I was warm when I opened my eyes. Though my body still ached, I wasn’t dead. It wasn’t the rain-wet pavement I expected, but a bedroom. I gasped at the sight around me. The room was beautiful.
The furniture was all made of sleek straight lines, but the quality of it all made it seem more modern than Spartan. I drew my hand across the sheets over me with wonder. They weren’t silk, but they were the softest thing I had ever felt.
I’d made it. Instead of running me over, the limo bearing the symbol of the Full Moon Pack had stopped and brought me here.
I was at the alpha king’s estate. I had to be.
“You’re awake!” A woman’s voice said, pulling me from my thoughts. She was dressed in a simple white button-up shirt, skirt, and a white apron. “I hope you’re hungry.”
My stomach growled as I caught the scent of meat from the tray.
"Where am I?"
I prayed to the moon goddess that I wasn’t wrong.
“In the home of Alpha King Candido,” she said, shaking out a napkin to put over my lap. She set a tray over my lap and loaded it with food. “Best eat quickly. He’ll be done with his call soon and up to see you soon after.”
I couldn't speak, but I picked up my fork and ate as the woman turned to leave. I couldn’t remember the last time I had eaten. I devoured everything, almost crying with thanks for the alpha king’s kindness and that I had made it.
My heart raced as I thought of the Alpha King.
What would happen to me now? The food was delicious and filling, but I couldn’t focus on that. Rumor had it that Candido was a bloodthirsty and brutal dictator who killed his father and brother to become the Alpha King.
What was I going to do? The thought of meeting him was terrifying, but he was my only chance at freedom. I had to find a way to stay.
A knock sounded on the door, and a second later, the door swung open. The woman hustled in ahead of the large, handsome man in a three-piece suit. I said nothing as she darted to my bedside, cleared away the dishes, and pushed the cart out.
The door closed behind her, and I looked up at the man, searching for some hope that I could convince him. His expression was cold and aloof as he looked at me and approached the bed. He walked with the grace of an adult werewolf and maybe a little more. While he was handsome, his eyes were a beautiful shade of green that seemed to hold me captive.
His gaze dragged over I form swiftly as he crossed the room. I swallowed past my terror and got onto my knees. My limbs were shaky, but I crawled to the edge and fell to the floor at his feet. I didn’t care how pathetic I looked. I was pathetic, and if it would help my case at all, I’d do anything.
“Alpha King, Your Majesty, I beg you to grant me sanctuary with your pack,” I said, trembling.
“Why?” He asked. His voice was rich and deep but cold. It sent a chill through me.
“M-My father and stepmother plan to sell me to an old alpha of a pack for an alliance, but I have no reason to agree and no loyalty to my birth pack.”
“Why is that my problem? Who are you?”
I clenched my fists in the plush softness of the rug beneath me.
“My name is Hedy. I’m the daughter of the current alpha of the Wolf Fang Pack and his previous wife.” I closed my eyes, pushing down my emotions as I went on. “My stepmother and half-sister have bullied me my entire life because my mom died. My father doesn’t care about me at all… He only sees me as a tool and a reminder he doesn’t want.”
My eyes burned. That had been one of the hardest parts of it all.
I looked up at Candido, meeting his gaze and letting him see how close to tears I was.
“I have nowhere else to go, Your Majesty.”
His eyes seemed unmoved. His expression hadn’t changed at all. Did he really not feel anything about my situation? The rumors seemed to be true. Tears sprung from my eyes, and I wracked my mind for something to offer, something to do. My stomach jolted as I dragged my gaze over him. He was a handsome man.
Hadn’t I heard once that every man wanted a younger, inexperienced lover?
I clenched my jaw. My pride burned, but I knew to be sent away would just start the clock for when the Wolf Fang Pack’s associates would find me and drag me back to my fate.
It was better to lay down my pride now by choice than have it ripped from me.
I pulled my dress over my head, shivering a little as the cool air wrapped around me, and fear made me more nervous.
“I’ll do anything,” I said. “Anything you want if you would just let me stay.”
I knew this probably wasn’t the first time he had been propositioned, but what other choice did I have? I had nothing else to offer him.
“How old are you?”
“T-Twenty,” I bit my lower lip, stuttering on the lie and hoping he wouldn’t call me on it. “I’m an adult.”
His nostrils flared. I hoped that was a good thing even though his expression hadn’t changed. I reached for the hooks of my bra as Candido grabbed me by my arm and lifted me off the ground. I swooned a bit as he hefted me onto the bed easily and pinned me down with the weight of his body.
I trembled but turned my head, allowing him to drag his nose along my neck and breathe in my scent. I didn’t know what I smelled like to him. Did I smell good? Could he smell what that woman had done to me?
Did I smell like I was lying? I held still. He shifted just a bit, seemingly retreating, and I flung my arms around his neck, holding him down.
“Please, Alpha King,” I said. My voice trembled even as I tried to sound sultry. “I’m… sure I can please you.”
His lips twitched into a sneer. He pulled my arms from his neck and pulled back. His eyes flashed with his wolf. My heart lurched. I curled into a ball, bracing for him to strike me or yell at me.
I closed my eyes, too frightened to look up at him and see what expression was on his face now.
All I could hope was that he would kill me quickly if that’s what he wanted.
Better dead than the fate that woman and my father had planned for me.
“Do you know what happens when you lie to the Alpha King, little girl?”