“Minnie! Where are you, you, worthless mutt?”
Minnie Grayson’s head snapped up when she heard her father yell. She’d been scrubbing the pots and pans from supper the night before, but she quickly dried her hands and ran for the office at her father’s yell.
“Yes, sir,” Minnie asked, out of breath and panting from her mad dash.
Her father smirked.
He knew when he commanded her two months ago, to not shift it would weaken her, her lack of food didn’t help either. Combined, it was beginning to take a toll on her physically.
He was her father and her Alpha. He hated her.
Why? Because she was born female.
Her mom had miscarried repeatedly until she’d finally carried Minnie to term. Minnie was their only child and as alpha, her father had wanted a boy.
He believed females were only good for two things. Making babies and keeping house. Females weren’t meant to be Alpha. It didn’t matter that the gold ring around the blue of her iris was proof she carried his alpha gene, not to him. He refused to acknowledge it and when her mom died eight years ago, it became ten-year-old Minnie’s job to keep the house.
Now she was eighteen and he had plans to mate her to his beta, Brutus.
“As you know I have to make every effort to find your true mate before I can give you to Brutus,” Father began, bringing her back to the present.
“Yes.” She knew wolf law. She also knew that if her father didn’t abide by it the council could have him imprisoned. That was the only thing that kept him in check, just barely.
“Well, I truly don’t believe you have a mate, since we’ve made the rounds, twice now since you turned sixteen. Regardless, I received a call today from the Windsor Pack Alpha regarding rogues.”
Minnie frowned at his words. Windsor Pack? Who were they? She didn’t recall ever going to a pack by that name.
Father gave a humorless chuckle. “Don’t strain yourself, stupid. You haven’t gone there before. Tomorrow we will go there and when you still don’t find your mate the deed will be done. After that, you have three days to prepare to mate with Brutus. Then you will be his problem to deal with instead of mine.”
Minnie swallowed hard. Brutus was just like his name described a brute. While it was true that her father liked to slap her sometimes, most of his abuse was verbal. However, she knew Brutus wouldn’t be so kind.
“What if I do find my mate in that pack, sir.”
An evil look crossed Father’s face.
“I’ll kill him of course because you’re promised to Brutus. Now, leave me and go pack a bag. You know the drill,” Father ordered before picking up his pen. He then began to write, dismissing her from his mind.
Closing the door gently behind her, she quickly made her way up the stairs to her bedroom. Once there, she paced the room in a panic. She needed to figure out a way to get away from her father. Somehow, someway, she had to do it because she refused to be a mate to Brutus. She would rather die or die trying.
Moving to the corner of her room, she moved the small table slowly across the floor. She then carefully pulled up the carpet there. Underneath a loose board, there was her stash of money.
Some of it had been earned babysitting and doing odd jobs when her father had let her. Which he did quite often because then he didn’t have to deal with her being around. Most of it had been given to her by her mom, on the rare occasions she’d been in her right mind.
The doctor had told Minnie that after so many miscarriages her mom’s wolf was losing it and it was only a matter of time before it killed her. When her wolf had finally died, mom couldn’t deal with it and took her own life. Before she did though, she’d given Minnie money.
Mom knew father had never accepted Minnie, no matter how hard she’d tried to get him to. She’d said that one day it might get to the point that Minnie would need to leave, that it would take money to do so. Tomorrow was that day.
When I leave out of here tomorrow, I won’t be returning. Ever.
With that thought circling through her mind, Minnie packed what was important to her.
Tony Morrissey stood naked and tied to a post in the middle of the pack training field. He’d been left there overnight after the alpha had whipped him, and he was now exhausted. The only thing holding him up was his bindings. As an omega, he was deemed worthless to be anything but a scapegoat for the Alpha’s anger.
He sighed as the rest of the Windsor pack began stirring and a few of them stopped to laugh as he shivered in the cool air. Soon a few of them would begin coming by to spit on him or throw punches. He was used to it, it was nothing new, but it still hurt that they did it.
He was no longer allowed to shift, and his wolf had stopped speaking years ago. Sometimes he wondered if he even still had a wolf. He hoped so because he missed him and hoped that one day, he would feel the wolf inside again.
His stomach growled and he longed for something to eat. He was never fed much and was able to count every one of his ribs because he was so skinny.
He didn’t understand why he was treated this way, didn’t know what he’d ever done to anyone in the pack. Nobody ever told him why he was treated like scum. Their only explanation the few times he’d asked was that he was an omega and worthless.
He thought that pack was supposed to be about family. He was born in this pack; didn’t that make him family? Honestly, he was ready to die. Who would miss him anyway?
His head came up slightly as he heard sounds, bringing him out of his miserable thoughts.
“Get him untied and into a cell. The neighboring Alpha will be here soon, with his daughter who is looking for her mate,” Tony heard the alpha say. “Out of courtesy, I’ll show him around while he’s here, but we wouldn’t want him to see the pack eyesore, now would we?”
“Nope, can’t have that,” the beta agreed with a snicker.
Then rough hands were untying him, and his knees hit the ground because he had no strength in his legs after hanging all night. They didn’t care though, they just grabbed him under his arms and dragged him across the hard-cold ground.
By the time, they made it back to the cells, his knees and the tops of his feet were cut and bleeding badly. Nice new wounds to add to the whip marks across his back from his beating the night before.
The whip had been dipped in silver, more pain for him, and more pleasure for the audience when he screamed. That’s what the Alpha had said before the whipping had begun. He’d disappointed the audience though because he’d refused to make a sound.
He was sure the wounds on his back would scar after they slowly healed. His healing was already slow, due to his wolf being AWOL, but the silver would make it even slower.
His head came up when he heard the keys at the cell door. A cloth was thrown, landing in front of him.
“Put these on. Nobody wants to see that pitiful excuse of manhood,” the guard said with a laugh before leaving.
Tony quickly pulled on the shorts he was given. Once dressed, he crawled back into the corner. Laying there, he shivered in the darkness until sleep overtook him.
Sometime later, he was awakened by voices.
“No, we haven’t caught any rogues. So far, they’d rather be dead than captured,” the alpha said.
“Well, the only good ones are dead ones anyway,” another man agreed. “Who do you have in here then. From the stench, I’d say you have a filthy omega.”
“That what I have,” his alpha agreed.
The two men chuckled.
He frowned as he slowly sat up.
There was someone else with them… a she-wolf? It must be a female because no man would smell like coconuts.
He took a deep breath and scented the light scent of coconut. After so long in this dark cell, the smell of coconut moved over his senses like sunshine over his cold body. He had always loved the taste and scent of coconut. It took him back to his childhood and his mother’s love for him.
He moved forward a bit, trying to see the she-wolf. It was too dark though, his eyes too weak, like the rest of him.
“This is our omega, a worthless waste of space!” My alpha spat as he and another man stood in front of the cell.
Tony knew it was the visiting alpha because he had that aura about him.
The visiting Alpha laughed. “You hear that daughter? Someone as worthless as you.”
Then the men turned and left.
Tony sank back into the corner, left with nothing but the fading scent of coconut and the cold.