The border was visible. I could see the ancient oak tree. Wiping the sweat off my hairline, I looked over my shoulder. Loud thunderous claws slapped against the ground, crunching the leaves beneath as they chased me. A groan escaped my lips. The pack won't go further than the border, and I knew that the tree would be my shelter if only I could get to it in time.
Just as one of the wolves was closing in, I made a hard turn, jumping over a fallen tree.
My attackers were faster and stronger, being alphas and betas, but I was agile and experienced. Being on the smaller side had some advantage. I knew how to dodge, take sharp turns and hop over obstacles faster than Alphas and Betas.
Just then, a scarier wolf almost took a bite off my leg, claws sinking deep, which made me fall on my face.
"Ahh!" A sharp pain took over my right leg.
My step faltered for a second while I glanced down at my calf. Blood poured out of a deep gash created by lacerated nails. The burn made my eyes water. I could sense the wolves closing in with no intention of slowing down.
Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes. Adrenaline coursed through my body which I used to get on my feet, and sprinted.
I barely made it.
Almost running against the gigantic trunk, I turned around and stopped dead in my tracks. If the wolves crossed the border, then I will be dead within seconds. There was no way I could power through the pain in my leg and the fire burning in my lungs any longer.
I almost cried from a weird mix of joy, relief and exhaustion when I saw the menacing wolves stop abruptly, so much so that they pile onto each other in a mess of limbs and confused barks.
I fell to the floor and clutched my leg with both my hands, leaning on the sheltering tree, desperately trying to catch my breath. The pile of Alphas and Betas slowly disentangled themselves, allowing the leader to walk through.
"If I catch you lurking on our territory again, I'll rip your head off, is that clear?" His voice boomed around, so deep and intense it made the ground underneath me vibrate.
With a jolt, I woke up and looked around only to realise that I was in my room. My chest heaved, breaths coming out in a gasp as I tried to swallow. Closing my eyes, I allowed myself few seconds to breathe, basking in the morning sun. Few strands of hair clung to my sweaty forehead.
It was that damned dream again.
I don't even remember why I can't stop having the same dream. Who are those people? And why do they keep chasing me?
People in this world are classified into three classes—Alphas, Betas and Omegas. The Alphas are on top of the chain and are considered a superior breed in every aspect. Betas are second in command. Then comes my weak race—Omegas. We are only seen and not heard, treated like breeding machines and sex slaves to Alphas. Only high-class elite Omegas are given respect. Alphas and Omegas have a higher chance of producing a Pure Alpha
someone who inherits all the dominant genes from Alpha
; they mate with omegas. Mostly Betas and Alphas get married.
No one cares for a pathetic weak omega like me. It's not my fault I'm an omega; I mean, what's so wrong about it?
A sigh left my lips the more I thought about it.
Nothing good ever comes out of thinking about it. Pulling the sheets away from my body, I stood on my feet. My morning bed has to be made before I step out. Or else my mother will starve me for the entire day.
Once my room was spotless, I closed the door behind me and descended the stairs.
"What about this one?" My father's voice echoed in my ears as I stood on the edge of the stairs. I held my breath, trying not to get caught.
My sister is twenty one, and she's going to need to get married, following the tradition.
"No, he's nearly thirty, Frank" My mother chastised. "That's a bit too old for my daughter. Cara needs an attractive, rich and a Pack Alpha. This guy doesn't fit any of it. He looks rough."
"Well, he's an alpha, dear. We're all a bit rough," My father's tired sigh could be heard.
They have been going at it for a few months now, trying to find a suitable Alpha for my sister.
"Oh, come on! You wouldn't hurt a fly," My mother snorted. "You're not as tough as you want people to believe. Cara is a bit sensitive. I don't want some tough alpha to scare her away. She needs someone a bit gentler."
"And what about our Rose? She needs a mate to settle down as well."
My cheeks flushed at the mention of finding a mate to settle down. How do I tell them that I already found the one? The one who treats me right and distracts me from all the sorrows and pains in my life. Before I could show myself out, my mother's sharp voice pierced my ears.
"You had to ruin my mood! I don't care about her," My mother huffed. "Besides, who will do our work if she is married off to someone? Think Alpha!"
Tears pooled in my eyes. How can she be so cruel? I almost thought of sharing my news with them.
"Mary, that's enough! She's our daughter too. We should think about her after all; she's only a year younger than Cara."
I roughly wiped the tears dribbling down my cheeks, sniffing softly. Blinking back the tears, I purposely made a sound with my feet and coughed before stepping out. Two pairs of eyes watched me as I silently made my way to the kitchen. A lump was lodged in my throat, so I didn't even bother to greet them.
"Good morning, Rose" My father's gruff voice made me halt.
I looked over my shoulder and nodded at him.
My mother twisted her lips. "Look at her attitude! She doesn't even bother to greet us anymore."
"Mary, can you please not start? It's early in the morning. She just woke up."
"Whatever" My mother rolled her eyes before diverting her attention to the stacks of file laid out on the table.
They continued talking as I slipped past them
into the kitchen. Hunched over the counter, I washed my face with cold water and sucked a sharp breath. I won't cry again. Keeping that in mind, I turned to carry on with my daily routine—making breakfast for everyone.
As soon as I was sure that my parents left for their evening tea with the neighbours, I sneaked out. My sister was not home yet. Cara was currently studying Economics at the most prestigious university in our town. Her classes went up too late, seven in the evening. I had no idea how that worked because my parents thought high school education was all I need.
"Rose!" Someone yelled my name from afar.
Turning around, my lips curved in a wide smile as I spotted him. My Alpha—Zain. He waved around, his eyes radiant and glistening against the street lights. The reason we didn't meet at my home was my parents didn't like Zain at all. In high school, we were friends, but they detested his family.
It became challenging for us to meet after finding that out, but Zain found a way. We have been meeting at the same spot for the last four years, sitting on the same bench till it was late for both of us.
"Hi", I shyly smiled, sitting on the empty bench and making space for him.
His eyes travelled to my face, gaze narrowing before he exhaled. "Did you cry again?"
My mouth dropped open, and my hands immediately flew towards my face. How did he find out? I made sure to wash my eyes as well.
"Your eyes" He licked his lips. "They tell the truth even if you don't."
I averted my gaze instead of focusing on my old sneakers resting on the grill. Sometimes I hated when he did that. Then again, Zain knew me too well, and it's impossible to hide anything from him.
He tilted my head in his direction, his thumb lightly tracing my cheek. "One day. I'll take you away from all of this"
Hope bloomed in my chest. The only reason we were not telling anyone was my age. At twenty-one, I would find out if Zain was indeed my Alpha or not. Sometimes people get lucky and end up with their boyfriends. Other times they have to go on with their mate.
Zain was waiting for the same thing. We decided that even if we were not each other's mate, we would stay together. That's why he was working double shifts to take me away from my family.
"And I'm counting on that."