Hearing my alarm, I rolled over to turn it off. God, I wasn’t ready for work today. I made myself get up to start my day as I shuffled my feet across the carpet to my closet. I picked out some ess office clothing.
Walking into my daughter’s room. I watched her chest rise and fall a few times before going to the kitchen to make her a bottle. We just have to make it until Friday. Then we could leave this place and go somewhere far and safe. I was just trying to make it as a single mother in this unconventional world. My goal is to protect my daughter from being a pawn in their little chess game.
While making her bottle, I thought back to how this year has been nothing but anxiety. Continuously checking over my shoulders, making sure no one was following me. Checking in with Leon to always let him know where I was.
Hearing Jade stir. I headed down the empty hallway. It was just as plain as everything in this house. Staying anywhere too long was out of the question. Men came to my house, warning me of a man I needed to run from. I was constantly moving until I got pregnant. In need of a stable home during my pregnancy, a friend gifted me this one until I was ready to get on the road again.
While feeding Jade, my phone rings. I answered quickly when I saw whose name had popped up. “Hello.”
“Hey, I just wanted to let you know you need to get here quickly. We are overwhelmed right now with a new batch of women.” Bjorn said.
“Okay, just let me get done feeding Jade, and I’ll be on my way,” I said, hanging up. Jesus, could they not run things without me? I hated going into that place. On the outside, it looked like a typical office building, along with all the upper floors. It wasn’t until you went down to the basement that you found their operation. The operation above ground was nothing more than an illusion. What they wanted you to see.
As you enter the basement, you will find bright white painted cinder blocks with a few words of encouragement they had printed out and taped to the wall. When you went through the thick soundproof door, you would find women they had taken. Groups of hunters and wolves would bring them three to four at a time and place them in holding. There, they would wait to be seen by the doctor for a physical. Stage two was their mental examination. The final stage was my department. Housing. My responsibility, along with a few others, is to ensure these women were placed into the correct housing for their fated to find them.
Many human government officials had been lining their pockets for years with this program. They were all eager to line their pockets with tainted money. They knew of this human trafficking yet did nothing to stop it. The wolves paid well, and human government officials were willing to toss out their promises and morals for a quick buck.
When Jade finished her bottle, I gathered her things and took her to Mrs. Nash—then headed off to another day of misery.
Walking through the soundproof door. My ears are met with cries from women begging for help. They just wanted to get back to their families. The doctors and psychiatrists would lie to them. Tell them once they gain their fated’s trust, he will reunite them with their families. Then allow you to see your family again once you become brainwashed. I doubted that information. There is no way someone would have you abducted.
Ignoring the heart-shattering cries and outbursts of feisty women. I walked straight for my office, shut the wood grain door, and reminded myself I was doing this for my daughter for protection against a screening as long as I helped them out. They would leave me alone. I only had a week left. I would call in sick on Friday and take off. It would take them until mid-morning Monday to figure out I wasn’t returning. By then, we would be at least halfway to the mountains of Montana. Off the grid. No cell service, no nothing. Just as in a little cabin living off the land. No one would ever find us up there. I hoped.
No sooner than I sat down, a young girl was brought in and shoved into a chair. “Your first client. Ms. Clark, make this snappy you need to get through at least thirty before you take your lunch break.” the Guard snapped.
“I’ll do my best,” I say as I roll my eyes. “Are you giving me an attitude?” he asked, looking back. “No, I was just s-.”
“Better not, or I’ll have your job and a hunter in here on your ass so fast you will never know what hit you.”
Not saying another word, I skimmed through my files until I found the name that matched her label. The last thing I needed was to be fired and the hunters on my ass. I couldn’t risk my little girl being taken away from me because some shifter couldn’t fathom the idea. I had a life before him, and seeing my daughter would be a daily reminder for him that he was not my first. “Do you want something to eat or drink before we get started?” I asked the frightened young woman sitting in front of me. Her eyes were bloodshot and puffy from her crying. “No, I want to know what the hell is going on!” she said, demanding answers.
“Well, Ms. Justin, they have selected you for a wolf. Judging by the markings on your file, your forever fated looks to be a warrior.” I said promptly. “You will b-”
“Hold the fuck up. A what? a who?” She said, realizing this was no joke.
“Did they not discuss this with you in your counseling session?” I asked, sighing. This was going to be a long day for which I didn’t have the patience.
“Yeah, they did, but I thought they were just fucking with me. You all are serious about this situation, aren’t you?”
“Yes, you are now part of a semi-secret society, but my job isn’t to explain all that. It’s just to get you to the correct housing. Your file looks correct.” I said coldly, trying to detach from the situation in front of me.
“You’re a bitch and no better than those who took me. Will I ever see my family or friends again?” She cried. “Will you tell them what has happened to me? They will be worried sick. Why me?” She said, crying while rambling on.
“Honestly, sweetie, the best answer I can give you is that the male wolves got themselves in an unpleasant situation, and now all their fated are female humans. Unfortunately, we have to pay the price for something they did, and I’m sorry you have to go through this.”
Her cries for help while I finalized her paperwork made my heart ache. There was nothing I could do for her that wouldn’t get me terminated immediately.
“Yes, well, now you will be relocated to your selected housing. The people there will be responsible for your education and well-being until the mating season. Once it begins, wolves worldwide will come to that specific housing base where they will place you. Your mate will eventually find you, and they will sell you to them. It’s how this business works. Have a nice day.” I said as I yelled for the Guard to come and bring me another client.
“No, need to yell. You stupid human”, he said as he jerked the poor girl up from the chair.
“Don’t be so rough with her, or I’ll report you for mistreating the fated,” I said, standing up.
“What did you say, HUMAN?” he asked as he stalked towards me. “I will report you,” I said sternly.
“Will you now? I wonder how H.R. will take it when I tell them you are speaking out of turn,” he said, smirking.
“I’ll tell them the truth. They must hear my side of the story before deciding if they should terminate me.” I said, arguing with him.
“That only goes for our kind. Not yours. Since the Royals are coming down so hard on the Fated Centers. So, go ahead. Run and tell.” He said, letting out a low growl.
“Fuck you,” I told him before he slapped me.