Broken Luna

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Chapter 3

*depictions of abuse, s*xual abuse and su*cidal thoughts*

My body aches. My throat is raw from screaming. Tears streak my face. Blood runs down my legs.

I'm back in my cell.

I've never wanted to be dead so much as in this moment.

I was only 18.

I never found my mate, never done anything with another male and they just... took it.

Took it like it was nothing.

I could still see their eyes, hear their breathing.

I was curled in a ball, hands over my ears. I never wanted to see anyone ever again.

I didn't even want to go back to normal.

I just wanted to die.

They'd left me to my own devices for Goddess knows how long. I didn't know what day it was.

I didn't care.

My stomach ached as another tray of food was shoved under the door. I didn't want to eat. It was the only way I could die in here. The moment I hit my head on a wall, or did anything that made too loud of a noise, the guard at the entrance of my cell would come in and stop me.
I think it was day 96.
I could barely move now. I was still sore and bruised, handprints turning purple and green over my body, but my limbs had never been so weak and thin.
I hear footsteps.
I'm too tired for this.

I'm awoken again by shouting. It was nothing out of the ordinary, it just seemed really loud. I push one eye open, then realise that the shutter on my door had been left open. Something of hope blooms in my chest, but I immediately quell it. I'd long since lost any sort of desire for rescue.
I couldn't feel anything inside me anymore. I'd lost the little fight I had left.
"Excuse me sir, you aren't supposed to-" A strangled choke comes from beyond the door. I can feel something rising in my chest, but my vision falters as the door slams open yet again.
All I see before my eyes before I black out are a pair of silver-studded boots, stood in front of me.

