Chapter 3 Earning respect and a new subject's arrival

I lifted the perfectly cooked steak and put it onto the plate and plated the raw lamb for Darya and I just unthawed the chicken for Scotty.

"You think it should be cooked?" Abby shook her head and grabbed a couple of pudding cups and a spoon. She asked if I was ready as I loaded everything onto a large tray and told her I was. She held the door for me and we hurried quickly to my subjects before we were caught breaking protocol. I slid each of the treats in their food slots and tucked the tray under my armpit as I listened to them eat noisily. I glanced over at Enzo and he looked disturbed. I asked what was going on. He tilted his head to the side and closed his eyes.

"The Hunters are bringing in an Alpha," he mumbled and looked down at his sharp black nails. Tristan turned and listened attentively. The red lights and sirens started blaring and I looked at an unconcerned Abby.

"They do that every time they bring in a new subject. You're the only one with empty cells so it's coming here," she yelled out. I hurried quickly to each cell to grab the empty plates and opened a cabinet and stacked the plates inside. The flashing lights and sirens stopped suddenly.

"They won't bring it in tonight. They will keep it in quarantine for a few days to a week before bringing it for testing," Abby laughed and I relaxed as I pulled out the dirty plates.

"I hope you all enjoyed the treat. Be good to me and I will do the same for you," I told them all. I told Abby I was going to clean up my mess in the kitchen and she told me she'd help.

"It's alright, just head to bed, and thanks for everything. It's the first time I've laughed since he passed," I mumbled softly and she hugged me and told me things will get better. I nodded and gathered the dirty items and told them all good night. I laughed hearing Enzo calling me Bella. I hurried to the kitchen that was through the cafeteria and I gritted my teeth seeing the room full of military men fully dressed in their gear and discussing what they captured.

"I shot that bitch up good. Thought for sure the mate would put up a fight but he just stopped suddenly and dropped next to her and just gave up," one of them said coldly. I gasped softly and hurried quickly towards the back. I can't believe that they killed the luna. I watched enough national geographic to know what a wolf pack consisted of. I felt sadness and wiped my eyes as I turned on the hot water to wash dishes. Just my luck Brian wandered in and asked me what I was doing. I thought it was obvious.

"I cooked Abby and myself dinner earlier and thought I'd clean up the mess I made," I told him. Brian nodded and grabbed the rag from my hand.

"You go to bed and I'll get this done in a jiffy. You need your wits about you for tomorrow when you collect samples," he said firmly. I cringed internally and glanced over at the full sink.

"Seriously, doctor, it's all part of my work here." I wasn't one to complain so I wiped my hands off on the towel and told him thanks as I headed back out through the crowded cafeteria. I walked quickly not wanting to speak to anyone and sighed in relief reaching the exit. As I entered the hall I rushed off hurriedly and wasn't paying attention to which direction I was going. I continued down the dark hall thinking I'd made a horrible error. I heard voices approaching and slid my key card into a random door. It blinked green so I quickly slipped inside of the pitch-black room with my heart beating frantically. I was listening to the voices and didn't even register the gold eyes that were watching my every move. When the voices finally passed by I leaned back against the door with closed eyes and sighed in relief. When I opened my eyes I covered my mouth and the muffled scream followed. A huge black wolf was staring directly into my face.

"Nice puppy," I mumbled softly as my hand searched behind me for the handle to escape. The wolf rubbed its nose against my ribcage and sniffed me. I grabbed the handle and opened the door letting light shine upon the enormous beast. It was chained to the floor and I relaxed as I exited.

"I'm sorry about your Luna," I mumbled softly and saw an odd glimmer in its eyes as I closed the door, locking it instantly. I headed back the way I had come and started to hear sad howls coming from the room I'd left. I entered the cafeteria and this time the soldiers were calling for me. I shook my head as I navigated my way to the correct exit and ran the remaining way to my room. I rushed to my side and jumped into my bed.

"Goodnight Abby," I called out but didn't hear a response so I closed my eyes and dreamt of strange golden eyes. The next morning I looked up and saw Abby holding a steaming cup of coffee above me.

"Has anyone ever told you that you're an ugly sleeper? Your mouth was hanging open like this and a string of drool was going in and out with each of your ear rattling snores," she teased and I sat up thanking her for the coffee.

