Read Mated to the Alpha Twins [by Jane Doe] Chapter 115
As soon as the words left my lips, she dug her fingers into my arm, the icy claws of her magic latching onto me instantly. Cold flooded my senses, burning and aching as it sapped what little strength I had.
“Ariana, do I need to inform you that you are violating a direct order?” Zayne drawled in a bored, yet professional tone.
His piercing blue eyes bore holes into her face, but conveyed not an ounce of concern for my well-being. Part of me was terrified that this wasn’t just good acting, that the indifference in his eyes was placed there, built from years of practice.
After a few long seconds, Ariana released me.
I had just a few seconds to wonder if her abilities affected all white wolves the same way, before my legs gave out and I fell to the floor. My head was swimming, a steady drum beat as it throbbed miserably.
“Don’t play boss, Zayne. It certainly doesn’t suit you.” Ariana snickered, sending me a dark look that made me bite back a wicked snarl. Her voice was cruel and self-satisfied. “Besides, I’m a higher rank than you. The Alpha’s son.”
I fought to keep conscious, taking deep breaths whilst listening to the two of them argue. Slowly, the spots faded from my eyes, and I was able to pay more attention to the two of them.
It was becoming more and more clear that the only people Ariana seemed to tolerate were the Hound, and Marcus. Well, I’d say she more than tolerated Marcus, considering how she followed him around; the Assassin to a King.
Even without the feel of her emotions across my skin, I could see the loathing and jealousy written across her face as she glared at Zayne.
“Yes, Ariana. You are his favorite pet.” Zayne stepped forwards, towering over her. She didn’t balk, but I could see the hot coals of rage in her eyes ignite, even if she couldn’t act on those murderous impulses. Zayne’s voice was smooth and emotionless, “But there is one thing we both know; you do not defy a direct order. It doesn’t matter who you are, your screams will sound the same when you’re punished.”
“You wouldn’t fucking dare.” She hissed, and I swore I could hear her jaw clicking as she clenched it tightly.
“He’s already furious about your…little accident. What do you think he’d do if he found out? Mm, not so tough when you can’t use your magic on a normal wolf.” Zayne’s voice grew low, and he cocked his head to the side as he stared her down. “Oh, don’t look so sullen. Now we’ve both got something on each other.”
I wasn’t sure, but I swore I saw just a flicker of relief in her eyes. I couldn’t help but look at Zayne, and wonder if this was how he had to act all of the time.
Blackmailing each other, constantly at one another’s throats just to survive–to climb up the food chain, knowing that you’ll never be safe, not entirely. Not when Marcus Novak sits above you, each day deciding whether or not you deserve to live. Disappointment and mistakes could sway that choice, two things both humans and werewolves were prone to.
Imperfections; Marcus couldn’t handle imperfections.
I now understood that hardened wall around Zayne’s emotions, constructed to keep him from feeling too deeply. I couldn’t fathom having that kind of restraint, to hold back each tidal wave before it blasted the shore and soaked the sand.
I wondered how many times those waves barreled him down as a child, how many times he had nearly drowned in his emotions before he finally realized, he was so much better off without them.
“Let’s escort her back to her cell, and be done with the unpleasantness.” Zayne said smoothly, even though there was definitely a ‘for now’, in that statement.
Ariana went silent for a few seconds, her eyes glazing over before she snapped back into reality. The conversation between her and Marcus must’ve been a total of three seconds long, but it was enough to have her glowering down at me.
“Alpha wants me to join the fight. Her little twins are starting fires now. How charming.” She flashed me a grin that was all teeth, like a shark stalking a small fish. I felt a chill work its way down my spine as she continued, “I’ll have to drain you again, just to the point of unconsciousness. Just to keep you weak. Not to worry though, I’ll make it extra painful for you. Now, get the fuckup.”
I was still on the floor staring up at her flaming eyes and silky hair. Even though I already felt like crap, frustration managed to keep me strong. She was going to hurt me anyway, and enjoy every second. What I wasn’t going to do, was roll over and take it like a dog. I wouldn’t submit the way she had to Marcus.
“Maybe you should have waited to drain me once I was back in my cell.” I answered stiffly. My stare was latched onto hers, so much so that I could see the amber hues in her eyes.
As I knew she would, because Ariana was becoming just a tad predictable, she dug her fingernails into my arm and hauled me up.
Pain coursed through my arm like tiny daggers, but it was nothing compared to the feel of her actively draining me. Thankfully she wasn’t at the moment, but each step towards my cell acted as the countdown clock.
“I’ll drag you, and it won’t be by your arm.” She warned, and I knew she was telling the truth.
I stumbled on my two feet, tripping and using the wall to keep myself upright as she stormed down the hall and back to my padded cell. Zayne followed behind, still leaving me confused as to whether or not he gave a crap about anything.
“Goodnight, Aurora.” Ariana grinned, and the smile would have been sweet if it weren’t for the cruelty in her eyes. I was shoved onto the bed, feeling the sickeningly plush blankets beneath my fingers. The soft touch of fabric was followed by cold skin, and sharp pain. “Hopefully by the time you wake, I’ll have your twins in chains.”
