Charity lay on the floor of her room in a crumpled heap, her sobs had long since tailed off to slow dry heaves. She had promised herself years before that she would never let them see her cry, never let them know of her pain, as they relished in it, it drove them to greater and greater heights of cruelty.
Her mother had died when Charity was only 5, leaving her heartbroken father to try and raise her alone, after a few years he had felt that she needed the love and support of a mother figure and had remarried to a local widow who had 2 children of her own. At the beginning, her stepmother Aurora was covert about her hatred toward Charity, only belittling her when her father was out of earshot, but once her father passed away in her early teens she was left to suffer the constant cruelty of Aurora and her children Bartholomew and Rebecca. Treated as nothing more than an unpaid slave she was beaten and ridiculed until she was a mere broken version of herself.
The door of her room suddenly swung open hitting the wall with a loud bang, the forbidding silhouette of her stepmother filled the doorway. sneering at the dried tear stains on her face, Aurora snapped 'get your things together quickly, and be downstairs ready to leave in 10 minutes'
'Where am I going?' stammered Charity, suddenly fearful, though this life was nothing but humiliation and pain, it was her home, and the thought of being made to leave filled her with dread.
Aurora looked down at Charity for a few minutes before saying 'after a long LONG search, I've finally managed to find someone who is willing to take you off my hands, You are to be married, they will be here shortly to collect you, now move' she ordered as she let a grim smile cross her face whilst she looked down at Charity's shocked face before turning on her heel and marching out of the door.
Charity lay on the floor whimpering, anything that made her stepmother smile with regards to her could never be a good thing. Knowing better than to keep her stepmother waiting, Charity quickly grabbed the few items she had and stuffed them in a small split backpack she found under her bed.
Taking a last look around the small bare room that had been hers, devoid of anything but a bed and a broken set of drawers, she lifted the backpack onto her shoulders and opened the door making her way downstairs to the front door where a car stood waited.
Upon stepping outside she noticed her step-siblings staring at her with obvious glee, 'do you know where I'm going?' she asked them quietly, careful not to let her stepmother hear. Rebecca cackled 'oh, you are going to LOVE your new home' she grinned sadistically, 'you are going to be married to the son of the Alpha of the Silver Cross Pack.' Her grinned widened as she watched the colour drain from Charity's face, she knew, as did everyone, of the Silver Cross pack, the stories of their violent murders of those that opposed them were whispered around kingdoms as far as you could travel. Greatly feared by all and she was being handed to them like a lamb to slaughter.
Charity looked around as her stepmother emerged from the house, she ran to her 'please mother, please, don't send me to the Silver Cross' she begged, grabbing hold of Auroras dress in desperation. Aurora's disdain was evident 'unhand me this instant' she hissed, 'you will go to the Silver Cross pack, and you will w***e yourself out in any way that Prince Aaron desires, The Alpha has paid a reasonable price for your worthless body and you will go and do exactly as you are told. They can w***e you out to the pack, slave you, beat you, kill you, whatever, I don't care, you will no longer be my problem now get in the car.'
Shakily Charity clambered into the car and jumped as the door was slammed behind her. The driver started the engine and made his way down the driveway away from everything she'd ever known and toward a future filled with fear and strangers.