I came to a halt immediately, eyes slowly closing and teeth grinding hard together. My hands held the bag of clothes for Alec tightly, and my body shuddered from the cold. I could feel Eric's eyes on me as I, at first, refused to further acknowledge him.
There were several people outside of their homes, and some had begun to watch us. I spotted Helda amongst those outside. Her aunt stood beside her and even from the distance, I could see the stiff, almost accusatory expression on her face as she watched me.
The sound of his approach made me turn immediately, and I adjusted the straps of the blue bag, heaving out a breath nervously before greeting him tersely. "Goodnight Eric."
His eyes narrowed and I licked my lips, moved my gaze beyond him to my house and the soft glow of the lights emitting from it briefly.
"What is in that?" Eric asked, taking several steps closer towards me. His eyes slowly travelled up and down my body, and then rested pointedly on my bag. I could smell the hint of whiskey from his breath, and the way his eyes seemed to glaze over as he held my stare.
"Clothes for a boy." I finally bit out the truth, just as Eric hauled the bag from my hands and began searching through it himself roughly. My fingers slowly curled into fists and I counted the seconds that passed as he did so, urging myself to remain calm. He finally thrusted the bag back into my arms, clothes almost tumbling from it, and I exhaled softly, deciding to keep my eyes casted towards the snow.
"If that is all, I must be on my-"
"The clothes are for Alec, are they not?" The scent of alcohol drifted closer to me again, and I could feel my body stiffening further. I nodded,
"Yes. He was imprisoned and I- we rescued him." My eyes slowly raised towards Eric's when he said nothing else, and I knew then as I met his piercing gaze, that he somehow knew the truth, and I had a strong suspicion that he had been aware that I'd been in the storehouse whilst Bryant and himself had conversed.
My stomach dropped, and it suddenly became difficult to breathe as I felt myself slowly shake my head, dread spreading in me like a poison.
Eric's lips curled downwards and his hand grasped the back of my neck as he pulled me forward, spittle hitting my cheek as he snarled,
"Walk with me, you foolish traitor." I was helpless against his pulls, and the bag which held the clothes intended for Alec dropped to the snow. Struggling did little to help me escape his grip; his strength was superior to my own.
"Where are you leading me?" I finally demanded, hissing in pain when he applied painful pressure on the back of my neck. Wordlessly he directed me towards a black building, and my stomach churned at the smell which came from it. Almost immediately, I knew this place to be a prison, and tears pricked my eyes as I was forced to walk down the steps that would lead me inside.
None of the cells were occupied by living beings. Instead, the skeletons of many remained on the floor, and a decaying body was in the last cell. My fingers raised to my lips in horror as I immediately recognized it to be a teenaged boy who had trained with me.
"The boy spoke out against our ways." Eric's fingers curled tighter around the back of my neck, ensuring that I kept my sight on the body until he finally released me.
His feet swept across the corridor and I watched him warily as he made his way to the end of it. A painting of a lycan with blood spouting from it's chest as it rested on its knees hung high on the dirty wall.
"I knew that boy to be half-lycan moments after seeing him, and I knew that you too eventually realized this. I'd hoped that you would have told me, but it became clear that you had no intentions of doing so. You are not loyal." Eric's arms lifted to clasp behind his back as he faced the guresome painting.
He rocked back and forth on his heels as I absorbed his words and then his head turned to look over his shoulder. "The people of the Council were going to kill you this morning, Olivia. You and that half-breed. But then broadcastings were heard and calls were made. Hannes knows that you took the boy, as does the boy's sister. They know you are here in Corozal with the boy, but we don't know how they know these things."
Eric faced me fully, and the weak flames of the torches hanging on the walls in the prison made his face appear horrific as he stalked towards me. I began stumbling backwards, heart pounding rapidly in my chest as he towered over me, a large hand coming to rest on my shoulder, fingers sweeping across it until his thumb rested on the middle of my throat.
"Your life has been spared. Temporarily. But you will be staying here until morning comes."
A harrowing scream filled the air before I could react to his words, and almost immediately I realized it was Alec's scream. I made to move backwards, but Eric refused to release his hold on me. I could feel his nails digging into my skin, until I finally managed to wrangle myself away from him.
But before I could attempt to go to Alec, I saw him being pulled towards the entrance of the prison. His face was flushed red, pain written across his expression as Bryant dangled him above the ground momentarily before allowing him to collapse to the floor.
Alec's hand went to his left shoulder as he stared towards me with teary eyes, before being hauled upwards by the back of his shirt, and carried into a cell.
"Join him, Olivia." Bryant's voice was void of any emotion, and I swayed on my feet, suddenly feeling faint. A rush of emotions were pounding up to my head, and my mind was racing as I tried to formulate a way that could allow Alec and I to leave safely.
But unfortunately, I had no weapon, and the likelihood of me being able to outrun or tackle Eric and Bryant was low. So I slowly entered the cell which Alec was in as well, only pausing once to look up at Eric. I couldn't help but somehow feel betrayed by him, for I had thought that we'd been friends, but my feelings evidently did not matter.
My upper lip curled as Eric watched me blankly and I took several steps backwards when the cell's doors banged closed.
Bryant got a good look at Alec and I before swiftly leaving, as did Eric. My attention switched to Alec, who still clutched his shoulder and a quick assessment revealed that it had been dislocated.
Sighing through my teeth, I crouched to the floor, catching sight of a bone, but quickly refocused on Alec; I did not want to draw too much attention to it. Alec was already terrified as it is.
My eyes closed momentarily as I tried to remember the ways in which Clyde had once popped back in my shoulder when I was a child. This had happened during one of the rare occasions in which both of us had been out of our cells at the same time, and I had been injured by one of the guards.
"This may hurt," I mumbled, after making Alec lay on his back. Cursing softly under my breath, I briefly worried about the possibility of me hurting him further instead of fixing it. But Alec's sobs prompted me to at least try to help him.
Carefully, I managed to pop back in his shoulder, and his yelp echoed in the cell. Tears trickled down his face, but slowed when the pain began to ease. He released a loud breath, carefully rotating the shoulder until he was satisfied.
"I didn't do anything wrong." Alec muttered, wiping his face and eyes. He maneuvered his body so that he sat by my side, and his head rested on my shoulder. His body shivered and I took off my coat, draping it over his body.
"Lilith is gonna kick that guy's butt." Alec said after a couple seconds of silence. I tilted my head, recalling Bryant's words, specifically the ones about how Hannes was aware of my actions and that we were in Corozal. My eyes found Alec's grey-blu ones, and he blinked up at me innocently.
"Alec...you didn't somehow manage to contact Lilith or Hannes, did you?"
Alec blinked up at me again, visibly thinking about his response. But then, begrudgingly, he nodded, chin dipping low and then up, eyes wide. I could feel myself frowning at his action. There were no phones in the house which I lived in, and Alec had not left the house since he came here.
"How?" I sputtered.
Alec's response was to tap the side of his head, and he gave a strange, small smirk as he simply responded, "Mind-linking, Olivia."
Hope you all enjoyed the chapter. The next one is coming tomorrow. (: