It has been a lonely week, but what did I expect? My day consists of eating breakfast, chatting with Gail and Theresa—the plump woman and her friend—eating lunch, listening to music or reading a book, hardly eating dinner, and going to bed. Throughout the day I become more and more depressed, and by dinner, I barely have enough fight in myself to eat. I call my mother every day and lie to her. I go on and on about how lovely everything is, and how I was wrong about not wanting a mate—it gives me something to do, to conjure up some fairytale.
"Today we went on a walk around the pack, he showed me around and introduced me to people," I say to my mother, the phone up against my ear as I lie on my bed. I've stolen the phone from the living room and put it in my room, knowing Alpha Grant won't come in to take it. "It was nice. The people here are nice."
"That's great, Rae. I'm so happy things are going so well. I'll have to come and visit someday. You'll have to come and visit me when you're not so busy with Luna duties and such."
I frown. "Yeah, definitely." Before she can carry on with something else, like how our Luna had another baby, or how she helped a guard handle a rogue, I mutter, "You know, he's waiting for me now. I should probably go."
"Oh, of course, go, go," she says, sounding excited. "We'll talk more tomorrow."
"Alright, bye dear." And just like that, I am alone again.
I let the phone slip from my grasp, falling onto the bed beside me. Part of me wants to cry and part of me wants to drink, but Gail found the half-empty bottle of Vodka in the porch the morning after, so I thought it best to stop there. Being drunk won't help me for long, soon enough it will lose its spark. Though, what do I have to lose? I have nothing anymore, and that's terrifying me. People who have nothing are dangerous.
At least I had myself at home. I don't know where the old Rae has gone—she's slipped away after one too many nights of her mate having sex with someone else. It's the same girl, and that only makes me more insane. Whenever I hear her come over, which is most nights, I creep away into the backyard and fight my urges to sprint to that odd cabinet and snatch myself a bottle of whatever looks numbing. I simply sit on the porch, feet dangling, and I cry a bit. They are quiet sobs because I am paranoid that someone will hear and come ask me what's wrong. What would I say? I've lost everything? That I have nothing anymore?
I sigh and get up, leaving the phone behind. I've learned my way around the house now. With nothing to do all day, I've decided to familiarize myself with the place, looking for good places to hide or places that seem to be forgotten about. It's a large house, too big for its own good, and yesterday I discovered something wonderful.
It's a library, small and abandoned towards the back of the house. The door to it was blocked off by a bookshelf filled with decorations and family pictures, something to just be there, to distract people from the handle behind the picture of an older man in black and white. It would have been better hidden if the tall shelf had a back to it, but only my desperate eyes can find such weird details. I was studying the pictures, picking them up and putting them down when I found the handle. It was tricky, though, because the door was one of those fancy ones that blend seamlessly into the wall, like in an old castle.
It took me a while to move the shelf. Luckily Gail and Theresa were out at the garden and Alpha Grant was off doing who knows what or God knows who. I managed to inch it forward just enough to fit myself through. Thankfully I grew into my chubby legs a few years ago.
Planning to go back, I left the shelf sticking out a bit, doubting anyone would notice. So today I only have to pull it out a bit further. Once inside, I relax and sit down in one of the old chairs off to the side, nestled between a tall lamp and a small wooden table.
I plan on cleaning it up as dust coats everything, but for now, it will do. There are two walls cluttered with books from top to bottom beside each other. The wall across from the door has a tiny window—the shelves built around it—and I push back the dark curtain to let the sunlight filter through the dusty glass. It is a beam of light slicing through the center of the room, and I sit in the chair, watching the dust particles dance around in it.
To make sure no one knows I'm here, I yank the bookshelf back in place and close the door behind me, like I had never touched any of it in the first place.
Today I stand and sift through the books, picking up a few, flipping through the pages, then placing them back. There isn't enough room in here for the shelves, the chair, and a desk, so I know it wasn't someone's study, which is great because the books are actually interesting and not full of Pack nonsense. On the shelf below the window, I discover something else quite interesting. Diaries. They are all in a row, lined up by year.
I run my fingers over them and yank out the oldest one. I might as well start from the beginning. This one has a name on the inside: Julianna Grant. My eyes widen and I swiftly sit back down in the living chair, this must be Alpha Grant's mother or grandmother. The book isn't ancient, so I don't go any further. I can't help but read the first entry.
September 25th, 1991
I have started this because I have nothing else to do. I have forced the maids to let me cook and clean with them because I am simply driving myself to madness. To remind you of the events of your life at this time, future Julianna, you have found your mate, and he is an Alpha. You expected this as anything below an Alpha would have disappointed your family. A girl of Alpha blood must be mated to an Alpha, right? Anyway, you hated him. He was cruel and busy and didn't care about you at all, remember? I hope you do or else none of this will makes sense to you.
It has only been a few days and I already know this much about him. Alpha Grant. Alpha James Grant. I hate him. I want to leave, I want to go home to my family. Sure Dad will be furious and Mom will cry until she has flooded the house, but this is hell! My mother always said that being a Luna is the most magical thing and that she cannot wait for me to be one too, but this is not magical! I am drowning and they do not even know it. He is cold and cruel to me. He does not even talk to me. I am a doormat when he walks through the door, even if I am waiting for him with a smile. Sleeping with him is hell. He does not touch me, it is as if I have a disease and he has to stay as far away as possible not to catch it and die.
I want to be with him. I want him to love me as much as I want to love him, but he makes it seem as if he finds me repulsive. I am a beautiful girl, I am of Alpha blood, I have been trained by my mother to be the perfect Luna, but he does not care! Not at all! I cry because I crave him. I cannot help it. I want to feel his body on top of mine, I want to feel his hands grabbing me, I want his lips against mine, I want his eyes looking into mine as he thrusts—
I stop there and I close the diary. When I leave the room, pushing the bookshelf back into place, I take the diary with me and stash it in my own bookshelf in my bedroom. Not expecting anyone to snoop through my bedroom, I know it is safe there. I have the urge to read it throughout the rest of the day, thinking about this Julianna and how our lives are so similar.
After sneaking downstairs for a light snack, I creep back up the steps. I didn't hear any other people or any other movements before, so I assume Alpha Grant's friend isn't here tonight. This makes me happy, knowing I won't have to leave the house to escape the pain.
I am mistaken, though.
When I enter the hall, someone is standing there, and they look back at me. It's her. She freezes and I do too, not knowing what to do instead. I can't help but hate her. She's beautiful, something unearthly, something exotic and uncommon. Her long, black hair curls at the ends and looks thick and soft. Her skin is free of any blemishes or marks, olive toned and tight. Her eyes, her eyes glow in the darkness like a cat's. Green as grass and as enchanting as a spell. I can't help but hate her.
Her eyes scan over me, then she turns away and slips past his door as usual.
I want to charge at those doors and burst through, shouting about how I hate him and how I want to go back to my family. Screaming on and on about how he can have her, about how I don't need him. Yelling and crying out that I am dying here, that my body is weak and that my mind is withering away. I'm going to die here!
But I don't. I hold my tongue and enter my bedroom, closing and locking the door behind me. I glance over at the diary on my shelf, then I peer to the window. My movements are quick. I slide open the window, maneuver the screen out, look down at the roof below—the one that covers the porch—and I work my way through, onto my stomach, my legs dangling down, my bottom lip between my teeth, then I jump.
I land on my feet, almost falling over and rolling off of the roof. I manage to shimmy down the post and jump down from the fence along the porch. I hit the grass and run around the house, heading for the trees that I wandered through almost a week ago.