Tonight is the night. It’s finally the night I turn 20. Just 5 more minutes, and my husband, now ex-husband, of the past 2 years will learn the truth.
It’s too late to change the past. It’s too late to go back and fix all the wrongs I have had to endure in this forced marriage of the past 2 years.
He claimed he was searching for his mate; searching for the one he was fated to, while unknowingly married to her. Neglection, adultery, verbal and mental abuse are just a few of the things I’ve been forced to endure, but that all ends tonight.
The treaty agreement is breached. It has been two years of our marriage, and just like he and my uncle agreed, if no child was produced in 2 years, he would be free to divorce me and choose another. I never revealed to my uncle that the man he forced me on had never touched me. In the 2 years living in the coastal, castle-like packhouse, he has brought many women into his bedchambers, but none of them were ever me.
I knew. I knew the moment I stepped foot in the packhouse he was my mate.
I knew at our wedding, as my uncle, the Lycan ruler of the western realm, walked me down the aisle, when I laid eyes on Lachlan for the first time, I knew. I knew he was destined for me, but I was confused by the disgust on his face as he glared back down at me.
He didn’t feel it. Of course he didn’t. He was a Lycan, and I was only half. I was a hybrid, unknown to my uncle at the time, who thought my mother was impregnated by one of the countless men he used to force on her.
No, my father was not a Lycan, or even a shifter of the land. He was of the fairy realm, and the fae, all races of the fae, do not come into their magic until their 20th birthday, on the exact second of their birth.
Without my magic, he couldn’t detect me, but I detected him. He was fully adult by Lycan standards, so I knew the moment I caught his scent, and my Lycan's eyes saw his through the veil of our concealed magic. I knew, and my heart shattered millions of times in the last 2 years, every time he rejected me. Everytime he took a new woman to bed, which was often, I felt it. I felt the pains in my chest and the tearing of the Lycan beast resting inside me until even she came to detest the man we were forced to marry.
He only married me to appease my uncle, and form an alliance between our packs. My uncle offered me in place of his own daughter, because I was disposable; an orphan left in his stead, and he was saving his daughter for someone other than the Lycan ruler of the south, who rumor said was cruel and heartless.
The rumors were true. Though he was strong, and a sight to behold, I had not once experienced kindness from my husband. In the past few months especially, his cruelty knew no bounds.
He neglected me for the first year of our marriage, not even granting me an audience to speak with him and reveal what we were to beg him to stop. Stop taking women, and crushing my soul each and every time. After the first year, when I became numb to the pain, and could bear it and just grit my teeth through it, he began to show his face to me periodically, only to insult and belittle me. Calling me skinny, or ugly. He would insult the straw color of my hair or the way my skin stayed fair, even though I spent endless hours outside in the sun, walking alongside the beach as I dreamed of my freedom.
Just months ago, he started to watch me intently. If I spoke to anyone, he would storm my room later in the evening when I was all alone, berating me, calling me names and insulting me for being a w***e. It was no secret that my mother's sole purpose for my uncle was to reward his loyal men, and help when negotiating treaties and agreements for the pack. She was the sister of the alpha, but treated like a pack w***e.
He accused me of being like my mother, even if all I did was ask a worker to bring firewood to my room. I was forced to do everything for myself from that point on, and that included carrying firewood up the 4 flights of stairs to my drafty, heaterless room the last few months.
At least he never touched me. I became grateful for the lack of intimacy, viewing him as nothing more than dirt I wish to one day trample upon. I quietly took the torment and the belittling, never letting it break me. He took my hope of fated love, since Lycans, unlike werewolves, do not get a second chance mate. He took my hope of that, but that was all he had from me. My innocence and my pride remained intact for this satisfying moment.
I checked the clock, and saw I just had 2 minutes until the moment of my birth.
This morning, my husband paid me a final visit in my chambers. A visit I would be eternally grateful for.
He brought me the annulment papers. Having gone two years without an heir, it was finally time. The only words he uttered as he set the papers on the writing table in my meager bedchamber were, “Bring them tonight, signed, then leave my lands at once.”
With this I will be free.
After the clock strikes 7:02, I will be free to reject him, and I can finally live my life in peace.
I cross the marbled floor of the ballroom, where many of the pack are gathered before the run that commences every full moon. My bare feet make no sound as I pad towards my now ex-husband, who is speaking in whispers to his Beta, Nilo. Lachlan’s back is facing me, but Nilo sees my approach. He eyes my scantily dressed frame in confusion, then nods to Lacklan to turn to face me.
Lachlan’s eyes go wide momentarily as he takes in my appearance. I’m in nothing but a silk slip, wearing just the necklace my mother gave to me from my true father before she passed away. I did not want to take anything of Lachlan's or my uncle’s with me when I left, and even this slip would be left behind as I went.
I won’t need it. I won’t be needing clothes ever again if I can help it.
After the look of surprise subsides, agitation replaces it on Lachlan’s features.
“What the hell are you wearing, Lira?” he hissed.
I raised my chin in an act of defiance, the only one I have ever shown. I am done here. He can not hurt me anymore.
“Here,” I handed him the papers, then checked the clock on the wall again. I can feel a surge beneath my skin, as if my blood is rushing backwards and my heart is pulsing in a melodic rhythm. “It is signed. We are no longer married, though I can’t say the last two years were really a marriage at all.” 20 more seconds. I can feel the magic buzzing inside me, awakening for the first time.
Lachlan’s eyes ran down my body, then back up to my face, a confused look upon his face. “You don’t look ready to leave. I thought I made myself clear, Elelira. You are to-”
“One last thing before I go,” I smirked, looking back up at the clock, ignoring the growl that escaped him at my interruption.