Trina Williams sat at one of the desks in the local library in Rapid City. Ironically, the beat of her heart was also quite rapid at the moment. She was amazed that the reason for her rising fear was even real, but the truth of it slapped her across the face like a really big hand.
She and her friend, Jess, had been paranormal investigators for some time now. They were well aware that vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, and godlike beings were real. Now, thanks to recent events, they had even been able to confirm that a secret government agency had captured most of them and were housing them in vast, underground cities where they were kept segregated from one another and experimented on.
But apparently, some of the creatures beneath the earth were also experimenting on humans—in particular the females. In fact, due to her own stupidity she had now become one of them.
That was why she was hiding at the library. Three werewolves, John, Trevyn, and Ross, had approached her at a wolf gathering she and Jess had snuck into, and pursued her ever since. The first time they’d come to her home she had stupidly let them in and invited them for a bit of fun in her bed, but things had definitely gone south during that meeting.
John, the apparent leader of the trio, began telling her of his great desire to ‘make her their vessel to birth the wolves of the future’, and suddenly injected her with something right when they were orgasming after a particularly rough coupling. She told the three of them to get out, but they wouldn’t leave. In the end, she grabbed her robe and ran, jumping out her bedroom window to escape them.
That wasn’t the end of their tormenting. They’d come to the restaurant where she worked as a waitress and attacked her in the bathroom, in all likelihood to make certain their plans for her to bear their cubs came to fruition. Even now she had a sick, sinking sensation that they probably had.
She only hoped the creeps wouldn’t think to look for her in here. She had even gone so far as to leave her car parked five blocks away so it wouldn’t give away her whereabouts. But, just to be sure, she gave Jess a call.
“Hello?” her friend answered. “I’m driving to the cabin right now. How are you?”
“Jess, I’m a bit scared,” she admitted. “One of those wolves just told me I’ve been claimed and I will belong to the three of them. I don’t know what to do about this. I’m hiding at the library hoping they’ll leave me alone for the day, but I just know they’re out looking for me again. I’m almost feeling a bit—hunted.”
“Wow,” Jess said. “I wish I knew how to help. Let me get over to Eric’s cabin and I’ll give you a call back, okay?”
“All right,” Trina agreed. “Thanks.”
And with that, she was stuck just sitting again, not sure what to do. For something to kill time, she went into the paranormal section of the library to look for a book, after she found it she moved to a completely different area. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch of their imagination for the three Jagger wolves to look for her in the paranormal section of a library, considering the work she and Jess were famous for doing, thanks to Jess’s website, thetruth885.com.
Good news, Trina, Jess texted her. Eric is sending Darius to find you. Sit tight, he’ll help you sort everything out.
Great. Thank you so much. Is Darius another Jagger wolf?
Yes. He knows what you look like, so don’t worry. He will tell you who he is. Good luck, my friend.
Thanks, I think I’m going to need it.
Trina sighed deeply, wondering how long it would take for her rescuer to appear. She was sitting at one of the tables in the magazine section, watching everyone that entered and left before they could see her. When a really gorgeous man with long, black hair and pale skin arrived, she suspected he might be the Jagger she was waiting for.
All Jaggers were pale and black-haired, usually with brown eyes. But this one was a bit taller than most, and as he crossed the room toward her, she thought his eyes didn’t look quite as dark. Like perhaps they might be green. She caught herself looking into them as he stared straight at her as though he recognized her, confirming her suspicions about his probable identity.
But before she could speak, three more Jaggers burst through the window, shattering glass everywhere and heading straight for her. Trina screamed and sprang from her seat, running for the back door.
“Trina, wait!” Darius called, beginning to run as well. The door’s alarm blared as Trina, the three other wolves, and Darius all raced out the door.
Her pursuers howled and laughed as they took off after her, purposely letting her have a little bit of a lead so the chase would last even longer. She wasn’t stupid enough to believe she could have outrun them otherwise. Whether or not Darius was somewhere behind them was unknown to her. At the edge of the forest, she turned for a brief moment to look back.
What she saw right then would be etched into her mind’s eye forever. The gorgeous Darius and the three wolves had paused in their pursuit and were now facing each other. Each of them held a strange sword in their hands, and they were growling at one another, as if trying to see who could be the most intimidating.
