Thea wasn’t sure what she had done so wrong in her life to deserve this fate, but that thought was the only thing running through her mind the next morning.
Orpheus drove on as she and Malik sat next to one another in the back of his car, embarking on this new life together at the Apo to Chaos pack. To a casual observer, they might have appeared to be a picture-perfect little family; unfortunately, that statement couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Although he had been ignoring her from the moment she stepped out of the pack house earlier that morning, their eyes locking instantly, he kept glancing at her through the rear-view mirror as he drove. She couldn’t decide what she hated more: the silent treatment or the predatory look in his eyes, especially since he wasn’t the least bit concerned with hiding the fact that he was keeping his eyes on her.
While he might be wary of her trying some sort of grand escape, Thea wasn’t going anywhere. The only thing that she could think of right now included throwing herself out of the moving car, but, that was definitely not an option with Malik with her, any more than leaving him behind. As much as she wanted her son to be safe from Orpheus, she also wanted him to be alive and feared that throwing him out of a moving car would jeopardize that.
They were in this together now, and that was that.
Sighing quietly, she turned her head to look away from the window, tired of looking at the forest where all of the trees looked the same. There were so many questions on her mind, yet she didn’t dare voice them aloud in fear of retribution, especially after how messy the trial had been last night.
True, she had stumbled over her story, but only because of all of his probing and intrusive questions – a callous attempt to attack her resolve and character to make her look less in front of everyone. She had hoped that the Council would have been able to see past his transparent tactics for the truth, but it appeared not.
Even though she was shocked and upset, she was not all that surprised. This was exactly the sort of thing she feared would have happened if she had authorities to file a case – but perhaps it would have been better if she had done that years ago. At least then, it would have been a police officer questioning the truth behind her words and not her rapist himself. The worst that could have happened to her then would have been being sent home while they laughed at her, but now, she was being forced to live with her rapist and his pack against her will.
Trying to rid her mind of such thoughts, Thea sighed and shook her head.
As they were still in the vicinity of the forest, Thea could tell that they weren’t too far yet from the Lupum Griseo pack, but that still left so many questions unanswered.
She knew that he was the Alpha of the Apo to Chaos pack and that was where they would be heading for the foreseeable future. Even though Anastasia was determined to appeal for another trial, Thea didn’t dare to get her hopes up – she had no idea where the pack even was. She wanted to ask what he planned to do with them, what their living arrangements would be like, whether all of the rumours were true about him and his pack, and – most of all – why he even wanted them there. She didn’t peg him for much of a family man.
Thea had never heard of a rapist wanting to start a family with one of his rape victims, which made her wonder if he had done this to other women. What if she arrived at the pack and found a harem of rape victims; that he had managed to coerce and bully into moving in with him?; Was she to be just another trophy of his horrendous acts, which he somehow took pleasure and pride and pleasure in?
There were so many questions yet they all died on the tip of her tongue the moment their eyes locked through the rear-view mirror.
Of course, she was the first one to look away; unable to look in the eyes not only of her rapist, but the man that had all but convinced everyone that she had mixed up consensual and non-consensual sex, – the man who had insinuated she was nothing short of an alcoholic crying wolf after having been unable to accurately recall what exactly had happened that night. In reality, she feared that she would never forget it.
“Mummy?” Malik called out to her, forcing her back into reality as she turned her head to face her son.
“Yes, baby?” She hummed back softly with a soft look in her eyes despite the unfortunate circumstances that they were stuck in. “Are you hungry?”
“Can we have pancakes?”
“Maybe later.” Her lips tugged down into a frown as she rummaged through her purse for what she had packed for him. “How about a croissant?”
“Okay.” He smiled softly while reaching out to receive the flaky pastry. “We can have pancakes later?”
“Sure.” She smiled and reached out to brush her fingers through his hair , though she wasn’t sure if that would even be possible. For all she knew, he could be taking her to the pack only to lock her up in the dungeon for forcing him on trial.
The next few moments passed by in near-silence, with only the sound of Malik’s innocent, child like musings as he coloured in the elephant in his colouring book with a blue crayon.
However, that very quickly came to an end when Orpheus started slowing down and switched lanes.
“Why are we stopping?” Thea couldn’t help but ask with wide, fearful eyes.
While there was the possibility that they had arrived at his pack, it had been less than 2 hours so she sincerely doubted that.
Instead of answering, Orpheus growled quietly, changing lanes again before finally taking a right and getting off the main road. When she turned her head to glance behind, she saw that other black, non-descript cars just like his had done the same; loyal pack members closely following behind their Alpha.
Was this where he was going to kill them?
When the car finally came to a stop, she could hold back her questions no longer.
“What’s going on? What are you going to do to us?”
