In the Dark
***Warning - there are some situations upcoming that deal with both kidnapping and blatant and illegal disregard for bodily autonomy and reproductive rights***
This is an excerpt only. The entire 5-book series is available at either MyrandaRae.com, my Patreon or on Galatea. Thank you so much to all the readers who gave their feedback, making the series so much more enjoyable.
Puffs of my breath float through the freezing cold air. Pulling my collar around my neck tighter, I try to both keep warm and hide myself.
I should not be out this late.
I know that staying behind to finish my work was dangerous but I can’t afford to be docked any of my wages. Working as a baker’s apprentice seemed like a dream job until the low wages and heavy workload became almost unbearable. Staying after dark to finish decorating a cake seems ridiculous but it had to be completed before tomorrow.
A chill runs through my spine as I start to jog. Every sound is more frightening in the dark. I’m more than halfway home, I just need to keep my head down. It’s not illegal to be out after dark but it is strongly warned against. Cities on the outskirts of the Kingdom don’t have the same kind of policing, we’re more susceptible to crimes.
Eerie sounds echo through the chilly, deserted streets. Every time I check behind me, there is no one there.
It’s just my imagination.
It’s just my imagination.
It’s not just my imagination.
The lanky silhouette of a tall, thin man steps out from the side of a building just up ahead. He’s much too thin to be a wolf. Maybe he’s an abnormally tall human.
A sound from behind me confirms my suspension that he’s not alone. I roll my shoulders back, walking quickly down the street, crossing before I reach his position. If there are only two of them, maybe I can fight them off.
Against my better judgment, I peek my head over my shoulder. I’m in trouble. There are now two shadowy figures, crossing the street to walk behind me.
I consider my options. I could shift and try to run away. If they are vampires I can’t outrun them, I can put up a fight, get a few good licks in, but I definitely won’t win in a fight against three of them. I could try just ignoring them and walking home, I’m nearly there, maybe I’m being overly panicky and they want nothing to do with me. Or, I could ask them what they want, confront this head-on.
I take a deep breath and turn around.
“Can I help you, gentlemen?”
A deep chuckle sounds from the lone stranger that is now behind me. He walks around, joining the others. When he steps under the streetlamp I’m able to get a good view of his face.
Definitely not a wolf or vampire.
His eyes are unusually deep-set, beady and so pale they are frightening.
“We’ve been searching for a pretty little she-wolf just like you for weeks!” One of them says as he steps forward.
Maybe running would have been the better option to go with.
“Don’t even think about running, you’re coming with us.”
Sudden exhaustion hits me like a brick. I teeter on my feet, swaying before everything around me is swallowed up by darkness.
A bone-chilling cold that seems to have settled into my soul rouses me from sleep. I blink in the dark, wolves have exceptional vision. Why can’t I see?
Restraints jerk against my arms as I try to pull myself up to sit. Metal clanking loudly against metal. I’m strapped down to what feels like a lumpy bed. I listen for any sounds in the unnatural quiet darkness. I should be able to detect even minor noises but I hear nothing. There are no sounds, utter silence, it’s unnerving.
More concerning than the situation I find myself in is the apparent disappearance of my wolf. I focus, trying to shift but nothing happens. Panic and fear grip my chest.
I rub my legs together trying to generate a little bit of warmth. Where are my clothes and shoes? I’m wearing a nightgown but it feels thin and scratchy like it’s made of paper. I consider yelling out into the darkness but decide against it. Whoever grabbed me might not know I’m conscious, I should keep it that way.
I press my fingers together, trying to make my hands as small as possible. After pulling until my wrists are bloody and raw I stop fighting. The silence is terrifying. Wherever I am must be desolate because there aren’t even the normal nighttime sounds, not even the chirp of an insect.
I pull against the restraints again as I lay back in the bed. I refuse to sit still and wait, as long as I’m conscious there is a chance that the restraints could break.
I feel my sanity starting to slip. How long have I been here? My stomach aches from hunger and my wrists are ripped open to the bone. It feels like years have passed, though I know that can’t be.
The thump of footsteps catches my attention. It’s the first sound I’ve heard since I’ve been here. A door creaks open, light spilling into the room enough to illuminate the silhouette of a woman.
I bite back a growl.
“I’m here to give you your supplements, vitamins, and hormones to aid in quality egg production,” she says casually.
“Umm.. I’m sorry… egg production?” I sputter. I had a speech planned, a scathing mouthful for the people that are holding me, a rage-filled rant, but now, my mind is blank.
When she steps closer, she grabs my arm in her icy hand, shoving a syringe into my skin.
“Yes, egg production.”
She quickly finished injecting me with who-knows-what and leaves the room.
I’m left baffled, alone in the dark.
My arm aches where she injected me. I lay in complete silence and darkness again with my mind reeling. Where am I? This feeling is actually worse than before. Now my fear and dread are coupled with a piece of very unsettling information that only produces more questions. I shudder at the thought of what they could want with me. Every scenario I play in my head is terrifying.
I can’t believe I put myself in this situation so that I could decorate a cake.