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A Rogue’s Choice

For nine long years Katie has been held captive by her father, a sadistic rogue alpha who’s despised her since her mother died during childbirth. Just as she’s ready to give up on life, she manages to escape, only to be captured by the Blood Moon Pack and their alpha, Kane. Expecting to be killed or worse, Katie is shocked to discover a welcoming pack. Unfortunately, her father follows her—along with some dark secrets from her past!

Age Rating: 18+

Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.

 

A Rogue’s Choice by Michelle Torlot is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

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1

Summary

For nine long years Katie has been held captive by her father, a sadistic rogue alpha who’s despised her since her mother died during childbirth. Just as she’s ready to give up on life, she manages to escape, only to be captured by the Blood Moon Pack and their alpha, Kane. Expecting to be killed or worse, Katie is shocked to discover a welcoming pack. Unfortunately, her father follows her—along with some dark secrets from her past!

Age Rating: 18+

Original Author: Michelle Torlot

Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.

KATIE

I pulled my beanie hat down over my ears, hiding my red hair beneath it.

I turned up the collar of my jacket in an attempt to keep warm. I shoved my hands into my jeans pockets, feeling around for the change inside.

As I walked into the fast food place, I only had one thing on my mind: a cheeseburger, and maybe to keep warm for a little longer.

It was January, and whilst there was no snow, the temperatures had plummeted.

I was glad there was no queue as I walked up to the counter. I glanced around quickly, glad that no one had noticed me. No one except the boy behind the counter.

He stared at me with fear in his eyes. I could smell it, too, above the lingering smell of greasy burgers that permeated the air.

“Cheeseburger,” I stated flatly.

“You shouldn’t be here!” he hissed.

He looked around behind me at the empty tables.

“You realize you’re in Blood Moon territory,” he whispered, a tremor in his voice.

“I don’t want no trouble!” he added.

I glared at him. “You won’t get any if you give me a fucking cheeseburger!” I growled.

He quickly grabbed a burger that was sitting under the grill and put a slice of cheese on top. Once it had melted, he chucked it in a bun and placed the contents into a polystyrene box.

“Onions!” I growled.

He rolled his eyes and opened the box. He quickly lifted the roll and chucked some onions on top. Closing the box, he shoved it across the counter.

I grabbed it and turned to walk away.

“Hey! You didn’t pay!” he yelled.

I turned and sneered at him, “It ain’t your lucky day, is it, alpha boy.”

I could smell his scent. He was clearly the pup of an alpha.

I hesitated for a few seconds, seeing if he intended to press the matter. He didn’t. I knew he wouldn’t, the cowardly bastard.

Pack werewolves only ever wanted to fight if they knew they outnumbered you. Rogues, on the other hand, wouldn’t take any shit.

***

There weren’t many benefits of being the daughter of Mason Ridgeway, but scaring arsey pack pups was one of them.

He’d known who I was as soon as I walked in the door. I’d tried hard to disguise it, as my father always insisted. Luckily, he was the only werewolf around.

I’d still be in the shit, though, for a couple of reasons.

One, I wasn’t supposed to leave the house where we were currently holed up. Two, the snot-nosed pup would likely tell his alpha daddy.

I munched on the burger as I headed back to the house. The streets were quiet, and I wasn’t being followed. Once I’d finished the food, I tossed the container away.

Reaching the house, I shoved the door open and walked in.

My father glared at me with his deep blue eyes. His dark brown hair looked dishevelled. We weren’t really much alike, apart from maybe our tempers.

“Where the fucking hell have you been?” he growled at me.

I sneered at him, “Out!”

I headed toward one of the rooms, which was where I usually slept.

I didn’t even reach the door before he grabbed me, spun me around, and backhanded me across the face.

The force of the blow sent me hurtling to the floor.

“I told you not to leave this house!” he growled, his eyes flashing black momentarily.

I put my finger to my lip and wiped the blood away that had started to run from the split he had made.

I glared at him. “And I told you I was hungry!” I hissed.

I never found it easy to back down. I always had a smart-mouthed answer. I always suffered for it. Today was no exception.

