* Due to the book being in the publishing stages only the first couple of chapters are up. I may add up to chapter 5. *
Chapter 1: Freedom
“I won’t let you destroy our way of life!” His skin rippled from anticipation, the wolf in the back of his mind slowly clouding his vision. He knew what was coming next, he just waited for his father’s next move.
“Our way of life was never what it was supposed to be. Creation is God’s greatest gift. He passed that gift to us for us to do as we please. This was inevitable son.”
It was a clash talked about for eons, the ruthless rut take-no-nonsense king of wolves against his son, the all fair but conniving fearless prince.
The packs were tore in half, land put to flames and lives being ended.
It was the time when a son pinned against his father in the war that’d been brewing for ages. Alpha Naxe Jackson and Alpha Neale Jackson, both of the world’s most feared wolves now forced to pick a side whether to save the supernatural and mundane species from the destruction of creation.
Not natural creation, I am talking about man made monsters. Injections that shifted wolves and beings into dangerous unpredictable beasts, two of which made me who I am.
The first battle started when I was 11, of course I wasn’t allowed to help though I could have probably helped to end the war. Neale was 18 at the time but he was also smart and quick, the last fight ended with him taking out Naxe’s entire army with a handful of others to help. The brutal outcome sent Naxe into hiding without much of a pack to enforce him.
For years stories whispered across my pack where I seem to have never heard enough of it. Silent fear always crept up on me if I’d ever meet this vicious man they speak of. If a person so strong could take out half of the werewolf population then my father was surely nothing if ever compared to him.
My father beat me till I bled then some more, he couldn’t get enough of torturing “his little beast.”
When I turned the age of 4 that’s when hell froze over. That’s when my life as a pup was shifted into demonization. Four was the age that the beast inside of me woke and craved so vicariously for the blood of any, man– woman— child. It did not care, and at the time I enjoyed— until I killed my eldest sister Harper. That’s when the fear of myself and what I could do grew within me. Along with the anger of my father’s that soon took me for a spin. First I thought I deserved it— I still do. But I wanted to be free and with the help of my brother and grandmother I was finally going to achieve that.
Today is that day. It has to be... It is the day I shall be free. From all bondage, all abuse, everything.
I don’t have a real plan after I escape, the only plan was to be rid of my constant pain and make a new beginning for myself. All I have to do is wait for my brother to let me out of my personal hell and play a game with me.
Hide and seek our favorite game. Well, mine mostly.
The door that is only a few feet away from me slides open, but my excitement fails me. My father comes into the room with the whip, the one with silver and wolfsbane laced spikes, practically lethal for anyone of the shapeshifter species, aka why he is wearing gloves. My mouth remains shut awaiting the painful fate, as I begin to take off my clothes he stops me, “Oh no, no. This is for later. Monsters don’t get off that easily.” His voice rugged and breath reeks of liquor signaling that if Chase doesn’t sneak me out in time, this whipping is going to be a bad one.
He walks back to the silver coated door and opens it, only to lock me in again. I stare at the weapon before me, one I have dealt with only once before, the stench of wolfs bane and the constant hum of the silver mocks me.
“Please Chase do not fail me.” I plead a quiet prayer to myself as I wait for that second click. Reece is anxious stalking around in my head, she wants to come out and break us free but she knows my body is too weak.
My eyes were beginning to droop from the wear on my body willing me to fully close them and give up on the world beyond this.
Why even try anymore? You know that if you leave someone else may treat you the exact same so, why even bother?
An inner voice that intrudes and tears down every single hope, crashing any potential ones you may have in the future. It’s the voice that had stopped me many times before. But, no. I will not listen, not this time.
The ache in my body shook me to consciousness. “Halei, you alright?” My brother’s voice filters into my ears, I hadn’t even noticed he’d entered.
I gather myself and stand on slightly wobbly feet, Chase tries to help me but I back up shaking my head. “I’m okay, I promise.” It was a pure lie and I could tell he saw it in my face but said nothing. He takes out the keys that releases my chains and safely, without touching the silver substance, unlocks my shackles. I rub at the tender skin for a bit, the rash I got from them slowly disappearing. He throws me some new clothes to change into and turns around giving me the privacy I need.
A cotton shirt and a pair of worn out jeans, I could smell his scent all over these, probably to cover mine. Once I finished I cleared my throat and said, “I’m ready.” With that he turns around and gives me a big hug since he knows this is probably the last time I’m going to see him.
“I’m going to miss you Lei.” He pulls away, “when you reach grandma’s pack call me, I placed my number in the back pocket.” I nod my head yes, “remember follow the river, it’ll be able to mask your scent.” He looks at me with teary eyes, “I want you to do anything you want. Transform into your beautiful wolf and run free. Forget about all that’s happened and start brand new okay?” He sniffles.
