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Caught Beast Mate(8)

By:Milana Jacks

“It feels worse.”

“What do you go by?” he asked.

A trick question. I should say my full name, as was our custom. I contemplated what to do. My mate hadn’t recognized me. Besides looking like shit with overgrown hair and filth all over me, I had a leg I knew would never mend itself and a name I hadn’t given her on the day I met her. She wouldn’t know me by name, and by now, my Alpha thought me dead and would’ve given me my remembrance name as per our customs. When a beast died, those closest to him gave him a name they associated with his life. I wondered what Jamie had named me.

Torrent ceased to exist that day at Dewlyn’s community. “Name’s Torrent.” I left out my father’s name and most definitely his title. My father, the High Priest of Tineya, had “helped” many hunters join our Beast Mother in what humans would call heaven. He might have judged even this beast’s father, so I kept my family name out of the equation.

Besides, when Men of Earth, a much weaker enemy, captured me alive, I had shamed my family. Though I had attempted to carry out the tenets of my own faith and end my life, the enemy had kept me either hungry and weak or drugged and unconscious. They tortured me for information, which I never provided.

“Just Torrent,” Zarik said. It wasn’t a question, though he knew I should’ve introduced myself using our customs with a full name, rank, and title. He didn’t seem to give a shit. This suited me fine.

“Are you in charge of this place?” I asked.

“I am. But Hasel thinks she is.” He chuckled. “She’s old enough to boss us youngsters around.”

“Mayhem’s not here?”

“He’s in New City, with his mate.”

“Congratulations. You will have heirs.”

“Hear.” Zarik glanced at my leg again, then sat on the bed and crossed his arms over his chest.

I chuckled. “They fucked me up good.”



“They’re weak.”

“I thought that too.”

“They’re still weak. You must’ve been poisoned.” He took out a spearhead and unsheathed it. “Found these in the community, coated with poison. No scent.”

“Mm-hm.” I nodded. “Their weapon of choice.”

“At least you’re alive.”

I’d never forget the day we went after Dewlyn’s parents and had landed in what appeared to be a quiet community. Vice and Jamie had walked inside the sanctuary, and I’d kept watch. Mud stuck to my boots as I approached the wall to survey the community. They got me with an arrow in my neck. The poison spread through my body. It wasn’t painful, pleasant instead, made me want to sleep. Listless, I’d stumbled toward the sanctuary, hearing footsteps behind me.

After Jamie and Vice fell into a well, Men of Earth had lifted me from the marble floors of the Community Three sanctuary and loaded me into a truck with Felicia, our beast female. During our time in the back of the truck, I’d tried to comfort her with words because I couldn’t fight for her freedom with my body.

But that wasn’t how I lost my leg.

They knew they couldn’t keep me down for long. After I regained consciousness, they shattered my right kneecap. The pair of us, Felicia and I, rode in the back of the truck in the dark, with no food or water. And there was nothing I could do about it.

We traveled for a while and got unloaded. Lived underground for months. That was where the evil happened, the time during which everything went to shit. I couldn’t think about that now or I’d pass out.

I escaped when they loaded us back into the truck, presumably heading for our final destination. They’d made a piss stop. Right before one of our captors got back into the driver’s seat, Felicia distracted the guy by banging on the walls. It worked. The driver opened the back door and yelled at her, then forgot to latch the back of the truck. As soon as the truck picked up speed, we crawled to the door. If we both escaped, I’d be a burden for her since I couldn’t walk. I wouldn’t have it. I told Felicia to jump. She told me I wasn’t the boss of her, then opened the door. She’d looked at me and said, “You are mated.”

“How do you know?”

“I went into heat. You ignored me. Besides, I’m tagged.” She pointed to the back of her neck. “They tagged me like a fucking dog. They can track me. But you’re still free.” She kicked me out of the truck.

Now, Zarik watched me expectantly. I knew he wanted to hear how I got to be where I was. Instead of telling Zarik my shameful story, I said, “Got lucky. They weren’t paying attention, and I escaped.”