Chapter Fifteen

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Rachel squinted for a second and threw her forearm over her face. She had been in the dark for so long that the light was an unwelcome intruder. Once her eyes adjusted, white walls greeted her on all sides so that she couldn't even tell if she was lying on the floor or on the ceiling.

Blinking the last of sleep from her eyes, Rachel sat up and waited.

One of the walls separated for one moment in a sliding motion to let a blonde woman through. Debra approached Rachel and stopped halfway as if held back by an unseen force. Her lips were still a little swollen and she sported a large bruise over her jaw but other than that she was the image of composure.

She swiped the left-most wall with one finger and a panel appeared where she punched in a code that caused a white chair to spring up from the floor. She sat down and contemplated Rachel.

"You must be so confused." Debra began.

Rachel was startled- and even a bit angry- to see another person, a poacher of all people, sitting before her, trying to have a conversation with her as if they were merely discussing the weather. As if the events of the last few days had not happened. As if they hadn't just forced her to watch Hector and Jed die and then left her all alone in a dark room to drown in her sadness.

"I want you to know that we're doing all this for a reason. Soon you will understand, trust me."

"Trust you?" Rachel scoffed. "You made me kill my brother. Trusting you is the last thing on my mind."

Debra acted as though Rachel had not said anything. "I need you to tell me anything about your life before being brought here. I want you to start from the beginning."

"Yeah, well I would like to be free and have my friends and family back but it looks like both of us are going to be disappointed."

The other woman sighed and brushed short strands of blonde hair behind her ear. "I understand your hesitation to cooperate but this will go so much more smoothly if you will just comply. All I have are a few questions."

When Rachel didn't say anything, Debra pulled a crisp sheet of paper out of her breast pocket and said, "How old are you, Rachel?"

Anger raced through Rachel's veins, hot and scorching at the casual way Debra spoke to her. How could this woman sit there and talk to Rachel so nonchalantly? Couldn't she feel how much Rachel hated her- hated all of them?

"Alright, how about an easier one...what is your full name?"

"Get out," Rachel said through gritted teach. "Get out or kill me now but don't you dare sit here and pretend everything is okay."

"Oh, Rachel. I'm trying to help you. The sooner I can prove that you are mentally stable, the sooner I can let you out of here."

Rachel's eyes shot up to Debra's face. What kind of cruel, sick game was she playing? There was no way the poachers were going to let her go- and if they did then it would only be once she had the real mark stamped over her forehead.

Rachel decided she would humor her. She would humor Debra until she could find a way to execute the plan that had been forming within her mind. "If I answer your questions, you will let me out of here? That's what you are telling me," Rachel repeated.

"Yes, Rachel."

"Okay, well my name is Rachel Nicole Wilson and I am nineteen years old."

"Good," Debra began, the irritation leaving her voice. "Tell me about your family."

That struck a chord deep within her and she wanted to strangle Debra right where she sat. "My mother is dead, my father left us to be marked and I killed my brother yesterday or the day before- I don't know. Time doesn't really make sense in this hole."

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