I sucked in my breath and took one step forward, breaking past the few wolves in front of me, but stopped once I saw his face. He stared at me, threatening me not to come forward as if it would give him a reason to snap my neck.
His entourage came towards me and grabbed me by my arms to drag my body forward. I stumbled to stand and walk with their large hands pulling me but failed, and they threw me at the feet of the Enforcer. I got onto my hands and knees and looked up to see his face in front of me. He squatted down and grabbed my chin in his hands.
My lip wobbled; I could feel it although I tried to look strong like the wolves I grew up with.
“A human girl,” The Enforcer mused. His light cerulean eyes bore into mine. I didn’t dare glance anywhere else. “I’ve never met one before.”
I stayed quiet. He grabbed me high on my right arm and forced me to stand along with him. He pushed me back towards Caddy and I rushed to his side. Caddy looked livid, wanting nothing more than to smash the painting over the Enforcer’s head.
“What is she to you?” He asked Caddy.
“She’s an orphan, we allowed her to be a companion for young Cadence,” Dorian explained. The Enforcer turned his head slightly.
“I asked your nephew, Dorian,” he stated. He turned back to Caddy and took a step closer, the painting now out of the way. “What is she to you?”
Caddy lowered his eyes to look at me again.
“Is she your mate? I’ve never heard of a human mating with a strong wolf like yourself,” The Enforcer questioned further.
“No,” Caddy murmured.
“A servant, perhaps?”
“Does she provide a service here for you?”
“She does her share like we all do,” Caddy said stronger, fighting for me.
“But she provides no purpose, being human. Why have you not turned her?” He asked, although he already knew the answer.
“Sir, only a mate could do that,” Caddy said, confused.
“So, she is of no further use to this pack,” The Enforcer said, staring at me, although my gaze remained at my feet. He was going to kill me, there was no other way out of it. I knew humans were nothing to wolves if they had no mate. “Girl,” he addressed me. I stiffened at his voice which urged him to step closer to me, only a foot away now. “Do you not speak?”
I opened my mouth, but I didn’t know the words to say.
“Tell me why you should stay here.”
“I’ve lived here since I was four,” I whispered, not able to make my voice louder.
“And because you’ve lived here, that means you should continue to live here?”
I looked up at Caddy, wanting him to help me, but knowing he couldn’t The punishment for disrespecting a wolf like him was death, no matter your ranking in your own pack.
“Don’t look at him, little girl, look at me and tell me why I should allow you to keep living here.” His voice was rough, sending shivers down my spine. I looked back at him, noticing for the first time how young he was for someone so entitled.
“I don’t know,” I answered honestly. My mind was stricken with fear; there was nothing else to save me but honesty.
“You don’t know?” He scrutinized, eyebrows coming together, leaning down to study my face closer. I tried to remain as calm as I could.
He straightened himself and turned around.
“I really must be on my way,” he informed Dorian.
“You won’t stay for our festivities?” Dorian offered, hoping to make a bond with the Enforcer.
“I’m afraid I have a lot to do, the old Enforcer left me with my work cut out. You were my last pack in the area to visit.” The Enforcer turned to the men who traveled with him and gave them a curt nod, which propelled them to start the cars again.
“Well, you are certainly welcome in our territory, Theo. I hope to see you again, soon.” Dorian stuck his arm out and Theo grasped it strongly.
“Thank you, Dorian.”
The Enforcer turned slightly, nodding at the painting. His men came and gathered it, and loaded it into the back of a vehicle.
“Oh,” The Enforcer turned, looking smug. It was the first time his face changed from his stone exterior. “The human girl comes with me, as well.”
My hearing drowned out, one ear at a time. It sounded like ringing, like a loud siren going off right next to me and my vision went out of focus. I looked to Caddy, shaking my head slightly, grabbing onto his forearm.
“Theo,” Dorian reasoned. “You would have no use for a human girl. Allow her to stay in our territory, we will care for her.” Caddy put his hand over mine, warming it slightly. He was always warm.
The Enforcer grinned. “No use for her,” he chuckled and wandered over towards me. He sauntered around my body and Caddy’s since I was latched to him. “I’ve never met a human girl before. She intrigues me.” He continued circling and stopped behind me, lifting, and sniffing my hair.
I ground my teeth together, cringing as his fingers skimmed my neck.
“I wonder how long it would take to make her scream.” His lips grazed the curve of my ear. I whipped my body around, wanting his hands off me and glared at him.
“Oh,” he purred. “Princess has a backbone after all.”
“I’m not going with you,” I ground out. I knew the consequences for what I was saying but I would’ve rather died than allow him to take me back with him. I would surely be torn apart like my mother. I was too young then to do anything, but I was older now, and I wasn’t going to stand silent.
“You are.” He smiled back at me calmly.
“I’d rather die than go with you.”
Caddy cursed my name behind Theo. He was shaking.
“That’s enough, little one,” The Enforcer scolded and grabbed my arm again in his strong grip. He began walking us towards his cars. I jerked and fought against his grip; unlike Caddy who was afraid to bruise me, this man wasn’t.
“Caddy!” I screamed, turning around to look at him. Caddy was shaking, his arms being held behind his back by Dorian and another guard as he screamed my name. Tears streamed down my cheeks and my hair flew around violently.
The Enforcer grabbed my other arm and pushed me to the car door. I refused to go in willingly and threw my legs on either side of the door, pushing off the frame with my feet. Another man inside the car grabbed my ankles and pulled me in as the Enforcer shoved my body in the rest of the way.
He climbed in after me and a moment later, the car jolted to life and we rolled away from my home. I struggled out of the hold of the other wolf and climbed over the Enforcer to place my fists on the dark window and beat on it. The wolves looked shocked, not upset, apart from Caddy who was mid-shift as we pulled out of the driveway.
The Enforcer’s hands came around my waist in front of him and pulled me back to sit in his lap. I wiggled and threw my body around aggressively, slamming the back of my head into his nose roughly.
“Little one,” he growled in my ear, grunting as he wiped blood away from his nose. I froze, squeezing my eyes shut and allowing the tears to fall down my freckled cheeks. “You will be much happier here if you don’t fight me.”
I slumped my body over, trying to get off his lap. He allowed me to move freely in the spacious back. I curled myself in a corner, away from the Enforcer and the other wolf, and hid my face in my hands.
He stared at me for most of the ride. I think he expected me to lash out again, but I kept silent, weary of him and the other shifter. Once my crying stopped, I leaned my head against the seat and stared blankly at my shoes.
The once white sandals Caddy’s mother had given me were caked in dirt and grass and mud. I counted the blades of grass. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. That didn’t distract me long enough. The ride was long, hours long, and eventually, we stopped and allowed the other wolf shifter to change cars, leaving the Enforcer and I alone in the separated cavern.
“Are you tired?” The Enforcer asked after some time. I glanced up at him confused, after all that time, that was the question he had wanted to ask? I shook my head and continued to play with the hem of my dress. “Hungry?” Again, I shook my head. I lost my appetite the moment I looked into his eyes.
Eventually we stopped, sometime in the morning near a large house in the forest. I didn’t move when the doors opened.
“Little one,” The Enforcer called out, his legs outside the car but his head looking back at me. “Come along.” I remained frozen. “I will drag you out of here if I have to. Just come inside and I will explain everything to you,” he threatened. It didn’t faze me; if I was going to die, why did it matter where it happened?
His hand came around my ankle and rapidly I was thrown on top of his lap once again. He sat me up the best he could and grabbed my jaw. “Don’t make me repeat myself,” He warned, and then pushed me out of the car towards the only house within view.