The thought of him fighting a small army of wolf shifters or maybe something even worse frightens me to death. But, I know that’s a possibility. My heart is beating in my throat, threatening to jump right out of my chest. I look at him straight in the eyes, and grab the gun from his hand. The gun seems inadequate in my trembling hand, and I have no idea if I’ll dare to pull the trigger when the time comes. But, I can’t dwell on that right now. I need to believe that I can and I will. Fynn needs me. I can’t let him down. I can’t let Anderson down.
“Things are in perspective now,” I exhale loudly.
“Yes,” he nods. “You see now we can’t flee. That instinct telling you to run? That’s prey instinct. And we aren’t prey.”
I listen to him talk, and I can almost imagine myself running barefoot through the woods. He lights up a fire inside of me, a strength I never knew I possessed. I’m no longer a scared little girl. I am a warrior. And, they will not have me without a fight.
“We stay here,” he continues. “We fight. That’s what warriors do. That is what hunters do. We will kill all of those who come for us. We will fight and be saved, and then, we will go find Anderson.”
His hand caged mine, the one holding the gun. I could feel the power of his being surging through me. It was, as if, in the strangest of ways, we’ve connected. We’ve become one. He has taken over some of my weakness and in its place, left his own strength to protect me, to guide me.
“You can do this,” he tells me again, knowing I need to hear it over and over again. “Now, let’s go outside to set up the traps.”
I nod, following him through the door. But, the moment, we exit, we see it immediately, at the sam
e time. There is a note stuck to our door, held in place by a little pocket knife.
Tomorrow at 9 pm.
Bring the girl if you ever want to find out what happened to Hugo.
Fynn pulls it off the door forcefully, then crumples up the paper. They’re playing with us. They’ve been playing with us all this time, and we’ve fallen right into their trap.
I look over at Fynn. His nostrils are flaring. His nose is raised high up in the air, but I doubt he’ll pick up on anything. They’re long gone. Left to laugh at us, waiting for us to keep playing their game.
When I wake up, I feel like there is a whole orchestra playing inside my head. Looking too much to the left hurts. Come to think of it, looking any way other than straight ahead fucking hurts. I try to move my arms, and only then do I realize that I’m sitting on a chair, which I’m also tied to. I try the ropes, but they’re too tight. The more I struggle, the more they dig into my flesh.
I look around, and the moment I do that, a flicker of a small light appears in the darkest corner.
“Well, look who’s awake.”
It’s a voice I’d recognize anywhere. Only snakes hiss like that.
Sven’s cigarette intensifies the flame, and he walks out into the light. It barely illuminates anything, but I can see him. The first thing I notice is the scar, then the rest of him.
I try to remember what happened, but it’s all a blur. I remember sleeping in the bed, then some commotion. Someone’s hand over my mouth. Some sweet-smelling liquid pressed to my nose and lips.
“You fucking drugged me!” I growl at him, shaking the chair, in a futile effort to get loose and lunge at him.
He just chuckles. “Save your strength. You’ll need it for when your friends arrive.”
“You motherfucker! What have you done to them?”
“Nothing yet,” he tells me, shaking his head in his usual, calm manner. He’d make you almost believe that he’s just here to talk, and then he slits your throat while you’re not looking. “They’re not even here. We’re expecting them in a few hours, though.”
“What do you want?” I ask, even though I know he probably won’t answer.
“All questions will be answered in due time,” he assures me, inhaling deeply, then releasing a long, satisfying breath of smoke. “But, Hugo wouldn’t tell us where it is.”
“Where what is!?”