*Trigger warning - Physical abuse*
A shattered mind held the darkest memories.
And Titania’s mind wasn’t the nicest place to dwell for an afternoon tea and biscuits; it was more of a quick greeting then a dash back out- giving the gloom no chance to cling onto you. While trapped within such a pit of trauma and malicious shadows, it was no wonder that one would surely face insanity.
Titania’s mind replayed festering memories once buried. Like a record player, it jumped and skipped. Throwing her subconscious into a battle that could not be won with physical strength alone. Years worth of repression and walls had crumbled to leave Titania alone with some of her past monsters that she’d rather have kept hidden.
It was 2012, and a nineteen-year-old Titania stood in front of her mirror. A black eye and sliced lip stared right back at her, glaring purple hues marred her cream complexion. Even thick make-up didn’t hide the evidence of her bondmates ‘love’. This, however, was what she had grown used to; dark rings around her eyes and an injury of some sort covering her body.
The feelings hit her full force after every assault: guilt, shame, repressed anger and a diminishing fight within her. Titania knew that Quinn, the future Alpha of the Rosevelt pack, was right. She was weak. Pitiful. Disgusting. His words reverberated over and over, further lowering her levels of self-esteem: not that she had started the chosen bond with any self-love after her first bondmate.
“You stupid bitch! Can’t you do anything right?”
“I wonder why I chose you in the first place: a girl with no good qualities. Well, maybe if you wore your make-up better then you’d be more attractive.”
“Stop being dramatic T, it didn’t hurt that much. Do you want me to show you real pain?”
“I love you, it won’t happen again, I promise...”
Her mind had been mentally moulded into that of a sheep that simply took words for face value as Quinn’s fist hit her over and over. His eyes shining as he drew blood. Even within her memories, Titania could feel her pain as if it had happened only yesterday.
But it wasn’t exhilarating like a spar.
No, it was something much darker. A predator displaying its dominance and completely wiping the prey of any mental strength; sucking her soul as if it was a smoothie.
Brutality was all that Quinn ever showed her. First, it started as playfighting. Then it slowly got rougher; Titania not questioning or recognising the gradual escalation over the weeks. Then again, speaking back against Quinn got her a slanted glare, inherited from his father that only encouraged violence.
With a wicked grin and eyes focused solely on her, Quinn was just as malicious in her subconscious as he had once been. Clouded eyes that were full of hate. “Come on T, stop whining.” He chuckled as the memory replayed behind Titania’s eyes. “I know you don’t mean to.”
She continued to ignore him while he complained about the handful of dirty dishes in the sink while an ′Introduction to the French Vocabulary′ book occupied her thoughts. A pleasant distraction from his incessant criticism.
He rounded the table towards her, cigarette lit in hand. “Ignoring me are you, sweetie?” The sickly rasp to his tone would be Titania’s first tell-tale sign to his brewing irritation. Something that occurred more often than none.
With the fuse now lit, Titania would always plead with the male to diffuse the anger that seemed to be at the forefront. “No, I-I’m just reading. I’ll finish the dishes after I’ve read this chapter, okay?”
But her tone only enticed the beast. A sick perversion to see Titania’s doe eyes widen with fear as she would try and find words that would appease him - but none ever did.
She flinched as his hands grabbed her book, her body fighting its need to flee as his dominance seeped from his pores, displaying his power over her.
“What crap are you reading?” His eyes ran over the words with disgust as he squinted at the foreign book. “Why bother with this eh? Useless knowledge for a useless bitch.” He sneered.
Her face involuntary scrunched. Used to the constant belittlement: maybe. Unexpressionless to such comments: no.
Quinn proceeded to rip pages out of her book. Uncaring that Titania’s eyes watered slightly at his breach of her personal belongings but she refused to let them shed. “There. All sorted. ” He exclaimed, her book now in ribbons on the floor: a ruined mess.
At her refusal to acknowledge his behaviour with anger, his own escalated. For what was the point in torturing an animal if it gave no response? His heart thumped at the small act of defiance within his bondmate. He chose her to be broken and submissive to his nature.
He had thought the last male had broken her enough. But he had thought wrong.
A sigh escaped his throat as silence passed throughout the large three-story city apartment. “I see you haven’t learned anything T. I am a generous male, better than most, but you sit here and shit on me.” His eyes glinted black. “I give you a penthouse. The Luna position and my attention but it’s not enough for you.”
Titania’s heartbeat caught in her throat. Goosebumps prickled her skin as her jaw clenched.
“Will anything I do be enough? Because it certainly doesn’t seem like it does honey...” He drew a step closer to her as she dipped her head low. “You’re just ungrateful. No wonder you were thrown away by that shamrock prick, you’re just a privileged, snotty-nosed Scottish princess.”
“What? No, I just don’t know how to answ-”
Her sentence was interrupted by Quinn’s knuckles.
Quick and harsh, the sting hit Titania’s cheek with unhesitating force. Her hand immediately came up to cup her cheek, the victim of Quinn’s resentment for her; something which was deeper than just her existence alone.
While stunned, Quinn burned his cigarette end into Titania’s exposed shoulder. Observing the way her skin fizzled under his control made his wolf excited; his dominance saturated her sense as he raised her chin slightly to meet his. The menace within his gaze danced as her fear-filled ones met his own.
“What have I told you about respect?” He clucked his tongue patronisingly while his hands uncuffed both gold cufflinks from each wrist. Titania’s eyes watched the motion, when he rolled his sleeves up she knew what was coming. “You show me respect, and you get everything your little heart desires...”
He smirked, “And you, T, have been neglecting your duties as my bondmate.”
