Doriane stumbled along the frosted pavement, her flip-flop temporarily slipping out from her foot.
She held back a whimper as she stopped to slip her shoe back on her numb toes. Rapidly turning, she darted back onto the street.
She had to get out of here. Oliver was going to kill her.
The steps behind her were coming closer, a result of her slight setback. Doriane's mind was fogged with fear as she swung her arms harder, willing her body to propel faster. Her injured foot cried in protest at her quick pace and lack of support, but she couldn’t afford to take a break.
A gas station appeared before her and she bolted for the slight glimmer of hope. Her legs pumped under her, carrying her through the chilly winter night.
She felt her flimsy shoe slip off her foot again, but this time she refused to turn back. They were far too close. Just a few more steps and she would be safe.
Doriane flew past the few cars that were parked and slammed her small body into the entrance of the gas station, yanking and pulling to open the thin glass door.
A pitiful whine escaped Doriane's chapped lips when she realized the door refused to open. She yanked the handle again, but the door remained shut.
Realizing she was trapped, she barreled down the sidewalk, towards the few cars that were parked.
Cars meant people.
Although people aren't always safe, Doriane could almost guarantee they were better than him.
A sharp tug on Doriane's hair caused the air to be pulled from her lungs. She felt tears gather in the corner of her eyes from both the pressure to her skull and her fear.
Doriane grabbed the hand tangled in her blonde hair and tried to pry the fingers from the delicate strands. She heard him heave in some deep breaths before he pulled her harder, back in the direction of the dark road she had come from.
“You useless piece of junk,” the familiar man sneered in her face. Patrick's hot breath skimmed over her ear from how close he had yanked her. “You don't ever run away from us.”
Doriane felt Patrick move her in front of him, pushing her head roughly before removing his hand and firmly gripping her arm.
Patrick removed his fingers from her head and she heard him speak into his phone, “Yeah, I've caught her. We will be back soon.”
Doriane noticed the other man that was running after her start to jog in their direction, looking out of breath. “Took you long enough, Anthony. You're the slowest one in the group. Here, tie her up so we can take her back.”
When she saw the anger and fury in Patrick's eyes, she felt her pulse quicken to the point she thought her heart would forget how to recover and beat again.
Doriane didn’t even notice the tears streaming down her face. She knew if they took her back, Oliver would kill her.
With a new ambition, Doriane started struggling, trying to yank her arm from Patrick's hold. She surprised herself with the strength she still held and was able to yank from his vice grip.
She lifted her knee and aimed for between Patrick's legs. When she made contact, she didn't wait to see his reaction but spun and ran back into the parking lot of the gas station.
Anthony caught up to her quickly this time, snagging her elbow. She struggled in his hold, trying to loosen her elbow from his grasp. Anthony's fury got the better of him and he whipped his hand across her face.
The blow was strong enough to wipe her feet out from under her. If Anthony hadn't held her so tightly, she surely would have fallen into a heap on the ground.
Doriane fought the black dots crowding her vision and focused on the sting enveloping the left side of her face. It certainly wasn't the first time she's been hit, but that fact didn't dull the pain.
“Everything alright here?” Someone called, catching her attention. She felt a small strand of hope bloom in her chest again at the foreign voice.
She rose her head slightly, trying to look at whom the voice belonged to. Her heart instantly dropped.
The man was huge, well over six feet tall with firm, lean muscles under his tanned skin. He had piercing golden eyes that studied their situation intently.
Doriane felt her stomach drop at the sight of this man. He wasn't going to save her. She has had plenty of experience with men, and none that looked like that were ever kind.
“Mind your own business,” Patrick spat.
When Patrick finally made it back to her, he curled his fingers around Doriane's arm where it was before.
Doriane felt the impending doom tighten her stomach.
She was going to die surrounded by terrible men that used and abused her since they gained possession of her.
And there was nothing anybody was going to do to stop it.
“Ma'am? Are you alright?” Doriane's head snapped up, surprised that the man was speaking to her.
Doriane's mouth went dry as tears continued to well up in her eyes, hindering her ability to speak.
