Luna Isabella

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VI. Drowning

Isabella’s POV:

My legs scurried back as I shook my head. “I-I didn’t kill them,” I stuttered, feeling the pounding inside my chest as he slinks towards me. Cold sweat glistened on my brow while his creased deeply. With hands clasped tightly in front of my boney stomach constantly fiddled with my trembling knuckles, weaving my fingers in and out of each other.

Memories of Subject 6 replaying inside my mind, reminding me I am not a monster. The blood was dripping down her fingertip, her stale face indicating that her actions were justifiable when it is not.

Instantly, I turned and started running away, but Damien caught me. I fought my way from his tight grip, but it was futile as his hands were bruising my flesh more and more. With my free hand, I formed a fist and lifted it towards his face, but it stopped.

My fist was merely inches away, frozen, unable to carry its mission adequately. My eyes sink deeply into his, seeing nothing but sorrow and pain. Damien shut his eyes, and the emotion vanished as he grabbed my other wrist, snapping me back into reality.

I started struggling once more, but he held onto me tightly. “Stop!” he commanded—his voice, so loud...so brutal...similar to those men guarding us in the facility.

“Let me go!” I shouted, feeling the tears jerking down my eyes.

“I told you! You are never leaving! Why the fuck won’t you listen?”

Our voices rose above the sacred silence of the forest; animals were halting their racket. The wind halted, and the trees seemed to have stopped speaking. His face brightened with anger, harsh words in rough tone sprouting in the atmosphere. Blood was not bound to spill, but my chest was aching, feeling pain. At this moment, I rather fight hand to hand combat with him to the death if it means being able to escape from whatever it is between us.

My head shook vigorously, and without noticing that stupid tiny rock, I tripped. Damien didn’t release me. Instead, he rolled down a hill beside me. My eyes shut, getting ready for the impact at the bottom, but nothing happens. Cracking a lid open, I realized I was lying on top of Damien, a hand firmly wrapped around my head and the other on my waist.

“You’re b-bleeding,” I stuttered, reaching for the wound on his forehead.

“Yeah, fucking thanks to you,” he grunted, then pushed me off of him.

I landed on the dirt as he slowly stood up.

There was blood on his head, shoulder, knees, and toes.

Woah, that was weird.

Is that a song?

That should be a song.

I shook my head, standing up, inching forward toward him. “Don’t fucking touch me,” he growled, dark eyes glaring at me, and I pray Alfie is fighting to take over, so I do not have to speak further with him.

Retracting my hands, I took a step back as he rubbed the blood from his forehead onto his shirt. A hazy breath entered my lungs when I saw the sculpted muscles beneath his clothing. His eyes matched mine, a small egotistic smirk making its appearance. I forced my eyes to trace towards the trees. “Don’t even,” he threatens, taking steps towards me, threatening me not to escape again.

“I-I didn’t kill them.” My head hung low, staring at his dirty, wounded feet.

He cracked his tense neck, pulling the grimy shirt over his neck, revealing the upper portion of his body. I sucked in a sharp breath as his shirtless torso exposed to me. I hated myself for being mesmerized by his physique, my fingertips scratching one another. He had a chiseled chest, and the skin on it was glowing healthily, yet deep scars were sculpting on his tanned flesh. His abdominals were sculptured to perfection, something I did not witness in the facility. In the facility, everyone was powerful but were malnourished; hence we were all built-in slender muscles.

“That doesn’t erase the fact that you tried to run away.” he grabbed my wrist, pulling me back to the pack territory.

My feet were digging into the dirty, revolting against his actions. “It’s your fault,” I barely whispered, causing him to stop walking.

Damien twisted his neck towards me. “What?” his voice was not a questionable one, rather deadly.

“It’s your fault,” I spoke louder than usual, confidence commanding within my body.

He took a step towards me, forcibly pulling me into his refined body. “Want to try that again?”

I bit my trembling lips, eyes casting from his vibrating chest towards his orbs. “I said-” I inhaled a deep breath, “It’s your fault!” I shouted, and the birds scurried away into the darkening clouds.

His grip tightened, and he raised a hand. My eyes shut automatically in response, getting ready for the impact on my cheek.

However, nothing happened.

Peeking a lid open, Damien’s hand was mere inches from my cheek, but he didn’t move. His eyes were piercing towards me with anger and hatred, as he contracted the hand near my face.

“It’s not my fault.” he attempts to speak in a calmer voice, but I can feel the irritation behind it.

“Yes, it is.” I sounded more poised, standing my ground. I had been treated like garbage the day my parents were murdered, and my only sibling has taken from me. Now I refuse to be handled that way by a strange self-centered man I met.

“How the fuck is it my fault?” his voice was louder now, no longer attempting to hold onto the tiny thread of calmness.

“Because! Because...Because-” I trailed off, as the memory of him kissing that female appeared.

“You-” he cut me off, “do you know what your job is?”

