I wake up and kick the bed above me. Rosy groans and grumbles out multiple cuss words just like she does every morning. My childish behavior always sets her off when it comes to sleeping.
"Nessa, why do you dislike sleep," Rosalind asks in a hoarse morning voice that makes me laugh.
"I don't. I love to sleep, but it is time to be awake," I answer, rolling out of bed.
I turn and tuck my bedding tight, just the way Ms. Grimes likes. We aren't allowed to leave our beds unmade or our rooms messy.
Luckily for Rosalind and I, we were moved to our own room three months ago. No more little kids messing up the space we just cleaned or wrinkling the beds we just made.
Rosy and I were moved due to our approaching birthdays. We both turn 18 in a few weeks, and we will no longer be welcome here. This house is for minors only. We are about to age out of the foster system officially.
Rosy and I hurry downstairs. We pour eight bowls of cereal and sit down. The younger kids file in and begin eating just as we finish up.
Ms. Grimes has made Rosy, and I take care of the younger wards since our early teen years. We clean, we cook, and we bathe them. It's been like this since we were 13. The older three girls that didn't get adopted aged out, and we took their place as the maids.
She must like having live-in maids. We make life much easier on her, that's for sure. Don't get me wrong. Ms. Grimes isn't a monster; she is just strict. She never verbally or physically abuses any of us. She likes the house to run smoothly and to run smoothly; she says it has to be kept orderly.
We have everything we need: clean clothes, food, and comfortable living arrangements. The younger kids are doted on because they have a higher chance of being adopted, but we are treated okay.
I haven't had an interview for adoption since I was five. The same couple interviewed rosy. We both weren't what they were looking for, apparently. I was insanely thankful because even then, I couldn't imagine being separated from Rosy.
"Ughhhh," Rosy says, leaning back against the school's bus seat.
I chuckle at her. She acts like we are going to prison, not the final day of high school.
"Chill, Grumpy Gus, it's the last day, remember," I say, swatting at her arm.
"Exactly. Do you realize in two weeks we will be kicked out onto the streets," Rosy exclaims, shooting me an intense glare?
"We don't even have jobs because we are required to clean house for the woman making money off of us. I think it's pretty wrong of her to just kick us out as soon as her checks for us stop," Rosy snaps while punching the seat in front of us.
"Chill, Rosa. I told you I would sell the necklace. We will have some cash until we get jobs. We could even start applying now. We just tell them we can't start right away," I say for the thousandth time.
I idly rub the only thing left to me in the world. Whoever my parents were....they must have had money because the gems around my neck are no joke. Rosy sends me a sad glance. I just shrug in response. We have discussed these things so often in the past year; there is nothing left to say.
Rosalind has nothing from her parents. But she does know who they were. She was placed with Ms. Grimes at age three after her parents overdosed. I was placed with Ms. Grimes at birth. I had been left at a fire station with a blanket and a necklace.
Rosy doesn't want me parting with the trinket, but I genuinely don't mind. I see the piece of jewelry as our ticket to food and lodging. I hold no emotional attachment to it, other than the fact it is pretty.
"Rosy, please just be positive," I say, grabbing her hand and squeezing it.
She nods and gives me a half-hearted smile. I hate seeing her like this. She is usually the encouraging one, not me.
I hang my bag up on the hook in the entryway, and Rosy follows suit. We glance around before looking at each other. The house is silent, almost eerie, which is highly unusual.
It's 6:37, and everyone should be home. Rosy and I had rehearsal for graduation, so everyone else should have definitely beat us here.
"Well let's grab something to eat. We might as well enjoy the peace," Rosy says nudging me.
Rosy and I stop in our tracks as soon as we walk through the kitchen doorway. A man is leaning against the kitchen counter with a smile on his scarred face. He appearance screams danger and the hair on the back on my neck stands up.
Rosy and I turn to bolt but our escape route is blocked. Two more smiling grimey men are behind us. We have zero room to escape. They begin to approach us and we in turn back pedal towards the dining table.
The two approaching men laugh as our faces contort in fear. I'm clutching Rosy so hard that I am probably bruising her but she has the same death grip on me.
"Evening ladies," The man at the counter says in an upbeat way.
My eyebrows scrunch and I glare at him. Is he serious? They have broken into someone else's home and he is speaking like this is a small reunion.
"What do you want," I bark out while eyeing the two that are closer to us.
The man at the counter might be trying to distract us, so these two can get their hands on us.
"Aww. I am hurt, sugar. You didnt even ask us who we are. It's impolite to just jump straight down to business, you know" the man says as he pushes away from the counter.
He moves towards us like he is stalking prey not approaching two teenage girls. He comes to a stop in between the other two smiling idiots. I slightly position myself in front of Rosy. I have absolutely no knowledge on self defense but Rosy is almost a full foot shorter then I am. I imagine my gaint like stature should at least be better at defense then hers.
"Our guardian will be here any moment, so you three need to leave. There are no valuables in this house. This is a group home if you can't tell," I say with my head held high and my chest out.
