Chapter  - The Taking
The wind rustled through the trees and straight through my fur as I perched my head back to enjoy it. Today was the last day I would be free, it was my last day as a rouge. My wolf howled into the sky in despair, being in a pack wasn't for us.
Tonight, was the blood moon. The packs were calling it the taking. Each rogue had to go to a pack and pledge their allegiance by midnight to an Alpha, they had to become a member, or they would be hunted and killed by morning. Rogues were drawing too much attention from the humans; it was getting dangerous for the packs, so they were getting rid of the threat.
My ears twitched as a twig snapped behind me, my head turned to the side listening. Another wolf was here. Turning slowly, I snarled at the black wolf, but it only changed into a man.
"Easy rogue." He coaxed holding his hands up. "I'm simply the messenger."
His brown eyes turned to pity, and I knew why he was here. I had been brought up by humans, they hated me, and I was simply taken in by them because I was a pay check but when I got my wolf I left, I ran away and never looked back.
I thought I was going to find the people like me but in the last year I found out who I was, a dirty secret that my parents couldn't afford to let out. I was a stain to them, one they wanted rid of.
"Your father has asked me to pass a message along," I nodded my large head waiting. "He has asked you not pledge to a pack and simply let fate take it's course. You have had seventeen years; he has advised that is more than you should have ever been given."
I swallowed the growl down, the anger racing through my veins. You think I would have been used to the rejection by now, it was all I had had my whole life but each time the knife just dug deeper creating a pain that I hated.
"Nod if you understand rogue."
I nodded my large wolf head watching him walk away. A few metres into the distance he turned and ran back to his pack.
'I hate them all.' Jess, my wolf seethed.
'Me too.' I linked back.
Not one wolf we had met had been kind to us, not one. It was a horrible world I found myself in and the loneliness was suffocating. If it wasn't for Jess I wouldn't have been strong enough to survive.
She was my angel.
'You think too highly of me.' She laughed in my mind.
'Or you think too lowly of yourself.' I remarked back shutting the link off before she could respond, she hated when I did that.
I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of dying. I just didn't have it in me. I may be a dirty mistake, but I wasn't just going to disappear. I would pledge to a pack to survive because that was about the only thing I was good at...surviving.
They didn't have to know.
It was getting dark, the sky dulling with each second. I ran towards the River pack, it was far away enough that I wouldn't get caught. My wolf bolted taking us to where we needed to be. The ground below us went quickly, the trees thickening the further we got. I stopped at the boundary of the land pacing back and forth.
This wasn't easy, it was making my wolf nauseous. Wolves were pack animals by nature, but we had become our own little pack, just the two of us. It was safer and we knew we could trust each other.
There were people in the distance watching as I paced. They couldn't come for me, tonight was a rogue's free pass, well at least until midnight.
As I looked up into the sky the moon had risen, the blood red light giving a deathly feel to the night. I swallowed thickly as I turned to my human. That was the one stipulation. You had to enter as a human. The only problem was that meant I was n***d.
Taking a deep breath, I once again looked at the moon then straight ahead. Taking one step forward I passed the barrier.
"I'm here to pledge." I stated in an even tone knowing that they would hear me, even with the distance between us, their wolves gave them that power.
As they walked towards me my heart galloped in my chest. My arms were grabbed as I was dragged forward with them.
"Where am I going?" I whispered trying to sound braver than I felt.
"To the Alpha to pledge, you're our first tonight." They sounded menacing.
"Lucky me." I sighed.
The Alpha of the River Pack had a reputation, and it wasn't a good one, he was well known for killing rogues, he hated them.
I was dragged into what I assumed to be the pack house and up the wooden stairs. The two men's grips were tight, achingly so but I didn't dare say a thing, I knew better. Stopping in front of a door I knew the Alpha was behind it, the power from him was almost suffocating.
They chapped and we waited.
The large oak door was opened, and I was pushed inside. Stepping forward I tried to hide myself as best I could. Being in front of an Alpha was intimidating enough without being n***d. His presence was heavy.
He was looking out his window, his back facing me but as I looked over to him it tensed, his animal growling in his throat. I frowned; he really did hate rogues. I was captured by his green eyes as his gaze fell to mine. He was the most handsome man I had ever seen, like a photoshopped picture.
"Alpha." I ducked my head and gaze away from him in respect, my animal leading me through instinct.
"Look at me little one."
My eyes flicked to his as the breath stunted in my throat. We stared at each other for way longer than we should have.
"What age are you?"
"Seventeen, Eighteen in three months." I whispered sounding as terrified as I felt.
"You were supposed to die here tonight on this very floor," I gasped at his words. "But it seems to be your lucky day." He mused.
Taking his t-shirt off he handed it to me. He was tanned and muscled and everything an Alpha should be. I pulled the shirt over my head covering myself.
"That was your plan, to kill every rogue who came to pledge?" I asked in shock.
"Yes," Was his simple response as he went to sit at his desk? "Rogues are a cancer to us."
"What changed your mind?" I was surprised he was letting me openly ask questions.
My Wolf wanted to bolt yet seemed in awe at the same time. She never acted like this, and it was making me nervous.
"You'll find out in three months."
"Three months?" I frowned out loud.
Realisation was a b***h.
I stumbled back in shock shaking my head. This couldn't be happening. I was supposed to come here and lay low not become the centre of attention.
"No." I begged.
"Yes, mate. Don't worry, I'm not exactly thrilled to have a rogue as my mate either, but you are to give me a pup to take over my pack, so I need you when you come of age."
"I will not pledge to you; you can't make me stay here." I felt like the breath wasn't getting into my lungs anymore.
"No, you will not pledge because you came here to survive not be loyal. I will allow you to pledge when you have shown your loyalty and only then, also every member of this pack has been alerted not to let you leave."
They said that a blood moon always came with consequences, and I should have listened. My heart ached in pain with the fact that if this man was my mate, it was just another disappointment because I was clearly only a baby machine to him.
I had heard the stories from other rogues about finding your mate, they had always made it sound like this special amazing thing that would complete you yet standing here I just felt hollow.
"You can take the room, to the right of this one." He dismissed. "Do as you wish with it."
"Don't worry, I'm used to being a disappointment." I sighed.
His eyes flicked to mine; the green was almost luminous. I just shook my head leaving him there because any minute I was going to cry and I wouldn't let him see that, he wouldn't see me as weak.