“Amelia... wake up.”
I felt a nudge on my shoulder as I slowly fluttered my eyes open. I looked up into Chris’ hazel eyes and immediately sat up straight as a board with a gasp.
“What happened? Where am I?” As I said the words I slowly looked around at my surroundings. I saw concrete and iron... a lot of it. It almost looked like a prison cell. With concrete walls and iron bars. Nothing but a small cot which I was sitting on and a bathroom area in one corner.
Chris let out a devilish laugh, it sounded much more sinister than any horror movie I have ever watched. He looked at me like I was an annoyance he couldn’t afford to waste time on. He slowly rose to his feet before saying his next words.
“Welcome home, Amelia.”
“Chris... what did you do to me? Why did you do this to me?” I asked as realization hit.
He started making his way out of my prison cell and as soon as he walked out of the door, he quickly shut it and locked it with a large brass key. As he twirled it around his finger, I saw a rush of emotions flash through his eyes as he gazed at me behind the bars.
“Enjoy your new home, mate.” He snarled with a wicked smirk and quickly turned and walked up the stairs of the basement. I quickly got up and ran to the door and started shaking, gripping and pulling at the bars of the door as hard as I could. One of the things wolves were known for was their abnormal strength, but how am I not crushing the bars in front of me? They aren’t silver, just iron.
“CHRIS!” I screamed, “This isn’t funny!”
Nothing but silence rang in the air. I stepped away from the door and felt my heart begin to break. This cannot be happening. What happened this morning? How do I not remember anything?
It doesn’t matter what happened, I need to worry about right now. I need to get out of here. I am not a caged animal.
Think, think, think! I looked around the small cell for anything that could help me get out of here, but I couldn’t find anything. I gave myself a small smile, and looked at my hands to see if I could partially shift them. I concentrated so hard that I could feel sweat start to accumulate on my forehead. Nothing.
Like a freight train it hits me. A thousand pounds of pressure coming to weigh on my shoulders. Wolfsbane. It had to be. It was the only thing that could weaken us like this. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding and leaned my head back into the wall and stared up at the hideous fluorescent lighting.
Something awful is happening here and I intend to find out what it is. Before I could start to come up with a plan, my mother’s voice rang in my head. “When things get overwhelming or start to break your heart, you get 30 seconds to let it all out, scream, cry, and break everything in your path. Once those 30 seconds are complete, you woman up and put on your big girl panties and handle business.”
So for 30 seconds, I screamed and cried. Quite a few curse words thrown into the mix as I flipped my cot. As soon as I had counted to 30, my breathing was heavy and my chest was rising and falling rapidly. The tears were still flowing as I wiped at them with the backs of my hands.
Okay, Amelia, get your head in the game... whatever game this might be.
I was straightening up my cot when I heard a door open, I whipped my head towards my cell door and saw a small boy. He couldn’t be more than 5 or 6 years old. He was carrying a small tray of food. My sense of smell was over taken by the amazing smell of roasted vegetables, making my mouth water.
I quickly walked towards the door and glanced down at the boy. He had short, choppy brown hair that looked like he cut it himself and he had the most beautiful gray eyes I had ever seen. He was wearing a ratty t-shirt that was too large for his small frame, and dirt all over his face and no shoes on.
He nervously slid the tray through the hole in my cell door made for exchanges like this. I grabbed the plate from him and he hurriedly turned around to leave.
“Wait!” I yelled.
He stopped in his tracks on the 3rd step of the stairs, but didn’t turn around.
“Please, help me. Why am I in here?”
He looked over his shoulder and quickly whispered, “It’s not safe.” and ran up the stairs that lead out of the basement.
His answer left me with more questions than answers. What’s not safe?
Left alone once again, I let out a huff of air and looked down at the tray. It had colorful, roasted vegetables and some sort of mystery meat, that smells worse than my brothers gym shoes. My nose scrunched up in disgust, but at the same time my stomach growled to signal that I haven’t eaten since this morning.
I walked over to my cot and slouched over my meal. I quickly ate all of the vegetables but decided not to indulge in the meat that was also on the tray. After I sat the tray on the floor, I laid back down on the cot.
Almost instantly, I began feeling the unmistakeable feeling I had earlier today. My head was woozy and my vision became blurred. No, not again. I began to pray to the Moon Goddess with fresh tears at the corners of my eyes. Luna, please help me. I’m not sure of what is going on here, but please help... Then darkness filled my vision.
The next few days were more of the same. The boy would come and bring me my meals and I would quickly be overcome with sleep. I never had time to think. Instead, all I did was sleep and when I wasn’t asleep, I found the constant exposure to the wolfsbane in the food would make me groggy, almost like a zombie.
One day, I woke up and once again realized that I was not in a nightmare. I gasped when I looked towards the door and noticed it was slightly open. I got up and stumbled a bit on my way. I poked my head out and looked left and right to see if I could see or hear anything or anyone around. The coast is clear.
I quickly made my way towards the stairs and as I was about to turn the knob of the door, it was pushed open with so much force it made me stumble backwards and fall down the stairs behind me. Once I landed at the bottom, I groaned in pain. I lifted up my wrist to assess the damage and noticed the instant bruising that started to show. Broken. Luckily, being a werewolf had its perks and I would heal quickly. Thank you, Luna.
