After her pack is massacred, Rylie is on the run. Vulnerable and terrified, Rylie leads her four younger siblings to what she believes is safety, only to be attacked once more. This time however, she is left injured, unconscious, and sister of one. Her brothers Max, Sam, and Alex are gone, leaving only torn bushes and a screaming baby Jack behind.
Rylie finds herself a rogue, an orphan, and a mother figure. A female rogue on her own is never a good set up in any story. A female rogue on her own with a defenseless pup? The story's already over.
How will Rylie get her brothers back when she's already dead?
My packs' frantic screams are what woke me up that night. Their sounds of agony and despair cutting through the night with a knife. Terror rushing their veins and marble claws ripping through their hearts. One by one, they dropped like flies. The sounds of snarls quickly drowned by the sound of whimpers and howls.
At the time, I could do nothing but lie in bed and stare at the ceiling. Not because I was bored or unfazed, but because the sheer weight of their horror went straight through our pack link, seizing my mind, and ultimately, my body. I was paralyzed, and yet, sobs still wracked by body.
That's how my mother found me. In my bed with my body shaking uncontrollably and tears rushing down my face as if I was just a meat suit for a spiritual waterfall.
Next thing I know, her hands are fluttering across my body, panicked and rushed, attempting to calm me and pull me off my bed at the same time.
"Rylie?" she desperately wailed.
My father was beside her in a minute. I tried to to tell him, or rather, ask him, what was happening to me, but all that came out was garbled noises and a shrill whine at the pressure in my head. Suddenly, the feeling intensified, and I could only see white lines zigzag across my eyelids.
My mother was still wailing in my ear when I felt cold hands press against my forehead. Soft, murmured words were whispered and it was if my mind started to drain itself. The pressure had eased considerably, and I could see again.
Father was above me, his face ashen and filled with pain. My mother was nothing more than a crumpled heap on the floor. I looked from parent to parent before flinging myself at my mother.
Her beautiful brown brown locks were damp with tears and sweat, and her clothes clung to her as if they were a second skin. My father was no better. His usual pit stains from training young wolves, were now full body stains. If he weren't an alpha, he'd probably be either peeing himself or hiding in a corner somewhere.
"I'm right here mom. What's going on?"
"Rylie we need to go. Now." My dad said coming up behind my mother. My mom seemed to drag herself up at my father's voice. Hurriedly, she began pulling random clothes from my closet and dressers and started stuffing them in a bag she found on the floor.
"Henry go get Max, Sam, Alex, and Jack," she ordered my father. "And be quick".
Even in the thick of an, honest to God, crisis, his eyes still flashed at the command before he nodded and hurried away.
"Mom, what's going on?" I pleaded. Even numbed. I could still feel packs fear through our mind link. I could hear them calling out to each other making sure their mates and pups were alive.
A terrified scream pierced the air coming from outside my window. All movements stopped and we both held our breath as we stared in the direction of my flowing drapes. With her eyes cast down, my mother went to the window and pulled the peach fabric together, closing the scream out, and us in.
"We need to go" my mom finally whispered breaking the silence between us.
A creek on the wooden floor made us both jump and turn around and crouch defensively. Dad, with the four boys. was standing in the doorway with bags in hand. Sam was carrying Jack. "Let's go" my dad said. We all strode purposefully, making our way to freedom, before coming to an abrupt halt.
A group wolves were waiting at the end of the hall, and they weren't ours.
My dad moved to the front, shielding us, as mom started giving me instructions.
"Rylie, you and your brothers are to go out from the back and go straight to the woods. If we're not there in an hour.. go." She kissed us each on our foreheads before finishing. "Protect Jack. Now go."
We all turned and ran.
"Sam hand me Jack" I said.
"Why?" he whined.
I sighed. You would think being four would make him annoyed of his little brother. Nope. Not Sam. The blonde torpedo of trouble always spoiled Jack rotten. He's probably the reason the little two year old is so used to getting what he wants.
"Because you need to shift. You'll be faster that way."
"Why don't you shift then?" Alex stepped in.
"Because I need to carry Jack" I replied. One more question and I swear I'll push them all out a window. Clearly sensing this Max softly put his bag down and shifted. As a wolf he had black fur with grey on his paws and ear tips. When it was over he picked up his bag and trotted down the hall. Shrugging, Sam handed me Jack and let his own shift take over him. Alex, kissed his sleeping baby brother's head before following his brother's lead and trotted after the other two triplets.
