What’s worse than being a Rogue? Being a Rogue rejected by her destined mate and yet still feeling the Mate Bond Pull. I know I told people that I expected my mate, Nikolai Volkov, to reject me - and I did. But the mere fact still hits me so hard that I feel breathless at times.
Being rejected feels like shit. It hurts you right to your core, even more so because I’ve been an orphaned Rogue all my life. Well, I’m used to being on my own with no one at my side. However, Alpha Cain took me in and now I’m in a pack again. But my Rogue Blue eyes are still there since I don’t have my wolf yet.
Every now and then my mind drifts to Nikolai. How he rejected me so casually and how his attitude did a complete reversal when we met up again. He scented me and said he wanted me at his side and would prove that I belonged to him.
But that was four years ago.
Since then, I haven’t heard a word from him, and my heart breaks a little more every day. It’s fucking stupid, I know; waiting for something you know will never happen. It’s just as I said… he built me up just to break me down again.
The Rogue got rejected and thrown aside... Again.
Since then, things have been looking up. I belong to a pack again, and I’m so close to my Alpha that he gave Hell’s Kitchen to me to oversee while he takes care of his birthright, the Silver Sun Pack. The Pack warriors here respect me and look up to me; well, all except for one. I even lost a bit of weight while training with Alpha Cain’s Beta and Gamma, and because of this, my confidence shot up.
Man, I have everything I could ever have wanted and yet nothing at all.
“Is there a reason you’re still sitting on your ass instead of getting to work?” I cringe, and my body stiffens at the voice behind me, and I turn to look at him.
Will Stanton, one of Alpha Cain’s most ruthless warriors and currently my boyfriend. Things with him started off as a one-night stand, a way for me to forget about Nikolai and his rejection. But then Will demanded to get serious, and shortly after that, he moved in here on his own.
The first time I told him I wanted to break up, he punched me so hard that I only woke up four hours later. The second time he took a silver knife to my skin all day long, then still made me go to work after that.
The absolute agony and humiliation sunk deep into my bones, and he won’t let me forget it. He takes all the money I make and uses my body to fulfil his needs all while taking flings on the side. This has been my life for the last year, and Will finds me no matter what I do.
I can’t go to Alpha Cain with this; or rather, I won’t. He’s done so much for me already, and I don’t want to place anything else on him. So, I’ll tough it out for now until I eventually gain the strength to run away.
“I just got out of the shower, babe. I’ll get dressed soon,” I say, and give him a sweet smile. He’s already started early with the absinthe, so he’ll expect a lot of me tonight.
“Good; remember, I want that 5k tonight and if you have to suck dick to get it, then do it.” He says, stumbling out of the apartment and slamming the front door.
I flinch when he does this, then sigh and walk towards my cupboard to get ready for my shift at the bar. Alpha Cain owns it, but I’m managing it for him while he’s away; see what I mean by he’s done a lot for me? The man literally gave me a place in the world again; the last thing I want is for him to do more for me.
His pack has grown since he claimed his territory back and started negotiations with other packs. He’s trusted me to oversee the rest of the pack here in Hell’s Kitchen, so bringing up a minor abuse issue seems irrelevant.
I know I’ll live to regret it one day, but I would rather not be a burden to a man who literally gave me a new life and purpose. It’s not fair to him.
Sighing, I brush my lifeless blonde hair, saturate my skin in a heady flowery perfume, and leave my apartment to make my way to the bar. Luckily, it’s only up the road from my place, so I usually just walk there when I need to. Tonight will be more or less the same; the wolves will gawk at my cleavage, cop a feel of my butt and jeer all night long.
Before, I loved the attention because I always used to be the ugly girl; now, I just wished it would stop. If I dressed better, I'm sure I would like myself more, but Will would never allow me to. He likes the fact that I dress half-naked because I make better tips, and more tips mean fewer beatings.
I think that I would have been better off if I had never come to New York and continued living my miserable existence in Seattle. I had no one who would miss me, maybe one close friend, and would still be speaking with Nikolai’s wolf while listening to how his life played out. But then again, considering someone had kidnapped Nikolai and tortured him, I don’t think he would even be alive right now.
I need to stop dwelling on the past and get my head in gear for work tonight; fuck knows these wolves like a pliable bar lady.
But even as I have these depressive thoughts, all I can think about is Nikolai and his promise to win me back four years ago. Why would he do that if he never intended to act on it? Did he genuinely like to see me suffering that badly?
