“Wake the fuck up!”
Eve heard Elizabeth scream. She lifted her head from the floor and watched the scene unfold in front of her.
“Please, not in front of Maya. I’m begging you. You can do whatever you want to me, but do not make her watch.” Elizabeth pleaded as the man gripped her by her arms and held her up.
The man threaded his fingers through her red hair lifting her from the ground. “She’s your daughter!” Elizabeth sobbed. “Show mercy on your own blood.”
The man grunted. He stared at Elizabeth for a minute before dragging her out of the cell. Eve sat up and saw Maya shaking in the corner. Tim was already by her side, holding her flush against his chest. When Eve walked over, she was surprised to see Maya practically unphased. It was like she was used to it.
“How many times?” Eve asked.
“Three maybe four times a week.” His response was indignant, but complete. He was resigned by the fact. It disgusted him to no end, but after the first several times of fighting back, he realized they would beat her harsher the more he resisted.
“How old is she?” She asked, gesturing to Maya.
“Four. She’s well-developed because of the hormones they inject her with.”
Everyone went silent again. Tim held Maya and Eve walked back to her bed, sitting down with her hands gripping the covers.
Elizabeth had it worse than her, it was clear. For the past five years she was beaten, abused, and assaulted. No one deserved that. Maya was the daughter of Elizabeth and that guard, and already at such a young age, she was exposed to the harsh reality of the world.
Maya had to sit and watch here mother be touched most days of the week. That little girl had to grow up thinking that was the way men treated women. It disgusted Evangeline.
Hours later Elizabeth was thrown back into the cell. Blood coated her thighs and there were fresh lacerations on her stomach. Eve ripped a piece of cloth from the sheet on her bed and tried to clean her wounds as best as she could. When she was finished, Tim carried her to her bed and tucked her in.
“Sleep.” Eve said softly, rubbing her fingers through the redhead’s hair.
Elizabeth hadn’t argued. The young teen dreamed of getting out of there and seeing the sun. She dreamed of seeing birds fly and hearing the echo of wind through the branches. Elizabeth dreamed of taking her daughter to get ice cream and living an honest life as a chef. She dreamed of finding her mate, one who would protect her, kiss her scars, and love her daughter. She dreamed of going back to school.
When Elizabeth woke up, Eve was in the corner with Maya playing together. Evangeline smiled over her shoulder. “Look who’s awake.”
Elizabeth smiled, holding here hand out. Maya smiled and ran over to her mother. “There’s my precious Mine. ”
“Eve was playing with me! Do you want to play to?” Maya chirped happily, resting her head on her mother’s chest.
“My little Mine, I’m a bit tired,” Elizabeth said, wheezing a bit in her hand. Maya lifted her head and kissed Elizabeth’s forehead.
“Mommy, you told me a story about mates a long time ago. I was wondering, is that man your mate? Is my dad your mate? He seems mean,” she whimpered.
“He is not my mate and although he did give me you, he is not your dad. A dad is someone who loves you unconditionally and teaches you, a father is someone allows a girl to have a baby. Mates are...” Elizabeth paused for a moment. “Mates are extraordinary. You will know when I meet my mate because my mate will be perfect for me and the perfect father to you,” she promised.
“Have you met mates before?”
Elizabeth smiled. “My father and mother were mates. My father loved my mother like my mother loved the stars.” Maya smiled at Elizabeth.
“I want to meet grandma and grandpa.”
“You will.” Maya lifted her head and turned to look at Eve. “Have you met mates?”
Eve smiled. “I have one. And one day you will too.” Maya giggled.
“I hope our mates save us,” she whispered against her mother’s cloak.
Days after, the guards came back and put shackles around all of them, even Maya. They took them all to an arena. When they entered through thee doors, Tim was impaled with a baton to his stomach.
“Get up,” the guard hissed. Tim groaned and stood up. Elizabeth tried to get to him, but was pulled back by another guard.
“Don’t make him do this again. He almost died last time! Give him a break!” She screamed, attempting to pull herself away from the man holding her.
The guard threw Elizabeth back down, as Eve tried to catch her in her arms. Time struggled against their hold on him as they dragged him away. Maya clung to her mother, frightened, but unsurprised by the outcome. Solemnly the girls were led through the rows of people to their assigned seats.
Evangeline looked around and realized there were hundreds of people in white medical gowns around her. This facility was far larger than the one they had found. Men screamed to be let go only to be silenced by the crack of the guard’s baton on their back. Women attempted to fight, others prayed to their goddess. Chaos erupted around her, but no one was targeting her; they all had one goal and that was to be freed from this hell.
