Wild Claim

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34

SAGE

I knew he didn't recognize me from the second he stepped inside the room. Days I have been in this room with no escape. Heavily guarded and only a visit per day from Silvia. She was confident in beating me. She made sure I knew of every single detail they were doing to him. In a way, she wanted me to feel pain from not being able to do anything.

Liam.

My mate was being tortured. His memory was being wiped. He was given drugs to become even more of a dangerous monster. Someone that may never be able to return to be the same person that I once knew.

As he approached me, his irises dilated and the yellow tints in his irises burned with a carnal thirst. He peeled his lips back to reveal his canines. He was hunting and dangerous. Beast was nowhere. I don't know who I was dealing with.

Liam was fast—extremely fast. I almost didn't beat him in the cage when we first met. Half of me even considered the fact that he went easy on me because he didn't want to hurt me. He fought exceptionally well when we got into the car accident and the rogues attacked.

I backed all the way to the wall while his approaching from eliminating the space between us rapidly. I needed to find a way to get through to him but not hurt him or hurt myself in the process. Silvia had moved to the other side of the room. She stood staring at Liam like he was some kind of exhibit.

"Liam, please, you have to listen to me. I'm Sage—" My words stopped short when he threw a powerful punch. I spun along the wall to escape his attack. Pushing away, I stumbled back from the wall. I can't be pinned. I needed to stay moving.

"Listen to me. She's not who you think she is. Whatever she said to you is a lie," I started.

He growled and launched towards me. His face was impassive and unrecognizable. It was like my words were hitting a wall. I turned to run but he wrapped an arm around my neck putting me in an arm lock. I felt his arm tightened around my neck. The chokehold was cutting off my airway. I clawed at his arm. The mating sparks cried out to him. I cried out to him.

Finally, I kicked his foot hard. He grunted before I used my elbow to jab him in the chest. He released me and I took the opportunity to put more distance between us.

"Kill her, Liam. Don't let her escape. Once she is gone, we can finally be safe. We can finally be free," Silvia demanded from behind me.

Liam's eyes flashed to her before it flew back to me. Hot, salty tears stung my eyes and they began to flood with unshed tears. I cried because I loved him too much. I cried because I couldn't hurt him. I cried because he was being manipulated and there was nothing I could do to protect him.

Something inside him shifted. I can feel it in the air. It grew colder. His eyes were no longer impassive or unrecognizable. It was deadly and menacing. He roared before zipping and appearing in front of me. His hand locked around my neck. Lifting me into the air, he held on tightly. I kicked and scratched at his arm. The unshed tears escaped and left hot trails down my cheeks.

Growling, he threw me onto the ground. My whole body slammed and cracked the cement. I felt like my whole back had been run over. His hand was still hot on my throat. I gasped for breath as he lifted his hand up and threw a hard punch to my cheekbone. I felt instant pain but no words came out of my mouth. He was crushing my throat. My vision blurred.

Voices.

His voice filtered into my mind. I blinked several times and even though I couldn't breathe, tears were still running down my cheek.

"I'm sorry," he said in a pained voice.

"I hurt you again, Sage."

And suddenly, I was back at the cave again. I was no longer in the white cell. He was no longer strangling my throat.

"Do you love me?" I questioned, looking into his eyes.

His jaw ticked with emotions and his eyes flickered with pain.

"I love you," he professed hoarsely.

My heart skipped in my chest happily. I moved so that my hands cradled his cheeks.

"Then let me love you. I won't run away, Liam. Let me decide when it is enough. Don't run away from me because it would hurt me more than anything else," I pleaded.

His eyes glossed with unshed tears and his lips were pinched into a firm line. No words came out of his mouth and my hopes started to crumble even when I knew he was afraid and hesitating because of me. If I have to put myself into his shoes then he has every right to hesitate. He didn't want to hurt me because he loves me.

"Then we should end it?" The words cracked with shattering emotions. It felt forced to come out of my mouth but hearing it hurt me so much more.

He closed his eyes tightly. "I can't let you go. I spent the last two days, fighting myself. I missed you every single second. I wanted to run back home and back into your arms."

"You're my mate, Liam. The bond between us is sacred but our hearts are beating as one. You love me as much as I love you. Don't fight it any longer, Liam. I'm not afraid-"

"But I am. I am afraid." His eyes opened and raw emotions flew them like a movie script. His throat worked hard as he swallowed his own pain.

I gasped loudly as I was pulled immediately back to reality. He no longer had his hand around my throat. I coughed and gagged, rolling over to my side.

