Fated To The Alpha by Jessica Hall Chapter 212
5 years later, The high—pitched scream made me look up from washing the dishes to look out the kitchen window. Marley and Alicia were out the back playing with the twins. Eziah, my social butterfly, squirts Marley with his water gun. Her scream rang out loudly as she ran away; the twins are six now and couldn’t be more opposite to each other; kids at school always surrounded Eziah. Marabella, however, was socially awkward, but still, she did her best to fit in and made a few friends; I had invited their friends over to play, having been a rather rough week for them. We had another rogue attack, the fourth in the last two weeks, and tensions have been running high.
I chuckle to myself watching Eziah chase after Alicia and Marley squirting them. Marabella sat in the sandpit, playing with her bucket and pale before tossing it across the sandpit. My brows furrow as I watch her. She looks over her shoulder before slipping her gloves off and molding the sand to make a castle.
When I hear the doorbell ring loudly, I look over my shoulder, and I quickly dry my hands on a tea towel before going to answer the door. My face split into a grin when I saw Jasmine standing on the doorstep.
“Why didn’t you just let yourself in?“ I ask her. Jasmine and I were still close, but something had been off with her lately. She and her mate had been having issues. I understood her mate’s concerns, but I also felt it was a little unreasonable. Marabella was a child. She wasn’t dangerous to anyone, not intentionally anyway.
“The lock must have clicked; I tried to open it,“ Jasmine answers, stepping inside and closing the door behind her; I head back to the kitchen to turn the kettle on.
“Coffee?“ I ask her.
“Yes, please, wait, is that Alicia?“ Jasmine asks me, and I glance out the window while I fill the kettle up.
“Yeah, I invited her over, so Marabella had someone to play with, “
“So they are friends again, that’s good then?“ Jasmine says, sitting down at the kitchen table.
“What do you mean, they have always been friends?“ I asked her, slightly confused; Marabella told me Alicia was her friend, so did Eziah.
“Oh, maybe Marley was wrong.“ “What do you mean?“
“Nothing, she is a good kid, she came over the other day, but Marley said Alicia always picks on Marabella at school, “ Jasmine tells me, and I turn to look over at her.
“Maybe Marabella forgot to tell me they argued, “ I wondered; I would have to ask her about it later. I poured the coffee and milk into the mugs when Jasmine shrieked, jumping up and nearly knocking the dining table chair over as she rushed out the sliding doors. I followed to see what happened, only to see Jasmine rush toward the sandpit. “Marley! “ I glance at the girls playing in the sandpit when
Jasmine stalks over to the sandpit ripping Marley out by her arm.
“What have I told you? You know not to get too close when she hasn’t got her gloves on,“ She scolds. Marley seemed confused as she looked down at Marabella. Marabella hangs her head, reaching for her gloves.
“I will put them back on, the sand is hard to play with, “ Marabella tells Jasmine and Jasmine turns to look down at her, a sad smile on her face and her cheeks blushing.
“Sorry, sweetie. I didn’t mean it like that, “
“Then how did you mean it, Jasmine? I could only interpret one meaning of what you said, “
“Kat, come on. You know better than anyone else. You said she would have her gloves on, now I will have to….you know what never mind. Come on, Marley, we should head home, “ Jasmine says, tugging her daughter’s hand and rushing off the side of the packhouse. Marabella looks down at her hands before glancing back at Jasmine and Marley’s retreating form.
“I wasn’t going to touch her, Mumma.“ “I know, sweetheart, you did nothing wrong, “ I told her. Eziah reaches over and grabs her hand and I see him squeeze it.
“I will start making lunch,“ I tell the kids; I will deal with Jasmine later. Marabella did nothing wrong, and I didn’t like how she reacted in front of my daughter. It irritated me that everyone was so frightened by her, she is a child. Yet fear makes people respond in different ways; as much as I
hated to admit it, Marabella was treated differently by most people, yet it couldn’t be helped and I tried my best to lessen the gut-wrenching blows when parents said no to letting their kids play.
After the first few times, I learned. Marabella would ask to have a playdate and be all excited and ask me to ring their parents. The look on her face broke my heart so I never asked in front of her anymore. After a while she stopped asking, so I felt relief when Alicia’s mother agreed for her to come over. I didn’t particularly like her mother, she was pretty rude and didn’t seem to differentiate between being too nosy and just plain rude sometimes, plus she was a gossip. If you wanted the entire town to know something, all you had to do was mention it to Ayla and that would guarantee it would be around town by the end of the day and a more elaborate exaggerated version.
