Bella groaned as she regained consciousness slowly. As she lifted her head, her eyes widened as they landed on Edward, who looked down on her with a disturbed smile. In his hand, he held a small paring knife and waving it back and forth between his fingers.
“Rise and shine Isabella. It is a time that we try something new,” he announced. His bright red eyes flickered over her thinning frame with disgust. “Seeing as I am unable to go out for awhile, you and I will be able to spend some quality time together. You’ll enjoy that, won’t you Isabella?”
Edward reached out with the knife, slowly dragging it across her abdomen. It didn’t break her skin, but she could feel the sharpness of the blade. What frightened her more was her inability to move away. “Hm. You’re wondering about that I’m sure. Yes. I may have given you something. A little Versed, don’t want you to go off and run away from me, do we?” He taunted as he moved her legs a little to the side and sat down on the bed.
Tears fell from her eyes as she watched him helplessly. She thought about the faces she had met on her ‘ghostly’ travels. She had opportunities to ask for help but never took it. The one man, Derek, had offered, and his last words repeated in her mind with regret as Edward continued.
He tore away her blanket, revealing her legs and smirked. “Let’s start here, shall we? And let’s make it into a game, I will continue hurting you and draw blood until you give in to me. Or, even better, I could simply lick up all your glorious blood and slowly turn you into a vampire.” He scraped the bottom of her left foot with the tip of the knife, his eyes darkened with fascination as blood slowly seeped out of the very shallow cut.
Bella could barely let out small gasps of pain as he went over the most sensitive areas of the body. Creating superficial lacerations over nerve endings was painful. More so than a deeper cut in many ways. When she felt a cool liquid flow over the incisions he made, the sudden sting and burn would have made her shout out if she were capable of doing more than a physical gasp.
“Some salt water Love,” Edward explained. “We don’t want these to get infected. Do we?”
He moved up from her legs, the knife dancing over her body in his hand as he debated on where he would play next. “Eeny meeny miny moe,” he sang before he sharply sliced her cheek. “Oopsie,” he said playfully before placing the knife next to her with a grin. “You know what? I want more access,” Edward started to rip Bella’s shorts and whined when he was pulled off of her and flung against a wall. “Why didn’t I hear you coming?” He fumed at his brother as he scrambled to his feet. “You fucker!”
Emmett fumed as he stood over him and shook his head. “I’ve had your back through most of this but that… That is a line I won’t cross for you!” He screamed at him. His eyes were pitch black as he took a step closer to him. “You want her as your mate, find another way but don’t you dare use that! Get the hell out of here before I rip your dick off and shove it down your throat!”
“Asshole! I just wanted to have access to her thighs as they’re a highly sensitive area, and I could make delightful cuts!” Edward spat at his brother. “As if I’d fuck that! Look at her! She’s in a right state!”
He turned to look over at the ripped shorts and hissed. “She was wearing shorts you, fuckhead! You didn’t need to rip them off of her! Get out of here before I set your balls on fire for what you just said!”
Edward scowled as he walked over to the bed and grabbed his knife. Cutting Bella as he picked it up and stomped out of the room, he acted like a child whose toys had been taken away by daddy.
The vampire held his breath as he stayed behind, shaking his head. He knew he should have listened to his wife, but he had little say in the family against the golden boy and Carlisle. He pulled out a fresh pair of shorts and made his way over to the bed where Bella eyed him helplessly. “I’m sorry Bells. For everything but I can’t do more to help you. They hold too much power over us,” he muttered with depressed eyes. He used his vampire speed to put the new shorts on her and left the room.
As she laid on the bed, unable to move, Bella could do nothing more than cry. She wanted an escape again. No matter how soon it had been since her last attempt. She wasn’t sure what her strength level was but with the drugs in her system she was not even able to leave her bed.
Sighing, she closed her eyes and tried to rest, conserve her strength while letting whatever Edward had given her to paralyze her wear off. She prayed that he wouldn’t return in the meanwhile.
