Hunter, the future alpha, is a typical bully. And Drew, the future beta, is his favorite victim. When Hunter can no longer hide behind his insecurities and Drew can no longer take the abuse, Drew leaves the pack to train with another. They both hope that when he returns, things will be different. Can they overcome their past and embrace their destiny, or will they remain each other’s nightmares forever?
Age Rating: 18+ (Assault, Domestic Violence, Homophobia, Miscarriage, Offscreen Rape, Sexual Assault/Abuse)
“Get up and fight me, you little shit!” I kicked Drew in the stomach when he didn’t get up from the floor, where he lay on his side, groaning. “Stop moaning, you weakling! How do you have beta blood in you when you are this weak?”
I couldn’t tolerate weak people. Especially when they were going to be my beta, and even more so when they didn’t even want to train like a normal wolf. This shit spent his time with that idiot Elliot, the pack doctor’s son, instead of getting stronger. He just made me so angry.
I looked at his bony, muscleless form and wondered how the hell he was going to be my right-hand man when he couldn’t even carry his own bag without falling over. Have I somehow angered the Goddess? I thought.
My father, the current alpha, made it clear that in the coming future, I had to stay alongside Drew at all times for my own safety. That he would protect his alpha at all costs.
I reached down, gripped his silky golden hair, and pulled his head and torso up, forcing his body into an awkward side bend. I scanned his face for any signs of strength. But there was just pain and resignation. He wasn’t even trying to support his weight with his arms.
Releasing him, I let him fall back to the floor. Protect his alpha? As if. This shithead can’t even protect himself. How the hell is he going to guard me?
I stepped around him, placed my foot on his back, then pressed him flat on the floor. “That’s where you belong, in the dirt, you boy lover,” I said and spat on the carpet, putting more weight onto his back.
Drew came from a long line of exceptional beta werewolves who were blessed with unique gifts from the Goddess in order to protect their alphas. These gifts were given solely to the betas of his bloodline, making them more precious than any other wolf in any other pack.
Drew’s father, David, received the gift of superior sight. Not only could he see through objects, but he could also see into minds and through emotions. He could read anyone like the many books on his shelves.
Drew’s uncle, who lived with his mate, the alpha of our neighboring pack, had the gift of superior hearing. He could hear what was happening outside the borders of his pack’s territory, miles and miles away.
Drew got the superior gift of foresight. No other beta before him had received this gift. The Goddess gave him this blessing, though the visions were just glimpses and fragments and weren’t always accurate. And that made Drew special.
But looking down at him under my foot, I didn’t see anyone special. I saw what I had seen ever since I was old enough to perceive him: a wimp, a runt, a weak link. I hated him for it. And I hated him more after he got his gift.
Why was that kind of power in such a weak little body? As the next alpha, I deserved to have that gift, and Charles, Henry, and I didn’t let him forget that. My boys and I beat him up and humiliated him every chance we got.
For years, Drew had spent his time with Elliot, but lately their interactions had looked more intimate, which created an even greater storm of anger in my chest. But as soon as he’d leave Elliot’s side, we’d get him and wouldn’t stop until my anger subsided.
I lifted my foot off him and put it under his ribs, flipping him onto his back. His eyes snapped open, and their blueness mixed with fear pierced my heart, causing it to clench.
What was that? I thought. ~Was that guilt?~ ~Do I actually feel bad for him?~ I shook away the foolish thought and reset my face, then reached down and gripped the front of his shirt with one hand.
I again pulled his head and torso off the floor. “Get up and fight me!” I balled my other fist.
His eyes were full of fear, but beneath that was a look of something deeper, a knowing, or something.
Did he have a premonition about this? I thought. Then anger flooded me once more. ~Then why is he just letting it happen?~ I clenched my jaw and let the anger flow through my fist as I slammed it into the center of his chest, directly into his sternum.
He fell to the ground and choked for air, then held his chest and started hyperventilating. His whole body shook.
“What the hell’s wrong with him?” Charles asked.
We watched for a moment, but then the front door of Drew’s house opened, and a voice called out his name. Henry and Charles had already jumped out the window by the time I got to it.
I told them to run but stayed behind to see who had come and if they could help Drew. He was still my beta, and I couldn’t just let him die. I peeked into the window as Elliot walked into view, tugging at his tank top, fanning himself, on his way to Drew’s room.
Once inside, he saw Drew and gasped. “Drew!” he said, running to his side.
Drew was now on his hands and knees, struggling to stand and breathe.
Elliot knelt and grabbed Drew’s arm, helping him sit back on his heels. “Drew, what happened?” He ran a hand through his jet-black hair, pushing it off his dripping forehead.
I gritted my teeth at how striking Elliot’s features were. He was tall and fit, and his black hair made his sapphire-blue eyes stand out all the more.
Drew, still hyperventilating, clawed at his chest and made a hand motion near his mouth.
A look of realization crossed Elliot’s face, then he began searching Drew’s pockets. “Where is it?” he asked when he found nothing.
Drew pointed at his bag.
Elliot stood and grabbed it, then dug his hand into it and pulled out an inhaler.
Of course, he has asthma, I thought. Looking at Drew’s small stature, soft body, and slightly feminine face made my blood boil again. ~Why is he always acting like a damsel in distress, waiting for Elliot to come save him?~
Elliot knelt again, shaking the inhaler as he went, and wrapped one hand behind Drew’s head while bringing the inhaler to his mouth with the other.
I gripped the edge of the window as I watched their interaction.
Elliot was holding Drew like he’d break into tiny pieces at any second, his hand caressing Drew’s head and neck. He looked at Drew like he was a precious treasure that he’d almost lost.
Both of Drew’s hands covered Elliot’s hand, holding it and the inhaler to his mouth. Then Drew pulled one hand away, trailing his fingers a bit up his forearm and resting the hand there. Drew was staring at him like a lovestruck puppy, eyes full of innocence.
Innocent, my ass, I thought, blood boiling inside me. I dug my nails into the wood as their unspoken conversation continued.
Drew took a few moments to get his air back and breathing under control. He took the inhaler from Elliot’s hand and gave him a smile. “Thank you, Elliot.”
Elliot’s body relaxed, and he also sat back on his heels. “Why don’t you carry it in your pocket like I told you?” He sighed.
Instead of answering, Drew put a hand on a nearby chair and used it to help him stand, but Elliot rose and helped him up the rest of the way. Drew was shaky on his feet and needed a few breaths before he could stand on his own.
“What happened?” Elliot asked as Drew grabbed the backpack from the floor.
I held my breath and waited for Drew’s answer, knowing I’d get in trouble for this. My mind filled with the ways I’d pay him back for his snitching.
Drew shrugged. “I must have pushed myself too far in training.”
I turned away from the window and leaned against the house. He lied. Why didn’t he say anything?
I breathed out the breath I was holding, but my next inhale brought with it an increasingly familiar feeling. Was it guilt? Regret? I couldn’t pin it down entirely, but I knew a part of it was a sense of failure. And I hated failing. Alphas don’t fail.
I rallied against the feeling and gave myself a pep talk. You’re the future alpha of this pack! It’s your duty to make sure your pack members can do their duties. You’re helping Drew become stronger. You don’t need to be sorry for anything!