Inevitable Conclusions

love after marriage
kickass heroine

In a world that belonged to the werewolves, as an enslaved human, fate had never given Astrid anything she ever asked for; expect for when it comes to her love life it seems, because then fate decides be generous and give her more than anything she could ask for, literally.

It’s fair to say she is not a fan of this ‘fate’ thing...

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Chapter- One
Chapter- One The tracker on her wrist itches. Astrid has been wearing it for close to two years now, she should probably be used to it, besides she knows from experience that anything she does to the thing will only end up with her getting electrocuted, and that’s kind of even worse, so the itching it is. But the itching that Astrid can’t suffer at the moment is caused mostly due to her new found companion yapping away at her side and the absolute inability of the moron to take a hint that she doesn’t really give a damn about him, maybe also a little due to the fact she is stuck cleaning the dishes for the day, because dish duty was bad enough without the tracker glitching every five seconds, but mostly due to the moron though. “I don’t think you know who I am” he says when Astrid finally spells it out to him that she wasn’t interested, the knife she was currently cleaning might have enunciated her words a little. Well there was a lot of scoffing and over exaggerated grins thrown around before the guy bothered with actual words, but it was all the same when it came down to it. “Good, because I don’t think I want to know who you are” she brandishes the knife one more time before she has to move onto the rest of the utensils. She does know who he is though; in fact she had seen a lot of smug bastards like him running around trying to tell everyone else what to do, as if he was somehow less enslaved than the rest of them just because his parent or guardian had a better job than dish duty. Most would say the biggest defeat to the human species was when the werewolves won the war centuries ago and managed to enslave whatever populations of humans were left; Astrid was the rare few of the belief that their biggest defeat was when the werewolves managed to form separations even among the equally enslaved humans. Maybe the wolves weren’t the one to be blamed for that one though, enslaved or not most humans were d***s and she is sure it would have been one of them who managed to declare themselves greater than the other just because they sucked up to their werewolf owners a little. “That’s cute, but I am pretty sure you will be interested in me by the end of the day-” her companion drones on again. This particular moron was the lone son of the human head of household, the guy in check of all the slaves under the Vikram pack, the one responsible for stationing each of them in their respective duties and all that s**t. She recalls seeing him when she was brought by the Vikram pack, a nice, old, shabby looking man the last she remembers, she’s definitely met worse leech like head of households, “You should be careful though, one word to my father could ensure that you will be stuck with the werecubs for the next month” she hopes it’s the end of his threats, there is a small chorus of snickering followed along so she assumes it is. She sighs, takes her hand out of the pile of dirty dishes she was scrubbing and holds up her shackled wrists for the guy to see. The trackers are large, black and shaped like manacles, made out of some heavy metal and held tight to her wrist that she can never forget it’s there no matter how long it’s been. Her companion looks seriously startled and alarmed for a moment, as if he hadn’t quite expected to see it displayed out in the open, which is understandable as she didn’t really get it for her good behavior and social skills, most humans insisted on hiding it, out of shame or anger or whatever other refrained and pointless emotion they had about her enslavement and consequent sufferings. She never really got the point of it all. The manacles binding her were there for a reason, might as well use it for her own efficiency when the rare opportunity presented itself. “Do you know what this is?” her voice is calm, but she is pretty sure her exhaustion is obvious. “Trackers” the guy answers, thankfully without the teasing smiles and arrogance for ones. She knew her beloved shackles would get the job done. “Yes they are, glad to know you aren’t entirely stupid.- Now, I am assuming you haven’t seen a lot of these babies around because if you did I am sure you wouldn’t have bothered in the first place to try and piss me off” she spares him a patronizing smile, he blinks nervously, “So let me explain just what these things can do. For the first part, there is the constant stream of electricity with varying voltages which could theoretically even stop my heart, but the fun part is the heavy grade poison on this thing. You see, the second I step out of my given perimeters this thing will inject the said poison right into my veins and I’ll be dead within minutes. Now Buddy, what exactly do you think I must have done to get these guys attached to my limbs?” she asks again, still smiling easily at the way he looks seriously uncomfortable all of a sudden, all pretense of the cocky-moronic- guy seeming to disappear in seconds. “I-Uh-I don’t know-” Ah, he has finally started stuttering at the mentioning of her potential poisonous death. “I assumed you didn’t, there is usually at least one attempt at a werewolf’s life but I’ll spare you