"Kill her, Liam. Kill her!"

"P-please— "I wheezed just as I felt a hard kick to my stomach. My world spun and I was quickly finding it harder to breathe. I felt like I was about to vomit even though there was no food in my stomach. Gasping for air, I felt twisting pain in my chest. He must have broken a rib.

"Kill her," she screamed.

Another hard kick to my body. My whole body lifted and flipped onto my back. I coughed out blood. My hands clutched at my body. My tear-ridden eyes fell on my mate. He looked down at me. His eyes were still shining gold. No emotions or recognition crossed his face.

"Do it, Liam," Silvia said. She had moved closer. Placing a hand on Liam's shoulder.

Liam bent down on one knee. He grabbed my shirt and lifted me off the ground. Lifting his hand up in the air, he threw another punch.

"Liam, stop!" I demanded.

I looked at his face and it was fear-stricken and his eyes were glazed over like he was having a nightmare. He clawed and at everything, trying to grab onto anything to keep him above water. He grabbed onto me and pushed me down. I struggled to get him to unhand me. Coughing like crazy when I finally made it back up to get some air.

"Stop! Don't panic. I got you," I said while water splashed in my face and in my mouth.

Suddenly, he half-shifted. His claws scraped my sides and stomach. It clawed at my back and pain ripped through me. I looked at his face to see his eyes had changed color. They were gold and glowing as I have never seen before. Those canines were long and thick. His face almost transformed into a monstrous beast. It was scary and not anything I have seen before. We all have canines but none as crazy as his. He fought harder and ended up clawing at my body some more. I can feel that one claw had dug its way deep into my stomach before he pulled. I released a scream of pain before I was shoved underwater once again.

I needed to get him to calm down. Soon we both would lose the fight and would drown if he doesn't stop. Although he was hurting me by clawing at my body, I moved closer to him. I wrapped one arm underneath his arm and over his chest to his shoulders. Pressing my lips close to his ear I tried again to make him listen.

"Please, you are fine. Don't fight, Liam. Don't fight me. I'll get us safe. It will all be over soon. Just don't fight me," I pleaded.

His body stiff, his arms were still flailing like crazy but suddenly he stopped.

"There we go. Trust me. I'll get us to shore," I told him.

Saving him. I needed to save him. My mate. He threw punch after punch. I knew I must look like a horror show.

"It's okay. I'm here. I love you, Liam. You're safe," I coughed and whispered.

He stopped. His hand hovered mid-air, fisted, ready to throw another hit again. His irises dilated.

"Don't let them change who you are. You are mine and I'll always be here for you. You hurt me and I know you don't want to. I know you're in there, Liam. I don't blame you. Please don't blame yourself. This isn't you. It's them. They did this to you," I cried and moved to wrap my hands around his wrist. The mate tingle lit and spread like wildfire. It heated and warmed my body. It numbed the pain in my body.

"Don't blame yourself, Liam. I love you and I know my limit."

"Kill her, Liam," Silvia growled.

He hesitated. I watched his throat worked up and down. His body began shaking. He shook his head.

"No," he growled.

"Kill her!" Silvia snarled, angry that Liam was defying her.

"No, this is wrong. She's—"

"Do it now, Liam. You're mine. She's lying to you," Silvia urged once again.

Liam looked down at me. His hand tightened around my shirt he lifted me off the ground again to throw another blow but then the second he lifted me off the ground and our eyes met. I saw something changed in his eyes.

Warmth.

Then his eyes widened.

"Sage," he whispered, horrified.

I smiled at him.

"What have I done?" Tears clouded his vision and slid down his face. He released me and covered his face. His head was shaking back and forth. He began rocking. "No. No. This is bad. I'm bad."

It broke my heart. He was completely broken. They broke my man. I did everything I can to heal him. I did everything I can to give him hope. Slowly, I reached out to grab onto his wrist again.

"It's not your fault, Liam," I whispered.

"Kitten," he cried into his hands, not able to look at me.

"Don't," I begged him to not blame himself.

"Kill her or I kill her, Liam," Silvia growled. She moved between us. Immediately, her claws grew. She was going to rip my throat out.

My chest ached and I swear if I don't get this shit fixed soon, I'll die, but I wasn't going to die in her hands. I tried deflecting her attack with my arm but I wasn't strong enough. I knew I was going to lose consciousness soon.

Liam snarled. He looked up from his covered hands. Growling with saliva running down his lips and canines showing, he covered my body with his. The instant warmth of his body and his wonderful scent wrapped around me.

"Liam," I breathed one last time before I lost consciousness.

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