Condemned Ch. 07

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I couldn’t stop staring. Every time I passed a mirror I felt an urge to look and every time I did I was sickeningly disappointed. They were not fading as I’d hoped they would and though I’d never considered myself a vain man I would have given anything to see the skin against my neck as smooth and pale as it had once been.

For a moment my eyes wondered and locked onto the gaze of the pathetic bastard staring back at me. I had thought that months spent with a regular supply of food would have made me strong, perhaps even formidable. Jesus, I really was delusional.There was nothing to me. I was skin and flesh, a wraith with dark hair and dark circles around eyes that looked too big for my head. No wonder they all wanted to attack me. I had ‘Loner’ printed all over my fucking forehead.

“You about done in there?” A voice called from behind me. Michael wanted the room. He wanted to make himself pretty for the next poor soul he sucked dry.

I pulled away from the mirror and shirked around Michael. I had learned that the trick to not setting him off was making absolutely no eye contact. I could feel him watching me and my body gave an involuntary shudder. “You going to spend some time with Louie tonight?” He asked me, trying to sound conversational as he adjusted his hair in the huge gilded mirror.

I didn’t usually talk to him and he rarely asked me anything directly anymore. Since he had bitten me our relationship has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Judging my how constantly freaked I was I didn’t think he had started glamouring me again. He had equally stopped trying to calm me down whenever I was in his presence. It meant I was constantly scared and on edge. Such behaviour did little for Michael’s killer instincts and I had found myself on the unfortunate end of his temper several times in the last few weeks. It was a terrifying cycle that I had no idea how to end/

I debated ignoring him but realised that could annoy and set him off again. “I-I don’t think so.” I whispered.

“No plans then?”

I could literally feel my blood freeze. “Why?” I asked, rather faintly.

“The others keep asking about you.” He said and moved so quickly that before I could blink his big hand was cupped around the back of my head and he was forcing me to look at him. “Keeping you in here, away from them, is making them curious. If I start bringing you out they’ll back off.”

“Once they’ve sated their curiosity.” I said, my tone accusing and sarcastic enough to make Michael’s grip tighten painfully.

“They won’t hurt you.” He bent his head close to mine until our lips were almost touching. “I won’t let them.”

“You couldn’t stop them before.” I said, the words leaving my lips before I could properly consider my own stupidity.

His expression hardened and the grip on my nape became too tight. “That was because you were unmarked before.” He pulled me against his chest and bent his head to my throat. “I rectified that mistake.”

“Stop it!” I gasped, pushing ineffectively against his shoulders as I tried to pull away.

He growled like some sort of fucking animal. “That’s all you ever say Conner. Stop it, stop, please stop. I’m sick of hearing it.”

I wanted to scream at him, to rant my hatred and frustration and make him know exactly how much I despised him. “You’re hurting me.” I whispered.

He let out an irritated huff and let go of my neck, transferring his grip to my arm and pulling me effortlessly after him. “I’m tired of hearing your simpering. All I did was mark you, as is only proper. I’ve even stuck to our deal and haven’t taken you, despite your promise that you would give yourself to me if I gave you time. I’m sick of having to deal with you.”

“You could let me go.” I said softly as I was dragged out into the gaudy gothic hallway.

“Let you go? Are you honestly that naive? You think you’d last out there? You’re weak Conner, weak and stupid.”

I pursed my lips and resisted the urge to remind Michael I had managed ok before he had snatched me, and the only reason he had managed that was because of a freak solar eclipse. I wondered what had pissed him off so much and had a sinking suspension it had something to do with the sudden urgency to introduce me to the others. I couldn’t help but drag my feet as I was led through the gothic corridor to a room I had never seen before. The front door, a huge stainless steel monstrosity, was guarded by an intense looking other with the burning eyes of someone who was thirsting. She hissed at me as Michael stepped in front of her and I nearly casino siteleri pulled my arm out of its socket in my sudden urgency to run away from her.