Walking inside, I grabbed the bread from the pantry and made sandwiches for the kids, hearing the front door open. I was relieved when I smelt Ezra’s scent waft to me; signally he was home. Turning around to greet him, I was startled when Marabella rushed inside, tearing past me and nearly knocking me over. Her face streaked with tears. I could just make out Eziah yelling at Alicia as I took off after her.
She races down the hallway beside the stairs only to run into her father.
”Woah, what’s going on? ” Ezra asks. Marabella’s is covered in sand, and Ezra brushes it off before gripping her arms.
“Hey, what’s wrong?“ He asks, kneeling next to her, but Marabella shakes her head, crying uncontrollably.
“Marabella?“ Ezra asks just as the front door opens, and Mateo walks in, saying something. His words cut off when he spots our daughter crying.
“Bella, what happened? “ Mateo asks, stopping next to Ezra and peering down at her.
“They all hate me. Everyone hates me, “ Marabella cries.
“Who hates you? Nobody hates you, baby,“ Ezra tells her, and I chew my lip, watching worriedly. This wasn’t the first time Marabella had broken down over her gifts.
“Everyone, I am a freak, a monster,“
“Don’t say that. That is not true,“ Ezra scolds her, he hates hearing her say things like that. We all did, she was Six, no child should feel hated, and we tried to shield her from the judgement, but it was near impossible when she had a Moon Goddess for a mother and Alpha fathers. No matter where we went, we were constantly receiving unwanted attention and so did Marabella.
The whispers got to me, the worst part is being the bigger one and not rising to the hurtful words, trying to ignore it. Ezra once lost his temper, but I don’t blame him for that time. If he didn’t kill the arsehole, one of us would have. It was an Alpha meeting and we brought the kids to play with the other Pack Alphas children when one man, who had no children and had his pack taken by a rival Alpha for cruelty to his members, took a jab at the twins. All because I refused to help him.
”The blessed and cursed twins, abominations, and that one, ” He said, pointing at Marabella. She was two at the time. ” She should have been put down at birth” The growl that left Ezra as Maddox pushed forward still sends a shiver up my spine to this day.
He killed him, then challenged everyone else in the hall to speak up if they had anything to say. None did; none were game enough, too, after watching the man get torn apart, his dead, bleeding body at Ezra’s feet while he was drenched in blood. I shake the memory away, returning to the present, having missed half of what was going on as I looked at Marabella.
”Daddy No, don’t touch, you can’t touch me, no one can touch me, ” Marabella shrieks as Ezra tears the gloves off her hands; Marabella is hysterical as she tries to pull away from him.
”You don’t scare me; you are not a monster, ” Ezra tells her, and I feel my heart skip a beat as Marabella tries to rip her hands away. Ezra grabs them, pressing them against his face.
”You are not a monster , you hear me? You do not scare me, ” Marabella pulls away, but he refuses to let her hands go that are placed on either side of his face. Marabella held her breath while Ezra stared at her, trying to get her to see she was not what they say.
”Dad, please, ” Marabella begs.
“Say it,“ Ezra tells her.
“I’m not a monster,“ Marabella tells him while sobbing, and Ezra hushes her softly until she calms down and finally stops crying. He pulls her to him, hugging her little body.
“Alicia is not welcome here again, “ Ezra says through the mind link. I look back up the hall toward the kitchen, and Mateo wanders off out the back. Yes, it was best if Mateo returned her to her mother; mine and Ezra’s tempers quickly erupted. Now, knowing Alicia had something to do with her being upset, I didn’t trust myself not to give her mother the spanking her daughter deserves. I despised bullies; Marabella was a sweet girl. I just hoped she could survive everyone else, and I was determined to help her try.
“Don’t let what they say in, don’t let it in, Marabella, they are beneath you,“ Ezra tells her, and she nods against his shoulder, hugging him back. Ezra’s eyes flick up to mine, unspoken worry in his eyes for our little girl.
Another ten years later, Sixteen-years-old.
“I need to go see Mr. Bates,“ Eziah told me as we ate lunch with his friends. I say this because they weren’t mine. NO, they were good pretenders. They always were when my brother was around, I gave up trying to tell him they hated me, that he should just
have lunch by himself without me around. He couldn’t see the way they treated me when no one was looking , no one to back me up unless Eziah was here.
”I will come with you, ” I tell him, picking up my lunch tray and about to follow him.
