Part 1

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Pain.

It's something I'm familiar with. It comes with each breaking day, an endless cycle for me here in the Dark Moon Pack.

The source? Well, my life went to shit a long time ago. But if I have to pin it to one thing, I'd say my stepfather, Alpha Ferix. He's the head Alpha of the Dark Moon Pack, which means his word is law. And my life is a mere plaything in his hands, something he can ruin and manipulate as much as he wants.

I fear him more than anything. He's all-powerful in my eyes. He's the one who controls my life ultimately, not me. He only allows me a small room in the basement of the house where my family used to live, where broken pipes leak through the ceiling. I've had to place five bowls throughout the room to collect the water. The sound of the dripping drives me crazy as I try to sleep, curled up in the thin holey blanket that is my bed.

It's better than being homeless, so I'm grateful for whatever I have.

I can't complain, because complaining means being beaten even more than I already am. As the omega 'runt' of the pack, I seem to get into more trouble than anyone else, but for things I can't control. And it usually ends up in punishment from Alpha Ferix.

There are so many things I can't control, one of them being my extensive harem of bullies. The teens my age in the pack make it their mission to ostracize me, to make me feel worthless. And it works. They tease me for being an omega and being weak. I already feel ashamed about that, there's no need to rub it in. But they love to rub it in.

And when the parents of the teens or other adults find out about our fights, which are more like one-sided attacks from the bullies, who gets the blame? Me. Good old me.

There was a time when I'd try to argue back, to tell Alpha Ferix that I hadn't been the one in the wrong, that it was all a misunderstanding. But my words fell on deaf ears and the hand would come down. I've learned my place in the pack, which is the bottom of the barrel.

I've learned to keep my head down, to be submissive. Omegas aren't supposed to talk back.

Alpha Ferix says he doesn't want to buy school supplies or any of the required textbooks for me so I don't go to high school with the other kids, despite being 17. I have to do whatever he tells me to do and I'm not allowed to disobey. I'm not allowed to be like the other kids.

I overhear the other kids complaining about their high school classes or how they hate PE, but I truly envy them despite their woes. They have parents who love them and food on the table every night. Alpha Ferix never feeds me. I have to steal scraps if I want to eat because I'll be beaten if he notices anything missing from the fridge.

Alpha Ferix is all I have. My legal guardian, to be exact, now that my parents are gone. But I know I'll never be able to earn his love or approval. Sure, he's the closest thing to a father to me, but our relationship is nothing like father and son. He's beat me more than he's ever loved me, beats me until he's satisfied, leaving me bloody and bruised to pick up the pieces.

I don't know if the fear will ever leave me. It's hopeless here, the dark memories are always haunting me in this house, replacing the happy days I once experienced here with my mom and dad.

Today I'm alone in the house, cleaning as usual. I can barely keep my eyes open, so tired after having not been able to sleep all night from the nightmares. Fun fact about me: I can't sleep without having nightmares. They're more like night terrors, the flashbacks within them so horrible that I jerk awake, gasping for breath. In times like those, I just...long for someone to be there, for someone to hold me as I cried. But my parents are long gone and there's no one now.

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