I Am No Prey by Amal Clare May 25, 2021

22- Villain to Me

"She's my friend!" Easton answered for me, and glared at Marie. "And she doesn't stick needles in me or not let me see Michael!" 

Marie glared right back. "You're being dramatic Easton and you know it." Before he could reply, she turned to me. "You're not supposed to be here, and you need to leave." 

"Why?" I asked. 

"Yeah, why?" Easton piped up. I shot him a grin, glad that he was ganging up against Marie. 

Marie seemed at a loss for words and sputtered a barely coherent response. "I know what you're up to," she seethed. "And I know that the tests didn't disappear on their own." 

Anna chose that moment to open the door and come inside. As soon as she saw me, she glared as well. 

"You! What is wrong with you!" 

Their reactions and opinions of me were seriously beginning to annoy me. Correction. It was making me furious, considering what they were doing to Easton. In the corners of my vision, I saw the shadows pulsing, peeling off the wall and slithering closer to me, in the forms of snake again. Their whispers were louder in my head than they had ever been before. 

-How dare they!-

-Oooh, this is good, show them-

-You figured out how your fire works, don't you want to try it?- 

-Go for their wings. Burn them-

I pushed their voices down, wondering what  the voices were. Anna and Marie's faces blanched even though they knew the shadows couldn't even remotely hurt them. Could they hear the whispers like me? Or were they only hissing in my brain?

 Instead of making me worried their obvious fear did the opposite. I felt oddly satisfied about it, no I wanted them to be afraid, and I felt the familiar rush of energy and tingling in hands and arms. The air around my hands ignited, the fire moving and dancing almost like a live thing. I was glad I didn't wear long sleeves. 

Anna reached for the door, to warn Everard or run, I had no idea but I knew I couldn't let her do either. I grabbed her shirt and pulled her back. She screamed and batted at her shirt, trying to put out the fire. At that, guilt sparked in me and I winced, but the voices in my head erupted in glee, cackling and telling to do go more, to burn her luscious hair. I tried to ignore them in vain. 

"I don't want to hurt you, but I can't let you warn anyone." 

Marie bared her teeth at me in response and lunged at me, nails outstretched and eyes blazing. I blocked her with my fists, and if she felt pain from the fire, she didn't show it. When she reached for me again, I grabbed her hands and she screamed, moving away from me. I flinched at the sound and let her go. She didn't lunge again. I opened the door and let the tingling and rush of energy free, the fire grew, and I willed it to go to them, circling their hands but not touching. It took a shocking amount of energy to keep it from going everywhere and touching them. Sweat beaded on my forehead and between my shoulder blades. 

"Out." 

I let the shadows slither up the walls and cover all the cameras. 

They walked in front of me, everytime Marie glanced at the elevator, gauging escape, I let the fire grow hotter. I opened the door to another medical room. 

"In, now." 

"The door doesn't lock from the outside," Marie smirked after she got in. The voices in my head hissed at her and gave me ideas. 

I smiled at her, knowing the expression was all teeth, and slammed the door in her face before melting the knob thoroughly and effectively locking them in. 

When I went back to Easton's room, he was standing, wings rustling, and face paler than usual. He fixed his large eyes on me when I entered, and he wore an expression of mix fear and awe. 

When I stepped closer, he took two steps back. "What are you?" he breathed. 

-Just about to help him escape and he asks what are you?- My shadows huffed in indignation. 

"I'm not going to hurt you," I said, taking a tentative step ahead. "I would never hurt you. I didn't want to hurt them either, I had to, it was the only way to make sure you can be free." 

I realized that the first part seriously sounded like something the villains and bad people always said, and if he accused me of kidnapping him, I wouldn't really be able to blame him. 

"Free?" he whispered. "What do you mean by that?" 

"No more needles. No more keeping you here all day and no more putting random things in your body." I looked to his wings. They were a red-purple, more purple than red. "Do you know how to fly?"

"Not really," he admitted. 

"I could teach you, it's amazing and I promise you'll love it." 

He fixed me with a look, one full of despair and hope. "I'm not stupid. Michael says it's because I read so many books. I know you could be someone else than you say you are. I know it's dangerous to give you, someone I've only known for a day, my trust," he said, sounding older than his age. "But I'm sick of this place." 

"Then it's a good thing we're leaving," I said, trying to lighten the mood, but knowing that I was failing horribly. 

He nodded and walked out of the door towards the elevator. When we reached the last floor, the one I was staying in, I kept the elevator doors closed. I covered Easton in shadows, thickening them and blurring the edges. 

"Stick to the walls, the side that's already dark," I told him when the doors opened. 

The only way it wouldn't seem as if a shadow was moving against the wall was because the position of the sun cast the entire left wall in shadows. 

I opened the door to the bedroom, and Easton walked in, careful to stick to the wall. If anyone-Everard no doubt- was paying close attention to the cameras, they would see that the shadows seemed to ripple slightly. But that could be easily mistaken as a trick of light. 

Easton looked around the room. "The room's plain. Like mine was. Did you always used to be here?" 

"No." I sighed, remembering my apartment in Paris. What excuse did my stepmother come up for my disappearance? She probably used it for politics and said the Drakhenae killed me, or I was coming with Brandon for the sake of it and they kidnapped me. Amarantha probably hated the Drakhenae now. 

"When did you come?" he asked. 

I frowned, thinking about it. When did I come? It couldn't have been months. 

"A few weeks ago, I think." 

"It's a good thing you didn't break then." 

I smiled wistfully even though I knew the truth, I never broke because it never seemed like a cage at first. 

"When are we going?" he asked. 

"As soon as Daniel gets back." 

"Oh, I know Daniel!" he said, a grin on his face. "He's going to help?" 

I laughed. "He's going to do more than that." 

"Wh-" 

He broke off when we heard the sound of the elevator opening. I shot him a look and gestured under the bed, just in case. He listened and I pulled the blanket at the foot of the bed down slightly, just to make sure if anyone came in, they wouldn't be able to see him. 

A few moments later, I heard a knock on the door and quickly opened it. It was Everard.