I inhaled a shaky breath and an uncaring smile on my face. “Let me guess, lay there and get impregnated by you while you go fuck other females, disregarding my emotions! I have been waiting for a long time for this freedom.” I bit back the tears, “And you have taken it from me.”

He stood there, almost stunned by my response.

“I hate you.” my voice was cracked, feeling the water swelling inside my eyes.

A flash of pain and guilt return, his grip loosening on my wrist for a mere second. “Good, hate me,” his voice had a hint of dejection, almost as if he was forcing the words out.

Quickly, he turned his body, dragging me back, but not towards the bedroom. He threw me in the dungeon, as a punishment for escaping and demonstrating to everyone that even if I am his so-called soulmate, he will not take mercy on me.

My shoulders were aching, wrists bruising as the chains hung from them against the ceiling. I leaned my head against the cold brick wall, eyes shut firmly, wondering when I can leave. My feet could touch the floor, so I wasn’t in much pain, although I can live without standing here for so long.

The bar door creaked open, catching my attention, and I lifted my head, hair slightly blocking my vision, to see Damien again.

I’ve been in here for roughly three days, and it wasn’t that bad. I could live without the aching shoulder and tired legs. He still fed me despite yelling into my face nearly every hour.

That is also something I can live without.

However, today was different. This was the third time he is in here and all three times. Damien didn’t speak a single word. As per usual, a werewolf brought in a chair for him to sit.

He sat down and started staring at me, again.

I didn’t think I would want this, but I prefer the angry Damien over the silent one.

The guards left us alone and so it began.

Round three of creepy, intense, uncomfortable stares.

My eyes averted from his, swallowing the saliva inside my mouth as he continued locking his eyes. My body felt it once more, his eyes undressing every inch of my body.

Damien crossed his arms, sliding downward, his bare feet touching my own. A shaky keen breath left my throat as it grazed against my skin, slowly trailing upward, burning my flesh. It was uncomfortable but excruciatingly desirable.

I wanted to scoot back, but a wall was in my way.

The chains cling against one another as I felt his toes slowly trailed upward towards my ankle, eyes firmly shut.

“S-Stop it!” I screamed, and instantly he stopped withdrawing himself.

My shaky breath froze when I heard the chair knocked on the ground, his heated body standing in front of me. Fluttering my lashes, it met with his firm chest, and it stayed there until he grabbed my chin, forcing me to face him.

Damien rolled his thumb into my mouth, grazing it against my tongue as his Adam Apple repeatedly jumped. He smeared my saliva across my cheeks while a low whimpering sound escaped my lips.

Instantly, he turned around, grabbed the chair, and threw it across the room. “Fuck!” he shouted before stomping out, again.

That was the third chair he broke today, and I still don’t understand why he does it.

Breaking chairs.

Those chairs did nothing wrong.

I released a deep breath, staring at the cement ground until a pair of familiar grimy feet made its appearance. My eyes traced upward, meeting dark orbs. I turned my head, rejecting his presence.

He lifted a hand, closing in toward me. “Little Fl-”

“Go away, Alfie.” I tilted my head, once again rejecting him.

I don’t want to reject Alfie; after all, he has been kind to me since I’ve been here. However, Alfie is a part of Damien, and if I accepted him, it means I am allowing Damien to enter my broken heart. I do not want to take such a man.

He is the same as everyone I met in my life, treating me as if I am not equal, and I am tired of it.

I don’t want to stay here. I want to leave, far away from here with the other subjects, with our freedom.

Alfie exhaled softly, “He didn’t mean-”

“Stop it!” I said, twisting my neck back at him. “Just stop it, Alfie... I’m not going to stay...I don’t want to stay.” my voice was cracking more and more with each word.

Alfie stood there, clenching his fist. Soon, he unraveled it, and I could feel him taking off the chains from my wrist, causing my hands to dangle to the side. He inhaled a deep breath and turned his back. “Follow me.”

I touched my aching flesh, following him as his pace increased more and more. The guards were looking at us but didn’t make any movement because of Alfie’s intense glare.

Soon, a guard stepped in front of him. “Alfie, this is not a good idea. Alpha D-”

“Step aside,” Alfie growled, and he glanced at me before nodding and taking a step aside. “I’ll take all the blame,” he told them all before resuming his walk. He halted for a quick second, grabbed a jacket from the table, and continued walking, making me wonder if he is cold.

After some time of walking down the long hall, we reached the outside, and Alfie stopped. He turned towards me and wrapped the jacket around my shoulders; then, I realized I was shaking not because of fear but the chilly air. “Leave,” he whispered.

My eyes reached towards him, feeling him running his fingers down my tangled hair. “W-What?”

“You don’t want to stay here, right?” His voice broken, eyes cast on the dirt. “This is your chance...go away from here.”

I bit my trembling lips, “But, D-Damien.”

