Chapter Ten: Nothing But Air
It smelt so delicious that I found myself gripping the arms of my chair, just so I won't throw myself toward the table filled with food. The smell was waffling in the air, and I felt my stomach growl for the third time today.
I was so hungry that at this point, I would've even settled for the left-over food found in a garbage can. I needed- no craved it- but I knew that he didn't want me to eat the food without his permission.
My eyes watered looking at the devil himself, who sat across from me. He wore a twisted smile on his face, and his eyes gleamed in mischief and delight, no doubt seeing the tears that were clouding my vision.
I couldn't take it anymore, seeing him look so calm while I was ready to explode in tears of frustration. At this moment, I was prepared to beg him for the food. I never felt this hungry in my life and suddenly I felt so ashamed for all the times in the past I threw out my left-over food in the trash.
"Please," I whispered in a plea, and winced when my voice broke halfway. I sounded broken even to my own ears but I couldn't bring myself to feel humiliation. I gasped when I felt a pang hit hard in my stomach, and a tear slowly fell down.
Lucius' face did not change at all and to my utter shame, he didn't respond to my plea. He continued to regard me with a cruel smile and I could tell that he was enjoying every minute of my hunger pains.
"P-please Lucius," I tried again, but this time I sounded more desperate than anything. "I'm s-so hungry Lucius. I just want s-something- anything- to eat." The last words came out in a broken whisper, but I knew he heard me and yet he did not make a move to answer me.
Slowly, the room started to spin and I saw Lucius' face start to blur before my eyes started to close on their own. I slowly fell off my chair, knowing for sure he won't catch me, and hit the floor face first. I groaned as my head throbbed from the impact while blood was running down the side of my forehead.
The only thing that comforted me at that point was that I felt myself losing conscious again and I knew that even for a while, I can escape my hunger pain. And him.
"Oh no you don't," his soft voice finally chimed out when I started to block all the pain that was running through my body. I felt a shiver running down my back hearing the amusement in his voice.
I was hauled off the floor and instead of being placed back in my chair, I found myself sitting on Lucius' lap with my back pressed against his chest. His arm was secured around my waist and his head was placed gently on top of mine. Looking at the food on the table should've distracted me, but the soft breaths he blew in my ear made me forget all about how hungry I really was.
"Don't go to sleep," he murmured in my ear and even though it came out soft, I knew it was a warning. "Our date didn't even start yet, princess." He pinched my thigh hard and my eyes that were moments away before closing, grew wide in pain and panic.
I groaned feeling the aftermath of the sting, and I heard Lucius's laugh from behind me. I was so frustrated in myself knowing that if I had my elements of nature, Lucius' wouldn't have the upper hand.
With my powers and silver wolf, I was powerful and brave.
Without it, I'm nothing.
"What are you?" I asked, not really expecting a straight answer from him.
"I thought you wanted to eat?" he asked innocently, completely ignoring my question. The thought of food immediately set off my stomach again and Lucius laughed loudly from behind me.
"I'll take that as a yes," he murmured and before I knew it, I felt a dark blindfold being placed around my eyes.
I immediately panicked, twisting and turning in his hold, but unsurprisingly he was easily able to subdue me. Not soon after, the blindfold was tightly placed around my eyes and I was plunged into darkness once again but only this time, I was awake.
It was a horrible feeling; not being able to see anything and knowing that hearing was the only way to sense what Lucius was up to now.
I couldn't see anything but I felt one of his large hands wrap around my own, so that trying to reach the blindfold was next to impossible.
"Why are you doing this?" I pleaded, but the only answer I got was another hard pinch on my thigh to which I yelped to.
"Stop asking useless questions," he growled in my ear. "First we'll eat Ariel and then if I see fit, we'll talk."
The moment he said those words, I knew he was up to something. I felt him moving around me before a soft napkin was placed around my neck.
"W-what are you-," I stopped talking when I felt him placing a small kiss on my cheek.
I shivered against his hold and had a strong urge to wipe the remains of the kiss away; not that it was possible when his hand was restraining my own.
"This is what's going to happen," he murmured in my ear. "I'm going to feed you and you have to guess what I just gave you. If you guess correctly, I will feed you another sample of food."
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"And if I don't?" I asked, already terrified of losing another game with him so soon.
"Do you really have to ask?" he chuckled before I felt a fork poking softly on my closed lips. "Round one, Ariel."
I first thought to ignore him, knowing that somehow or someway, I would end up losing his game at the end. But when I got a whiff of the food on the fork, I felt powerless and desperate. I didn't want to but I was ashamed that my mouth took over my mind. I opened wide and felt something cold but sweet placed on my tongue.
I ate the piece of fruit as fast I can, relieved that something finally was entering my belly. I never would've imagined that a piece of fruit would've tasted like heaven in my mouth. But at that moment, that was exactly what it felt like and I craved for more.
"More," I found myself pleading to him, licking my lips in desperate need for another piece of fruit. "I need more. Please."
"I don't recall pleading as part of the game," he whispered, while wiping my mouth with a napkin. "Do you, Ariel?"
