Only a fool looks Alpha Zavier in the eye when he speaks. You dare not interrupt him and if you’re an omega girl called Aysel, it’s best to hide. I learnt these tricks early in life. I knew not to look up, not to make a sound and to make myself invisible in the crowd of people that filled the banquet hall to celebrate the Feast of the Moon.
But I never did anything right. When asked to take a step to the left, I ended up at the right, whether I took a step to the left or not. Fate worked in reverse for me. If I sowed good, I reaped misfortune.
It was the reason why, while serving with my head down, trying to make myself smaller than my small frame, I tripped on a fair leg, my tray of wine flying from my hand and tumbling to the ground, crashing – loudly – to the floor and spilling its red content against the fair feet of the Alpha’s daughter, in the middle of the Alpha’s speech. I raised my head and caught the Alpha Zavier’s gaze and at that moment, I’d broken three of the most fundamental rules of avoiding a beating.
At that moment – when I made eye contact with the Alpha and sealed my fate – Skylar, the Alpha’s daughter, let out a blood-curdling scream, as if it took her that ten seconds of silence to process what I’d done. I’d spilt expensive wine on her equally expensive, white, floor length dress.
Her hand smacked my head to the right as an apology dropped from my lips. Then to the left, and right again. She kept smacking me as everyone stared with their mouths open at what I had done until the Alpha cleared his throat and called for order.
“That’s enough, Sky.” Alpha Zavier looked at me as he addressed his daughter, his eyes filled with deep hatred and fiery anger. I gulped, cupping my hot cheeks.
“It’s not. This little bitch ruined my dress!” Skylar cried, her sweet soprano voice raising as she hit me for the last time. “Why are you so jealous of me?” She cried yet again, dragging everyone’s attention back to the scene despite the Alpha’s call for order.
“I’m not,” I answered in a whispery voice with my hands shaking.
My eyes stung with the tears I held at bay, blurring the faces around me. I didn’t want to cry now – not now. It would only make my humiliation worse if I broke down here. I told myself I had to wait – I had to wait for them to take me out for a beating when the enforcers would give me a good reason to cry but I wasn’t strong. My lips quivered as the tears slid down my face. I blinked rapidly to clear them but they fell faster the more I blinked.
Alpha Zavier signalled something at those behind me as his daughter stumped out, pushing people out of her way as she went. Two men grabbed me from behind, dragging me out of the hall. I looked at the few people who still watched the drama unfold as the Alpha went back to his speech, a muscle twitching at the side of his jaw. Only one person watching me looked at me with anything other than scorn in her eyes as the enforcers dragged me away.
They threw me into a dark room, locking the door behind them. This dark room belonged to me. I slept here, had all my possessions – a single bag – in this room, the days I had food, I ate here and every day, I cried in this same room.
Two months ago, I spent two weeks locked up in my room and sometime in the two weeks, my food supply was cut off. I’d starved for at least five days but down here, in the cold, damp basement of the pack house, time became relative. I could have starved for one week or to days, there was never a way to be sure. Everything was dark – every hour of the day, night.
The door handle jiggled as someone tried to get in. The door jammed a lot and needed brute force to open on most days. Skylar came in with her brother and her boyfriend all wearing nasty smirks on their lips.
My eyes lingered on Skylar’s boyfriend for a minute. A few years ago, Lucien had been my best friend. I told him everything. I loved him as a best friend and more.
‘Promise me we’ll never fall apart.’ I held his hand and stared up at him the night before we started high school.
‘You’ve started with your cute sentiments.’ He kissed my nose. I pretended to hate it but it warmed my heart. ‘It’s me and you for life, Ay-babe.’
‘Me and you and Celeste,’ I mentioned my other best friend which made him laugh.
‘Whatever you say, doll.’ The sound of his laughter made my knees weak.
A few years later I found out we were mates so I tried to do something sweet for him, knowing what it’d cost me.
‘Lucien –‘ I just wanted to see him smile.
‘It’s Beta Lucien to you,’ he snapped, his hand around Skylar’s shoulder. The alpha female stared at me with indifference on her face but a spark of glee in her eyes.
‘Beta Lucien, can we – can we talk?’ I watched as he twirled Skylar’s hair between his fingers.
‘We can talk here.’ Someone behind them chuckled at his mocking tone. ‘What do you want? You’re wasting my time.’He stared at the gold watch on his wrist to emphasize his point.
