LBAWP | Chapter 17

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Special thanks to all my advanced readers who helped me edit this chapter and come up with questions! 

Special thanks to all my advanced readers who helped me edit this chapter and come up with questions! 

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I stare longingly at the burger that the guard is holding out. How long has it been since I've eaten? Hours? Days? When I woke up, Luna hadn't brought anything to eat. All she'd had was that embarrassing book.

To be fair, I hadn't even been hungry at the time, but I am now. My stomach growls in protest, but I've skipped enough meals not to let it bother me. In the winter, when the money jar was empty and I couldn't hunt up any meat, we'd had no choice. I hold on to that thought, ignore the hunger pangs, and focus on escape.

The guard has no sense of self-preservation, not with the way he's reaching into my cell. His arm is in almost up to his shoulder as he tries to get me to take that burger. It would be so easy to break it and then twist until he begs for mercy. Would that be enough to get him to unlock the cell door? Or would the other guard stop him?

The temptation to try is almost too much, but it's not just my life on the line. I have Jess and Amaryllis to worry about too, not to mention the entire pack. If I screw up our escape attempt, I wouldn't be able to live with myself. Not if something were to happen to Logan or his family.

"I'm not going to hurt you," the guard says gently, completely oblivious to the fact that I'm the one who could hurt him. He gives me a kind smile, and I see my opportunity. I grab the burger and then sink in on myself and start to tremble. Sympathy fills his gaze, just like I intended, and I struggle to mask my triumph behind the false fear.

"Hey, Kyle, maybe you should give her some space?" the skinny guard chimes in. "Saffron, there's nothing to be afraid of."

"Robbie's right," Kyle agrees, pulling his arm out from between the cell bars. "We'll protect you."

It's all I can do not to roll my eyes. I stay huddled as Kyle gets to his feet and grabs the bag of food from Robbie. He takes out another burger and heads toward Jess's cell. I hope she doesn't do anything stupid. The way Kyle's sticking his arm into cells, he's practically begging for it, and I hope Jess has the common sense to resist.

I hold my breath, but it turns out I have nothing to worry about. Instead of squatting down and handing Jess a burger, Kyle tosses it to her like she's a rabid animal. Has she already broken someone's arm in a botched attempt to escape?

I grimace as the burger lands in Jess's cell with a plop, and picture it sliding across the dirt floor. A second later, there is the crinkling of the wrapper, an indication that Jess must have picked up the burger. I imagine at least some of the dirt has gotten inside the wrapper, but it doesn't sound like Jess cares. She chews loudly, moaning like it's the first decent piece of food she's had in days. The worst part is, that's probably true.

I barely stifle a growl as Kyle passes my cell on his way to Amaryllis. How dare he treat Jess like this? I'm so tempted to reach out and slam his head into the metal bars of my cell. It wouldn't cause any permanent damage, and definitely wouldn't get us out of here, but I could make him suffer. It wouldn't help Logan or POW or my new pack, but it would be satisfying.

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