Pain. That was all I could feel as I felt my nails dig into the sheets. My head throbbed and nothing but garbled screams escaped my mouth. It was dark – probably because the light had made my head throb even harder. I was hungry, thirsty, and in unbearable pain.
Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. I repeated in my head. I clutched my stomach as my body convulsed. I could feel the dried blood that surrounded the area and I panted. The pain always subsided for only a few moments – as if my body really just wanted me to breathe before it struck me again like a tidal wave. I took a deep breath as I felt the pain quell. I processed the room around me as I breathed and finally had the composure to wipe the disgusting drool off my face.
I groaned as I sat up and observed the room as best as I could. It was large – tall ceilings, dark wooden floors, the curtains were closed, the door was probably locked, and the only source of light was a single candle burning on a table in the room. I looked at my hands, they were trembling from the pain I had experienced earlier. How many days had it been? I’d lost count.
My stomach, which had been stabbed, had only miraculously healed itself – and yet for some reason my entire body was in absolute pain. It was so painful that I couldn’t think. I heard the door unlock and I felt a sharp pain sting my entire body. In walked the man himself – Ezra Gilden, who simply walked over to the bed and snapped his fingers before I was swallowed up by the pain again.
“I don’t know how you do it,” he said as I writhed about in the bed, biting into the sheets beneath me. “Somehow the wall in your head is as thick and sturdy as ever.” I couldn’t respond, instead I felt myself lose control over my body again as it twisted and turned, contracting and grasping for some kind of relief that didn’t exist. I suddenly heard footsteps and Ezra came over and his hands caressed my face… I could do nothing as I felt tears fall from my eyes from the pain.
“You poor thing…” he trailed off before he placed his hands beneath me and lifted me off the bed. I felt my breath leave me in short quick pants as I shivered and shook in his grasp. I could just barely make out the shapes of people moving in and out of the room. I grit my teeth as I felt the pain soar throughout my body and my eyes closed as more tears streamed through them. It felt like ages before Ezra placed me down and I felt the sheets beneath me… They smelled clean and covered in… something else.
“Perhaps… even in your dreams you’ll manage to defend yourself…” his voice said as I faded out of consciousness…
My eyes blinked awake and I found myself lying down in a large all-white bed, tucked in peacefully as the curtains were being drawn by a group of women. A man entered the room rolling in what looked like a tray of food and I suddenly faced a profound hunger in me.
Where the hell was I? I grimaced as I tried to move and found every inch of my body sore and in pain. Flashbacks of the previous days of pain and agony suddenly made their way into my head. That was probably why I had such a headache as my eyes adjusted to the light. The man, who was dressed in completely white attire, pushed the tray to my side as a woman with curled locks of brown hair walked – well, really, limped her way inside. She had a cane with her that seemed to help her movements and she adjusted a pair of thin silver glasses on her face.
She looked over at me and smiled – her eyes, a pale hazel color, suddenly reminded me of Lucien, and the dull ache in my chest suddenly bloomed into a kind of emotional pain… I bit into my bottom lip and suddenly felt how dry they were.
“Good morning,” she greeted and I simply stared in her direction. As she took a few steps towards me, a snarl escaped my lips, freezing her in place and startling even me. Her smile faded from her face as the sound of footsteps made its way towards us. I didn’t even have to look to know that it was Ezra and only then did it become clear why I snarled. I could sense the blood shared between them – siblings.
“All that pain and yet she still has the energy to snarl,” Ezra said with a smile.
“Don’t taunt her. She’s still weak from her awakening,” his sister responded. I opened my mouth to speak and yet nothing came out but a weak whisper of air.
“So it seems,” Ezra said, the smile remaining on his face. “We’re lucky Ignus didn’t turn her sooner. A dog is easier to tame when they’re young.”
“Ezra-“ she began but he simply raised his hand and it was like her voice had faded from her too. He walked towards me and I felt the air around me turn heavy. I opened my mouth – but not a single sound came out even as I could feel a growl well up in my chest. It was then that I felt it, it was a command – like that of an Alpha’s – and yet, though a part of me felt like bowing, the other part of me, felt like resisting it but I couldn’t summon the strength to- I felt his touch on my cheek and shivered as I tried to move against it, only to find myself moving towards him.
“You can’t quite multi-task when you’re this weak, Auden,” he said with a smile. “But I will be patient… and you will be our greatest treasure.” He said and I felt disgust well inside me as he ran his fingers down my cheek. I found my eyes looking over at his sister who simply stood there as if she was unable to move.
Ezra tucked my hair behind my ear before clicking his tongue, it was only then that his sister moved forward with a long silver pen-like object similar to what Ignus, Hera, and Dalton used… Ezra took it from her and sighed as he stared into my eyes and tapped the tip of the pen onto the center of my chest. A warmth bloomed from where he’d had it touch me and so did a hunger I’d never seen before. I felt my voice return as I let out a breath and as I turned to look over at Ezra, he smiled.
“Everyone has been wasting your talents, but we will not be the same,” he said, “Celia, continue to hand her the prepared dosage, it’ll be less painful than before that way… and feed her the normal stuff. We can’t have her bloodlust released here.”
“Understood,” his sister replied. He stood up and I felt relief course through me as he moved away. Once he was gone, she looked to me and released a shaky breath that she’d probably been holding the moment he’d entered.