Derek growled as he stood in his loft, the floor flooded with water as he looked around. The power had been cut to the building as he and his friends had attempted to set a trap for one of the former Alpha pack members that were still after him. Their plans were not going as well as they had hoped.
Boyd and Isaac and stood with him when Kali made her arrival. Her voice echoing through the walls was enough to set the wolves on edge. Derek growled, and his eyes glowed their red hue as he shifted to his wolf form as he took in the sight of him. Kali had his sister hostage.
“Do you know how difficult it is to get you alone? I finally figured out a way, however,” she grinned viciously. Her eyes flickered over the two with him with boredom. “Get rid of your pets if you want the bitch to live.”
He hesitated as he stared at his sister as she shook her head. He turned to glare at Boyd, his silent dismissal as the young wolf stood defiantly. “Don’t do this man. We can help you,” he argued.
“They didn’t do very well helping you last time,” Kali provoked, her grip on Cora tightening around the girl’s throat.
Derek looked back over to the other Alpha and snarled. She grinned and twisted the wolf’s arm before breaking her legs. “Stay down while I take care of your brother. You and I have unfinished business to tend to when I’m done with him.”
With that, Kali launched herself after the male Alpha, who struggled against her attacks despite his physique and skills. As the two fought one another, Beacon Hills’ visitor appeared in the loft beside Isaac, startling him. “Holy shit!” he yelped, earning a similar reaction from her on their faces.
She looked around bewildered and terrified. Terrified not for the situation but for the man she was coming to consider a friend and hadn’t tried to force himself on her as the others had attempted. Taking a step forward as she surveyed the battle, she took notice of who was involved. “Is that Derek?” she questioned breathlessly.
Isaac narrowed his eyes on her, not having heard her speak before. “Yeah. He won’t let us get involved, but the bitch is hard as hell to beat. Even for him,” he whispered.
The girl looked worried, and he eyed the cuts that covered her face and neck, wondering how she came by them. Having been a victim of abuse himself, he shook his head as he exactly knew with what she was dealing. At least in some form.
Her small hands fisted as she ran at the female wolf that tangled with Derek in battle. As he saw who was coming at them, his eyes widened, and he was ready to object but just as she had done with Deucalion, she threw herself into Kali. Kali pulled away from Derek, clutching at her head as she screamed in pain.
Derek glared back at Isaac and Boyd with his human face back in place. “Why did you let her do that?!” he angrily growled. “She never has full strength when she comes here!”
“She didn’t give any warning of what she was going to do!” Isaac argued. “What is she doing?!”
The Alpha turned back to Kali, who had her back to them as she continued to whimper through whatever torment that the girl was putting her through. “I don’t know but if it’s anything like what she did to the Alpha, Kali won’t be a wolf anymore when it’s done,” he said in shock.
Sure enough, after several minutes of the grueling agony the woman underwent, all that was left was an unconscious human. Derek checked to make sure that she was still alive before looking up at Boyd. “Get her out of here. Take her to Eichen,” he said. “Before I’m tempted to do something worse.”
“Just kill the bitch,” Cora sneered from where she was working on healing. She forced her leg back in alignment with a grimace. “What the fuck happened?”
“Same thing as in the woods,” her brother answered with a heavy look. She made a face and shook her head. He knew his sister was not a big fan of the stranger, but she had issues of her own with her history. “Look, everyone get out of here. I’ll clean up.”
Cora stared at him as she pushed herself up to her feet. As Derek refused to turn to face her, she knew he didn’t want her to stay either. She quickly took off while Boyd and Isaac were slower to respond, making sure that their maker was truly okay after the ordeal. When he was finally alone, the wolf leaned on the table as he wondered if there was a way to reach his mysterious savior.
Three and a half weeks and Derek barely left his loft except for it was necessary. Peter, Scott, and the others had their concerns about this new behavior of his. Though when they speculated on it, no one would be willing to admit to the reason.
