Roman Alpha Nox chapitre Chapitre 4

The Mess Hall had just a tad bit more personality than the barracks, but not much. If I wasn’t constantly on alert, I might’ve even liked sitting in there, surrounded by the floor-to-ceiling windows and cushy booths that gave the same relaxing feel as a restaurant.

As soon as I’m within sniffing distance, I notice something’s off.

Trainee’s and the occasional Trainer are all showing up for lunch, but there’s a pulse of electrifying excitement in the air that ripples along my skin and fills my mouth with the tang of metal. Outside of the Mess Hall, lingering around the bulletin board where all of the camp’s announcements are posted, were groups of trainees in private conversations. Heads were hunched and whispers were exchanged, but no eyes trailed my way.

“I’ll take some of the lasagna.” I said as sweetly as I could manage, even more starving after waiting fifteen minutes in line.

The lunch lady peeled her mustached lip back in a sneer. I let my bullshit sweet act drop, giving her a flat stare that was very much a threat, though I doubt she’d pick up on it.

Darlene wasn’t known for being smart.

“Can’t have that.”

I exhaled sharply through my nose. “A burger then.”

“Nope, try again.”

“Sweet and sour chicken.”

“Nuh uh.” She shook her head.

“Then what can I have, Darlene?” I asked, grinding my molars together.

Darlene, being the sweetheart she was, let out a wet cough inches from my face and spun around. She waddled somewhere across the kitchens, then waddled back with a saran wrapped tray in her hands.

“Here you go.” She smirked, the wrinkles on the left side of her face becoming more prominent. “Sandwich is past its date, not that it matters. Eat up.”

Staring down at the pathetic sandwich with it’s two slices of lunch meat, the bruised apple, and milk carton, an explosion of frustration began to boil my blood. I clenched my fists, snatching the tray off the metal track. If looks could kill, the glare I was giving Darlene would stop her damn heart.

I couldn’t help myself. Really, I couldn’t.

I leaned in and bared my teeth in a smile that made my face ache.

“You’ve got a lot of lip for a fucking lunch lady. Wait until I find out where you sleep at night, Darlene. Just wait.”

Darlene wasn’t as dimwitted as the other servants insisted she was because she had the common sense to be afraid. It was hidden well behind her wall of wrinkled skin, but I caught it in her dull as dishwater eyes anyway.

“Next!” She rasped, her voice cracking as she ushered the next person in line forward.

“Bitch.” I hissed under my breath and scurried off to find somewhere private to inhale my food.

The furthest corner of the Mess Hall is where I chose to eat my lunch. It was far enough away from the crowd, and I’d be able to see anyone that dared approach. Even better, there was an exit just a couple of feet away, which meant I could haul ass if needed.

The bread on the sandwich was definitely stale, but I didn’t see any mold, which meant it was good enough. Eating around the browned parts of the apple, I lifted the carton of milk to my mouth and recoiled the second the chunky liquid hit my lips.

It wasn’t just expired; it was cottage cheese level expired.

I got the hell out of there fast after that, washing my mouth out using the water fountain just outside the doors. While I was bent over, straining my ears for anyone that dared to approach, I heard a group of female trainer’s giggling.

“It’s a grand celebration, Cindy.” One tittered.

Another chimed in, sighing dramatically. “One where there’s a chance to become a Luna—an actual Luna. Ugh, I just can’t believe it.”

“Neither can I. Between us three, I’d pick being a Luna over this shit any day of the week.” A third groaned, lowering her voice. “Apparently, the Head Trainer’s are talking about moving the Circuit to the Midnight Falls pack so we can make the ball in time.”

Every other sound, from the birds cawing in the treetops, to the chattering of the trainee’s, evaporated into thin air. The only sound that was left, whispering in my ears like the heavy swipe of a razor blade, was those two words.

I never thought I’d hear them again.

Midnight Falls.

Home.

It took a few minutes, but the second there was an opening in the crowd, I crept over to the bulletin board. My heart hammered with each step I took, and for the first time in four years, staying hypervigilant became difficult. The only thing I seemed able to focus on was the blue pastel paper nailed to the bulletin board, swaying in the chilly breeze.

Digging my toes into the dirt, I scoured the page from top-to-bottom.

Dead center, in bold font, were the words, “Mate Ball.”

As interesting as they were, they paled in comparison to what came next, to the name that stuck out the same way the stars lit up the sky. My mouth moved with every syllable, stopping at that name—the name I refused to utter aloud, even after four long years.

“Newly appointed Alpha Nox Griffin is in search of his mate and requires all unmated she-wolves to attend this grand celebration. Upon identifying his mate, the she-wolf will be excused from all duties, responsibilities, and legally binding contracts, to take her place at Alpha Nox Griffin’s side as Luna of the Midnight Falls Pack.”

An idea, a beautifully twisted idea, came to life inside my brain. With it came a thin, rubbery smile that slashed itself across my face, weeping blood the way everyone who wronged me would soon be.

Finally, after all this time, I had found my one-way ticket out of here.

Watch out, Nox.

I’m coming for you.

All week I waited for Harriet’s call, for her deep voice to echo across the entire camp like a banshee’s shrill scream. The ground would quake, buildings would fall and crumble. Trainees would scatter, running for their lives as—

Alright, I was being a bit dramatic, but I’d definitely earned it. This was the first and only opportunity to present itself in four years and with each day that passed I became increasingly paranoid that the chance would slip through my fingers.

“You want me to put the snakes back into the barrels?” I deadpanned.

One small slip up, one twitch of a single facial muscle and Harriet wouldn’t hesitate to lay into my ass. Any other time I wouldn’t give two shits about pissing her off, but I needed to be on whatever smidgen of a good side Harriet had.

She whipped around, her greasy ponytail stiff as she did so. “Did I stutter, worm? You having a hard time understanding English now?”

Grinding my teeth, but not hard enough for my jaw to clench, I shook my head. “No, ma’am. I just wanted to make sure I heard you correctly.”

Chapter 0004 1

Chapter 0004 2

Chapter 0004 3

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