Chapter 2 ~ Birthday Horror
It's my birthday. The day I dread most, even more than the anniversary of my father's death or my mother's. I don't even know why, maybe because the loneliness feel a hundred times worse, or all my best memories come from past birthdays.
All I know is that this day is horrible, and I don't really expect much to come from it.
I climb out of bed and trudge into the bathroom for a quick shower. After, I moisturise my skin and put on some plain black underwear.
I bundle my wet curls into a messy bun at the back of my head and pick out my outfit for the day. A cream white skirt, that flows down to my knees and a knitted black sweater, that has three gold buttons at the top. I leave the first one open but close the bottom two and grab some black ankle boots with a slight heel. I get a slob of Vaseline out of the tub and put it all over my chapped lips.
It's still my birthday so I make myself waffles and drizzle some chocolate sauce over them. I cut a few strawberries up and scatter them all over my steaming hot waffles.
I'm about to dig in when I hear my phone buzzing from the other room. Sighing, I kick back my chair and head into the living room. I pull my phone go charge and see my Aunt Jessica calling.
There's also a message from Will wishing me a happy birthday with about a zillion kisses added on the end. I text back a quick thank you, and then swipe right to answer the call.
"Happy birthday my favourite niece!" She screams into the phone, almost deafening me. Aunt Jessica doesn't do anything half-heartedly.
Once when I was five and I had a bake sale for school, she promised me she would bake all the goodies and let my mum rest. It was the day of the bake sale and she promised to meet us there. I was scared that she had completely forgotten and was quickly nipping to the store to buy some cupcakes when she strolled in with about ten boxes worth of bake goods. She made doughnuts, cake, cookies, s'mores, cupcakes, pop cakes, pie, tarts. It's safe to say we raised the most money for the school fundraiser.
"I'm your only niece." I point out, rolling my eyes as I settle back into my seat.
"So? Anyway, how are you? 18 is a big deal!" It was a big deal. Sadly I could only share it with Will and my Aunt over the phone.
"Eh, it's just a number and anyways, if it's such big then why couldn't you come?"
"You know what the elders would say, you're going to be the next coven leader and you need all the practice you can get. Blah blah blah. I tried to sneak out but they caught me and gave me another warning. I'm sorry boo, I tried." I smiled fondly at the nickname she gave me as a child.
"It's fine, I mean I'll probably just stay in with Will and watch some movies. Maybe order a pizza?" I stuff some more waffles down my throat and pour some more sauce into my plate.
"Hey, it's my treat. The card should be coming and your present is on its way as well. It's not much but I hope you like it."
"You've already done so much for me, a present isn't needed." She is my only family and she helped my dad to raise me. In some ways, she's like a mother figure for me.
"It's only small. So, in other news, Drake was asking about you again." I stopped mid chew and my fork fell onto my plate, whilst the phone slipped out of my hands.
"Sky, Sky are you there?" I snapped out it and picked up the phone again.
"Yeah yeah, I'm here. So, he asked about me?"
"Yep, apparently your birthday hasn't been forgotten. He kept asking how his little kitten was and of course tried to manipulate me into giving away your address. As if, does he think I'm some sort of idiot?" My heart clenched at the sound of my old nickname Drake gave me.
"I have to go. School calls,"
"Okay boo, stay in touch kay?" I nodded for some stupid reason, and then muttered of course, before ending the call.
Would I ever be able to escape the nightmare called Drake?
I chucked my food in the bin, losing my appetite for chocolatey goods, and grab my bag. It was chilly but not freezing so I decide to ditch the coat and head out just like I am.
I fortunately manage to avoid Bethany and her minions, but I got a glimpse at Jack, who was leaning against the lockers joking around with his buddies. Seeing him instantly made me think back to yesterday with Alex.
It was probably one of the strangest days I've ever had and I still think I managed to dream it up. I have tiny goosebumps on my arm from just thinking about how it felt to have my arms wrapped around him, his fingers accidentally grazing my bare neck as he secured my helmet.
"Hey, birthday girl!" I jump up in shock and silently thank Will for bringing me out of my Alex obsessed thoughts.
"Hi stranger," I lean up to give him a hug and he pressed a kiss onto my cheek.
