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Chapter 17

The dreams came again....

The ones I've been plagued with my entire life. They always seem so vivid after I awaken, just like right now. I shake myself off, opening my heavy lids to be startled by the blinding whiteness of the light and room. It takes me a few seconds to shake off that groggy feeling before I'm completely alert and aware, that I'm still stuck in this gawd awful room. Maybe today will bring some positivity my way, one can only hope.

The door swings open and a worried looking Niamh skittles in, tray in hand. She drops down beside me with a look of sympathy then swiftly looks away, her eyes are so downcast like she wants to avoid mine.

"Morning." I say Briskly, looking at her for any tells. She just smiles and nods her head, her mouth is pursed like its been zipped shut. Though she gets out a whispered "Morning." in return.

This Niamh is making my mind start to run a mile a minute, a strong feeling of trepidation arises within me.

Something is going to happen...

Again I struggle to eat but force myself, I'm probably going to need the energy even if every bite tastes of nothing. When I'm finished I look to Niamh but there's little to no communication between us, the startling difference in her behaviour towards me makes me worry. As she grabs the tray to leave, I grab her by the cuff of her blouse.

"Niamh-- what's wrong? Can you tell me?" I fervently asked. When she finally looked at me, her eyes full of sorrow. "Please Niamh, I would rather it came from you a friendly face, than from another." With a sigh she nodded.

"I'm sorry Paloma but they've decided to move you to the Lunar Council Pack grounds, I don't know the full details but I was given instructions to take you to get cleaned up, then they are going to move you."

"Don't worry, ok, I've got faith in our Alpha, I'm sure I will get through this fine." Trying my best to reassure her, even if I doubted my own words. Not about Alpha Atreus I do believe in him but I'm just not sure he can stop, what the council decide to do, or protect me from their harsh punishment.

Not that I deserve punishment in the first place! The world is just a cruel place and I'm left to the mercy of fate...

She led me to a small bathroom, it was a stark clinical place and the sooner I was out of here the better, it really held an eerie vibe I didn't like at all. The only good thing that happened was that the bath had already been filled. Thank goodness for small mercies.

I submerged myself in the teatree scented bath, my head held under water for as long as I could manage. My ears muffled by the water and I let myself relax momentarily. Freeing my mind body and soul.

Once my lungs began to burn crying out for an intake of fresh air, I raised my body and sucked in the lifeblood to my lungs.

I quickly scrubbed myself clean hopping out to dry in mere minutes. This was nowhere I wanted to be. I noticed the clean clothes left on the chair for me and made my way over.

After throwing on my underwear I examined the strange looking outfit. There was a pair of trousers, a long sleeves top, and a hair band. Starting with the pweter grey trousers, I pulled them on. I stood their looking down for about two minutes, dumbstruck as to what kind of weird fashion trend they were, because all along the seems strings of cloth and chains hung loose.

I cringed even more picking the top up when I realised it had the same style with strings and chains hanging off of it. I cannot help but wonder if Niamh was the one who chose this, because if it was, she's got a serious dose of bad taste when it comes to fashion.

Why Niamh just why?

This was a clinking, jingling mess of an outfit, I may option nudity in this case rather than wear the monstrosity. Just as I was about to leave I notice I forgot the other item on the chair, pulling it up and into my hand. It's a pewter grey hairband with more strings and chains, what on earth? If not for her solom attitude I would think she was playing a prank on me, or maybe its a type of punishment.

I throw it on my head, walking out barefoot to see Niamh. She gives me one last hug, and whispers "Goodwick." In my ear then walks away and I'm faced with a very stern looking Vaughan, six Bellator Warriors flanking him, the elite and fiercest soldiers of our kind.

Gulping down my nerve, the forced smile fell from my face as we made eye contact. Too nervous to speak or do anything else. My breathing became strained, in the wake of their aura , they were a daunting group and I was to be their puppet, I had the strings and all!

"Good morning Paloma, can you hold out your hands, palms up and open." I did as asked all the while studying Vaughan face.
"OK that is perfect, now stick out your tongue so I can check if any contraband is hidden." Vaughan directed and again I followed his instructions.

"Great, now Anna here, will pat you down and then we will be on our way. If you could spread your legs and hold your arms out."

I was internally cursing my outfit as I got into position feeling like I was a hybrid Christmas tree with all the dangling and clinking chains and ties, I felt ridiculous. But who am I to complain in a spot like this, its not like any of this group would listen to me. Looking at how clinical and official Vaughan was behaving I had my doubts he would come to my aid even if I asked.

After Anna, one of the Bellator finished her pat down another woman stood before me. She was tiny certainly bellow 5ft and hunched over, the smell of decay emanated off of her coupled with a exotic mixture of spices I couldn't quite decipher.

Vaughan stepped back as the woman approached, she was wearing a hooded cape concealing her face but I could see she wore a thick woven long skirt of dark brown and mauve, her hands where crooked and calloused with warts and what look like boils and my stomach turned and I wreatched as she came closer.

Silence gripped the hallway, there was a feeling of anticipation in the air. The woman then began to speak words of an incantation, I didn't understand the language or meaning but knew it was a witch stood before me, and she was casting a spell.

