"I'm sorry for challenging you, Barry. P-Please don't kill me."
The blast from the revolver reverberated through the pack house, entrapping the omegas who crouched at a corner in toe-curling fear. Death loomed over them like a menacing stalker. Kai thought he would be sick.
Ronan tried to suppress a sob, to no avail and his twin brother, Rome clapped a cautious hand over his mouth. "Quiet and be still," he hissed at Ronan. "You wouldn't want to upset him now, would you?"
Crouched around the table around them were other omegas, their half-brothers. Kai didn't think they deserved to be called a pack anymore. Barry, their new pack Alpha was changing the rules and no one knew what to do with themselves to avoid setting him off.
As the oldest brother and omega, Kai took up the responsibility to protect his younger ones to the best of his ability. They were all so young and hadn't even gone through their first heat yet. It would be a shame if they didn't get to experience it at all.
He bit back a sigh as he thought about what Barry might do when they did.
The front door smashed open and Barry's bulk filled the narrow doorway. He was illuminated by the sinking sun and although Kai couldn't make out his features, his stomach turned to knots when the scent of gunpowder wafted in as Barry strode over to the forbidden cabinet and tucked the revolver inside.
"Why mop around like surly scums when you all should be making yourself useful around here?" Barry boomed, slamming the cabinet shut and strolled in to stand at the head of the table.
"W-We d-don't know what y-you'd like f-for dinner." Ronan stuttered – something he did whenever he was nervous and upset. Instead of looking up at Barry, Ronan focused his attention on the vase filled with withering roses in front of him.
"We still have that Buffalo casserole from last week," Rome chipped in quickly. He stood up and quietly made his way to the deep freezer in the kitchen. "Milo – "
"The casserole is at the last compartment." Kai cut off his sentence. Bringing up Ronan's dead mate who had an addiction to casseroles, risked stirring Barry into a foul mood and send Ronan crying upstairs.
The last time Barry had an angry frenzy, he rammed Milo's head into the wall until his skull cracked.
Then he'd locked Ronan in with the body all week. That incident shattered Ronan and the omega had never been his old, chirpy self again. It broke Kai to see his youngest brother turn into a walking corpse.
Milo wasn't the first pack member Barry had killed. The Elders had been too caught up in their secretive duties to notice that there was a thorn in their flesh and they'd paid dearly for it. All of them. Not one was spared, even Barry's father.
"I'll make that milk gravy to go with it." Kai suggested. He knew that was the one thing that'd put Barry in a good mood.
Barry's menacing presence at the table made the omegas cower. His hard stare was sharp enough to slit their throats. He stepped back. "Fine. Do whatever you like, Kai. I got to haul Flynn's sorry arse to the river before this Northern Alpha guy shows up. Rome, you alone will help me."
Kai scooted his chair backwards as he stood to protest. "Um, Rome can handle the gravy. I'm stronger, so I can help you better." He moved forward thoughtlessly. The thought of Rome having to deal with the dead body of his beloved mate who'd only marked him few weeks ago was too much for Kai to even think about, no matter how laidback Rome seemed to be about the whole thing. The young omega masked his pain quite well.
Barry's eyes halted Kai in his tracks and the tension in the room thickened to the point his legs almost gave way beneath him. Kai didn't anticipate the sudden movement as Barry pinned him against the wall, breathing down his neck in seconds. He towered over Kai by two foots and outweighed the omega by a few hundred pounds. "No, mate. You'll only have my knot and nothing more. I'm your alpha and mate now. It is my duty to take care of your needs."
Kai's initial resistance watered down to pure repulsion. The fuck, he wasn't this sick alpha's mate. He's mate was presumed to have died young and he was supposed to go to another Alpha with another pack. But Barry had brooked a challenge with their father – the previous Alpha – and had won so Barry got what he wanted.
But it was either Kai, or Barry threatened to kill all the younger omegas.
Kai choosed to focus his eyes at the window and stayed calm as Barry's foul breath turned his insides out. "Right Kai? I'm your mate now."
Kai closed his eyes, inhaling deeply and wishing for some miraculous brute strength to enable his get Barry off him and out of their lives. The monster's weight was practically flattening Kai on the freezer, the lid handle cutting into his bare back.
"Yes, Barry. You're my mate now." he wheezed out.
"And your mate's telling you to stay back and fix me dinner while I do the dirty work. Rome, you coming or do you have a death wish?"
Rome scrambled up quickly, a plate clattering to the floor behind Barry. "Right sir. I'll be out in a few minutes."
Barry leaned in to nibble on Kai's earlobe, his sharp stubble bruising Kai's cheek. The choking smell of blood, gunpowder and smelly sweat provoked bile up Kai's throat. "When I get back, I want you all clean and ready for me, Kai," he whispered gruffly. "Daddy feels horny and might chose to mark your awesome body tonight."
Kai nodded quickly. "Sure, Barry." He nearly collapsed when Barry backed away, smiling smugly. Once he's disappeared out the door, Kai sank to the floor with his legs pulled up in front of the freezer and buried his face between his thighs.