"Happy birthday." He whispered, presenting a small blue box with a white stain ribbon wrapped around it, in-front of me. I bit my lip and slowly untied the ribbon, before opening up the box. I gasp as I gently pull out the silver bracelet with a small heart dangling off it. It had the word hope scribed onto it in cursive writing and then Sky on the other side.
"Oh my god," I breathed out. Will takes it off me, only to put it onto my wrist. I don't miss the way his thumb lingers on my bare wrist and he turns over the heart so it's facing the right way.
"This is so beautiful. Thank you, you shouldn't have done this though. I don't deserve it." I whisper, my voice breaking slightly, as memories of my father come to mind.
"You deserve this, the world and more. You're my best friend, my only friend. I love you."
"I love you too." I say with watery eyes and hug him once more. The bells rings and we part ways as I head to science and he leaves to go to art.
Time flies by and before I know it, it's lunch. Will has basketball practice, I know right, basketball practice? He's actually really good and although he looks like a skinny scrawny kid, he's actually pretty strong and his chest is quite toned, but he still doesn't have those abs he's been working on it for a while.
I sit by myself on our usual table which is moved right at the back of cafeteria. I love to sit here because I have the perfect view of the woods, right behind the school. I especially love to sit here when it's raining. I could literally watch rain fall for hours and never get bored.
"Hey Skylar," My head turns and I look up to find Harry Scott staring down at me. A smile gracing his face.
"Can I sit?" He gestured to the empty chair next to him and I nod. Who am I to stop him from sitting in a free chair?
"So, it's your birthday right?" My eyes shoot back to look at him and I eye him curiously.
"Yes, why?" He shifted around in his chair nervously.
"Well, I just wanted to wish you happy birthday."
"Um okay, thanks." I go back to playing with the remaining pieces of fruit left in my fruit salad but stop when I catch him staring at me.
"So, have you heard about the party tonight? The Alphas's, well Jack, is throwing a big bash tonight. It's supposed to be really fun but I don't really want to go alone." I narrow my eyes at him in confusion.
"Then ask one of your hundreds of friends." He starts to laugh like I just said the funniest thing in the world.
"You are cute." Wait, what?
"I'm asking you out. Do you wanna go with me?" Harry Scott was one of the biggest players at Auburn high. He was tall, muscular, definitely attractive and very popular so, why was he asking me out?
"Why me? Why now?"
"You're hot. I mean, if you dressed up a little better and wore some make-up you would look like anyone of these chicks. I dig you, and I wanna just have a fun night with you. No pressure or anything, we can just hang out and talk. You don't go to many parties so I thought taking you to one would be fun?" Correction, I've never been to any party.
In that moment I had two options. Play it safe and stay at home, one again, or take a risk. Have some fun with Harry and maybe even gain a new friend or relationship in the process.
It's my birthday, I'm allowed to live a little right?
"Okay, I'll meet you there." I didn't want anyone knowing where I lived. Of course Alex knew and I suspect Jack knows as well, since their parents are the ones who acquired it for me.
"Cool, it starts at eight. I'll meet you in the kitchen." He gives me one of his panty-dropping smiles and I giggle like a little school girl, before quickly clasping my hand over my mouth in utter horror. What the hell is happening to me?
"Haha, until tonight baby." He winked and then walked off, leaving me with a flushed face.
After school, I met Will by his locker and we walked out together. I've successfully managed to get through the day without a single hitch and I've even got a date for tonight!
"Wait, so you're really going to the party with Harry?" My smile dropped and in its place a worried look formed on my face.
"I just don't know if you should. I mean, he hasn't spoken to you like ever and now suddenly he wants to date you? He probably just wants to get into your pants." I frowned and bawled my fists.
"Why? Is that horrible to think a guy might just actually like me? That he just wants to know me?" His hard expression softened and he reached out to touch my face but before he could, I stepped back.
"No, tell me. What, is it because I'm a freak? Because guy would want to date a freak, right? Or am I not pretty enough to be asked out?"
"It's not that Sky, you're gorgeous. It's just I don't trust him."
"Well, I'm going. You can come if you like." I mumbled as I folded my arms over my chest.
