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 [OS] Walk This Lonely Road
It’s amazing, really, how one can be constantly surrounded by a flood of people and still feel so incredibly alone.

Francis stared at the whiskey bottle in front of him, wishing that he could finish that bottle. Wishing that for once, for one night, he could be free. That he could run in the only way he knew how. But he couldn’t even do that. Not without alienating his friends, or so it seemed. He wasn’t afraid of Laura, but he was afraid of losing her. Of losing Cora. And that was what he was risking by continuing to act like the a fool.

Bash had left. Just up and gone with no explanation, to ‘somewhere’. He wouldn’t even give Francis an idea of where he was, just that he was fine and he had to run away from it all. Of course Francis noticed the timing was perfect to match with Cora’s disappearance, but he tried not to think about that. He had to hope Bash wouldn’t do that to Francis after advising him to give her space, so he tried to convince himself that he was just alone.

But he was alone by choice, if that was the case. Francis wasn’t. Bash left. Cora left. Laura left. Emiliana had her family now and even then, he didn’t know her well enough yet to call to her for company in this state. Francis had no choice in the matter. He never did in anything in his life.

Choice was a funny thing. If most regular people had the choice, they’d take his place any day. They’d love the glamorous life of being royalty, of being an alpha with all the ‘control.’ What they didn’t realize was that in that life, there was no choice for anything else. Want to go somewhere for college? Nope, can’t. Responsibilities will keep you. Want to wear that outfit? Absolutely not, it’s not regal enough. Want to be king? Laughable. As if anyone asked.

Regular people had the choice. They could go out and drink if they wanted to, go out with friends and laugh, date whomever they wanted. They could run if they wanted, not look back. Nothing holding them back. Must be nice.

Francis wasn’t dumb. He knew that he led a better life than most. He had the comforts of a large home with anything he could ask for. He had people who waited on him hand and foot and he didn’t have the bastard title as his brother did. He didn’t have the snide comments from the court as his brother did. And he didn’t have the freedom as his brother did. The freedom from their father’s control.

Neither one of them could win. One had the freedom but all the hate and demeaning remarks from the family and the country. The other had the love and the doting attention from everyone, but no freedom. It was unfair to them both, and it always seemed that no matter how hard they tried to accept their fate, they were constantly battling with each other. Neither wanted their own fate but nor did they wish it on the other, either. They couldn’t win.

He sighed as he shook his head. He wanted answers. Their father could be their any day now, since he didn’t trust his father to wait the month that he had promised. Francis wanted Bash there, not to take his place like he threatened but because his brother was his strength. His best friend. And if his father sent him on a mission? He’d want to say goodbye to him. Just in case. But all Bash would do was try. He’d try to be back by then. As if it didn’t even make a difference to him either way. That he didn’t care. But he knew better. He knew that wasn't why, but he wasn't rational.

He couldn’t help it; he was still intoxicated and he was hurt, angry, and confused. He grabbed the neck of the whiskey bottle and threw it at the wall, glass and brown liquid shattering and drowning the white wall and carpet. Francis wasn’t the type to get angry or to even show it in any way, so this was new to him. He cursed quietly, but turned his back to the mess and walked away. Let it be a reminder to him what alcohol did to him.

It turned him into his father.

At that thought, he tore the front door open and took off, not bothering to lock the door. The crisp air felt good against his sweating face, and he didn’t even realize that there were tears coming from his eyes until he felt the cold against his cheeks. He wouldn’t be like his father, he refused. His father was a dark, mean man with no thought or care for anyone but himself and his own power. That wasn’t him and he wouldn’t let it become him.

Maybe Laura was right. Maybe he just needed to take charge and show how serious he was. Maybe he could change the pack for the better and give them the leader they deserved. He had no idea how, and that frightened him even more but he knew it had to be done. Maybe then he could help Bash, he could help his brother be more than what his father made him out to be. Hell, maybe he could even be the man Cora might someday see in her future. Not because of their alliance but because she wanted it. If. So many maybes, so many ifs, but he couldn’t sit there and sulk any longer. He hated feeling sorry for himself.

So as he returned home, he showered, got dressed, and sobered up, unsure how to even go about showing how serious he was but determined to at least start somehow.

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