My body became limp, arms heavy as I allowed myself to sink further into the large tank, the water rippling above me, small bubbles rising from my ajared mouth.
I could see the guards of the Klawmoon prison watching beyond the fifteen feet glass tank I was in, observed the way they conversed amongst themselves, seated on splendid chairs, glasses filled with alcohol in hands.
Eyes would stray to my body every now and then, and muffled laughter would be heard when I received a short burst of energy or desperation to survive. I would claw pathetically at the water, pound against the glass with fists, but I knew, at the back of my mind, that Kanes would not allow me to leave until he deemed it appropriate.
A chained Clyde stood by the wall in the room, clothes drenched and hair dripping with water, deep concern and worry etched upon his aging features. I could feel my eyes sting whenever I looked to him and saw the helplessness reflected in his gaze.
I briefly clenched my eyes shut, grasping onto what little hope and strength I had left before attempting once more to somehow escape the tank. My small legs kicked at the water, which haphazardly brought me up until my fingers skimmed the handle of the closed door above. I twisted it, hoping that the click of it would sound, so I'd know I could possibly leave.
Nothing happened, and I opened my mouth to scream as pure frustration arose. Immediately I regretted my attempts to scream, as water poured into my mouth rapidly. My fingers continued to tug against the handle, narrowed eyes fixated on it, until it eventually turned.
But not by my doing.
Kanes thrusted open the door, and with a swift act, grasped my upper neck, swooping me completely out of the glass tank. I sputtered out the water immediately, coughing whilst desperately attempting to suck in air. My coughs became wheezing, and my world blurred as Kanes tightened his hold against the back of my neck, the tips of his claws piercing my skin.
Kanes watched as I struggled to compose myself, all the while a sly smile lifting his lips as he roughly set me down on top of the tank. My lungs, chest and stomach burned agonizingly, and I could feel bile rising in my throat as I struggled to stay upright.
The sleeves of Kanes' shirt were wet from repeatedly dragging others out of the large tank after watching their panic and horror as they neared drowning, and Kanes' eyes which had glistened with excitement when he'd pulled the first prisoner out still remained.
Kanes pinched my chin, watching the way my eyes rolled as extreme exhaustion began to pull me under.
However, I immediately stumbled backwards at his abrupt push, my bare feet slapping against metal until my world tilted as I eventually fell.
Momentarily, I was airborne, but spasming pain erupted throughout my body once I dropped to the cold, tiled floor. Ringing noises sang in my ears, and I heaved a hard breath as I found myself unable to move from where I laid on my side.
Applause sounded in the room, the sounds of palms meeting palms repeatedly making my ears burn and my eyes flitted lazily at each face of the lycans, happiness and glee heavy in the air.
Panic, pain and shock had completely enveloped my body, and it barely trembled as sobs finally tore from my throat, hot tears trickling down my cheeks and dripping on to the floor. Vomit soon emerged from my mouth, drenching the floor further.
I could hear Kanes behind me as he climbed down the ladder of his tank, the applause seemingly becoming louder until I saw him standing above me. My eyes drifted shut briefly as he was praised by many for providing the best entertainment, and his gruff, prideful responses made my body tremble further.
"Did I not tell you she would be a delight to keep?" Anabelle's laughter-filled words to Kanes had been the last thing I'd heard before I'd succumbed to painful darkness.
"Could not sleep?" Lilith's voice startled me, and the cup filled with my tea that I held wavered as I swiftly turned in the window seat of the living room.
Lilith wore a long white gown, and her dark long hair spilled down her back, out of the tight pony-tail that I had seen it in earlier. Her eyes appeared tired yet alert as she made her way towards a table, lifting up the tea pot I'd carried with me into the room and poured herself some tea into one of the cups I'd also brought along with me.
Finding the cups and tea bags had taken me nearly fifteen minutes, and I'd searched through the many glass cabinets and jars until I'd found the necessary objects.
I settled down my own cup by my sock-clad feet, watching her warily. "No."
Lilith nodded, nails tapping slowly against her porcelain cup. "There are some sleeping pills that you could take if you'd like to-"
"Your attitude towards me has changed." I observed, wincing internally at the way I'd interrupted her. Lilith watched me for a little while, sipping her tea before lowering it, revealing a sheepish smile.
"Hannes and I had been very close as children, and we still were as we became adults. Your sudden appearance was seen as threatening to me, and his focus became mostly on you. I was jealous of his attention becoming swayed from me, and I resorted to saying hurtful things and behaving poorly towards you, and I am sorry." Lilith said all of this in one breath, and she appeared even more tired after this. Her eyes were casted upon the rim of her cup in guilt, but raised to me when I asked,
"Do you love Hannes?"
Lilith's eyebrows puckered. "I love him, as a friend. I never thought of him as any more than that." A small smile graced her lips, eyes becoming distant. "I can see that he cares deeply for you, though."
She walked closer towards me, and I raised my legs, drawing them to my chest as she situated herself opposite me. I cradled my cup in my hands, watching her watch me until she spoke,
"Hannes was so worried when you left. I'd never seen him the way he had been that day and with the weeks that had came after that, he'd been in a horrible state. He was torn, because he didn't want to force you to stay in this pack, but he'd hoped that you would stay longer so that you'd understand that your fear towards us in this pack, and to him, was not needed." Lilith's eyes drifted to the window as she spoke, overlooking the many homes nearby. "I'm happy to hear that you're giving the Wildeland pack a chance, Olivia."
