Chapter 1 - Wanted

2067 Words
~~~~~ Book 2 of The Rogue Beginnings Series ~~~~~ April I have been wanted practically all my life. Not wanted because I was loved - although maybe once that was true, many years ago - I was wanted because of what I was. A true born Alpha female. Had I still had a pack, I would have led it one day. But now? Now I run. I never stay anywhere long enough to be found. I know I'm still hunted, he'll stop at nothing till he finds me, I know he will. So my home is the wilds and I live as a solitary rogue, constantly on the move. It wasn't always like this, I once had a home, I had a family, I had a pack...I was safe. It was becoming harder to remember them, my parents, with each year that passed. If it wasn't for the small picture I still had of them, I may have forgotten most of their features. I inherited my mother's appearance; I had a round, heart shaped face, a slender straight nose and full naturally deep red lips. Her hair and eyes were difficult features to forget though, vibrant blood-red waves that almost looked unreal and her pale, ice blue eyes were both identical to my own. I knew I must've inherited my height from my father, I stood around 6'1. I remember him seeming like a giant next to my 6 year old frame, he had rich brown hair and dark blue eyes. He was Alpha Henry Brooker and my mother was Luna Emma Brooker, our pack - the White Leaf pack - was small but cared for. We didn't strive for power, or wealth, we were content with simple comforts, as long as our pack members had what they needed, it was enough. I don't remember the exact date, but I do remember the events leading up to it when I was 6 years old. The night before a man had come to our home, a man I was instantly terrified of. ~~~~ 15 years ago It was just before bed and daddy was reading me a bedtime story, I always loved to sit in his lap as he read to me. He would always do the voices of each character and make me laugh. He suddenly stopped reading and told me to stay in my room. He looked different, angry. I didn't know what I did to get in trouble, I did sneak those 2 cookies that were meant to go to the pack kitchen, maybe that's why he was mad at me. I heard shouting downstairs, but I couldn't hear what they were saying or who it was. What if daddy was shouting because of me? I needed to tell him I was sorry. He and mommy always told me, no matter, what to tell the truth and to look after the pack and I didn't do that. I crept out of my room and downstairs, there were a lot of men, some I recognised, some I didn't. My mommy looked like she was crying, I hope she wasn't crying because I stole the cookies. My daddy was shouting at a big, scary man telling him to get out. I tugged on my mom's skirt "mommy?" My mom looked down in surprise "April?! What are you doing down here?" she said as she tried to hide me behind her. Hearing her voice, the scary man looked at me and I didn't like his face or the smile he wore. "Don't you look at her! Get out!" my dad said, I'd never seen him so mad. "You'll be sorry you turned me down Henry" the man looked back at me "I'll be seeing you real soon little April" the scary man said as he walked out of the door. My mom picked me up and ran upstairs with me to her bedroom, holding me tight. Daddy wasn't far behind her. "I told you to stay in your room, April. Why didn't you listen?" dad asked, I couldn't tell if he was still angry. His eyes looked black so I think he was. I was sat on my mom's lap "I came down to say sorry, I heard you shouting and I didn't want to be in trouble anymore." "Why would you be in trouble sweetheart?" my mom asked. "I stole 2 cookies that we baked today, that's why you were shouting and why daddy wouldn't finish our story?" "Oh sweetheart" my mom laughed as she cried "I made extra for you to take, I know what you're like. You're not very subtle." "Princess, we could never be angry with you, you're too honest" my dad stroked my cheek. "I was angry with the man you saw tonight. He wanted to take you from us, to give you to his son. I'll never, ever let anyone take you...I promise." ~~~~ But it was a promise he couldn't keep. The following night the man came back, with his entire pack of warriors. Although I escaped that night, that man took everything from me. He slaughtered every member of my pack. My father kept them back so as to give my mother and I a chance to run. My mother fell to her knees in pain as she felt the mate bond break as my dad was killed. She begged me to run and to never look back, to run as long and as far as I could. So I did. I wasn't like most wolves, I shifted that night. I don't even remember shifting, but I knew I had as another voice in my mind appeared that took over and told us to trust her, my wolf August. Maybe it was a survival instinct? I'd heard of wolves gaining their abilities early in a life or death situation. What was also odd is I could fully suppress my aura and scent. As an alpha female I would naturally be able to do this but for a short duration only. But still to this day at 21, I could fully suppress them indefinitely at will. Again, maybe it was a survival instinct or a natural byproduct of my unnaturally early shift. Another oddity was I had never been through a heat. Once we she-wolves gained