"Congratulations, Miss Sophia, you're going to be a mother."
The doctor’s words had been ringing in my ears ever since I came out of the hospital.
The hand holding the test sheet was shaking slightly, and tears spilled from the corners of my eyes.
I was going to be a mother, I thought to myself, and it was such a big surprise for me. As I caressed my stomach, a beatific feeling swelled in my heart. But at the thought of the child's father, half of the great joy devolved into worry.
As I was walking along the street, I started to sort out everything that had happened in the past month.
The child’s father…
Just a month ago I had been pronounced the mate of Carl Vincent Williams, the youngest Alpha in the history of werewolves. Young, handsome, and powerful, he could make the women of the entire pack go crazy for him with just one look. On the day I became his mate, the women of the entire pack looked at me with envy. Hell, even I thought I was the happiest and the luckiest woman in the world.
From the day I met Vincent at the age of ten, a seed had been planted in my heart. I was harkened back to that night eight years ago, the summer of the cicadas chirping and the cramped dark pit. I was ten years old. I was running around the mountain picking herbs for my grandfather as usual when I suddenly heard a faint cry for help. Following the sound, I found that a little boy had accidentally fallen into this pit and was on the verge of losing consciousness.
Thinking that I was agile and athletically inclined, courtesy of all that foraging I had done with Joyce, I jumped into the deep pit. I didn’t know what I had been thinking back then.
The boy must have been trapped in it for some time, for his voice was so weak and he could barely open his eyes. I fed him with some dry food and water, which I had with me, and half an hour later he finally woke up. The look in his eyes was fearsome.
After he finally recognized that I was just a little girl, the hostility in his eyes decreased. He introduced himself as Vincent and told me that he had been pushed by someone. Feigning indifference, he fixed his eyes on the rest of the food in my hand, but his gulp had told me all I needed to know, and so I handed them to him and smiled sweetly, saying, “You can have these, Vincent.”
The young Vincent was only twelve years old at that time, but he already had a tall and straight figure and outstanding appearance.
That was the first time I saw such a good-looking person. I was stunned unknowingly. When I came back to my senses, the young Vincent had finished his food and was asking my name.
“What’s your name?” he asked softly, “When I make it out of here, I will definitely repay you.”
“My name?” I hesitated. At that time, I didn’t know that Vincent was the son of the Alpha. Joyce had reminded me not to tell anyone my name, and I was afraid that Vincent was a bad person.
But just as I hesitated for a second, the soil on the wall began to loosen and dirt fell on both of our hair. Looking up, I saw that the narrow and cramped wall was collapsing, and a large rock was falling toward us!
I didn’t have time to hesitate; I hugged Vincent and blocked him under me. I didn’t think much about it at all, all I could think about was that Vincent had been down there for a long time, he was very weak now, and I wanted to protect him.
The rock hit my back, and it felt like it was going to smash my whole body at the time.
Young Vincent exclaimed, “Get away from me! If this keeps up, you will die!”
One after another, rocks fell on my body and limbs, and my hand on the ground was also hit by a stone, breaking one of my fingers.
I grunted in pain, and Vincent’s anxious voice echoed in the dark as he tried to push me away and shake my hand, but to no avail.
The heavy stone weighed on both of us, pressing our bodies together, close enough that I could hear his fast heartbeat.
Before my consciousness completely disappeared, I could feel his chest vibrate. He said to me in a hoarse voice, “Come to me! If both of us can get out alive, you must come to me. I will definitely protect you for the rest of your life!”
How much I wanted to say “yes”, but as the last bit of strength in my body was wiped out, I passed out. Later, Joyce, who had hiked up the mountain with me, found that I was gone. He had been looking for me before stumbling across the collapsed pit, and saved me and young Vincent.
Vincent was taken to the hospital. Later, his parents found out who the perpetrator was, while sending Vincent elsewhere for special training to strengthen him. After all, he was the son of the Alpha and the future successor who was expected to one day govern the pack.
We both survived, but I didn’t have a chance to find him.
And in the past eight years, in order to follow in Vincent’s footsteps, I had worked hard to improve myself, all just to be able to catch a glimpse of him in the crowd. But I knew it was all in vain, for at no point had I let the fact that we were two different strata slip my mind. He was the Alpha at the peak of the totem pole, while I was an orphan girl who had been abandoned in the woods by my biological parents. I was seven when I had been abandoned in the woods, and I couldn’t remember what my biological parents looked like. All I remember was that it was Joyce, the grandfather of my now sister, Marianne, who had taken me in and cared for me in the days to come. He had treated me like a real family and taught me what love was and what it felt like. Even though my new parents, George and Amanda, hated me and wanted to kick me out, he had never abandoned me. He had watched me grow up, and all that I had learned, I owed it to him.
If being an abandoned child wasn’t awful enough, I was a werewolf in name only. If I was incapable of shifting into a werewolf, did that make me a werewolf still? This was a great shame to the pack.
How could a wild child like me, who was but a street urchin, cross paths with such an all-powerful man?
But God, with His twisted sense of humor, had a way of telling me that I was not the one in charge. A month ago, I went to a party hosted by a friend and woke up the next morning with Vincent lying beside me.
A striking patch of bright red on the white sheets had told me all I needed to know about what had happened to Vincent and I the night before.
I tried to recall what had happened the night before, but all I could remember was Vincent walking into the room I had been in, his eyes unfocused and glazed. I thought he was drunk. That was the second time after a long time that I had had a chance to see him up close.
“You… you’re her. But…” I had heard him say that, and I thought he had finally recognized me after so long. He pushed me onto the bed, and I knew I shouldn’t have done this, I knew I should have told him who I was while he was in full control of his faculties. But I let myself go. I gave full rein to the animal inside me and had a small bite of what I thought was the forbidden fruit of my eight-year-long longing for him, the little boy from the past who had now matured into a grown man.
At that point of my recalling, Vincent had woken up. I had sensed movement around me and was about to turn my head when suddenly a pair of big hands grabbed my neck.
Vincent’s strength was so great that the back of my head was banged against the wall, making my vision spin. I looked at him with tears in my eyes, but what was reflected back to me were his blood-red eyes and his gnashed-teeth voice: “Are you really that infatuated with me that you would even resort to using this despicable means just to spend a night with me?”