I looked up to see who came through the door, and it was none other than my mate. He looked down at me with fury in his eyes and a growl ripped through his chest. I cowered in fear, and slowly began scooting backwards to distance myself.
“Oh, sweet Amy. What are you doing out of your cage?”
He came bounding down the stairs and snatched me up to my feet by my hair. As I yelped in pain, he turned my head towards his face and looked me in the eyes. All I saw were cold, dead eyes staring back at me. Nothing like I remember back at the Summit. Never the less, my heart beat began to speed up, confusing my mind.
He began dragging me back to the cell and when we came to the door he shoved me inside and quickly locked it back with the brass key.
“You really shouldn’t have done that.” He barked out in a tired and annoyed tone.
“Chris, why are you doing this? What did I do?” I tried to plead with him, to help me understand.
He laughed cynically, “It’s not about what you did or didn’t do. It’s simple really. You’re mine, and I can do whatever I want with you.”
“But, I’m your mate.”
He narrowed his eyes at me, “You see, things work a little differently in the Carmichael pack. A mate is just a means to an end. We only need you for one thing, to reproduce. Other than that, you’re useless.”
With his last words, my eyes started to tear up, but I wouldn’t let him see my tears. As I blinked them back, I lifted my chin in defiance. You are the daughter of an Alpha. You are strong, you will get out of this hell hole.
My heart and mind were at odds, but I would not become a slave. I would do whatever it took to escape this fate..
“I will be back down later to get you for our marking ceremony, I’ll send down a dress and someone to help with that mop on top of your head you call hair.” He said as he grabbed the door with a hand and gave it a quick tug just to be sure it was shut completely. He turned and quickly ran up the stairs and slammed the door shut.
Marking ceremony? No one does that anymore. That’s an old-school tradition... totally out-dated. Luckily, only the high officials participated in the ceremony so we won’t be there for ages. I rolled my eyes at myself.
I really didn’t want Chris to mark me, but how can I stop it? Maybe I will be able to find a way to escape if I leave the basement, if anything I could at least see my surroundings. No matter what, I needed to get out of here. Even if it meant I was mateless for the rest of my life.
The door of the basement opened and I heard the sloshing of a bucket of water as the person carrying it walked down each step. When the little boy came into view with Chris right behind him, I sat on the cot and lifted my legs up as if to protect myself. Chris was on his cell phone as he turned the key in the lock.
“We will keep her here when your incompetent team brings her back home.” He hissed through gritted teeth to the receiver. Once the door was open, Chris pushed the little boy inside the cell and locked us both inside. He glared at me before he bounded up the stairs still on his cell phone. I turned my attention to the little boy with the bucket of water and his shining, gray eyes. They looked like the sky right before a storm. Beautiful.
He looked at me and pointed to the water and lifted his hand with a dish towel straight out towards me. Beckoning me to take the cloth, I walked over slowly and grabbed it. He whispered so low I could hardly hear him, “wash yourself”.
I slowly dipped the cloth in the bucket of sudsy water and began cleaning my skin. As I was going so, the boy walked over to my cot and sat down with his head tilted towards the floor. “What’s your name?” I asked him in a calming voice.
He snapped his head up and tried to give me an intimidating glare and scoffed.
If I was in any other situation, I would have laughed at his attitude. No matter how intimidating this kid tried to look, he was too adorable to be taken seriously. “Oh, come on. Please tell me your name.” I said with a small, comforting smile.
He rolled his eyes at me, and muttered, “Charlie.” I nodded at his answer and I decided to begin the task of washing my hair in the bucket. With my head bent over and my hands reaching up for my hair, I winced in pain as I bent my wrist to grip my locks. “Mind helping me with this, Charlie?”
He nodded quickly and jumped off the small bed. He walked in front of me and gathered my hair in his hands and got to work washing. With his help, we completed the task in record time. When we were done, I mumbled a quick thank you to Charlie and began running my fingers through my tangled strands.
“It’s the bane.” He said out of the blue.
“The reason your wrist isn’t healing quickly, and the reason you sleep all the time.”
I knew it! Charlie confirmed my suspicions. Poor, sweet, innocent Charlie. He’s just as much as a slave as I am. He’s probably never had this much attention in his life.
“Why are they keeping me drugged with it?”
“They want you to be easy. Not hard to handle.”
I forced a laugh at that. Of course, they do. An Alpha’s child is stronger than a typical pack member. They have to make sure I don’t escape.
Charlie gave me a look that said, whats so funny? Which in turn made me laugh a little more.
He shrugged when I didn’t answer his look. We heard the basement door opening, and the sound of foot steps on the stairs. Charlie’s face paled a bit and I noticed him gulp a little.
Charlie ran up to me and whispered, “Don’t eat the food.” Then walked back to the bucket before Chris showed up at the door of my cell. He unlocked the door and motioned for the boy exit with the bucket. As Charlie left, Chris looked up at me with a grimace and threw me the dress he had been holding. “Put that on and let’s go. It’s time.”