Mom tackled me before I even turned back to her. Rayan screamed, jumping out of the way as I crashed into the wall.
“Mom, it’s Lucy. I am your daughter,” I screamed at her when she slapped me. My face whipped to the side before she got up.
“You’re not my daughter. You’re his,” she said, and I crawled to my hands and knees.
“Now, GIVE ME MY SON! YOU WILL NOT TAKE HIM FROM ME!” she screamed at Rayan. Rayan stepped away from her just as I got to my feet. Amanda growled at him and raised her arm back to hit him, but I caught her wrist, ripping her backward.
“Run!” I yelled to Rayan, and he darted off.
Mom’s hand connected with my cheek, her claws slicing down my face. Her other hand twisted in my grip. She raised her hand again to hit me when I punched her. I couldn’t tell who was more shocked, her or me, but I still did it, and her head snapped backward. She growled at me before attacking me.
“I hate you! You are a monster! Just like him!” she screamed, hitting me wherever she could.
“I am not him, mom. I am yours, Not his!” I yelled at her, and she stopped shaking her head, pulling her hair out. She was manic, and I could tell whatever she saw looking at me took her back there, yet I couldn’t understand it. I was not my father.
“I am your daughter, Amanda, Yours, Not his. I would never take him from you,” I told her, but she scratched her face, clawing at herself and hitting herself.
“You are like him. Every time I look at you, I see him. You are him; You look exactly like him!” she screamed, her chest rising and falling heavily.
“I am not him.” I told her, tears streaking my face. Did I make her this way? Was that what she saw every time she looked at me?
“YOU ARE!” she screamed at me, and I shook my head.
“Every time I look at you, I remember what they did. Remember what he did to me.” Her words angered me. How could she? How could she see him and not me?
Getting to my feet, I growled at her. “I am not my father.”
“You… you… you!” she rambled. “You did this to me! You let them do this to me!” she said, and I could see she’d lost it. She wasn’t of sound mind, She was erratic, and Amanda was the dominant one now, more dominant than her human counterpart.
“I didn’t do shit to you. You think you were the only one trapped in that place?!” I yelled at her, and she growled, stepping toward me, but I shoved her, shocked by my own strength and the anger behind it.
“You weren’t the only one in that place. They did the same shit to me. The only difference is, you got out with all of you still intact. They killed part of me. You think you’re the only one that suffers with what they did, What they put us through, Amanda?” I screamed at her.
“They destroyed me!” she screamed just as the door burst open. Yet she didn’t notice.
“You! Every time I look at you, I see him, See that place.”
“And every time I look at you, I am reminded how I will never be good enough for you! Never be the good child! You say I am like him, but look at the monster you turned into!” I snapped at her. Her claws slipped into my arms as she grabbed me.
“Amanda, let her go!” Ryker said behind me.
“She was trying to take him from me!”
“You aren’t stable to have him. You are taking him from her. You are taking him from mom. Not us,” I told her, pushing her back, her claws slipping from my skin, but I barely registered the pain. Rayan came in, tears streaking his face, and Jacob pulled him behind, motioning for me to come to him. I turned to go to him.
“This is your fault!” Amanda screamed before charging at me.
Ryker grabbed me, shoving me behind him and taking the brunt of her attack when I felt his aura slip out, and Amanda whimpered, dropping to the floor, wailing. I, too, was forced to my knees, my head felt like it was about to explode when Jacob’s hand wrapped around my wrist before jerking me toward him.
Rayan’s hand fell on me, and I wondered how I never noticed his aura before. His aura got stronger each time I felt him use it, making me wonder how my brother was able to hide it so easily. But it explained how he was always able to get out of school.
I turned to face my mother, who was on the ground at my stepfather’s feet. She whimpered, and Ryker looked over his shoulder at Jacob. Tears were running down his face, and it was the first time I had seen my stepfather on the verge of breaking down. His voice stuttering as he spoke.
“Get them out of here. They don’t need to witness this,” he said to Jacob, and he nodded, pulling Rayan and me out of the house. Rayan held Ryden, and I took him from him. I heard mom scream, and my heart clenched as the cool night air brushed over us.
I knew they would be battling out Alpha auras. Making me wonder how much of his aura Ryker would have to use, to make Amanda shut down completely. Judging from my mother’s screams, he would have to exert all of his power to break her like that.
Rayan whimpered beside me, and I tugged him closer when Jacob’s hands slipped over his ears as mum’s screams grew louder. Tears slipped down my cheeks listening to her agony like she was being tortured, but I knew he had no choice. This was the only way to help her.
Listening to her screams was a form of torture on its own, and I could feel my heart break for her. I knew exactly what it was like to have that part of you die.
It was the loneliest feeling when you lose yourself. Ryden started crying, and I tried rocking and covering his ears from her deafening screams. While Jacob shielded Rayan’s, who I could tell was focusing on breathing and counting.
Suddenly, I felt warm hands slip over my own, and I was tugged backward against a warm body. Tyson’s scent floated around me, and I buried my face in his chest, soaking him in my tears. I could tell he ran here because he only had shorts on.
“Ace!” Ryker yelled through the link, and I turned my face to see a shirtless Ace walk inside the house, closing the door behind him. I looked up at Tyson, and his voice moved through my head.
“Your mother is stronger. And can endure more pain than most. Pain is something Amanda is familiar with. Ryker is having trouble breaking her will. So Ace is helping him,” Tyson said, and I knew Ace would also be helping torture Amanda into submission.
Her screams got louder when I felt Tyson open up the link to Jacob, Rayan, Ryden, and me and filled it with the pack chatter to drown out my mother’s screams.
Tyson k!ssed my forehead before tucking the blanket around Ryden, up a little more to cover him, before pressing closer to me and using our body heat to keep him warm.