I wished for this day to wake up from the nightmare where she no longer existed. My other half, a bond between sisters is the most sacred, but as twins, we were one and the same, identical yet individual. We were more than blood. We were two halves of a whole.
For years I thought she was dead; I grieved her, missed her, and wished more than anything to trade places with her believing all this time that she was dead because I was too weak and scared to go with the pack that I was originally sold to.
She sacrificed herself for me, and that is guilt no sibling wants to live with. I thought that I had lost the other half of my soul. That was her. But she was here all along.
“How are you here?” I murmured, unwilling to let her go just in case she vanished, and I woke up back in the den to find I had dreamt it all. That my mind had finally broken and conjured this all up just so I wouldn’t be alone anymore.
Zara looks at Jake. “They knew I hadn’t bloomed, they waited, and our scores were the same, Harlow, “she tells me when I hear a crying noise making me look up at the ceiling.
“I will get him,” “You already have a baby; I have a niece or nephew?” I ask her, watching the man move off the couch and toward the door.
“Yes, a nephew, his name is Mason. He is one year old,” she says, looking down at her belly, and she lets my hands go; she rubs her hands over her growing bump.
“Would have had two by now, but our daughter was stillborn,” she murmurs, looking at Jake as if in apology “It isn’t your fault,”
“We all know it is,” she whispers, her eyes turning glassy. “I should have listened,” she murmurs, and he crouches next to her. “I shouldn’t have told you; I knew you would have wanted to come with us,” he tells her before leaning down and pressing his lips to her belly. Confusion washed over me as I listened to them speak.
“She would have been almost two;
I named her after you,” Zara tells me, sniffling. I could hear the agony in her voice. “She was so beautiful. She was perfect,” Zara says, staring off vacantly, and I swallow as she stares off into space. Now I understood why Jake didn’t want to mention anything to her when he saw me at Tal’s.
She was different from what I remember, broken in ways I couldn’t imagine. And I would have added to that torment had I not come back with him. I wondered if I would have been the same had Thane managed to take my daughter from me. It is also why so many Omegas on the rotation are a little unhinged. It’s also why there are strict laws prohibiting Alphas from cutting the mother off.
They had visitation to their children and got to remain with their child for the first year, kind of a way to wean them off of them in a way. It’s also why there were limits on how long an Omega remained in rotation, how many offspring an Omega could produce while in rotation, and why so many ended up in psych wards or heavily medicated.
It is also why so many turned into Omega feeders, the high from Vampire bites are addictive and sedative like a drug, a way of self medicating. And to think that would have probably been my future had I not escaped.
Hearing the door open behind me, the three men from the train station walk in, and I turn to watch as they filter into the room, rushing over to her.
“What’s wrong, Love?” The tall, dark-haired one asks, cupping her face. She doesn’t react, just stares off vacantly as if she were looking through him. He brushes his thumbs down her face, and she appears to snap out of whatever nightmare trance she was in. She shakes her head.
“Travis!” she breathes, patting his face, and he leans down, k!ssing her forehead.
“That’s right, love, I’m right here, “he tells her, and my heart breaks for her. To see her in such a way was so different from the bubbly. girl that was my sister.
“Sams got you something,” he tells her, and a blonde man behind me holds up a bag watching her worriedly.
“Trifle?” she asks, her mood instantly shifting when the man that left to tend to their son before he returns.
“I got him back down. He wanted his plushie,” the man tells her, climbing back on the oversized couch and laying behind her. He tugs her back to lean against him.
“I will get you a bowl and spoon,” Jake tells her before he clears his throat. I glance at him, and he nods for me to follow him. With a quick nod, I tell my sister I will be back before following him through the massive house. Everything was ridiculously white; I thought Thane was a clean freak, yet he had nothing on how my sister lived with her mates.
I follow him to a huge kitchen and Sam follows behind me. He sets the bag on the island benchtop and moves toward the cupboards. Retrieving bowls and setting them down on the counter.
“My sister, she is different,” I tell him, and Sam stares at me, but Jake nods his head.
“Yes, she hasn’t been the same since the accident,” Jake tells me.
“What accident?” I ask him.
“We got a lead after you went missing about six months after your car was found, just outside Thane’s territory. We went searching for you. Zara demanded to come,”
My brows furrowed as I tried to remember where I was. I had stayed in a town just outside the city for a few months as I lay low.”
Town of Ryde?” I ask him, and he nods.
“Yes, anyway, we tracked you to the town limits, but Zara was sure she could smell your scent by the river at the back of it. That was when the storms happened as she approached the river edge.
The ground gave way, and she fell in and was washed down the rapids. She got banged up pretty badly. By the time we reached her, she had washed onto the bank. She was full term with our daughter. She survived, but our daughter didn’t,” “And she blames herself for that?” I ask him.
“We told her to wait here, that we would search and find you. She insisted on coming,” Sam tells me, dishing out the chocolate trifle into two bowls. He slides one across to me, making sure to be careful not to touch me in any way.
“It was an accident. After that, we never told her when we had sightings of you. Zara also hasn’t left the house since. She has terrible anxiety and agoraphobia.” Jake tells me, and I chew my lip.
“She has gotten worse since falling pregnant with the twins, identical girls this time,” Jake tells me.
I follow my sister’s mates back to the living room, having already forgotten my way. She holds her hands out for the bowl in Sam’s hand, and I sit on the floor as Jake and Sam also climb on the lounge. She may be my sister, but I knew better than to get too close to her mates or to make myself at home in another Omegas house. We are territorial by nature, and even though she knew it was me, I didn’t want to make her feel distressed.
Zara had so many questions, asking where I had been and what I had been up to. What my mates were like, yet I couldn’t bring myself to tell her any of the bad things, instead giving her vague answers, not wanting to upset her in any way. Yet her eyes trailed over the cuts that scared my skin despite having almost fully healed. However, she never pushed for more information, seeing I was uncomfortable with answering.
Hours after arriving here, though, and watching how her mates were with her, it made my bond tug and yearn for my mates, so I asked where I could sleep, sadness bleeding into me that I would never have the same thing she had so I excused myself and Jake showed me to a guest room on the opposite side of the house.
“I’m sorry, we have to put you over here. She sleepwalks sometimes, and she isn’t lucid when she does. If she picked up your scent, it might overwhelm her, and we don’t want her to attack you,” Jake tells me. I nodded my head in understanding. There was too much risk, given I am an Omega in another Omega’s house, yet the quietness of this part of the house was even quieter than the den back home.
I borrowed some of Zara’s clothes and used the shower. Staring down at my bump as I washed with the citrus-smelling soap. I suddenly felt more lonely than I did in the den. Especially after seeing how doting my sister’s mates were with her, treating her like she was glass they needed to bubble wrap, loving her while mine could barely look at me and didn’t want me. That stung. Even climbing in the huge soft bed, it felt cold, the scents all wrong, and I struggled to sleep in this unfamiliar place.