Before I could even blink, he grabbed me by the throat and slammed my back against the wall. Then he yanked my hat off and threw it to the floor.

My long red hair, which had been tucked up inside, tumbled around my shoulders.

He let go of my throat and grabbed my hair, viciously yanking my head back. It felt like a thousand needles were jabbing in my skull. I refused to cry or make a sound, though.

I knew better than to struggle; the more I struggled, the worse it would be.

His eyes narrowed as he stared at me. My nostrils flared angrily and my breathing became faster.

I felt my heart pounding in my chest. He would smell my fear, and that would probably make things worse.

“You’re just like your mother!” he hissed.

He held up his other hand, and I flinched slightly.

He smirked at me. He was a sadistic bastard, even to his own daughter.

Claws erupted from his fingers as his eyes turned completely black.

I whimpered as he dragged a claw slowly across my throat, enough for me to feel it without breaking the skin.

Then he dragged it slowly across my cheek, deeper this time. Pain erupted on my face, and I felt blood start to seep out of the cut he had made.

“You better watch yourself, Katie, or you might just end up like her!” he growled.

I felt bile rise in my throat, but I swallowed it back down.

He smirked and let me go.

I knew exactly what he meant. He didn’t mean that I would turn into a beautiful and sensitive young woman, which my mother had been. My red hair mirrored her own, as did my hazel eyes.

He meant I would end up dead.

He’d made me watch when he killed her. She’d had enough of being a rogue. She’d found a pack that would take her and me.

She was running from my father. We didn’t get far. He called it the ultimate betrayal, and the ultimate betrayal needed the ultimate punishment.

One of the other rogues held me fast, forcing me to watch as my father’s clawed hands plunged into her chest and pulled out her still-beating heart.

That was three years ago. I was only fourteen then. I still sometimes had nightmares, especially when my father threatened me with the same fate.

Before he killed her, I had been a normal young girl. Despite never having a permanent home, my mother tried to give me some sort of stability.

That all changed when he killed her. I became a hard-faced rogue. Even when he hit me, or worse, I never cried, not anymore.

The sweet young girl was buried deep inside, never to emerge again.

Being weak got you nowhere. I had heard my mother begging my father, saying how sorry she was. What good did it do her?

As I walked toward the bedroom, I heard Terence, one of the rogues that ran with my father, snigger.

“I’ll teach her some manners!” He smirked.

A shiver ran down my spine; I knew that Terence was a sick pervert. The way he looked at me sometimes made me want to vomit.

“Lay one finger on my daughter and I’ll rip your heart out, just like I did her mother,” my father growled.

I smelt Terence’s fear as I entered the room, and then I heard my father’s voice, this time directed at me.

“Make yourself scarce tonight. I’m having a meeting!”

Meetings only meant one thing, a group of male, testosterone-filled rogues getting drunk. Not a good combination when you’re an unmated female.

It also meant that he was going on another killing spree.

I couldn’t believe he would do this here. The Blood Moon Pack was the strongest in the country.

Rogues didn’t care about that, though; they just attacked with impunity.

Maybe I was like my mother. Even though I’d been born a rogue, I didn’t understand why they needed to kill like that.

It was pointless. It never really achieved anything other than to piss off the other alphas. I never expressed these views; if I did, my father would probably kill me without a thought.

I looked around the makeshift bedroom. It was actually more of a storeroom that a mattress had been chucked into. I didn’t mind too much; at least it gave me a little privacy.

I took off my coat and folded it up to use as a pillow. Then I settled myself down on the mattress. I cautiously touched my face.

Despite being a werewolf, I didn’t seem to heal as quickly as the others. Maybe it was because they were adults. They never seemed to scar, either, but I did.

It didn’t seem to stop him being a sadistic bastard. He would often inflict pain on me if he thought I’d crossed the line.

I never cried now, not even in private. Crying was a weakness my father didn’t tolerate. The last time I did was when he killed my mother.

He had sneered and called me weak and pathetic. He’d said he would soon toughen me up. I suppose he had.

My mother had told me he wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t sure. It seemed like all alphas were the same.

My father had been an alpha of a pack until another alpha had decided he wanted the territory for himself.

