Just when I finally reached the last step of the wooden stairs, I saw the door to our house opening, revealing my father and aunt.
I frowned at their arrival, wondering what kind of ill will suddenly brought my aunt here. She never really visited this place. She disdained the thought of meeting my father and stepping a foot on our small house. The only time she came here was that time after my mother died.
"Lizzie!" She called my name out as she spread her arms for a hug.
"Aunt." I greeted her and evaded the incoming bear hug. But she was faster.
Before I could completely evade her hug, she already grabbed me by the shoulder and pulled me in for a tight hug. I felt uneasy and uncomfortable being hugged by my own aunt who would look at me with a disgusted look. After all, they never wanted to have a latent wolf born to the family.
"My dear… How could they do this to you?" She patted my back gently and I felt the warmth from her body. I wondered if my mom was here, would she also hug me like this and get angry on my behalf.
But before I could completely bathe myself in the presence of my aunt and the pleasure of having someone on my side, my aunt's next words jolted me awake.
"Don't worry, my dear. Even if your mate rejected you. You can still be useful to us all." she continued to say.
I pulled back from her embrace and stared at her blue eyes, "Wha… what do you mean by that?"
She laughed at my stunned face and finally said, "Don't look at me like that, silly girl. You should be asking your father why I have come here to take you with me."
For a moment, I didn't breathe.
I saw my father closing the door. He walked over to us and stopped behind Aunt Sally.
My father turned around, his face devoid of any emotion that could give away what he was thinking. But the way it hardened and his eyes looked ambitious, I knew it was nothing good.
I started to back away from all of them. Aunt Sally, however, reached out for my hand and took hold of it.
"Let go." Breathless, I snapped my eyes to her. I couldn't even tell whether I was speaking loudly or if I was whispering these two words.
"Lizzie. Listen to us."
Aunt Sally continued to persuade me to listen to them. But all I could hear was my heart beating against my chest like a drum.
I turned to my dad and opened my mouth.
But knockings could be heard from the door. Someone's here. I wasn't informed that someone was going to visit our home after everything that happened in the pack's hall.
I didn't even get to tell my dad what I wanted to say when he turned towards the door and slowly opened it, revealing two men in black cloaks that covered their huge figures and a hat on top of their heads. I hadn't even realized that a drizzle had started.
"I… it has been awhile. I didn't know you would come here so soon." My father said to the two men who entered the door as if they didn't need my father's invitation to enter.
The floorboards shook beneath their leathered pointy shoes and stopped walking after taking three steps forward. I glanced at them and wondered who they were. They certainly weren't part of our park. I know everybody's faces in the Crimson Pack and I would recognize their faces as soon as I saw them.
However, these two men were strangers. Or more specifically – Outsiders.
Why were they here? I wanted to ask my father but as soon as I turned my head to look at my father, my heart sank as I heard him speak.
"I was just about to bring my daughter." My father said, looking pale as if he was being choked by the neck by one of these men.
"My master doesn't like waiting. Pay up or we will take what we can from you." The man spoke in promise of threats that he could easily turn to reality.
My father flinched at his words
"Of course, of course." My father meekly said to them. Aunt Sally patted his shoulders as if to comfort him and turned her head to look at the men.
She flashed them a smile that would certainly make a few men from our pack turn to glance at her for a few seconds.
Unfortunately, these men didn't even blink at her obvious attempt to ensnare them.
"Forgive my brother. We were held up by something and wasn't able to come to you as soon as we got your notice." Aunt Sally said while her lips twitched.
"Is she the one?" One of the men, the taller one among the two suddenly jerked his chin towards Isabelle who I just noticed to be standing behind me.
My father was quick to shake his head. "No… No, not her."
What is going on? I thought as I watched them. Why were they acting as if they were choosing fish from the market?
Then, suddenly, as if a curtain of ice fell on my body, I stood rooted on the ground as everything dawned on me.
I realized too late what my father was talking about. Aunt Sally mentioned something about paying something up and these man pointing at Isabelle.
There was only thing I could think of.
My father had decided to sell us to pay his debts.
And there was no need for me to guess who was being sold.
The tall man in black cloak frowned when he heard my father. His amber eyes landing on my figure as he appraised me.
Then, he frowned.
Before my father could answer his question, my mouth opened and replied to the man. My father glared at me and ignored me as he turned back to them.
The tall man was silent for a few seconds. He was contemplating something and gave me a look as if he couldn't find anything worthy of the price my father owed them.
But just as I thought that he would speak to my father and tell him that I was not good enough, that he would get angry at him, he calmly turned his back on us and walked out of the house.
The smaller man, however, waited and tipped his head at me. "Follow us." He said.
I looked at my father pleadingly. I didn't want to go. No, I don't deserve to be treated like a cattle about to be sold to a stranger I didn't even know.
"Father... Don't do this." My voice squeaked as tears gathered my eyes. "Mother won't forgive you if you do this. I can help and pay your debt, just don't let them take me."
My father stared at me stoically and I could hear a piece of my heart that I desperately held onto, thinking that he would still be a father to me to this moment, shatter into dust.
I turned to Aunt Sally, but I could see the smile on her lips, like she was riding on her cloud nine after knowing she was now free from her debt.
Then, I glanced at Isabelle.
Her green-blue eyes that resembled the ocean in the morning was wide open. Shock and fear was in it. However, her body didn't move to help me, just like how she just watched my mate be taken away from me.
Blinking my eyes, I forced the tears that threatened to drip down my face to dry. No matter how much I treated them like a family, I was no more than a burden and dirt to them.
Now, they're ridding of that dirt today.
I didn't look back when I started to follow the men who came to collect me. I refused to give the people inside that house the pleasure to see me despair and cry.
Author has something to say: Fret not, the Male lead will be introduced next chapter.