Read Tasting Darkness By Jessica Hall Chapter 13 – Restless, I tossed and turned all night, not really getting proper sleep. The tugging sensation of knowing they were so close was pulling me to seek out my mates, the bond urging m e to seek them out, knowing they could replenish my powers. I t must have been the early morning hours when I heard the twist of the shared bathroom door. My mind instantly became alert as I looked in its direction. I let out a breath when I realized it was Kalen and not one of the others. He stops when he notices me sitting upright in the bed before hesitating.
“Did I wake you?” he whispers, and I shake my head. He looks over his shoulder toward his room before quietly shutting the door. For some reason, his presence didn’t scare me, I found his aura comforting, and I wanted to keep him safe and close t o me for some reason. Kalen walks over to the bed, sitting down on it, and I move over, so he has more room, and he lays on his side facing me.
“Sorry, it is the bond,” Kalen says. “You might get me in trouble, though,” I tell him, thinking of Darius’s threat. “I can go?’ he says, and he rolls about to get out of the bed. When I grip his arm, he stops. He didn’t want to go, and honestly, I didn’t want him to leave. It had been years since I actually met someone I wanted to be around.
Kalen was the first normal interaction I had had since leaving school. Being the strange girl who stuck to herself in school didn’t win me any friends, and for years the only friend I had was a stranger I spoke to online. It was the only way to vent m y frustrations, and I regretted leaving my tablet behind. I wonder if I could get access to a computer here? I knew it wouldn’t be anytime soon if they did agree, and I doubt they would let me use it to speak to my friend over the internet, whoever they might be.
Kalen lays back down, and I observe him the best I can in the darkness, yet curiosity is eating at me.
“You’re not like them. You don’t seem to hate me,”
“Because I don’t, I figured you ran for some reason,”
“And if I just ran?” I ask him. He shrugs. “I can’t say I blame you. Darius scared the crap out of Kalen and me when he found us,” He paused like he was locked in his memories, his aura turned depressive, and I held my tongue, thinking it might be best not to ask what upset him.
“So, I still couldn’t hate you for running even if you had no reason,” he says simply before wriggling closer to me.
His hand reaches toward my face slowly, and he hesitates once again before I grab his hand, his magic coming to life beneath mine, yet I don’t take it. I couldn’t bring myself to break his trust. If I was going to be stuck here, I needed a friend to survive my mates, so why not keep the only decent one close.
Kalen lets out a breath when I place his hand on my cheek. His thumb brushes beneath my eye softly, and I close my eyes. Sleep finally taking me.
When I woke up, I found the spot where Kalen was empty, looking around the room. A prickle up my spine alerted me to someone in the room before his voice did. “Looking for someone?” Darius asks, and I shake my head, scooting up the bed.
I yawn. Darius watches me or rather glares at me. “Get up; you have five minutes to get dressed; put these on,” He says, chucking some clothes at me.
He then storms out, and I look to the window to see the sun is barely up. I groaned, wondering where he wanted to take me. I slipped the jeans on which fit perfectly and a white blouse. How did Lycus know my size? I shake the thought away before realizing I have no shoes. I look around the room for some when the door opens…
“Time is up,” Darius calls, pushing the door wider. I glance down at my feet. Only socks on, and I quickly glanced around once again but found no shoes. Darius, however, didn’t care as he suddenly walked off. Was I meant to follow him even if I had no shoes on?
“Now, Aleera,” Darius snaps, and I rush out after him. His long strides had me jogging to keep up. My feet were cold even with the thick bed socks on. Darius walked down a flight of stairs, and I was becoming lost with all the twists and turns. I could hear the murmuring of men behind the doors, and I raced to keep up with Darius before we went down yet another set of stairs to a floor I recognized from when I tried to escape.
Darius walks to the mess hall, where I saw all the men gathered the other day. It had a few tables full when we walked in. All of them looked up, and I froze. More men file in behind me, bumping into me, and Darius grips my arm, his nails digging into my tender flesh. He drags me over to a table and dumps me in a chair.
Glancing around, I noticed something quickly, they were all demons. These men weren’t Fae. The other thing I noticed was there was no woman in this room. Looking up at Darius, he was smirking cruelly at me.
“Welcome to hell, Aleera, don’t think my men are your friends or will be your friend. No one likes a traitor,” Darius leans down. His stubble brushed my cheek, and I hold my breath at his closeness.
“And all of them think you are and don’t go looking for any woman. You will find none. You are the only one,” Darius says before standing upright. Darius turns to leave.
“Wait,” I reach out, grabbing his hand, and he growls at me, and I jerk my hand away and take a step back at the frightening look he gives me.
“You can’t… Are you leaving me here?” I ask, petrified of them, demons fed on fear and any emotion, really, and I knew I would be a nice treat to these men. An emotional buffet.
“Why, are you scared, Aleera?” I look around, their demonic eyes watching me, and I gulp before looking up at Darius. He chuckles, the sound mocking.
“I wanted to kill you, but now seeing the look on your face, I know this was the better option,” Darius says, and he looks around at all the men. He smiled; I didn’t like the look he wore on his face. It was off, severely off.
“Zac, come here,” Darius calls out and waves a man over.
“Keep Aleera company and take her to your first lesson,”
“Be my pleasure, my King,” the man taunts, his smile growing bigger as he stared down at me.
“Just don’t kill her; I want to watch her suffer; I don’t want you to incinerate her before she has,” Darius tells him before walking out of the mess hall. He leaves, and I remain frozen before turning to face this Zac person who grabs my arm, hauling me over to a table with three other men.