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Chapter 5 - Umiko

“This way,” he says in a cold tone, then pulls me closer to him and walks me out of the living room. 

I can sense my father’s eyes on my back as I am led in front of him - for the first time in my life, he has to stare at my back while I walk ahead. The feeling alone makes me smile and feel like I am a bit more powerful than him while he is here - in what would be my home from today forward.

“I had a few Vietnamese dishes prepared with the help of the lovely Hang,” Alpha Fenriz says when we walk into the dining room, and my heart stops. I look up at him with horror and see the same look on my mother’s face when my eyes fall on her. The confidence I had earlier melts away, knowing what my new husband has just done by saying that name.

“Her name is Saeko,” my father growls and wraps an arm around my mother. I can feel the fury emanating from him and immediately cringe away, but then Alpha Fenriz chuckles and shakes his head.

“In this house, I will use their given names, Kaen, not the names you’ve given them. Besides, I prefer her real name since it has such a strong meaning with what I am, wouldn't you say?” Alpha Fenriz says, then sits down. “I am sure you will respect the rules in my home, as I will respect the rules in yours.”

Whether Alpha Fenriz knows this or not, he has just hit the nail on the head. A wizened fox would never disrespect someone in their own home, lest he gets disrespected in his.

My father’s anger simmers down, but I can tell that this is far from over. Alpha Fenriz has deeply insulted him, and an insult to a fox could result in a long-standing feud between them. There will be no love lost since I mean nothing to my father, and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning. I suppose that he did not know what he would be in for when he signed my life away, but I know that disrespect was not one of the things he counted on.

I found out by accident that when he agreed to marry my mother, it was simply because of an arrangement. Her father, a wealthy magnate, needed to build alliances in Japan, so he sold his only daughter off. He hated my mother the moment he set his eyes on her, since he had another woman in mind, and decided to change everything about her, including her name. 

Naturally, when her father visits, he refers to her by her given name, Hang, but every other day she is Saeko - timid, obedient Saeko.

The dinner concluded quickly, with no one speaking and the atmosphere tense. My mother’s eyes were downcast the entire time, and I feared what would happen to her once they were alone. We weren’t close, not at all, but she is still my mother and the one who gave birth to me. 

We’re all in the entryway, saying our goodbyes when I look at my mother once more, and a feeling of sadness grips my heart. 

/“Don’t pity the weak, Umiko; they choose their own fate,”/ Ahmya says lazily, cutting through the thoughts about my mother.

I shake my head. /“She’s my mother-”/

/“And she allowed herself to be placed under Tsukishima’s thumb when she could have been so much more!”/ the fox spirit exclaims, stunning me. She bares her teeth and lets out a feral growl, one I haven’t heard before. In fact, she has never growled at me before…

/“Ahmya, what is this about?”/ I frown, but she simply disappears again and refuses to heed my call. /“Ahmya!”/

“Umiko,” I blink and realize that a hand has been placed over mine, my mother’s.

“Okaasan,” I answer in my mother tongue and lightly bow my head. She rubs my hand gently and lets out a sigh; when I look into her eyes again, I notice the unshed tears. Before I can ask what’s wrong, she pulls me into an embrace, and I can feel her tears falling on my shoulder.

“I didn’t want this for you; I didn’t want this for any of you,” she whispers in her native tongue, then breaks off the embrace and gives me a stern look. “Do not trust anyone but Yui, do you understand? Not even Ahmya, especially not Ahmya!”

The deranged look in my mother’s eyes has me taking a step back from her with a frown deeply marring my forehead. How did she know the name of my fox spirit? No one other than the host is allowed to know the name!

She grips my wrists, waiting for a response from me, and I whisper “Understood,” before I see her stiffen, and she eventually lets go of me, wipes her tears, and walks away from me for the last time.

What was that about? I thought she would come over to wish me well, but now she’s left me with more questions than answers. Ahmya was still gone from my thoughts, so I doubt she heard my mother’s warning. Do I ask her about it or find out for myself? I mean, it’s not like I ever trusted either of them to begin with.

I didn’t even have to turn around to know that my father was standing behind me; now I understand why my mother’s body stiffened up before she walked away from me. Taking a deep breath, I turn to face him, and my entire body cringes at the look in his eyes.