“Stop it!” Michael snapped irritably as I tried to hide behind his bulk. He turned away from me and let out a threatening hiss that caused the other to cringe back from him. She opened the door with sudden deference, bowing her head and babbling her apologies.

I was tugged inside and was instantly drawn to what was happening in the middle of the blood spattered room. Perhaps two seconds passed as my brain struggled to understand the images in front of me. I felt my breath start to shorten and my skin grow blazingly hot. God, I thought, it’s real. This isn’t a nightmare, its real!

Horror unlike any I had ever experienced before bubbled up inside of me and I did something then that I had managed not to do once throughout my entire ideal. I opened my mouth and I screamed.

*****

It had taken a rattling backhanded slap to stop my hysterics, and even then I had been unable to stop the incoherent babbling that spewed insistently from my lips. A whispered threat and a stern warning of what would happen to me if I embarrassed Michael any further finally shut me up. He joined the others and I was left standing alone, watching the show and trying very hard not to throw up.

I tried, I really did, but I couldn’t block it out, the crying, the begging, the screaming. This was sport to them, a treat to be shared throughout the entire clan.

Three of them were already dead and even as I watched they picked their next victim to torture and kill. They chose the poor fool at random, dragging the guy out of the tight crowd and throwing him in amongst the shrieking newborns. He just knelt there with tears streaking down his hollow cheeks, clutching wildly at his trouser legs as a blood spattered girl crawled towards him on hands and knees. I felt my throat close up as the monster reached out and caressed the man’s face, wiping away the tears in morbid fascination. Now that the bloodlust had been slated she was taking her time, playing with her food as she feasted on his terror.

“You seem distraught, Connor lad.” A deeply revolting voice oozed into my ear. A strong arm looped possessively around my waste and pulled me into a tight embrace. “You need to learn to hide your squeamishness better. It’ll make the others think you’re weak.” I could hear the sudden smirk in his voice. “Course, you screaming like a girl over a bit of blood might have ruined any chance of convincing them otherwise.”

“I don’t care what they think of me.” I said quietly, dropping my eyes as the man let out a howling scream of pain. I resisted the urge to cover my ears too, knowing that such an obvious sign of weakness would not be tolerated. “Let go.” I said, the words lacklustre because I knew that Jonnie wouldn’t let go of me unless he wanted to.

“You’re shaking like a leaf.” He pressed his lip intimately against my ear. “It turns me on so fucking much, watching you. I can almost smell your terror.” He nipped at my ear and I tried to pull away. “Soon I’ll be able to smell it.”

“Michael will kill you if you don’t let me go.” I said, quietly confident.

“No he won’t, not with Kerry right there. I’m her favourite you realise?” I didn’t think it was possible but Jonnie somehow managed to plaster himself even tighter against my side. “Besides, old Michael isn’t all that popular at the moment. Word is that your master has pissed off the council. He allowed one of their own to get killed in his haste to save you when that other coven attacked. That boyo is a big no no.”

I allowed my eyes to flicker towards the group of others and although Michael was watching us he seemed in a heated argument with Kerry. Jesus, something bad was about to happen, something even worse than what they were making me watch. “Don’t you care?” I blurted, needing to understand how we could both be human but be so different. “Those people are innocent; all they’ve ever done is try to live. How can you watch them be tortured and not care?”

Jonnie blinked at me, genuinely confused by my question. “They’re loners. Expendable little urchins who are only good for eating and playing with.” The grip around my waist tightened. “If you were as ugly as them you’d be out there too, because let’s face it boyo, everything about you screams victim.”

“Given the alternative I’m glad.” I gestured to the man, a bloodied twitching mass that must have been in agonising pain. “No one deserves to die like that; no one should slot oyna be tortured for pleasure.”

“You’re such a fucking little loner.” He said contemptuously. “How the hell you and Anne are related is a mystery to me.”

