Freedom is something that I have always wished for. Something that I can never have as long as I’m here with them.
My parents, no matter how hard I’ve tried to tell them, have never understood that freedom is something that will make me happy. Sure, they have provided me with shelter, food, and clothing, as any other parents should, but one thing that they could not provide for is something that a child will always ask for, even when they’re all grown up and have a family of their own.
It’s something that we give to the people we feel strongly about. Something that you feel when you find that special someone — in my case, my mate, since I’m a werewolf — and get married to them, spending the rest of your eternity together. What is that, you ask? Well, the answer is quite simple.
Although my parents gave me everything that I would need to survive, there’s always been this feeling as if they’re . . . unhappy. All their movements and actions feel forced when concerning me.
“Althea! Come down here. We have something we need to discuss,” I hear my mom’s voice call from the bottom of the stairs.
I sigh as I drag my body out of the small bed that my parents got me when I was thirteen, before heading downstairs and into the living room.
“Hurry up! We don’t have all day,” my father snaps, tapping his foot on the wooden floor impatiently. I scurry into a chair, feeling as if something big is about to happen.
My father looks at me in the eyes, his gaze cold and calculating as he observes me. I try not to squirm as I sit up straight, forcing myself to look ahead blankly as I wait for their next commands.
“Althea,” my mother starts off softly, but I can hear the impatience in her tone.
“Mother.” I nod at her curtly.
“Althea, we’ve called you down here to discuss . . . marriage,” my father starts off, pausing to see my reaction. I remain calm, looking ahead with a blank expression on my face.
“You see, it’s about time that you marry a fine man who will be able to provide for you and this family, supporting us financially if the time where we’re all sinking in debts comes,” my mother continues. I start to feel sick, having an idea as to where this is heading.
“Of course, you’ll also have to provide us our grandchildren who will be able to rule a pack when the time comes,” my father finishes off.
“We have chosen an alpha for you to marry. You’re going to be marrying Alpha Blaine of the Silver Creek Pack. We have already talked to him and made agreements on when the wedding is going to happen, and when you get to move out of this house and into his place,” my mother tells me in a monotonous voice.
I start to panic.
“Excuse me? What about my mate? I want to find him and be with him,” I hiss out, not being able to hold myself back. I quickly clamp my mouth shut and put my hands over them. My father’s eyes turn hard and cold at the sound of my voice, clearly not expecting me to say anything.
“What did you say, girl? Do you dare to talk back to us?” My father growls out, marching over to where I was seated until he’s standing right in front of me.
I stay silent and look down at my lap. I feel my father’s fingers gripping my chin tightly, almost making me whimper, but I hold it back.
“Well? I believe I asked you a question?” my father continues, his grip on my chin tightening even more.
“No, sir,” I reply stiffly, My father looks at me with cold eyes before roughly letting go of my chin.
“As for your mate, I’m sure he’ll understand. After all, he’s probably happy with where he is in life right now. You don’t want to hold him back from his only source of happiness, do you?” my father asks mockingly. I stay silent.
“Well, then. Now that everything is settled, you may go back to your room,” my father orders. I nod before standing up from the chair and walking up the stairs and into my room.
I look at myself in the mirror before letting the tears fall. I am not going to marry Alpha Blaine. He’s a pig who treats women as if they’re toys. I’m not going to be one of his victims. I simply refuse.
I pace around my room, trying to think of a way to escape everything. Suddenly, it clicks to me. I look out my window and gaze at the woods. Maybe there’s a little hope after all.