As if her questions did nothing but irk him, Orpheus gave her a dark, menacing glare over his shoulder, but instead of reaching over to grab her like she expected, he reached for the door handle instead before pushing it open.
“Stay in the car!” He grunted before slamming the door shut behind him, not the least bit concerned with being gentle.
When the car beeped, she knew that he had locked them in.
“What’s going on, Mummy?” Malik asked as he turned his head to watch the evidently scared expression on her face.
“I don’t know, baby, but everything’s going to be okay, – I promise.”
She could reach over to give him a cuddle as she knew that her reaction was starting to make him feel scared too, but gasped loudly and all but jumped in her seat at what she saw. Six men flanked the car byon all on all sides: one in front and one behind, the other four in front of each door; ensuring that they had no chance to escape nor see much outside of the car. “Why bother,” she thought, as Orpheus had already been sure to lock the doors behind him.
Despite her fear that this was where he would return to kill them and leave their dying bodies in the middle of nowhere, she kept a smile on her face for her son, quietly encouraging him to finish his croissant so he could get back to his colouring book.
While she watched him with one eye, she made sure to keep the other on the doors and the men guarding them, not trusting any of them to not try something if she so much as let her guard down.
If any of them did, Thea doubted that Orpheus would rush to their rescue. In fact from his track record, she wouldn’t put it past him to join in.
After what couldn’t have been more than ten minutes, the beep sounded again as the doors unlocked. All of the wolves moved away to head back to their respective vehicles, which she was now able to see were parked just like the car they were in, Thea turned her head just in time to find Orpheus letting himself into the car.
When he glanced over his shoulder to lock eyes with her, he dropped a warm paper bag on her lap before turning his gaze back to the front.
“What’s this?” She couldn’t help but whisper in a quiet voice, almost afraid to check what the bag contained.
“Pancakes,.” he grunted, before slipping his key back into the ignition and starting the engine up again. Before she could even bring herself to move after the shock of what he had just done, he was already driving out of the parking lot, back toward the main road.
“I love pancakes!” Malik declared, grinning at the man in front, and completely unaware of the messy situation that they were in.
“Me too, kid.” Orpheus chuckled as he joined back on the main road, resuming the drive to the Apo to Chaos pack – wherever that was.
As much as she wanted to stop Malik from speaking to him, she knew she couldn’t do that.
Instead, she reached into the bag and pulled out one of the two containers, opening it up and handing it to Malik so he could enjoy his breakfast, having abandoned half of the croissant when something sweeter had come along.
She didn’t dare thank him for the kind gesture, not after everything that he had done to them. One good action wasn’t about to reverse all of the horrid things that he had done already. While it was some progress, she knew that he could buy her all of the pancakes in the world yet her resolve wouldn’t break.
A rapist is always a rapist.
Almost as if sensing the direction of her thoughts, Orpheus locked eyes with her in the mirror, an unknown edge to them as he dared her to look away first like she had done numerous times before during the whole ride.
Unwilling to conform just because he expected her to, Thea merely rolled her eyes and stared back.
It was only when his eyes clouded over, indicating that he was mind linking with someone, that he broke the trance and she was able to look away without looking like a coward.
With Orpheus driving and busy with his mind link, Malik enjoying his pancakes, and nothing for her to do, Thea closed her eyes briefly. She rolled her head back against the headrest, falling asleep quicker than she could resist it.
Thea wasn’t sure how much time had passed but when she felt someone shake her and move her hair out of her face, she groaned quietly and pushed herself up into a sitting position, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. However, that was not necessary; the moment she locked eyes with the dark orbs staring back at her with an indecipherable expression, she was wide awake.
Pushing him out of the way, she stepped out of the car and was quick to make her way round to the other side to get Malik out. Having fallen asleep with the colouring book still on his lap and some maple syrup smeared around the corners of his mouth, the little boy had no idea what was going on and so didn’t notice as the strange man was quick to follow behind her.
Thea wasn’t sure for how long she had been asleep or even what part of the country they were exactly in, but it was starting to get dark and it appeared that they had finally arrived at the Apo to Chaos pack.
Unable to swallow the bitter truth, she gulped and forced her eyes down as she opened the door and reached into the car to unstrap Malik, not knowing what else to do or what to make of the foreign situation.
“Welcome to your new home, mate.” Orpheus chuckled as he came to stand behind her, resting his hand on her shoulder, his touch surprisingly light and gentle.
Nonetheless, Thea tried to shuck him off her. He growled in response and dipped his head to place a kiss just under her ear, almost as if completely unfazed by her reaction... or rather, encouraged by her dismissal.
The simple thought sent a shiver down her spine, and she hated the fact that she had to fight her body from leaning back against him.
“Get used to it, because the only way you’re leaving this place, is if you’re dead.”
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