When Scott asked Deaton about his opinion, all he received from the man was a smile at first. As he pushed for a response, the Druid sighed. “I do not believe that he is afraid of leaving the loft after what had happened, but perhaps he is simply waiting to leave,” he said, raising an eyebrow before returning to his work. The answer made the boy think about why Derek would want to wait to leave and was left just as confused as when he started.
Between working out and repairing the damage from the water that night, Derek remained busy in his home. He felt the need to do whatever he could to stay around as he wanted to be there in case she returned. The girl had saved him not once, but twice and he felt he needed to do whatever he could to get her out of whatever situation she was stuck.
He had just walked back in from taking out a load of trash when he heard her voice calling for his attention from the direction of his bed.
“What are you?” she questioned as she sat on the edge, her feet bare as they avoided any surface.
His eyes narrowed on her as he slowly approached, taking in the numerous marks, small cuts over her face, hands, and feet. “Werewolf,” he answered honestly, his head tilting to the side as he grew curious. “Do you know what you are?”
She looked at her hands and frowned. “No. One day I found I was able to – take off – like this. I welcomed it at first but quickly learned that it didn’t stop what was happening to me,” she replied. Her eyes jumped up to him to find that he hadn’t moved from where he had stopped. “Do you know what I am?”
Derek took in a breath and shrugged a shoulder. “We have theories, but none of us are sure. I think someone is looking into one possibility further.” He hesitated as he eyed her, wondering if he should continue. Seeing as she still stared at him in silence, listening, waiting, he treaded carefully. “My uncle believes you might be something referred to as an Ikiryō. The only thing that I was able to get was from someone I know is that it is someone who is close to death can separate their spirit self from their physical body.”
He could see the spark in her eyes flicker as she looked away from him, dropping her gaze to the cuts on her hands and feet. Taking a chance, he moved closer until he was in front of her and knelt down bring himself back within her line of sight. She was still struggling with asking for help. That much was clear.
“What is your name?” Derek roughly asked as he allowed her another out.
Her eyes wavered with uncertainty, knowing that he had quickly offered his name from the beginning, and she had given him little in return. In fact, this man had asked nothing of her or her situation that she wasn’t ready to give. Her voice was small and weak as she met his eye. “Bella,” she whispered.
Nodding, he offered a small smile. “I want to thank you again, Bella, for saving my life,” he said before the smile grew. The memory of her visit to the loft that he saw her, earn a small laugh, as sad as she was feeling for herself.
The laugh though turned to tears as she cried for the body trapped in her prison. The werewolf looked her over, not knowing what he could do for her. Out of instinct, he reached out in an attempt to comfort her but his hand went right through hers. “Please, Bella. Tell me what is wrong. We can try to help you. We can find a way,” he whispered to her, trying to get her to come around.
Bella’s anxiety and fear of her situation overshadowed her desire to tell him and it was difficult to get the information out. “I’m – I’m trapped,” she let out between breathes and cries. “He keeps me prisoner. He wants me as a mate…”
His eyes narrowed at this, unsure what to make of it. “Who? Where are you?”
She shook her head as she raised her hands as if to hold herself together. “Nooo!!” she screamed. Derek pressed his lips together as he knew she was about to disappear and for some reason he didn’t believe she always left of her free will.
He had her there. Practically in his arms and she disappeared again. At least he managed to get some information that they can work with, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy his desire to pay her back for what she had done for him.
Pulling his phone out, he was quick to dial Deaton. His face was pinched as the man answered the phone in his usual pleasant tone. “Hello, Derek.”
“If you can find anyone – I mean anyone that knows anything about the Ikiryō, I need you to get whatever you can quickly,” Derek said.
Deaton was silent for a moment. “I take it something has changed.”
“She returned. I learned her name and that she’s being held prisoner but she was pulled away again. I don’t know how much longer she has,” he said as his emotions started to get the better of him, and he tried to push them away. “I owe this girl.”
“I may know someone who knows someone. I’ll call you when I know more. Keep me informed with what you feel necessary. Good luck Derek and I hope she holds on.”
Derek hung up, feeling more angry and weak than he’d felt in his life. Over a girl he barely knew.