The pews were tapered up the arena. The greek style architecture allowed for sound to pass all the way up to the highest areas of the metal canister. There were silver, metal rods acting as tresses at the top of the round room and at every entrance there were guards aching to punish someone who disobeyed.
Eve looked up when a giant buzzer sounded from the red lamp at the top. “What is going on?”
Elizabeth just looked ahead. “Survival of the fittest.” The solemn tone of her voice caused Evangeline’s heart to seize in her chest. Two men entered from opposite ends of the area down below. Both were naked. Both were already beaten.
Both started to fight each other, not through their own volition, however. Evangeline couldn’t bare to watch. She looked away. But the sounds of struggle, pain and violence ate at her. She only looked up when she heard Elizabeth gasp.
“Oh, God,” Eve whispered. “Tim!”
For the briefest moment, before the bell sounded, Tim looked up in the crowd and locked eyes with Elizabeth and then Eve. He smiled- it was tired and resigned, but he smiled. He always smiled.
“Fight,” Evangeline whispered. “You can win.” She knew he could hear her. Unlike her, Elizabeth and Tim were Lycanthropes.
Tim shook his head. “I’m tired.” She couldn’t hear what he said, but she understood. She nodded at him.
“You just have to hold on a little longer.”
The bell rang through the entire arena. The other man attacked Tim. Tim shifted into his wolf. Truly, he was beautiful; his coat was a light blonde, which matched his usual dirty blonde hair. His muzzle nipped at the man. His enemy shifted in response.
Tim bit his leg, followed by his own tail being torn by the canines of the other. Their feral growls roared through the entire arena. Moment after moment the two clawed and gashed at the other.
Tim collapsed to the ground after a dangerous wound to his neck. The other wolf seemed to snicker at his subjugation and prowled around him. When Tim stopped moving, Elizabeth cried out again. Tim was her best friend; he was the only person who understood her and what she was going through. He protected her. He was her big brother she never had, but always wanted.
The other wolf prowled over him in victory.
Tim’s wolf form snapped into place, allowing his canines to grip and rip apart the other’s hairy flesh. His bite was so vicious, the other wolf’s head came clear off and flew across to the other side of the arena.
Elizabeth cried with relief and happiness.
Both were led back to their room and later Tim was thrown in with them. Elizabeth went to his side, cleaning his wounds. Eve hid Maya from watching.
Elizabeth got him cleaned up and in bed.
“Sleep,” Eve said to Elizabeth. She was clearly tired and drained from what had happened. “I’ll watch over him while you do.” Elizabeth nodded and laid down in her bed. She turned to Eve.
“What is?” Eve asked.
“I feel connected to you for some reason. Like I could trust you with anything.”
Evangeline smiled as she looked at Elizabeth. “Because you can, Elizabeth. I swear to you that I am not your enemy. I want to help. I promise you we will get out of here one day.”
Elizabeth smirked and turned around. “Now you sound like me when I first arrived.”
“I swear to Goddess if there isn’t a report on my desk in five minutes I’m going to fucking rip you apart from limb to limb!”
Adlaric was furious. His mate was taken over a month ago. His blood boiled. She was his heart and without her, he felt like he couldn’t breath.
He felt the same way he had before the ball.
Goddess, he missed her. He missed her smile. He missed her laugh. He missed how clumsy she was. He missed feeling whole.
But most of all, he missed being sure she was safe. He could feel pain; it wasn’t his. It was all hers and he knew it. The link he had with her was far more intuitive than the link she had with him. He knew how to read it and how to interpret it, Evangeline did not and because of this, she couldn’t connect with him.
“What is it! I swear if it isn’t good news I’-”
“We have something you should see.”
The following few days went as the previous. Only now, Eve was far happier to have more company. Knowing you had confidants made being locked in a box less...crippling.
The guards reappeared a few days after the arena. They strapped her to the bed once again. They pinned her legs and hands down. They wrapped a strap around her neck and stuffed her mouth with a cloth before administrating her next dose.
Before the sharp needle pierced her skin, Elizabeth came over. “After this, you have one more. The last one either takes or...” Eve groaned. “I die,” she concluded. Judging by Elizabeth’s expression, she guessed right. “Great,” she said, solemnly.
She screamed as the venom entered her blood. Once her dose was done, she fell back onto the bed, gasping.
“I miss you, handsome,” she whispered. The pain was unbearable.