I place everyone’s breakfast on the table and only took a seat once Alpha Michael, Luna, and Melissa were seated.
Alpha Michael rarely spoke during meals, but today he called out my name, which was unlike him.
“Andrea, you’re 20 years old this year, aren’t you?”
I frowned slightly. I put down my fork and shook my head, then hand gestured Michael that I was 19 years old.
Alpha Michael raised an eyebrow, obviously not concerned about it. He continued, “You’re not young either way. It’s time for you to get married.”
I tensed up at that moment. I knew what he wanted to say.
He’s still enjoying his breakfast, like my marriage wasn’t worth discussing.
“You know about the Cold Moon Pack’s Alpha, don’t you?” Michael said as he held a piece of sliced bacon to his lips, waiting for my response.
Michael swallowed his food and praised me, “The bacon tastes good today. I believe that it’ll be good for you to marry Alpha Enzo. It would be beneficial for both packs.”
I stiffened and turned to Melissa to see her reaction.
However, Melissa had her gaze fixed on her food.
Ellen tapped my plate with her utensil, and her sharp voice rang out loudly, “What are you looking at her for? Are you asking Melissa to go instead? That’s not going to happen. She’s going to be Alpha in the future!”
I shook my head, indicating that I didn’t mean that.
Ellen rolled her eyes at me. “Don’t forget that you’re just a slave! To marry Alpha Enzo as our daughter is something you should be grateful for!”
I would indeed be grateful to them if I didn’t know what kind of person Alpha Enzo was or didn’t realize that this was their ploy for me to marry him instead of Melissa.
“Yes.” I lowered my head and spoke indifferently.
I had no reason to refuse. I was just a slave, after all. My status had already sealed my fate from the start.
If I refused, Ellen would probably drag me to the back of the mountain and tear me to pieces.
I hastily stuffed the food into my mouth. I wanted to finish eating and leave as soon as possible.
Ellen slammed her fork onto her plate and shouted coldly, “What did you even make? It’s disgusting!”
My hand slipped, and my face turned red.
“Didn’t you hear me? I said this is disgusting!” Ellen snapped. Then, she threw her food onto my plate.
I apologized immediately. I’ve always known that timely admission of faults sometimes saved me from severe beatings.
I stood up and took my plate, using hand gestures to tell her that I would make a new portion and ask her to wait a while.
She grunted dismissively.
After leaving for the kitchen, I heard them speaking in hushed tones from the dining room.
“Why are you making things difficult for her? She’s going to take Melissa’s place soon. What if she gets frustrated and refuses to do so?” Michael said.
“She has to agree. Look at her! She looks as though we forced her into it!”
I sighed and focused on the task on hand, placing tomatoes and ham on slices of bread.
Whatever. I didn’t care anymore.
“Enough!” Melissa suddenly slammed the table and shouted. “Mom, we were forcing her! Stop making things difficult for her on purpose! I already feel so guilty!”
I paused, and a mixed feeling flooded through me for an instant.
When I walked out of the kitchen with the sandwich, I happened to see Melissa running upstairs to her room. Her eyes were red, and she slammed the door shut behind her.
I didn’t see how vicious and smug she smiled behind closed doors, and naturally I didn’t know that her tears were purely a masterful act she had put on to soften my heart.
Even more ridiculously, I even felt that at least there was someone in this house who cared about me. That Melissa was the only one who gave me a hint of warmth.
I gave Ellen the sandwich I had made. She glanced at me but didn’t intentionally trouble me again after tasting the food.
I turned and returned to the kitchen.
“The food she makes isn’t that bad.”
Ellen started nitpicking on me again, but I didn’t think she was complimenting me either way.
To her, I was just a slave who could take good care of their family’s daily routine.
She probably thought it was a shame to marry me off because of that.
After breakfast, I went outside with a paint bucket to repaint the house’s wooden fence.
Melissa told me that she liked white fences the other day, so I wanted to get this done before I married out to another pack.
The sun was shining brightly. I crouched on the roadside, painting under the sun with a sunhat on my head and work gloves on my hand. Suddenly, someone tapped me on the shoulder.
I pushed the brim of my hat up to find Jesse looking at me with both hands behind his back.
His curly brown hair was plastered to his forehead, and he had his usual bright grin on his face.
Jesse was Melissa’s classmate. He was a commoner’s son and was younger than me by a year.
I straightened up and gave him a surprised look.
He brought out his hands from behind his back, and I saw two fresh oranges in his palms.
I quickly waved my hand, gesturing that I didn’t want them.
He would always bring me all sorts of delicious food. At first, I accepted them and even gave him gifts in return.
Later, I sensed that he might be trying to ask me out on dates, so I stopped accepting his gifts.
