Riddhima twisted and turned on the sheets which, wet with her sweat, were clinging to her. Her damp clothes fitting her like a second skin. She gasped as tears started to fall from her eyes, the pain severe than rejection. She felt like her soul was being ripped out of her body and torn into two as she watched helplessly like a spectator. Her body trembled as her connection with her mate was severed ruthlessly.
She had had a lot of expectations about her mate while growing up. Her wolf supplying images of loving mate only added onto her fantasies. She thought that the first time she would see him; they would instantly feel the connection, cement it with love and care and then finally mate. Everything was like a dream come true. Kabir was all she could ever ask for. He was sweet, gentle, loving and caring. They had felt the mate pull the instant their eyes had connected from across the hall at one of their pack dinners. He had courted her since then and now, after a month, she had felt like she was ready to take the next step, to mate.
Her dreams were shattered when one morning Kabir had approached her with a grim look on his face, unease settling deep in her stomach. He had stared at her with eyes full of sorrow and informed her of his family’s decision regarding his mate. She had difficulty accepting the fact that his family was oblivious of their growing relationship while almost everyone in the pack knew. She had felt cheap like a dirty little secret that needed to be hidden. His family was pressing him to mate with Isha, a wolf of strong bloodline unlike Riddhima who was a three year old orphan when she was accepted into the pack. He did not have the courage to stand up for his mate and their bond. Instead he chose to give into the pressure from his family and reject her. The mantra ‘family first’, ingrained in his mind since he was born, was the major factor behind his decision.
The pain of rejection had been like a knife through her heart. For a week she felt like her body was continuously placed on a bed of needles and a block of ice simultaneously. Just as she had come to her wits’ end, she had heard of Kabir’s mating ceremony with Isha. The ache in her heart had intensified but she had strived on to achieve some semblance of control in her spiraling life.
The true torture had started on the eve of their mating ceremony. She was sweating profusely and her whole body ached like pack of wolves had feasted upon her and left her to fend off death in an isolated, cold and damp forest. Her connection with her wolf was lost since Kabir rejected her. The wolf had gone into mourning, cutting itself from everyone else. Riddhima had collapsed onto the bed, her legs no longer able to hold her weight. She stayed bedridden for two weeks, her mind slipping in and out of consciousness, delirium making it impossible to differentiate between real and reel, twisting and turning in her bed to get some relief from this biting pain.
Her wolf returned to her just when she thought that maybe this pain was not worth living through. The wolf supported her and gave her the strength to fight this rejection. It consoled her by reminding her of her dream to become the best Healer. Shaking its head and nudging her towards the light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Now as she lay, regaining her strength, she could feel within herself the need to rely on her mate diminish. She could practically feel herself dissolve and emerge as an independent she- wolf that did not need another wolf to depend on. She has lived through the pain of rejection once, the noise of her expectations clattering and breaking still ringing through her ears, strengthened her resolve. Never again would she be vulnerable and give someone the power to step all over her. Never again would she bare her heart and soul to anyone. Never again would she peg her expectations on someone.
Never Again! And her wolf howled its agreement.
Zoya tried to control the shaking of her body. It felt like everything was slipping past her fingers even though she never had any real control over her life. Being born and raised into the Blood Moon Pack, she was taught to be dutiful and obedient from the very beginning of her existence.
The pack adhered to strict ancient rules that were followed by everyone. Her being the Omega was just an added disadvantage. She was regarded as weak and a liability by the pack due to her soft and submissive nature. The rules for her were even stricter than that of a normal pack member. Even if she unintentionally broke a rule to help someone, she was punished severely; the marks on the skin of her back were evidence enough.
The only happiness that she could recall in her entire time spent with the pack was when she was mated to Yash. He had always been a meticulous person. Even slight disorder would send him off the edge and he would not hesitate to hit her. The pack gave him the right to discipline his mate as he deemed fit, her parents gladly washing their hands off her as they were embarrassed by her weakness. With time Zoya adjusted herself according to his whims and wishes and she discovered that he was a very considerate person when not enraged. Her life fell into an easy routine. She was shielded by some of the harshness of the pack because of her mate being a warrior.
Everything had gone down the drain when she had received the news of his death. It was just another causality in the increasing frequency of rogue attack for the pack but for her, it was the end of her somewhat peaceful life. She was despised by almost all the pack save a few of the other Omegas that were receiving the same treatment. She was watched like a hawk, waiting for her to commit any mistake so she can be ‘reprimanded’.
Her back ached from bowing as the angry red pelts on her back, courtesy of her recent defiance to being dragged into a meeting with the Council to officially emancipate her from the pack, stretched and burned in protest. She could feel the blood seep out of the cracks and roll down her back. She was grateful for wearing red so that the blo*dy trail could be masked.
A mixture of panic and anxiety settled deep in her stomach as she awaited her fate. She knew how the rogues were killed by other packs and emancipating her forcefully from the pack would result in death, probably what the Alpha was wishing for. Arman was obsessed with Zoya since she had matured, but as the pack rules stated, ‘a wolf would only have eyes for its mate’ so he could not act on his desires. It frustrated him which resorted to him punishing Zoya and deriving a sick pleasure from her pain. Emancipating her from the pack was his last effort in letting go of his obsession over her as he had found his mate.
“Zoya is the she- wolf offered to the Alpha of the Black Hawk Pack by the Blood Moon Pack.” She practically careened into a trembling fit as she heard Alpha Arman’s announcement. Her breathing grew labored and unshed tears made her vision blurry as she tried to remain standing with all her might. She was just offered to the dangerous Alpha of the most notorious pack that rivaled her pack in almost everything. If they treated Omegas the way her pack treated them, then she wished that becoming a rogue was a favorable option. Her wolf growled at her like it always did when Zoya was consumed with thoughts of death. Her wolf always seemed to think that their suffering would end and she would get what she deserved. Her wolf was seldom wrong so maybe this was her opportunity, mused Zoya.
Vansh looked at Zoya with barely constrained interest. He could feel the shift in Aditya’s wolf as the Alpha stared at the Omega intensely. Years of friendship had forged a bond deeper than blood relations between the Alpha, Beta and Delta of the Black Hawk Pack. They could understand each other like an open book. Even feel the shift in the dynamics of one’s wolf. Aditya’s wolf was protective of her for some reason. From the approving nods of the Council, Vansh inferred that Zoya was going to be his Luna. A small smile graced his lips as he knew that Aditya and the pack were going to be in for a surprise.
So this is the second part. Please do let me know what you think of the story so far.