Evangeline sat with her back against the wall and a dull ache still pulsing throughout her body. Her hands were on her knees and her head hung as she tried to remember.
Her breath was labored. She lifted her head to look at the man sitting a few feet away from her in his blue button down shirt. He looked old. His hair was grey, his face was thick, and his skin seemed to fold into itself. He wore round glasses and his dark, beady eyes gave no hint as to what he was planning to do to her.
She glanced down at her arms again. They still ached and she could tell some wounds were newer than others. How long has she been here? Where was here anyway?
“What do you remember?”
She could tell that English was not his first language. He had a slight accent. He looked almost kind. As he sat there, his stomach fell onto his thighs. She could tell that he was well-off, financially. He was wearing an expensive watch, his glasses were coach, and his shoes were Prada.
Her eyebrows furrowed. No matter how hard she thought, she couldn’t remember how or when she was put in this facility. She could tell by the invading ache throughout her body that she had been here for some time. She could also tell that just like those children, she had been touched and prodded on.
“Nothing,” her hoarse voice rasped out.
“Why am I here? Where is Adalric? Where am I?” She begged.
The doctor sighed and stood up. He put his badge against the glass door and watched as it slid open again. Three other men entered with a rolling cart. They were all dressed in blue scrubs. The one man had a stethoscope around his neck and the others were snapping latex gloves on their hands.
“Sorry, Luna Evangeline. It’s time for your next dose.” The doctor said. His tone was far too giddy for Eve to feel relaxed.
Her heart ached at the name. Only Adlaric could call her that. “You’re a bastard!” She surged forward to the doctor but two men grabbed her by her arms and pulled her back. She struggled against their harsh grip.
Their claws elongated and their eyes turned a deep red. It startled her; wolf eyes were only black. These men were artificial Lycans. They were made, not born.
Their sharp fingers gashed her skin, causing her to scream out. They strapped her to the bed and tightened the buckles until she could hardly turn her head without making them constrain against her. She thrashed under the straps and looked up at the men. Tears fell down her eyes.
“Please,” she rasped, her eyes watching the other man prepare a needle the size of her hand. The men didn’t answer. A strip of cloth was put around her mouth which caused her to gag.
The needle was put into the space between her third and fourth rib. She yelled through the cloth in agony as a burning sensation ripped through her body.
When her body couldn’t take the pain, she passed out into a vast dream of memories.
“Good morning, everyone!” Evangeline greeted, walking through the large double doors. The children ran down the stairs and gave her tight hugs.
“Good morning, Queen!” Cynara said, bowing.
“What have I said about that?” Eve said with a teasing smile. She lifted the young girl onto her hip.
“Sorry, Evey,” she replied. Eve walked into the kitchen. the kids followed her in. They all ran to the table and Evangeline put on a red apron.
“What would all of you like for breakfast?”
“Pancakes!” Emmaline shouted.
“No! French Toast!” Aristotle complained.
“All of you are wrong. Eggs are better,” Morpheus disagreed.
“How about a Crepe instead?” Evangeline asked. Aurora pouted and put her hands under her head.
Eve kissed the top of her. “You’ll see.”
Once breakfast was served, Eve greeted their tutor and the children went upstairs to their playroom, after finishing breakfast. Eve cleaned the kitchen and just as she was finishing, Adlaric came down and wrapped his arms around her waist.
“You graduate next week.” He whispered. She smiled and laid her hands on top of his.
“That I do.”
“We should talk about what happens next,” he added. She turned in his arms and looked up at him. Somehow she felt like there was an underlying meaning to his words. She knew once she graduated, there would be no reason for her to stay here. She knew that his kingdom was in Russia. She always assumed she wouldn’t be able to go to college- and that was okay. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, I know you’d like to attend college and I’m here to make your dreams come true, not change them.”
“Handsome, your Kingdom is in Russia and you are needed where your castle is. I always assumed we would go back...”
Adlaric ran his finger down the side of her face as she grinned down at her. “No, Evangeline. I can lead from any place. Anywhere you decide to go, I’ll follow. And it’s not just my Kingdom," he kissed her softly. “It’s ours.”
She smiled up at him. Her eyes held so much emotion she was afraid he could read her soul. “Thank you,” she whispered.
