Isadora had the most beautiful laughter. Nate decided as the musical sound drifted into his mind. She sounded similar to the airy chime of a bell, breezy and warm. His heart fluttered and then stuttered.
“So, I told you how Alexa got bullied all the time, right?” He cleared his throat, continuing with the adventurous stories of his childhood. Talking about his family made him miss them more, but it also wrapped him with a sense of warmth. “We were at this birthday party and they kept taunting her,” he recalled with a smile. “We tried to get them to stop, but they won’t. They pushed Abram into the pool and kept messing with Alexa the entire evening.”
“What did you do?” Isadora scooted closer, pressing her face to the glass.
He admired her wide eyes and a bright grin. It lit up her entire face. “I mixed soy sauce with Sprite.”
Her grin turned into a frown. “I don’t know what that is.”
“Sprite is a sweet drink. Soy sauce…well, you use it for cooking, but both don’t go well together.” In the following ten minutes, he explained the different types of soft drinks and colors. Though she couldn’t relate much she understood when he said it would taste horrible.
They had literally very few things to do inside the confinement. So he tried to get to know her by striking casual conversations only to realize she didn’t have many stories to tell. They ended up talking about the endless adventures of his childhood. A lightness settled in his heart at the memory.
Isadora listened keenly, asking questions now and then. He appreciated her presence more than ever. Having someone to confide into lifted a lot of pressure he was feeling lately. She took some of the edges.
“You said you were born as a human,” she said after a while. They were both now leaning their heads on the glass. “How did you become a lycan then?”
He slowly exhaled. Reynolds must be listening to their conversation. They had slipped many times, forgetting the cameras around them. Too much for being on guard. But he supposed this bit of information won’t hurt.
“Lucian changed me.” He licked his dry lips. “Abram and I were the victims of a hit and run. We…we died.”
She sucked in a sharp breath.
“Lucian brought us back.” He stared at his hands. Their alpha gave him another chance at life. When they came back, they were far from normal. But never once had he regretted the change. They admired Lucian ever since they could comprehend the world around them. Sure, they had suffered, but it was all worth it.
If it wasn’t for that incident, he might still be living as a human. He often thought about how his life would have been then. Too plain and simple. A smile curved his lips. He wouldn’t trade this life for anything else. Nate couldn’t even think of a day without his beast. The furry ass was the best thing that ever happened to him.
“Tell me about your childhood,” he asked. “You know pretty much everything about me now.”
Her hands dropped from the glass before she turned around, pressing her back to the glass. “It was nothing like yours. I don’t have anything adventurous to tell.”
“I want to hear, regardless of the adventure.”
“It was boring.”
“I don’t care.”
She turned to face him again with a small smile. “You sure?”
“Yes.” He leaned forward. “I want to know everything about you.”
“Don’t get your hopes high. You’ll be disappointed.”
He chuckled. “I’ll take whatever you give me.” He meant every word. Boring or adventurous, every part of her life mattered. He wanted to know everything about her. What made her laugh? What made her sad? What did she hate the most? What––
“Okay. I’ll tell you then.” She chuckled. “So…where do I start?”
“Anywhere you’re comfortable with.”
She met his gaze and smiled. “Okay. You know about Mother Guinevere, right?”
He wanted to tell her to stop calling that witch bitch a mother. Nate bit the inside of his cheeks to stop the words. His mother Raelyn and Aunt Amanda were the best definitions of how a mother should be. Oh, Aunt Giselle too. How could he forget her? She went as far as to break her mate bond to prove her point. If it wasn’t for her Uncle Antonio would have never approved of Lucian’s mating with Alexa.
“Are you listening?”
“Huh? Y-yes.” He forced a smile.
“So, Mother Guinevere doesn’t like it when I do things she asked me not to do. Don’t do this and don’t do that,” Isadora snickered. “As if I would listen. I was curious as a child.”
You’re curious even now.
“I was never allowed to wander past the territory she set for me. She even created a magical barrier to keep me in.” Isadora licked her lips as she sat on her heels, a huge grin on her face as her eyes sparkled with mischief. Nate found himself staring at her in awe, as she never showed this side to him before. “But I found a way to break through her magic. You know, I could slip right through the barrier and she never found out.”
“I can imagine that,” he said breathlessly and his heart stuttered when she giggled. Literally giggled for the first time.
“Okay. So she used to leave me alone to go and gather things for her magic. You know some of those rituals need special items. Er…ah, like…goblin goo and ghoul’s skull.” She scrunched her nose. “Anyways, sometimes she’d be gone for days. I loved to explore the world and often ran into other paranormals.”
“Mhmm…” she hummed. “Not everyone is good. Well, I never had the pleasure of meeting any good ones. Every creature I came across wanted a piece of me. And they thought they had a chance because I was young and harmless.”
“Only if they knew…” he trailed off, his gaze involuntarily dipping to her lower lip she just caught between her teeth.
“I know right…” She laughed again. “So, once there was this vampire who wanted a snack.” Her body shuddered. “He was vile, smelled like he hadn’t bathed for months.”
“Or probably years,” he supplied.
