Stone Cold

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My fingers grip the paintbrush dipping it into the cold water before drying it off and dipping it into the next color. I always found painting as a way to drown out the world, after my father died I found that everything I once loved now felt empty. I found so satisfaction in the activities I once did. Painting stuck though. Painting has always helped me through my hardest times, even if I’m not that good I find that just the feeling of the paintbrush against the canvas calms my nerves. The feeling you get when you finish a piece, the pure happiness when you see you’ve created something beautiful.

“Adele?” I roll my eyes feeling the wind pick up pieces of my hair falling out of the bun, I hear Laurence’s footsteps get closer to me and I’m ready for his outburst about me leaving my room for the first time in three days. “Adele what the hell are you doing out here?” I turn around placing my brush down. I can see the fury in his eyes as he stands in the doorway his arms crossed.

“Jumping off. What does it look like? I’m painting. Is that against the rules to stand on my balcony? You haven’t let me leave my room in three days. Who the hell do you think you are Laurence? You’re not my father Laurence! You’re not even related to me! I can do what I want. I’m not a child anymore!” Laurence steps back shocked as I push past him opening the door to my room. I hear his footsteps behind me as I make my way down the marble staircase to the large dark wooden double doors.

“Where do you think your going Adele.” I feel Laurence’s hand curl around my upper arm stopping me. My eyes snap to my mother who is standing at the top of the stairs . I glare at her pulling away from Laurence opening the door.

“I’m going to take a walk on the beach I’ll be back in a couple of hours. If you need me you’ll know where to find me.” I hear Laurence huff in annoyance as I shut the door heading down to the beach. I smile when my bare feet hit the cool sand. Instantly I start walking down the beach towards the only place I know they won’t find me. I look behind me to see if Laurence followed me, I smile when I don’t see anyone and I quickly make my way into the woods. I climb up the hill smiling when I see the small clearing at the cliffs edge. My feet ache from being exposed to all the sticks and rocks, my eyes land on the old tree the old rope intertwined with the tree. The swing looks so out-of-place, the entire tree does. It’s surrounded by pine trees and then there is a lone maple tree. My feet carry me towards the tree my hands wrapping around the old rope feeling the rough texture under my finger tips. I collapse in the seat feeling the wind pull at my hair. I don’t know what is Laurence’s problem with me now. Ever since I met Liam he’s been keeping me captive in my room. He lets me leave to get food and something but he didn’t let me leave the house. I felt like a prisoner in my own home.

“Hey stranger.” I jump my head quickly snapping to the side so I can see who is there. A smile spreads across my lips as I take in Liam’s taller form making his way towards me. I take in the beauty this man holds my heart fluttering a little when he smiles. “Where have you been the past couple of days? I was hoping to see you.” I smile running my hands through my hair watching as he sits down next to me looking up at me as I swing back and forth.

“My Knight in shining armor kept me captive in my room.” He chuckles running his hands through his golden locks.

“My family has known the Knight’s for a long time, we’ve had our differences over the years. Our family used to be really close but something happened and we separated. Laurence Knight is a force to be reckoned with. He’s taken this little battle between our families to the next level. He despises our family.” I can see the anger in Liam’s eyes grow before he shakes his head showing me a small smile. It surprises me how quickly he can control his anger.

“They hate me. I’m the child that they never wanted. The only reason I’m here is because my mother still had partial custody.” I feel a pang in my heart when I think of my father, my eyelids feel heavy and I hold back the tears that have been dying to come out.

“You paint?” I smile mentally thanking him for changing the subject, I know if he pushes it any farther I will end up crying. I look at Liam whose eyes are on my hands. I follow his eyes looking down at my hands seeing the blue and white paint all over my hands.

“I’m not very good but yeah I try to paint.”

“You should show me one day. I would love to see your work. I paint myself.” I smile nodding. I would love to see his work too and to see what he says of my work. My father was usually the only person to see my work so he was the only person who ever commented on my work. He always said it was good but he was my father so he had to say that .

“If Laurence ever lets me leave the house again after today I will gladly show you it to you.” He smiles softly watching as I run my feet across the ground pushing myself forwards. I see him stand up quickly moving behind me. My eyes quickly snap to meet his form standing behind me. I feel his hand on my back causing me to jump slightly. The swing comes to a halt and I look up at him with wide eyes. I can’t say if i can trust him completely but he seems like a nice guy. I don’t think he would hurt me. He’s had the chance twice now.

