II. Meeting the Mate
Our feet hit the bare ground, inhaling the metal-free air. Our heart stops for a mere second when we hear a loud blast from behind. Turning around, the smoke rose in the air as the flames paint the bright sky red.
“The facility,” Abby mumbles.
“About fucking time,” Trenton grumbles, crossing his arms as he shook his head.
We stand there, staring at the spreading fire and heavy rising smoke. “Do you think anyone other than us and Subject 6, survived?” Abby asks.
“Who knows,” I mutter.
“Come on, let’s go,” Trenton waves at us to continue moving.
I tilt my head upward seeing; the moon was high in the sky. “We should rest,” I said, and everyone nods in approval. Trenton and Abby went to gather woods for a fire. Subject 34 and I went to find food.
Subject 34 releases a heavy breath as he picked the berries. “What’s wrong?” I ask.
“I miss mommy,” he mumbles.
I glance at him, knowing there is no way Subject 6 is his mom. She is far too young to be his mother. “Why do you call her mommy?” I whisper.
“Because she is my mommy,” he replies, a tight smile appearing on his face.
“But she is too young to be your mom.”
He drops the berries, slowly turns his head towards me, brown eyes flickering black. “She is my mommy,” he states in a deadly tone.
He slams my body into the ground, small hands pushing against my bruising chest. “She is my mommy," he growls, canines emerging.
“Subject 34!” Abby yells, rushing towards us.
“Let Isabella go!” Trenton shouts.
“She said mommy isn’t mommy!” He shrieks, crushing me to the ground. I release a low grunt of pain due to my inability to inhale oxygen properly.
Trenton got down on his knees. “Please, calm down Subject 34,” he whispers, petting his head.
His hand drops, swaying on his side. “Sorry,” he mumbles, walking back towards the berry bush. I sat up on my bottom; eyes widened in fear as Subject 34 continues picking berries.
“I told you not to talk about that topic!” Abby whispers yell at me, throwing her arms up in the air.
“I’m sorry, but what’s wrong with-”
“He thinks Subject 6 is his mommy,” Trenton replies, eyes fixated on Subject 34 who starts humming an unknown song to himself.
“What?” I breathe out, standing up and patting the dirt off the bloody clothes.
“You haven’t stayed at the facility for a long time, so you don’t know, but he would always follow Subject 6. We don’t know when it started, but we know one thing for sure,” Abby said, but stopped mid-sentence, swallowing the lump inside her throat as her eyes peeked at Subject 34.
“What do you know?” I question.
Trenton releases a deep breath, running his dirty hands through his grimy hair. “He is desperate for a family since his biological mother sold him.”
I stood there staring at him as he picked off the berries. He looks up, eyes flicking black but quickly turns back to its standard color as he gave me a wave, showing off a toothy grin as if the incident from earlier never occurs.
When we finished eating what we could, we laid on the ground, next to the burning fire. Shuffling in the dirt mix with dead grass, I couldn’t sleep.
Unlike others at the facility who barely remember their family. I remember mine perfectly well. Unfortunately, I also remember the day they tore my family apart.
“Bella! Bella! Wake up,” mom screamed.
Rolling my tiny fist into a ball, I sat up, seeing my older sister shoving clothes into the bags. Dad slammed the door open, blood covering every inch of his body. “Let’s go-”
Before he can even finish, a bullet shot his head. He fell on the floor with a loud thud. My older sister dropped the bag, releasing an ear pitching shriek as she ran towards dad. A man stalked into the room, stepping on top of dad. Murderous eyes were staring at us as he put the bullets inside the gun. “Please don’t hurt my dau-”
Before mom could finish her sentence, blood dripped off her forehead and she dropped on the bed. A horrific shriek escaped my throat, tears emerging from my eyes. “Mommy! Mommy!” I pushed her back and forth, but she said nothing.
He held the gun up, aiming at my face. My older sister ran towards him, kneeling. “Please! I’ll do anything! Don’t kill my sister,” she desperately pleads, shaky hands holding onto his pants.
I clenched onto mom tighter, attempting to regulate my breathing, but it was getting harder by the ticking second.
