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Chapter One

All I remembered was the smell of chlorophyll and the feeling of my body falling into rough hands. Then the blinding light, shouting voices and numbers going higher and higher until I was carted out, hands around the cold bars of my cage. My eyes burned with tears, my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth and no feeling in my extremities. Those were the only things stamped into my memory of the day I was sold. That and the desire for bubble-gum ice cream.

Other than that, I knew nothing about where I was caught or why I was running away from the people that tried to protect me. That was all a blur riding under the block that was placed over my mind, my powers... And it all linked back to the man holding me captive, the bastard who bought me. Damian Skalk, the asshole telepath.

Six months later, I was slowly getting accustomed to living in a mansion. It had its own library accompanied by a grand piano where Damian would play and I would be forced to sit and watch. After my second week under his eye, the sad songs he enjoyed playing began sending me into a trance of lulled sleep and slowly, I came of my own free will to listen to him.

Outside was a large pool surrounded by neatly trimmed grass and tall green trees. I rarely went outside, was not really allowed to most of the time. The collar around my neck would send painful jolts of electricity through my body until I re-entered the house on the days Damian was gone. So, the pool naturally became less appealing.

The rest of the mansion was as luxurious as a billionaire would have it. Large marble pillars, counters made out of precious stone and gold ringed bathtubs with matching taps. The most recent gadgets and electronics? He already had them and the unreleased prototype of the next big thing. The only problem? I was only allowed to see not touch just like the locked rooms on the second floor. Sure, I had the privilege to go in some, like the fucker’s study, but anything to do with his work? Shut tight. I only had access to his bedroom, the bathrooms obviously and the kitchen. The lounge was a place I could only really use when Damian was home.

Thinking about it, everything else required his stupid presence. I had to have him for this or that and to do this or that. It drove me up the walls with the number of times I had to ask permission, had to do what he said or risk getting punished. Then there were the times he would take control of my body, my emotions and cancel any presence of my abilities showing.

Shaking my head, I tried to focus on anything else besides my dismal life and the title I had been handed. Sipping at my strawberry tea, I blankly gazed out the window. The weather outside was perfect. Black rain clouds swallowed the blue sky as they released their heavy load on the creatures below them, droplets hammering against the window’s surface. It was the only memory I was allowed to have from my original life, the rest hidden with my gifts.

Time lagged by as I sat on the window seat, waiting for Damian to come home. When I grew tired of waiting, I stood up and headed for his bathroom. Soaking in the hot waters would do my screaming muscles a favour, hopefully helping them unwind from their taut state.

I could feel his eyes on my back as I dried my hair. Could feel the numb tingle his presence made in my head. Instinctively, my eyes flicked to the mirror hanging off the wall, my toes gripping the beige carpet.

He stood in the doorway; his silver eyes trained on me. His work shirt was already unbuttoned, gaze making my skin crawl. In the mirror’s reflection, I watched as he slyly sauntered behind me. My once relaxed muscles now tensed as he wrapped his arms around my waist, his lips kissing the side of my neck, just above the leather collar.

“You look beautiful tonight, just wish those pants of yours would disappear.” His voice was husky with desire, crotch hard against my inner thigh. I could feel him trying to get me to feel the same need, the hunger to have him to myself.

“I’m still sore from last night. Can’t we do it in the morning...?” His arms tightened around me with his displeasure, his finger hooking under my collar and pulling back, exposing my throat for him to attack. Shivering, I bit back a moan, managing to jab him in the stomach with my elbow. Damian gasped, shoving me away. I fell to the floor roughly, landing on my hands and knees before attempting to crawl away from him.

“Now you’ve done it, Hunter,” Damian growled, grabbing my ankle and dragging me under him. Glaring up, I could feel the anger in me growing, overpowering the lust he was making me feel. Struggling against his strength, I felt his mind flooding into my own, making my body still abruptly as he began to unbutton my sleep shirt.

“You know I don’t like hurting you, but here you are making something so simple, hard.” Damian narrowed his eyes, leaning down to my ear. Before another word was uttered from his lips, the house shook on its foundations, the ceiling lights shaking on their golden chains. A window in the hallway shattered, a hissing cylinder rolling through the bedroom door. We both were frozen as we watched it, given the chance to glance at each other for a split second before chaos reigned.

Windows broke all around us, shouting soldiers pouring in as more smoke canisters were thrown into our bedroom. I was scrambling away, finding a small refuge in the corner of the room. The feeling of Damian in my skull left as soon as I heard a screeching siren. My hands were over my ears just as arms came around me and I felt the air under me gone.

Somehow one of the soldiers had taken me, the collar sending electricity through my system as he lifted out of the window. I was screaming, clawing at my neck until gloved hands grabbed mine and the jolts were gone. The pain was still enough to send me into unconsciousness. The last words I heard before everything went black were, “We got him, Tango.”

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