18. Friends in low placesMature

I was drug to an open room by the collar around my throat, two armed guards at my back with heavily loaded guns. Were they really that afraid of me?

I held my head high as the other captive Shifters looked over, eyes wide as they took in my silver hair and eyes, my ratty clothes . They seemed nervous to even glance at me.

There was two guards at each of the three doors, like we were going to run at anytime. How could we? We were all in those silver collars and a guard held the chains hooked to them. We weren't going anywhere fast.

There were six other Shifters, all in their early and mid-twenties. Every single one seemed broken, obedient. Submissive. Where was the fire to survive I had grown so used to? The passion to live? The determination to be free? These Shifters looks so defeated, so lost. I had to change that or we would never get out of here.

I stood beside a mouse-haired boy, keeping my eyes on the Hunters, meeting their challenging gazes with a fire of my own. I would not bow just because they could lock me away.

"Welcome." one of the Hunters smiled, his eyes scanning over each of the submissive Shifters with a hungry gleam. he liked control, liked power, and he was used to getting it. Those burning eyes narrowed when they met mine. They were a strange shade of green, almost a neon lime, but slightly darker, almost the color of immature apples on the tree, and they were just as sour. A strange color for a human. "I see we have a brave one.  Care to share your name?"

I smiled. "Why would I give you my name when you have yet to share your own? Very rude, you know, very rude on your part."

He chuckled softly, the hungry glimmer easing away slightly. "A bery brave one indeed. But a correct one all the same. My name is James Cassidy. I am a highly decorated Hunter as I was one of the first. I helped build this program from the ground up. " He grinned and stepped closer to me, his face inches from mine. "Now show some respect and state your name."

He liked to talk about himself, didn't he? Very rude indeed. "I created a lot of havoc for your little program, didn't I? how long have you been chasing me? Close to three years now, correct?"

He gritted his teeth at my challenge but his eyes stayed steady. "Your name, Shifter."

"I wanted to think they called me the Ghost Shifter, right? 'Cause you couldn't track me?"

The vein in his temple throbbed, I was infuriating him. Good. Angry men act before they think. "Give me your name, girl."

I kept my hands folded behind me, flashing a sweet smile. "Why couldn't you track me, James? Was it becase I covered so much ground in such a short time? Couldn't keep up? Did I out smart your Hunters, James? Did I out smart you?"

He raised his hand, he was going to hit me. Perfect.

I ducked his hand, lashing out, my fist connecting with his body just below the rib cage. He doubled over as I yanked the chain out of my guard's hand, bundling it up in my arms. I darted out from under the guards trying to grab me, sprinting for an opening.

"GET HER!" Roared James, his voice weak from lack of air.

Nice shot. I praised myself. All those years of a rowdy big brother had paid off.

The guards had abandoned their charges, all of them chasing after the runaway. It made me laugh. I really was a challenge wasn't I?


I turned to look at what made the sound.


Pain exploded in my belly, the bullet burying itself in the soft skin.

I pressed my hand to the wound, stumbling and hitting the floor. I wanted to scream in pain. I wanted to curl up and cry. I really wanted to kill the bastard that shot me. But I just layed there, broken and bleeding, wishing my pack knew where I was.


"You sure are a fighter..."

I looked up as the guard entered my cell, his hazel eyes wary, but kind. He layed a blanket over me as I lay on the prison floor, my head groggy with pain. I didn't dare move to much, in case the wound started bleeding again.

"Most Shifters cower at the sight of James, he's killed so many. He's a legend in the Hunter leagues, a name most Shifters fear. So why aren't you scared?"

"Never heard of him..." I muttered, meeting his eyes. I wasn't scared of a pup when the Alpha was the one that shot me.

The guard smiled slightly. "Either you are really brave or really stupid..."

"Probably both, with a touch of insanity as well." I joked.

He adjusted the blanket over me. "Here, I snagged you something." He held out a piece of bread, a sweet smelling banana bread that made my mouth water.

"Why are you being nice to me?"

"Any one with enough guts to attack James Cassidy deserves some respect." He smiled, holding the food out to me.

I sat up slowly, a hand pressed to the gunshot. Taking the bread, I never took my eyes off of him. No Hunter would pull anything over me.

"Don't worry, I won't hurt you."

I glared at him. "You try it and I'll kick your sorry Hunter ass..."

He chuckled. "Good to see the fire returning." He straightened up. "You're gonna be fine, Echo."

I froze. "How do you know my name?"

He smiled. "I know a lot more than you think." And he left, two new guards taking his place.

Who was he? How did he know my name? I hadn't told anyone, had I?Looking at the bread, I smiled. Maybe he was my friend after all? Could that be possible?

It must have been.

The End

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