Comfortably Numb

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Chapter 44

My legs give out from under me the second his heart stops beating.

The blood from his throat keeps oozing out, and I watch until there's nothing left.

The skin of my backside shifts uncomfortably against the cold ground but I brush the sensation aside, too tired to stand up and find my clothes.

Pain that I'd previously been able to ignore steals my breath away. All the cuts he'd made in my skin ache and my bones are now screaming in pain. My side where the pipe had cut into me is oozing, dripping blood faster to form a puddle beneath me. The hole from his knife is bleeding too, adding to the puddle.

I stare at my body, numb for a second. And then I start laughing. The pain skyrockets as I do, but I can't stop. The laughter explodes out of me growing in force until I am struggling to breathe. My left hand brushes over my face, settling so it covers the left side of my face. I realize I'm smiling. I push my hand back off my face and into my hair, tugging it.

Pain laces through my skull and my smile grows.
No part of me cares about the pain. Pain means that this isn't a dream- Everything I am feeling reinforces the truth.

Seth is dead, and I am free.

He's dead. Really and officially dead. I had fought my demons, and I had won. My wolf howls in satisfaction in my head and my laughter turns into a sob that wracks my chest. I suck in a breath and then the tears start.

I think they are tears of relief, but there is so much that I'm feeling I'm not 100 percent sure. I flick my eyes shut to try to focus on my breathing, but between the crying and the pain from all of my injuries each breath comes out short and laboured.
I sniffle and open my eyes to study his body. He is slumped directly across from me. His eyes are wide, staring vacantly at me. For the first time in my life their presence doesn't cause me to shake in terror. He has dark circles under his eyes and I smile to myself, glad that he seems to have been suffering from a lack of sleep like I had. His nose is more crooked from where I'd hit him, and there is a line of blood that starts at his nose and floods into his neck. I can just make out the spot his lip had split when I'd punched him.

I trace my eyes down past his throat and over the rest of his body. There's four lines on both sides of his chest-scratches from my claws. I can see faint shadows on his skin in various places from where I'd hit him. Pride pulls at my chest, knowing that this time I hadn't gone down easily. He might have gotten in a few shots, but this time..... this time I'd hurt him as much as he had hurt me. A quick glance to his throat reminds me that this time, I'd hurt him more.

He is slumped against the wall and his legs are outstretched towards me. His hands have fallen from where he'd had them pressed against his throat and now rest at his sides. His shirt is coated in his blood, a far cry from the dirty yellow.

My wolf is preening in my mind, so proud that we didn't have to fear him anymore. Seeing every injury we'd made on his body causes her happiness to grow. She's proud of what we've done, and I can't really blame her.

After everything that had happened in this room the last time we'd been down here, it's nice to know we'd be able to leave it behind with no loose ends to be scared of.

The knife wound in my side spikes in pain again, demanding my attention. I wince and twist to be able to see it.

The hole is roughly an inch long, and jagged from where he'd turned it as I'd taken it from his grip. It's bleeding steadily, but I'm not sure I would be able to climb out of this hell hole to get it taken care of properly. And Blake still lingers somewhere... I hold my hand against it even though the pressure of that hurts more than the actual wound itself. I need to stop the bleeding, to give my wolf a chance to heal us.

And yet....

Exhaustion pulls at me, and I can't fight it.

I lose the battle and lay down against the cold floor.

Before I'm even fully stretched out the pitch blackness of sleep pulls me away.

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I wake up to the sound of footsteps just beyond the door. I can't smell anything through the thick scent of blood in the room, but I know it's Blake.

He raps on the door. I push to my feet, ready for his next assault but he doesn't come in.

"Master?" He calls after a moment of silence. He is dripping in worry, and I briefly wonder if he could feel Seth's death... He raps again and I dart around the room in search of my dress. I pull it on just as he starts pushing the door open.

I can feel it the second he sees him. The air around me cools in response to his fury.

"What the fuck did you do?" He breathes. He hasn't seen me yet, focusing completely on Seth's limp body. Before I can answer, he whirls around to face me. I fold my arms across my chest and raise my head.

"What h-had to be done." He growls and sparks fly off his fingers, energy charging the room.

He throws a bolt of electricity at me. I dodge out of the way, ignoring the screaming of my muscles. I hadn't had enough rest to fully regenerate... I would be fighting for my life wounded.

Blake waves his hands around, directing more and more energy into a ball. It sparks dangerously. When he deems it big enough, he throws it in my direction. I barely slide out of the way, my attention divided between getting out of the way and getting out of the room.

He walks towards me, screaming nonsense words and profanity. The heat from his electricity licks at me. His grief is making him sloppy, and it's almost easy to stay a step ahead of him.

"You fucking bitch! Couldn't let me fucking have him!" He drops the sparks in his right hand to wrap a band of magic around me. It presses at my back, locking me in place. He drops his other hand and closes the distance between us. His hands wrap around my neck and I gasp for air. His fists close tighter, making sure no oxygen can get through.

