I felt her breath ruffle my hair. I smelled the sweat on her skin and felt the warmth from her body.

My eyes were on Max. On his dark, furious face. In my mind I heard his heart throb with fear, which had my own heartbeat share in that rhythm of terror.

Max feared what this woman might do to me and his fear terrified me.

Behind muffled hearing - Max's screamed threats to Tess still appearing far away - I focused on the foreign arms around my body. Almost naturally, I was conjuring the same method of protection which I had used when Sean had been attempting to force himself on me.

With the energy building inside of me, a soft hint of relief playing in Max's dark eyes, Tess didn't react the same way that Sean did. Instead of anger and pain, Tess simply laughed while her skin started heating.

"He's taught you a thing or two, hasn't he?" she asked in the most gleeful of voices. "That's my man. Ever the resourceful one."

Even with the smell of burning skin I started to doubt that it was working. Maybe the connection was more deprived of energy than I had thought.

Tess continued to restrain me. Even with her skin burning, her hold was only tightening, cutting off my air supply.

My eyes were on Max that entire time. I saw the relief flee his facial features. I saw him start rattling the bars again, desperation and dark anger rolling off him, when he realized that my attack on Tess wasn't making her release me.

"Hasn't anyone ever told you to not play with fire?" Tess mused in my ear, while the heat of her skin was starting to hurt my own due to the close proximity of our bodies.

"Get off me," I pressed out through clenched teeth. Max's anger was feeding into me, slowly obliterating my fear and vulnerability.

By sharing the memories of his encounters with Tess with me, Max was making me stronger. He was providing me with an instant reason to dislike - even hate - the person who had separated me from Max and Isabel.

Tess giggled. The giggle quickly burst into full fledged laughter with an air of lunacy and I saw Max's face pale behind the shadows of his anger.

Her arm pressed into my throat, choking me. The panic at not being able to breathe started in my chest, with my burning lungs, and quickly spread through my body.

She was strong. The strength was plausibly originating from her insanity. But since it was being used to strangle me, my body tapped into an adrenaline-induced well of strength.

Her arm around my middle had captured my arms, but only barely. Teetering on breathlessness, I freed my arms and used them to pull at the arm she had around my throat. The oxygen deprivation was making me weak, but within seconds I had managed to pull her arm upwards where I angled my chin downwards to bite into her burnt underarm.

Fluid which had accumulated in the heat blisters on her arm crept into my mouth when my teeth ruptured the thin layer. The warm transparent fluid touched the tastebuds on my tongue, but I pressed the disgust back and sank my teeth as deep as I could to inflict as much pain as possible.

I could fight without powers too. I had the survival instinct of a human being.

Finally, pain seemed to register with her and her laughter melted into a loud deep scream that tore through my ears while I got loose and spun out of her grip.

For the first time, I was face to face with the real Theresa Harding.

My first observation was that she was a tattered version of the Tess I had met in my dreams.

Unbreakable - A Beautiful Lie · (Roswell Fanfiction) ·  √Read this story for FREE!