Not even a word could escape Titania’s mouth as another fist made contact with her jaw. The bone clicked out of place as she landed in a heap on the glossy marble floor. Her breath caught as she spat out a dribble of blood from biting down hard on her tongue.
Quinn crouched over her as he took in her pitiful state. With resolved venom, he spat at her and landed his knuckles into her curled-up body; uncaring to the pain that it would surely cause.
Brett’s concern was written all over his face.
Bloodshot eyes, greasy hair and a tiredness and stress about him had aged the male by a few years. His signature buzzcut had grown out and his chin was prickled with stubble. As if he had time to take care of himself when everything in his life was hanging dangerously in the balance.
It had been three days since Titania had been found in the woods and she still laid unresponsive on the hospital bed. Her wolf form made it nearly impossible to heal her fractured bones so Doctor Craig would need to rebreak them if she shifted back; something that was looking more and more unlikely as the days went by.
Titania had barely moved. A few twitches perhaps, but nothing significant and it was driving everyone mad: mainly Brett.
Sat with his back hunched on the chair, he held his head with his hands, running them through the new growth to try ground himself to reality. The beeps from Titania’s heart monitor filled the small cabin with monotony and Brett could feel his soul cry out for her.
He had pestered both Eóghan and Angus to be the primary caregiver for Titania, however, the Duskfall wolves had refused, so they had set up a system. One wolf inside while another patrolled outside and Brett had agreed. He wasn’t the Alpha and these were not his lands.
Luckily, Garth was hesitant enough with her current form to let Brett take the majority of his shifts inside the cabin. Something he was grateful for.
While absorbed in his thoughts, Titania’s foot twitched. A movement missed by Brett. It wasn’t until her leg spasmed and made the chains clink against the rail that Brett’s attention focused on the bed.
The movement ceased and Brett rubbed a tired hand over his eyes. Had he simply imagined it? Entirely possible with only three hours of sleep in the past day and a half under his belt.
With a deep sigh, he repositioned himself on his chair and gave his cheeks a small slap. Hoping he could remain alert enough to stay before Eóghan forcibly moved him from his position. The Beta male had been getting more possessive of his sleeping Alpha.
A few minutes passed until another clink interrupted the steady beat of the ECG.
Brett eyes flew to Titania’s wolf form which was reanimating; her limbs causing the chains to move with each stuttered movement.
He jumped into action as weak throaty growls bubbled from her chest. Gripping the bars on the bed as if his life relied on them, he watched her wolf slowly come to attention. In two minds about what he was to do, he simply remained stock-still and watched with morbid curiosity as his heart leapt in his chest; something that hadn’t happened since he had last seen her at the traditional gathering months prior.
Her body struggled as it strained against the silver chains. Her skin singed and that only seemed to aggravate the beast as its eyes opened.
A soulless black.
His shoulders slumped as he made eye contact with her. He knew he shouldn’t have thought that she’d be less feral but the confirmation of those callous unseeing eyes just confirmed his worst thoughts.
Taking a large breath, pushing his disappointment aside, he addressed the wolf that was eyeing him as her prey.
“Hey there,” he received a gnarl and a snap of jaws in response so he held his hands up unthreatening and controlled his Alpha dominance. “I thought I lost you there, I’m not sure what I expected but it wasn’t this.” He admitted.
The wolf however did not recognise his words and continued to snap, her teeth coming ever closer to Brett’s exposed arm. She thrashed against the restraints, hell-bent to return to freedom.
Even with her body in a serious state of repair, she was still fighting.
“I’m a friend, not a foe, see,” he backed up a few steps with his hands still in surrender, “I’m not here to hurt you.”
Clink. Snap. Grrr, was all that could be heard yet he tried to soothe her, remind her where she was and what had happened.
The Gods watched on as Brett tried to communicate with her. However, patient the male was, it was gut-wrenching to see first-hand what darkness held her captive. While he had seen a feral wolf before, he had not pictured Titania to be so lost. Not the head-strong stubborn woman he had known for years and had fallen in love with.
Yet there she lay. Unseeing and unaware of who he was.
After enjoying twenty minutes of Titania’s company alone, he mind-linked Eóghan telling him the news. He knew the Beta male would be ecstatic to hear that Titania was awake but warned him that she was just as feral as before - not that it would lessen his good mood.
Brett couldn’t help but feel disgruntled as Eóghan, Angus and Doctor Craig entered the small cabin. He refrained from growling but he could feel his wolfs hackles rising. After accepting his feelings for Titania, he could not prevent instinct from surfacing.
In turn, Titania responded herself; deep snarls and nails extended, clawing the frame. The bed shook from the mere force from her movements.
While the males took a second to adjust to Titania’s lively form, Eóghan was the first to show his displeasure towards the ex-Alpha. “Brett can it.” He snapped. “If you’re gonna anger her then go for a run.”
Brett held back a scathing retort at Duskfalls’ temporary Alpha and instead made his way to the cabin door. “Sure. I’m going for a nap, but I’ll be back for my shift at eight tonight.”
“I’ll let you know if there are any changes.”
Brett ground his teeth and left the cabin for a quick run before retiring to his bed. His head was lighter knowing Titania was awake; it was a strong sign that recovery could be on the horizon. Of course, she needed to shift before the recovery process was truly underway.
And trying to bring back a feral wolf was not an easy feat.
Thank you so much for your love ad comments! I read all of them and it only pushes me to improve my writing and write more, I’m really trying to dedicate more time to this book and make updates more regular. You guys have waited long enough for an ending!!!
Can anyone predict what’s going to happen next?
Lots of love for you all, I do hope you are all safe <3
A massive thank you to my fantastic editor @amazingbaconpancakes who does a cracking job at editing my work!!!
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