What had I been thinking?
I must have been out of my mind when I invited Rhys into my room. Maybe I had damaged the decision-making process of my brain when I hit my head. Any way that I looked at it, that had been a stupid decision but what was even more stupid was I couldn’t find the ability to regret it. I wasn’t the type of girl who did things like that but I found I wanted more – so much more.
This left me depressed and frustrated.
All I could think about was Rhys. The feel of his body pressed up against mine. His hot skin and calloused fingers. I had let him take me in the ways he had wanted and had been rewarded for it. No man that I had been with had ever made me feel the way Rhys had, not even Silas for all his alpha attributes, could compete.
Silas had always treated me like an object. He was no better than a selfish child with their favorite toy, lashing out when anyone else showed me a bit of attention or affection. His touch had been one of ownership and possession. At first, I had thought it was the passion that drove him to act that way but the more we were together I realized it was always about him. Silas was selfish and so was his love.
Rhys might’ve been confident and overwhelming, but he’d put me first. Something that Silas had never done. Rhys had been delighted by giving me pleasure, hungry for it even. He had worshiped my body with his mouth and hands. It had been a completely new experience for me. My skin still had a burning tingle where I had been touched.
I needed a cold shower, and maybe a lobotomy. I tried to ignore the soreness between my thighs as well as the aching emptiness inside me. It was like my body knew it would never find another man to satisfy it as thoroughly as Rhys had. I sighed heavily as I moved to the bathroom. My mild depression would be taking a turn toward incurable depression if I continued on with that train of thought.
I closed the door and turned on the water, jumping under the cool spray of the shower-head. Standing under the weak water pressure, massaging the tension in my shoulders and neck. After a couple of minutes, I reached for the provided bar of soap and began to clean myself, scrubbing until my skin was raw and red. I needed to get the lingering smell of Rhys off of my skin or I would never have peace of mind.
Maybe it was time to move on to the next town. This place was dangerous. I could feel it in the back of my mind. If I stayed here a moment longer I was bound to get sucked in by Rhys’ green eyes and hot touches. I wasn’t desperate to repeat the same mistakes I made with Silas. Yes, skipping out of town was the best thing.
Feeling a little better, I turned off the water and grabbed the last towel from the rack, wrapping it around myself. I stepped out, glancing towards the fogged-up mirror over the sink. I could see my marred reflection in the glass, my box-dye job was beginning to grow out, the blonde beginning to peak through at the roots. I reached out and wiped my hand across the condensation, getting a look at my eyes. They were looking more brown than green today, usually an indication of the mood I was in. From the dark coloring, I would say they weren’t far off from showing what I was feeling inside.
The sound of heavy footsteps in the other room caused me to freeze and my breath to catch in my throat. Panic slid its icy fingers up my spine. I held the damp towel tighter to my body, listening carefully, though, it was hard to hear anything over the heavy thump of my heart. Dread began to build in my stomach like a great storm, swirling around as I crept towards the bathroom door, pushing myself up on my toes to be as quiet as possible. I cursed myself as I recalled my revolver was in the glove compartment of my truck where I had put it earlier that morning.
I prayed that it was Dace again or maybe even Rhys come back for another round. I would take either one of them over the other dark possibilities running through my mind. There was only one way out of the bathroom, whoever had designed this place was going on my shit list. I held my breath as I twisted the knob, cracking the door open.
My heart dropped into my stomach when I found Silas standing outside of the bathroom with Koldo his third in command. I swallowed the lump of fear in my throat, straightening my back as Silas glared down at me. He hadn’t changed one bit. This was the worst-case scenario and all I could think of was, how did he find me? I thought I had been so careful.
“I’ve been on quite the hunt for you, Little Bird.”
I moved a half step back, before slamming the door shut in his face, twisting the lock. My heart was hammering in my chest as I backed away from it, fingers fumbling with my towel as he let out a fierce snarl. I couldn’t breathe.
“I don’t need to huff and puff to get to you. I can just break the damn door down, Dove,” He bellowed. The wood shuddered under the force of his blows.
I trembled like a leaf in a storm. I was losing it. I needed to regain control. I sucked in a shallow breath and gathered a seed of courage and began to search for something that I could use as a weapon. I opened the top drawer of the vanity only to find a bible and a pack of old matches with the bar logo on them. Well, at least I could start a fire. Now If only there had been a window for smoke signals.
The door gave way, splinters of wood flying inward at me. I let out a shriek, grabbing the nearest thing and throwing it in Silas’s direction. He ducked out of the way of the holy book, it hit the wall behind him with a loud thump. He lifted his face with a dark look before his hand shot out, grabbing hold of my arm and squeezing it as he brought his face close to mine. My eyes were wide and my body tense. “That was very stupid. Almost as stupid as running from me.”
I let out a yelp as he yanked me out of the bathroom and started dragging me to toward the door of my motel room. The curtain was flapping – that damn window. Why hadn’t I been smarter? I had got caught up in Rhys and that mistake had ruined everything.
