Chapter 2

2594 Words
The gentle sunlight, soft and diffuse, entered the big room as woven strands, free and united, bringing in the warmth of the day. The walls of the aristocratic room were painted in pastel lavender color, making the room look simple yet aesthetic. The soothing breeze blew the finest cotton curtains, bringing in the sweet scent of the blossoming flowers of the spring.   A young girl of around nineteen years of age was sleeping peacefully like a baby in her warm, cozy bed, enjoying the slight chilliness in the breeze.  The golden rays of the sun painted her pale ivory skin while her long, untied ink-black hair shone link the sea at night. In addition to her innocent-looking face, her long lashes cast shadows on her cheeks, making her look like an ethereal creature from some fairy tale.   "Alexina, my child, wake up."   A honey dripping melodious voice spoke, making the girl squirm in her sleep. Slowly she opened her big saucer eyes infused with dark brown iris to find a woman dressed in completely white poplin robes standing distant from her bed.  Hair tied into a long braid, she stood tall with a gentle aura around her.  Smiling gracefully, she spread her arms for a warm embrace.     "Mother!" Alexina beamed, almost jumping from her bed, running into her mother's arms. "I missed you so much." She hugged her mother tightly, afraid that the latter might disappear at any moment if she loosened her grip.   "I miss you too, my sweetheart." Breaking the hug, Alexina's mother lovingly implanted a kiss on her forehead.   "Mother, will you take me with you this time?" Alexina smiled like a little child, holding her mother's long, slender fingers.   "No, my dear. You are still too young to come with me," the older lady smiled, gently cupping her daughter's face. " Alexina, you have to brace yourself for the tough time ahead. You are about to face a lot of hardships. Don't give up no matter what happens. Remember, you are not some ordinary omega, and you are born for a special reason."   "What is the special reason?" Alexina pouted, tugging on her mother's long sleeves. "You never told me about it."   "You have to find it yourself; you are going to know about it soon. It's time to find your alpha, your soulmate." Alexina's mother let out a deep sigh as she gazed at her daughter. Ruffling her hair gently, she smiled. "Mother loves you so much, sweetheart."   "Alexina loves mother a lot too," Alexina giggled, putting her head on her mother's shoulder, snaking her hand around her mother's arm tightly. "I want us to stay together forever."   A sad smile appeared on her mother's lips. Putting her hand gently on her daughter's hand, she took off the latter's hand, making the latter pout.   "It's time to go, sweetheart. Take care of yourself. Your mother is always with you."   Before Alexina could understand the situation, her mother started to turn into white petals before disappearing slowly.   "Mother! No! wait! You cannot leave me like this," tears gushed down her cheeks as she saw her mother disappearing into thin air. “Mother, wait!” She was about to hold her mother’s disappearing hand but suddenly the latter disappeared in the blink of an eye. "MOTHER!"   "MOTHER!"   Alexina instantly opened her eyes. Panting as if she had run a marathon, she looked around only to find herself sitting alone in her cold bed while the harsh chilly wind mercilessly gushed into her dark, cold room, shaking her shiver. A drop of tear escaped from her eye while a sob escaped from her thin trembling lips upon remembering that she was left alone by her mother in this cruel world when she was just six years old.   Subconsciously she looked around. Her room looked nothing like what she saw in her dream. Instead, her room looked dark with dark brown painted walls, somewhat resembling a haunted room. The only difference was that her room had a few candelabra, lightening the room and some shabby furniture, making the room seem like the living place of a person instead of a creepy room.    Letting out a deep breath, she forced herself to cover her slender body with a warm woolen shawl while her long gown swept on the floor as she walked to the wooden table lifelessly, casting long shadows on the wall. Her untied long, ink-black hair fell just above her waist while a few strands of hair fell on her tired face. Her soft arched brows frowned as her eyes fell on the picture of her mother hung on the wall. Slowly she glanced at the simple purple stoned ring on the ring finger of her right hand. A sad smile spread on her lips upon reminiscing about the ring being the last gift from her mother.    "I again fell asleep while waiting for the stepmother to open the door. Mother, I am not happy at all; I am not living the way you wanted me to live. Nobody loves me here, not a single soul." Alexina sobbed as tears rolled down her soft cheeks, unable to hold back anymore. "Today, the duke was taken captive by Alastair Maynard, and that woman is blaming me for that. Why did you leave me alone when you knew the world has always been this cruel? Why didn't you take me with you? It's getting more and more painful with every passing day. If it's not because of you, then I would've been taken away by life by now." Crying, she slumped on the floor, cursing her fate.    Alexina Clarke's mother died while trying to protect her from a bloodthirsty vampire. She only knew that her father died when she was still a toddler, and she couldn't even remember his face. After her mother's death, she ended up at the orphanage where the daughters of the duke of Dralia saw her for the first time. They found the innocent Alexina pretty enough to bully her and wanted to adopt her.   Since they were the precious children of the duke, he never denied any wish or request of his daughters, spoiling them to the extent of torturing whoever they had wanted. As a result, Alexina got adopted. Initially, she was excited to entitle herself as the new member of the royal family of Dralia. But later, the harsh truth made its way, making her realize that her dreams turned into nightmares. She had been treated even worse than the servants. Her stepsisters used to bully her without any mercy, while her stepmother made her do all the chores. Adding more to her misery, they used to address her as jinx.   She was locked in her room by her stepmother after they had received the news of the Duke of Dralia being held captive by the heartless devil, holding her responsible for their misfortune. Poor Alexina had no other choice than to wait for the stepmother to open the door again.   Suddenly loud ear-splitting neighs of horses echoed, splitting the deadly silence of the area followed by the clopping noises of horse hooves, declaring the arrival of the Duke of Dralia. Alexina immediately rushed to the window to check it with her own eyes. Her eyes beamed upon witnessing the duke returning home without any serious injury. Except for a few scratches on his face, he looked fine. Even his entire army appeared intact. A frown appeared on her face when she realized that the Duke's face was dead serious- more like he was immersed in some deep thoughts or worried about something.   "He seems fine but did Alastair Maynard do something to him? He looks so bothered." Lips pressed together into a thin line, Alexina thought, " Alastair Maynard isn't someone who would casually leave a Duke without making a deal. Did he ask for something impossible?"   She was immersed in her deep thoughts when abruptly she heard the metallic clunk of unlocking the padlock followed by the sounds of opening the door.   "Madam..." Getting down from her bed, Alexina bowed without looking at the person who had just entered. "How is the Du-"   "You are going to get married tomorrow," The Duke's cold voice echoed as he entered the room, followed by the duchess.   "Huh?! A sudden marriage? With whom?" Alexina's jaws slacked upon hearing the unexpected news. She glanced at the dutchess, asking if she knew anything regarding the matter.   "With Alastair Maynard." The Duke replied, unbothered.   "But-"   "I didn't give you any choice; it's my decision." Cutting her words, the Duke added, gently messaging his bandaged palm. "That devil made a deal with us, saying that he will spare our lives if our daughter gets married to him."   "B-but my lord, I think sisters are more suitable for the King rather than me." Alexina blurted out nervously, afraid of getting used as a scapegoat.    "So, you want us to sacrifice my daughters and send them into the den of that heartless devil? If anyone is suitable for this sacrifice, then it's you!" The duchess almost screamed, making the poor girl flinch.   "But madam, that man won't go easy on us if he realizes that he is being tricked. He m-might completely d-destroy Dralia!" Alexina shuttered, biting her lower lip, unable to read the faces of the people standing in front of her.   "He won't understand until you open up to him. We have raised you for since last thirteen years, and instead of being grateful to us, you dare to talk against us! How ungrateful you can be, you leech!" Raising her hand the duchess was about to hit her when the duke stopped her.    "Hitting her won't work; it will only make the situation worse. Alastair Maynard shouldn't be suspicious of her. He shouldn't know that his bride isn't a royal, but some ordinary omega," the Duke spoke in a stoic voice devoid of any emotions, which declared that he didn't care even a bit if the girl gets killed in the hands of Alastair Maynard if she gets caught. "And you," pointing his finger at the omega, he glared. "Make sure to dress and behave like a royal tomorrow. If your secret comes out by any chance, you will be subjected to flaying. Keep that in your mind." His gaze turned into a cold murderous one, warning her not to dare to go against his words.   "Y-yes, m-my lord," Alexina shivered unconsciously upon hearing the word 'flaying.' "I-I won't make a-any mistake."   "That's better," lips curving upwards into an evil smirk, the duchess snickered. Sweeping her hair to a side, she followed the duke, walking out of the room.   No sooner had the royals left the room than the girl slumped on the floor. Her shoulders drooped while sobs filled the room. Never did she think that she had to face such a bizarre situation. Both the options would result in the same - death.   "Mother, why is this happening to me?! Whenever I plan on moving forward in my life, then something bad happens for sure, dragging me several steps back. It’s getting impossible to move forward. Why is it like that?" Alexina broke into tears, burying her face in her palms. "I thought of escaping from Dralia so that I can live in a much better way- the life you wanted me to live.  But see how cruel fate is. Each of my plans, my dreams, everything crumbled down right in front of my eyes. Even if I try my best, I can't do anything but surrender to the circumstances, preparing myself for the worst. It makes me feel so useless. Mother, what should I do now?”   No matter how much she shouted demanding answers, she could only hear each of her words got reflected against the rough walls, showing how lonely she was. The more she cried, the more she fell into the endless abyss of darkness - the abyss where cruel shadows of dark were waiting for her to feast on her. She could feel those shadows were trying to engulf her, devour her...but she couldn't even move her limb. She could feel all her energy drained up as if someone sucked up all her energy, her willpower.    Soon her sobs were replaced by hiccups while tears seemed to dry up. With her bloodshot eyes and puffy eyelids, she stared at the walls blankly, eyes devoid of any emotions. She couldn’t remember for how long she sitting like that. The cold breeze mercilessly grazed against her soft skin, forming goosebumps of her skin, making her shiver in cold. Soon her eyelids felt heavy, feeling all of her energy being sucked up by some invisible dark forces.   “I want to sleep; I want to sleep for a long time. I am so tired of all of this. This feels so suffocating.”   Resting her head against the cold wall, she closed her eyes, trying to escape from the harsh reality. Soon she nodded off. ------------------------------------------------- A sudden loud screech pulled Alexina out of her sleep. She immediately stood up upon spotting a huge black smoky owl flapping its wings at her window. Brows knitted into a deep frown, she rushed to the window.   “What are you doing here?” Whispering, Alexina glanced at her surrounding to check if she had any chances of getting caught. “Come in first!” Opening the window wide enough for the magical creature to enter, she almost pulled it inside.   A dark smoke surrounded the magical owl as it flapped its wings, before settling on the headboard of the bed. It stared at the girl with a pair of big lavender-colored glowing eyes, blinking them occasionally.   Alexina huffed, spreading her palm. Letting out some low hoots, the bird flapped its wings before placing a small pouch on her palm. It looked intently at the girl as if it was asking something. Chuckling, Alexina gently caressed the magical bird’s head, causing the latter to nuzzle into her palm.   “Good job!” Alexina smiled. “My heat is near. I should make the inhibitor as soon as possible.” Glancing at the owl, she sighed. “Now you need to leave sweetie before anyone finds you.”   Opening the window, she helped the bird to fly away. She stood at the window until the bird disappeared into the dark night sky. Letting out a deep breath, she gazed at her room. Her once emotionless, tired eyes seemed to sparkle with determination as if she had found a new reason to live. Lips curving upwards, into a smirk.   “How immature of me to think that I am lonely! I have my mother’s blessings, her teachings and her last present is with me to remind me that she is always there to protect me.” Her long slender fingers softly caressed the purple stone on her ring, feeling the flawlessly polished surface of the cold stone. “I've gone as far as I can on this path alone. I've learned how to walk alone, how to cope with and solve my problems alone. What's left is a form of loneliness that requires my confidence to solve. I am sure that I’ll survive this marriage.” Running her fingers through her long hair, she took a deep breath. “Alastair Maynard is his name, right? As far as I know, a man cannot be that much cruel to kill his bride. I want to see how heartless he can be.” ------------------------------------------------------------  
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