“I… promise I won’t hurt you. So please… eat,” she said as she walked over and began serving me food. I could barely even move and I was sure she realized it as she picked up a spoonful of food and put it to my lips. I nodded simply as I opened my mouth and ate.
“Auden,” a woman’s voice called out. There was nothing around me but darkness, a suffocating and painful darkness. “Find me.”
I opened my eyes – and as I blinked, a series of images flashed through my head. Directions. A straight walk, a set of large doors, three flights of stairs, three turns, and a code-locked door. I released a shaky breath. I heard a rustle beside me and found myself looking over at Celia, who had just tapped the pen-like object into left my arm.
“Sorry, did I wake you?” She asked and I shook my head. “You’re looking better already.” I nodded simply as I felt the heat from the contact travel through my body. I must’ve stared at it for a long time as Celia began explaining it to me.
“This is a bloodvac, or at least that’s what we call it. It stands for a Blood Vaccine – even though it’s not really a vaccine and I just think the name sounds cool… Anyways, it contains controlled doses of blood as well as other synthetic material to create the illusion of feeding. The more blood, the greater the satisfaction and impact,” she said and I nodded. “My name is Celia by the way.” She said as she extended her hand towards me. I lifted my right hand and she smiled as she took it and squeezed.
“You really do look like her,” she said in a low voice.
“Like who?” I asked, my voice surprising the two of us. It was weak, soft as a whisper, and definitely hoarse.
“Wait, let me get you some water,” she said as she turned around and picked up a pitcher on the nightstand. She poured me a glass. “Can you hold it?” I extended my hand and she rested the glass in it, testing to see if I could handle its weight. She released it and I managed to hold it up, though it did take more effort than it should’ve. I brought the glass to my lips and sipped quietly as she took in a breath.
“You look a lot like Aurelia,” Celia said and I paused.
“Is she here?” I asked and Celia pressed her lips into a thin line.
“Are you hungry?” She asked, changing the subject. Deciding that I was too weak to interrogate anyone, I nodded. In a few moments, the double doors to the room opened and in an elderly man in a simple white dress shirt and black slacks from yesterday with a tray of food being rolled in. Celia took the glass from my hands and put it back on the nightstand before offering her hand to me.
“Can you stand?” I nodded weakly as I took her hand and lifted myself.
My legs felt weak as I lifted my back and took a seat on the edge of the bed. The old man pushed the tray towards me before adjusting its height, turning it into a breakfast table. I mustered up a smile for him as a thank you and he returned it with a curt nod as he lifted the metal lid off the plate of food, revealing a bowl of rice porridge. He then stepped aside before heading out the door.
“How long have I been here?” I asked, clearing my throat after speaking and picking up a spoon.
“It’s been just a little over a week,” she said and I paused before looking at her. She nodded simply with a soft smile as I took a spoonful of porridge into my mouth. I felt like all the hunger suddenly came at me as I ate spoon after spoon.
“You’ve never been injured like that before so your body had to take its time… Plus, you’ve only recently woken your wolf and your hound.”
“What exactly did I injure?” I asked just after swallowing yet another spoonful.
“Well your stomach was punctured and you nicked part of your lung…”
“Okay… and I didn’t internally bleed out because…?” Celia grinned.
“We gave you a huge dose of blood the first day – which we were lucky that your body didn’t reject, probably because you really needed it.” I nodded trying to process that information as I cleaned off the bowl.
“Do you want more?” Celia asked and I shook my head.
“I’d rather not surprise my stomach with all this food after not having any for more than a week,” I said and she nodded. The man from earlier then entered the room, quietly covering up the bowl before pulling away.
“What’s his name?” I asked as he disappeared once more.
“His name’s Bo, he’s been the caretaker of this residence even before Aurelia was born.”
“Huh.” Celia then suddenly moved close to me.
“You… can’t hear anyone in your head, can you?” She asked and I bit my bottom lip.
“No but I can feel certain people trying to get in,” I said and she nodded briefly.
“Do you think you can keep them out for an extended period?” She asked and I nodded.
“It really isn’t that hard, so yeah,” I said with a shrug and she breathed a sigh of relief.
“Good to know…” she trailed off before she paused, closed her eyes for a few moments, and re-opened them. If I wasn’t mistaken, her hazel eyes had a subtle yellow glow to them now and she looked straight into my eyes. “My brother instructed me to come by every day to study you, I’ll help you learn more about us and I’ll be in charge of monitoring your… condition.”
“Okay.” I answered simply.
“There’s a bathroom in here, just go through the door in the corner and you’ll find it.” I nodded and then Celia pressed her lips into a thin line.
“Be careful.” She said simply before she took my hand in hers before getting up and leaving, shutting the door behind her with a soft thud. She mumbled something to someone, which meant there was definitely a guard at the doors. In the hand she’d held, she’d left me a note. At first glance, it looked like a prescription for medicine, but there was something written behind it.
Make sure to get rid of this. Flush it down the toilet. Can’t burn it – brother will notice. Ignus told me to watch you. My brother can go through someone’s head like it’s a toy he can play, learn, and rearrange. Don’t tell me anything important. Keep everyone out of your head. -Celia