The man offers us a devious smirk, kneeling on leg down as he inhales her scent. “Unlike all the filth here. You are a pure hunter,” he growled. He snapped his fingers and two men in masks came in. He pointed the finger at me. “Take that little girl. Don’t kill her,” he commanded.
The men came and grabbed me, taking me away from my last family member. “Let me go!” I shrieked, struggling to get out, but it was futile.
“Shut up!” He shouted and slapped my face. My throat hitched, and tears continued dripping down, stinging the area where he hit.
“This is why I hate hybrids,” he growled.
Silently, my sister kneeled there.
“Take her away.”
The two men bowed and dragged me away. “Big sister! Big sister!” I screamed and reached for her.
She looked up and smiled, a sorrowful scene as she mouthed: “I’m sorry.”
“Can’t sleep?” Abby whispers, rolling towards me. I shake my head in return. I don’t understand how Trenton and Subject 34 can sleep so soundly, but at the same time, hearing them snore is quite depressing.
She chuckles, “Me too.”
We both know why the two guys can sleep so well. Anyone who can sleep soundly at the facility meant one thing: they got used to the environment. The only ones who can’t sleep are those who haven’t gotten used to it, attempting to keep what’s left of our sanity.
“So what are you?” Abby asks.
“Half hunter and werewolf,” I reply.
“Cool! I’m half mermaid and fairy. Trenton is half wizard and also a hunter. Subject 34 is part werewolf and vampire,” she grins.
We continue lying there, talking about random things until the fire dies out. It’s been a while since I’ve felt so free, so alive. My whole life, they imprisoned me, locked in a single room. Now, I can live adequately, find my sister, and we can be happy together once again.
The sunlight hit my eyes, and when I woke up, everyone was already awake, eating the berries we picked yesterday. Rubbing my tired eyes, I stand up and walk towards them. Abby smiled at me and gave me a handful of berries. We sat there, silently, consuming our food, ears listening to the morning chirps.
“We need to find mommy,” Subject 34 said, breaking the silence.
Abby and Trenton, hesitantly, exchange glances, “Yes, we should,” Trenton said after a long pause.
“Where are we going to go?” I ask.
Everyone is silent, unable to give a proper response. “Maybe if we continue walking, then we will run into someone?” Abby replies, unsurely.
We all mumble words of agreement and stand up, walking towards an unknown direction.
“Wait,” Trenton said, stopping us.
I watched him as he pulled out two glass containers. “I swiped these before we left the facility. I heard it would cover our scents and make us smell like werewolves. Subject 34’s dominant breed is a werewolf; he doesn’t need it. So, the three of us will have to take it. We don’t want others to know we are hybrids and get captured again,” he explains.
Abby and I nod in agreement, take the vile from him. I watch as Trenton and Abby gulp down the substance, while I continue staring at it. Unlike Subject 34, who got his dominant breed, I don’t know if I’m hunter or werewolf since I haven’t turned of age.
The three of them stare at me as I stare at the vile in my hands. After some time, I open the cap and take a sip, tasting the bitterness. I close the lid and wrap the vile around my neck, hiding it inside my shirt.
When we finish, we continue walking, heading towards unknown territory. Everyone grip tightly on their weapons, eyes scanning the area for an enemy. Since I wasn’t at the facility for a long time, I haven’t entirely been mold into perfect soldiers like the three in front of me.
They can kill an enemy without hesitation; after all, they were ending lives the day they enter the facility. I’ve been killing others too, but the look in their eyes is different. It’s cold, hard, stoned as if killing others is part of their usual routine.
Abby would continuously smile to cover up her emerging madness. Trenton is deprived of any real, genuine emotions. Last but not least, Subject 34, who held onto Subject 6 desperately fooling himself into believing he is an average boy.
We hear a rustle in the bush, and without a second thought, Trenton throws his knife into a bush, causing the sound to stop. Slowly, he stalks towards the bush and pulls out a bleeding rabbit. “False alarm,” he said, yanking out his knife, throwing the rabbit on the ground.
I hold my hand on my mouth, attempting now to throw up the berries from earlier.
Abby grabs a rock and walks over to the twitching rabbit. Swiftly, she hit its head, causing the twitch to stop. She turns towards me, wiping off the blood from her rosy cheek. “Better kill it, than letting it suffer.”
