Grace woke at the familiar sound of clanging against the bars. She let out a sigh before rolling over and sitting up in the bed.
“Get up,” the guard boomed from outside her cell.
She stood slowly, her now-frail body struggling to keep itself upright. “Good morning to you too, Craig,” Grace mumbled.
He growled, “Lose the attitude Grace, the Alpha is coming down any minute. He won’t be as nice as I am if you give him any lip.”
Grace closed her eyes, feeling a bit dizzy. “Can I eat first?”
Grace sat back down on the bed. After having lived in this cell for years she had lost a lot of her strength, especially since they started feeding her even less than they had before. It didn’t help that Grace was alone. Her wolf had left almost a year ago and Grace didn’t know how much longer she could endure this.
Her head snapped up when she heard Craig speak firmly. “Good morning, Alpha.”
Alpha Knox was a hard, cruel, vicious man. Grace knew why he was here. It was time for her monthly interrogation.
“Hello, Grace. Happy three years,” he said darkly as he stood outside the cell.
“Hello Alpha,” she replied quietly, keeping her head low with the hopes her submission would keep him calm.
“You ready to say anything?” he asked
Grace looked down, knowing she couldn’t hide the fire in her eyes, “I don’t know anything, Alpha.”
He shook his head, “You’ve been here for three years, Grace. Give me something and maybe I can help you.”
She let out a huff, knowing it was a lie. He was never going to let her out of here. She would die in here, no matter what she said. She looked up at him with a small scowl, “No matter how many times you ask, my answer will always be the same because I truly don’t know what you want from me.”
Alpha Knox glared down at her, his irritation bubbling to the surface with a quiet growl, “Open the door.”
Grace’s eyes filled with fear, she knew what was coming. The interrogations always ended the same when he didn’t get what he wanted. And Grace always ended up in trouble.
He pulled her hair, forcing her to stand. Grace let out a gasp before meeting his eyes. “Just tell me where they are, Grace.”
“I don’t know!” she yelled.
He slapped her across the face, throwing her down to the floor, her weakened body unable to fight or even pick itself up off the ground. He kicked her in the ribs and she gasped for breath, the pain searing through her. She glared up at him. No matter how many times he beat her, she would never give him what he wanted. Knox towered over her with a scowl, “Maybe you will remember when I come back next time.”
Grace wiped her hand across her lip, the blood from the cut on her bottom lip staining her hand. She pulled herself up onto the bed as she watched Alpha Knox leave her cell and walk back upstairs.
Craig walked in and handed her a cold towel, “Why don’t you just tell him?”
Grace looked up with narrowed eyes, “Because I don’t know.”
That was a lie. Grace knew where they were. Alpha Knox and his minions were abusive and cruel, ruling the Winterglade Pack with manipulation and fear. They would beat members of the pack for no reason other than for entertainment and to reinforce their power over the pack. Nobody could leave, the borders were heavily guarded. Not that anyone could afford to leave, the Alpha took almost everything the members had to fuel his lifestyle. But four years ago she smuggled almost forty members of the pack out of the borders, mostly families with young pups who couldn’t defend themselves against their Alpha. They didn’t have proof that she did it but it didn’t stop them from putting her in a cell. Alpha Knox was almost obsessive, coming every day in the beginning to ask where they were, but now it was just once a month. He was not about to let them go, even if it took him twenty years to find them.
“Happy third anniversary, Grace,” she mumbled to herself sarcastically.
Grace looked up to see Craig in his usual spot by the door. “So can I have my breakfast now?” she called out.
Craig chuckled, “That’s funny. You and I both know you aren’t getting any breakfast. I told you to behave yourself.”
Grace furrowed her brow before looking down at herself. Her body was thin, almost sickly from the malnourishment. Her long auburn hair had lost its shine and her blue eyes were no longer bright.
“Can I at least have another book? I finished this one weeks ago,” she said quietly.
Craig sighed, “I’m not your butler, Grace. I’m here to make sure you don’t escape, not to make sure you’re entertained.”
Grace sat back with a huff before picking at the wall, wishing she hadn’t been caught.
“Someday...” she whispered. “Someday I’ll get out of here, one way or another.”