My palms smacked uselessly against the thick muscle on his arms, thrashing against them as my instinct to survive outweighed any other option. I loved Trent, but I also feared him. I never wanted to hurt or defy him, but right now, the only thing that mattered was my survival.
The slippery surface of the tub caused my feet to slide across it, failing to gain any traction, only making my situation worse as I struggled for any chance at air. My legs were useless in my attempt to push against his strength and the energy was quickly draining from my limbs, just like any hope I had that Trent’s anger would waiver.
I wasn’t shocked when he entered the room. He used to sit in here often and talk while I relaxed in the tub, but this? Of all the things I would have guessed when he stormed in, Trent forcing my head under the water would have NEVER been one of them.
He’s never been this angry with me… he’s never crossed this line.
The burn in my chest to take a breath became too much and any tears I cried were being lost to the water around me. The fire on my scalp from where his fingers were laced through my hair tightly told me I wouldn’t have the chance to beg for my life this time. No, whatever it was, I had gone too far this time.
I wasn’t meant for this. I wasn’t strong, and as my body attempted to scream on its own accord, the water rushed into my mouth. My fingers gripped at my throat, desperately wishing I could clutch it tight to keep the water out, but it was too late. I gagged roughly as the weight of the water within my throat felt like it was crushing me, and as all the fight left me, the water settled just enough for me to see him.
Trent’s hazel eyes glared down at mine, mere inches of water between us, right before everything went dark.
Water fell from my lips as I coughed, and a gentle voice told me to get it all out.
I was still alive.
I gasped for breath after breath of air before a towel was placed on my back and I clutched it into my chest as I turned around to meet her light blue eyes. The wrinkles around them creased as she tried to assess me, but the way her vision rolled over me wasn’t the usual way she tended to me, there was clear concern there.
Yea, Mary, I’m concerned too.
The pain in my chest with every breath I tried to draw all the way in brought me back to my situation. Trent just crossed a line he’s never crossed before.
I coughed and gagged some more as Mary supplied a bucket for me. She's the head staff keeper here with a medical background, and this wasn't the first or last she'd see of me. While Trent and most of the people here healed quickly, I was still very much human, with no hint of elevating into my abilities anytime soon.
"You stupid, stupid, child," she scolded me as her hand rubbed the side of my cheek, pinching it slightly as the heavy footfalls beyond the bathroom had her rising to her feet. There are times like this that I wanted to be angry at her, that I wanted to plead with her to find me a way out, but I knew better.
Not only was Mary loyal to the Stones, but asking that of her would put either put her life in danger… or mine. They’ve kept her around for all these years because she questions nothing. A good little soldier in their army of corrupt souls he calls a pack. No, Mary might have developed a fleeting softness for me over the years, but she knew better than to ever let it show, and I knew better than to ever test those waters.
Trent's face rounded the door as Mary made a quick escape. His pained anger still rolling off of him with every labored breath he took.
‘I'm pathetic, I'm weak,’ I repeated the mantra in my head over and over again as I tried to keep myself from lunging at him and pinched my eyes closed to stop the look in them from betraying me. My bath and day had been ruined, and if I was strong enough, I'd drown his handsome face in the toilet and then see how he felt.
I pressed back into the wall behind me, curling my knees to my chest. I wasn't out of this yet. Trent was angrier than he's ever been with me and while he loves me… that apparently only extends so far.
"Did you think I wouldn't find out?" Trent gripped my chin, yanking it up to meet his furious gaze as he squatted in front of me, "Did you think you could leave me?" He got nose to nose with me, grinding his face into mine as he screamed at me, "TELL ME!"
I shook my head in disbelief. How? How did he find out? I thought I was so careful, but I should have known better than to trust Mark.
"I would never-" I tried to play off my head movements, but Trent gripped my mouth so I couldn't speak.
