I Am No Prey by Amal Clare May 25, 2021

13- Complications (Part 1)

Hi! I was going over the whole thing and realized the last chapters of the book don't make sense so....the next two chapters are Chapter 11 and 12 from Daniel's POV. Hope you enjoy! 

"You need to hurry up Daniel, how hard can it be?" 

If I had done a video call instead of just audio, I would've rolled my eyes at Joshua. It was hard, severely hard. 

"At least tell me you made a good first impression," he said drily when I didn't respond.

I scoffed. "She thought I was going to stick her up with needles and started choking me." 

"Are you able to get close to her? You don't really need her to trust you, you just need Everard to trust you, which worked seeing as you're his second, which technically speaking makes you the Commander's third."

Which was way off the point but whatever. "Starting today, I'm giving her flying lessons. Well, Everard's exact words were 'make sure she doesn't fling herself from a window and commit bloody suicide attempting to learn' but you get the gist." 

"And when is that?"

I looked at my watch. "In about five minutes. What's going on on your end?"

He let a sigh. "It's not looking good, D. Intel in Paris said some weird things are going on. And one of our sources just went off the grid." 

I let out a curse. Compared to what was going on a few months, this really wasn't good. 

"It's not like I can kidnap her, Everard's on her tail half the time like a bloody hound, and when he's not, he's wired the elevator and windows to give him an alert every time someone uses them." 

"Is it called kidnapping if she's technically kept against her will there anyway?"

"Not the point, Josh," I growled. I looked at the watch again. "Look, I have to go. See what else you can find, and I'll try to speed things up here, but I'm not a kidnapper. We're not like them, Joshua."

"You were agreeing with Emily when she suggested killing the girl to make her less of a 'liability.'"

"That was before I met her."

"How does someone choking you make your opinion of them better?"

I didn't bother answering and hung up. Taking the elevator, I reached the fifth floor in seconds and walked down to the bedroom. From the sound of feathers rustling and feet shuffling, I knew that's where she was. I prayed she wouldn't tackle me and choke me this time, and knocked on the door. When she opened it, expression shocked to see me, I grinned. She glared.

"What are you doing here?" she snapped. 

This was going to be harder than expected. Much harder. 

"Sorry to disappoint, but Everard can't come today, so I'm his replacement." 

She grumbled something under my breath that I chose to ignore. If anything, her reaction was only making me grin wider. Which was weird. 

"Don't worry," I continued. "I'm a better teacher than him, and today, you'll finally get to fly." 

At that a small smile pulled her lips and her eyes widened in excitement. But her brows furrowed. 

"Won't people see my wings if we fly out in the open?" 

"Don't worry about that." 

I walked to the elevator, and she followed, putting as much space as possible between us. I untucked my wings and let them stretch slightly, taking space more space in the elevator. Whether she noticed the movement or not, I couldn't tell. 

"So, carrots, I never got your name." 

She glared at me for that. Her hair wasn't even close to orange. It was the first thing I had noticed about her, hair wine red like someone painted it. The same red as her lips. Very distracting lips. 

"That's because I never gave it to you." 

"I'm Daniel by the way. Now you can call me something other than handsome in your head when you're thinking about me." I wondered what she actually called me in her head. They were probably vulgar enough to make me want to watch her mouth with soap. 

"You wouldn't like what I call you in my head. And it's far from handsome." Suspicions confirmed. 

"I'm sure I'll change your mind, eventually," I answered, and met her stare. 

That was the second thing I had noticed about her; her eyes. It wasn't the color, or the shape, not even how big they were as if she were wholly innocent or surprised. It was the look in them. The way they were always bright and so...captivating. 

She flushed and I snapped out of trance, grinning. A blush crept over her cheeks and neck, and her eyes betrayed more emotions.

"You have beautiful eyes," I murmured, speaking without thinking. 

She scoffed as if the idea were ludicrous.

"Your attempt at flattery isn't going to get you anywhere." 

"It wasn't flattery, I was simply stating a fact."

The blush on her face grew and she looked away, to the elevator doors. I wanted to keep looking at her eyes. 

"Name's Cerise by the way." 

Cherry in French, I mused and laughed. "Does it have anything to do with your hair?" 

She shrugged in response, and stepped out of the elevator when it finally stopped and the doors opened. I didn't say anything, my attention snagging on her wings. They were so unlike a Drakhenae's, bird like instead of reptilian like. The feather's a shade more brown than her hair, most straight, a few rumpled and untamed. I wanted to reach out and touch them, to know if they were as soft as they looked. 

"Is this where all the soldiers stay?" she asked, and I snapped out of yet another trance. 

I shook my head and let out a small laugh. "Do you really think all five hundred soldiers live here? There are rooms on the second and third floor for the few who do, the rest is training rooms and offices. Mostly. If you want a tour all you have to do is ask." 

"I thought I wasn't allowed a tour," she muttered, lips puckering at the word 'tour.'

I raised a brow. "You don't strike me as the person to not do something because you're not allowed.

"You're right, I'm not, but my attempts and seeing the place have failed. Both times." 

"I can help with that." 

We had reached the wind tunnels room and I pushed open the tours, laughing to myself as she marvelled at the thing. I walked over to the controls and turned them on. 

"They use this to learn to fly?" 

"To train not to learn to fly," I corrected her. "Half of us learn how to fly before we learn how to walk." 

"You should see what this baby can do," I continued on. "The wind speed can go up to almost two hundred kilometers per second. And it can recreate the effects of a storm." 

"Great, so what do I do?" 

I pointed to the ladder attached to the glass tunnel. "Climb that up to the landing, then open the doors, seal them shut behind you and jump." 

"That's it?" 

"It's like skydiving, the wind blowing up will keep you steady, and then you start flapping your wings and I'll turn it off." 

Her brows furrowed. 

"Aren't I supposed to wear some kind of suit, and a helmet?" 

"Now where's the fun in that?" 

"But-" 

I grabbed her shoulders and steered her to the ladder. "You'll do fine." 

"I think you're a horrible teacher." Probably the truth. 

She grabbed the ladder and started climbing, when she reached the top, she did as I had told her and sealed the doors behind her. I went over to the controls and held my breath when she jumped. 

She stretched out her wings to their full width and spread her limbs like a starfish. She started testing out her wings, flapping them and going higher. Letting out a whoop, she looked at me. Even though I couldn't see her face, I knew she was grinning. There was nothing like flying. 

I flashed a thumbs up and made a gesture at my throat, trying to convey that I was turning the machine off. When it did, she started beating her wings, going higher. When she got too high, she tried to go lower, and then turn in circles to stay at the same height. I cringed. I was a really horrible teacher. I left the controls and started flying for the door when I saw her flail. With a sickening bang, her wing, and then her head, slammed against the glass and she plummeted to the steel floor.