You Wouldn't Dare (#1) *COMPLETE*

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Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Khaos – Seven Years Old

“He’s a pathetic, worthless dog, keep him locked out of my sight!” I covered my mouth as I tried to silence the sobs that were wracking my frail body. Once again, I had failed to please my dad, and he was making his displeasure well known. Goddess knew I tried my best, but the regime laid out for me was too much.

“What about his food, Alpha? He hasn’t eaten all day.”

“Let him starve. He’ll eat when he earns his keep, and not a moment sooner!” The door slammed behind them both, leaving me in complete darkness. I crawled over to my makeshift bed, in a desperate attempt to get some comfort.

Once upon a time, there had been a beautiful, huge bed that occupied most of this room. It truly was fit for a prince. However, that had been one of the first things to go as a punishment. A bed like that was fit for an Alpha King, not a worthless mutt like me. I remember clearly what had happened - My dad had ordered his soldiers to deliver fifty lashes of silver to my back, preventing me from being able to heal, and then forced me to burn the beautiful bedding and comfort blankets that the pack members had made me. All because I had lost the training fight that afternoon.

I had been five years old, and the fight had been against a fully-fledged warrior who had no problem knocking me about.

A blow to my stomach had cracked three ribs, pierced one of my lungs and all but broken my arm with the way I landed on the floor. That hadn’t mattered to anyone but me. No one rushed out with sympathy. Instead, I was punished for not being able to protect myself and therefore unable to protect the pack.

The other warriors had sneered at me as my dad spat on the ground next to me. He wouldn’t tolerate a son that was weak, that was too lazy to stand up and protect his pack. I was ungrateful for the luxury I was growing up in; I was taking it all for granted. So, they burned the bed, along with anything else that brought me comfort as I slept.

I pulled the thin, worn-out sheet across my body and curled up in a ball on the hard, wooden floor. There wasn’t even a carpet to offer me warmth. A small cry escaped me before I could stop it as another pang of hunger hit me like a brick. I hadn’t eaten today; I was never entitled to breakfast as I had earned no food that early. I had missed both lunch and dinner as I attended my training schedule.

Today they ordered me to complete the obstacle course designed to test agility and strength. I’d failed at the first hurdle, my arm still bent at a funny angle from the bone that hadn’t healed correctly. If I could shift into my wolf, all would be fine, but the silver collar on my throat prevented him from even comforting me, never mind healing the various wounds on my body.

Because of this, food would not be coming today. My father had backhanded me, splitting my lip open as he told me I had humiliated him, that he expected better of me.

I was completely alone in this world. The pack was under strict orders not to speak to me, some would even spit on me as I passed. I had given up ever attempting to speak to my mother; she had long ago made her displeasure with me well known. I sent a silent prayer to the Moon Goddess for better days to come, but I knew deep down that everyone was right- I was cursed and things would only get worse for me.

Khaos – Eight Years Old

I was supposed to be in a council meeting learning matters of the state and familiarising myself with the various alliances and enemies that made up the werewolf world, but surprise, surprise, that had been cancelled. My dad had received a message from his latest girlfriend, and he was happy to accommodate her request. I stood outside his room, not moving a muscle as he had instructed me, hearing the awful sounds coming through the door behind me.

“Where is your father, you pathetic mutt?” I kept my eyes to the ground as my mother approached, having long ago learnt not to look her in the eye. The scar running from the inside of my wrist to my elbow was all the reminder I needed. “Well?! I asked you a question, boy!” She grabbed me by my shoulders and shook me, causing my teeth to rattle.

“I- he’s...” I spluttered, not knowing how to answer. The truth would get me punished. She could smell a lie a mile off, and not answering at all was not an option. I felt blood rush into my mouth as she backhanded me across my face.

“He’s in there, isn’t he?! With one of his whores?!” She screamed, digging her claws into my arm.

“Mummy, please, you’re hurting m--”

“You’ve no idea what pain is, you fucking brat. Come with me,” she demanded.

“But father said I wasn’t to leave; he’ll be angry when he notices I’m not there.” I desperately tried to pull myself out of her grip as she dragged me down the hallway. She spun around and grabbed my head, smashing it against the wall. I sank to the floor, clutching my temples as my nose bled.

“Fine! Stay with your father! You always took his side, always happy to cover up his disgusting habits and filthy sluts. There’s nothing left for me here, nothing...” her voice trailed off as she rounded the corner, leaving me alone to pick myself up and dust myself off. I went straight back to the doorway, taking up my earlier stance, and tried my best to forget the entire thing happened.

