Read Mated To The King’s Gamma by Jessica Hall Chapter 1
This was it. Alpha Brock would finally put an end to my misery today. I turned eighteen a few weeks ago, though I was surprised he didn’t jump to put me down that very day. D***h was the least of my fears, no, my biggest was being put up for auction and being sold to the butcher. Vile man, despicable. I shudder at the thought and s**k in a deep breath, trying to slow my racing heart. I would k**l myself before I ever let myself be placed in his hands.
Doyle would not have me, no he would not be allowed to violate me further, and I knew Ivy would understand. She knew the pain he caused me, though we never spoke of it.
Yet even she knew what he did. If only she hadn’t climbed on that chair next to me, the rope would have held my weight and my misery would have ended that fateful day.
Although the very thought of leaving Ivy with the headmistress, Mrs. Daley, made bile rise up my throat.
Wicked old b***h, I couldn’t stand her. Especially after what she just did to us. My back stung, but I knew the markings that lashed my skin was nothing compared to the whipping Ivy just got. All because she gave us too many chores, more than usual because apparently, the King was visiting today.
As if we cared, he would just be another to torment us if given the chance.
I flinch as I place the rag doused in medicinal herbs on her skin. She tried not to move or cringe, but I knew it must be burning like crazy. I quickly swipe a stray tear from my cheek, reminding myself it would be over for both of us very soon. Eight horrendous years later and we would finally be free of this place, this life and I couldn’t wait. D***h.
Most would think it morbid to wish for d***h, but d***h would be more pleasant than the life we are living in this orphanage. Housed by the very pack that k****d our parents, the alpha s*********d them right in front of us mercilessly.
Grabbing a bandage, I started wrapping it around her torso.
Ivy shudders and grips the duvet on the bottom bunk, fisting it trying to hide the pain she was in. I sniffle, trying to stop myself from crying. Goddess knows Mrs. Daley would punish us worse if she saw a tear.
Once I had finished dressing her wounds I reached for her blouse and helped her pull it on, while un-tucking her raven hair as it bunched up inside the blouse. I smiled sadly at her, hoping that the little herbs would help remove some of the pain for her. Ivy swallows and nudges me, taking the leftover rags and tapping me in a silent message to turn around. Ivy dab’s the wounds on my back with a wet cloth to clean them, though mine were more just raised skin and stung a little, hers were deep gashes. When Ivy has finished she squeezes my arm gently and I bull my blouse back on, h*****g as my shoulders move.
Ivy watches me and silence falls between us. This was it, today the Alpha would end us and if I had to go out I was glad I had Ivy by my side. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared. It made me wonder if I would be reunited with my parents. Gosh how I missed them. It had been so long I almost forgot what they looked like.
Reaching my hand out Ivy places her calloused one in mine and I look around the orphanage bedroom, the room lined with bunks, for the children we looked after for eight years. I would miss them. I give Ivy’s hand a squeeze and she squeezes mine back, but I don’t let go as we walk out of the bedroom. We walk up the long corridors, passing each room and it saddens me knowing I would not wake up tomorrow to little faces to clean, and little hands dragging us from our bed to make them breakfast. The children here were the only good thing about this place. As we passed each room, I hesitated at Tyson’s door. I worried who would look after him, he is non-verbal and had a severe learning disability that Mrs. Daley refused to have him tested. I worried whether he would get fed or would Mrs. Daley lock him away again like she did when he first came here. He was such a sweet boy, just misunderstood.
Emotions threatened to choke me as I look at his little bed, the little bed I would sometimes climb into in the middle of the night to soothe his night terrors. The little bed filled with his scent. If I wasn’t going to my own funeral, I would take him with me, but d***h was no place for him. He deserved the world and I hoped one day he would have it at his little fingertips. It took all my willpower to keep walking. This would be the last time we walked these halls, the last time we saw the little faces we helped clean and the little hands we held. The corridors are silent as we descend the spiral staircase to the floor below.
Yet as we reached the bottom, the weight lifted off me. We were finally free, free of this life and free of Mrs. Daley and I would no longer have to hide whenever the butcher came to drop off meat. I would no longer have to see his face again after today. With that thought in mind I looked at Ivy, knowing she was feeling the exact same thing as me. We endured enough and today our suffering ended along with our lives.
“Let’s go home,” I whispered to her.
Ivy pushed on the double doors leading to the small courtyard out front, the porch creaked under our feet and I saw the kids playing out the front on the run-down play equipment. I lost count of the amount of times I have had to patch the kids up after falling from it or pulling splinters from tiny feet and hands. We stepped out into the bitterly cold air though the cold had never really bothered me. I spent majority of my life on autopilot anyway, barely feeling anything, but it was one thing I could say Mrs. Daley had taught me. She taught me that emotion gets us nothing.
That pain, and tears won’t save us, and she taught me just how easily someone could break another. The day she locked me in that d**n basement with the butcher. After that day I learned it was better not to feel just switch it off, it is what it is.
The day was overcast, the clouds hiding the sun making it gloomy. The grey clouds were low, and it looked like it would rain later in the day.
The kids stop what they’re doing and rush over, grabbing and reaching for us, wanting us to play. Tears threaten to bubble and spill but I fight them back looking for my boy and enjoying seeing them one last time when a car pulls up and parks on the curb. It is sleek and black, the windows tinted so darkly that we can’t see who is inside. Yet I don’t care because I notice Tyson come over to me. His plushie in his hand, and it was missing an eye that I had sewed on one too many times before giving up. His eyes were glassy. The kids had no idea where we were going yet looking at Tyson’ s little face I felt he knew; he knew I wasn’t coming back and seeing the distress on his little face broke my heart as loud scooped him up.
“Shh, don’t cry, don’t cry,” I whisper, kissing his temple. He was skinny and fit perfectly in my arms. “You be a good boy, try to stay away from Mrs. Daley okay, and wait for Katrina.
Katrina is good, remember,” I tell him and he nods sadly, clutching my neck. Ivy brushes her fingers through his hair.
Both of us had a soft spot for Tyson. He was only a few days old when his parents were k****d and he was a colicky baby, the first year of his life I hardly slept and when I did catch a few moments, it was because he was on my chest and now I was leaving him to this horrid woman.
I inhale deeply, soaking in his scent one last time, savoring it as I silently prayed to the moon goddess to not let anything happen to him.
Ivy nudges me, telling me we should go, and I place him down when I notice the car was still parked by the curb.