When the alpha killed my father’s mate, his luna, he escaped with a few warriors, swearing revenge. He apparently met my mother soon after.

He took my mother to his bed in an attempt to soothe his rage. When she found she was pregnant, she stayed with him. Perhaps my life would have been different if she hadn’t.

I knew my mother had loved me. I sometimes questioned whether my father did, but then, he wouldn’t have gone to such lengths to get us both back.

I’m sure he was disappointed when I was a girl. He probably would have loved me more if I’d been a boy.

I heard raucous laughter from the next room, my father’s and that of some other men. I guessed I wouldn’t get much sleep tonight.

I was right about that, although not in the way that I thought. A couple of hours after the other rogues arrived, my father opened the bedroom door.

“You stay here,” he growled. “We’ll be back later.” He hesitated. “If you go out while I’m gone, you know what will happen!” he threatened.

I nodded my head, but I should have known that wasn’t good enough.

He leant over, the smell of alcohol on his breath. He grabbed my face roughly.

“Am I clear?!” he growled again.

“Yes, sir,” I muttered.

He stood up and grunted.

A short while later I heard the outer door slam.

I slowly opened the door and peered out. The rest of the house was empty, but the living area looked like a bomb had hit it.

There were empty pizza boxes, along with empty bottles. The bottles had contained various types of alcohol. They had been tossed on the floor. Some of these people really were animals.

I walked into the kitchen, found a cleanish tea towel, and soaked it with some water. I cleaned the cut on my face as best as I could.

I figured I might as well try and get some sleep, so I headed back to the makeshift bedroom. I lay down on the mattress. Closing my eyes, I slowly slipped into a light sleep.

 

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2

KATIE

I was jolted awake by the sound of the front door being broken down. I quickly sat up on the mattress.

I knew immediately that it wasn’t my father or any of the other rogues. The scent was all wrong. Well, not wrong exactly. I could smell other werewolves.

Despite my not being able to heal, my father said I was the best tracker he had. I guess you couldn’t be great at everything.

The scent of strange werewolves could mean one of two things.

Either someone had followed me earlier, or my father's little killing spree had gone horribly wrong and one of the rogues had betrayed us.

I hoped it was the latter. If not, I was as good as dead!

The more pressing need now was to avoid being found. That could be a bit tricky.

The room I was in was nothing more than a glorified cupboard.

There were no windows, and the only exit was the door that led back into the main room. The main room that was now more than likely occupied by members of the Blood Moon Pack.

I stood with my back flush against the wall, so I would be behind the door when it opened. If it opened. I had no doubt it would. If I could smell them, likely they could smell me.

My only hope was that all the crap of empty bottles and pizza boxes might mask it slightly. It was a vain hope, really.

“This place is a fucking tip!” I heard one voice say. It was male.

I could smell three different scents. Likely there were three of them.

“Someone’s still here. I can smell them!” a female voice grunted.

Shit! If she can smell me, she’ll be able to track where I am.

Some werewolves are warriors or fighters, others are trackers. The trackers are always better at scent discrimination. A lot of packs had female trackers. They seemed to be good at it; I know I was.

The question now was, should I surrender, or should I try and make a break for it, after distracting them?

I was small for a werewolf, and fast. This particular pack had a bad reputation for how they treated any rogues they captured.

After my scaring alpha boy in the burger joint, I doubted they would be very sympathetic. I decided to try and make a run for it.

If I surrendered myself, my father would be furious! Not so much if I was captured after putting up a fight.

Despite the way he treated me sometimes, all I really wanted to do was make my father proud.

I waited silently behind the door. I’d heard two of them, but I knew there was a third.

I shoved my hands into my jeans pocket and smirked, finding the change that I hadn’t given to alpha boy.

Poetic justice, kind of. If I threw a handful of coins in the first one’s face, it would give me at least a chance. I grasped a handful and waited.

I heard the woman, even though her voice was hushed to a whisper. “In there…”

I watched as the doorknob turned, my heart beating violently in my chest.

As it opened, I prepared myself. I figured that I maybe had an advantage, inasmuch as my eyes were already accustomed to the dimly lit room.

