Darkest Secrets

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Chapter 13

The white room wasn’t so white anymore; it was now hued with blues and greens, making it look almost like a movie. The smells were overwhelming; blood, bleach and disinfectant clogged my nose and I sneezed.

Looking down, I saw the greyish white fur with black spots. What am I? I raked my brain. Flipping through all the different species of cats to fit this description and came up empty to what I could possibly be.

Well, like I said, you aren’t limited to just one animal; this is just who you will be most of the time. I think. Anyways, this kind of fur looks almost like a snow leopard’s. In my whole life, I have never heard of a snow leopard shifter but then again, you pretty much aren’t an everyday thing.

A snow leopard has one thing that isn’t like any other cat, besides the fur; the tail is longer and heavier than any other cat’s. Turning my head, I saw the long, thick tail twitching on the floor by itself. Huh. I am a snow leopard.

Ash didn’t say a word and I evaluated myself. Standing up, I noticed how graceful and… right it felt to be in this body.

Taking a step forward, I wobbled a tad because I was walking on four instead of two. This’ll take a while to get used to.

Not really; if you walk around for a few minutes, you’ll be right as rain. It’s all instinct and it’ll come to you in a jiffy.

Putting my left paw forward, I huffed through my nose. Then I put my right forward and kept going. Ash was right; it just took some getting used to before it gets better.

Jumping on the bed, I unsheathed my claws and kneaded the musty comforter. My tail rose and I slowly circled before resting on the lumpy mattress.

I feel a lot safer in this body than do in my other one. I explained before resting my chin on my paws.

It doesn’t matter what form you’re in, Shyanne. They can still get you.

Her words from before ran through my head. What are shadow walker’s anyways?

The worst kind of mind reader’s; basically, they reach into your memory duct and pick out a person that is close to you. That way, when you fight them, it’s like fighting your most treasured person. That’s why he looked like Jason when he got to us. He knew that you loved Jason and used his face, voice and body against you. They steal the images and walk around in their ‘shadows.’

My heart clenched in my chest. That was one sick and yet, brilliant species. How could anyone fight a loved one? Does that mean that they get memories and all that, too?

Yes. Your brain is like their T.V; they get to rifle through, pick which ones they can watch and the ones they don’t.

A rattling of keys, a sharp click and then the door swung open. The man from before stood there, his hands on his hips as he watched me with cold, dark eyes and a frown on his face. “Now, now, Shyanne. Be a good little cat and shift back before it gets ugly in here.”

My fur bristled and I growled menacingly. Well, what I thought was menacing. Standing up, I bared my teeth and crouched into a pouncing position.

The man looked exasperated as he stared at me. Then he sighed before reaching into his pocket. “Alright, have it your way.”

Sharp and wicked pain seared into my brain and I roared before dropping to my stomach. It was like a hot branding iron was stabbed into my brain and was slowly going through and picking things out.

Shyanne! Ash screamed before it went eerily silent.

Ash! I screamed frantically before the pain started to ease in my brain.

The man smirked at my fear and my frantic whining that escaped my mouth. “Not even a few hours ago, you were cussing the poor girl out and disrespecting her. Now look at you, crying for her like she was your mommy.”

Regret and fury clashed inside at his words. He was the reason Ash had disappeared suddenly. I didn’t know how or why but I knew that he had done something and it pissed me off so much that I roared and jumped off the bed and towards his face.

His startled face made me laugh inside as I scraped my razor sharp claws down his face and my instincts told me to go for the throat, to rip and shred until he was nothing but a pile of flesh and blood.

Blood flowed as he screamed and fought back with his puny fists. Playing dirty seemed to be his motto because he pulled a serrated hunting knife from a place in his pants and he swiped the six inch blade at my shoulder. It caught and I hissed at the pain.

We stood a few feet apart, our eyes locked into a deadly stare down. The tip of the knife was coated in my blood and his face was a bloody mess.

“You little bitch!” he snarled as he gripped the knife harder. “I’m going to slice you up and send your little pieces to your mommy and daddy for a Christmas present!”

Ears flat to my skull, I started to circle to his left, where the claw marks had bloodied his vision, hopefully. My growl emitted from the depths of my chest as I warned him to fuck off.

“That’s right; I know your mommy and daddy. Not those weak-ass humans, either. The parents that you owe your life to.”

That made me pause. My real parents were… alive? The way dad spoke of them, they’d been dead for a very long time. Hell, I thought they’d been murdered the day I was born.

“Yes, they are very much alive. Causing one hell of a problem for my camp in Hong Kong, I might add. Speaking of, how do you like Chinese food? That’s where I’ll be taking you when I get finished here.”

