Compiling the Lies
One second she was feeling the relief of freedom as her feet touched the ground, the next she felt the hard thud of the rest of her body following shortly behind. Kelsey dropped what she was doing and bolted towards. Jaelynn moaned from her unexpected fall, and it caused her to summon her nightmare.
“Any moan coming from you, I do not cause makes me feel jealous,” Daren said, peeking his head in the door. “Kelsey, what are you doing to my mate?” He asked, teasing her as he walked in. Jaelynn felt a spike of fear and she was sure she was going to pass out from either the fear or the blood pulsating to her head. She met Kelsey’s disapproving eyes and pleaded with her.
Kelsey lipped the words, “don’t be stupid,” then lifted her head to Daren and smiled. “She’s fine. She just got up too fast.” Daren’s stern expression turned to Jaelynn, and she tried to cover herself from his eyes, praying that he wouldn’t see through Kelsey’s lie.
She was well too aware of how vulnerable she was. “All set?” He asked, crouching down to her feet and rubbing some circulation back into them. They were so numb she couldn’t even feel the pins and needles.
Kelsey responded, “she’s all set.” She stood, grabbing the bag of urine and walking out. Jaelynn silently pleaded for Kelsey to stay.
Daren smiled up at her as he lifted her up and sat her on the side of the bed. Then he grabbed one of her legs, pulling it towards him and massaging. She let out a silent gasp.
“Sorry, I didn’t realize they were on so tightly.” Jaelynn just nodded, feeling odd, having his warm, calloused hands rubbing her legs. He moaned in delight. “So soft.” Despite the disappointment she felt for failing, Jaelynn had to hold herself there. She knew she’d have to bide her time.
Kelsey came back in with the blonde girl. They both had their hair in the same braids and new clean flowery dresses. Still just as modest as the last.
“Can we take her now?” The blonde asked.
“Yeah, did you already remove all harmful objects from the bathroom, Chasity?”
“Yes, sir. I did.”
“Alright, take her away.” He said, slapping his knees. Then turning to Jaelynn. “Now, Jaelynn. Don’t make any trouble for these ladies, and I’ll see you for breakfast.”
The girls helped Jaelynn to her feet and guided her out of her room. They walked down the old wooden hall to another door, which they opened and gently nudged her in. She could hear voices at the other end of the house and a glimpse of a man also in cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. He smiled at her, but quickly diverted his gaze.
The bathroom was tiny. It barely had enough room for the bathtub, the toilet, and the sink. Let alone room for three more people. Kelsey started the bath as Chasity pried Jaelynn’s white nightgown off of her. Jaelynn shivered from the cold.
“We will get you warm in a second,” Chasity spoke softly. Her somber blue eyes glistened as if trying to give Jaelynn comfort.
“Hop in,” Kelsey said, taking Jaelynn’s body and leading it towards the water. Jaelynn complied and sat in the warm tub. It soothed her aches. The comfort rose through her body, and she cried involuntarily. Both girls cooed at her.
“Oh no, don’t cry, please.” Chasity pleaded in a worried voice. Her hand rubbed the side of Jaelynn’s arm.
“You are safe here, we promise,” Kelsey encouraged. Kelsey’s voice was brighter than Chasity’s, as if she was confident this was the place Jaelynn was meant to be. When Chasity spoke, it was somber and serious, much quieter.
Chasity spoke, pulling her from her train of thought. “Plus, it will only upset Daren. You’re his mate, you know?”
“Yes, your emotions of being sad or scared will only upset his wolf,” Kelsey added matter-of-factly. Then gave a nervous glance at the door as she lathered soap on a sponge. “His wolf won’t understand that it’s because you fear being here.”
“And he could come unhinged,” Chasity explained as she took the sponge from Kelsey.
Jaelynn froze. “Unhinged?”
“Yes, most werewolves don’t think rationally when their wolves become upset, and it can be quite dangerous for everyone in the pack,” Kelsey explained.
Then Chasity added, “Especially dangerous to their mates.” Jaelynn examined Chasity’s neck and wondered if another male did this to her in the name of being her “mate”. Chasity’s eyes timidly shied from Jaelynn’s and she unconsciously fiddled with her hair near the wound, like she was trying to hide it.
Jaelynn wiped her eyes, feeling angry. “You can’t possibly believe Daren is a werewolf!”