I was between a rock and a hard place – damned if I did, and damned if I didn’t.

Well, what a turn of events. The unwanted Alpha was damned, I thought to myself sarcastically.

Was anyone even surprised?

Khaos – Eleven Years Old

I have a friend!

For the first time in my life, I have a friend who likes me for me! I never for a moment felt as though I had to pretend to be anything that I wasn’t. She had looked at my scars, my horrible disfigurations that I was so ashamed of, and told me they made me unique. I don’t know if it’s possible to fall in love with someone so quickly, I don’t even know if this is love. I don’t exactly have much experience to draw on, but I do know I want her to stay in my life.

Her family visited today as her older brother is looking for his mate, so obviously, the entire Alpha family was there for their arrival.

I stood proudly as my mother hugged me close to her side and they dressed me in clean, fitting clothing for the first time that I could remember. I remembered my training and kept my back straight, my gaze focused straight ahead. I would do my parents proud.

I still wore the collar around my neck, but my father would always tell people it’s because my wolf was unpredictable, and our friends never questioned this. Who would dare defy an Alpha like my dad? As scary as he was, I was in awe of him. Everyone who met him respected him.

I saw the daughter instantly; she wasn’t a beauty by any means with her wild, curly hair, her mouth full of braces, her nose bent out of shape, but she gave the most beautiful, friendly smile that had ever been bestowed on me. I knew at that moment that she was something special, that she would shape my life in a way that I could never have imagined.

As we had guests, they permitted me a small bit of freedom and I spent the day with the girl, soon finding out her name was Louisa and she was fourteen.

She gave me my first ever kiss and told me she hoped she had an Alpha mate as strong as me when she was older. I had grown embarrassed and tried to move away from her, but she had shuffled closer, promising that she was my friend, that she would never hurt me. She ran her fingers along the scar along my forearm and told me better days were ahead, I just had to trust her.

All day she would make excuses to touch me, wanting to be close to me, and I couldn’t take the stupid grin off my face the entire time. Our fathers had been busy with talks of some fight or other, an ambush they were planning on an enemy attack, and we had been free to swim and play all afternoon.

Louisa proudly displayed her body and refused to allow me to skulk around in the shadows, as was my usual way. In such a short amount of time, she brought me out of my shell and gave me some belief in myself.

When our parents called us to dress for dinner, she didn’t back away from me like I had expected. She linked her hand with mine and walked to the packhouse with me, happy to be by my side. My heart had soared, and I already hated the thought of being apart from her whilst we washed up and prepared for the meal between our two families.

******************

I stood in front of my mirror as I dressed for dinner, for the first time taking in my appearance, trying to see myself as Louisa would have seen me.

It wasn’t the prettiest of sights.

My arm had still not healed, my face still held the tinge of faded bruises, and my smile was crooked from the teeth that hadn’t aligned correctly because of the constant punches to my jaw. Louisa had a stunning smile. I knew her braces made her feel self-conscious, but to me; she was perfect. I wanted to be perfect for her.

I was practising the best way to smile without drawing attention to my teeth when the door flew open. Before I could react, I was kicked in the stomach with a force that had me falling back into the mirror, glass stabbing through my back as I crashed to the floor on top of it.

“What the fuck did you do to Louisa?” My dad roared, raining blow after blow down on me as I curled up to protect myself.

“N-nothing father, I promise! Please!” I begged, starting to cry as I tried to figure out what hurt the most. He showed me no mercy, kicking me in my gut before he grabbed my shirt and brought his face close to mine, spitting his words at me.

“Liar! She’s told us you kissed her! That you swam together and forced your dirty hands on her! She bears a handprint on her chest! A handprint very much the fucking size of yours! She’s untouched Khaos you foolish fucking bastard! For years she’s been betrothed to the Alpha son of a remarkably close alliance and he wanted her as pure as fucking possible, and you’ve ruined it!” He threw me away from him and stomped down on my back, forcing the shards of glass to penetrate me further.

“I didn’t! She kissed me, father, she kissed me!”

He hauled me up, and I stood before him on shaky legs, sobbing loudly and openly.

“We’ll see about that!” He dragged me out of the room, taking me straight to Louisa’s father, who glared at me. I was pushed to my knees in front of him and instinctively I bowed my head in respect to him, trying hard not to let him see the tears pooling in my eyes or the trembles that wracked my body. How had this gone so wrong, so quick? Where was Louisa? She could make this right, she would make them stop, I knew it. She would explain it all.

