preserve despite setbacks. Diligent could be synonymous with stubbornness in her case, as she isn't inclined to give up, even when there seems to be no obvious resolution.
• Introverted & Private || Private, reserved, and self-conscious, Cat is notoriously difficult to get to know. Further, her need for these qualities contributes to the guilt she often feels for not giving more of herself to her pack. While Gadiel may have been imperfect in many ways, he could never be accused of not fully dedicating himself to his subordinates. Her quiet, reflective personality has earned her the nickname "Snow Queen", as it leaves people wondering what's really going on inside of her head.
• Too Idealistic || Cat often takes her idealism too far, setting herself up for disappointment as, again and again, evil things happen in the world. This is true on a personal level too, as in the past she's had a tendency to not only idealize her partners, but idolize them, forgetting that no one is perfect. However, her idealism has been challenged throughout her relationship with Gadiel and in certain ways has shifted toward bitter cynicism where romance is concerned.
• Distrustful & Anxious || Cat understands that many are unhappy with Gadiel's decision to make her alpha. She also understands the treacherous history of her pack and this combination has fostered a distrustfulness that borders on paranoia. While she tries to lead with dignity and strength, she is privately overwrought with anxiety. She suffers from insomnia as a result of this, finding it difficult to shut her mind off.
An unlikely leader, Cat has had little choice but to evolve to adapt to her circumstances. Introverted by nature, she’s drained by a lot of forced social interaction. For this reason, tattooing was a good fit for her, as most clients opt to remain quiet to avoid distracting their artist. She is able to work in relative peace while being creative and utilizing her artistic talents. However, if she had it her way, she’d spend the majority of her time in her apartment among her many poems, sketches, and paintings. This is where she is most comfortable and it has been this way for the majority of her life. The exception is when she’s with her younger sister, Mariana, who knows how to pull her out of her shell and get her to do things she wouldn’t ordinarily do.
To her pack she comes across strong and dignified, her quiet, reflective personality lending itself to a sense of calm collectedness. However, this isn’t quite the case. While she is levelheaded and seemingly in control of her emotions, internally she struggles with a lot of anxiety, as she has been forced to fit a mold that is outside of her comfort zone. Leading is not a natural part of her disposition, but faced with no other choice, she has risen to the occasion. Her pack needs her, Gadiel has trusted her, and she will not let them down. Unfortunately, this calls for her to present a facade to her subordinates, as most are highly dangerous, dominant wolves who are observing her for any sign of weakness.
For this reason, she must exude an authoritative, take-no-shit air at all times — lest her pack get the impression they can disrespect her commands or go behind her back. On more than one occasion, this has forced her to make difficult calls that don’t necessarily sit well with her conscience in order to maintain their respect and instill a little fear. If there’s one thing she learned from observing Gadiel, it is that being loved is great, but being feared keeps people loyal and makes them think twice about double crossing you. Trouble is like cancer, if you don’t catch it early and cut it out, it kills you. This is a motto Cat lives by and as a result, she is hyper-vigilant, always striving to make sure she remains in the know of what’s going on among her pack.
The downside of this is growing paranoia and stress that leads to sleepless nights and a lot of distrust. There are only two people within her pack that Cat would trust further than she can throw them — her sister and Andro. Though at times, she even questions Andro’s intentions, as she knows all too well he was the one Gadiel slighted in order to make her miko. It’s a delicate balancing act, one she must carefully maintain at all costs.
When we’re young, our perception of the world is shaped by fairytales. We’re conditioned to believe in the concept of true love, that we all have a soulmate out there somewhere, waiting for us in the vast universe. For many, this becomes a fixation, something that must be pursued at all costs, as though without this person, we’re half of a whole, lacking some kind of quintessential completeness. We chase after the kind of love that’s like fireworks or shooting stars, not realizing that fireworks fizzle and stars burn out. There was a time in my life when I bought the sales pitch too. I didn’t realize at the time, that he’d come to me as a gun in the shape of a rose. You see, Lust always shows up to the party wearing Love’s dress. The ugliest lessons, usually come with the prettiest faces.
