Chapter 2


When I open my eyes, I find myself in the stables, laying on my back on my mattress with my thin and dirty blanket is covering my body. The scent and the neigh of the horses are familiar and comforting to me, as I have been sleeping in the stables for many years.

I am not sure for how long I have been unconscious because it is dark in the stable, and I know it is during the night.

My body throbs with pain, but after years of torture, the pain has become part of my life. But my life hasn't always been like this. There had been a time when I had a family, and I lived in a Rogue Community. There had been a time when I was not a slave or part of the Silver Pack. It's not a big pack; around a hundred werewolves live here. We live close to Târgoviște in Romania.

As I shift on the mattress, I wonder who brought me here because the last thing I remember is being in the kitchen, Alpha Max beating me until I blacked out.

I try to get to my left side, and a hiss of pain escapes my lips as I feel my ribs screaming in protest at my movements. I am sure that I have at least two cracked ribs—possibly three. After having my bones broken so many times, two cracked ribs are nothing. By tomorrow night, they will be healed.

Thunders sounds in the distance, and soon I scent the smell of rain. When I hear it falling on the roof of the stable, I am glad that Alpha Andrei, the former Alpha of the pack and Alpha Max's father, let me sleep in the stable because, in my first five years as a slave I slept in a dog kennel, because Alpha Max was scared I would run away. I did try to run once when I was fifteen, but I got caught an hour later. When I remember the torture I received that night after Alpha Andre caught me, I shiver in fear. I wasn't able to walk for two weeks. Ana and Mrs. Radu took care of me until I got well enough to walk again.

I move once more on the mattress, trying to get in a better position, when I see someone entering the stables. My whole body tenses, expecting to hear Alpha Max's voice at any second. Whoever entered the stables stops moving and looks at me.

I inhale as deeply as I can while my ribs scream in protest, and when I smell a familiar vanilla scent, I relax.

"Ana, what are you doing hiding in the shadows? And why are you here? It is raining outside!" I say in a raspy voice. Even talking hurts, and I feel like needles are stuck in my throat.

Ana start's moving again, and she is next to my mattress, she stops, puts an umbrella next to the wall, and kneels. She is wearing a hoodie and a pair of jeans and has a backpack with her. Her brown hair is tied in a ponytail.

"I wasn't sure you were awake," Ana tells me. "How are you feeling?"

"Like I have been tortured for a whole night," I say, looking at her face. Lightning illuminates the sky for a few moments, and I can see Ana's face. I frown when I see a bruise on her left cheek. "You are hurt. What happened?" I ask her.

Ana touched her cheek. "It is nothing. I was concerned about you earlier, and I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, so I tripped and hit a wall," she says fast.

"Ana, we have been friends for a long time. I know when you are lying," I tell her, looking into her brown eyes.

"It's nothing, alright?" she says and turns her attention to the backpack.

Ana has been my only friend since I was twelve. I know her better than she thinks. "Who hit you? Was it Alpha Max?" When she stiffens, I know I am right. It is one thing to hit me, a male, and an entirely different thing to hit a female. I am so mad because I know it happened because of me. "Tell me what happened," I tell her softly.

She closes her eyes and sighs. "When I entered the kitchen and saw you passed out and him kicking you in the ribs, I knew I had to do something. So, I tried to step between you and him, and he hit me with his elbow. I don't think he realized. Mikael and Sergei saw everything and stopped Alpha Max before he could hit me again. Mikael even had a few harsh words for him for hitting me," Ana explains.

Mikael is a Gamma, a teacher, and Ana's soulmate. But she didn't want to accept him because he treated me like anyone else. When she turned eighteen years old, three years ago, Mikael felt the bond between them. He tried to convince Ana to accept him. But she refused him, telling him she won't be the soulmate of someone that treats me poorly. So now he mostly ignores me. And spends most of his free time tagging behind Ana.

Another person who got hurt because of me. Every day I hate myself more and more.

"I am sorry you got hurt because of me," I tell her.

