“What is your name?” my father’s voice booms, my shirt balled up in his fist as he holds me up against the wall.
I swallow the sob caught in my throat and blink away my tears as I try to concentrate on my words.
Before! can finish my attempt, my father’s fist races towards my face, the blow connecting just below my jaw, sending a surge of pain to jolt my small body.I taste the blood instantly, the metallic lavor all too familiar against my tongue.
“Sebastian, please!” my mother cries pathetically, grabbing at my father’s bicep to pull me free from his grip.
“Try again!” my father growls, slamming me against the wall.
Fear bubbles in the pit of my stomach as I stare at my father’s cold eyes looking back at me with so much hatred, so much shame at having me for a son.
My mouth suddenly feels extremely dry as it hangs open.I could feel my name at the back of my throat but try as ! might, Isimply could not utter a single coherent sound.
At 6 years old, my stutter was no longer a cute little phase but a problem.
No matter how hard I concentrate, no matter how hard I try, I find stringing together a single sentence a daunting task, something pronounce my own name even to the maids.
lt was not a hard name either, Zane White.
Simple, or at least it should be.
To fix this problem, my father, the Silver wolf Alpha of the Scarlet Haven Pack, had the best speech therapists flown in, but none were successful in curing my defect.
I was incurable and in my father’s eyes, this fact was unacceptable.
It had yet to be presented to the pack as the next Alpha and so far only two maids, the beta and my mother’s Gamma knew what I looked like.
I was the hidden Heir of Scarlet Haven, locked away within the Pack mansion.
The one no one had ever seen before and for good reason too.
My father had a lot of enemies.
His first son, Jonathan, had been killed by our silver wolf rivals, the Ravenstone Clan just a few days shy of his first birthday and my father feared someone would try to kill me before I could take the title.
My incurable stutter only added to his need to hide me; for how could the next Alpha of one of the most prestigious Silver Wolf Packs on the West Coast have a stutter? Having given up on the professional therapist, my father took matters into his own hands, literally.
And that’s where I currently find myself now, in his hands and at his mercy.
Mom tries to help me, but she is too weak to stop the furious Alpha from taking out his frustrations on my face.
close my eyes and concentrate on my name dancing on the tip of my tongue.
I try to make a sound but the fear of my father’s fist makes my throat run dry.
Rather than my name coming out, a small squeak escapes my lips.
infuriated, my father’s brown eyes begin to glow blue as his wolf makes his presence known.
His piercing eyes look at me with disgust and I suddenly fall to the ground as the Alpha tums on his heel.
“He’s not even worth my time,” the Alpha snarls over his shoulder.
He tums to my mother.
“Pick up your son and keep him quiet during the party.Make sure he doesn’t embarrass me any further.”
He slams the door on his way out and the sob I had been holding in finally breaks free.
My mother gently picks me up, cradling my head as she whispers soothing words to me.
“It’s okay, Zane,” she coos, “I know you’re trying…”
“H-he ha-tes me!”
“No he doesn’t,”
My mother protests, smoothing down my hair and kissing my forehead.
“He’s just a little frustrated.There’s just a lot on his plate right now.”
She helps me to my feet and dusts me off “Come on, sweetie.Let’s get you cleaned up.”
After getting dressed, my mother walks me down to the car where my father waits impatiently for us.
It was the King’s birthday today and all the Alphas of the Crescent Mane Kingdom and their families would be attending.
Unfortunately for me, this would also be Alpha of the Scarlet Haven pack.
I go over my lines in my head as we drive to the King’s territory where we find several guests already mingling outside of the King’s Mansion.
“Hi, my name is Zane,”
I mumble to myself over and over again until I feel I could say nothing else.
My father stops the car and stares at me through the rearview mirror, his cold eyes boring holes into my head.
“What is your name?” he asks through clenched teeth.
I close my eyes to concentrate because I knew if I kept staring at those cold angry eyes, I would actually piss myself in fear.
I stutter, my body stiffening in preparation for the blow / knew was coming.But it never comes.
Instead, I’m met with cold silence.
Mustering up some courage, I open one eye and steal a glance at my father.
His jaw is clenched but he says nothing as he opens the door to leave.
“You’re a disappointment,” he growls as he steps out of the car.
“Don’t bother coming out.You won’t be presenting yourself this evening.”
I burst into tears as he storms off towards the mansion, completely ashamed of myself and my voice.
My mother tries her best to soothe me but I am inconsolable.
“How about you and I find ourselves a quiet place and hang out for the rest of the evening.Just the two of us? I’m sure your father can handle the other Alphas without me.”
I nod as I wipe my tears and she gives me her brightest smile.
“Okay, my love,” she chirps, reaching for the door handle.
