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Chained to the wall of a dark cell, Elizabeth Mason reached the limitations of her immortal body. The cement floor she'd been laying on for weeks felt like it was fusing to her skin. Each tiny ridge and fissure of the rough floor felt like claws digging at her delicate skin. Her fingers were cold and numb from being restrained over her head for so long. The restraints weren't long enough to allow her to lie completely flat; her upper body leaned against the cold wall. Her eyes were swollen; hair matted with dried blood and her body was covered in bruises at various stages of healing. She fought him every time and in the end, it only caused her more pain. His visits to her had increased in violence and frequency, his behavior becoming more erratic, and she couldn't fight any longer.
A door slammed upstairs, and her eyelids fell closed as she waited for him to come to her. She thought to herself, I'm ready; you bastard, but this will be the last time. Part of her was ready to let go. Her heart rate was slow and her strength was zapped. The thought of joining her mother in the next life brought a smile to her face as the sound of her doom grew closer.
Fredric Hahn descended the stairs of his Montana home. He needed to feed. It had been several days since he last took from his prized donor. He stalked down the hall; his fair hair slicked back reflecting the dim light of the basement. No other guests were currently residing here, and wouldn't be as long as she was here. His boss was after her, but after feeding from her, Hahn knew she was a unique creature. He would keep her all to himself. The only ones who knew she was here were himself and his human servants. As he approached her door, the smell of her blood sang the sweetest song to him. Fangs dropped from his gums and saliva pooled in his mouth. He unlocked her door and inhaled deeply. "Hello love."
His German accent, at one time, seemed charming, now it was more like nails on a chalkboard. Her swollen eyes hurt too much to force them open, but her sensitive ears could hear his men approach either side of her. They removed her ankle restraints and pulled the chains attached to her wrist restraints, raising her limp body off the floor. Her body was so weak she wasn't able to put any weight on her legs. They placed the chains on the hooks to keep her suspended, then moved closer to assist their master.
"Stand up, you fuckin' bitch," one of them growled.
Despite the pain, she opened and rolled her eyes. Turning her gaze on the human barking orders, she noticed he was still sporting the bruised jaw and stitches around his right eye from their last encounter. She grinned, "Nice stitches. That should be a nice scar."
He responded by jamming an elbow into her damaged ribs.
She hissed in pain and gasped for the breath that deserted her with the blow.
"Enough," shouted Fredric, from in front of her.
Her gaze zeroed in on his shiny wing-tip shoes. The urge to spit on them was strong, but she was having a hard time producing saliva.
"Hold her head," Hahn ordered.
She felt a sharp tug on her hair, yanking her head up. She stared at the man she thought had cared about her. Even the morning she woke up in this cell she still thought it was some kind of joke or some form of BDSM she'd never heard of. The truth of his betrayal became crystal clear after her first beating.
"Don't have any smart remarks for me today, my love?" Hahn asked with disgust in his voice.
She didn't want him to know how weak she was. She was ready to die, and if he knew she was so close, he would give her blood, prolonging her life as a prisoner. The trace amount of saliva in her mouth was pulled up and spit in the direction of Fredric's face.
He pulled the dark red handkerchief out of his jacket pocket and wiped the spit off his left cheek, and tossed the material across the room.
Her eyes locked on the small red piece of material as it floated to the floor, and allowed her mind to travel back to a moment she wished she could change.
It was a cute little café in Montana. She remembered the small white building with green trim, and green tables out front. A bouquet of fall flowers adorned each table. She had just sat down for lunch when her attention was drawn to a man walking toward her. He wasn't as tall as other Immortals she had known, but she could feel his power skidding across her skin like little zaps of static electricity. She could smell what he was, a vampire. He strode over asking if he could sit. She thought his German accent was sexy.
"I must say, love, you are stunning," he said taking a seat across from her…
She blushed at the compliment. "Well. You sure know how to break the ice, sir. Most would start with a simple 'hello, my name is…"
"And your name is…?"
"Elizabeth," she said, offering her hand.
He gently took her fingers, pressing his lips to the back of her hand. "It is a pleasure, Elizabeth. My name is Fredric."
She barely registered them leave her cell. Her gaze never moved from the scrap of red near the wall. She felt a single tear build to the point it skewed her vision before it fell over the edge and rolled down her cheek. She could hear them moving around upstairs. Finally, the door closed, and silence crashed down around her. The only things in the room were the thoughts raging through her. She didn't understand what was so special about her. He said he never had blood like hers, and he would never let her go. When she woke up in her cell the first time, her wrists were in restraints, and Hahn was standing over her with a smug look on his face.
"Did you really think I loved you? You are nothing and nobody is coming for you," he told her, before beating her and taking her vein.
Her only timeframe was her beatings. She kept track of those with bloody marks on the wall. She glanced at her latest mark and counted fifty. Fifty beatings. Her heart was slowing down. Her eyelids were growing incredibly heavy. Her breathing was becoming more difficult due to her damaged ribs. She hadn't had blood in days—maybe weeks. A shiver racked her body. She could no longer fight.
In the realm of the Goddesses, Tasneem, the Goddess Brigh watched Elizabeth's situation in her vision pool. She had been watching Elizabeth very closely. She suspected this would be the woman to fulfill her prophecy, but it wasn't time yet, and the young woman was very close to giving up. Brigh could not let that happen. She sensed her dear friend and lover, Alexander, approaching. When he was in sight, she placed her hands on his forearms. "You must go to her. She needs help."
The urgency of Brigh's voice alerted him. She wasn’t one to become anxious over trivial matters. He nodded and said, "Send me to her."
