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~Meara

I glare at the soup and bread in front of me.

Eating his food feels like cementing my reality here. I refuse to accept his proposition. Has he not yet realised he cannot buy or manipulate trust?

And to think, he genuinely assumes the first option is less preferred than being his mistress until he inevitably tires of me.

At least he's given me a room, with a bed, and not some prison cell made from stone.

I couldn't sleep all night, despite being exhausted. All night I couldn't escape the fear that Kyro would go out and kill Sire before I could do anything to stop him.

I've also been terrified of him coming into this room and enacting the second option early. So, I leant up in bed all night and stared at the door, contemplating all the terrible, vile things I want to do to that man before he dies.

The door opens, and he strides into the room. I immediately recoil against the wall, curling my legs up to my chest.

"I thought you might want to know, your mate is tearing his way through my Pack trying to find you," he tells me, the glimmer of amusement in his eyes causing my hands to fist the sheets angrily.

He knows that keeping me away from Sire is torment enough for the both of us. I can feel the mate bond trying to tug us together, punishing us for being away from each other.

"It's not your Pack," I snap back, glaring at him.

Why does he insist on disturbing my peace? Why can't he just kill me already, or stay away until he plans on using me.

"Not yet, anyways." He rubs his hands together. "But it will be."

I roll my eyes. "Kill me already. I'm tired of your face and it's been less than a day."

What Sire saw in Kyro as a friend before he betrayed him is beyond me. This man is insufferable, and I've only spent minutes in his presence.

"You're not what I expected Sire's mate would be like," he muses, closing the door as he steps into the room fully.

I narrow my eyes, preparing to be insulted. "Why not?"

"I expected his mate to be as screwed up in the head as he is." He looks around the room, as if the most interesting thing in here isn't the bed. Well, it's the only thing in here. "It's a disappointment you're so moral."

"You know nothing about me. You just know I don't want my friend dead, and that I...I love my mate," I say uneasily.

Admitting I love Sire, even now, in these circumstances, feels right. Kryo can try to turn my feelings against my mate, but it won't work. I trust him, he's going to make a good Alpha, and I love him...I love Sire.

Kyro's eyes widen, then narrow.

"Love?"

I straighten, holding his stare. "Yes. Love."

He scoffs, shaking his head. I doubt he has ever felt love. True love, anyway. He turned everyone who did love him against him, which is why he is here, trying to ruin other people's happiness.

"Do you think he feels the same way?" He doesn't sound curious. He's trying to convince me Sire couldn't love me, that there's no point wanting to get out of here to see him.

"I know he does."

"I once thought my wife loved me. Now look at me." He laughs bitterly, pulling the collar of his shirt down to show the healing wound, which is going to scar viciously...

If he lives to see another day, that is.

"Well, I admire her intelligence for ridding of you," I exclaim with a cold smile.

I wish I could have met the woman who bested an Alpha.

"I told myself that when I found Sire's mate, that I would use her to inflict as much pain as possible on him." He steps closer, a wicked look in his eyes that has my skin crawling.

I press harder into the wall, wishing I could melt through it. Kyro is unpredictable, and all it takes is one wrong word and I'll be bleeding out on the floor before I have a chance to say goodbye to my mate.

"Your revenge is foolish. Sire never intended to hurt you," I insist, although it's clear what I say doesn't matter. "You hurt your wife. She was running from you."

He rubs a hand down his face, letting out a frustrated sigh. I can feel the anger building in him. I can even see it in the way his muscles tense and his eyes darken.

"No. She was having an affair with him, and he got into her head. He manipulated her, turned her against me," he growls, every word laced with enough bitterness and anger to make me flinch.

I sigh. "If anything good has come out of this, we now know denial can transcend time."

Instead of advancing to take his anger out on me, he backs away, showing a shocking amount of restraint considering his history.

I'm sure it's just another part of the manipulation.

"I would rest if I were you. Tomorrow, I'll be meeting with your mate," he says pointedly. "I'm going to spend the night deciding how I'm going to use you to bring him as much pain as possible."

