This rundown apartment building had never crossed my path in all my years of living in this city. After I had pulled up to the front of the apartment building, I double-checked the address. Surely this was not the correct place? It looked as if it was one busted window from being declared condemned.
What Omega would live here? They were territorial creatures and knew the value of their dens, yet when I peered around this place, she seemed to live in a dump and I found it hard to believe she lived here.
Even so, the address was the right one. Climbing out of my car, I locked it before walking over to the door and looking at the different buzzers. I looked for hers when I saw one saying management. When I pressed the buzzer, a woman’s voice screeched back at me before I could react.
“Who is it?” she snapped before coughing.
“I’m looking for the owner or manager,” I answered.
“For f**k’s sake.” She said in a snarling tone before hitting the buzzer to let me inside. As I yanked the door open and stepped inside the room, my nose wrinkled in disgust at the foul stench emanating from the place.
The wallpaper was peeling, and the lights flickered when I heard a door creak. A woman emerged from the shadows with a bat in her hand and a scowl on her face. She walked toward me, not looking impressed about having a late-night visitor.
“And what the f**k are you looking for me for?” she snarled before she stopped. She glanced me over before propping her bat on her shoulder.
“I think you’re on the wrong side of the city, alpha,” she says,
“I am here looking for someone, actually. Her name is Zara. Her address is listed here,” the woman groans.
“She isn’t here,” she snapped, clearly annoyed I had pulled her from bed to ask about her.
“I know that she works for me, and I am trying to find any information I can on her. I was wondering if I could look through her apartment?”
“She doesn’t live anymore. I evicted her a few weeks ago, but all her crap is up there still; I haven’t found a new tenant yet,” the woman tells me, and my brows furrow.
“Do you know where she moved to, then?” I asked her, and the woman rolled her eyes.
“Last I heard was one of my other tenants saw her sleeping behind the old plaza at central” she shrugged before stomping up the steps.
“You tossed an omega out when she had nowhere else to go, in the middle of winter and in a city,” I asked, outraged. It was dangerous being homeless here, more so if you’re an omega. I didn’t believe this place was safe enough for an Omega, let alone her living on the streets.
“Hey, don’t be judging me. I got bills to pay, and Zara owed me over four thousand dollars in rent and utilities,” she snapped, stopping by a door that looked at busted as the rest of this god-awful place.
“Besides, I am sure she could have stayed with that Tal. He was always offering her a damn job. The girl was too shy to take him up on it,” the woman curses, and I wondered if she was talking about the same Tal. I knew one person who went by that name, Leon’s cousin.
“Tal?” I asked curiously.
“You know the stripper’s joint? She worked there on and oif. Went by the name Z.” I blinked at that. Zara was Z? She worked for Tal! I tried to wrap my mind around that information. I didn’t know if I was furious at Zara over that information or Tal or the fact I had a whore working for me.
But hang on, I still remember that cloying scent, and it made me gasp because ZI knew was a virgin and if Z was Zara? Well, that would explain the allure we had to her. Now it made sense why we all went into a rut over her. She was a virgin. That had to be it.
“I thought that was where she would have gone. Zara and Bree were pretty close. Bree lived next door to her for a bit. They must have had a falling out,” the woman told me, pushing the door open. As I stepped into the room, I saw nothing but a shabby couch in the room’s corner.
“This is it?” I asked, walking through the place. I glanced over my shoulder at the woman, who looked bored She shrugged, and I moved into a small bedroom that was next to the living room. That was just as empty. This is where she lived?
Walking out, I stopped in front of the woman. “What is your name?”
“Martha,” she told me, and I nodded, glancing around one last time. I couldn’t picture anyone living here, let alone an Omega; it made me itchy just standing in this dilapidated place,
“How long have you known Zara?” I questioned her, and she watched me for a second as if she was debating whether on not to answer. Finally, she sighed and rubbed her eyes as if tired. It was pretty late now, and I knew I had woken her because she was wearing blue pin strip pajamas and a grey, fluffy robe and sock. That and the hair rollers were a dead giveaway. She didn’t look like the sort of woman that paraded around with rollers in her hair.
“Couple years. I found her out front, asleep on my doorstep. She was barefoot, drenched in blood, and starving, I felt bad for her. She looked as if she was running from something. The girl was scared of her own shadow. I gave her a place to stay until she got a job. She was quiet, stuck herself, a good tenant, but once she lost her job, I couldn’t keep her here. As I said, I have bills to pay, and she wasn’t helping with them. I am not heartless, I tried to help, but you can only help so much.” She told me, and I nodded, though she gave me much to think about.
As I was leaving, I stopped by the door when Martha called out to me, Turning around, I faced the woman, “Is Zara in some sort of trouble?” she asked.
“What makes you think that?” I asked her.
“Well, for one, no one has ever come here looking for her besides Bree and Tal. And if you are her employer, why didn’t you just her?” Martha questioned.
“Because she lied, her ID is fake, and her last place of employment burned to the ground,” Martha nods her head, looking at the wall above my head.
“Yeah, I don’t know where she got that shitty ID, but I hape she didn’t pay for it,” Martha chuckled.
“You knew it was fake?” I asked her, and the older woman nodded her head.
“Blind Freddy could see it was a fake, but yes, I knew it was a fake and the fact she gave me a different last name,”
“What do you mean?” I ask, turning and giving her my full attention.
“I asked for her ID. She gave a different last name to what was on it: Harly or Harlette. I can’t remember the name exactly. I just remember it was different. A couple of weeks later, I saw on her ID the name was different.”
“Did she ever tell you where she came from?”
“Nope, and I never asked. Zara needed help; I helped. Even helped her get the job at the firm she worked out. I try not to get to know my tenants. Most never stay long.” she said before turning down the corridor and walking off.