A Sin of Her Own

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Chapter 42

The steady drip of water made its way from the snow-covered surface to the cellar below, slowly creeping along the ivy clung walls.

Within the cells lay Athdara and Nathan, the only solitary wolves within its confines. Titania did not care to keep wolves that breached pack rules, condemning them instead to a life pushing daisies – it certainly kept the expenses down low.

A gust of icy winter air crept between the stones and the pair couldn’t help but shiver. Athdara had resorted to her wolf form to conserve heat and to curl up away from the male in the cells beside her.

“This is some bullshit,” Nathan cursed. His hands fumbled over the cracks in the rocks, trying to find one loose.

Letting him speak to herself, Athdara turned further away and instead took a drink from the melting snow above.

Despite his fruitless efforts, he continued, even though he’d already scrutinised every rock over the past two days. But it didn’t matter to him; anything to keep his mind from focusing on the next drop of the amber liquid his tongue so desperately craved.

His recent conquest, Lorelle, had managed to smuggle some small whiskey bottles into the cells on her visits but it was not enough for him: he needed more.

His mind was scattered as he scrambled over the cell. His body pushed him to do something – anything.

Anything was better than lying there like a piece of shit, he thought.

Minutes turned to hours and once preened nails turned to bloody stubs as he scraped and dug. “There must be a loose rock in here somewhere! Goddammit, I don’t deserve to be trapped like an animal in here!”

Athdara regarded the male with a humph sound from her throat, signalling her distaste for his chosen words. In her mind, he had deserved the cells immediately after the night he rejected Titania.

His hazel eyes gleamed as they landed on her wolf, “And who do you think you are, eh? Sitting there all high and mighty when you’re not so innocent yourself.” His Spanish accent lilted his words as the anger poured through, “You’re a traitor! All I did was reject my mate. I didn’t hurt her or do anything like what you did. There’s a massive difference.”

His back slumped against the wall as his claws dug into his palms. His shouts of outcry wasted. “And that’s why I don’t deserve to be in here!”

Athdara’s heart plummeted at his words, for she had committed a crime that she never thought she’d have executed. Now she’d be the one with her head for the chop. The word traitor rang bitter through the air as her wolf cried its regret. She was now a disgraced Duskfall wolf; one that deserved the highest punishment.

Nathan circled his cell as he punched the bars with his hands. “Not so vocal now traidora.”

With tears in her eyes, Athdara shuffled into the corner of her cell. Nothing but disgust and disappointment seeping from her pores. But she knew she couldn’t complain - she’d made this choice herself.

Her mind flittered to her adoptive parents who she hadn’t seen in years. Quinn had been a family friend of hers and so had his family, which was why she took Alpha Jared’s threats seriously. She still had no information regarding her family’s well-being, but she hoped her sacrifice meant their safety, as hard as that sacrifice had been.

The time spent in the cells blurred with the daylight peeping from a solitary window – barred, of course.

It came and went, signalling the start and end of the day, the monotony broken up by a wolf occasionally bringing them sustenance in the form of bread, dried meat, and human substitutes which tasted like cardboard.

Today that routine had been broken. Instead of their usual guard who remained tight-lipped from behind the all-encompassing oak door; a mouthy blue-haired teen brought their food.

Both prisoners recognised Lucy immediately, her presence hard to miss.

Wide eyes watched her as she dumped their food through the small compartments, none too carefully, accompanied by her usual salty look.

“Enjoy,” she muttered sarcastically, a dark gleam in her eyes from their shocked expressions. “Yes, I’m very much alive, thank you for asking.”

She dragged a metal chair to the door as she made herself comfortable; hard to do when the air was as stale and fousty as month-old bread. Sucking in a breath of air, she held back a gag from the scents that assaulted her: blood, death, mould, and other questionable fluids.

Athdara’s wolf tucked into the food, even the portion that graced the stone floor –not caring about the grime that coated her tongue. She was starving having been in this pit for three days and burning through energy just to keep herself warm.

Nathan however, leant against the bars ignoring his food and eyed Lucy, scoffing at her attempt to keep a straight face at the stench of the cells. “You won’t be alive much longer if you stay down here.”

“Was that a threat?” She snapped, only gaining Nathan’s signature smirk.

