Chapter 40: Old and New

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"How do you feel?"

Leanna looked up at her frantic mate and gave him a tired smile, "I'm fine, Phoenix. I promise."

Her words didn't appear to soothe him, and she sighed, sitting up. It'd been about an hour since the incident and she was feeling better aside from occasional ache.

"You should really get some rest, Lena," Phoenix stressed, his eyes anxious.

"I'm okay, really. I just want to go downstairs and see who was captured," she told him gently and he immediately shook his head.

"No. Absolutely not. You don't know how dangerous he is or what he's capable of," his voice was growing deeper as he stood up.

"Phoenix-"

"You nearly died!" He suddenly snapped and she flinched, surprised. "You were literally throwing up blood and we don't even know what the hell they were doing! Now you want to go see the man who was waiting on the other side to take you?"

He turned to her, his eyes angry. But beneath his anger, she could feel the fear coming off him in waves. He was scared for her, for what could've happened.

"But I'm fine," she stressed, climbing to her feet. "I am alive and well. They didn't win tonight. If I can help, I will. But you can't stop me. We are at war right now; we are going to face many battles and we are both going to get hurt. You can't be afraid to let me do my job."

He shook his head, stopping in front of her, "I'm going to be afraid no matter what. I love you and I don't want to see you get hurt. I'd die a thousand deaths before I let you experience anymore pain."

He gripped her hips, his forehead pressed against hers. His breath was ragged, and she squeezed his arms, kissing him softly.

"We've got this, Phoenix. Now can we please go downstairs?" She pleaded gently and he chuckled, kissing her forehead.

"Fine. But do not go near the prisoner until we know more information," he warned her, and she nodded.

Linking their fingers together, Phoenix pulled her toward the basement, opening it for her. They were quickly hit with the smell of blood and Leanna gave him a questioning look.

"Are they torturing him?"

"I told Becca to try and get any information that she could. She's our best interrogator," he explained as they made their way down the stairs.

As they approached an open space near the back, Leanna's eyes landed on their prisoner. His wrists were held by silver chains high above his head, his feet barely touching the floor. Her eyes swept over him as a strange sense of familiarity filled her. He was tall and lanky, his body roped with scars.

But there was something about him, his smell.

"Why were you sent?" Becca demanded, a dark glint in her eyes as she walked around him.

"I...don't...know..." he wheezed, coughing.

Leanna's eyes quickly watered as his voice sent a pang of pain through her chest.

"Zachary?" Her voice trembled as he looked up quickly, his eyes wide.

She rushed over to him, her hands gripping his face. Tears filled his eyes as his body trembled, her own tears spilling over.

"Oh, Goddess! What did they do!"

Reaching above him, she gripped the silver chains, letting out a hiss of pain as she broke it off.

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