the gory details, but it sure as hell wasn’t because I was scared of getting bit by a bunch of rabid toddlers. You get that?” her eyes harden for the briefest of seconds. The guy looks too startled to say anything, most people didn’t dare mention murdering the werewolves in public or private company for that matter, far less actually insult their precious little animal babies, and the wolves had sharp hearing that secrecy wasn’t an easy concept. It seems it’s a tabooed topic within the Vikram slaves too because the whole of the kitchen stills to silence, but it is satisfying to watch her companion gape like a fish. “Jonah, why don’t you go help your father in the pantry, dear? I’ll take over here” the guy, Jonah apparently, is saved by another slave, this time a much older woman with strict lines on her face that portrayed clear signs of authority, nevertheless her words are soft when aimed at Jonah. It’s only at the mentioning that she is even reminded that Jonah was actually working in the kitchen alongside her rather than simply posturing at her. Jonah nods shakily, but he is quick to remove his apron and seemingly stumbles on his way out, Astrid waves at him as he leaves, Jonah doesn’t wave back even when he notes her eyes on him, Yep, super satisfying indeed. “So, you one of those radical types then?” if Astrid had hoped for some peace and quiet, it seemed she wasn’t getting it from her brand new companion either. Astrid does know this person though; she’d always seen the woman whenever she was assigned work in the kitchens. The woman was well aged with graying hair, the rest of the staff called her Mrs. Reynolds and seemingly adhered to her words when it came to the work in the kitchen, she seemed to have a more respectable sort of authority over the staff, one of deed rather than an officiated title by the wolves “What do you people call yourself? - The freedom fighter? The human hunters? I can’t even remember all those silly names” she goes on, her eyes barely lifting from the plate she was scrubbing. “For the time being, I think Astrid would do” she chooses to say. Mrs. Reynolds doesn’t look amused, but Astrid still smiles before getting back to work. In another world where things didn’t happen the way it did Astrid presumes she would be one of the ‘radical types’ Mrs. Reynolds spoke not so fondly of, the ones who dared to speak up and fight for the freedom they were seemingly never going to get, sure she would have most likely been killed or ended up being tortured in some underground prison of the wolves, but it seems like the kind of thing she would do if she cared enough, but she doesn’t, so for the time being the few radicalized humans ought to do without her. “I’ve seen those things before, on prisoners waiting for life sentence and humans that tried kill the wares and all - It’s one of the bad ones isn’t it?” Mrs. Reynolds goes on, undeterred by her smartass answers. “Yep, the instant death ones” Astrid agrees and even mimes a minor poisoned death, Mrs. Reynolds is once again not amused by Astrid’s impromptu acting, but the kid standing opposite to her pretending not to be eavesdropping chuckles a little. She didn’t exaggerate a single word of what she said to Jonah, she never really felt the need to, the manacles on her wrists and ankles proved every word she could hope to make up. “You ought to be grateful, to the pack and the Alpha, we took you in- I know how many houses you’ve been to, never seen someone whose been sold as much as you were in all my years. If it weren’t for the Vikram pack god knows where you’d have ended up, good thing you were cheap and we were understaffed” Mrs. Reynolds goes on. The thing is it’s not just god that knew where she would have ended up, she knew well enough about where exactly unwanted slaves go, and considering she’s been though sixteen packs in the last seven years and had the manacles as physical proof of how good of a slave she was she fell right on top of the unwanted list, the owners of the s*x brothels had been sniffing around since the eighth time she had been returned back to the market to be auctioned off. But she wasn’t quite as grateful to go praising around the wolves either, despite what Mrs. Reynolds believes it wasn’t her cheapness or the lack of house staff that caused her to be brought by the Vikram pack, but rather the sleazy perverted beta werewolf that had seized her up and down like fresh meet, she had seen the look in his eyes and by this point of her life she knew exactly what it meant. “I’ll get right on my thank you note as soon as I am done with the dishes” Astrid smiles, she would rather not startle poor Mrs. Reynolds with the starling truths of being a young, harmed and used human in the modern world of werewolves, she seems like she’s been with the pack for decades, barely been sold, it would be cruel to take away her simple notions from her. “And I’d watch that mouth if I were you, or you’ll be sold again before you even know and we both know you don’t want that” Mrs. Reynolds warns, Astrid smiles and nods along to the woman’s ‘advice’ to stay with the pack. It must be nice, to not know, to not worry, the obliviousness, it must be nice but once again it’s something she couldn’t quite afford. She thinks that would be enough interactions with the staff for the rest of the day, It’s only been a few weeks since she was brought by the Vikram pack, it was enough time to socialize and make friends but the manacles on her wrist and ankles usually kept everyone away, she was tagged dangerous, perilously troublesome, most