”I won’t be gone long, I don’t need you to hold my hand, ” He says, smiling at me, and I sit back down. ”
I will be back. Then we can head to English
together, ” Eziah tells me. He waves to his friends, and just as I expected, the moment he was out of sight, they all got up, sneering at me and moving tables.
I masked the hurt I felt, and it was like they thought I was the plague, one they didn’t want to risk catching. I go back to eating my lunch and trying to ignore the stares I could feel on me, the whispers. M y appetite was suddenly gone, and I got up, dumping my tray in the stack before walking out. I headed for the library and nearly walked in when I spotted Alicia through the glass doors. She was talking excitedly, and I looked around, debating where to go before giving up and going to the one place I always went. Watching as groups of students talked and mucked around, the sight making me feel more alone , nothing more lonely than being alone while surrounded by an audience to witness the loneliness and those closest blind to see it.
I would settle for anything, even my wolf. I couldn’t wait for that day to come. My brother had his wolf already. Mum said I had to wait until I was eighteen. It seemed unfair; at least then I would have a friend, someone to talk to.
Sighing, I let the library door go before going to my other hiding spot. I really needed to find a new one. Pushing the bathroom door open, I listen for any voices before walking to the far cubicle, slipping inside, pushing the toilet lid down, and sitting down. Grabbing my bag off my shoulder, I pull my phone from the front pocket.
Smiling to myself when I saw I had a text from Jonah, I was in the middle of replying when my phone started ringing in my hand. I can’t help the smile that splits onto my face when I see Jonah’s picture pop up on the screen.
“Hey, Jonah, “
“There’s my favorite person. Why didn’t you write back?“ He asks.
“I thought Kyan was your favorite person,“ He pauses for a second.
“He is my best friend, not my favorite person; that spot is reserved for you,“ He tells me, and I can’t help the way my cheeks heat. Gosh, I was pathetic. He is my cousin, well not technically. We were in no way blood relations. He is adopted but still, it was kind of weird, and he was twenty-two and saw me as his geeky cousin the way he should see me.
“So you are going to answer? I already rang your mother; she said it was fine, “ Jonah asks me, and I sigh. The bell saved me from answering as it signaled the next class.
“Who’s going to be there?“ I ask him.
“Just Kyan and the usual crowd, “ he tells me.
“Kyan will be there?“ I ask, knowing his friend does not like me. He just glares; I had no idea why he hated me. Not like I haven’t tried to get along with him. He just took an instant dislike to me the moment I met him, it had been three years since I last saw him, and my stop dropped, knowing if I said yes, he would be there. His presence always made me feel uneasy.
“I have an English assignment due on Monday, “ I told him, unlocking the cubicle door and heading out for the girl’s bathroom.
“Come on it will be fun, and your mother already okayed it“ He tells me as I step into the hall only to run directly into Alicia. She flicks her blonde hair over her shoulder before glaring at me, her foundation a shade darker than her skin, making an orange ring around her neck.
She shoves me, and my back smashes against the brick wall, and I only just manage to stop myself from dropping the phone. “Watch it, skank, “ She spits at me. She walks off, and I watch her leave when Jonah’s voice comes through the phone.
“Hey, everything alright?“ Jonah asks.
“Huh, yeah, just some girl speaking to another, she wasn’t talking to me, “ I lied while adjusting my bag on my shoulder.
“I should go; I am late for class, “ I tell him.
“Wait, you never answered, “ Jonah says, and I quickly hang up before sending him a text and telling him I would be too busy.
Walking to class, Eziah walks around the corner up ahead and throws his arms in the air.
“Where have you been? Everyone said you left, “ “I had to use the bathroom, “ I tell him, and he loops his arm through mine. Eziah leads us to our English class rattling on about something Marley did, it was apparent he had a crush on her, and I listened despite her being one of Alicia’s besties and one of my biggest tormentors.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him he would be Alpha one day, and he needed to get along with the rest of the pack. I would just blend in, and I am glad dad was giving the pack to him. I had no intention of staying here once I finished school. Nope, once I have my wolf, we are going rogue and finding some forest to be free in, free from everyone, free from the whispers, the stares. I couldn’t wait until I got my wolf; I wouldn’t need anyone then because I would have her. The day slipped by quickly, and before I knew it, school finished. Walking out of class, Eziah walks beside me.
“I am going to head to Marley’s; you will be alright to head home by yourself,“ He says, and I look at him.
“You’re not coming home first? “ I ask, trying to keep the unease out of my voice at having to catch the bus home by myself.
