Branded

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(Alana)

I didn't expect this to happen. I mean, yeah, I've been called mean names and shoved against lockers in the halls, but this? This was going too far. The older girl, a Mexican built sturdy like a man, pulled the knife from her leather jacket as the other girls surrounded me and held me against the wall. I kicked out and fought with all my strength, but then Mika, the Mexican, pulled out a lighter and started heating the knife up. That's when I knew I had to get free.

"Stop!" I called out, struggling against them. What the hell do these girls eat?! "Help! Help!" I yelled out as loud as possible.

"We're going to brand you." Mika said, jerking her head in the direction of one of the girls. The girl stepped forward and promptly shoved panties in my mouth. At least they were clean, but they stopped me from making noise and getting help.

I suddenly felt the walls closing in and my eyes started to tear up. "Please." I whimpered through the clothing. Mika acted like she didn't hear and moved toward me, that blade shining an orange hue. I thrashed again and looked around. The locker room was empty besides us and I regretted waiting for everyone else to leave before changing. I was now standing in front of Mika, surrounded by her bitch pack, that knife coming closer and closer to my bare hips. I had been in the process of getting dressed, only in my black leggings, black pencil skirt, and a lacy black bra. "Please!" I cried again, struggling as I felt the heat against my hip.

The knife went in.

My screams echoed around my head and the girls around me laughed as the heat consumed me. Mika pulled back a moment later, a smug smile on her face. "Perfect, don't you think, girls?" She asked, admiring her work.

Miss Diamond, the gym teacher, stepped in at that moment and I heard her voice, angry. Other adult voices joined hers but the world went dark and I passed out from the pain. The last thing I remember is glimpsing my crush, Krissa, giggling uncontrollably with her friends, pointing at me. Could this get any worse?

•••

I woke up to a steady beeping sound and panicked for a moment before the memories came back. I sat up and winced as I felt that ache in my hip. I pulled the blanket up but saw nothing but a white bandage against my tanned skin. I glanced up as the door opened and my mother stepped through. "Mom," I sighed in relief and felt the desperation inside me fill my voice as I fought back tears. "Oh, Mom, I---"

SMACK!

"Do you have any idea what an embarrassment you are?!" She snapped, pointing at me. "You being a stupid slut in the locker room and nearly getting yourself gang raped is your own fault. People laugh at me!!! You've embarrassed me yet again. Goddamn you, Alana!"

I whimpered and looked over at my dad, standing in the doorway with sympathy written all over his face. "I'm sorry, mom." I whispered, looking down at my lap. My hip stung but I ignored it as my mother left the room angrily, followed by my father. So much for family love.

My clothes were sitting on the chair by my bed and I slid out of the covers to pull them on as fast as possible. I ignored my hip crying out in agony and walked over to the window. It opened easily and I breathed a sigh of relief that I was on the first floor. I slipped out and closed it behind me. I turned and was faced with forest. I started walking. I need to get away for awhile. Just a little while.

I kept walking until the light in the sky faded into darkness and the sound of howls echoed around me. I shivered, eyeing the trees around me. Nothing will happen to me. This is Montana. Nothing bad happens here. Right?

A shadow moved on my right and I stumbled. I tripped over a tree root and cried out as I landed on my hip. Move movement and then a shadow came over me. I looked up and screamed as the brownish wolf snarled. "Help!" I yelled. "Help!"

Help didn't come for you earlier, why would it now? A voice that sounded suspiciously like Mika's said in my head. I curled in on myself and waited for death to come, but it didn't. Instead there was the sound of fighting and I opened my eyes in time to see a grayish wolf step forward and become a human man. The other blondish wolf with him kept fighting the brown haired one until the wolf backed off and then stood up as a blonde woman. I was ready to faint as the man scooped me into his arms.

I stiffened and let out a whimper as my hip came into contact with his body. The woman eyed me carefully and walked ahead of us. "C'mon, Jared. We can't just leave her here for other wolves to come and most likely kill her. We'll being her back to town in the morning." The woman said.

The man who carried me, Jared, seemed doubtful of this. "Silver will kill us." He said, shaking his head. "We'll need to tell her about this and ask what she wants us to do."

The woman sighed. "Silver doesn't need to know. And if she'd come hunting with us, we wouldn't be in this dilemma."

"Calm yourself, Maya. That's our Alpha you're speaking of." Another voice joined the conversation. "Who is the human?"

"Mark, this is..." The woman, Maya, fell silent. "I don't have a clue actually. What is your name, girl?"

I realized they were talking to me. "L-Lana." I stuttered, curling closer to Jared. I felt safer near him for some reason. He seemed to understand as he walked at a faster pace.

"Don't touch her, Mark." Jared snarled, making me flinch.

"Sliver isn't going to like this." Mark remarked, seeming all too pleased about that.

Who is this Silver woman? The Alpha. But then, who are these people and where are they taking me?

"Im so sorry about this." Maya muttered. I felt a sharp pain and then I went limp in Jared's arms, the world fading to black. The last thing I saw was a gray wolf with black eyes leaping forward.

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