~Hannah’s Point of View~
I sigh and turn over, too hot and irritated to sleep. Just to add to my foul mood, it’s literally the hottest night of the year. So that plus the news from my father a couple hours ago, finding sleep will be impossible. The brilliant full moon shines through my window, giving the faintest bit of light and the reminder that I’m still without my wolf. She should have come by now.
When I hear someone moving in my room, I sit up and prepare to scold my little brothers for being out so late even though I’m certain it wasn’t their choice. They have slept with me their entire lives, but lately our father has been giving them “tasks” that sometimes extend way past bedtime. It pisses me off to no end, I want them to stay little boys much longer, but it's a losing battle. I open my mouth to scold them but it's not the hand of a ten year old boy that touches me.
I freeze instantly, realizing the hand is far too large, coarse and heavy.
“Sweet Hannah…” I hear, barely above a whisper. The voice is gruff and quite obviously needy. Every hair on my body stands on edge and thoughts of literally anything else fly out of my brain. The scent of male sweat and musk flitters into my nose and my jaw falls open. I know that voice, all too well unfortunately.
No, no! I was supposed to have more time!
Lips trail over my shoulder and toward my neck. I’m only in a bra and panties since it's so damn hot and I know he can see my skin on full display. I swallow the bile that immediately tries to come up and instead, a tear rolls down my cheek. No male other than him has ever really touched me. Seen so much of my bare skin like this.
“I… I thought you weren’t coming until tomorrow night…” I stammer, hating the way my voice trembles. This isn't me. I’m not weak and I’m not some silly little girl. But right now, I feel truly powerless and worthless.
I can’t let someone have that power over me, but I don’t know what else to do. This male is not a stranger to me, but my body doesn’t agree with his touch. I’ve never liked him like that. We may have kissed, we may have even fooled around as teenagers do, but I’ve never truly wanted it and I absolutely believe in my soul that my wolf will agree he is not the one for us.
But I’m 17 and still wolf-less.
“There was no way I could wait, beautiful. You know I’ve had my eye on you for years. My wolf and I literally ran all night. Everyone else won’t even be here until tomorrow,” he says, kissing down my arm and to my hand.
I expect most females would be flattered, thrilled that such a male was interested, more than wanted me. A match made years ago by the moon and stars according to my father. I should believe that after we marry, and eventually mate, things will be better for me. Easier.
But it means leaving my twin brothers, it means not being in their lives on a daily basis. Without me to look after them, without me to guard them from my father…
“Hmmm,” he moans, as he runs his hand up my thigh. I shiver involuntarily, and instinctively shut my legs.
There’s a movement so fast I don’t have time to react. My body is forced down against the bed, my arms raised and wrists pinned over my head. Panic fills me and I struggle to breathe.
“What! Harrison? No! No…” I call out, knowing fully well nobody else will hear me. Even if they did, they wouldn’t interfere.
“You are a Goddess Hannah. My Goddess,” he groans, as he kisses and gropes at my chest. I wiggle under his firm hold, but it’s pointless. I can’t move my legs, I can’t do anything.
This isn’t me, I’m not a weak female! I refuse to accept this is going to be my life!
Fighting him is pointless, I fully well know that. It’ll probably also only encourage him. My brain tells me to change my tactics, I’m always able to adapt and getting married off shouldn’t be any different.
Focus Hannah, don’t let him distract you!
Say it over and over… I am not weak, I am fierce, I am strong, I am Hannah Stone.
I am not weak, I am fierce, I am strong, I am Hannah Stone!
A light goes off in my head. He’s so hot for me right now, the best thing I can do is act like I want it. It won’t buy me much time but right now I’ll take whatever I can get.
“Hey, come on. Let me touch you, free my hands,” I say, trying to catch my breath.
His full weight on me is too much. His bare chest and stomach against mine is hot and suffocating.
“Yeah, that’s my girl,” he says, between kisses and licks.