likely to get killed or sold again, and socializing with her mend they would be related to her in one of those potential conclusions. Astrid didn’t really mind, sure she intended to stay a while this time but she couldn’t afford friends either, so for the time being she will take scaring poor Jonah and the rest of the oblivious children of the human slaves and letting dear Mrs. Reynolds think she was making a ‘proper’ human slave out of a ‘radicalized troublemaker’. She is proved wrong as there is the same eavesdropping kid with wide eyes waiting for her by the time she is done with her work. He seems to be around eight or nine, but most humans were undernourished and skinny so she could never really tell, but the look on his face clearly stated that he was doing something he was not supposed to by seeking her out. He follows her around for the rest of the evening and only approaches her after a good five minutes of making sure there were no wolves or other humans around. “Did you really kill a werewolf?” is the inquisitive question that had driven the young boy to seek her out despite his guardians’ warnings, she is pretty sure she had noticed his mom starring daggers into the back of her head the previous day. She didn’t kill anyone though, if anybody, human or wolf kills another werewolf the pack has the right to vengeance, absolute unadulterated vengeance anyway the pack wants. There might be some werewolves who could survive the wrath of a whole pack but a human would be dead in seconds had the human harmed a single hair on a werewolf, but she presumes in a secluded pack such as the Vikram pack the boy wouldn’t know all that, especially if he was lucky enough to be brought up with his family. “I’ve wanted to a couple of times, but not really” she finds herself admitting the truth rather than agreeing onto the boy’s speculations to scare him away further. “Then why do you have it?” he asks bravely. “Well I do have this habit of pissing of people left and right, but it’s mostly because I ran away a lot and there was not enough wolves in a pack to track me down” she winks at the boy, he looks confused and maybe a little marveled but he nods along a second later, as if he just decided something important. “My name is Jeremy” he introduces himself, “and I think it is kind of cool that you have it, it means you did something important and everyone else are just cowards, they are all cowards sometimes” he says sternly, it sounds like he had thought about it a lot . She is sure she had heard stronger and more precarious confessions of being a secretly radical human, usually followed by some maniac human slave trying to get back at the werewolves stupidly, but it is still strange coming from someone as young as Jeremy, it’s moments like this she is reminded of the fact the tracker is seen as a mark of brave defiance among some. But the truth is, It’s neither defiance nor a warning to the next pack that owns her, when it comes down to it, it simply means she is a flight risks the wolves are sick of dealing with, it is a death sentence, one she is not quite ready to take without finding what she has been looking for all these years. That reminds her that she should probably stop corrupting young innocent souls, the kid would be much better off with his parents rather than hiding away from natural predators the wolves were. “I can assure you it’s not as cool when someone can kill you any second- Head back to your camp kid, I gotta check tomorrow’s duty and try and get some sleep” she says, yawning mid-way without even meaning to, uh, look at that she is tired. She’s getting conditioned to the place, in her last pack they barely let the slaves sleep an hour or so, perverted beta wolf at her back or not she’s gotta stick around for a while, she didn’t really have a lot of options left anymore, and with the Mating Festivals she really needed to be in the capitol city. Jeremy thankfully leaves without further interference or inquisitive questions into her life, but he looked interested enough that she already expected to see him around more often, not a very good decision on part of the kid but she is sure his parents would take care of that. Each night the household Masters assigns duty for the next day, mostly after incurring with the wolves but unless it directly involved the wolves, the werewolves of Vikram pack didn’t really care about who worked where as long as the humans did their job and tended to the werewolves’ wishes. Certain packs had large number of slaves under them that the werewolf masters barely even knew any of the human slaves to bother assigning their schedules, so it was just easier to assign a human to do it, hence the position of a ‘head of household’. Certain jobs could be interchanged such as cleaning or gardening, but the one Astrid had for the next week was a job that didn’t fall under that category. “The cubs? Seriously?” she asks after she is done swearing at the piece of paper that has her assigned with rearing the children werewolves. She almost curses Jonah before she recalls that the guy was too frightened to actually do s**t, no this was her own twisted fate of luck. When the humans were sold off in auctions there was usually a list of their skills given to all potential buyers, some asshole pack had added ‘child rearing’ onto her list to get her sold off quickly when she got a little too wild for them. The issue was that werewolf children were little bitches most of the time, the werewolves don’t gain complete control over their wolf until puberty, so the kids