“Anything for a Queen in the making.”
“You know,” she said teasingly as she played with his tie, “I could be late to school. We could go upstairs and you can tutor me.” Evangeline ran her pink tongue over her bottom lip. Adalric watched her movement closely and raised an eyebrow.
“The last time we had one of those lessons I had to take seven showers that day.”
“Well,” she said flattening her hands on his chest. “Perhaps we won’t have to stop this time.”
His eyes snapped to hers. She smiled and continued speaking. “If you want to and if you are ready, I would like to finish the process...”
His eyes lit up. His hands went down to her waist and he picked her up, twirling her in the kitchen. She laughed and wrapped her arms around his shoulders.
As Evangeline sat on the couch with Morpheus in her lap and a book in her hands, Adlaric came in and sat beside them. He waited until she was finished with her sentence before interrupting.
“Morpheus, I think Elijah was looking for you upstairs. Something about an action figure?”
“Elijah don’t you dare touch my toy!” Morpheus stood up and ran up the stairs. Eve looked at Adlaric with skepticism. He set a white envelope on her lap. Hesitantly, she picked it up and examined it. Ripping, the seal she watched Adalric’s reaction as the contents fell onto her lap. She left the pieces of paper on the side table. “What is this?” She asked, holding up two tickets.
Adlaric wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “I hear it’s customary for a graduate to go on a senior trip and I was hoping you would go with me?”
Eve looked at the plane tickets in her hands and her eyes widened. “I can’t accept this! I-I...”
“If you don’t want to go to Greece we can change the location, moya koroleva-”
Eve interrupted him by climbing into his lap and kissing him. She straddled his waist and let her hands cup his face as she tried to convey every heart-filled emotions she felt. His hands wrapped around her waist; one went to her upper back while the other laid a firm grip on her ass. His higher hand moved further up to her neck and he held her in place. Slowly, he flipped her over onto her back.
He pulled away and moved the hair from her eyes. She laughed at how she piqued his interest.
“Is that a yes?” Asked, Adlaric.
“Did you think I would say no?”
Adalric grinned at her. “We leave the day after you graduate.”
“Thank you. I don’t know what I have done to deserve you.”
Eve gasped in pain as her body contorted away from the bed. She smiled, only for a moment, as she regained some of her memory back. He was going to take her away. Adalric was going to give her the choice of what she did after high school. That memory seemed to be the only solace. That was a memory, the beach was a concoction of her deepest desires. She still wondered how she got here and how her happy life became so gloomy in a matter of a few days. Had she graduated? Had they gone away already? Had they made love?
Every fiber of her being burned and felt like it was being sliced over and over again. She screamed so loudly, her throat felt like daggers as she cried.
“Please stop!” She begged. “Please!”
“The burning will stop soon. Once that’s gone, you’ll feel a brief moment of relief, and then you’ll feel a cluster migraine.” The one man sounded a bit apologetic.
Eve cried again. Her body was thrashing so badly, the straps made an imprint on her skin. Her entire body felt like it was submerged in the fiery depths of hell.
The pain dulled after an hour of torture. Her breathing was ragged and sweat covered her and the mattress below her. The men had left a long time ago, leaving her alone to stew in her own torturous pain.
When she could finally hear herself think, her head screamed with questions. What the hell was she injected with? Were they trying to transition her? Was she going to die here?
She cried again, but from deep heart ache. If this was it, she would have never gotten to travel or go to college. But the pain of not seeing Adalric again was far more painful than any physical mark made on her. She would never get to go to Paris with the love of her life. She would never marry him. Would never have their children. She wanted so much more; god, she loved him so much.
The moment of relief quickly evaporated. Soon her head felt like it was put in a blender and blended until no thought, no light, nothing but pain was identified by Eve. She couldn’t form a coherent thought. The pain in her head was something she could have never imagined. It was far worse than any pain she had felt before.
A scream tore through her lips. For a brief moment she looked outside the glass and saw the same men and doctor viewing her like she was some rat in a cage. She was though; she was an experiment. They didn’t care about the pain they inflicted, they only cared about the results of their tests.
Those kids went through this hell for years. She wasn’t sure she would last a few days.