When I came to, I found myself in a jail-like cage. I looked around for something I could use to get myself out, but all I could see was dirt and more cages. My ankle was chained to the wall and it burned slightly. It had to be laced with wolfsbane to keep my wolf at bay. I didn’t understand what was happening, why would Derek do this? Who was warping his mind so badly that he would drug me and lock me up like an animal? I stood up and tried to reach the door of the cage, but my new ankle brace stopped me short. I calmed myself down and took deep breaths as I tried to pick up on any smell I could. I was hoping Alex was in one of the cages beside me, I didn’t want to think of a worse fate he could have received back at Nick’s house. Or perhaps he was drugged as well, and he was just now waking up on Nick’s floor? Maybe he would be able to alert Nick and he’d be on his way to find me right now. I sat back down and tried to loosen the brace around my ankle, but it didn’t budge. I was going to have to break my ankle to allow my foot to slip through. This was going to be fun. I bit my lip and grasped my ankle hard, I had to do this quietly.
“Don’t do it, Emma.” Derek’s voice bellowed from a loudspeaker. “Even if you could get out of the cage, that wolfsbane will make you weak. Your ankle won’t heal fast enough for you to make it down the hall before someone stops you.” I stood to my feet and looked around for the security camera he had to be watching me on.
“Is this how it is now, Derek?” I asked. “You were ready to die for me in the ring and now I can’t even get a conversation face-to-face?”
“I don’t want to get that close to you, Emma.” His voice echoed in the empty chamber.
“Are you afraid you’ll hurt me again?” I kicked the chain holding me. “I didn’t know you liked to play with wolfsbane so much.”
“I didn’t shoot you, Em.” His voice almost sounded sad at the accusation.
“Why are you doing this, Derek?” I refused to let him hear the hurt in my voice. I needed to stay strong, show no weaknesses. “What do you want from me?” Silence. I fell back to the ground and took a deep breath. I had to come up with a new plan, but now I know I’m being watched, so whatever plan I come up with had to be extremely discreet. I examined the chain holding me, it was screwed into the wall, but I had no idea how far or how tight. I skooched myself over to the wall and braced myself with both feet on either side of the chain. With both hands getting a good grip on the chain as close to the wall as I could, I pulled with every muscle in my body.
“Emma!” Derek’s disapproving voice echoed over the loudspeaker, but I didn’t stop. I pulled again and the chain broke free from the wall, sending me flat on my back. I laid there for a second as I caught my breath. I stood to my feet and dragged the chain behind me as I went to the doors of my cell. I looped the chain around the bar closest to the lock. “That’s enough, Emma.” I ignored Derek’s voice as I got another grip on the chain. I planted my foot firmly on the ground to hold one end of the chain in place and used my hands to hold the other side of the chain. “Even if you get out of there, you won’t be able to get out. The guards will stop you.”
“I will fight my way out of here with my last breath!” I screamed to Derek. I couldn’t let my emotions get the best of me. The betrayal and hurt I was feeling was enough to collapse my body to the ground and weep, but I was stronger than that. I was stronger than Derek. I pulled on my chain, the pain from the brace around my ankle shot waves up my leg, but I couldn’t stop. I put my weight into the chain and pulled as hard as I could. Suddenly, Derek stood in front of my cell. His hands gripped the part of the chain that was around the bar and pulled it back. Not expecting the force, my body flung into the bars. I could feel the skin on my forehead crack open and blood poured into my vision. I fell to the ground as Derek released my chain. Damn him.
“I’m not trying to hurt you, Emma.” He said.
“Too late.” I sat up on my elbows and locked eyes with him.
“You’re not the target, I just need you out of the way.”
“Out of the way for what?” I stood to my feet. “Who’s the target?” I asked, but I knew. There was only one wolf I would do anything to protect, and being out of the way, Derek had every intention to strike Nick.
“The less you know, the more inclined they’ll be to let you go when this is over.” He was working with someone. Derek liked to talk, I just had to get him to keep talking by letting him think he wasn’t offering up too much information. He wouldn’t know I was looking into him while he was gone, so he wouldn’t expect me to be able to connect the dots of his vague explanations.
“They should expect me to retaliate.” I said. “It’s better you kill me now and not deal with the consequences.”
“You were never meant to get hurt, Emma. If you would have backed off, we could have done this much easier.”
“We?” I repeated. “How many are you working with?” I looked around the cell. “You say you have guards, so I’m assuming they’re just the muscle and not the brains. But where would a wolf like you get followers?” I stepped closer to the bars of my cell. “You’re a rogue with no pack.” Derek laughed at me.
“I have a pack.” He said. “I have many packs.” Come on, Derek, keep talking. “You tie yourself down with one pack and pledge allegiance to a single Alpha. I am the Alpha of my own pack. I do what I want, when I want to. I answer to no one.”
“Sounds like a rogue to me.”
“If I was a rogue, would I have an army behind me?” He stepped closer to the cell.
“If you were an Alpha to an army, you would have more say in my safety.” I needed to get talking more. “Yet, here I am.” I extended my hands. “Stuck in a cell until your boss tells you to let me go or kill me.”
“I know what you’re doing.” He smiled at me. “I’m not letting you out. We’re sticking to the plan.”
“Let’s be honest, Derek. You don’t have a plan. You’re not that smart.” He laughed at me again.
“I got you here, didn’t I?”
“And what did you do with Alex?” I asked. “Is he here too? Or did you leave a trail for my pack to find me?”
“You don’t have to worry about Alex.”
“What did you do?” I asked. Derek wasn’t capable of killing someone. At least, not the Derek I knew. “Derek, what did you do?”
“Enjoy your time in your cell, Em, you’re going to be here for a while.” He turned on his heels and walked away from me.
“Derek! What did you do? Derek!” I screamed for him to return, but his scent got weaker the farther he went down the hall. Dammit. I needed a new plan.