The girls gave a solemn giggle. It sent a weary chill through her body. “We do.”
“We are the only two girls still human in the compound,” Kelsey explained, and Jaelynn noted Kelsey was quick to give her information. “Well, there is also Bailey she used to be-” Kelsey cut herself short and looked towards Chasity, who was giving her the stink eye.
“That’s why we are allowed to assist you right now,” Chasity explained.
“Yeah, we pose no threat to Daren.”
They spoke as they scrubbed her hair.
“Who is Bailey?” Jaelynn asked.
“She was supposed to be mated to-”
“She is no one important. Now, close your eyes,” Chasity snapped, cutting Kelsey short, as she held a cup full of water up to Jaelynn’s head.
Kelsey looked toward Chasity. “I think she should know.” Chasity just pursed her lips together and sternly shook her head.
Jaelynn changed the subject, not wanting to lose the opportunity for knowledge. “Have you seen them turn?” The skepticism in Jaelynn’s voice was evident.
“No, it is forbidden for a human to see a werewolf change.”
“I have seen a glimpse of one once by accident, but please don’t tell the others; they will have me reprimanded,” Kelsey whispered in a hushed tone. Her eyes widened as she looked into Jaelynn’s eyes. It was clear Kelsey believed all of this.
“You can only see a werewolf turn once you have transformed into a werewolf yourself.”
Right, Jaelynn was not buying it. She stared at these two girls in horror. They both seemed too timid and brainwashed.
“H-how does one become a werewolf?” Jaelynn asked, thinking it couldn’t get more ridiculous than this.
“The witches will come on the full moon and give you the changelings’ root. Then your blood will combine with the blood of the pack. Through the night, you will begin your transformation.”
“By morning, you will be a werewolf.”
“So I’ll be drugged and cut?” Jaelynn asked, feeling the shock sinking in.
“Well, yes. But it will be worth it!” Jaelynn turned to Kelsey. It was evident that she wanted this done to her. Her brown eyes beamed with excitement.
“Not to worry, though! Newcomers wait three moons before Daren turns them.”
“Yeah, he doesn’t like a disobedient pack.”
“Close your eyes again.”
Jaelynn complied. “So when do you two get to… um... change?”
“My transformation is this coming moon,” Kelsey said excitedly.
“Mine will be the moon after hers,” Chasity said timidly.
“Close your eyes. Last time I promise.” Kelsey said as she dunked the warm water over her head, rinsing the conditioner.
The girls got her out of the tub and dried her off. They continued to speak about the compound and all of its horrors. They talked about these horrors as if it was the most extraordinary things that ever happened to them.
Jaelynn couldn’t see how. They plucked Chasity from her first year at a community college as a nursing student. She had decent grades and was engaged to her high school sweetheart. She went camping with her friends in Montana to celebrate their first semester of finals being over, and they returned home, and she simply didn’t.
She explained being chased by a group of ten men and what she had thought at the time as hounds. She jumped into the river to get away, but couldn’t swim. The current swept her under and she woke up in the compound.
Kelsey’s life wasn’t as easy. She didn’t have the luxury to go to community college. She lived in Nevada, where her dad was abusive, and she felt like she needed to stay at home and help her mom and her younger siblings. She went one night on a run to get groceries, and they took her in the parking lot. She said that they were already in the back seat of her car. She said she enjoyed the long car ride back to the compound where they had told her everything.
Jaelynn’s mind couldn’t wrap around what they were saying. Chasity was in Montana. Kelsey was in Nevada. Jaelynn was in Oregon. She had asked Kelsey how long she was in the car, and she just smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know. I slept most of the time.” Jaelynn had realized that these girls also had no clue where they were.
Even scarier was how they talked about how being kidnapped was a tremendous honor. Even Kelsey, who didn’t have such an easy life, would have sure still cared enough about her family not to abandon them for the compound. When she had asked Kelsey, she just smiled. “This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”
Jaelynn kept those worries to herself. She felt like if they didn’t think she was “integrating” as they had called it, they might try to brainwash her like these two girls.
Even stranger to the mind warp was that only girls were supposedly taken. There is a supposed curse on the werewolf community that only male werewolves could be born. Women had to be turned. It was a punishment for some crime done back thousands of years ago. “Supposedly”.