Trina gasped when Trevyn engaged Darius in battle. Their weapons gleamed as they flashed through the air. Each man seemed quite skilled at avoiding the blades, and they began to dance across the terrain, twirling here and surging forward there. It was almost mesmerizing, except for the fact that the two other wolves both turned and ran toward her again.
Trina gasped and darted between the trees. She wasn’t sure she’d made a wise move. The branches tore at her clothes as she went, scratching and cutting her up and hindering her progress greatly. Then John’s hands slid around her waist as he brought her down.
“Let go of me!” she screeched, flailing her arms and legs in her attempts to get away. “I don’t want to be your slave!”
“It’s too late, woman, you already carry my seed,” he said as he brought her to her knees. “Now stop fighting me. You cannot live very long without becoming a wolf yourself. The breed would tear your frail human body to shreds. And I will not allow you to prevent their birth. We need these females to replenish our people.”
“How do you know they are females?” Trina gasped.
John pulled her hair to make her stand. They both heard the pounding of running steps coming toward them, and Trina’s heart began to race. Whose steps would they be? Her captor seemed to know, probably by his sense of smell, that it was not Trevyn. He began to drag Trina away, motioning for Ross to continue with them as well.
Ross said, “Prince Darius must have killed Trevyn. And if he finds us, he’s sure to kill us as well.”
“It doesn’t matter,” said John. “We must think only of the breed.”
“As you wish,” Ross said with a slight bowing of his head. He transformed into a wolf and ran ahead to prepare the cave for their arrival.
Clearly the cave in question was not properly called a domicile, it looked much more like a torture chamber combined with a mad scientist’s laboratory. All manner of instruments were scattered about on a messy table, and test tubes and vials littered a shelf on one of the walls. A machine marked ‘Genetic Sequencer’ was sitting beside an old car battery, and a desk was cluttered with copious notes that were spilling out of folders and books.
As John dragged Trina in, kicking and screaming all the way, Ross readied the leg shackle that was chained to one of the walls next to a bed covered in furs. It was obvious to Trina they intended to chain her up and put her in the bed, and she struggled harder than ever.
“Please, I don’t want to do this,” she begged. “I don’t want to be your vessel. I didn’t ask for any of this.”
“You came into our presence, sweetheart,” John sneered. “That was enough.”
“But I was invited to come,” she persisted.
“And warned that it was dangerous as well,” he said. “I have read the message. I know this to be so.”
Trina didn’t bother to deny it. Eric, writing as wolflover400 on thetruth885.com, had mentioned danger, true. She could not argue with him on that count.
Seeing that she had quieted down for the moment, John stepped over to her and grasped her face, turning her face up to look at his. “Rest now, vessel, you’ve exerted yourself too much. Ross and I will return soon to initiate you properly into your new role.”
Trina shrieked angrily as the two men left her alone in the cave. It was lit by one small candle which clearly was not for her benefit, bur more than likely ritualistic in nature. This thought was confirmed as John’s parting words echoed back to her.
“We will meet Prince Darius head on, and stop him once and for all, and then we will return to deal with the girl,” he said. “Remember, if I am killed and you are not, it is imperative that she be transformed.”
Trina’s heart raced in her chest at the sound of those words, which clearly sealed her fate. She needed desperately to get out of there before her captors returned. She needed to escape, and to end whatever crazy experiment they’d begun inside her before it ended her instead.
But the idea of killing her unborn children just to save herself tore at her in a way nothing else could. She didn’t think she could do it.
Still, she wanted nothing to do with the two Jaggers who intended to make use of her, either. Clearly there was only one thing she could do. She had to get free and find Darius. He would know what to do about all of this. He must know, or else why would Eric have sent him?
Trina could see it would be useless and time consuming to attempt to work her foot free of the chain. Equally so, she’d never be able to cut through the iron before they returned. The only hope she had was the nail file she’d stuffed into her shirt pocket before all the action had begun. She often did her nails when she was nervous, so she kept the thing on hand today, all things considered. She hoped it would be strong enough to pick open the lock.
Watching the door the entire time, Trina managed to make quick work of it, smiling with satisfaction when she heard the slight click that let her know of her success. It would likely be foolhardy to go straight out the exit at this point, so she opted to follow the caves in for a bit before making her way out again.