“I’ll take care of him. Just leave and don’t turn back.” his eyes flickers, breathes growing hazy. “And I’ll take care of your friends too...Hee-Young won’t be punished since she took no part.”

I reach for him, “A-Alf-”

He took a step back, rejecting my contact. “Leave!” he shouted, tears dripping down his cheeks. “Leave and be happy,” his dark eyes met mine. “Leave before I change my mind.”

I nodded, taking a few steps away, and started rushing to the forest. I dashed through the woods, leaping over the logs and the slippery rocks. My body dodged and zipped past oak trees and under lowered and snapped branches. Everything blurred into a dizzying blend, tears dripping down my face as my nostrils stuck with mucus. The dirt was wet and moist under her bare, callus skin. I jumped into a muddy brook, soaking up the torn clothing. My legs were feeling heavier and heavier with each step. Looking up, the sky was blue, crystal clear without a single dark cloud.

“Just leave and don’t turn back.”

For some illogical reason, I stopped, and my fingers curled up into a fist. My chest was feeling heavy, a cry beating out.

There was a howl behind me, indicating my time to escape was over.

The chase had begun.

I resume my run. And the thick forest never felt so endless. The howl was getting louder and more vicious by the second. Similar to me, Damien had been trained, discipline himself. The difference between us was that I was not prepared to run, only fight.

My eyes widened, feeling a hand grab my wrist and twisted me around, eyes meeting with him. He shook his head at me, making a tch tch sound. Silently, he pulled me back, and I didn’t protest, knowing it was a waste of energy. He did not drag me towards the dungeon but the Pack House. There wasn’t a single soul in sight as we pulled me towards the bedroom.

He threw me on the bed; my fingers scrunched the sheet as I stood upward. “Get out,” I glare right into his eyes.

An unamused chuckled lingers in the air. He scrunched my face with his rough hands, forcing me to look at him despite not wanting to, once again. “I hate you.” my voice was rougher. My stomach shifts uneasily, and I notice that my hands are pinching into my skin.

A smirk made its debut across his stunning face. “If you hate me so much, why didn’t you run faster?”

Chaining into his eyes, the visions of him locking lips with the female kicked me, and I snapped, “Because Ian is here.” I gave him a taunting smirk.

That wasn’t the truth, and I didn’t know why I wasn’t running at my full energy. Maybe I didn’t have enough energy due to the lack of the rest. Perhaps, it was because he still had the other subjects, those who truly understood what I had been through. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about them.

Alternatively, maybe, I felt terrible leaving Hee-Young all alone, seeing me inside of her when I looked into her sorrowful eyes.

Perhaps I am feeling guilty for leaving Ian, who was protecting me.

Damien’s jaw clenched, bones in his palm cracking in a disfiguring manner. His other hand tightens on my face, causing me to accidentally bite my cheek, blood spurring inside my mouth. “Try again,” a fierce growl hovered over the room.

“Ian...I’m staying for him,” I repeated, understanding I shouldn’t pull Ian between Damien and me, but he was making me insane.

He doesn’t want me, yet he refuses to let me go.

Damien shoved me down onto the mattress, causing the bed to creak. Unsteadily, I went on my elbows, seeing Damien pacing back and forth, grumbling something under his breath. In one swift motion, he thrust his fist into the wall, resulting in a large hole.

He stemmed towards me, each step louder than the last. A muscle twitches involuntarily at the corner of his right eye, near the vein popping out of his temples. His mouth formed a rigid grimace. With arms folded tightly across his broad chest, he shook his foot furiously. “Don’t you ever speak of his name again.”

An unamused chuckle left my mouth, “You mean Ia-”

Before I could finish, he crashed me down into the bed, a single man covering my mouth. “I fucking swear you are on thin ice right now.” the volume of his voice lowered, “If I ever see you beside Ian, I will put you on a leash.”

My eyes were welling with tears, heating as his shaky brush against my face. He traced his fingers around my neck, “Right here." He wrapped his hand around my neck.

“Understand.”

It was rather a command than a question.

I laid there, feeling a bulge against my thigh as his hand tense, the vein on his temple striking into the surface harder than usual. I didn’t respond, merely laid there gazing into his eyes, feeling as if I was drowning in a bottomless ocean. The hand that held him up scrunch into the sheets as we listen to the ticking on the wall that seems to get louder. I felt my inside grow warm in an unpleasant way, and my stomach, though empty, writhed as if struggling.

Damien’s expression was unreadable, but it felt as if he was battling an inner war, perhaps with Alfie. Undoubtedly, it seems like he is losing. There it is again, I could hear a drum beating.

Ba-dump.

Ba-dump.

Ba-dump.

The humidity of my heart is in the urge of exploding, but I could hear another beating, a faster one tangling around mine.

Ba-dump Ba-dump.

Ba-dump Ba-dump.

Ba-dump Ba-dump.

Ba-dump Ba-

Before I can fathom what had occurred, Damien tilted his head down and crashed our lips together.

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