Taking complete and total advantage of my confusion, he sprang forward and jabbed the knife into my shoulder. Yelping, I went down with his body laying on me, his hand on my throat and knife lodged deep into my body.

“This may hurt a little, Shyanne. But you won’t remember the pain so just get over it.” He smirked before my head started to ache horribly.

Memories flooded my brain. My very first memory was when I went swimming with my sister and brother; Alan was about three and he accidently broke a mug we had down by the creek and he split his pinky wide open and had to get stitches. Another memory, about two years after that one, my dad’s best friend, Steve, brought his son to my house to hang with us. We had climbed the cliff in the woods behind our house and he accidently fell. He didn’t break anything but it sure did scare the hell out of us. Jason then filed in, his beautiful face smiling. Memory after memory, face after loving faces and my life flooded my brain before it all just… disappeared.

Another second later, I fell to the cold ground, staring at the strange man that looked familiar but I couldn’t put a finger on it.

Bright lights, straight sheets and a lumpy bed woke me up. I rolled over and groaned into the somewhat clean pillow.

“Ah, you’re awake.” A male voice said from behind me.

Jerking up, I turned to a man in a white tux and horrible claw marks on the left side of his face; they looked fresh and like a wild animal had just ransacked him.

“Who are you?” I asked with caution as I stared at his face. My head hurt as if I had just been beaten up and then a bull stomped on my head a few bazillion times.

“My name is Kaleb Jeffes; I won’t hurt you, Jasmine.” He said as he walked to my side and knelt down on his right knee.

Jasmine? That wasn’t my name… I think. My mind was strangely blank and when I tried to figure anything out, it started to ache and throb even worse. “That ain’t my name… I think, anyways.”

He cocked his head to the side, trying to look concerned but instead looked… angry. “What do you remember, Jasmine?”

“Nothing, really; when you called me Jasmine, it was familiar but I felt that it wasn’t my name.” my fingernails scratched my head as if I could magically recover the lost memories.

He nodded as if he was pleased. “Well, your name is Jasmine Jeffes; I’m your uncle from your father’s side. He was killed a few years ago and you’ve been living with me since. You had a slight training accident while you were sparring with a friend of yours.”

Frowning, I went to scoot up to rest my back on the head board to have my shoulder flare up in agony. Gasping I pulled my shirt aside to see a bandage around my shoulder. “What… what was I doing?”

“According to your friend, he accidentally caught your shoulder with a knife as you two were battling out hand to hand. It was a complete accident and he swears he did not mean to do it.”

Confusion swept through me. “But why was I sparring?”

Clasping my cold hand with his warm one, a feeling of revulsion and anger over powered me and I wanted to shrink back. “You are a very, very important girl, Jasmine. You have powers that no one has ever seen or even heard of. We’ve been training you to help you against the Shifter’s; they are hell bent on taking you and using you against us. But I will not allow it!”

“Well, what am I? What powers do I have?”

“You’re a Shifter as well, but you’re more… civilized than those monsters are.” He scoffed with a frown, causing his eyes to gleam with pain at moving the gashes. “See these?” he gestured to the very gashes I was just staring at. “They infiltrated the camp and I got you out, just in time but a damn feline came up and swiped me.”

Horror made me frown. “But, if I’m a Shifter, then why are they trying to take me? I’m just like them, so why aren’t I with them?”

“Because you’re my niece and I swore to your father that I’d protect you from those ravaged things.” The tone he used made it clear that I had upset him and that I better drop the subject and quick.

Fidgeting, I mumbled. “How long will it take me to go back out and start training again?”

“As soon as you let the nurse to heal that poor shoulder.” He said with pleasure in his voice.

Nodding, I said, “Alright. I’ll let her.”

“We’ll get you back together and out again, I promise. You will gain your knowledge back a little bit at a time, once you start to get back into the groove.”

With that, he loped out of my room, calling for a nurse. The door closed softly behind him and I leaned back into the pillows, staring at the cracked ceiling.

Everything that poured out of his mouth felt… wrong; I knew I was a Shifter because even now, my beasts were roaring inside of me and demanding I release them. But the rest felt as if it was a spun web of lies. But how could I say so? I had nothing to go off of, except feelings and hunches.

I also felt empty; not from just memories, but from something else. As if I had someone with me and they were suddenly gone. Maybe it was the friend I was sparring with.

All I knew was… I had no memory and no other things to tell me something was wrong except hunches. I didn’t know if I had a mother, brother or sister… only word from a creepy man with claw marks on the side of his face.

I did know, however, that I wasn’t a pushover or a whiny bitch. I was gonna roll with the punches and come up victorious, even if it killed me.

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