I liked him. I liked his smile, too. And the feel of his arms around me, warm and strong. Also the honesty he gives. Dagon had patience too. He was patient to explain what he was going to do when I was afraid, unsure. You don’t see that in common with any other satyrs.
As Dagon walked me through the huge door that then led to a steep stairwell, I could already smell the stench. It smelled like rusted pennies and pee. I wrinkled my nose and immediately turned into Dagon, pressing my face into his chest.
“Yeah,” Dagon grunts as he starts the slow walk down, “it smells pretty bad, sorry.”
I shook my head against his shirt, meaning to tell him it wasn’t his fault, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pull away long enough. My gag reflex was right in the back of my throat when I even remembered what it smelled like. I really would hate if I puked all over Dagon, so instead I inhaled his scent. It was an almost woodsy smell, but the thick cloth that was used for his uniform blocked out what I wanted more of.
As we rounded the corner at the bottom of the steps the smell was starting to ease, and I forced myself to pull away from his musk. Once I pulled away, I tensed in Dagon’s arms. Standing by an empty cell, down at the very end, was Zane. I hated him. He scared me. I was pissed at him; he broke my leg! I tried to relax and put on a brave face. I could have even tried for an angry expression. But as we came closer, Dagon slowed his stride even more. Zane’s relaxed, bored expression turned towards us. As I studied him, trying to hold back my fear, I could see a wicked gleam to his eyes. He looked almost excited to be putting a new prisoner in her cell.
“Dagon.” I exhaled under my breath.
He didn’t answer.
“Please,” I could feel him tense up and I started to beg. “You have to do something.”
No response. I was on my own. Was he afraid of Zane, too? We were three cells away, and I realized what I had to do. Lifting my chin and pushing the fear out, I began to look through his stone cold eyes into his mind. Dagon stopped in front of Zane and finally spoke.
“Move. I’m going to put her in.”
Zane smirked. “Yeah, I’m not gonna do that. You see, I told Baron that you have this major attraction to her.” He motioned in my direction as he over exaggerated, and I felt a glare from my end coming on.
Dagon stiffened against me and started to sputter, “I-I...What are you talking about.”
He ended on a strong note, but that stutter in the beginning told us everything. Dagon was attracted to me, and Zane knew it, and he liked what he heard.
“See, you can’t even deny it.” Then he held out his arms, and looked me right in the eyes. That’s all it took for me to lock on.
“So hand her over big boy.”
“No, Dagon is going to place me in the cell and your going to let him. You’re going to stay out of the cell.” I finished with a waver to my voice and winced on the inside. I may have just messed it up. Ruined it all.
For a moment Zane just stood there eyes blank, and then he snapped out of it, and I knew all has failed. My fear got in the way.
“Did you just try persuasion on me?” Anger glowed in his eyes. “No one. No one persuades me to do anything.” Then he ripped me from Dagon’s arms and Zane wasn’t even careful to drop me on my own two feet.
I almost stumbled and fell because of my broken tibia, but Zane grabbed me hard around the biceps and one last time spat, “No one.”
In the next instant the cell door was shoved open, and I was pushed into a cell, panting in fear and out of breath from struggling to get away. Dropping to my knees hard, the first layer of skin ripped when contact was made. My broken bone vibrated from the contact and shifted some more underneath my skin, making me cry out in pain.
Zane was closing the cell door and I sprang up, using mostly momentum, turning too fast for my head, and I became dizzy. I fell against the bars because of no leg support, and pulled.
"No please!" I turned to Dagon and called out his name. All Zane had to do was give him a look, and the idea of helping me left his mind.
I watched as Zane jerked the key in its lock and smirked. I was too weak at this point to even think to squeeze through the door when he had it open while I was leaning on it for support. And Zane, a smirk on his face, knew it.
"Have a nice life nymph." Zane taunted with a sneer.
My eyes widened when I heard him say what I was, and a tear hovered at the edge of my tear duct. I watched him leave, Dagon a few feet behind him. With nothing else to do, I looked at my surroundings as they both left.
The walls were damp from the cold condensation, and there was a layer of hay in a corner. I studied the other prisoner’s cells and saw that they were almost identical. These men were treating us like animals. The room holding these cells was like a long hallway with spiraling stairs at one end and a door at the other. The door was closest to me. What was behind there? At both sides of the door was a torch and my mind immediately ventured to Kenna. Kenna could have manipulated the fire. She could have helped me.
I watched as the flame danced every so often, barely able to find the wind to let it breath. It was barely holding on to life. All it had left was the wood. I could see its struggle, like mine, although I had nothing to get my energy from. Unless my sisters find a way to get me out ñ if they even know Iím gone ñ I may just take my last breath in this smelly cell of mine. At least I was given some kindness before I died. Dagon was as nice as a satyr could be to a prisoner like me. I started to accept my fate when a horde of memories slashed at my brain cells.
Kenna coming to Paxton with me, even though she hated shopping. Oh man did she hate it. There was nothing more she hated than buying useless things. But I loved her for wanting to do something she knew would make me happy. When was the last time I did something for her? I couldn’t think of a time I ever returned the favor. I frowned, frustrated with myself for a moment.
Kallan healing my broken wrist, when I was just learning my strength with the drums. I missed my drums so much. I loved to hum along with the beating of the drums and my heart. I remembered the night of the ceremony. She could see my unease and took me to the creak to heal my throbbing hands. That was the night we saw Kenna’s mate, and it changed everything. He changed the way Kenna looked at the world, and she could finally open her eyes. I liked Calder for what we, my sisters and I, couldn’t do for Kenna.
I loved Kaia even though she distanced herself from everyone. We all know she feels like she doesn’t belong. Ever sense the tribe kicked us out. Well, kicked Kenna out, we all decided to follow her, and it broke Mother's heart. But sisters stay together, and she understood that. Kaia was never the same though. She had loved the life she'd made for herself. She had been so open and had a bright smile all the time. Now she’s just so... ‘whatever’ about everything. She has no one to be happy for, and it scares all of us that she may just end her life over that.
A tear rolled down my check, and I went to sit down against the disgusting wall. I leaned my head back and took shaky breaths as I thought about my life, which hasn’t really begun yet. What about finding my mate? Isn’t that when your life truly starts?
I brought my knees up to my chest, rested my head down between my knees, and truly started to cry. This was not how my life was supposed to end.