“I said mind your own friggin business,” Anthony replied instead.
“And I'm telling you to let her go.”
Doriane felt like the conversation was at a distance as she fought to stay conscious.
She hadn't eaten anything in several long weeks. Between the malnourishment, the living fear coursing through her, and running, she had to consciously make an effort to keep her eyes open.
Before she could fully understand what was happening, Anthony and Patrick let her go.
She quickly tumbled to the ground, landing in a heap and disturbing the bruises and cuts on her arms. She pushed past the pain and focused on breathing, clearing the black spots from her vision. She needed to know what was happening.
She was in awe watching the unknown man in front of her fight her captors. He was fighting them both at once, obviously skilled as he dodged and threw punches at Patrick and Anthony.
She watched him duck and toss a punch at Patrick, who blocked it and returned it with one of his own. Anthony approached from behind, lifting his foot and looking to land a good kick when the stranger stepped back and grabbed his foot in his hand. He twisted Anthony's ankle at the same time he threw another punch at Patrick.
He finally landed a punch to Patrick's gut and twisted Anthony's ankle he was gripping harder. Doriane cringed at the crunch she heard under his grip.
Anthony howled his pain and was rewarded with a hard elbow to his face, which crunched his nose in the process. Anthony's attention flew to his face and he gripped his nose, taking a step back from the stranger, his eyes livid.
The stranger paid no attention and continued sparring with her other captor.
He chopped Patrick's throat, making him hunch over and grip his neck before the stranger brought down his elbow again, cutting into the back of Patrick's neck once more. This time, he fell to the ground in a heap.
The stranger spun, kicking Anthony square in the chest and knocking him to the ground. Neither of them moved a muscle.
Doriane crawled to the curb, pulling herself into a small pile of snow while trying to get away. Her clothes and shoes offered little protection to the bitter cold, but she had bigger problems lying ahead of her.
Trying to slip away from the man who just took down both her captors, Doriane willed herself to become invisible again.
He looked like he was fine, not breathing heavily or even sweating from his fight. She was petrified of his abilities.
If this stranger could do that much damage to two full-grown men at the same time, what could he do to her?
Doriane's spine stiffened as the man came closer.
She pushed herself further back with her arms, struggling to put distance between them. Her breathing started to become short and uneven, her overactive mind coming up with endless ways this man could hurt her.
“Are you okay?” The man asked. His voice was deep and traveled through the night. She felt her belly clench in fear and her vision started to black out again.
Through the vision that was left, she saw the man glance over his shoulder and mutter a curse. He flicked his gaze back to her and moved closer, seemingly wanting to touch her.
Doriane used what little strength she had left to scoot back, but her numb arms carried her weight no more than a couple of inches. “Please, no,” she managed to whisper.
“I'm not going to hurt you, but we need to get out of here.”
Her unsteady breaths made it difficult to speak clear words and Doriane could feel them slurring out of her mouth. “Please. Please, don't hurt me. Please, no.”
Doriane felt more fear as her vision darkened to a color she knew she couldn't will away. She felt the darkness take over her vision and soon her body felt a familiar lightness.
