Soar (Page 47)

Jared stood immobile. Whatever Bryant was doing to Jared’s back made it impossible for him to fight back.

“Take over for me,” Bryant called to the guard without a gun.

He nodded, strode over, and put his hand where Bryant’s was. “Sorry. He paid a lot more than you did, Jared.”

I leaned back against the wall. I had to call for help. I hated to even think about him, but Toby was probably the only one I knew of to call. Bryant’s attention was back on Jared, so I fished out my phone and had just started to push down Toby’s name from the contact list when my phone was ripped from my hand. “And what do you think you’re doing?”

“Uh, nothing.” I forced myself to look Bryant in the eye. His eyes were so similar to Jared’s, but so different. The coldness in his was the exact opposite of the lightness I usually found in Jared’s.

“You won’t be needing that.” He tossed the phone on the floor and stepped on it. When he picked up his shoe, my phone was in pieces. I hoped that the call to Toby had gone through. Bryant grabbed my arms and pulled me tight against his side.

Jared still didn’t move, but Bryant positioned me so I had to look right at Jared’s face, then he released me. Jared stood there completely immobile with a look of absolute agony on his face. His whole body was in a state of tension.

“Stop that!” I screamed. I couldn’t stand seeing him in so much pain.

Bryant laughed a maniacal laugh that made me sick. “What, you don’t think he can take it?”

“Stop! Please stop!” I felt the tears. I hated to see him that way.

“Aww, isn’t that sweet.” Bryant stepped toward me so I stepped backwards until my back became flush against the wall again.

He reached out a hand to touch my cheek, and I slapped it away. “Don’t touch me.”

He laughed. “Are you really in the position to be telling me what to do?”

“What do you want? You’ve had your fun, now let us go.”

“You’re not going anywhere.” He grabbed my arm, pulling me down the hall. I screamed for Jared even though I knew he couldn’t do anything.

Bryant unlocked a door and towed me down a flight of stairs. We passed rows of cells with bars, but he finally stopped in front of a cell with a door. He used a key to unlock it then pushed me into the dark space. “Enjoy your stay.”

A loud thump announced Jared’s body landing next to mine just as the door slammed closed behind us.

“Jared!” I knelt down next to him. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” He sat up as though nothing had happened. His wings still extended from his back. Long, black, beautiful wings that I wanted to touch. I was losing my mind. I was locked in a cell, and I was thinking about touching a guy’s wings.

He moved away from me and over to the door. He pulled on the door, and when that didn’t work, he started banging. He must have spent over twenty minutes trying to find a way out. After a while, I couldn’t watch. I closed my eyes and tried to pretend I was somewhere else.

***

The light from the bare bulb above us left eerie shadows on the wall. Compared to everything else I’d seen over the past few weeks, it might as well have been bright and cheery holiday decorations. I was getting more and more used to the things that once terrified me.

“Cozy, isn’t it?” Jared broke the silence. Despite his tendency to make my blood boil, I was glad to have him with me. The shadows would have bothered me more if I was alone.

“Very. It’s hard to believe people don’t choose to live here.” I paced the tiny cell, needing to burn off some nervous energy in the only way I could.

“On the plus side, we finally have some alone time.” He smirked, at least that’s what it looked like in the dim lighting.

“It’s so romantic.”

He laughed. “You can sit down, you know.”

“No, thanks.”

“There’s plenty of room over here.” He patted a spot on the cot next to him. Somehow, his attempt to break the door had ended with him sitting peacefully. I didn’t see that change of demeanor coming.

“I’m okay over here.” I paused my pacing in front of the door. “I wouldn’t want to miss my chance to escape.”

“To escape this cell or me?”

“Aren’t they one and the same?”

He smiled. “Escaping me is going to be hard even outside.”

“I didn’t know you were into the whole chase thing. I’d have pegged you for a wait for the girl to come to you kind of guy.”

I don’t know why I was playing into his game. I guess I saw it as the distraction he was offering. That explained the calm. He was trying to make sure I didn’t freak out. I appreciated the effort even if I wasn’t telling him that.

“Usually I am.”

“But this time is different?” I rested the heel of my boot against the door.

“Yeah. Isn’t it obvious? I went through a lot of effort to get us locked in here.”

“Oh, so this was intentional?”

“You didn’t think I’d actually let myself get locked in a cell, did you?”

I laughed. “Never. You’re too strong for that.”

“Glad you noticed.”

“Do you think anyone else is around? Is there anyone who can help?”

“Let’s find out.” He stood up, giving me another peek at his shirtless body. These Pterons had ruined me for other guys. I couldn’t imagine how many hours at a gym it would take a human to get a physique like that.

“How?”

“Hello? Anyone around?” Jared screamed.

“Stop that!” I hissed. “What if someone comes?”

“Isn’t that what we want?” A smile tugged at his lips. “Unless you like being locked in here with me.”

Ugh. I didn’t even bother to reply. “Help!”

No one answered.

“I guess we know we’re alone.”

“Great.”

“We’ll get out. You just have to time it right.” He took a single step toward me.

“Time it right?” I watched him. Did he have an escape plan up his sleeve?

“If we tried to escape now, they’d be waiting. We have to act when they think we’ve given up.”

“That’s why you haven’t broken us out yet?”

“Of course. What did you think?” He crossed the small space and stopped next to me.