“I’ll go fetch us a snack and we’ll hide out until it’s time to go home, okay?”
She disappears into the crowd of wolves as I settle back into my seat and wait.
Despite the tinted windows of the car, I squint my eyes and stare at the guests as they arrive, trying to figure who was who.
I memorized all of the packs in the Kingdom and knew Scarlett Haven was not the only Silver wolf pack in Crest Mane.I was curious to see if we were really the strongest pack like Father claimed we were.
Perhaps I’d get the chance to see another silver wolf shift or use their powers.
I had seen my father use his gift many times, each time leaving any onlookers in awe and wonder.
He had the gift of gas manipulation.
His body could morph into a toxic gas, allowing him to avoid being injured by an attacker while simultaneously allowing him to poison his opponent.
No wolf has ever defeated him in battle.
I could only hope on the night of my first shift that I would not disappoint my father and have a decent gift worthy of the Scarlet Haven reputation hear a howl in the distance.
I scramble to the back of the car and peek through the rear view window just in time to see a large pack of wolves storm in through the mansion gates.
Ravenstone wolves… it’s not long before the screaming overpowers the music playing from the Mansion, wolves rushing to protect their mates.
Lunas and their pups are quickly whisked away by their gammas to safer locations.
Our Gamma, Wyatt, had come with his family in a separate car.
I just hope he finds my mother in time to protect her.
My heart pounding in my chest almost drowns out the sounds of death around me as Ravenstone wolves attack.
Frightened by the terrifying screams, I climb out of the car and make a run for the trees near the house, hoping somehow to find my mother.
But it is! who finds her…
I round the comer and there amongst the trees, I hear a sickening scream.
My body stiffens with fear but upon hearing my mother’s voice, I force my legs to move onward.
That’s when I see the most horrifying scene that would forever haunt me in my nightmares.
Pinned beneath a Ravenstone wolf, my mother struggles to free herself, “M-mom?”
I whimper, my eyes filling with tears.
My mother turns her head in my direction, her neck now perfectly exposed to her attacker.
Terror fills her blue orbs as we maketo scream but my voice never leaves my lips as I watch the life drain from my mother’s eyes.I flinch at the memory of my mother’s lifeless body and fall off the edge of my bed with a thud.
My roommates groan in annoyance and I quickly scramble to my feet.
The clock reads 5 am and I decide to get a head start on the day, grabbing my things for a shower.
The hot water jets drum against my skin, the room quickly filling with steam.I count my scars as I scrub my body, a habit I developed after years of being an Omega.
It’s been 20 years since the attack and my life is starkly different now that my mother is gone.
Upon returning from battle, my father made the announcement that both my mother and I had died in the attack.
Gamma Wyatt and the maids who knew of me were sworn to secrecy while I was locked away in my room, left to mourn the loss of my only companion in silence.
My father never came to visit me and the maids were told to never speak to me when they attended me.
My world became silent and soon, so did I.
Not long after, Gamma Wyatt informed me that my father had remarried and was expecting a son soon.
A son to whom he would be passing his title to when the time came.
I was formally stripped of my rank the day my half brother, Caine, was born and given an Omega rank, was spotted near the western border and brought before the Alpha.
Agnes was a small woman, no more than 5 feet tall and quite beautiful.
Her looks, however, were not the reason she was spared from certain death, for Agnes had one small defect that would benefit my father greatly.
I still remember the day I met her.
It was the only time my father came to see me before I left the Pack Mansion.
.- FLASH BACK….
“This is Agnes,” my father’s voice echoes across the room.
“Your new mother.” I freeze, unsure if I heard him correctly.
The look of disdain in his eyes for me hadn’t faded after all this time we spent apart.
My legs shake as I stand before the man I once called father.
There’s a small woman standing behind him; she is also shaking.
“You will be moving to the Omega house with her,” he adds.
“She’ll help you pack your things.”
He growls when both Agnes and! remain frozen in place.
“Do I have to repeat myself? Get moving!” he commands, pushing Agnes into the room.
Agnes trips over her feet and collapses onto the ground in front of me.
Tears line her eyes as she looks around the room frantically.
I reach over to help her up and she flinches, her arms flying over her head to shield herself.
Unsure what else to do, I reach over again and tap her shoulder, offering my hand to help her up.
Seeing that I did not intend to hurt her, Agnes slowly lowers her arms and takes my hand.
She gives me a warm smile and places her hands in front of her face, thrusting them forward.
I wrinkle my nose in confusion and she laughs quietly.
She points to her ears and shakes a finger at me.
When ! don’t understand, she pulls out a pen and paper from her back pocket.
“I am deaf,” she writes, pointing again to her ears and smiting.
