Losing hope

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Chapter 43 - Lost!

(Her - Hope) Now...

This is the best sandwich I’ve never had! Or maybe it’s because I didn’t eat real food for so long. Not poisoned and mixed with vampire’s blood food. Ryder is sitting by my side, watching my every moves. He doesn’t even blink! It’s almost creepy...

“Do you want more?” He asks me.

I shake my head and asks back:“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Sorry, I’m just scared that you will disappear if I look away.” He explains.

I can understand I’m so scared this is not real, that at any moment I will be back in my cell... in his hands. How can I be sure it’s one of his games? Where is the reality?

“Don’t! You’re here with me now. Don’t go back there.” Ryder inquires.

“Speak to me, please. Makes me think about something else.” I beg.

“Okay... Where do I start?” He mumbles.

“What do you know?” I ask him.

“About you?”

When I nod, he replies: “Everything! About your family, your tiger, your elemental’s gifts and also our amazing little pup.”

“Where is Dan? Can I see him?”

“He’s with our parents, with Noah and Seth, your nephew, they went to Disneyland. Being friends with witches makes your travel so easier.”

I chuckle:” I know, right? Thank you for taking care of him.”

“To be honest, it was not easy at the beginning. I was so furious... and he was so stubborn... He’s a great kid, you did a good job with him.”

“When can I see him?”

“When I’m sure you’re in the shape to see him.” He replies honestly.

“When will it be?” I ask.

“When you have your medical check and I’m sure you are stable enough. I know it’s not fair, baby girl but I need to protect him.”

I sigh defeated: “I know!”

“He will come, you know.” I whisper.

“He can try! I will not let him have you!” Ryder swears.

He doesn’t understand. I still can feel his presence in my mind. I know he’s lurking in the darker part of my brain. I’ve the force to block him there, for now... The question is for how long?

The good news is my Tiger is becoming stronger and it’s good to feel her more at every minute. I miss her and I hope to be able to shift soon! I can’t believe Anatoli kept me locked for so long. It’s funny how it felt so much longer but still he kept me away from my friends and family. The good thing is Dan finally met his father and it was time.

“I’m sorry for not telling you about Dan. I never wanted that.” I tell him.

“I will not lie, I took it really bad and I might have called you names for weeks but at the end I came to my senses and even if it’s still painful to think about the lost time, I know why you have to do it.” He replies.

“I shouldn’t have doubted you, I should’ve told you the truth.”

“Do you think about what would happen if I knew you were a Tiger shifter?” He asks me.

“All the time! Dan would be at least 2 years older as we would’ve mated non-stop.” I reply.

“And he would’ve a little brother and a baby sister, already!” Ryder adds. I smile at the idea.

“Do you really want 4 more?” I ask him.

“Yeah... I don’t know. I always wanted a big family. We will see. What I know is I want to do that with you, to have our own family.” He explains.

“And I want that too... With you, only.” I agree.

“You wouldn’t become an elemental if I knew earlier. Wouldn’t have missed you? Would I have enough for you?” He asks.

“You’re more than enough. It’s true that being able to control the elements is exhilarating, to hold so much power is intoxicating... But I wouldn’t have known what I was missing. So I would’ve been happy and safe. Safer than now...” I explain before yawning.

“You need to sleep. I will let you sleep, baby girl.” He says getting up and taking the plate.

“Please, stay!” I beg, catching his hand. He doesn’t need more, he agrees right away. I tug him to lie on the bed. Once he led by my side, I put my head on his chest. It’s so good to be in his arms after so long...

“Hello again, my beloved!” Anatoli says caressing my cheek like he always does. I’m back in my cell. No! That’s impossible!

When he sees the horror in my face he smiles, satisfied: ” Did you think your escape was real?”

“You’re lying! You’re not here! I’m not here!” I mumble.

He laughs: “Finally, I found a way to break you!”

“You’re not real!” I deny.

“Are you sure?” He smirks.

“It’s only in my head!”

“Maybe, maybe not... But even if it’s only in your head, I’m still here. I will not leave you! Never!” He swears before launching at my neck and biting me.

I scream.

“Hope! Wake up!” Ryder orders me.

When I open my eyes, I touch my neck. I still can feel his teeth on it. Ryder hugs.

“Breath baby girl. It was only a nightmare.” He whispers in my ear.

Anatoli laughs: “We both know I’m not just a nightmare, baby girl!”

“Go away! Stay out of my head!” I yell.

Ryder hugs me stronger and balances us.

“Breath in me, my Baby girl! Breath my scent. I’m here with you, not him! You’re stronger than him!” He inquires and I do it.

After a few minutes when I’m finally calmer, he asks me: ” He was in here, wasn’t he?”

I nod.

“How is it possible?” He asks.

“Blood... He still has a connection with me. He made me drink his blood everyday, and when I refused to drink it. He injected it to me. Until I’ve his blood in my system, we will share this connection and every time I lower my guard, he can use it. He will use it.” I explain.

“Fuck! I’m going to kill that bastard!” Ryder fumes.

“Why did you ask me to smell you? How do you know it will help me to shut him out?”

“You told me that you missed my scent in one of my... visits. Which means that Anatoli in his mind games can’t use scents or smells to confuse you. My scent is proof that this is real. If it happens again, follow my scent, it will always bring you back to reality, to me.”

I look up at him. Goddess I love that man!

“Mark me!” I order him.

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