“Okay.” My voice croaks not hiding the tears waiting to come out.
“I love you.”
“And I love you.” I hug him back the tears finally rolling out. There was no doubt he was going to be the only person I’d miss from this place. He was the only one who cared what happened to me after all.
We let go of each other and began walking up the stairs, I look back at everything I’d lived through since the age of my reckoning. The brash but dappled, aged walls of thick stone, the cold concrete floor stained with my dried blood and feces, to the blackened window above the monotoned shelving that carried the weapons used against me. Silver arrows, leather whips, the sharpest of steel coated in the essence of wolfsbane. The whip used to paralyze me. The brander that scorched the tender skin of my thighs and the back of my knee cap. The silver chair they strapped me to when I wasn’t wrapped in chains that choked the breath out of me and poisoned my wolf. That now was going to be a memory. The realization filling my heart with warm happiness.
I am finally leaving this place!
Thank God I even made it this far. 12 continuous years of pain and torture are finally over. 16 going on 17 in just a matter of weeks and I’ve finally gotten what I wanted.
Is it wrong that I feel good right now? That the wind swinging my hair every which way feels enticing? Amazing? Because in all of my life I have never felt more alive than I do right now.
I throw myself branch from branch, the sprinkles of the river under me feels refreshing. I do not care that I have only the few items Chase packed me all I care about is this feeling right now. I knew I couldn’t travel on the ground no that was too simple for me. I wanted to feel and smell everything. The sun rays, the cool breeze, the woody evergreen smell, hear the squirrels and deer having fun. Just everything life could offer… I wanted it all.
I had it all.
This is what it meant to be free.
No one stopping me by slowly killing me from the inside out. No chains that held me captive and no face of pure hatred and disapproval piercing my vision. I had no care, no worry. Nothing felt like everything.
Thank you brother, I will miss you dearly.
I wish words could describe the irresistible bubble of my heart’s pounding in pure delight, I was ecstatic, unhinged and in my free state I felt on top of the world.
“This is what it’s like to have liberty huh? So… astoundingly gratifying.” My wolf, Reece peeked in my mind. I knew she wanted control but let me have my fun.
Soon enough you will be let out, I promise.
“You need not to promise me anything my dear Halei. We have freedom now, we can do anything.” A warmth spread in me, comforting me, wrapping me in it’s strong presence before it slowly faded.
My head snaps, within seconds my heart is beating out of my chest, fear crawls out of my insides. “I don’t trust this Halei. We need to go faster.” Reece warns. She has always had impeccable gut feelings. I follow what she says and travel faster through the trees.
The fear of being chased warped my vision, cloudy of judgement. My heart ringing in my ears and my hands shaking with each swift glide forward. I needed to focus.
This time the sound is louder, closer. Although I don’t know how close the person really is, my hearing has always been more sensitive than other wolves I’ve met. I could hear my parents preparing their torture weapons 30 minutes before they even neared the door. Who knew how close they were just talking about what they may do. “Halei, you have to let me transform, it’s the best thing we got right now.” Reece pleads; I sense her getting very anxious.
Reece, I still have wolfs bane in my system, it could kill you if I transform. I reply quickly. I don’t want her hurt, at all. I feel her sigh right before she mumbles, “brace for impact.” As if waiting for her to say that something collided with me mid-air. “Humph.” My head hits something and the person on top of me holds me tightly as we roll down a mountain. My eyesight fades in and out but I don’t give into the pleading sensation. When we’ve finished falling, the man sits on top of me holding my squirming hands, the man’s striking soul white eyes boring into mine. He had very little hair but then again it was so pale it almost appeared translucent. I struggle trying to lift my legs up enough to put in front of his body. A move I’d only seen demonstrated in a comic book Chase had shown me. It took few dangerous seconds but with one swift move I pull my legs in front of myself and kick him so hard he gets sent flying into the tree a couple feet back. I get up quickly, running as fast as I can, although I can feel my head throbbing. It got worse and worse as I kept moving until I had no choice but to stop. My head felt as if it was going to explode if I didn’t.
I breathed heavily my breath almost catching in my throat. Keep moving, I told myself. As I did the man came at me again with alarming speed, I couldn’t dodge it. A pained scream turned to a gurgle as my head found a rock to which he smashed it once more. “You’re a hard person to catch.” An accented voice spoke, “talented too by the look of your wolf. I see why he chose you.” Something kept telling me to keep moving but I couldn’t. Reece kept crying out for me to go but it was too late, my eyes were already closing and welcoming my fate…