“My name is Agnes.What is your name?”
I shut off the shower and get dressed before the rest of the Omegas come rushing in to get a shower.
The Omega House, nicknamed the Hive, is a large building just south of the main Pack house where the Alpha and the Higher Ranks live.
The Hive houses nearly 70 Mated and Unmated Omegas, and despite its size, is severely overcrowded.
I share my bedroom with three other omegas, Simon, Luca, Timothy, all of whom are around my age, unmated, and under evaluation for Warrior status.
Once every year, Omegas are allowed to petition for a higher rank, most seeking Warrior or Guard status.
The vast majority would never earn a new rank, but the possibility is enough to spark hope to keep trying other rank for that matter.
My father made sure of that trush off to the unmated female wing of the Hive to find Agnes.
I tip-toe to her room and find her curled up in her bed fast asleep.
She stirs as she feels the vibrations of my footsteps approaching her and she sits up immediately to receive me with a hug.
“Good morning,” I sign to her as I pull away from her arms.
“How is your eye?” I ask.
Last night, while serving dinner to the Alpha and his family, Agnes made the unfortunate mistake of accidentally spilling some wine on the table.
Caine demanded an apology and when Agnes could not utter a sound, he lost his temper and hit her in the face with a wine bottle.I found Agnes nursing her bloody eye in the kitchen sink, several omegas ignoring her cries.
Not a single wolf had the decency to help her out.
“It’s fine,” she signs with a smile.
I know better than to believe her and gently uncover her eye patch to see for myself.
Smooth healed skin lies just beneath the gauze and Agnes smirks triumphantly at me.
“Told you,” she signs, bursting into silent laughter as I roll my eyes at her.
I mock, making her laugh even more, “Yeah, yeah.Whatever.Go shower.”
She laughs again and rummages around her room, collecting of the bathroom dressed in a t- shirt and jeans, her greying hairs still a little damp.
We walk down to the kitchen where Agnes prepares us a small breakfast while I pack us some sandwiches to take to while we work at the Pack House.
Omegas were not allowed to eat any food from the Alpha’s home.
At the Pack house, Agnes slips into the kitchen to get started on breakfast for the Alpha and his team while I head out to the shed to get some supplies.
I was remodeling Luna Sarah’s home office, and after a week of repairs, was finally going to paint today.I was excited to finish soon; I hated being in this house, especially with Luna Sarah present.
She made me uncomfortable.
Grabbing paint, tape, pans, and paint rollers, I get started on my task, emptying my mind of all thoughts as I press the paintbrush to the wall.
The work is mind numbing; just what I need after that awful nightmare this morning.
The room, however, quickly becomes stuffy and I remove my shirt to wipe off the sweat dripping on my forehead.
“Would you like a drink?” a sultry voice asks from behind me.
“You’ve been working so hard…”
The hairs on the back of my neck stand up and my body goes tense.
“There’s no need to be nervous, dear,” Luna Sara chuckles.
“I don’t bite.” Luna Sara is a beautiful woman with short blond hair and dark blue eyes.
She wears a scarlet dress that is too short for someone her height and a pair of black stiletto heels.
I bow before the Luna and she waltzes into the room with an ice cold Coke in her hands.
“Here, handsome,” she purrs, opening the drink and placing it in my hand.
I could feel my wolf, Grayson, become restless and it makes me uneasy.
Grayson and I didn’t have the best relationship so I knew something was up the second he decided to make his presence known.
Luna Sara’s fingers linger over mine and as I pull my hand away, I spill the drink all over my bare chest.
She giggles, reaching for my shirt and pressing it against my wet skin.
“Here, let me help you with that.”
Every cell in my body is telling me to run, to get as far away as possible from her, but my legs refuse to move.
Moreover, she was Luna and the last thing I wanted to do was disrespect her.
I do my best to remain perfectly still while she dries me off and she stands on the tips of her toes to reach my collar bone.
Suddenly, her lips crash against mine, her tongue plunging into my mouth.
It takes me a few seconds to function but I finally manage to push her away, afraid Caine, or even worse, my father would walk in and misinterpret the situation her arms around my neck.
“Oh come on, Zane. You can’t tell me you haven’t wanted me all week,” She smirks, pressing her lips against mine again.
“We can be quick,” she murmurs, one of her hands already trying to unzip my jeans.
“My husband won’t care. He does this to me all the time!”
Horrified, I grab her by the hands and throw her against the wall, pink paint staining her dress.
Oh goddess I’m dead ,I panic to myself, inching closer to the door.I’m so f*g dead! She wipes paint off her dress, glaring at me with her cold blue eyes.
“You’re going to regret this!” She snarls as I run out of the room.