Chapter 2

His words stung like a million bee stings and hurt more than the blade he pushed into my back. It cut so deeply within my soul that it left me questioning my very being.

I know too much to be in the human world, yet have no real place in the world of wolves. I'm the daughter of a fierce fighter, the niece of an alpha, and the only wolf in history to be born with a dormant gene. In love songs, the word only has special meaning. In this life… my life, that word makes me an outcast. The black sheep. The joke that keeps fingers pointed and laughter directed at my parents.

Standing motionless on the edge of the shoreline, ignoring the frigid temperature of the waves rushing over my feet and soaking the bottom of my jeans, I gaze at the moon intently with hatred.

I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs, loud enough for the Moon Goddess to hear, to make her look at me and see the pain that her failed design caused, but it's pointless. I prayed to her every night since I was thirteen that I would awaken one morning and be a normal wolf-like my twin brother and have a loving mate like my best friend, but till this very day, I'm still basically human and still carry the pieces of my broken heart in my empty rib cage. I realize now that moon wasn't listening then and all probably never gave a damn.

The wind picked up, fanning the thick leaves of the trees behind me, causing my hair to whip around harshly. Still, my gaze is unrelenting. The Moon Goddess could ignore my tears and tune out my screams, but my death won't go unnoticed. Wolf or not, I was born a part of her, a child of the moon like all the others. She'd feel it just like my so-called mate would and it will hurt like hell to take away a piece of them both, that neither cherished. A piece they could never get back.

My knees shake violently from the cold as I stepped further and further into the night. What felt like needles rushed through my veins as my hips became submerged, then my stomach, and then my breasts. I'm up to my neck with the big waves washing over me, but no matter how much the water blurs my vision and the salt stings my eyes, I refuse to look away from the moon. The Goddess cursed me, watched me live through being taunted and teased all because of this dormant gene and now… now she was going to watch me die.

I didn't move my arms or do anything to defend myself from the harsh waves. Just let the burn of icy water consume me. It wouldn't take long to lose my ability to feel, and that's all I want. To be free of the torment, free of the pain. My body involuntarily thrashed from my desperate need to expand my lungs, and I couldn't hold it any longer. The automatic reflex to inhale followed. That was it. In seconds I would no longer be Jade, no longer the disappointment, but a body floating aimlessly in the sea.

As I went to take the breath that I needed, expecting to be filled with salt and stray grains of sand, I was held above the surface, whipped by the wind, watched by the moon. I gasped and choked on the oxygen rushing into me as I was pulled away from the waves by a firm grip wrapped around my ribs.

Without bothering to see who or what had me, I looked up at the moon, allowing a single tear to ride down my cheek.

Why was she doing this to me? Why couldn't the world just let me go?