"I can't. My mum is going out with my dad tonight. I have to babysit and I have a lot of work to do. Sorry."
"No problem. See you later." I instantly regretted the harsh way I spoke but walked away anyway.
The party was in a couple of hours and I still need to choose an outfit and get ready. I pulled out my hair tie and began combing through my hair, before curling each lock into tight bouncy curls, that hung down to my waist. I haven't had a haircut in ages but I kind of like my long hair. Plus, I don't really trust anyone in this pack with a pair of scissors near my neck.
After I dig out a dress from the back of my closet, that my Aunt Jessica gifted me last year for Christmas. It's the kind of dress you would wear to a club and all my other clothes scream nerd so this will have to do. It's a white lace knee length dress with thin straps holding it up. The skirt flared out at the bottom and the neckline is a little too low for my liking but it'll have to do.
I decide to do a little make-up and apply a thin layer of foundation on, before adding the other necessities. I leave out the blush, since I'm probably going to be doing a lot of that itself tonight, and go heavy with the highlighter and lip gloss.
I grab some white sandals, the perfect choice of footwear, as my mode of transport is going to be my own two feet. I put on a necklace, the bracket Will got me and some small earrings.
I head downstairs when the doorbell rings and open it up to find a delivery man with a card and a box. Aunt Jess, I silently think, and I sign for the packages, before shutting the door and setting them on the kitchen counter.
I open up the card first and several money notes fall out, sprayed across the ground. I bend down and pick them up, remembering to shout at her when I call her next for giving me too much money.
There's a small note attached to the box so I grab it and read it first. Everyone should enjoy a little cake on their birthday xx.
I open up the pink box to reveal a single chocolate cupcake with pink frosting and the number 18 written on in icing. There's already a candle in the box and carefully, I pull it out and then grab a lighter from the drawer beside me. I light it up and close my eyes as I make my wish.
I hum the tune to happy birthday and then blow out my candle. I've got just enough time to eat the cupcake, so I quickly devour the whole thing and then grab my purse, before heading out.
The Alpha's house is in the middle of pack territory so I don't have to walk for long. As I approach the huge mansion, I remember all my previous memories of being here. Some happy, others not so. The last time I was here was a week after my father's death when I had no home or guardian. I stayed in the spare room for a couple of days and they were some of the worst days of my life.
I shake off the memories and focus on tonight. Only tonight.
I'm going on a date, my first ever date. I can't even remember the last time I've been so nervous and exited for something before. I hope I don't make a fool out of myself like before and I pray that I don't bump into Bethany, but maybe now that I'm with Harry, things will be different?
The house seems eerily quiet and already I'm on alert. I can't hear any music or see any lights turned on. Aren't people meant to go wild at parties? And I've heard that Jack's parties are the wildest.
I reach the door and freeze. Should I knock? No, that would be stupid. In the movies, people just sort of just walk in right?
I grab the door handle with my clammy hand and slowly open it up. It swings open with a creak and I'm met with darkness. What if something bad happened?
I take two steps in, when suddenly the lights flicker on and I'm stood in a room full of people. Most have looks of amusement on their faces, others are hunched over in laughter.
My eyes widen in fear as Bethany emerges from the crowd, clapping her hands and giggling like she's proud of herself. Two tall guys stand behind and recognise them from my history class. The taller out of the two slams the door shut, trapping me in my worst nightmare.
"You poor poor girl, you really though Harry Scott, one of the hottest guys in school, asked you out?" A chorus of snickers could be heard amongst the large group mocking me and I looked to my left. Harry looked like he was laughing the hardest and I gave him a look of betrayal, one that he just shrugged off.
"Sorry baby, you're kind of cute but I would never ask the freak out. Maybe we could still fuck though? I'm down if you are?" That sends everyone into hysterics, whilst I'm standing there completely heart-broken and embarrassed.
Will was right. Will was always right. Why didn't I listen to him? Oh yeah, because I'm an idiot who forgot that no-one likes her.
"Don't be silly Harry. Sleeping with her would mean you would contract a nasty STD." I wanted to scoff at the hypocrisy in that statement. I'm a virgin whereas Bethany has slept with more guys than she can count.
