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The Reaping Chapter Six

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CHAPTER SIX

It brushed my cheek and then my mouth. Shaken to the very core, I grabbed the tiara and threw it to the ground.

"No! I'll never, ever marry you!" I screamed and turned away, running up the stairs and into the tunnel. The need to be alone and far away from here was all that mattered. My heart broke into little pieces calling out for Nathan Alexander to save me. Panicked, I kept running, ignoring the cramp in my side, trying to catch my breath. A roar bellowed behind me, almost silencing the incessant ringing in my ears.

I reached the main room and ran down the stairs, seeking a place to hide. The mist shot out one of the tunnel passages and screeched. I fell to my knees and covered my ears as the painful sound swelled. Rolling into a ball, I hugged my knees to my chest. I pleaded to the heavens for the sound to stop.

It didn't stop its wailing. I sat up and watched it circle the room. It knocked the dishes and food off the table. I should have been frightened, but I wasn't. It reminded me of a child having a temper tantrum.

"Stop it!" I shouted over its wail.

It stopped without warning, let out a few huffs, and moved toward me.

I took my hands down from my ears. "What do you want from me? To be your bride and stay here with you? To make a home with you?" I held my hands out and waited for an answer.

"Yes." Again it spoke in such simple terms it made me want to rip my hair out.

"Of course. Of course. You think I'll put that dress on and be whatever you want me to be. I don't care what you want. I want to go home to my people!" I punched my leg, experiencing my own tantrum.

The mist let out a high-pitched sort of growl and came at me. I tried to move away, but it pushed me to the ground. My head hit the stone floor and I winced, closing my eyes, refusing to acknowledge the thing floating on top of me. Its heavy breath huffed deep in my ear. I shivered and mouthed a few prayers for a quick death.

It spoke in my ear this time and not in my head.

"You will do what I want. You will be my bride and will never leave here." It let out another loud screech and moved away. Fear held me immobile. After some time, I opened my eyes. The mist had left.

My arms ached, and the back of my head throbbed. I sat up and pressed my fingers to my new bump. They came away smeared with blood. Not caring if it left stains, I wiped them on my dress then dropped my face into my palms and sobbed.

Here, all hope was lost. I was trapped with some homicidal creature who wanted me as a possession, like its books and pretty dresses. Regardless of my tears, cries for mercy or fury, the mist had claimed me as its plaything.

Chills attacked my body as I climbed up the stairs to the bedroom and staggered to the bed. I pulled the covers over my head and slept, wishing this was all a bad dream and I would awaken safe in my own bed with the sun on my face.

To be safe again....

******

Next time, hunger woke me. This led to horrible cramping, but trepidation kept me under the cocoon of blankets I had made for myself. The cotton sheet on my face felt soothing. I could pretend Ez slept on my pillow beside me in my own bed at home. But this wasn't the case. My sorrow grew as I pulled down the covers and viewed the stone ceiling. I still wore the wrinkled pink gown. The gurgles my stomach made increased along with the sounds of the rushing water in the background.

I lifted my arm and sniffed under it, frowning over the sour onion smell drifting up my nose. The bandages on my arms had turned gray, and my scalp itched as though bugs crawled through my hair. I needed to bathe and would do so before my captor returned.

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