The paranormal world was ruled by a council of the Elder races. This was a time of peace, where true mates were abundant, and harmony ruled. There was the movement to reveal the hidden world to the humans, certain races refused.
An uprising occurred in attempts to wipe out the ruling Elder races. Once all the Elder Races were thought to be destroyed the paranormal world split into clans, these clans were ruled by powerful families and rivalries began. The paranormal world had been unrest since creation of the clans.
When the Elder Races disappeared as did true mates.
Chapter 1 - Audrey
Three hundred sixty five days in a year.
Multiply that by four.
Add by one—the leap year.
One thousand four hundred and sixty one days.
In four minutes, minus 30 seconds, it will be one thousand four hundred and sixty-two.
I did not sigh. I did not cry. I did wonder, though, how I could miss something so completely, like a hole in my heart when I’d never had it before.
The first year, I craved a touch as if it were food. The second year, I knew without a doubt I would die without it, as if a touch itself was water. The third year, I tried to convince myself it wasn’t worth it. The fourth year, I had accepted my lies. But, lying to yourself is easier if you don’t clasp your arms around your once full, now sunken form. So this year, I would not fold into myself, close my eyes, and pretend. I looked at the clock.
Ten seconds. I’m fine.
Nine. I don’t need comfort.
Eight. Another year—whatever.
Seven. Another year.
Six. My hands had a will of their own.
Five. No, they didn’t.
Four. I am fi—
A wailing noise pierced the air, forcing my hands to my ears. It wouldn’t stop. They were playing with me now. My fifth year was beginning very cruelly. Maybe this year I’d surrender. It might be worth it for a handshake, even a lingering stare. No, not a stare. I flinched at the thought. Anything but a stare.
The noise wouldn’t stop. I touched my cheek. Tears that I’d thought had dried up long ago poured down my face. That’s when the door burst open. I shrieked and folded into myself pushing closer to the white walls surrounding me. Getting smaller meant less places they could attack. Less places they could stare.
He invaded the white. The room that was blank of color, of life, of anything. He filled it with colors and life. Color. I felt myself yearning for the color, but he was only specks of black. His black clothing covered him completely. Even his head was an emotionless, black void.
“Holy shit.” I wasn’t sure who said it— me or the faceless being. “Jacobs, we got one,” he said into his shirt. I watched him closely not sure what he had intended. He stepped closer and I flinched. I couldn’t see his eyes, I sensed his curious gaze. He couldn’t fully see me. He wasn’t scared yet. Maybe if I didn’t move he’d touch me without seeing me. I wondered what his human touch would feel like. I could live off that touch for years to come. I had made it this far with only violent touches. A light touch might help me survive for the rest of my life.
Another man rushed by, stopped, and then backtracked. He was hidden in the same clothing. The first man who entered turned and looked at the similar clad man. The new guy shrugged his shoulders. These, I knew, were not guards who lived here. The guards who worked here knew me. They didn’t hide their faces. They didn’t hide their eyes.
“What? Um… What should—” the first one said.
His voice traveled through my ears making my body hum with pleasure. I closed my eyes, savoring it. Another human’s voice. I sighed, hating that I did. More footsteps and still the alarms sounded. I wasn’t scared. Death would be a gift for me, but these two strangers didn’t know this hell.
“You should go.” I whispered. I didn’t know how to say, “Save yourselves.” I knew if I said “save,” it would be followed by “me.” What hope I did have would disappear with them. The first stranger tilted his head. The second stifled a laugh. A laugh! I’d save that memory for the endless days.
“What’s your name?” the first one asked, ignoring the heavy footsteps drawing closer to my cell. I retreated from the scene that would erupt in a few moments. The steps stopped. All was silent besides the blaring alarm and in those moments of silence I clung to his question.
He moved a step closer and I moved away, hiding in the corner. I didn’t know him, but I knew his fate well enough. I knew what would happen once the men with faces came. The guards. The ones with the hateful stares and the snarls of disgust.
“Back off.” It was still the first one speaking. His voice was imprinted in my mind but this time, his voice had an edge. His steps were closer now. It was funny how ultra-sensitive I’d become.
I tried to force myself into the wall, to become part of it. Funny, since part of me still craved the touch of another human, his touch, which was getting closer. I heard a strange rustling but didn’t move. He must have been inches away. I turned around suddenly, my whole face now exposed, as was his. The no longer faceless man looked at me in horror, in shock. I knew why he looked that way but I checked the room. Five other faceless men stood in the doorway. I saw them in enhanced color, and I tried to focus. Some of their heartbeats were irregular and intense.
The no longer faceless man moved toward me. I moved my eyes to him again. He was the first man I’d seen in four years and ten minutes who didn’t look at me with pure hatred. He was handsome. He had a flawless tan face with a clean cut jaw, and dark black hair that took away all the colors again. I couldn’t force myself to meet his eyes. I turned away. My tangled hair, hid one side of my face. The side that made no longer faceless man look at me like I was a monster.
“What’s your name?” he asked again, his perfectly full lips no longer muffled.
“Stone, grab her and let’s go. We don’t have time,” the second man spoke again.
I pulled every part of my body close, trying to escape their words. Out of the corner of my eye I saw his movements, his arms outstretched. I didn’t realize that I whimpered.
“Hey, I’m not going to hurt you,” he whispered.
|Author Becca Vincenza|
I know you won’t. It’s not you I’m worried about, I thought to myself. He reached for me. My clothes covered me preventing the skin to skin contact that I craved. I hated that I wanted it. My back tightened, and I tried to move. The only escape would be if I could become part of the wall.
“I promise you are safe now.” Then, he touched me. Four years and five minutes of never touching or seeing another human. The closer he moved, fear coated my body like a warm blanket. The moment his hands touch me the fear became overwhelming, it took over and pulled me into darkness.
“Stone’s got the fucking magic touch!” Someone joked loudly jarring me from unconsciousness. I flinched, but didn’t open my eyes. I still felt scrunched up and I was rocking. There was something under my legs, around my back. Something I hadn’t felt in years. Arms.
“Watch your mouth.” An older voice shouted. “Now what happened? Other than grabbing their greatest hidden secret, what else have we learned?” The old voice sounded almost triumphant but it was gruff and slightly tortured.
While he spoke I felt movements near my head, but I didn’t open my eyes. That’s when I felt the warming touch of another human. The hand, that was soft and smooth, moved a piece of hair from the left side of my face. I tried to act as if I wasn’t escaping his touch. His hand stopped. The hovered movement created a new heated sensation.
“Jacobs, I think she might be waking up.” The voice was close, so close.
“Blindfold and gag her.” The old gruff voice sounded again.
“Do it. We don’t know what she knows. We don’t know anything about her.”
“They kept her captive, and you saw her face.” His voice-no longer faceless man’s - was strained. And all I could think was he thought I was a monster.
“I don’t care. Do it.”I tried not to freak out, but my fear won. I felt my fear take over when the light from behind my eyelids completely vanished. I tried to pull away the blindfold, but someone grabbed my wrist in a painful hold. I whimpered, again unable to speak. Fear clawed my stomach. I felt screams tearing at my throat. Once they covered my eyes, they added a gag. It pulled the corners of my lips into an unnatural smile.
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