It’s dark. I cannot see Garrick's free hand, but I hear the clinking of his belt buckle.
He’s my father. He whips the leather implement from his trousers and throws it away, snapping the end against my bare belly in the process.
A hoarse yelp escapes my lips. “No…! what are you doing? You’re drunk! Get out!”
His claws dig into the papery flesh of my neck, and a strident zip fills the air as he unfastens his pants.
A bolt of panic breaks through my consciousness as he began trying to wrench my legs apart. The thunderstorm roars over Garrick's heavy breathing, the perfect soundtrack to my agony.
Tears stream from my eyes as I kick and thrash against him. But nothing frees me from his hold.
Since my mother died eight years ago, my insane father has held me prisoner, poisoning me with wolfsbane every day.
I keep waiting to die, going to bed each night feeling so certain I won’t live to see the sun rise in the morning. But my wolf Luna died first. She’s gone. I lost her, my only friend and hope.
I haven’t had any food or water since yesterday, but I don’t know why I bother hanging on. What’s the point of surviving if I’m only going to live alone in this filthy cell?
When I see the hard rod of flesh between my father’s legs, terror washes over me. There’s no way that thing will fit inside of me, it will be pure agony.
He keeps wrenching my legs apart no matter how hard I scream and kick, but then my anger overcomes my fear.
I don’t care why he’s doing this to me, I won’t let him. I won’t just lie here and take it.
I reach desperately for his face, trying to scratch his glowing eyes. With a vicious jerk Garrick smashes my head into the floor, dazing me enough for him to temporarily release me so he can paw at my underdeveloped breasts with both hands.
His claws rip into my skin, dragging over my chest and down my stomach. I try to scream, but no sound comes out. Garrick emits a deranged cackle, jamming his fingers between my legs and forcing them inside me.
“No!" I just barely summon my voice, my shriek coming out as a whisper. "You can't do this, I'm your daughter! Don’t’ you care what my mom would think of you?"
Garrick freezes, a look of surprise breaking through the drunken haze of his thoughts. He blinks: once, twice. Shaking his head, he scoffs, "You stupid girl, I'm not your father."
"What?" I’m shocked. His words struck me hard.
He didn't release me, but he was distracted enough to delay his assault. "Your father was some mongrel from another pack." Garrick snaps, "Your mother got herself knocked up by a married man and had to flee in disgrace."
“I was in neutral territory when I found your mother groveling, penniless in a gutter. I saved her worthless life and brought her here. I married her, adopted her bastard and gave her a home. She owed me everything! And what did I get in return?" He demands, spittle flying from his fangs.
“Nothing. She never let me so much as put a finger on her! I did everything I could to prove my love but she could never look past the fact that I'm an Omega." He sneers at me, "You're just like her. A Volana – but unlike her, you are mine." He looks so crazed I fear he might transform completely. "And you don't get to say no!"
He lunges toward me, covering my body with his own. Adrenaline spikes in my blood and my fingers close around the neck of the whisky bottle by my side.
“Go to hell! You’re sick!”
Pang! I smash the heavy flagon over his head, clenching my eyes shut to protect them from the raining shards of bloody glass. Garrick slumps over me in a heap, his weight crushing the air out of my lungs.
It takes all my strength to roll his big body off me, but I manage. I find my feet, stumbling towards the door.
I take off into the night, my mind grappling for any location that might be safe. I do not pause to gain my bearings or orient myself, my only thought is to put as much distance between myself and Garrick as possible. I move as quickly as I can, staggering into the road and forcing cars to screech to a halt so I may pass.
I do not go unnoticed. Startled looks and concerned expressions greet me on all sides. Then, like a vision from a dream, I see a face I recognize approaching in the lamplight.
I've dreamed of Bastien Durand many times over the last eight years. He looks much older than I remember, but there's no mistaking his rugged features. Tall, broad, with dark blond hair and a chiseled jaw; it's easy to see why I imagined myself in love with him as a child. He's the Alpha's son and heir, and he's coming towards me now with a concerned expression on his face.
Bastien's silver eyes glow in the darkness, his palms outstretched in placation as he comes toward me. Lightning strikes with a loud crack, and the eerie illumination transforms his handsome face into something truly sinister. His men fan out around me, and all of my girlish fantasies disappear.
This is a massive Alpha wolf approaching me, another man who wants nothing more than to harm me. When he nears, his deep voice sends shivers down my spine and his placating words fall on deaf ears, "Easy little wolf."
Just before his fingers make contact on my skin I lash out defensively. He blocks my first strike, clamping his hands around my arms, but he seems reluctant to use any true force. His hesitance saves me, as I wrench away from him, hitting and kicking until I'm free and taking off at a sprint.
For one blessed moment I think I might have a chance – then I hear his voice, as thunderous as any storm. "Catch her." Bastien orders. "Now."