That's not the end of Elana and Nathan's adventures! Here is a little snippet of the first chapter of the next book. If I get enough replies and likes, I will post the next book!
I woke slowly with my head pounding, feeling very disoriented. It was pitch black in my room as I opened my eyes. I reached over to turn my bedroom lamp on but felt nothing. Where was my lamp?
And then it all came back flooding to me. Liam kidnapped. Claire and the pack missing. The imprint.
I abruptly sat up. Now where was I?
My sudden movements only accentuated the painful throbbing, like someone hitting me chest with a hammer.
"Hello?" I said quietly, feeling around with my hands. "Anyone there?" I said much louder, starting to feel panicked. I climbed off the cot I was laying on, dropping to my knees. "Is someone there?" I said again, my voice raising to a near scream.
I crawled around on my knees, holding my hands in front of me like a blind person. I continued to reach out my hands, finding nothing but cold hard wall. The darkness was taunting me as sobs threatened to escape. I crawled back over to the cot and curled up into a tight ball.
I tried as hard as I could to stay calm, but the panic was beginning to overwhelm me. I closed my eyes and began to hold my breath. Smother it out, I chanted in my head, Smother it out. The room felt like it was spinning, leaving me groggy. Unable to keep my eyes open, I drifted back to sleep.
The second time I woke up was less confusing than the first.
I hoped my eyes would have adjust to the darkness by now, but it was no use. There was not even the smallest sliver of light to help.
I lay on the cot for a while, trying to piece all of this together. First the "Imprint" thing, then Liam, and then there was that shadow man who brought me here. Are these all related? I'd assume so...
"Please," I said trying one more time to see if anyone was with me, but there was no answer.
I cautiously sat up, relieved my head felt at least a little better. My limbs might want to fall off my body now, but at least my head was still intact. I slowly swing my legs over the edge of the cot and stand up.
All the blood rushed from my head and I sat back down before I passed out. Once I felt better, I stood up again. Reaching out my hands, I took a cautious step forward, encountering the rough bricks of a wall. I trailed my hands along the crevices, trying to get a feel of the room and its dimensions. It felt like it was about the size of the bathroom at the house, minus all the features.
There was only one door which seems to be bolted from the outside. The only fixture in the room was the cot I had awakened on.
I sat back down on the cot trying to control my senses. I had lost all sense of time and couldn't tell if it was day or night. I focused, trying to use my heart as a gauge. It was a strong ache, but bearable. I knew that meant I've been away from Nathan for one or two days. Because I had already spent one day away from him on the search, I had to guess this was about halfway through day two.
Nothing made sense. Where was everyone, including myself? It's not a coincidence all this was happening all at the same time.
My head began to ache again, so I lay back down to deal with the pain. The endless darkness made it difficult not to feel tired, especially when there was no difference between my eyes being open or shut.
My eyes flew open in a second. Nathan! His movements next me were strong and angry. He was pacing the floor so fast and furiously, I thought he would be able to burn a hole in the ground. Hope soared through me and I looked to my right, only to find a wall in his place.
The imprint effects, or something like that. I don't quite know yet.
My body yearned to be able to break down the wall separating us from each other. Did he know I was over here? If I shout out some thoughts now, will he be able to hear them? It's worth a shot!
Nathan! I shouted in my head.
I waited for his movement to stop or slow down, or some sort of indication he heard me. Nothing. Nathan! I'm over here! I tried again, desperate this time, but there was no sign that he heard me.
Taking a deep breath, I sat myself down on the cot and focused on my breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Now my mind was cleared, I tried one last time. My felt my mind link with his as I poured all my energy into communicating with him.
Nathan. It's me.
The movement on the other side of the wall ceased and I knew he heard me this time. I continued. I'm in the room to your left. I need to ask you questions, but I don't know how you can answer.
I felt him move over to the wall I was at. If he was talking, I wasn't able to hear what he said, the solid concrete spacing us from each other. What do we do?
He stood up and started inspecting the wall. What are you doing?
I knew he heard me again, but he didn't bother stopping or thinking about what he actually was doing.
'Bang!' The wall shook at the foot of the cot.
My heart nearly jumped out of my chest. What are you doing? You can't break down the wall!