The air began to buzz with electric current, my fingers tickled by static. My feet felt weighted to the ground as the spell took hold, my arms and legs still outstretched. A light breeze suddenly surrounded me and the chains began clanking and chiming, the noise reverberating in the tight space.

With awe I watched as the strings and chains came to life wrapping themselves around my body and limbs tightly weaving in and out till I was held fast.

It was almost instantaneous the effect, when finished, my wolf was caged as was any power within me and for the first time in my life I felt like a mortal human, no Werewolf side just my human self and all my weaknesses and flaws.

All my heightened senses have been stripped bare. The clothing was a binding suit, I have heard of them but never seen one or witnessed one being activated.

To think I had thought this was some kinda weird trend, thankfully not but still, not so happy that I've been dressed in an outfit designed to keep our most ferel and beastly kin shackled and bound.

Wow! This is on another level!

It all seems over the top, totally ridiculous to me. How they could put me in the same category as murderers and serial killers, the worst of our kind is staggering and frankly offensive.

It was me and them now, the witch clicked her boney fingers and with a pop and hiss she disappeared before my eyes. Though as fascinating as that all was, loneliness crept it's was into my heart.

Vaughan the Alpha was the man before me, not Vaughan my partner in crime, or best friend. His domineering personality and authority taking over and any semblance of friendship was packed away. Certainly not to be entertained.

I could say I expected it, or was surprised but the truth is I just feel sad. His smile on the morning of my trial was everything, it warmed my heart and gave me hope to rekindle a friendship once lost. But the coldness in his eyes now was evident that - that was just not going to happen. I looked for any sign within his steely demeanour but it was cold as ice, cutting deep.

He turned and began to walk away. So caught in my thoughts that I stood still. He stopped turning his head with his back to me and spoke.

"Get your ass in gear Paloma and hurry the fuck up." He spat, a true lackey of the Lunar Council now. I shook my head at his callousness and began my slow walk behind him, the weight of my binding making it difficult to walk at a normal pace. I was now flanked by the Bellator, two behind, two beside me and two up front.

The long corridor seemed never ending and as I looked up at the high ceiling decorated with cornices and ceiling roses I wondered of all the people who walked these aged hallways in bygone times.

Were any of them as unlucky as me?

Caught in my curiosity I was startled by the two large white doors at the corridors end slamming open. Crashing into the wall with a resounding bang, the impact nearly taking the doors off the hinges, I yelped shaken by the sudden fierce loudness.

I couldn't quite see past the two Bellator ahead but could guess at who was the culprit. Alpha Atreus voice soon came booming down the passageway, my thoughts confirmed.

"How dare you." He roared. I shifted over to see through a gap of my captors bodies. Atreus had Vaughan a foot or more above ground, held by the neck in a crushing hold. He was brutal and as fast as the rumors implied, by the looks of things Vaughan was no match for him, momentarily I felt a little pity, our past friendship arousing such emotions but then I thought of how he behaved today and a little smug smile graced the corner of my lips.

I've been surrounded by emotionally unstable men of late and can no longer deal with their bi-polar attitudes. They can sort their own shit out and leave me be!

Funnily enough the warriors surrounding me didn't move to help Vaughan their leader, but I guess their allegiance is with the Elders of the council and me being so called 'High Risk Dangerous Prisoner' made them stick to caging me in.

"Who do you think you are Vaughan." He spat out. "Your just another minion of the Lunar Council. Do not think you can come into my territory and override my authority. The council agreed that I was the one to escort the prisoner to their grounds. You have no power here."

Oh shits about to go down! Ha!

Atreus swung his fist meeting his target head on. It was about to get interesting when Gerard sauntered in, his ignoble self on display.

Ugh! Just the sight of him makes my skin crawl.

"Alpha Atreus, I apologise for Vaughan's behaviour he was just a little anxious to get the Prisoner on her way. After all... this does involve him too." The supercilious tone and act from Gerard was obvious to all. "Oh shit! I wasn't supposed to mention that was I." He sardonically laughed, a wry smile creeping up is face.

"What do you mean, it involves Vaughan! How so?" In the middle of it all I screamed out. I just couldn't fathom why marks on me would have anything to do with Vaughan. Somebody from my past yes! But we haven't seen each other or been in contact in years. He didn't even spare me a goodbye when he swaned off with his new found mate.

He couldn't have old feelings for me? No, no, that's not possible he has a mate now. Though looking at my own experience with mates they are all not so enamoured with each other, Nathaniel's a prime example of that.

Could it be?

Shaking my head, I awaited with bated breath the answer from Gerard.

"Oh he didn't mention it did he... His Mate, Angelina is the one destined to hold the next Godess Mark, not you... And -- he came here, to make sure his mate got what she desired." Gerard dealt out the truth to me and turned on his heel and left. Clearly he had accomplished what he wanted and left in the wake of his destructive words.

My chest heaved and eyes burned as I looked to my old friend, Alpha Atreus had dropped him now and his head slung low. He couldn't even face me, and clearly used our friendship to lull me onto the stage at my trial, into the hands of my captors. Knowing full well the outcome before it occurred.

Such a bitter pill to swallow, betrayed again by someone I trusted, the acerbic taste left me crestfallen once more...

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