"Don't," he growled out, "lie to me, Dee." His eyes took on the pre-shift glow as he looked back at me and slid his hand up my leg from my knee with a feather-like touch, "Did you give yourself to h-"
The sound of my palm slapping him carried to me before I even registered what happened. “Whatever you think I did,” my forehead pressed into his, grinding just a little as he had done to me, “I didn’t and I would NEVER give away something that you KNOW is yours.”
“Your guard had everything set to run away with you,” he leaned back from me just enough to look at my face, “you offered him something.”
I let my eyes grow as big as they could, a fake panic washing over me as my voice came out hoarse, “He what?”
“Oh, I took care of it, Dee,” Trent cocked his head to the side as I desperately tried to make myself cry. The tears NEEDED to come if I was going to escape this with my life. Trent had truly snapped this time, and admittedly, I had offered Mark a life with me and a future, but it wasn’t because I cared for him. I knew I needed out of this, and now that Trent’s escalated while becoming wise to a possible escape plan, I’d have to start from scratch.
Mark, that big dumb-dumb.
Ok, think, you’re going to be stuck here forever and Trent is never going to let you leave or have any freedoms. Finally, the tears started to cascade down my cheek and the moment one fell onto his hand it seemed to crack through his anger.
“Why would you think that of me?” I cried, putting my head into my hands and then looking up in shock as if a thought had just occurred to me, “What if he would have succeeded? What if he had taken me and I never got to see you- and you thought- but I didn’t-” I sobbed into my hands and Trent tried to pick me up but I swatted at his hands with a feigned weakness. The emotional anger I was directing at him was more frustration on my part that my plan didn’t work, but it served its purpose by being let out now, “You tried to drown me, Trent!”
“I-” his brows pulled together as he stood, angrily running one of his hands through his hair before he started launching items on the bathroom sink across the room and yelling out. He picked me up off the ground roughly by grabbing the outsides of my arms and making me stand, “You drive me crazy, Dee! You can’t leave me, you can never leave me,” he cupped my face roughly, “when I caught him loading up a vehicle with all of your things, I just snapped. He was dead, and I was so mad at you for trying to leave me.”
“But I didn’t,” I whispered over his lips, which were hovering above mine. While Trent’s little reveal was terrifying, it was almost better that Mark was dead… there would be no one to speak against me now. No one to know of my true involvement, and going forwards I would only rely on myself.
“Goddess, I’m so stupid,” Trent moved suddenly, placing my hands into his hair, and I gently pulled at the length of it repeatedly to try and soothe him back from this spiral I knew all too well. “I just love you so much it hurts. You know that, don’t you? That I would do ANYTHING for you. You were always meant to be mine. You’ll see. When you elevate into your abilities, I just know you’ll be my mate, and you’ll see.”
“I don’t want to die like the rest of my family did, Trent.”
“You know I’m under a lot of pressure, I didn’t mean to,” he looked like he was going to turn back to being angry with me.
“I know, but it scared me, Trent.”
“Never again,” he picked up my hands and kissed them, “I promise, Dee, once we’re married and I take over the pack, you’ll see. Things will go back to the way they were, but so much better. You believe me, don’t you? It’s you and me.”
“You and me,” I repeated, and as his lips brushed against mine, it was hard to not let everything fade into the background. His tongue claimed my mouth and my whole body reacted to him the way it always had. He was mine, and I was his. The problem was that we circled this pattern so many times that nothing had ever made me aware of just how wrong it was until recently, and almost drowning today has only secured the path I’m on further.
He watched me crawl out of the river when I was nine. I could have died at the bottom of it with my parents and twin brother, and not once over all these years has Trent ever crossed the line of threatening me near or in water, but today he did it without a second thought. He never apologized for it and he won’t, nor has he worried about the trauma that he just resurfaced.
I’ve been living in his shadow, remaining protected, hidden, and soft, but he’s just been one monster protecting me from the others. One day soon he’s going to realize he didn’t pay enough attention to the shadows, he didn’t give them the respect they were due, and they’re hiding a little monster of their own.
My head bobbed against Trent's forehead, exhaustion pulling at me as my limbs grew heavier and slower, no longer able to move them as I tried.