“When I was younger my brother and I used to come up here with our mother. We’d spend hours playing up here. Our mother would paint on the edge of the cliff. She used to tell us that each day is different. The view might look the same but if you look closer you can see a log has been moved by the currents or a tree is no longer there. My mother taught me how to paint, she taught me how to use the colors. How to use my eyes to see the things that were there. Things you wouldn’t always see.” I can see the smile across his lips as he drifts back and forth from reality and memory. I can see the love and affection in his eyes towards his mother. I barely remember what my mother’s love felt like. I was so young, and now all I get from her is anger and hatred. I feel Liam push me forwards and I gasp grabbing onto the rope tighter feeling his hand back on my lower back pushing me forwards again.

“You seem to have a good relationship with your family.”

“Over the years my brothers and I’s bond has become stretched. We aren’t as close as we once were. We used to be the best of friends and now I’m scared that if living with him is the best choice. My mother as she got older decided to go with my father to see the world. So that leaves me with my charming brother.” I smile hearing the sarcasm in his voice, I put my feet on the ground stopping myself. I feel Liam’s hand leave my back, I watch him as he walks to the ledge. I slowly get up following him. I stand next to him feeling the height difference as he looks over at me. “In our house there is a room with thousands of paintings many of this view right here. My mother came up here every day to paint. There are thousands of paintings of just this view, each one of them with a different time of the day. Different season. She loved this view. She said it brought her peace.” I smile looking at the view, you can see for miles all the way to the cliffs. The estate sits clearly in the middle, the gardens are clear as day. You can see the mountains surrounding us almost like they are sheltering us from the outside work. The only way to enter this area is through the mountain. Sebastian owns all the mountains and all the land that surrounds it. He practically owns half the country.

“It’s beautiful.”

“It is.” He smiles at me before turning his attention back in front of us. His eyes trail across the beach sighing when he sees something. I squint my eyes widening when I see a large wolf running across the sand.

“Is that a wolf? I didn’t think they had them here.” Liam just nods his eyes narrowing, I backup a little feeling Liam stiffen next to me. I turn around heading back over to the swing.

“It’s getting late. You should head home. I’ll walk you to the beach. Make sure you get down to the beach okay.” I smile nodding as he turns from the ledge walking towards the path. I sigh looking down at my bare feet. Another beating for my feet. Liam laughs when he sees that I have no shoes on. “Next time wear shoes. We can meet here in two days.” I smile nodding, Laurence probably won’t let me leave the manor for another day after I was so rude to him today. He’ll probably try to lock me up in my room again.

“Hopefully my Knight in shining armor will not keep me locked in my room like the last three days.” Liam laughs continuing down the path, I watch my step making sure not to step on anything that will injure me. I don’t want to explain to Laurence how I ended up slicing open my foot. I told them I would be on the beach not climb up an entire mountain. I follow Liam quickly watching his head snap side to side as he watches the trees. My head snaps to the side when I hear the loud howl. I get distracted for too long and I trip a scream leaving my mouth and I fall forwards. I close my eyes bracing for the impact of the hard ground. I feel warm hands around me holding me close to someone’s chest. I look up to see Liam holding me against his chest with a small smile on his face.

“You should really watch where you’re walking Miss Charlotte.” I laugh standing up straight feeling his hands loosen around me. I brush my clothing off looking up at him I smile tiredly only causing him to laugh. His head snaps to the side and I see the smile disappear from his face and his eyes darken. “We need to go. Laurence will kill you if you aren’t home soon.” I nod following him back out of the woods. I see the beach coming closer and that’s when Liam comes to a stop. I look back at him my eyebrow raising. He smiles softly as I walk back to him. “Go. If Laurence sees you with me he’ll actually kill both of us.” I nod quickly running my hands through my hair before turning away from him jogging out to the beach. Instantly I run into someone causing me to fall backwards into the sand. For a second I hear a growl and my eyes widen as I feel an arm about rip my shoulder out of it socket. I cry out in pain trying to pull away from whoever has me in their death grip. I open my eyes seeing Laurence in front of me anger covering his face.

“Where the hell were you Adele?! You said you’d be on the beach, that clearly wasn’t the fucking beach Adele. Now where the hell were you? And don’t you dare say anything fucking stupid because I swear to God Adele I will lock you in your room till you fucking die of starvation.” I feel tears fall down my face feeling the pain spread from my shoulder to my wrist.

“Get away from me Laurence! Get away! You’re hurting me! Please let me go.” I sob trying to pull away feeling his arm loosen allowing me to pull away, I fall back into the sand crawling backwards away from him. I sob standing up running towards the house, I hear Laurence call my name once again but I don’t look back I just continue to run towards the house not minding when I feel a piece of sharp rock slice into my foot. I run through the garden a sobs leaving my mouth. I hate him. I hate my family so much. He hurt me,he attacked me. I cry out when my foot hits the rock and I tumble into the ground. I feel my skin tear and rip and rocks enter my exposed cuts. I lay crumpled on the ground sobbing into the dirt. I hate them. I hate that I’m stuck with them. I just want to go home. I want to see Lisa. I want to see my friends. I don’t want to be here anymore.

