My stepsister, Samantha, was boastful, arrogant, and confident. So, I was shocked to see her groveling on the ground while crying.
"I can't marry him! Please!"
But when I heard her plea for the second time, I realized why Samantha was in a mess. It hasn't been a long time since a rumor spread around the Pack – that the cursed rogue was looking for his mate.
'If Samantha was crying and begging like this, does it mean she's the mate of the infamous Steven?'
I damn near choked on my own breath and clamped my hand over my trap. That's when Samantha locked eyes with me. I was like a deer in headlights, knowing damn well trouble was on the horizon.
"You!" Samantha shouted before running toward my side.
My guts were right.
"Your little fantasy was to wed and flee this hellish place, right?"
Her eyes glistened with tears, yet her smile was askew, hinting at a mischievousness lurking beneath its eerie facade.
"Then, marry Steven instead! Marry that cursed rogue and get lost!"
My muscles quivered with rage deep within my being. My lifelong aspiration was to escape the clutches of my wretched stepmother and stepsister. So why on earth would I stoop so low as to wed a replacement for her? THIS IS NOT FAIR!
"Samantha was right," my stepmother, Miren, sneered. "Save your precious sister, Giselle! Sacrifice yourself like the pathetic little pawn you are!"
I stumbled back in shock. I always knew they despised me, but to willingly send me to my death? I never realized just how twisted and malevolent they truly were.
"No," I answered, defying their orders, which wasn't usual. "I cannot marry him, Samantha. My mate isn't Steven, but the Alpha of our Pack! I am Lois's mate!"
Samantha's grin contorted into a sickening sneer, and her pupils widened with lunacy. Without warning, she shoved me with all her might, sending me crashing into the dirt.
"Ugh!" I groaned, clutching my throbbing body.
"You really think you can just waltz in here and have your way with Alpha Lois? Ha! Take a good look at yourself in the mirror, honey. You're a sorry excuse for a woman - ugly, skinny, and completely worthless. You're not fit to be our Pack's Luna, that's for damn sure," Samantha spat, her words dripping with venom.
As she spoke, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the shiny stainless-steel pot on the table.
My body was painfully thin, my skin almost translucent.
Miren and Samantha never gave me enough food, even though I was responsible for cooking. I was lucky if I got to eat once a day.
"A rat in the dumpster would rather marry you, Giselle!" Samantha added while walking closer to my side.
I crawled backward.
"Did you forget that Lois was infatuated with me since we were young? I am prettier and sexier than a piece of twig like you! Lois is mine! I should be the Luna!"
Gritting my teeth, I gave her a spiteful look and answered, "Lois is my mate. Even if he likes you, he cannot escape the bond the Goddess of Moon bestowed between us. And now that I turned eighteen, I believe Lois will like me back someday."
Samantha delivered a vicious slap that left my cheek throbbing with agony.
"Lois is off-limits to you, you pathetic excuse for a wolf! You belong to the cursed rogue of Blood Rose Pack!" she screeched.
And as if that wasn't enough, she followed it up with a brutal kick to my gut, sending searing pain radiating through my ribcage.
I inhaled deeply, feeling a sharp pang in my lungs. My stomach twisted into knots as I spewed blood, each heave causing my already aching ribs to scream in agony.
"You're only doing this because you despise me, Samantha," I gasped, barely audible. "Please, I beg of you. Just leave me, and Lois be. Once we're wed, I'll vanish from your life forever."
Samantha's gaze bore down on me, a wicked grin spreading across her face. She planted her foot on my legs, eliciting a shrill cry of pain from my lips.
"And that's the problem, my dear b*tchy sister," Samantha uttered. "I could not accept that I was destined to marry a cursed bastard when you have a good life ahead! I would never accept that! Never!"
Her hand was poised to strike me again, but Miren intervened, preventing her from carrying out her vicious intent.
"Ugh, Samantha, enough already! Your Father could walk in any moment, and if he catches you laying a hand on Giselle, he'll flip his sh*t!" Miren spat. It wasn't out of concern for me, but rather her fear of getting caught abusing me.
Gasping for air, Samantha glared down at me like I was some insignificant insect.
"Listen up, you little b*tch," Samantha growled. "Lois is mine, and I'll stop at nothing to snatch him away from you."
And then she left the house.
Frightened to stay here any longer, I fled and made my way to the Pack's infirmary, a place I had grown all too familiar with after countless thrashings at the hands of my loathsome stepsister and stepmother.
"You're here again. And you have many wounds and bruises tonight, Giselle," Doctor Mark said.
I lowered my head and pursed my lips.
"It's impossible that you got all these just because you're clumsy. Please, Giselle. Be kind to yourself. Tell me what's wrong, and I will quickly tell this to your Father."
My heart aches as I think of my Father, the Beta of our Pack. Despite his position of power, I could never bring myself to confide in him about the horrors I endured at the hands of my stepmother and stepsister. I was too weak, too afraid to reveal the truth.
'Tell him what's wrong! Miren and Samantha were too much!' even my wolf, Fatima, whom I only met after my birthday, urged me to reveal the wicked truth.
I parted my lips, ready to reveal the secrets weighing heavily on my mind that I had kept from my Father for far too long.
But just as I was about to speak, my phone began to vibrate in my pocket, interrupting my train of thought.
Who could be contacting me at such a crucial moment?
I gave in to my curiosity and pulled out my phone, my eyes scanning the screen for any indication of who the message might be from.
'The sender is from an unknown number.'
Without hesitation, I opened the message, my eyes widening in shock as I read the words on the screen.
["Hello, Giselle. This is Lois. There's something I need to tell you. Meet me."]
It was from Alpha Lois, my mate, and the message was short and to the point.
My heart skipped a beat, and my head raced with questions and possibilities.
What could Alpha Lois want to tell me? And why did he choose to contact me now, of all the time?
Despite countless uncertainty, my heart burst with excitement and anticipation! And without a second thought, I leaped out of my hospital bed and sprinted towards the door, eager to meet my destined wolf companion!