Walking into my room, I glanced briefly at my bed where I made my burrow. I wanted nothing more than to bury myself in my blankets, but I only had an hour. An hour to figure somewhere to go. An hour before was tossed out in the cold of night.
Grabbing a backpack, I stuffed some clothes in it that would be suitable for work tomorrow and a pair of heels. I couldn’t take all my shoes, so I had to choose wisely and stuffed a pair of heels and black flats. I set my boots next to the bag, intending to wear them after a shower.
I grab my grey parker and as many warm clothes as I can find and fold them carefully, stuffing as much in the bag as I can without breaking the sipper. Afterward, I grabbed my handbag, squeezing any paperwork I needed into my handbag; I set some warm clothes on the bed before rushing to shower and scrub the scents off my skin. I would be an instant target out there smelling like this. Tears burned my eyes as | scrubbed my skin raw with my loofa.
When finished, I dressed in tights and pulled jeans over the top, a cami, long-sleeved shirt and jumper and parker, knowing it gets that cold here of a night I would freeze, and I was pretty sure we were supposed to get a dusting of snow overnight. I grab my beanie and woolen gloves, slip them on and jam a small makeup bag into my handbag before retrieving every can of descenter. I don’t know how I was supposed to fit in, but I had no choice.
I also retrieved my suppressants. Only three bottles were empty, yet one was still almost full.
However, I knew it wouldn’t last long. I would have to take extra if I didn’t want to fall to my knees tomorrow at the damn office. Had I known I would be working for two Alphas as a personal secretary, I can honestly say I would not have applied. However, it was my only chance now, so doubling up on my suppressants was the only chance I stood, hoping I could pull a few nights at the club for Tal.
A shiver ran up my spine, remembering the men tonight, and dread made my stomach sink and tears prick the corner of my eyes as the humiliation returned.
Shaking that thought away, I had to focus. I was about to step outside and be left not only open to the elements but everything that went bump in the night. Undoing the cap on my suppressants, I took three instead of taking one nightly tablet.
Nerves were kicking in at the thought of heading out into the night. I always made sure to be home before 8:30 PM. That was when the nasty shit happened in this city. And now I needed to find somewhere to stay. I wouldn’t make it back to the club this late without falling victim to someone or something, so I rummage for the change in the bottom of my bag and groan.
$4.50. Yep, that would help, not. Why was I stupid enough to hand her every cent? I should have given her half had I known. With a sigh, I walk into the kitchen and open the cupboards. I find some tins of spaghetti and moldy bread. Looking in the fridge, I scull the leftover milk straight from the carton, which was all of two mouthfuls, and put the cans of spaghetti in my bag and a fork.
Grabbing my scarf and a throw blanket, light enough and small enough I could just squeeze it into my bag, I head for the door. The moment I tossed it open, I found Mike standing by the door, about to knock.
He looks over his shoulder before jamming a twenty into my hands. Mike gives me a wink and smiles sadly and briskly turning away. I pocket it. And take one last wistful glance at my shitty apartment when he motions for me to step past.
Swallowing the bile that threatened to bubble up and spill out my lips, I nodded and headed down the stairs, hearing Milke locking it up. When I reach the bottom, Martha is waiting with her arms folded.
“I’m sorry, Zara, but I gave you plenty of time,” she says, and I bite the inside of my cheek. I knew she did. She had let me off the hook many times, but it didn’t make going out those doors any less intimidating.
She nods toward the foyer doors before whistling. “Keys for the main door,” she says, clicking her fingers. I was hoping I could sneak back in and sleep in the foyer, but that option wasn’t available to me.
pull the keys off my key chain before shaking my head and giving her the entire damn thing. I only had the keys to this place on it, anyway. I hand them to her.
“Good luck,” Martha says, opening the door for me. I step into the icy cold crisp night and shudder to look in both directions of the street. Now what? Martha locks the doors behind me as ponder my next move.
There weren’t that many options and after a few minutes of walking, I decided it was best to stay as close to work as possible, seeing as I had no bus fare to catch the bus there. The walk took me an hour and a half be fore I was around a block away.
There was a small plaza nearby that had a small outside area that led into an alleyway. With a sigh, my bones were aching from the cold and I hesitantly step into the alley, listening for any noises to say if someone was up there. I stumbled over some garbage before finding a set of stairs that led to a storage area.