“I got you, Dee,” in one fluid motion he had me in his arms and when he laid me down in bed, it surprised me when he crawled in behind me. After everything, I shouldn’t want him there, I shouldn’t want him near me, and yet I did.
There was something so incredibly messed up about it, about my brain, that I would want the person who almost drowned me anywhere near me, but Trent would always be the one who saved me the day of the accident, the one whose eyes I clung to like a lifeline, and the only way I made it through all the grief of losing my whole family. I don’t know where I would have ended up if it wasn’t for him or if I would even be alive. Maybe I would have been better off somewhere else, but until recently, I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else.
My head lay on one of his biceps, his heart thumping loudly against me, and his hand curled over my waist as he drew me as close to him as possible. His soft kisses along my temple lulled me right to sleep because while my life may be in danger by his hands sometimes, when I was in his arms, nothing could touch me.
I could hate myself in the morning for loving his touch and seeking refuge in his attention. I know his attention had his hazel hues looking down at me through several inches of water tonight, holding me under, but eight years ago they were pulling me closer. They saved me from the event that haunts my sleep, and I still don’t know how I’m supposed to let him go.
~~~ 8 Years Ago ~~~ “Marissa,” Dad pleaded, “we have to go.” “I’m not leaving these behind Keith,” she snaps as she hands me the last of the family photos hanging on the wall. “Go find Donahue,” she delicately swipes her thumb across my cheek before taking the frames from my hands, “quickly.” “Donnnnnnyyyyyy,” I call through the house, picking up my speed with every room that I don’t find him in. Pretty soon, I’ve exhausted the few rooms there were to look in and venture outside. “Donny?” Where was he? “Donny!” He’s not answering as I survey the trees for a flash of blond hair… he always answers me. “Donny!” I can hear the frantic tone that comes out as I spin in a circle and fall down to the ground. “Donnn-nnn-nn-nyy,” I whine and rub at my eyes as I try to clear my dizziness. “Devil,” his annoyed voice draws my attention up into the trees above me, “you know I hate it when you whine.” “Mom said you’re not allowed to call me that,” I scowl up at him and his pale green
~~~ Present Day ~~~The curtains were suddenly drawn, letting the sunlight assault my vision as I tried to collect myself. Reaching for the blankets, I found none, nor did I feel Trent.While my body slept, it still felt as though I’d gotten no sleep at all. I had faded in and out during the night, only remembering little pieces of it like when his Beta, Corbyn, came to check on us or when Trent rearranged me in the bed… but I didn’t think he left me.A few years ago, it had become too difficult for him to spend the night with me anymore, too tempting, so I guess he only had so much patience. While I should appreciate that he respects my request for us to wait until the mate bond clicks or marriage, I was annoyed that I was cold and alone.I blinked, trying to let my vision adjust, and caught his cocky smirk staring down at me. I mean, if someone had to be held here, there were worse options. Trent had filled out nicely as we grew up, no longer the tall and thin version of him I fir
The rest of my day was quiet, peaceful, if I wasn't expecting a hazel-eyed storm, but the more the day pressed on and he didn't come home, the more I realized he wouldn't be back tonight. Piper kept me company for a while, but there was only so much boredom a girl can take when there is no genuine friendship to fall back on. Trent was the one that thought we'd be good friends, which only goes to prove just how much Trent doesn't know me as well as he thinks he does. When the darkness took over the sky, it was easy to fall into and hard to keep the terrors of it away. A long time has passed since the depths of the water pulled me under. I always try to remember what the accident was like, but all I ever remember is him. *** The sound of my heart pounding is so loud that I think it's making waves around me. My limbs are exhausted from running in place as I try to reach the only light source I can see, but as my head breaches the surface of the water, something feels different. I