My wolf growls within me, and I raise my eyes so I am staring directly into his. His eyes are wide and dark, anger and sadness at war. I reach up to his arm and shove my thumb into one of the cuts that is oozing black sludge. It burns against my skin, but beyond the black dots in my vision I can barely tell.

His wrist buckles as I nudge my thumb a little deeper and he loses all strength in his hand. My feet hit the floor as he hisses in pain.

I still have a grip on his wrist. I tug him down and grab the other wrist burying my nail into another oozing black cut. He growls at me and I throw my forehead into his face, yanking his arms down at the same time so there is extra force. His nose crunches the same way Seth's had. I can't help but notice that there is little satisfaction in this hit.... Part of me still wants to talk to him, to reason him back into being my brother.

"I'm going to fucking kill you bitch." He spits. I growl and slam my head into his face again, holding him closer with the grip on his arms.

"Why?" I shout. "He's dead now. You don't have to d-do this anymore!" He growls and tugs at my grip, trying to yank himself free. I shove until he hits the opposite wall- from the corner of my eye I can see Seth's body.

"He k-killed Steven. Locked me in this h-hellhole and tortured us f-for months." I continue. He clenches his jaw. "He didn't w-want you, Blake. He used y-you.. From the very beginning to get to me."

"You're lying!" He screams, tugging harder at my grip. "He wanted me.. He was going to want me!" He shrieks. I drop my grip and step away from him. He crumples the second I'm not touching him, landing beside his obsession.

"He didn't.. He s-saw you first.... And followed you to me." His head snaps up and he snarls. "You don't know what you're talking about!" I shake my head. "I do. He told me-" "Stop talking!" He explodes in a rain of fire. Magic pours out of him and just as fast eats him up. I dart away from him, desperate not to get lost in his wrath.

I slam into the back wall, tripping on blankets. He's on me the next second, using his fists to beat me down. I roll out of his reach but he follows. I shove myself back to my feet to try to run away, but the second I'm vertical he slams a bolt of electricity into me. Even my teeth hurt from the blast.

"You are the worst part of my life." I barely hear him mutter past the roaring in my ears. I shake my head to clear my vision. He's standing in front of me, chains made of energy wrapped in his hands.

"And I'm going to fucking kill you for it." He whips the right bolt at me, and it locks around my left arm. Pain lances up from the band and into my chest. I can't help the scream that escapes. He smiles.

"Blake.." I cry, desperate for him to look past his anger and realize who I am; surely some small part of him still loves me. Surely somewhere deep down he remembers all of the good times we'd had....

He takes a step closer and wraps his hand around my throat again. His eyes are a deep haunting black- no trace of the man I'd grown up with.

"When I'm done with you... I'm going to finish off the rest of that pack of mutts." He whispers. "It should be easy now... now that all their precious leaders are gone." His smile is a perfect reflection for Seth's last one. It takes a moment for his words to sink in, but when they do I stop struggling against him. His grin widens. Anger boils through my bloodstream, despair following close behind.

"That caught your attention, huh?" Without thinking, I raise my left arm to his right one. I can barely feel my fingers beyond the thrumming electricity, but I manage to lock them around his wrist. I squeeze, pouring all of my emotion into the simple act, and his bone cracks. This gives me the ability to suck in a huge breath. He doesn't seem to feel the pain; too lost in his anger.

"What did.. You do... to them." I spit between gasps.

His eyes twinkle and it makes me see red. I squeeze harder on his wrist until I feel the other bone in his arm snap. Then I throw it away from me.

He laughs. It is a horrible, bitter sound that riochetes through my chest and turns my heart to stone. "I ripped their fuckng throats out." My body goes cold- everything in my vision turns super sharp. I can make out the nearly invisible sparks that are falling from his fingertips, the smallest dust mites as they float in the air between us, the red tinged air that leaves his mouth and nose as he exhales. I can hear the blood moving through his veins with every thundering beat of his heart, and can make out the sounds of his skin slowly knitting itself back together. I can feel the edge of the world tipping out from under me.

I throw myself at him. Our bodies collide and I roll us so that I'm sitting on his chest. Blows rain down on him but the magic he's wrapped himself in stops me from connecting. I continue throwing punches, determined to break the forcefield between us and rip him to pieces.

He throws me off with a thick blast of magic. I land beside Seth. I snarl and launch myself at him again.

He dodges this time- twirling his magic energy chains around. I dance out of their grip, weaving between them in an attempt to get closer.

"Everyone always said you were strong... Said you were meant for big things." He whispers, hatred dripping from his lips. "I'm going to fucking show you all what I was meant for!" He throws the chain of magic and it wraps around my right wrist. He tugs me closer with the chain. I go willingly.

