Only this time, her hand didn’t connect. Instead, I saw Ace grab her wrist just before she struck me again.
“Pregnant or not, I will break your fvcking arm if you strike her again!” He growled at her, and I rubbed my l!p with my thumb to find it bleeding.
Ryker growled, and I felt his aura rush out at the threat against his mate, my mother. Ace and Tyson could resist it slightly, being family. As for me, it dropped me on my a*ss, and my teeth clenched so tight I thought they would break as I screamed at the sudden agony before the command dropped and my father gripped my arms.
“Shit!, Lucy, I am sorry. It wasn’t directed at you,” he said, gripping my arms, hauling me upright while I tried to catch my breath.
My mother glared at me but said nothing.
“Everyone needs to cool off. Lucy, go with Tyson and Ace till your mother calms down,” said Ryker.
“Are you fvcking insane? She can’t go with them after what they just told us!” my mother screamed at him, and he glared at her. My father had never denied her anything, nor did he ever go against her. He could usually persuade her but never directly told her what to do. But today, I could see she really got under his skin.
“Lucy is going with Tyson and Ace, and that is final. You had no right to lay a finger on her. I don’t care what she did. She is our fvcking daughter!” he yelled at her while pointing at me.
I flinched away from his sudden anger, which I was not used to. He was always calm and loving growing up, this was another side of him I was not used to. Though I had heard stories of the Alpha King and how cruel he was. Still, to me, he was dad.
“Fine, she can go!” she said, looking at him before turning to me. My stepfather sighed and looked relieved until the next words left her l!ps, shocking all of us.
“Don’t come back. I am sick of digging you out every time you bury yourself. I won’t have Rayan around your destructive behavior. You should be ashamed of yourself. I know I am,” she said, and I felt my stomach twist painfully. I could see she was upset at what she’d said. I looked at my father, and he mindlinked me.
“I will speak with her. Just let her calm down,” he said before touching my mother’s shoulder.
My mother hung her head, her long blonde hair falling forward, and he pulled her to him, tucking her under his chin. I could see dad was upset for yelling at his mate, but she was being a little over the top. I never expected her to kick me out, though, and never thought she would be embarrassed by me. I knew it caused conflict with Aamon and Avery, seeing as they were mom and dad’s best friends, but to say she was ashamed of me stung. I had enough shame, and she was the last person I wanted to be ashamed of me.
“Go, Lucy,” he said softly, nodding toward the door. I swallowed the lump in my throat and looked to the stairs to see Rayan standing on the top step. I walked toward him when I saw tears slip down his face at me being kicked out. I felt bad I had let him down. I was only home for five minutes, and I was already being kicked out.
“Get out,” my mother said, not even looking at me, and I stopped looking at my brother. I pressed my l!ps in a line, fighting back the tears before turning on my heels and walking away from him. I walked outside, and Tyson grabbed my arm, and I ripped my arm from his grip.
“Don’t touch me. This is exactly why I didn’t want to come home. She never lets me explain,” I told him before walking toward the forest.
“Explain what? What did you expect Lucy, when you burned a classroom down?” Tyson said, throwing his arms in the air. I didn’t bother answering, there was no point. Instead, I started running toward Mitchell’s.
Mitchell’s was the only place I knew I could go. I couldn’t face Tyson and Ace, they seemed just as disappointed as my mother. Everyone always saw the worst in me. Maybe I was bad, maybe I asked for it? There was nothing lonelier than having no one on your side, no one you could relate to. I was basically a vampire living among wolves, the illegitimate child of the Alpha King. Though dad never treated me like I didn’t belong, that didn’t mean I knew I didn’t. That was why I asked to go to the boarding school in the first place.
Melana and Josie thrived under the attention of being mutations. Melana enjoyed the attention she received in school, however, to me, it was just a constant reminder that I didn’t belong. I was the only mutation without a wolf. The rest survived the shift. My biological father, a human, made me weaker than them, and my wolf never survived. I never survived. If I didn’t have vampire genes from my mother being a hybrid mutation, I would be dead. Dying awoke the vampire gene within me, and now I was basically a bloodthirsty monster among a pack of wolves.
When Aamon and Avery opened the boarding school, I begged my mother to let me go, and it was Tyson and Ace who convinced her for me. They knew how much I struggled in school and saw how much I struggled with my own identity. Turns out I didn’t belong there either. Boarding school was just another place of torment but for different reasons. The first four years were great, the last year had been a living nightmare. I put my trust in the wrong person, and that trust was abused.
“Lucy, where are you going?” came Ace’s voice through the mindlink.
“I am going to Mitchell’s,” I told him as I tried to focus on where I was going without running into a tree. The mindlinks could become distracting, and it wouldn’t be the first time I had run into something.
“Make sure you are home before dark,” he said before cutting the mindlink. I could tell he was angry I ran from them, yet I didn’t understand his issue with Mitchell.
Home. I wasn’t going home. Tyson and Ace might have let me stay with them, but I didn’t belong there. I didn’t belong anywhere. Every time I came back, every holiday that I returned, it became more startlingly clear how much I didn’t belong. I had no home. Mom had built a new life, and I was on the outside of it now. Not even she wanted me. I would watch her with Rayan. I was so excited when he was born, I even helped deliver him. He was so perfect, so small, and I loved him instantly, but mom was so focused on him, which was understandable, he was a baby, but I got pushed out, bit by bit.
If it wasn’t for me, they would be the picture-perfect family. I felt like the dirty secret everyone knew about. I had no doubt my parents loved me, but sometimes that wasn’t enough when everyone else looked at you like you didn’t belong.
I stopped at the river that ran almost a full circle around the city and the borders. I walked a little further before I stopped at the green wooden house nestled among the trees. Hidden from the road on the other side of the forest, the driveway is barely visible.
Mitchell’s dad was a pack warrior of my father’s pack. All the packs were linked together, branching off one another now since the majority of his family now ran them. Stopping out the front, I walked up the veranda stairs. Before I could even knock, his mother had opened the door. Her curly red hair framed her heart-shaped face. Her green eyes lit up when she saw me.
“You’re back!” she said, opening her arms to me. I’d always liked Meredith. She was always so happy to see me, despite me being a pain in the a*ss sometimes and getting her son in trouble. I wrapped my arms around her slim waist, hugging her tightly.
“You hungry? I am just about to put dinner on if you want to stay for tea?” she asked, and I nodded before thanking her.
“Mitchell, Lucy is here!” she sang out to him before walking toward the kitchen off the side of the stairs. I heard footsteps on the floor above. This house was a pole home, and it was homely, not like the packhouse that was always crisp and clean. This place had character with its exposed rounded beams, fireplaces, and family photos hanging on every wall.
“Lucy?” Mitchell said, stopping at the top of the steps. A grin gracing his face, showing his perfectly straight teeth. He swept his blond fringe out of his eyes before rushing down the steps toward me. His arms wrapped around me as he lifted me off the ground in a hug, my feet dangling in the air, and I hugged him back.
I first met Mitchell when I was playing at the river when I was ten. His family had just been accepted into the pack, and I was playing by myself when he came across me. After that, we quickly became friends and were pretty much inseparable through primary school. Once I left for boarding school, our only contact had been via phone and video chat. We still spoke every day, but it wasn’t the same. I missed my friend, missed him something fierce.
He had shot right up since I last saw him eight months ago. He was well over six feet tall and had packed on quite a bit of muscle but was still lean and nowhere near the size of Ace and Tyson. He was built like a warrior, like his father, and I knew he would be a great one when he finished school.
“You came back for good?” he asked, letting me go and placing me back on my feet.