“Just an observation,” he replied, motioning to the room, “It takes some getting used to but at least you don’t have to stay here 24/7 huh?” The bitterness was not missed by Lucy who could see the crazy within the depths of his eyes. “It’s why the last guard preferred to monitor us outside the door.”

“Probably just didn’t want to talk to wolves like you both. I know it wasn’t my first choice.” The scathing tone was laced with disgust and Athdara bowed her head at Lucy’s accusing glare while Nathan just watched her with a roll of his eyes.

“Then why do it? Just go, we’re not going anywhere.” He challenged her.

She rose from her laid-back position, walking to his bars with bared teeth. “I’m keeping a good eye on you both. Due to traitors like you, no one can be trusted, and I’ll watch you rot if I must. Your crimes more than call for it.”

“My crimes?!” Nathan scoffed, “I did nothing, I wasn’t the one that gave away your precious Alpha’s position.”

“What are you talking about-”

Nathan paced his cell. He was enjoying some conversation. Talking to a wolf was giving him no satisfaction- nothing like the irritated look painted over Lucy’s features.

“Oh, you don’t know.” He straightened, a grin plastered over his face, “Poor Lucy kept in the dark. Your fellow packmate here was calling the Rosevelt pack, spilling her guts to them. I heard it from the last guard myself. It’s probably the reason your Alpha is still in hospital.” He fished, hoping Lucy would give away some information regarding his mate.

All the while Lucy’s gaze turned murderous towards Athdara.

The room spun as her eyes flickered between her and her wolf’s. For she knew Athdara had done something to be in the cells, but the exact nature of what had not been disclosed to her. Fury and anger grew dangerously within Lucy as she spat in front of Athdara’s cell. All previous respect was lost for her previous packmate.

“You little bitch... You’re the mole!” Her fist hit the metal of the bar hard, the rattle silenced the room as Lucy’s anger intensified. “Duskfall trusted you...”

Athdara’s eyes widened before looking down to the floor. Her head bowed. The action, whilst submissive, only spurred Lucy on. Titania had suffered massively at the hands of these two wolves and Lucy’s mouth soured at the fact she had given her word to look after the very wolves responsible for so much pain and misery.

“Motherfucking shit! I can’t even believe this...” She cursed, the metal denting slightly under the ferocity of her punches, her flesh sizzling under the silver contact. “You’re both responsible for lives! I-I genuinely can’t even right now, what the FUCK is wrong with you both? Stupid, stupid, stupid!”

Watching Lucy pound at the bars with a smug smirk, Nathan picked at his food, popping a small portion of meat into his mouth. “That’s it, Lucy, keep hitting the bars. We’ll be out in no time at this rate.”

Her fist froze at his sarcastic words – her arm aching to land a hit into the Spaniard’s cheek.

With all the strength she could muster, Lucy turned stiffly and sat back in her chair. A murderous glare met the rogues, before focusing on the book she had brought with her; ignoring the taunts and looks from the prisoners. Nothing but icy fury filtered through her spine, but this was what her superiors had asked, and by the old Gods, watching over them would she do it.

All for Titania’s recovery, Lucy thought. There must be some goodness left in the world for it, the woman deserved it.

___

Eóghan and Doctor Craig sat dumbfounded at Titania’s bedside. The wolf was inconsolable as it snapped and attacked anything within reach, which had resulted in some close calls.

“Her wounds are not healing properly; we need her to shift so I can reset her leg bones.”

Craig tried to approach his superior with a cloth infused with natural herbs, but one step had the beast growling and snarling spittle at his face.

“Yeah, I know,” Eóghan scratched his beard, “okay, here are some ideas - can we not sedate her? Or reset the bones in wolf form? Maybe her bondmate might wake her up...”

Finishing scribbling some notes in his journal, Doctor Craig regarded the torn male. With a sigh, he readjusted his gloves before expressing his concerns, “I can’t guarantee that sedating her wouldn’t result in her shutting down, we had enough worries after her injuries the first time when her becoming comatose was a reality. And resetting the bones in wolf form is something I’m not used to...”

He turned his back momentarily in shame, “I’m a medical practitioner yes, but human anatomy is my profession. I’m unsure I could reset them without causing permanent disability.”

A hand ran over Eóghan’s face. He was left with one other option which he had little surety of. Nathan.