Ronan snuck to his side. "Kai, are you alright?"
"No, Ronan I'm not alright." Kai admitted, tears beginning to form. "How did this come to be? What did we do to lure in this monster of a man?"
Nestling on the floor next to Kai, Ronan wrapped his arm around Kai's lean figure and rested his head against Kai's side. "Don't worry, everything's gonna be fine when the Northern Alpha arrives."
Kai wished he could believe that.
Before Barry came to the pack, Kade their Alpha and father talked about some arrangement with the Elders that involved a pack of wolves from the North. Since Kai was the only omega without a mate, he'd been told, not asked, told he would be offered in the contract.
No one asked Kai if he wanted a mate in his life. No one cared to hear his opinion.
He wasn't told any more than that. The Elders felt that it would be unreasonable discussing the details or what was going to happen, but they all knew something big was coming. The Elders had been secretive about the whole thing, cloistered in meetings with their father a lot before Barry's purge began, which was why they didn't know what was happening until it was too late.
Kai didn't know where the future would lead them.
Much later while they all had dinner, Barry explained at length on how everything he'd done was for the overall good and survival of the pack.
The omegas' were silent. Kai exchanged warning glances with Rome and Ronan when it seemed the young omegas were warming up for a protest. They all needed to be careful and cautious not to say anything that would upset Barry and just cowered, picking at their casserole slowly. If Barry noticed their sour mood, he didn't mention it but instead went on talking and chewing irritably.
"Listen up," he barked, his fork clattering on the plate's edge, startling the omegas. "When that Alpha from the north comes to talk about whatever his oldies told him to say, nobody tells him anything. Don't even answer the door. Just stay safely inside while I get rid of him."
"What if he persists and breaks into the house?" Kai asked quietly. "We're just omegas. He might do something drastic to us for ignoring his knocks."
"I said nobody answers him. You just stay inside and let me handle his shit. I'll talk to him." Barry punctuated with his fork. "He's a lucky Alpha, he'll understand. If he doesn't like my answers and wants to make trouble, I'll take him to Milo and the rest of the dead geezers." His smile was pure evil. Kai shuddered, his heart gripping tight in his chest.
Their Alpha was a murderer and they were reluctant accomplices. There was nothing they could do to stop him. They were stuck, all of them – their fates undecided yet.
"Kai, it's your duty to keep the young ones out of sight. I don't want him scenting them. You're the only one allowed to answer him if I'm not around." Then to the young omegas, he said. "You all can go hiking. Pick berries too. Kai can make a pie."
"Yeah." Kai said quickly. "That would be great. I believe I've still got some pie crusts from last time in the freezer."
"And I don't want any of you missing. You know the punishment for running off, right guys? I may not be as lenient as last time."
They were all painfully aware of what Barry did. Ronan still woke up from his nightmares, screaming. Sage's remains were unrecognizable.
Barry dropped his cutlery on the plate and pushed away from the table forcefully, almost squashing Ronan against the wall. "Kai honey, you know I'm expecting you tonight. Don't keep me waiting."
"Right." Kai replied, trying his best not to break down crying.
"I don't have much patience. You do know that quite well." Barry stripped off his shirt, flaunting hard biceps as he sauntered over to the forbidden cabinet to get his shotgun. A pattern of scars ran diagonally across his hairy chest, no doubt gotten from other Alpha challenges.
Kai was desperate to keep the omegas alive, at least until the Alpha from the city came to their aid. Somehow, he needed to figure out how to reach this man and plead their case in hopes that the Alpha understood.
"Where's the red label I told you to get me while you were out in town, Kai?"
Kai jerked up from the table, retreating into the kitchen to retrieve the bottle he'd bought. He took it to Barry, along with a stack of porn movies. The alpha swiped it roughly from him, turning the stack over to make sure the movies were complete. "When you're done, I'll be waiting in my chambers, Kai honey."
Kai watched in suppressed disgust as Barry turned him around to smack his arse, before breaking the seal and drinking heavily from the bottle. He winced slightly, arse burning and hoped that Barry would be knocked out flat before the Northern Alpha arrived.
Kai West has been unsatisfied with his life for the longest time. Lost his mate too early, and is yet to experience his first heat. When he's arranged to get mated to one of the Alphas in the Blue Moon Pack in the North, he thought his life couldn't get any worse.
Then the killing began.
Now, his tiny pack is at the mercy of a new, abusive Alpha who's obsessed with him. The merger is the only saving grace.
Ian Brooks is the Blue Moon Pack's second-in-command. Cold on the surface, but nice, he's always tasked with managing the day-to-day runnings of the pack. When he's given the responsibility to bring back an Omega from a tiny pack situated in the woods, he makes it clear that he's not a fan of the terms.
But when he walks in on the wreckage done in the Red Moon Pack, he knows he has to step up and genuinely help. But he has to find Kai first before anything else.
What happens when he's able to locate Kai and they get stuck in a cave?