After a few weeks of incident-free, danger-free life, Annabelle and Zade were finally living the city life. They had jobs now—at O’Neil’s, making good money, enough to pay the rent to their landlord this weekend. They frequently went to restaurants on legitimate dates, much to Annabelle’s delight.

It seemed that finally, things were going right for them.

That is, until this morning, when Zade noticed he was being followed to the local café for a cappuccino. The stranger was very sneaky, but with Zade’s heightened senses, she or he wasn’t sneaky enough. And Zade was extremely cautious when he was on his way home that night. The last thing he needed was another Vesta lurking around, waiting for a prime opportunity to kill anyone and everyone in her way. And he needed to make sure Annabelle could be protected at all times. No matter what, he promised her that he would be her shield, despite furious protests from Annabelle who insisted she could take care of herself. It wasn’t as if he didn’t believe she could, it was just the thought that he could do it better.

So when the stranger followed him down the street, moving towards the condo, Zade stopped. He couldn’t go home, not with someone tailing him. He wandered to the forest where Vesta’s body had rotted and decomposed and waited for the stranger to near him.

Foolishly he thought that the stranger would. But the stranger was a skilled tracker, trained by the government to capture the supernatural races for imprisonment.

The stranger ducked behind a tree, reached into his sock and removed a gun, readied it, and shot at Zade’s chest.

The first bullet missed him narrowly, nicking his skin. Zade started to run by the time the second bullet was fired and the second bullet hit him in the leg; he fell to the ground in agony. Writhing in the dirt, mouth wide in a silent scream, he was internally scolding himself for being so naïve. He got complacent and now he was stuck in the forest, in pain, bleeding from his calf, and waiting for it to end. Zade suddenly fell still, hoping that whoever was attacking him would leave him be.

He barely heard the sound of the stranger’s walkie-talkie. “Target down. Closing in for tranquilization and seizure.”

Seizure? As in capture?

Zade’s mind raced. Who could be taking him? And why? He mentally smacked himself. Heknewwhy; he was a lycanthrope. A supernatural creature that served under the moonlight alone, forever alone.

His only thoughts were of Annabelle as he was shackled up, unable to resist against the silver chains. What would happen to Annabelle? Would she be safe? Or would someone capture her as well, due to his relation with her? The stranger—a man with a rugged, sharp jaw line and dull, dark eyes—injected a serum into his jugular, and soon enough Zade was unconscious and hauled away.

Annabelle was a little concerned when Zade didn’t come home that night. She knew he probably had good reason—it was nearing the full moon, if not tonight, then tomorrow, and he’d probably been preparing for his next transformation. At least that’s what she believed. She had no idea Zade was being taken to a warehouse where he would most likely never see the light of another dawn.

Zade woke up, still shackled in silver chains, but he was upright now, connected to an unbreakable wall of iron by his hands, which held him off the ground a good foot and a half. It was unnaturally bright in the room, with a table in the far off corner, four people huddled around it, talking quietly amongst themselves. Zade strained against his shackles and cried out in pain, wincing at the burn of the purest silver on his skin. All four heads whipped towards him in one fluid motion and suddenly Zade was tensed underneath his bonds, confused, but not wanting to wait to clear it. Yet he had no choice but to remain still as two women and two men approached him. He recognized the one as the stranger who’d captured him in the woods.

“Lycanthrope,” he said to the others. “They are most vulnerable in their human form. Highly susceptible to the element silver and wolfsbane.” He regarded Zade with an evil smirk and then turned back to his colleagues. “Have fun with this one.”

Zade exhaled sharply. His limbs started to quiver visibly, and he quickly composed himself. He didn’t want to seem weak in the eyes of these hunters, a fact he deduced by the seemingly miniscule amount of tools on that table. He didn’t know what those tools would do, but he was sure that he’d find out soon enough, a thought that chilled his bones. The first woman, with short choppy brown hair came forward, her small stature somehow intimidating on a level Zade didn’t understand.

She tilted her head to the side as she removed a tape recorder from her pocket, keeping it in her hand as she pressed record.

“This is Agent Perne, the time is approximately 2300. Interrogation performed on a lycanthrope male, estimated to be late teens, early twenties.”

She paused and glowered at Zade. “What is your name, lycanthrope?”

He refused to answer. Another agent gripped a small remote with a dial on it. “I think it wise to answer me.”

He stayed firm with his resolve, and the agent pressed a trigger on the remote.

Zade screamed out as a wave of electricity shocked through his limbs straight to his core. He thrashed slightly, only to be burned by the silver chains.

In another instant, the pain stopped. “That’s only phase two of ten. Your name doesn’t matter too much. What do you know about the supernatural, and their plan for war?”

“I know nothing of a war,” he whispered.

“Wrong answer,” Perne said, gesturing for the other agent to shock him again after increasing the dial.

The only sound that could be heard were Zade’s agonized screams echoing within the room where he was sure he would die.

The End

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