“Father-”

“Speak when you’re spoken to, Umiko, or has your new name made you lose your respect?” he says in a low voice laced with anger, and his eyes blaze with the color of his fox. He’s still seething over his interaction with Alpha Fenriz earlier, and now that fury seems to be directed at me.

“I apologize,” I say and take a step back from him, but he snatches my wrist just like my mother did a few minutes ago.

“Your husband has disrespected me; what will you do about it?” he asks with a raised eyebrow.

I flounder in his grip and look to someone for help, but as usual, my mother’s eyes are facing the floor. I am not sure why this upsets me more, it's not like she has ever protected me from his wrath, and as I am about to apologize yet again, Ahmya’s earlier words echo in my head.

“Don’t pity the weak, Umiko; they choose their own fate.”

I feel something inside of me break and pull my wrist out of his grip. “This is his home, and right now, you are disrespecting him by insulting his wife,” I say, and the surprise in his eyes gives me all the confidence I need to say the following. “You will not talk to me like that while you’re in my home, father.”

His earlier rage simmers to the surface and is amplified as he raises his hand to strike me. “How dare you-!”

I cringe away, brace myself for the hit and close my eyes, shock taking over as I realize that this will be the first time my father has ever harmed me physically. All the confidence from his look of surprise ebbs away and in its place, once again, stood fear. Overwhelming fear.

“Were you just about to strike my wife?” 

My eyes wretch open when I hear Alpha Fenriz’s voice, only for my heart to drop when I see him holding my father’s fist - the one that would have met my cheek.

“She is my daughter. I am allowed to discipline her,” my father says, pulling his hand away and glaring at Alpha Fenriz.

Alpha Fenriz chuckles and shakes his head. “She might be your daughter, but she is my wife - one that you have given to me so that we may have a powerful alliance.  Do you want to sever this accord before it even takes off, Kaen?” He says, grinning because he knows that he has won this argument.

My father huffs and then straightens his suit. “Noted.”

“Apologise to my wife, then leave before I change my mind about being civil,” he says, crossing his arms. 

Shock inches into my father’s face as soon as he realizes what Alpha Fenriz has just asked of him. I glance up at my husband, but his eyes are trained on my father and what he will do next.

My father shakes his head. “You can’t possibly be serious!”

“Dead serious,” Alpha Fenriz grins.

I have never received an apology from him, not once in my entire life, and now my new husband is forcing him to apologize to me. He huffs out a ‘gomen’ before storming off and dragging my mother with him.

“Make sure he gets the Vega treatment,” Alpha Fenriz says, and I hear more people leaving the entryway.

Gomen. All my life, all the abuse and feeling of worthlessness, and all I get is a murmured gomen - A brush off. Why am I even sad? This is to be expected!

I feel a finger under my chin, and a spark shoots through my entire body before my chin gets lifted, and I peer up at Alpha Fenriz. His crimson gaze bores into mine as if he’s searching for something, and my silly heart does cartwheels again.

“Listen to me, Umiko,” he starts, his voice low and incredibly sexy. “Yes, I will be calling you Umiko as I think Marina is too much of a common name for you - it means nothing, and you are not nothing.” 

I can feel a cold sweat beading my back with how he's looking at me, and my core trembles at the sound of his voice dripping domination. Ahmya stirs and opens her eyes, a dreamy expression evident in her emerald eyes as Alpha Fenriz continues. 

“You are a Vega woman now and my Luna bride; I will not permit you to ever look down at your feet again. Do you understand me?” he says, his voice stern and commanding. I nod, but he shakes his head. “Use your words, wife; I do not want you timid.”

Gods, I feel like I am about to explode from his words alone, but I swallow deeply and pull out my last little bit of courage from deep down.

“I understand,” I say softly in English and watch as his eyes literally split in two. If anything could break the spell he had on me, that was it, and I took a fearful step backward. “I understand, Alpha Fenriz.” 

It's easy to forget that this man is deadly powerful when that pull takes over; I need to be on my guard. 

“Just Fenriz,” he says, not meeting my gaze again and shaking his head. “Come, I’ll show you to our room.”

Comments (6)
goodnovel comment avatar
Monete Singleton
Not feeling Umiko fox spirit at all something wrong with her she seems evil or power hungry
goodnovel comment avatar
Debbie Proffer
This is good and she will be good for him
goodnovel comment avatar
Rutchie Jimenez
interesting
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