“This! This is the worthless mutt that has defiled my daughter?” I finally saw Louisa behind him, her face streaked with tears, and I pleaded with my eyes to get her to tell the truth. She shook her head slightly, moving to stand further behind her father, refusing to look my way.

She let out a heart-breaking sob, clutching at his sleeve and he wrapped an arm around her, tucking her head into his chest to protect her.

Her father took a deep breath, speaking in a calmer tone now that Louisa was wrapped up against him, “you do understand, Drake, that this will ruin the planned choice mating I had for my daughter? Her fiancé won’t want her now, he’s as jealous as they come. He wanted his mate completely untouched. It’s why he never wanted to find his true mate, knowing he would have no control over her previous lovers.”

He took a deep breath as his temper rose, “I’ve spoken to Louisa and she would be happy to be mated to your son once the time comes. She made the very reasonable point that your pack is not only closer but you’re also stronger, bigger in numbers and have a lot more wealth. My daughter has millions in her name, it makes me comfortable to know her chosen mate would bring the same wealth to the mating.”

My head spun as I realised the game that had been played.

Louisa hadn’t ever wanted to be my friend, she had played her part well, wanting only to secure herself a wealthy mate and stronger pack to reign over as Luna. The mate her father picked out couldn’t offer her everything that she would get as my mate.

Even if I was the rejected heir, I was the only choice my father had, and she knew that. She was a wolf with ambitions, and it didn’t take a genius to figure out that my dad hated my very existence. She could play this any number of ways, each one leaving her the victor.

She gave me a nasty grin, her eyes scanning over my entire body and even without my wolf I knew her thoughts- she saw me as weak and therefore easily manipulated. She thought she could be my mate in name only, free to live her life as she wished, and that is something she definitely would not have been able to do with her father’s option for a mate. What could I possibly do to stop her? I was worthless, isn’t that what I had always been taught?

I didn’t have to say a word; they decided there and then that Louisa would be my chosen mate. Her father would handle her fiancé, but my father would foot the bill to pay them off and stop them from seeking revenge. I would pay him back with my blood and tears. He hadn’t said that out loud, but I had played my part long enough to know my fate.

As for Louisa, she would move into our pack on her eighteenth and from now up until then, she would be heavily guarded to ensure she did not meet her true mate. The minute I turned eighteen, we would complete the mating and secure the next Alpha and Luna. I hung my head, quietly accepting my lot in life. It was out of my control anyway.

Khaos – Fourteen Years Old

Louisa was coming to visit. She had been here more and more lately for one reason or another. I hardly ever saw her. She would stay with my parents, planning the mating ceremony and learning the ins and outs of our pack dynamic.

Her cackling laughter would ring out, especially whenever she was around my father. She walked around as though she already owned the place, her eyes scanning the contents of the packhouse as though she was making a mental itinerary of its valuables.

Whenever we were in each other’s company, she would look at me with scorn, distaste written over her face. My mother had filled her in on my history, telling her how bad I was, how I was too disgusting and unworthy of love. It was the same old story.

When she had first started visiting three years ago, she had at least put up a pretence, smiling whenever we were in the company of other wolves. She soon realised she needn’t bother. Even lowly Omegas would spit on me as I walked past. Why should she have to act as though she was over the moon by this? She played her part well; as far as anyone else was concerned, I had molested her and now she was subject to the ultimate humiliation - to live as the mate of the worthless dog heir. What could I possibly amount to?

I was fourteen years old and still the same size I had been at ten. All my peers towered over me. I was lucky to get one meal a day, and even then, it wasn’t really edible, whereas every other young male in this pack was adored, given nothing but the best.

There was one thing that had changed about me. My looks. And not for the better. My left eye was permanently closed; a careless warrior had gotten carried away when dealing out his punishment and a whip had caused me to go blind, leaving a nasty-looking scar over my eyelid. I had no use of one of my hands; the fingers had been snapped during an interrogation (supposedly as a training technique to see how I would handle being tortured for information) and like everything else, they hadn’t been set properly and hadn’t healed as they should have. I walked with a noticeable limp from all the damage caused to my legs over the years, and my back had a slight hump from The Cage.

The Cage had recently become a favourite punishment of my fathers. It was a tiny metal box that I would be forced into for hours on end. It had two air holes at the top, spikes on the sides and the bottom was one giant razor, so every move I made cut into my flesh and left me bleeding in agony for however long I was in there.

