I hear the door slam closed, and the second he lets go of me, I scramble away from him. My breaths are coming too fast, and my throat cramps as if it’s threatening to clamp shut. Strangled sounds escape from me, and I frantically search for a way to get out of the dark room.
I can make out as Chance holds up his hands in front of him, his eyes locked on my face.
“Calm down.” He gestures at the bed. “There’s a shirt for you.”
I don’t even look at it but instead, storm him. My fists pound against any part of his chest I can reach, and I try to get past him to reach the door.
“Jesus,” he growls, wrapping his arms around me like steel bands.
“No!” I scream. I lose my ever-loving mind, trashing madly in his arms.
“Jasper!” he shouts as he throws me onto a bed.
Just as I shoot up, he’s on top of me, clamping my arms against the mattress, his body straddling mine.
“Please,” I gasp, hyperventilating from all the trauma.
The entire room lights up, and the crack is so loud my tongue goes numb with fright. I almost dislocate my shoulder in an attempt to get closer to him, so I can hide from the demonic rain.
Chance pulls me up, and again his arms wrap around me. This time I sob against his chest, and with every flash of light, my body jerks.
“You’re safe.” Chance moves to sit down and cradles me against his chest. “The rain can’t hurt you.”
I cry my heart out against his damp shirt, clinging to the fabric as if it’s the only thing standing between me and death.
His hand brushes over my hair, then he folds his body around mine, pressing a kiss to the side of my head. “I’ve got you, little one. Shh…”
I have no idea how much time passes before I manage to calm down. I don’t move from where I’m lying against Chance.
The rain comes down so hard it sounds like it’s going to break through the ceiling.
After a couple of minutes, Chance asks, “Better?”
Not bothering to answer him, I push away from him and climb off the bed. My eyes lock on the drops hitting the large bedroom window.
What if it breaks the glass?
The light flickers on, and as I turn my head back to Chance, I watch as his eyes drift over my body.
I’m bare, and my wet underwear is practically see-through!
I dart back to the bed and, yanking the blanket off, I hold it in front of me.
His eyes lift to mine, then he lets out a sigh. “Put on the shirt.”
I glance around the room and see it lying on the floor. Picking it up, I quickly yank the fabric over my head. It only reaches above my knees.
Picking up the blanket again, my fingers cramp as I hold it to my chest. Glancing at the window, I watch the drops streak down the glass. I move to the farthest wall and press my back to it.
A bright light fills the room, and the crack of thunder is so loud I feel the ground move beneath my feet. I shriek and sink down on my butt, covering my head with my arms.
“It’s lightning. It can’t hurt you in here,” Chance says. I hear him walk toward me and quickly look at him. He holds his hand out to me. “Come on, sit on the bed.”
Hesitating, I take his hand and let him pull me up. When I sit down on the bed, he drops down next to me and looks at my wrists. “Fuck, you put up one hell of a fight.”
He takes hold of my right hand, and his fingers brush carefully over the raw skin from where I was tied to the nest.
“Whoever takes down the newbie,” he pauses for a second, then locks eyes with me, “is responsible for their training and punishments. Tonight was your initiation.”
I can only stare at him as his words sink in. My face crumbles as the full impact of what it means hits me square in the chest.
“You were a part of this?” I shake my head, not wanting to believe Chance would do this to me.
I yank my hand out of his and jump up, feeling like I can’t move quickly enough to get away from him.
Anger explodes behind my eyes, and swinging around, I scream, “How could you?!”
When my eyes dart to the door, Chance jumps up and blocks my only way of escape.
I turn my back to him and stare at the rain pounding against the window.
Everything is violent. Idris. Kenzo. The trackers and rebels. Even the nature around me.
I thought Chance was safe, but I was wrong.
Lightning flashes, making me recoil away from the window. Chance grabs hold of my arm, and suddenly I don’t know which fear is bigger, the lightning or Chance.