Gadiel was the most handsome man I’d ever seen. I know everyone thinks that when they’re in love, but Gadiel was the most handsome man most people had ever seen. When he blew through my life like a hurricane, I was young, in love with the idea of love. He was exciting, dangerous, and like a moth to a flame, I had no choice but to be drawn in and consumed. Barely seventeen, there was something so mesmerizing about this older man who had focused his attention on me. I felt special to be chosen, that of all the women hoping to turn his head, he had noticed me. Beneath the intensity of his dark eyes, only I existed. Little did I know how many others felt just as singular when he fixed his gaze on them. I was too naive in the beginning to see what was right in front of my face, but as I grew up, it became impossible to ignore what was plain to see.
Once the veil was snatched from my eyes, concealing his unfaithfulness ceased to be a priority. He didn’t parade his conquests in front of me, but he didn’t have to. I knew. Over time I became brazen, jealousy slowly driving me insane. When he ventured out to bars or other establishments my young age barred me from, I learned how to charm my way in. My resourcefulness certainly came as a surprise, but getting caught redhanded did little to deter him. I threatened to leave over and over again, each time buying into the lie that he loved me, that the others meant nothing to him, that this was the last indiscretion. But by the time I reached my twenties I was beginning to see that love and hate have a way of looking exactly the same when the first is used as poison.
It took nearly eight years, but eventually I reached the end of my capacity to forgive. Selfish lovers never notice what’s in front of them, only what is missing. You will never feel seen until you leave. And I did. This time for good. Or so I thought. He’d hidden his secret well, but beneath the light of the full moon, as my sister and I walked home from celebrating her twenty-first birthday, we both learned the impossible truth. Upon his order, his pack would make sure I couldn’t leave, biting and tearing at my flesh until I was certain I would die. When Mariana and I woke up alive, healed of our wounds, I thought perhaps it was all just a bad dream. But it wasn’t. He had made certain I was bound to him, to his pack, that I needed them to ensure my own sanity. My sister was simply collateral damage. One would think, after all he’d put me through, that I would despise him, and for a time, I did. But Gadiel was persistent and eventually I came to believe it was love and the fear of loss that had motivated his actions.
But the restrictions of pack life were too much for my sister. Despite being newly turned, Mariana returned home, defiant, angry, unwilling to comply with Gadiel’s rules. She would pay the ultimate price for her headstrong nature. It was an accident, she hadn’t yet found harmony with the animal inside of her, but this understanding wouldn’t quell her grief or guilt. The pack would help cover up the deaths of our mother and father, but a band aid couldn’t cover up the gaping wound their loss left within my sister. Still, we endured, we pressed on. You see, it is in our rawest moments, when we feel defeated and tired, that we are shapeable. This is when you embrace change -- when the tears won’t stop.
We adapted to pack life, though not necessarily to the disfunction within it. Gadiel’s paranoia was testament to his lack of trust in his subordinates. There’s no honor among criminals, but the pack operated as best as could be expected until everything came crashing down. The suppression of our kind had proved a lucrative endeavor for the pack. In addition to the illicit substances bringing in a steady flow to revenue, Gadiel had seen an opportunity and the pack had begun selling false documentation to wolves looking to conceal their identities. But the FBI caught onto us, and after several years of surveillance, collecting evidence, they made a move.
The raid was chaos and most of the pack would be gathered up and hauled off to prison. It came as a shock when the role of alpha was shifted onto me, but there was no time to ponder the complexities of his decision, nor to wallow in the anguish of having my mate pulled away from me. From having nothing to hold onto but a shattered heart, comes the motivation to be the example of how to let go. This is what builds a queen. For whatever reason, he had decided that I was the most trustworthy, the one best suited to keep things in order in his absence. And I would rise to the occasion and do the best that I could to keep the wheels from falling off.
The list of charges were endless, and Gadiel, as the alpha of the pack, would have the book thrown at him. All of us were questioned, but in the end, it was Gadiel’s insistence that I know as little as possible that saved me from the same fate. He’d protected me in one of the only ways he knew how. It might seem crazy to the rest of the world, why I would stay and take on this burden when I could simply walk away. But no matter how much he’s damaged me, no matter how flawed he is, I know Gadiel loves me.
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