Not Yours to Keep

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Chapter 4

Jacob walked in with another plate of food.

"I will not eat that." I said, even though I was being straddled and held down.

"Do you know how many pressure points are in the human body? I know most of them. A lot of them can cause pleasure and can be beneficial, others can cause much pain." Liam said, matter-of-factly.

"I don't care. Do your worst. If I'm lucky, I'll die of starvation before my pack finds me."

"That won't happen." Elijah butted in from the foot of the bed.

"Open your mouth and accept the food, or subject yourself to pain."

I pressed my mouth into a hard line.

He sighed. "Fine."

With his free hand, he reached down my leg and grabbed right above my knee. It didn't hurt.

"Last chance." He warned.

Oh. He hasn't started yet. That's why it doesn't hurt.

After a few seconds he started putting pressure right above my right knee cap on either side of it.

It didn't hurt at first but he gradually kept adding pressure.

After a few seconds he put a huge amount of force into my knee.

I swear he was going to break it. I heard screaming and didn't realize it was me until he stopped.

"You see," Liam said, "Just because you are used to pain, does not mean you are immune to pain." He paused. "Especially pain you're not used to."

As he said his last line, he moved his hand to the inside of my elbow and put a huge amount of pressure in the crease of my arm.

I don't know what the fuck this pain is, but I've never felt it before.

I found myself tearing screams out of my throat.

"Will you submit?"

I would never. I will not give myself to these people. I just wish they would realize that.

He found his hand behind my neck and pushed into both sides of it.

"She might pass out before she eats, yet, alpha."

He stopped for a moment and turned. "I told you to just call me Liam when we aren't in front of the head alphas. Which is rare."

"I know. I was just giving her a chance to breath before you made her pass out from lack of oxygen."

He turned back around and I realized I was breathing really hard. So did he, apparently.

"Ugh. This is useless." He sighed and got off of me. But as he let go of my hands, he told Elijah to keep hold of my ankles.

"Pain has affects on her." He paused and pushed a spot on my ankle where Elijah was holding, making me cry out and scream. It was over as soon as it started. "But not enough to have her submit."

They looked around at each other as if they were having a conversation.

I took the time to calm my breathing.

It was intense pain but the most marks it will leave is bruising.

And as soon as he let off the pressure, the pain resided.

I don't think he wanted to injure me. As much as I hate him for causing it in the first place, I was glad to know it was temporary pain.

"Nick. Please."

I groaned, knowing what was happening next.

"You're forcing me to want to eat. That is sick."

"I'm forcing you to get better. That is anything but sick."

As Nick started walking over to me, I did the only thing I could think of at the moment. I started strangling myself.

If I forced myself to pass out, I wouldn't be forced to eat until later.

Of course my arms were pried away from my throat, but I could still hold my breathe.

Nick grabbed my arm but I forced him out of my mind. I could do it for a little bit. I only needed to for a few minutes at most.

Then somebody decided to ruin my life.

I felt a palm on my stomach and then I felt it push me down into the bed.

The force caused my body to exhale all of the air in my stomach.

I looked to see it was Liam.

"I hate you." I spat. "You do not have the right to touch me. Or force me to do what you wish."

"The weakest in the pack are to be submissive to whomever are stronger. The strongest in the pack may punish as they please to those who are weaker, if provoked. You have definitely provoked us. Those are pack rules no matter what pack you are in. And you." He pointed at me. "Are the weakest here."

"Maybe those are the pack rules, but I'm not in your pack!"

"Would you like to bring this matter to the head alphas? I'm sure they'd love to learn about your endeavors in your old pack. How you wandered into our territory and provoked us multiple times. I'm sure they would love to study your body to prove the truth. They would have you face your old pack for justice. And if you were found being untruthful, you'd be given back to your old pack."

I stilled at the thought of facing the head alphas.

Nick let go of my arms and Liam let the pressure off my stomach.

I hated talking bad about myself and showing my weaknesses in front of other wolves but I saw no other option.

"Yes, I'm sure they'd love to hear of how you tormented and kidnapped me. A poor half-wolf." My voice cracked at the last statement.

