I wake up in the cold of winter, and my breath fogs up the attic window. I slowly sit up, trying not to disturb my wounds. I stand and stare at the broken mirror in front of me.
My white dress, not so white anymore, is covered with grime, dust and dirt. The edges are tattered with the odd rip, and the material is thin in places, and has over time, frayed.
My eyes are an unusual bright silver and blue. My hair used to be white, almost platinum blonde, but it has been years since I have had the luxury of using soap in my hair, so now it looks ash blonde.
Freezing, I grab the only other piece of clothing I have, and wear it over the top of my dress. It is a tatty old cardigan with no buttons, so I hold the front of it closed with my hands, which are shaking from the cold.
The sound of birds outside my window captures my attention, and I turn my head to look out the window at the birds, hopping around in the fresh snow. It’s beautiful and calming to watch but does not bring me any warmth.
I am about to speak for the first time in years. I approach Alpha Tate and ask him for a blanket, and some warmer clothes. The whole pack freeze in shock at my words as most have never heard me speak.
‘Please. I might freeze to death one of these nights. Just one blanket, or warmer clothes, is all I ask of you,’ I beg.
Alpha Tate is twenty-two, and mateless. He is handsome, with light brown hair, and brown eyes. He is masculine and six foot tall.
He stands, stomps over to me, and holds me up with his hand, wrapped around my neck. He stares deeply into my bright silver and blue eyes. My hands are on his hand, trying to loosen his grip. I can't breathe, as he yells in my face; his breath smells like cheese.
‘You dare ask favours of me, Hope? After we already let you sleep in the attic, and eat our leftovers? You are the pack slave and nothing more, which means you get nothing more!’ He yells, and throws me across the floor. I whimper in pain.
‘I'm sorry. I won’t ask again. Please forgive me,’ I say, keeping my eyes on the floor. Alpha Tate scoffs, walks back to his plate, lifts it up, and walks over to me.
‘It seems Hope is hungry!’ He says cruelly, and tips the remnants of his dinner over my head, and a warm liquid drips down my face. I look at the sauce dripping onto the floor in front of me. The room roars with laughter, and I dare not move.
‘I think she is still hungry,’ he chuckles. ‘Anyone else want to give her something to eat?’ He asks, and the pack members throw scraps of food at me.
A soft-boiled potato hits my head. I keep my eyes down on the ground, not wanting anyone to see the tears I’m holding back.
‘Get out of my sight!’ Alpha Tate shouts, and I stand up and race out of the room and down the hallway.
Instead of running back to my room, I run to the forest to my favourite spot. Although I’m half frozen, I step into the lake, and wash all the food and sauce from my hair and body. As soon as I’m done, I run back to the pack house completely drenched, and sneak back upstairs to the attic.
I remove my wet cardigan and dress, squeeze the water out of them, and hang them over a broken chair to dry.
I curl up naked on my old mattress in the corner of the room and fall asleep. Not long after, I’m woken to the door being kicked open.
Startled, I sit up and Beta Sam is glaring at me. His expression quickly changes to a smirk as he stares at my naked body.
I quickly cross my arms to cover my breasts, and curl my legs in closer to my body to hide my lady parts.
Beta Sam quietly closes the door behind him and stares at me. He slowly steps towards me, where I’m huddled in the corner, keeping my eyes on the floor. I shiver from the cold and from the fear of what is about to happen.
‘Stand up, Hope,’ he says, quietly.
Standing, I cover my lower half with one hand, and my breasts with the other.
‘Alpha Tate sent me here to make sure I punish you properly,’ he says, forcefully moving my arms and holding them still, so he can have a good look at my naked flesh. There is instant desire in his eyes and he licks his lips.
‘You’re a slave, but your body is sexy,’ he says, pulling me closer against him.
He lowers his head, breathes in my scent, and forces me up against the wall. He touches my face and runs a finger down my lips, as his other hand tries to touch my core.
I bite down on his finger as hard as I can, and don’t let go. I taste his blood in my mouth; it drips down my chin.
‘You f*****g b***h! You f*****g w***e!’ He screams, and then punches me in the stomach with his good hand.
Falling to the floor, I hunch over, holding my stomach, and watch him tear a strip off his shirt, and wrap it around his finger to stop the bleeding. He glares at me and kicks my legs and ribs, before storming off, yelling.
‘You’ll pay for that!’ He snarls.
Letting out a breath I’m holding in, I collapse onto my mattress, in shock at what just happened, and what I have just done.
Alpha is going to be mad when he hears about this! My wolf, Storm, says.
What was I supposed to do? I couldn't let him touch me. Only our mate can. I say.
You’re right. We just have to hang in here for a few more days until we’re eighteen and hopefully our mate will find us and take us away.
What if my mate doesn't like me? I ask Storm.
Our mate will love us. You’ll see! Storm says, excitedly.
I rub my sore ribs and head downstairs to prepare breakfast for the pack. I put a pot of porridge on the stove.
While the porridge boils, I set the table with bowls, spoons and cups, and give the porridge a stir. I collect the jug of juice from the fridge and fill all the cups on the table.
Hearing the pack members talking, I quickly put porridge in all the bowls before dashing back upstairs before any of the pack members see me.
If I’m still down here while they eat, they become angry; especially Alpha Tate. They say my presence makes them sick and they can’t eat with me around, because I’m so repulsive.
I worry about how Alpha Tate will punish me for biting his Beta's finger. I want to stay out of everyone's way today.
Normally I’d return to the kitchen an hour after serving breakfast to clean up, but I purposely wait an extra half an hour, so the coast is clear.
The kitchen is cleaned quicker than usual. I’m able to scrape a few spoonfuls of porridge for myself.
After preparing lunch, I place the plates of food on the table, and quickly run back to the attic, but I bang into someone on the way.
‘I'm so sorry,’ I whisper, looking at the ground.
‘That's what you said yesterday,’ Alpha Tate says. He grabs my face with his hand, forcing me to look at him. He squints into my eyes, and glares.
‘Why did you bite Beta Sam's finger?’ He asks. My eyes start to well. I try to look away but he yanks my face back towards him.
‘Answer me!’ He growls.
‘I—he, um, tried to touch me,’ I whisper. Alpha Tate smiles and pushes me backwards.
‘I don't know why he’d want to touch a slave. But if he wants to have his way with you, let him,’ he says, and I burst into tears, and run past him, into the attic.
Storm, what are we going to do if Beta Sam comes back up here?
Maybe we should run away? Storm replies.
We have nowhere to go and we would freeze to death, for sure, on our first night! I say.
Tomorrow, we turn eighteen. Let's get through tonight, in case we find our mate tomorrow. Storm says.
Storm, I'm really nervous about tomorrow. I have a really bad feeling. I whisper.