A sharp pain quickly brings me to consciousness, my eyes shooting open and my lips betraying me, letting out a loud, pained cry. A sense of déjà vú consumes me as I ready myself for the next blow.
The steel-tipped leather boot that had delivered the blow to my back, waits for a second before reaching home again.
“Rise and shine, ya filthy bitch!” Comes a familiar, scratchy voice. I roll over as best as could to look up at a bloated, pink face. The man stares down at me in disgust, his colourless lips covered in his saliva.
I try to stand up without causing pain to my back and limbs, and turn to face my abuser.
After being left in Cole’s dungeons for several months, Simon doesn’t look different at all. Despite the harsh treatment dished out to the prisoners, he had been able to retain all the body fat and ugly blemishes on his skin. His seedy brown eyes soak in my poor state, hungrily taking in my barely-covered privates. His bald head and pot belly only serve as a reminder of his age and pervertedness.
It has been three months since I had been kidnapped that fateful day. The day I had fought with Cole. The day after our love-making. Three long, agonising months.
As the first day passed, I had held onto the hope that Cole would barge into the room and rescue me. But as the week ended, followed by the rest of the month, my hope had whittled away and eventually abandoned me. Now, three months later, hope was no longer something I believed in. Why hope for something so far away? Something that’s never going to happen?
In its place, regret and sadness clouded over me, and I spent every waking hour wondering what went wrong. What could’ve been different had Cole and I never gotten into that little, meaningless tiff. I went over everything we said and did, over and over, changing it all and wishing to go back in time and change everything we said.
A small part of me believed that Cole hadn’t even tried looking for me. After all, I had gone off at him for no reason, even though he had read into the situation completely wrong. I believed that he was too angry at me to bother to find me.
When I had woken up, groggy from the silver in my system and the bruises on my arms and legs, I had come face to face with my mother and Simon, who had recounted their epic story of escape from Cole’s dungeons and their battle to find allies in Cole’s pack. They had been so smug about it, looking at each other with love in their eyes and exchanging sloppy kisses in front of me, causing me to gag inwardly.
They had told me about it all, Simon as he resumed his role as my rapist by night, and my mother as my abuser by day. And, three months and two weeks later, my stomach swollen with child, all I felt was unhappiness and regret.
“How is my baby goin’, hey baby doll? He kickin’ yet?” Simon asks, laying his hand on my stomach and caressing it gently. I’m too tired and in too much pain to move away.
See, not three nights after my kidnapping, when all the silver had left my system, Simon had raped me. He claimed that he wanted Cole to feel the pain of his mate mating with another male. He injected me with a small, daily dosage of wolfsbane to keep my wolf in a deep slumber.
When I had started to show, Simon had been over the moon, saying that he would raise our ‘lil’ boy’ with my mother, as their own. I had protested and told him it was Cole’s. After all, we had completed the mating process. But he had just laughed and said,” Oh well. He ain’t gonna know. This baby is mine. Biologically or not. Imma raise him as my son. Teach him everythin’ I know.” He had been so proud and excited as he told my mum, who had smiled and replied,“I’m sure you will hun. Our fist child. Can’t wait.”
She had said this as if wasn’t her child. Completely cast me away. What I didn’t understand was, why? Why did they kidnap me if they hated me? I hadn’t asked them yet. I tried to keep them as happy as possible to avoid another round of beatings and rapes.
“Today is a special day baby mama,” Simon says as he leads me out to the front of the house. We are in an abandoned house somewhere in the middle of the forest. All I can see from outside the windows, when the thick, black curtains are momentarily pulled open for a little sunlight, is trees and grass and the occasional wildlife.
He guides me to the dining table and pushes me down into a chair. My mother sits opposite me, smiling maliciously. “Yes. Today, we are going to a clinic! You are going to have an ultrasound and we’ll see if our child is all healthy and in perfect shape. Now, we would have preferred to do this here, but, obviously we can’t so Dr Jasmine is going to meet us there and do it for us. You remember her, don’t you?”
My eyes blaze with fury when I hear her name. That bitch. The woman who made this all possible. I want to rip her to shreds the minute I see her.
