Five years later…
“Scrub the floor! You lazy mutt!” Madam Theresa, my supervisor yelled and threw the towel at me. It hit my face and fell to the floor. “I need the floor sparkling; you have done nothing, and The Alpha and his cohort would return to the pack any moment from now. Get your lazy ass back to work.” She stepped on the floor I had mopped already, leaving stains as she stomped out.
I took up the mop and went back to work. Five years ago, I would have cried as she hauled the towel at me and called me those awful names. But I had lived through it. It does not hurt as much anymore. Nothing really hurts. My supervisor had never liked me one bit from the first day. She did not see me as a competitor but as someone not worthy enough to appear before her. I was nothing but a weak Omega. She always told me I was ugly and that her daughter was prettier than I was and would mate to the returning Alpha.
The Alpha and his cohort were coming back to the pack today, after so many years of being away. In the Titan pack, once the future Alphas get to the age of eighteen, they are taken away from the pack with some warriors to an unknown place where they undergo rigorous training. They were devoid of all pleasure and had to stay without mates. Mates were distractions to them, and they needed none if they wanted to keep their clan the strongest. They return when the former Alpha dies, and he gave up the ghost five days ago.
When I was done cleaning the part, my supervisor allotted to me, I went over to Madam’s hut. She oversaw she-wolves who would be available for the Lycan Alpha and his cohort to fuck. I was not interested in the instructions, but culture demanded that every unmated she-wolf of the pack be given a prompt on what the Alpha and his warriors looked like.
The girls were in four lines when I came. I joined them behind, not wanting anyone to notice me. But I had never gone unnoticed in this pack since I arrived.
“Hmm, I smell a cursed Omega here,” one of the girls said and covered her nose. The other girls snorted and covered their noses, too.
I ignored her. I was used to this belittling now. They do not pierce past my skin now, they stay on the surface, making me feel ugly and dirty.
“Is she supposed to be here? Our Alpha and his cohort would never look at a weak and cursed Omega,” another girl said.
“Silence!” Madam’s voice boomed and silence swept over the place. “As you all know, our Lycan warriors are returning today.” The girls began to murmur and giggle. Madam hushed them up. “I know you are excited to rut your first warriors, but there are rules you have to follow. First, if you know you already have a mate, leave here.”
The row of girls went silent. Every girl turned to look at each other. I did not look at anyone, my gaze was fixed on the ground because I didn’t have the gut to stare my fellow girls in the eyes.
“If you have discovered your mate, you have to leave us now, this exercise is not for you. If you have and stay here, there would be grave consequences when you are found out.” When no one made a move, she continued. “Secondly, you would be shared with your masters. Now, you are shared to work for them. You will clean their tents and run their errands for them, that master does not own you. You can ride as many warriors as you wish. When a warrior approaches you and you do not like him, say so and walk away, he will not force you, and do not speak about it anymore.
“Do not get attached to a warrior who is not your mate because when he finds his mate, you would be tossed aside. You are nothing to them, they do not see you as anything but sex mates. They are not attracted to you, so do not get ahead of yourselves. Do not fight over any warrior be it the Lycan Alpha or his Beta or any warrior you find more attractive. Those people have little or no emotions, so be careful around them and do as they bid, because they may snap and injure you.
“They are built to fight and understand nothing less than strike and they do when triggered. They are not your friends and love their ego more than their lives. If you stain their ego, they will give you more fear than you have ever seen before. You should be discreet with them and respect them as much as you want. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, Madam,” the girls chorused.
I did not say anything. The rules were not for me because I knew no warrior would find me worthy. It did not bother me because I was not ready to fall into the hands of any ruthless Alpha again. After what Alpha Khalid did to me, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be entangled with a higher rank werewolf. We were assigned our tents and dismissed.
It was dusk when I was done cleaning my master’s tent and went to the stream to wash up. The setting sun painted a faint blush of yellow on the clouds that smoked over the mountains. I loved staying by the stream, it was quiet and provided me with the luxury of quietness each time I was there. Although rogues had been said to wander around there and try to kidnap weaker werewolves, I found the space refreshing and calming. I had never been confronted by any rogue before.
As I drew closer to the stream, a sensation washed over me, and my skin was blanketed with goosebumps. I looked around, but there was no one there. Despite the warning in my head to go back to the pack, I kept going to the stream. I was dirty from all my work and needed to wash up. I did not mind staying this way until I was done with work, but I wanted to appear clean for whoever my master was. The forest around the stream was quiet, except for the chirping of birds. I was sure no one followed me here since I discovered the place. It has been my little sanctuary and took me away from my sorrows. I enjoyed the peace of it and was myself whenever I was there.