"You were always meant to be slaughtered. Now I get the pleasure of doing it." He whispers into the shell of my ear. His magic is thrumming along my skin, but his words are making it easy to ignore.

Furious, I yank on his chain. He isn't expecting that, and the slack comes loose. I launch myself up his body, using his right thigh as a stepping stool to lift myself over his shoulders. I settle into place and lock my thighs as tight as I can around his neck. His hands wrap around my thighs, trying to pull me away but I am too angry. I am slightly aware of the burning feeling of the magic he shoots through me, but it isn't enough to stop me.

In this moment, all that I know is the need for his blood. No longer is this man my brother. He'd murdered my parents, murdered my pack mates, attempted to murder me... and now he had murdered the found family I'd made. Murdered my mate.

My fingers find purchase on his chin. I squeeze his neck tighter with my thighs and pull up on his chin. The magic thrumming through me darts back down, eating it's way into his skin wherever we're touching. My wolf eggs me on, screaming at me to pull harder, squeeze tighter...

I can feel his body protesting beneath my grip. I understand logically what's happening, but emotionally... I'm drowning in a sea of anger and the only lifeline I have is wrapped around his throat.

My nails dig into the skin of his throat. The same black goo that's been leaking out of him since the house squishes out along my fingers. The burn spurs me on. His muscles protest with an eerie screech. I don't stop.

Everything happens all at once. The pain coursing through me shifts- no longer screaming agony but now a steady burn. The anger recedes enough for me to think. We start to fall forwards. And Blake's head comes loose in my hands.

I drop my grip on his head to stop my face from meeting the ground. I feel his blood gush out against my stomach; It's the same black goo that burns as it comes in contact with my skin. I roll away to throw up on the floor.

When I'm finished I open my eyes and immediately regret it. He's staring at me from barely a foot away.

His head had rolled when I'd dropped it, and somehow it had landed right side up with his jaw on the ground. Pain of a different kind eats at me and I flick my eyes closed..

Now that the danger is gone, and my adrenaline is fading.... My heart aches at what I'd done. Even though he was an insane murderer... he was still my brother.

A sob cracks out of my chest. I curl into a ball and let the tears fall. I feel so much... Sadness, anger, regret, loneliness... And pain. So much pain. I open my eyes again so I can barely make out Blake's face through my tears. He looks so... angry. So unlike the brother I had loved so much until just hours ago.

"Do you remember..." I whisper through my tears. "The n-night mom was dancing in Edmonton, and we all flew out to see her perform?" I wipe at my cheeks with my arm, sadness and anger making it impossible for me to stop crying. "You h-held my hand for the entire f-flight because I'd never flown b-before and I was s-scarred...." I sob again and swipe at my face another time. "Or w-when dad would be g-getting ready for his business trips and we would sit b-beside each other on their bed and a-ask him to bring us different treats... I don't know when I stopped being y-your sister.." I whisper. I wrap my arms around my legs and tuck my chin into my knees, just staring at his empty eyes. "I don't know w-what I did to turn you a-away.... But whatever it w-was I'm sorry." I sniff. "I'm n-not sorry for this, e-even though I probably should be... But you h-hurt so many people, Blake. Killed so many innocent people.... And a-all for a man that n-never wanted anything but d-destruction and death.... I d-don't know what I did to hurt you, but whatever it was... I didn't deserve this." I jerk my head in the direction of Seth.

I turn to his body. It's slumped where I'd left it when I'd rolled, back up towards the ceiling. There's a puddle of blood reaching out from him, almost like it's searching for his missing head. I can see the cuts and gouges from our fight, but more than that I can see the carnage he'd inflicted on himself. I remember that Ryker- a stab of pain eats at me as I think of him- had mentioned once that magic requires sacrifice.

Looking at Blake's body... it's clear one of his sacrifices was his body. Another was likely his mind. Our parents, his wolf, his body, his mind... What would it have taken for him to be content?

"I'm so sorry this is the way we ended... I never w-wanted to hurt you. But I never imagined t-that you wanted... to hurt me." I whisper to him. He doesn't answer, and I sit in silence thinking of all of the things I had done, and all of the things I had done to me.

I barely register that his magic is slowly receding; the smell of his blood is now the only thing masking the scents I remember from the last time I was here. With every passing minute I feel the world around me shifting slightly, his influence being wiped away.

The room spins around me as the last of my adrenaline fades. My body is screaming out in agony, and I'm somewhat aware that my stab wounds are freely bleeding once again. I know, logically, that if I stay here, I will slowly bleed out. But I can't bring myself to stand. What is the point, when there's nothing left for me in the world above?

Why bother climbing out of this whole when everyone I love is already dead?

I close my eyes again. Black spots are dancing around my vision, pulling me closer and closer to unconsciousness. I go willingly, the pain in my body and soul becoming too much to bear.

My last thoughts are of Ryker.
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