“Since we are goin’ out in public sweet cheeks, you got to look nice. So go have a shower, change into some respectable clothin’, and be back here in ten minutes. Every minute you go over, is a ‘nother lashin’. Go.”
I quickly hobble off to the dirty bathroom that I have been using once a week. In it, I find a set of clothes. Not wasting any time, I peel off what little clothing I am wearing, and turn on the water. I have learnt since the first week that there isn’t any warm water, so I jump in immediately, shivering slightly.
I wet my body and soap myself down in record speed. I take care on my back and swollen belly. A lone tear falls as I imagine Cole with me, soaking me and kissing my baby bump lovingly. I know that without a doubt, Cole would have been the best dad a kid could ask for.
I jump out of the shower and shake myself, the best form of drying myself there is available. I slip on the underclothes and pull on the black jeans and grey sweater, which look just like Cole’s one.
God, I miss him so much. What I wouldn’t give to see him again, to touch him, to lay in his arms, to kiss him.
The jeans are way too tight around my waist, but I just have to suck it up. Literally. I walk into the kitchen and pause as I watch Simon whisper something into my mothers ear. His hands clasp hers tenderly, his lips pulled into a faint smile. My mothers eyes are sparkling and her legs brush his under the table.
I watch for a minute, silently. The way they look at each other. It is so similar to what Cole and I had. The way we looked at each other.
I pretend that I am walking in suddenly, coughing loudly. Simon’s head shoots up and he smiles at me.
“There she is! Our baby mama! Now, eat some food an’ drink some water. Keep that baby nice an’ ’ealthy,” he commands.
I quickly obey and take up a plate of soggy scrambled eggs and a dirty glass of water. I eat and drink in record speed, my hunger forcing me to ignore the disgusting taste and the filth.
Beggars can’t be choosers, I remind myself. And I am a beggar, at this point. No matter what, no matter how angry I am at Simon and my mother, no matter how much I want to disobey them at every turn, I have to make sure that I think of the baby first. Cole will want this child, his child, to grow. To be healthy. That’s why I’m doing this.
When I finish, Simon leads me outside. I look up to the sky and breathed in the fresh air. The fist time outside in three months. I try to remember this moment as long as possible.
I am shoved into a car, a blindfold put over my eyes. Two minutes later, the car rattles as the front doors slam shut and the engine starts. I take a deep breath. I try to keep calm. Well, as calm as anyone can be in this situation.
“Okay, before we get to a more public area, let’s clear up some things and set some rules,” my mother suddenly says. I wince. Of course. Rules.
“You are to act normal. No sulking. Smile like any happy, pregnant teenager would do. Do not talk to anyone other than Dr Jasmine. Unless we tell you to. Also, if you even try to communicate with anyone, there will be major consequences. Understood?” I nod my head, too afraid to speak.
“Also, don’t try to mind link your mate. The food was lightly mixed with wolfs bane so I doubt you will be in the right state of mind. You’re too weak and you’re not a high enough rank,” she snickers. Simon laughs along with her. I freeze.
Not a high-enough rank? Do they know I’m a Luna now? Because that’s the highest rank you can get, after an Alpha.
Suddenly, a feeling that I had thought that had completely been extinguished, lightens up my heart.
But I stay quiet. The whole ride, of about twenty minutes, I try my best to mind link Cole. But it’s no use. I decide to try later. Instead, I think of what exactly I am going to say to him. I have a feeling that my time will be limited once I get into contact. But I’m not sure. For all I know, I could have ample amount of time. But I have to be sure. I have to be ready for anything.
“Alright darlin’ we’re here,” Simon yells cheerfully, successfully breaking my line of thought. I jump slightly when his sausage-like fingers whip off the blindfold, and wince as the sun blinds me for a second.
He grabs me and helps me out. I look around and gasp.
I am in my old neighbourhood. I remember walking passed this very place on my way to school.
“This is a clinic that Dr Jasmine works at part time, just to keep up appearances with the public. So, remember what I told you in the car, honey,” my mother warns through gritted teeth.
