Read Tasting Darkness By Jessica Hall Chapter 12 – “No, no, no,” I shriek while kicking my legs. Darius pins them to the bed before crawling on it and straddling my waist. My eyes frantically search the room before my eyes fall on Kalen. Lycus looked away beside him like he couldn’t handle watching as Darius and Tobias pinned me to the bed. “I was trying. I was trying, Darius,” I scream as Darius takes the bowl from my hands, and Tobias shoves my shoulders down flat on the bed. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I thrashed. I was doing what they wanted.
“Darius, what are you doing?” Kalen says, sounding outraged, his eyes going to me, and I look at him frantically, wanting him to stop them as he rushed over to the bed. “She did it to herself; we warned her. Lycus, get Kalen out of here,” Darius snaps. Lycus grabs Kalen’s arm. Kalen shoves him off and steps closer to Darius. “She was eating for fuck sake,” Kalen tells him, grabbing his arm as Darius moved higher, straddling my chest.
“No, she was deliberately spilling it.” Darius snarls. “No, I wasn’t… I wasn’t, please,” I begged. Tobias pins my hands in one of his before pinching my nose, so I have to breathe through my mouth.“She is starving, Darius. For fuck sake, you try holding a spoon steady when you haven’t eaten in days; I told Tobias to put it i n a cup for her,” Kalen snaps at him before glaring at Tobias, who growls at him.
“You dare go against us. You just saw her tip it back in the bowl “Darius turns to glare over his shoulder at him, but Kalen doesn’t flinch away from his gaze. Lycus touches his shoulder, and Kalen shrugs him off. I don’t know what look he had on his face, but it was enough that Lycus took a step back from.
“You haven’t gone hungry; you have no idea how hard it is to eat when you have gone days without food. I will feed her. Just let her go and move. She wasn’t spilling it; her hands are shaking,” Kalen tells Darius, who scoffs. Embarrassment hits me, making a hiccuped sob escape me. This was so humiliating.
“Please, Darius,” Kalen pleads, touching his arm and making Darius glance at him over his shoulder. Darius glares at him before his features soften like he couldn’t bear to see Kalen upset before he sighs and looks down at me beneath him. Tobias lets go of my nose and wrists. Darius nods before climbing off me, and I scramble upright, tugging the shirt down and bringing my knees to my chest. It horrified me that h e was about to force a tube down my throat, not a care in the world that he would be hurting me.
Kalen holds his hand out for the bowl, and Darius hands it to him with a growl. Kalen sits on the bed beside me and reaches for me, trying to pry my arms away from my legs. My eyes flick to Darius, who sighs, pinning me with his glare when I feel fingers gently grip my chin and turned my face toward Kalen sitting beside me.
Kalen nods, holding the bowl up and pressing it to my lips. My hands grab it as he tips it up, and my hands shake violently as I grip his hand on the bowl so I don’t choke as he pours the soup in my mouth. ?
“That’s it,” He says as I drink straight from the bowl. Soup runs down my chin and spills onto his shirt.
“Slow, you will choke,” Kalen tells me, pulling the bowl away for a second and letting me catch my breath.
“When did you eat last?” He asks as I reach for the bowl. He brings it back to my lips, and I drink the remainder of it, my stomach feeling heavy and full for once when he pulls it away when I have drained it.
Kalen holds his hand out, and I notice Lycus has my towel in his hands; he passes it to Kalen, who hands it to me. I used it t o wipe my face and his shirt, where I spilled some of the soup o n it.
“You didn’t answer,” Kalen says, and I look at him, my brows pinching as I try to remember if he asked me something.
“Better?” He asks, and I nod my head, giving the towel back to him.
“When did you eat last?” Kalen asks.
“Seven days ago,” I tell him.
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“Bullshit, you have only been here three days,” Darius snaps, taking a step toward me, and I cringe.
“That’s why you were in the shifter city,” Kalen states, and I nod.
“Yeah, everything froze over, all the vegetation and the stream, majority of the water sources polluted, I didn’t realize i t was a shifter city. I was hoping it was a human one. I was desperate, mainly for water. I could have lasted longer; I have lasted longer but not without water,” I admit.
“You expect us to believe you were living in the forests and homeless all this time, bullshit! Aleera. Who did you run off with, we saw the surveillance footage, and you left with someone? Who is he?” Darius snarls and Kalen glares at him. Did he seriously think I ran off with some man, that I would run away for someone else? Clayton only helped me get out. That was it; we were not friends, merely acquaintances.
“I don’t care what you believe, Darius. I know the truth, and that is all that matters. Whether or not you, believe me, is up t o you, or you could ask Tobias he should be able to tell if I am lying or not, I have no magic left to mask myself,” I tell him. Darius looked over at Tobias, who was observing me like a complicated math equation.
He moves around the bed stopping behind Kalen before reaching his hand toward my face, and I pull away when he suddenly pinches my chin between his fingers.
“Repeat it,” He says, his eyes boring into mine.
“I hadn’t eaten before now in seven days, drank anything in nearly just as long. I ran because Darius killed my parents,” I answered him, and he let my face go. He sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose and exhaling.
“Well?” asks Darius.
“I was wrong; she is telling the truth.”
“So you called me in here for no reason?” Darius snarls at him.
“How was I supposed to know? I thought she was refusing to d o what she was told.”
“By fucking asking, did you bother to ask her?”
“You deal with her then; I didn’t even want to be near her,” Tobias says before storming out of the room.
I look down at my hands, my throat restricting at his words. The mate bond made his words sting, even though the feeling of hatred was mutual. Their outright blatant rejection was like a slap in the face, making me remember they don’t want me. I was here out of necessity and for them to ruin. I don’t want to be here either, but forcing me to stay was cruel.
“Can I sleep now?” I ask, wanting them gone. Kalen’s hand drops onto mine as I pick at my nails before gently squeezing. “Kalen!” Darius’ angry voice makes me look at Darius, who was glaring at Kalen’s hand gripping mine, and Kalen sighs, removing his hand before dropping his head.
“Go with Lycus,” Darius growls at him, and Kalen stands, taking my empty bowl and the tray. Lycus follows him to the door before stopping. “There is a bag with clothes in it in the wardrobe for you,” Lycus tells me before turning and walking out, leaving Darius alone with me.
“Just because Kalen stood up for you, don’t think you can turn him against us, so stay away from him. If I catch you seeking him out, you will beg for me to kill you. Understood?” I nod, pulling the blankets back up.
“I asked you a question.”
“Yes, Darius, I understand,” I answered as I tucked my legs underneath the blanket, my stomach sinking. Why wasn’t I allowed near the only person that didn’t seem hell-bent on trying to kill me? He is the only one that was sort of nice, and I couldn’t go near him. Darius walks out before flicking the light off, leaving only the light from the fire in the fireplace. The door handle jiggles, and I know he locked me in when I hear the lock click in place.
One thing I knew for sure was, I needed to find a way to get out of here. Get away from Darius, because I could tell this was only the beginning of the cruelty I was about to endure at their hands.