'Bang!' Another in the same spot, only a small amount of concrete fell with it.
Stop! You're going to hurt yourself before you can knock that wall down!
'Bang!' This time, bricks exploded from the place where Nathan had been pounding the wall. Not knowing what else to do, I let out a little squeal and tucked my head between my knees to protect my eyes.
He broke down a wall! My head was released from its safe spot between my knees and I looked over at the newly made hole glaring at me in the wall. Tentatively standing from my bed, I slowly walked over to it. Nathan's head was looking at me through the small hole, not any bigger than my hand.
"Nathan!" I whispered in relief and made my way over to the crumbling wall. A piece of debris grabbed my foot, tripping me on a piece in the wall. I fell into the brick instead.
"Careful!" He warned, right before I braced myself against the solid part of the wall separating us.
"What—I thought this wall was concrete. How did you—"
Nathan saved me from trying to complete my sentence and just answered right away. "They wanted us to believe it was concrete, but it is really brick."
"Umm, I don't know if that's any better. How did you just...break it down?"
"When we are separated, you get in more pain and I get stronger. Because I am already a wolf, and I work out excessively, though, I'm even stronger than normal." He offered, extending his hand through the small hole in the wall. He's lucky his ability is X-raying buildings.
I tried to accept what he just told me. "That's why I get those aches in my chest when I'm away from you." I declared, not really needing the confirmation by now. I just needed to say it out loud to make it real.
"Where are we?" I asked, my body physically shaking. I removed my hands from the brick and hugged myself, unsure if it was from the cold or my fear.
"Keepers. When you grabbed that man's hand, you willingly submitted surrender."
"But I didn't. He grabbed mine."
"You met him half-way." The hurt in his voice was evident in his words. I felt guilt spread through my body instantly. I hurt him. I wanted to take back the hurt. I wanted to comfort him. It was so strong I almost tried to squeeze my hand in the mouse hole Nathan made.
But then I remembered the dance. "Why did you say I wasn't good enough?"
Nathan looked confused. "When did I say that?"
I hugged myself tighter. "When you kissed me." Tears started to rush to my eyes, but I pushed them back. I am not about to cry over one kiss.
Realization replaced the confusion. "No, it's not what you think. I didn't mean it like that, I swear."
I took my arms and crossed them in front of my chest instead. "Then explain it to me. Start explaining this huge mess I've apparently gotten myself into. Because nobody else is and I'm tired of not knowing what's going on in my own life!" My voice cracked as I raised it, so I tried to calm down and regain control of my frustration.
Nathan lowered his voice when he spoke, as if someone was listening, but didn't make eye-contact with me. "There are different stages of an imprint. There's the imprinting—that's the part where we touch and flashes of our possible future go through our minds. The marking—where the wolf will bite his imprinted to claim her. And the sealing—where the two wolves make it official forever."
My jaw dropped. "You imprinted me?"
"No, Nathan. No! Do you understand what you just did?? You just took away my freedom! My choice! Now, I'm tied to a guy who doesn't even want me! I'm only seventeen! What if I didn't want you? Then what would have happened?"
Nathan shook his head, still not looking at me. "It doesn't matter. We don't have a choice. It just...happens."
I shivered. "But when I saw you, I didn't have flashes of the future."
"I did." The way Nathan said it made it sound like that's all that matters. "I don't know anything about how this is supposed to work. Nothing like this has ever happened before, so I don't know how it's supposed to happen."
I stepped back and landed on the hard bed. I felt my world shattering around me. My whole world was already spelled out for me. "Why are you telling me this?" I asked. "You haven't told me anything for the past month and a half and now you want to come clean? Why?"
"Because I hurt you by not telling you. And that's something I never want to do again, if I can help it."
I didn't answer him. "Why can you read my thoughts?"
Nathan was quiet for a while and I thought I pushed my luck. "I don't know," he honestly answered instead.
I stayed quiet for a long time. "I can feel where you are. It's like ... a magnet. I can feel your movements and how close or far you are. But it goes in and out."
"So does mine. I'm guessing it's because our mating is not fully completed. I can read your emotions most of the time, but I rarely get a read on your thoughts."
I didn't want to think about what this all meant. I didn't even want to think about our connections.
"Elana, are you okay?"
