I could feel it sharply digging into my skin, blood oozed from the wound on my wrists. It was warm and smooth. I’d been pulling at the zip-ties around my wrists too hard. I should have given up by now, although it wasn’t like I had any concept of time here.
How long did they have me locked up in here? It could have been twenty-four hours or twenty-four days. I hadn’t been fed or given water. My body was covered in sweat and bruises. I could feel my mind zoning in and out of consciousness now.
Only the images of Melody falling to the ground, Kaya screaming, Oz’s face when he saw me being dragged away—reeled through my head like an old black and white movie.
I’d failed Oz. I failed the MC. Oz had trusted me with the life of his woman. I was supposed to watch over her and protect her. Kaya had even trusted me so much as to tell me she was pregnant. What if she was hurt? What if she was going to lose the baby?
And Melody. She was just an innocent bystander at the diner. While my hands were tied behind my back and three men were holding me back, it was Melody who’d managed to do something to protect Kaya. She’d lunged at her friend, protecting the baby was the only thing on her mind. She was a brave woman and a good friend. The consequences of which, were to get shot.
I could still hear the thud of Melody’s body hitting the floor. I struggled against the men to get to her, but they were holding me back. Nobody was supposed to get hurt. Least of all two women who weren’t involved in this fight. Who had nothing to do with our clubs.
Rage coursed through my veins again and instinctually, I pulled at the zip ties and it felt like they were now ripping through my wrists. For a moment I couldn’t feel my hands. My body felt paralyzed. I couldn’t even feel the pain. I was numb.
All I wanted to do was prove myself to Oz and the MC. They’d given me a chance. They’d given me the opportunity to join as a prospect and trusted me with this simple task. All I had to do was sit at the diner and watch over Kaya as she went about her day.
And what I managed to do was get kidnapped by the Dark Legion and Hell’s Drifters and not protect Kaya or Melody. I had no excuses. The fact that those motherfuckers outnumbered me when they stormed into the diner, was a pitiable excuse. I should have shot dead at least a dozen of them before being taken away. But I hadn’t. I couldn’t. I’d failed Oz and the MC. If they weren’t coming back for me, that was exactly what I fucking deserved.
I tugged at the zip ties again, not because I thought I could get out of here, but because I wanted to feel the pain. It was the only thing I could feel right now, other than sheer and utter regret.
The room was dark and even though I couldn’t see much, I could hear the drip-drip of water and smell the damp patches on the walls. I didn’t need to be able to see to know that they’d put me in some sort of underground rotting cellar.
We could have been in a barn or a warehouse or an abandoned construction site out of town. I couldn’t exactly tell because I hadn’t seen daylight in twenty-four hours…or had it been twenty-four days?
I always thought I could do anything. I was strong and had a willpower made of steel. I would have done anything to fulfill my duties. But without food, water and daylight, within a very short period of time—I was beginning to lose my confidence in myself.
I was beaten up and bruised, tied to a chair and made to sit upright the whole time. Excuses excuses excuses. I would have rather died than have to go back and give the MC my long list of excuses.
Was it normal that I was now beginning to despise myself? I didn’t deserve Oz’ faith in me. I didn’t deserve the responsibilities that the MC had given me. If I was so easily broken, then who was I?
I noticed a metallic taste in my mouth now. It was blood. There was a gash on the side of my face. The product of one of the earlier beatings I had forgotten about. The blood was oozing into my mouth now and I spat it out with force.
Even bleeding I took as a sign of weakness.
I growled out in anger. Mostly angry with myself and I tried to stretch myself out of the zip ties again. If I could just get out of this. Out of this place. I’d die fighting them back. I’d die proving myself to the MC.
I wasn’t sure if it was my growl that now caused the door of the room to be flung open. A sliver of light shone through and I heard footsteps approaching me. The one thing about this room was it was big. I had lots of space to myself. I nearly chuckled at that thought.
Whoever it was, was taking his time to come towards me. I blinked rapidly trying to see. It was too dark.
And then he flipped a switch on and there was a sudden golden glow in the room that I wasn’t prepared for. It’s suddenness blinded me and I squinted, fighting the urge to lift my hands up to shade my eyes.
The man who’d switched the light on now sniggered. He was delighted at how helpless I was in his hands. He’d just used light as a weapon and it made him feel like God.
He was a member of the Dark Legion. I could tell by his cut. That motherfucker had a grin on his face like he’d just been given cotton candy at the fair.
“You look fresh as a daisy,” he said. There was laughter in his voice. If my hands weren’t tied to my back I would have strangled him. He probably knew that.
I tried to focus on his face, but my head kept swaying from side to side. I was dehydrated and probably losing blood from all the wounds on my body. My eyes drooped as I tried to glare at him.
“I tried to dress up for you,” I said through gritted teeth and the guy threw his head back and laughed.
“Isn’t that charming.”
He walked up close to me and placing his hands on his knees, he stooped down low towards me. Leveling his face with mine. He seemed to be peering into the wounds on my face. Probably assessing me for damage.
I waited a few seconds until I’d built up enough bloody saliva in my mouth before I spat it out. Right at his face. It got him like a thick blood clot on his nose and he roared with disgust.
His knuckles hit me in a punch across my nose and I thought I heard it crack. Or I could have just imagined it. I was at the stage where I didn’t know imagination from reality anymore. Everything seemed real and everything seemed like a dream at the same time.
Blood. Sweat. Dizzness.
Those were the only truths and the only constants in my life right now.
“You do that again and you’re fucking dead meat!” he growled some more, wiping the stuff off his face and then wiping his hand on his jeans. No manners.
“You know, your friends are looking for you,” he continued.
When I heard that my ears perked up. I blinked furiously, trying to see more clearly again. But I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t display my enthusiasm because then he would definitely use it against me.
“Yeah, they’re looking, but they’re never going to find you,” he said and kicked one of my feet. It sent cold vibrations through my body and I gritted my teeth.
“You don’t know by now? I don’t wanna be found.”
He laughed some more. He was convinced I was making that shit up. He had no idea how true it was. The farther I could stay away from the Marked Skulls, from Oz and Lewis and all the rest. The better their chances were of winning this war. The last thing I wanted was for these fuckers to use me as bait.
“And once we get what we want from your friends, you’re going to die,” he continued.
My nostrils were flared. I tried to even my breath as I glared at him. I hated the sound of his voice. If I could rip the veins off his neck with my bare teeth, I would.