I stiffen, trying not to make it obvious how nauseated that makes me. I'm just a pawn in his game, and how he plans to use me is worse than I could ever imagine, I just know it.

"What happens once you're done with him?" I ask.

"I will rejoice in my success, and reclaim my Pack," he grins, his anger vanishing as quickly as it came. He's comforted as his chances to finally kill Sire are rising as long as he has me in his clutches.

"What then? Those people know you're a monster, that you hurt your wife," I remind him, thinking about all the material we distributed through the Pack, all the minds that must have changed. "You can convince them otherwise, but the doubt will always be there."

"So?"

"So you will never find love or happiness...you will have nothing. You killed someone you once considered a friend, and your wife is long dead. You will have nothing," I tell him firmly.

He shifts on his feet, pinning me with his gaze. He's surprised I said that to him, that I'm being so forthright.

He's either going to kill me or he's not. I may as well tell him what I think.

"Triumph will be enough to sustain me, Meara," he says quietly, although I can sense the unease in his tone. We all need someone. Even when we have gotten everything we think we could have ever wanted.

"I wouldn't be so sure," I breathe.

He strides back into the room, causing a gasp to catch in my throat.

"You know what, you've convinced me." His smile is borderline sadistic. "I will need someone once Sire is dead, and your brutal honesty could serve me well."

I physically recoil at the thought. Stuck by Kyro's side while my mate is dead? Absolutely not.

"I would rather you kill me," I spit out.

"You can be my little trophy, a reminder of the battle I fought and won." He bites on his lower lip. "And I can enjoy you, whenever I like, whether you like it or not."

Suddenly, I'm unable to stand my revulsion. It burns up, turning into untamed anger, leading me to launch off the bed at him.

He must be surprised at my sudden attack because I manage to dig my fingernails into the skin of his face before he backhands me so hard I stumble across the room, my head hitting the stone floor.

He doesn't say anything, he just stares at me, his breathing tense.

I groan at the spike of pain that blooms across my head. Colour ricochets through my vision, my stomach pitching.

When I look up, Kyro is gone.

Heaving myself up onto the bed, I lay down, pain swimming through my head. That was a hard hit, my cheek stinging from the impact of his hand.

I hope he too is in pain. Even if it's just a little.

Eventually I slip into unconsciousness. When I wake again, there's no telling what time it is. There's no windows here and the lights are dull enough to make it feel like it's always night.

Raising my fingers I brush the side of my head, feeling the raised bump there. Pain throbs against my brain, showing no sign of stopping.

I wish Sire was here.

Rolling over, I stuff my head into the flimsy pillow, fighting a wave of emotion that competes with the physical pain. The thought of watching my mate die, only to carry on without him, as a slave to a monster, is horrifying.

I should have told Sire how I feel before I left. I should have been completely honest with him. Now, he may never know how I feel before he dies.

Shaking the thoughts from my head, I concentrate on what is to come. Sire will have a plan, and we have Hazel. Once she takes down the witches, it will be easy from there.

I hope.

Meara?

I sit up, wincing at the pain as I scan the room. I swear I just heard my name.

I lay back down again. The hit to my head must have triggered something, because I feel like I'm going insane. Suddenly I'm hearing Sire's voice in my head, as if he's in the room with me.

"Meara." The voice calls again. "Can you hear me?"

My eyes widen. Wait. That sounded real.

"Hear you?" I say out loud. "Sire, is that you?"

"Hazel has shown me a way I can contact you through our bond. Not the witch bond, but our mate bond." his voice echoes through my mind, solid, like he could be right in front of me.

There's no doubting it's actually him. I'm not crazy.

"Wait. Sire?" I check again.

"It's me," he exclaims firmly. "I'm going to save you."

💙••💙

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"...I've never had an orgasm before!" I blurt out, backing away a few steps.

He sits up, dark hair ruffled and messy from the fingers I ran through it. His eyes, once wide, slowly darken.

"You what?" He breathes.

~Midika 💜🐼

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~Midika 💜🐼

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