It has been ten months since I had my family ripped away from me. Ten months since I had to endure brutal torture at the hands of the person who was supposedly ‘destined’ to love me. Ten months since I found out that my entire existence was just a lie, a pre-planned game where I was the pawn of an ancient love story... one of Kings and Queens.
It has been eight months since I escaped that accursed place with Chloe, my torturer’s sister. Both of us had had our freedom stripped away by the same man and eight months ago, we got it back. We ran like foxes chased by hounds as we tried to outrun the shadow of fate, not knowing of the dangers that might lie before us, but willing to face them if they brought us closer to freedom.
The both of us were able to find love, it is strange that things come to you the moment you stop looking for it. Chloe received what she had been yearning for and I was given my second chance at happiness. I was still solely determined to avenge my family for what had been done to them, but now, I had the time to heal and for once, had someone to guide me through my healing process. Through these months of trying to heal I realised that I did not escape from that hell-hole whole... something in me died there and I could feel its decay spreading through me, filling me with guilt and doubt that I had never experienced before. I would have been driven insane if I had been on my own, drowned in my very own thoughts, but a rock tethered me home, kept me safe, kept me happy.
Xander made me believe that I had a harbour here, but he made me lose sight of the storm that was fast approaching.
I hugged my legs close to my chest as my body shook, waves of heat washed over me yet it felt like I had ice in my veins. My chest moved up and down as I gasped for breath, I was not being suffocated, but yet it as though someone had their hands around my lungs, slowly crushing the air out of them. I kept my eyes closed and my head between my legs and chest, I knew the moment I opened them I would only see darkness with small spots of light, and even when they cleared for those brief moments all I could see was the four walls of my room closing in on me, trapping me.
Two strong arms wrapped themselves around my middle, slowly pulling my chest away from legs, gently lifting my head from in between them. Warm hands found my smaller cold ones, unfurling them from the clenched position they were in. No words were spoken as I was hoisted on to his lap and was slowly rocked, the only sound that could be heard was a soft humming as I was rocked. The vibrations from his throat provided a certain comfort for me, the beat of his heart assuring me that I was not alone... that I was safe.
This was not the first time this had happened and I was sure that it would not be the last. Almost every night, my nightmares had me waking up feeling like I was suffocating. The first time this happened I thought I was dying, that this was actually how it was going to end... I was going to die without avenging my family. The worst part was that I could not even call for help, my body had become my cage, I had no control of it anymore as I sat there on the hardwood floor, which was where I had collapsed after trying to stand, tears dripping down my face. This was how Xander found me, he came into my room saying that he heard my erratic heartbeat and wanted to see if I was okay, I could not even bring my face up to look at him, so ashamed of myself. He immediately fell silent, no bombarding of questions on why I was in this state... just actions. He picked me up in his arms and carried me to my bed where he just sat with me and hummed a lullaby till I fell asleep in his embrace. I would wake up the next morning with just myself in the room, a steaming mug of tea on the nightstand with a note letting me know where I could find him of I wanted to talk, knowing that when night came this episode would be repeated again.
The worst part was that his happened not just at night, this happened when I trained as well. There were a few times where I had asked some of the Pack Warriors to spar with me but during the middle of it, if they grabbed my head, I would feel the waves of heat come over me before my throat seized up and I would collapse to the ground. It was as if my mind was never at peace, at night it was plagued with nightmares that were so vivid and clear that I had to assure myself they weren’t real, in the day, my training mates morphed into members of the Black Blood Pack. This caused me to train harder in the day and try to forgo sleep when night fell. I spent the nights in the library reading up on battle strategies used by packs in the past. I once managed to stay up for three nights in a row before I almost fell on my own spear during training, which was the last straw for Chloe, she dragged me as well as Xander to the Chief Healer.