Darkness engulfed me, but it only seemed to linger for a few moments. Long enough to dull the pain creeping across my body, making it a pulsing ache. I opened my eyes, which watered instantly against the artificial light and lack of windows.
My vision doubled, and then tripled, showing multiples of Zayne as he stood at the foot of the bed. Once my head was finished swimming, I let out an incoherent groan.
“Yeah, I get it. You feel like shit.” He said indignantly, coming around to the side of the bed. I let out a sound of protest as his hand wrapped around my wrist, more than uncomfortable from the feel of his icy skin. He scoffed under his breath and tugged, “Come on, Aurora. Get the hell up.”
“What?” I snapped, turning my head enough to glare at him.
Something soft and sweet was shoved in my face, making me recoil halfway across the bed. When I brought a hand to my mouth, I frowned at the sweet tasting frosting that coated my fingers.
“Your sugar is low, and you haven’t eaten in four days.” Zayne pointed out, his voice flat and impatient. “Marcus means to starve you until you comply, which would be any day now considering he’s also not letting you feed from any souls.”
I had no time to contemplate the chances of being poisoned, because at the taste of the disgustingly sweet food, it snarled and howled for more. I finished off the contents of the cake, gulping down a glass of water to get the sweetness from my tastebuds.
“The cameras are on a loop. It was a one-time favor from a friend in security, so we’re on borrowed time.” He scowled.
“What about the fight? Are Alec and Kade alright? Ariana isn’t here, is she?”
“The fight is still ongoing. Ariana joined in twenty-three minutes ago, and as far as I know, the twins are safe.” He said in a rush, glancing towards the closed door.
“Are you here to help me, Zayne?” I asked after a few seconds of silence, still too drained to even think about searching for his emotions.
“I’m here to do what I can, like I promised.” There was a hint of pain in his voice, just a sliver of vulnerability that made my heart drop. His voice was still smooth, though it was much darker now. “He found out about Tori, through blood and magic, he found out. He’s threatening to hurt her and her family, and it’s my indifference to you that spares her.”
“So, you can’t get me out of here.” I whispered, fearful but far from defeated. I felt the cool metal of the charm bracelet around my wrist, and knew I needed to take a leap. I held it up, letting Zayne get a good look at it. “This was a gift from a friend. It sent out my location to the twin’s yesterday. They’ll be here any day now, and when they get here, they’re going to need a way in.”
It wasn’t a position I wanted to put him in, but this was about finishing what I had started, tending the flame that had erupted into a full-scale bonfire.
“Smart.” He snorted, smiling in a way that made my stomach feel sour. “He left that on you because he assumed it was a gift from your mates. Figured it would motivate you to behave.’
Zayne was at a cross roads. He could remain inactive to protect Tori, but she would forever be hunted, because she would never leave my side. It was her loyalty I was sure of, and that was how I knew Zayne would help. Even without the use of my magic, I could feel that something had changed. At some point, whether he knew it or not, he had accepted the bond between them.
“Be prepared. I won’t be able to give you a heads up.” Was all he said, eyes grim and jaw clenched. He was silent for so long that I thought he might just turn and leave. His eyes flickered towards the door as he asked, “Can you use your abilities subtly? Without the victim knowing of it?”
I was long past flinching at the mention of my powers, and nodded in response.
“Then it’s a good thing there are three guards stationed outside of your cell.” He replied with a twitch of his lips, taking away some of that rigidity from his jaw. In two large strides, he stood at the metal door. “Be sure to look sickly once Ariana comes back, or she’ll use her magic on you again, and it does look rather painful.”
“Asshole.” I muttered, slumping back onto the bed as Zayne pounded on the door twice.
It swung open with a thud, revealing one of the meatheads guarding my cell. When the door clattered shut, I slowly moved from the bed. Rather than leaning against the door, which clearly had some percentage of silver within the metal, I opted for the wall.
I assumed Zayne wouldn’t have mentioned feeding off of the guards if the walls had silver within them as well, so I decided to take my chances. If it didn’t work–well, I’d just have a migraine for a few hours.
I slumped to the floor, my back against the wall as I closed my eyes and let the sounds trickle in from around me. I couldn’t hear far, thanks to the reinforced walls and door, but I could hear the muffled chatting from the guards.
It took some time and concentration to feel the flicker of light within their bodies, but slowly they raised to attention. All of my instincts said to take what I need, to tear it from them for the damage they had a hand in. I knew exactly what that would result in, a long trip from Ariana.
Instead, I fought against my instincts. Instead of sinking my fingers in deep, I trailed along the surface. Even though the power I received was minimal, it was like a breath of fresh air that cooled my lungs and soothed my muscles.
My shoulders slumped, and I let my head fall back against the wall as pain and agony seeped from my bones, replaced with just a small trickle of warmth. I stayed that way for what felt like nearly an hour, slowly sapping the strength from my guards.
I stood from the floor, unable to risk taking anything more without them noticing. Eventually they’d grow tired, and if I took too much–death would certainly follow. My legs no longer felt like jelly, and the soreness had mostly faded.