I wanted to scream and hit him, growing frustrated with his mind games.
"Ariel?" He asked quietly, and at the moment, I knew that pleading won't work with him. It'll only go through one ear and come out the other.
No. The only chance I had in surviving his games is to play hard. My brothers and Jason would hate to see me hurt and I would do anything to return home to them in one piece.
"Mango," I whispered and he rewarded me with another kiss on my cheek that made my hands twitch again.
I will live through this and I will return home.
"Very good," he praised before he nudged the fork again into the side of my lip. This time I did not hesitate and I opened my mouth obediently and tasted the fresh ham.
"And this?" he murmured silkily, while petting my hair again.
"Avocado," I answered robotically, feeling my hunger slowly start to quench.
On and on his game went. It could've been minutes or it could've been hours but by the time Lucius took the blindfold off, I was no longer suffering from the hunger pains.
My eyes blinked rapidly, adjusting to the light of the room again and saw a tall man dressed in a dark suit, clearing the dishes away from the table. The face he wore was impassive and his movements almost seemed robotic. He cleared the dining table in an efficient manner, without once looking up.
I sat on Lucius' lap wondering if the man knew who he was working for. Or if the man knew who I was and why I was here in this dreadful place. After a few moments of watching him, I realized that the man didn't once make eye contact with me. He was not an ally nor a person who will take pity on me.
"That'll be all," Lucius stated in a clipped tone.
The man in response bowed deeply and left without a word, making me almost cry for his return. The strange man might not be on my side, but I would've done anything for his return. I didn't want to be alone with Lucius again.
Suddenly I was desperate to return to the basement again. The place might be dirty and cold, but at least the other Alphas and Leon would be there.
"Lucius Veness Blackthorn," he abruptly said, leaving me momentarily distracted.
"What?" I asked surprised, turning in his lap so that I was able to look up at him. His cobalt eyes sparkled while looking down at me, and a slow smile curled upon his lips.
"My name," he stated while continuing to gaze down at me. He tucked a piece of my hair gently behind my ear and I was mortified to find myself blush. He saw this and started to laugh softly while shaking his head in amusement.
I looked away from him, while he continued to chuckle. "So innocent and so sweet." He nuzzled his head into my neck. "Mine."
"No," I stated, jerking away from his hold. My defiance must have surprised him because I somehow found myself off his lap and on the other side of the room.
At that moment, I only wanted to defy him and make him understand that I did not belong to him. If I knew then the consequences of my reckless actions, I would've stayed quiet and let him think what he wanted to believe.
"Get back here," he stated in a cold tone that left no room for argument. The word "no" was at the tip of the tongue, but when I saw the dining table start to float in mid-air, my breathing stopped.
"Lucius- I," I whimpered, suddenly afraid of what he'll do to me in his anger. I just didn't want to be hurt again.
"I'm sorry," I pleaded, looking into his dark eyes, seeing his canine appear. He was still sitting down on the chair, relaxed and poised as if he was the king of the world. In some way- with his power and rules- he could be. And right now, I was his disobedient captor.
"You think you can defy me?" he asked coldly, and I found myself shaking my head. He ignored me and continued to talk, his eyes growing darker. "You told me upstairs that you were mine but clearly you changed your mind. Do you want another lesson with the liquid silver? Hmm? Will that stop you from finally defying me?"
"N-no, Lucius," I stammered, my eyes still on the dining table that was still in mid-air. I couldn't handle the liquid silver again. It was too painful and it felt like my whole body was on fire. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it."
"Look at me, princess," he demanded, and I was able to finally tear my eyes away from the dining table to look at him.
He continued to look at my pitiful state, as if I were some sort of experiment that was about to undergo his cruel tests. We held each other's gaze for a moment; mine filled with fear while his held anger but also a hint of amusement.
I started to worry again when his cobalt eyes slid away from mine and looked up at the ceiling. I didn't understand what he was looking at but when a small smile curled on his lips, a feeling of horror washed upon me.
I gulped and felt sweat form on my upper lip as I too followed his line of vision. I already knew what was going to be up there, but even knowing did not prepare me to what I was seeing.
Tears started to gather in my eyes, seeing the large dining table float in mid-air, only a few inches away from my head. My hands started to shake and I felt myself start to take in large breaths, afraid that he was going to hurt me really badly.
"Lucius?" I croaked, feeling tears stream down my cheek. I couldn't look away from the large table, afraid that he'll let if fall down on me, the minute I look away from it.
"Yes, princess?" I heard him say in a cool and collected tone, not bothered at all by my turmoil.
"Please don't," I cried, all the strength draining away from my body. I slid to the floor on my knees, my arms covering my head even though I knew that it was futile. If he wanted me dead, no protection in this world will keep me alive.
"Don't what?" he asked in an amused tone, while my breath came out in harsh whimpers that mixed with my tears. I couldn't stop it.
I've been trying to hide my tears for days but the moment I realized how closed to death I was, was the moment where my weakness started to actually show. I felt pathetic.
Fat tears rolled down my eyes and landed on the floor, while my whole body started to shake.