were uncontrollable, annoying, irritating, clingy and pompous as hell, but she assumes that was the case with most children but werewolf kids, the cubs, were also rabidly bite-y and violent most of the time that even their parents didn’t want to spent time with them. So they needed babysitters, and humans could be easy collateral damage, the slaves were expendable. She’s heard of humans who actually died due to werecub attacks. It’s not the worst job out there for a human slave, and from the way the perverted beta was staring at her she knew just what those entailed, but running after the monstrous cubs were its own hell, the cubs had the free reign to do whatever they want and they would be protected under the werewolf law, but if a single hair on them was harmed deliberately or not the whole pack had the right to make the human suffer. Its high risk and even the human with the best motherly instincts came home with a s**t load of bites. In the beginning when she first got her trackers installed she’d assumed the wolves would take that as a warning and wouldn’t assign her anywhere near their precious children, but babysitters for their cubs were apparently in high demand that they would even risk the presumed ‘werewolf killer’ walk them around. “It’s a bunch of the older kids for tomorrow, all above twelve the last I know” Mrs. Reynolds tells her when she finds Astrid glaring at the paper, “You’re probably going to be taking them to the Mating Festivals for the week, you won’t believe how young they take mates these days” she informs. The Mating Festivals is the yearly congregation of werewolves all across the country so they can meet their presumed ‘mates’ and breed up the population once again. “Repopulation- The Wolves worked hard and fast to build their numbers when humans did have the upper hand, those tiny cubs turned to ruthless betas tearing out our throats- that’s how they won the war!- We shoulda’ seen it coming” she’s heard an old man, a slave in one of the earlier packs she has been at rant over and over again deliriously whenever the great wars were mentioned. He died before Astrid was sold again, but yet his words were precise in a way. In the early 1700s when the wars struck out between human and werewolves, werewolves were the obvious minority even with all their supernaturally granted strength, health and speed. The werewolves preach on about how humans were the first ones to attack against the wolves, and the rare humans who dares to speak these days in turn blames the wolves, but long story short the wolves won the Great War that extended over a decade by solely growing in numbers and killing of whatever population of humans until humans became the minority. Eight centuries later, even when most of the human population that remained was enslaved and controlled by the wolves, the werewolves still haven’t quite stopped breeding like bunnies. She didn’t know much about werewolf dynamics, but having as many kids as possible was apparently a norm, their super healing enabled healthy continuous pregnancies, it also made sure werewolf death rate were slow, werewolves only died in excruciating circumstances or out of old age when the healing actually starts failing. A comparatively small pack for the werewolf community had greater than at least 20 members and growing steadily, meaning more babies for the human slaves to get tortured by when assigned to be their babysitterchew toy. The Mating Festivals usually lasted for a week, where all the eligible and single werewolves traveled to a particular point, usually one of the major cities. This year the Festival was meant to last for the whole month as the crowned heirs was yet to take a mate. Conducted in the Capitol City, the ceremony was said to be the biggest one so far. But Beyond everything else, the Mating Festival is the reason she’s actually here. The packs from all across the world itself travel so far out of their territory, some packs only send their eligible members, some only the alphas, while some packs came as a whole, only leaving a couple of betas behind such as the Vikram pack, but most importantly to Astrid, most packs actually bothered to bring their slaves with them. The Mating Festivals were the largest congregation of wolves, which in turn also made it the largest gathering of their human slaves too, and that’s where Astrid had wanted to be for years now, and now that she finally was at the center of a Mating Festival under a pack she couldn’t screw this up. “Awesome! I’ll take it” she says with a wide smile, her genuine happiness has Mrs. Reynolds looking confused and suspicious at her, as if the lady isn’t sure whether Astrid is being sarcastic or not. She isn’t being sarcastic for what it matters, maybe for the first time in a while her smile doesn’t hide any farces. It’s a novel concept that even Astrid is mildly surprised. “It’s the rest of the kids you should worry about, the toddlers, you’ll have to take them running in the forest most of the time, just try not to anger them- but I am sure a hotshot like you ought to be just fine” it’s a warning, assurance, compliment and an insult all in one that Astrid doesn’t even know how to answer. The one thing she does know is that she is not going to fine, even with her minor moment of happiness, even if there is a small hint of light at the end of the torturous tunnel she’s been stuck in for seven years, she hasn’t been fine for so long that she doesn’t even know what that’s supposed to feel like anymore…

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