I looked up sharply at the sound of my sister’s name and had to bite my tongue from asking him how he knew we were related. But then, given his apparent popularity among the other the gang members, they must have flocked to him. He probably knew every dirty secret imaginable within the coven.

“Jonnie, come here.” Kerry suddenly called and I looked up to see a large group of others staring at us. Her sparkling green eyes bore into me and whether it was a compulsion or my own fear I found myself suddenly rooted to the ground. “And bring Michael’s pet with you.”

Jonnie let go of my waist and transferred his grip to my bicep. He dragged me the short distance to the other’s and pushed me in front of Kerry.

“Hello little mouse.” She cooed, reaching out long fingers to brush back my hair. I was shaking so hard it would be impossible to miss. “Are you enjoying the show?” She gestured to the newborn others and the gruesome mess they had made. “You’re fortunate; it’s been sometime since we rooted out such a rich horde.”

“I-I don’t…” I shook my head and dropped my eyes. She wanted congratulations for having found a group of innocent men and women to kill and I’d be damned if I’d give it to her.

“Come now pet, speak up. What do you think?”

“It makes me sick.” I said, the words choked and hushed to almost a whisper. “I don’t understand it.” I looked up at her then, pushing all caution aside. “I want to leave.” I looked at Michael, whose gaze was focused on Kerry. “Michael, please.”

“Yes Michael,” Kerry said, turning to the other and throwing him a dazzling smile. “Why don’t you save your little toy?” Her voice turned childlike then and deeply mocking. “After all, he’s so delicate and frightened. He needs you to save him.” She grabbed me so suddenly that I didn’t even have time to gasp before I found myself being dragged towards the middle of the room before the watching newborns. They started hissing and laughing as I was pulled among them, straining forward against the collars around their necks. “Come now Michael, why aren’t you saving him?” She pushed me out at arm’s length until there was nothing but air between the newborns and myself. The one closest to me snarled, snapping her teeth inches from my face, straining so hard against her collar that blood began to bead down her pale neck.

I was beyond even hysterics as I stared into the eyes of my soon to be killer. She would have been in her thirties when she was turned, I thought in numb detachment. Beneath the grime her hair was a thick chestnut brown. If not for the blood and deranged expression she might have been pretty.

“Kerry, why are you doing this? Why are you provoking me?” Michael’s voice seemed very far away. He had promised he wouldn’t let them hurt me. With my death literally looking me in the face I found that very hard to believe.

“If you want me to stop come and take him from me.” She gave me a fierce shake that knocked my feet out from under me. I was suddenly dangling in her grasp and I don’t think she even noticed. She pulled me up suddenly and inhaled against my throat. “Unless,” I felt her smile against my neck, “You don’t want him?”

“You know I do!” Michael roared. I jerked then, barely moving within Kerry’s grasp. “You know he’s my favourite.”

“Your favourite?” She mocked. “Do you intend to turn him then?” She laughed and ran her fingers through my hair before forcing my head back. “Shall we make a loner one of us Michael? Shall we turn him and by doing so weaken us all?”

“He is company only.” Michael growled, stepping forward slowly as not to threaten. “I keep him to warm my bed and pleasure me. His beauty is captivating enough to make up for his faults.”

“He is no true companion for one of us Michael.” Kerry said, her tone suddenly soothing and motherly. “Take one of our true followers and use them for your pleasure.” She gave me another hard shake. “This one is not worthy.”

“Can I not decide that for myself?” Michael asked, his tone somewhat desperate now.

Oh god, I thought as it dawned on me that he wasn’t going to fight for me. There was no way he could win against her and everyone in the room knew it. I was going to die, I was going to be ripped apart just like that poor kid all those years ago.