"Our case is much more believable than yours. We were simply trying to nurse you back to health. Which is the truth. We left no marks on your body. Your old pack did."

"How can you prove that it wasn't you?" I asked, trying to get him to change his mind.

"So you would lie to the head alphas?"

"What? No I- that's not what I meant. I-" I would surely not survive a punishment given from the head alphas for lying to them.

"Calm down. We're not bringing you to the head alphas anytime soon."

"Even if you did, saying you hurt me isn't lying. You held me down and pushed those pressure spots or whatever."

"I used pressure points, yes. But that pain only lasts as long as I keep the pressure up. And it doesn't injure your body."

"I'm still not eating."

"Yes. You are, Katerina."

I still couldn't stop myself from wincing at the name.

"We'll need to find you a nickname."

"Kat is fine." I replied, bitterly.

"Meh. We can find something better. Something that doesn't remind you of your past."

I gave up arguing. It was useless.

Elijah finally decided to let go of my legs.

I instinctively pulled them to my body and I used them to pull myself into a sitting position.

Liam came over to the bed and sat next to me. I tried scooting away from him but he grabbed me and pulled me closer to him.

I didn't fight. If I don't fight he'll probably let go.

As soon as he let go I tried to scoot away again. But this time when he pulled me back, I was sitting in his lap. He was sitting Indian style, or cross legged. I fit right in the space in his legs.

I tried to lean forward, scared that my back would hit his chest but he gently pulled me backwards. Instead of hitting his chest. I hit a pillow.

Still. Anything that touches my back causes pain. Even something as soft as a pillow.

I winced and tried to wriggle in his hold. He held me still, but let me lean forward just so my back wasn't touching anything.

"I'm sorry for your pain. Eating will help you. It will give you more strength. It will help with your small build. Your body craves nutrience. It needs it. You need it."

"You're right. I do. But I don't want it. I just want my body to deteriorate so I won't have to suffer anymore."

His grip tightened on me, pulling me back.

He loosened his grip as soon as he heard me whimper.

"I won't let that happen. No matter how much you want it."

I let my head dip. They would never let me find peace. They would rather watch me suffer.

"I don't think that's true."

"What?"

"I said I'm not letting you starve yourself."

"No, what you said after that."

"That wasn't him. It was me."

"Well, who the hell are you?"

"What are you talking about?" Liam said, I ignored it.

"I'm your wolf."

"What? No, that doesn't make sense."

"Okay, she's going nuts." Elijah said. I ignored him, too.

"Well, why not? You're a werewolf. I'm your wolf half."

"But I'm only half wolf. They told me I'd never have a wolf."

"Wait. Be quiet." Liam said to the others. "She just met her wolf."

"See? Even he knows it. The people you used to live with lied to you. I'm real. I'm your wolf."

"Can we run? In your form?" I asked her.

Miles interrupted. "No."

I looked at him, confused. "You can't tell me I cant run with my wolf!"

"He is right. We can't. Not yet."

"Why not? All of the wolves I knew could shift at fifteen. Why can't we?"

Liam interrupted us again. "The first few shifts are extremely painful and they require a ton of energy. A ton of strength. Most wolves prepare for their shift for multiple years before they turn fifteen. You haven't prepared at all. And you are incredibly weak right now."

"He's right. If we tried to shift, it would risk your life. And mine along with it."

I felt tears well up in my eyes. I wanted to die not two minutes ago. My whole life just changed. I have a wolf. Another being to take care of.

"I'll eat." I said. "I want to be strong. I want to run with my wolf. I can't do it unless I eat."

Liam stroked his fingers through my hair. "Very well. If you wish, we can help you prepare your body for the shift once you are healed further."

These men aren't terrible. They wanted to help me from the beginning. I should've just had trust in them. My past has clouded my vision. I saw everyone as monsters. I couldn't trust anyone. Much less more wolves.

"How long will it take me to recover?"

"Depending on how well you eat, and how you react to the treatments we give you, a few weeks, maybe." Miles said.

A few weeks? And then I would only be starting my training? I will not be staying here for that long.