"She is being held prisoner and I fear she has given up on her life. Tell her who you are. It is time for you to come out of hiding." She placed her soft hand on his cheek. In Tasneem, Alexander was as solid as any human, whereas, in the human realm, he was a ghost. "Be careful my love."
He placed his hand over hers, slid his hand to her nape, and pulled her in for a soft kiss. "I will help her."
"She is in Montana, near Shane North's pack. Shane is a friend of your mother. The Alpha has been considering moving his small pack to Michigan in order to be near Alice. Make sure they find Elizabeth and decide to make that move. Alice will help Elizabeth when the time is right."
Alexander nodded then vanished. He reappeared in a cement basement hallway, lined with small cells. There was a human sitting in a chair just outside her door. He will need to be taken care of before she can get out. He drifted into the cell and saw a dirty, bloody woman chained to a wall. My dear Granddaughter, who did this to you? He listened carefully for her heartbeat. It was barely audible. He leaned close so she could hear him but the guard wouldn't be able to. Gathering his strength in order to become visible to her he demanded, "Don't you dare give up, young lady."
Elizabeth slowly opened her eyes. She had to blink a few times to make sure she was seeing what she thought. About a foot away from her was— well— a ghost. He had kind amethyst eyes and dark hair that reached the tops of his shoulders. Something about him seemed familiar, but she had never seen him before. He was nearly completely transparent and floating about a foot off the ground. "Wh—who are you," she asked weakly.
"My name is Alexander and I am your grandfather. I'm here to help, but you need to trust me."
She laughed out loud. "Sorry gramps, but my faith in others has been… Well, let's just say it's nonexistent."
"I understand, but do you want out of here?"
She closed her eyes and looked away. "No. Leave me to die in peace."
He mustered up a bit more energy and slapped her face. "Snap out of it. You aren't going to die. I won't let you."
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. "Help—huh," she asked skeptically. "And how do you plan to do that. Do you have keys to these shackles in your ghost pockets or something?"
He grinned at her. "You haven't noticed," he said, looking toward her ankles.
She looked down at her legs and sure enough the leg restraints were lying loose on the floor. Her legs were free. "I can't. I'm too weak. It was nice to meet you, but it's too late."
"Bullshit," he spat.
She raised her left eyebrow at him in surprise.
"Your mother was the one of the strongest women I ever met. Are you telling me that her daughter is just going to give up?"
"What about the guards? Hahn always leaves human lackeys around to keep me entertained."
"That's why we need to hurry. There is only one guard here, at the moment. He's just outside the door. I heard the rest of them say they were going for a drink because you would be out for a while. I'm going to push some of my energy into you, but when I do, I will be too weak to remain visible. I can guide you out, but you'll have to watch carefully for signals. Are you ready?"
As her body strengthened, Alexander faded from view just as he predicted. She could still feel his presence in the room, but he was no longer visible. She inspected her wrist restraints. They weren't tight, but they weren't loose either. "Shit. This is going to hurt," she said out loud as she pulled her hand down. The sound of her hand breaking was deafening in the silence of her cell. One hand free, now the next one, she thought to herself as she pulled. Both hands were free, but badly cut and broken. Blood ran down her hands to her fingers. She stared at the blood. Her smartass personality often overpowered her; she couldn't help but leave a nice message for Hahn in her own blood…
I will have my Vengeance
There. He can lick the wall the next time he needs a hit of my blood… bastard! She was amazed at her renewed strength, but she knew it wouldn’t last long. She had to get moving. I guess I’m not as ready to die as I thought. First order of business… take out that guard. Elizabeth's mother was an alpha she-wolf. She inherited her mother's speed, tenaciousness and stealth predatory skills. She crept out into the hall and spotted her prey sitting in a chair. Before he had a chance to react, her fangs were buried in his throat. Normally, she didn't allow her donors to feel the pain of her bite, but this bastard was responsible for her pain, so she wanted some payback. She drank until his heart stopped pumping. This human is too weak. My wounds are too severe. I need something stronger, but this will get me outta here. She pulled away and let his lifeless body drop to the floor, licking her lips clean. She listened for sounds. I guess grandpa was right… nobody else is here. She looked down at the body on the floor and started stripping his body. These clothes are going to be huge on me, but it's better than running naked. She pulled the man's black fatigues and t-shirt on. It had been so long since she'd eaten that her ribs and hips were visible. The dead guard's clothes were so big on her that she had to tie the belt in an awkward knot. Next, she attempted his boots. Too big. I won't be able to run in these… barefoot it is then.
A door swinging at the end of the hall caught her attention, she ran toward it. In the room, she looked around, no doors or windows. She jumped when a box fell. Looking up, she could see the edge of a window. Another box was blocking the small basement window. She quietly moved the box and climbed up to the window. It was stuck tight. She pushed harder and it finally popped open with a screech. She listened for the sounds of thundering footsteps, but none came. She blew out a sigh of relief and pulled herself out.
As the bones of her hips scraped on the edge of the window, she was grateful for being starved since she'd been here. It was nighttime, but the moon was full. The light of the moon sparkled over the fresh snow on the ground. She could see her breath as she stood and started toward the nearby woods. If she hadn't been running for her life, she would have found the scene quite beautiful. She didn't even know where she was, but the urge to run straight ahead was strong, so that's what she did. She kept her senses tuned for sounds of pursuit. She knew she needed to put distance between her and that house of horrors. She ran until her limited energy began to run out and her injuries began to weaken her again. She continued walking, then staggering until her body gave out completely and she collapsed to the ground.
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