“Ma’am, can you tell me what happened?”
I blinked a few times, wondering when I had ended up in a police station, saddled up against an interrogation desk, shaking like a leaf in the wind. But I wasn’t cold. No, definitely not cold. A protective blanket was wrapped around my shoulders as I fingered the scratchy cotton. I shimmied it off, seconds before two large hands replaced it. Why? My wolf bristled below the surface as I tried to understand the situation. Why are we here?
My head snapped up at my full name, my nose turned up in disgust. No one called me that. It was always ‘Dan’ or ‘Nica’ or ‘Dani’ which I fucking despised. But Danica was on an entirely different level. I hated my mother for the designation.
The detective on the other side of the desk shrank back slightly and I wondered why. I was an unmated Beta wolf, but that didn’t mean I found Alphas repulsive, like most of them. My eyes dipped to a small file and then back to the man’s face. He was worried about something. Was it me? I sniffed the air, choking on a distinct coppery scent. Blood. But why?
I noticed that he wasn’t an Alpha. He was human, which might explain why he seemed so shifty. Werewolves and vampires were commonplace in society now, but it didn’t make it any easier. I also didn’t know why I was being asked questions by a human. They usually put similar creatures together. Then again, I still didn’t know why I was here.
I tried pulling off the blanket again but someone held it firm on my shoulders. I stared at the man for answers.
“Do you remember what happened?”
Asking the same goddamn question again? I couldn’t remember anything. My wolf and I were starting to freak out, my heart beating irregularly as my gaze shifted to the exit. One door at the edge of the interrogation room. I could make a run for it, but I’d never get past the multiple layers of security and I didn’t know why I was in a police station in the middle of the night.
I huffed a small, frustrated breath as I tried to wrack my brain for answers. Was I under arrest? No, I’d be handcuffed. So, I was being questioned. But about what? The memories had to be there. I – oh.
They flashed through my head as I squinted my eyes closed, screaming at the agony that raced through my lips.
“Honey, I’m home!” A burst of laughter slipped through my lips as I eagerly waited for my Alpha’s cheesy response. We hated the pack dynamic, my Alpha having had his ripped from him a few years ago. I didn’t mind, knowing that I had no one to share him with except for myself.
Until we got an Omega.
I hadn’t been fond of the idea, primarily because my Alpha worked so much. An Omega meant integrating another person into our two-person pack – code for, I was going to have to find love in my heart for another person. Maybe not love, just acceptance.
My Alpha had told me countless times that as a Beta, I was no less but I could see his burning desire to find the missing link. Apparently, it came in the form of Brandon Hayes, the sweetest little Omega with doe eyes and a desire to please.
I hadn’t been able to tell my Alpha that I felt uncomfortable around Brandon, that the Omega felt a little… feral for lack of a better word. Not even when Brandon seemed to be feistier than usual around his heats – where most Omegas were pliant and needy.
Not that I was judging. Fuck, no.
I had my own issues as it were. I was running from family drama and relationship baggage the size of Texas, so I couldn’t pinpoint what my issue with Brandon was.
My ears strained for the heavy thudding steps of my Alpha, ready to embrace me from a long day’s worth of work. It was one of the reasons I was so excited to return home today from my job at the café. He had today off and Brandon was off galavanting, doing whatever shit he mentioned last night at dinner. I didn’t care. I had my Alpha all to myself.
But there were no footsteps. There were no responses to my lame entrance. There was just… silence.
My wolf perked up, her ears twitching as it sniffed the air. It seemed almost stale… as if the romance had been ripped out of it and had been replaced with a twisted copper smell. No. My eyes grew wide with horror as I followed the scent, sniffing aggressively at the air and wondering how I couldn’t fucking smell it when I had arrived.
The scene that met my eyes had me staggering to my knees, the soft sniveling sounds of a bloodied, feral Omega bent over my Alpha. “Bra- Brandon?” I squeaked out, because while this one of those ‘I told you so’ moments, my heart was in my stomach and it was threatening to revolt.
He whipped his head towards me, his mouth full of what I knew to be my Alpha. Feral Omegas weren’t common, but by no means were they rare. In the last few decades, Omegas had separated into classes, the lowest of them falling prey to their wolf instincts. The gene was recessive and nearly impossible to detect. But there were always signs.
