20. Chapter 20Mature

My luck sucked.

I get discovered, find a family. We get discovered, I get shot. Find a safe place, leave it, rescue a family member, I get shot. Get back on my feet, fight with my family, run off to Bear, give in and start to fall in love. Wander off alone, get captured and sent to New York to be tortured by insane Hunters. I do not see the fairness in this.

And now I am kept in a cell by myself, away from the other captives and I am never taken out with them, always by myself to be tortured into a submission I never gave so I passed out from pain instead. Cassidy saw me as a threat, a challenge, he always pushed for my obedience that he never received. He had chained me up to a wall for three days, electrocuted me until I passed out, beat me into a bloody pulp. He had made me bleed, made me hurt, but I refused to cave, to cry, to let him win. I wouldn't allow it.

I prowled my cage, a great silver tiger stretching her sore muscles, walking in restless circles. I had given up on being a wolf, they weren't as scared of a dog as they were of a cat. The guards were always wary to enter my prison when the biggest of the jungle cats was waiting on the other side of the door.

Stretching, I added more deep gouges in the hard wood, my claws leaving behind deep scars. I felt powerful, despite the fact that I was trapped here to suffer. I felt strong and able, independent. I could survive on my own.

But I missed my pack. I had been on my own for years, but that didn't mean I wanted to be alone all over again. I had gotten comfortable with my place in the pack, even in the resistance. I just wanted to go home.

As the night shift started, my favorite guard appeared, the only one to treat me like a human, not an animal like the rest. He was a great help to my sanity. He always treated me with respect and when he was present for my daily tortures, he never took part. I was glad decent Hunters did exist.

I waited until the other two had vanished and it was just us two. The second guard on the night shift never showed until close to dawn and I never wondered where he was. I didn't want  to know. I shifted human, smiling brightly. "Hey."

"How are you feeling tonight?"

I shrugged. "Ok, I guess." I stretched my arms, feeling the tense knots between my shoulder blades. My body was bruised adn battered, but at this point I was numb to the aches and pains.

"That is good." He smiled. "Any one who can take a beating like that from James has more than earned my respect."

"Cassidy is no threat to me." I scoffed, pacing my cell. "He is a fool if he believes I am going to fall apart as the others before me have."

"Seeing as how you have lasted longer than any other Shifter, I agree."

I paused, my curiosity pricked. "How long have I been here?"

"Close to a month now."

My stomach dropped. "A month?" I had been here a month and Bear had yet to find me? I dropped to the floor. Had they given up on me? Was I a lost cause now? What if they never found me?

"Hey, you ok?"

"What if I am stuck here until the day I die? What if I never get out and he kills me?" My voice didn't sound like my own, it was weak and scared like that of a frightened child.

"That won't happen."

I looked at him. "You're a Hunter, aren't you suppose to make sure I don't get away?"

He squirmed uncomfortably, looking at the floor. "Echo..."

"What aren't you telling me? How do you know my name when I have yet to tell anyone here and none of them know?" I narrowed my eyes, getting to my feet. "Who are you?"

He sighed, looking around and out the door before locking it. "My name is Cyrus, I'm a member of the Resistance." He smiled. "And I know for a fact that you have friends on the way, Echo."

The End

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