I Am No Prey by Amal Clare May 25, 2021

17- New Stakes

The next few days, Daniel trained me how to fight, and when Everard came instead of him, he'd sneak in my room at night and teach me then. We both agreed that Everard didn't need to know I was learning to fight. When I wasn't practicing defence and offense skills with Daniel, I was practicing how to use the shadows and fire. By now I could control the shadows more easily and didn't have to be seething for them to answer to me, but I got nowhere with fire. I had tried imagining the particles in the air vibrating and moving faster, and when that didn't work I had tried almost everything else I could think of. Nothing worked. 

I pretended that things were back to the way they were before with Everard, that I wasn't spending every second I could to escape and that I didn't hated his secrecy. When he would get that heated look in his face, I'd lead him on, keeping his attention away from the invention I was making and the bag of clothes I was hiding. He didn't doubt me for a second. 

In the evenings, the sisters ran tests on me, tests that made me want to hurl something at them or vomit. It was chilling how they eagerly recorded the time and what I healed from. At least Everard had the grace to look guilty whenever we went to the medical room, but it didn't matter, he was still making them 'test' me. 

Right now, they were taking a blood test. Out of all of the tests I knew they were going to do, this was the one I was most worried about, because now there was a bigger chance that they could make others like me.

Everard was restless today, rapping his knuckles on the wall and glancing at the clock. He fixed Marie and Anna with a look. 

"Only one test. No more." His tone left no room for argument and he left the room. 

I looked at the sisters, unable to keep the grin off my face. "You heard him. One test only." 

Marie jabbed the needle a little too hard into the inside of my elbow and blood-my blood- filled the syringe. 

"So what do you keep in the other medical rooms?" 

She glared at me in response. That had been the fifth time I had asked, and like before, she didn't answer. 

I watched as she separated the blood in multiple bottles, her sister joined her, and they started working together, bustling around the room, mixing some substances into some vials while they left the others alone. 

"Okay, I'm going back now." I moved to stand up and Anna pinned me with a look. 

"Sit. We might need a little more." 

"But he said one test." 

She grinned. "He didn't specify if he meant one type of test or one bloodtest. Besides it won't hurt." 

I didn't believe her, but she went and locked the door before I could protest. I let out a sigh. If they did need more, too much more, I'd just pin use my shadows to freak them out. If they had physicality, it would've been even better, but oh well. 

A few minutes later and Marie held up a vial- it looked more blue than red with whatever she'd put in it-a triumphant look on her face. Anna faced her, a smile tugging on her own lips. 

"Do you think it's going to work?" 

"Well she healed from it, and if the answer's in her blood then it should." 

At this point, I had forgotten what they'd given me, so I was wondering what 'it' was and what they were talking about. 

Marie pulled out a syringe, filled it with the liquid and left the room. I peeked out and watched her enter another one of the medical rooms. A few moments later and she returned. 

"Well?" 

"He was sleeping, if it's going to have positive effects, we'll know in a few hours." She looked at me and sneered. "You can leave now." 

"Was going to," I grumbled. 

I stepped out of the room just as one of the doors opened and a young boy barged out, hands fisted at his sides and face puckered with anger. He looked sickly, his eyes sunken, face pale and limbs wraith thin. 

"What did you give me this time!" he yelled at Marie. "I don't want any more shots!"

"It's going to make you better."

"That's what you said last time! I told you I don't care anymore! I just want to be with Michael!" 

Anna and Marie exchanged a look. Marie sighed and turned her attention back to the boy. I interrupted whatever she was going to say. 

"Who's Michael?" 

His lip trembled. "My brother. I miss him and he barely comes anymore and they keep on sticking me with needles!" 

"You need to leave, Cerise," Marie warned me. 

Anne went to the boy and coaxed him back to the room, it didn't seem too hard since he now looked exhausted. My god, what were they doing to him? I looked at Anne, shocked. 

"Why did you give him something with my blood, did you even test it on something other than a human or a Drakhenae?"

"He is the test, now go." 

I stared at the room the boy was in, shocked. "Why? Why are you doing that to him?" 

"We do what Everard tells us to." 

I stared at her, sickened and shocked. Everard made them do that to a little boy? I had never, and still had a hard time believing that he was capable of doing something like that. I opened my mouth and closed it, at a loss for words. She left, probably to experiment with my blood. Sickened to my core, I left then. This happened because I stayed, and I knew without a doubt that I would do everything possible to escape tonight. It didn't matter if I didn't manage to leave the country or even the city, I just had to get as far away from Everard as I could.