Chapter Ten: Boy

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P E R C Y U S

     "Dad I want to be like you when I'm older!" My six year old self chanted into his ear while trying to climb on his back for a ride.

     He shoved me away roughly, "Get away from me, Boy, I got work to do."

     I stumbled and landed on my butt, tears welling up in my eyes at the rejection. He always did that, and I felt stupid for always getting hurt. Mom told me that he was just stressed, but I think that was her excuse because he just hates me.

     I got up and bowed my head, "I'm sorry, Alpha." I mumbled, using his proper name since he didn't really like it when I called him dad.

     I ran out of the room, tears finally running down my small face. I ran straight into my mother's arms, sobbing like a baby. Alpha told me that boys don't cry, I was just weak for not being able to hold myself together.  I hiccuped and tried to bring my tears to a stop and act like a real boy like Alpha told me.

     She hugged me tightly, her thin arms squeezing me as tight as she could manage, "What's wrong, baby? Why are you crying?"

     "Momma, he did it again!" I burst into another round of sobs, my small hands covering my face to mask the disgrace of tears.

     She sighed and rested her cheek against my head, her hands rubbing my back soothingly. "He's just stressed, baby. One day he won't be stressed, one day he'll treat us better."

     I looked up, seeing her bruised face holding a sense in hope that even my young self could tell was fake. She swallowed hard, keeping her tears in the harbor of her eyes without letting a drop fall. I wiped at my eyes, stupid stupid boy, I told myself. Real boys don't cry.

     Years passed as Alpha had gotten more violent. Every slip up was another smack to my cheek and another scolding on how I was never going to become a real man if I kept crying every time he hurt me. I didn't cry because his smacks and punches hurt, although they did, I cried because I felt all the hope I had built up of him changing his ways crushed by his iron fist, day after day.

     It was stupid of me to think that he would change after being this way for so long. My mother and I both knew that he would never change his ways, he would never be the father we expected him to be, the Alpha his pack wished he was, or the king the world hoped he could be.

     He ruled the kingdom with a hand around its neck, squeezing all hope out of the packs, scaring them to silence about any problems. Famine and rogue attacks had erupted, but no one had the guts to ask the King for any help in fear of being beheaded.

     By the time I had started Alpha training, I could hardly make it through the practices without collapsing from all of my 'lessons' Alpha had so graciously taught me. It was normal to see me black and blue from being smacked for having the audacity to swat a fly without permission.

     "You'll never be an Alpha." He spat, shoving me roughly to the ground. "How are you supposed to rule the kingdom if you can't even hold your own in a fight?? Huh?"

     He took my moment of recovery from the impact to kick me in the side, hard. "Go ahead, boy, cry. Cry like the little bitch you've always been." 

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