I didn’t hate him because I knew that liking someone wasn’t a crime. But I couldn’t string him along.
In my opinion, a straightforward rejection was the greatest respect I could show him.
So, after he pushed the oranges into my hands and insisted I accept them, I told him firmly that I would get married soon.
The two oranges fell out of his hands and hit the ground, rolling to the fence and getting stained by the wet, white paint.
His eyes were wide as he gave me a look of disbelief.
After a few moments, he shrugged and said, “Andrea, you’re kidding right?”
I shook my head and told him that I was going to marry the Cold Moon Pack’s Alpha.
I’ve never seen the look currently on Jesse’s face before. He always smiled as though his cheerfulness was boundless.
This time, anger filled his face.
“I’m sure you’re joking,” Jesse firmly said.
I gestured for him to calm down, but he grabbed my wrist and yelled, “You’re not like that! You said before that you didn’t mind I was a commoner! You’re just like Melissa and her family. All you value is status! If so, why did you get near me in the first place?!”
Back in school, someone had to play the clown at the carnival back then, and since no one was willing to play the role, the inconspicuous commoner, Jesse, was forced to.
He wasn’t willing, but he didn’t dare object. So he hid in the corner by himself.
I asked him what was wrong, and he told me that everyone looked down on him because he was a commoner and bullied him.
It felt like he was in the same position as me at that time, so I comforted him and said that I would play the clown with him.
In the end, both of us put on the clown makeup and performed on stage, but it only served to make everyone else laugh harder.
Perhaps it was my actions that made him fall for me.
But I knew that I only empathized with him because I also lived in the lowest rung of society.
If I had stood in the same position as Melissa and the others, I might not have understood the situation.
Jesse continued, “Andrea, I’ll work hard. I’ll live a great life. Won’t you give me a chance?”
I shook my head. “Sorry.”
“I don’t want your apology! You’re a greedy woman! You disgust me!”
I couldn’t reveal that I was just a substitute bride in this marriage, nor could I admit that I was just a slave. All of it would be a hindrance to the marriage alliance.
Ellen would never let me off the hook if I messed up this alliance.
It’s best if I let him think that way. Perhaps he would feel better about it.
Jesse kicked over my paint bucket. “Remember, I’m the one who dumped you! You bitch!”
As he left, he even spat on the ground. He made it seem like it was disgusting to be around me.
I stared at the bucket of paint on the ground and held back my tears.Picking up the bucket, I found very little paint left in it.I sighed, then carried the bucket to refill it with paint.No matter what, I still wanted to paint the fence. It was Melissa's favorite color, after all.After painting the fence white, I took off my sun hat and wiped the sweat on my forehead. I felt a little better now that I had finished painting the fence.I think Melissa was going to love the new fence color."Andrea!"I turned towards the voice and found that Melissa had pulled back the window and waved at me from the second floor.I placed down the paint bucket and was about to head upstairs when I realized that the paint on me would probably leave stains in Melissa's room. So, I went to change first before knocking on Melissa's room door.Melissa opened the door, then pulled on my arm and complained, "You were so slow!"I gestured, "I went to change clothes since I had paint on me."Melissa blinked
The pain in my wrist increased. I frowned and turned to Melissa to tell her about it, when I saw the glare that she couldn't hide in time directed at me.Melissa suddenly pushed me behind her, stepping between Enzo and me when he tried to get closer to me.Enzo furrowed his brows, looking a little unpleased.Michael smiled and introduced, "This is my-""My name is Melissa. I'm my father's only daughter. Hello, Alpha Enzo." Melissa interrupted Michael before he could finish speaking.I stood behind Melissa, a little confused for a moment.I saw Enzo blink, and he gave her an awkward yet polite smile.He turned to Michael and asked, "And the lady behind this young lady is...?""She's-""She's my family's slave," Melissa interrupted once more.I shot Melissa a shocking look. This person was my best friend?!She never allowed me to call myself a slave, yet here she was, revealing my identity in full view of everyone present.I saw the astonished looks and regretful sounds from the people
Enzo raised his brow as he shook off Jesse's already crippled hand and snorted, "What, are you guys slaves in this house too?""What?!" Molly exclaimed.I could sense that she hadn't said that out of anger, just shocked and confused, as though she didn't understand Enzo's words.After all, Enzo was a murderous, bloodthirsty devil in the rumor.Enzo pulled a napkin from the side table and carefully wiped his hand that had touched Jesse's hand. Then, he sneered, "If you're not slaves, what are you doing here?"Jesse raised his chin and said, "This slave provoked us first. We were just-""I'm sorry, Alpha Enzo. This was our fault," Molly said and covered Jesse's mouth just in time.She was shaking so badly, as though she was terrified of Enzo."Since it's your fault, apologize." Enzo's voice was soft, but it was intimidating.Molly stiffened.After a few seconds, she gave me a forced smile, blinked her reddened eyes, and said, "I'm sorry, Andrea. Forgive my rudeness."Then, she tugged on