She takes some clothes from the backpack and puts them on the mattress next to me. "It is not your fault," she tells me softly. I know she is trying to comfort me, but no matter what she says, it is my fault. "Let me help you change," she tells me.

It takes me a few minutes to get in a sitting position. I try to unbutton my shirt, but my fingers shake.

"Let me," Ana says, and I let her help me.

Once my shirt is off, Ana helps me put on a clean t-shirt and a sweater. Then her hands go to my pants, but I stop her.

"I will change those," I tell her.

She snorts, "I have seen you naked more times than I can remember."

I bet she has because she helped more times than I can remember. But that doesn't mean I am going to let her take my pants off.

"What would Mikael say if he walked in and saw you helping me change into a pair of jeans?"

"Fuck Mikael!"

I shake my head in disapproval, "He is your soulmate, Ana."

The Moon Goddess blessed her children with only one soulmate per werewolf. Soulmates are usually a perfect match.

"I would rather have a companion than accept him."

"Who brought me here?" I ask, changing the subject.

"My father and me. My mother is blaming herself for what happened."

I close my eyes and try to inhale deeply as I can. My ribs protest, and a low hiss of pain escape my lips. Moments later, I open my eyes, look at her, and say, "She gave me food. Tell her it is not her fault that I got caught."

Ana nods, "I already told her that, but you know how she is." She bites her lower lip, "You have to escape."

Just thinking about escaping makes the hair from the back of my neck stand up. "You know I can't. The things they did to me that time, Ana. I don't think I can go through it once again."

"This time, it will be different," Ana tells me. "I will help you."

I shake my head, "I refuse to put you in danger!"

"Please, V! One of these days, he will kill you!"

I close my eyes and think about it. Death won't be such a bad idea. After all, I have died the moment I killed her. I should have died the same night as the Rogue Community that I was part of got destroyed by Alpha Andrei. But he kept me alive to torture me and punish me. And I deserve everything and so much more.

But to die and be with her and my family again is something I craved for so long.

"I don't care if he kills me. Actually, I hope he does," I say.

Ana punches my shoulder. "Don't you ever say that again!" she snaps at me. I grunt in pain, and Ana's eyes go wide with shock. "I am sorry!" She inhales deeply, "Listen to me! I have thought things over. We will escape on Alpha Max's birthday. I have been saving up money so we can start over in a new place, far away from here."


"Damn it, V! Twelve years have passed since then! How much longer are you going to punish yourself?"

Twelve years since I took her life. And because of me, so many innocents died that day. Even if I live a thousand years, it won't be enough to pay for my crimes.

It's pouring outside as I say, "All my life."

Lightning illuminates the sky while Ana takes some sandwiches from the backpack and gives it to me. "Eat," she tells me.

My stomach growls with hunger, but I am also angry at her for putting herself in danger like that.

"Are you crazy?" I ask. "What if anyone caught you sneaking in here and bringing food to me!"

"It's the middle of the night, V. Everyone is asleep."

Before I am even aware of what I am doing, I take one of the sandwiches with my right hand and bite it.

"Thank you for the food," I tell her and take another big bite.

"We are leaving on Alpha Max's birthday!" Ana says. I open my mouth to protest, but Ana keeps talking, "Please, V! I can't stand seeing you getting beat up day after day."

"Do you have any idea what he will do to me if he catches me trying to run?"

"All I know is what he is doing to you daily."

I finish eating the sandwich, and I already feel full. I give Ana the remainings one. "I can't eat another one."

She puts them in the backpack and looks at me, "Do you think I can sit next to you on the mattress?"

"Let me change my pants, and then you can crawl in with me," I say.

Ana rolls her eyes but stands and goes to look at her favorite horse. I unzip my pants, inhale as deep as possible, lift my hips and push my pants as low as possible while I look at Ana whispering something to the horse. I grit my teeth while I put the jeans on.

Ana returns minutes later and lays on the mattress next to me.

"Let me tell you my plan," Ana tells me.

I want to protest, but I feel so tired, so I let her speak.

I fall asleep listening to her soft voice.

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