I immediately plaster on a sunny smile and walk toward the clinic. A bell jingles as we walk in, and a few faces turn to look at us. My mother and Simon walk to the front desk and I sit down beside a couple, in their thirties. They look at me, then my baby bump, which is the size of a humans when they are about six and a half months, and shake their heads.
I realised what this looked like. A nineteen-year-old girl pregnant. Alone in the clinic. I look like a knocked-up high-schooler who’s been abandoned by her boyfriend. Or one night stand. A guy I can’t remember.
But I can remember him. Every. Single. Detail.
His long, dark hair. His blue eyes that seem to glow in the dark. His perfect, full lips that take me to heaven with every touch. His lean, muscled body that comforted me every night.
Who would the baby look like? Me? Or him? Or a mix? My green eyes and his dark hair. Or his blue eyes and my brown hair.
My mother sits beside me and smiles dazzlingly at the people beside me. They smile back in what seems like a sympathetic way. The lady looks at me, then my mother.
“Oh, you poor thing! Is this your daughter?” Her screechy voice is a complete surprise to my sensitive ears.
“I’m afraid so. She got knocked up by a boy at a party. Doesn’t even remember the father,” my mother says in a soft, sad tone. The man looks at me with slight disgust.
“Teenagers these days. So irresponsible. I really feel bad for this world. We’re leaving it in the so incapable hands of this generation. Makes me sick,” he sighs. His wife nods and takes his hand.
I feel like crying. It’s all a lie. I had made love with the man I love. We had made this child with love, passion and hope for a family. They are all judging me as if I am a common party girl who doesn’t give a fuck who she ends up in bed with. Someone who offers up her body for the pleasure of boys. How wrong they are.
“Ms Jade Summers? Dr Jasmine Demion is ready to see you,” comes a soft, yet firm voice. I look up to see a young woman with a clipboard, smiling softly at me. I smile faintly back at her and stand up slowly. I walk towards her, my mother and Simon following close behind.
She leads us to an open door, a gold plaque with the doctors name on it. The young woman smiles and walks away.
“Welcome! Please, take a seat,” comes an all-too familiar voice. I clench my fists and turn to face Dr Jasmine.
I snarl angrily and take a step towards her, my blood rushing into my ears. She smirks lightly, trying to appear confident. But I can see the nervousness in her eyes. She’s afraid of me.
“Now now Jade. Be good to the doctor. She’s the only one who can help you with the baby,” mocks my mother, who stands behind me.
That stops me. No matter how much I want to rip her apart, I know my mother is right. I need her to tell me my baby is healthy.
So I slowly unclench my fists and step back. My mother and Simon come out from behind me and sit down in the two seats beside the desk, leaving me to stand. I wrap my arms protectively around my bump.
“Alright so, you haven’t had any checkups this whole pregnancy due to your...situation,” she says slowly. I know what she means. Due to my kidnapping. They didn’t want me out in public. But I have to have a checkup sooner or later. It’s just that they chose to have one more than halfway through my pregnancy. Beautiful.
“So today we’ll do everything you’ve missed. Blood tests, urine tests, prescriptions and the ultrasound. Let’s start with the blood test.”
So for half an hour, I sit getting my blood test done, then the urine test. Every ten minutes or so, I try to get through to Cole. But it still isn’t working. My hope is wearing thin.
Soon, I am being prepped for the ultrasound. Dr Jasmine has laid me down on the bed and lifted my shirt, exposing my swollen belly, the only place on my body without a bruise, cut or scab.
“Alright. I’m going to cover your stomach in some goo. Try to hold still. It’s a little cold to the touch,” she warns. If I wasn’t so angry, I would’ve laughed. Cold? This goo couldn’t be colder than having an ice cold shower. I didn’t flinch at all as she spread the weird substance over my stomach.
While she is setting up everything, I try to contact him yet again.
“Please Cole. I’m going to see our baby. I want you to somehow be here. Even if it’s just through the mind link.”
I wait and wait for what I hope will be a miracle. But I sigh when there is no reply two minutes later. I’m not going to be rescued. Not today. Probably not ever.
