“Help me, please, help me! Is somebody here?” I’m lost in a forest, in the dark, screaming and running like a mad woman. No sign of another living being. I’m all alone here.
“Ryder! Can you hear me?” I have taken every turn possible but it seems like I’m moving in a circle.
I cannot see where I’m running which causes me to fall down every now and then. My body is all covered with scars and blood, my clothes are torn, I cannot stop crying. The forest is dead silent. The only sound that can be heard is of me breathing heavily.
There is no food, no water. It feels like I’ve been running for days. I can’t see anything properly. This is my end. I will die this way.
Suddenly I see a very bright light emerging from a far end of the forest, it is coming towards me. I’m standing, utterly confused. What is this?
This bright enveloped me in itself and I felt pleasant tingles run all along my body. My body hummed in pleasure. All I could feel was bliss and satisfaction. I drowned myself in that pleasure with a smile on my face.
I woke up to the sound of someone knocking on the door. I rubbed my eyes and starched on the bed. Oh god, that was a dream. I stood up from the bad and opened the door. It was Marry.
“You’re waking up now? It’s almost noon.” She scolded me.
What? I slept throughout the morning? But strangely, even after that bad dream, I feel well rested.
“How can you be so carele-” she stopped in the middle and started sniffing the air. What’s wrong with her? Her expressions changed, as if she realized something.
“Umm, just make sure you get ready on time and meet me at the garden.” She said hurriedly and left. What just happened?
I closed my door and took a deep breath. My eyes snapped open. My room smells like my mate! How? Was he here? No, that’s not possible. He hates me.
Oh no, Marry also smelled him here. What will she think the king was doing in my room? My cheeks heated up thinking about the possibilities.
Just forget it Berry. You have to get ready.
I did my routine and got dressed. My stomach grumbled, signalling that it wants food. I practically ran to the kitchen. I was that hungry.
Marry was in the kitchen, cleaning it all up. When she saw me running inside, she chuckled and pointed towards a tray. She already prepared my plate of food. I beamed at her and thanked her. I hurriedly stuffed my face because it was almost time and everyone was leaving.
It’s a good thing I already packed my bag last night otherwise Marry would’ve killed me.
I reached the garden and it was packed with people. I have seen this kind of crowd during our pack festivals only. It seemed everyone was in a cheer mood. They were ready to enjoy the three days vacation.
We all were ready to go to the other side of the castle, but there was still some time remaining for the gates to open so Marry introduced to many girls of my age.
Most of them were responsible for the cleaning and gardening. I asked them that if they’ll always remain in the castle, how will they meet their mates? Then I got to know that when anyone feels like they should go search for their mates, he relieves them from their duties and hires new people.
I also got to know that not only the family of the help, but many other families live in the castle. The castle is huge so, my mate allowed the ones who want to live here to settle down in the castle itself. They are free to move out whenever they want to.
There are still many free rooms available. So, I will be assigned my own room and I can decorate it however I want. My mate is a very kind ruler. That’s shocking. I always just heard about his cruelty. No one her has ever seen him showing any kind of emotion. They say his face always remains stoic. Many of the people from the other side never got to see him.
A scary, mysterious Alpha.
Finally, the doors opened. Marry and I stood in a line. I was about to go with Marry when someone took hold of my arm and dragged me away from the line. What the hell?
Ryder was the one dragging me back towards the Royal wing. His face was dead serious.
“What happened Ryder? Why are you taking me back?” I asked but he didn’t stop, he just kept walking. What is going on?
“Ryder, stop. I said stop.” I said loudly which caused him to stop where he was. I looked around and saw everyone looking at us with a shocked expression. Obviously, everyone will be shocked, the Royal Beta dragging a maid with him.
“What are you doing Ryder?” I asked him through gritted teeth. He was looking everywhere but me. oh god, something terrible has happened, that’s why he’s avoiding eye contact.
“let’s just go inside Berry.” He said in a low voice, pleading with me to listen to him. His eyes held sadness. It looked like he was in immense pain.
“You’re scaring me Ryder. Please tell me, tell me what happened.” I said, getting panicked. My heartbeat increased. And I started to sweat. I was feeling nervous all of a sudden. I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that something is not right.
Ryder didn’t stop and soon, we were inside the royal wing. When we entered, we saw my mate standing stiff looking and everyone else was standing with their head hanged low.
Then my eyes fell to the floor and all the wind knocked out of me.
No, no! this cannot happen. This is not true, this is not true!
My throat felt constricted, I couldn’t breathe. Ryder left my arm and I ran towards the two frozen bodies that were kept on the floor, with tears streaming down my face.
“Father! Maa! No!” as soon as I was about to reach their bodies, Ryder outran me and stood in front of me.
“You cannot touch them Berry.” He said with a broken expression on his face.
“Are you crazy? Step aside!” I screamed at his face, wanting to reach my parents.
There bodies seemed like statues carved with ice.
No, nothing has happened. They will be fine.
I pushed Ryder away with all my might but to no avail. He didn’t move an inch.
“Let me go to them! Step aside, step aside, step aside!” I yelled on top of my tongue. I could feel my whole body shaking. This is not happening! They are fine. Nothing happened to them.
“Papa! Maa!” I called out to them, in hopes that they will hear me and wake up.
“Please let me go to them Ryder.” I begged, clasping my hands together. I tried to side step him but he held my arms, stopping me effectively.
They cannot die! They cannot leave me like this.
