Prologue • Revised chapters
From the moment I opened my eyes, I knew I was different. Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. It was in my blood, the pieces stitched together and coursing through my veins.
I was Alpha.
Bang, bang, bang!
The loud banging comes crashing all around me, like an annoying tap dripping somewhere in the distance. I keep my eyes shut tight as I pull the blanket further up over my head, groaning in annoyance as I try and block it out; all the while, the banging only continues to get louder.
Three knocks and then stop, three knocks and then stop.
Grimacing at the annoyance building far beneath the surface, a low growl suddenly reverberates through my chest; I want to tell whoever is on the other side of that door to fuck the hell off, but what would be the point? I know what they’re after; I see what they want.
I’m a rogue, an outcast.
We are considered to be less than dog shit in the werewolf-shifting community. If we dare enter a pack’s borders, it isn’t long before they send out the cavalry to escort us out again.
I suppose I shouldn’t be too hard on alpha packs, right? At some point as a kid, I might have belonged to one. But I can’t remember because that would have been too long ago for me to try; all I’ve ever known is this, being on the run from wolves who keep trying to kill me. Moving from town to shitty town, all in hopes of settling down somewhere for just longer than a day or two.
I’m so tired, and all I want is some well-deserved goddam sleep. To wake up on my own accord instead of being forcefully woken up and ordered to leave.
However, saying no to an alpha pack isn’t an option because, as I said, I’m a rogue, and pack is pack. They stick together like a swarm of bees surrounding its queen, bound to protect her; that’s how wolves are about their pack. As an outsider, I don’t stand a chance; they won’t even stop to listen, and I’m sure that most of them are probably pretty admirable guys too, but not to someone like me.
Fuck, I’m tired. I suddenly wish I could just be swallowed up into the darkness of the night, invisible to both pack and rogues alike.
The banging keeps getting louder as a growling man standing on the other side of the door suddenly starts shouting the odds in a profoundly threatening voice.
Intimidating? Yeah, I’m sure he is, and if I was guaranteed a fair fight, I would probably kick his ass, but I know all too well that that would never happen; as I said, they stick together; pack is pack.
I just need a few more hours; I’ve been up all night running through the woods, running away while being chased by hunters. Yeah, besides having to worry about alpha packs, rogues also have to worry about hunters who know of our kind, and man, do they hate us.
I don’t know exactly where I am and don’t care. The place looked abandoned, so I helped myself climb through a rickety old window, just needing a place to rest my head before moving on. There was an old mouldy-smelling mattress on the floor with a half-moth-eaten pink blanket; it must have belonged to some kid, a little girl, maybe she was human, or perhaps she wasn’t. The scent is almost nonexistent through its mouldy odour, but at least it’s warm.
I can’t remember the last time I slept anywhere warm; I generally find myself sleeping in little hollows or caves if they aren’t occupied. Any place where I can go undetected and unnoticed. But it won’t happen that way for me; there’s no rest for someone like me in this world, the only way out is death or joining a rogue pack, and that’s not fucking happening.
My name is Wolf, that’s it. I don’t have a last name and can’t remember ever being given one. The name I have is the only one I know because it’s probably the only thing I remember about myself as a kid before everything turned into a ball of shit. I found myself out on the street, an outcast and a waste of the very thing I’m named after...
The mighty wolf.
I probably had parents or have, I’m not sure; I can’t tell you honestly, I don’t know. See, I’ve been on the run fending for myself for so long now that somehow, trivial little things like that seem to just morph into this continuous day-by-day routine of beating all odds, trying to survive, and stay out of the way of alpha packs, it’s all I’ve got.
If I have parents, they better be fucking dead because the alternative would imply that they left me and abandoned me when I was no older than two years of age, don’t quote me on that, though. I assume I was about two years old when I started having to fend for myself like a wild animal, but the truth is, I might have been even younger than that.
Knock, knock, knock... shout and scream, growl and grunt...
Not being able to take it any longer, I leap onto my feet, instantly feeling my muscles rippling and contracting through my body as the blood vessels feed them oxygen; I’m strong, but that doesn’t matter if you’re a mutt. My jaw is clenched tight, and I swear I could beat this asshole’s head in, but again, I doubt he would take me on alone. Being part of a pack means being part of a security blanket, something I’ve never had the privilege of being cushioned with; it’s always been me on my own. With one last click of my neck, I purposefully make my way towards the door, not even thinking of the impending danger probably standing on the other side of that door; I suddenly grip and yank it wide open. I’m instantly met with a behemoth of a man glaring down at me like I’m some bug in his soup or something.
I look him up and down and grin as I shake my head, looking him dead in the eye. I narrow my eyes as I bring myself to say something stupid. “Didn’t your momma ever teach you it’s impolite to bang on someone’s door in the middle of the night?”
Letting out a deep growl, he takes a step closer, his breath suddenly fanning my face; barf; someone is in serious need of mouthwash.
Do I want to punch him? Yes. Should I hit him? No, because just to the left of Mr Heavy breathing behemoth stands the rest of his cavalry; I count at least six... no, seven of them, and they’re just waiting for me to make one dumb-ass move like that.
“Get the fuck off our lands, mutt, by orders of Alpha Farkas of the Midnight pack; if you leave now, we won’t rip you to pieces.”
Sighing, I smirk, I fucking smirk at Mr Bohemeth. Who has a name like Farkas anyways? Luckily for me, though, he didn’t react, which is strange considering I just smirked at his face. I still think this situation is weird when he grumbles something while giving me this strange look; it’s between confusion and surprise. It’s like he sees something in my eyes that instantly makes him uncomfortable.
Furrowing my brows, I instantly break eye contact with him, now feeling uncomfortable by the stares I’m getting. Letting out a heavy sigh, I quickly move past him. His strange look is making me more and more irritated by the second. As I head past them and further up towards the woods, Mr Bohemeth suddenly pipes up and shouts from a distance, “Hey, mutt, who are you?”
Swallowing a heavy forming lump, I keep moving further and faster away from them as I shout back, “I’m nobody.”