When he releases my hands, I reach for him. I lightly rake my nails down his hard body, feeling all the indents of his muscles. His wolf vibrates him with approval, and when I trail my hands down his sides I realize he’s fully naked.
Of course he is. I imagine any female in my position would want to fully explore him, or more. But not me. No … way.
I mean, he’s damn nice to look at and while I have taken in the view… Once my father said the time had come, suddenly all things Harrison repulsed me.
“Tomorrow Harrison. I want it to be special, I want it to be our true bonding moment,” I whisper, doing all I can to hold my voice steady. Not to allow my fingers to shake.
“Tomorrow is forever away. We ran all day and night thinking of nothing but this. Your soft body under ours, the way you’d feel. Let me make you feel so good,” he breathes, falling over me and moving straight to my neck.
To my marking spot. I freeze. He can’t actually mark me yet, if he tries it’ll only hurt like hell but not do anything other than scar me.
I’ve never been a female that dreamed of this mythical fated mate, the person who completes my soul or whatever bullshit people think. I’m far more practical and I know when I marry and mate, it’ll be for protection. It’ll be for a more stable life for my brothers and I. While this male will give me most of those things, I just can’t allow myself to do it. Going with Harrison has far too many other implications. Far too many other strings attached.
My father has more than made it clear he won’t give up the twins. My brothers are his new cash cows, his means to live the life he wants. Damn everyone else and their dreams. He’s certainly never asked my opinion on anything. Never even let me keep any of the money or trinkets I get for him.
I sit up abruptly, wrap my arms around his hard body and rest my head over his heart.
“Please Harrison? It matters to me,” I say, desperate to put him off.
But what I’m buying time for exactly, I just don’t know. My wolf could literally come any day now, any time. But she hasn’t. If she had come with yesterday’s full moon, I might have more options. She could help me take my brothers and run. So I tell myself.
It’s the dream I cling to because accepting this as my life forever, being a rogue, being a thief… Making my brothers have this life when they’ve already been robbed of their childhood… I just can’t. I’ve sworn to them for the decade they’ve been alive. I'd do better by them. I’d make it happen. I’m still trying.
“Hmmm,” he moans, apparently loving the way my hands rub his back. He pulls me tight to him and mimics my movements down my skin.
Suddenly, the sounds of little feet distract us both and my entire body relaxes. My brothers are literally the light in my life, they make everything better.
“Hannah, are you still up,” Oliver calls into the darkness.
A big hand touches my chin and turns it, then Harrison rests his forehead against mine.
“Less than eighteen hours Hannah. One more day and then we’ll be joined. I’ll finally get you out of this bullshit nomad rogue tribe. You deserve better than this,” Harrison says.
I know in my bones he speaks the truth. His family has money, standing in the rogue world. He belongs to a tribe that has roots, even though they all equally rule it, his family is probably considered to be the leaders of it. I’d have a real house, food on demand. Nice clothes and never want for a thing. Unlike this abandoned cabin we’re squatting in and hoping no one comes back to claim.
“Who is in here,” Oscar asks.
When the light switches on, I blink heavily. Oliver’s big brown eyes are wide and his mouth is hanging open as he takes in the sight of me basically naked with a fully naked male. He’s never seen me with any male, let alone like this. I’m instantly more embarrassed than I’ve ever felt.
“Oh, hey Harrison,” Oscar says, trying to break the ice.
He turns and opens a sack containing his clothes and looks for the shorts he wears to bed, basically dismissing the scene. But the act is deliberate, and it tells my visitor that he isn’t leaving.
Harrison is still pressed against me, staring into me. When he licks his lips, my stomach churns. Oliver stays planted exactly where he is, and looks at us with anticipation. Neither of the boys know yet. Goddess. I love them so damn much. How do I break their hearts?
They don’t know that very soon I’ll be gone. They’ll be left to fend for themselves. Tears pool in my eyes at the thought.
I want to hate Harrison, and maybe I do deep down. He’s really done nothing wrong. He’s done everything a female could ask for and want. When he’s visited over the years he’s brought gifts for both me and my brothers.