"I want to live," I screamed out, my arms squeezing around my head to protect me. From what? The table? Lucius?
I did not know.
"Please, please, please," I kept repeating those words as a chant, hoping that someone would respond to my pleas. "I don't want to die."
For a brief second, my mom's sweet words flashed into my mind; the same words she told me whenever I was afraid or hurt.
"Whenever you're hurt or afraid, know that you're never alone. The Moon Goddess is always with you. She punishes the evil and helps the good. As long as you have faith in her, she'll never let you down. Because she's not only our Goddess but also our protector, our savior and our friend."
"Mommy," I pleaded, hoping that her words were true.
Desperately I held onto that thought, pleading with the higher Goddess in hopes she'll protect me. I heard him take steps toward me, but I refused to look up. My head was bowed, my hands clasped together, in prayer.
I was praying for the Moon Goddess to help me in any way at all. Nothing at the moment mattered to me, but coming out of this alive.
"That's enough, Ariel" Lucius said softly, and I was surprised that I was in his arms again. He picked me up slowly, one arm around my shoulder while the other under my bent knees, and started to walk away from the room.
From behind me, I heard a loud crash and instantly knew that Lucius dropped the table carelessly to the ground. I was only grateful that I wasn't the one under the table.
Tears gathered in my eyes, thinking momentarily if my prayers were answered. "Y-you're not going to kill me?"
Lucius looked down and laughed, wiping some of the stray tears away from my face. "You're too innocent, princess. Didn't you hear a word of what I said?"
I continued to gaze at him, my heart still beating rapidly, still afraid of the scene that I just escaped from.
"I-" I started, then gulped, not knowing what answer he was looking for.
"Ariel," he mocked, while looking down at me. "Why would I ever kill you?" He snapped a finger and the sound of a door being opened was heard.
The warm light from the sun hit me hard, and I basked in the fresh sunlight. I would've felt so close to freedom at the instant, if not for Lucius' arms around me.
"Ariel!" a voice shouted in panic, and I turned my head and saw Orion and the others look at me with sadness, relief, and anger. They were all standing outside, looking distorted and worried, hint of tiredness clear in their eyes.
"What did you do to her, bastard?" Scotty shouted, looking at Lucius with disgust.
"Nothing that she didn't deserve," Lucius replied back smoothly. It came out as a shock, when Lucius threw me down to the grass as if I were some sort of rag doll. I cried out afraid that I was going to fall, but Leon at the last moment, caught me in his arms.
"You hurt her, " Leon shouted out and tightened his arms around me. I took comfort being in his arms and away from Lucius, but I knew that Leon should stop before making Lucius angry again.
"Well then I guess we both have something in common from what I heard," Lucius snarled, but chuckled from his own joke. "Isn't that right, fang boy?"
Leon's face flushed and turned a dark shade of red when he looked down at me.
"Leon- don't," I murmured out, hoping to ease his guilt and his anger. He had no idea how messed up Lucius really was and the extent of his power.
Leon looked down at me and seeing the urgency in my eyes, relaxed a fraction of his body. "I'm sorry." I was shaking my head, before he even finished his sentence.
"We talked about this," I said gently, hoping to erase his guilt.
"Ariel?" Arlo asked, when Leon finally put me to the ground. I looked at him, seeing the silent question he was asking.
"I'll be fine," I answered, but in my heart, I knew that it was a lie. I was terrified and I honestly had no idea if I'll ever be fine if we don't escape soon.
"We have bigger problems here other that don't include coddling the little brat," Trenton spat out, and I flinched, hearing the raw anger in his voice.
"Shut up Trent-," Leon's harsh reprimand was cut by Cameron's agitated voice.
"No one is ever going to save us," Cameron's voice spilled out in a hopeless tone and I panicked, knowing that something was majorly wrong.
Cameron's voice sounded dead- even to my own ears. I shuddered, looking at both Cameron and Trenton, who I just realized, were not even looking at me. Instead their gaze were solely locked onto something behind me.
"What is it?" I started to turn, afraid of what I'll find behind me. Leon's hands framed my face, stopping me from looking back.
"Don't," he protested, but I shakily took his arms away, now desperate to see what frightened everyone.
The moment I saw it, my blood froze and I blinked, thinking I was going crazy.
My eyes locked onto Lucius for a second who seemed amused by our reaction, before looking up behind him again.
Suddenly scar man's voice boomed into my head and I felt myself wanting to cry.
Trust me Scott, your pack will never find you," scar-man smugly said. "And if I were you, you'd forget about them. You'll never see them again."
Before his words sounded pointless, just a random threat to scare us off. I gulped and blinked, hoping that my eyes were playing tricks on me.
But I knew now that it was no useless threat. Scar-man meant it. Each and every word.
My eyes returned to the mansion that Lucius just carried me from and I felt myself tear up.
That wasn't right.
I wasn't looking at the mansion but more like the place where the mansion was supposed to be. Because all I saw... was nothing.
I moaned out loud, knowing that it will be next to impossible for anyone to find us when the place we just came out of from was invisible.
There was nothing there but air.ns22.214.171.124da2