Chapter 2

819 Words
Alpha Jacob has a disturbing nightly routine. He visits my room at two a.m., the first time I naively followed, thinking he needed something. That's until we ended up in the basement—the soundproof basement. I screamed until my throat went raw as he inflicted pain beyond my worst nightmares, each time inching closer to the brink of death. Death, however, was an elusive solace. I tried to escape once, but he found me, and Susan paid the price. What he did to her was unimaginable. He violated her while I watched, helpless. In my desperation, I pledged my eternal compliance if he'd just spare her. He did, but under one condition—our silence. Who would believe us even if we spoke up? No one. Even now, my nights are punctuated by his brutal visits. The number 'twenty' etched in my mind, the amount of lashes I endure. The stinging burn of a cigarette on my skin. Beatings with no discernible reason. I came to the Blooddiamond Pack at the tender age of twelve, orphaned by the rogues and hunters my parents died protecting me from. "Run!" my father's last words echoed as I fled. The pack's Alpha welcomed me, and I thought I'd found a savior. I believed he would shield me from the evils of the world—that's what Alphas do, right? Protect their own. But I was different—I hadn't shifted, and I never would. "Promise me," my mother's words resonate, "you will never shift, never reveal your true self. There are people who would kill for that knowledge. Stay human." A promise I intended to keep. When my thirteenth year came and went without the expected shift, I became an outcast. But the promise I'd made compelled me to bear the pain. One early morning at 4 a.m., I could no longer resist. I leaped out of the attic window, somehow surviving the fall, and ran until my legs gave way. Pain wracked my body as bones cracked and skin stretched, my agonized screams lost in the emptiness of the night. And when the shift finally happened, it was liberating. It was joy, a feeling I'd forgotten since my parents' demise. That day, I walked back to the pack house, a sense of pride swelling in my chest after shifting back to my human form. The aftermath of my shift had left a scorch mark on the ground, a tangible proof of my difference—and I reveled in it. Yet, it was a secret, one no one could ever uncover. "Are you even listening to me? Did you even notice the ice pack I put on your arm?" Susan's voice pulled me out of my reverie, eliciting a gentle smile from me. She could never know my secret. Strangely, Alpha Jacob could delve into any pack member's thoughts, yet mine remained impenetrable to him. There were no protective walls around my mind, it was bare, and still, he was denied access. "Sorry," I offered an apologetic mumble, earning an eyeroll from her. "Let's go for a run, okay? We'll quickly clean this place up and then head out," she proposed, to which I readily nodded. Despite my inability to shift openly, the mere mention of shifting brought a thrill I savored. One day, I'd shift when I had the strength to defend myself and Susan. On that day, I'd assert myself and prove to everyone that Selina Chance was not to be trifled with. The striking of the clock's hands at two a.m. did nothing to quell my tense anticipation. Alpha Jacob hadn't shown up yet, and a wave of worry washed over me. And then, breaking the deafening silence, the door creaked open, causing me to jump. Alpha Jacob, the 28-year-old leader of our pack, stood at the threshold. I watched as a smirk danced on his lips, taking delight in my silent vigil—not out of longing, but out of the desperate hope that he'd leave me in peace tonight. His physical attractiveness was undeniable, his blonde hair shimmering under the light I was instructed to leave on—a beacon signaling my dreaded wait. His blue eyes roved over my body slowly, lingering on places he had no right to. He often seemed on the verge of crossing a line he'd never crossed before, but something always held him back, a restraint for which I was grateful. "Come on," he commanded, his voice breaking the silence. I obediently nodded, keeping my gaze firmly fixed on my hands—eye contact with an Alpha was a taboo. With a heavy heart, I rose to my feet and trailed after him down the stairs. The house was shrouded in silence, as per the curfew; everyone was to be in their rooms by midnight. No one ever dared to defy the rule, the potential consequences too grave to risk.
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