My insides are screaming at me to run but I know that would be futile. So my only option is intimidation.
"Oh sugar, did Ms. Grimes not tell you that your training is up? We are here to bring you to auction. And believe me pretty little slaves like you, go for good money. So I would like this to run smoothly. No reason to damage those faces," the man says clasping the guy on his left shoulder.
Rosy gasps from behind me while the color drains from my face. "She sold us."
"Auction for what," I ask while trying to analyze a way to save the girl behind me.
My best friend. My Rosalind. The only person in this world that I consider family.
"Depends sugar. We have very interesting buyers. Buyers you have only heard about in fantasy," one of the other men says as he tries to peek at Rosy.
I step more in front of her. Blocking her 5'2" frame from view completely. Rosy is sweet and confident but she has never done well against bullies. And these three are the biggest bullies we have ever faced.
"Elaborate and we might come without a struggle," I say trying to buy us time while learning as much as I can.
"If we elaborate completely you would become even more frightened sugar, .....but..... since you asked nicely. ......There are three different slave types that you could be sold for. Sex slave, regular slave, and blood slave. For example, you are tall, beautiful, and strong. Perfect for being a sex slave or maid. Your friend is petite, timid, and beautiful she fits with all three categories. We shall see where she lands," the man who appears to be the leader says looking bored with the information.
I was prepared for the sex part from his previous statements, but the blood slave comment has my body running cold.
"Blood slave, what do you mean? Cannibals," I squeak out looking between the three men.
The two sidekicks openly laugh at me while the leader just shrugs.
"I guess you could call them that," he says pulling rope from his pocket.
He cool demeanor makes me shake. This is our life he is talking about and he is acting like it is another day at the office.
"You got your information, now it is time to decide.......fight or cooperate," he says meeting my eyes with no hint of emotion.
I rattle my brain. Right now we are pinned down and the probability of escape is at an all time low. But if we go peacefully now, we might trick them into a sense of comfortabililty. Leaving options for future escape.
I squeeze Rosy's hand that is still locked in mine behind me.
"We will go. But please don't seperate us. We don't do well apart," I say trying to sound broken and defeated. He smirks.
"You are a smart girl, sugar," he coos as he passes the rope to his fellow goons.
We stand frozen as they tie our hands together. Fear and panic are clear factors in Rosy's swimming eyes and I am sure mine look the same.
The three men tow us out the backdoor. A large nice looking black SUV is parked and ready for our load up. I glance back towards the only home I have ever known.
I can't believe the woman who bottle fed me, braided my hair, and smiled in my face, sold me. Sold me to clean someone's house or warm their bed..........or to even be eaten. She sold us like cattle.
Trust me Grimes, if I survive this .....I AM COMING FOR YOU.
"Why? Why do I need to go," I growl at my brother who looks practically giddy.
"Come on, live just a little. We need new maids and playthings," Kraven says wiggling his eyebrows at me like a child.
"I have no interest in weak human playthings. I have more then enough she-wolves fighting over my bed," I say feeling my claws elongate as my agitation rises.
He rolls his eyes.
"As do I. But she-wolves want commitment. Humans know their place. Plus other Alphas will be there, along with some important leeches. Could be a great opportunity to get some work. The warriors are getting restless. Times of peace are boring brother," Kraven says looking me in the eye.
He is lucky he is my brother. I take several deep breathes to battle my ever growing rage.
"Fine. Just us. How many slaves have we lost in the past year," I ask
I don't keep track of the human slaves, only the pack members. I make sure my PACK is safe. I couldn't care less about the slaves. In my opinion we shouldn't have them, they use resources and distract my warriors. But my brother and late father believe maid duties are beneath even the omegas.
"I believe 3. But I would have to double check that. We don't have to bring any home......we could just make an appearance brother," Kraven says gauging my mood and realizing how close to the edge I am.
Every year spent without a mate is drawing me closer and closer to becoming feral. Bloodlust and rage have all but taken over my senses. Those two things alone drive me more then all others. Not even my pack holds that much control over me anymore.
If I don't find my mate soon bad things can happen. At 28 years old, I am one the oldest single Alpha in the world. I have had the drive to mate since the age of 18 just like every other wolf but I have yet to find her.
Kraven is only 20 but he too, feels the pull. Our wild natures push us to search for our other half, and that push grows every year. If a mate is not found before the age of thirty, the wolf goes crazy. They will leave their pack in search of their other half and if that half is never found.......the wolf is rogue forver.
It will never rejoin a pack. It will never again be anything but a machine of death and carnage. Only a mate can cure a rogue. My only hope is to find her or to choose a chosen.
Next year if my mate has yet to be discovered, I will hold a trial. The strongest of the competing females will win the spot of Luna and cure my wolf before it is too late.
"Let's just get this over with," I growl.
I turn to my computer so I can purchase our tickets. I hate traveling to the U.S, but Kraven is right about one thing. We need to make an appearance. Our main source of income is mercenary work and since we haven't been contracted out in six months..........Let's just say I need the outlet.