As she felt her way along in the darkness, Trina felt a strange sensation prickle down her back. Someone—or something—was following her, and it wasn’t one of the werewolves. If her heart had been pounding before, it redoubled its efforts now. She felt no shame in beginning to run.
Soon, she burst out into the darkened forest and continued to run, not even looking behind her to see what she was running from. She was taken completely by surprise when the creature surged up into the air and swooped on her from above.
“You’re a vampire!” she gasped as he fell upon her. His fangs pierced the side of her neck painfully, and she felt an immobilizing sense of fear.
After all of her running to save herself from the Jaggers, that she should find herself pulled onto the forest floor and sucked dry by a vampire was a strange sort of irony. The dark figure held her fast, so that she couldn’t get away, but she was so exhausted by then she barely moved at all, and soon the darkness around her began to drift into the corners of her mind, giving her peace.
Trina hadn’t expected to open her eyes ever again. She especially didn’t expect to find the handsome Darius hovering worriedly above her, with a contrite-looking black man standing close behind him, peering curiously over his shoulder. When he saw that her eyes were open, Darius actually wiped away a tear on his cheek.
“I am grateful, Naphir,” he said to the other man over his shoulder.
“She not outta the woods yet, wolf-man,” said the other man in a decidedly Cajun accent. “I maybe gave her plenty of blood already, but she’ll be needin’ more. If what you tell me about them other werewolves is true, she gonna need some blood from you.”
“You’re the doctor here, why don’t you help me get her back to that cave?” Darius suggested. “We need to go over John Howl’s notes and discover exactly what he has done to Trina. I may need you to help me understand it.”
“And so the enemies must now unite for the common cause, eh?” smirked Naphir. “Very well, Darius, I will come along. I am curious to see these notes you talkin’ about.”
“You would wish to help the wolves be replenished?” asked Darius doubtfully.
“No, that’s not very important to me,” he admitted. “But I like to see them notes that say how they try to make the females. Maybe the Agency might attempt to kill my own people sometime. I need to know how to stop them if they try.”
“Admirable sentiments from a bloodsucker,” Darius commented with a smirk of his own. “Perhaps I’ve underestimated you.”
“Come,” he said. “You know I must return to my cave before the dawn, or I’ll not be helpin’ you beyond this night.”
“Yes, of course,” Darius said with a nod. “Trina, are you injured? Are you able to walk?”
“I’ll walk once somebody tells me what the hell is going on around here,” she grumbled as she sat up. “Why am I still alive?”
“All of this never would have happened to you if I had not urged my brother to convince you and Jess to come to that party,” he explained. “I feel responsible. I could not let you lose your life because of me.”
“And it has nothing to do with the idea that I’m the vessel who will carry the daughters of your future?” she scoffed.
“Is that what he told you?” Darius asked. “Trina, John was a bit out there in his methods, but I can assure you it’s your own life that most concerns me. If you do not wish to birth his spawn, we will see what may be done. But there is something you must know. This man here, Emil Naphir, is a vampire prince. He attacked you with the intent to kill, and I managed to stop him. But not before you would have died without an infusion of his blood. You know what that means, I trust?”
“You mean I’ve become a vampire instead of a wolf?” Trina laughed. “Oh, that’s rich!”
“Not precisely,” Darius said as he hunched down beside her to get at eye level. “You’ve become a vampire, yes, but to survive the implantation process begun by John, I’m going to have to infuse you with my own blood as well.”
“We must go careful in this matter, wolf-man,” Emil warned him. “She gonna need more blood, but we gotta give it to her in small doses, or we might be killin’ her after all. And it won’t be just your blood she be needin’, she gonna need some more from me too. I won’t know everything I need to know until I be lookin’ at them notes.”
“Are you ready to walk now?” asked Darius with a wry grin in Trina’s direction.
“Maybe I should just lay down right now and get it over with,” said Trina with a tired groan. “Let’s go before I decide to do it.”
Darius lifted Trina up into his arms, holding onto her a bit longer than necessary. It was obvious that whatever his reasons may be, he was glad that she was breathing. She nuzzled her nose against his chest, enjoying his scent.
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