By Courtney Shepard
The Order, more violent than any regime, more secret than any society, and more ruthless than any empire is on the hunt again.
In the Order’s dank dungeon cell, Asha awoke on the slab. How did she get there? She’d been crying on the ground, defeated and terrified. How could she even have fallen asleep? The place’s energy was off, dark and suffocating. Shame crept over her; she was acting like a pussy.
Father Sean would show himself, but being the coward he was, he hadn’t yet. He’d managed somehow, to mute, or pause her power, and she had to admit however he’d done it, it was impressive. Without her power, they had a better chance of getting whatever they wanted from her.
The lock clicked. Here we go. A man in black robes opened the door and held out a tray. She would have tossed it in his face, but he beat her to it. He threw it like a Frisbee, and the food sailed through the air, splattering her as well as the stone walls. Before she could get to her feet he slipped out and locked her door again.
She wasn’t sure what scared her more, black robes, or the white lab coats she’d expected. Unpleasant shivers of new fear crept over her skin.
Where was she?
Clay returned, and she watched him enter. His eyes were soft again, but hardened as he took in the mess.
“What happened here?”
He must’ve assumed she’d had a tantrum and tossed her food on the flood like a toddler.
He stepped closer and reached out. She backed away.
Stand your ground.
But she couldn’t and backed into the cold wall. The cold stone froze her skin through her clothes. She pushed away and slammed into Clay’s body. His arms wrapped around her. She stiffened, but didn’t pull away.
He lowered his lips to her ear and horrifying shivers rolled through her body.
“You scared me last night,” he whispered.
His breath tickling her skin was the first warmth she’d felt since waking up there.
Last night? What happened last night?
He touched her cheek with his fingers and rubbed his forehead against hers. She closed her eyes and tried to ignore the heat and tingling spreading through her. His lips pressed against her cheek, and her heart pumped faster as he moved lower.
He kissed her and electricity coursed through her. His lips were gentle, but the zap was strong.
Stop you fool.
She pushed back and swung. In his dazed stupor, she caught him unaware and cracked him hard on the jaw. She should have broken something, a tooth at least, but his head barely turned.
“What the hell are you doing?” she yelled.
He moved to the other side of the cell, and when he turned, he stood with his back against the wall. He stayed, and left, and then returned again, spending silent hours in her cell, fueling her rage. He wore his soldier persona when he entered, but it would fade over time and he’d be the handsome doctor again. His voice, stance, and eyes softened. He coaxed her to speak, to let him explain, but she ignored him.
It was her stupidity, her urges. Jesus. Whatever it was, it was her. She let down her guard. She fell for him when she knew better than to trust anyone.