The darkness surrounds us as my father’s ragged fingernails dig into my soft arm. “Come on, Bryanna. We don’t have much time.”
I look up at him, but like usual, all I see is his scowl. His black hair is a mess, just like how it always has been since my mother has passed away. The stench of alcohol drifts in the air along with his body odor.
My tiny fingers claw at his big hand. However, being only seven, I can’t break my arm free.
As I look down the long, dark hallway, my heart races as fear washes over me. Only a few candles scattered here and there along the way are lit, but there is an eerie coldness surrounding us. A thin layer of dust coats everything, while some of it floats in the air and tickles my nose.
My father ignores my pleas as he continues to march forward while he mumbles stuff under his breath. Unfortunately, I can’t make out any of what he is saying.
As I drag my feet, hoping to slow him down, a sinister laugh echoes through the hall and sends a cold shiver down my back. My breath hitches and my eyes widen as I turn my attention towards the flickering light in the distance. Where is my father taking me? He said we were going to go see my mother, but this isn’t the way to the cemetery.
The more I struggle, the deeper his fingernails cut into my delicate skin. Drops of warm blood trickle down my arm and fall onto the stone floor.
Why is he doing this?
As he pulls me through the doorway, I’m hit with another foul odor. My eyes dart to the older woman with long silver hair stirring a small pot over a small gas burner on the other side of the room. She doesn’t look up and continues to stir her brew as she asks, “Is this the child?”
My skin crawls at her cracking voice. I want nothing to do with her. I want to leave.
My father yanks my arm again and pain slices through me. “Yeah. This is the worthless omega I was talking to you about. If only my wife hadn’t died, she was carrying our alpha son.”
There it is again. Worthless omega.
My heart aches as I look up at the man who was so loving and caring, but as soon as mom passed away, he has turned into anything other than a loving father.
The old woman glances up from her pot and quickly scans me from head to toe. “She is a feisty one. Are you sure she isn’t an alpha? Omegas usually don’t fight this much.”
My father snorts as we come to a stop in front of her. “Yeah. I’m sure. However, I need an alpha to take over my pack. Plus, I don’t want others to look down on me since our firstborn was an omega. I need you to make her into an alpha boy.”
My head whips around and I stare up at the man, who I don’t know anymore. Tears well up in my eyes and my heart twists. Mom would have never let him do this. Never.
I shake my head. “No. I don’t want to be a boy.”
He whips his head towards me and, with a fire in his eyes, along with a look of disgust, he hisses, “You will be an alpha boy! I will not have a worthless omega as an heir. Other packs will see me as a weak alpha, having an heir like that. Never!”
I can’t hold back the tears any longer as they stream down my face like a waterfall.
The woman grunts, “See. Omegas usually don’t talk back like this. However, you have already paid me, so I’ll do as you have requested. I must warn you, though. These spells come at a great cost to the child.”
No. I turn towards her and shake my head. “Give him back his money. I don’t want it.”
Unfortunately, she ignores me. “The child will not be able to sense her mate. When I conceal her identity, it will also bind her to be mateless. Only a loving kiss from her true mate will break the spell.”
No. I don’t want to hear anymore.
However, she doesn’t listen to my silent pleas. “In addition, anyone who already knows she is a girl will still see her true form under the spell. There is nothing I can do about it. Do many know she is a girl?”
My father grunts, “No. Luckily, I raised her as a boy. I made my wife keep her hair short, and we only used Bry as her name. When people would ask, I would tell them her name is Brayden. No one knows the truth.”
My friends, Jacob and Hunter, know. Before I can say anything, the woman picks up a jar to her side and reaches into it as my father throws me to the floor directly in front of her.
I can’t control myself as more tears roll down my face and sobs rip from me.
She mumbles something as white sparkling dust rains down over the top of me.
I want my mother. She will stop this.
Extreme pain, like I’ve never felt before, suddenly shoots through my entire body. I could almost swear my skin was being ripped off my body. As I let out a blood-curdling scream, darkness quickly engulfs me, and everything fades away.