“Look at the screen Jade. There’s your baby,” Dr Jasmine says softly. I jump slightly and turn to look at the screen. My eyes start to blur with my tears.
There, in the middle of the screen, is the grey shape of my baby. It’s small form is slightly blurry and I watch as it moves slightly. What I presume to be the foot moves, and I feel the kick at the same time. I silently sob.
Oh my god. My baby. Cole’s baby.
I sob into my hands, not caring that the worst people in my life are surrounding me, watching the screen as well. All I can think of is the tiny life forming inside my stomach, and the thought of a happy family with Cole.
“Alright alright. That’s enough now,” Simon says gruffly. I look up and see him holding my mothers hand tightly. She is staring intently at the screen, her eyes wide and full of wonder. As if she hasn’t seen a baby before.
Suddenly, I feel something inside me shift.
“Sweetheart? Jade! Was that you?!”
I gasp out loud. His voice so much the same as the last time I heard it, yet so different. I can’t believe it. I got through.
“Cole! Cole it’s me. Please help me. Please!”
I cry harder as I realise what this means. I can be saved. He can come for me. I look at the screen with my baby on it and pretend that I am still crying over the baby. The last thing I need is my mother and Simon figuring it out. I am too close.
“Baby where are you?! Tell me now and I’ll come for you!”
I quickly tell him the area and wait. I look up at everyone in the room and realise that they are talking quietly in a corner. I know that I need them to stay distracted. I have to stall. For at least ten minutes.
Dr Jasmine walks over to me and sits down in the chair. She looks over at me with a look of hate.
“You deserve everything you’re getting. You’re a little bitch who just had to stick her nose in where it didn’t belong. If you hadn’t come along, Cole would have been mine! I would have been his mate. Not you,” she says menacingly. I am shocked. What is she talking about?
“I-I don’t understand. What did I do to deserve this?” My voice is croaky and hoarse. I hardly ever use it anymore.
Her face becomes red with anger and she grabs my hair, angling my face towards hers, and tugging my hair painfully, causing me to whimper in pain.
“I love Cole, you bitch. And he loved me too. He trusted me, more than anyone in the pack. He used to tell me his secret fears and his problems. Every time he would come to me. No one else. But when he found you, he stopped. Now, he doesn’t trust me anymore. All because you told him that you didn’t trust me. And he listened to you like your little bitch. So, I get rid of you, he trusts me again. And I become Luna,” she growls. I raise my eyebrows. Is she serious?
“Baby hold on. I’m nearly there. What part of the clinic are you in? Is there a window in the room?”
I am stuck. I can’t mind link him without letting Dr Jasmine know that I’m doing. She’d see the change in my eyes. But if I don’t mind link him, I’ll just delay him. Who knows how long for.
I swallow bravely. I knew what I have to do. For the baby.
I gather all the spit I can in my mouth and launch it right onto her face. She screams and jumps away from me, turning around and running for the sink on the other end of the room. I take the chance to quickly mind link him back.
“I’m in the back. There is a window. The blinds are pulled up. That’s all I know. Hurry Cole. I don’t know how much longer I’m here for.”
I know that at any moment, my mother and Simon can drag me out of here. I have to keep stalling.
“You bitch! What is your problem?! The doctor is just tryin’ to keep the baby healthy an’ this is how you repay her?! We are leavin’ NOW!”
Simon’s loud voice rings in my ears. This is bad. I have to come up with a reason to stay.
“Can I at least have the prescriptions and instructions on how to use them? Please. For the baby,” I beg. If they want this baby as much as I do, they will agree. I watch as my mother nods and looks pointedly at Jasmine. She just glares at me and grabs the items, sitting down on the chair she had sat on previously.
“Hold on my love. I see the building. In ten seconds, I want you to dive for the floor. Stay under any surface and protect our baby. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
I start the countdown mentally, not listening to a word Dr Jasmine is saying.
“Are you listening bitch?!” Comes her voice. I nod without thinking.
“Two of these a day to keep that bastard alive...”