Chapter Sixteen

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I was consciously aware of all that was going down. I could feel the motion and I could hear the noise. But my eyelids felt too heavy to be lifted up, so my vision remained blank as I kept my eyes shut.

At first, I was lying still but I was also moving. I was surrounded by an alternating noise that consisted mostly of passing vehicles and the chatter of bystanders. The place felt cool, my right shoulder was going numb from the air shooting straight at it. My best guess was that I was in a car.

Eventually I zoned out. I wasn't fully aware, but I wasn't gone either. All I could tell for sure was that my head was pounding, hard. And I was cold.

The second time I became consciously aware was when a pair of strong, feverish arms wrapped around my torso and pulled me towards its body. I was swept off the cool leather seats and into the chest of my carrier. The broadness of their build had me guessing it was a man, and his touch on the back of my legs was so heated it felt out of place against my cold skin.

I was suddenly engulfed in his unusual warmness, and his chest was rapidly heaving up and down against my cheek. I wished he'd stop breathing so quickly so I could peacefully fall back asleep.

Then he spoke, in a voice so strained and low it sounded like he was growling rather than speaking actual words. "She's hurt." It was an accusation, directed at someone else.

"Forgive me, Alpha. I took care of the two, but in the process one of them dropped her." This one's tone wasn't like the first. His voice was low but not in anger, rather in shame and guilt.

"You took care of them in her presence?!" The chest was now vibrating, and it annoyed me all the more. My head was pounding worse now. Shouldn't they know not to move an injured person so much?

I tried to open my mouth to give the strangers a piece of my mind, but all that came out was a low, pained groan. The noise vibrated through my sore throat, and I winced internally, scolding myself for not choosing to keep my mouth shut.

The air whoosh-ed around me for a fair second or two, then I was slowly pushed away from the cozy chest and lowered onto a stiff, uncomfortable bedding. The warmth left me, and I felt sick again.

Someone approached me with cold fingertips, inspecting my left eyebrow then gently pressing on it with a burning tip. I inhaled sharply, and then the disturbing scent of chemicals hit my senses. The combination of a pounding headache, a sore throat, and the unsettling scents was making me very nauseous, so I decided to shut them all out with some sleep. I let go of my fight against unconsciousness, and allowed the darkness to completely engulf my senses one more time.


When I finally woke up, my dry eyes inspected the unfamiliar furnishings laid out in the room, and I found that everything - from the dresser ahead of the bed I was lying on top to the pillows thrown across the tiled floor - was black. The only exception was the off-white walls, the tiled floor, and the white wooden door. To my right was a wide window, and the sunlight was streaming through, brightening the darkened room with its blinding rays.

I reached for the heavy blanket draped on top of me and yanked it off, sighing in content as the slight breeze cooled my clammy legs. My back was drenched in sweat, and I had no doubt that when I got off the bed I'd see the sweat-stains it left behind on the sheets. I cringed distastefully, rubbing at the hair strands sticking to the back of my neck.

I moved towards the end of the bed, dropping my bare legs over the edge and nearly hopping down. It felt like I was lying on top three mattresses set over one another; the bed was way higher than what I was used to.

What I was used to...

As I stood tall in my unfamiliar surrounding, I tried to put together how I had gotten here. Or rather, where here was. I'd never in my life seen the room, but it carried a scent that was all too familiar - it instantly, and for some peculiar reason, warmed my insides. It was the scent of mahogany and teak-wood.

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