"You know, I get why you don't want us to stay. I don't want there to be any chances of us running in with our old pack, but they can help us. They can train your body to be ready for mine. If we stay, we will be so much stronger."

"I know. But I don't want to take that chance."

"What chance?" Liam asked.

"Nothing." I almost shouted. "No chance. Thinking out loud."

"You were talking to your wolf again?"

I half laughed. "Yeah." Please don't ask what we were talking about. Please.

"Do you not know how to talk to her in your head?"

"I didn't know we could do that."

"Really all you have to do is think. Your wolf will hear you."

"Hm. Cool."

"We can talk later. Eat now."

"Can I have the food now? She says I should eat."

"Yes." Liam said as he grabbed the food from Jacob. "Here."

He handed me the plate.

I looked at it and it was filled. And I mean filled, with food. I have never eaten this much food before.

Not even over the course of three meals.

Actually maybe I have. But not in the last eight months.

I ate this much food in like four days. Or more, sometimes. They kept me hungry.

They kept me weak.

I didn't comment on how much food there was out loud but apparently everyone knew my thought because they started laughing.

"What?" I asked.

"You look like we shoved an elephant in your face and told you to eat it." Nick said, still laughing.

"Its a lot of food..." I muttered.

I could literally feel Liams frown on the back of my head. "That is not a lot of food. I could eat three of those in one sitting."

My mouth fell open. "How are you not fat?"

I heard multiple laughs again. And I felt his chest rumble with laughter as I sat in his lap.

"Just eat it."

I finished like a quarter of what was on the plate before I was full. Like, stuffed to the brim.

I didn't feel sick or anything, it was just more food than I'm used to.

I put the plate on the bed, indicating that I was done.

"You need to eat more than that."

"I can't. I'm full."

"How are you full? You didn't even finish half of it. If you want to get better, you need more food."

"I'll just get sick if I keep eating. They didn't feed me very much when I was with my old pack. I'm not used to so much food"

I felt a growl reverberate through his chest and it made me try to scramble away.

He just caught me and pulled me to him. It hurt my back and I felt tears well in my eyes.

"As if the beatings weren't enough, they had to starve you as well?"

"It's not my fault... Please stop. You're hurting me." I whimpered.

He loosened his grip on me.

"I apologize. It just makes me furious that another wolf would harm someone of there own kind like this." He grabbed my arm as if to prove a point.

"I'm not one of his kind to him." I said softly. "He believes I am just a mortal. He's right. I'm no stronger than any human. I wasn't even sure that I was part werewolf until I met my wolf only a few moments ago."

"The only reason you're no stronger than any human is because he kept you weak. He beat you bloody and bruised, and then to top it off, he starved you!"

His yelling made me flinch and cower.

"I'm sorry." I said. I don't know why I was sorry, I just had to say something to try and calm him down. I was just starting to put my trust in him but it truly scares me when he yells.

"Why on earth are you sorry? You had to suffer for months!"

I flinched at his loud voice, again. But before I had to answer him, someone else did for me.

"She is scared, Liam. Stop yelling. She is trying to calm you down. She isn't really sorry for anything." I looked up to see Elijah.

I didn't even realize that I was bent halfway over in fear, until I had to look up.

"Look at her." He continued. "She cowers from you. She cowers from all of us. Let's get her into a better room and then discuss her eating habits and old pack. Calmer."

I heard and felt a heavy sigh. "You're right. I'm sorry for my yelling and scaring you." He directed his words at me. "It just infuriates me that someone would do that."

I only nodded. I got off of Liam and stood on the ground. I was suprised nobody tried to stop me.

I tried to take a step towards the door, but my knees buckled and I would've hit the floor if Liam wasn't holding me up by my arms.

"You still can't walk." He observed.

"I can. Let me try again." I pleaded. I really wanted to feel my own feet under me again.

I took another step, but again my knees buckled.

"I'm going to carry you." He said. "You can't yet walk, and I don't want you hurting yourself."

"No!" I yelled. "It hurts when you guys carry me. It hurts my back."

"I can hold you in a different position."

