The Beast's other half

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The city walls are all Taylor has ever known, and yet her heart yearns for the wild lurking outside. Leaving the city is forbidden and dangerous, but Taylor's lust for the forest cannot be tamed. Before her life, as a wife and mother begins, she has to satisfy the calling in her soul. She has to go past the protective walls of her home. She has to experience the wild first hand.

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Chapter 1

Sleep has once again alluded me. My mind won’t stop thinking about leaving the walls. With each birthday I have felt more and more drawn to the lush greenery just on the other side of our protective barrier. I have ached for the freedom to explore. Just knowing there is a big world out there that I am not allowed to see is torture.

The sounds from the street below begin to get louder so I glance at the clock to see if it’s time to start yet another mundane day.

Sure enough it’s 6:44 and my alarm is seconds from going off.

I groan as I turn over and position my hand over the off button. When the blasted machine erupts my hand drops like a weight and Nathan groans like I did moments ago.

“Morning,” I mumble and he rolls over to wrap his arms around my naked body.

“Morning,” he replies groggily and I grin despite the mood I’m in.

At least Nathan get it. He understands my dislike for the city and the routine we call life, but most importantly he agrees. Ever since we were kids going to school he has had my back and agreed with my philosophies. When I argued with the teacher about getting to leave city limits he backed me up. When everyone else said this is the best place in the world for us and we should be thankful to the beasts that protect us he sided with me against them. He knows that I want more. He knows that the world beyond these walls calls to me. He knows I yearn to see the wild lurking right outside our pristine world.

“Are we staying in bed again today,” Nathan asks before nibbling at my earlobe and I giggle before wiggling away.

“I wish, but we both have to work,” I reply as my feet hit the floor.

He grumbles under his breath about not moving from his spot but I hear the bed move as he shifts his weight to follow me.

Every Monday is the same for me. I take a shower while Nathan makes us breakfast. We walk to work past all the other people doing the same thing and we survive. We stay hidden away from the animals that want to suck us dry.

We live in a city that has only a few rules, but there is one big one, never leave. Because if you do leave the protection of the city the blood drinkers will get you. The beasts have agreed to protect the city, but any human that volunteerly leaves is assumed to be suicidal. They don't offer their protection to individuals... not since the city was built anyway.

“See you at home, Hon,” Nathan says before he kisses my lips quickly.

I smile and nod before continuing on the path behind the other people heading to work. As I approach the street that I turn on I let my eyes wonder toward the gate like I do every morning and I pause when I see one of the beasts standing next to our city official. I quickly realize he must be here for the numbers and keep moving.

Every six months they stop to ask about our population. They never come far in, normally a few feet, and they never stay longer than a few minutes. They never have clothes on and their skin is typically dirty. They seem to dislike civilization, but checking the population is too important to stay away.

I shiver as I remember the last time we stopped regulating the birthrate in the city.

The Bloodsuckers are attracted to the scent of blood. The higher the concentration of blood the more they try to get to it.

When I was around five years old, there was a breach. The leaders shut the city down fast, starting with the kids, but it was still a massacre. Nathan’s parents and my parents died that day, along with seventy others, before the beasts could drive them from the city. I still remember the Bloodsucker's chalky white skin and red eyes. I remember hearing their screeches and hisses as they hunted down people. So now we make sure to keep the population between 10,000 and 20,000.

The farther into the city’s center you live, the better, but only the higher class live there. Unfortunately for my family, we aren’t high profile. We were and always will be workers.

"Taylor, you're late again," Ruth practically sings as I walk in.

I roll my eyes and look at the clock. It's exactly 8:01. The stop I took to look at the beast cost me the few seconds I needed to get here right at 8:00.

"That's an hour off your pay," she says, and I nod before walking past her.

She thrives off of backtalk, and I will not feed her need for power. She will never achieve more than she has right now. Docking my pay gives her small life the thrill it needs to be satisfied.

"Morning, Taylor," Diane says as I pass her station, and I smile before falling into my chair.

I look at my sewing machine and sigh. Yesterday I was a few off my quota, so my pay was affected, and now I have lost another full hour. I really need to work fast today. I can't let my mind wander. I have to focus on the material in my hands and not the trees outside.

I sigh as I get to work


"Have a good day," Nathan calls out as I close the door.

"Not really. It was just another day," I reply loudly and I hear him chuckle.

"Something smells delicious," I say as I walk into the kitchen, and he turns around to examine my face.

"You forgot, didn't you," he says, and I freeze.

Guesses on what today might be zoom through my head.

As I think he watches me closely, and I see the sadness build within his brown eyes with each passing second. I feel terrible, but my brain won't pinpoint the date. I have no idea what day it is. All I know is it is Monday.

"I'm sorry," I whisper, and he nods.

He gives me a sad grin as he places the spatula next to the stove and crosses his arms.

"It's our anniversary, Taylor. I wanted it to be special. I want to talk about our future and when we might submit the application to have a child. We have been living together for two years...I am ready for the next steps, are you," he asks me, and my ears begin to burn as the rest of my body panics.

Our gazes hold, and my body begins to overheat. I don't want to lose Nathan, but once we become parents, this is our life. We won't have any adventures. We won't explore the forest together like we talked about as kids.

"Nathan, I...," I start, but he stops me by raising his hand.

"This is it, Taylor. I want a life with you. You can either agree, or we can move on. Which is it going to be," he asks, and my heart rips as my mouth flaps like a fish.

"I...I...What about leaving the walls," I whisper, and his eyes widen.

"Leave the walls? Taylor, even if we do, we have to come back. This is where humans live. This is where we are safe. We can grow and be with the ones we love here...Can you see the beauty out there and still come back? If we have our adventure and risk our lives so you can see what's out there, will you be able to settle down then," Nathan demands, and I swallow before nodding.

"Yes. That's all I want. I want to see it. After that, I will be able to live happily. I won't have these burning questions anymore...And I will get to tell our child about our adventure," I whisper, and he smiles.

"Okay. We will do it. Tomorrow at noon. That's the safest time. We already have the UV flashlights. We will stay out there for a few hours and then come back," Nathan says, and I smile as excitement replaces my fear.

I run and jump into his arms eagerly. He laughs before placing his warm lips on mine.

This is all I ever wanted—a life with Nathan and an adventure past the walls.

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