In order to fit, I had to sit with my knees bent under my chin and my head bent over, sitting up as curled up as possible, wrapping my arms around my legs to stop them from sliding. I had been in The Cage more times than I could count - for looking in my father’s direction, for not cleaning out the dog cages thoroughly enough, losing fights, failing schoolwork, sleeping too late- I could write a list as long as my arm.

If I had my wolf, I could heal most of my body and not feel half as rotten as I did every day, but I still wasn’t permitted to bond with him yet. If ever I dared to ask about him, I would be punished twice over. I had been told that he was just as deformed as I was, that he was unstable and disturbed. I had once summoned up the courage to ask how they could possibly know this if I had never been able to set my wolf free.

It was the first and last time I had asked. As soon as the words had left my mouth, I had been dragged to the courtyard and my dad had ordered the warriors to strip me naked and whip me. If I passed out from the pain, they were instructed to throw water on me and revive me, beginning the punishment from scratch. I had learnt to keep my big mouth shut.

I finished getting ready and went to my father’s room so he could escort me to dinner. My parents expected me to be here every night at seven, and together we would go to the dining hall. I would stand behind him as he ate, both of us listening to the other wolves as they remarked on my training for the day, and the results of this would determine whether I ate when everyone else was done. Nine times out of ten, I didn’t get food. No matter how hard I fought, how much I applied myself in classes, the effort I put in, the other wolves would always say I was useless, spoiled, and pampered, ungrateful for my blessings. Some could even deliver the punishments themselves if they were particularly put out or felt slighted personally by my actions.

I took up position outside the doorway, frowning to myself as the minutes ticked by and my father didn’t show. Something was wrong.

My dad had a schedule that worked like clockwork - I should know, I had been punished enough times for breaking this, even by seconds. He liked his life to be an ordered structure from one thing to the next.

He said that it helped his warriors know where he was, so that if he was ever late, they knew something was wrong and they could sound the alarm, letting the pack know that we were more than likely under attack. I think it was because he was a control freak. Not that I would dare to utter that out loud.

I knocked on my father’s door, shrinking back as his Beta answered, a smug grin slashing over his mouth.

“Is- is my father ready?”

“Is that the time already, young Khaos? Go see for yourself...” I scowled as I passed him, finding the whole situation unnerving. I had never been allowed in here. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, warning me to leave and leave fast. If only I could.

I heard a woman crying as I crossed the living quarters, heading for the bedroom. I swallowed down the fear, ignoring the sweat that had broken out across my body.

“Father?” I called out as I knocked on the door. I could smell something, something strong and earthy, almost metallic. I knocked again, harder this time. I heard another scream, this one muffled.

I went to turn the handle.

“What the fuck are you all doing?” I jumped back at the angry sound of my mother’s voice. “Where is your father?” She demanded, pushing me to the side as she flung the door open. Both of us gasped at the scene laid out before us.

My father and a warrior were kneeling on the bed, a woman in between them. They hadn’t even seemed to notice the intrusion, too immersed in their sick game. The warrior had his cock in the woman’s arse, streaks of blood covering his shaft. Her breasts were riddled with painful-looking bites, the teeth marks deep in her skin, one of her nipples completely bitten off.

My dad stood in front of her with his dick in her mouth, slapping her face as he grunted his pleasure. I gagged as I saw the teeth on the table beside them, explaining the insane amount of blood coming from her mouth. My mother screamed at the gruesome sight, and finally, they all turned to look at us. My father grinned wickedly as he grabbed the girl’s jaw and pulled her hair back, revealing the face I knew all too well.

“I guess the mating won’t be taking place after all,” he laughed. He pulled his dick out of Louisa’s mouth and sauntered over to us. “Smile, Khaos, you look as though you’ve seen a ghost.” He slapped my cheek, leaving a handprint of blood, and laughed as he pushed past me. I looked back at the bed and saw Louisa slumped over, struggling to breathe through the pain. The warrior didn’t stop his pounding, roaring his satisfaction with every pathetic little sob she gave.

I swallowed down the bile rising in my throat and started to move towards her - she may have been a first-class bitch to me, but she didn’t deserve this. I could never live with myself if I left her here. I hadn’t taken a single step when my mother grabbed my shoulder and pulled me back, dropping her hand quickly as though she couldn’t bear even that slight moment of contact. I spun around to glare at her and saw her eyes shining bright with tears. She shook her head, warning me not to interfere, that it would only mean bad news for me. For the first time, I saw pity written on her face and a ping of regret before she brought her emotionless wall back down over her features and turned away from me.

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