Glancing back up the alley, I saw no one so slung my bag off my shoulder and descended the stairs, and sat beside the small roller door. It hadn’t been the first time I lived on the streets, and knowing my luck, this probably won’t be the last time. That is what happens when you live a life on the run.
Yet as I made myself comfortable, I couldn’t help but think if my twin was still with me. I would never be in this situation. Zara was resourceful. She always found a way, just like she found a way to take my place, gave her life for mine, and here I was wasting it.
Zara would have been better off. It should have been me who died and not her. At least she wouldn’t be wasting her life. No, she would live her best one. While I sat here trying to warm my fingers enough to swipe my phone screen to set the alarm so I wouldn’t be late on my first day.
I tried to remember what time the small plaza opened so I could slip into the bathroom here to get dressed and put a face on. I was pretty sure it was around 8 am, which would give me an hour to sneak in and quickly change before making the walk around the block to the skyrise to my new place of employment.
‘I can do this!’ | whispered to myself while resting my head back on the roller door. At least the stairs offered a wall to stay out of the ghastly icy breeze.
“I bloody told you we didn’t need a new personal assistant,” I snapped at my sister-in-law Leila as we stepped into the elevator. She ignores me as she usually does, so much like Leon, she is. I swear she enjoys holding me at the edge of my sanity just so she claims to have brought me back from the brink.
“Where is my brother, anyway?” she asks while batting her lashes at me and feigning innocence, pursing her lips as she glances between Rhen, Raidon, and me. Ignoring her, I press the button for our floor.
“So who is she?” Rhen asks Leila while leaning against the elevator wall. Leila shrugs and I knew she was up to something.
“Her name is Zara. She worked for some form that burned down, and,” the doors open and I get a whiff of descenter. The growl that leaves me is thunderous, making the girl jump as she rearranges the files in her hands. The manila folders fell from her grip and landing on the table.
“Oh, you have to be fucking kidding me, Leila! You hired an Omega and her, of all fucking people?” || snap, recognizing the woman instantly to be the one that spilled coffee on me yesterday.
She wore black slacks and a white blouse with a black blazer over the top. Her long hair tied back in a ponytail high on her head. She stared in horror at me and she should, because I would be her worst god damn nightmare. What was Leila thinking, hiring a damn Omega?
Leila, however, strolls forward excitedly. She needed to get it out of her head about all this Omega business, we were content with just our pack and it is not like I could produce an heir now after my last serum was wasted on that stupid Omega who killed my mother when she escaped us.
glare at the girl, who was staring back at the three of us. Her hazel eyes were wide as she took us in… growl, shaking my head when Rhen’s hand falls on my shoulder, making me look at him.
He steps past me, holding his hand out to the girl, who quickly takes it while he shoots a look at me over his shoulder to remain calm. I pressed my lips in a line, but I knew what he meant.
We fired her, and she ran to the media. They would have a goddamn field day over this. We were already under hot water for discrimination against Omegas. God knows why when hardly any pack allowed them to work. I glare at Leila, who smirks. Bloody brat, her brother wants to deal with her because she won’t like it if I have to.
“Zara, isn’t it?” Rhen asked her, and I saw the way his eyes ran the length of her quickly as she shook his hand and nodded.
“You seem familiar for some reason,” he mutters, his eyes narrowing on her lips and face.
“Yes, she is the bimbo that spilled coffee on me yesterday.” I retorted, glaring at her and she drops her head, her cheeks heating and making an adorable blush cover her cheeks.
I shake my head at my thoughts. Adorable. Where the fuck did that thought come from? The girl swallows, sucking her bottom lip between her teeth before introducing herself.
“Yes, I’m Zara. It’s nice to meet you,” she looks at Leila, who introduces us, motioning to each of us.
“This is Rhen, Raidon and Thane Keller,” the girl jerks her hand away almost instantly, taking a startled step back.
“Keller!” she exclaims, shaking her head and taking another step back until her ass hits the desk and she jumps with a squeak, leaving her lips.
“Yes, Nightbane Pack, I am sure you have heard of them.” Though I wouldn’t believe everything you hear.