A massacre. That's what this was. A empty-hearted, senseless, and most definitely soul-less, massacre. Bodies were strewn everywhere. Decapitated, complete, shredded, they were everywhere. The triplets were whining scrambling over themselves, trying to hide behind me. All I was doing was trying not to vomit at the sight in front of me.
My pack. My family.
They were gone.
The once heavy weight in my head was now almost empty space. There were few left, including myself and my brothers. My parents were still alive, thank God, but my friends, my classmates, even the people I had originally resented, left a gaping whole where their presence was only yesterday.
I remember finding a den where the boys could rest. They were all fast asleep when it hit. The all consuming pain that scorched my body. If I thought earlier was bad, I was sorely mistaken. It felt as if I were being burned alive and yet drowned at the same time. Like my body was trying to turn itself inside out. It was worse than shifting for the first time, and it was worse that my uterus exploding once a month. It was a pain I had never before experienced. Pain that was too much to even think about crying. It left me gasping, clawing at my neck, groaning, curling into a ball before throwing myself back into a lying position. I stood, only to crash into a wall of the cave/den dueto unsteady legs. The fire welmed in my throat. It bubbled up inside me like it was waiting for me to realize was it was. To realize was it signified. Once I did, I wished I really was on fire.
"No! No no no no no no..."
The fire flooded through me once more, a wave of doom.
I could now count my brothers heartbeats by listening with my refined hearing. I could hear the mountain rabbit running from the tiger miles north, where the ground was still laden with snow. I could hear the foxes playing and bears wandering for berries to feed their bellies. I could smell the crispness of the air. I could smell the mice burrowed underground and an old trail of wild wolves that were under my packs protection. I could the dew springing from the grass beneath me and the fine hairs of the bats above me and it tormented me. I could see, hear, and smell everything and it tormented me.
It tormented me because a regular wolf doesn't see this. Even the best couldn't hear this and I don't know anyone who could smell this in their human form. No one except my father and in extension, his mate, my mother.
But the fire inside me made sure I knew, they could no longer do it either.
My father, my mother, they were dead.
I was alpha, and it tormented me.
I laid there, staring at the sky that night. The fire that had roared through me, had numbed into a throb. The lump in my throat was ever growing; it was the fine line between sobbing and glaring at the stars.
My father was dead. My mother was dead. My pack was dead.
My pack was actually my pack.
I was alpha to three toddlers and a two year old.
If that's not the saddest thing you've ever heard, then I am sincerely sorry because you must be around some depressing stuff.
After everything that had happened, the stars and the moon where the only things that remained untouched. They weren't scarred by the horrors that had transpired. They wouldn't have nightmares everyday for years. They wouldn't have to replace parents whose bodies were so mangled, all the pieces couldn't even be found to bury them. They weren't camped out in a cave, hiding, cold, petrified, and hungry.
They weren't, but I was.
The thought saddened me even more and soon I was curled into myself, using my own body to barricade my thoughts. I stayed like that for a while. Somehow, my nose touching my knees and the comfortableness of the position calmed me. My eyes fluttered and immediately, I struggled to keep them open. I couldn't afford to sleep and have the boys go unprotected. Jack couldn't even growl yet and the triplets changed for the first time a little under a month ago.
Unfortunately, being curled up in the ball left me open for attack. I blame my own weakness for not having heard them sooner.
"Well, well, well, aren't you a pretty little thing?"
Golden boots were what my eyes opened to. They were standing just before the tip of my nose. If they moved the slightest inch, I would surely be kicked in the face and the man would surely be missing a leg. They would say if was a wild animal attack. Tragic really.
"What are you doing out here all by yourself? All.. alone?" He fell into a cackle that left drops of his saliva flying into the air and onto my face. Disgusting. Upon further inspection, his golden boots were attached to a lanky body that wore black skinny jeans and a grey-ish/blue flannel. An open, grey-ish blue flannel. His skin was fair and his chocolate locks framed a face of utter prettiness. However, his beauty was marred by the scowl that donned his face.
"Like what you see? You never answered my question Bella. What is your name Bella?"
My eyes flickered to the den and prayed to every god I knew that the boys didn't come out or make any noises. Of course, me removing my gaze from what was in front of me, I missed three other men join Beast over here.