“Nova!” Estelle, one of the bar ladies, calls to me with a smile on her face. She’s a 20 something which just moved to Hell’s Kitchen after running away from her abusive pack. Alpha Cain accepted immediately; our Alpha has a tendency to accept Rogues, and they respect him for it.
“Hey, Estie, what’s happening?” I ask, rounding the corner to the bar, and she shrugs.
She rolls her eyes. “Same old scumbags in here as usual,” she says with a scoff and leans on the counter. “Will was in here a few minutes ago, drunk out of his skull as usual and left with that skank from Philly.”
I shrug. “He can do whatever he wants with whoever he wants; I stopped caring a long time ago.”
“Then why the fuck are you still putting up with it?”
I raise my eyebrow. “Why did you?”
Okay, I know I’m overstepping right now, but she had no right to ask me why I’m still with an abusive boyfriend when she stayed with an abusive mate for years. Sometimes I think the Goddess screwed up when she mates some people with abusive partners.
She sighs and gives me an apologetic smile. “Fair enough. Sorry about that. But I think you need to tell Alpha Cain about this; he’ll sort Will out immediately and hang him out to dry. You don’t deserve the shit he’s putting you through!”
I shake my head at this assumption. “Alpha Cain has done a lot for me; I can’t expect him to keep fixing all my mess-ups, Estie. He’s an Alpha, not a parent.”
“No buts! I’m fine and will sort it out. Now, the BlackFoot pack has just sauntered in, so let’s serve them and forget about this conversation, okay?” I cut her off and looked ahead of me to welcome the pack of wolves.
Same old people, same old come-on and flirting. I’m so sick of it, and I swear I’m going to run away from here one of these days. Man, I can’t wait to live on my own again. As much as I enjoy being part of a pack, I prefer the solitude of being a Rogue. Fair enough, Rogues are weaker. I feel like I’m part of a family, and these wolves would die for one another, but I never craved to be in a pack.
I would rather be on my own, with my own thoughts and living my own life. There’s less shit to deal with when you’re a Rogue, and you don’t have the responsibility of a pack to deal with either.
“Back-alley, right fucking now,” Will's drunken, raspy voice snaps me out of my happy thoughts, and I breathe out a frustrated sigh before following him out.
Wonder what I’m in for now.
Nikolai “You know if Kai finds out about this, he’ll make you claim her.” My brother, Dimitri, says before he drives away in his Maserati. We've just come back from another torture mission and the last thing I want to do is go home. “I fucking know that,” I murmur to myself as I look up at the flashing neon sign of the seedy bar in Hell’s Kitchen. I know I shouldn’t be here again, I know I should head home and resume the mission Kai has sent me on, but I can’t help it. The pull is too strong; HER pull is too strong. I should probably just reject her for real this time and get on with my life, but staring at temptation for so long only makes me crave it more. Nova is my mate, and I want her more than I feel the need to breathe. But with what’s going on between the Five, I cannot risk her life. It’s been nearly four years since I spoke with her, four years since I caught her scent and promised to win her over again… and four years since I’ve done jack shit about it. Trust me, it’s
Nova I felt his hardness pressed up against me after I told him I didn’t have the money yet, and a hit to my nose caused my glasses to crack and fly from my face. He’s going to punish me right here in a back alley, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it, half-blind and in mile-high heels. I slammed my eyes shut, knowing what would come next and hoped it would be over quickly so I could get back inside the bar and continue my shift. This is humiliating. I fucking hate this. As tears stream down my face, I wonder what I’ve ever done wrong to deserve everything that has been handed to me. A sudden growl snaps me out of my haze of self-pity, and the scent of smokey bergamot and mint causes me to perk up. I feel a splash of warm liquid on my back, and when I turn around, a sense of terror overtakes me but quickly dissipates when I see his familiar face. As bad as my eyesight is, I will never forget his scent. “Nikolai?” I whi
Nova “Alpha Cain,” I say and get to my feet. The sight and angry scent of my Alpha immediately made me feel ashamed. He walks towards me with his arms crossed and breathes out a sigh. However, his features soften before he wraps his thick arms around me. “Nova,” he says my name and that dam finally cracks. Four years' worth of anger, shame and resentment come out as he rubs my back. This man trusted me, and I broke his trust by not coming to him for help, I know he will see it that way. No matter how I look at it, this is ultimately me not trusting in my Alpha. Fifteen minutes pass, and I finally pull away from him, wiping my tears away and sniffing. “I’m so sorry,” I say, peering up at him with half-blind eyes. “What exactly are you sorry for, little Nova? You’ve done nothing wrong.” He says, leading me over to my couch. “Will has been abusing me for the better part of a year, and I didn’t come to you with it. He’s fo