“I hope you enjoyed your little vacation and had your fun because we are going home now.”
I pulled back, trying to stop him from taking me. I pushed my heels into the old carpet, letting it burn my skin. Tears welled in my eyes as I clawed at his hand. “Let go of me. I won’t go back to that place. I won’t!”
“You know it didn’t have to be this way, Dove. I’ve never wanted to hurt you. I loved you, once. I wanted to give you the world but you’re self-deprecating attitude ruined that. Now all you have waiting for you is pain.” He turned, pulling me close as he met my gaze. Six months of running, six months of freedom. Gone. Another wasted attempt to get away from the bastard. It had my insides burning with contempt and rage. I struggled harder, trying to get away from him even though I knew it was pointless.
“Stop fighting. You’re only embarrassing yourself, Dove,” He said, pulling me out of the room. The cool evening breeze drifted over my damp skin and the chill of the cement worked its way up through my bare feet. I tried to break from him one last time and was rewarded with his claws pricking into the skin of my arm as he tightened his grip. “Enough. You really don’t want to make a scene.” He hissed at me through his teeth.
Angry tears fell from my eyes as I begrudgingly fell into step beside him, casting a look over my shoulder to see Koldo coming out of the room. Behind him, I saw my truck, and it burned me knowing that my revolver was only a hundred feet away. I had been rendered helpless against these beasts without it.
He yanked me forward and I winced at the rush of pain. “Once you’ve been punished you and believe me you will be punished thoroughly. I’m going to give you the gift of the bite. When you’re turned I’m going to put you on your ass so hard that you learn once and for all that no one disrespects me like you have and gets away with it. No one.”
He pulled me back to his side as I drifted to create more space between us. His promise was a life sentence. I would rather hang a millstone from my neck and throw myself into the ocean than be stuck serving a man like Silas.
“I’ll kill myself,” I replied. I wasn’t kidding around. There had been moments I had contemplated it during the time he had kept me like a bird in a gilded cage.
“Not under my command you won’t. And you will obey, like everyone else...even if I have to break your spirit.” I flinched under his rough touch as he met my horrified gaze. I couldn’t believe that I had ever loved such a monster. How could someone be so callous and puffed up on their own ego? You’d think he was king of the world by the way he acted.
I wanted to scream, to kick, to fight. I needed to get away, everything in my body, in my brain was telling me so. However, I wasn’t willing to risk the lives of innocent people to Silas’s wrath. He turned us down another section of the motel that led away from the main road.
“You’re a monster.” I hissed as disgust and fear churned in my stomach.
A wicked smirk stretched across his lips. “You have no idea how monstrous I can be. But you’re going to find out.” He pulled me into a hidden gravel parking lot at the back of the motel. It was dark and creepy plus the fact that there was a lone SUV parked there.
Silas dug into his back pocket and pulled out the keys, tossing them to Koldo. I gave him a pleading look as he passed by us, but he looked away. If he had noticed then he certainly hadn’t cared. The lights flashed in a quick succession as he unlocked the doors and started up the engine. I was quiet while Silas opened the back door, still waiting for an opportunity to escape.
When he picked me up and lifted me into the SUV I knew what I had to do. I nailed him with a kick to the groin as he sat me down on the edge of the seat. He wheezed, stumbling back wide-eyed, releasing me and creating enough space to squeeze through. I pushed off the seat, clinging to my towel as I dropped my feet onto the hard ground and ran off in the direction of the main road.
The dinging alarm of the open door was followed by heavy footsteps behind me. I pushed my legs to move faster, ignoring the sting of the loose rocks that cut into the soles of my feet. I needed to get to a populated area, after that I had no plan, but more people meant it would be easier to cover my scent trail. It was that chance I needed.
I glanced back over my shoulder to find both of them closing in on me. Silas was overtaking Koldo, fast. The distance between our bodies shrinking at an alarming rate. He wasn’t just some run of the mill werewolf. He was the crème de la crème and I was no match for that. Still, I forced myself to keep running down the sidewalk and around the pale pink building, relieved that the sound of cars was getting louder.
I was getting closer. I could see the soft glow of the street lamps in the distance. I was tackled to the ground from behind. I couldn’t stop the small cry for help that escaped me as I hit the concrete and skidded across it. The burn of it scraping off layers of skin had me gritting my teeth – tears pricked at the corners of my eyes. I struggled as strong hands flipped me over onto my back.
Silas hovered over me, his dark eyes glowing flames of amber. “You stupid girl. You will stop these games, now.” He was trying to use his Alpha command, trying to compel me to give into his will.
“Rot in hell you overgrown lap dog.” I squirmed underneath him, kicking my legs frantically. I swung my arms around, knocking him in the face. I hissed out a pained breath as his head snapped back for a moment before he lowered it again with a murderous look in his eyes, blood dripping down to his lip.
“I’ve had more than enough of you.” He growled in frustration, getting off me and putting me back on my feet in one fluid movement. Koldo was hanging back, eyes hard as he watched the interaction between the two of us. I’m sure it must have been something new to watch his Alpha be hit up by the fragile little human girl.