I'm never helping them again. Levi swore to himself, finally leaving the cozy home behind him.The next time Levi's Beta and his pregnant wife needed help moving furniture, they can hire someone else.Levi listened to the crunch of the frozen snow under his heavy boots and continued down the path, not needing to open his eyes to know where home was.He rolled his tense shoulders, remembering his Beta's commands. Every time they had placed down a piece of furniture, Ronan's wife would demand they move it to another corner of the house.Levi had spent an unnecessary six hours there rearranging just three rooms in the house before she was finally satisfied with the arrangement.Regardless of the complaining Levi put out tonight, he felt himself succumbing to the familiar ache of longing in
Seeing his mate securely on the bed, all her wounds tended to, helped the tight feeling in Levi's chest.Worry still gripped his mind, but seeing her taken care of was enough for the moment to be able to leave her momentarily and see his brother.He needed to know what was going on.Levi pressed a gentle kiss to his mate's forehead, his hand combing between the thick, mesmerizing strands of her hair.He reluctantly turned and exited the room before he lost his motivation to speak to his brother, promising himself he would only be away for a few minutes and nobody else had access to her.Laurence was resting in the lobby, his body slumped in a small chair, his large form filling up the wooden frame. His head was leaned back, resting against the wall above the chair and his hands were poised in h
Doriane felt an extreme pain spear through her head when she cracked her eyes open. The light was blinding and unwelcoming in her new environment.She curled onto her side, splitting her eyes open to look at where she was exactly.Memories of stuffing her face with cotton balls came rushing back.She was starving; they looked like marshmallows.Doriane didn't even taste them as she shoved them down her throat. When she finally realized they weren't food, she was already hunched over the toilet, expelling them from her body.Then that man walked in on her. At first, all she could do was stare at his body.He was by far the biggest man she'd ever met, even taller than her last master. His height was matched by large, defined muscles gripping his arms. He had light
Levi mentally smacked himself as he walked into the kitchen, replying her reaction to him in his mind.His mate was utterly scared of him.Completely and wholly terrified of him.Her reaction tore a hole in his heart. He hadn't known her for more than a day and he had already made her afraid of him.Levi shook his head, focusing on what he was doing.Water, right. Doriane was thirsty.Levi grabbed a cup from the cupboard and walked over to the fridge to get some water when he froze.What if she wanted something else? All he offered her was water, but what if she wanted tea or cocoa? It was really cold outside.But he didn't wanna bring her something she didn't like. That would seem rude and
Doriane looked up at him for the first time and opened her mouth to speak before she paled and stared at his hand.Levi glanced down and noticed his wound. He had a shred of glass lodged in his palm.Doriane watched with a queasy stomach as Levi raised his hand to get a better look and noticed the deep gash. A drop of blood fell from his hand and landed on the plush carpet under his feet.Haunting images flashed through Doriane's mind and she felt herself become light-headed. The events prior to her flee were vivid in her mind.Images of her spilling his blood splashing on the carpet haunted her mind. Her stomach rolled with queasiness at the memory.It was hard to focus as the rolling in her stomach intensified and the images continued to assault her mind.
It was strange to watch Levi clean up.He rinsed off the dished before sticking them in the dishwasher, arranging them carefully.Doriane only watched. She tried to jump up and do the work before Levi could even finish his meal—the way Oliver wanted her to do it—when he strictly rebuked her offer and told her he was going to do them.Doriane couldn't help but feel this was a test. This had to be some joke, right? Men aren't supposed to clean up the kitchen.Her curious eyes continued to watch him until he was finished and turned around. She quickly revoked her eyes and looked at her lap, staring at her red fingers resting in her lap.“Are you comfortable?” Her new master asked, still leaning against the sink.“Umm, yes. I am.”Nobo
The first thing Levi noticed when he woke up was the strong smell of lemon, pine, and Lysol.He sat up in his bed, confused at the smells that never invaded his space until the weekend.He checked his clock and found that it was just minutes past seven.Levi hardly slept, knowing his mate was alone and scared in the room right next to him. His wolf got to the point that be begged him to sneak in there and collect her in his arms and hold her all night.Climbing out of bed, he first walked to Doriane's room.Levi was close to giving in, but the memory of the fear in her eyes from his touches yesterday had him restraining himself.He found the room empty.The bed was nicely made and everything seemed to be perfectly in its place.
Doriane was so confused she felt her head was spinning.She had never heard another man speak with so much emotion and gentleness before.Even her father was willing and happy to be rid of her and sell her as soon as she turned eighteen. She stared at Levi for a long time, trying to decide if he was real.Doriane made a mental note of the second rule he had given her since being here.First, don't try to escape.Second, don't cause yourself any harm.She stared shamelessly at Levi, who was gripping the steering wheel leisurely and calmly commanding the sleek silver truck. She had to jump in the truck to be able to get in but was grateful she could still do it on her own.She didn’t want him to touch her, no matter