“Yeah.” Her shoulders shook and eyes crinkled as she barked with laughter. “I was going back home after one of my secret escapades and he jumped out of nowhere. It almost startled me, but I was mischievous. I knew what it was. So, I toyed with him.”
He watched her intently, the way she tucked her golden hair behind her ears and fiddled with her fingers whenever she sensed the way he was looking at her.
“My mistake was to take him lightly. He almost bit my throat off. Thanks to my reflexes. I was able to stun him before it got any worse and managed to slip into the protective barrier.”
“Hm…let me guess, your Mother Guinevere was waiting for you.” He leaned forward with a smile.
“Yes.” She shook her head. “I had never seen her that furious before. She killed that vampire, burned him to ashes with a flick of her finger, then locked me in the dungeon for the first time in my life.”
Nate’s smile fell along with hers. Isadora blinked her tears away and he found himself moving closer only to be stopped by the glass separating them. “Did she hurt you?” his tone took a dangerous edge. If she did, he would make sure she suffered every ounce of it. He already owed her a lot for messing up with Alexa and Lucian.
“Not much.” Her smile was sad. “I was precious to her. So, she never hurt me physically anyways.”
“What did she do?”
Isadora exhaled slowly. “She starved me and locked me inside for days.”
“I’m sorry.” He put a hand on the glass. Isadora mimicked his move by putting her hand on top of his. He admired how small her hand was when compared to his. It reminded him all the more why he should protect her. “I’ll make her suffer for this.”
Isadora’s smile was soft. She had been doing that a lot lately.
“I love it when you smile,” he whispered. “I can’t take my eyes off you.”
She blinked, biting her lower lip again.
“Don’t,” he groaned. It had been a while since he touched her, kissed her, and bit those lips the way he always imagined. He knew how soft and warm she was. He knew how she tasted. “I want to kiss you again.”
He watched in amazement as heat spread across her neck and ears leaving a pink trail in its wake. “Me too.”
Dr. Reynolds leaned in his chair, his gaze glued to the monitors as his mind reeled. Subject X had proved to be a pain in his ass. She blasted any electronic device they planted in their rooms. None of the cameras lasted for more than two days in a row.
He tapped his fingers on the white table. Both subjects were getting along well. Sometimes they just stared at each other making small chats. Nate was the chattiest. He had moved his computer and gaming console to where she could see them. She just watched with wide eyes when he walked her through the games.
But far more than once Reynolds caught them looking at each other as if they were having deep conversations in their heads. As ridiculous as it sounded he couldn’t shake off the thought. A few times, she flipped and broke things in her room; one look from Nate was enough to calm her down. How he did that Reynolds didn’t know?
Putting them together in the same room had been the best decision ever. Nate mostly talked about his family and his childhood. The way he talked about his family fondly surprised Reynolds. He didn’t think the monsters like him was capable of loving.
However, the riddles he wished to solve only grew complicated with time. This morning he found them staring at each other through the glass, hands pressed over it. Their lips didn’t move, no words were being spoken, but the smirk on the lycan’s face and the blush on Subject X’s face cannot be mistaken.
It was one of those rarest moments caught on cameras because she damn broke them all. They will soon run out of backup security cams at this rate. He had already contacted their supplier and placed orders for more. But with the world still reeling from the after-effects of the devastating attack, he didn’t know how successful they would be. The internet was still down and the power lines were restored at some places. People were too scared to step out of their ruined homes. Mob attacks became a daily thing and criminal activities skyrocketed.
He shook his head to clear his thoughts. The more he watched them Reynolds deduced that they blindsided him. Were they planning to escape together? He had tightened the security around the facility just in case. Every entrance was loaded with automated smoke guns and tranquilizers.
With a sigh, he flipped the worn-out pages of his notebook. He backtracked to the very first note he wrote on the day Subject X was brought in. There should be something he could figure out. What he was trying to find he didn’t know? But that was the beauty of research, wasn’t it? The results were always surprising and the thrill that came with it was something only very few got to experience.
His gaze occasionally flicked to the screen. Both subjects were across the room, but he didn’t fail to notice the change in their facial expressions. Nate sported one of those expressions of a teenager who constantly texted his crush. Subject X on the other hand was possibly clueless as she chewed at her lower lip, staring at her interlinked fingers on her lap.
Something was cooking. He was sure he knew what it was. They thought they were being careful, but one couldn’t always guard his thoughts in front of the camera. Perhaps he could use their mutual attraction to his benefit. How? He drummed his fingers again.
Here's another light-hearted chapter. What do you think Reynolds is planning?
Hope you're all staying safe. It's raining heavily here. I live in South India, very very close to Kerala but my place is safe. We are suffering from constant power cuts and internet issues, but that's a normal thing during rains.
Monsoon is one of my favorite seasons, so I'm making the most out of it. I'm trying to write more every day while vibing to Jungkook's 10000 hours cover. It's really good. Another song I'm listening is Aryaan Shah's Renegade and Heartache by...I forgot the singer's name. Lol. These songs really set the mood for writing.
I'll soon finish Reincaranted Soul and Deception. And then I'll be starting with book 2 from my Phantom Agents series, sequel to Husband Undercover. There might be one more mafia romance I'm working offline. So, stay tuned.