By: J.L. Beck

“Well, that’s a crock of shit.” He laughed, setting his spoon down on the table. I didn’t know where to go from here. There was nothing I could say to help me. I needed to take action.

“Call it whatever the fuck you want. I don’t care. I needed to figure out a plan, and then I needed to implement it because I would get her back, and I would gut Mack. No one lied to me and got away with it.” Simply admitting he had pulled the wool over my eyes angered me. It made me feel weak in the eyes of my people, and I wasn’t weak.

“Whatever. Do what you need to,” he said, frustrated with me, I was sure. I couldn’t blame him, but I was tired of being caged. I was tired of being told what to do, and to that I needed to rest. My leg was better, my chest no longer hurt, and the pain was a distant memory. All that mattered was Bree. I would blaze a trail of fire across the world to find her. She was mine, and I would make it known to the world.

Chapter Three


“Get up you stupid bitch.” I heard the voice before I could register what was happening. Cold water fell on me, dousing any further movements. I was strong, really strong, but this shit was wearing on me. They kept me in a fucking hole, thrown in here since day one. Every time they came to torment me, they wore masks as if they thought I didn’t know who the fuck they were. I didn’t know who they were, but I knew they worked for Mack. Mack. Just saying his name caused my blood to boil.

I had very little given to me, and I knew there was a purpose behind this. They didn't want me to get comfortable. They didn't want me to feel at home, and I didn't. Food was sent down in small rations, just enough to keep me from starving to death. Crackers, peanut butter sandwiches, and small bottles of water quickly became my only meal throughout the day.

Once in a while, if I were lucky, a bucket of water was sent down so I could clean myself. On those rare occasions, I also got a change of clothes.

These clothes were never my size and always had a distinct smell to them, which only made me feel dirty all over again. They wanted to break me with their words until I was nothing, but I refused to give them the satisfaction. At night, as I lay my head on the soiled mattress with springs poking out while wrapped up in a worn blanket, I hugged my pillow thinking of my life before all of this.

The hole was cold, a bottomless pit of nothing. It only served as a place to hold me captive from the life I once lived. From the life, I had grown to know in just a few short weeks. A life with him. My mind was an indecisive mess. I couldn’t tell what day it was let alone what month. It felt as if I had been hidden here for an eternity.

“Was that really fucking necessary?” I growled unable to hold back my anger a second longer as I looked up to the only place allowing light into my darkness. The entrance to my own personal hell. I had held onto hope in the beginning when Zerro would come and save me, but after three weeks of this shit, give or take, it had slipped away. I knew if he were coming he already would have, and for some reason, the thought only stirred the fire to get out of this fucking hole that much more.

“Was it needed?” he mocked laughing down at me, his voice making me want to vomit. “Of course it was needed. Your stupid ass wouldn’t wake up.” I clenched my fists, digging my nails into the dirt covered ground to the point of pain. But I didn’t whimper. I didn’t even wince. The point of this hole was to shatter me until I no longer recognized the person I once was. Make me resilient to them. Make me break. Make me forget about my life outside of this place. What they didn’t take into account was, instead of it breaking me, it built me up. It made me stronger.

“Weird, I didn’t hear you say wake up. All I heard was you call me a stupid bitch. Clearly, you’re the bitch, but you do know you are also the stupid fucking one as well, right?” I narrowed my eyes, locking my own with his. His mask was firmly in place, but I could tell, one day I was going to push him just enough to reveal himself.

I watched as he threw the bucket down, dirt swirling around in the air as it landed by my feet. “You’re lucky the boss wants you alive; otherwise, I would’ve fucked that pretty pussy already. Then I would’ve slit your throat and watched you bleed out.” Somehow, I managed not to cringe, not even a tiny bit. I didn’t even care about what he was saying.