I cleared my throat and downed the remainder of my hot tea. To hear about how Hannes had been about me leaving made a strange, foreign emotion pull in my stomach, and it gnawed at me despite the conversation being changed towards Lilith's half-brother, Alec, the murder of their mother and those in the Woodsworth pack. I offered my condolences to Lilith.
"I wished Alec never had to witness those things." I sighed, resting my head against the wall behind me. "He must be still so horrified."
Lilith nodded. "He is." Her finger circled the rim of her cup. "But he will be better."
Those words were unspoken, but judging by the extreme concern shown in her grey-blue eyes, I knew that she'd probably intended to say this.
"He's with his father, I'm assuming?" I asked, sitting up further, swinging my legs carefully down after feeling the tightness that had begun to form in them from lack of movement. Lilith confirmed my assumption, and stood just as I did.
"I'll be heading back to bed," Lilith said, watching me as I lifted the tea pot and the small tray I'd brought along with it.
"I hope to get a couple more hours of sleep before heading to work." Lilith said, following me into the kitchen. She washed out her cup, and then my own before pausing to lean against the sink and eye me, an almost sly smirk curving her lips as she said, "There's some sleeping pills I usually take to help me rest. Would you like some?"
I hesitated. I was very tired, but was still reluctant to trust Lilith. She saw my hesitance and an almost offended yet amused expression crossed her face.
"Come on. I'll show you the packet so you'll see that I'm not lying." She pulled at my arm, but dropped it when my body automatically stiffened. Wordlessly, I followed her up the stairs, our footsteps barely audible as we walked across the floor above, passing by many doors until we reached the end of the long hallway.
To my bewilderment, Lilith knocked upon the large light brown door, and I faced her, confused. "Why are you-"
The door opened before I could finish questioning her, and I blinked up in surprise at the sight of a clearly recently awoken Hannes. His eyes were narrowed, still sleep-laden and they fell upon me immediately in confusion, but brightened after a second as disbelief surfaced in his gaze. "Olivia?"
Lilith snorted beside me, and gave a short wave, as if to say, "I'm here too", which made him turn to her, opening the door further. "Why are you at my door?" He asked her.
"Olivia would like to know if you have some sleeping pills she can take. The poor girl has had some difficulty sleeping."
Hannes' honey eyes went to me. "Is that so?" His already husky voice deepened, and I sent a short glare to Lilith, who had begun to take several steps backwards. She waved her fingers, before pivoting, calling over her shoulder to us,
"I'll leave you two to it."
Annoyed, I watched as she strode away, only turning when I heard Hannes' voice.
"Come inside," Hannes muttered, running a hand over his face. "I should have those pills somewhere in my drawers."
His eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he looked around his room whilst I hesitantly entered, suddenly feeling awkward as I stood in the middle of the room and surveyed it.
His bed was made, and it didn't look as if he'd slept in it. A dark red and black couch was nearby, and I could see several papers strewn across cushions and a laptop similar to his own mother's rested on the wooden floor, beside an empty glass.
Hannes was searching through several drawers, and I heard him release a small sigh when he found the packet. He strode over to me, and handed it over, but then turned away, going out of my line of sight momentarily as I hastily read the words written across the back of the packet. It appeared legitimate, and I ripped open the packet, lifting the white pill that slipped out and analyzed it.
I looked up at the sound of approaching feet and watched as Hannes poured water from a jug into a glass, and handed it over to me. When all I did was clutch the glass as well as the pill, a soft smile grew on Hannes' lips as he set down the jug on a night table.
"It may be easier for you to swallow the pill whilst drinking the water." His voice was gentle, and I could feel him watching my hesitancy.
"There is another remedy to help you sleep if you don't want to take the pill." Hannes said quietly, stepping closer to me. My eyes drifted slowly up his tall, muscled body until my eyes locked with his own and then dipped to his lips, which had yet to stop smiling so gently.
I looked away, averting my gaze towards his laptop which had suddenly brightened. "What remedy is that?"
"Mates tend to rest better when they are near each other." Hannes' voice had lowered significantly, and it suddenly felt like his entire, unique scent was surrounding me, the heat from his body radiating upon mine as I struggled to comprehend his words as my nervousness grew.
"You could sleep in my bed." Hannes continued, at first, unaffected by the way I refused to make eye-contact with him and just stared wide-eyed at his laptop. But then I felt his fingers trace my cheek, a gentle prompt for me to look at him. Fissions of heat erupted at his touch, and before he could utter another word, I slipped the pill into my mouth and chugged down the water, choking at the strange feeling that arose as the small pill slipped down my throat.
Hannes' chuckle filled the room as I sputtered at the strange taste that remained in my mouth, before I decided to continue drinking the rest of the water.
"Thank you," I finally croaked, handing him back the now empty glass. "How long does it take until the pills works again?"
Hannes' eyes ran over my body slowly. "Twenty minutes." His amused expression sombered as a soft chime came from his laptop and I nodded, remembering that the information had been written on the back of the packet.
"Goodnight." I murmured, turning and walking to the door, hoping that the pill would somehow take effect sooner than the twenty minutes. Hannes walked to stand by the door, and I looked heavenward in exasperation as he gave me barely enough room to pass by without touching him, and his voice echoed in the hallway as I walked down it,
"Yes, goodnight, Olivia."
I hope you all are doing well. 💕