1. the Attack
I woke up staring at a familiar ceiling. My body was sunken into the same old mattress that I’d been calling my bed ever since I could remember. A stale stench hung heavy in the air and tasted foul as it entered my aching body. I’d survived another beating and had the still healing bones and bruises to prove it. And tomorrow would be another battle, one I didn’t know if I could win.
I slowly propped myself up on my elbows, winced and whimpers escaping my lips as I applied pressure on my beaten body. Normal werewolves would’ve healed within hours if not minutes of receiving the pain I had, but because Alpha barely let me eat, let alone train to strengthen my body, it usually took almost 12 hours for me to heal...just in time for my next beating. I pushed myself into a fully upright position, curses flowing past my lips as the pain intensified with my movements. I gently rubbed the aching ribs that he’d mercilessly broken after I didn’t fix his dinner to his liking, but even if I had, he would’ve found another reason to beat me. The house wasn’t as clean as he wanted, my hair wasn’t perfectly pinned up, or even if we just happened to cross paths. But no matter how many times he’s done it to me over the past twelve or so years, I’m always defenseless and at his limited mercy. Alpha hated me, and he made sure to show it, especially when Luna Abigail wasn’t around. He even threatened to leave me at the mercy of the heartless rogues if I told of even thought about crying out for help. But sometimes it was the hard tell who was the lesser of the two evils, him or the rogues.
I sighed as I took the dirty pink hair tie I kept around my wrist and pulled my oily, unkempt brown hair into the neatest bun I could. Alpha didn’t allow me to shower or wash my hair more than two times a week, but sometimes Luna Abigail would sneak in when he wasn’t around and do it for me while endlessly apologizing for her mate’s actions. Sometimes she even brought me leftovers from the dinner I was forced to make, but never allowed to partake in. I liked Luna Abigail because she was the only one in the pack that cared for me and was the closest thing to a mother that I’d ever had since my parents decided to go rogue when I was only six. Alpha Phoenix had personally gone after them and captured them, forcing myself six-year-old self to watch as he ripped their heads off of their bodies and throw them into the fire pit we used to burn the bodies of traitors and rogues.
I still have nightmares.
And even though he killed them, he still made me suffer for a choice I had nothing to do with by making me the pack’s maid and his personal punching bag. Whatever anyone needed, I did whether it was cleaning, cooking...sex. A shiver ran down my spine at the countless memories of males using my body for their desires, ignoring the silent pleads in my eyes because I wasn’t allowed to say no. “She didn’t say no, so she must’ve wanted it,” they’d say to their companions and they’d laugh and leave my sore, often bleeding naked body engulfed by the sinful sheets of their bed until Alpha lugged my weak body out to do whatever else anyone wanted. I bite my trembling bottom lip as tears filled my eyes, but I hastily wiped them away. There was no time for tears. I had to hurry up and make Alpha’s breakfast before he woke up. I quickly glanced at the clock. 3:13, it read. Great, I have forty-seven minutes left. I pushed myself off the bed, the floorboards of the attic creaking as I did so, causing me to flinch. Sound in this house traveled very far very loudly and the last thing I wanted was for Alpha to beat me for waking him up and for breakfast not being ready on time.
I took small, light steps across the floor until I made it to the stairs in which I quickly descended and made my way past the Alpha and Luna’s bedroom and down to the kitchen. I worked as fast and as quietly as my healing body would allow me to. I was in the middle of making the sausage for the breakfast when suddenly, someone’s rough hands tightly grabbed me by the shoulders, causing me to yelp in surprise as I shrunk back with closed eyes, waiting for the punch or slap that was inevitably coming. “What is wrong with you, useless mutt?” Alpha Phoenix hissed, his stale morning breath stinging my nostrils as he spoke. “Look at me!” I opened my eyes and saw the look of pure rage in his eyes. I braced myself for the worst. “Dumb pup, don’t you hear the attack siren going off?” he roared, and as if someone had taken headphones from off my ears, I heard the blaring siren that only went off when rogues were attacking. I had to resist the urge to cover my ears.
“Phoenix, give the poor girl a break, she was only trying to do her job,” Luna Abigail chastised as she took me from her mate’s rough grasp. “Come on, Avery, let’s get you to the safe room.” I merely nodded in response and allowed her to drag me in the direction of the rooms I’d visited during our many drills...or where Alpha took me to beat me so no one could hear me and made me scrub my own blood off the floor so Luna Abigail wouldn’t see it. I hope I did a good job.
As we quickly moved through the house, my sensitive hearing picked up the sound of combat in the distance. Claws against fangs. Wolf against wolf. “I have to help the Warriors,” Alpha said, stopping before his attention turned to me. “You better make sure my mate gets to that safe room without a single scratch or I swear to the Moon Goddess I’ll-”
“Phoenix that’s enough!” Luna snapped, causing him to nod though he didn’t take his narrowed eyes off of me. “Just make sure she stays safe, understand, pup?” I nodded, looking down in order to avoid his heated gaze.
“Good,” he grumbled before he quickly kissed Luna then hurried off in order to join the Warriors in the fight against the threat.
“I’m sorry about him,” Luna apologized as she hurriedly started leading us to the safe room. “I would leave him but...” she trailed off as her eyebrows knit together for a second before she shook her head and continued pulling me in the direction of the safe room. “Never mind that. We must get to the safe room before-” she stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes growing wide. “No, impossible,” she whispered.
“What’s wrong, Luna?” I asked, the frightened look on her face scaring me.
“They’ve found us,” she whispered, her voice shaking with pure terror, causing my heart to race.
“H-How?” I stammered, shock sinking deep into my system. The halls surrounding the safe room blocked our scents and there weren’t any windows, so how could they have-
“We have to get out of here. Climb on,” she said before she effortlessly turned into her beautiful white wolf with piercing green eyes. I didn’t waste a second climbing onto her and holding on to her soft fur as tight as I could.
Wind ripped through my hair as she effortlessly burst through a door and descended into the madness- wolves fighting all around us, blood staining the ground, screams and cries. I quickly realized that this wasn’t a rogue attack, they were too organized and put together to be a band of rogues. My attention turned to two men in their human forms mercilessly attacking Sapphire, one of the only people who’d been kind to me, and on their arms were tattoos that confirmed my thoughts.
These weren’t rogues. These were wolves apart of Alpha Greyson’s anti-pack who go around spreading fear through packs and killing or sparing whoever they wanted without anyone stopping them. I tightly bit my bottom lip in order to strangle the scream that so desperately wanted to escape my lips as my grip on Luna Abigail tightened drastically.
Close your eyes, love. Everything will be over soon, she cooed through the Link, a mental connection the Alpha and Luna has to all their pack members. I nodded and closed my eyes, gripping her as tight as I could. The screams became louder and the smell of blood hung heavy in the air. A shudder ran down my spine as my mind ran wild with pictures of what the heartless beasts could be doing to my fellow pack members.
We’re going to be at the border soon and then we’ll go to the neighboring Howling Hills pack, Luna Abigail said before I was suddenly side tackled, a scream pushing past my lips and my eyes snapping open to reveal a dark brown wolf on top of me, it’s fur matted with fresh blood and it’s cold eyes trained on me. A loud shriek escaped my lips, causing it to give me a wolfish smile before it bared its blood covered fangs getting ready to seal my horrid fate. I could see the bits of flesh stuck between its teeth from its previous victims and now I was going to be next, a souvenir stuck between his razor-sharp teeth. But before it could close its jaws around my throat like it wanted to, a white mass tackled it off.
Her massive white wolf pinned the brown one to the ground, a loud growl escaping her lips before she swiftly ripped its throat out, causing it to shift back to its human form, eyes wide and covered in dark crimson.
"Come on, Avery,” she demanded through the Link her and I shared. ”We need to get out of here before-” Suddenly her giant wolf tensed before she transformed into her human form, eyes wide and blood slowly trickling out of the corner of her mouth. I opened my mouth to call to her, but her name died on my tongue when I saw a rogue with its hand shoved deep into her back, his fingers undoubtedly wrapped around her heart.
“Nice to finally meet you, Luna,” he spat as a wicked grin grew on his lips before his eyes trained on me. “Such a shame such a pretty girl has to witness this,” he whispered as he greedily licked his lips.
“Avery run-!” She pleaded before the rogue ruthlessly ripped her heart out, her body instantly falling and revealing his hand holding her source in life and his fingers covered in the red that once flowed through her veins.
Despite how hard I tried, a scream pushed past my lips. The rogue’s smile grew before he shifted into his massive black wolf and began running toward me. Without a second thought, I pushed myself onto my feet and ran as fast as I could away from the beast, but it wasn’t long until I felt a searing pain on my ankles which instantly caused me to fall on my face as the sickening smell of my blood filled the air.
The terrifying beast stood over me and I could feel his soar breath on the back of my neck. Tears overflowed in my eyes not only from the deep claw marks that decorated my Achilles’ tendons but also from the pure terror that was coursing through my veins. In the distance, I heard a thundering howl rip through the air drenched in pain and grief. It was Alpha Phoenix. He must’ve felt Luna’s Link indefinitely break. Her death is all my fault. If only I could’ve gotten her to the safe room faster or at least been able to protect myself-
“We have a beauty here,” said a deep male voice after he shifted back into his human form. He gently stroked my cheek with the back of his hand, causing a disgusted shiver to run down my back, though I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t due to the intense pain I was feeling and the fear that was relentlessly eating me from the inside out. “I wonder if you’re beautiful everywhere else too...” he mused as he began kissing the back of my neck with his hands wandering up my legs and under the extremely short shorts I’d worn to sleep.
I wanted to thrash, scream, and shout, but my body was too weak and slowly shutting down as black slowly crept to the edges of my vision. “P-Please don’t,” I begged, causing him to chuckle as his fingers inched closer and closer between my thighs.
“Don’t worry, princess,” his venomous voice cooed, “we’ll take good care of you.”
’W-We?” I asked, my voice shaking as fear quickly spread through my body at the thought.
“You didn’t think I was going to keep such a beautiful girl to myself did you?” he teased as he pushed the tiny strip of cloth that was protecting me from his invading finger to the side. “I just wanted a little taste just for me before I share, though.”
“Stop,” I weakly begged, the world slowly fading to black as I felt my body become numb, the stench of my blood becoming heavier and heavier in the air.
“Don’t worry, Princess. We know how to make you feel good.”
And those were the last words I heard before my world faded to black, not knowing what was happening to my broken unconscious body.