Jade: I’m an omega, the lowest ranked member of the werewolf community. I’ve learned to keep my head down and stay out of the way, beaten and broken by life. I’m as plain and bland as they come, with nothing to set me apart from the rest. I don’t dream of finding my mate. Real life is nothing like a fairytale after all. All I want to do now is keep away from dominant males. But then he comes, shattering all my walls.
Alaric: There’s an ache that gnaws at me and nothing can ever numb it. My father sent me on this tour of diplomacy in hopes that it would temper my hotheaded ways and perhaps lead me to my destined mate, who would soften my heart. But I’m the Bloody Alpha, feared and respected by all, and no one can change me. That is, until I meet her.
Age Rating: 18+
My eyes sting from the bitter cold as I walk down the long, dark alleyway. It’s just past midnight, and the moon is almost full and glowing between the dark clouds, not that one can tell from here.
The tall brick buildings make the passage pitch black, except for the dim light at the end; it faintly glows like a guiding beacon.
Maybe I should’ve called a cab, but I can’t really spare the funds for it, and I don’t live too far from here anyway. But walking home alone at night is still nerve-wracking, no matter how short the distance.
Being a werewolf doesn’t help at all. I’m a low-ranked weakling, an omega. It’s almost more of a burden than a blessing.
The heightened senses and accelerated healing are beneficial, of course, but it doesn’t make up for the constant bullying from other wolves having the urge to make it abundantly clear that they are above me.
Sometimes I wonder if it would’ve been easier if I were born human. But there’s no point in even thinking about it. I’m what I am, and there is nothing I can do about it.
A gush of wind blows snow up my legs and under the skirt of my dress.
Shit! That’s cold!
The thigh-high, wool stockings do absolutely nothing to shield me from the bite of icy air. I pick up my pace and pull my coat tighter around my body.
What kind of stupid person goes out in this weather, wearing a knee-length dress and pumps, with only a wool coat as protection from the cruel cold? Me, that’s who.
I knew I was going to walk home even before I left my house, but I wanted to look nice for once. This is not a typical Saturday night for me, and I didn’t expect this much snow, or for the wind to pick up.
My best friend, Galina, took me out to dinner. I don’t have a lot of friends, but no matter what happens, Galina is always there for me.
The first time I met the little but loud-mouthed girl five years ago, we instantly clicked. We understood and respected each other, even though we were—and still are—very different.
She has this fierce confidence, and she comes from a high-ranking family with a lot of money. She’s not afraid to be the center of attention or to stand her ground against anyone.
I, on the other hand, am the complete opposite. I’m from a small, low-income family of omegas.
I’m quiet and timid, and I prefer to be invisible. I’ve about a gram of Galina’s five-ton confidence and see myself as less than average in every way possible.
But with her, at least I matter. I feel safe.
Money is still tight after leaving my parents’ house three years ago, so I’ve to be careful with every penny.
Galina never says anything about my financial situation, nor does she push me to accept help. She knows and respects that I want to make my own way.
When she said that she wanted to go out tonight, I immediately hesitated, but she quickly put her foot down, saying it was her treat since she was the one who wanted to go out, and she insisted I’d come with her.
So, I caved. I love spending time with her.
Galina is the only werewolf I know who has never shown any desire to flaunt her dominance over me. She has treated me as an equal from the very start of our friendship.
Tonight we enjoyed a three-course meal, wine, and then a few drinks.
I haven’t been out to eat in… Well, I can’t even remember the last time. But today, I had a lot of fun and actually managed to relax since most of the people in the restaurant were human.
The wind howls around the corners of the buildings as I walk down the alley. I think about how lucky I am to have a friend like Galina.
Suddenly, I’m startled by a sound behind me.
I turn around to look, but it’s too dark, and the falling snow is thick.
My heart hammers in my chest, and my body trembles in terror. I turn back and start walking again. My pulse is thundering in my neck, and I’m finding it hard to swallow.
Nothing to be afraid of, just keep going. Probably just a cat.
My gut twists, and panic consumes me as a gust of freezing wind hits me again. All my shitty history has made me a nervous wreck.
My mind always goes to the worst-case scenario, trying to prepare me, just in case shit hits the fan, which it usually does. It’s almost like I can sense it coming sometimes.
I still hear the faint laughter and chatter from the street with bars and restaurants behind me, but I doubt they would hear me if I screamed for help. The end of the alley is much closer than the bars anyway.
A clang echoes through the dark walls, followed by the sound of a deep voice, too muffled to understand, but it’s clear that someone is in the alley.
The realization makes my eyes widen, and the color drains from my face. I quickly rush toward the light at the end of the dark passage. My breaths are short and shallow, making me feel lightheaded.
Turning my head ever so slightly, I focus my hearing behind me and tune out the crunch of snow under my shoes.
I don’t want whoever, or whatever, is back there to know I’m afraid and trying to get away, so I keep the same pace but lengthen my steps considerably.
As I speedwalk, my heel hits a patch of snow-covered ice, and I slip and fall straight on my ass.
Stunned, with my bare ass on the snowy ice, I try to comprehend what just happened. Then, I hear glass shatter behind me.
I whip my head around toward the sound, but I still can’t see anything through the snow. Keeping perfectly still and focusing my senses, I squint into the darkness.
Finally, I see two small, faint specks of light.
A few seconds pass as I try to understand what is down there, then my heart rate skyrockets, and I start sweating.
A sniff and a low growl echo down the alley, and I gasp before I finally get up on my feet.
“Eheey!” a bark comes from behind me.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!
I quickly kick the shoes off of my feet, bolt down the rest of the narrow passageway, and skid left at the end. I’ve to get away, fast!
Tears are flowing freely now, making the freezing wind feel like painful slaps on my face.
Who or what the hell was that? No, I don’t want to know!
I keep running, my mind racing at the same speed as my legs are pushing me forward. It must be a man, no doubt. The deep voice gave that away.
His voice was authoritarian, incredibly hard, callous, and merciless, and that scares the living hell out of me. He’s obviously high-ranked, a dominant.
He can just be a human, but I still don’t want a confrontation. Humans can be just as mean as any wolf.
If he catches me, there will be no telling what the consequences might be. Best-case scenario, it’s a verbal thrashing. Worst-case scenario, it would be physical. I know I want neither, no matter what species he is.
In my experience, the more dominant one is, the stronger their need to assert themselves. And for some reason, I’m always the target.
It’s like I have a bull’s-eye marked on my face or something. If my intuition is correct, I do not want to meet this one.
As my house finally comes into view, I steal a glance behind me to check if he’s following. Fortunately, the street behind me is empty.
I pull my keys out of my pocket while sprinting down the road and get ready to unlock my door. One second might be all he needs to catch me.
My house is just one kilometer from the human town, but the street is curved and the end of the alleyway is now out of my line of sight.
He can still be after me, so I don’t want to take the risk by slowing down, no matter how much my body hurts. Instead, I push myself even harder.
I can no longer feel my feet. The taste of blood fills my mouth, my ears start ringing, and the freezing air burns my throat and lungs.
When I stumble up the two steps to my front door, I hear a loud, animalistic roar from the alley.
A shiver runs down my spine, almost making my knees buckle in fear. More tears fill my eyes and run down my freezing red cheeks as I try to insert the key into the lock with my shaking hands.