More than a decade before, when Paul was nothing but a child, fate dealt him a hand he couldn’t win. Silenced him forever for speaking out against the former Alpha, stole his destiny, and robbed him of his place in the pack.
Presley Ginger, a tiny human female, couldn’t have been further from what he expected to walk into the bar and alter his future. But he couldn’t tell her anything about his wolf or his shift. Nothing. Bound by a direct order from the enforcer to keep her in the dark, his need for her would never see the light of day. Then the moon rose above him in the presence of his mate and changed everything.
For years, in the background is where he stayed, unable to find his voice. Until his rainbow-haired mate showed up in the Black Hills—with the answer in her hands.
Sometimes Paul wouldn’t remember they were dead. Sometimes getting stuck in the past was as simple as slipping on an old coat full of holes. The illusion of warmth clung to his foggy brain but he was so cold. His faith in others? Fleeting, so he had a hard time putting his trust in anyone.
He shook his head and ran his fingers over his short blond hair, making sure it was still cropped close to his skull.
Short. He always kept his hair short now.
Short enough no one could grab it.
Never again would it be used against him.
Staring at his hands in front of him, he measured their width. Their size was the same as the other wolves in the pack, but his hands didn’t pull the same weight. He was damaged goods. Unable to speak to anyone, he looked at the nightstand to find his only method of communicating. Two things which hadn’t fallen were his notepad and pen he kept with him all the time. So he could write clipped messages to people when he had to communicate.
It got the job done, but the necessity left him even more disconnected. Relaxing his biceps, he let his hands fall to his lap then closed his eyes, as he tried to focus past the nightmare.
The pack had hope again—stronger than ever thanks to the deaths. They’d found unity and faith in their Alpha. Hell, they even found faith in each other, in their pack, first decimated by a madman then wounded by another.
The members of the Black Hills Wolves were coming home. He was happy to be a part of the growth. Happy to help welcome them back. He’d stayed for so many years with the hope of witnessing the resurrection of their pack.
Never his, because he was separate from them. Lesser. He’d never be Alpha. Sure as hell wasn’t a dominant wolf by any stretch of the word. Barely even a beta with the females of the pack. He was relegated to being an omega. A weakling. Yes they all told him he was needed. Wanted even. They told him omegas made the pack stronger, they helped—but how? No, he didn’t see it.
He shook his head and rubbed it one more time.
The night was so silent all around him.
Where he always stayed. In the silence.
Most days it still felt as if he were free falling toward a black future with nothing to hold onto. Where he’d land, he didn’t know.
All he prayed for each night and every morning? To find when he landed—he wouldn’t be alone.