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Skye smelled the place long before she saw it. The Containment Center sat on the side of a hill, and everything about it screamed it was thrown up in a hurry. A large fenced-in area sat in front of a large white main building. A forest surrounded it.

Inside the fenced areas, trees had been sheared to stumps. Hundreds stuck out of the ground. Many were being used as chairs.

At one point, a cheap roof had covered the fenced area, but the weather or the use of poor materials had limited its usefulness. Now it was covered with large blue tarps that flapped lazily in the wind.

From her distance, Skye could imagine that it was cows or sheep that milled around inside the fencing. But as they got closer, there was no mistaking what it was.

The sickest of the Sick waited to die.

Mark made a noise low in his throat. "I hate this place."

"Yeah," Jack responded. "but it's a necessary evil."

"I don't know why these guys like to meet here."

"They drop off sick, before picking up these ones." Jack jabbed a thumb to the back seat.

Mark pulled up alongside the fence and turned off the car.

Jack threw a look back to Skye."Now we wait."

After about ten minutes, a large box truck lumbered down the pot-holed dirt driveway. A dark sedan following it.

Skye's stomach clenched so badly she thought she would vomit.. As bad as these guys were, the new ones could be worse. She watched the white truck pull up to the car and stop. two men jumped out and four out of the car that followed it.

"No," The word escaped Skye before she could stop it.

From the look of these men, they had been rough long before the outbreak started. Everything about them spoke of danger from their tattooed skin to their short, stubbled hair and dark, tattered clothing. Skye tried to calm herself by remembering her own fiancé could cause terror, but it didn't work. She knew Dylan's heart. These men were strangers.

One of the men came to the driver's side of the window and tapped it with his gun.

"Welp, here we go," Jack said, reaching for his door handle.

Skye had to try one last time. "Please, Jack, please don't hand us over to them. Or at least not Kelsey, I'm begging you!"

"Don't make me hit you again when we were getting along so well." He stared at Skye as she wiped her hands across her teary eyes. "And I wouldn't try any of this on them if I were you. Don't think it would go over well." He eyed them before glancing back at her.

Jack and Mark got out of the car and pulled a resistant Skye and Kelsey out.

The new group looked them over. One man stepped forward, a hard look in his dark eyes. "This all you got?"

"Yeah," Jack said. "It's been a slow month."

"I'd say. Better pick up the pace unless you think this area is picked through already."

Jack scraped at the ground with his foot and grunted.

The man walked to Skye and grabbed her chin to inspect her bruised cheek. She reached up to push his hand away. He grabbed her hands and slapped them down before grabbing her face again tighter.

"How they been?" he asked.

"Not much. Had a bit of trouble with that one," Jack said pointing out first Skye, then Kelsey, "but this one's been quiet. But you know how it is, once I got tough with her, she settled down all right."

The man's gaze scraped over Skye. "You give him trouble?"

Skye trembled. "Sir. We are kidnapped, taken away from our family."

The man's eyes narrowed. "Shut up. Of course, you did."

Skye looked at the ground.

"Do you know what happens if you cause me trouble?"

Eyes still on the ground, Skye shook her head.

"Let me show you."

Skye yelped when he grabbed her arm and yanked her after him. He pulled her to the fence and jabbed a finger at the Sick inside it.

"See them?"

Skye glanced from him to the Sick and back again. She nodded.

"I come round here every week. I'll bring you back here and shove you in. I know what your thinking, you don't get sick. But have you ever seen them go after a person when they're all—Well, let's just see, why don't we?"

His arm tightened on Skye's arm, forcing her closer to the wire. The man put a tattooed hand to her face and shoved it against the fence.

Skye fought back. With frantic movements, she pushed at him and the fence.

His voice snapped at her. "Stop, or I'll put you in there right now."

Skye looked up at his face. There was no doubt he meant it. She instantly stopped fighting and let him make his point. She was under his control now. There was nothing she could do about it.

A few of the Sick nearer to them then moved away.

Skye quickly scanned the crowd of Sick and eyed a few that could be in the aggressive phase. She shuddered.

"Oh, here we go." The man shoved her face harder against the wire mess.

Skye groaned and automatically put her hands to his. One hard look from him, and she pulled them back down. It took everything she had not to fight him.

He won't really hurt me as long as I obey. He's showing me who is in charge. Let him do what he's going to do. Cooperate, and it will be over sooner.

A Sick woman lumbered over. She picked at the fence as she came. The man yelled at her, and she snapped her teeth. He continued to antagonize her until she moved closer and closer to Skye.

Skye's hand tightly curled around the cool metal of the fence. "I won't cause trouble."

"I know you won't. I'm gonna let this woman take a chunk of you just to remind you. Have you ever seen them rip a piece of someone away?"

Skye's knees turned weak. "Sir, I will not cause trouble, you don't have to do this."

He banged on the fence beside Skye's head to draw the woman. "Don't tell me what I need to do," he growled at her.

The Sick woman got closer and closer. The more the man yelled and banged on the fence, the more agitated she became. Skye could hear her breathing, the deep congestion in her lungs, the sharp snap of her teeth as she worked her jaw.

"Please, sir! I won't cause trouble."

Ignoring her pleas, he brought his face closer to hers and laughed. "I like to watch it happen."

He slapped the fence a couple more times, each time the fence bounced back to hit Skye's already battered face.

The Sick woman wrapped her fingers around the fence, entwining Skye's hair as she did so. She jerked her mouth toward Skye.

Skye groaned, flicking looks between the man and the sick woman. Will he really do this? If I don't move, I lose my face. If I do move, I go in there?

She readied to move only to have the man tighten his hold on her, making her numb.

He came face to face with her and growled, "I will feed you to that thing."

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