The Kitten Has Claws [Chapter 25]

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Chapter Twenty-Five

Thunder and lightning raged outside, expressing their anger with the world. Inside Noelle cowered in the smallest corner of her room, under the table, cringing every time there was a clap of thunder. She had a flashlight with her, to keep the dark away, but nothing could block out the flashes of lighting or the angry rumble of the clouds. Nothing could block out her fear.

She whimpered pathetically and pulled her jacket tighter around her body. When the thunder sounded for the third time she started to rock back and forth. 'Pixie' her mind cried out in time with the cracks of lighting, 'Human' her heart yelled when the thunder rumbled. Images of a baby crying and screaming seared itself into her mind. Shadows crept into the corners of her vision, promising blood and pain. "No," she protested weakly, but some outside force was pushing the vision on her, rendering her helpless.

Paralyzed, Noelle watched the scene unfold before her with wide eyes. She was kneeling in a forest, next to Raine with a bundle in her hands. There were faint cries in the distance and the sound of metal hitting other metal. The air around them was thick and smelled like rancid gunpowder. Fear lodged deep in Noelle's throat as she realized that in the scene she was crying.

"No Raine, please, look at me, please say something," she begged hoarsely. The leaves beneath her rustled as she shifted to cover half of Raine's body with her own. Blood covered her hands and seeped into her clothes. "Please, you can't leave us," she whispered.

"Kitten," Raine rasped, "be...strong. For our baby."

"Don't you dare leave us, you stubborn man!" Noelle shifted the bundle, cooing softly to it. "It's okay sweetie, daddy isn't going to leave us." The bundle mewed and kicked at its wrappings.

"I love you, Noelle," Raine said weakly. His eyes closed slowly and his chest stopped moving all together. The blood trickling from his wounds slowed and clotted and his skin took on an ashen color.

Noelle wept and kissed him softly on the lips. "Why?" she hiccupped softly, begging for someone to give her a rational answer. He wasn't supposed to die. How could he just leave them there all alone?

"It's the way it was supposed to be," a dark voice spoke from the shadows of the trees. A tall man walked out, into the dim light and sneered at Noelle. "This was inevitable; you knew it was going to happen. Give us the child and we'll spare you."

Noelle shook her head fiercely and held tighter to her child, willing to do anything to protect the only piece of Raine she had left. The stranger sighed impatiently and rubbed his temples. He lifted his right hand and snapped his fingers, watching impassively as his men swarmed in from the trees. One of his men stepped up behind Noelle and pressed a gun to her head. "Give us the child," he hissed. She closed her eyes tightly and prayed that this would all work out. She would die before giving up her child, but she wanted to get her child to safety first.

The man with the gun pressed it closer, making her wince, "Give it to me." Noelle made no acknowledgement of his command so he pulled the gun back and hit her upside the head with the handle. When she fell back with a cry, two other men closed in and grabbed the crying baby from her hands.

"NO!" she screamed pitifully. The man with the gun gave her a disgusted look and pulled the trigger.

"Noelle! Wake up, Noelle, can you hear me?" Noelle screamed and fought the arms that were shaking her. "Oww! Stop it; it's me, Raine. It's me!" She heard his voice, but he had just died, how could he be holding her? Her hits grew weaker and soon she gave up completely, sobbing quietly in his arms. "Shh, it's okay, I'm here," Raine murmured.

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