“What about her true mate?” Craig turned back around with a grimace at the suggestion but added, “He could get a reaction from her but who knows what kind.” His eyes regarded the chains which had started to dent.

With the male’s eyes on her, Titania jumped and jolted. The chains chinking against the metal of the bed. While her body thrashed, her limp leg flailed and Craig could imagine what kind of pain her injuries caused her. Her restlessness was halting the healing process.

“We’re running out of options, which one do you think has the least amount of risk?”

Desperation peppered his tone as Eóghan stood up and paced the room; an action which brought him a semblance of comfort.

With a wary glance towards the hidden compartment, Craig reached down and grabbed a few bottles stored neatly. Searching the names, he finally picked a small transparent liquid that adorned the name Ketamine.

“My suggestion is that we try her reaction to her bondmate first. As much of a snake that he is..." He muttered under his breath, recalling the torment that her supposed mate had caused.

Eóghan didn’t disagree with the comment, “And if that doesn’t work?”

“We sedate her.” He presented the small bottle to Eóghan, “They’re our limited options, but something needs to be done soon as she’s not healing. Infection will take over before we know it.”

“Urgh, why is this so fuckin’ difficult? What if she dies? I can’t have that...”

“Every decision has its pitfalls,” Craig rubbed his chin in thought, “perhaps a mate bond might tether her. Did both wolves accept the rejection?” He asked Eóghan, a small glint present in his eyes as he wrote some words on his pad of paper.

“As far as I’m aware they both rejected each other. Why?” He asked the Doctor as his eyebrows scrunched.

The Doctor hummed, scratching his forehead in thought. The past few days had aged him, his middle-aged skin presenting blemishes and dark patches. While the other injured wolves were in various stages of recovery; it was Titania’s healing that was keeping him up into the early hours. For he knew damn well he would be blamed.

Eóghan or Brett would have his head situated on a pike outside the cabin.

“I’m suggesting there might be a chance a mate bond could stabilise her and allow her to shift back.”

Eóghan paused in his pacing, a ginger brow raised at such a suggestion. “Surely not... How?” He approached the Doctor, peering over his messy hand-written notes, “Wouldn’t that just do the opposite? Pft, if you’ve forgotten, a mate bond got her feral in the first place. This whole mess to be exact.”

Scoffing at his suggestion only angered his wolf. Concealing his discomfort with a throaty cough, Craig wiped any ire from his expression; difficult considering his superior was less than two feet away from him.

Closing his book and putting it aside, he returned his eyes to the wolf. After Eóghan’s expression darkened and the room filled with dominance, demanding submission, Craig realised his concealment was not good enough.

“Watch it.” Was all that Eóghan growled out, a dark timbre to his voice.

Titania responded almost immediately to the power that stifled the wooden cabin. Both males were in a stalemate, all while Titania’s wolf increased its infuriation at such dominance.

A tilt of Craig’s head signalled the end of Eóghan’s cold glare. He knew his place, but Eóghan did not strike fear into the male. Only the female that lay in the bed and the broad Shetland male did so.

“I’m suggesting that a new bond could work. It’s not a stupid idea, I’ve seen it work with grieving mates.” He responded curtly.

A sharp glower from Eóghan was all that Craig received.

Eóghan returned to his space beside Titania’s bedside while Craig awkwardly prepared some dressings for her leaking wounds; the puss becoming present through her bandages from her incessant moving.

It took a couple of still minutes before the room decompressed- dominance dissipating as soon as it entered.

“You could have a point there,” Eóghan confessed, eyeing the Doctor. “But it will require a wolf agreeing to mark her when she’s like this- with no guarantee that she will even come back from being feral. That’s not even considering the fact that getting a needle into her is near impossible, but getting someone’s teeth into her neck? No one would dare.”

He leaned in to prove his point, Titania snapping a few inches from his face. Black soulless eyes stared back unforgivingly- not an ounce of regret present. Or any emotion for that matter.

Unknownst to the rest of the world, Titania struggled internally. Her Human still present just subdued, trapped in her own universe of pain, misery and deceit; a toxic mix for any being to relive.

~~~~~~~

Hey guys! Hope you enjoyed the chapter! How are we all? Dunno about yous but I’m so bloody bored :( Unfortunately got so much coursework to do- not to mention job hunting!

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