I'd received a mysterious tip about the neighbouring Pack last night. It came in the form of a small scrap of paper, however the writing was in good quality ink and in a lovely cursive.
To the Alpha of Brightfall
Alpha Brysin of Redwood
He has something of yours. Power balance. Captives. Be prepared.
I'd puzzled over it with my Beta, Branwyn, and we'd decided to visit Redwood Pack, on "official business".
We ran from our beautiful lakes, airy groves and plains into the giant forest of red-barked trees. They're packed closely together, and they blot out the sun, their impressive height towering high overhead. The Pack House is in a large clearing, with flowerbeds and various small huts and houses scattered around. It was a peaceful place, and yet the darkness and quiet only brought me unease.
If Alpha Brysin found out he real reason we were here, it'd start a war if we weren't careful. Allegations of an Alpha abusing their power were taken very seriously, and one wrong move, one slip-up, and we'd be at each other's throats. I didn't want a war. In total honestly, I detested violence, hated fighting. I trained my friends, yes, but so that they could train my Pack. I loathed seeing such peaceful people draw out their anger in such ways.
Brightfalls was a 'safe zone' as it were. Because of my hatred of violence, anyone who trespassed into borders would be reprimanded and sent on their way with a warning, or if it escalated, they would be detained and sent to the Council for punishment. I was known as the Peace Alpha, despite my history.
Beta Branwyn warned me of wolves ahead, even though I'd already sensed them. She was my younger sister, and I never had the heart to tell her that I already knew. She took her duties of protecting the Alpha seriously and to the letter.
Greetings, Brightfalls.
Well-met, Redwood. Who are we speaking to?
Omega Daniel and Omega Katherine, Alpha.
Well-met, Daniel and Katherine. Are you to take us to your Alpha?
They nod in unison and trot towards the main house. The smaller female, given away by her scent, keeps glancing over her shoulder at us. It's not surprising.
As siblings, we often got odd looks. Our scents gave us away as related, however we couldn't look further apart. Her wolf was a lovely cream and white with brown paws and ears, whereas mine was a deep russet-red all over, amber eyes sharp.
Why must we walk? I want to-
Hush Rhiett. Now is not the time.
Hush. We must keep our composure. We are not amongst friends here.
I can feel them retreat back, giving me the reins. Rhiett had always been a playful wolf, entirely unsuited to being Alpha. Hopefully finding a mate would calm them down, but it had been a few months and there was no sign of any mate.
We entered a slightly overgrown garden at the back of the house, and the two Omegas shift to their human forms. Both are small and dainty, and easily smaller than my wolf form. I shifted, then immediately regretted it.
I was wearing my customary uniform of jeans, a dark shirt and leather jacket, and the Omegas do not seem pleased. My leather boots leave footprints in the soft earth, and I immediately feel out of place. I suppose I made a mistake by dressing this way. Combined with my short, deep ginger hair and somewhat neutral clothing, I all but seemed a male, though the gentle, sweet Alpha of Brightfall was often spoken about as a female. My pack was used to my ever-changing appearance, but Redwood seemed rather more archaic. It was to be expected from one of the longest-standing Packs around.
"Welcome, Alpha Rowynn, to Redwood. How is Brightfall faring?" The deep, masculine voice comes from the manor, from Alpha Brysin. He's stood in an open set of door-windows, with a pretty blonde girl on his arm.
"Thank you for welcoming me, Alpha," I bow my head to him, then respectively, "Luna. Brightfall is doing well, thank you for asking. I trust that Redwood is as steadfast as always?"
"As ever." He smiles. I don't trust him one bit.
"May I introduce my Beta, Branwyn?" She shifts as I say her name, staring down at her feet with a bowed head.
"Greetings, Beta."
It was always so tedious to perform first introductions, but alas, they had to be done to prevent future conflict. Tensions were already high, having two Alphas on one territory, so it was best to reduce the risk of fights breaking out.
The Alpha and Luna pair lead us into the manor, down several hallways and into a study, lit by a crackling fire. Various smells assault me as we walk, including one very strong smell behind a closed dark wood door, with iron fittings. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it wasn't pleasant.
"So, what brings you here?" Shit. I'd wished this topic wouldn't be focused on beyond what I wrote to them.
"Am I not allowed to simply visit our oldest allies?" We laugh for a second, a polite chuckle that seems rather forced and awkward. "I jest. In all seriousness, I am here to discuss the territory boundaries between Brightfall and Clearwater. You know that Clearwater's wolves have never quite followed the territory rules, and as our most steadfast ally, I wish to call upon you should the event of a war arise." This was, of course, untrue. Clearwater had always been respectful of Brightfall's territory, even slightly adopting our peaceful ways as their own.
"I see. There is no definite conflict though, no?"
"Not as of yet, but I fear it may not be far over the horizon." A long pause followed. The entire meeting was stiff and not in earnest, and this pause accentuated everyone's rigid posture and expressionless, awkward faces.
"We will assist Brightfall should conflict arise, though we will not risk ourselves unduly."
"I understand. Thank you for your kindness." Silence followed. Dear Goddess, give me strength.
"How has Redwood been faring? What with the new city opening up, Brightfall has-"
"I am not here to make small talk, Rowynn. If that was the only thing you travelled here for, then I shall retire from this meeting." I have to stop a growl rising in my throat.
"Need I remind you, Alpha Brysin, of the rules of hospitality?"
"You need not recite them to me. We will offer a room for you and your Beta, as well as food and drink. After that though, our hospitality will end. You don't want to be found trespassing now?"
This time I cannot stop the growl that rises in my throat. It escapes me, filling the room with a low, bass rumble. Rhiett did not like being spoken to that way, and I can feel them coming to front. I can see the Luna almost shrink into herself at the noise, looking to Brysin for assistance. He looks me head on, and I meet his glare with one of my own, knowing that Rhiett will be infusing power through it. Brightfall was bigger than Redwood. He wouldn't dare challenge us.
Neither of us look away, and I'm dimly aware of Branwyn speaking to me through the link, but I cannot falter. The first to look away was the weakest.
After several minutes, the Luna tugs on Brysin's arm, and he finally turns his green eyes to her. I smile, then turn to Branwyn, only to find that she's vanished. I link her quickly in shock.
Where have you gone?
I'm not far away. That door with the weird smell.
I'll be there soon.
"I'll take you up on your offer of a room, Alpha Brysin. We'll be okay without food."
"That's perfectly fine." He glares at me, furious about the loss of the challenge. "Katherine! Take Alpha Rowynn and her Beta to the Oak Suite... On that, where is your Beta?"
"Oh, she decided to go and get some fresh air. She hates being indoors, you see." That wasn't untrue, but it seemed to appease the Alpha.
"Make sure she isn't out too late. My wolves tend to be rather confrontational, and only think about consequences after the fact." I nod, then follow Katherine out of the small meeting room.
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