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Chapter 2 Alone

  • Liyah
  • I dipped the large washcloth in the half empty bucket for the hundredth time this morning. Wiping the beads of sweat that stood on my forehead, I wrung out the excess water, wiping the floorboards as quickly as I could before Barbara could stomp in with her muddy boots. By mistake, she claimed.
  • Usually, weekends were considered by many to be a period of rest, relaxation, the period to spend quality time with your family. I could be taking a stroll to the park; having a quiet time, or a heart to heart conversation with my friends.
  • I scoffed at the word, 'friends'. If I remember correctly, I've never had those. Which was really not surprising seeing as my 'family' didn't feel like a real family.
  • My moving hands on the floorboards stopped.
  • I wondered when this clear, simple truth would stop hurting this much. I had been the outcast, the weirdo, ever since I was born. Now, I was twenty two years old, and I still yearned for validation. Even my own father hated me. What more could I expect from unrelated folks?
  • Surprisingly, I'd managed to get through the entire hall without Barbara stepping in to make my job even harder than it already was. As soon as I was done, I quickly disposed of the waste water and began to dry the floor with another cloth. This way I wouldn't have to start all over if my stepsister decided to make an entrance.
  • When mom had died giving birth to me, Father had wanted to dispose of me, let the other wolves feed on me as I was seen as a curse that snatched his Luna away, but some members of the pack had convinced him that I would he more useful as a servant. He had agreed reluctantly, and after a few years, he had remarried, and had Barbara.
  • Barbara was the improved version of me, the daughter he had always wanted. She was his joy and pride. And although I was older than her, she bossed me around, sent me on errands, and sometimes hit me when I attempted to stand up to her. Once, when I had hit her out of anger, Father had locked me in the dark room for two weeks without food and water. And since then I had taken everything with a pinch of salt.
  • Patiently, I had waited. Anticipating when I would turn eighteen. When my wolf would awaken. Positive that then, I would be useful in Father's eyes. Hoping that the members of the pack would recognize my worth.
  • And I waited, and waited. And one day I turned nineteen, and my wolf had still not awakened. I was sad, broken, I'd never felt so worthless. It was at that point that I truly became the laughing stock of the pack. I was bestowed with the name given to those whose wolves never awakened; mere men. Everyone sent for me whenever they had an errand they needed to run, I did the cooking, the cleaning. In my own father's house, I was nothing but a help.
  • Barbara had always been Father's favorite. So when she transformed into her wolf form at eighteen, his joy had known no bounds. She had grown to be an attractive woman and the strongest she-wolf in the pack. She was just like her father; ruthless, killed with no mercy when she was thirsty for blood. Once, when she had nothing else to feed on, she had tried to eat me. But I was saved by one of Father's oldest guards, Tom. Afterwards, he had warned me to stay miles away from her when she was hungry. To Father, she was perfect; everything that I wasn't. And I was doomed to live, forever in her shadow.
  • I placed a hand on my waist in fatigue, as I finally got through the last of today's chores and made my way back to my room. As I secured the lock behind me, I extricated the small portrait of my mom from a hole in the floor. Apart from the clothes on my back, it was the only thing I owned. If Father found out, he would take it away from me.
  • Gazing at her portrait like I did each morning, I wondered if she would have liked me. Would she had seen me as a blessing? Or as a disappointment like everyone else did. Would she shower me with love? Take care of me? Hug me? Convince me that everything would be okay?
  • A stray tear dropped from my eyes and I hurriedly wiped it away feeling foolish. I knew all of this already. So why did it always make me cry? I was in my twenties and yet to experience what love is, or what it feels like to be valuable to someone, to be worth something. Nobody's ever made me felt important. Well except from my little kitten pixie, Jada. But sometimes I suspected that the only reason why she stayed was because she couldn't protest.
  • My thoughts drifted back to my mother. Many said she had a big heart, and was the strongest Luna in the pack. She was the only lady brave enough to confront my father, Jonas, whenever he did something irrational. A shiver ran through my spine as I thought about it. Father was the strongest, most ruthless werewolf alive. I found it astonishing that someone could stand up to him.
  • Perhaps that was the reason why he got married to her.
  • He was very much obsessed with power. For years he has dedicated his time to building a powerful army of werewolves. Many knew him the strongest werewolf that's ever existed and the undefeated alpha of the Monhowl pack. Rumor had it that years ago, the alpha of a rival pack had carried the title of the most powerful wolfman. To correct that impression, father had hunted him down and executed him and his entire family. Chilling tales like that brewed fear amongst all rival packs, and no one dared to challenge Jonas Verbeck.
  • "Liyah!" I heard someone yell my name, rousing me from my thoughts. I quickly ducked, placing mom's portrait back in it's place and racing to unlock my door.
  • Before I could answer my name, Mira had landed two quick blows to my cheek. "Didn't you hear Barbara calling for you?" She snarled, scrunching her face in disgust as she observed my room.
  • "I'm sorry, I didn't," I replied quickly, bowing a little and ignoring my burning cheeks. By now I had learnt that the only way to stay out of further trouble was to do exactly as they asked.
  • She gave another long hiss, ordering me to go see what Barbara needed and walking away. I dared to stare behind her. Mira was my father's mate and my step mom. Frankly, the only thing Father and the members of the pack respected her for was her sex appeal. Once, I had caught her cheating with two other werewolves, Larry and Mario. I shivered at the thought of the things Father would do to them if he ever found out. But it wouldn't be from me. If I ever decided to run my mouth, my corpse would be hanging over some tree by morning.
  • Sighing, I quickly locked my room and raced to Barbara's to see what she needed.
  • "My hair needs to be done. Dad's throwing a party for me," She stated simply. "And make sure it's better than the last one. Can't you even be good at something? Just one thing for crying out loud, Liyah!" She sighed, shaking her head in disgust.
  • I kept silent, head bowed over awaiting her next order. She only relaxed into her chair. As I began to part her full hair down the middle, she swiped my hand away. "Did you wash your hands first?" She asked, disgust visible on her face.
  • I knew it would he fatal to tell her the truth so I lied, nodding my head in assent. As she relaxed again, I styled her hair as best as I could, trying not to think of the hell that was my life.