Jaelynn was aware of the all-too-convenient lie. She compiled a list of everything that didn’t add up and continue to tell herself this to keep herself sane. But as the girls talked, she felt more and more desperate.
Jaelynn looked in the mirror as they did her hair in the same braid as theirs. Her face was swollen, and parts of her chin, cheek, and forehead wore heavy purple and orange bruises. Her lip was partially split open, and she had a large cut on her right side eyebrow that oozed. They wrapped her up and had her slip on a blue flowery dress.
The sight of the dress made her feel ill. It was the same blue flowery fabric as the bedsheets in her room — reminding her of her capture — telling her even though she had left the room, she still couldn’t leave.
When they finished, they opened the door to a very impatient Daren, who looked over her dress and nodded approvingly before taking her to the kitchen table. There waited a bowl of oatmeal, plain toast, and milk. The table was full of men. Some looked like they had been out rolling in the dirt all night, and others looked clean and freshly woken.
Daren’s presence was heavy in the room as she sat at the table and ate. He didn’t say a word to her but gave her long serious glances as he spoke in low murmurs to the men.
She couldn’t understand what they were saying, but knew it was about business. She knew it could prove helpful, but her efforts remained futile.
After she ate, Daren took her hand. She squealed at the touch, but Darren looked down at her, and a low growl emanated from his lips, causing her to follow him. He led her out the door. The grass was cold and wet between her toes. Her heart pounded, feeling a sense of freedom from being outside and a fear that boiled deep in her gut from not knowing where he would take her.
“This is your new home, Jaelynn.”
Darren showed her around the compound. She tried to absorb as much information as she could. It was a plot of land with an assumably long driveway. She wondered how long it would take before the driveway took her to the main road.
Nearest to the house looked like a barn and an oversized garage. As he pointed in their direction, she could hear the squeal of a pig and the cries of several goats. Surrounding the compound were mobile homes and tents. She tried to count the makeshift homes and got to about nine when Daren declared she didn’t need to wander through there and it was best to stick to the large grassy lawn.
It was a decent-sized lawn, and beyond the yard and small village of makeshift homes were thick woods. She heard no sign civilization was near. Still, she silently kept her head up.
“You look worried,” Daren asked, full of concern.
Duh, what was there not to be worried about? Her safety, future, and whole life were currently in question. She was worried the cops wouldn’t even bother to report a missing person, and she would be left S.O.L.
There was only one thing that scared her the most. She dug up the courage to ask, “um... so I am your mate, correct?”
“That is correct,” he said, cupping her face as if in love with the idea that Jaelynn was already accepting her fate.
“Does that entail sex?”
At his declaration, she felt her throat dry; she tried to swallow. She carefully worded her next words, “What if I’m not ready?”
His hands lovingly caressed her hair as he laughed, “Jaelynn, it’s your first day on the compound. I wouldn’t have expected you to be ready yet. I won’t touch you until after you have changed. Sex with your mate before the change has negative effects and can cause your change to be... unsuccessful. But not to worry. I will take care of you.”
Her ears practically burned at his testimony. She was thankful she had three full moons until he changed her. By then, she would have escaped and been free from this nightmare.
However, what concerned her was how heavily everyone in the compound clung to this reality. One that was impossible to be accurate, yet somehow, Daren and his men have used this to take advantage of the women and do their bidding without question.
A noise rumbled through the driveway, causing Jaelynn’s heart to skip a beat. A truck! Just as her hope for more plausible opportunities to escape came to mind, they vanished as she noticed the deep blue ford pickup come into view.
It was hard missing the fact that the front bumper was banged up a bit, and she knew instantly this was the truck that drove her off of the ledge.
The so-called doctor hopped out and greeted them.
“How’s she doing?” Marshall asked as he made his way to them.
Daren looked Jaelynn over. “I think she could use some more pain meds. Get her well rested for tonight, will you? I need to run some errands.” She snapped her head up at Darren, silently pleading not to drug her again.
“Sure thing,” Marshall said as he handed Daren the keys. Daren gave Jaelynn’s hand one squeeze, then went off.
“Shall we?” Marshall asked with his hand raised in a gesture for her to walk in front of him. Jaelynn watched Darren climb into the truck; she glanced around the compound then reluctantly complied — fighting the need to leave this place.
Thank you so much for reading the fifth chapter of The Wolf Cult!
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