He’s been patient with me, more than most would be. But I know all too well that monsters are real, and they’re very skilled at hiding their true nature. I trust my instincts on this, and they say that Harrison is a big fat NO.
“Tomorrow night Hannah, I mean it. I’m not waiting any longer,” Harrison whispers, as he pulls back and runs his hands down my arms. He stops when he reaches my hands, he takes them in his and kisses the tops. My entire mood shifts in a way that catches me off guard.
Something between my legs actually pulses at the visual of his naked body, the feeling of his sweet gesture. But I then quickly start to feel like I’m going to puke again.
“Sure,” I simply say, nodding in agreement. He turns to grin at Oscar, then ruffles his hair with a smile.
“You boys have done well taking care of my girl, but I’ve got it from here,” he says, as he moves.
When the sound of the cabin door closing hits my ears I let go of a hard breath. Oliver struggles to get something out of his pocket, and when I look down, he’s holding a pack of matches.
“What do you wanna do Hannah,” he whispers.
~Hannah’s Point of View~ ~The Next Evening~ “Why did you push it up, what’s in it for you? You always said it would be when I turned 18 or if my wolf came,” I whisper, glaring at my father as the dressmaker pulls at my gown. He waves me off, apparently I’m not even worth an explanation. I don’t need one, I already know the answer. Money. He was promised money. It’s literally the only language my drunk and gambling addicted father understands. “What does it matter? Today, next year, whatever. He won’t wait much longer and I don’t want to either. If you had your damn wolf you could fully mate and we wouldn’t have to have a stupid wedding as a promise. They’ll only fulfill half the bargain until you’re properly mate,” he snarls, as he takes a flask out of his pocket. The stench of cheap whiskey on his breath makes my stomach lurch. I seethe when he turns his back to me, my blood boiling as my brain immediately flashes ten different ways I could kill him in this moment. But I know
~Hannah’s Point of View~I rub the sleep from my eyes and try to sit up but my entire being aches, stings and absolutely protests. I reach to my forehead and feel the throbbing there. I go to move my other arm and realize it’s in a contraption, preventing me from moving it. There are bandages on my face and arms.Blinking fast several times, I take in a mostly plain room. Nothing on the walls, not much furniture other than my bed and a tray with a cup on my nightstand. Then a dresser on the far wall. I reach for the cup on instinct and greedily gulp down the cool water. I could literally be anywhere though I doubt I’m with my father. He wouldn’t have even bothered to try and fix me up.“Challenges force us to show what we’re made of.” My father’s voice is literally always in my mind, always pushing me. For better or for worse.I take a quick minute to try and remember what happened. When I close my eyes, all I see is my brothers running away. My eyes pop open and I gasp, my body jerk
~Rafe’s Point of View~ My wolf paces in my head, forcing me to stare at the beautiful female. No matter how much I’ve told him no for two days, he insists I stay close to her. Suddenly our girlfriend isn’t good enough, he can’t be bothered with her. We’ve been in love with Cassandra for years, and there’s no ignoring that. There’s no tossing it aside for some damn rogue. When she gets her wolf soon, we’ll mate and pop out pups. That’s always been the plan. But now there’s this… Bomb that’s gone off in my face. It’s a distraction I don’t need, but one I can’t just forget. The entire room smells like her: wildflowers. Fresh and clean like the breeze on a nice summer day. Like I stepped into a damn field of them and never want to find my way out. I first caught wind of her scent during the raid, and it clouded my head in a way I’d never felt. When I saw my Beta damn near ready to rip her throat out, I could have killed him. I nearly did. But we didn’t know why Harrison and his family