I hear footsteps coming up next to me but I keep my eyes closed sobs leaving my mouth. It’s just Laurence, he’ll probably try to apologize. I feel hands flip me over and my eyes snap opening widening when I meet bright green orbs. I sit up looking at the complete stranger hovering over me. My eyes trial over his sculpted face only to return to his bright green eyes. I back up a little feeling panic spread through my body. Who is he?

“Who are you?” I hear him chuckle making my body shake in fear. I back up quickly trying to stand up. I cry out when I feel his body straddle my own forcing my shoulders into the ground. I cry out pushing his shoulders only to have him pin my arms to the ground.

“I like when they struggle makes the hunt so much more fun.” My eyes widen and I scream only to have his hand cover my mouth slamming my head into the gravel. Tears fall down my face and I kick at him muffled screams leaving my mouth. He presses his full body weight against mine and I feel my lungs stop working for a moment. I watch as his eyes dart from my bleeding cuts to the blood dripping down my lip. He licks his lips looking at me hungrily.

“Please. Don’t hurt me.”

“Where’s the fun in that? Mr. Knight said you were off-limits but I’m never one to follow the rules. I make them.” I cry out feeling his arms tighten around my body, my mind screams for help as he lowers his face to meet mine. His eyes lock with my own and he smiles. “You smell amazing. I see why Sebastian said you were off-limits. He knew your blood would be addicting to the smell. I can’t wait for the taste test.” My eyes widen in fear my eyes locking with the pearly white fangs, what the hell is he? I let a scream out as his face buries into my neck, all I feel is pain as his teeth dig into my skin. I dig at his hair trying to pull my attacker off of me. My body starts to feel weak and my head falls to the side feeling his teeth dig deeper into my skin. My hands fall from his body and I feel my body go limp. Tears fall down my cheeks hitting the ground. Is this the day I’m going to die? I feel his teeth retract from my neck than his tongue against the broken skin. I shudder in disgust but I’m unable to move my body. I feel his body detach from my own then arms lifting me off the gravel. I sob looking up at my attacker my vision going back and forth from black to normal. I know I’m going to pass out soon. My brain is trying to wrap my mind around who this man is.

“NICHOLAS!” My eyes snap over to Laurence and Sebastian who stand across from us. I look up at my attacker who has a smirk on his face. I take in the beauty of the man holding me. If he didn’t attack me maybe I would have found him attractive.

“Let her go. Nick. We told you she was off-limits.”

“And I told you humans who enter this area belong to me.” My eyes widen and I look around at the situation. They’re talking about humans like they aren’t humans themselves.

“Nicholas you know who she is. We told you who she was. We didn’t want her here because we’d know you would attack her. Her father died. She’s stuck with us. Please just let her go.” Nick laughs tightening his grip on me. I cry out in pain seeing Laurence twitch in anger as he hears my cry. Laurence takes a step closer to us and Nick backs up his glare intensifying.

“She’s mine Sebastian. It’s not because she’s a human. I don’t care if she was a fucking elf. She is mine.” I see Laurence jump forwards his skin turning into hair and his eyes turning bright yellow. I scream pressing myself against Nick for some reason thinking he’s the safest thing here. I don’t even know if he’s human but whatever Laurence is scares the shit out of me. I see Laurence’s bones break and set into place as he comes running toward us. In a second Laurence’s body is no longer his own. It’s been transformed into a giant wolf. A scream gets lost in my throat and my hands claw at Nick’s shirt trying to escape his grip. He only tightens his grip looking down at me with an annoyed glance. “Hold on.” My eyes widen as he quickly turns on his heel dashing the opposite direction. I see trees flash and mold together as we run from the scene. A cry of panic leaves my lips and my grip on him becomes tighter. Suddenly we come to a halt and my eyes try to focus on the room. All I see is a bed and a light till my vision fades completely. I feel Nick’s body detach from mine and I’m placed on a bed. I hear descending footsteps and the a door being slammed shut. My body feels weak, the cuts in my knees and palms sting. My neck is stiff and any slight movement sends a shock wave of pain through my body. I find myself sobbing into the pillow silent screams leaving my mouth. How did this manage to happen to me. All I wanted was to finish high school and leave this horrible place. Not get drained and kidnapped by a monster and then see my stepbrother turn into a freaking giant wolf. As I cry I feel my body getting weaker and weaker till exhaustion takes over and I’m pulled into unconsciousness.

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