A/N: This book is a continuation of the first book, ”Winning Over the Alpha.” Please read Book 1 before you start this. Enjoy!
The sound of a rat nearby piqued a young wolf’s interest, churning his stomach with hunger. In the darkness, the wolf’s ears tracked the gentle melody of tiny feet scampering over the saturated cobblestones, making the rat easy prey.
“Be patient,” the wolf thought, quietly getting into position and ready to pounce. The last thing the wolf wanted to do was let the rat know it was being watched. This was a meal he couldn’t afford to miss because one wrong move could mean starvation.
“Closer, closer,” the wolf thought, anticipating the rodent’s movements. He focused on keeping his heartbeat steady, syncing the rhythm to the sound of water dripping from the ceiling as minutes ticked by.
His back paws silently adjusted for the kill. “Now,” he exclaimed, leaping for his prey, but he was snatched back by a familiar sting digging into his raw bare neck. His emaciated frame slammed into the puddle of water below, knocking the wind out of him, as the rat retreated safely to its hole.
The stinging from the collar was the only way the wolf knew he was still alive. “Why didn’t that work,” he wondered, hunger gnawing away at him.
“Just give up. I did,” a voice resonated hopelessly in his mind.
The wolf was tempted to believe the voice was finally making sense. He had no idea how long they’d been trapped in the darkness, but it was all the wolf knew since he awoke within this shell of a body. Since then, there have been no chances of escape.
“Just lay here and sleep,” the voice coaxed, yearning for a different kind of freedom. Their idea of peace often crossed their mind during restless nights or days, he couldn’t tell in this abyss. The wolf ignored the voice’s plea and chose to hold onto the small fire burning inside him.
“Have hope,” he tirelessly urged the voice while trying to raise his head from the puddle, but it was so heavy. The voice inside his mind continued making sleep sound very welcoming, with promises of food, comfort, and love.
“That does sound nice,” the wolf thought, only being a victim of hate his whole existence. His eyelids grew heavy with sleep, but the wolf fought to keep them open. Then, the stinging began to disappear into a numbing vibration as the wolf’s breaths came out in shallow gasps.
“That’s right. Sleep,” the voice gently cooed, and the wolf’s limbs twitched as the vibration spread.
Before the wolf succumbed to the darkness, a faint sound played in the distance, piquing the young wolf’s curiosity once more. Then, a warm breeze filled the stale, damp air, enveloping the wolf’s body in a foreign feeling of comfort.
“What’s going on,” he asked the voice, but it was silent. The breeze continued to run over the wolf’s mangy fur, brushing gently past the large sensitive patches of raw, bare skin until finally wrapping around his neck.
He watched a soft amber glow chase away the darkness, allowing him to regain his vision for the first time in forever. The light revealed the only home he knew was a terribly wet, and dreary place.
Finally finding the strength to raise his head, a metallic clink sounded, and soon the heavy collar fell with a splash to the floor. This subtle sense of freedom sparked a newfound ambition and the wolf rose to his feet, slowly walking around the cell on shaky legs.
In the distance, a creaking moan echoed throughout the space, and the warm breeze blew again, pushing the wolf toward the sound as if it were begging to be followed. “What do we have to lose,” the wolf thought, becoming encased in the warmth once more before it retreated again.
The wolf was led by the breeze for a long time, following the twists and turns of the unfamiliar building. “Where is it taking me,” he wondered, turning to climb a flight of stairs to a door. He hesitated, fearing what could be waiting for him on the other side as torturous memories resurfaced. Still, the warmth gently urged him on and, after a deep breath, he closed his eyes, finding the courage to charge ahead.
His frail body slammed into the obstacle standing in his way and effortlessly tumbled out onto the soft wet ground. He was instantly swarmed by an overwhelming number of unfamiliar scents, sending a wave of panic surging through his body.
He froze in a protective fetal position, anticipating the painful beating that always came after breaking the rules. But, when nothing happened, curiosity got the best of him. Forcing one eye open, he became blinded by a light more powerful than the soft amber to which he became accustomed to.
“Too bright,” he whimpered while his eyes struggled to adjust to the relentless rays of the sun. When he could finally see, he was met with a beautiful clear blue sky. The wolf never saw such an open space before, and as his eyes traveled further down, he discovered a dense forest going for miles in front of him. His paws subconsciously clawed at the dirt, yearning to run, so he gave in to his instincts and ran freely across the open field as far as his feeble legs could take him.
After only minutes, his body was screaming for him to stop, but the wolf refused and pushed on, needing as much space between himself and the hell he called home as possible. When the sun began to set, the wolf curled up to rest in the trunk of a fallen tree, easily hidden from view.
“If they come back, there is no way they’re taking me back there,” he swore, gazing into the night sky as he thought about his captors. He’d rather die than let them take him back, especially now that he’s tasted freedom. With that final thought, he tucked his face into the warmth of his full belly as pleasant exhaustion took over his body.