our wolf, we would go through a heat twice a year and would be the only time we could become pregnant. Technically because I shifted at 6, I should have had many heats and periods by now and I hadn't had one. I tried not to worry as it was a massive boon to helping me hide, my pheromones would never give me away. So to shift at 6 and not even remember it was not only unheard of, but it left me with no clue as to how truly different I was. Wolves would normally shift when they reached maturity around 18-21, with more powerful ranked wolves like alphas and betas shifting as early as 16 and weaker wolves like omegas shifting - if they had a physical form - as late as 22. I had woken up afterwards in a pack in Texas. I was found by their patrol and feigned having no memory of how I'd gotten there. Which was actually true, I had no memory - even now - of how I had run from Montana to Texas. 3 days had passed from me fleeing my pack and being found and I had no single memory of any of it, even my wolf couldn't remember. I had been found naked - as my clothes were ripped because of my shift - with just my backpack my mom had packed hurriedly with some clothes and a tiny, family picture. I had then been taken to the orphanage of the Red Shield pack that found me. It was run by two wonderful she-wolves, Nina and Lillian that were almost like second mothers to me. They cared for and loved each pup in their care as though they were their own. And like everything else in my life they were taken from me and left in flames. The man found me again when I was 12. Alpha Nicholas Firth. He wanted me as a mate to his son, Hunter. I was to be his chosen mate and to produce pure blooded Alpha pups that would secure his packs power and status. I had been held for 5 years till I finally found my opportunity to escape. That's why I move constantly, or the consequences will be me being used as a breeding mare for a spoiled Alpha till I drop dead. ---------- The weather was quite fine today. The sun was up and there was a warmth still clinging to the air in mid-autumn. I had come across a gorge with a large rock face, this would do to stash my backpack while I hunted. I hadn't eaten in 3 days and I was becoming a little desperate. I moved in my human form as I could suppress my scent and aura this way, in my wolf form it was tricky to keep it up. I picked up the scent of rabbits, it wouldn't fill me but it would certainly do. I followed the scent, moving swiftly and silently. As I moved I could smell the scent markers denoting a pack border...shit. This was the last thing I needed...but my meal was so close. I stood listening, I heard nothing. There couldn't be any patrols near, I could sneak in, get these rabbits and leave before being found. My wolf was angsty and uncomfortable 'something wants us to go in there further...I think our hunger is making us want dangerous things' August warned. 'I know, but we've had a really bad string of luck with food. There's no human town for miles. We're going to starve if we don't get this prey' I replied. I pressed on and quickly wished I hadn't. 3 sets of footsteps were approaching, I hid down behind the roots of a large, upturned tree. It was 3 men joking a little on patrol, they seemed unaware of my presence. One of them suddenly stopped. "Wait! There, a fresh track mark. That's not one of us" one spoke out. "It's not small or large, so it could be a man or a woman, but it's fresh, they can't be far" another said. "There's only one, it's highly unlikely it's our pack pups messing around out here" the last said. Fuck...they were good and smart. "Fan out, it's weird I can't pick up a scent, this might be dangerous. Link the leaders we might need the trackers" one spoke again. Well double fuck...I'm fast but can I actually out run and out manoeuvre a whole team of trackers? I've done it before, but these seem extremely well trained. At full run I'm only 30 minutes from the border and 1 hour from my bag, I could do this. Footsteps were approaching me. I needed to move and now. The footsteps suddenly stopped, the entire forest became deathly silent. Two pairs of hands grabbed me without warning. "It's a she-wolf. You're a rogue?" one addressed me. "Are you alone, why are you here trespassing?" the third in front of me said. I couldn't have them take me, Hunter and Nicholas might find me via a pack report sent out. And this entire pack would be in jeopardy. These guards weren't being violent towards me, they were just doing their job. I didn't want innocents dying for me, that had happened far too often already. So I did the only thing I could. I fought back to escape. I launched a quick, sharp kick to the groin of the man in front of me, sending him instantly to the ground in pain. At the same time I dropped my weight bringing the two holding me by the arms crashing together and then sent a kick into the back of the one on my left sending him over the other, both sprawling to the ground. I turned and ran with everything I had. I heard howls ahead of me, cutting me off from my path to my bag, I changed direction with my way now blocked. More howls went up around me. Triple f**k, now I was being hunted...I'm never eating rabbit ever again.
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