I wish the tension in the room left with Gavin, but once he was out, Trent remained still. Corbyn stepped in and we all just sat there in silence for what seemed like an eternity. “We need to go,” Trent announced and as his hand started to slip out of mine, I found myself clinging onto it, earning an angry kind of confused look from Trent. “You just got back,” I half whined, and what I was doing - even I didn’t know. I wanted him gone, right? But I also didn’t want to be left alone with Gavin. Nope. No, thank you. “Dee,” he sighed, gently getting me to stand with him. I thought he’d be upset, but he liked this. He liked me needing him. This I could work with. “Please, Trent,” I squeezed my arms around him and tucked my face into his chest, “I don’t need a new bodyguard. Just take me with you and then we never have to be apart.” “It’s too dangerous and you know that,” he made me look up at him but his eyes were scanning behind us like he was thinking the same thing - the intera
I’m not sure how Trent even managed to drive when he was staring at me through the rearview mirror almost the entire way. The weight of his stare was demanding to be looked back at, but I refused. Building after building flew past the vehicle, people walking out on the streets completely oblivious and seemingly fine with each other’s abilities. ‘Dad said it’s not safe out there, Dee,’ Trent had told me after he went with his dad the first few times, ‘we can only visit Pop’s and then straight home.’ There was water building behind my lashes, but I’m not going to give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry. Tears mean he’s won, tears mean he’s broken me, and I know that’s what he’s waiting for. Well, he’s not getting them, so my traitorous body better get its act together. “Maybe,” Corbyn cleared his throat, “we should send her to that elevation school.” Silence. “You know your mom wanted you to go, and maybe they could help her abilities come out.” Corbyn really didn’t take a clue. T
"Pet, don't make me ask twice. You won't like it." The words were out of my mouth before I can help it. Where did that come from? My dick. It officially thought it was in charge. Bad dick. “I am NOT a pet,” she scowls back at me, but it’s like a little cub trying to do a big bad roar, and her voice sounds just as sweet as she looks and smells. She stands still while I look at her, waiting for her to give in and follow my command, and she does, with her own little flair of false bravado. “Good girl,” I whisper so low I’m not sure she hears it. I can’t help myself. She deserves the praise. Confirmation she heard it comes when there’s a little misstep in her stride and then she quickens her pace.The throbbing problem in my pants wants her to run, but not with this girl. That will cause too many unwanted complications, even if she’s the best eye candy I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking at. Trent has himself a little hidden gem. No wonder he was so uptight about keeping her away
"Get out," I tell him, but Mysterio is just standing there, tall and lean like a tree that could care less about the hissing winds - me, I’m the hissing winds - because it knows it will never get pushed down, "you're going to get yourself killed." Doesn't he have any self preservation? He should value his own life… I value mine, and if he's caught in here, Trent will kill us both. The longer he stands still, the more I realize how much my whole body is on high alert. I can feel the prickles of fear of being left alone here with him. Some of his hair has fallen out of where it's tied back and his muscles somehow seem more pronounced than they were five minutes ago. With thumbs tucked into his pockets, his fingers are tapping against his jeans and he makes this small sound, almost like a decisive grunt as his fingers still and the corners of his lips tip up revealing those canines that shouldn't exist in his human form. He looks deranged. Crazy on all counts with this attractiv
I want to avoid Mysterio's watchful eye so I make my way to the corner of my room where a chaise sat, but of course, his light blue hues drew me in to where he was now sitting on a chair of his own against the door. It's such an obnoxiously large chair that I’m not sure where he actually got it from. It certainly wasn't in here when we arrived, but there he is, draped over it like a lazy prince as he toys with a stick in his mouth. No. Not a stick, well, kind of, but a lollipop. A grape… freaking… lollipop I could smell from here. The sugar was calling my name, but of course, he ruined that too. "Like what you see?" I yank my devious tongue, which was licking my lips on its own accord, back into my mouth as the heat in my cheeks is making it unbearable to even face him anymore. Do I like what I see? On both accounts, yes. Twisting the chaise around so that I could sit on it without facing him wasn't easy, especially when his low chuckle sounded at my expense, but when it was do