When I heard their voices sputter out, along with a creeping coldness, I knew I had stopped just in time. I began to hear the sound of the locks being unlatched, one at a time.
The room was small enough that I made it to the bed before Ariana strolled in. There was no point in throwing back the blankets, I hadn’t bothered when I passed out the first time. I laid on my stomach, my hair a knotted mess and my face buried in the pillows.
Her footsteps were soft, calculated as she headed directly for where I laid. I heard her scoff of disgust, followed by the distinct feeling of a combat boot against the side of my head. She nudged me hard enough to make me wince, and I didn’t hold back the half-conscious snarl that left my lips.
“I must’ve taken a lot out of you.” She snickered softly, her voice just inches away from my head. I didn’t stiffen, but I also made no move to indicate that I had heard her. Still, she felt the need to continue. “Or maybe you’re just not as strong as everyone thinks you are. It’s pathetic really. Lucky for me, I’m your kryptonite.”
Ariana didn’t linger for long, giving me one last nudge with her boot before leaving the room, whistling a jolly tune that made me want to leap from the bed.
I made it a point not to hate–the emotion itself was similar to toxic waste. But Ariana, she was the closest I had come to feeling that emotion for myself. The beauty in her scowls, the cruelty that seemed so odd on such a young face. You would expect a monster to look the part, but no–they were often the most beautiful of creatures.
I didn’t move from my spot, feeling the camera’s steel cold eyes on my back as I moved with each deep, slumbering breath. I stayed there until sleep finally did claim me.
I woke again to the feel of a boot on my face. This time when my eyes snapped open, I glared up at Ariana with bared teeth. Her thick, obsidian braid dangled in my face, the tips brushing against my nose.
“Time to wake up.” She snarled, realizing I was focusing solely on the large eyepatch that took up nearly one fourth of her face.
I let out a raspy yelp when her fingers tangled in my hair, pulling me up and into a sitting position. Pain washed over my scalp and I could feel the individual hairs being torn from my head. I scrambled to follow where she led, and only when I was sitting on the floor, did she remove her claws from my head.
I snarled up at her, whipping my head to glare at Marcus where he stood against the far wall.
He had changed his suit, opting for one that was charcoal in color. His tie was a pale shade of blue, identical to his and Zayne’s eyes. By all accounts, he was a handsome man, but once you saw the monster that hid within his gaze, it was something you wouldn’t forget.
“I haven’t seen Ariana hate someone this much before.” He stated, eying the two of us like experiments, rather than actual people. “You two will have to remain civil once we start working together.”
Through the sandstorm of fury, I had a thought. It was petty, rising from the depths of my mind, directed at the woman I had come to very nearly hate.
“If I were to join you, would I outrank Ariana?”
It was a stupid question, but it was one I knew would piss Ariana off. Marcus would tell the truth, because why would he care what Ariana or I thought?
“If that’s what you wanted, then yes.” He lifted an eyebrow, but then shrugged indifferently. “I would name you my second in command. Under supervision, of course.”
The rage and flicker of fear on her face filled me with more warmth than any soul could. Any guilt I felt was squashed by the fact that she willingly chose to work for Marcus. That meant she could suffer the consequences when he treated her like his other minions–expendable.
“Of course.” I grinned sardonically; my eyes latched on Ariana’s reddened face.
“As you’ve stated many times though, you will not willingly join us. Really, I hoped your sense of self-preservation would lend some wisdom, but clearly I was mistaken.” Marcus sighed, the disappointed parent. How I could have lived up to my potential, the ultimate weapon. I bristled as he continued, but kept unnaturally still in case Ariana wanted to make a grab for me. Marcus frowned down at me, but there was no sympathy or regret in his eyes. Only the unnerving determination to do whatever needed to be done. Whatever propelled him closer to his goal. “Your twins have retreated, revealing themselves for the cowards that they are. I now realize that in order to inspire your loyalty, I will have to break your spirit. You will come with us to your pack, and when your people are broken and dying, your surrender will smother the last of their hope. Sleep while you can, Aurora. I want you awake for the following events.”
Ariana tapped on her wrist, a clock ticking down—it’s hands invisible to the eye, but still time continued. And soon, soon it would run out.
There was nothing for me to do once Marcus and Ariana left, taking the smoldering fumes of my hatred and fury along with them. I curled up on the bed, hating the way the blankets felt against my skin, how they smelled of laundry detergent and dryer sheets. They weren’t the ones the twin’s used, the ones that smelled both masculine and earthy.
My thoughts and worried meshed into one, coagulating into a nightmare that seemed to have no beginning or end.
I was running through the blood-soaked streets conjured up by my subconsciousness, evading Marcus’s claws as they came down from the sky, when a loud siren sounded. It blasted through my dream, one loud whoop after another. His hands gripped my shoulders, nails digging into flesh as he tore and tore…
My eyes snapped open, the sound of Marcus’s laugh ringing in my ears as the hazy images of my dream faded from behind my eyes. Those hands, they were still on my shoulders, but their fingers were no longer digging into me. There was no pain, just the soothing clash of sparks as they danced across my skin.