Signs I had seen months ago. Signs I should have mentioned.
Then I wouldn’t have come home to this.
The Omega shot me a wild grin, still chewing on whatever he had gotten his hands on. I didn’t even want to lower my eyes to the battered Alpha on the floor, knowing exactly what I’d find. But I couldn’t help myself. And now I wish I hadn’t.
Because the man lifeless on the floor was no longer my Alpha. He was a mess of limbs, intestines, and short of a few organs. By the faintly mingled scents and lack of clothes, I knew for a fact that he had been in the throes of passion before Brandon’s feral nature exploded.
My hands trembled as I reached forward to embrace what was left of my Alpha as if holding a piece of him would make the pain go away. Tears streamed down my cheeks as my breath lodged in my throat, sending me into a sobbing, hacking fit. “Why?”
But I knew there would be no answer, Brandon reduced to grunts and animalistic gestures. My mind told me that I needed to leave, to get help, to do anything other than sit here. But the shock had me rooted to the spot as the Omega took another chunk from my Alpha. Bile rose to my tongue, the horror clearly etched in my face, my wolf poised to fight but frozen by my emotions…
“Danica, do you know where the feral Omega went?”
I didn’t answer him, because I didn’t want them to know I had watched Brandon devour my Alpha. I didn’t want anyone to know that I had been so terrified that I hadn’t even fought the feral creature to defend what was left.
Sure, I was in shock.
But that didn’t make me feel any better about it.
I gritted my teeth, “It’s Nica or Dan or whatever the fuck, but not Danica.” Not something I should have been focused on right now, but it was the only thing that didn’t make me want to rip my heart out and offer it to my Alpha to pay for my sins.
He’s dead, Nica. It’s probably your fault too.
“I apologize, Nica. But there’s a feral Omega running around the streets and we’d really like to catch him before he does any more damage.”
My eyes narrowed at the detective because fuck if that wasn’t just a tad insensitive. Any more damage? So my Alpha was just collateral? I fought the urge to cry out and rage, remaining seated and just staring forward. Nothing good would come from attacking a human. “Don’t know,” I muttered. And I didn’t. Or at least I couldn’t remember anything.
A few seconds of awkward silence passed before I moved to stand up, finally shoving off the blanket. I needed to go home – right, there wasn’t a home anymore, was there? That had been my Alpha’s home. But he was dead. I had nowhere to go unless I tried for a night at that seedy hotel that everyone avoided like the plague. But it was better than sleeping under the bridge, right next to vampire territory.
My eyes drifted to my own clothes, soaked in blood and I froze. There was no reason for my state of dress, not based on the memories I still possessed.
“Danic – Nica, we found you draped over your husband, refusing to let him go. We thought you were feral for a moment until one of the other detectives, a werewolf like yourself, told us that you were just grieving.”
This is his blood?
That definitely made it worse.
I dragged myself to the corner of the room, pressing my back against the sides, and slid to my ass. Pulling my knees up to my chest, I wrapped my arms around them and stuck my face into my lap. It was a pitiful tactic, drinking in my Alpha’s lingering scent. But it would be the last time his deliciously ginger scent cocooned me.
I made a move to growl at the fucker, until another detective walked through the door – a werewolf. My hackles lowered immediately, finding solace in a familiar creature. “Fuck off, Tom. She’s in shock. And they were fucking mates. She didn’t just lose her husband.”
Finally, someone who understood.
Although it was a fucking sore point that I couldn’t show off my bite mark – the evidence that my Alpha and I had mated. Because we hadn’t. My Alpha’s reasoning had been sound at the time, the desire to love without bonds. But that seemed like fucking bullshit now.
Even as I knew that having bonded my Alpha would have hurt ten times worse now that I had lost him to a feral Omega.
I didn’t lift my head as a comforting cedar scent filled my nose and a gentle hand pat my head. “You’ll be okay, Nica. I promise.”
I wanted to believe those words. I truly did. But I’d have to get rid of the guilt eating away at my heart and until then, nothing would be okay.