It was the woman who entered. She had long blonde hair pulled up in a tight ponytail. I watched as she peered at the mattress, sniffing the air. Then she turned to where I was standing.

Still in shadow, I was able to throw the coins at her face before she even saw me.

I quickly scuttled past her, running out the door.

Unfortunately, her screams had alerted the others, and before I could run very far, I was grabbed by huge arms.

This werewolf was bigger than any of the rogues, and seemed bigger even than my father. I was small for a werewolf. Most she-wolves are usually close to six foot.

In comparison, I was tiny. Five foot and about four inches.

I squirmed and struggled, trying to get free, kicking my legs.

One arm was wrapped around my middle, pinning my arms to my sides, and the other was wrapped around my neck, threatening to cut off my air supply.

“Easy, pup!” he growled.

If that was supposed to scare me, it had the opposite effect.

I heard a growl as the blonde she-wolf stormed out of the room. She had a knife in her hand. With one look, I could see the blade was made of silver.

“Fucking little bitch!” she hissed as she stormed across the room toward me.

My captor spun around to face her, and then I heard another male voice. I knew there were three of them; I had smelt three separate scents, even from the closed-off room.

“Stand down, Carlotta! You know the alpha’s rules. No harming female prisoners!” His voice was authoritative, and he had an accent, which I suddenly realized was English.

Carlotta huffed and sheathed the knife as she sneered at me with a look of disdain.

“You seriously think the alpha’s mate would be a runt like that?!”

The thought of being taken to an alpha to be his mate, or his toy, sent a wave of panic through me. No way!

I managed to twist my head slightly to the side, and sank my teeth into my captor’s arm. I had tasted blood, so I knew I had bitten his arm deeply.

He immediately released me and jumped back, cradling his arm in pain.

“Fucking little mongrel!” he growled.

I immediately bolted toward the door, only to see it was blocked by the other male.

He stood there, legs apart, arms folded. He was even bigger than the other one, if that was possible.

I didn’t slow, and he looked a little surprised. When I was about four feet from him, I slipped to my knees, sliding down the tiled hallway, aiming to slide right between his legs.

As I slid along the floor, I looked up and saw him smirk. Too late I realized he knew my plan.

As I ducked down to slide between his legs, his knee came up and made contact with my nose.

The speed I was going at, and the force of his knee hitting my face, sent me plummeting backward.

I heard the crack as his kneecap made contact with my nose, and I tasted the blood as it rushed from my nose.

Almost instantly my vision started to blur, and I groaned in pain.

“I thought you said no harming!” Carlotta chuckled.

“Collateral damage!” he replied, the last thing I heard before I passed out.

***

The first thing I felt when I came around was the pain in my face. My nose was throbbing, but it felt kind of numb.

Normally when I was hurt, or after my father decided I needed some sort of punishment, I usually probed the area with my fingers to try and assess the damage.

I didn’t need to touch it to know that it was broken. Poking it with my fingers would only make the pain I felt worse.

I opened my eyes, not surprised to find myself in a cell. I’d never been captured before. We’d had a few close calls, but we’d always managed to get away.

I was lying on some sort of cot. The mattress was even thinner than the one in the house.

Before I had a chance to take in any more of my surroundings, I heard a voice I recognized.

“Well, well. If it isn’t Daddy’s little princess!”

I looked in the direction of the voice.

“Terence! You fucker, you told them, didn’t you!”

He looked at me and laughed.

“It’s every man, or should I say wolf, for himself.” He hesitated. “Besides, I might even be able to persuade them to let me have a little fun with you after they’ve finished with you!”

Despite the pain I was in, I jumped up and flew at the bars separating us.

“You fucking bastard!” I hissed. “I’ll kill you!”

He stepped quickly away from the bars. I could sense his fear. He knew that given half the chance, I would gut him like the pig that he was.

“You always were a fucking coward, Terence!” I hissed.

My attention was drawn away from Terence when I heard another voice I recognized.

“Step away from the bars, rogue! Face the wall, hands on your head,” he demanded.

He being the werewolf responsible for the current state of my nose.

I glared at him and growled.

