Sold to the Billionaire Alpha

arranged marriage

I awoke in a cage, not a cell, a literal cage fashioned for some over-grown bird. The cage was in a dimly lit cellar. All around me were other girls in other cages. Most of them were sleeping or just unconscious, probably chloroformed just like I had been. I called to a red-haired, freckled girl near to me. She was one of the few who were awake.

“Hey! Do you know where we are?” I asked, trying not to dissolve into tears.

“In the holding bay,” she said in a tone that was much more knowledgable than I had expected.

“Do you know why we’re here?” I said, gripping the bars of my cage.

“For the auction,” the girl said matter-of-factly.

“I’m Orchid,” I said, hoping introducing myself would make her more willing to talk. She seemed to know a lot.

“Rose,” she said.

“We’re both flowers,” I said softly, finding common ground.

She smiled sadly. “We’ve been plucked,” she joked, reaching for humour in the darkest of times. I instantly liked her.

I smiled. “Hopefully we don’t wilt,” I said. I took a deep breath.

“Who would buy us?” I asked, afraid of the answer.

She looked at me strangely. She came closer. I noticed she had a thick silver collar or choker of some sort that seemed to be irritating the skin on her neck. Her eyes widened. She gasped. “You’re human,” she whispered, looking at my bare neck.

Sold to the Billionaire Alpha by Joanna J

Orchid is overworked and burnt out. She's a young doctor paying off student loans and her parents' debt. When her abusive boyfriend and her thankless job both replace her, she feels totally lost. She has mere seconds to feel this way though because mere moments later, she is abducted for the auction and sold to the highest bidder, the billionaire alpha who ordered her in the first place.

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Chapter 1: Heartbroken
Chapter 1: Heartbroken My heart shattered as I gazed at the photo. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I had left him because he abused me. Three years of endless insults. Every now and then there would be a physical altercation, depending on how drunk or high he was. I had finally had enough. I left him. He begged for me back but I refused. Just six weeks after I left, he was with another. The photo showed him snuggled up with a girl heavily plastered with makeup. I had been replaced. Why did I feel jealous? I left him. He abused drugs, alcohol and me thus he was certainly no prize. It was the way he showed her off. He had never done that with me. He had kept me hidden, saying if I tweaked my looks this way or that way then I would be stunning then he would claim me publicly then he would consider marrying me. I put my phone aside. The illuminated photo disappeared as the screen went black. I gazed at myself in the mirror. Was I the monster he professed me to be? My dark brown loose ringlets fell down to my mid-back. My hair had been the only thing he claimed to like about me or at least the only thing I remembered him ever complimenting. My fawn coloured skin had paled a bit, giving it a sallow look. My large brown eyes had dark circles underneath them. He had said I always looked afraid. Well, he scared me. How was I supposed to look? My mouth was small and pink with slightly full lips. I bit my lower lip. I was not looking forward to work the next day. How would I function? I was a doctor in the emergency department of a public hospital on the southern side of the Iris Isle, the island where I lived. I had started medical school at eighteen as was possible on our island, thus at twenty-five I was already qualified and working. Work was a blur. It was the final day of my six month contract. Iris Isle had been having financial difficulties for years and we were understaffed because the public hospital could not afford to hire more workers. I was called into the human resources department to be officially informed that my contract would not be renewed. I had expected this. I nodded resolutely and wished the secretary a good day. The tears could wait until I was alone in my room. I had amassed so much debt due to student loans. How would I repay my debts? My father’s gambling addiction had pushed me further into debt as I assisted him in paying off loan sharks. I was still made to work my final shift. It was dark when my shift ended. Lightning illuminated the hill that the hospital was perched on. I picked my way carefully down the hillside in the rain. Thunder boomed in my ears. I had my jacket on with my hood up. I could not risk walking on the road in the night with this black jacket less I be run over for lack of visibility. I slipped in the grass and slid the last few feet down the hill. My knees and palms hit the wet concrete of the pavement. I winced in pain. Cars rushed past. I was soaked. I had forgotten my umbrella at home. I ran along the pavement towards the taxi stand. The stand was empty. I silently swore. I waited in the rain for a car. A chill crept through me. I felt uneasy. I looked around. No one was there but I felt I was being watched. I pushed the feeling away, deeming it paranoia. A car stopped in front of me. The window was lowered to reveal a pair of cold, grey eyes so light they almost appeared white. They were only readily distinguishable as irises because the whites of the eyes were bloodshot. “Get in,” said a male voice. It was not a taxi, just a car driven by a stranger. Perhaps, it was the heartbreak, the crippling debt, the unemployment or just the rain, but whatever it was, something made me get into the car. It was cool in the vehicle. The car was brand new. The window was raised and the car door clicked shut, locking me in. The man with the bloodshot cold grey eyes had a crooked nose and thin mouth. His scraggly beard was flecked with white hairs although he did not look much older than thirty-five. He had very highly arched eyebrows giving him a constant surprised and wide-eyed look. He was balding, his thin black hairs combed over the spot to help hide it. Despite this, he kept his hair long. It was just beneath his shoulders. He wore a white T-shirt and blue jeans. He glanced at me. “You were easy to find,” he croaked. He laughed nervously. “What?” I said, goosebumps erupting over my skin. “Don’t bother causing a commotion or asking me endless questions!” He warned. I was silent. The car door was locked. He seemed thin enough for me to overpower. I was slender but fuller than him. He was definitely much taller than me. He looked about six feet tall, more than half a foot taller than me. I reached into the pocket of my scrubs. I had a blade there. We used them to cut stitches. I unwrapped it. He seemed to hear that impossibly soft sound even amidst the rain, thunder and the blowing of the car’s air conditioning. His eyes caught mine in the rearview mirror. “Don’t even think about it,” he said, narrowing his eyes. The downpour was so heavy I could scarcely see in front of us. We arrived at huge iron gates. My heart sank. It was now or never. I could not allow myself to go beyond those gates. Who knew what horrors awaited me? “Look out!” I shrieked as loudly and convincingly as I could muster. “What?” He yelped, mashing the breaks causing the car to come screeching to a halt. I stabbed him in the eye nearer to me with the tiny blade. Blood spurted from the socket. He let out a blood curdling scream. I launched myself at the controls on his side, pressing the button that unlocked all the doors. I heard the clicking of the locks opening and rushed out my door into the rain, slamming it behind me on the man’s outstretched fingers. He screamed again. I ran away from the iron gates not sure where I was. This area was so unfamiliar. We were in an affluent neighbourhood. The houses were far apart with neatly manicured lawns currently being battered by the heavy rains. Elegant flowerbeds were being reduced to streams of mud. I ran down the street as fast as I could. I spotted a guard booth. This was a gated community. I ran to it, alerting the sleeping guard. The man awoke with a start and literally snarled at me. I recoiled, shocked at how animalistic he was. He stared at me. “I need help,” I pleaded. “This man is trying to kidnap me.” The man with the grey eyes was running towards me. I spotted him in the distance, clutching his bleeding eye. The guard sprang out of his chair. I sighed in relief. There was nothing to be relieved about. The guard grabbed me. I screamed, thrashing about in his arms. He was a much sturdier man than my initial assailant. The grey eyed man reached us and took a cloth from his jeans’ pocket. He stuffed it in my face, muffling my cries. The smell of chloroform hit me and darkness enveloped me.

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