"Sorry hun, it was fake all a trick to get you here, so we could do this." She nodded at the two guys behind me and they each grabbed me by the arm. They started to carry me outside and once I saw what was awaiting me, I started to fight back.
"No, no, no, no, please. Don't do this, please." My bag fell to the ground and the mob following promptly stood on it, probably crushing my phone and lipgloss in the process.
They hold me against the cold wood and a boy comes forward, handing them some rope. They hold me so tight that there's no doubt in my mind I'll be waking up with bruises in the morning and tie my legs and wrists to the wooden pyre I'm currently forced to stand on.
The crowd gather around in excitement and begin to pulls out their phones. I couldn't help but beg. That's what this brought me too, begging, but my pleas for help just fell upon deaf ears.
"So, you all know what happened to the Salem witches. They were burned at the stake. Well we have our very own witch here to torture, so who wants to have some fun?" They all cheered in encouragement and Bethany pulled a lighter out of her pocket. She walked closer towards me and I squirm around, desperately trying to break free. I even try and beg my wolf to help but she's weak and useless, just like me.
"Don't worry, we won't burn you." I sigh in relief.
"We're going to drown you instead." She chuckles callously and moves out the way. Three guys walk towards me, each holding large buckets of water.
"Ready three, two, one," I brace myself and then scream. I scream as gallons of freezing cold ice water washes over me. The large chunks of ice smash against my head and face, but there's nothing I can do other than take it.
They refill the buckets and throw again and then again and then again and then again, until eventually they get bored and leave me hanging there. Freezing, in pain and drenched.
My teeth clatter against each other and soon enough the temperature drops, as night falls. The party goes on for what seems like hours.
Occasionally if my eyes went droopy or if they simply wanted to, another bucket is thrown onto me. I become numb to the pain and humiliation, knowing that nothing has ever amounted to this much hurt before.
Eventually people began to leave, forgetting about me in the process. I hung there, hating myself for everyone that caused this to happen. My own stupidity leading me to this.
"Jesus, what the fuck did they do to you?" My eyes flutter open and my saviour comes into view, looking like an angel from the heavens.
His dark brown hair messy and sticking up everywhere, like he just woke up from a nap, and he's wearing a pair of grey joggers and a basic white t-shirt but still he looks amazing.
"Alex?" My voice croaky and hoarse, probably from all the screaming I've done.
"Yeah, here I'll help you." I watch from the corner of my eye as his nail turns into a sharp claw and slices the ropes into two effortlessly.
My body lurches forward and I brace myself for the impact but instead I'm swept up into a pair of strong warm arms. I snuggle closer, desperately trying to steal all warmth I can from him. He holds me tighter and I close my eyes as he starts to walk forward. He carries me up a set of long stairs and then turns left.
This place has definitely been remodelled since the last time I've been here. I hardly recognise the pale blue hallways we're walking down. He holds me up with one arm and opens up a door with the other. He sets me down on a big comfy bed, that I could only guess as being his.
"I'll go get you a towel." He whispered softly, as I shivered in the darkness. He swiftly disappeared into what I assume to be the bathroom, joined to the room, leaving me alone.
The moonlight shining in from the windows was the only thing lighting up the huge room. I took the time to look around. There was a chest of drawers in-front of me, as well as two nightstands on either side of his bed. He had a desk in the corner of his room and a large wardrobe near the bathroom door. Posters of motorcycles were plastered all over his walls, and there was a magazine with picture a model in only underwear on the front cover, laying on his desk. I don't even want to think about what he uses that for.
I glanced at the clock on his wall and noted the time. Shit, it was 11:59. I'm officially 18. One minute later, 18 years ago, and I would have been born on a completely separate day.
My head tipped back, my fangs elongated and because I'm half witch, my eyes shone their usual violet colour, only brighter, illuminating under the moonlight.
The bathroom door swung open and I suddenly became intoxicated by this amazing smell. My could feel my wolf practically jumping around in my head in excitement. What the hell was going on?
"Mate." A deep voice growls and I turn my head to see Alex standing there, his eyes pitch black and his canines showing. My wish came true, I'm no longer alone anymore.