"I remembered that you don't get hungry until ten but need your bean juice," she mumbled softly and I nodded with a smile. I pulled out my messy ponytail and Abby offered to braid it. I told her alright and she told me to sit in the desk chair.

"I know it's soon but do you ever think you'll remarry?" Abby asked sympathetically as she brushed my hair. I rubbed my palms together and told her no.

"Tom was the love of my life and I got lucky finding him. I doubt if I'll get that lucky again," I replied. Her brow creased.

"What about dating and hookups? Don't you miss having sex," she asked curiously and I shrugged.

"I miss the companionship of having someone to talk with and taking trips with. The cabin seems too empty up in the pines by myself," I said softly and she told me I should have had a house full of children and I shook my head telling her a resounding no.

"My career calls for no children. I'm way too busy for that." Abby nodded and expertly braided my hair, it was long and to my lower back.

"You've got gorgeous hair, dear." I smiled and thanked her again for the coffee and hair braid. Abby tossed me a fresh lab coat and asked me if I remembered how to do blood draws. I pfft her and said, "I'm not forgetful but I do wonder what that Brian will say when he sees Enzo Parisi not looking like a corpse." I gritted my teeth and she patted my upper arm.

"Tell him it's all part of a new trial you're testing and he'll just ask for the paperwork to be turned in," she suggested and I laughed slightly as I thanked her. She walked me to my subjects and waved goodbye as she headed onto hers further down the corridor. I unlocked the thick steel door and was surprised by the two soldiers standing inside the room with automatic weapons pointing at the cells.

"What on earth are you fools doing? I am trying to build trust between myself and my subjects so they don't feel taken advantage of," I said bitterly. The sable-haired grunt looked at me oddly and introduced himself as Bennett and his teammate Zack.

"We're your draw day soldiers, Dr. Rockford," he said firmly and I slipped on the latex gloves and checked the cart for the appropriate amount of test tubes. A marker and several wrapped syringes.

"Get the first subject," I sighed and watched them unlock Enzo's cell. He eyed each soldier with a grin. I rolled my eyes and prepared a syringe to draw his blood. I watched him unbutton his cuff and then pause.

"Should I just remove the entire thing," he asked me with a grin. I curled my lip and told him to do whatever he wanted and he laughed.

"Oh my, to do whatever I wanted would be obscene, Bella. I will roll up my sleeve," he replied staunchly and rolled up the fabric. Enzo sat on the chair and watched me intently.

"You and I need parlare," he said softly. I looked up into his eyes and turned as I told him later. I wrapped the piece of rubber around his bicep and touched his forearm searching for an adequate vein.

"Your touch is gentle," he mumbled and I looked up to see his face right in front of mine.

I backed away and kneeled at his side to insert the needle. Once it was in the artery I attached the test tube and undid the rubber. I needed three full vials.

"The two are under my compulsion so I can talk freely with you. Are you married, Emma? I noticed the lighter area on your ring finger." I furrowed my brow and eyed him coldly.

"I'm widowed. My husband, Tom passed away from a massive heart attack a month ago at our mountain home. I wear my wedding ring on a chain that's around my neck," I said with a cracked emotional voice. Enzo frowned and told me he was sorry for my loss. I nodded and changed vials, being sure I wrote his name on the sample.

"Do you like dogs, Mrs. Rockford?" I opened my mouth and clicked my tongue on the roof of my mouth.

"Don't have time for a dog. I work a lot but yeah they're alright," I replied and he smiled. I put on the last vial and suggested that he release my soldiers. He nodded and I heard the two men shift position. I was finishing up with the vampire when the door opened and Brian stomped in looking pissed.

"What did you do last night, Doctor? The new subject is stating they'll only work with the chestnut-haired woman who wears glasses and smells like a pine forest. Who do you think Griffin Moonstone is referring to," he sneered angrily. I looked down at Enzo and he smiled.

"Caught the interest of a powerful Alpha. I'm surprised that they captured him," Enzo mumbled.

"They killed his Luna," I said softly and he gasped softly and quickly looked up at Brian.

"You're all or so fucking dead," he said and laughed happily.

"Finish drawing the other's blood. I'm taking the doctor to deal with the Alpha," Brian ordered and I set the vial down on the tray with the others. I was feeling apprehension. I've heard of Moonstone entertainment and wondered if they were the same.

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