Four men came near their bodies, they wore gloves on their hands, and covered them with some sort of cloth and lifted up their bodies to put them on stretchers.
“You know what to do.” Came the steely voice of my mate. The men nodded and rolled the stretcher.
“No! where are you taking them? Don’t touch them!” I screamed and freed myself from Ryder’s hold. I ran behind those men. I was about to reach them when strong arms wrapped around my waist from behind and lifted me off the ground. I kicked and screamed, even scratched the back of the hands that were around me, but to no avail.
“Let me go! I said let me go!” I tried to free myself. I was thrashing violently but the hold on my waist only tightened further.
“Please don’t take them away from me. please, please, stop.” I called out to those men. But they didn’t stop. My throat felt dry because of all the screaming. My tears didn’t stop.
They are taking them away from me.
“Please, at least let me say good bye.” I managed to croak out. I was suddenly turned around and came face to face with my mate. He was the one holding me in his arms, my feet still above the ground, hanging in mid-air. I looked into his eyes with my teary ones and pointed towards the direction of those men. They were going further inside the castle.
“Please, please stop them.” He didn’t say anything, he simply buried my face into the crook of his neck, his hand on top of my head so that I can’t take my head away from there. His other hand was on my bottom as he managed to make me straddle his waist, my legs hanging freely at his sides.
I breathed in his scent and clutched his shirt tightly in my tiny hands.
I cried and cried, but the tears never stopped. He stood there, with me in his arms, occasionally running his hand down my back to soothe me. the sparks traveled down my body, but my pain was too much to care about them.
They are gone, my parents are gone! I didn’t even get to look at them properly.
I heard my mate say something to Ryder, but I couldn’t make out what. My heart was hurting, it felt constricted inside my body. My head felt heavy. It was too much for me to take. I cannot believe they are actually gone. My parents are gone.
I woke up, opening my eyes slowly. My eyes were aching. I noticed that I was lying on top of the softest bed sheet and my head was over a plush, soft pillow.
Its walls were decorated with different shade of brown and golden. Two tall white pillars were proudly standing on either side of the foot of the bed. To my right side was a beautiful dresser, a huge vertical ellipse shaped mirror and a white chair in front of it.
To my left, two sofa chairs were kept with a round table in the middle of them. There were two windows with beautiful brown curtains.
A beautiful chandelier adorned the ceiling of the bedroom. The room was surrounded by my mate’s scent, which meant it was his room.
I sat up slowly and held my head, it was still spinning. Then I remembered what all happened today. Oh no, my parents!
I ran towards the bedroom door and tried to open it. The door is locked!
I started to hit the door with my fists.
“Open this door! I have to go out, open it!” I yelled. Tears pooled in my eyes and then started to stream down my face. I tried to break it off its hinges but to no use. I don’t have such strength.
“Is anybody there? Please open the door.” I started to panic. I have to get out of here. I want to see my parents.
I heard someone walking up to the door and it unlocked. I took a step back. The door opened and I was greeted with the sight of my mate.
He entered the room and locked the door behind him.
I was shocked to see the soft look in his eyes. The king who always scares me away was standing in front of, without an ounce of malice on his face.
“A- Alpha, please, let me go to my parents.” I closed my eyes and fresh tears poured down my face. I could feel my heart aching. My support system is gone now.
He looked at me with an unreadable expression and sighed.
“Sit down over there.” He ordered, pointing towards the bed. I could tell that he was trying very hard to keep his voice low. I hung my head low and did as I was told.
When I settled on the bed, I looked up and saw him staring at me. I looked down immediately, not wanting to anger him. He was standing like a statue far away from me. I did not dare to look back up. But I really wanted to get out of this room and go to see my parents.
Oh god, do my brothers even know what happened here?
My mind was playing the memories of my parents over and over again. How I would go running to my father crying when Ethan and Jon troubled me, when one day he decided to braid my hair and it turned out to be perfect, he was so proud of himself.
How I always wanted to accompany my mother to the kitchen, she would always say that I have magic in my hands.
How one day my brothers and I caught them getting in bed and screamed our heads out, my mother was flushed when she realized we saw them, my father just had a smug look on his face.
My father always said that I would be his little princess and he will always protect me from the evils of this world. My mother always fantasized about us finding our mates, I always blushed while Ethan and Jon had a long list prepared of the gifts they’ll give to their mates.
Our little, happy family.
I couldn’t stop the sob that left my mouth, it was too much, the pain was getting too much. Then, I let it all out. I need to mourn for my parents. I cannot keep my emotions locked up.
A gasp left my mouth as an arm slid under my knees and one behind my back, picking me up from the bed. The next moment, I was straddling my mate, my legs on either side of his waist while he made himself comfortable on the bed. His bed.
I was shocked, yes, but that didn’t stop the steady stream of tears the escaped my eyes, my shoulders shook violently as I cried and cried.
He encircled his arms around my waist and held me to him tightly. He allowed me to cry into his chest. I’m grateful that he did because his touch and scent had a calming effect on me. I grip on his shirt became strong as I tried to be as much close to him as possible. I needed the comfort only he could provide.
He didn’t say a word. I somehow knew he wants to talk to me about my parent’s death. But he respected me enough to let me cry.
Eventually, I stopped crying but his hold didn’t loosen on me. we just sat in silence, in each other’s arms. I will never forget this painful day. The day when I lost my parents, the day I was never prepared for, the darkest day of my life.
But I was able to survive this day.
Because this day, I found comfort in my mate’s arms.