~Hannah’s Point of View~ “It’s fine, I’ve had worse,” I whisper, not sure if I’m humiliated or not. I don’t care what this Rafe person thinks of me. He thinks enough of himself clearly. Once I can get away and into the woods, I’ll be fine and never have to see him again. “From him,” he shouts, his fist pounding on the table. I wouldn’t say that I hate many things exactly, but I do hate pity. It’s probably a rogue thing but I never want anyone to think I’m not fully capable of taking care of myself. Though everything with my father is different. I’m vulnerable to him, I do care what he thinks. Even now, I hate that I do. Though nothing that happened was my fault I still feel the disappointment in him and it’s heavy on my heart. “What do you care? It’s your fault Harrison is dead,” I say, balling up and turning away. Tears stream down my face and I’m unable to stop them. The weak die, the strong survive. I know without a doubt as long as my father lives he’ll get out of here. He’s
~Rafe’s Point of View~ “What the fuck do you mean he’s gone,” my father shouts, practically rattling the dungeon walls. “I don’t know how it’s possible Alpha, I came in to give him breakfast and he was gone,” the keeper says, his voice quivering. He should be scared. He and his entire crew will be interrogated and tortured for this! I kick the shirt left on the ground, then scoop it up and begin to rip it to shreds. “Give this to all our best trackers at once! Find this bastard,” I shout, handing the cloth to the keeper. “Parker has just returned this morning, he’ll want to be in on the search,” Billy, the guard replies. I growl at the idea of my brother being the hero in this. But we need all paws pounding the dirt here and I’m not going out. I’ve just been gone for a week to do the raid. “I want some damn answers,” my father continues to roar. I rub my face and turn away since I’m too pissed off and need air. I head out of the dungeon and step outside where people are doing
~Hannah’s Point of View~ “Let’s hurry up and get dinner! The males here are all pigs and if you don’t get there early you’re stuck with whatever is left. The full moon is the only good time to eat, they’re all out hunting and eating on four legs, hoping to woo a female or some nonsense,” Scarlett giggles, pulling my hand. I groan at the thought of eating in a large mess hall in front of so many. When I visited Harrison’s pack years ago it was how they ate and I can’t imagine Nightwind is any different. I’ve been able to get away with eating supper in my room the last few nights. But I’m starting to heal and be more mobile so today Scarlett has been dragging me all over the place. My lungs have appreciated the fresh air though, I can’t deny that. She also dresses me up in ridiculous clothes that make me feel silly. It’s impossible to be in her bedroom and see all her nice things. Everything just screams money to me. Her jewelry, her clothes, her shoes. I’d be able to make so much fr
~Parker’s Point of View~ *What exactly is happening right now, are we high or something,* my wolf Crush asks. As I walk with Hannah curled into me, the bare skin of her arm against mine, I’m not sure what the hell is happening. But I know that her scent is beyond intoxicating and being away from her for two days was torture. How the hell I could feel so strongly about someone I don’t even know, I can’t understand … but I’m not going to question it. Not after the year I’ve had. As I move with this mysterious female, I feel an odd sense of calm fall over me. It’s crazy weird because I’m not normally affectionate with females, especially in public. But nearly a year celebate… Goddess help me as I walk with this perfectly curved beauty … my body demands her proximity. I must have passed a dozen single females on my way into the dining hall, yet my wolf didn’t even spare them a glance. “How do I know your claws aren’t the sharpest,” she asks, once we’re outside. I pause for a second
~Hannah’s Point of View~ I’m nearly in a daze as I walk with Parker, unsure where we’re going or what I’m even doing. Scarlett left me, though I could probably find my way back to my room. Hmm, no. Suddenly the idea of being stuck in those four walls seems suffocating. Sleeping outside you can see what’s coming, you hear it and smell it. Being stuck in a tiny room makes me feel like a sitting duck. It’s likely twenty minutes from sunset and there’s a delicate calm once we’re in the trees. Parker holds his big warm hand in mine and for the first time since I can remember I feel … wanted? But not in the way Harrison wanted me. It’s not even close to the same thing. Rogues absolutely don’t trust strangers, we don’t just blindly follow. But right now, my body just wants to go where he goes. What would it be like to turn off my brain that’s always running on full blast and just … be in the moment? My mind wanders for a brief second before it takes a nose dive into reality. I have to a