“The first chance I get I’m going to put a silver bullet in your brain,” I seethed at him, all my anger spilling out. There was a long stretch of silence, no one moved – no one breathed. Before I could react, Silas had his hand wrapped around my throat, lifting me up off the ground. My eyes widened.
I was gasping for air as the sound of my hot blood pumping through my veins filled my ears. I wiggled around, kicking my legs as he stared into my eyes. “You’re going to wish you had kept your mouth shut, Little Bird.” I clawed at the hand around my throat, trying to pry myself loose. The best-case scenario was he would kill me and I would finally be free from him. Still, even though I knew that, my body fought to live.
“Maybe I should just kill you instead, ungrateful whore. Don’t think I didn’t notice. The room was filled with the stench of your sex.” I stared into his wide eyes, a crazy look in them that had my blood running cold. I could tell he had wicked plans for me from the darkness in his gaze.
Koldo shifted behind him. “Hurry up, Silas.”
Silas cast a glare over his shoulder at the other male, “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were the Alpha.” Koldo backed down at his reply, turning his gaze to the street. The world was starting to grow fuzzy as my oxygen deprived brain tried to continue to function. I took his moment of distraction and kicked my leg out, nailing him in the groin. He sucked in a sharp breath as he released me. My butt hit the ground with a solid thud that left me feeling jarred. I coughed as I took in greedy gulps of air into my burning lungs, eyes watering.
Silas leveled me with a deadly stare and pained expression as he straightened himself out. He was going to kill me. I rolled onto my stomach, pushing up onto my hands and knees as I began to crawl away as fast as I could. The sound of a gunshot had me letting out a surprised yelp. My heart beat heavy in my chest as I tossed a look over my shoulder to see Koldo slack-jawed with a smoking hole in his head as his body slumped to the ground. Silas was staring down at his third in command with wide eyes before looking toward the interloper.
I found relief at the sight of Dace and his smirk. I was thankful Rhys didn’t adhere to normal social conventions. “I’m insulted you didn’t invite me to the party. After the other night...I thought we had something.” He teased.
I didn’t know what to say. He had snuck up on Koldo and blown his brains out without hesitating...I had a feeling I was completely out of my depth. He moved toward me, taking a wide step around the man he had just killed, keeping his pistol pointed at Silas.
I felt my stomach roll at the sight of the blood splatter on Dace’s face and my world begin to spin. I had to force myself to look elsewhere. Silas seemed a little unsure of himself now, glancing at me and Dace. Even with his alpha abilities, he didn’t seem eager to take his chances with the gun. Dace must have sensed this, “I think you should probably go, don’t you? I mean before I do to you what I did to your friend.”
Silas gave Dace a narrow look before he turned and ran back toward his car, leaving Koldo behind as if he was nothing. That was too easy. This wouldn’t be the end of it. Silas knew where I was now and he would come back – next time he’d be more prepared. But for now, I had a little more time.
I let out the breath I had been holding, trembling as I realized how close I had come to being taken. Dace hit the safety on his pistol and tucked it into the back of his jeans before crouching down beside me, meeting my wide-eyed gaze. “Are you hurt?”
“Besides my pride?” I questioned with a shaky voice.
He chuckled, shaking his head. “I meant physically.”
I shook my head back and forth, finding it hard to get my mouth to speak words. A couple of scrapes and bruises were nothing compared to what could have been done. I was crashing down from all the adrenaline that had been pumping through my body. Now, I was feeling all the overwhelming emotions and fear that I had been unable to feel when my survival instinct had taken over. Dace must have understood well what was happening to me because he gave me a softer expression. “I know you’re in shock right now Dove but we should get away from here in case your friend decides to come back.”
His words made sense. I needed to get up off the ground. I needed to get out of this town. I needed to get my revolver. I crawled up off the ground, my body screaming from where I had taken the impact of the fall.
“You’re bleeding,” Dace said.
Sure enough, when I looked down I saw that I was losing blood from cuts and scrapes on my knees and elbows. It was the gash on my foot that was the most concerning. I must have cut it on broken glass when I was running through the creepy parking lot. That’s when I knew I was going to pass out. Blood and I had a rocky relationship. My mouth was dry and my body went numb. Dace began to blur out as my vision began to fill with cobwebs.
“Are you okay? You don’t look so good.” I heard his voice through the fog that was beginning to cloud my mind. I reached out toward him as my legs gave out underneath me. He caught me before my body slammed back onto the cement.
“I’m taking you to Rhys’. You’ll be safe there.” My cheeks flushed at how my body responded to his name alone. My core warming even though I was practically naked, only a towel to shield me from the world. Oh, there was no way I was safe in Rhys company. Not after what happened today. He had wrecked my body and my emotions, and still, I had wanted more. Yeah, staying out here with Koldo seemed like a safer option at the moment. Only I never said that because the darkness took me away before I could form the words.