I hear footsteps moments later and I’m scrambling back on the bed when the door is flung open and Cameron barges in, his face white, “What is-”

He freezes in his tracks on seeing the dead animals littering my bed and the floor, their blood staining my sheets.

I don’t know what I expected from him but his reaction that follows is not it.

He turns on me, furious, “What the hell is this?”

“W-What?” I stammer through my terror. “I didn’t - These were here when I woke up!”

However, he just gives me a disbelieving look before taking a step back and tears spring to my eyes, “How can you hate me this much when you don’t even know me?”

His face stiffens at my words, and I continue, half out of my mind with fear and grief, “I didn’t want this! I didn’t want to leave my family and my dad and my mom to come live with someone who thinks I am such a despicable person! I wanted more from my mating! You and Ness and your parents treat me as if I forced myself on all of you! I hate you! I hate all of you!”

My whole body is shaking, the scent of the blood so overpowering that it makes me want to gag.

“You think I go around killing animals and – and –” I can’t even speak, stumbling over my words, hysterical now, “and attacking people I don’t know?! Do you even know what Ness said to me or how scared I am of her?! No, you don’t because you don’t even give two shits about me!”

“Hey-” Cameron is beginning to look uncomfortable.

“No!” I scramble back towards the headrest of the bed, crying now. “You all are the monsters! All of you! I hate all of you! If you and Ness want each other, why would you bring me here and ruin my life?!”

“I don’t want Ness!” Cameron raises his voice, looking panicked at my state. “I never said I did. Where are you coming up-”

“Because she said it!” I scream at him, my face wet with tears. “And now - “

My body is shaking so violently, the stress too much for me, and my vision turns dark.

My legs feel like rubber, and I stumble forward, sinking into a deep darkness.


I don’t know where I am when awareness seeps in.

However, I am comfortable, a blanket on me.

My eyes flicker open, and I instantly realize that this isn’t my room. Mostly because it’s so much fancier than mine.

The next instant, my memory returns with a vengeance and panic hits me.

I force myself into a sitting position, only to be forced back, a familiar voice saying, “Lie down. Don’t get up yet.”

My eyes turn to the side, and I see Cameron sitting there, a strange expression on his face.

My body turns rigid at the sight of him, and I try to move again, “Where did you bring me? What are you planning?”

“You’re in my room,” he says, attempting to calm me down. “You passed out. You-”

“You should have left me there!” I move away from him, trying to avoid his touch.

He flinches at my actions, “Danielle, please, just calm down and listen to me.”

“Why?” My patience is all gone as is the trust I had brought with me when I had come here. These people mean me no good.

“There is nothing between me and Ness,” He tries again. “I promise. Maria was my true mate. I can’t even think of another woman after her, much less Ness.”

“W-What?” I go still on hearing that as his sudden aversion to me becomes so much clearer. “Your what? Maria was your true mate?”

The horror of this news is a sinking sensation, “B-But if your Luna dies, you are unable to mate with another-”

“Exactly,” Cameron looks relieved. “That’s why Ness isn’t an option for me.”

“Then why - Did Jason know this and still choose me for you?” I’m beginning to feel sick now at the joke that has been made of my life.

When Cameron doesn’t respond, I already have my answer.

“Look, I know I haven’t been the best to you but -” He sighs, “I didn’t know Ness said any of those things. I still can’t believe she would think that. She is one of Jason’s potential mates and-”

I stare at him, “You think I’m lying?”

He shakes his head, “I thought about what you said. There were a few signs that I might have missed from her. But I sought Sila and Cassie out and talked to them. They told me what happened and then I interrogated the servants. It seems Ness has been a little insecure about her position ever since you arrived. She was playing a few mean tricks on you. I’m sorry we-”

I tune out his words as he downplays Ness’s actions.

“I want to go home,” I whisper, softly.

When he goes still, I continue, “You can’t be my mate. There’s no point in me being here. I don’t have the mating mark so I can still - Call my dad, please. I want to go home.”

“I can’t do that,” Cameron says, softly, his eyes sympathetic in a way that makes alarm bells go off in my head.

“Why not?” I demand, trying to calm down. “You can just call my dad. He’ll come and -”

“He won’t come, Danielle.”

“W-Why not?” My voice hitches. “He - He loves me. When I tell him that-”

Cameron closes his eyes, “Danielle, he already knew.”

“What?” I stare at hum uncomprehending. “He knew wha-?”

“He knew about everything before he sent you here,” Cameron takes my hand and I’m no longer a young woman but a child who’s confused and scared. His tone is as gentle as he can make it, “Danielle, your pack sold you to us. To this pack. You were used as a commodity to secure some rations for the upcoming winter.”

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