I could run around naked; I could swim in the running stream. It takes all my pain with it when it runs. I scanned the place once more and when I did not see anyone, I continued my journey deeper into the forest. Soon, I heard the water running. It calmed me and I pushed the thought of danger behind me. I got to the stream, sat by it, removed my shoes and socks, and dipped my legs into the water, studying the beauty of the forest. The water rolling off the rocks created a quiet, trickling sound that lulled me into a sense of serenity. This was what peace was to me.
Maybe I was only antsy because of the return of the new masters. I won’t say I was not curious about them. I wanted to know what they were like. Will they be good or evil? Will my master treat me harshly or hate me because I was a cursed Omega? Will he be annoyed that I was assigned to him, just like Madam Theresa was when I was assigned to her as her slave? Will he think I was bad luck?
My thoughts were interrupted by a loud growl. My head snapped toward the direction I thought I heard the sound, but I saw nothing. I removed my feet from the water and stood. My eyes darted from one corner of the forest to the other, but nothing was there, and the growl had stopped. I grabbed my shoes and socks and decided to head back to the pack. I should not be here anyway. I should head back to the pack and wait for my new master.
As I turned to head back to where I came from, I came face to face with a giant wolf with burning yellow eyes. It bared its fangs at me and let out a menacing growl. I screamed out of fear and Joy, my wolf, whimpered in fear. I took a few steps back and stepped on a thorny twig; it pierced right into my foot, and I cried out in pain. Now, I cannot run. The wolf was bigger than me and bigger than Joy. I could not shift because my wolf was weak from all the wolfsbane, Madam Theresa, and her daughter Erika injected in me each time I made a mistake. I hardly shift these days and could barely feel my wolf.
The big wolf lowered itself, ready to attack. I knew it was a rogue and that my life would end now. No one was here to save me and even if they were, no one would bother saving a cursed Omega. I was better off dead. The big wolf lunged at me, and I crashed to the ground on my butt. But the wolf did not get to me as another bigger wolf jumped on it from behind me. It was a white wolf — a fucking white wolf.
I had never seen a white wolf before. They were rare and special and were mostly Lycans. I was glued to my spot, watching the wolves fight themselves. I knew I was supposed to take that as my cue and run back to the pack, but I was too dazed to think of that. The white wolf was on top of the black now, he lowered his head and sank his fangs into the neck of the black wolf and bit out the life from it. Blood spurted from the black wolf, who quivered as death covered him and stained the white wolf. When the wolf was sure the black wolf was dead, he took off, leaving me there to stare in disbelief.
The hex holding me down there left me as he ran off. I stood and clapped my hands to remove dirt from them, still looking in the direction the white wolf ran to. Why did he save me? Did he not perceive I was an Omega?
“You shouldn’t be in the dead of the wood by yourself,” a deep, gruff voice said behind me, and I spun at it and lost my balance. I choked and tensed my body to prepare for the ground, but I fell into brawny arms and a masculine scent weaved its way into my senses. Our touch was a tornado because I felt tingles all over me. I looked up to find the most perfect green eyes staring down at me.
Joy whispered, and I felt her leap in excitement. I do not know how many hours passed us in that position. I could not take my eyes away from the perfect face of the stranger holding me securely and stopping me from hitting the ground. A fresh slash was on his cheek and blood still trickled down from it. After what looked like ages, he raised me and stabilized me.
“Never come to these woods alone. I am sure you heard it’s hunted.”
I nodded like a fool, still ogling him. His biceps were powerful, and I got interested in him. I wondered if he was a rogue too because I had never seen him in the pack before. As a sign of appreciation, I tore a piece from the hem of my dress and handed it to him.
“Thank you for coming to my rescue,” I said as he took the piece from me. Our fingers brushed and sent shivers down my body. Does he know we are mates? Will he reject me too?
He dabbed his cheek with the piece. “You should return to the pack, it’s not safe out here.”
“What is your name?” I found myself asking.
I stretched out my hand. “Nice to meet you, Karim. I am—”
“I don’t care. Just get yourself back to the pack.” he stomped away, leaving me there with my outstretched hand. My spirit fell with my shoes and socks. I grabbed my palm with my other hand.
“I am Laika,” I completed.