I stretched out flowers with shaky hands while the school watched with bathed breath. It was a secret he kept well but I’d been his best friend since we were in diapers and I knew he loved receiving flowers. He hid that part of himself because it wasn’t considered manly but he didn’t have to be manly with me.
‘I love you.’ Loud guffaws surrounded me. Tears stung my eyes when my best friend and mate joined in the derisive laughter.
“It’s time for you to pay.” Skylar smirked, pulling me back to the present. She’d taken off her ruined dress to come black combat shorts and a black long-sleeved keyhole shirt.
“On your knees,” Alpha Bethel, the future leader of our pack called, dragging me out of my flat bed. I got on my knees without protest, facing my back to him. “Come hold her, Lucien.”
“There’s no need to hold me,” I muttered. My head spun at the blow that landed on my head from behind when I dared to say anything.
“Keep quiet!” Beta Lucien hissed. He not only humiliated me in front of the entire school that day, he also rejected me that same night.
‘We can’t be mates. You’re ugly, poor and a stain on my reputation. I’d be a madman to mate with you.’ Those were the words he said to me before he rejected me.
“I won’t – I won’t fight.” I took a step back when Lucien approached me. The worst part of taking a beating was being held down by Lucien. I’d learnt to take a beating without trying to run like the other omegas did because when Lucien was involved, it meant paramount pain. He was a choker and gasping for air with a belt lashing down wasn’t pretty.
“Oh, really?” A strong hand gripped my jaw with bruising force, forcing me to look up at cold black eyes. Everyone in the Redville pack hated me but Lucien had a special place in his heart for hating me, a part of his mind dedicated to formulating many ways to torture me and make me wish I’d never been born all because I’d loved him.
“Take off your clothes then.” I blinked. Tears spilt from my eyes when I blinked. I didn’t expect that but it made Bethel guffaw. He’d become especially cruel to me after we broke our mate bond.
“W – what?” I swiped at my cheeks as the next alpha continued to laugh. I wouldn’t fight didn’t mean I wanted to humiliate myself in that way.
“What the fuck is wrong with you, Lucien? Oh, so you want to see her naked?” Skylar boomed from behind us. I jerked away, Lucien’s hands falling from my face.
“Baby –“ Her yelling cut off his soft, simpering tone.
“Don’t baby me! Hold her, let’s get this over with!” Skylar’s jealousy saved me from humiliation but it made Lucien angry. He forced my head down by my neck, squeezing my neck with one hand while the other held my hands.
Bethel’s belt came down hard against my back forcing a gasp from me. The gasp caught in my throat as Lucien squeezed harder. He wanted me to die and it seemed he wanted it today. The belt came back again with Lucien continuing to squeeze the life out of me. But the third strike, I could not keep silent anymore. Choked words spilt from my mouth, falling with tears and a bit of saliva.
The belt came down faster and harder, Lucien squeezing my neck harder. My wolf whimpered, the physical pain getting to her as the men broke me.
“Enough,” Skylar commanded. Bethel didn’t stop at once. He brought the belt down three times more after that command. I’d become a mess by then. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t thrash, couldn’t beg or fight. They overpowered me as they liked and ripped me apart the way they liked.
Even after Lucien let go, I couldn’t raise myself from the table they bent me over. My body slid to the ground when my quivering legs couldn’t hold me up for much longer.
My back bled with my throat raw and my eyes were swollen. I gasped for air now that I could take as much as I needed while Bethel put on his belt and Lucien wiped his hands on my sheets.
“Next time, when you want to be unfortunate, make sure I’m nowhere near.” Skylar’s words came from a distance away, echoing faintly in my ringing ears. “You’re not only stupid, you’re also useless. Learn to stay in your lane.” She finished.
“To think they tried taking over.” Bethel laughed his loud obnoxious laughter. I curled into myself, tears sliding into my ears from the position I lay in.
“She has always wanted what I have. Nasty little thing.” Skylar clicked her tongue. “She deserves another beating just for bringing up bad memories.” I shut my eyes tight. I wouldn’t survive another beating. I wouldn’t.
“She wouldn’t make it through another beating. Look at her,” Lucien sneered. “She doesn’t deserve an easy death.”
I didn’t deserve any of this. Why did they make me pay for the sins of my people? I had done nothing to warrant this!
This was for the disrespect I dealt Skylar. How would I cope with the Alpha’s wrath when it came? I interrupted his speech and dared look him in the eye.
“Stay wretched.” Skylar crooned. She jabbed her boot into the side of my head in a hard kick that stole the light from my eyes.
‘Maybe today is the day I die’ Were my last thoughts as my world went black.