I tried to keepsome distance with him, but his voice was just enchanting."I'mnot talking about the cream. I was talking about your scent."My scent?What scent?I sniffedand only smelt whipped cream. His warmscent came closer, created a soft comfortable cage that I can’t and don’t evenwant to escape.He pressedhis lips on my lower cheek making me shiver. His breath was just on my rightear. I felt hishands on my waist, holding me hard not letting me go. His one hand reached outunder my cloth, rubbing the side of my waist, and going up.I started totry to hold back a moan feeling helpless on this strange pulse. I froze on thetingle between my thighs and my panties’ wet.His eyebrowsflew up higher at my actions.Just then, ascream suddenly rang out from the kitchen."Whatis that smell?! Who burnt the cake?!"I winced andrushed back into the kitchen, leaning over the door frame to peek inside andfound a cook holding a blackened cake on a plate, staring blankly at it.I
Enzo's POVShe was mymate!The nasty‘real daughter’ of Alpha Michael was nobody but she just scared the hell out ofmy little innocent mate!She wasglaring at my mate in a highly hostile manner, and I immediately realized herhostility was because of me.I blockedAndrea from Michael's daughter's view, frowned at the latter, and asked,"Is something wrong?"Michael'sdaughter took her eyes off Andrea, then took a few steps towards us, "Myfather is looking for you.Afterconfirming that my mate was in this Pack, I had told Beta Kyle Larson to findout my mate's relationship with this family.Now that Ihad the gist of the situation, I could return to the party without worry andcarry out my duties as the Cold Moon Pack's Alpha.I nodded."Alright. I'll be right there."Michael'sdaughter flashed me a familiar smile, of one on the face of every woman whowanted to climb into my bed.However, Ididn't like those kinds of smiles. Hated it, even.It's just ashame that Andrea hadn't ev
Andrea’s POVI wasembarrassed to see everyone in formal dress, and I was in maid’s apron.I thought Iam used to be the slave in the pack. I was not in front of Alpha Enzo. He wasdifferent.Slaves werenot allowed to have any eye contact with masters and guests. I didn’t even knowhow taunting he would be seeing me doing my slave job. He must behappy that he was not marrying a shameful slave like me."Andrea,"Melissa called me suddenly.I had a badfeeling instantly.I walked toher side, and my head was still bent low. I didn’t dare irritate her in thissituation."I wantto drink that wine," Melissa said, pointing to the wine on the otherside of the table.I nodded,then walked around the table to bring the bottle of wine over. Then, I bentdown to pour a glass slowly for Melissa.Unexpectedly,Melissa brought her hand up to touch the stem of the wine glass, then seeminglyswept the glass off the table unintentionally.The glasscrashed to the ground and shattered into pieces
Andrea's POVI wasshocked. What was he talking about? He reachedout to touch my hair, I frowned and leaned back away from me. Iwithdrew my hand hesitantly and instead said, "Can I stay with you? Do youwant me to stay with you?"I can’t sayI don’t. I wanted him to stay."I canturn into a wolf. I definitely won't do anything to you in that state."Mywolf's name is Ethan. It's very docile."Isthat okay?"I heard himsay. He was so patient, so comforting. I didn’t refuse.He startedto undo his shirt and tie. I was astounded to see his sun-tanned bare chest andperfect abs, didn’t know what to do.My eyeswiden at him loosening his belt, held my knees tighter to my chest. Usually,Alpha Michael undressing himself means he’s going to beat me with his belt.That hurts."No,wait! Because turning into a wolf will shred my clothes... I didn't mean tostart taking them off in front of you! I..."His voicereminded me that I was safe now. And I was a little embarrassed now looking at
Andrea's POVMybiological clock always woke me up at half-past five every morning, since I hadto get up to clean the house and prepare breakfast for Alpha Michael's family,Today, whenI got up from the mattress, my leg brushed against something soft and furry.I rubbed myeyes and saw a solid black wolf tail. I quickly remembered what happened lastnight and tried my best to hold back a shameful scream."You'reawake?"A low,hoarse voice floated into my ear, and I jerked around to meet thosegolden-brown, cloudy eyes.The giantwolf had also woken up, seemingly tired.He got upfrom the ground and walked over to me. He circled my back, then reached out torub my neck like it was the most natural thing. Then, he wrapped his bodyaround my waist and placed his head on my thigh."Goback to sleep..." he said blearily.I wasstunned speechless.I wanted topush him away and run, but he simply licked the back of my hand with his roughtongue and said, "Stop it.""..."Why did thiswolf