“Don’t make me ask you again!” he growled.

I turned around and slowly walked toward the back of the cell.

I heard the cell door open, and I suddenly felt an excruciatingly painful jolt in my back.

I fell to the floor, groaning in pain.

“Too slow, pup!” He smirked. “When I tell you to do something, you do it the first time!”

I lay on the concrete floor, my heart racing, trying to get my breathing under control. I glanced around. He was carrying a rod that seemed to have sparks of electricity coming out the end.

A cattle prod. He’d used a fucking cattle prod on me.

“Bring her,” he hissed.

Before I knew what was happening, I was roughly grabbed and dragged along the corridor to another room.

It was brightly lit, and seemed to be empty, until I felt shackles being put around my wrists. They were suspended from the ceiling, and now so was I.

I couldn’t even put my feet on the floor.

The guards retreated to the corner of the room, whilst my tormentor paced up and down in front of me. I’m sure he was relishing the fact that I was in agony.

The weight of my suspended body made the muscles and sinews in my arms scream as they were pulled tight.

If I thought my father was a sadist, he was nothing compared to this creep.

“Now, little Ridgeway pup, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. I would recommend the easy way!” He smirked.

I swallowed hard. After what he had just done, I was pissed. I knew what he wanted before he even asked. He wanted me to betray my father.

That was never going to happen. I quite liked my heart where it was—in my chest. If they wanted to kill me, so be it; I wasn’t going to be a coward like Terence!

I glared at the bastard in front of me, and with every ounce of energy I could muster, I spat right in his face.

“Fuck off, you piece of shit!” I growled.

He was furious. I could see the anger in his face, and I watched as his eyes turned black. Not the sort of communicating black, but the letting-your-angry-wolf-take-control sort of black.

He didn’t shift, though. He balled his fist, and I felt the full force of it in my stomach. I gasped and cried out in pain.

Before I had a chance to recover, his other fist hit me. I screamed, then coughed as blood escaped my lips. My head lolled forward as I tried to catch my breath.

I heard him gasp in surprise as more blood started to trickle from my mouth.

He walked closer and grabbed a fistful of my hair in his hand, yanking my head back. The pain in my scalp was nothing compared to the pain in my stomach.

He stared at my face, then pressed his thumb to my nose.

I gurgled a scream in response as more blood erupted from my mouth. Then he stared at the cut on my face.

“Heal yourself, damn it!” he screamed at me.

I grimaced in an attempt to smirk at him. I knew why he was screaming. His alpha would have his ass if females weren’t meant to be harmed.

Probably in the past, he could beat them up and they would heal.

“I…can’t!” I groaned.

He stared at me in horror. “What do you mean? You’re a werewolf; of course you can! What happens when you shift?” he demanded.

If I hadn’t been in this much pain, I would have laughed at him.

I shook my head as much as I could with him grasping my hair.

“Can’t…shift,” I whispered, feeling myself beginning to fade.

He let go of my hair, and my head slumped forward on my chest.

“Alec!” he growled. “Give me your knife!”

The guard called Alec, who I couldn’t see, sounded panicked.

“You can’t, Beta! The alpha…,” he began.

“The alpha won’t know!” he hissed back.

“What won’t I know?”

The voice brought me back from the brink. There was something about it. Strong, commanding.

“Step aside, Nathan!” he growled.

I knew without even trying to open my eyes that Beta Nathan had stepped to the side. I felt an overpowering presence of authority approach me.

“Fucking hell, Nathan, what did you do?” he growled.

I felt a large hand touch my face.

The touch that should have caused me pleasure racked my body with pain as the electrical buzz going through my body stimulated the pain receptors of the injuries that Beta Nathan had inflicted on my body.

My whimper turned into a cry of pain.

“It’s not my fault, Kane. She’s Ridgeway’s pup, but she isn’t normal. She’s not healing!”

I heard Kane growl. I wasn’t sure if it was at me or at Nathan.

“Alec! Cut her down and take her to medical!”

As the guard cut me down, the last thing I heard before the darkness took me was Alpha Kane’s voice.

“Nathan! You better fucking pray to the moon goddess that she doesn’t die!”

 

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