I Am No Prey by Amal Clare May 25, 2021

24-Escape

Either I was deranged or there was some truth to what he said, because when he kissed me, I opened my mouth instantly. He kissed me like he was drowning and I was air, I knew that later I would realize how cliché that sounded. Even though he kissed my lips-it wasn't a chaste kiss- I felt it low in my abdomen, and instead of my hands setting on fire, I felt as if I was alight inside, because I couldn't stop wanting more. It was as if my body had a will of its own when I arched, pushing myself higher and harder against him. He made a low sound in the back of his throat and soon he wasn't kissing me, but devouring me, his tongue hot on mine. I knew I should feel ashamed, shy, maybe something else, but all I could think was more, more. I was intoxicated by the taste of him; sage and something that was just him, so unlike Daniel's minty taste. 

I stilled. Oh my God. Daniel. Sensing something was wrong, Everard stopped. I half expected him to take and take, but the fact that he stopped, giving me space made me feel worse, because there was no way I could say that he forced himself on me. 

Bile rose in my throat, and I was disgusted, beyond disgusted at myself. He opened his mouth to say something, but I refused to look at his eyes. Call it the coward's way out, but I didn't want to know how he felt or what he was thinking. The fact that his lips were swollen from...what we just did, only made me feel worse. 

The ringing of his phone interrupted whatever he was going to say. He muttered a curse and I knew he was going to hang up, but when he saw the caller ID, he didn't. He answered and muted himself. I still didn't meet his gaze. He gripped my chin and forced my gaze up, his eyes narrow and conveying clearly that we would talk later. 

He left the room. I didn't hear him well, and when he got back, a scowl pulled his features and his hands were balled into fists. 

"The Commander's coming. It's nothing to worry about," he said, still sounding worried. "He does it often, likes to check the soldiers, make sure I'm doing my job...and other things. It's unlikely he'll come up here, but just in case-"

He grabbed my arm and steered me out the room. I realized that he was worried for me, and as expected, that made the bile rise again in my throat. 

He led me to another room-his office, and I only knew because I snooped around once-and opened the door. He went to the wall and pressed what I assumed was a light switch, except the left side of the wall slid open. It looked like a walk in closet, and one of my many questions from weeks ago was answered. But seriously, who kept their clothes in their office? 

"Does it open from the inside?" 

"No." 

What if he got locked in then? "It wasn't always used as a closet," he explained, as if reading my thoughts. 

I really wasn't getting in there. Commander or no. Especially since I was escaping soon. 

"I'm not-"

"Going in there," he finished. "Do you have a death wish?" 

"Fine, if I hear someone coming up, I'll go in there."

He raked his hands through his hair. "Fine." 

He went to the door, his hand on the knob. At the last minute, he turned around and pulled me to him, kissing me hard and swiftly. It was over before I even realized what was happening. 

"Don't forget that," he whispered, his thumb stroking my bottom lip and then he was gone. 

The moment I heard the elevator doors close, I left the office and went to the bedroom. Easton wasn't under the bed anymore and was talking to Daniel. At first I didn't recognize him, since he was disguised wearing large sunglasses, a baseball hat, jeans, a plain shirt and sneakers instead of boots. From seeing him always wearing the military garb, he looked like a different person. Easton was in disguise too, one slightly similar to Daniel's.

"Finally!" Easton cheered when he saw me. He turned his big eyes to Daniel. "Can we go now?" 

The moment I had seen Daniel, I started to panic. How long was he here? I knew Drakhenae had sharper hearing than most, but how much sharper? Did he hear...anything? If he did, he didn't show it and instead glanced at his watch. 

"What about Michael? Can he come too?" 

Daniel's gaze darkened. "Not now, after we go, I'll come for him." 

I knew he was lying but didn't say anything. Daniel's gaze shot to me. 

"You met Michael?" 

I shook my head. "Why?" 

"We need to hurry," he said instead. 

He tossed me a bag. I knew he was keeping something from me but we were running out of time. I rifled through the bag, pulling out a brown wig, sunglasses, jeans, a hoodie, and a whole lot of makeup. I peered at the tube of red lipstick, foundation, and eyeshadow palette. 

"Makeup, really?" 

"Do you want to be recognized?" 

I sighed, went to the bathroom, quickly changed and put on the makeup. Other than the wig and fitting my wings through the slits of the hoodie, everything else took no time at all and I was out in less than ten minutes. I glanced at the elevator, and felt the blood leave my face. The numbers on the top were changing, increasing, meaning someone was coming up. I doubted it was anyone other than the Commander. 

"We need to leave now," I said, opening the window and summoning the shadows to disguise my wings and lack of scales. 

There was the unmistakable sound of footfalls thudding against the ground as we jumped outside, Daniel having a firm grip on Easton. We flew higher and Daniel took off toward the city, me short behind him, trying to chase something I doubted we'd ever find.