“Yeah, tell Dad. I will be home before dinner, “ He says before rushing off toward Marley’s last class. I sigh, hoisting my backpack up my back higher and walking toward the bus shelter. Seeing everyone lined up waiting and talking amongst themselves, I turn for the front gates instead. I would walk home, and it would only take an hour.
I saw the bus head into the school as I started walking along the Highway. When it went past me, I felt something hit me in the side of the leg; their cheers and laughter out the windows made me clench my teeth when I saw the pencil embedded in my leg. Tears burn my eyes. They speared me with a pencil. What the fuck! Sucking in a deep breath, I rip it out. It was a lead pencil; well, the moron who tossed it clearly hadn’t received his pen license if he was still using one. I chuckle at my thoughts before continuing. When I am halfway home, I hear a loud engine roaring up the road and making me lookup. I would know that sound anywhere.
The red Mustang pulls up next to me, and the window winds down.
“Well, before you hung up on me, I was about to tell you I would not take no for an answer, “ Jonah tells me. I raise an eyebrow at him.
“Get in,“ I look down the road, trying to figure out another way to get out going to the stupid reopening of The Casino; Jonah and Kyan run together.
“You have three seconds to get in, or I will toss you in,“
“One, “ I fold my arms across my chest and tap my foot defiantly.
“Two, “ His blue eyes sparkle, and his lips tug up deviously.
“Three, “ He goes to open the door, and I shriek.
“Okay, I will get in, “ I tell him, racing around to the passenger side and climbing.
“I was actually looking forward to tossing you in,“ Jonah laughs before staring down at my gloved hands, ” Remove them, you don’t need them, your parents really need to stop making you wear those”
“They don’t make me, Jonah. It’s just safest that way, “Well don’t wear them around me,” he says reaching over and tugging one off by the fingers, I sigh before removing the other. Jonah reaches over to grab my hand and I pull my hands away. “Mara, ” Jonah snaps and I let him take my hand. Jonah is probably the only person that realized how much it bothered me, never feeling touch. I swallow not
wanting to let it show how much it truly bothered me.
“I waited at your bus stop for like lo minutes; did you head in town after school, “
Ah, yeah, I had to get something, “ I lie, placing my bag between my feet. When Jonah drives past the turn-off home, I glance at him.
“Ah, Jonah?“ I ask, looking at him.
“You aren’t going home. I already picked up your clothes,“ He tells me, turning onto the freeway.
“No escaping me tonight, “
“I am not even old enough to be in the casino,“ I tell him.
“You don’t have to be, you won’t be going into the alcohol areas, and Kyan and I will be with you. No one will say anything, “
“What and mum was fine with you kidnapping me to take me to the casino,“
“Yep, what’s wrong? I haven’t seen you in a month, and now you suddenly don’t like hanging out with me? Who is he then?“
“Who’s who?“ I ask.
“This boyfriend you have, the only thing that makes sense for you dodging me and not wanting to hang with me, you got a boyfriend, Mara?“ He taunts me by poking me in the ribs.
“No, no. Of course not,“ he glances at me like he doesn’t believe me, if only Jonah knew I was a complete social pariah, he would then understand how ridiculous his words are.
“Maybe I could just wait at your apartment, then we can play board games or something when you get back, “ I suggest, really not wanting to be around Kyan.
“What no, you are coming; why are you acting strange?“
“I’m not, but your friend hates me, “ I tell him. Jonah sighs loudly.
“He doesn’t hate you; that’s just the way he is,“ Jonah answers.
“So he is like that when Rose is with you too,“
“He sees more; she is my sister. You both just need to hang out more; then you will see he isn’t so bad
once you get past the stone-cold demeanor, “ He says with a laugh, and I raise an eyebrow at him.
“Stone cold, he glares at me like he is hoping I will turn to ash in front of his eyes, “
“Now, I know you’re being dramatic. You haven’t seen him in what three years?“ I nod my head. I always made sure to avoid visiting Jonah if I knew Kyan was with him.
“See, you probably imagined it,“ Jonah tells me. Great, not even my weekend would be free of the torment. I know he hated me, one thing I did know, was what hate looked like, I received it every day, there was no mistaking it anymore. Pretty embarrassing when I was more familiar with glares than smiles, more familiar with bad words than kind ones. But what I was most familiar with was, having no one. No one that actually wanted me around. I am not stupid. I know Jonah only hung out with me because mum asked him to, she always worried about me being on my own all the time, but at least there would be no judgment. Yet despite Jonah only having me around because he pitied me, I still like being around him.