I forced my body not to struggle when he started lifting me.

He grabbed under my arms and lifted me like he would a small child. He wrapped my legs around the side of his torso and held my legs up with one of his arms. Where he would usually place his other hand at my back, was now located at the back of my neck. Like a newborn baby.

"I feel like a child." I mumbled.

"You are still a child." He laughed in response.

Then Xander butted in. "You would've had me torture a teenage girl?"

"Technically, we are all still mostly teenagers."

"Well eighteen, nineteen, twenty, and older are one thing. But I would've been tormenting a fifteen year old girl."

"I'm sixteen!" I blurted, defending my age.

"Its nearly the same thing. You've only been sixteen for what? A few weeks?" Xander asked.

This time Liam butted in, "I wouldn't have had you do anything to her, either way. She was an injured girl." He paused. "And by how she reacted when I mentioned Nick, she want going to block him out of her mind."

"I would've rather been beaten..." I mumbled as I rest my head on Liams shoulder.

"I don't doubt you would have." Nick said, grinning. "I hated it when I was trained to be a comforter. I had to learn how to block them out. So I had to go through multiple sessions and I let out a lot of secrets." By the time he was done, he was no longer grinning.

"If you knew how terrible it was, why did you do it to me?" I asked him.

"Because despite how terrible I thought it was, most people find comfort immediately. You were a special case. Nobody has ever fought me like you did before."

"They used to beat me first." I mumbled, changing the topic just a little.

"What?" All three of them asked, simultaneously.

"They would send in someone like Xander first. Then when I resisted him for so long, they would send in someone like Nick. They liked watching me in pain. And they knew I couldn't fight the comforter long enough to see the other interrogator. So they sent the one who hurt me first."

They didn't respond, but it would take an idiot not to notice the low growls that spread through the hallway of wolves.

I'd only realized what I did, after it was done. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have told you all that..." I mumbled.

I can't get attached to these people if I'm to leave soon. I can't confide in them like I just did.

"No. You're fine. We just... it's hard to make a situation like that better with words. Our wolves don't enjoy hearing of your harmful past. They like to make their feelings known. You'll understand when your wolf has strong feelings about something."

"I won't talk about my past if it angers you." I said.

"No. You can tell us anything you want to. Your past was terrible and we understand if you want to talk about it."

Then Nick tried changing the subject. "So you're sixteen, now right?"

"Yeah." I felt myself getting tired.

"Then why didn't your wolf come out when you turned fifteen? That's when the wolf likes to make itself known."

"I don't know."

"Something was blocking me from coming out. One of the drugs they gave you, probably. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't reach you. When you escaped to these people, the drugs wore off so I could finally reach out to you." My wolf explained.

"Oh. I'm sorry. For what you had to see."

"What?"

"My wolf told me that she couldn't because it was blocked out by one of the drugs they gave me."

"They gave you drugs as well?" Liam asked.

"Yes, but please don't get angry with me again." I responded quickly.

My stomach started turning.

He let his hand slide up to my head, for comfort. "I'm not mad at you." He sighed. "But I am mad."

He patted and rubbed through my hair as we continued walking. It gave me comfort.

I felt like I was getting sick. Something was wrong but I couldn't put my finger on what ot was.

"I can smell your uneasiness. What's wrong? And don't say nothing."

"I don't know." I said, honestly. "I don't feel good."

"We're almost to my room. Just hang on a little longer."

Wait what? 'We're almost to my room.' His room?

"Why are we going to your room?" I blurted.

"That's where you'll stay for now."

"Surely there are more rooms that are unoccupied." I said, hoping he would put me in a vacated room.

"There are, but you'll be staying in my room for now. I can watch you and make sure nothing happens to you in your sleep that way."

I pushed away from his chest. "I don't want to sleep in your room."

"If you keep pushing away from me, I'll be forced to hold your back to stabilize you."

"Just put me down." I yelled.

"No, you cannot walk yet. You are still hurt."

He pushed me back to his chest with my neck in his hand.

It made me feel dizzy when I moved so quickly.

I felt myself drift out of consciousness.

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