Chapter 4


Like most nights, nightmares haunt me. For fifteen years, night after night, I relive that day when I took her life. After that, I dream of being tortured by Alpha Max. His father was cruel, but Alpha Max is ten times crueler.

I wake up breathing hard, and I feel a body pressed to me, and I try to get away from whoever it is. A hiss of pain escapes my lips as I fall from the mattress.

"V? It's Ana!"

When I hear her voice, I relax. I know I am safe with her.

"Sorry," I mumble. "I had a nightmare."

I grit my teeth and crawl back on the mattress. When I am lying next to her, Ana asks me, "The dungeons?"

Between Ana and me, there are no secrets. She is the only one that hasn't treated me like a criminal. The only one that never harmed me. Her and her family.

"Yes," I say in a flat tone.

"Every time I remember what they did to you in there, my blood boils in anger!" Ana says.

Even if Ana is four years younger than me and was only eight years when I was brought into the pack. She was the only one that never accused me of criminal. For the last twelve years, she has been my best friend. She took care of me after long torture sessions, and I am sure she knows each scar I have on my body.

"And that's why I can't try to escape. I don't even dare think about it, Ana!"

"That's exactly why you have to escape. And I am coming with you, like it or not."

I shake my head because when Ana gets an idea, it is hard to convince her not to do it. "And do what? Live like rogues?"

"It is better than living in this pack! Imagine all the things we can do once we are far away from here. "

"Ana, you have a soulmate here! And I told you that I wouldn't try to escape. You know what happened the first time I tried to escape."

"I don't want Mikael. How many times do I have to tell you?" Ana says in an upset tone. "As I told you, we are going to run away. Even if I have to drug you and drag you far away from here, you won't change my mind!"

"You don't want Mikael, but you won't reject him either," I say. "And what about your family? You know Alpha Max will punish them if you run away with me."

"We have family in Paris. They will go there after Alpha Max's birthday."


She stands and looks at me with her chocolate eyes. "You have paid enough for your crime! If you are truly sorry, get free and help others. Do you think she would have wanted this life for you? She loved you just as much as you loved her!"

My chest hurts so much that I feel it will rip open, and I will bleed to death. I try to breathe, but the air feels like poison, and my lungs start to burn.

She was the best thing that happened to me. She was as gentle as a flower and the love of my life.

"Don't talk about her!" I say.

"It is time for you talk about her, V! Every time I bring up the subject, you refuse to talk about her."

I close my eyes, and memories of her flood me. Moments later, I open them.

From inside the prison I build for him, Derayu, my wolf, howls his pain.

"I can't talk about her, Ana. She was the girl I had always dreamed of, and I took her life. When I close my eyes, she is still with me, but when I open them, I relieve the moment I snapped her neck."

"It was an accident!" Ana protests.

"You weren't there, Ana!"

"It is true that I wasn't there, but I know you, V! You wouldn't hurt a fly!"

I inhale deeply, "Can we talk about something else?"

Ana looks at her watch, "I have to go, but remember what I told you. We are running away on Alpha's Max birthday. That's in five days!"

After Ana leaves, I remain on the mattress, thinking about what Ana said.

In the morning, my body still hurts, but I don't have the luxury to stay in bed and wait until I am healed.

I inhale deeply, and I stand. With each step I take, my ribs scream in protest. While I take care of the horses, I let my mind wander, and I end up thinking about her. My wolf tries to make a connection with me, but I push his to the back of my mind and make sure the walls I build around him are still in place. To be sure he won’t get free, I add another wall. I only hope that he never gets out of his prison because if he does, I don't know what he will do.

Once I finish feeding the horses, I cut wood and take it inside the Pack House. It's not that Alpha Max can't afford to reform it and change the fireplaces from the rooms with radiators, but he uses any excuse to make me work so hard until I am ready to pass out.

When I enter the kitchen, the smell of warm milk with cinnamon and freshly made bread makes my belly growl. Even if Ana gave me some sandwiches last night, I am hungry.

"Hungry, you filthy slave?" I hear the cold voice of Alpha Max coming from the middle of the kitchen.

I lower my head so that I won't look him in the eyes.

"N-n-no, A-al-alpha M-Max," I say in a submissive voice.

"Can you talk like a normal person? Your stuttering drives me crazy. What are you, retarded?"

"S-s-so-sorry, A-a-al-alpha," I stutter even more.

"You won't be getting any food for five days. And clean the dining room. I want it spotless because in five days it’s my birthday. If you make no mistakes during five days, I might give you something to eat on my birthday."

"T-thank y-you, A-alpha."

"Take the food to the dining room. The pack members are waiting for their breakfast."

Taking the breakfast makes me realize just how hungry I am. I am sure Alpha Max put me to bring food to the pack members because he knows how hungry I am. And he said I could eat in five days. I don't know how I will endure five days with no food if I already am so hungry. A few times, I ate grass and tree bark.

After taking the breakfast to the dining room, I go to clean the fireplaces in each room.

I am already done with the room of the Betas when Cristina comes in. She looks at me with disgust.

"Still here? Finish what you have to do and leave already. You stink, and I don't want the room to stink like the stable."

I don’t have access to a shower, and the only way for me to get clean is to use a bucket.

"I-I am s-so-sorry, I-I w-wi-will fi-finish im-immediately."

I try to hurry because I know that Cristina doesn't like when I stay too long in the room. When I finish cleaning the fireplace, I get up and accidentally hit the bucket I use to collect the ashes. I gasp when I see the ashes getting all over the fireplace and the floor.

"What the fuck did you do?" Cristina screams. "Look what a mess you did! You did it on purpose, didn't you?"

"I-i-it w-w-was a-an a-a-a-accident," I try to explain.

Why do I have to be so stupid? Now, I will get punished even more.

I kneel and start cleaning when Beta Stefan comes in.

"Look what this worm did! And he did it on purpose, too! There are ashes everywhere now," I hear Cristina complain.

Beta Stefan rushes to me and kicks me with his shoe in the stomach. This sends me on my back. I watch in horror how he takes his belt out.

I want to explain that it was an accident, but he hits me with the belt. I raise my hands to protect my face and head and wait for him to finish hitting me. I know he will stop once he gets tired.

"I want this to be spotless when I come back. If not, I will beat the shit out of you. Do you understand, you piece of trash?"

"Y-y-yes, B-be-beta S-Stefan."

"Come, Criss. Let this worm do his job."

I hear the door closing, and I know I am alone. The smell of my blood makes me sick. Ever since that day, I can't stand the smell of blood or the sight of it.

As I clean the ashes, I try to breathe through my mouth. I don't want to be here when Beta Stefan and Cristina come back.

In the hallway, I cross paths with Ana.

"V! What happened this time? Look at you! You are full of blood."

"Beta Stefan," I whisper, not wanting anyone else to hear me.

She grabs my hand, "Come with me.”

I let her lead me wherever she plans to take me.

To my shock, she takes me to her room, straight into the bathroom.

"Take your shirt off," she tells me.

I take my t-shirt off and sit on the edge of the bathtub. Ana takes a towel, gets it wet, and starts cleaning the blood. She gets closer to me until she sits between my legs.

“And you still refuse to run away?” Ana asks.

“We can’t live like rogues, Ana! I can, but you are a female, and you need the protection of a pack.”

Ana looks at me for a few moments while biting her bottom lip. She usually does that when she thinks.

“What if we change our names and find jobs in the Black Moon Pack?”

“You are crazy! That’s the pack of the Alpha Supreme! Do you have any idea what will happen to us if we are caught lying?”

Ana resumes cleaning me.

“Rogues or Black Moon Pack. You choose,” she says.

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