I nodded, although he couldn't see it. "I just need some time to soak all this in."
Nathan grunted and I could just imagine the pain on his face. I know he wanted me to just accept it all, but I know I couldn't. At least not right now. I was so confused and frustrated, I just needed a break from him.
I laid back on my cot and looked up at the dark ceiling. I couldn't really make out that many shapes and I assumed that was also concrete or brick or whatever. I let my mind wander back to Liam. I really hope he is okay. I don't know what I would do if he wasn't. Just the thought of Liam being injured, or worse, made tears spring to my eyes. I felt so useless. Why couldn't I just keep him out of this?
The cement opened and light flooded in, blinding me momentarily. I placed my hands distantly from my face, trying to block out the light but still see what is happening. A couple of silhouettes blocked some light from view, getting bigger and bigger as they closed in on me.
Oh my gosh, please no! I mentally screamed.
That was something else dreadfully wrong with dreaming the future. You knew when you were going to die.
And my time was now.
Big, beefy hands enveloped my arms and yanked me up, dragging me to the door. I pushed myself to fight, to do something, but my numb feet only scraped the ground with defeat.
"Elana, no! Let go of her!" Nathan yelled from the tiny hole in the wall. "No, Stop!"
The two men roughly dragged my unresponsive body out of the room. Nathan protested the whole way until the heavy door slammed shut and his cries were silenced.
I closed my eyes at the stunning light from the hallway. The familiar sterile smell from my dream found its way into my nose and I cringed at the familiarity.
A big, deformed glass door at the end of the hallway stood in contrast to the solid metal doors lined against the wall. The men stopped, one releasing his bruising grasp as he punched numbers on a pad.
I'm not going to die.
I mentally coached myself and found all the strength I had. I moved my limp arm from my side and hit the other guard at my right. My knuckles connected with his eye and he screamed. Grabbing at his eye, he let go of my arm and I bolted.
I ran down the hall, counting the doors to see what room Nathan was in. My sixth sense kicked in and felt him pacing in the room just a couple doors down. I heard yells and accusations behind me as footfalls started to follow. If I just made it there in time...
I reached the handle and spun it as quickly as I could, shoving the door at the same time. The hard door was heavy and I barely had it open when Nathan heaved it the rest of the way and followed me out to the hall.
"Stop or I'll shoot!" An indifferent voice yelled from behind me. I almost didn't stop, daring them to shoot me, that I was going to die here anyway and I better not go down without a fight. But Nathan tugged on my arm and halted me. When I turned around, I realized why.
The gun he held could hardly be classified as a gun. It looked like a bazooka on steroids, decked out in gadgets and tools I thought people only put in movies.
The man holding it was the doctor I saw in my dream. The man in a white doctor coat narrowed his enlarged eyes through his thin wired glasses perched at the tip of his nose. He looked just like he did in my dream, which was not as comforting as it probably should be.
He smirked as he came closer to me, the gun glaringly obvious. "Let's figure out what makes you so different."
"Don't do it," Nathan sneered, lips barely moving as his teeth started to sharpen.
The doctor smiled cruelly, the look haunting on his face. Everything happened at once. An echoing 'Bang' vibrated through the hall as Nathan shifted to his wolf form and jumped in front of me. He whimpered as a bullet engaged with him and he fell to the floor, writhing in pain. Blood started to darken his already black fur where a gaping red hole was. His breathing became labored and I felt him start to panic.
My side started to cramp and I grabbed it, willing it to stop. I fell to my knees next to Nathan, not even caring that we were still being threatened by some mad scientist. An excruciating pain lodged in my side and I felt my stomach start to twist in contortion.
I looked down, but saw nothing. Another wretched scream tore through me and I felt the edges of my vision turning black.
I looked up at the gun, nearly sneering. The man in the white coat was smiling, enjoying our torment. Nathan let out a growl, noticing the same thing. The guards were behind him with a stone look on their face, seeming to be unaffected by the scene, as if it happened every day. That thought scared me. A lot.
My vision started to blur as I experienced more pain in my side. I looked down at it again, but there was still nothing there. Not a scratch ripped through my filthy pajamas from the other night. The pain became all too much and I felt my vision blurring, barely registering the cold tile on my face before I lost consciousness.
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