Chapter 4: Met Him on the Way to Escape

Every day I stayed in that dark basement. There was only one tiny window, one slanting beam of light that fell across the floor every day, and I stared out of it at the snow like a fool. I’d thought he’d felt something for me. I’d thought – 

It didn’t matter what I’d thought. It mattered that I’d been an idiot, that I’d fallen for his gentle touches, for the forehead kisses and the strong arm wrapped around my waist at night, for every time he’d saved me, and now I was stuck here.

Stuck here, in a dimly lit basement with no company but my own thoughts. I cradled my belly, looking wistfully out at the snow. 

I did nothing but act as his medicine, make him medicine, or talk to our baby. It was so quiet in here that I could hear every one of my shallow breaths, and the sound drove me mad. It was so silent that I started to miss the back-breaking work I’d been forced to do before. At least I’d had people talking to me then – even if it was to call me names. Anything was better than this.

Pressing up onto my tiptoes so I could see the tree outside, I murmured to my baby. “One day, I’ll show you the snow. We’ll make snow angels.” I swallowed hard, tears pricking my eyes. “I’ll build you a rope swing, too, on a tree like that one there. You’ll run free, my little snow angel, I promise.” It was the same silly, soothing nonsense I muttered almost constantly, and if anyone saw me right now, they’d think I was crazy – but I wasn’t. I wasn’t losing my mind to the darkness, and I hadn’t given up. I was biding my time. 

I was waiting for a chance to escape. 

Because it didn’t matter that I loved him. I loved my baby so much more. I couldn’t – wouldn’t – let my baby be born here, where their own father might kill them. Hunter never remembered the nights we spent together, so he wouldn’t believe me if I told him the baby was his. And, if any part of him did believe me, he’d kill our child to protect his reputation – and his new Luna. And, if nobody knew who the dad was, any pups would be killed to ensure that the female Omegas could produce new ones for other males, so, again, my baby would be put to death. There was no way out and no way around it.

I had to run.

Sighing, I sloped over to the wall and scraped another vertical line into the cement. The rock bit into my bent fingers, but I barely felt the twinge of pain. The tally hit thirty today. Thirty days of hell, and today would be the worst of them all. Today, Amy became Hunter’s Luna. 

As the day dragged on, the distant sounds of music and laughter drifted to my prison on the wind. A crack in the window let the strains of joy in along with the cold; I slid my back down the wall, crying and shivering, hugging my legs to my chest. It was a hopeless dream, imagining myself with Hunter. I was just an Omega. They’d never accept me as their leader.

Everyone was partying because they were excited to have Amy as their Luna. She was the second daughter of the mighty Blood Moon pack, and strong – strong enough to lead the Storm pack. My heart twisted at the thought. I smiled bitterly, drying my silent tears with the edge of my sleeve. 

The people delivering my food came later than usual. It was the only interaction I got. I relied on the few scant words spoken to me to keep me sane on a normal day, but today was more important than most.

“Food.” The door opened and a tray was shoved inside.

I stuck my foot in the gap. In a low voice I said, “I’m cold. Please can I have a torch?”

“No.” He yanked the door, but I didn’t budge.

“I’ll freeze to death if I can’t make a fire. It’s still snowing.”

The guard shoved the door open. I stumbled back and, though I wanted to glare at him, I ducked my gaze. His eyes burned a hole in my chest; I wrapped my arms over my breasts. 

“Please,” I muttered, “if I die, the Alpha might blame you.”

He reached out and cupped my breast. I held my breath. “Don’t play innocent,” he sneered, “you Omegas are born to be whores.” His thumb ran over my nipple, flicking back and forth. I curled my hands into fists, hidden behind my back. “You like being touched. Being used.”

I bit my lip. The baby kicked; I slid my hand down over my bump, wondering if he or she could feel my humiliation. His hand stilled, pinching my nipple with his stubby nails before smoothing his palm downwards. Then his fingers tightened again, squeezing my breast hard enough to leave bruises, smirking all the while.

“Please.” My throat bobbed. “Please, have mercy on me.”

He laughed, baring his yellowed teeth, and flung the torch at me. The flames caught my sleeve; my clothes went up in an instant. I screamed. My skin blistered. The flames spat and hissed, stretching higher and higher, enveloping my sleeve and sending plumes of smoke spiraling through the basement.

Jumping to the cold ground, I rolled until the burning stopped. His laughter grew louder and colder until, finally, he left.

Gritting my teeth, I stood up and assessed the damage. There wasn’t much I could do about it trapped in here, with no fresh, cool water to douse the burns with, but I removed the last scraps of burnt fabric from my arm, wincing all the while. “Sweetheart,” I whispered to my belly, “Mommy will never let you live the same life that I am. Never, I swear. You’ll run in the snow and play on the swing Mommy’s going to build for you. You won’t ever have to suffer. I promise.” As if hearing my words, my baby began to kick harder.  

Pressing my hand to my belly, I glared at the door. They never locked it, but two guards always stood outside. It made it easier for them to harass me. This time, he hadn’t even bothered to shut it fully.

The plan is on, I told myself, smiling grimly through the pain. This was my chance, and I wasn’t going to waste it.

* * *

Whenever I’d been forced to make medicine for Hunter, I’d made sure to ask for extra herbs. Glancing back at the door for the hundredth time, my body on high alert for any sound, I crept over to the dirty mattress and shoved my good hand through the gap. I’d carefully pulled out the stitching and kept my secret, stolen herbs in there.

I gathered up the herbs and split them into sections. Then I bound them together with a torn strip of my ruined top. I tore off another strip of fabric and used it to cover my mouth and nose. Shuffling over to the flaming torch, I dangled the herbs over the fire until they caught. Smoke started to fill the air. I had to move fast.

I hooked my foot around the door and slowly eased it open. I held my breath, but the guards didn’t seem to notice. Then I threw the bundle of herbs outside and waited.


“What is that?”

I bit my lip, crossing my fingers and toes and praying to every god I’d ever heard of that this would work. The door started to creak open – 

Thump. Thump. 

I poked my head out of the door. Relief swept through me. Both men were collapsed on the ground with slack jaws and unseeing eyes. Stuffing the other bundles of herbs into my waistband, I grinned to myself and crept out into the hallway. 

It was well past midnight, the snow was still falling and, with the party that had ensued to celebrate Amy becoming the Storm pack’s Luna, I seriously doubted that I’d bump into anyone tonight. All the drunks would be back in their rooms, sleeping their way towards a hangover; any that were still awake would be too blurry-eyed to notice little old me.

“We’re getting out of here, sweetheart,” I murmured to my baby, forcing out the words through chattering teeth. “You won’t have to live like me.”

I started to walk towards Daisy’s hut. I needed better clothes if I was going to survive in this snow. Daisy had bags packed for me, if she remembered our plan. 

The snow came down harder. Shuddering, I wrapped my arms over my belly and pressed on. I could barely see through the swirling snowflakes, but I knew this route well enough to walk it blind.

That was when I saw him. The Alpha was walking towards the basement – my basement. I froze.

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