Chapter 48: Raleigh

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Leanna didn't recall losing consciousness but when she awoke, she was chained to a wall.

As her senses slowly came back, she became aware of burning pain around her wrists and ankles. Peering down in the darkness, she caught sight of the silver cuffs. They were two inches wide and tightened to the point where she could barely move her hands.

Letting out a growl, Leanna sat up and closed her eyes, concentrating. She searched for the fire within, channeling it. The warmth began to build and then disappeared, leaving a chill.

No, no, no.

Her eyes snapped open, and she looked at the cuffs again, her heart hammering in her chest. Panic was slowly setting in with the realization that she couldn't escape.

A bright light flashed, and she reared back, blinking away the bright spot. Overhead, a lightbulb came on and she winced. Rick's smiling face came into view, waving a polaroid camera in the air.

"I want to immortalize that look on your face. The helplessness, the fear," he laughed manically, his eyes wide. "I can see the wheels turning your head. Trying to figure out why you can't use that precious fire of yours. I'll admit, I underestimated you. I thought Maya was overexaggerating, but I see now she wasn't. I had the witch give your cuffs an extra pinch. No magic for you!" He sang the last bit, amused with himself.

"Now, little Luna," he circled her slowly, like a predator.

The hairs on the back of her neck stood when she felt his breath, "We have some things to make up for. I wanted to jump right into the torture but since I'm not really 'in charge', I have to do what the boss says. For now..."

A heavy door creaked open, and a familiar smell hit her. Jagger was pulled into the light, blood smeared across his shirt and pants, his face swollen with bruises. His blue eyes flashed when he saw her, and he smiled painfully.

"Hey, little wolf," his voice was hoarse as they dropped him to the ground.

"Jagger," her voice trembled. "What did they do? What did you do to him? He didn't do anything!"

Rick snorted, "I beg to differ. He tried to help you escape. Oh, and he killed Vincent's father."

Her eyes widened, "W-what?" Her eyes flickered over to Jagger.

"I told you I didn't have a good past, little wolf," he shrugged nonchalantly, looking at Rick. "He deserved it, too. The man was nuisance and a pest. Torturing vampires and rogues for sport. Except he picked the wrong one and I snapped his neck."

Rick made a sound and then wrapped a chain around the vampire's throat. Jagger's skin burned and bubbled, and he bit back a scream of pain, his teeth clenched.

"As luck would have it, you two are the best of friends. Things always seem to turn out bad for you, don't they?" Rick raised an eyebrow in Leanna's direction and fought her bindings, breathing hard.

"I will rip your head off, Rick," she hissed, her eyes shimmering with unbridled rage.

He waved her off, "Yeah, yeah, sure."

Removing the chain, Jagger fell to the ground, gasping for breath. Rick knelt down beside him, brandishing a knife.

"Let's get this little party started, shall we?"

.

.

The amount of people in the room was overwhelming.

It was as if the whole pack had crammed itself into the living room. The air was so thick it felt impossible to breathe and Phoenix was close to exploding.

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