I gasped and stumbled back a bit; no, this can’t be possible; that monster cannot be my mate.
I shook my head furiously. “No, that’s not possible, I refuse to believe that, and even if it is true, I will not go with him,” I said firmly.
Dad ground his teeth. “I don’t like this any more than you do, but Alpha Cain has made it clear that he wants you. He informed me that if you go with him, he will end the war and sign a peace treaty between the packs.” He looked to be pained saying this.
“No, I won’t do it, dad! I will not go with him!” Anger was flowing through me now, like a never-ending river.
Dad pinched the bridge of his nose. “Freja, you need to understand the situation. Alpha Cain has made it crystal clear that he will come and destroy the pack if you do not go with him. Leaving no one and nothing behind, and then he will take you by force. Either way, he will get what he wants.” He replied, raising his voice.
“So, then we fight, we recruit other packs to stand up and fight with us. I won’t go with him; you can’t make me do this, dad.” I was almost pleading with him at this point; going with that man would mean the end of me.
He stood to his feet and slammed his fists on his desk, causing the wood to crack a bit. “Freja, you have no choice; I have no choice. Do you truly want to sacrifice the lives of all our pack members? Because I will not.” He boomed at me.
His tone and the height of his voice made me take a step back; he had never yelled at me like this before. I remained where I stood, shock taking hold of me. I couldn’t comprehend the reality of this situation and that my own father was just going to hand me over to that monster without fighting.
He sat back down in his chair, sighing heavily. “He will be here within the hour to retrieve you. I suggest you pack quickly and say your goodbyes to everyone.”
Tears began to form in my eyes, and my lip quivered. Finally, I didn’t say anything else to him, just stormed out of his office. I couldn’t look at him anymore or be near him. I was so furious, confused and mostly scared of what the future held for me.
As I exited his office, everyone stood there with a remorseful look plastered on their faces. I stood there for a minute, just staring at them, a million thoughts going through my mind. All I could think about was that this might be the last time I saw them; I was being taken away from my family, from the ones I loved and cared for, being taken away from them by a fucking monster. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, my head was spinning, my chest ached with so much pain.
I needed to gather my thoughts; I needed to take a moment and breathe. So, without wasting another minute, I spun around and headed for the back door. I could hear everyone behind me calling my name as I exited through the door and beelined it for the woods. The forest was my sanctuary; something about the trees, the smells, the peacefulness, brought me such tranquillity; it was the place I always came to when I needed to be alone.
As I entered the forest, I began to run. The leaves crunched under my feet, and the smell of the damp forest floor engulfed my nose. The branches from the trees brushed against my skin, and the moon shined down, illuminating my path.
As I furthered into the forest, I began to slow down, my lungs now burning. I then came to a stop, collapsing to the ground. I stared up at the moon and stars that littered the sky with their beauty. I sat there wondering why the Moon Goddess would bestow me with such a fate, why she would allow this to be my destiny. Angry tears began to pool in my eyes as the realization of everything hit me.
As I continued to sit there, I heard the sound of crunching leaves coming from behind me, and I didn’t want to see or talk to anyone right now. So I picked myself up and began to jog away, hoping to avoid whoever was looking for me. But as I started to distance myself from them, I heard a familiar and unwelcome voice stopping me in my tracks.
“Now, now, my love. I wouldn’t run if I were you; it will only make things harder for yourself. But if you truly want to, that’s fine by me. I love a good game of hide and seek.” He said in a menacing tone.
I stood there frozen in my spot, debating on what to do. Finally, I thought to myself; If I just keep running, I may have a chance of escaping him, of escaping my future. But if I do, then that puts everyone I love in danger. I didn’t know what the fuck to do. My internal battle continued for a second more before my instincts took over, as I heard him closing the distance between us, and I began to run from the monster that was hunting me.
I ran deeper into the forest; the moonlight faded, and darkness was enveloping me. The forest was dead silent now, except for the sound of our feet lightly hitting the forest floor. Then, finally, I spotted a fallen tree that was now overgrown with moss and vines. I dashed towards the tree and burrowed myself into it in an attempt to hide from him.
I lay there, attempting to slow my breathing, to slow my escalating heart rate so that I could listen closely to my surroundings. Nothing, it was now eerily quiet, and that frightened me even more. Just then, I heard the echoing crack of a breaking branch and another and another, each one growing louder than the last. I knew that Cain was close now.
“You know I can smell you, right? The scent of your fear is all I need to follow to find you, my dear,” He said in an ominous tone.