NikolaiI’ve been sitting on my motorcycle outside The Slip for the last twenty minutes, too terrified to walk inside. Kai is pissed off with me. I can smell the anger on his scent all the way out here, and it is close to knocking me out cold.I messed up tonight, I fucking know that, and now my older brother and Alpha will make me pay. He’s been going easy on me lately, but I have a feeling that this is the last straw. Not only that, but I came across as unfeeling and cold towards my mate. She was in shock and hurting, and I couldn’t even push my ego aside to ask her if she was okay. What the hell is wrong with me?!/“I know you’re out there, Nikolai,”/ Kai suddenly says through the mind link causing me to cringe internally. Fuck, I guess it’s now or never.Taking a huge ass gulp of air and bracing myself for a shitstorm, I tuck my helmet underneath my arm and make my way inside the club. When I
NovaWhat the hell is wrong with me? It’s been close to a month, and Nikolai has disappeared yet again. I keep setting myself up for this, but whenever I try to reject him, the words die in my mouth. My heart aches whenever I think about it, so much so that I feel breathless at times.I want Nikolai, and I want him to crave me as much as I do him, but I know he never will.Tonight it’s busier than usual in the bar, but I know the reason why; the full moon is tomorrow, and the unmated males are nearing their rut. Not a good thing for an unmated female like me, especially since I can feel my heat approaching./“Nova,”/ Alpha Cain calls me through the mind link at about 8 PM. /“Close up early and go home; I don’t want Nikolai Volkov killing anyone else in my territory because you’re nearing your heat.”/I blush beet red when he says this and relay the message to Estie a
Nikolai I should have prepared for this and listened to Kai, but I upped and walked into enemy territory out of sheer fucking anger. Alder Grey, Gamma from the IronCrest Pack, has had it out for me the last few months, and by killing three of my bookies, he’s succeeded in luring me out of BloodCrest territory. And into his fucking hands. Surrounded by him and two of his pack warriors, I fought them off as best I could, but what I didn’t expect was to run into fucking hunters on my way out. Granted, Connecticut is Alpha Bastien lands, but now I have a feeling he’s aligned with hunters to keep enemies out. I tell Kai this over the mind link and hightail it out of there on my Ducati, needing to breach our own border. But a few blocks away from Hell’s Kitchen, the wheels slip on the slick tar, and I crash into a fucking store front. Kai won’t like this, I know he won’t, but right now, I can barely think as the wolfsbane makes its way into my system. I allow Knight to lead me to a s
Nova “Thank you again, Nova,” Alpha Kai says before leaving with Nikolai in tow. I couldn’t help but notice how pissed off Nikolai looked as soon as he saw his older brother. Did he not want Alpha Kai to know about his injuries or something? Oh, well, not my circus, not my monkeys. I’m about to lock the bar when I look up and see Nikolai’s grinning face on the other side of the door. “What are you still doing here?” I ask, confused. I’m pretty sure I saw him getting in Kai’s car earlier. He grins, then stretches out his hand. “Give me your cell phone; we haven’t exchanged numbers, and we’re supposed to be fated mates.” My eyes widen at this, and I can feel a blush coming on again, but I hand him my phone anyway. After inputting his number, he rings his cell as well and then hands mine back to me. “There, now you can give me your answer later,” he says, but as he hands me my phone, he grips my wrist and pulls me into his arms. “Hmmm, I can’t wait to make you mine finally.” He
Nova What a long ass week. I’ve been itching to get out of my damn apartment, and now that my heat has passed, I cannot wait to stretch my legs. Who knows, maybe it will be my last heat as an unclaimed mate. The thought made me smile like an idiot, and I shake my head as I unlock the door to my apartment. I’ve decided to go to one of my favourite coffee shops and enjoy myself for a change since I never think of myself. To say that Will’s death and Alpha Cain’s chat changed me is putting it lightly. I know my worth now, and I’ve grown somewhat of a backbone - none of the wolves who used to eye fuck me even dare to anymore. I needed this, needed the trauma and pain to realise that I’m not anyone’s doormat. Now I just need to get a bit tougher in the fighting department. “Hey, Nova. I haven’t seen you in ages!” One of the baristas, Owen, greets me when I walk in. I wave and give him a slight smile before taking a seat at the back of the cafe. I didn’t come here to chat with anyone,