“You make poor decisions as far as this one is concerned Michael.” canlı casino siteleri She said softly. “And so I’ll take the decision from you. He is no longer yours, you deserve better and as a gesture of good will I offer you a pick of any among my own to sate your desires. All except him.” She pulled me away from the newborns and dragged me across the room before Jonnie. She clamped the Irishman on the shoulder and showered him with a dazzling smile.”This one is mine, he is my favourite and he shall be a shining beacon of what a proper companion should be.” She looked at me for a brief moment before shoving me in the Irishman’s arms. “Here Jonnie, take this one and try to teach him how to act properly.” I felt her eyes rake up and down me as Jonnies arms wrapped around my chest. “At the very least he’ll make a nice little pet for you.”

“You’re giving him to one of your own favourite?” Michael suddenly roared, all pretences of calm gone as he tackled Kerry around the wrist and drove her into the opposite wall. “You fucking whore! You think you can disrespect me like that and –”

She kicked him so hard that Michael’s bones protruded from his chest as he sailed through the air and landed among the newborns. They scrambled away from him as Kerry approached. She leant down to Michael, caught him by the throat and pulled him close until they were facing one another. “That was very stupid Michael.” She whispered, before breaking his neck as easily as I might break a twig.

Michael collapsed to the floor like a fish, twitching and floundering in a horrid attempt to save himself.

Stark silence followed for a moment before the Others burst into loud discussion.”Well lookie what I got.” Jonnie breathed, pressing me even closer against him as he ground his erection into my back.

My eyes took it all in, the mess in the middle of the room that used to be people, Michael’s twitching form, Kerry’s grim superiority, the spectators collective glee, coupled with the sickeningly sweet scent of Jonnies breath washing over my cheek became too much. I couldn’t catch my breath and I suddenly desperately hoped this would be the end of me. A sleep I would never wake up from.

*****

I woke to the feeling of a heavy body pressed against my own, sucking against my neck and I lay pinned on my back. I panicked, thinking Michael was drinking from me again. I cried out and thrashed and the hand not fisted in my hair reached out and caught one of my flailing wrists. “Awake at last.” A lightly amused voice breathed in my ear. It took me a moment to realise it wasn’t Michael and then all of the memories came flooding back. “Stop!” I cried, unable to help myself despite the sound realisation that crying out would only turn the Irishman on more.

His hand slipped beneath my shirt and ghosted over my right nipple. When I bucked away from him he pressed his teeth into my collarbone and bit down hard enough to make me cry out. “Stop?” Jonny asked in fake astonishment. “But boyo, we’ve barely even started.”

I wanted to hit him, when he pressed his lips against mine and forced his tongue down my throat I wanted to bite it off. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t make myself react? This was a man, not one of the others but a flesh and bone man that was as mortal as I was. Why couldn’t I defend myself? Was he really so much stronger than I was that I didn’t even dare try?

“Don’t,” I cried, twisting away from the hands tearing at my trousers. “Jonnie, stop!” I clawed at his hands and he punched me. The blow hit my jaw with a solid thump and I dropped like a rock. I tried to curl up in a ball after that but a few sharp tugs on my hips sent me flat on my back.

I didn’t see her until she was almost on top of us. The surprise must have shown on my face because Jonnie began to turn over just as Louie brought a golf club down across his head. His eyes widened for split second before he collapsed down on top of me.

Louie helped me heave him off and then shoved my trousers into my hands. “Move, now.” She snapped. When I just stared at her she slapped me. “I said move Conner!”

“Jesus,” I breathed, shoving my trousers on and pulling on my shirt and shoes. “Jesus, were so fucked.” A thought occurred to me and I looked up at Louie. “You stopped him, why?”

She looked pissed and scared. She spared a look for Johnnie and spat on him. “No way in hell you deserve to be given to that sick fuck. First those poor fucking loners and now you.” She looked back at me and for a split second the facade cracked and I saw her for what she was, a middle aged lady that had seen way too much. “I can’t do this anymore Conner. I can’t just watch them murder people for the hell of it.” She grabbed my hand and pulled me to the door. “You and I, we’re getting the hell out of here.”

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