"Hey, Ted! Look what you found. She's a beauty isn't she? I'm sure she could go for a nice price huh fellas?"
Bile rose in my throat at his words. His sweaty, pot-belly self wasn't helping either. The man had darker skin, except what would be dark and beautiful, was now grimy and greasy. His lust filled eyes left a revolting taste in my mouth and a sense of anxiety about what was to come. I'm not stupid or deaf, these men were either rapists slavers. Probably both.
No thank you.
Suddenly, pain erupted from the back of my head. One of the new guys that had entered had somehow maneuvered himself behind me and grabbed a fistful of my hair.
"She looks healthy."
Another man grabbed my jaw and pinched his dirty fingernails into my skin, forcing my mouth open as if I were an animal.
"Her teeth look strong. No signs of sickness. The best part? She's young." He laughed before bringing my face to his lips. Just as I was about to scream in refusal to his kiss, he switched tactics, taking his slimy tongue, and licking up the left side of my face. Pure repulsion caused me to finally scream out in anger, only to regret it moments later when I saw three heads poke out of the cave entrance.
Sam released a scream of outrage before his blond head streaked in my direction, his usual brown eyes a shade now resembling black due to his anger. Alex, a brown streak, following right behind his brother, his own eyes nearly black at the sight of me surrounded by men who didn't look nor smell friendly. Max stood behind his brothers, his brown hair ruffled by the wind, and his gaze of jade narrowed in tiny hatred.
"No! Go back in the cave!"
"It's okay Sissy. We're not afraid of them. We'll protect you!" Alex puffed out his chest and in any in any other circumstance, I probably would've laughed,
Now, I just wanted to cry.
The men were in hysterics and leered at the sight of my brothers. Two were pointing and looked as if they were they were about to fall into the bushes behind them, laughing so hard. I hoped they would. Bushes around here were known for their many, many thorns.
The triplets shrunk back at the blatant mockery and Sam looked as if he were about to cry. Max still met everyone's gaze but his stance seemed more unsure that usual. Unsteady. Alex had shrunk in on himself and pushed back behind his brothers,separating himself from the scene.
"Oh God, this is rich! She has her own mini army!" Ted had his hands on his knees, and his head thrown back in delight.
Oh how I wished I had trained with father in combat and tactics. Even with my new title, I knew I would not be able to get us out of this unscathed.
"Just take the kids. They'll fetch a better price and without girly here, they won't be able to escape on their own."
Oh hell to the no. That just wasn't going to work.
As soon as one of their filthy hands touched one of my babies, a loud, guttural, growl knocked them off their feet and into the thorn bushes. Alex and Sam started to cheer loudly and Max smiled a little, his cute little dimple showing the slightest bit. The force of their landing had the men spewing profanities left and right, dropping bombs that maybe even I needed to cover my ears to. Max giggled a bit and mockingly wagged his forefinger and singsonged an, "Uh-oh" before openly cackling. Everyone stopped and stared at him with something akin to horror, and realizing that was my chance, I attacked.
Their yowls were loud as my claws raked their torsos. The air was thick with their stench of fear and weariness. Ted was the only one who continued to be willing to fight me in my wolf form. My true alpha form. His eyes held malice and greed and his hands were open and grabby. He leaped towards my brothers and I took a running jump to meet him halfway when a sharp sting went through my shoulder.
The distraction made me not only miss my target, but land clumsily as well. My paws implanted themselves in the ground only moments before I were to go head first into a tree. That would've been painful.
A soft chuckle was heard behind me and a short, fit man with sandy hair and black sunglasses entered the scene. He was carrying a black dart gun and his eyes were locked onto my shoulder, "Gets them every time. I am good!"
Men seemed to sprout behind him and we were surrounded, outnumbered, and clearly doomed. Four were holding cages but after Sunglasses motioned to a particular one with blue hair and a golden tattoo, he put a cage back.
"We're only taking the boys. We'll find the girl again later." Sunglasses said.
"Now lass, don't worry a bit. The dart in your shoulder is laced with a small dosage of morphine. Aw, sugar don't growl at me like that. You should wake up before the sun comes back up in about five hours."
As he was talking, I couldn't stop my fluttering eyes. I couldn't control my slowing heartbeat and I couldn't conjure up the strength to fight off the injection.
My brothers' cries were the last things I heard before I succumbed to total darkness.