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The bass from the stereo rattled the tiny window of my basement room, no bigger than a broom closet. Booming foot falls showered over my head as I scampered across the carpeted flooring. I stuffed as many things as I could into my bag before I lost my nerves. Kieran's sixteenth birthday was the perfect opportunity, hundreds of people all crowded into the same house no one would notice if one person snuck out the back door.

Or that's what I had been telling myself for the last two hours as the plan formed in my head. If it actually worked was another matter altogether.

Shouldering my bag, I took one last look at my room. A final look at the place that had been my prison for the last seventeen years. "Guess it's now or never," I muttered under my breath while closing my door for the last time.

For the last time? I never thought that it would ever come to this. Running away from my pack, and my mate hadn't even broken my heart, yet. I was leaving on my own terms. I was leaving the abuse and harassment behind and starting my life as a rogue. It would be better, far better. No one could tell me that I was fat or a waste of perfectly good air. I only had to cook for myself and train myself to be better.

The staircase creaked under my weight as I ascended to main level. There were literally hundreds of drunken teenage werewolves, all them here for Kieran, the soon-to-be Alpha's half-birthday party. Who knew how many packs were here, maybe if I was unlucky I'd meet my mate.

Pfft! As if!

I wound my way around sweaty bodies, trying not to touch any of them as I made my path towards the back door. All I had to do was slip out and run into the forest, simplest thing in the world.

That would be if I hadn't smelt the most intoxicating smell wafting through the room. My wolf told me to follow it, but I couldn't bring myself to. I was finally getting out of here and I wouldn't let my mate stop me from getting my freedom.

Apparently she didn't like that and I slowly started to turn my head towards the scent. I was coming from the living room and just as I turned a gap opened in the crowd and I got a look of my soul mate.

Shit! Shit shit shit shit!!

His blue eyes darted around the room, his nostrils flaring telling me that he smelt the same thing I was. I started to back away, fear and anger slowly suffocating my senses.

This couldn't be happening! There was no way he could be my mate. No way in hell!

Brettly Owens, the beta of my pack and my forever tormentor was the person I was destined to be with? Fate apparently does have a sense of humour.

I don't know why I stopped moving, maybe I actually wanted him to see me and realise. Maybe I didn't know what to do. But either way, his eyes landed on me and the first emotion I saw after his curiosity shriveled up was disgust. He was disgusted that I was his mate. Well good for him.

I tried to hold the involuntary pain and forced anger and disdain to my face. I sent him a glare and stuck my tongue out before spinning on my heels and running out the back door towards the edge of the forest. I shifted as soon as the shade of the enveloped me and ran for all that I was worth.

When I reached the border I stopped running and shifted back. I dug into my bag and pulled out the jewellery box that my parent had given me on my fourth birthday. The birthday when everything changed. I placed it against the closest tree trunk and looked at it for one last time.

Taking a deep breath I crossed the border and walked into rogue territory.

I, Marguerite Ivory Trenton, daughter of Henry and Judith Trenton, twin sister of Kieran the soon-to-be Alpha Trenton, punching bag of the Black Star pack, am dead. And I haven't felt more alive in my life.

Ivory Where stories live. Discover now