I watch her as she got on her knees, knife digging into the dirt, attempting to make a hole. Trenton and Subject 34 crouch down and start helping her. Hesitantly, I walk toward them and aid them in the rabbit funeral.
“We should eat it,” Subject 34 said, and we stopped digging the hole.
Abby glances at the dead body on the ground. “No, too much work skinning it,” she replies and continues digging.
Before we know it, days past, and we continue walking far away from hell.
I rub my eyes and release a yawn, which is promptly covered by a hand. Looking up, it’s Trenton. “Wolves,” he whispers.
My heart stops when I hear paws hitting the ground and a few loud growls. We group into a circle. Looking around, there were wolves in every direction, growling menacingly.
The largest one went to the bush, and I flinched when I heard bones cracking. Out step a guy, roughly 6ft tall, wearing shorts around his waist.
“Why the fuck are you all here?” He growls.
“W-We will leave soon,” I said.
He smirks and shakes his head. “No one leaves Silverstone without getting punished, thoroughly.”
He tilts his head in our direction, and six guys in pants pace cautiously towards us. I can see everyone grabbing their weapons, getting ready to fight.
“How peculiar, rouges, with weapons,” the tallest guys said, rubbing his chin.
“Put them away,” I hiss, but they refuse to listen. “If we kill all these wolves, they might find us,” I said.
They all glance at each other and drop their weapons, knowing that being taken prisoner by these wolves is better than going back to the facility.
“Good choice,” the tall guy said with a nod of approval
Instantly, they grab us, placing cuffs on our wrist. Abby and Trenton didn’t flinch. But Subject 34 and my flesh are burning. That’s the unfortunate part of being a hybrid. We hold weaknesses of both species until our body chooses which breed is dominant.
“Let’s go,” he commands.
After some very long walk, with a lot of shoving, we reach a massive dungeon. Great, escape from one prison to get into another.
They take off the handcuffs, push us into cellular, and lock the door. “Our Alpha will decide what happens to you all for trespassing,” he said and walked away.
“At least this place is nicer than the one we were at,” Abby said, taking a seat on the ground.
“True,” Trenton and Subject 34 sat next to her.
I release a deep breath, knowing what they say is true. I can see faint blood marks against the wall, meaning they at least attempt to clean this place. There is also a toilet, so it’s nice to know they gave us some plumbing system. After some time, an older lady came up to us, with a tray of food. I can see everyone drooling, including me. She set it down in front of us, gave us a tight smile and left.
“L-Let’s just stay here,” Trenton said, digging into his mashed potatoes.
“Sounds good to me,” Subject 34 replied, eating his chicken, showing off a toothy grin.
“Roof over our head and food. The best prison I’ve ever been in,” Abby chuckles.
“You’ve been in one other prison,” Trenton said, spitting food all over the place.
“Yeah, but that was a shitass place,” she replies.
I shook my head and started eating my potatoes. A moan of satisfaction escapes my lips when I taste the heavenly softness of it. Technically, I’ve been to two prisons, and this by far is the best.
When we couldn’t eat anymore, we set the food aside and continued chattering as if everything was normal. Guards would look at us with confusion, instead of that usual disgusted look.
“Are they just casually talking about how nice this cell is?” One of them whispers.
“Yeah, I think so,” the other response with a head scratch.
We stop chattering when we hear the door slam open. The atmosphere of the place changes almost instantaneously. A chill brushes down my spine as I sense hostility in the air. Subject 34 eyes flicker back, while Abby holds his hands, shaking her head.
Thunderous footstep echoes throughout the place as the guards straighten themselves up to look presentable. My heart was racing, anticipating. I can feel a deadly glare burning in the back of my skulls. “You, turn around.” a deep, alluring voice growls.
Slowly, I turn around, feeling my hands trembling. The beating stopped when I met with a pair of brilliant ocean eyes, flashing black. He stands there, back straighten, crossing his arms across his broad chest, muscles flexing through his dark t-shirt. He stands tall, hovering over the rest, as a rough hand ruffles through his dirty brown hair.
He licks his pale, dry lips; fist tightens, revealing white teeth grinding in evident displeasure. He glares at me with this indescribable hatred as if he wanted me dead.
Opening his mouth, one-word escape: "Mate."